Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Word of Encouragement for the Holiday

Nicanor is the long time leader of a ministry in Nepal and Northern India where the work is hard and the persecution real. He wrote a devotional this week to encourage us to keep on keeping on. I wanted to post a portion of it here for you

A man of God called Gregory of Nazianzus  AD 381 wrote about Jesus this way;

He began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life.
Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water.
Jesus was weary, yet He is our rest. Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King. 

Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons.
Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears.
Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world.
Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd.
Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

One Year Ago

One year ago:
I did not have a grandson, my mom was buried and Peter’s tour was just completed.
I had visited NYC to see the Thanksgiving Parade from the park near Becky and Mark’s apartment on the upper east side and I was dreading all the hoopla that can be Christmas.
One year ago, Ruthanne was coming home from a semester in Vienna and normal holiday shopping and comings and goings continued. A group heading to Ghana in January was meeting to pray and prepare for service in that part of the world. That was only one year ago.

Then on January 13th, sixteen met in the Chicago airport for the first time as a whole team from Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona. Unity and charity were the marks of the day! The team served well and worked hard in the blazing sun. Children were loved and sponsored and hugged. A new church building was begun where a new body of Christ already existed. How good is the Lord God Almighty to give us a glimpse of His activity in West Africa.

Ten months ago or so, Mercy and Faustina got visas to come to the USA. Patience Vormawor experienced a measure of healing and gave testimony of the Lord’s grace in her life. In the USA there were churches visited, gifts shared, hospitality generously applied as we toured Arkansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. The roads were well lit, there was water in the taps, and the fellowship was sweet. While I do not remember the count of sponsorships, I do know lives were touched and prayers answered.

When I look at the calendar I notice that haircut, dentist and doctor appointments were made all mixed in with meals shared with friends and travels. My husband was in Costa Rica before joining the throngs in Europe trying to fly home under a cloud of ash. Peter arrived from Kenya and shared his smile with us. His heart for ministry is infectious. How he loves the Lord Jesus!

And I found out a new baby was growing inside my first baby. How can it be that new life comes along with such hope? Weddings and funerals dot the calendar as summer arrived. Birthday celebrations and anniversaries remembered. Staff meetings where we can look in each other’s eyes and draw on the white board. Plans made for the Lord to accomplish.

Almost suddenly, it was July and the last Premier Rally with Joan Horner. Followed immediately with a children’s group bringing quarters for kids in Kibera slum. Perhaps there were seeds planted in those hearts for generosity like Joan’s to grow. That week I found out that a container of quarters worth over $1000 is heavy! And that Peter can be an influence in person and on film.

And so it goes. The baby grew inside of Becky while work and life continued on. Lee went to India, Rody and Teri went to Sri Lanka. And Romania and Turkey and Turkey and Ghana and South Africa. You fill in the blanks for who went which way when.

William Mark Riebesehl arrived, not a day early but right on time. Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto the God who makes it all possible. Every day ordained for me was written in your book.

Comfort and Gifty blew into town with energy and passion for the task at hand. They prayed for more meetings and saw Him provide. They asked You for more sponsors and You heard their cries. They marveled at the gifts that were double or triple the expected amounts. And went home with bags full, fuller and filled to the fullest. Pressed down, and overflowing.

So thank you Lord. For clear roads and safe travel. For warm, open hearts willing to join us in the  ministry. For the miracle of new life and eternal life. For children like Gifty who found hope because someone saw a picture and gave a dollar a day. For the new website and strength to do the hard work. For Thomas and Benhan, Daniela and Martha, for Nicanor and Justus and all the names of those who give and give and give and give believing that You are the source of it all.

Thank you for being able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond what we would even dare to ask or imagine. Even just one year ago.