Friday, November 29, 2013

The Season of Thanksgiving

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. Psalm 95:2-3

This Thanksgiving season is so easy to say things for which you are thankful. I mean, everyone is doing it. But what if you don’t have the food you are used to? What if your living situation is not what you are accustomed? What if you were separated from your family and friends, for whom everyone says they are thankful?

Would you still offer thanks to the Lord? Would you still have a thankful spirit?

(Some missionaries have shared their Thanksgivings overseas…)

Many times, it is so easy for me to focus on the negative aspects of my life. But, that is not what God has called us to do. In fact He calls us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I am truly thankful for those of you who pray for us and over us. This past year (man, have we been with the company for a whole year, already?!!) has not been very easy for us. We’ve said goodbye to family and friends and the lives that we’ve always known. We’ve lost a sister. We moved to a foreign land, and we are in the process of learning a foreign language and customs (I don’t think you fully ever learn either). We got pregnant again. And on and on. But the one thing we have always relied on, besides Jesus, is our family and friends who keep us in their prayers AND who specifically pray for us by name and pray for the ministry opportunities that we are a part.

SO, what are some of our ministry opportunities that you may be praying over?

- David is in Vila d’Este (a suburb of Gaia with over 17 thousand people!) He is helping with an English homework group two days per week. Pray that a church be planted in Vila d’Este!
- This week David and I (and Gideon) have gone with a lady from our church (a Brazilian missionary) to visit people in their homes. These people have shown interest in God or church or anything spiritual on this site. It has been an interesting experience that has definitely taken me out of my comfort zone!  Pray that we would be able to share the love of Jesus boldly with those who need Him.
- We have also been more active in church activities. Pray that the local church would see the vision for planting churches throughout Gaia.  
- And, as always, we love throwing parties and getting together with friends! Pray that we would be able to build Bible studies with those who attend.

God is doing some really amazing things in Portugal! Please be in prayer for us, as we try to lead people to HIM. And let us know when you pray for us! That is really what has been keeping us going this year. Smile

If you need more ways to pray for us, or for any missionary, this website lists ten things to pray for missionaries. It is pretty accurate, too.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Doing Work, Work for the Lord


This past Sunday I was able to give a sermon over The Great Commission, Matthew 28:16-20.  I have now talked people to sleep in 3 languages (English, Spanish, and now Portuguese).  Seriously.  The worst part about that truth is the first person to ever fall asleep in my sermons was my brother, Confused smile.  LOL, They say family will let you know the truth.  However, I hope the Lord will bless the purpose of the sermon.  I tried to focus on application regarding the process of Going and Making Disciples.  If you could see all these apartment buildings, how they roll across the hills in waves that are unending, then you might have the daunting feeling ‘how can I reach all these Portuguese.’  The truth is I can’t.  However, I am not going to throw Jesus in a box and say He can’t.  So my hope in the sermon was the listeners would get the church planting mojo.  Having a 100 national-born missionaries going around Vila Nova de Gaia and trying to plant churches is my vision. 

Dream big people, pray bigger than my dreamsIn love

LOL, I know some people want to read this blog and see all the wonderful results we are having in spreading the gospel.  You want to hear about long lines of people heading into the water for baptisms.  You want to use a calculator to decipher all the spiritual numbers I am throwing on this blog. People, it’s not happening at this moment.  It’s a spiritual struggle.  That is why I am begging for prayer. 

So this blog is going to be short, and I think it’s pretty simple.  My holiday request from you is to pray specifically for Danielle’s and my ministries.  Pray that we can form more relationships.  Pray that the Lord will give the church in Gaia a unique heart to spread His message.  It can be discouraging to work for an entire year and not see much fruit from your labors.  A guy named William Carry was the first Baptist Missionary sent out.  He toiled for 7 years in India before someone believed the gospel.  I can’t imagine the difficulties that man must have endured, the loneliness, the frustrations.  I do know this, The Great Commission ends with a promise from Jesus. So however small my work might seem, however small the spiritual numbers I am able to present, I believe there is a purpose.  I hope you ladies and gentlemen will share with me in this work by praying.