Thursday, March 18, 2010

One week!

We've been planning this visit home for a while, and it's crazy to think that we leave 1 week from tomorrow to head back. Bryan and I have both said that we are very excited, but also a little sad. We are actually starting to figure out what our main purpose is here in Maldonado, and we will be excited to return back to it! But for now we are really looking forward to being home awhile. It's funny when home becomes two different places.

On Saturday Mikeala came back into town, and she told me that she has been sharing the Word of God with her sister where she lives. We were encouraged to hear that she is growing. There was also another woman named Sandra who gave her life to Jesus on Wednesday. After Bryan talked to her, Mikeala started encouraging her and sharing the gospel with her in her own language, Yeni. She has a small 1 year-old baby boy named Eduardo who is very malnourished to the point his stomach is very swollen while the rest of his body is very skinny. Bryan took him and his mom to the doctor, and the doctor gave them some vitamins and supplements to help his condition. He also explained what foods she can give her baby to help him. Sandra is only 21 years old and it can be common here for a mother not to know how to care for her baby. Please pray for Sandra and Eduardo as God is moving in their lives.

Last Wednesday, we were invited to speak at another church here in the city. The pastor and his wife have become good friends of ours, and they asked us to speak to their leaders about teamwork in marriage and in ministry. We were thrilled because, although we are young, this is something we have learned a lot about. We have been living and working with a team since we began ministry 2 years ago. We talked about how marriage and teams take our pride away, and gave personal testimonies of that. It went very well, and several leaders even asked us to pray for them, that they would begin to walk in what we were saying. We ate with them afterwards. We are praying for more and more opportunities like that. We want to develop friendships and trust with pastors here, so that we can help and encourage other ministries. We have felt more and more how God wants the Church to work in a city, not just in a church building, to bring transformation.

Our leadership team formed from various churches for the youth in the city has been very busy. It seems like we are all getting busy with many things personally and it has been harder to meet together. All 5 people on the team are going to be traveling to other places over the next 6 months. Please pray for this team. We have become good friends, but we know that God placed us together for a purpose. Pray that we will keep our eyes on God's calling in us, even when we have other things that need to be done in our personal lives.

The next youth event is Saturday, and we've planned something a little different. The last two have been more like church services, but this time, our goal is that the youth will get to know each other better. We are praying that the youth catch the vision of working WITH other churches. But we will be splitting them up in groups, each with people from different churches, to prepare a skit based on a theme given. We hope to encourage teamwork and that they just have a good time with each other. Then Bryan will be given a short teaching on the importance of unity and teamwork. Pray that this event will bring new levels of unity to the youth in the city.

Several people have contacted us, and we are thrilled that we are getting to share to some groups of people. But please, if you'd like us to speak somewhere, just shoot me an email or facebook message. We'd love to!

A dear woman of God passed away this week, and she was very special to me and my church family at South Oaks. I just wanted to ask all of our supporters and blog-readers to be praying for their family. She had been battling cancer for several years, and did it with the biggest smile and zeal for life. She was an amazing lady, and she will be missed. But I know she is even happier now!

See you soon!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Youth!

Blogger seems to be having some problems. Or maybe our internet is too slowly. I've tried to upload some photos several times, but they won't work. So I decided it's better to post something rather than wait till I can get those pictures up.

We've been having a great time with the youth lately. Saturday February 27th, we had our second city-wide youth event, and this month we had 4 churches join us. So we added another church from last month. It was a great time. Our leadership team asked 2 churches to bring a skit or some presentation, and it was really nice to see youth active and get to sit back and be ministered to through that.

Every Saturday that we don't have a youth event, we invite the youth from our church over to our house to hang out.We've started having a devotional time and singing time with them, but several of them come from a more native background. They are usually very shy and do not open up much. Little by little we've been making some progress, and they've begun to laugh with us and talk with us.

This past Saturday went really well. I felt like I was supposed to share about connecting with God. About how the Christian life is more than a checklist or just going to church or just being a better person. So I told them some stories from my life, and how I've learned to have a relationship with God. I told them music is usually an easier way to connect with God because it helps us focus. So we did something very practical. We sang and I asked them to focus on Jesus, and if they started to get unfocused just try and refocus. So we did that for about 30 minutes in our living room. We played songs we usually play in church, so they were familiar things. But at the end of the time, I had prayed and Bryan had prayed outloud. So then I asked if anyone wanted to share anything or pray out loud. One boy, Claibern, said that he wanted to pray.

He prayed something like this:
God, I thank you that you have shown me how to connect with you. I thank you for my family and how you've provided for me. Tonight I've been touched by you. Tonight you've shown me how big you are and how powerful you are. I want you to have my life.

I was such an encouragement to us to see him open his heart to God. We are praying for our youth that they would each be touched and begin to burn with passion for Jesus.

We are getting really excited about a visit home. We have less than 3 weeks until we will be starting our journey to Texas. Right now, a lot of our schedule is open, and we would love to get to visit with anyone who wants to talk with us. I'm starting to miss real English conversations =) So please leave me a comment or contact me on facebook and we can set something up.

"Set your mind on things above, and not on earthly things." Colossians 3:2

The size of the baby right now!

 BabyFruit Ticker