Isaiah 43:1-3, 7, 10-13

But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior... Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.... “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
Isaiah 43:1-3, 7, 10-13

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Births

Well, as 2 of us are waiting for the immenent physical births of our children, we were excited to celebrate the spiritual births of 2 of our youth. Rene and Vanessa made the decision to put Christ on in baptism yesterday. They have been faithfully attending church, Bible class and our CAFE group for months. I have been impressed by their sincerity, and their longing to learn. After expressing their desire to be baptized, Josh spent 7 weeks studying with them both - and said he was always impressed when he arrived for their study, because they had everything ready - Bibles out, homework done. Sometimes in the midst of being a mom and wife, it can be hard to see what, if anything, I am contributing... but after teaching Rene and Vanessa in Bible class, and seeing their desire to follow Christ, I am struck again by what every teacher feels the weight of - the promise of the future. I am excited to see how God will lead and train up these 2 young people to serve and honor Him within the church. Please pray with me for Rene and Vanessa.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Pray for Kenya

My whole childhood is wrapped up of memories spent in Kenya, a beautiful country with beautiful people - and the last few days have made me so sad. How Satan can work - to turn people against one another. Email and news reports tell of the town I was born in burned and gutted; people afraid to leave their homes, going without food and water; living in forests in fear for their lives; homes burned; people killed for their tribal ethnicity. I can't help but think back in my mind to members at our Komarock church - who was Kikuyu? And yet it is not just the Kikuyu whose lives are being threatened. Christian brothers are sheltering Kikuyu families, putting their own lives at risk. And that is the work of God and the love of Christ in action! It is at times like this, I am proud to be called a Christian - when faith is put to the test and shines forth like a beacon in the darkness. Please pray with me for this country and this people that I love!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

We ended the year with a church-wide time of fellowship at our house, complete with a smoked leg of pork (thanks to my multi-talented husband!), sports, karaoke, a hay ride for the kids in the back of our 79 Chevy pick-up, burning the "old man" (an Ecuadorian custom of making and burning a dummy to symbolize getting rid of old habits), a devo, and fireworks. What a wonderful way to bring in the new year! (Although for the first part of the day, I had a few concerns: it rained all day -luckily we had rented a tent- but it cleared up and was beautiful; the flies were the worst I've ever seen, thousands of them - I have a new appreciation for the Egyptian plague in Exodus - we went through 6 cans of insect spray just to make it bearable - but the temperature dropped and the flies went away; the first guests showed up over an hour late, and most people didn't arrive until a couple hours after we said we would start.) The devo was a special time of singing and sharing some spiritual goals for the next year, and I think it really helped people reflect. Bruno, one of the young men of our congregation who has taken on a leading role with the youth, tearfully expressed a heartfelt desire to be a good role model. Renan, his father, reflected on all that God has blessed them with this last year, and a desire to serve God with those blessings in the year to come. Miguel stated he wanted to be a better father, spending more time with his kids and having more patience. Letticia wanted to humble her heart more before God. Please pray for all these brothers and sisters in their walk with Jesus.


Gaston with the "old man" dummy

Happy New Year!