Posts Tagged ‘ministry’

Sitting down heavily on the steps and reaching to tie my shoes, I sighed. Tim and I were getting ready to leave the house and head for the “home by the orchard.” I knew some very isolated and lonely people were expecting us. Problem was, I felt like I had nothing in me to give them.  We had already prayed for God’s strength and wisdom.We had asked to be sensitive to His leading. But I hadn’t slept well and a dull pain was throbbing in my right temple. Plus, I kept forgetting things. If just the task of gathering together sermon CDs, purse, Bible and water bottle was this hard, how was I going to be able to minister to anybody? Only past grace got me out the door.

Two hours later, it was obvious that God wasn’t troubled by my weakness. And the morning wasn’t over yet! After opening God’s word to some of our regulars, when we had only about 15-20 minutes left, we went looking for a barely disabled woman we usually visit. We finally found her out in the garden where a group of 7-8 residents were clustered on benches or in wheelchairs, greedily soaking up the rays of an October sun.

Our friend, though, was preoccupied with a stray puppy the residents had adopted. Now what? Tim greeted Mihai, a new gentleman, while I said “hi” to some ladies. Soon, Tim called me to translate. It seems Mihai was trying to explain to him that he also had a Bible, a gift from his son, an Adventist.  That was encouraging! I wondered where the conversation would lead.

But further down the bench, Teddy, a cheerful hulk of a child-man, transferred his attention from the puppy to us. He’d spotted our Bibles too! As I sat down on the bench next to him, he immediately pounced on mine—and by the way he was flipping through the pages it looked like it would have a short life! What to do? He looked pretty determined to keep it, and Teddy was big! But this is where God’s grace poured out; because I did something then that I would never have done in front of such a big group if I had stopped to think about it: I asked Teddy, “Want to hear a story from the Bible?! Yeah? Then give me my Bible back and I’ll tell you one!” (more…)


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No Trophies

So, I asked Tim what I should write about this month. We both laughed. September just seems a blur of exhausting labor, attacks, reversals and drama. First at the elderly homes, a lady we’ve been working with started getting drunk again. Another lady died. Then the gentleman I’d written so hopefully about last month suddenly balked at the thought that he must be born again. He said he just didn’t get it.  A paralyzed friend we drove to the optometrist heard that no glasses could help her. Her disease is destroying the optic nerve. A man I’d been visiting turned weird, forcing me to sadly avoid his room. (more…)

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November 09 Prayer Update

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support. God is working! Since my last update on Oct. 18th we have seen our new Sunday morning Children’s Bible Study really take off. These photos are from this past Sunday when the lesson was on God’s calling Abraham and giving him promises. (We had transformed the bunk bed into Abraham’s tent to help set the mood.) So far there have been 21 different children who have attended, with the average being 9 kids per Sunday. One little girl’s mother said her daughter was  so excited to come back she was ready to go to church already at 8 am (church starts at 10 am). Another mother, whose kids were sick last Sunday, said they were crying because they couldn’t come. We really look forward to seeing what God is going to do with these children.We are also excited that some mothers are coming back to church that had not come for quite some time. So may God keep using it in both the children and adults! (more…)

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Shall We Not Believe?

“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:10-12

Darkness, gloom, scorched places and ruins. So often we look around in Ramnicu Valcea and this is all we see, spiritually speaking. What’s worse is when we look at the church we’ve labored in for the last ten years and seem to see the same things.  (more…)

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“He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.” Ecclesiastes 11:4-6

I read these verses before heading off to elderly ministry yesterday and afterwards was glad I did. What a great reminder that we’re not called to be meteorologists in the work of the kingdom, but to be worshipers and servants. God has not allowed us to know beforehand by gazing at the “clouds” whether this planting or that will prosper. For that matter, even afterwards we are usually only guessing at our effectiveness, no matter how hard we “stare at the ground.” Did you notice how the phrase “you do NOT know” is repeated in the passage three times? What a a gentle rebuke to human pride, but also strong comfort to someone like me, who after minstry, tends to over-analyze and pick apart everything, as if I COULD know. How much better just to praise God that he is in charge of the harvest, rest in his great power to make a garden out of a wilderness if he so chooses, and to joyfully obey his word.

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Agony and Ecstasy

Every now and then in ministry you experience a moment so sweet that it makes all the others worth bearing. Something like that happened this past Sunday morning. It actually didn’t seem like a morning that would turn out that way. In fact, we really felt under attack. First, when Miha arrived she announced that the people at the corner carwash had stopped her on the way in, very upset. Knowing she was our daughter-in-law, they demanded, “What did we do to the Americans for them to sign a complaint against us to city hall? The mayor’s offices has slapped us with a $4,500 fine and they’re forcing us to completely redesign our entrance!” (more…)

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