Monday, December 17, 2007

From Generation to Generation

Just before leaving for La Barra I spent some time with my nephews: Jacob (4), Ty (3), and Kyle (9 months).

One day while Kyle was sleeping in his crib I just stared at his precious little face. My reaction was deep, heartfelt prayer for this little one that God would save him and mold him into a man of God who lives a life worthy of the gospel and proclaims the good news to the ends of the earth. I prayed that God would use those little hands and feet for His service and his little lips for His praise and all of Kyle's life for His glory. As I look at my nephews I think of things they may possibly walk through later in life and I just pray for God's grace to rule in their lives. In those moments a sense of urgency rises in me to tell these little ones about Christ and what He accomplished on the cross for sins and their need of Christ as their Savior. Then I went to La Barra and many times I would feel the same things and pray the same things for little Hallie Lou (hopefully Kyle's future wife if everything works out...Just Kidding Laurel!!).

Since I have been back from La Barra two of my cousins have had baby girls on the same day! I had the opportunity to see little Addison Joy's nursery before she arrived. That same wave of desire for her life to be pure and blameless before the Lord swept over me as I looked into her soon-to-be-filled crib and as my eyes passed over the white letters hung on her wall by her excited expecting parents spelling Addison! I just prayed for her salvation and Maggie's as well.

Maggie Blake

Addison Joy

I have a picture in my journal of my 1rst birthday where I am sitting in my PapaJim's lap and my dad is in the picture too. We are wearing those silly cone birthday hats. On my birthday in La Barra I looked at that picture taken 23 years ago and I wondered if in that moment my dad was looking at me and praying that one day God would use my life for something great! I know my parents have prayed for me and I see where God has me today as well as my brother and sister and their spouses and I praise God for His grace in our lives. I pray the same for my nephews and my cousin's children. Tonight Kyle fell asleep in my arms once more (probably my favorite thing ever!!). Again I think of those little hands and feet that, Lord willing, will one day be used to bring God glory and declare the gospel to the lost!

As much as I love missions and want to spend the rest of my life taking the gospel to the hardest and most unreached people groups in the world (by God's grace), I see the beauty of being a mother and taking the gospel daily to your own children. What a joy it is to be able to share Christ every day with precious little ones like my nephews! It is a hard road and wearisome at times as I have seen in my sister's life but the joy is immeasurable and as I pray our response is to all hardships in life: Jesus is worth it. So, moms out on in raising Godly children. Press on and change diapers to the glory of God and take an extra five minutes to teach your kiddos something from God's word! Nothing warms my heart more than to hear my four year old nephew, Jacob, sing worship songs nearly incessantly throughout the day. God's praises are constantly flowing from his lips. The other day Jacob had to have some blood drawn and the nurse had to dig around to find his vein. Several minutes later the test was accomplished. Jacob didn't budge or cry a single tear. In the car afterwards, Shea asked him how he was able to do that. A little later Jacob's reply was, "Mom, you know how I did that so good? I know I am loved by my God." That is amazing! I used to think there was no greater joy than doing missions. I have been blessed to be proven wrong. There is no greater joy than to live our lives for the sake of the gospel, no matter where we are and to preach the gospel, no matter who the audience is...whether kiddos in La Barra or our own families. Praise the Lord for such a glorious gospel that permeates all that we do and brings joy to every nook and cranny of our lives!!

So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
Psalm 71:18

I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;
Psalm 78:2-7

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
Psalm 145:4

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7

May our hearts be so saturated with God Himself and His word that it spills over and out of our speech and actions that the next generation may know Him and declare His praises!

Monday, December 3, 2007

My Sheep Hear My Voice!

John chapter 10 brings me much joy when on the mission field! We must be faithful to preach the gospel and His sheep will hear His voice!

We had three services in La Barra before we had to leave. The first was held at Inocenta's house with her family. George was able to preach a message about the Thessalonians who 'received the word in much affliction (1 Thess. 1:6).'

The following Friday we met a lady named Eva who proved to be another one of God's sheep. Eva was already a believer when the Lord led us to her doorstep. We were in her living room with bibles open and she was telling us her testimony and reading Matthew 28:18 she said, "I need to be baptized and I want to be baptized." The following sunday we had the service at the beach where Steve preached on Christ being the way, the truth, and the life. Then we baptized Eva in the waves of the ocean in La Barra that God created for His glory and for the believers of La Barra to be baptized!

The following Sunday we had our last service at Eva's house. Jim did the preaching and Inocenta's husband, Endefonso, was there for the last half of the sermon. Afterwards, Eva and Inocenta made everybody lunch and Jim had an opportunity to share the gospel with Endefonso. He had recently returned to La Barra after spending several months in Huatulco at an Alcoholic Rehab program. Endefonso is still an unbeliever as well as Inocenta's children: Giovani (16 and very resistant to the gospel), Uriel (12), Jessica (11), and Eliezar (7). Please be praying for the salvation of her family as well as her spiritual growth.

Eva's husband, Rafael, is also an unbeliever as well as their children: Israel (19 and very resistant to the gospel), Jonathan (12), and Diana (6). Please be praying for the salvation of her family as well as her spiritual growth.

There were several other families we were able to share the gospel with, including Yair's family. Please be praying for these families that they would come to know Christ. We gave them all New Testaments in spanish. Pray that God would give them a desire to read the word and pray that the Spirit would open their eyes to see and minds to understand and ears to hear the word of God!

Please pray for these families:

Yair’s family: Ana (mom), Cecilia (grandma), Antolina (aunt), Aquilino (uncle), Rocendo (uncle), and Aldair (brother)

Noel and Celia with kids Jennifer and Leonel

Frederico and Elizabeth with kids Diana, Melissa, and Mercedes, and Grandmother Natividad

Felipa and her husband

Carlos-owner of El Dragon Pizza

Pablo-owner of El Chontal restaurant

Vicente and Josefa and their grown children: Iliana and husband, Lizet and husband and child Alex, Uriel, Victor, and Sheyla

Jose Luis and wife and child Luis Jose-owner of banana plantation we camped out on.

Evangelia and daughters (the Elorza family)

So, I've given up on trying to post pictures in this blog because the picture format is not right or I made a slideshow. I have the La Barra album posted at if you want captions to explain the pics. Hope you enjoy the slideshow!!

By the way...the hole in my arm is no longer a hole but a scar! Praise the Lord!!. Thanks for all your prayers regarding my arm and my health!! God heard and answered!

As of now, my plan is to return to the Center for Pioneer Church Planting in January to help out with the school and get ready for teaching on missionary first aid February 4th-8th. I'm also working at Shea and Sylas' D-now in Eldorado the 1rst-3rd of February for my 6th year in a row. They are the best D-nows in the state of Texas!! This years theme is 'The Cross!' I'm so excited about that!! Then, sometime after I teach at the school, we (not sure who the 'we' is yet) will be returning to La Barra for another month and a half of 'missions'. Details haven't been figured out yet but I imagine we will return in late March or early April because the Griffin's (a couple and their baby that went to La Barra with me) and I are starting language school at Harvest Language Center in Guadalajara. The school will go from April 29th-December 5th. This way we can learn spanish fluently and be more useful tools in sharing the gospel with the people of La Barra. Of course, these are plans I have made in seeking and following Christ so we will see how the Lord directs my steps!!