I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world and I am coming to you… I do not ask that you take of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one… so that the world may know …” John 17:11, 15 & 23
After finishing our latest course in Abaco, called “In But Not Of”, a course which focuses on our everyday witness as believers in the world, and our desire to join Jesus in His redeeming work amongst the outsiders, each student wrote how they were impacted by the time together. We are thrilled to see them understanding that it is not about taking another class, rather about living a changed life.
Here are a few quotes from changed lives …
Kathy Sawyer wrote, “It was a huge challenge to me to stop being so judgmental and condemning of those in the world. Most people experience great hardships that lead them into their lifestyles. I have been challenged to listen to them instead of just assuming I know, usually based on rumors. It has been a help to hear the concept about Jesus being on the outside. It’s a great help because it takes out a great deal of the fear factor. I can go to Jesus – no problem! It helps me to know that by His being out there, I would be working with Him and in His strength. I’ve been praying that God will show me where to begin. How can I be used to reach the marginalized? It is my heart’s cry that God will lead me and use me. Jesus. Friend of sinners, break my heart for what breaks yours!”
Kent also added, “This week has helped me see that there is so much more to the Christian life, than what goes on inside the four walls of the church. There are so many on the outside that need the Lord!
Who and what they are, is not the important thing, rather, their need for their stories to be told and heard, so that they can, through this, come to know Christ as Savior.”
Another student said …” what a blessing to us from God to understand and see with clarity the truths of His Word… I only wish I had joined the teachings sooner. My life is truly changed … and I’m forever thankful to God for allowing me to be a part of this awesome experience.”
God is convicting and doing a maturing work in these church leaders lives. Thank you for praying and partnering with us.
Opportunity to share my faith with family in New Zealand
If your family is like many, sometimes the hardest place to share one’s faith and one’s love for Jesus is amongst those closest to us, namely, our extended family. At a recent family gathering where the life of Carl’s dad, Graeme, was being honored. He got to lovingly and clearly challenge all of his family to remember the importance of having Jesus in their lives, not only for life with God beyond the grave, but also for hope and forgiveness as we all face the hardships that fill our day-to-day lives.
- God gave us quality time with Carl’s family in NZ where we comforted each other over the recent death of His father.
- Thankful for celebrating our 30thWedding Anniversary in April.
- For the conviction to “change” that the Lord placed in the hearts and minds of the students in our latest Abaco class.
- God’s gracious supply through various donations given to help cover costs for Cuban Pastoral families and teens to attend summer camps in Cuba
- For the violence and unrest in Nicaragua between the government and the people to come to a halt. Over 60 people have been killed in protests over the past month, and recent peace talks have been less than productive, due to dis-interest shown by the leadership of the country. Everyday life for most people has been one of fear, missing school due to closures and many laid off of work due to rioting. So many dear friends are struggling with the basics of buying food at this time.
- For God to comfort the children, families, friends and churches of the 110 who lost their lives on the Cuban Airline plane crash that was leaving Havana airport. 10 pastoral couples were on this flight. These brothers and sisters had all just finished attending a Pastors Conference in the capital and were returning to their hometown of Holguin.
- For God to give us wisdom in our planning and speaking preparations for our July-August trip into Cuba. Religious Visas have been requested, please pray that these will come in time.