Remain in Me

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. — John 15:5

So often we look at the task in front of us and wonder, how are we going to do this? and where do we start? I don’t have the most concrete answers to those questions, but there is so much peace in remembering these verses and committing to the part we can control: remaining in the Vine.

Pray for This City

Pray for the people here, from the wealthiest to those who have so little. Pray for the children. Pray for the elderly. Pray for those with jobs and without. Pray for the broken-hearted. Pray for the searching. Pray for a hunger to know Christ. Pray for revival in the local church. Pray that the Lord will open the eyes of the priests to His truth. Pray for boldness of local believers to share Christ with those around them.

God is not done here; pray for this city.

Prayer Point: A Few Small Opportunities

Over the last 2 weeks we have gotten 3 opportunities to go out to a nearby village to help refugee children learn a bit of English. The experience has gone a little like this:

Day 1: we discovered they know the alphabet song but the phrase “Hello, my name is ___.” was too much for them. Then, they all just… left the room? We decided to revamp our ideas for the next time.

Day 2: we called this game plan: games. Specifically, we chose “What Time is it, Mr. Fox?” to practice numbers and a game of catch to practice various categories of vocabulary. This eventually dissolved into a game of tag.

Day 3: that is today! It’s the final time we will head to the village for this group of children. We are going to try a few ideas with colors and shapes. Pray that the Lord will help us be creative. Most of all pray that these children will experience God’s through us in this short time we have with them.

Fun Fact Friday: Just One Please!

I went shopping this week to get a few necessities and one of the items on my list was a box of razor heads. Not remembering the word for razor heads (probably because, who uses that in every day conversation?? Not me apparently), I pointed at the box of 3 and asked to buy it. The woman nodded, pulled out a single razor head and proceeded to ring up my total. I went along with it since, who needs 2 extra razor heads just sitting around? Plus, it reminded me that one can buy a select amount of just about anything that comes in a package, something I have found to be both interesting and efficient. You want 10 diapers? Sure. You need 3 cigarettes? Done. Five ballpoint pens? You got it. And apparently it applies to razor heads too.

Cultural Fusion

We recently ate at a new restaurant in the city and it was fun to experience local and foreign food under one roof. The mural on the wall caught our attention too: traditional dress of the local people but featuring sushi and a burger. The fusion of cultures is fun to see!

The Stuff We Add

During a recent trip to another country, I spotted these words painted above a shop door. It caused me to pause, and ask this question: What have I added to the Gospel? No faith, religion, or tradition is immune to adding rules and traditions–it’s crucial that we exam ourselves and our communities of faith.

We hear so often these words, “I hate religion.” Digging a little deeper almost always reveals that the person doesn’t hate God–they’re just having a hard time seeing past what people have done/added/distorted. What can cut through this tension? The powerful word of God, the deep love of Jesus, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and authentic relationships between non-believers and non-believers. Lord, examine our hearts and straighten our paths. Let us worship in spirit and in truth, and have the eyes and hearts of Jesus as we represent you.

Prayer Point: Open Doors

Please continue to pray for the doors to stay open in GM. While nothing seems imminent, continued conflict in the region, a recent court decision that could be considered censorship, “elections” in one of the occupied regions, and other rumblings are concerning. We believe that this place is very strategic for locals and also many closed countries and unreached or unengaged people groups–join us in interceding! Thank you!

Friday Extra: Nooks and Crannies

Walking in our city is one of my favorite things to do. There are nooks and crannies everywhere with scenes like this–layers of daily life and rhythms–people living. What do you see?

Prayer Point: Transition

One family (now a family of 4!) has returned from home assignment, and one is preparing to go on home assignment in a little over a month. There’s a lot of transition that has happened and is happening in GM. Please lift up this time of settling in and packing up, starting again and ending well, taking on and handing off–it’s a lot! The constant is that God is always at work (and He’s doing a lot!), and He never leaves–Praise Him!

Fun Fact Friday: Alucha

Four countries were represented at Wednesday night Bible Study, and a very important snack question came up 🙂 What is this local fruit called in English? Our friends were surprised to learn that we don’t have a word for it, because it doesn’t exist in the US. Small and sour or sweet depending on its ripeness, alucha is its own thing entirely…and we like it!

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