Our family was enjoying a hike through the mountains on our summer vacation and noticed this sign listing a “Time Free Zone.” It made me think of the fact that during this COVID-19 season it has felt a little like a “time free zone” as things shut down, and many of us were forced into a new norm of a slower pace. One of the greatest takeaways for me during this time has been to make sure to cherish the moments and be intentional with how I use my time for His glory! Praying that each of us take advantage of the time He has given us to share the hope we have in Him with others.
Here’s a quick update on the virus situation in our country. Borders have opened to flights from 3 countries, but entry is limited, especially to those from high-risk countries. Visitors from countries of concern must be pre-approved for entry and must comply with a 12 day quarantine at a government sanctioned hotel, or have testing done every 72 hours for 12 days–both options are at the traveler’s expense. The government has extended the grace period for expired visas, which was a relief, since it would be hard to get back into the country if we left.
Case numbers have continued to be very low compared to most countries, and we are thankful for that. There have been some localized lockdowns in the past few weeks, but our city has not been affected by those.
Mask wearing in all closed spaces is mandatory, and there are many other regulations such as temperature checks upon entering shops, etc. Schools are set to re-open in September, and our Center has been given the ok to open once again. Thank you for praying–we are lifting you up as well!
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” Psalms 23: 1-3
So thankful for how He refreshes our souls! Please pray for a fresh outpouring of His spirit as we minister here in Green Mountains— may He fill us with all joy & hope so we may overflow to those around us.
Our little country boasts both mountains and the sea. Recently, I had the chance to stick my toes in the sand for a few days and soak in the sights and sounds that come with being seaside. What we “soak” ourselves in matters, and is reflected in every aspect of our lives. Let’s spend time reflecting on what we’re filling ourselves with, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in making changes as needed.
“…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
As we all know, the age of COVID-19 has brought a lot of challenges. For a highly relational ministry like this one, we are always asking the question, “How can we connect with local friends in meaningful, impactful ways?” The virus adds another layer as everyone has different levels of comfort concerning if/how/where to gather. Please pray for our relationships, new and existing. May God open doors to new connections, and in our current relationships may we love well, serve selflessly, and speak with truth and grace.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
What has God’s grace through Jesus given us? Why were we made new creations in Him? The answer from this verse is clear–for good works that he’s already prepared. While that is a powerful reminder, what hits me even more in this chapter is the recounting of who we all were before we knew Jesus.
Someone recently reminded me that Jesus was both full of truth and full of grace. That is the kind of person I want to be as I love people and build relationships–as I look for the opportunities that He has for me each day. May I never shy away from a situation that is messy or hard, because Jesus never did. He entered each person’s journey with hands extended, His eyes on the Father, and full of truth, grace, and love.
Watermelon and ice cream–two summer treats you’ll find on almost any street in the city. In fact, when the ice cream coolers appear, we know it’s officially summer. You can get an individual ice cream for as little as .25 cents and a huge watermelon for around $3.00 (conversion from local currency to USD).
We recently visited a farm where the primary produce is cucumbers. These cucumbers are grown in green houses where they are grow up on strings to help produce fruit. At the same time, this farm is raising up disciples of Christ who will take His message wherever God leads them. Please pray for this ministry that like the cucumbers reaching up towards the heavens, this place will declare that “great is [God’s] love, reaching to the heavens; [ His] faithfulness reaches to the skies.” Psalm 57:10