“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you 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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” John 15:4-6 NIV The word “remain” is an interesting word. The more common synonym has been used quite a lot lately as we are all encouraged to “stay home” to avoid the spread of the virus. I think we are all getting tired of this form of it! But God has been gently reminding me that it is in the time spent “remaining” with Him that He is able to prune us, and allow us to bear fruit—-for HIS glory, because apart from Him we can do NOTHING! So those moments I get weary of what feels like a “sit & stay” position, I have hope that to remain with God means an exciting, transformative thing is happening that will lead to a life changing miracle for His glory—so let’s REMAIN & see what happens!
The people of GM have a high appreciation for natural remedies. In many road side markets we find berries that have been foraged in local forests and are sold by the kilo. Locals dry them or use them fresh, and usually steep the berries in water for medicinal purposes. Each berry has a different use: cold symptoms, general aches and pains, digestion, etc.
We were told that the orange-yellow berries at the top of the picture (called sea buckthorn berries) are the “ark of health” and contain many vitamins. We decided to try this last one- we could all use the extra immune system boost these days!
From our team here in GM (and in the US), may your hearts and minds be filled with praise for our great God. May His glory shine upon you, and may you sit in the warmth of His goodness and grace. <3 Team Green (Photo Credit W.E.)
Just like America, our country recently had a major election– still a relatively new thing here. Since the end of October, there have been frequent protests, small riots, and a lot of tension due to contested results. Please pray for peace through this difficult time as GM works through these issues of democracy. Pray for God’s will to be done and for His blessing upon the people.
Our team enjoyed time away at a prayer retreat last month. We were given time alone to read scripture and pray through various topics each with a hands-on activity. One of the topics dealt with seeking God’s wisdom & direction and for the activity we did a leaf rub to notice the veins in the leaf.
It was interesting to see how the veins go in so many different directions, and that’s exactly how life feels at times, and it can be very confusing! But we read in James 1:5 that “If anyone of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” So be encouraged that when you need wisdom, you have an all-knowing God who will give it to you generously!
While reading Matthew 16 with my language teacher, I was surprised at the length of this word (transliterated into English letters): Tsinastsarmetkveltaganiao, meaning prophet. She explained that this word is actually made up of three words: Tsinastsar- before Metkvel- to say Taganiao- within Literally translated, it means people who say something in advance, before it happens. It is not only meaningful, but also a mouthful!
The urge to hide our sin is as old as Adam and Eve, and Satan is still using that old, tired lie. What’s worse? We’re still falling for it.
Let’s cry out together for the courage to confess our sins to God and to one another, and to face what we’ve kept hidden (attitudes, prejudices, grudges, unforgiveness, actions against one another, etc.) Let’s get rid of the things that weigh us down and dim His light. Let’s move forward in the fullness of His forgiveness and power. Let’s cry out to our Savior and for those around us who, just like us, desperately need His mercy and grace. Let’s go!
The headlines on the local news website are filled with bad news: deep political unrest, protests, war in neighboring countries, borderization by a former occupier, a growing economic crisis, and virus cases flooding the already overwhelmed medical system. There’s only one reliable place to turn when our hearts are overwhelmed, and we need perspective. Father, thank you for your Word, and how it calms our souls.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 16-18
Recently, several of our team teens (and one brave dad) went camping with a group of friends. We are grateful to live in a country where beauty abounds and for opportunities for our youth to connect with friends. As we head into winter, it might be a while before they can camp out again, but they are already looking forward to the next one. (Photo credit: WE)