Dear Pastor Mike,
HAPPY EASTER! The Lord has Risen! He has Risen Indeed! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! It is my prayer for you that you have trusted in Jesus and His resurrection and received the everlasting hope of eternal life! God made a way. He did for us what we can not do for ourselves.
The Bible tells us that Jesus died a terrible death on the cross, an instrument of shame and torture, to take our place and pay the penalty for our sins so those who believe will receive forgiveness for their sins, but even more! He died AND rose again so that we might have LIFE! It is through His death and resurrection that we receive life. In the resurrection Jesus gives us the assurance that He is the powerful Son of God who has conquered death and reigns as Lord of all. (Romans 1:4; 4:25). Now that's Good News!
As always, I am deeply and forever grateful for your loving, caring and generous gifts of financial support and for your prayers. It is with your partnership that God sends me into the the world to proclaim this truth to hurting and lost people. Thank you! Romans 10:3 - 15 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him if they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?
Thank you for sending me!
Thank you so much for praying for us while we were in the Middle East.
The team was awesome!
God used us to touch the lives of hurting souls, with His powerful love and hope!
To make disciples who will make disciples..... 2 Peter 2:2
100 precious children came to the beautiful and powerful Children's Easter Program! The kids had so much fun! They loved it! So did we! The whole team clapped and sang the songs as we sat among the children to encourage and love them! There were puppets and an awesome skit with actors playing the roles of men and women in the Easter Story. We loved the song so much we asked for the words to be translated into English. At the end of the program each child was given a certificate to get new shoes! This is something we learned that they really needed. The children are from families who were displaced from the war in Syria.
This program presentation was complete with a clear and compelling presentation of the gospel message and an invitation for them to respond with faith in Jesus! Please continue to pray for these children.
The following day we had the blessing of visiting with one of the women whose children attended the program. This mother was so grateful to have very nice new shoes for her children! Please pray for this dear woman. She has put her faith in Jesus but it is difficult for her because of persecution from other family members.
My team and I are doing an Introduction to Trauma Healing with a group of women. We are explaining it is important to understand God wants to give healing for heart wound (trauma). These young women have very hard and broken lives. I'm so happy to know that they want to continue to have Trauma Healing Sessions. The stories from the Word of God bring hope and healing and help us to know and understand God uses the hard things we go through to help and bring comfort to others.
I love this dear woman in the photo above. I have known her since the time we first ministered to the refugees. I was at her baptism. She is a faithful Christ follower and faithfully sharing her faith. You can be sure that she has a huge smile on her face. She is attending a family event we had to celebrate Mothers.
This photo below, I was asked to give the message to a weekly women's group. It was a lot of fun! Many thanked me for challenging them to share their faith in Jesus, even when it's hard.
I just wanted to share this with all of you. It is a beautiful email I received from a dear friend who faithfully prays for me. Each month I receive a prayer in my email and it gives me so much encouragement.
"Good morning Julia!
Lord, thank You for building our bodies so wonderfully! Today I’m especially thankful for my immune system. Truly, fearfully and wonderfully made. And so much more ingenuity in this earthen vessel that we won’t even know about this side of heaven. You are the micro and macro, the beginning and the ending. Our everything. Praise You!
Lord, from Ephesians 3, I’m going to borrow Paul’s prayer (NLT): I pray from Your glorious, unlimited resources, please empower Julia with inner strength through Your spirit. Please make Your home in Julia‘s heart as she trusts in You—we want our hearts cozy for You!—Make Julia’s roots grow down into Your love and keep her strong. And may Julia have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep is Your love for her. May Julia experience the love of Christ, even though it is really hard to understand. Then, please make Julia complete with all the fullness of life and the power that comes from You, Lord God. Thank You for wanting things for us that we can even fathom. You are the Best Father. Please give Julia resources, energy, health, grace from strangers, love from friends, and make this day a wonderful gift to her with Your name all over it. We love You. In the name of our blessed Savior, Jesus, amen.
UTWWK, love, Sally"
(Until the whole world knows!)
God, we ask for your blessings in 2023,
not by shielding us from all sickness and sorrow and pain:
But by strengthening us to bear it when it comes.
Not by making our paths easy:
But by making us sturdy to travel any path you set before us
Not by taking our hardships from us,
But by taking fear from our hearts
Not by granting us unbroken sunshine,
But by shining your face on us even in the shadows
Not by making life comfortable for us,
But by showing us the people who need your love and your truth the most
And give us the desire and excitement to be there to share
Yes Lord, bless us and keep us.
Shine your face on us and be gracious to us,
Turn your face toward us and grant us peace.