We are very excited to share with you our update for October. It has been an exciting month for us and we are blessed by the Lord. Prayers are being answered and the Holy Spirit is working! Can we get and ‘Amen!’?
What’s Happening with the Men:
As mentioned in our last blog post, encouraging changes are happening among the men in the village. Our friday evening men’s outreach has been consistently bringing about 20-25 guys for the last couple months. About 12 of these are men ages 19+ and the rest are young men from ages 14-18. Due to the power of the Holy Spirit and the faithful witness of church staff and missionaries, these men are arriving engaged and ready to find out what the Word has to say about relevant issues in their lives. We talk through and debate these issues for a couple hours as well as listening to each other’s burdens and sharing prayers together. Several of the men have made commitments and at at least one is saying that he’d like to be baptized soon.
The men that I mentor personally are each continuing to grow more hungry for the Word. That encourages and motivates me as I prepare to meet with them each week that they value our time together and continue to delve into the word between sessions. Because of the recent movement among the men I’m in the process of adding more guys to my schedule, so I’ll hopefully be up to 6-7 each week soon.
We recently held the Men’s Retreat in partnership with Living Streams Church from Phoenix, AZ. It was a fantastic time with 15 of the men from the village. The Spirit was present as we belted out praise songs so loudly that I’m pretty sure we shook the building. The men opened up about their spiritual struggles and confessed their sins. We lifted each other up before the Father in prayer. We learned about being men of faith and listened to some amazing testimonies of redemption. The men returned charged up and ready to live out their faith boldly. Ever since then, several of the men have been up in front of the church leading worship and have been leading their families to come to church together. Some have been deleting all their worldly music and been replacing it with praise songs. Many made strong commitments to make church a priority or forgive people who’ve wronged them or to be a bolder witness for Christ.
It’s hard to convey how radical a change all this is from the past, but be encouraged that the Lord is moving here and continue to lift us up in fervent prayer, as I know that testing and attacks are coming or have come for many of these men.
What’s Happening with Women:
We recently finished a two year study on the life of Jesus Christ. During this study one woman gave her life to the Lord and others were challenged and encouraged by Jesus Christs life here on earth. But not only that, His DEATH as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and His RESURRECTION! A couple of weeks ago we had a Bible Study party to celebrate the completion of the study, it was a wonderful time of eating some great Belizean food and fellowshipping with each other. We are now studying the Holy Spirit. We are using Jim Cymbabla’s When God’s Spirit Moves study, I highly recommend it. The first session was wonderful and the ladies were very touched by the personal testimony given by an ex-gangster named Roma. You can watch it here:
Another Ladies Bible study was started by Cindy Kidder (missionary who serves out at the Belize Mission and in the village). It is held in the cafeteria of the school, it reaches out to those women who do not attend the Tuesday bible study and serves as another bible study for those who go to both. It is going great. Cindy is teaching on the seven “R’s” of repentance, a very good topic. We also have fun playing a game after the study.
We serve a God who heals- “Jehovah Rophi”
I (Mel) have been very open on my blogs about my struggle with depression. I do struggle as so many other Christian women do. Well I stand firm now and I am saying-
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. Psalm 34:4-6
I am thanking the Lord for this season of encouragement and relief. He placed the right person in my path at the right time, and His Holy Spirit is moving in me. The Lord is pruning me and I am growing. I am thankful to Him. HE NEVER GIVES UP ON US!
Since Ellis turned one she had frequent, high fevers. These are unexplained by the doctors; every time we took her in nothing was wrong with her. We are happy to report that as of two months ago she has not had a high fever! Please continue to pray for her.
I got bit by a dog the other day and the very next day a doctor came to the village and I was able to get a tetanus shot. We are so thankful to God for this. He has perfect timing. And I am thankful that while the dog did scare me, the bite was not as bad as it could have been.
Evangeline: Evangeline is really enjoying preschool. She comes home singing days of the week and telling us about all the fun things she is doing. Last year, Evangeline was not doing well at making friends and and talking to kids her own age. This year, she has flourishing friendships and instead of crying during school, she is sad if there is no school. Please pray for Evangeline’s faith. She is asking many questions about the Lord and is beginning to pray to God. She truly has child-like faith. It is amazing to see. Pray that it grows.
Ellis- Ellis is enjoying the alone time with Mommy. She is sad when Evangeline leaves but then quickly settles in to the routine of the day. She loves to take morning walks (runs) and enjoys going over her “ABC’s” ( she calls them “BC’s”). She is learning animal sounds and can say “fish, turtle, cat, and puppy.” She loves to count “One, two, pee, pour, pive!” Ellis has a stubborn streak and likes to do things her own way. We are in the ‘Terrible Two’s’ full force!
Malachi– Malachi is flourishing. No one would ever be able to tell that he was so sick his first two weeks of life. He is VERY chunky. He is also extremely mild-mannered and he loves to cuddle. He is such a blessing and every day I see him I am so thankful to God that he heard the cries of His people and allowed him to live with us on earth. He is a precious gift and I am grateful that God entrusted us with him for this time. He has a big noggin, so his head control is not great and he is so chill that he is slow to meet his milestones that his sisters just ran through. I am glad for it because we really get to enjoy our last infant for a little while longer.
What you can be in prayer for:
Pray that the Lord will continue the good work in the hearts of the men and women in the village.
Pray the the fire that has begun in the men’s heart does not die down but rather catches flame in other hearts and burns brightly.
Pray that the Lord will use us and the other missionaries here as God’s tools, as a vessel for his Word.
Pray that we will continue to run the race that God has set before us.
Pray for our family, that God will bless us and keep us healthy.
Pray for our financial support. It is down to 94%. We desire for it to be at 100% by the time we go on “Home Assignment” (furlough) in June. Pray that the Lord would supply monthly support partners.
If you would like to support us financially, go to: http://www.convergeworldwide.org/give/181533
Thank you for your prayers and support