Monday, April 23, 2007

Great weekend

For most people, the weekend is a time of relaxation, family time, and worship. For us, its our main workdays. Ever since we started the mission in Mafil, things have gotter wilder. This last Saturday, we started our kids' club. So, here's how it all played out. Friday afternnon, I have discipleship at 3. Mother gets here around 6:30, We talk about what we're going to be cooking for the weekend and go to the store. 7:30 Neil and I go to Youth meeting. We had 38. WOW! We haven't had this many in a long time. Saturday morning we get up and Neil heads off to Máfil for a special breakfast with all the deaf. There were 6 deaf people. They had a great time.
Then Neil went to Valdivia to see a young woman who has been coming to our church for
a few weeks. Before she started coming she got into a bit of trouble with the law. She was supposed to pay a fine, but didn't, so they put her in jail for 10 days! Then he went to the Regional Hospital in Valdivia to see an older lady whose daughter and family go to our Church. This little old lady has wanted nothing to do with us in the past, but now she had peritonitis, and is scared. She almost died. All the family was grateful to Neil for staying with them that day and praying with them. He didn't get home until almost 11 PM

While he was in Valdivia, we had Kids club. We got all our stuff together. We were thinking about having around 40 kids, max. We had 56! What a madhouse! We did our utmost to keep the peace, have fun and give the Gospel. Later we came home, exhausted. We got Sunday dinner ready to go into the crock pot.

Sunday, Neil gets up early for 9 am teacher training class. The rest of us have to be at Church at 10. We have Sunday School and Church. We rush home, get lunch on by 1:00, hoping to be napping by 1:30. We get up at 2:45, leave for the Máfil mission at 3. We had a nice service, and then a fellowship after. We got back to Lanco for Sunday evening service at 6:30. Home, by 8;30.
Totals for the weekend:
Youth meeting 38
Kids Club 56
Máfil, Sunday, 8
Lanco, Sunday, 90

Needless to say, we were spent by Sunday night. I took leftovers and made burritos. I sure wish we had some decent restaurants here in this town!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ladies Bible Study

Every week we have a ladies Bible study. We talk, we pray, I ask every woman at the table if she has read the Bible everyday that week. Then Mom gives the lesson. After that, we eat! (We are Baptists, after all; ) )
This week, we started a plan to help the ladies acquire a notebook that will contain the prayer lists, Bible reading schedule, lesson notes, etc. These notebooks will be tools in their hands to make it easier to read and study the Word of God. Think "Bible study control journal". We were thrilled to have 15 ladies in attendance. Mom taught about not being weary in well doing. Our memory verse for this week is Luke 18:1, where Jesus starts a parable about praying always and not fainting.
I'm sure it was a great lesson, but I was out with a little girl who is not used to not being the center of attention. Family-integrated church is a wonderful idea when you have parents who train their children. When you have parents have done nothing but continually give in to their children's demands, having children in the Bible study is counterproductive. (to put it mildly) Little Francesca and I had a "who's really in charge" battle today. I came out ahead, I think. She didn't seem angry toward me later, so I feel that in the end, I'll earn her respect.

You sure could see the difference in people's faces today after last night's confession session and Lord's Supper. There was an openness and a joy in many faces that had been lacking. You've just got to have the Joy!

My own Bloggy anniversary!

Has it been a year? What is also amazing is that several I blog with also started around this time.
I wonder how much I've changed in the past year? Have I improved? Hmm. Hard to say. Have I been a blessing? I hope so. Have I had fun? YES! I have thoroughly enjoyed the communication aspect of blogging. I've been encouraged, blessed, sometimes outraged!
I've been hit with spam a few times, but not enough to worry about. I haven't really changed the "look" of my blog. My house looks pretty much the same, too!
Its been a great year, bloggy wise. I don't have a lot of readers, but those I have, I treasure as sisters in Christ who I'll meet someday, on this side of Heaven, or the other!

Blessings and Joy to you!


The Lord's Supper

At our church, we practice closed communion. That means we have the Lord's supper only with our active Church members. It is a special time, devoted to remembering Christ's sacrifice on the cross and to self-examination. We allow ample time for confession, both public and private. Last night was no exception. We had over an hour of public confession. It is an extremely powerful thing. We are all reminded of how weak we are and how great God is. It also helps keep gossip down, because the truth is known.
We are reminded of the importance of openly confessing Christ as Lord of our lives.

We thank God for providing for our salvation.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sunday recap, April 15

We had a great day yesterday!
Since Summer is really and truly over, regular scheduling is beginning to take over. We had 62 for Sunday School, which we have not had in a long time. At the mission Church in Máfil, we had 11 from Lanco go and 10 from Máfil. We had 5 deaf people in the service, so that makes it all the more interesting.
Sunday night back in Lanco, we had a full service. Lots of people, lots of after-church counselling. Its a good thing our services start at 6:30!
We had an attendance total of 97. That is really good for us! Not that its numbers were after, but each number represents a soul! It also means that we are helping to make a difference in this town.
We are having the Lord's Supper tonight. We don't have it very often, and it is usually a very special time of confession and reconcilliation. Please keep us in your prayers.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Thanking Him for the thorns

Mrs. B posted a story about thanking God for the thorns. A real tear-jerker.
Anyway, it got me to thinking about a song that really touched my heart.
Here it is:

This Thorn
Twila Paris

Thank you for this torn embedded in my flesh
I can feel the mystery, my spirit is made fresh
You are sovereign still and forever wise
I can see the miracle opening my eyes
To a proud heart so quick to judge
Laying down crosses and carrying grudges
The veil has been torn
And I thank you for this thorn

Thank you for this thorn, fellowship of pain
Teaching me to know you more, never to complain
Thank You for this love planted in my side
Faithful, patient miracle opening my eyes
I never thought I'd say it without reservation
But I am truly grateful for this piercing revelation
Of a proud heart so quick to judge
Laying down crosses and carrying grudges
The veil has been tornAnd I thank you for this thorn

And if You chose to take it, I will praise You
ANd thank You for the healing in your name
But if it must remain, I thank You for Your rod
Evidence of Father-love for a child of God
I join you in sorrow
So much less than You have borne
And I thank you
Really I thank You
Lord I thank You
I thank You for this thorn

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Contentment, revisited

I was reading this post by Mrs. B where she quotes Susan H, my fellow missionary wife. They were both discussing home fixtures, and how one can feel a desire to constantly update to keep us with the fashion. "keeping up" is such hard, expensive work! And you have to keep up with your house, your car, your clothes, hair and make up. And its never done! Yikes!

Now, I am not saying that one shouldn't look nice. In fact, I do not really like seeing Christian women looking dowdy and odd, thinking that makes her "spiritual" You can be modest and still look nice.

Once again, it all boils down to a heart attitude. If your heart is right, you won't feel the need to constantly "keep up" with anyone or anything.
If your heart is right, your house will be a home, atractive to all. Isn't that the idea, anyway? Having a place that your husband and kids love? Having a place where God can use you to nourish your children's bodies and souls? A sanctuary where your husband can come after a long day at work? So many people have never know this feeling.

Some women seem to see their house as the showcase of their life. "See my house! Looks just like a page of a magazine? See what a sucess I am!No, no kids, these room is off-limits to organic beings. They might get it dirty."
I personally despise going into "showy" homes. I feel like an intruder, the eyes of the hostess watching my kid's every move.

I'd love a new house. I'd settle for new furniture! But if I do not have the right motive, then I don't want more. I'd rather be right with God than have new furniture.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Another reason for Praise

An update on "Part of my job"

The young lady in question came over last night. She told me that I was right (not me, God) She told me that she was ready to change, to surrender to God's will. We talked about surrendering our lives, our desires, our self-will. We talked about "building altars" in our lives. Some must be built, and others must be re-built.
We talked about dying to self, and how that must be daily occurance. We talked about being right with God, not just "serving" Him. Its not just about doing, its about being.

She still has a ways to go, but I am much more optomistic this morning.
Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


There are those who think that they are immune to temptation. They just know that when Satan sends a curveball their way, they'll know just what to do. Hmmm. Most people don't even recognize temptation when they see it!
Today at Ladies Bible study we studied the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. We read about Jesus praying in the garden.

Matthew 26:41 (King James Version)
41Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

We are all human beings, subject to temptations. Even the apostles, even Peter. They walked with Jesus, yet they were subject to temptation. Jesus gave them the key, watch and pray. Be vigilant, pray. Look out and pray. Be aware of your weeknesses and vulnerabilites. Pray.

I am flesh, and the flesh is weak. I must keep my spirit strong. How? watch and pray. You don't need to pay for a fancy Bible study. You don't have to buy tapes and videos. Go to church (and listen), read your Bible, Pray.

Let us note that the verse says: Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. It is one thing to resist temptation, it is another thing alltogether to avoid temptation. There is so much we could achieve if we avoided temptation to start with. Its like this, its much easier not to overeat if you don't go to Hometown Buffet to start with! Once you're there, temptation is right there, and unless you are exceptionally strong, you will eat to much!

Watch and Pray

Monday, April 09, 2007

Great News!

A few days before we returned from vacation, we received some disturbing news. There was a case of blatant adultery in one of our faithful families. The husband had been working far from home, coming home once a month or so. We didn't like the situation, but it was their choice. The wife found out about her husbands infidelity and confronted him. He responded quite badly. She kicked him out of the house and started threatening legal proceedings. We were devasted. This dear lady seemed totally adamant. There was no way she was going to take him back. The husband started calling my husband. The Preacher gave it to him straight, no beating around the bush. I had talked to her, so had my mom. I wasn't sure how she would respond to him when he came home. My heart ached for them and their 4 children.

Well, Saturday he came home and grovelled to his wife. He apologized and took full blame. He also told her that he was going to win her back, no matter what. Well, she took him back, and so far, all looks good! They'll still have a lot to work through, but at least they are doing it together.

Lessons to be learned.
Never separate, even for work, no matter how poor you are.
Beware if you or your spouse has internet. The Strange woman form Proverbs now lurks in cyberspace!

Money Matters

The Bible says that the root of all evil is the love of money. That is so true! Even so, I can't help wonder what it would be like to have more money. Truth is, God takes good care of us. I am not complaining. Just that, sometimes it seems that it would be fun to have more than enough. Money to do extravagant things.

Anyway, I like to read articles about saving money, since the Preacher and I are against wives holding jobs outside the home. (but that is another post)

Anyway, I just read three interesting articles about living below your means. Do you know what the common fact was between them? They were all newly-single women. Divorce seems to make poor women. Why I am I saying this? Because I see our society in the US and our society here in Chile as societies that promote divorce. Tired of your wife? Divorce her! Tired of marriage? Get a divorce. You'll be fine, your kids will be OK. You can get a job. Lies, lies, lies! My Church is full of single mothers, struggling every month to make ends meet. No help, no close shoulder to cry on. God will help them, we will help them.
But let's do all within our power to help the next generations of wives. Help them make the right choice of mate. They'll need training as godly wives.

On another note,

Last Satuday night, the young couple in our Church who got into sin, got married. The 16 year old bride wore a lovely pink dress, her pregnant belly not unnoticed. Her mother, a 36 year old single mom, sat alone. Her family is furious at her for not controlling her daughter. Many from the church helped the mom out, making the dress and bouquet. We pray that they will let God redeem the situation, and have a blessed and long marriage.
If this were an unsaved couple, I'd say that they don't stand a chance. But God works wonders in tough situations.

Part of my job

As under-under shepherd of the ladies of my Church, I feel responsible for them. I know that I probably shoudn't, but I feel badly when I see one of them making terrible choices. I had a long talk with one of my young ladies last night. She has a crush on an unsaved man, one with 3 children with 3 different women, no less. This lady works near this man and he has shown interest in her. She says she "Only wants to talk to him" Yeah, right. She has already admitted to having a crush on him. Just talk? Please don't insult my intelligence!
I told her that sometimes I feel that I am standing near a dangerous precipice. I have a warning flag and a Stop sign. I also scream and holler at anyone heading towards the precipice.
Sometimes, people I love are running towards the precipice. I call out, I wave my flags, I raise the Sign. They look at me and laugh. They think I am just a fuddy-duddy. They don't see the danger. They ignore the stories of those who have fallen.

Last night she told me that if she wanted to make mistakes and ruin her life, that was her choice and that shouldn't bother me.
I told her that I weep for those who fall. So does God. I told her that she in not an island, and that many will suffer if she falls. She doesn't care. How sad! I will pray for her. And weep.

Another Sunday

Have I not posted for a whole week? Looks like it! Well, we got a new computer this past week and I've spent an inordinate amout of time setting it all up. Today has been spent in installing the Antivirus (done) and setting up the Parental Controls(still working, kinda frustrated!)
Hope you all had a blessed Easter. I have been touched my everyone's Easter posts. they have been wonderful!

We had an early morning Easter breakfast. That went really good. Then we had Easter dinner with a few "unexpected blessings", 3 young men from our church with no place to go. Thankfully we had more than enough food.

In the afternoon we went to the new mission. This week we had 7 again. We were very happy with that. We returned to Lanco for our Sunday evening service. We had 2 visitors, and 0ne of them trusted Christ as her Saviour. All in all, a great day!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sunday Recap

Susan Hutchins started doing this, and I think its a fine idea. I know that Christians should be Christians everyday of the week, but you can usually get the "feel" of the Church when we all meet on Sunday.

After our return from vacation, the following Sunday was awful. We had a low, low 65. People problems were numerous and serious. Neil spent a good portion of last week trying to assess the damage. We have one terrible case of marital infidelity. We've got another pregnant teenager, this one younger than the last one. We've had disgruntled members. We've had many petty problems and rumors and the like. Last week was not really all that good.

Here's the good. This Sunday we started a new mission in another little town called Mafil. We took a group of 10 from Lanco and 7 came from Mafil. Not too bad. We had 2 people saved over the weekend. Our attendance rose to 77 in Lanco, not great, but a whole lot better thatn 65! Our sheep are beginning to return to the fold.

I don't know what's going to happen to the poor little girl (14) who is pregnant. She has been attending our Church sporadically for the past year, although she was faithful years ago. We see nothing but defiance in her face, so we are just waiting for the Holy Spirit to move. The Church members who are aware of the case of infidelity are deeply saddened. We are praying that God would work in that family. The offender wants to come home, but the offendee is realllllyyyyy hurt and not really in a talking mood.

You know, when you go home from Church, you may not realize that your pastor and his wife often spend the rest of the evening talking about who came and who didn't and why. We are encouraged sometimes, saddened sometimes. We make a mental list of all the people we need to see during the week. If you love your pastor, go to Church! That way, he won't have to wonder what happened to you;)