Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas...stopping for just a moment to sink in

As many of you know, I'm moving across the country a week from today (it's already Wednesday :-) Because of this, Christmas has taken a bit of a backseat to packing and saying my goodbyes. In fact, I haven't even purchased ONE Christmas present! Thankfully I had a sweet gift closet and a husband willing to make a few present runs. This weekend, however, I went to a Christmas musical. It helped me to stop, if just for a few hours, and focus on this holiday and why we celebrate it. It ties into our hearts for the poor, hungry and oppressed so much because that's what Christmas was....

The God of the Universe, seated in heaven, choosing to leave His majesty and live amongst the poor (that's us :-) He brought such purpose. He brought such redemption. He brought such love. This is what I see in you guys. A passion and a purpose to serve the poor. To bring hope, healing and redemption into their midst.

Here is what blew me away this week though.....

He showed up in a way that baffled everyone. Didn't make one choice that made sense to any of us. He chose to come as a baby. To a poor couple. He chose a young girl who wasn't even married. He chose a girl from Nazareth that had to travel to Bethleham. He chose a carpenter to be an adoptive father. All culminating in the glorious birth of our savior happening in a barn surrounded by animals and dung.

None of this makes any sense. But it was and is perfect.

So often, it seems like His plans don't make sense. His plans to use US in the lives of the poor, hungry and oppressed. He could rain down manna...yet, His perfect plan is you and me!

Sometimes it seems the things He is calling us to are too big. The problems too overwhelming. Yet, He gently calls us and lays groups of people on our hearts. He says, "yes, this is what I have called you to, even when it doesn't make sense. I am in this"

Today, I am just going to bask in that and learn to trust a little deeper and look for His movement a little more. It seems like anyone could have followed the bright star like the wise men, but they saw that star as the activity of God when others didn't.

Today, i am going to stand back and be amazed that He chose a girl like me...much as He did be involved in HIS work throughout the world. Today, when the tasks ahead of me seem too overwhelming, the need too great, the plans He's laid out too incomprehensible...or just plain strange... and I'm going to choose to trust Him. To say, as Mary did, "may it be to me as you have said."

We serve an AMAZING God who left Heaven to come and lay down His life for us. A God who is still active in our world today and calls us to be a part of it. Merry Christmas. He sure is good.

Personal from Meg Clarke: Please pray for Meg and her husband Mike. (iFasters) who are ministering to those in their neighborhood after the sudden death of a loved neighbor on Saturday. Pray for the funeral happening today and for Meg and Mike to have the words to say to the various friends and family members coming to them seeking advice and wisdom.

Personal Praise: Both Lindsey and Le as well as Ben and Amy (all iFasters) received long awaited referrals for their Ethiopian children recently! We celebrate with them and pray for them as the really really hard part of waiting comes...waiting with a picture in your hand!

Lemonade Int'l
pray for the family of Dulce Rivera - a three year old from one of our schools in La Limonada who died yesterday.

Continued Requests for the Ministry:In conjunction with the Guatemala public school calendar, our schools in La Limonada will be closed for the month of December. During this time, please pray:

* For our team in Guatemala as they prepare for a new school year in January with more children than ever.
* Many of our team members will be traveling to visit family this month so please pray they will have a restful, relaxing and refreshing time with family and friends.
* For the children and families of La Limonada that this will be a time when they learn to trust in God and realize that it is He that is doing the work in their lives.... while at the same time may they grow in their appreciation of the beauty of the relationships that exist with them and the teachers and staff at the schools.
* For the plans and preparations for our first vocational training program for older students - a carpentry workshop at Escuelita Mandarina
* For the provision of shoes, backpacks, school supplies, scholarships and bonuses for teachers through our "Gifts Of Hope" Christmas Fundraising Program

Liberia Education Project
1. Volunteers:
- We need volunteers to work with the project in area (s) they feel
God's call to make a difference in the lives of the children and
adults in the villages and communities in Liberia. All areas of
expertise are greatly needed.

2. Jacob Madehdou's trip to the project site in Bong County, Liberia:
- he is making a trip from Febuary 4 - March 15, 2010, please pray for
God's provision and resources.
-We are planning to conduct a 2 day camp for about 100 plus children
at the project site. This will be the first camp experience for
children in these villages.
- all the other works to be done during his trip there,
- the work that is presently being done at the project site

3. Funding for the programs of the Liberia Education Project:
- Construction of the school campus
-Water and Sanitation
- Agriculture program to help substain the school and the community
Thank God for the Russian investigation ending with no charges against

Fantastic launch in OKC - we are closing in on 500 children sponsored

1. Safe drive and move for the McElheny's
2. Continued success for year-end fundraisers
3. Upcoming launches in Raleigh and Atlanta
4. Comtinued sponsorship in Bukedea and Mangwaneni
5. For the heart of the church to break for the world's poor and orphans
6. Stopping of trafficking
7. For God's hand and favor to rest on our friend and partner
8. For all of out volunteers, US and in-country staff
9. For our scheduled Swazi Trip in February. We need people to sign up or else possibly cancel it. Pray God will bring exactly who He wants to be on this trip to us.
10. For a number of churches being approached about sponsorship. Specifically a large church in OKC.

Remember the Poor
Remember the Poor: Asking the Lord to bring the western church into His glorious freedom--freedom to love and give lavishly, freedom from worry about tomorrow, freedom from the bondage of materialism and debt. We are praying Galatians 5 this week. He has called us to freedom! We pray that we will not use that freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but that through love, we will serve one another.

Sam and Wendi are still in Ethiopia. Pray for these last few days as they minister. Pray especially for their "All I want for Christmas" campaign and are giving out those amazing Christmas gifts to orphans across Ethiopia!

Join us tomorrow morning first thing for a time of corporate prayer. I promise, you'll be blessed! Wednesdays 9:30 AM at CALL IN # : 760- 569- 9000 ID: 968101#




Jude said...

I love the unconventional way God brought His Son to us... it amazes me! :) Happy Packing!

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