Thursday, October 30, 2008

October's Lakeshore Update

The previous three months have gone by in somewhat of a whirlwind. During the month of August we hosted volunteers, but due to vacation time and transitioning back into school our numbers were a bit lower than they had been in previous months. The end of August brought in Hurricane Gustav, which forced us to evacuate to higher ground. I spent that week in several different locations with the Elbourne family and a few other folks.

September brought in a host of new volunteers from 13 different churches. We started home #31 from the ground up. A few of our homes we picked up the pace on due to Gustav. He flooded a couple of the FEMA and MEMA temporary housing units, leaving the home owners in hotels until we can finish their homes. We are working on the very last things to get the Cox family and Mr. Poolson homes inspected and the home owners in. Lord willing it will not be long now.

I began a ladies Bible study in September at the church. We are working through the Fundamentals of the Faith workbook put out by John MacArthur's church in California. We are currently on week five; the ladies and
I are really enjoying the study and are growing in our relationship with the Lord

We are almost through October. This month has been a productive one as we host at least 16 different groups, which will total well over 200 volunteers! We are also moving things around on the church property to, Lord willing, start on the new church building in the future. We are still talking with an architect and planning with the
church on what exactly we need and want as part of the church building.

At the beginning of this month I was officially commissioned as a US/C2 North American Mission Board Missionary. We had our commissioning ceremony in New Orleans. It was a great experience and a joy to spend
time with and hear what God is doing in the lives and churches of the other NAMB missionaries.

On a side note:
The Lord has been gracious and merciful to me and continues to teach me new things all of the time. I am so grateful and privileged to serve in Lakeshore and at this point in my life I cannot think of any other thing I would rather be doing.

Ways to pray for the ministry:
1. There had been some confusion with getting my monthly stipend since I have started my US/C2 position. But that has been worked out and I should now receive my checks monthly.
2. I've gotten to see God working right before my eyes. One example is we have a week when we have about 150 people scheduled and everything was lined up as far as one team cooking for the rest of the groups. I learned a few days before that all the cooks had backed out and at that time had no other team to cook. About 30 minutes late I got a call from one of the other groups saying they had a few ladies just sign up that just wanted to cook. Praise God for providing!
3. God continues to send volunteers. Some are returning groups and some have never been to Lakeshore before!

Prayer Requests:
1. Pray I would be obedient and bold in sharing the gospel to this lost community.
2. Pray the Lord would give me wisdom whether to begin or not a couple new ministries as I start to think and pray about them.
3. Pray the Lord would continue to send more funds to the church to assist with the rebuilding and with the rebuilding of the new church building. We have raised part of the money to rebuild the church, but still have a ways to go.

Thanks for your prayers and support!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Apostle Paul vs. Victoria Osteen

Last weekend Pastor Don preached from Ephesians chapter 5 as he is working his way though the book of Ephesians, faithfully bringing us the Word of God each week. The sermon was from Ephesians 5:22-24 where we have the command for wives to submit to their own husbands as to the Lord.

This week I saw that Victoria Osteen, Joel Osteen's wife, has a new book coming out. One that I don't intend to get my spiritual, relationship, or any advice from. Newsweek recently did a story on Mrs. Osteen called What's God Got to do With It? I was appaled at a quote in Newsweek from Osteen's book that read
"Submit to your man, or at least pretend you're submitting, and then do what you want anyway. 'I know if I just wait long enough,' she writes, 'eventually my idea will become Joel's idea, and it will come to pass."'
That "advice" is totally contrary to what the Apostle Paul has written to us in Ephesians and other places in scripture. And it seems very aparent, to even a secular news magazine, that God is left out and self is what is most valued in Osteen's book.

To know that this book has not come out yet, but is nearing the top of Amazon's spirituality books saddens me. This is not Christian advice, it sounds like it would be found in some secular self-help book.

I know there are many great books out by Christian female authors that are true to the scriptures and offer spiritual advice straight from the Word. Might I commend Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney as just one option other that Osteen's upcoming book.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mrs. Shiyou's workshop

I know Pastor Don just posted this to, but this has got to be the coolest thing I did all week!

I was the one driving the truck! It was a bit sad to think, though, that this was Mrs. Shiyou's workshop for 35 years and we brought it down in a matter of 20 seconds.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

They Poured Fire On Us From the Sky

The story of Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, Benjamin Ajak as told in their story They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky is one that broke my heart and gave me new respect and appreciation for a few of the Lost Boys I am acquainted with.

Deng, Deng, and Ajak are 3 of the tens of thousands of young boys who fleed from war in Sudan in the mid to late 1980's. These young boys were between 5 and 7 when they were forced to flee from their villages and their families to save themselves from almost certain death.

This is a powerful story told by each of the boys as they recount their expeiences traveling across Sudan on foot towards Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya and eventually to the United States.

I can never imagine having to flee from my home leaving behind everything I knew, traveling for days, weeks, months, years to an unknown place. The story paints the picture of what these young boys had to do to survive the heat, the wild animals, and the war that plagued their country. From traveling in packs, drinking their urine, hiding, and searching for any sort of food they could consume. They were all very malnurished and suffered injuries and illnesses along the way that left them on the brink of death.

I recommend this book to all to educate us on the horrors of war and the trials all these young boys suffered through, many dying along the way.

Friday, October 03, 2008

conquering the temptation

For as long as I can remember I have had a problem with feeling sorry for myself and getting myself in a woe is me pattern. I have been praying and thinking about this some this past week. I know this does not glorify the Lord and with His help I can conquer this as He's helped me before; but I've also realize I must take some steps on my own to help myself avoid the temptation to feel sorry for myself. So far I've thought of these steps..
  1. More time in prayer and scripture
  2. Take medicines regularly
  3. Take vitamins regularly
  4. Exercise several times a week
  5. Get outside more
  6. Get away part of a day each week
  7. Visit people in the community more
  8. Start conversations with others as I am out and about
  9. Talk to friends and mentors more often
  10. Sing more/Listen to more music
  11. Disciple a young lady
  12. Preach to myself
  13. Minister to those in the church that are sick, hurting, or lonely.
  14. Don't make myself so busy with these things that it wears me out more than helps
Help me out, I know many at least at times are prone to feel sorry for themselves and have a woe is me attitude. What are some of the steps ya'll take to avoid and conquer this?

I am happy to say that with the Lord's help I am seeing some improvement in my attitude and have been much better in fighting the temptation to feel sorry for myself. I write this not to have others feel sorry, since that is what I am trying to avoid myself. Rather to gain insight from those who have been there, those who are more mature in their relationship with the Lord, those who are older and have more life experience. Or to encourage others struggling with the same.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Long Way Gone - Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

I recently finished reading A Long Way Gone - Memoirs of a Boy Soldier written by Ishmael Beah. It is a captivating story of a young boy who at the age of 12 had his village in Sierra Leone attack and he fled. About a year later he was picked up by the government army and was forced to become a child solider.

It is an amazing story as he shares the grim details of fighting, killing, losing his family, watching friends die, and life as I could never imagine. But it is a frightening tale to see how a normal young boy can be transformed into a drug addicted killing machine in just a short time.

He fought as a soldier until UNICEF came in pull Beah from the fighting. First placing in him a rehabilitation center. He now resides in the United States and speaks publicly about his time as a boy soldier.

I recommend this book to all. It is important for us to be aware of world issues, this being one that is easily hid and rarely spoken about. It ought not be hidden but exposed for the world to see.