Friday, July 16, 2021

A missionary is a missionary no matter where he is.

 It is no wonder that Jesus told us to go in order to fulfill the Great Commission. I have sent out hundreds of e-mails to local businesses regarding the Millennial Summit. Only a handful have responded, but the places where we have actually gone to in person have given us great feedback and support. The next few days will be busy with putting the final touches on everything, lining up the last of the donations of gifts, and prepping all our helpers. Please pray that God will use the summit to reach many of these young people with the Gospel.

I would like to share my heart about what it means to missionaries to be suddenly uprooted from the field by something out of their control and forced to return to the States for an unknown period of time. I was in Puerto Rico teaching when covid hit. This year, I had been given opportunity to lead some of my students to Christ. In all of my journeys to PR, I have led about 12 students to Christ. When I found out that the country was remaining closed, and that school would not be in session for the rest of the year, I had to quickly make plans for coming back to the States. When I am in Puerto Rico, I am paid for teaching, and it is with that money that I pay for my expenses when I am not on the field. I am usually only home a few months, and then I head to a new place for several months to a year. Because my time in Puerto Rico was cut short, my at home funds were also cut short. When I am in the States, I try not to use missions support for expenses. 

Since returning to the States, I have been caring for my mom who has had major health issues. Because of her health, my dad and I have not left her alone for any extended periods. My dad is the pastor of the church, so many times he needs to go to the church or to visit members... This leaves me at home to be with my mom. My mom's health, and the covid situation have kept me from getting a job. I have applied to many online jobs, but so far none have accepted my application. I have been paying for many health products for myself and my parents as well as my cell phone bill and a few other expenses. I try to help with groceries as well. While I do not want to use missions support when I am at home, I may soon be forced to do so. 

I am involved in our church as much as my mom's health will let me be. From January to April, my mom was not able to be left alone at all due to blood clots on top of her other health issues. I stayed with her during that time so that my dad could pastor the church. Mom and I only went out for doctor's appointments. When mom was finally able to get out of the house, I was able to get back into my areas of service in the church. I teach the young ladies Sunday school class, play the piano, and fill many other needs that come up. At this time, the needs I am filling have to do with the Millennial Summit: PowerPoint creation, footwork to get the info out to the community, emails, packets for the attendees... even though I am home, my service has not ended, and nor have my needs.

I think sometimes churches assume that because someone has returned to the States for an unexpected furlough, they no longer need support. As you can see this is not the case. I think also, that sometimes churches think a missionary is only someone who goes to a foreign country, so if they are the in States they are not a missionary. A true missionary is a missionary wherever they are. The things I am doing at home for my family and our church are the same things I do when I am on the field. Just because a missionary is in the States does not mean they are no longer serving, and it doesn't mean they do not want to return to the field. Sometimes, God has other plans for the missionary, and that missionary who has been moved out of their zone  many times needs more prayer and support than when they are on the field. 

I have a goal of at least completing the promises I made to missionaries in England and Europe. Right now, those countries are still closed because of covid. when I finish those trips, I will see what the world situation is as far as traveling, safety... If I am not able to serve overseas, my plan will be to return to the States and serve pastor's wives in the same way I have served missionary wives.

Now is not the time for me and other missionaries who have been uprooted from their fields to quit, and it is also not the time for churches to stop praying and supporting missionaries who are home due to the political situations around the world. Yes, Paul was a tent maker, but he could not always make tents at every stop on his journeys or when he was back in Jerusalem. Many times he spoke of those who were meeting his needs by their giving and prayers.

I am working on creating a class to help other ministries teach English to the many foreigner we have in our state. We have two African refugee families in our church. A church north of us has many Russian refugees, and other churches have pocket peoples of other nations. Maine is becoming a melting pot. Then of course, we have the Millennials. The average age in Biddeford is between 25-35 years old. I have thought of several outreach ideas which will require money to implement. I am not sitting still and doing nothing while I am home. There is a world to reach right outside my door, and I truly believe Jesus is coming soon. Jesus said occupy till I come, and that is what I am doing whether overseas or on US soil.

I was thinking about history in regards to the Bible. The flood occurred about 2000 years after earth was created. Jesus came about 2000 years after the flood, and we are living about 2000 years after Jesus came. I truly believe Jesus will come in my lifetime. 

My goal in what I said above is to help churches and pastors think before ending missionaries' support just because they cannot yet return to their field. Needs don't end because governments make bad decisions. If anything, needs for most missionaries have become greater whether on the field or in the States.

Prayer Requests:

That airlines and countries will end all the covid restrictions

My mom's health

The Millennial Summit

The decisions being made in the Supreme Court in regards to abortion, voting laws, health, the Constitutional rights, and so much more.

Cuba- Now is a time when missionaries may be able to get in and give the Gospel to very receptive hearts.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Preparations and Prayers

 It has been a busy couple of weeks. Dad and I have been working on the Millennial Summit creating powerpoints, flyers, and more. I designed a logo which was added to the flyers and powerpoints, and my brother created a QR code. We passed out around 100 flyers to businesses to post in the windows and on their community boards. We only had a few tell us they couldn't post without corporate permission. We had our first non-church related hit from a flyer. Yay! Please pray that the city will allow us to put a banner across the main street. Some businesses have also offered to donate gift cards or merchandise.

I have been working a garden this year, and it is looking great. I have a good number of tomato plants which have grown strong and thick, and they are now getting loaded with tomatoes and blooms. I have some squash, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and several types of lettuce and herbs. I have been seeing the tips of my sweet potatoes clipped. I thought it might be a rabbit, but tonight, I discovered a mom and two baby skunks in the yard. I think they are the culprits. Hopefully we can get rid of hem without a smelly encounter.

Yesterday, I met two of my college friends. We watched seals at the ocean and had a nice dinner together. It was a good time of fellowship with Christian friends. I am hoping to see another college friend this week.

We continue to have visitors to our church. Tonight, we had two men come. Chris has visited in the past when he came to Maine on vacation. He brought his dad this time. It was a blessing to have them with us in church.

Please pray as we have some needs for help in several areas including our youth ministry, sound room, and music ministry. I am also working on getting our language classes started. Life has changed for the two ladies who were asking about it, but I want to use the class as an outreach to others.

Please continue to pray for countries and airlines to open fully. Pray about a case being taken to the supreme courts regarding the illegality of enforcing masks... and denying flights... for those who do not mask, vaccinate...

Please pray for Maine. The libs have struck down every bill brought to protect women and girls and to prevent the governor from having soul power during emergencies. Pray also for some other issues which legislators are trying to correct before the session fully ends.

My sister Janna has had some health issues after donating plasma, and my sister Julie is expecting baby 7 in January.

The church in Puerto Rico is finishing up the electricity and putting in the ceiling in the building which Hurricane Maria destroyed.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Family Time

 The last ten days have been fun. My brother brought his family up from Tennessee to spend time with us. We went to the beach several times, and my sister in law and I collected a lot of shells, sea urchins, and crab shells. We also found several live crabs and hermit crabs. My twin nieces and I explored tide pools and played with little shrimp. We also built sand castles, flew kites, and took a long drive through the country. My brother caught a striped sea bass and was very proud of it. We spent some time with my sister who lives north of us as well, and explored a tidal island.

Now life is returning to normal and busy. We are prepping for our Millennial Summit in July and have been working out a lot of bugs in the sound and video systems. My brother helped a lot with tweaking our sound system. My dad was at his barber and was talking to him about the summit. He is a millennial and was so interested that he marked his calendar in the middle of the conversation. We are preparing for 200, but we were told we may need to plan for more summits in the future because this new idea will probably pique a lot of interest in the millennial community. 

We are expecting grandbaby 21 in January. All of my siblings are working on music and Scripture memory with their kids, and it is enjoyable to hear even the littlest say their verses and sing. I sang two specials with my twin nieces when they were here.

While waiting on countries and airlines to fully open, I have had several offers for teaching positions at Christian schools here in Maine. Please pray that God will continue to lead me through the doors He wants me to go through.

We had a lady saved and baptized during the last two weeks. Please pray that our recent revival will have opened the eyes of our church members to the need for faithfulness and outreach.

Friday, May 28, 2021

April Showers brought May Flowers and Revival.

 I have been busy for the last month preparing for my birthday, Mother's Day, our ladies' luncheon, and revival. I realized last night that I had not updated in awhile. It is good to be busy after not having as much to do over the last year.

I celebrated my birthday at the beginning of the month with our church family. I was thinking about all the birthdays I had spent on the mission field, and how each birthday, no matter where I was, was a special day. over the last few years, I have really come to believe that Jesus will come in my lifetime, and I wonder how many more birthdays I will celebrate here on earth. The political and historical effects of last year have convinced me even more that Jesus is coming soon.

We held a ladies luncheon on May 22, and we had 21 ladies in attendance. The theme was Pearls Under the Sea, and Mom and I spent several weeks shopping online and in stores for backdrops, table decor... We had Michelle Grimbalas speak about different pearls we need in our life such as a relationship with God, faithfulness... After the crazy year we had, it was a refreshing time of fellowship.

This week we are in revival with Bro. Oliver Araiza. God knows what is needed, and sometimes He throws a monkey wrench into all the plans man makes. Bro. Araiza's flight was delayed due to weather, so at 10 am on the first day of revival, Dad had to call another preacher to see if he could preach. Bro. Steve Christner is usually in his own pulpit, but he had a visiting preacher, and so he came and filled our revival slot. Bro. Christner preached about ignoring the things that distract us from Jesus, using how Jesus didn't let Judas distract him from his purpose.  Last night Bro. Araiza preached about why Jesus came from Luke 4:18. We had between 20-25 people both nights, and we are looking forward to tonight's sermon and service.

The English classes we had planned are on hold right now due to the ladies being busy with the end of school things for their kids. Please pray for them as they continue to learn and adapt to American culture.

We are excited that several of my siblings will be visiting over the course of the summer. We expect my oldest brother and his family next week. Please pray for safety for them as they will be driving a couple ten hour days to get here.

My mom's health is much better. The blood clot in her leg is gone, and it seems that any tiny ones in her lungs are also gone. Her heart rates have been good, but she has had a little bit of blood pressure and blood sugar issues which we think are caused by some of the medicine she was on. Continue to pray for her.

Please pray that God will open up the flights and countries in England and Europe where I was supposed to be last June. I hope to at least fulfill those trips, and then I will see where God leads. There are several Christian schools asking if I would like to teach, and a couple of pastors would like me to teach how to teach English classes for their churches. There are several things that need to fall into place for any of that to happen.

Continue to pray for our Millennial Conference in July. We have several young men lined up to preach and answer questions as well as some pastors who are coming to learn more about reaching millennials.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Spring brings new things.

 The last few weeks have been busy with plans for new ministries and upcoming events. I have been working on an ESL class to help two of our African refugee ladies with English. One has attended church for several years and gets very little out of it because she cannot understand. She comes so her kids can be in church. We will begin classes next Saturday.

Yesterday, my dad had the kids practicing music and working with puppets. We hope to get the puppet ministry up and running again soon.

We have a ladies luncheon coming up in May. We are having an under the sea theme. The ladies are excited to have some fellowship.

At the end of May, we will have a revival. My dad has been preaching about preparing for revival for several weeks. Please pray that we have some life changing decisions happen that will effect our church's future growth.

In July, we will host a conference for millennials. So far, my dad has found no one else focusing on this group of people in our society. Please pray that God will allow many people from our area to attend.

Friday, April 9, 2021

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Except in Maine, the flowers may not bloom until June. I started some seeds from various vegetables, and I keep hoping the weather will be warm enough to plant the sprouts in the next week or two. Nine months of winter is not my cup of tea. It was warm enough today to go up to Popham Beach and watch the seals for awhile.

Mom is doing much better. We are still watching out for her due to the blood clot and her heart. She is doing more natural things now, so please pray these will disintegrate what is left of the clot. 

Throughout the last year, we have continually had visitors to our church in spite of all the fear and mandates spread  by our governor. I am teaching the teen and young ladies' Sunday school. In the next few weeks, we will begin an English language class for two African ladies who attend the church. We hope to expand this for other people needing help with English and use the class as a way to witness. I will be teaching, and as needed, we hope to find interpreters.

Please continue to pray for our state. The libs have decided to violate Maine law again. They are ignoring the budget voted on by the entire legislature and voting in a majority budget. They also plan to shut down the legislature and basically leave the governor as a dictator again. Maine lost 100,000 businesses between March and May last year. I have no idea how many more since then. I have read of many people leaving the state because they have homes elsewhere. Please pray that the people will take a stand against any more measures issued by the governor which violate the freedoms guaranteed in the Maine and US Constitutions.

Please pray for me as several pastors have expressed interest in using me to teach English. There are several things that would need to happen before I would feel free to do this. One of those is that mom's health situation would need to be better.

Please pray for missionaries in Myanmar and Haiti as the political situations are dangerous at this time. Pray also for my friends the Coblentz family. They have a daughter with some health issues.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Spring has Sprung

 I cannot believe it is already the middle of March. Please forgive me for not posting an update sooner. Mom finally got all her blood tests results back. She has no medical issues which could have caused the blood clot in her leg, so it had to be the Flexarill she was put on for her back pain. Let me just say, if you go to the doctor or hospital ask for an MD not a practitioner or assistant. Mom also spoke with the hematologist about continuing or discontinuing the blood thinner. He told her she could decide since all the blood work looks good. Her plan is to take the blood thinner a few more days and then go back to her natural heart medicine. She does still have the clot in her leg and pieces do still go to her lungs, so please pray that all of those will go away very soon. We did get to go to church Sunday. Mom and I have only been  in one other service at another church since January 12. It was good to be back.

Please continue to pray for me. Places still aren't open for me to travel, and I just saw where Walmart will be offering immunity cards if you get a vaccine. The world is not going to be a very freedom friendly place if we do not get some freedom loving Americans to take a stand. 

Please pray for our church as we are continually having visitors. We are preparing to start an English language school for some of the African refugees we have coming, and we hope to expand this to reach many other people groups in our area. We also have a revival being planned as well as a meeting geared to reach millennials. The average age in our city is 35, and the millennials are ripe for the picking. They are hungry for the truth.

Please pray for our state. Our governor continues to hold us hostage. Every time she extends the emergency orders, she gets federal money. Right now the legislature is controlled by Democrats, and they all voted to keep the state closed. Please pray that this will wake up the people of Maine. We have been living under a dictator who implemented a police state as far as the covid situation is concerned.

I am still praying for direction as to what God would have me to do if I am not able to travel overseas anymore. I am also waiting for a job opportunity to send me the next step of the hiring process.

Please remember to pray for missionaries. Many are dealing with extreme stress, health, culture, and political issues. Myanmar is getting a bit dangerous due to the military coup which took place recently.