Not too much to report this week but I will at least let the grandparents know what their grandkids have been up to.
Grace has stated to sound out and “reading” small words. She is also now adding in math. She is doing great! But she has cried a couple times this week about the thought of going to school in Michigan (it is only six months away you knowJ). She is worried because she doesn’t know anyone. She is not my Lydia who loves making friends. Although she likes people she would rather just go to school with her cousin Avalien and be friends with her. I have just been praying with her about it for now. Lydia has started multiplication and loves it. She enjoys new things – the challenge I guess. She is doing great in her cursive too.
Lydia has been homesick and cried several times lately. I am sure it is because the Sliedrechts leave in two weeks. Even Josh told me it feels like a long time ago we were home. But the girls are counting down till July when we go!
Luka surprised us this week and counted to five. Third kids just hear things and pick it up quickly I guess. He loves to make us laugh. He really is a good boy and I enjoy him everyday.
Josh taught all week with our teammate Jennifer. She is a nurse so they did a course on HIV. The church here doesn’t know how to address it but is surrounded by it, so it was a needed teaching. Although Jennifer was discouraged with the lack of knowledge from these church leaders, we know that that is why we are here helping them to grow. It is exciting to see God work in the lives of these people.
This week we got another security warning from the US embassy. It basically said that if you are an American outside of the US you are at risk. Don’t go, basically, anywhere because your life could be threatened. Ok, don’t panic anyone. I am writing this to tell you what God taught me through it. We are safe and feel safe! God wants us here, is with us, and is our shield of safety. So, after I read the warning I was really upset. I was scared. I wanted to run home to Michigan my “false security”. I was so worried about my kids. We can’t go anywhere. Then I thought how can the Gospel go forth? The enemy has stopped us with fear. On and on my mind went…
Until the next morning when I read 1 John 2:18-27. John says that then one who denies Christ is a liar and the antichrist. But we are anointed by the Holy One and know the truth. No lie comes from the truth. We have the truth and don’t need to believe or fear the lie. Verses 24-27 tell us to remain in Him. Remain in His Word – promises and truths – that are from the beginning. I will remain in Him! He is my Rock, protector, faithful One, fortress… He is my truth. I will not believe a lie or fear a threat. God has won! His Word will go forth and accomplish His will. Thank you God for Your assurance, Your power over evil, and Your Word. You are my security.
I also want to share from Haggi 1. What a message for today. God’s people went back to Jerusalem after captivity and focused on their own homes – beautiful homes (and yards today) while God’s home was still destroyed. Because they failed to put God first they did not prosper. The consequence of their priorities made all their hard work amount to very little. Verse 5-6 says, “Give careful thought to your ways…you plant much but harvest little. You eat but never have enough…earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” Doesn’t that sound like Americans? So busy but just spinning their wheels getting no where. Nothing satisfies.
Verse 9 says, “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.” They neglected God and their relationship with Him and spent all their time, money, and effort on themselves and their homes – being comfortable. God was not first.
Same today. If we put God first, He will provide for our needs and we will be satisfied. If we put Him any other place, our efforts are futile and blessings are with held. Caring only for our physical needs while ignoring our relationship with God will lead to ruin.
In verse 12 the leaders and people heard and obeyed this message. In verses 13-15 God say, “I am with you.” And He sent His Spirit to help them do the work. May we too hear and obey. Then God will be with us and fill us with His Spirit.
One more thing. Pray for my parents and brother visiting my brother Chris serving in Guatemala. They managed to get to Chicago even after the big snow storm but realized my Dad's passport was expired. Whoops! Last I heard they hope to get the passport renewed in Chicago and pay for it to be done in a day. Hopefully they are in Guatemala now enjoying all God has instore for them.