Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Church of Tomorrow

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What are we doing to make sure they are fed?  Taught?  That the seeds are sown into their lives?

It doesn’t happen by accident…we must be purposeful in our mission to help those around us, as well as those in distant lands.

What if….it were your child, or grandchild that depended on a missionary to get the Word to them about the LOVE of JESUS CHRIST?  Can they depend on you to help carry the Gospel to the nations?  Can they depend on me?

Discussion of late has been the lack of responders to the needs.  They would rather not “know” what it’s like there…I suppose it’s an easy out—“If I don’t know…then I won’t have to go.”  Or, I won’t lose sleep over the fact that children are forced into “labor” at such an early age—physical labor just to put bread on the table….they give up their opportunity at an education.

DSCF9390We even encountered a young girl of about 6 years old, who “danced” on the sidewalk, hoping for coins to be dropped in her bucket.  This was not her choice. 

When our team passed out tracks at night—and watched as they read them, then shared them, we did so with the greatest hope that these words of Salvation would begin to change the hearts and lives of those who “live on the streets”….and point them to the Cross of Jesus…where HE gave all.  For all.

What can we do?

Give. 

Pray.

Go.

Share.

BE the life impacting Christian that is needed to this lost and dying world.  Point them to Christ.  The ONLY way to be saved is through Jesus Christ –and the recognition of our sins—casting all our selves at the feet of Jesus—accepting HIM as our LORD and Savior.  Allowing Him to change us—from the inside out.  Permanently.

 


Bolivia Interview: Kim Aycock and Juan Pettis

KIM AYCOCK, thank you for sharing—I have enjoyed watching God work and move in your life on this trip! What an amazing GOD we serve!

P9050346How did you feel in preparing for this trip? 

Nervous, excited—and I couldn’t wait to see what God as going to do and expected it to be a life changing experience.

What was the first thing that made an impact on you?

The filth in the city.

What have you experienced that has been life changing for you?

The people at the church we went to were so loving, and worshipped God without hindrance.  The children have been a blessing—excited about every little thing, smiles all over!  Another thing was the handing out of tracks at night—it was so rewarding!  One man was in his car and was speaking Spanish to me and I said, “No hablo…”, he pointed his finger toward heaven and said, “Christo Christo”! 

I wanted to jump u and down right there on the sidewalk!

Do you feel God targeting any area of your life through this trip?P9060697

My worship to Him should be without hindrance.  He has taught me that though we may look different on the outside, we are the same on the inside and worship the same God.  I feel that God called me to minister to girls of all ages and I want to obey that calling.

What is the best or worst think so far?

BEST:  Ministering and playing with the children.  Worst:  The driving and the language barrier.

What would you say to someone undecided about missions trips?

To go go go! There is so much to learn from other cultures and the people are desperate for a little love and affection.  And that is something we all have to give.

How has this affected your perception of a missionary?

I have watched Brother Mike and how he fits in so easily with the people, he easily ministers to them and they love him.  Missionaries are a necessity!! To every tongue—every nation!

Kim and KaraHow do you apply the Great Commission in your life?

I do feel called to still to minister to children and to tell and lead them to Christ.  I want to work on that area of my life at church and in the community.

Would you go again?

YES! Definitely!!

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JUAN PETTIS (John Pettis)

How did you feel in preparing for this trip?John is standing in the door way of the church

Fearful and nervous at first, and then realized God is in this—so what could come against us!  I was also very excited!

What was the first thing that made an impact on you?

The people accepting the Word through passing out tracks,  The people would actually read what was given to them and then pass it on to someone else.

What have you experienced that has been life changing for you?

That no matter how rich or poor, simple or complex, each person is in this crazy world, God has a plan for YOU.  Bolivia is poor and simple, but they have taught me the sincerity in Christ.

Do you feel God targeting any area of your life through this trip?100_3069

Being more dedicated to His service instead of just living a Christian life.

What is the best or worst think so far?

Christian fellowship with our group as well as the locals has been the best.  The worst was the plane ride.

What would you say to someone undecided about missions trips?

Do it!  By far the best experience of my life.  It has and continues to strengthen my faith and Christian walk.

How has this affected your perception of a missionary?

I now know it is very hard work.  A missionary is very blessed to have this calling on his/her life.  It is very rewarding.

How do you apply the Great Commission in your life?

P9060740I am blessed to work in an awesome mission field at home and witness everyday in some way to someone.

Would you go again?

 Si, Senora.


Bolivia Interview: Thomas Parkhurst

We have a few more interviews to share from our trip to Bolivia—and you really don’t want to miss them!

Thank you Thomas for sharing your time and your heart with us!

Thomas the mud man!How did you feel in preparing for this trip?

More anxious than excitement…due to the fact that I was going to another part of the world, which I had only seen and heard about on TV.  All they had talked about was poverty and chaos.

What was the first thing that made an impact on you?

Leaving the airport in Santa Cruz we passed by several “run down” shacks, which turned out to be homes that people actually lived in.  Seeing families with little children walking down the side of major roadways –hoping to just get a ride to wherever they were headed.  I couldn’t see much joy in their faces.

What have you experienced that has been life changing for you?

The way of life for those living outside the city.  The people we met in the town of Don Lorenzo live with just the barest of essentials of life.  Some of the stories I’ve heard when I was young about how some of our parents and grandparents grew up “dirt poor”, was brought into clear realization on this trip—and I’ve seen with my own eyes what it is to be poor.

Do you feel God targeting any area of your life through this tripDSCF8748

To be a better steward with all the blessings He pours into my life and not to be so judgmental when it comes to first appearances.

What is the best or worst think so far?

The appreciation the people of Don Lorenzo have shown us for taking the time out of our “busy lives”, to come here and help them.  The smiles on the faces of the children. 

The worst thing:  the plane ride from Miami to Santa Cruz, leg cramps, 45 minutes of sleep.

What would you say to someone undecided about missions trips?

To actually “go” would be the best decision they could ever make (aside from salvation) and the most rewarding.  Even though this is only my first time, it has been life changing!!!

DSCF9055How has this affected your perception of a missionary?

I have seen that being a missionary is one of the most selfless acts there is.  It’s an act of literally giving yourself and your time to others.

Would you go again?

ABSOLUTELY!!!! I CAN’T WAIT!!!


Boarding Pass

Without it…we can’t fly.

Without our green slip of paper we were given upon arrival and “purchase” of our visa’s…we can’t leave this country.

Everyone has taken great care this week to make certain we have what we need to get “home”.

Are you reading between the lines?

How well are you caring for the GIFT you were given when you accepted Jesus as your Savior?

It’s a question I need to ask myself DAILY.

This trip has been so full of emotion–charged with energy–stock piled with love and cemented friendships with the blessing of the Holy Spirit.

Complete strangers met–and by the time we parted company–we each had the assurance that one day there would be no language barrier!  Just that knowledge makes me want to SHOUT!

I have had the blessing of photos from Kim Aycock as well as Rene Parkhurst.  They have captured things I could not.  As I looked through Rene’s pictures I saw all the children activities that I didn’t participate in.  The few things I saw and interacted with took place inside the church as we were working.

For the first time I have been able to work beside my husband on a mission trip.  Building a church.  I cannot express what that has done for me.  THIS I loved.

This man has lived and breathed this trip since the LORD first  began stirring his heart in the first months of this year.  When we set out on a 21 day fast–the LORD began rearranging some ideas and notions in Jeff’s heart.  (I imagine he will share some of that at church.)  He has rearranged many notions in mine as well.  And it will continue.

This week I have done what I never imagine I would do beside the man I cherish–laid brick, troweled on mud, joked, laughed, and even shed tears together over what God has done in this awesome group of people.

Jeff and I have talked about how blessed we have been to be with THIS particular group of people this week.  As I stood and listened to Brandson Spencer, mission director of New Life A/G, share the fact that his 16 year old son was celebrating his birthday again without his dad–and how that broke Brandon’s heart–and with tears streaming–I knew it was a fact.  Both Brandon and his wife Becky share a passion and love for missions that Jeff and I do.  And when you love Christ this way–there are times when life decisions are harder than others. 

I saw father and son work side by side this week–and friends laugh and joke and get serious together.  This was such a blessing to me.  Parents, take the time to “work” along beside your kids.  They need to SEE that and FEEL the love you have for others!  What a difference it will make in their lives along their journey.

Our love for Christ will be evident in our actions–a cliche` that comes to mind and fits, “you are what you eat” and “what you see is what you get”.  If we consume the WORD…we will be made in HIS likeness–we will bear the image of Jesus Christ.  Then people will come to know HIM through our love in action–and our words. 

Jeff talked about our actions this morning in devotion.  How important they are–more so than we think.

When Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (,Matthew 16:24), I believe He meant what He said.  We will face times when denying ourselves will be painful–because it will involve those we love most.  But in order to “please” God–and follow after Him in the way He has commanded–we must deny ourselves.

It’s late and I’ve rambled.  I will leave you with this–“do all you can for Christ now–with all the time you have left.  We only have this ONE life.  Do it right.  Live with no regrets.”

Be in prayer for the following tomorrow:

  • Pray that we shine for HIM
  • EASE in going through customs both here and in Miami.
  • Safety and health of each one.
  • POWERFUL services at our respective churches on Sunday!
  • And ANYTHING else this tired brain has left out!

© The Knightly News 2007-2011

Our Difficulties—God’s Opportunities

100_2474When we arrived in the village of Don Lorenzo, after traveling for many miles on several bumpy-dusty, dirt roads for 30 minutes at LEAST—we saw God’s opportunity.

A church, which began in a house, now needed room for growth.  It can take many years for a church to reach the ability to have real walls, a roof and pews.  Mainly because of the lack of adequate income.

They had a small piece of land, some pieces of wood and tree stumps for pews and a tarp for when it rained—and to keep the scorching sun off their head.  But they needed help.

The church roof!When we gathered in the place where the church now had a roof, but no walls, it was hard to imagine what 4 days of work would bring…but God already knew what those days would bring.

What unfolded the next few days was nothing short of a miracle.

A church was built. 

With the combined effort of Grace A/G and New Life, Nueva Luz was built.  “New Light”.

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Many hands made the job easier.

This group of people—have amazing hearts.

Not one single genuine complaint was heard.

Not about the bathroom—it was accepted for just what it was.

No complaints about the children running in and out. 

 

They are the reason we are here.

Yes the roads were dusty—yes it was difficult to breathe.  Yes we had sinus headaches and problems of that nature—but I promise—there was no whining going on.

I wonder how long it will take us to fall back into the same ridiculous habits of Americans?

I wonder if the recliner and remote will have the same affect?  I wonder our nice bathrooms with fresh clean water, and our quick drive thru’s for food—will they all be viewed the same? 

Walk with me a minute.

Out the door your hear the beeping horns.  Not out of anger, but to let you know “hey, I’m back here and coming through”.  You will notice all the trash—everywhere.  It lines the streets.  And you may even catch a whiff of the trash as you walk by.

100_3227On almost every corner—there is an orange stand.  The sweet smell of freshly peeled oranges are a nice treat, hidden in the dusty, busy, painfully crowded streets.  (We didn’t eat any of these oranges, but the church folks blessed us each day at lunch with fresh oranges and bananas.)

The sidewalks are busy—the streets are crowded—and the air hangs heavy at times.  But then the breeze will pick up and blow the hair back from your face—and you feel instant relief!  This is home—to our new church family and friends—and it has it’s beauty…even among the problems and the not so pretty parts of life.100_3083

This tree was my gift of “purple” for the week.  I smiled and said, “thank You” to my Father when I snapped the picture.  What a great gift!  And I thought of Wanda…and how she would have loved to see these little tanned faces with deep brown eyes.  Dirty faces, many hearts washed clean last night during the invitation.

 

That’s what we came for.

To make a difference.

No matter what kind of difficulty we face in life…it is an opportunity for GOD to be the “I AM” of our life.  That means—it’s all HIM.  Nothing of us.  Except our obedience. 

Today—we are full.  To the brim and running over.  If you stand near…I promise some will spill.

There are many more pictures—many more stories to be shared.  We will share at our church on Sunday night and New Life will share soon—of how we were all changed—just by giving up ourselves to make a change for others.

100_3152If you sponsored someone, prayed for someone, helped someone with the incidentals along this journey—thank you.  Your name is recorded along with ours in the work that has been done this week.  May God shine HIS light of love so deep into your life that you cannot find where it begins or ends.

I’ll write more shortly.

Stay tuned.


Mission Interviews #2: Terrell Culbreth and David Pettis Jr.

I have enjoyed getting to know these incredible guys from New Life–and I’ve enjoyed time with “my” son-in-law.  That’s what Jeff calls him–David is a blessing to our family in so many ways!

First we bring Terrell Culbreth to the microphone (just a little bloggity humor 🙂 )

Terrell Culbreth:

How did you feel in preparing for this trip?

Nervous and a little scared.
What was the first thing that made an impact on you?

Sunday night church service.  Brandon, Chase and myself went together.  Brandon preached, and what made the impact on me was how the people responded to the Spirit of the LORD.  I felt it!

What have you experienced that has been life changing for you?

All the stuff we/I have at home doesn’t really matter.  I’m thankful for it, but you don’t need it to be happy and to have love.

Do you feel God targeting any area of your life through this trip?
I don’t think it was any one area, just life all together.

 

What is the best or worst think so far?

The best thing was Sunday night service.  The worst thing was FLYING.

What would you say to someone undecided about missions trips?

Try it one time.  It will change how you think and feel about so many different things.

How has this affected your perception of a missionary?
Greater respect and very thankful for them!
How do you apply the Great Commission in your life?

Go on a mission trip when I can, away and at home.  The way I try to carry myself when at work or at home.

Would you go again?

YES.
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Again, I would like to say that I have enjoyed meeting these guys –and have seen such a love for the LORD and for others in them.  It has truly blessed our hearts!

This next young man at the mic is David…a.k.a. “Davie boy” to us–our son-in-law.  More like a son.  We love him dearly.  Thanks David for opening  your heart to ALL that God has–we believe God has so many more things in store for you as you continue on this dedicated path!

David Pettis:

How did you feel in preparing for this trip?

Excited.  Humbled. Ready.

What was the first thing that made an impact on you?
The sincere desire of others to serve God.
What have you experienced that has been life changing for you?

Being satisfied with what I have.
Do you feel God targeting any area of your life through this trip?

I feel God is preparing me for missions work.  I feel that God will use me at home and in foreign missions.

What is the best or worst thing so far?

Getting to learn about and minister in a part of the world I have never thought I would go.  The worst thing…riding their dirt roads for an hour to get to the place to work.
What would you say to someone undecided about missions trips?

Just go one time.  You will go back.

How has this affected your perception of a missionary?

I never realized the hard work and dedication it takes to do it.
How do you apply the Great Commission in your life?

In my passt and present jobs, I talk to a lot of people.   I am able to share in some situations but a lot of times I just have to be a light for people to see.
Would you go again?

Absolutely.

Thank you David and Terrell.  Today has been “full”.  Full of work, smiles, and more tears than you can imagine.  The joy of the LORD abounded all around.  From the oldest person there, to the youngest.  God’s presence was and is so real–and evident to each heart.

There are several more interviews to share–but I am going to make them last a few more days.  Stayed tuned in to know more about the “mission” experience.  I cannot begin to describe the emotion felt today by “everyone”.  The church service tonight will linger in our hearts forever!

Some significant things happened today–and we will share.  But not tonight.  (It’s after midnight…and this missionary is tired.)

(Let’s do this again tomorrow)

© The Knightly News 2007-2011


Slide Show Wednesday

The “Track Team” that has been out every night are full of incredible stories…not just life adjusting, but they will be life altering.

David, Cindy, John, Thomas, Rene, Brother Orville, and Kara (I think Chris and David Bremer as well) have come back each morning brimming.  I will let them share what has taken place on the streets of Santa Cruz, Bolivia.  Some may share here…but I am certain they will share on Sunday night when we return.  You don’t want to miss that service!

What God is doing–has done–and is about to do on this trip is nothing but mind blowing.  The first sight we saw when we entered the partially completed church was a blind boy.  We saw him–but he didn’t see us.

God saw us all. 

There was music playing and we watched as his legs jumped to the music.  Sitting on a rough board, his 14 year old, gangley legged self,  with a big grin on his face.  As I looked around at the faces watching I saw that many eyes misted over.  His were clouded.

Kara shook his hand, Cindy gave him a lolly-pop and watched as he would lick it and then put it up so close to his eye that his eye lashes could touch it.  We saw him enjoy life from his perspective.  Being blind did not wipe his smile from his face, nor alter the joy that seemed to bubble up inside him as his head turned in different directions at all the new sounds.

Have you stopped and thought about all the things that happen in our day-to-day existence that seems to “wipe the smile” right off of our faces?  I thought about it today.  For the past couple of years, I have tried to be more conscious about smiling.  I have trouble sometimes.  Not that I’m not happy, but so often deep thought sometimes makes me look mad.  I’m not mad…I’m just thinking. 🙂  I AM happy!!

Today made me really think.  About our reactions to life.  My “son-in-law” told me he saw the way I looked when I was trying to find my mud trowel on Monday.  Today, when I misplaced it and asked him if he had it he quickly replied, “No.  I saw the look on your face the other day!”  Sorry David.

I imagine that after today, when we “think” we’ve got it tough, we will have a flash-back to a skinny, Bolivian blind boy sitting on a board with dancing feet.  I know I will.

Today our group of children grew a bit more.  If you remember we started with two.

Today we had 109.  All through the excitement of what the first two children received.  They brought more.

That’s how we are to multiply the church…but we’ve first got to show the world that we have Someone they NEED.  Someone that is like no other.  And that our lives are blessed in ways that are unseen…no matter what things look like on the outside.

That’s kind of like the two little girls that first came.  They received candy, hugs, smiles and coloring pages about Jesus.  They told a few more.  Those few more told more.  Soon, our ladies were digging in all our bags, making copies of coloring pages, giving hugs, handshakes and smiles to MANY.

The walls have also grown taller.  Through the work of many–God is building a church.

Enjoy the pictures.  Thank you again Rene for taking pictures for me–and thank you KIM for sharing yours!!

Tomorrow we finish the building and dedicate the church with the congregation tomorrow evening.  Be in prayer for these wonderful people.  God is so good.

https://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

Don’t forget to read the interviews below from Chris Smith and Chase Curti!  Thanks guys!

© The Knightly News 2007-2011