Salutations in Christ's Name!!
"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ," [Ephesians 5:20]. Doesn't that verse
define Thanksgiving? That's what it is all about. Jehovah Jirah--The Lord
DOES Provide and we are so very thankful. We all have so much to be
thankful about. Coming to Suriname really put a lot of things in
perspective for us...especially the little things. It has almost become
cliche when you hear people talking about taking things for granted;
however, it is true. As Americans, we take so much for granted: family,
friends, possessions, electricity, hot water, transportation, Wal-mart, Dr.
Pepper, etc. I could go on.....but, the point I am trying to make is,
that it is a little disappointing when we reflect on these matters for
less than 15 minutes on one particular day of the year. We should
certainly reflect (more honestly) and thank our Father each day for
EVERYTHING that He allows us to have; for Everything is His to begin with. God
has revealed so much love and so many blessings to us while we've been
here, it is almost hard to put into words. Patricia and I are humbled
to be used by Him. With that said, here's the latest....
We survived our excursion into the interior rainforest with our
highschool students. It was a good opportunity to get to know these students
on a more personal level. The scenery was beautiful; the mild
temperatures were a welcome relief, the trails were treacherous, and waking to
the haunting moans of the howler monkeys was enough to write home about;
but this trip was more than about nature. It allowed my eyes to be
opened to see how much some of these young people really need Christ. I
was given the opportunity to share the morning devotions with this group
of 24 young adults. God really convicted me on what topics needed to
be discussed... and mainly those topics were about their need to have a
daily relationship with Christ. I pray that their "head knowledge"
develops into true "heart knowledge" because Romans 10:10 tells us "For
with the heart one believes unto righteousness...." Please continue to
pray for these students.
Please continue to pray for the Bible study that I am leading. Praise
God that 9 young men attended the first meeting. The proposed study
seems to be a bit too difficult and time consuming for these guys, so I
am letting God make the appropriate adjustments (of course!). This is
an AWESOME opportunity for spiritual growth with these guys. Please
pray that God uses this time to challenge and "water" these guys. Pray
that God gives me the wisdom and correct words during this time of study.
Continue to pray for our school staff. Two major staff changes are
coming up in December and January. Pray that the Lord of the Harvest
provides teachers for these positions. Also, it looks like we will have
several openings next fall due to contracts being fulfilled. It is
common for a teacher to teach in one country for a few years and then move
on to another country. I know that God will take care of staff needs;
however, if you know someone being lead to teach, just contact me!
Thank you so much for your emails, prayers, and support. Continue to
share your prayer needs with us. We hope and pray that everyone had a
nice holiday and did not eat too much. We were fortunate to share a
nice Thanksgiving meal with another missionary family. Their children are
our students at the school. It was a good time of fellowship, although
we did miss everyone back home. We understand that the weather has
really changed back in the States. Here, the climate is exactly the same
as the evening we stepped off the plane. Patricia keeps thinking that
it is still August! It is currently 1:45 AM and 85 degrees! (some
late-nite habits are hard to break!) Please keep the emails coming so I
can answer them during my insomniac sessions. I will forward pics from
our Brownsberg Nature Reserve trip a little later.
Grace and Peace to you from God the Father,
John and Patricia