Inspiring July newsletter
Last week I was driving down our quiet rural back roads and one of my favorite songs came on the radio – “Overwhelmed” by Big Daddy Weave. It is a beautiful worship song and as I sang along and my spirit lifted, I had a new revelation of just how GREAT God is – and there truly are no words that can adequately describe Him!! I first pictured some of the beautiful places I have had the privilege to visit: spectacular mountains, strikingly beautiful desert rock formations, exhilarating waves crashing on a beach, the infinite expanse of the starry skies that remind us of how small we are…. Then I thought of the beautifully intricate flowers (such as these that I saw in Guatemala), fascinating insects and amazing animals that all show the vast variety of God’s creation scattered across every part of the earth… How could ANYONE not marvel at our Creator God?
But then I thought of all the people who, for so many different reasons, are unable to enjoy such experiences – perhaps they are bedridden; or in prison; or forced to live in confining circumstances such as deep poverty or remote villages…Yet even there, watching how a tiny ant works and works to try to carry a leaf up an incline, or seeing how a thin stem from a seed lodged in a crack in cement can somehow produce a tiny flower, the wonder of God’s creation reaches us! We see the infectious joy as a young child happily plays with a puppy, and we are touched by the life stories of a wrinkled old man, who in years past, lived a vibrant life. We marvel at how a newborn baby’s tiny body works, and we start to contemplate what a miracle is occurring before our eyes, as the baby gradually grows into an energy-filled, independent, talkative child!
LIFE!! Such a simple, well-used word, yet so very complex and exhilarating, displayed in infinite ways all around us! It truly permeates every aspect of our world and reveals the very presence of God in everything!
Romans 1:20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. (NLT)
John 17:3 And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent. (AMPC)
THIS life, wherever we live, whatever our circumstances, gives continual proof of God’s awesome love and creative power if we will just see it!! And above all, He wants a personal relationship with each and every one of us right where we are, right NOW! Recognizing and connecting with Him, following Jesus, and feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit, turns our daily life into a life of abundance and fulfillment which words cannot express! May this life reach out through us to draw others to Jesus each day! Blessings, Shirley
Pastor Sika in Togo sent several videos and pictures this past week of the disastrous flooding occurring in the capital, Lomé, where he lives. The whole city is very low-lying and has many bridges spanning rivers that empty into the ocean, and so it is completely inundated. As a result, travel is severely impeded and there will be weeks of clean-up for the over 2,000,000 inhabitants. With the government there doing little to help, our prayers go out as people try to recover.
The following photo shows Pastor Sika and Lucie in the house of a village elder in Agbanake, on the Benin border. The village is deeply involved in idolatry and witchcraft (see an idol in a cement circle in the background) and expels anyone preaching the Gospel, but this elder wants to accept Christ and has invited Pastor Sika and Lucie to come and slowly tell the people about Jesus.
After Pastor Sika spoke with a group of women there, they surprised him by agreeing to be photographed. He plans to return at the end of July and continues preaching the Gospel on his weekly radio program that can be heard across the region. We keep him and his team in our prayers as they continue to take the Gospel into hardcore, hostile pagan villages. We also pray especially for the harvest at the Joseph Project orphanage (possibly less affected by the severe flooding) and the upcoming need again to provide funds for tuition and school supplies for the new school year starting in September.