Sunday, May 25, 2008
This past week our church hosted pastors from 16 different churches in our association for continuing leadership training. Ten hours a day for 5 days they utilized their Bibles and a book “Foundations of Faith.” It was an interactive training whereby many questions were asked and answered via group discussion with the final authority being the Word of God. This is the second in an 8 part training series that the association is doing to provide quality biblically based training to our church leaders. One of the criteria for continuing in the training is that they must show that they take this material and knowledge back and teach it to their church members. In January they studied “Following Jesus.” This meeting began with some exciting testimonies on how members in their churches were excited to be taught from the Bible what it means to follow Jesus and his way. With each church contributing a portion, it costs approximately $57/pastor/weeks training. Our special thanks to the saints at University Baptist Church in Houston Texas for generously providing the funds to enable the association to do four training sessions like this one.
Words of Hope Home Visit Update
On Thursday Enoch and I headed out of town to do home visits of families affected by HIV/AIDS. Our first home visit of the day looked to be a bust. The person we were planning to visit had moved! (This happens often due to financial and social reasons.) There were several people in the yard and so Enoch asked if we could talk with them. By the time they were all seated on the grass, we were faced with the elder M’zee (oldest man), his 70 year old mother, his wife, a friend, 4 youth, and 6 children. Enoch and I introduced ourselves and with the permission of the M’zee we shared a bit about HIV/AIDS and answered several questions. Then we talked about ‘hope’ and the reasons for lost hope. This gave us the opportunity to share the hope of Jesus Christ through sharing the story in John’s gospel, chapter 3, about Nicodemus’ visit to Jesus at night. Again, after many questions, we asked if anyone would be interested in placing their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The man’s wife stood up to say ‘yes’ that she wanted to do just that. It was great! What we thought initially to be a ‘bust’ was what we call a ‘divine appointment’ to be there and share the hope that comes through knowing Jesus.
The really cool news is that we saw the same thing happen later that day as we went to visit Robert and he had three neighbors with him. We began to visit with him and his neighbors and had the opportunity again to share the truth of God’s word. All three of his neighbors heard and said they wanted to put their faith in Jesus. The really cool thing is that they had been watching Robert’s life and had seen a real change in him and a genuineness that they too wanted. His life witness was a key factor in their decision.
Enoch and I will head back to these two homes next Thursday for follow up to see how they are doing and to share some more basics of the life of following Jesus.
Friday, May 16, 2008
We just returned from a crazy 13 day trip to Michigan to see Adam graduate from Hope College (BS Biology) and see some of our family. We are really proud of Adam! It was great to see him graduate after 4 years of intense work, and a lot of fun with his friends too. He plans to work in DC with AmeriCorp for the next year working in HIV clinics. We also had some time to see Larry's parents and Sally's mom. Needless to say they are proud grandparents...
The grad coincided with the internationally famous Holland Tulip Festival. There were hundreds of thousands of tulips blossomed, and the famous Dutch wooden shoe dancers.
Well, we've decided that a weekly blog would be the best way to let you all know what is happening in our life right now. This hopefully will work out as we are not the best at mail newsletters. (: We should have some pictures up soon as well as an update.