Where Would You Like To Go?

April 13, 2012

CHAINS

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free.  My God, my Savior has ransomed me – love love love those lyrics.  As a Christian, I pray you understand the significance behind these words – the truth that they echo.  Christ came to remove every chain – to set us free – to give us abundant life – PRAISE HIM!!  If simply reflecting on this truth doesn’t bring you to worship Him – I’m not sure what will.  However, as I sang these words over the past few days, there were many times I couldn’t get the words out.  My heart was literally aching over all of the people who can’t sing these words.  All of the millions of people who might want to, might choose to, might long to sing these words but can’t.  Why?  Because they have no idea about Christ.   They are a part of an unreached people group who have NEVER HEARD. 

That’s why we’re here.  We can’t handle the thought of there being people who would love Jesus if only they could hear about Him.  Many of you spend time daily in prayer for the Mahafaly people and for us.  Today, I want to thank you for your prayers but I want to challenge you to spend time in prayer over what else the Lord may be calling you to do.  Below are 2 different links.  The first one will take you to some information about how you can come and serve on the field – it doesn’t matter if you are single, married, or have kids!  There are opportunites that range from a few weeks, to an entire semester, or 2-3 years!  The second link will take you to a relatively new idea called “Embrace”.  It’s targeted for churches to take on an unengaged & unreached people group (of which there are currently 594 in Sub Sahara Africa alone). 

If you are a Christian you are called to go, there’s no denying that – it’s written plainly in His word.  The question is “go where?”.  Ask Him.  See where He leads you.  It might be to a local coffee shop, across the hall at school/work, to your next door neighbor, to a different state, or maybe even a different country.  You won’t know until you ask!

Want to GO?!?

EMBRACE

April 12, 2012

Time in South Africa

We are loving being here in South Africa!  It has been so nice to have a change of pace and be in a little more "civilization" than we are used to!  There have been some notable changes such as driving on the opposite side of the road!  That definitely makes things more interesting!  All doctor appointments have gone well - thank you for all of your prayers in that area. 
Ryleigh (and her parents!) have found quite a few things to keep us busy during our stay here - here's a glimpse at some of Ryleigh's "firsts"!


1st time down a slide
1st Happy Meal
1st time to eat with chopsticks
1st (in a LONG time) stroller ride in COOL weather!!
1st time at an indoor playground - she LOVES the ball pit :)

So thankful to the Lord for the wonderful memories that we are making!

April 11, 2012

Airplanes & Toddlers

We found out very quickly that flying with a 5 month old and flying with a 14 month old are 2 very VERY different things! Ryleigh is quite active and being at a higher elevation did not diminish that fact! Needless to say she kept all of us very entertained!  Her top choice of entertainment would be letting the lap tray up and down...continually :)
 hanging out at the airport
 reading the safety manual
Thank you Lord for safe flights to Johannesburg!

April 9, 2012

He Is...

It’s been a really neat thing to be around other M’s who are serving in different parts of Sub Sahara Africa.  One day during our meetings, the worship leader asked people to vocalize in one word or so what God has been to them lately.  Here were some of the responses.
God Is…

Savior
Friend
Shepherd
Protector
Redeemer
Righteousness
The God who sees me
Rock
Comforter
Provider
Refuge
Shelter
Everlasting
Sustainer
For me personally – the one word would have to be “home”.  That’s what He has been most to me out of everything else lately.  Home would actually encompass many of the other names as well.  It was so meaningful to listen to others share what He has been lately to them because of the great reminder that it represented.
 We are all serving in such different areas.  Some are in big cities and others live in rural villages.  Others have had to learn a different language and some are able to still speak English but have needed to learn another culture.  Styles of worship, appropriate dress, & even where we meet to worship differs greatly across the board – but the One that doesn’t change is the One we are serving.  He is everything to everyone.  No matter where we live, how we dress, or what language we speak – He is constantly consistent.  How amazing is that?!?!

April 8, 2012

The Deaf Will Hear

Great news/prayer request – a church in Georgia has adopted the deaf peoples of Madagascar!  Please be in prayer for this church as they are seeking His guidance on how to best reach these people.  Pray also for wisdom on our side of things as we are starting to form relationships and build trust with the deaf in Tulear.

April 7, 2012

Greater Stronger Higher


Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is healer
Awesome in power
Our God, our God

As we sang these verses during our worship time Sunday morning, there was a moment when I just needed to stop singing.  Do you ever have moments while worshipping where the power of what you are singing just stops you in your tracks?  It happened from time to time in the States, but this was quite unlike anything I had previously experienced.  The Lord just grabbed a hold of my heart and my mouth and told me to stop.  He wanted me to truly listen to the words I was singing.  Did I believe them?  Did I realize that He truly is greater…stronger…higher than ANY other?  Did my day to day life reflect that?  Oh how humbling to try and comprehend the majesty of our God. 
There is no other that can compare.
If you are familiar with the song you know there is a bridge that says this…
And if our God is for us
Who can ever stop us?
And if our God is with us
What can stand against?
Take that in for a moment.  It is true – it’s straight from Scripture.  That means so much more than I can wrap my mind around, but for today what He’s telling me is this –
When language fluency feels SO far away – He is greater
When my heart aches b/c of events I am missing with my US family– He is stronger
When my soul cries out due to the darkness that surrounds me – He is higher

No matter what is going on in your life or where on this earth you are living your life today – I can guarantee you one thing.

He is and will always be –
GREATER
STRONGER
HIGHER

April 4, 2012

His Delight

Proverbs 12:22 – “Those who act faithfully are His delight”

Pretty simple stuff...but just in case...
-Act -


to operate or function in a particular way; perform specific duties or functions
to produce an effect; perform a function
to behave or conduct oneself in a particular fashion

-Faithfully-
strict or thorough in the performance of duty
true to one's word, promises, vows, etc.
steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant
reliable, trusted, or believed
adhering or true to fact, a standard, or an original; accurate

-Delight-
a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy
something that gives great pleasure
Such straightforward directions (yet requires great commitment) and the result is so much more than I deserve...praying to be His delight every moment of every day.

April 2, 2012

Storying Means What Exactly??

Often we have referred to "storying" here on our blog and in our prayer requests.  After several of you have asked about it - we thought this might be the best way to try and tell you!  Storying is the evangelistic method we are using as a SW team among the unreached here in Madagascar.  We have found it to be highly effective when used with a mostly illiterate people who are considered "oral learners".  Below I have copied a description of the storying project that is currently happening here in the town of Tulear, from our team's website - http://madaboutstories.com feel free to check out the website for more info!

Missionaries from the IMB are partnering with Malagasy believers to complete a Bible storying project for the Antandroy, Masikoro, Mahafaly and Tanalana people groups. During the next two years the team hopes to create a basic Bible story set covering the panorama of creation to Christ’s return for dialects of each of the four people groups. One goal of the storying project is that the stories will begin to be used in existing churches and in outreach to villages as soon as they are crafted.
The team is using a training model developed by The Seed Company, a division of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Small groups of mother-tongue speakers work together to craft Bible stories for their local language or dialect. The story-crafting groups for this project are made up of lay church planters, church members, and university students from the four people groups. Group members have a passion for reaching their communities with the Gospel through using Bible stories.
The primary objective of the crafting process is to maintain a reverence for the Scriptures while crafting Bible stories that accurately reflect the Word of God and are sensitive to worldview issues. The crafting teams will begin by crafting the stories from the Storying Training for Trainers core story set. IMB missionaries are working with the story-crafters to craft Bible stories that will address the worldviews of these four people groups in southwest Madagascar.  Currently in Madagascar, a complete Bible is available only in the official, standard Malagasy language. Dialects of the island such as Mahafaly, Tandroy, Masikoro, and Tanalana are significantly different from the official language. Diligent work is being done in the southwest to translate the written Scripture into several of these dialects. However, the team prays oral stories created by the story-crafting groups will provide Biblical truths to dialect speakers who cannot read the Bible in their native dialects in the meantime.

Please continue to life Tessa and the 4 people group teams up as they are working dilligently on these stories every week!!
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