Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Lover Who Serves

I just wanted to share a cool story that illustrates how God moves in a life.  For several weeks now I (Shelli) have been meeting weekly with a girl doing Bible study.  She has struggled with depression and with what it means to live - really live - as a follower of Jesus, out of desire and love rather than duty.  She has been a Christian for a long time and has been recently renewed in her desire to be a "lover who serves, rather than a servant who loves."  It's been awesome to watch her come alive and watch the Lord awaken her heart again.  Recently she went, with her husband, to the Republic of Georgia (near Russia) for a mission training trip to train young leaders.  While there, she noticed a particular girl who seemed quiet and sullen.  After a couple of days, she was able, through an interpreter, to discover that the girl was discouraged in her faith.  My friend wrote her a note of encouragement and included several Bible verses that have been especially meaningful in her own life these past couple months.  The girl met her in the hall the next day and grasped her and held her and they cried together for several minutes.  There was a language barrier, but the love of Jesus was clearly communicated and the two hearts were knit at once.

How amazing that when we share the true Gospel and are faithful to our Heavenly Father's message of loving Him FIRST before anything else, even serving (Matthew 22:37-38), our hearts are set free to then WANT to serve.  May Jesus help us to be a "Mary", and sit at His feet and worship and adore Him with no condemnation and to pray against the Enemy's scheme to get us so busy - whether it be in ministry or not - that we become discouraged and disillusioned with what it means to be a believer!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Back in the USA!

We are back!  For those of you that prayed for us, we are grateful, God blessed in huge ways and we had (according to the founder of the Ban Meata Orphanage) the best week of camp the orphanage has ever experienced!  Yay Team Thailand, Yay God!!  Every morning was filled with the team teaching the kids a different sport - Monday/Tuesday was basketball and soccer.  Wednesday/Thursday was volleyball and American football. Friday was competition day and Saturday was carnival day with water activities.  Every afternoon was filled with various clubs the kids were able to choose.  Some of the offerings included Bible/arts & crafts, guitar & drums, fishing, board games, active games, golf, wrestling and swimming.  The kids absolutely LOVED every club and were so thankful to get to choose from such a variety. 

One very touching story was a little girl about 9 years old, who came forward at the worship service on Sunday to publicly say thank you for teaching her to swim.  We thought it was very sweet of her to express gratitude, but what broke our hearts is when Rob, the founder, came up to expound upon her thanks.  Last summer she had been found at the bottom of a swimming pool.  They had been able to rescue her and resuscitate her, praise God!  So all-of-a-sudden her little "thank you" had much more meaning and weight - there wasn't a dry eye among us. 

One more thing - the Dorm Moms had a special encouragement of their own as Anna Rice and I had a couple of hours to share some things out of God's Word and do a craft with them.  Also, Andrew had an evening with them, bought them all ice cream and gave them some more encouragement from the Word as well as his experience working with youth.  The Dorm Moms were ever-grateful!  They have a demanding, 24-hour job.  Most people who come to visit are strictly there to see the kids, but this time the "mums" received a special touch. 

I could go on and on, but for the sake of time I will conclude with I Corinthians 15:56:  "But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."