Sunday, August 30, 2009

Showers of Blessing

Sometimes months can go by and nothing seems to happen on the mission field; you do what you are supposed to be doing, faithfully going to church, visiting, inviting people--but not much fruit to show for your labor. You may even begin to wonder if anyone is being helped by all your effort. Then every once in a while the Lord gives you a boost to spur you on, or just enough encouragement to help you press on in the battle.

Recently, the Lord gave such encouragement in the form of two young women. One, named Vanesa, visited our church a few months back and responded to the invitation afterwards to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour, literally weeping at the end of the service. She kind of disappeared for a few months, but recently returned, and we have been discipling her, and last evening Doug had the privilege of baptizing her in the Atlantic ocean. She is excited about what the Lord is doing in her life.

Also this month, we had a young woman, Maria Jose, visit our services a few times, and she expressed an interest to study the Bible with Doug and I, so we went to her home last week and opened up the scriptures. She also had been reading some things on the internet about salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and took nearly every piece of literature we had on our table at church and devoured it. Today she came to church and gave a testimony about how the Lord has changed her life, and wants to be obedient to the Lord in believer's baptism.

Doug and our German missionary friend Rudy were visiting on the south side of the island, in a city called San Isidro, and were leaving John and Roman's in a neighborhood as well as knocking on doors. A few weeks later Doug received a phone call from a couple who are already believers, but don't have a church to attend. We told them about our church in Santa Cruz, but it is a little bit far for them to come, so for now we are driving there on Friday nights and giving a Bible study in their home. It has been a lot of fun to find a mature couple in Christ with whom we can have fellowship, and they also have two little girls that Rebekah and Leanna can play with.
Praise the Lord for His blessings!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sweet Memories of Summer

I feel so blessed that we were able to have Hannah home for the summer. Yesterday we took her to the airport so she could go back to college. Every time I go to the airport it brings back memories. It seems like only yesterday we were taking Jenny and her to the airport for their return to college last year. And now they are both starting their third year at Fairhaven! Where has the time gone?

I tried to hold back the tears, but as we waved goodbye through the glass I could not contain them any longer. I think of missing their birthdays, not spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with them, and how much I want to be a part of their everyday lives. But I also see how God is directing their paths while they are at Fairhaven, and using it to help them mature into young adults and the future he has prepared for them.

Nathan picked Jenny up in Auburn NY, where she finished her summer of traveling with the ensemble, and Amy surprised Jenny by showing up at the church too. Jenny nearly fell over when she saw Amy. Then they all went back to Rochester for a day. I wish I could have been at that family reunion! Jenny is spending the week with Nathan and family, as he is preparing to return to Mozambique.

I will be counting the months.....hopefully in nine months Jenny and Hannah will be coming home to spend the summer with us.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Shutters Always Closed

When my husband and I drive through the neighborhood, one thing we often discuss is why the people here always seem to keep their shutters closed. Nearly all the houses and apartments have them on the windows, and when you look around, nearly everyone keeps them closed, all the time.

I love light. I liked the house we rented for that reason, it even had a window in the bathroom which I really wanted. I don't like to feel like I am living in a cave. So we always have our curtains pulled back, and windows are usually open as well, to let in the cool ocean breezes (well, most of the time they are cool).

I asked my neighbor why everyone keeps their shutters closed, and she said to keep bugs and dirt out. That would be a good reason, but we don't have that big of a problem with bugs, and I don't think my house is any dustier than others. She said she that cockroaches could fly (well, I googled that, and apparently they can fly, but I have never seen that). When cockroaches start flying in my windows, I will indeed close the shutters.

Another good reason would be to keep it cool inside, which I understand, as the sun heats up the house. But most of the time temperatures are in the 70's and low 80's, so even with the shutters letting in the sunshine I feel comfortable.

The sunshine is one of the greatest assets we have here in the Canary Islands. We may be the only strange ones on the block, but I am going to enjoy every minute of it!