“I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.”(Psalm 108:3)
That verse sums up our last few months quite well! We have done a lot of singing, and a lot of traveling. We started 2018 by working hard to get ready for our ministry trip to Belize, along with keeping up our local bookings, and sending the children’s devotional stories every week. February came, and we were off to Belize! It was so wonderful to again have Andrew and Deanna with us. They add so much to the ministry and we, as well as all who come to listen,are very blessed by their presence. They connect very well with the youth and young adults, and it is just so good to have their help with all the work, visiting, counseling and prayer that is involved with this type of ministry.
We started our time in Belize with several concerts in Blue Creek and Spanish Lookout. From there we headed to Colonia Del Valle in southern Mexico and spent a few days with the dear people there. It is a small, new colony with only about 13 families at this point. They don’t have an established church at the moment, but are doing their best to meet together to worship and encourage each other in the faith. They were very hospitable and appreciative of our music. We grew to love this group dearly in the few days we were there. They are much in our prayers and thoughts.
We then spent a few days in Shipyard, where we were able to reconnect with many of the people we learned to know and love while we served there from 2004 through 2009. It was such a blessing to see the spiritual growth that had taken place in the last years, and also to meet new believers who have joined the church recently. It is so good to see the work continue. God is at work in Shipyard and we praise the Lord for what He is doing.
And finally, we spent a full week in Little Belize. This is a new work that is happening, with brand new believers whose needs are great, but so is their faith! We were invited into many homes for meals, and spent much time listening to their stories and praying with them and for them. They were very hungry for anything from God’s Word. They couldn’t seem to get enough music, stories, sermons and fellowship. Again, we felt ourselves falling in love with this group of people and wishing we had more time to spend with them to help them and encourage them in their faith. They face many challenges, but they are determined to continue on this journey of trusting God.
We arrived home on February 28th, and had just enough time at home to catch up with some chores, and touch base with the family, and then we were on the road again. This time to Redcliff/Medicine Hat and Bow Island, Alberta. The EMC conference has a church plant there and we were invited to come and hold a week of evening services. It was a mixture of concert and sermon evenings. It is hard to believe, but there are many thousands of Plautdietsche Mennonites in southern Alberta who have immigrated there from Mexico, and they too, are hungry to know the truth about God and His Word.
Andrew and Deanna also joined us for the time in Alberta, and again, connected so well with the younger crowd. One evening was dedicated to the youth, and Andrew had a great devotional challenge for them, and they seemed to love hearing their take on dating, and marriage. It was a blessing to many.
With all this traveling, it is sometimes a challenge to keep up with the translation projects, but we do our best. We are looking forward to getting the second devotional book printed in the next week or two. We have quite a few concerts and programs booked locally, and are looking forward to having Andrew and Deanna join us for some of those. They will also be working with us on a new CD project, and we are hoping to produce some music to post online. We also continue to send two devotional stories a week, as well as working on a Sunday School curriculum. The needs are huge, and it feels like these projects take so much time, and go so slowly. But with the Lord’s help and your prayers and support, we can keep working!
As always we are very appreciative of all the prayer and financial support we receive from various people. None of this would be possible without that support. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
– The many open doors. People are hungry for God and His Word.
– Our many friends and supporters.
– The way people respond to Andrew and Deanna, and their commitment to serving God in this way.
– The commitments and recommitments we have been blessed to see lately.
– Many more to come to saving faith in Christ.
– Continued prayer and financial support.
– Continued joy for this work, for both us and Andrew and Deanna.
– That we could be a consistent, godly example for the people we meet.
– Wisdom for the many decisions we have to make.
– More willing workers to go labor in the “harvest fields”of our Low German people.