Since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering.
- Romans 8:17
Greetings from Bombardopolis
We live in a time with much hardship and suffering. There is suffering in Haiti and suffering in America. There is persecution on a more ferocious level that has come to our awareness of late. Though the suffering in much of the world seems of a higher intensity, it has the same source, our enemy-Satan, and the same goal, to defeat God's Kingdom. He can also use material abundance, comfort and complacency to achieve the same end. We can choose to turn this around, to use our abundance to offer comfort to the persecuted, thus moving His Kingdom forward.
We surely find it difficult to empathize with the level of oppression of our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria. It is only by the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we can focus on and begin to understand their distress. The reality is that this persecution is a daily way of life for millions of God's people all over the world. The degree of suffering endured rarely touches most of us. Though we do not face persecution and martyrdom, we have awareness that others do. The verse above does not call us to needlessly put ourselves in harm's way; it does seem to direct us to share with those experiencing persecution, if, that is, we are to share Jesus' glory. We can help. If we can, why would we not? We encourage your involvement with our mission because we see God's movement and know that it is His will to reach out to His people here, who need His help and witness. Kingdom serving opportunities abound, with us and with scores of other valid missions doing His work in your neighborhood and around the world. Seek God's will as to how He would have you be involved. It is safe to say that He wants you involved.
The Cistern Project
We took a break from cistern building so that Ascilio, who is one of the masons and also works with us in evangelism, could attend a 3-week Bible seminar near Port au Prince. Currently, we have completed 20 of the 50 cisterns planned for this project. We got the guttering done, just in time to get a nice 1½" rain, which put the cisterns into service for the families. We plan to commence with the balance of the project on September 8, and project completion by the end of October.
These kids will be saved thousands of trips lugging water
Though the total amount of cisterns we have built now numbers in the hundreds, the impact on the community and individuals does not diminish. It is ever encouraging to see the community come together to help with the significant work involved in the construction of a cistern. Even more edifying is the knowledge that thousands of grueling trips to lug water are eliminated. Even better than that is the opportunity to share with the family the "living water" that Jesus tells us about in John 4:13&14.
The community pitching in together
It's hard to resist a good wheelbarrow
Lespwa - The Hope
We have 27 folks signed up to take The Hope Bible Study beginning September 13. This will be the third offering of this foundational and thorough study, and the largest class size yet. We are having a local bi-vocational pastor assist Ascilio with this study in the hopes of enabling him to begin studies in other sections of our area. This man is also attending the same seminar mentioned above. We pray that this, and all we do here, will move these folks closer to a true saving and growing relationship with Jesus.
Ascilio teaching the previous Lespwa Bible Study
The Food Tree Project
The seedlings for the Food Tree Project continue to prosper. We have lots of trees ready to be given out but are having to wait a bit due to mechanical difficulties with the truck we use for this. We hope to have the part needed to fix it in hand and installed in a few weeks and look forward to reporting a tree distribution or two to you next month.
Seedlings ready to go to a home in need
We are excited that Betsy has decided to begin regularly bringing us updates on the hospital and related aspects of the ministry:
Report from Betsy
In last month's newsletter we talked about a set of preemie twin girls that came to us, Bertina and Valentina. Bertina has been able to stay with her mom in a little house that we have down at the hospital. However, her sister, Valentina, has been staying with us getting some tender loving care. Faith, Sharon and I have been taking turns with the night-shift. It has been a joy caring for Valentina. She has been doing really well, gaining about an ounce and a half a day. The
week of August 25 we began taking her to her mom twice a day to nurse, getting mom ready to take care of both babies. Friday night, August 29th, was the first night mom had both babies overnight. We weighed the babies again the following Monday morning and Bertina was at 6lbs 3oz with Valentina at 5lbs 1 oz! We are excited to say the babies are still gaining and we sent them home today (Labor Day) - praise God for this blessing. Our current relationship with this family started when Faith did the sonogram and found out this woman would be having twins.
Bertina and Valentina
With Mom . . . and with Mom & Big Sister
This month I experienced something I hadn't before. Dan was out working with the cistern crew. Steve takes over ambulance calls while Dan is out. He had a call to bring a woman in labor to the hospital. I decided to tag along. Anywhere you travel out here the roads are rocky and mountainous, so this means lots of shaking to any person who is riding in a vehicle. We were going up one incline and everyone in the back got really loud. I didn't really understand what was going on until I heard a baby crying! The woman gave birth in the back of the ambulance. Fortunately, there was a midwife traveling with her and, praise the Lord, we were only a few minutes from the hospital, where mom and baby were able to get the help they needed.
We hope the routines and traditions of the fall season bring you joy and that you take time to reflect on whether God is speaking to you about sharing in the suffering of Christ, as well as His glory.
Grace and Peace,
Steve, Faith, Betsy, Sharon, and Dan
Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.
- John 4:13 & 14
Wait, there's more
Items recently posted or that you might have missed:
A Big Project (Updated 13 August 2014)
We are at the 5th week of a 12ish week cistern project . . .
Twins (Updated 13 August 2014)
Bertina and Valentina continue to do very well . . .
Tree Give Away (13 August 2014)
We gave trees away in an area called Felsab today . . .
Faltine (13 August 2014)
We had a good night showing God's Message in Faltine . . .
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