Our God is Greater!

Posted: March 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

In the last few weeks Mel and I have experienced some pretty strange things….For me it all began about 3 weeks ago when I woke up at about 3am to the sound of the neighbors dogs barking and a very oppressive spirit of fear all around.

As I fully awoke I heard the words “we’re here”. I knew at that point,that though it may sound weird, the local demons realized who we’re with and why we’re here.

This thought didn’t terrify me in the least, because God has been preparing us for such a time as this our whole lives.. Though experiences, relationships and seeing His power in victory over the darkness… We are not afraid… “Greater is He who is in us. than he who is in the world (1 Jn. 4:4)”.

Not to say that we have not been afflicted since “they” showed up… For instance just last week Mel went to the clinic because she was really sick. We found out that she had an infection in her body that it had spread to her kidneys and into her ears and if we hadn’t taken her in when we did.. things could have gotten ugly quick.

In addition to that, I began to be very ill 3-4 days ago and was bed ridden. Finally, yesterday I went to the hospital and found out that I had parasites and needed medicine.

We knew both inwardly and from many of your testimonies that these sicknesses weren’t just sicknesses, but attacks of the enemy. He has it out for us! He wants to discourage us before the ministry even truly starts, but our God is Greater!

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” (2 Cor. 2:14)

It is in our weakness and apparent defeat that God continues His blazing trail of victory through the darkness. He, in His loving kindness, allowed me to see the fruit of our labor, fruit that I thought was lost.

Since a week or two after our arrival I began to spend time with a young man named “Gregorio”. He has live on the streets since he was 10 and has lived a very hard life; robbing and stealing to survive. He has a serious addiction to meth, sniffing glue and drinking rubbing alcohol. I would almost never see him sober.

Our time together would consist of me buying lunch and telling him about the King. He was open to hear, but not ready to change.

Finally, about 2 weeks ago as we were talking together, he admitted that he was ready to change. He prayed and received Jesus as Lord!

So I gave him information to “Teen Challenge” of Guatemala City and told him that I would be with him through the process. I wrote to my prayer partners and asked them to pray for this young man.

The next day I was supposed to meet Gregorio at a certain time, but he was a no show. Having been a drug addict and worked with drug addicts I just thought well “back to the drawing board”.

But God had bigger plans! During our physical affliction, God was working miracles in the heavenlies. He was responding to the bowls of intercession raised up to His throne.

As I was caring for Mel one week and bed ridden the next. Gregorio was groping for help! He was signing himself into “Teen Challenge”!

I have to testify that Our God is greater than sickness, disease and addictions! Our God is greater than our human frailties and our God will continue to wage war victoriously, even when it looks like His saints are being pummeled.

Hallelujah to God Almighty!

 

 

 

Life On Life

Posted: February 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

Well we have been here in Guatemala for about a month now and we have seen God’s faithfulness and peace guide our every step. I want to thank each and everyone of you back home who pray for us… We truly “feel” the effects of your sweet incense arising before the throne of God. 

I don’t know what to share that could sum up all that has transpired this last month, but that God, as always, has used us in spite of us, not because of us. He is showing us His path and His power to fulfill His purpose. Sometimes we’d like to have everything figured out and our life and ministry as clear as a lazer beam, but it’s not. What we can say with all earnestness is He is in it! and that we are resting in Him and His grace to do those good works “which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  (Eph. 2:10 NKJV)

Most of our time here has been spent taking care of practical things like; importing a car, settling into an apartment, going to Spanish school…. The things necessary for the building on the foundation of an “indefinite” stay in a foreign land…. With that being said, I would like to share one of our high points or clear, extraordinary God moments… 

Here is a testimony from Melanie:

“I would like to share about how my Spanish teacher ended up receiving Jesus.  We had been praying for my teacher and speaking to her about the Lord for a little while.  Well one day, I was alone with her in the class and she started talking about how difficult it was to break ties with the father of her child.  We ended up talking about soul-ties.  (Which is really interesting, because someone else had been talking to me about that exact subject earlier in the day, so God used that to open up the conversation)  She said she asked God to take away the feelings, but they wouldn’t go away.  I then asked her if she wanted the truth.  She said yes.  So I told her she couldn’t be free from that because she didn’t have Jesus in her heart, and therefore did not have the power of Jesus to break that tie. I told her the Lord loved her and wanted her to know him, but he would not force himself into her life.  The Lord then spoke to my heart and said, “Tell her I love her, and am not angry with her.  I waiting for her.”  When I told her what he said, she broke down crying.  She said she felt so guilty, because God had been knocking on the door of her heart many times before and she kept ignoring him.  I told her we all sin and fall short of his glory, but that is why he died on the cross for our sins.  I asked her if she was ready to give her whole life to Jesus and allow him to be not only her savior but her Lord.  She said YES!!! (Now mind you this was all in Spanish, God is soo good, because my Spanish is not very good.  I love how awesome God is, he uses us in our weaknesses)  Once she received him in her life, her eyes changed.  They were so full of life and so bright.  She said she felt so much love, joy, and peace.  She felt like she had been in the dark and now she could see things differently in the light.  She is a week old in the Lord and she is an Evangelist.  She is sharing Christ with whoever she can find.  I am so blessed by her friendship.”

 

I pray that you are blessed and encouraged by this testimony. We have found that this is the real stuff; life on life, with God leading and orchestrating. We all have people in our lives around us. I believe if we walk in step with the Spirit and desire to be used by God, He will continue use each one of us. 

Please keep us in prayer as God places these key relationships in our lives to further His Kingdom and we will be praying for you and the key relationships in your sphere of influence. Together let’s reach the world for Christ. We love you friends! 

 

 

 

Trusting in the LORD

Posted: January 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

  Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.”

                                                      Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

This is a passage of scripture that is well known and loved by many and I believe most clearly defines where Mel and I are currently at on this journey. In fact, I don’t know if we will ever leave this place. This is the place of our strength; a place of dependency, trust and knowing Him. We are in a season of constant change and the only thing that remains stable and constant is Christ himself. He is our anchor and peace. Not to say that stepping out into the unknown is a bad or scary thing,but on the contrary it is an opportunity to see Him strong and faithful on our behalf. We don’t know peace until we are surrounded by storms and ambiguity  :  )

Things are in constant change and it appears as if this will be what life in Guatemala looks like. For instance here is just one of the changes that have occurred in the last couple of weeks… God, in His wisdom relocated our initial living situation to Antigua, GUA.. This is where we will be going to language school for the 1st 3-6 months. As many of you know we planned on living in Villa Nueva for that time period and commuting 50 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Through circumstances outside of our control, God closed the door to Villa Nueva and opened a door to live in Antigua. In hindsight this is a very common sense direction and the provision of God, because Mel and I are not proficient enough in Spanish to live on our own in a place like Villa Nueva. So thanks be to God! Who makes our path clear before us as we walk forward in obedience.

We believe this experience of change is a  foreshadow of our life and ministry in Guatemala; we will be regularly directed by His Spirit. We will not be able to live by what we seen or “lean on our own understanding”. It is only as we listen to God; really seek His direction moment by moment that we will have that clear path. It is only as we “acknowledge Him” or know Him in all things, that “He will direct our paths”.

So as we are in the middle of realizing the new world we are stepping into, we would like to share our expectations for this 1st season of our time in Guatemala.

1) Expect to lose our agenda. “Flexible” is key… Those who are from Guatemala or have been there know exactly what I’m talking about… For those who haven’t, it means plans change and people are more important than projects… No agenda is rock solid, but God’s.

2) Expect God to do in one moment of His grace what we couldn’t achieve in a thousand years of our striving. This is where He wants us to dwell; in expectation, humility and dependency. The reason most people don’t experience Kingdom power is because they don’t walk before Him as little children. We know we are weak, but we know He is big, strong and has endless provision.

3) Expect God to clarify our path through relationships. We had a spiritual father from Living Faith share with us a picture God had given him about our “path” in Guatemala. He said, “I saw a path with stones along the edges and these stones will clarify your path”. When He had mentioned these stones I knew in my spirit that these were “living stones” (disciples of Jesus) and that we would be directed through Spirit led relationships. We will focus on building and developing relationships with with the key people whom God places in our lives… Please pray for our hearts to be sensitive to His Spirit and discernment of who to walk the path with.

Leaving Soon!

Posted: December 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Friends, a verse that has been echoing in our hearts today, “we are to be in this world, not of it.” How easy is it to slip into the mundane of life, and forget to get our hearts centered upon Jesus Christ. I know I fail day in and day out, but praise God he is so gracious and constantly draws me back to the foot of his cross.

It’s an interesting feeling to be leaving everything you know. Bittersweet, yet at the same time really so real. We are so confident that God has called us to Guatemala, and so excited about what he is going to do through us and in us. Yet at the same time it’s difficult to leave everything behind. Yet God is so good as we seek him first, he takes care of the rest.

We officially finished packing 2 days ago. It went by so smoothly. We are so grateful. God has richly been pouring his grace upon us. God has been encouraging our hearts as the day approaches to G-day. Our car has been fixed, brian’s tooth was pulled with no complications, I find myself in complete awe of how awesome our God is. He is worthy to be praised. He is so good.

I don’t have any grand new things to write, but I do have something profound God has done in my heart. Only he could know that I needed some heart surgery. He has been teaching me so much on servanthood and what that means. I figured I had that all figured out, (haha, what a joke, I thought I had it figured out) only to find I have so much to learn. He spoke to me when we were going to be ministering to homeless people in pairs. The Lord spoke to me clear as day, and said he didn’t want me to be the one talking to them. He wanted me to be the one praying in the background. Boy that did stir up different emotions in me, because I love being the one talking to people, but the Lord spoke to me and showed me the other side of servanthood. He said serve others as they serve me. You don’t have to be the one doing it all the time, you can be in the background and serve through prayer and encouragement to the one speaking the words to them. I was so humbled, but it was a good humbling. The Lord was really checking my motives. Do I serve others to make myself feel better, or do I serve others for their benefit and Christ’s glory? Wow!!! So many profound things he shared with me. He told me that we are all the body of Christ and we need to be willing to do whatever the commander asks. It’s all for his glory anyway.

Anyway brief musings, that I hope are encouraging to you. Brian and I are doing extremely well. Thank you for all the prayers. Everything is going great!!! Can’t believe we leave January 7th.

This video depicts what life is like for some of the street people of Guatemala City. Our heart longs for Christ to be formed in these lives:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL4Jfs9H6Go

Our Vision

Posted: October 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hola Amigos!

I thought the best way to start this blog (which will be a future updating device) would be to share a bit about who we are and what we believe God is leading us to do. The following link is our support letter:

 

Mel-Brian_Support_Letter   

 

Hope you enjoy!