Saturday, November 27, 2010

Update from Yeppoon, Australia

Below is an update that we recently received from the church we are going to in Australia. This is a letter from Pastor Ron to us:
Hi Sean and Sam
Just wanted to let you know that God is preparing the hearts of the people here and we had a wonderful day on Sunday with four more of our people coming forward for baptism and 14 coming forward to confess and ask for God's forgiveness for some disobedience in their life. This number represents about 12% of our total congregation for that day. Praise the Lord. We have also had a number of people give their hearts to the Lord who are working through discipleship stuff at the present. Please pray for these young men and women and those who were baptized on the weekend. This week has been and intense week already for at least one of them but they are strong.
Pastor Ron

**Above is a picture of the people who were baptized. Pastor Ron is on the right**

**This is a Sunday School class who sent out shoe boxes for Samaritan's Purse**

We can't wait to get to Australia to partner with them!!

Home Sweet Home...

**The whole family together last weekend**

Home Sweet Home...well, at least for me (Sam) that is. Last weekend we got to travel to New Jersey where I am from. Sean actually lived there for a summer as well, so he really enjoyed being back. We had the privilege of being able to speak at my home church, Sparta Evangelical Free Church. Wow! What a blessing!! So far we haven't spoken at a church that we have both attended. So this was the first time that we could stand before a church and say thank you for the impact that they had made on both of our lives. I started attended SEFC as a new believer in 10th grade. The church took me in and discipled me. In so many ways they helped me to become who I am today. I went on countless youth trips where God confirmed in my heart His call on my life to do missions. In high school, I was constantly at the church either at youth group or helping out in some way. It was there that I met two of my best friends along with many other dear friends. I was so close to the church staff while I was there too and they genuinely invested in my life and I am forever grateful for that! As I mentioned before, the summer that Sean lived in NJ was wonderful! That summer we both got involved in the Jr. High youth group and Sean helped out with the worship team. It was so neat to talk people after the service and share with them the impact they made on both of us. One of my favorite things about SEFC is the church body. I think that they really know how to love as the bible calls the Body of Christ to love. We were greeted by so many familiar hugs and kind words. Boy do we miss that church!!!

It worked our perfectly that we were home the weekend before Thanksgiving so we could celebrate with my family a week early. My sister and her boyfriend came home so the entire family was together. It was such a great weekend to be home and to see family and friends.

Continue to pray that God would touch the hearts of the people at SEFC and pray that they would partner with us as we raise our support to go to Australia. Also, we are still waiting to hear from Eastview (we were at their church 2 weeks ago) to see how they will support us. We're praying big!! We have a long way to go before February but our God can get us there if that's when we wants us there!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hebrews 10:35-36

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised." Hebrews 10:35-36

Isn't it wonderful when God gives you the verse you need when you need it? I do love that God of ours :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's not about us...

Every Saturday night before we speak at a church we always get really nervous. We go over things in our heads to make sure we know exactly what we're going to talk about. We have all of our papers printed and put away that we need. We have a stack of faith promise cards and prayer cards ready to go. Sean recently has been leading worship at the churches as well, so he has his music stuff packed and ready. No matter how prepared we are, we always have that little pit in our stomachs and we wonder; what if something goes wrong? What if they don't like what have to say? What if they don't believe in our ministry?

Things have been kind of slow the last month. We are discovering that the majority of our funds have come from people that we know personally and not necessarily from churches or people that we have met at churches. Knowing this, we're constantly wondering if we need to change something about our presentation or if it's just the norm. Don't get me wrong, God has been incredibly faithful and our friends and family have been wonderful in the way they've supported us. We have met some very generous individuals from the churches we've visited. Also, we have incredible prayer support from all the churches we've visited. At times though, it is very easy to be discouraged because we've been around 30% for a while now.

I (Sam) was talking to an amazing friend the other night, Miss Amy Wilson, and I was telling her how overwhelmed I was by it all. I was telling her how I constantly wonder if we're doing enough, or if we need to do something differently. But Amy reminded me that it's not about us. It's not our words that are going to touch the hearts of the people we speak to, it's the Holy Spirit. When we make it about ourselves and what we're doing, then we lose focus. Of course we need to try our best, but in the end we can do every trick in the book and get no where. Amy reminded me to just give it to the Lord and the funds will come in when they need to. It's something that we both know, but it's good to be reminded sometimes.

So right now we're doing okay. We really enjoyed our time at Eastview on Sunday. We are finding out this coming Sunday how much they are going to donate. Please pray that God would touch the hearts of the people in the church.

Below I'd like to include a poem that I read recently and it was exactly what I needed to hear

He is Able
He is able, more than able
To accomplish what concerns me today
He is able, more than able
To handle anything that comes my way
He is able, more than able
To do much more than I could ever dream
He is able, more than able
To make me what He wants me to be