Monday, February 25, 2013

Victory in Prayer

Sunday morning we had a special prayer service at the home of one of our people followed by a lunch and a planning meeting. 

 We had more people than normal,
(I am not sure if that was because of the  meal or because of the meeting:)  
Anyway, it was really incredible to hear people pray and pray and pray. 
People who don't ever pray out loud. 
One after another people praised God for the evidences of grace they saw in the lives of their brothers and sisters. 
They battled to only give thanks.

Then we prayed again, this time for more evidences of grace.  More faith, more love... 
One prayer after another lifted humbly to our Lord. 

James and I both had tears in our eyes as we saw God working in hearts through prayer.
We had a wonderful time of fellowship at lunch and then got started with our meeting.  We are so thankful for the sovereignty of God over all that was said and done yesterday.  We also are comforted that all our steps in 2013 are ordered by the Lord and we look forward to seeing God's hands work in and through our lives. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

It's Back to School Time!!!

What is Valentines day in the U.S. is Back to School for us here in Brazil!  
All our kids are so happy for this day.  

 Hannah is happy to be in 4th grade, praying her friend from church is in her class!

 Daniel is in 6th grade, studies in the morning and wonders how he will spend his afternoons all alone at home. 
 Jeremiah is super excited and nervous because this is first day of school ever!
He loves his new tennis shoes and backpack. 
 I walked with him up to his classroom, you can see the scary, newness of it all on his face:(
He picked the very first desk in the row, eager to sit down and get out of the crowd of strangers.  
"Mom,  what if I don't have the right stuff in my back-pack?"  He asked.  And then,
"How will I know when it is time for you to pick me up?"

"Jer, do you see that tall pretty lady?  She is your teacher and she rides a motorcycle."  
"She does??!!!!!"  he responded.    And that makes it all better.

I look at the list of student names on the teacher's desk, just to make sure he is on there.  
There in the J's is JEREMIAH CLEYTON  
 I tell Jer so he knows what she will be calling him.
It is so hard to leave him, (I'm sure you all know how I feel) but I am certain he will love it all at the end of the day. 

And now, the year 2013 actually begins!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Just keep Praying...Praying....Praying

It is hard to believe that so much of February has already passed!  As January rolled into February we were thrilled to see fruit from our intense focus on prayer.  We praise the Lord that we are seeing more answers to prayer, which we attribute to the fact that as we pray MORE we will see MORE responses.  Not only are we praying, we are praying Scripture for our people and seeing God work in their hearts brings an inexpressible joy. 

In January I was able to meet with all the ladies and challenge them in regards to their personal devotions.    It has been so exciting to see their renewed hunger for the Word and excitement over what they are learning.  Two of our younger single ladies are holding each other accountable for one step of obedience a week.  Our oldest lady has been studying with her granddaughter and we saw much peace in their home because of this.  While we are by no means perfect I can see that God is working in hearts and giving hope to His people.  On two different occasions as I began to share the plan, I could see these women listening but not interested.  They had never had success in studying the Word on their own and knew this would be one more failure.  By the time we finished walking through the first two verses, they were hooked.  One had tears in her eyes as she read and responded in her notebook.  One kept going back to her bible and notebook, long after the conversation had moved on to other subjects. 

 My prayer for our ladies is that we would continue seeking the Lord... 
As the deer pants for the water, LET OUR SOULS PANT AFTER THEE! 
Will you pray with us in this regard?

 Tomorrow our kids head back to school.  We have had a large number of kids coming without their parents but over the summer we have seen those numbers drop off.   Pray that many will begin to participate again on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights.  Our adolescent class has become a real challenge and we are struggling to hold their attention during the lessons.  We are also seeking whom God would have to lead this group.  Please pray for them to desire the teaching of the Word and that God would save those who need to be saved and pray for the right teacher for this group. 
Pray with us too for our men.  That they would be faithful to seek first His kingdom, that they would lead their homes in the ways of the Lord, that they would be leaders within the church.

We covet your prayers and are so thankful for your partnership in this area.  There is no greater way to see the hand of God at work than on our knees!