Good News for All
We're just finishing up the Women's Conference at the MOHI church in Thozin. Here's a video from the married women's group performing this morning.
This year Angie, Alicia and I were all privileged to share what the Lord put on our hearts with those attending the conference. It occurred to me that these words of encouragement might be helpful to you, as well as to those in attendance. So, I have decided to share the "Reader's Digest" version of them with you today.
- Our #1 identity is in Christ, no matter what other ways we describe ourselves here on Earth (2 Cor 5:17, John 15:5).
-Life gives us obstacles, both big and small, that can challenge us to act like a Christian.
-The enemy is constantly waiting for a chance to attack us, or distract us from focusing on God (John 10:10).
-It's easy to cry out to God when we are facing big challenges and we don't know what else to do, but how do we remember our identity in Christ when we are faced with the everyday challenges and distractions of life?
-Hide God's word in your heart (Psalm 119:11) so that it will come back to you when you need it.
-Focusing on God and carrying his Word in your heart will strengthen and encourage you (Isaiah 26:3).
Proverbs 31:10 - 31 Characteristics of a Woman of Nobel Character
Dependable, reliable, hard working (vs 17 & 27) - she not only works hard, but she takes joy and pride in her work, her household, her life.
Selfless, compassionate (vs 15 & 20) - she provides for her family and supports those in need in her community.
A woman after God's own heart (vs 25-26 & 30)
After God's heart
Courageous, trusts HIM, faith in HIS provision now and in the future
Speaks with wisdom, care, and of godly things
Focuses on her heart, relationship with Christ, strives to reflect Him
Not after the world's heart
Fears the future, doesn't trust God with details of her life
Says whatever comes to mind without thinking before speaking
Focuses on outer image - physical looks, opinions of others
The good news is, that if you are on top of #3, then #1 and #2 will inevitably follow. Proverbs 31:10-31 is not supposed to be a daunting list of things a woman should be; rather it is a description of what a woman CAN be, should she “fear the Lord”, as it says in verse 30. We are worth more than precious gems because Christ tells us so.
If we follow him, joy amidst our day to day work will be abundant, because the joy of the Lord is our strength.
If we follow him, compassion overflows into the lives of those around us, because he first loved and was compassionate with us.
If we follow him, our mouths will spout wisdom, our character will reflect him, and our mirrors won’t matter so much, because our identity is found him.
I love practicality and I really dislike sugarcoating. So no one was shocked that I shared some practical tips for making relationships work - and for husbands and wives in particular.
God created both man and woman (Gen 1:27), He proclaimed it was "very good" (Gen 1:31) and He blessed them BOTH(Gen 5:2).
He created them differently. We know that physically (from different parts, to high/low voices, to strength, etc.), but do we realize that our perceptions are often different? (Gave some examples and suggested that we not get angry over differences in perception.)
God created us differently on PURPOSE! It's not because one of us is right and the other is wrong.
We need to help our spouse to see what we see and we need to ask them to show us how they see things, too.
When we live according to the law of LOVE (Matt 22:35 - 40), we believe the best of our spouse. We don't assume they hold ill-will against us, but that they want what's best for us. Many misunderstandings can be avoided this way.
I hope you found a good, golden nugget in there that will help you this week!
Things continue to go well here at the mission. This week Angie accompanied Alicia on her visits to some of the disabled individual's homes. She was able to begin gathering pertinent information for their medical records. She discovered there are several folks taking medicine for epilepsy and paying big money for it, so we intend to help alleviate some of that burden for them. Barbara is one who will benefit from help with her medications. Her care takers are precious. The one on the left is her godmother and the other woman is not related, yet totally dotes on her.
We have a small group of missionary women that meet weekly to share in Bible study using different devotionals and books by Christian authors. We are on our second book now and finding that this book challenges us to really think about our beliefs, dig into the Bible, and notice verse contexts. I feel like we are all growing closer to the Lord and to each other. Sometimes we enjoy it and sometimes we don't, but I do believe it is really good!
Our students continue working hard as the school year progresses. This week we have seen some students stepping out to interpret for the first time. It's so exciting to see their English coming along so well.
The clinic is going well. Angie continues to motivate our staff to give the best care possible. Dr. Emmanuel is working on making opportunities for visiting surgeons to be able to utilize an OR at the government run hospital. Your prayers are welcome as we desire to see this next step happen and trust that we will find favor with the officials.
The gardens are beginning to produce. See here?...
Those are papaya and watermelon (just in case you couldn't tell).
Alicia and fellow missionary Casandra share a birthday today! Angela, who I call the party animal (which is my crass way of saying she has a gift for hospitality) set up a wonderful gathering at the MOHI missionary compound. The kids brought presents and the moms made cakes and we had a typical Sunday lunch together - well, food-wise, but it was way more enjoyable than a typical Sunday afternoon.
Nathan was my photographer at church this morning.
Thank you again for your continued support in prayer and your generous donations which enable so many to be impacted for good.