Sunday, August 19, 2018

Welcome Arlington Baptist Church


Mike and I made our way to the airport about eight days ago to pick up a brand new team who only one of them have ever been on an international mission trip.  We discussed climbing the mountain I wonder what they look like and how they will be.  It has been along time since we had picked up a brand new team especially one we had not ever met personally first hand.  So off we went to pick up eight amazing godly people who first of all love their Lord first and fore most.  They put Him out front and center.  Our skycaps said we have Pastor Matty and his team. So behind the skycaps came our huge blessings from God for the next eight days.  Welcome to Honduras, Pastor Matty, Todd and Susan, Zach, Angie, Bobby, Amy and Penny from Arlington Baptist Church.  As we were walking to the airport parking lot I looked at Pastor Matty and said, "I could not believe you signed up for next year and you had not experienced Honduras, plus Mike and Ginger."  Pastor Matty said, "I went out on faith."  This is exactly what each of these new friends did, they came prepared way before they arrived in Honduras.  Pastor Matty read the manual and equipped his team accordingly.  They came prepared knowing about the cultural challenges which lied ahead for them, the language barrier which I was most impressed with how they prepared for working with translators.  They got with someone back home who was bilingual and practiced sharing the gospel using the translator.  There was not a whole lot of what ifs once they arrived.  This evangelism team came equipped in the Word and equipped knowing what was expected of them while serving beside North Carolina Baptist Men and Women on Missions in Honduras.  Great job Pastor Matty and team.
When they arrived at Mt. Horeb Meida, Joel and Sarah came out to meet and greet the team.  Pastor Matty requested for them to be there so they could go over what the team needed to know before hitting the dirt roads of San Jose de las Canchas with Pastor Jose and "Vida Eterna" church family.
Pastor Matty asked what kind of things should his North American team be prepared for as far as family dynamics.  There was a planned Youth Conference for Monday afternoon.  Pastor Matty wanted to know what to expect from our the youth viewed life and what goes on around them.
Sarah and Meida jumped right on these questions and answered them in complete details of the family dynamics right up to how it affects the teenagers lives here in Honduras.  Even the small children and how they have to live to survive here is astounding to our ears.  Most of the mothers are single mothers who may or may not have worked with any where from two to five children under her roof.  She is blessed to have a job said the translators but there is a cost if she does.  The children or youth pretty much care for themselves during the day while the mother is at work.  So when the mother comes home there is chores to do at home and caring for her children.  There is not a lot of time for showing love and compassion for their children, They are simply trying to survive one day at a time.  Pastor Matty looked at Joes and ask what his take was on all this.  Joel shared how he was blessed to be raised in a Christian home where he was loved and cared for.  It breaks his heart to see so many of his people struggling daily to survive especially the children.  But he was ready to go and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with whoever will welcome and let them know God loves them because He sent His only Son for our sins.  So after all this in depth discussion we prayed up for the week ahead and Mike took the three blessings from God to the bus stop to go home and rest up for what was going to be an amazing week!!!!




Morning and Evening Revival Services


Each morning and each evening these lovely folks came prepared to share God's Word.  We allowed thirty minutes each morning after our breakfast to sit on the multi purpose porch and share a devotional which a lot of said they had one prepared before coming but then changed it up some upon arrival.
Susan shared on Thursday evening from Hebrews 3:13.  She shared life happens and yes it does.  We have encouraged one another to get ready to come on our very first international mission trip.  Our family and friends encouraged us as well.  A God moment before every landing in Honduras was ten year old girl flying by herself to go visit family in another state encouraged all our first time friends who had never flown before. Susan shared how she thought she was too old to come to Honduras on a mission trip. But God has shown me differently.
On Friday morning Pastor Matty shared on "Armor of God" and Spiritual Warfare.  When we are prepared to share the gospel Spiritual Warfare will arise and try to keep us from sharing the love of Jesus Christ. In Ephesians Paul describes a maturing process as a Christian to stay safe from Spiritual Warfare. We are over three thousand miles out of our comfort zone.  We are empowered by God for obedience so Satan has not any reason to bother if we aren't sharing the gospel.  But we are here this week to go share the gospel.  In 2 Samuel 10 David is a prosperous king.  David had a fellow king who died and David wanted to go and give his condolences  to the son of the king who died. As David tried to show kindness he was ridiculed and persecuted for his kind actions. David continues to deal with warfare.  David was getting ready also for battle with Ammonites.  Joab and Zobah worked together to fight against the warfare with the Ammonites.  They helped each other out.
Just like Joab and Zobah and David we are here to help each other out.  We are to make sure we stay hydrated and have plenty of sunscreen.  We are here for each other and show love and compassion to others as well as ourselves. Satan wants us to be hot, tired and weary.  But in Psalm 20 David gets ready for the battle with the attitude of victory before the battle ever gets started.  David trust God's will for his life and praise the Lord .  He gave VICTORY TO THE KING!!!!!  Shout for JOY and REJOICE in the name of the LORD!!!!
Friday evening  Todd led a short devotional out of Joshua 1:9. The Israelites were afraid to go somewhere new and different.  They were apprehensive just like us.  We are sharing our testimonies some for the very first time, some of us flying for the very first time, we are all in a different county and we do not speak Spanish.  But we can trust God be strong and courageous. 
Saturday morning Susan shared how we are his ambassadors our of 2 Corinthians   5:20. We sometimes play a game on our ipad to unwind in the evening to disconnect from the world for a while.  Our thoughts wonder and our quiet times can become stale. It becomes more about me in my conversations with others and less about them.  I need to prayerfully ask God what I need to do and how I need to do things differently in my life.  Instead of playing video games at the end of our evenings we need to finish our day in God's Word.  Aren't we all guilty of putting God off instead of filling our minds and hearts with His Words.
Monday morning Penny started our devotional with Joshua 1:9.  Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promised Land.  Penny then goes to Isaiah 43:1-3, 13 in how God comforts us while here in Honduras.  God has this all trip wrapped in His arms.  We are not alone.  He choose us to come to Honduras just like he chose the Isralelites to go to the Promised Land.  Out of John 20:21 and 1 Peter 2:9 shares with us on being on mission is our responsibility.  Jesus first mission trip was to save us from our sins.  The Trinity sent us out and then lifted us up in our journey preparing to come here and while we were here.  We are the church and we are all eagerly awaiting for Jesus' return for us.  This is why we should follow Him.  Jesus died for each of us as believers and we need to live out our lives according to His promise of our eternal salvation.  Pastor Matty touched on this saying we have a missional heart by starting locally then moved outwardly.  We have observed cultural challenges this week thus far and we have Jesus leading us every step of the way through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Monday evening Angie shared "Praise To The Almighty God" out of Psalm 139:14.  She asked us did we accept ourselves for who we are?  We are all a work in progress.  Our self worth is from the One who created us, God.  That is how important we are that He created us in our innermost being.  Out of John 16:33 "His strength is made perfect in my weakness."
Our youngest team member Zach shared out of Ephesians 2.  The man I shared with was a catholic and all I did was share my faith come from grace and then develops into grace.  Paul wrote the book of Ephesisans and I want to talk about five points of redemption, first God loves us, secondly God makes us alive with Christ, thirdly God raises us up with Christ, fourthly God sets us up with Christ and fifthly God shows us redemption in Christ Jesus.  Ephesisans 2:8-10 says we are saved by grace, death to life because of God's grace, we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, then we become obedient through faith which leads to grace. We are not saved by works to boast about but saved by grace through faith.  Out of verse four it says we are God's masterpiece.  And finally out Matthew 5:16 we need to let our light shine for Jesus Christ.
Bobby shred the most precious story out of Exodus 4:10-14 where Moses says he was not eloquent enough to serve the Lord.  Bobby shared he did not feel eloquent enough to serve the Lord, especially in a country where he does not speak the language.  But then he thought back a few years ago when he ran into Pastor Matty in the Wal-Mart.  At this time Bobby was unchurched and Pastor Matty reached out to Bobby and invited him to church at Arlington Baptist.  Bobby said he was forever grateful for this invitation to come to church.  Now he feels he needs to go out to and tell others about the love of Jesus Christ.  Pastor Matty shared with Bobby how he brings joy to all of his team members, he is faithful to God more than anyone he knows and Bobby has a here I am send me attitude.  If more of us could only be like you Bobby.
Todd shared on Wednesday morning about Joshua entering the promised land out of Joshua 4:2-3, 6-7.  Joshua entered the promised land was a milestone for the Israelites.  As well as for us there was a lot of first, a lot of milestones we overcame this week.  We flew for the first time, we all went on our first international mission trip and we all shared the gospel in another language.  
Wednesday evening Pastor Matty closed out the devotional from first day on Friday with a follow up out of 2 Samuel 10.  David was a man after God's own heart.  When we do God's will it will come with trials.  We as a team did honorable godly things for each other.  We helped each other out if it was making sandwiches, or helping make the Gatorade or helping wash the supper dishes.  We were a unified team serving our Lord. As I look back on Psalm 20 Pastor Matty shared we all will rejoice of all the hard work which was distributed in Honduras this week.  We will rejoice in all God's salvations this week.  In Psalms 21:1-3 David praised God for bringing them through the battles. We got through all our obstacles this week and to God be the glory. 
Lastly Amy closed out on Thursday morning with a praise unto our Lord out of Psalm 100.  We have so much to praise the Lord for this week.  Fourteen salvations, 10 rededications and many seeds planted and in hopes one day the harvest will be reaped.  We did our part as God as called us to do this week.  This week was a blessing for me as I know for all of us.  Allowing God to use us daily going door to door now lets go back home and share this same message with those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.



First Flat Tire


As we shared Pastor Matty's devotional was on Spiritual Warfare. As we adventured out down the dirt road of Pavana Mike and I were bringing up the rear.  Mike has a keen eye for mechanical stuff and ear for it do.  The Land Cruiser was in front of us puttering down the dirt road when Mike said the left rear tire is going flat and going flat quickly.  He said we will not make it across the road and he was correct. We stopped Tino and the Kia was in front with the men and the Land Cruiser had the ladies and translators. So all the men get out to help Mike change our first flat tire. At this time I said well looks like Spiritual Warfare has already started for this team.  We can all thank Pastor Matty for such a powerful message this morning and now within an hour of the devotional we were all put to the test.  Mike, Pastor Carlos, Tino and Pastor Matty worked on getting the old tire off and putting the only tire left on the Land Cruiser.  The ladies were suffering Spiritual Warfare in the air conditioned Land Cruiser.  Angie asked did we need to pray.  I said yes prayers are always welcomed.  So this was one of may flat tires this week.  This became a spiritual warfare saga for all of us.  But we can always remember God rules over all situations no matter how big or small they are.  God has got us wrapped in His arms.

After that flat tire Mike had two more flat tires this week.  Pastor Matty made a profound statement about my best friend and husband Mike.  He shared how Mike took what was placed before him and fixed the problem all three times without a word coming from his mouth of negativity.  His actions were nothing but I got to get this fixed and he got to it each time and fixed three problems.  Even to the point of having to go to San Lorenzo Saturday afternoon before the auto shop closed to get the valve stem he needed.  Pastor Matty and Bobby rode with him on his journey.  Mike exemplified Christ like character throughout all three flats.  Thank you God for such a godly best friend and husband.



Arrival at San Jose de Las Conchas


After defeating our Spiritual Warfare with the flat tire we traveled on out about one hour and fifteen or so minutes down this dirt road where there was not much of anything but beautiful rolling mountains and fields and fields of cows, sugar cane or an adobe house here or there.  This journey was like this for about two thirds of the ride.  Once they entered one community they passed through it to come upon our little piece of Heaven here on earth this week, San Jose de las Conchas.  We were greeted by a whole porch of smiling faces.  Faces we did not know at this moment but would soon come to love and respect tremendously. We were greeted by Loraina, Pastor Jose's wife.  Pastor Jose is a bi vocational pastor.  He is a supervisor in the sugar business in Santa Cruz where he lives about an hour away from Sand Jose de las Conchas.  So already we have a high regard for Pastor Jose and Lorina for the time they take to get to this community to serve their Lord first and the people of the church and surrounding areas. We gathered around in a huge circle between the North Americans, the translators and the church members.  Pastor Jose had well orchestrated the evangelism teams' plans for this community.  He had two people to put with each group.  Ladies of the church were cooking all week long for the Hondurans who were helping go out along with the Honduran translators.
Pastor Matty looked over at Lorina and said we are here to serve beside you and your church as you see the needs.  We are here to do what you want us to do for your church family and for your community.  Please tell us what you want to do today and we are here to do whatever it is you need.  Humbling words coming from this North American stranger.  Lorina in turn humbly thanked God for them this week with tears in her eyes.  She was in awe of what all God was going to do this week.  She knew the church with the guidance of Pastor Jose had prepared for this week just as the North Americans had prepared.  Everyone was ready to see what God had in store for them and where He would take them.  They gathered up and prayed over their first day.  



Three Amazing Evangelism Teams


Pastor Matty came prepared with his three teams ready to go.  I really like the way the three teams stayed the same all week.  They came comfortable with their team as they began this journey.
One team is Todd, Angie, Penny and their translator Meida.
Our next team was Zach, Amy, Susan and their translator Sarah.
Our next team was Pastor Matty, Bobby and their translator Joel.
As this team was forming they made their way inside the church to meet their other members of their team, the church members.  God planned out exactly who was suppose to be on each team long before these beautiful people got together.  His masterpieces were perfectly matched together.  



Our Three Evangelism Teams Grow


As they entered the church they broke up and formed three different circles.  Pastor Matty, Bobby, Joel was joined by Pastor Jose and Lorina's son and Edwin.  They introduced themselves formally and asked about each other and if anyone had any prayer requests.  Pastor Matty engaged in some deep conversations with Edwin and his walk with the Lord.  He found out quickly this young man wanted exactly what his team wanted to bring the lost to Christ in his community and disciple them within the church.  After praying they started on a journey of a lot of unknowns.  But God was ahead of them all the way.


Our next group gathered together with Meida, the translator, Penny, Angie and Todd.  They were joined by a young man named Tantania who as well introduced themselves to each other and lifted up prayer concerns each might have.  Angie wanted to make sure she understood what they were about to go and do.  Tantania shared he had several homes they were going to visit and they would work their way back to the church around noon.  They all prayed together and started on a life changing journey which Penny said she will treasure forever in her heart.  On the last day Penny with tears in her eyes shared how this week had forever changed her to be more  bold and share the gospel to the lost world she lives in daily.  


Last but not least Sarah, translator was joined by Susan, Amy, Zach and two church members David and very timid Martinia.  They gathered and chatted quiet some time getting to know each other.  Zach and David hit it off immediately as David was the one who was leading them on their journey. Martinia was quiet but very bold for Jesus as he was quiet a bit of good help for his team.  They shared their prayer concerns and got to know each other.  After their prayer time they headed down a path like the other two where their lives will be forever changed because all three groups were obedient to their calling to go and make disciples of all nations.



"Vida Eterna"


We were so blessed to be able to reunite with Pastor Jose and Lorina and their three children.  When we heard from Pastor Matty about forming an evangelism team we asked Pastor Carlos did he know of a church family who needed some encouragement through evangelism.  He said yes, "Vida Eterna".  He said the Pastor was Jose from Santa Cruz and he had been pastor there for two years.  We got excited hearing this.  We have known Jose for nine years.  We know him as the young man who played the guitar in his praise band in his church in Santa Cruz.  Mike and I were eager to go out to San Jose de las Conchas to see what our friend, Pastor Jose was in need of. We were welcomed with lots of tears of reunion and excitement that we will be working beside "his" church family to help bring the lost to Christ. Pastor Jose said there were 30 plus active adults and a lot of children attending Vide Eterna. I noticed the scripture in the sanctuary was Psalm 119:9.  Pastor Jose's heart was for the young people of the church and community.  This is what one of his focuses was that week to reach the teenagers in the school.
  The two ladies standing at the front door of the church, Lorina and Marie, a member since she was nine years old watched as each team headed out to the designated homes for the day.  Pastor Jose had women there cooking all day to prepare meals for the Hondurans and were there each day to welcome back the three groups with huge smiles and a chair to rest their bones.  This church family went all out for this week.  They worked very hard before Arlington Baptist Church arrived.  
So as they left each morning and returned at lunch there was so many stories to tell to each other about their visitations in San Jose de las Conchas.
There was similar stories we would hear back home but different receptions.  Each team as they would be walking down the dirt roads and stop at a home they were assigned to go visit to a warm heartfelt welcoming.  The families would pull out there plastic chairs and the teams would sit for as long as needed to explain the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ with each family.  Pastor Matty said one evening we were prepared but still surprised of how very receptive each family was to us.  Susan shared one evening some would say "Just not right now."  We are not promised tomorrow folks.  If you are reading this today and you are not sure where you are going to spend eternity please know your good works, your kind words and going to church is not going to give you eternal life.  As this team experienced so many reasons like I am a Christian and go to the Catholic church.  Zach, our young person on the team did not share anything but this relationship is not a religion.  Jesus does not care what religion you are, He simply wants a personal relationship with you. He wants us through faith and grace only which comes from God through the power of the Holy Spirit.  We need the Trinity to receive eternal life.  
Amy shared as her group was walking down the path there was a lady yelling to come to her house please and share the gospel with her husband.  This lady was a believer and a member of the church but her husband was not. Her husband's name was Marcos.  He would not come out to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.  So the evangelism group shared from the yard about the greatest gift of all salvation through Jesus Christ.  Marcos heard the good news, the seed was planted, the group prayed someone else would come behind them and reap the harvest one day before it is too late.  One day Todd shared how they had a similar situation where the man was not interested at all.  So Meida walked away dusting off her hands and shaking the dirt off her feet and continued to the next home where they were received and welcomed. So yes they did have a few not interested at all but the ones who were either rededicated their lives to the Lord or received Him as their personal Lord and Savior.



Todd and Susan


We enjoy it so much when family comes together to serve their Lord.  We want to welcome Todd and Susan to Honduras.  They were not together during the home visits but they always seemed to find each other once they returned back to the Sunday School Classroom porch.  They complimented each other beautifully.  They love their Lord Jesus Christ and it showed throughout this entire week.  Susan shared how she was fearful about sharing the gospel in another country with a different language but how as she started on her first day God removed all doubt and fear and led Susan every step of the way.  Susan shared how God open that first door and after that she became more bold in her witness for her Lord.  One of Todd's home visit was one of celebration.  Where Todd was sharing the plan of salvation with a lady which after some time of sharing she finally received Christ as her Lord and Savior.  Todd said this was a humbling moment for him.  He was able to take all God had taught him and shared it with another person who is now his sister in Christ.  Todd and Susan we are grateful to God for all you did for the people of Honduras this past week. To God be the glory!! AMEN!!!!



Enjoying Mt. Horeb


There is always something to do at Mt. Horeb.  Pastor Matty and his friend Bobby along with Zack through the football in their room.  Pastor Matty and Zach attempted many games of corn hole where I am not sure which one beat the other but they have fun relaxing and enjoying some outside activities.  The fresh air does all of a world of good simply enjoying God's creation around us.  


Our multi purpose porch and pulerpia porch always welcomes our friends, new and old.  Amy shared as she swayed in the hammock hanging off the pulperia porch, "This is my happy place."  After a very long week of working all day serving her Lord she was able to relax and be still in His Presence. Pastor Matty was trying to enjoy the pulperia porch life until Titone, our colt, paid him a visit.  Titone wanted to chew either on Pastor Matty or the chair he was sitting in.  Each day the team would come get their soda and sit and share about their day.  On many evenings we got to enjoy God's creation of sunsets.  Angie enjoyed rocking and chilling with me on the porch after dinner each evening.  The last two days the team made their way up to the rock outside of Mt. Horeb where they were able to watch the sunset and reflect on their week.


We gathered together each morning to break physical bread at breakfast as we prayed each morning up.  We gathered outside to study the bread of life, Jesus Christ through His Word and prayed again for what God had in store for us.  One evening Zach lead the team in hymns in Spanish to prepare them for their week of VBS and worship service.  We were so blessed to have our very on Martha sitting out on the porch one evening sharing in some laughs and fellowship. Martha does not normally sit with the teams but this was a first and we all enjoyed her laughter and input with each of us.  We are so blessed at Mt. Horeb.




Teamwork


This team came with job assignments.  But as Penny shared one morning during devotionals everyone pitched in and help each other out.  I came out on the back porch the first or second morning to check on Bobby and his Gatorade business.  I jokingly asked, "How many ladies does it take to help Bobby make his Gatorade?"  This was how the whole week flowed.  Penny was in charge of the food, Amy was in charge of VBS, Susan in charge of laundry, Todd in charge of devotionals and Bobby in charge of the Gatorade.  I enjoyed having a breakfast each morning with my new friends.  Everyone fell in love with the Honduran coffee, which is not a surprise to us at all. They loved their Honduran cuisine each evening.  They all pitched in and helped with the supper dishes as well.  This was all a team effort.  The different  job duties went out the window the very first day.



They switched up from cereal on Sunday to a nice hot breakfast which made Zach very happy.  Penny along with Pastor Matty prepared grits, eggs and toast for everyone.  Our Honduran staff joined us for some North American breakfast.  We just can't seem to get our staff to partake of a spoonful of grits.  We tried to tell them it is liquid tortillas.  But they just would not give us a chance to prove to them how delicious they are.  It was a great beginning to a wonderful day of worshiping the Lord. 



Arriving for Worship Service


Once again we arrived to welcome hugs and smiles by the church of  Vide Eterna.  The women were already busy at work cooking the lunch for the children of the church which was smelling so delicious.  Pastor Matty headed towards the church along with Zach to greet Pastor Jose at the front door.  The long ride each day was so worth it once we got there to be blessed by so much Christian love and fellowship.  Pastor Jose was ready to serve the Lord beside us this beautiful and amazing Sunday morning.  Pastor Matty and Meida gathered one last time to make sure everything was in order for the worship service.  This was the beginning of a glorious time in the house of the Lord.  We may speak a different language but we serve the very same God.  So lets get ready to go and worship our Lord.



Praising The Lord As One

The time had come for our friends from Arlington Baptist Church to experience their first Honduran worship service.  They observed how the bulletin of the church was put together right there in front of us.  Meida met Jose at the pulpit and they went over the events of the day ahead.  Amy was asked to read out of Psalm 23.  They called Zach up there to help lead the praise music for church.  We sang "Because He Lives" and "Victory in Jesus" along with some Honduran praise music.  


After about fifteen minutes of singing praise unto our Lord, the North American team was asked to come up and sing their special.  They picked one of my favorite of all hymns, "I'll Fly Away".  It was done beautiful with the accompanist  of Zach on the guitar.  Edwin, Martinir and Pastor Jose joined in with them as they picked up the tune.  After the special the offering was collected as Marie prayed over the offering.  She then directed the children off to Sunday School.


After the offering before the children left a little girl who we soon found out on Monday got baptized came forward and sang several specials.  Pastor Jose encouraged her with his gentle spirit to come up and sing a few songs for us.  Oh my what beautiful music came from this nine year old new sister in Christ.  After the cantata Pastor Matty came forward to share in God's Word.  First of all Pastor Matty thanked Pastor Jose for allowing his team to work beside them this week in San Jose de las Conchas.  This was a beautiful gift from God.  We appreciate all  you did to make us feel welcome here and at home with each of you.
Pastor Matty shared how most of his life he thought the Bible was a fairy tale. At the age of twenty nine I found out by receiving Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior the Bible was not a fairy tale. One of the first things God changed in my life was the Bible was the Living Word of God.
In 2 Peter 1:19-21 told me the Bible was not a fairy tale but the Truth.  What do you all think about this?  Do you think the Bible is a fairy tale? Do you think it is important or even valuable for your daily lives?  Every single Word in the Bible, in God's Word is the truth!!! In 2 Peter 1:19-21 it says the church was having problems and the people outside of the church did not believe the Word of God. Peter was warning them about the importance of knowing and living out God's Word in their lives. If we as believers cannot stand on the Truth of God then we cannot go out and share the Word with the world.  This was a constant challenge in the church, verse 12.  The people of the church were twisting the truth to make it say what they want it to say to best suit them.  The Bible is our authority because of Jesus Christ our Lord.  It is not a fairy tale, it is the Truth of God spoken. The Word of God is our director through the power of the Holy Spirit. We all have traditions in our lives.  Is our traditions in line with the Word of God. If our traditions are not in line with God's Word we need to remove those traditions from our lives. What is my attitude about the Word of God?  Is it my helpful hints or is it good stories to read with lessons to learn?  Or is it the True Word of God in my life? Peter told the church they would do well if they take heed of God's Word.  These letters in the Bible are love letters to us to set us free from our sins. 1 John 5:3 it says "In fact, this is love for God to keep his commands.  And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith." So we need to continue in the Word and being discipled.  John 17:17 says "Sanctify them by the Truth your Word is Truth." We need to continue being in God's Word because we as Christians will have problems and we do not have to do it alone. Psalm 119:107 says "I have suffered much, preserve my life, Lord, according to your Word."  Praise God we are the sheep of the Shephard. Back to 2 Peter 1:19 the light shines in the dar place is the Word of God shining in the world.  God is at the center of the light.  When you focus on a light in a very dark room and then cut the light on you will remove your eyes from the light.  When we remove our eyes from the light we are able to see things about ourselves which are crucial and necessary and without the light shining from God we cannot see what we need to see correctly.  We will see as the world sees not as God sees.
Pastor Matty asked Pastor Jose to come over so he can thank him through scripture for our time together.  "The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine on you ad be gracious to you, the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace."  Numbers 6:24-26.

Pastor Jose thanked Pastor Matty and team members for coming along beside them this week and look forward to what the Lord will provide for us the rest of our time together.  He apologized for not being able to be there Monday and Tuesday because he had to work.  We all said praise God you have a job Pastor Jose, praise God you have a job. At this time Pastor Jose read 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 to the team, "But thanks be to God. He gave us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers ad sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor is in the Lord is not in vain."
At this time the children were asked to go out to get their lunch and bring in back inside the sanctuary of the church to enjoy as we continue the service.  Amy was asked to read another scripture and as the children finished their lunch we were dismissed to go about the Lord's work wherever we were going.






Monday Was Special




Amy prepared five full days of VBS for these little ones.  They averaged 50 the first day but after that the word got out there was some fun stuff going on at Vida Eterna.  The ladies provided two different crafts, one which included coloring while the other was one they had to put together and color.  On Monday while I was there they made Mary and Joseph on popsicle sticks, similar to a puppet.  The reason this craft stood out to me the most is Amy said her group stopped one day to share the gospel with a husband and wife, the wife was a believer but unfortunately the husband was not and was not interested in hearing about this Jesus.  There son came out from the back with his two puppets he had made in VBS the day before wanting his father to see the parents of baby Jesus and to believe just like he did.  So Amy shared she hoped with the little boy going to church weekly one day his father will find this gift of salvation as his wife has and his son is learning about. Outside on the porch they were making baby Jesus in the manger.  The sample was beautifully done and the children wanted theirs to look just like the sample.  Meida kindly told them it was okay to color theirs differently.  I might be wrong but I believe this is how they are taught in school to do exactly like they are told.  There is not any room for imagination for these little ones.  But they are definitely well disciplined and respectful. Bobby was in charge of the recreation for the children.  Bobby shared how much fun he had watching them play with the beach ball.  He basically stood back and smiled as these little ones were having the time of their life.




While all this was going on over at the Sunday School Classrooms Pastor Matty, Todd. Zack and Sarah led the continuation of the visit to the school into the church.  Pastor Matty started his day at the school sharing his personal testimony with a courtyard of one hundred fifty children and teenagers.  He led up to John 3:16 and asked did anyone know this verse from memory.  One young man in the back of the court yard raised his hand and came forward and quoted it for his peers.  Pastor Matty then presented him with a Bible as all his classmates applauded him for a job well done.
At the church Pastor Matty continued their conversation from the school.  He was asked by Pastor Jose to encourage the young people to come to church, give their lives to Christ and be in the Word.  God's Word is our only protection from the ways of the world.  Pastor Matty was not surprised when there was not too much conversation but he had the full attention of sixteen teenagers that Monday afternoon and all ears heard the Word of God being shared.  Pray these young people will connect with Pastor Jose and Vida Eterna Baptist Church and live their lives for Christ Jesus.