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Give Thanks with a Joyful Heart

Visa Update

We do not have much to report regarding the visa. Everything from this point forward is based on finances. God has been providing in unexpected ways. Recently, we had dinner with some people dear to us. Before we began the meal, they informed us that they had sold a car and wanted to bless us with the majority of the monies from the sale. We were blown away and oh so very grateful! We are getting closer to our financial goal, and know that God has the rest of our provision in His hand!

As we mentioned in last month's blog, we are looking to return to South Africa in February. Please continue to join us in prayer for everything to come together to make that happen!

What's been happening in our lives

We had the privilege of participating in a variety of activities in the month of November. The activities ranged from formalized outreaches, house visits (to pray for the sick) and ministering to people during the course of everyday life.

The first weekend of the month we were able to join a team from the Lighthouse Church in Santa Rosa, California to minister at a local homeless shelter. While there, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached through personal testimony, teaching, hula dance, and healing of the sick. Jen prayed for a man who had pain in his right knee. He experienced God removing that pain! People also gave their lives to Jesus!

During last month's unified church event, we were able to reconnect with a friend who runs a homeless outreach. During the morning we joined her, we were able bless people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, food, coffee, clothes, and love.

The fire relief efforts have continued. A local church hosted an event where fire survivors could grab needed items for free. One neat testimony from the event involved a mother with 2 (possibly 3) young children. They were looking though the books. Todd, in an effort to help them out, started searching through one of the boxes. His eyes caught a children's encyclopedia, and felt that he was to show this book to the family. The son was so excited when he saw the encyclopedia because it was just like the one he had prior to the fire. It is neat to see how God shows his love to people!

In addition to outreaches, we reconnected with some friends at a Christ Chruch North Bay in Novato, California. We were able to attend the church service one Sunday, where we were provided the opportunity to share about our South African adventures. We received a very warm welcome at the church, and look forward to maintaining relationship with that congregation!

What God has been teaching us

For at least some of the Santa Rosa fire survivors, the reality of what was lost during the fires is now settling in. This has caused us to take a look at how thankful we really for what we have, who we have, who God is, and what God has done for us. It can be easy to take things, people, and even God for granted. It is good to stop multiple times a day and give thanks to God. We can start each morning by thanking Him for bringing us through the night and giving us the gift of a new day. We can give thanks to Him for various things throughout the day. We can thank Him for the day before go go to bed at night.

Thanksgiving should not just be addressed to God. We have people in our lives that mean so much to us, but we take for granted. This can happen in marriages where husbands can move to a place of expecting their wives to have dinner ready each night, rather than remaining thankful that she is there to prepare it. Wives can move to a place of expecting their husbands to fix things around the house, rather than remaining thankful that he is there to perform those tasks. It also goes beyond marriages to our parents, friends, pastors etc. Who do you need to thank today?

Saying thank you to someone places us in a state of humility and vulnerability. We do not know whether the person receiving the thanksgiving will be appreciative, or will hold it over our heads. Other people are not our lord, Jesus is. He commands us to be thankful in all things. The extent that we are able to walk and live in thankfulness is a sign to how free in Christ Jesus we really are. Let's move to that place of freedom in Christ, being thankful in all things!

Prayer points

  • For the survivors of the Santa Rosa fires, the families who have lost loved ones, and the efforts to rebuild
  • That the unity of the churches would grow strong during the fire relief efforts, and would continue long after the fire relief is complete.
  • Our brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted for their faith in Christ Jesus
  • For God's provision so we can complete the South Africa visa requirements
  • For favor with the South African consulate, and that we would receive approval for a 3 year visa.
  • Rain for the Western Cape of South Africa.  They have received some rain recently, but not near enough to deliver them from the extreme drought they have been in.
  • That we would fulfill everything that God has for us to do during our time in the United States.
  • Whatever God lays on your hearts!

Did you know?

We have added teachings to our website. The audio versions are in mp3 format so you can download them for free and listen to them on your phone. Check them out!

 

Click below to watch our latest video teaching titled, "Living in Anticipation".

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