Just to keep you all in the loop, I've had some praises the last couple of weeks and some new prayer requests to ask of you as well.
First, the Praises:
I'm thanking God today that at my recent doctor's appointment I got my medical evaluation form signed with absolutely no push back from my doctor! And on top of that, she even agreed to write out for me a year's worth of prescriptions, including some just-in-case drugs, that I can fill when I'm in South Africa as needed. She also discovered I was lacking on a couple of vaccinations so I had to get a few shots while I was there. But when she looked up the process for the last shots we discovered that the last one was due just in time for me to leave in April, in about 5 months or so. How cool is that?! God is working even in the little details!
Also, about 2 weeks ago my condo was finally listed on the market for sale! And so far I've had 2 people come and tour the house. My good friend Cindy has already declared in Jesus' name that it will close by the end of this year. And I'm claiming that in His name as well! Please join us in praying that it closes quickly and to just the right buyer.
Another praise, I gained a new monthly donor, a couple of one-time gifts, and a few new prayer partners as well! Honestly, between you and me, this support raising task is EXHAUSTING!! But I'm determined to do it the right way to create partnerships with those who want to come along into missions with me. And I really am seeing God bless me for continuing to put Him first in this important matter. To those of you who are already on my donors list, thank you! You have no idea what your gifts mean to me both long-term as I serve but also in the here and now as I walk in faith that He will provide all that I need. And to those of you on my prayer partners list, I can't express what your love and covering mean to me!! Every morning I wake up knowing that I'm not in this journey alone. God has given me a family of believers to surround me in prayers! Every little note/email, every card, every gift, they all mean so much to me! They are all confirmation for me that He is in control and that He is guiding my steps. Thank you for being used by God!
I also want to praise God for the knowledge He is sending my way. Through my missions training class, Perspectives, I have learned so much about the missions field that I had no way of knowing before. And I get to learn it from actual missionaries. I get to meet and form bonds with others seeking to do His will in missions both domestically and internationally, and I get to hear story after story of how God provided for His people abundantly more than they ever asked for. In my training I've also come across an online community of missionaries who are willing to be open and honest about their struggles on the field. I have learned so much from these online friends. And I can't imagine where I'd be if I had decided to go ahead of God and not had the opportunity to find both Perspectives and A Life Overseas. I have also had the privileged opportunity of meeting so many young people interested in going into long-term missions. And these meetings make my teacher-heart so happy! I want nothing more than to see God rise up an army of believers to be His hands and feet both here at home and all over the world!! So to have the opportunity to share a little of my story with these people and direct them to the resources I've been so blessed to have makes my heart sing! I LOVE how God brings people together and uses each and every one of us to fulfill His mission of love for the people!! Isn't He amazing?!!
After writing all these praises out I have to admit that my prayer requests seem so small now! LOL! I know already that He is working out all of these requests even before you join me in praying for them. But I also know beyond a doubt that there is great power in prayer, especially many people praying in unison for the same concerns. So, if you don't mind, please join me in asking God to take control of the following requests:
* Transportation in South Africa - Currently the missionaries serving in SA now only have one vehicle to share among them all. And while we are extremely grateful for that vehicle, as many, many locals in the area do not even have that privilege, it does cause some difficulties in running the ministry when people need to be in several places at the same time. Please pray that God provides a way for us to have another vehicle, whatever it may be, to help ease the day-to-day lives of those already serving in SA.
* Land - Below is a link to a video from Steve and Julie James (the directors of Merryfield Children's Village). In it they express the need to purchase land as soon as possible to get the village up and running. Each day my heart aches knowing that the night before these children had no where to call home. So the sooner we can raise the funds needed to purchase land, the sooner we can rescue these children from the streets and teach them tangibly about the love of Jesus. Please pray that God will provide not only the means to purchase land, but the guidance to know where He wants us to buy/build to best reach His people's needs in the surrounding townships of Plettenberg Bay.
* Open Doors - As with any international work, there are many hoops you have to jump through to get the job done. Please pray that God will continue to open doors for the ministry, perhaps in areas we haven't even thought of now, to reach the people He wants us to reach. Our hearts are for not just the children in need but all the people of South Africa to know Jesus and to live under His grace and freedom. Pray that He continues to bring people of like-minded passions to the ministry and that He opens doors for us that only He can do! We want to see Him shine in this country! We want to see His kingdom here on earth!
* Pray for my friends - for all of my friends who are supporting me, praying for me, encouraging me, and teaching me... they have all set aside their own problems to help me. And I can't stop thanking them all for that! But at the same time I know that they struggle in their own lives, just as we all do. So please join me in praying for all of them in return. I pray often that God will bless them richly for what they have given me, spiritually and financially. And I hope you will join me in praying for them as well!
If you have any prayer concerns yourself, please feel free to contact me. You can email me at the link below, or you can FB message me if that's easier for you. I want to use the power of prayer for your good as it is being used for mine. Let me join you in your heart-crys to God. It would be an honor for me. If you have a need, please let me know and I'll be more than happy to pray on your behalf to our God who meets our needs in abundance.
I thank God for everyone who reads these posts, even if they don't read it all (ha!). And I thank you all so much for coming along on this journey with me. I know that many of you are there for me to help me glorify our God. And I just want to say thank you!! Thank you!!