Thursday, May 13, 2010

Springtime!

WOW! We apologize for the distance between these updates... we have no excuses! We hope this finds you all doing well, loving the Lord, and enjoying the Spring. Asher loves being outside so the warm weather has made it easier for that! An update on each of us:

Asher: He is such a blessing everyday. He makes us laugh so much and is at the stage of learning so many new words. Every single day is something new and we just love it. He loves to help mommy around the house with the laundry, vacuuming,  dishes... he is such a great helper! He seems to be constantly changing and growing. A few things that have not changed and we hope they never do, is his love for dancing and singing, it is a blast to watch:) He is starting to put words together and is constantly surprising us with the things he knows and understands. We praise the Lord for a healthy, hilarious, smart little boy!

Alicia: I feel like I have been learning so much lately, mostly about how much more I need to learn. Throughout some days I am constantly asking the Lord for patience and joy... you think I would get it by now! An area that you can pray for me in is my time an intimacy with the Lord Jesus. I am daily refreshed by Him, but I desire more. A deeper dependancy on Him is what I need, not ten minutes of refreshment and then go on. These last two months have been exciting and a bit of a challenge. We are expecting another baby!!! However, at the beginning of it all we were concerned that there were some complications. We now know that the baby is healthy and everything is normal. The Lord is faithful and will continue to be! He has reassured me of His faithfulness through His word every morning! "Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you" We would cherish your prayers for a healthy baby and pregnancy these next 7 months!

Keith: He has been a busy guy these last 6 months or so. He is busy, but with great things! We are attending a community church here in the Highland area and we are just loving it! We have been so blessed to serve and grow with the people that live in our own neighborhood. Keith is involved in a  year long Elder in training program and he is learning so much. Every Tuesday morning they meet at 6:00 at a coffee shop in Yakima. There 5 other men in the group with him along with our Pastor. They go through books together, listen to different sermons, and, of course go through scripture together. Seeking together for what it means to be a godly Elder and leader in God's church. He then goes to the actual Elder meetings in Wednesday mornings at 5:30. He is learning what it is to get up early:) We are still working with GCM and ACTS, but only part-time. Keith works there Mondays and Tuesdays doing things like building projects, painting, fixing cars and lawn mowers, and other projects and general maintenance that need to be done. The other three days of the week he either works with his dad, spraying and doing tree work, or for another arborist in Yakima, doing tree work. The Lord has been so faithful to provide work for him.

We are still living in " my dream home" and we are loving it. The owners plan to put it up for sale in the next few months, but we are enjoying the time we have here now!

We will be starting another ACTS session the first of August and we are looking forward to having students around again. Keith will continue to work there Mondays and Tuesdays and as far as my involvement goes, I will have the opportunity to mentor a couple of the lady ACTS students. We would appreciate your prayers for the Lord's leading as we desire so much to be where He wants us to be!

We would love to hear from you all and appreciate you so much. Have a blessed day:)
-Alicia

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Daily grace



Yesterday I got to go with some of the students out to a village called Jalpa. This is a special place to me because when we were here three years ago, we spent almost everyday working in this village. So the team yesterday spent time in the classroom with kiddos ranging from 3rd to 6th grade, we helped with crafts and games and some English lessons. I had a great time and recognized several of the children. I was very blessed to learn that Crystal, a young girl who became my sweet friend three years ago, has been really involved in the VBS program and the english program and will get a scholarship to go on to high school. This is a huge deal for the families from this poor village. I praise the Lord for HIS faithfulness and HIS loving care for all the children of the world.
We have only five days left here in San Miguel and I will be honest, I have had several moments where even that seemed like too much. Please don't misunderstand me, we love it here and we have had a wonderful time meeting new people and spending time with dear friends...however I am ready for Asher to be in a more permanent place. This morning we were awake with him at 4:00. There didn't seem to be much wrong, he just wanted the day to begin:) He is getting several new teeth and with that, things are just more difficult... such as sleep! Keith and I are learning so much. In a beautiful city like San Miguel, with cobblestone streets, amazing lattes, and yummy churros... we are still in desperate need of God's unconditional love and grace. We realize that if we are not abiding in HIM, all the small inconveniences become a big deal and are blown way out of proportion. I find myself singing the song" I need thee every hour" more than once during the day. He is so faithful to restore and refresh HIS children! On a more delightful note, having Asher on this trip has been amazing. We have met more people because of his very social personality.
Please pray for us as we get ready to head for home. Pray that we will finish well here and that we will do an excellent job of serving and encouraging God's church. We are so thankful to the Lord for your prayers and encouragements. Thank you!
-Alicia

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hope

We passed the halfway mark of our month here in Mexico on Tuesday. Where does the time go?

Last week we had the privilege of helping a local missionary here in San Miguel on a few different projects. On Tuesday and Wednesday we teamed up with some local Christians from a Spanish speaking church to pass out the Gospel of Matthew in a few different neighborhoods around San Miguel. It was a sweet opportunity to help support them in the work of spreading the good news to the people around the city. What a blessing it was for us to walk alongside of them as we went from door to door, house to house, trying to get a portion of God's Word into each home. Thank You Lord that Your Word will not return void!



On Saturday the ACTS students planned an outreach for children in the city of San Jose Iturbide. It's about an hour drive from San Miguel and our missionary friend, Mark Best, is hoping to begin building some relationships there. We had an eventful day of telling Bible stories to the kids via puppets, included a few games into the mix, and passed out pizza for lunch. Of course before, after, and in-between all of that we spent time entertaining the kids with games of soccer. At the end of the day we showed the Jesus film for children. Mark was able to make almost a dozen contacts that he and some others could follow up with the next week. We were so excited to be able to participate in this outreach.

The other days are not as full of activity. We meet for breakfast and prayer in the morning and then we all go out praying that the Lord would lead us to people who are open to hearing about the Lord. It's a funny thing, reaching out to English speaking people in Mexico. It's a hard thing too. Many of the people that we come in contact with are hardened to the Gospel or have misconceptions of who Jesus really is. Most of them are in their later stages of life and are set in their ways. I often pray that the Lord would go before us to soften peoples hearts and then use us at the right time to bring Words of Hope. 



Hope is thing that seems to be lacking in the lives of so many people. There is a man by the name of Fernando who is staying in the hostel where we are staying. From the conversations that different people on the team have had with him it seems that he has cancer, no money, and from all appearances, no direction. He spends his days here with a bottle in one hand, cigarette in the other, his gaze on the tv for hours on end. It seems that he has no hope and his only desire is to medicate himself and pass the time doing and thinking about nothing. Please join us in prayer for his salvation and for his hope to be in eternal things.

So today is Thanksgiving Day. We have so much to be thankful for. Asher is healthy (even though he has had a slight runny nose and cough and fell off the bed onto the tile floor the other night). We're surrounded by people who love us and who love the Lord. We have hope!
I'm so thankful for hope... how about you?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Amazing things

Declare His glory among the nations,
His marvelous works among all the peoples! -2 Chron 16:24 (NASB)



This verse describes how we have felt this weekend. We've been here a little less than a week already and we are so thankful for what the Lord has allowed us to witness and be a part of. On Friday night there was a "Gospel Concert" in the Jardin (main town plaza). It was an ecumenical concert and there were a number of different groups that participated, singing in both english and spanish. Of all the groups that sang, our favorite (of course) was the group from Antioch Bible Community, the church that GCM has helped plant here. I stood in amazement and listened to our friends Brad & Chris sing about Jesus in the same place that we were doing our drama presentations three years ago on our very first outreach to San Miguel de Allende. It was then that we saw the need for an English speaking, Bible teaching church here in San Miguel (there were around 8-10k English speaking people here and not one solid English evangelical church). We began to pray that the Lord would establish His church here, and this year it happened! We went to the church yesterday and worshiped with some of the other believers here. What a blessing to see the answers to our prayers before our very eyes! 
As Alicia and I walked towards the hostel on Friday night, (it was time to get Asher to bed) we were so blessed to hear the sound or Brad's voice echoing down the street as he sang, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. Holy holy is He..."


Thank you for your prayers for us as we seek to be a blessing to the body here in San Miguel and reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
-Keith

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We're here!

We are here in San Miguel de Allende and our travels went wonderfully!!! The Lord is so amazing at exceeding our expectations, Asher was perfect during the travel here!! It was a wonderful reunion with all of our dear friends that have been living down here this last year. We had a great day walking around the city and being with good friends. It has been a blast watching Eden and Asher interact with each other, a lot of kisses and hugs. We ate dinner at a neat restaurant and then the three of us walked back to the hostel, our home for the month we are here. We were all pretty tired and so it didn’t take long for us to fall asleep the first night. Asher slept well (12 hrs!) and woke up ready for a new day! Tomorrow we will walk up to the cross that overlooks the city and spend some time praying for the students before they go out and meet people to build relationships with and share the love of Jesus with. Pray for us as we go about our time here, that the Lord would set up some divine appointments for Keith and I as well and that we would be a bright light shining in a dark place! “ Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28
-Alicia

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jehovah-Jireh: the Lord will provide


As many of you know we have been praying for a house to move into after this session of ACTS is over. The Lord has been so faithful to provide for our needs in the past and we have been trusting Him for this need as well.
We have spent the last several months looking on craigslist and various other places for available housing but it seemed that there was nothing that fits our criteria. Often on Sunday afternoons we have gone on drives keeping our eyes open for 'for rent' signs and have even called a few people who are selling their house to ask if they would be interested in renting it out while it's on the market. All of this to no avail. Nothing. Nada.
We began to wonder if the Lord was trying to say something different to us or if He had a different plan for us than what we were thinking. About a month ago, on a Sunday afternoon were driving along dreaming about how great it would be to live in different houses one in particular Alicia even mentioned was her 'dream house'. I told Alicia that maybe the Lord was going to totally surprise us and put us in a house that we would never even imagine being able to live in. Time went on with nothing turning up or working out.
Last Tuesday I received a phone call from a friend and he told me that he knew of a guy that might want to let us live in their rental house while they try to sell it. I promptly called the number that he gave me and we set up a meeting for yesterday. Would you believe that the house is the same house as Alicia's 'dream house'? We were so amazed! Not that the Lord could put something like this together but that He did, just for us! The meeting went well. The owners are believers and they decided to let us rent the house, for less than we were even planning to pay. We were again so amazed! Not only did He provide a beautiful house in a great location but He put it in our price range and two days before we leave to go to Mexico for one month on outreach. God is so good! If you know the story of our last quest for housing you may see a pattern here. We sure do and are so grateful to the Lord for His provision.







We have been so blessed by the faithfulness of God's people to be obedient to the Lord to open their hands to us and bless us. Last week I found some snow tires on craigslist for one of the ministry vans. I went to pick them up and got into a great conversation with the guy selling the tires. He was also a believer and we spent some time talking about the Lord and I shared a little bit about our ministry at GCM. About five minutes after I left he called me and told me that he felt that the Lord was prompting him to give the money back that I had given him for the tires and donate the tires to us. I was so blest by his obedience to the Lord!
So the theme of God's provision has been on my mind and I wanted to share these stories to brag on the Lord a little bit. He chose to work in the hearts of His children to bless us. Not because of our great faith (God knows how much our faith has been weak at times) but because He is faithful to keep His Word and to provide.
I hope that you are encouraged by these stories and that it causes you to either continue on in your journey of trusting the Lord to meet a specific need or to open your hands to those who are waiting on the Lord to provide through you.


We leave for Mexico in the morning. A bit anxious about some of the unknowns but with a renewed faith that the Lord directs our steps and will provide for our every need.


Please pray with us for:
Wisdom and patience in traveling with Asher (this is our first international outreach with him)
Wisdom in leading the ACTS students
That we would be an encouragement to the church planting team in San Miguel
That we would be obedient to the Spirit of God as he desires to make us salt and light to the world
For physical safety and health for us and the team
That the world would be made aware of sin, righteousness, and judgement by the power of the Spirit of God in our lives
That we would go to the Source of Living Water each day for strength and wisdom


Thank you for joining with us in prayer.
Keith