Sunday, May 21, 2006

Now this is church!

We said goodbye to our Bethel College team early this morning. They were headed to Gatlinburg for a couple of days before heading home to northern Indiana. No doubt the temps will be much cooler at home than they are hear! And considering the sunburn they are all taking with them the cooler air will probably be welcomed! We will miss their spirit and energy and pray for safe travel for all of them. Thanks to all of you! The blessings you left here will last a lifetime!

Monty and I went to our new church location this morning. We went to this church the very first Sunday we arrived in Mississippi but didn't remember much as we have been to so many in the past months. We were blessed to be so warmly welcomed! The pastor, his wife and the entire congregation have seen first hand what their outreaching attitudes have done. The church has grown and grown and grown and 3 more people gave their hearts and lives to Christ just this morning! The outgoing Convoy of Hope couple, Steve and Carol, spoke for a few minutes and will be sent off in style with a complete banquet style dinner this weekend. The relationships that have come from this disaster mission for all of them will last forever. It was also so exciting to see a group of people from the Spanish village where Convoy has been working the past few weeks come to church. They do not speak English and an interpreter was planned for the service but ended up in the hospital in New Orleans. The pastor took matters into his own hands and had already printed his sermon in Spanish so they could follow along! He really means what he says about meeting people where they are at and bringing them to Jesus! They all had a Spanish blessing for us when they left!

Pastor Rick's message this morning was on confusion, he must have been reading my mind from these past few days! He talked about the 4 types; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. He explained that confusion comes from the devil in the form of lies and deception. He also then went into the 4 truths to help us when we are confused.
1. God ALWAYS has a plan! Sometimes when we are unable to see the whole picture we get confused and just quit. We want to know what the outcome will be but if we did know we would only mess things up! Whatever we are going through right now doesn't matter because God sees the whole picture and He promises that His plans are for us to prosper and not to harm us! God doesn't lie!
2. God's timing is ALWAYS perfect! He knows just how we got into the situation we are in and He also knows just how we will get out of it. We will always walk through that situation better than when we went into it.
3. We have nothing to fear! If we have Jesus living inside of us why are we walking around in fear? Jesus was, and is, in complete control in every situation we are going through. The number one problem people face today is fear. The Bible says that "If God is for us, who can be against us?" The answer is nobody!
4. We must realize that we have alot to learn - and we must remain teachable! God cares more about our character that our comfort and building our faith in Him is higher on His agenda than ours. God never puts a "do not disturb" sign on His door, He is always there for us and all we need to is go to Him in prayer.
Pastor had a suggested prayer that I found very helpful and you might too.
"God, I don't understand...but I submit to Your plan. Take control of my life. I know You don't want anything bad for me. Reveal to me what I need to change in my life so I can be more like You." Amen
It's just that easy! And yet that difficult! The submission thing can be tough, I speak from experience! The entire message was powerful, truthful and just what I needed. The confusion over this move has been tough. Trying to understand what God's plan is, and following by sometimes blind faith has not been easy. But walking into this church this morning, realizing that they share the same heartfelt calling that Monty and I do, to reach and help the people, is truly a God thing! God once again confirmed His calling upon us, reassured us that we are doing what He called us to do and that He is in control. We don't see the full picture, we didn't see it when we agreed to come here and do the relief work, we just believed and turned ourselves over to God.

The confusion came in when we met people who challenged our calling, people who we never ever expected to do so. We just expect that people in the church will understand and share in our vision and our mission. When that doesn't happen, when the opposite happens, it can bring confusion. We have to stop, pray and realize this is just the devil himself fighting against us! And the devil would not be fighting against us so hard if we were not following God's calling!

We once again turned our lives and our mission over to God this morning. We once again promised to do the best we can in following the calling He has placed on our lives, for however long and in whatever place He sends us. The devil can rear his ugly head and try as he might to take us off of God' path but he will not succeed! With God on our side, man is just man and thus harmless! God, we thank you for sending us here, for not showing us the whole picture but for Your promise to always be with us and to always be in control of our lives! With you, nothing is impossible! Praise God!

I hope this message was an inspiration to some of you! Don't let confusion rule, let God rule! Believe me, God does a much better job!

Tomorrow is our final moving day! We will need to pack our last few things, level our trailer and get settled in before our team arrives late tomorrow evening. We have a full week planned for the group and pray God's blessings on their travel here. We pray that their hearts and minds be opened and God to strengthen them for their mission.

Thank you for reading and joining with us in our mission. Your support is priceless, your prayers a necessity! If you would like to become even more involved in our relief mission you can send your tax deductible gifts to us through our home church, Vineyard Community Church at PO Box 3277 in Bloomington, Indiana 47402. Please note "Katrina" on your gift as every dime comes to us, the church keeps nothing! We thank you for your servant hearts as without you we would not be able to remain here following God's calling upon our lives! We pray God's blessings on each and every one of you!

Until tomorrow ... let God be in control of your life....He has the perfect plan!
Susan and Monty

1 comment:

Brittany Fried said...

hi friends! this is Brittany Fried from the bethel college team. just wanted to let you know that we made it safely back to indiana. i hope that your move is going smoothly. the group enjoyed a nice day in gatlinburg... actually, i was sick with a nice little 24 stomach virus and/or food poisoning, so i spent most of the day in bed... but we all still managed to get out on the town and make a nice end to our trip! thanks again for everything! God bless!