Praises and Prayers
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."
I often jog through the woods to this pretty little town called Slivia. It's a time for me to pray, worship and lay my burdens at Jesus' feet. Through the seasons I've watched nature blossom, thrive, fall, rest and wait eagerly for the next blossom. Life experiences are often compared to seasons and I have always thought that the most difficult phase in these experiences was in the waiting. Lately, however, God has been showing me that it's not in the waiting that I find most difficulty, but in the resting. The other morning I read in Luke 8 about Jesus calming the storm and I reflected on the fact that the disciples did have faith to wake Jesus up and tell Him that they were perishing. They must have known He could do something. They had already seen Him work miracles. Yet, Jesus says to them, "Where is your faith?" It struck me, because it was like He was testing not their faith in the fact that He could do something, but in the fact that they weren't convinced of Him, his character, his love for them. In those moments of waiting for Him to wake up and to do something, although brief, I can imagine that the circumstances scared them enough to think, "Does He love us enough? Can we trust Him? Can we rest in His care?" How easy it can be when you're in a phase of waiting on Jesus to do something and your view of Him can shift from His love to His works. Where in the waiting you are convinced that He is capable, but you aren't convinced that He is willing. You start asking those same questions, "Does He love me enough? Can I trust Him? Can I rest in His care?" Then when things don't go the way you think they should go you ask, "Why not Lord?" The truth is that the purposes that only God can see may or may not ever be revealed. Yet all along in the waiting His love is never changing. His character is never changing and He desires us to rest in this no matter the circumstances. I'm learning that when my focus turns away from this truth it's a great time for me to examine my motives. Why do I care so much about this thing, whatever it might be at the time, that I would allow it to become bigger than my relationship with Jesus and my trust in the God of the universe? When life's circumstances are difficult and I'm tempted to focus more on what I desire Jesus to do on my terms rather than resting in knowing Him, His character, that He loves me and that it's gonna be ok, it's time to abide. For apart from Jesus I can do nothing.
Stick with us as Andrea and I share some praises and prayer requests!
Praise God for Port City Community Church. A group came to visit this January. It was a great time to share stories and pray together for each other and our ministries.
While the group was here they visited our home church groups. This is Gruppo Carso at our place for brunch!
Praise God for our time with Robert and Ambra. We are working through the book by Francis Chan called "Me and You Forever" Getting excited for their big day in June!
Praise God for our PI Team and their families. It's such a blessing to be in this together.
Praise God that art is becoming an active part of ministry
Building relationships while spending time in the studio
Going to art workshops and exhibitions with friends
Praise God for the opportunity for McKenzie to do English lessons at Adrien's school. It is opening doors for many other areas where we can serve!
For the relationships that are happening because of soccer. Andrea has been playing soccer games each Thursday night and it has been a great time for him to connect with dads and a place to invite others to join. Already we have connected with people who we are collaborating with for a summer, English, sports camp. Pray that we would have a good turn out. Pray for the forming teams from the USA that will be coming to help lead the camp and the organization of the activities. Pray that this opportunity would help those who are skeptical of the evangelical church to see the love of Christ and that it would build trust.
Please pray for our church family, that we would grow in love and unity.
Pray for our teammates: Carmichael family- language learning, driving school, girls integration at school and family free time
Edwardes family- language learning, driving tests, moving to another location in the city, children starting a new school
Vannelli family- Physcial health, continued financial support, wisdom and sensitivity as Elio leads
Pray for our Pioneers conference in April-for it to be refreshing and recalibrating. For our children to learn more about Jesus' love and for them to deepen their relationships with God.
Gruppo Carso- Pray that we would all be on mission to reach those around us with the message of Jesus.
Valentina, Montse and families to be able to return to the group since they've had health issues all winter that have hindered them from coming. Pray for their hearts to be softened. Pray for fertile soil.
Pray for our adoption process. It has slowed down and we aren't sure when it will pick back up. Pray for there to be no more obstacles. Pray that God would sustain us as we abide in Jesus in the waiting. This is Adrien with his best buddy's new baby brother. So precious...
We love you and thank you for all your prayers!
Much love and many blessings! Thank you for serving with us!
Thank you for standing in prayer with us! We are so grateful for you and to be on mission with you for God's Kingdom!
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PARTNERSHIP IN PRAYER AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT!
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