Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Joy of the journey - Getting to know them

Lima and Evita
Both of these girls feel called of God to minister full time.
Lima plans to go to Bible school next year and is seeking God as to the direction  for  her future, she is also one of our translators.
Evita is also going to Bible School and hopes to be a missionary to Zambia some day. 

This is Svjatoslav.  He is a fairly new believer who was in drug rehab a few years ago.
Yesterday he got word that one of his friends died from an overdose after being clean for over a year. He has lost 12 friends in the last year from drug overdoses.  He is rejoicing that He is no longer an addict and that Christ has set him free and that he does not have to worry about going back to his addiction.He is very serious about following Christ.
This is Gentis. Today is his 18th birthday and we were invited to join he and the students for a marshmallow roast in his honor. 
This is Raymond.   He was notified that his good friend committed suicide on Sunday.   He is  a remarkable  young man who feels God calling him to full-time work in the future.  He wants to give people hope through Christ. HIs testimony is amazing, he was a drug addict for 10 years and was doing heroin and cocaine as well as selling it when God miraculously saved him.  The joy that emanates from him is amazing.




These are just a few of the stories of the young people we are ministering to this week.  Many are fairly new believers and many are from broken homes. They are eating up the truth from the word and learning how to overcome life's circumstances according to the the word of God.  Today we focused on the topic Getting to the Heart.  They have so many questions after we teach which shows they were listening and it is making them think.  

Tonight we are having dinner at Marou and Julia's home, which is down the hall from us.  They have been married less than a year and Julia loves to cook.  We are looking forward to a homemade meal and good fellowship.  

Thank you for all the prayers.  Please pray specifically for these students.  

We love you.
PW and Sherry

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday

Today was our second day of teaching and it went very well.  We covered a lot of material in the 7 sessions we taught. The students are like dry sponges soaking up the word. It is very easy to teach hungry and thirsty people. The best part of the whole day was the interaction one on one with several of the students.  They are starting to open up to us with their stories and are asking for counsel.  We are so excited and sensing what the Lord is doing and wanting to do this week. Tomorrow we will post some individual pictures of those we are getting to know but for today we wanted to put the pictures that should have been posted on Monday morning.  :>))) We never have claimed to do this right.  Enjoy.  Much love, PW and Sherry


The school where we are living and teaching.
Logo for the school Note it says ONE year of your WHOLE life.
The students are committing to this in a very real sense and work very hard to learn and grow, 
Beautiful birch trees in a park across from the school.
Relaxing in the sun after a day of ministry.
The lake at the park across from the school. There are beautiful forest all over Latvia.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Day 1 - Meet the class


Today we had the joy of meeting the 17 young men and women we will be teaching this week.. They are absolutely delightful in every way. They were attentive and asked good questions.  PW laid foundational truth today for the weeks class on Biblical Counseling. Please keep us in daily prayer.


Much love, 
PW and Sherry




Sunday, April 27, 2014

Baltic School of Ministry

We arrived at the school yesterday around 3 and settled in for our week of ministry, but not before we had a lovely dinner at one of the Latvian Buffets with our friends Mauro and Julia Martinez. You can see the fun loving nature of these two in picture below of the bunnies.
















We start teaching today at 2:30 Latvian time and go until 5.  Tuesday we start each day at 8:45 and go until 5:00.  Thursday evening PW will be preaching at a local church in Riga.

Our main prayer at the moment is for health. Both of us are feeling a bit off, upset stomach etc. Could be that our food has not been what we are used. But whatever please pray.

Other prayer requests for the week are for the hearts of the 17 students to be touched by the word, for the anointing of God to be upon us as we teach and minister and for sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Often when teaching the Lord deals with some things in the students lives and we find ourselves hanging out on certain topics or scriptures longer than usual so we know it is the Holy Spirit.  We pray that we will have the opportunity to minister one on one with these young people this week.

Here are the pictures of our home for this week.  Basic but comfortable.  


 Yes this is a double bed. Yes PW is tall and used to a king size. Yes S has 1/2 foot of space. :>)))))

This is our kitchen/living room/bathroom sink/study place. 

So now you can picture us in our living space this week. We are very excited and will keep you posted about what the Lord is doing each day.  Blessings to all of you as you begin your day. 

Much love,
PW and Sherry

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Riga, a step into the past

We have had the incredible privilege to spend the past 3 days resting in this beautiful city.  As you can see by the pictures below, the architecture is varied, some old, some new, the people are interesting and the parks breathtaking.  We have spent wonderful quality time with the Lord preparing our  hearts for our week of ministry.  We have laughed, walked, spent time with friends and slept a lot.  Thank you for your prayers.
Mauro Martinez, the administrator for the Baltic School of Ministry will pick us up tomorrow to take us to the school to get settled so we can start teaching on Monday. We covet your prayers.  Much love, PW and Sherry



















Friday, April 25, 2014

HIS Perspective

As we flew into Latvia yesterday morning I was looking out the window of the plane. It is amazing what you see when you are in the sky.  Squares and rectangles of color in various ranges from light green to dark green and then sandy brown, sparkles of light where there is water. It was lovely and it gave me perspective that I do not usually have.  It was like looking at a patchwork quilt and I realized that if I was on the ground I would not be seeing the bigger picture and it would be marred by weeds and mud and garbage.  But from the sky I saw it all differently and it was beautiful. That is how God sees our lives. He sees the bigger picture, the finished product and it is beautiful.  He sees us as conformed to the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:28-29).  When we gave our lives to Jesus we exchanged our sin for His righteousness, our weakness for His strength, our minds for the mind of Christ.

So today brothers and sisters, try to see things from His perspective not your own.  Colossians 3:1-4 says: Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our  life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

We will be resting and spending time in the word through Sunday so please pray that our spirits will be refreshed and we will be full of joy and energy by Monday when we begin ministering to the students.

Have a blessed weekend.

Much love,
PW and Sherry

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Journey Begins

Genesis 12:1  Now the Lord said to Abram, go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you.

Isn't it amazing that God called Abram to leave all that he was familiar with, all those he loved, to follow Him?  It is the same with all of us brothers and sisters.  This journey we are all on starts with one step of faith.

And so today, we leave all we are familiar with and take that first step of faith. It is exciting and scary all at the same time. We don't know what the day or week will hold, but we know the One who does know, and somehow that is enough.

Please keep us in prayer as we leave for Latvia to serve the people there.  If you would, ask God to give us safety as we travel, wisdom as we minister, and refreshment for our spirits, and health and safety for our family at home and our church.  Please keep Pastor Bill in prayer as he takes care of the church while we are gone.

Much love,
PW and Sherry

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ANXIOUS

anxious |ˈaNG(k)SHəs|
adjective
experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome
Have you ever been anxious? 
Perhaps you have a marriage that is not good, or a child who is a prodigal, or a job that is shaky, or you have just been given a diagnosis for a disease, or you are troubled by the world situation, or you are depressed, or you have a sin issue that you are battling…or a myriad of other what if things that cause us to be anxious because we are unsure of the outcome or the future.
You are not alone. We are all anxious at times but God is so faithful that He gave us an answer to that anxiety .  Listen to the scripture:
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, BUT IN EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which passes all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Did you read that?  The peace of God which passes all comprehension.  Peace, in the midst of our trouble, peace that will guard our hearts and minds.  Wow.  I am in constant amazement of the way our Lord takes care of us.  But there is a catch……we must pray with thanksgiving.  What does that mean?  Well for starters it means we go to Him when we are feeling anxious and in the midst of our situation we tell Him how we are feeling what our worries are and we supplicate, or as Websters defines it we beg, we plead,with THANKSGIVING, thanking Him that the situation is not above Him, that we know it will work in us the character of God, that there will be some purpose to the trial.  He can be trusted.  
In James 5:16 it says: Therefore confess your sins to one another,  pray for one another, so that you may be healed.  The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
This tells me we need each other, sometimes I just need a friend to listen to me and help lead me to the place where I can be anxious for nothing by praying with me.  
I love our Church family. On any given Sunday either before or after service you can look around and see brothers and sisters talking and sharing their lives and then often you will see them huddle together and start praying for each other.  There will be groups all over the Sanctuary like this. Some at the altar, two or three sitting in a circle with heads bowed, you can walk into the hallway and find others doing the same. It is part of our normal way of life.  And so often I hear testimony of how amazed someone is by the peace that came as a result of those prayers.  
So what am I trying to say?  Pray….pray about everything, pray alone, pray with someone but pray and know that God answers and that you do not have to be anxious, that you too can have the peace that passes all understanding. 
And how do you keep that peace? 
Philippians 4:8-9 Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.  The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.  


Grace and Peace,Sherry







Monday, April 14, 2014

Prayer update

Please keep Sherry in prayer this week. Her Gall Bladder is acting up. Not he way we want to leave the country.
We leave in 9 days.  :>))))  Time is flying by.

Also, our hearts are so burdened for the Ukraine situation.  The reports we are getting from our friends tell us that things are heating up and they are asking for prayer for safety, peace and courage.  Please pray for the interim gov't to have wisdom on how to handle the Russian aggression.

Philippine update:  WE have been asked to do a Youth seminar next month.  Please pray for us as we prepare to have Gods wisdom and words for these young people. We had fun with them last year.

Also, Philippine Pastor Rudy has asked us to pray for his wife, Virgie. She is having some troubles from a surgery she had 2 years ago. She is in pain and the doctor wants to do some exploritory procedures but it is very costly and they do not have the money for the tests. Please ask our Father to provide what is needed and to touch Virgie with healing.

Much love,
PW and Sherry

A SAFE PLACE

As you  know PW and I do a lot of counseling and mentoring in the body of Christ , there are so many hurting people and because of these hurts,  I feel prompted to share some thoughts with all of you.

When Jesus was on the earth, He spoke so many deep truths into the lives of His followers. Today we are privileged to tap into these truths and apply them to our own lives.  One of the last things He said to His disciples was recorded in John's gospel.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Sounds like good advice especially since He knew that the whole world would be watching His followers after His resurrection.  He knew that His kind of love was so against the flow of the culture that He wanted His followers to be defined by this characteristic.  Note it is not a suggestion and so we can know that this kind of love is not a feeling, one cannot command feelings, this kind of love is an act of the will. It is considering what is best for the other, it is dying to what we want for their good, it is unconditional, undeserved.  It is an action kind of love.  Note in Verse 35 what the result will be.

John 13:35 By this (love) all men will KNOW that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

As the early church grew and time went on the writer to the Hebrews gave another command.

Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the confession of our  hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another ; and all the more as you see the day(end times day) drawing near.

There must have been some lack in the love and good deeds dept. or the writer would not have told them to consider how to stimulate one another for these things.  Imagine having to encourage someone to love and do good. But that is exactly what was happening then and what is happening in our day in the modern day church.  Humans get on each others nerves, they offend each other, they hurt each other and our natural tendency is to remove ourselves from them and say who needs this. But we cannot give in , we must hold fast our confession, we must encourage one another more and more to gather together.. Why? Well note the verse below.

2 Timothy 3:1-5  But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.

Might I suggest that the world is getting worse and worse. This verse gives a pretty accurate description of the days in which we live.  All of us, our children included are being confronted with the viscousness in our culture. So could it be that the writer of Hebrews seeing into the future was saying, look as you see things get worse, there needs to be a SAFE PLACE for believers to gather and encourage one another.  I think he was onto something.

I have a dream, it is to see a place where kids and adults alike feel SAFE. SAFE to be themselves without criticism, SAFE to try out their gifts and not fear failing, SAFE to be accepted and enjoyed for who God made them to be, SAFE to share hurts, SAFE to ask for help, SAFE to escape from the world and find something so incredibly different that they long to be there more and more.  A place where they not only feel loved, but are shown love.  A place where there are no factions, no cliques, where no one is left out but reached out to and included.  Where everyone is honored and respected. A place where old and young alike can fellowship together. Where those who are older are given honor, where we consider one, prefer one another.  Where the older generation is honored because we include them in our planning of worship, where we include a few hymns for them, where the young get some wonderful contemporary worship music so all can enter into worship our Lord, where older people are asked advice because they have lived longer and have wisdom, where young kids, teens and young adults are allowed to serve along side older more mature saints so they can learn.  A place where His love is so evident that the world outside wants what we have….forgiveness of sins, eternal life, joy and peace all found in Jesus.  Where God is adding to the church daily those who are being saved.

Might I suggest that this might be what Jesus had in mind when He died and called us the CHURCH.

Grace and Peace,
Sherry


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

21 Days and counting

We are so excited as we begin our countdown for our mission trip to Riga, Latvia.  Please pray for us as we finish up our preparations to teach Basics of Biblical Counseling at the Baltic School of Ministry.  We love going to this part of the world and meeting these young people who are giving 9 months of their lives to seek God and grow before beginning their Adult careers.

Specific prayer:
For hearts to be open
For health for us and our family
For our church to stay healthy
For our ears to be open to the Holy Spirits leading.
For peace in that part of the world.

Much Love,
PW and Sherry
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