I am currently merry. It won't stay that way, but that's ok. I have peace beyond understanding...well, when I remember Him who gives such peace.
We prayed as a leadership yesterday for requests we all had...some overwhelming health concerns, big meetings/things to do, covering vacations in the clinic for the next couple weeks, things that need to get done/be accomplished/finished, hiring needs going into 2023.
It wasn't all good or fun but regardless, we left merry and at peace.
I thought it was a reminder that others might appreciate. This season gets filled with lots of expectations, lots of sometimes misplaces priorities and focus.
While this card is from Rina, I thought I would great you with her same words meant for an unknown sponsor. I send them to all of you, those known and unknown, as well: "I greet you with love and affection. I thank God for the opportunity you have given me. Thank you for supporting us. We are praying for you, that God will continue to bless you this Christmas and may God keep you always. May you have a Merry Christmas with your family."
Sometimes in the past I have looked at the year coming up and thought/wished/prayed/hoped it would be a little more peaceful, a little easier going.
I know it is not going to be easy going next year. It is going to be busy, different, growing, and who knows what else. This time though, for the most part, we are looking forward to it. There is quite a bit of unknown, but even what we are planning will be interesting:
-lots more work on coming up with hospital plans
-starting work with the rural clinics
-17 or more teams!
-Need to hire several more people for key positions going forward
-more containers? More food?
-looking forward to a next Milk Project location?
-More training, conferences, and work
-trying to take the coffee farms to the next level!
What all will happen? How? When? Can we pay for it all? Is there time for it all? I'm not worried...God is in control, and anything we do will be by Him anyway, so we will just start taking steps and try to wait and walk in Him as He leads! Actually...we won't be able to do any of it without Him anyway, so even better to be at peace with it!
I had a chance yesterday to talk with the team now in Honduras from Casas Por Cristo, an organization that builds homes through pastoral networks, hoping to help the church do outreach into their communities, reaching people for Christ through helping them physically, specifically through home building. They are praying about where to set up shop in Honduras, and how that will unfold (so you can be praying for them...lots of need, lots of possibilities) but it was also very cool to see how many times it seemed like a small world just talking about their general experiences, places in Honduras, opportunities, connections, etc.
It reminds me that while right now looking at the soon beginning new year, and the changes coming, and potential changes/growth/hiring/building/etc. coming...that we have to trust, obey, follow and move, trusting God will bring it all together. That faith...beyond what we can see but leaning on the everlasting arms.
Funny how there is such joy in that...and yet, to be honest, also at least a bit of trepidation, mostly related to how I could screw things up.
Even as areas around us in Tegucigalpa enter later today into a "state of exception" where certain constitutional rights will be forfeited in order to try to prevent extorsion and problems from gangs, meaning, apparently, that the police can pick up anyone they even suspect of committing, assisting, or benefitting from a crime. This will last for thirty days.
Sounds a bit scary to be honest, especially looking into the future of how this will be implemented and seeing just unknown (some of those 89 areas are directly around us.)
Apparently the writer of Leaning on the Everlasting Arms wrote that hymn in 1887 after two friends wrote him letting him know both their wives had died. He wrote back, including the verse "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27) He thought about that...and coo coo ca choo, came the hymn.
So, we will keep walking, but not alone, and not by our own power. We will, we must...keep leaning on the everlasting arms.
Want to hear a cool version of this hymn?
Early Sons of the Pioneers this one made me cry
The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi this one made me move
Got one I missed you love? Share it!
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