Israel's First Birthday

April 6, 2016

It's hard to believe that our little man is already 1 year old! Israel is getting so big and changing so quickly! We celebrated with some of our friends on Sunday and will have a piñata with the little children at church this evening. Below is a note we wrote to Israel about this special time in his life. Since he won't remember all the little things that are going on right now (and we will likely soon forget!) Grandma C encouraged us to write those down too, so you'll see we have tried to document many of those little things in the form of a journal entry/note to Israel, that he can read for many years to come.

Engaging the Battle

February 11, 2016

It is my pleasure to write concerning the work that the Lord is doing in the Latin American world at this present time, including the sanctifying work that He is doing within me personally as well as my family. We have been stretched in ways that we could not have imagined in recent days, of which I will not go into the details on at this time, but we have confidence and trust in the Lord’s faithfulness in that which He has called us.

“Alegria Para El Mundo”

As I’m sitting here in Central America with sweat on my brow, it doesn’t quite seem like it should be Christmas time. However, looking up on the wall next to me in our house, I read the words “Alegria Para El Mundo” on a homemade Christmas banner that Jill’s mom made and sent down to us, and I am reminded again that it is, in fact, that time of the year when we reflect most on God sending His son into the world to save us from our sins. In English, the banner translates “Joy to the World” and it is because of that joy through Jesus Christ that I have moved my family to Central America to preach and teach this joy that is good news to the world.

I had never thought of the words to this familiar Christmas carol as a missions song, but the more I think about the lyrics, that’s exactly what it is. Songs like this and “Go Tell it on the Mountain” should extend beyond the Christmas season for the Christian. In 1 Peter 3:15 we are told “…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…”

We’ve been in Guatemala for language school, but were blessed to be able to connect with some Americans for an unexpectedly festive Thanksgiving Day after 4 hours at the Spanish school in the morning. Jill and I have also hosted our Spanish teachers in our home for more meals and are thankful for the close relationship we have with them and their families. I feel like the most important thing we’ve been able to share with them is how important it is to search the Bible for what God says and to be obedient to Him.

As Christmas Day is nearly upon us, we’ve taken advantage of numerous opportunities in multiple venues to share the hope of the Gospel with those we are ministering to. I am glad that we will always be able to look back on our first Christmas with our son, Israel, and remember the goodness of the Lord toward our family as we spent the season together in Central America.

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” -Psalm 9:1-2

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” -Psalm 145:3-4

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