As we return to the growing crowd, I notice the festive decorations. A faded Cuban flag has been hung along with bright-colored sheets. All along the fence, the pillars, and beams Palm Branches have been tied and are now rippling in the wind. I point these out to the Pastor, and remark that they are all ready for Palm Sunday in just two more days. He looks back confused. “These decorations are not for Sunday. These are for today.” To decorate with freshly cut Palm Branches is a sign of great honor, reserved only to welcome in their most honored guests on the most special occasions.
Sharing good news from the field
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It was 27 years ago that Duane lived on the streets in Canada. And it was there he came to Christ. Because of his own experience, Duane and his family now minister to the homeless/street community with a more holistic approach, offering physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aid.
As God so often does, He began to speak challenging truth into Vicky’s life. He asked her to be brave and share her own story. For while she did not have the experiences of a missionary, neither had they experienced the circumstances of her life.
In Luke’s Gospel, this is the essence of The Christmas Legend, carefully inscribed so many years ago and handed down to us today.
If you’re like me, maybe that last sentence made you a little bit uncomfortable. I don’t typically use the word legend to describe the story of Christmas because I hear in it the modern connotation of a great story in which fact and fiction are freely mixed…and if we believe anything at all, we believe that every single word of the Bible is perfectly true.
This past October, Rick Myers set out on a cross-country tour, deciding to travel the US by car to visit and promote many US and Central American missionaries. This “Missionary Advocacy Tour” included 10,000 miles, 18 states, many shared meals, several host homes, and numerous productive meetings. Just as He did for Rick, we know that God provides for the journey.
“What is it you like to do?” Patti Bunk asked Gustavo as they sat visiting. She looked around his home noticing the badly damaged walls and roof. A boy of 12 years, Gustavo is one of 48 children currently sponsored in Nicaragua through Patti’s child sponsorship program.
Louis Mann sipped his coffee contentedly as he listened to Gary excitedly share about the ministry happening at his church. For Louis, this face-to-face time with his CB Matrix leaders is one of his favorite aspects of ministry.
“Is this even making a difference?” thought Mary Jane. The sun was beginning to set as the women gathered their things to head home. The group had just arrived back at student housing after an afternoon of hiking in the mountains outside Salt Lake City.
For Nancy Pitrowiski, the last-minute trip to Lebanon had been a whirlwind process. But she knew God had her there for a reason, and when He calls her to do something, Nancy doesn’t hesitate.
The smell of hot dogs filled the student union. Sally Henien worked with excitement as her team finished setting out condiments and buns for the annual Hot Dog Giveaway, an outreach event that partners with local churches and campus ministries to give students free food.