Thursday, December 29, 2011

Glory to God!

 Hello all! We wanted to follow up regarding our urgent email requests from a couple weekends ago. We would like to share praises with you. It’s fun seeing God DO things on behalf of His people, but it’s even better when we can all praise God TOGETHER as the BODY of Christ! Thank you each and every one of you who prayed for us (don’t stop!), and also to those who replied with encouraging emails. God is indeed GOOD, and we praise Him—to God be the glory!
Regarding our requests:
  1. Repairs on the house finished quickly, early this week. We moved in on Thursday, the 15th, our target date—this is amazing for a latin country! The city did the sewer work promptly! What is more, our new landlord is a believer—what a blessing!
  2. Packing our things to move them out of the apartment in time. We got everything out on time—somehow we accomplished it! Now for the unpacking and organizing in our new home.
  3. For the boys—they are stressed too! They are much better having more room to run around at this house, and loving it!
  4. Energy, especially for Becky—she's 7.5 months pregnant! She’s gotten through this week ok, and is learning to slow down a bit. But keep praying for energy!

Regarding our “touchy” situation that began all this…we now have a better understanding of the whole thing and can see how it was clearly a spiritual attack on our family. We ask you to keep praying that the Lord would protect us and allow us to stay focused on the tasks He has for us during this time in language school.

This next week we are excited to have Ben’s parents and sister with us for Christmas time. Also, Becky’s classes will restart on January 9th–she’ll have about a month of classes before the baby arrives.

We thank you for your prayers, support and encouraging words! This last week we have sensed the Lord’s peace and presence in our daily activities—we know it is because so many of you were faithfully praying for us. Thank you!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
Ben, Becky, (Noah), Caleb, Samuel & Boy #4.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Growing through trials

Hi all,
We come to you asking you to pray very specifically once again. Without going into too much detail, a little over one week ago, after consulting with our mission, our family had to vacate the apartment we were in due to a “touchy situation”. So we spent a week visiting some TEAM colleagues a day's drive away—this was much needed and an enjoyable and restful time for our family. We returned to Campinas Saturday (the 10th) with the plans of (1) house-sitting temporarily for some friends on vacation, (2) moving our belongings out of our apartment, and (3) moving into our new residence, all by the 15th.
However, the owner of the house we are moving into suddenly has had to do major sewer line repairs, and now it depends on the local city government to finish the job. This means that we may or may not be able to move in by the 15th, this Thursday. You can imagine how stressful this is for all of us, the kids included. Becky and Caleb both had to miss their last two weeks of school, we weren't able to connect with a church small group we had been so looking forward to, and we lack the stability of our own place (again)! So, please pray for us this week in this way:
  1. Repairs on the house finished quickly, early this week.
  2. Packing our things to move them out of the apartment in time.
  3. For the boys—they are stressed too!
  4. Energy, especially for Becky—she's 7.5 months pregnant!
As we process all these developments, Becky and I said to each other today at lunch: “This is hard...our life has been hard... Can you even remember a time that is wasn't like this?” We remembered a couple of times in which there was calm in between the storms...but we sense that this is another spiritual attack on our family. We have been through so much in the past 10 years or so, but we know that when we are in the center of God's will for our lives, trials will come. James 1:2-4 tells us to “Consider it pure joy...whenever you face trials of many kinds...”

Friends, we cannot say that we are full of joy right now, but we CAN tell you that we are persevering through the trials. God wants us to grow in perseverance (with joy in trials—that's still sometimes HARD to do), so that we can be mature and complete... We don't know about you, but we want to be complete in Christ, and mature in Him! So, we CAN have joy that the Lord counts us worthy...and this we DO ask and pray for.

So, lastly, please pray for JOY for us in these is not the first one, and we know it will not be the last one, because we are committed to persevering in our faith, just like you are called to do too! We look forward to sending you a belated Christmas update from our “new” home come January.

Persevering through trials...
Ben, Becky & the boys.