My Word

Today I’m sharing quotes from my “Word of the Year” journal; my word this year is “Joy!”

Sing a new song of praise to Him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.  For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything He does.  –Psalm 33:3-4 [NLT]

Sometime in our future there’s a party to end all parties.  The Lamb of God will invite us to a bash that rings out the old life forever and rings in a new unity with Him.  Hatred, fear, and pride will go suddenly stale, as we feast on love, joy, and praise.  What a day that will be!  Hallelujah!  —One Year Book of Psalms, 12/31

I’m not on top of the peak calling you to climb up where I am.  Rather I’m standing with you as we both look to the summit of this great mountain called the fear of God.  It’s a challenging climb upward, but also a joyous climb.  My prayer is that this book will help us both on our journey.  –Jerry Bridges, The Joy of Fearing God, pg. ix

In contrast to servile fear, filial fear is the loving fear of a child toward his father.  Ferguson describes it as “that indefinable mixture of reverence, fear, pleasure, joy and awe which fills our hearts when we realize who God is and what He has done for us.”  –Jerry Bridges, The Joy of Fearing God, pg. 27

God does not give us overcoming life; He gives us life as we overcome.  The strain is the strength.  If there is no strain there is no strength.  Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy?  He cannot, unless you will accept the strain.  Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength. –Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, 8/2

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Sobering Words

I’m taking a short break from the photos of our trip to Amsterdam.  There are many outstanding quotes from my journals that I’d like to share this week.  First, insightful words from Compassion’s Vice President of the Latin America and Caribbean Region.  I met Edouard Lassegue and his wife years ago when I was in Haiti for the first time; at the time he was the President of Compassion Haiti.

Now he very capably administers, counsels and directs a much larger region.  This man is kind, warm, humble, caring, energetic and especially passionate about helping children in need.  This is his recent update:

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in praying for and supporting Compassion’s work in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Your unwavering commitment in uplifting this region to God’s care is an affirmation of the power and solidarity of the global Church, which I believe is the main reason for the gains the region continues to experience.

Over the past decade, the Latin America and Caribbean Region has seen ongoing progress in many socioeconomic areas.  In fact, today, many economists attest that the majority of the countries in this region have been experiencing modest, but steady annual growth rates.  What’s more, these countries are also seeing declining extreme poverty rates with citizens generally becoming healthier and better educated.

These are encouraging highlights, but regrettably, they represent only half of the present situation.  Today, this region remains the most violent in the world, with one of the highest homicide rates ever.  Most of the clashes involve drug and gang activities, resulting in ruthless and barbaric murders.

Our region also faces natural disasters of all kinds, including flooding, hurricanes and earthquakes.  Haiti, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic continue their recovery efforts from hurricanes and tropical storms, while Mexico focuses on reconstruction from earthquake devastation.  Heavy rainfall in Colombia and Peru have brought about flooding and higher incidents of mosquito-borne illnesses.

But, in the midst of it all, I am so inspired by the dedication and courage of our church partners.  They do not complain; they do not back down.  That is why we count it a distinct privilege to walk alongside them in this vital ministry of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

So please don’t stoop praying for the Latin America and Caribbean Region.  Pray that the Church stays firm in the midst of the violence that surrounds them, serving as an example of Christ’s truth and love.  Pray for the safety of families and children–many of whom face the threat of violence every day in their normal day-to-day activities.  Pray for governments and local branches of authority, that they will “step up” and care for the people they profess to serve.

The troubles of the Latin America and Caribbean Region will not fade by just good intentions.  Real progress and peace will only come through a change of heart and mindset, and as followers of Christ, we know that is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you, again, for your prayerful support.  And may you be encouraged that all things are possible through God — and that includes a transformation in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In the spirit of the triune God, Edouard Lassegue, Vice President of the Latin America and Caribbean Region, Compassion International

Here is the link for my second visit with Josue, and with his younger brother that I also sponsored later.  If you would like to sponsor a child, click here and you can search a child from Latin America or the Caribbean!

Back to Life

This is a very compelling story about Angelyn, whose life was nearly destroyed by drugs.  Listen to her carefully, and see if you might want to sponsor a child like her, to give hope and a future.

Happiness

Compassion’s ministry is helping thousands of mothers, especially young ones, to learn now to care for their new babies.  They’re providing resources, education and supplies that make it possible, literally, for the babies to survive.  This is a really sweet and compelling video you don’t want to miss:

Kids for Kids

This title says it all; it’s about providing baby goats to children in need.  I know how important they can be for the families of our children.  When I sponsored a boy in Haiti, every time I sent extra money for Christmas or birthdays he would buy a goat.  When he graduated and I asked if he had a younger brother I could sponsor, Compassion sent me a new child packet for the brother and it said he was responsible for the family’s “herd of goats!”  I just had to giggle.  How wonderful!

Fire Links

We have been experiencing an unprecedented amount of fires in the west this summer.  Even our homes are filled with smoke at this time, and many homes have been damaged throughout Montana, Wyoming and other states.  We need to pray strongly for rain to put these fires out; it seems to be the only answer for such wide-spread problems.  In addition, we want to remember those who have lost everything.  Below are some links I would suggest for donating to the cause:

Fire Relief–Red Cross

It’s really sad to read this report from Montana.  She says, “We are in a huge mess over here. Devastation everywhere & the fire is all around us out here in Lolo. Most of Lolo is either evacuated or on warning. Please help if you can. Thank you.”  Here is where you can help these families:

Lolo Fire Relief — Montana

In addition, I want to honor these brave firefighters that have died this summer alone in Montana:

Brent Witham, 29

Trenton Johnson, 19

All fire-related deaths across the nation

We certainly owe a huge “Thank You” to these men and women that continually lay their lives down for us!

Here is a map of current fires in Montana and Idaho:

This is a story about a local fire that has been very close to Sheridan, WY:

Sheridan County Fire

Earlier this summer local firefighters were battling 17 fires at once.

So let’s keep praying and giving for those in need…the summer of fires is not yet over!

Flood Links

The floods in Texas and Louisiana have been horrible to observe.  I’m thankful Sarah’s apartment wasn’t flooded, or even her parking lot, and that she’s able to help many others at this time.  Here are a couple of links that I think are best for helping victims of Hurricane Harvey:

This is a link to Sarah’s church: they have many different ways to send donations for those in need. They are also out in the neighborhoods now, helping gut houses, and encouraging families that have faced such huge losses.

Clear Creek Community Church Fund

This is how it looks in the areas where Sarah has been volunteering. Imagine seeing nearly all your possessions piled up on sidewalks for dumpsters to remove:

Secondly, this girl is a Buffalo native that lives in Rockport, TX–possibly the hardest hit area of all.  Please donate to this family if you’re able and would like to help them recover:

Boyce Family Fund