This week I am exceedingly, abundantly, overflowing with Joy!! I absolutely LOVE the Christmas season and this one has just been wonderful!! Sometimes, in ministry, our great, big, wonderful God allows us to just get a tiny little peek at what his eyes can see! This week was one of those times!
First, I have to tell you about an answered prayer! We have become great friends with two of our neighbors through our AWANA program at church. Our children have them over to play often and many, many prayers have gone up that we would be able to come to know their parents through this relationship. Then, this week a wonderful thing happened. We were invited to their birthday party!! Now, I will tell you that I have been nervous for this all week. You see, the children speak English but the parents speak mostly Spanish. We have been working diligently on learning this language but Satan likes to make us doubt!! This week fearful, ideas kept running through my head that I would not be able to talk with anyone or that this would make things awkward between our families if we did something /said something insulting……still we went. We knew that God looks at our hearts and he was behind this whole event anyway! We knew that HE would be there with us and give us the words to say!!!
The party was AWESOME!!
We met our neighbor’s entire family!! They were so warm and kind to us ….speaking slowly so that we could understand, sharing stories and laughter and FOOD!! It felt as if we had known them for years, like we were at our own family dinner. God took our little measly efforts and did so much more than we could have ever imagined! I pray that this relationship will continue to grow throughout the New Year, that we will all become closer and that we will be able to continue to share the Gospel with our new friends as well. Thank you all in advance for praying for this as well.
Next, I must share about our Live Nativity at Countryside this weekend as well. About a month ago, God gave me the vision to do something different with the AWANA kids for Christmas this year…to take them outside of the church walls and into our community! This event was a crazy idea, even I had doubts that it could work. In fact, up until the children went and took their places I was not really sure….we didn’t even have 3 wise men until I walked down the street and “recruited.” That is just the nature of our work here. We are never sure of which kids will come or what time they will be there….BUT….
They did come. They poured Gods love out through song and their little speaking parts scratched out on index cards by myself and my friend Hannah literally moments before we started. They came and God used them in a big way. They were just beautiful! Amber and I had a hard time narrating with no tears in our eyes. This nativity was a picture of how the church should look every day! We had Mary and Joseph and all of the bible characters from every race, background and even every part of Lancaster as well. We had church members from all over our county using their talents! Some drove four wheelers, some chased little “angels” around all night and believe me when I say those little creatures are fast!!! LOL!! We even had people who came to enjoy the ride and pray for all of our neighbors. Only a great, big mighty, God could pull something like that off for His Glory !! And believe me He was glorified that night.
This was an awesome week. I know that every day will not be like this. Times will be hard as well. But the view looks nice from this mountaintop. I will just sit here awhile and take it all in!!!