October 2018 Newsletter
Out of a Tent and Returning to Home
Merle returned from Barbuda, working with Samaritan's Purse replacing roofs for the church and others in need. People are so grateful for Samaritan's Purse and without it, they don't know where they would be. He had about 25 in his group working for two weeks reinforcing roof structures, adding stronger beams, reinforcing decking, and securing new metal roofs. The people are so happy to be back in their home after living for a year in their yard, in a tent. They no longer feel abandoned. At the end, the family is prayed for, blessed, and they receive a Billy Graham Study Bible, signed by the whole crew who personally worked on their house. These homes were devastated from Hurricane Irma a year ago! Samaritan's Purse has a great reputation and is really making a difference in people's lives!
It was very hard work, they slept in a large military style barrack, though they supplied it with air conditioning, ate regular and hearty meals, and were eaten alive on any exposed skin by the tiny no-see-ums, especially in the evening. The sun was incredibly intense and he found it was better to wear a long sleeved white shirt than tons of sunscreen. Merle brought three shirts, so he gave two away to the ladies.
He was very proud of the 19 yr-old and 22 yr-old sisters, who worked just as hard as anyone even though their businesses back home is horse training and cosmetics! Everyone can serve the Lord!
The church building was repaired inside and out.
Donkeys, horses, and goats roam freely on the small island, looking for something to eat. A pile of debris and Merle's bunk with storage underneath, as no one slept in the lower bunk.
Intercession is made for the families for whom all these folks are working. Then a Bible is presented to each family, signed by the workers who repaired their home. It is an emotional time.
Pristine Coco Beach, where hotels and cabanas used to go for very high prices to people like Princess Diana, now are blown away or destroyed. The beach sits empty.
Heading home to a very happy wife! There are organizations who receive money but do very little actual work, but you can always count on Samaritan's Purse to put the money where it is needed and do an excellent job, proclaiming Christ in the process. Merle was so proud to serve the Lord with this organization!
There are still people living in tents needing a home... The work must continue.
Ministry Beyond Bosnia
Though Merle and I had tickets purchased to finally head back to the mission field Oct. 31st, we had to postpone until Nov. 28th, because Luke changed his mind and now wants to stay in Georgia and work, rather than going to CA or joining the Army, though the second still remains as a potential option. It is a difficult transition for him to be on his own, though he is excited. Money is a balancing act! Please keep him in your prayers!
We will be cross-cultural workers for a pioneering YWAM team on St. Lucia. They have various outreaches to the community and Discipleship Training classes. They are short staffed and we trust God to use us in a wonderful way to enhance their ministry. We will also be in the same time zone as our children, which is helpful in keeping in contacting with them. We are finishing up all the paperwork for visas to work there.
Ministry in a Caribbean Culture
When working in a new culture, some of the challenges are:
*understanding the culture and societal norms
*knowing the spiritual battles of a nation
*determining dialogue and dress code
*the lay of the land
*the good and bad of being an American in a vacation vs. low employment culture
*A Christian alien in American clothes in a foreign land
*Being all things to all men
*Traditions of men or the culture of Jesus
Here are some pictures to give you a small idea of our ministry opportunities:
YWAM SL — DTS 2015 at YWAM St. Lucia https://goo.gl/images/CyqDmi
YWAM SL - Staff Opportunities https://goo.gl/images/btha5y
We can't wait to send you pictures and report on our activities working with Guy and Marylin and their little son, Asaph. More on that later!
We will come back through Atlanta in April and be able to visit our children briefly before we head out again to Sarajevo, Bosnia. We covet your prayers!