2014 is upon us and it seems to be flying by already. It’s hard to imagine that this time last year, we were packing up our little house, preparing to move down to Bachiniva. So much has taken place this past year, and I can honestly say though it was one of the most challenging, difficult years of my life, it was also the most fruitful and growing year. As we prepare to move, once again, to the orphanage, next week, Jackie, Ayantu and I are ready to start doing what God has called us to do…care for children! As I take a moment to reflect on 2013, I think of the nation of Israel, crossing over the Jordan river. In Joshua chapter 4, the Lord commanded Joshua to have 12 men, 1 from each tribe, take a stone out of the Jordan river and bring it to the other side. What was the purpose of these 12 stones? We read about that in the end of chapter 4…
“...when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over...that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever" (Joshua 4:21-22,24).
The purpose of these memorial stones, was for people to recognize “the hand of the Lord” and how amazing and incredible God is. Doesn’t God still want us to do that today? Rather then making the famous “resolutions” of the New Year, maybe we should instead, gather “memorial stones”. These stones, would represent all the things that take place in our lives, so when people ask, they can see the hand of the Lord, His faithfulness and goodness to us!
Here is a look at some of our memorial stones, from 2013…
- January - Moved safe and sound down to Bachiniva
- February - Missions team from Utah finished installing the HOB septic tank system
- March - We celebrated Ayantu’s “3rd” birthday
- April - Missions team from Bellingham WA painted the orphanage. I was able to celebrate the passing of my grandma, with my mom and 4 siblings. Although it was difficult, Mary is worshipping Jesus!
- May - We were able to drive to Utah to pick up 60 chairs, donated to the orphanage. Also finished signing the legal documents for the House Of Blessing
- June - Missions team from Puyallup WA came down for my cousins wedding, as well as work on small projects around the children’s home. We celebrated my wife’s “29th” birthday.
- July - Missions team from El Paso came for a VBS and sports outreach. I was able to travel to WA for our golf invitational, which raised $4500 for the children’s home.
- August - Missions team from WA and Oregon came down to build bunk-beds, frame windows, pour concrete and love on people. Jackie and I celebrated our “8th” wedding anniversary.
- September - Electricity was finally installed and turned on at the children’s home
- October - My dear friend, Daniel Williams, pastor or Redemption church, came down to visit and encourage us as well as plan their 2014 missions trip. Over 20 buckets, were purchased and assembled to take supplies (toys, school supplies, toiletries) up to the mountains, by supporters in Utah and WA.
- November - We were able to travel to Oregon, Utah, Florida and WA for our furlough / sharing about all that God is doing through the ministry!
- December - God provided a beautiful Honda mini van, which we were able to drive back down to Bachiniva. The Lord took our dear friend Pancho, home, to be with Him. We had a wonderful Christmas, our first, out of the states, but nevertheless, a huge blessing. We were also able to participate in our Christmas service at CC Bachiniva, in which over 200 people came out for. Had a wonderful New Years service, full of worship and prayer at the church!
2013 was definitely a blessed year, and 2014 is looking to be no different. How do I know that? Because God’s word says so. Now, I don’t know exactly what things will look like, or how they will come about. I hope I know, and we plan accordingly, but then we pray for HIS will to be done, and let the Lord direct our steps. We can faithfully rest assure of the promises of His word…one of those, which is my favorite…found in the Psalms…
"Blessed be the Lord, who DAILY loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation!" (Psalm 68:19).
One thing I look forward to in 2014 are those DAILY benefits, that the Lord will load upon us each and every day!
Speaking of promises, that reminds me of one more verse I came across, well, actually that the Lord gave me. I’ve struggled in the past, reading through the book of Jeremiah due to it being long and at times, depressing. Poor Jeremiah, a man who was called by God, for what seemed to be a fruitless 40 year ministry. However, if you read through it, study through it and let the Lord to minister to you through it, you will be surprised.
As I was sipping my coffee early one morning, reading Jeremiah, my eyes lit up, when I came across this beautiful and profound verse…
“Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel a and to the house of Judah” (Jeremiah 34:13).
I must have read that verse 100 times, in that moment. WOW…the days are coming, says the Lord, that I WILL perform that GOOD THING which I have PROMISED…
This is my life verse, or year verse, for 2014. 2013 was a year of planning, prepping, stretching, growing, difficulties and getting ready. Now, that 2014 has arrived, the Lord has told me, Jason, “…the days are coming…I’m going to perform that good thing which I promised you. I’m going to bring children into the House of Blessing.
As we begin to move into the facility next week, open the doors to the children’s home, travel around to different towns and see what doors the Lord might open, I cannot wait, for the Lord to perform those good things that He has promised.
Please continue praying for us and the ministry down hear. We especially covet your prayers next Friday and Saturday, as we make our trip back up to the village up in the mountains. We made contact with the family and the children. Although it is still up in the air as to whether they will be coming back down or not…we are definitely going back up. And I can’t wait. We have tons of supplies, toys, toiletries, food and lots of love to bring up there. We are excited to reach out the community and see what comes as a result. The 3 younger children, shared that they would like to finish the school year. The 2 older children, Erasmo and Judith, are hesitant about coming down, and shared with their grandma that they are very discouraged. Saints, this is why we need your prayers. Not just so that they return to Bachiniva with us, but more so, that the love and joy they hear about, through Jesus Christ, will ENCOURAGE them!
Last night we had our first prayer meeting. Our team, who will be traveling to the mountains, will gather again next Tuesday, to worship, pray and seek the Lord for direction. We would love if you joined us through prayer, from 7:00-8:00 PM next Tuesday.
Our time last night was wonderful, especially because we had a surprise visit from a pastor and his family. They too, are serving up in the mountains (different part) and the Lord is doing a mighty work up there. I love the timing of the Lord, bringing a family into town from the mountains as we are praying for our trip, to the mountains. God is GOOD!
That’s why I know that 2014 is going to be an amazing year. Because God is good, and He loves me very very much. Praying you all understand and grasp the same glorious truth...that God is good and He loves each of you so incredibly much!
Happy New Year
Jason, Jackie and Ayantu Faith