We have entered the time where everyone has a chance to reflect on what they are thankful for. Of course, we are to rejoice and be thankful always...throughout the year, but there is something extra special about Thanksgiving week. As we have been back home in Washington for a week now, I too have had time to reflect on and "give thanks" to the Lord for ALL His wondrous works that have declared His name. I have been amazed at what the Lord continues to do and has done most recently in just this past week. Here are some stories that should encourage our hearts to give thanks to the Lord!
VEHICLES...Not only has the Lord given us ONE but TWO vehicles to be used for the orphanage. Jackie and I are in need of a vehicle and have been praying, what kind to buy (truck or SUV), how much we could afford, etc. While we were down in El Paso, the Lord gave us a truck. This past Sunday, a brother in the church told us that the company he use to work with would like to donate a 2007 cargo van for the orphanage. "We give thanks, to You O God."
CHRISTIAN SCHOOL....A christian school located in El Paso has decided to support the orphanage during their week of "Great Giving". Here is the message that I received from one of their teachers a few days ago...
"Hey Jason, I wanted to chat with you regarding the Christian school where I teach sponsoring your ministry in our week of Great Giving. For one week, our students in grades 7-12 (about 300 students) bring a donation item for the ministry we are sponsoring. If you could send me a list before the end of next week containing 3-6 items that your ministry needs, then we will highlight your ministry for December. May God richly bless you today through the abundance of His grace"
Normally they collect physical items to donate, however, since we are still building and in need of finances, the school has decided to collect an offering for their Great Giving! "We give thanks, to You O God"
SHARING THE STORY...The Lord continues to bring opportunities across our path to share the story and adventure with people, churches and organizations. I've already had the wonderful opportunity to teach at 2 churches and will be speaking at 3 more churches during our time here. We were also blessed to be able to speak at World Vision's financial departments weekly devotionals. "We give thanks, to You O God"
MISSIONS TRIPS...We are in the process of planning our missions trips for 2013. Already we have 3 churches that are planning to come down this spring and summer to serve and minister in Bachiniva. One of those teams, are three brothers from Utah, that want to finish our septic tank system in January. We are also putting together a "Pastors" trip. This will give senior pastors an opportunity to come down, see what God is doing, and then share that with their congregations. "We give thanks, to You O God"
BUILDING CONTINUES...Even though we are here in the states, the Lord continues to build the orphanage. Today, the team has begun putting on the metal for the roofing as well as insulating. My cousin, Pastor Jose Nieves, has taken a lead role with the building project and its been awesome seeing how God continues to use him. He gives me weekly updates and pictures of the project, and here is something he recently shared...
"Hey bro...the day after the team left, after we gathered for prayer and team devotions we noticed that the job site was a lot quieter! It was exciting to know that when it is the Lord's work no matter what happens it will be finished. Whether it be done by a huge team, or Douglas and 4 Mexicans. Praise the Lord!!" "We give thanks, to You O God"
Finally...I never would have imagined how God would spread word of what He's doing...and see the people, from all over the country that are praying, supporting, and encouraging us in this venture. From Washington, Utah, Oregon, Texas...to Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Florida..."We give thanks to You, O God"
I'd like to share one more story with you, that above all these awesome things that we have seen the Lord do...really touches my heart. Upon arriving home last Monday, I found a letter on our desk. It was from my cousin who lives in Phoenix Arizona. First of all, I love that it was an actual letter. Its to easy just to shoot out an email or text...but a letter...that was nice. It'd probably be a good thing for people to send and receive actual letters. Anyways, she was just sharing how our story and the orphanage has encouraged her and how excited her family is. The main point of the letter was sharing what God has been speaking to her 9 year old son. As he prays at night, she wrote this...
"He repeats the same sentence over and over every night in his prayers, 'please help the people that don't have mom and dads"
The 2nd page of the letter was from Cole...who wanted to write to me. I had to fight back the tears as I read the precious words from this 9 year old...
Brothers and sisters...give thanks to the Lord today, tomorrow, this week, month, year, for the rest of your lives. NOT because its Thanksgiving, and that time of the year, BUT, because of what Jesus Christ has done and has given to each of us. Our lives, testimonies, stories, should speak of the wondrous works that declare who Jesus is!
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upone Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound" (Isaiah 61:1).
THANK YOU JESUS...!