July 2020 - To whom are you listening?
“Now these Jews [the Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”
~ Acts 17:11 ~
This month, God has impacted us with the sufficiency of His Word. We live in tumultuous times. In these days, everyone wants a voice; everyone wants to share their opinion. With all the voices that can be heard, there is one Voice to whom we should always listen: God in His Word. In Acts 17, that is exactly what the Bereans exemplified. They listened to what Paul said, but then they examined his words in light of the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that God’s Word is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. God’s Word equips us to live life in a fallen world. We must never listen to human voices without filtering them through God’s inspired Word. Scripture proved to be the persuading factor for the Bereans, and the same should be true for our lives!
This month we had a face-to-face meeting in New Hampshire, followed by a Zoom update with a church in Massachusetts. We also had a meeting with a supporting church in PA. What a blessing to physically visit with supporting churches and be encouraged through their fellowship and what God is doing in their lives. It has been a treat to stay with Lisa’s parents in-between meetings. We’ve appreciated the family time and time out of the car!
During our time in Pennsylvania, we’ve had the opportunity to spend time with the neighbors of Lisa’s parents. They are from Mexico, so we were able to speak Spanish with them. The opportunity to practice Spanish was a direct answer to the prayer request from our last update – praise God! It was helpful to speak with native speakers, as well. Lisa and Simon were able to attend a party for their son, Leo, which was a fun cultural event. We learned that the wife is a Jehovah’s Witness, and we were able to tell her about our future ministry in Ecuador.
This month, we watched as COVID-19 cases increased in the Rio Grande Valley, where RGBI is located. The Department of Defense has sent multiple medical task forces to provide additional support and resources in the RGV hospitals. Hotels and convention centers are currently serving as additional locations for hospital patients. With the resurgence, RGBI has decided to move all Bible classes to online, but the Spanish classes will be held face-to-face. We recently learned that childcare will be provided during class hours.
We do ask that you pray for safety as we return to our home in Texas, and also that we would learn well this semester. God certainly helped and strengthened us last semester, and we know that He is able to strengthen us yet again. Lisa will complete her second semester of Spanish, and Jeff will audit several Bible classes in Spanish.
On another note, many have inquired about the effects of Hurricane Hannah in Texas. The storm hit southern Texas last weekend, and there was much flooding and devastation to the Rio Grande Valley. Thankfully, RGBI did not suffer significant damage other than some minor flooding and fallen trees. We’ve had problems with water in our apartment due to past storms, so we are praying that there is no water in our apartment.
We leave PA on Monday, August 3rd, following one more meeting on the 2nd. We will travel to Illinois for a reunion with Jeff’s family, then on Saturday the 8th we will make the 20+ hour trip to Texas. We plan to drive straight through the night, so we can arrive before classes begin on Monday. We do ask you to pray specifically for a smooth, safe trip, and that Simon would sleep in the car. We’ve never traveled overnight, so this will be a new experience for all of us. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers for us!
In His service and yours,
Jeff, Lisa, & Simon
I'm learning many new words, and I've figured out how to climb into my highchair. I had fun playing Leo, Paw-Paw and Teama's neighbor. I love go down a slide and blow bubbles. I went to Hershey's Chocolate Word and learned that they get cocoa beans from Ecuador!
Praise and Prayer:
1. Praise: God’s sufficient, profitable Word
2. Praise: Family time this month
3. Praise: Opportunities to practice Spanish
3. Pray: Traveling back to RGBI
4. Pray: Fall semester at RGBI
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