But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 ~
The past two months have been good - they have been filled with countless ministry opportunities, both planned and spontaneous. We’ve had new conversations with new people, and we’ve had new conversations with established contacts. But with all the good, these months have been hard. Whether through kids not sleeping, sickness, cultural frustrations, or just the pressure of the busyness of ministry life, it has been a challenging season. There were many days when we would say, “Today we have to fight for joy.” With all the good things that were happening, it seemed as if there were so many things that tried to discourage us or steal our joy. We kept reminding ourselves that Satan does not want us to be here, and he does not want us to do what we are doing. He doesn’t want new believers to grow in Christ. He doesn’t want unbelievers to hear the Gospel, and he will use whatever he can to dissuade us from working towards those ends. Over and over again, we continually saw that God’s grace was sufficient and sustaining. When we are weak and tired, we see His power. When we are discouraged and cast down, we see His strength. Praise God for opportunities to see that He is the One who works in us reminds us that it doesn’t all depend on us! In Him we find fullness of joy.
The summer was full, and we are thankful for God’s help. Lisa taught a ladies’ meeting towards the beginning of July. She was also able to host the church leaders’ wives in our home for a special time of prayer for the church family. Jeff has enjoyed serving as the substitute teacher for a class on Genesis in the Bible Institute on Friday evenings. The students ask many questions, often unrelated to the class material. Sometimes this causes extra work and study time, but it is so encouraging to see the believers’ desire to grow and learn. We are also thrilled to see the continued growth in the lives of Rolando and Hilda. They continue to meet faithfully to study God’s Word.
At the end of July and August, Jeff traveled to Aguas Frías, a small town on the coastal plains. In this remote community (it doesn’t even show up on a map!), there is a small group of believers that our team has been assisting since 2017. The pandemic hindered those trips for the past two years, and our team is finally able to resume these visits. On Saturday afternoon there is a lengthy teaching time, followed by another on Sunday morning. Those who want to attend the Sunday morning class arrive an hour before the Sunday service. This is a trip that happens on a monthly basis, so Jeff will be on most of those trips through the end of the year. He, Marco, and Kevin rotate and share the teaching times and preaching for the Sunday service. The people have a great desire to study God’s Word, which is very encouraging. This past Sunday, a lady named Ida placed her faith in Christ. Praise God!
At the beginning of August, we faced several weeks of sickness. After avoiding it for almost two years, we finally contracted Covid. We had a rather strong case of it, which was challenging. The boys had fevers, but nothing more. Titus was ill the next week with a virus. We are thankful that God helped us through. Also, thank you so much to those who faithfully prayed for us during those weeks!
Please continue to pray for the Thursday night Bible study. Depending on who attends, it is either an evangelistic study or a discipleship study. The unbelievers who attend ask many questions; they have a strong Catholic background, so the studies produce many questions for them. When the unbelievers do not attend, Jeff has been teaching on spiritual disciplines. He is also adapting this study for our midweek prayer meetings with the church family.
The next two months will still be quite full, as Kevin and Trina will be visiting the other BMW missionaries in Latin America. Lisa will be teaching for a ladies’ meeting on September 10th, and she would specifically appreciate prayer for her preparation, as it is more challenging with the boys. We are also dealing with some challenges in the parenting department, and we would appreciate your prayers for wisdom as we try to parent our children in a way that honors the Lord.
Thank you so much for supporting us and upholding us in prayer!
In His service and yours,
Jeff, Lisa, Simon, & Titus
The Double Scoop:
Simon is excited to start preschool next month. On September 16th, Simon will turn 4, and Titus will turn 6 months old. Titus loves his big brother so much. He continually watches him and laughs at the silly things Simon does. We are thankful for our boys, and we pray that they will be best friends as they grow.
Praise and Prayer:
Praise: Joy and strength from the Lord
Praise: Growth in the lives of new believers
Praise: God’s help through the past two months
Pray: Salvation of unbelievers at Thursday study
Pray: Upcoming fall ministry
Pray: Wisdom in parenting
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