Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless HIS HOLY NAME.

Friday, January 14, 2011

God Did It For Me! Part 3 (Spiritual Encouragement)

Another great blessing of having been in the States was the spiritual encouragement we received. Besides being able to be at the Beacon Hill Baptist Church, we were able to visit three other churches who have been a blessing to us over the years…the Petra Baptist Church, Pastor W.N. Bond, who was Dad’s pastor when he was only 19 years old, and attending medical school; the Family Baptist Church, Pastor Kelle Hein; and the Immanuel Baptist Church, Pastor Louis Horton. In 2000, I was blessed to have been a part of that church by working as a teacher in their Christian school. The people there feel like family to me, and it was such a blessing to me that Andrew and I were able to be there.

I don’t know if supporting churches in the States realize what it means to missionaries to be able to be able to visit their churches and receive encouragement. As a missionary, one often feels spent physically and emotionally, for the glory of God; and to be able to be in churches and sit and listen and to enjoy hearing the preaching is refreshing.

It means everything to a missionary to hear, “We are praying for you and your family every day.” One battles with everything from criticism and discrimination to literal demons from hell nearly every day, and to know that someone takes the time to pray specifically for me

means a lot.

One man told us: “I have your family picture in my Bible, and every time I read my Bible, I look at your picture and pray for you. And I read my Bible at least three times a day.” What encouragement and strength we have drawn from the fact that people are praying for us!

Don’t forget about your missionaries. Pray for them, and let them know that you are praying. When a missionary comes to your church, remember they have spiritual and emotional needs. God meets every need, and He supplies according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus; but He uses people to encourage, to uplift, to say, “Just keep on keeping on!"

Bro. and Mrs. John Manning...

"Thank you for ALL you did for us!!! We love you!"

Miss Laquita Brown and Mom

My Lovely Mother

Bro. Manning, Bro. Jim, and David

Andrew got to bring the message on Sunday night at Beacon Hill....

The Sloan Kids singing

David's family singing

The López Family singing

The Knabb famiy singing

The Lopez children singing

Our family with Bro. and Mrs. Bond...
What a blessing they are to us!

Bro. Manning telling about his golfing experience with Andrew...his first time to go golfing!

Thank you, Bro. Manning, for your tender heart toward the missionaries!

Andrew gave his testimony and I translated

Another Sloan children special
Bro. Louis Horton

Sloan children singing at Immanuel Baptist Church

The Hortons took us out to I H O P....
"Thank you for EVERYTHING!"

We were able to go visit Bro. and Mrs. Riley...

who have always been such a blessing to all of our family!
Tom's children sang for her... did Andrew and I

We love you, Bro. and Mrs. Riley!

What a blessing to have been at the Family Baptist Church with the Waldrops and the Heins!

Thank you for all you did for us while we were there! We love you!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

God Did It For Me...Part 2


F- Feeling right at home!
A- All about loving each other!
M- Making of Memories!
I- I am accepted!
L- Laughter
Y- Yesterday's's best friend!

By far, the best thing about our trip to the States was getting to be with family. There is nothing in this world like being with family. You can just let your hair down and act crazy, if you like, or sit in the corner and be quiet and watch everyone else act crazy (I'm usually in the OTHER group!!!) and you're still loved and accepted! We were able to be with Tom and Mona; and David and Jolene; and Sarah and Jason; and Mom...the most wonderful lady in all the world! It was great being around my nephews and nieces and being able to love on them. There is no way I could describe what fun it was being together....

Tommy and Mona have 5 children, ages fourteen to two; Jason and Sarah have 6 children, ages seven to eleven months; and David and Jolene have 3 children, ages eight to four. I love watching Tom and Mona with their children, and admiring the way theirs have grown into lovely young people. Every time I am with them, I try to learn all I can as I watch them...14 seems very far away from now, but I know before I know it, that my 7-year-old will be 14! (That's hard to imagine!) And when I am around Jason and Sarah, I can't help but ADMIRE how they handle their little ones, because they are all so little! It is a testimony to me to see how calmly and sweetly Sarah deals with her close in age, many times all of them demanding her immediate attention at the same time...but she sweetly and tenderly cares for each need, as if there is only one child in the room! I want to be a mommy just like her! And David and Jolene are an example to me in the way they do things by routine...order and never chaos. How do they do it? They inspire me to want this in our home, too!

And among all this family fun, I got up each morning to the smell of coffee in the church kitchen, and to the sight of my mother reading her Bible. Everyone had to go through her bedroom to get to the washing machine or to the shower or to the nursery (Tom and Mona's bedroom!); but she stayed focused. What a blessing and testimony to me!

I was thinking just today: If you have nothing in the world besides family, you are BLESSED! What a blessing family is! To each of my my true friends who love me JUST as I am...I say: I love you; I cherish the relationship we have; and I am so thankful God put us in the same family!

(I apologize for the dates on some of the pictures...the camera somehow got that all messed up!)

Tom and Esther and Elisa

Brother-in-law fun!

Who does he belong to?

"This is my first candy ever, Aunt Anna!"

Cousin love....

Good ol' Gospel singin'! I love it!

The girls thought I needed a new hair style.... it?!

Belated birthday gifts for Little Andrew

Little Miss Esther Joy

Can we open the gifts now?

Helpful big sister...Gabriela and Elisa Faith

Singing Christmas carols...there is nothing like family harmony, is there?

"Look what I got!"

Mimi's gonna read us a story! Gather 'round!

The "grandchildren" book that Jolene had made for Mimi!

I love all the little heads gathered around Mimi's chair!

Figuring out the Construction Game

Andrew carving the turkey...yummy!

Christmas dinner

Childrens' Mad Santa

Brianna got balls....

...and Stewart got a bead necklace set!

Mama trying to win something good for her Little Esther

Adult Mad Santa

Remember: The biggest gifts aren't always the best!

O Holy Night...sung by the Sloan Ladies...

...and David and Mom playing a piano duet.