August 9, 2011

GOD’S COVENANT- A PLACE OF GREAT GRATITUDE: “Grace (favor and blessing) to you and [heart] peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah). I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. In every prayer of mine I always make my entreaty and petition for you all with joy (delight). I thank my God for your fellowship (your sympathetic cooperation and contributions and partnership) in advancing the good news (the Gospel) from the first day you heard it until now.” (Philippians 1:2-5)

So many years ago, so many rivers crossed, so many mountains climbed, so many joys and tears ago, Paul wrote of his heartfelt gratitude to the Philippians for their partnership in his efforts to preach the Good News every where that God sent him. Jan and I have the honor to share in what was in his heart that very day that he wrote these words to his beloved partners.

We feel the same way in our hearts this very day. It is with great love for you and with gratitude that we write these words today.

We thank you today for all that you have done with us in partnership of fulfilling the Great Commission. I pray that we are worthy of your love and that we pledge our best efforts as we go forward. Along with Paul we say the following as he wrote in verse 6-7:

“And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing that good work and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. It is right and appropriate for me to have this confidence and feel this way about you all, because you have me in your heart and I hold you in my heart as partakers and sharers, one and all with me, of grace (God’s unmerited favor and spiritual blessing)”

This morning we are leaving for a ministry trip to Wisconsin. You will go with us in thought, word and deed. However, before we go it is with great excitement and anticipation that we share the core of our next assignment from God.

In September we will go to minister the Good News to the people of Cuba. Because of the love, prayers and financial support of many of you our tickets and lodging for the three week trip are paid for. Thank you. We ask you to prayerfully consider supporting the following efforts once we get to the island:

• We are doing three-three day island wide conferences. We are told that thirty churches will attend each one. Pastors and church leaders as well as lay people will attend. In all, we expect several thousand people. We must pay for their, transport and lodging for them to attend. The estimated cost is $1,000 per conference. This is a total of $3,000.00 that we must provide.

• The base church and pastor Juan Carlos are in desperate need of a computer and a printer. His church is over 400 people and he has a huge outreach effort to the people of Central Cuba. The estimated cost of these two items is$600.00

• In addition to the three conferences that we are holding, we will be ministering in a different church every night for 21 days. While we are trying to limit our travel, due the high cost of fuel on the island, we still anticipate that travel on the island for 21 days will be around $750.00.

So, you can see that we are still in need of about $4400.00 to underwrite our mission to SET THE CAPTIVES FREE. Last year, one couple underwrote the entire mission. I don’t know how or who this year, but I do know that God is sending us and will speak to His people to partner in this effort. Maybe he will speak to you, I don’t know. All we ask is that if God speaks to you to help in any of the aforementioned needs that you be obedient to Him. Others, He may ask to provide a prayer covering. Again all that we ask is that you be obedient to His still small voice. We love you and will end this today with the same way that Paul ended his letter to the Philippians.

“But it was right and commendable and noble of you to contribute for my needs and to share my difficulties with me. And you Philippians yourselves well know that in the early days of the Gospel ministry, when I left Macedonia, no church (assembly) entered into partnership with me and opened up a debit and credit account in giving and receiving except you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent me contributions for my needs, not only once but a second time. Not that I seek or am eager for your gift, but I do seek and am eager for the fruit which increases to your credit [the harvest of blessing that is accumulating to your account]. But I have your full payment and more; I have everything I need and am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent me. They are the fragrant odor of an offering and sacrifice which God welcomes and in which He delights. And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:14-19)

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