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Archive for the ‘Compassion’ Category

Thanksgiving has ushered in
the Christmas season.
I am sobered
not so much by the calories
I have consumed
as by the contrasts I see.

There is plenty and want,
joy and grief,
love and hatred,
hope and despair,
the real and the artificial.

Father, help me to see You
and to share Your love.
Move me to give
as Your Son gave
when He willingly went
from the manger to the cross.

Let there be a difference in me
that is visible and credible –
that points others to Jesus Christ,
Our Savior and only hope.

The reality of children going hungry – even right here in America – as I eat more than I should (and more than I need), deeply concerns me. And then there is the grim forecast of global famines of ‘biblical proportions’ [that] will be caused by coronavirus pandemic.

About 40 years ago I read What Do You Say to a Hungry World? by Stan Mooneyham* who was then president of World Vision. His words were convicting and compelled me to organize the “Hands Reaching Out” Community Hunger Bazaar. Over 100 women from 17 churches created handmade crafts to put food into the hands of women whose hands were empty. We raised almost $4,000 in the handcrafts we sold at the day-long bazaar.

Grace and Weight | Write His Answer MinistryToday, rather than teaching women how to make sand paintings, wreaths, and Moravian stars in classes in homes and churches, my hands are now better put to use editing and publishing books for others as well as writing my own books. My latest, Grace and Weight – Encouragement for Dieters, is a book I began 37 years ago. (Click here for the God-story and an excerpt.) Karen Linamen Bouchard, author of Just Hand Over the Chocolate and No One Will Get Hurt, says:

“Perfect for gift-giving, solo reading, or reading with friends, this book delivers inspiration and grace for the journey. Any book dealing with weight can be a tricky item to give to someone, right? But Marlene’s writing is so authentic, heartwarming, and encouraging that anyone who receives it will consider it a blessing.”    

Grace and Weight came off press this week and is available on Amazon. Set up a SmileAmazon account and 0.5% of your eligible purchases will go to the charity of your choice. Or order directly from me, and I will donate 10% of the purchase price to Becky Spencer’s Grand Staff Ministries to the children of e-Swatina (formerly Swaziland). The need, as Becky shares each year at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference**, is so great.

“Children in Swaziland, Africa, are as vulnerable as ever.  Burying parents who have died with AIDS, being driven from homesteads of relatives who don’t want them, foraging for food in the forests, stealing food from street vendors, and worst of all, finding themselves victims of deceived individuals who believe that AIDS can be cured by relations with a virgin.” 

As you shop for Christmas gifts, please check out the Write His Answer bookstore. Today I added over 60 writing how-to books plus you’ll finds books I edited, Ampelos Press titles I published, and lots of other books that I recommend – over 200 in all. I will gladly donate 10% of the price of any titles you purchase now through Christmas to Becky’s Grand Staff Ministries. Together we can make a difference!

“Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you?
Or thirsty and give you something to drink?”
Jesus will say, “I tell you the truth,
when you did it to one of the least of these
my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”

Matthew 25:37, 40 (NLT)

*Stan is home with the Lord and his book is out of print, but you can find it at BookFinder4U.com.

**I am hopeful that the May 12-15, 2021, Colorado Christian Writers Conference will be held in person at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center with the faculty and program that was in place for 2020. Visit the website at https://colorado.WriteHisAnswer.com. If the coronavirus continues to make it unsafe to meet, the Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference will be virtual. I do not yet have a date for the Greater Philly conference, but the faculty is partially planned (see https://philadelphia.WriteHisAnswer.com).

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Help us not forget

Father, help us not forget those who have given their lives for our country and those who are presently serving in places near and far. You know the sacrifices they and their families make as well as how difficult it is to see a son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father cope with physical disability or PTSD.

Others are grieving the loss of a loved one from covid-19. When will this end, Father?

And then there are countless others who are battling cancer and other frightening conditions or are overwhelmed caring for a family member or close friend.

It’s not easy, Lord, but then You never promised life would be easy. But thank You that You have promised always to be with us.

Jesus said: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 TLB

If someone you love has cancer, or if you know of a caregiver who needs comfort and encouragement, this gift book will provide spirit-lifting thoughts for celebrating the gift of life in the midst of troubles. My good friend, Cec Murphey, who cared for his wife as she battled cancer, has given Write His Answer Ministries a box of these beautiful full-color gift books. Only $7. Click here to order.

Let him have all your worries and cares,
for he is always thinking about you
and watching everything that concerns you.

1 Peter 5:7 (TLB)

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I know you are daily bombarded with needs. I am, too! Of course we cannot donate to every cause. Oftentimes the need is so huge, so overwhelming, that we simply conclude the little we could do wouldn’t really make a difference. 

But below is an appeal from my good friend, Becky Spencer, director of  Grand Staff Ministries, that I believe Father wants to use me and you to meet.

Becky has been on faculty at the  Colorado Christian Writers Conference every year since 2011 where we’ve asked her to share about her ministry to abandoned, orphaned, and vulnerable children in Swaziland (now eSwatini), Africa. She says, 

“They are like little lost lambs. 
The Good Shepherd’s staff is grand enough
to care for each one – through you.”

The Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference also is blessed to have a part in Becky’s ministry to these precious children. Indeed, I think it is the emphasis both conferences put on missions that makes us unique.

Please take a couple of minutes to read Becky’s message below, pray for these children, and ask Father how He wants you to help. Just $10 from half of the people receiving this email would not only meet the need of these three youngsters but provide the funds to build another group home. Becky’s vision is big, but we serve an even bigger God.

I must “plead the cause of the orphan” and “defend the rights of the poor.” 
Jeremiah 5:28

We are leaving for eSwatini in four days. But Tema’s siblings can’t wait that long! 

You might remember that a few weeks ago Tema joined our Shepherd’s Care Family. She’s a 7th grader with 7 siblings, and all have been abused and neglected. 

Tema has been crying uncontrollably and for long periods of time. Thobile found out it’s because of so much concern for two of her siblings.  She is grateful for the care she is receiving, but she doesn’t feel like she can enjoy it when she knows they’re in so much danger.

We didn’t plan to take on any additional children for Thobile, our “auntie”/helper who agreed to take on the responsibilities of house mama when we had to terminate the former house parents. But she insisted that we simply had to invite Tema to live in the home because of the awful abuse she was enduring.

But we felt we had to say no to taking two more of her siblings.  We were told they were boys, and our home is really for girls.  We have one boy who is a twin to one of the girls, and he is away at the school for the deaf most of the year.

I just learned day before yesterday that the two siblings in most dire need are also twins–a girl and a boy.  

What’s happening to them?Their aunt makes them sleep in a shack without a door on it.  They’re left vulnerable to anyone passing by who wants to hurt them.

She also leaves them unattended for a week at a time–without food.

They live too far from us to come to Shepherd’s Care Home for meals.

If we gave them food, it would do little good.  Usually in situations like this the food is stolen from them.  Besides, they are only in the 3rd grade, and they don’t have access to cooking supplies.  Tema has been giving them the change left over from her transport money to ride the kombi to school.  She hopes they can find chips or bread to eat on the way home.  

We are brainstorming how to help them. 

I realized yesterday that the three siblings could stay in one of our bedrooms, which would keep the boy away from the other girls in the home.  When Philani, our other boy, is home during breaks, he could also sleep in that room.  

But it means raising additional funds to meet their needs.  It takes about $1500 for half a year of care for a child in elementary school.  We still haven’t raised any funds to take care of Tema, and adding the twins brings it to $4500 we will need to feed them, pay for school fees/transport, provide medical/dental attention, purchase clothing and blankets and towels, and provide utilities/shelter. Just to get through December.  Then twice that much will be needed to care for them in 2020.

My “Mama” heart wants to gather up the other four in this family and invite them “home,” too.  But the funds have to come from somewhere.  We will contact social welfare to let them know we are willing to take the twins. 

But meanwhile, I’m pleading their cause.

Already $225 has been raised yesterday from the Facebook post concerning these children.  And I know others have sent checks. And many are sharing on their own timelines or asking for a document with the information so they can print it and show it to others at church tomorrow.  (I can see the Father smiling.) 

If you feel called to contribute, you may do so on our website or mailing a check to GSM, PO Box 321, Buhler, KS  67522.

Some on Facebook saw the plight of these kids for the first time. They were shocked that children were being treated this way, but it’s common in eSwatini.  

It’s why God sent us to work there.

The office/apartment will be completed this fall, and as you can see, we need to start immediately on the next care home.  That means raising about $90,000 more.  I’d love to keep our new builder immediately starting the next project as soon as one is completed, because we could fill all twelve homes that are planned!

And the need for a primary school is also great.

How can we see this happen? 

Besides raising funds for the big projects, we’re praying for 150 people who will join the team with a $50/month commitment.  Of course, any amount makes a difference. One dear couple is donating $1,000 a month, because they can.  Another couple has faithfully paid $10/mo and now $20/mo because that fits their budget. 

All I know is, the Lord’s heart for these children is big.  And the call He’s given us to meet their needs is WAY bigger than us.

Together, we can meet it.  Will you be part of showing these siblings that God has heard their cries in the night?

On another quick note, Tracy had to drive his mother to east Texas yesterday.  His only sibling, Patsie, is extremely ill and in the hospital.  We were told so far that she’s in liver shut down and has congestive heart failure.  Tracy will bring Mom Spencer home tomorrow, just in time to work Monday and Tuesday and help me finish preparations in the evenings.

Right before each trip or major fundraiser, the challenges seem to pour on.  No surprise.  We’ve been hit hard with a couple of other family situations.  I seldom ask for help personally or even say how I’m feeling when I’m down, but ugh, earlier this week I was in a bad place and really needed prayers.  Facebook serves a wonderful purpose when we put out the plea from our weaknesses, and the family of God undertakes for us.  I have felt carried, and my focus is back where it belongs.  🙂

Wednesday morning, we’re off!  I can’t wait to love on the children!!!!

Thank you for being part of this through your giving, your encouragement, and your prayers.  

Let us know how we can also pray for you!

Much love,

Becky

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A Song of Thanksgiving

“Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord!”
Psalm 150:6

Guest Post from CCWC & GPCWC Keynoter
Michael Gantt

Just about seven years ago, I stood looking across a weed infested, half flooded plot of land in Western Kenya.  We had purchased the property for some future use for the Immanuel Christian School for the Deaf.  The school had so many real and pressing needs, there were some who considered the purchase with great consternation, thinking that the purchase was a great waste of money.  However, as I stood there gazing out over the little plot of land I saw neither weeds nor water.  Instead, I saw great brick buildings rising up out of the overgrown soil. I saw sleeping quarters and a beautiful dining hall and kitchen.  In my mind’s eye, I saw a meeting room for chapel services and public meetings and most beautiful of all – – a grand educational center towering above everything else; a place where Deaf children could overcome every disadvantage their Deafness had saddled them with.

I turned my gaze to a small room where I would meet with our Headmaster Wes Agengo and members of the school board.  On a table in front of us we had rolled out a large piece of white paper and threw some markers on it.  We prayed before picking up those markers and began  to draw a dream. We asked God to give us a vision greater than us. He gave us a vision for a Center for Deaf Education that would not only train Deaf children in basic academics, but a technical center where they could learn a trade and eventually, a Deaf College and Technical Institute.  We had scarcely a penny with which to begin but God had given us a vision and a kernel of faith and with that we began to dream and with the dream,  to plan.

When I returned home to the US,  I shared our vision with my own church. After one meeting a member of my church approached me with a twenty dollar bill.  She said, “That’s all I have, but I am giving it to you in faith that like the loaves and fishes, Jesus is going to multiply this into all the money you need to finish this work.”  Her faith (along with many others) has been rewarded, for God has indeed multiplied that small offering into a great miracle.

School for Deaf

The New Academic/Administration Center
for the Immanuel Christian School for the Deaf

     This morning, I received some photos that are a testimony to the power of a small faith and the great faithfulness of our God.  They are photos of that grand Educational Center that is within a few weeks and a few dollars of completion.  It is beautiful beyond any words I can share, but I must tell what God has done.  The campus I could only see in my spirit just seven years ago is today, almost complete. We are just $4,000 and a few weeks away from completion. How great is our God!!!

And yet, it is not merely buildings that have been built there; not just brick and mortar.  The Immanuel Christian School for the Deaf is now considered the leading academic center for the Deaf in all of Kenya.  Our students are excelling at a very high academic level.  Recently, we entered into an agreement with a national Teacher’s College that is now holding lectures on the new campus, training teachers to teach the Deaf.  Some of our own students are training at the college level to be teachers of the Deaf.  I could not have imagined just seven years ago that this would be possible in such a short time.

I asked Marlene Bagnull if I might submit this article for publication on her blog because I wanted to express my deepest gratitude to so many who have been associated with Write His Answer and the Colorado and Philadelphia writers conferences who have been instrumental in the fulfillment of this dream.  Each year as I have spoken at these conferences, those in attendance have sent me home with very generous offerings; amounting to many thousands of dollars in support of my kids in Kenya.

As we stand at the precipice of victory, I want to express my gratitude to the many persons associated with the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference and the Colorado Christian Writers Conference for your encouragement and support.  Without your generous giving we would yet be many miles and many dollars away from completion.  You came to the conferences to learn, to hone your craft, but in the midst of it you found it in your hearts to invest in the lives of desperate children who live far away from you.

I expect to see many of you in Colorado in May and then in Philadelphia in July. I plan to bring photos that are different than those I’ve brought in the past. Photos not of what we HOPE to do – but of a work that is DONE!  Thank you Marlene for your generous allotment of time given to me to present the needs of the school and so many of Marlene’s friends who have made such generous contributions to our work. May His peace and blessings be yours.

Michael Gantt

From Marlene: Thank You, Father, for giving us the opportunity to be part of this ministry to the deaf children in Kenya. Thank You for again doing exceedingly, abundantly beyond . . 


To learn more about this life-changing work go to http://www.kenyadevfund.org.

 

 

 

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Terry Brynan RN - CopyIf you were at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference and attended the Wednesday evening general session, you heard my dear friend, Terry Bryan, share her burden about the upcoming elections in Kenya. Terry has spent a number of years sharing the Gospel and caring for the physical needs of “her people in the Far Places.” (Terry is a nurse and one of the most dynamic Christians I know.)

Please read Terry’s prayer request below and join us in asking Father to cover the elections in Kenya with His presence and peace.

 

Hi all, it’s Terry,

It has been quite some time since I have written.  I love you all, but since I have been waiting on the Lord, I have been quiet.  It has been a time of reflection and restoration of which I am grateful for. I am in US, however I have an urgent request for prayer for Kenya.

Please pray for peace before, during, and after the elections in Kenya. Although Tuesday, Aug 8 is their elections, the time difference makes it our Monday night that people will be lining up to vote. These are our brothers and sisters, and they need our fervent prayers in love.

Please pray for peace in every part of Kenya, among every tribe and every people group.

Even when the ballots are cast, there are petitions to the court contesting the results and that time can be volatile also so please continue to pray for peace.

Remember we do not fight against flesh and blood (people) but against principalities and powers of darkness (the enemy).

“In the name of Jesus, the enemy is bound, the angels are there. There will be peace on all sides.  Pour the blood of Jesus on it, the entire area and the people.  There would be no attacks on the police or people or by the police, army, home guard, terrorists, or people.  Send in your angels Lord to take care of the enemy.  There would be no trouble, no vengeance lived out.  Bind up the enemy. Release the Holy Spirit. Open the flood gates of heaven.  Let there be peace.  Let it spread like a consuming fire.  Let it bring life.  Rise up and live. Let there be no more deaths.  No more injuries.  No more crimes.”

Thank you for your continued prayer, praying for you too.

Love you,

Terry Brynan

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Contrasts

turkey

Contrasts

Thanksgiving has ushered in
the Christmas season.
I am sobered
not so much by the calories
I have consumed
or the prices in the mall
(although both are too high),
as by the contrasts I see.

There is plenty and want,
joy and grief,
love and hatred,
hope and despair,
the real and artificial.

Father, help me to see You
and to share Your love.
Move me to give as Your Son gave
when He willingly went
from the manger to the Cross.
Let there be a difference in me
that is visible and credible –
that points others to Jesus Christ,
the only Hope and Savior of mankind.

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Compassion rocks fixedI’ve  been and am so focused on preparations for the August 3-6  Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference that I almost missed the email from Operation Blessing that today is World Day against Trafficking in Persons.  I hope you’ll take a couple of minutes to visit their website. Click here.
Scholarship help and time payments are available. It’s not too late to register and join us for what I know will be a life-changing conference.

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Faith rockDo you put off doing things because you don’t believe you can do them? Do you have half-written manuscripts waiting to be finished? What about ideas that you’ve tucked away – somewhere?

Yes, procrastination is a very real foe, but I am convinced the real reason we procrastinate is because we don’t believe we can do something. And actually, that’s true! We need God’s enabling to do the work He calls us to do. The key is knowing what He is calling us to do. The Living Bible paraphrase of Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do everything God asks me to do with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.”

It comes down to faith – to believing in the One who calls us and choosing to say “yes, Lord, here am I.”

I wantDream%20With%20Me_album%20cover to encourage you to read aloud the “Writer’s Statement of Faith” below. You may need to read it aloud several times a day. I know I do! I also want to encourage you to watch this video of pre-teen Jackie Evancho singing “To Believe.” Yes, Father, help us to believe that we really can make a difference and bring peace – Your peace – to our troubled world.

A Writer’s Statement of Faith

I have strength for all things in Christ Who Empowers me – I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength in me, [that is, I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. Phil. 4:13 AMP

Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies, so that God will be glorified. 1 Pet. 4:11 TLB

[Not in my own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in me – energizing and creating in me the power and desire – both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. Phil. 2:13 AMP

My strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power at work within me. Eph. 6:10 TLB

In Him in every respect I am enriched, in full power and readiness of speech (to speak of my faith), and complete knowledge and illumination (to give me full insight into its meaning). 1 Cor. 1:5 AMP

Now I have every grace and blessing; every spiritual gift and power for doing His will are mine during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 1:7 TLB

I actually do have within me a portion of the very thoughts and mind of Christ. 1 Cor. 2:16 TLB

I can be a mirror that brightly reflects the glory of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3:18 TLB

I will commit everything I do to the Lord. I will trust Him to help me do it and He will. Ps. 37:5 TLB

I will lean on, trust and be confident in the Lord with all my heart and mind, and choose not to rely on my own insight or understanding. Prov. 3:5 AMP

I will commit my work to the Lord, then it will succeed. Prov. 16:3 TLB

Sharing Christ is my work, and I can do it only because Christ’s mighty energy is at work within me. Col. 1:29 TLB

I will be strong and courageous and get to work. I will not be frightened by the size of the task, for the Lord my God is with me; He will not forsake me. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly. 1 Chron. 28:20 TLB

I need to keep on patiently doing God’s will if I want Him to do for me all He promised. Heb. 10:36 TLB

I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in me 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 me. Phil. 1:6 AMP

His mighty power at work within me is able to do far more than I would every dare to ask or even dream of – infinitely beyond my highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes. Eph. 3:20 TLB

From Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers. For more excerpts, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

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News from Terry Brynan in Kenya

Terry Brynan RN

The challenges Terry Brynan faces daily in Kenya are a sharp contrast to my struggles with computer issues and HTML (in the comfort of my office recliner).

Father, thank You for Terry’s faith and courage and tenacious efforts to help her people in the “far places.” Keep her safe and healthy. Continue to use her holy boldness to bring many to Jesus.

 

Hi my beloved family, friends and prayer warriors,

I hope all of you are well and blessed. As always, I love and miss you so much. Thank you for your continued prayers. I was sick with typhoid and pneumonia again, and then malaria but, I am ok. Keep praying God continues to strengthen me to accomplish His purposes and plans.

I finished the 14 meetings around all of the mountains and different areas. I met with about 1200 people. There was 100% support for closing the mountains.  Now, they are waiting for the rain.  Please pray it will rain. Pray God will bless it and make the grass grow and bring the water they need and supply all of their needs.

The meetings were filled with the young men who are usually far away in the mountains taking care of the cows. They returned to their areas when the rains came and the grass grew.  Their presence was a crucial element of proceeding forward with closing the mountains because they are the ones who move with the animals.  They were in complete agreement for the elders to close the mountains and the rules they would need to abide by. 

The young men and boys heard the good news of Jesus, and many trusted in Jesus as their Savior.

There was no time between the end of the meetings to close the mountains and the entire generation of boys going off to get circumcised and live in the bush for the next three months. If I had waited there would have been no way to reach any of them.

In just three new areas God has called me to go, in only three days, about 400 people trusted Jesus.

At one place there were about 220 people gathered on the banks of a dry river bed.  They had watched the Jesus movie and all had trusted JesusWe prayed and praised God together.  We ate together and discussed closing the mountains. It was an amazing day. I was getting ready to leave and the women started to sing.  I thought they wanted something from me but, instead they wanted to give me a gift.  It is a rare thing here for people to give me a gift for no reason.  I had nothing to give them.  They came singing and dancing, and dangling in front of them was a big paint sized can of fresh honey to thank me. They didn’t expect anything in return. The Lord impressed on me, that when we praise and thank Him, and let Him know we love Him.  It is as sweet as honey to Him. 

During the meetings, I distributed eye drops because so many have eye infections from dry dusty conditions, with little water and if left untreated, can lead to blindness. To combat nutritional anemia and anemia caused by malaria about 1000 families were given essential micronutrients and about 25,000 chlorine tablets were distributed to help reduce typhoid and water borne diseases.

The blind, the crippled, the elderly, the disabled and families especially appreciated the 100+ blankets and plastic sheeting for hut roofs and nursery schools (made of woven sticks).

The next plan for closing the mountains includes creating supplemental pasture in the lowlands.  The plan is to enclose and prepare 100 acres, 10 acres of pasture in 10 different locations, by fencing it with the cut branches of thorny bushes and trees, bush clearing, putting cut trees in gullies, and scratching the ground surface for seed preparation. These pastures will be used to produce seeds for reseeding, grass for harvest, and when the roots are more established, grazing.  I am waiting on the agreement for the seeds to begin community meetings.  Please pray for tremendous community support and that God will make a way for everything we need.  Pray it would be ready before the rains come and pray the rains come.

I finished delivering the mattresses and blankets for the children to begin sleeping at four of the schools in the bush. Each of those schools also received (1) 90 kg bag of posho, flour made from corn and sorghum, so the children who sleep there can have uji (porridge) for breakfast and ugali (like grits) for dinner.

Then, I found out the World Food Program (WFP) that has been delivering food (posho) for nursery school students all across Kenya stopped providing food for the nursery school students.  The responsibility was handed over to the counties but, my county did not accept the burden. There is not enough food at the schools to also feed the nursery students so I am guessing if nothing is done, the school will feed them and although they started late because the food for grades 1 and above came late, they will also want to close early because they will run out of food.   The nursery school children rely on the lunch they receive at schoolFor some of the children, it is the only meal they may have that day.  There is about one month left in this term. Please pray the children will have enough food.

God has provided the opportunity for me to present to the government offices and representatives of international organizations in my county in the last two weeks.  I have been able to share clearly and distinctly what is needed in the far areas of the bushThey are doing their steering for the coming year.  Pray God will bring the help that is needed. 

It was after midnight, one night, I had had a long day and was returning home.  I stopped to spend the night, far in the bush, at I place I had had a meeting the day before. Where my truck was parked there were two young men arguing about something for a long time. I was in my truck praying and had enough of the disturbance.  I tried to break up the argument and that didn’t work.  I reached into my truck and laid on my horn for about a minute, hoping to distract them. They didn’t even miss a beat. I changed my approach, and kindly asked one of the boys to come with me and led him away from the argument where he could be reasoned with. He left. Everything quieted down immediately. I returned to prayingRuth, my helper, opened the door laughing.

Standing next to me were three old women, dressed in animal skin skirts, no shirts, traditional beads and shangas.  They had crept up to camp, each with two sticks, one in each hand.

Where is Chepurai? Who is disturbing her? Who is attacking her?” They had exclaimed to Ruth,” We heard the sound of her truck and we have come to beat off her attackers! We each found two good sticks and we have come. We decided, if she dies, we die together!”

I am Chepurai. It is my Pokot name. I was so moved by their decision to come to my rescue, no matter what the cost. I flung my arms around them.  I thought to myself, that’s love!  It’s not every day someone is willing to die for me!  But as the words resonated through my thoughts, I remembered Jesus. Jesus died for me! It cost Him everything. That is love!!!
___________

If you would like to give a gift to help the children and families of Pokot, please visit our website at www.JesusIsOurAll.org or send a check made out to

Jesus Is Our All
P.O. Box 111
Frederick, Pa. 19435

Thank you for your love and prayer,
Thank you for your encouragement and care,
Everything you do in love,
Is written in His book above.
May you hear well done good and faithful servant.

With love and prayers,

Terry Brynan

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child

Eagerly we awaited
our first grandbaby’s birth.
We praised God
as we held her in our arms
less than an hour after she arrived.
So tiny, so helpless, so dependent –
and so immediately loved.

How difficult it must have been
for Joseph and Mary’s parents
to wait several years
to hold Jesus in their arms
and not to even know
if Joseph and Mary
and their grandchild were safe.

Today countless little ones
will never be held in the arms
of their grandparents.
Separated by the ravages of war,
they will struggle to survive
in refugee camps or on the streets
or as child slaves, prostitutes, or soldiers.

 How can we best celebrate Jesus’ birth?
By remembering how He held children
in His arms and blessed them.
By not forgetting the plight
of children in crisis around the world,
and by giving sacrificially
even as He gave Himself for us all.

Marlene Bagnull

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