The Little Things

by Jonni Sliver

It is exciting to see God’s hand in our lives! I have a friend here in Brazil who has undergone surgery to remove a cancerous kidney. There was an army of intercessors holding her up and expecting to see God move on her behalf. The peace we have, in facing huge challenges, is an amazing gift, something only a child of the Father can know. But somehow, there is a special sweetness in seeing God’s hand in the little details of our lives that reminds me that He isn’t just my champion in time of trial, but the Lover of my soul every day. The problem isn’t that God isn’t moving every day or every moment, but that I just don’t always pay attention!

About two months ago a project that the Miriam Home had presented to the city council was approved, to replace a very old computer tower and to buy a laptop. The laptop wasn’t an extreme necessity, but it was helpful for Pastor Silvio to be able to do the administrative work of the Miriam Home, Bible School and the retreat center. I was glad for the grant, especially because I knew how much Tibby (my Toshiba laptop) means to me, and that it would make ministry easier for Pastor Silvio.

Around that same time Tibby started showing signs of age. Little things like freezing when I would start her, so I would have to shut down and restart. A few times, when I left the desk for a while, without turning her off, I would come back to find her, not in sleep mode but with a blue screen, scolding me just a bit. Yes, there were signs, but I didn’t expect the end to come so quickly. Last Saturday I went to turn Tibby on and there was no response. Well, actually you could hear the motor running, but the screen didn’t even flicker. A crashed computer is always frustrating, but for me it was even more – maybe 75% of all I do is on my laptop, but I had hope! A young man from church is a truly gifted geek (I call him my techno-medic), and he took my computer Sunday morning – I was pretty confident that I would have it back on Monday! I was wrong. But with the help of my trusty (almost recent) backup and the borrowed desk top (with the new CPU) I was able to redo my class plans for the Bible School before my classes were to begin. In the meantime Mateus was trying everything he could to get Tibby up and running, but the system still didn’t work. By the end of the week it was clear that my computer was not coming back.

It just so happens that most of last week Pastor Silvio was in a series of meetings. For that reason I was able to use the new laptop we had just acquired. On Friday Pastor Silvio left for a week long ministry trip to a neighboring state giving me a few more days to work. And Mateus, my faithful techno-medic, has ordered my new computer, which will be here before Pastor Silvio returns and wants his laptop back.

I know something as small as a crashed computer doesn’t rate as a “trial”, but it has been sweet to see how the Father is concerned about my little things. Seeing His care over the details increases my faith for the big challenges that come up, and they always do!

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His Eye is on the Sparrow

John, Cris and Family-Jonni Silver Web readyBy Jonni Sliver

I come from a long line of worriers. That isn`t one of the qualities I am most proud of, but I see it popping up now and then (with more “now” than I care for.  Those of you not genetically inclined to fretting are probably already saying to yourselves “what’s the point of worrying?” You are right of course, and we know it, with 90% of our brains, it is the 10% that trips us up. Praise the Lord, He loves his daughters, even when we fret, and His has lovely, precious means to remind us that we really don’t need to fret at all. Cris is a good example.

Cris has been living in a house on the Miriam Home/Bible school campus for six months now. She is a precious young mom, born in the Philippines, married to a mighty North Dakotan, John, who happens to be an engineer working on international oil rigs. Through his job he got to know the AFLC churches in Brazil, and he decided to bring Cris (7 months pregnant when they arrived) and their two year old daughter to get to know this lovely country. The only problem was that John is six weeks on the ship and six weeks off. He was here just a short time before he left for his on ship time, because he wanted to come back in time for the birth of his daughter. Cris is a pretty brave young lady, being in a new country, with a language she was just starting to learn and a very active little girl. She fit in wonderfully to our family, and her little Leota won everyone’s hearts.

During the six months John had to do two shifts on the ship, but they were planned so he would be back to take his little family home. The timing was important because not only did Cris and Leota’s visas run out the beginning of June, but Cris had to be back in the U.S. by June 6th or she would lose her green card.  But plans don’t always work the way we want them to. Problems came up on the ship and John’s return kept getting postponed. By the middle of last week it was clear that John wouldn’t be here to accompany Cris and the girls home, but Cris is spunky and wasn’t intimidate.

Then Tuesday came – just two days before Cris and the kiddos were to take off, I received a call from Pr. Silvio, on vacation in the north of Brazil. He remembered that Cris would need authorization to travel outside of Brazil without John. This document required a notarized statement from John, hard to get in the middle of the ocean, and would normally take at least a week to be approved. But, since Cris is living on the campus of the Miriam Home our administrator, Surai, was able to ask for the help of the juvenile court judge. Based on his respect for Surai, and the fact that Cris had copies of every birth certificate back to her great grandma, the document was ready by today, Thursday morning. Four hours later she was in the van, on the way to the airport, with everything she needed in her carry-on bag.

His eye is on the sparrow, on Cris and on me. Why worry?   

Michigan District WMF Retreat

Held April 25-26, 2014

Michigan Retreat 0414--LW--web ready

 

The cold temps did not keep the Michigan women from coming to Lake Ellen Bible Camp near Crystal Falls, Michigan!  They were tucked into cozy rooms and comfy great areas to learn more of “Loving God’s Abundant Life” from John 10:10.

 

Carol Mackey--LW--web ready

 

 

Carol Mackey was the MC and had us giggling despite the recent loss of her mom.  Much reflection took place as we “examined ourselves”, allowed the Lord to do “heart surgery” on us, learned how to study the Bible on our own, shared how the Lord abundantly blesses us as we spend time with Him and learned how we can, in turn, share those blessings with others.

 

One of the participants wrote:
“Thanks so much for all you have shared with us here at Lake Ellen.  It was no accident that I came this weekend.  All you have shared from God’s word and what was on your heart has blessed me and was just what I needed to hear.  God is good!  I am so glad that you and your friends were willing to give of yourselves to encourage and bless me more than you know.  Your love for Jesus and a desire that others do too radiates from within you.  My life was so blessed in a mighty way today.  God bless you as you continue the work for the sake of the Kingdom.”

Another wrote:
“Thank you so much for coming all this way to spend today with us!  What a blessing to be among sisters in the Lord, and be encouraged and challenged.  We are in a rough season of life, and I often find my “tank” dry.  To be in God’s presence without the stressors, spending time drawing strength from His Word is absolutely essential, to be able to go back and face the battle head-on!  God IS good, and it will be HE that brings us through.  Thank you so much!”

And to that we say, “To God be the glory!”

If your ladies’ group desires for a National WMF Board Member or representative to encourage your women in the Word or would like to learn more about WMF, please contact:

Dawn Johnson
WMF Executive Secretary
2991 30TH Ave., Wilson, WI 54027
(715) 772-4454
ctk@wwt.net OR wmf.es@aflc.org

Michigan Retreat Waiting--LW--web ready

Done with Chemo party

Written by Esther Hylden

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
Romans 12:15

 

Carol Hensrud and Maxine Larsonweb ready

 

 

 

 

Bethel Free Lutheran WMF, Grafton, North Dakota, hosted a “Done with Chemo Party” last Thursday for two dear ladies, Carol Hensrud and Maxine Larson.  In the early autumn days of 2013, both were diagnosed with cancer, and faced a long winter filled with chemotherapy.   Their church and WMF friends watched as their faces grew pale, their hair thinned and fatigue became the way that they started every day.  We sent cards, called with words of encouragement, offered rides…but felt helpless as we watched our dear friends struggle with yet another round of chemo.  How many weeks left, we would ask?  Eleven more weeks, nine more weeks…then finally one more week!   At last they were done, and we rejoiced!  However…we wanted them to know just how much we loved them, and how happy we were that their chemo was completed.  So, we decided to “shower them with love” at our May WMF meeting.  The Fellowship Room was decorated with flowers and balloons.   We brought cards and presents…and waited for them to walk through the door.  “Surprise!” we yelled as they entered.  “What is going on here,” they gasped as they looked around.  “We are having a Done with Chemo Party,” we told them.  The room was filled with laughter as they looked around in disbelief.  WMF opened that evening with a rousing chorus of, Count your Blessings, Name them one by One.  We looked at each other as we sang…and know that each was a blessing…and that friendship was a gift.  As we studied God’s Word that night…each verse…each comment…was precious.

Carol Hensrud shared Isaiah 43:2 with us, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”     “Ladies,” she said, “notice that it says when you pass through the waters…not if.”  “We have all been through hard times, be it chemo, the loss of a loved one, a job, trouble at home…but God is here with us…even in the hard times.”  We nodded our heads in agreement …we had all been through hard times…and yes…God had been with us. We closed with this verse…a benediction…a prayer… “May the God of Hope full you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.”  Romans 15:13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pillman’s Thank You

 

Pillman's Thankyou_WMFWeb readyIF YOU HAVE TROUBLE READING ON THE PICTURE THE MESSAGE IS BELOW.

Dear friends of the WMF,
This month we had the blessing of a ministry team visiting from the AFLC Bible School.  They worked with the church youth to share Jesus with the children at the Bilingue elementary school.  Justo was involved as well and did a lot of translation.  Many children expressed a desire to know the Savior.  Thank you for your part in the Lord’s work here in Ecuador.  He is transforming lives!
In Him, Just, Tricia, and family

 

 

Amanda in Ecuador

Amanda Bellefy is a Short Term Assistant (STA) in Ecuador.  STA’s are volunteers who go out on their own to serve on the mission field with the blessing of AFLC World Missions.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” –Ephesians 2:8-10

We had a blessed week this last week working with the bilingue school in Cuenca.  I stayed with the Aletheia students in the mission home and we worked alongside the AFLBS team from the states and the team from the Paz de Dios church.  Everyday we had a special presentation for the elementary students.  On Monday (4/7), we performed a passion play 7 times for the different grades.  On Tuesday, the groups split up, so the group from Aletheia shared puppet skits with the kids.  On Wednesday, we went to the different classrooms and did crafts with them.  Thursday we watched videos, which had a powerful response from the children.  Then on Monday (4/14), we wrapped up our time with a performance continuing from the previous Monday’s performance, starting at the crucifixion and ending with Jesus going back up into heaven, using a pulley system and scaffolding.  It was a great time filled with God’s Spirit.

  • Please pray for the children that responded to the Gospel, that they would grow in their faith and relationship with Christ.
  • Please pray that my visa application would be accepted.  I am planning on handing in my paperwork next week.

As always, thanks for your prayers, support, and words of encouragement.  God is always at work, and I feel blessed to be able to serve Him here.

In Christ,
Amanda