2012 – The year in review.
The women of the Word of Life team when we went to a conference in Guatemala
A number of years ago a bible teacher that I had encouraged us to spend the end of the year talking with God about the year passing and to pray and ask Him about His plan for us in the coming year. So I began a tradition in my life to spend the last days of the year closed in with my Lord in prayer, bible reading and just talking to Him about the year passing and the year ahead. He has been faithful to guide me to scriptures each year to prepare me for the things He has for me in the New Year and I am always amazed at remembering the places He has led me through the year going by! Last year I was led to a scripture in Isaiah:
Isaiah 62:10-11 – I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God. For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments and as a bride adorns herself with jewels. For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes things that are grown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
The description of this passage in my bible says “The people were encouraged to prepare a highway for the Lord who would bring salvation to His people.” My only desire for many years now is to tell everyone who will listen about Jesus, the forgiveness and pardon found only in Him and to prepare the way for His soon coming. In my own country that is looked upon as weird and a little crazy when all you want to talk about is God and I was becoming more and more unhappy because I just didn’t fit in and really not too many people wanted to hear about God, the bible or Jesus returning. He makes us uncomfortable where we are at sometimes to prepare us to bring us to the place He has prepared for us to serve Him. So God lifted me up out of my despair, gave me an opportunity to go out and serve Him in a place where we are free and encouraged to talk about Jesus and salvation with others. I have been here in El Salvador as a missionary volunteer for 2 years and 6 months. It has been hard to be away from children and grandchildren friends and family in the United States but God has filled the hole with more of His presence and many more sons and daughters, grandchildren, family and friends and more blessings than one life can hold. He gives us this promise in His word:
Mark 10:29-30 – So Jesus answered and said, “Ässuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospels who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time – houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands with persecutions-and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
Part of our awesome evangelism team performing Colors of Life in one of many schools we were able to visit this year
And this word has been lived out in my life in this past year. He has put me in a new home, introduced me to more and more friends, family, placed me in a part of His body in a new church family, provided me with a position in a medical clinic to serve His precious people here as well as permitting me to continue to help at Word of Life El Salvador. Considering I couldn’t speak more than three words in Spanish when I arrived here in June 2010 at 59 years old it is pretty remarkable that the Lord can use me in all of these places and has given me a small part in so many wonderful people’s lives and has given me the ability to understand and to speak another language at my age. It is beyond my ability to understand. But the Lord tells us His ways are higher than our ways and beyond knowing! So true!!!! He has added so much to my life some times I feel like I have lived more than one life – it is truly too much to contain! When we give Him our everything He is faithful and gives us more than we could ever dream or think possible. Great is the Lord our God!
Sharing the story of Christ and how He changed my life with a group of young women
My prayer for this year is that He will continue to allow me to serve Him with JOY in a place I have come to love as much as my own country until He comes which I feel with all my heart will be very soon looking at the rapidly deteriorating conditions in this world! Have you had your talk with Jesus? Have you asked Him to take away your sin and give you eternal life? If not today is your day! Don’t waste another minute of your precious life without Him in your life! If you don’t know Him ask Him to make Himself real to you – this is a prayer that He will always answer because He is real, He loves you and He paid the price for your sins on the cross and He longs for you to receive forgiveness and to make your home in Him today and for all of eternity.
I will be leaving to go to the United States on December 12th to visit with my family and friends for one month and to continue to seek and wait and hear from the Lord for His plans for me for the coming year. I look forward to spend time with some of you to tell you more about all of the wonderful things God is doing here in El Salvador.
The ministry team and families from Joni and Friends family retreat El Salvador
May you be blessed beyond measure this Christmas and New Year. Thank you for your love, support and prayers for me – they mean more to me than you could ever know.
Under His wing with JOY