April 2016: Post from Tom: First Day

Our first day in the villages was exceptional beyond expectations. Thank you to all who are praying for us. The highlight of my day was watching 8 year old Jax Sonnier lead 13 adults to a salvation experience. I marveled at how God used him in hut after hut to lead people in crossing the line of faith.

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Throughout the day I reflected time and again at how at 8 years of age Jax was doing something that most adults have never done. He was openly sharing the Gospel message and people were being drawn by the Holy Spirit to respond. As proud as I was of Jax’s efforts, my feelings paled in comparison to his mother’s, Alison. What a sweet day! Unsure I could have scripted it any better. For good reason, everyone sang loudly tonight at team devotion, Our God is An Awesome God. We saw Him all day today.
Although today was Sunday, we did not go to church. This Sunday we were the church.

April 2016: Post from Allison: First Day

I knew God was going to do amazing things on this trip, but what I didn’t know was how enormous of a blessing it would be to get to be used by Him.  I have an overload of emotions from our first day on the field, and I don’t even know what to share first.

One of my biggest take aways from today is how powerful the Holy Spirit is.  We visited five homes today, and at least a few of the people accepted the Lord in the first four.  As we approached our fifth home I unintentionally judged the couple who met us in the yard.  They seemed stand offish at first which I mistook for disinterest.  In reality, they were a much younger couple than any of the others we had visited, and their quietness was most likely a result of age and inexperience. 

I was quickly convicted of my snap judgement of them as we walked into the hut, and I immediately began praying.  I shared the Priceless Cube, and they listened intently.  Next Jax shared the gospel with them, and I prayed for the Holy Spirit to move in their hearts the entire time he spoke.  When Habtamu, our translator, asked if they would like to accept Christ as their Savior, the husband’s hand shot up into the air rapidly with confidence.  His wife raised her hand as well, and they prayed and asked the Lord to forgive their sins and to come into their lives.

We celebrated together after the prayer, and the joy and transformation on their faces was evident.  I was wrong to think I knew what was going on inside their hearts, and even if they weren’t interested at first, God can change a disinterested heart.  He can change a hardened heart.  Them coming to a life changing belief of Him and His Word had nothing to do with me or my thoughts.  It has everything to do with how powerful His message is.  What a blessing to be able to share the Truth and watch God at work.

April 2016: Pre-Excitement Fatigue Syndrome

From Dave:

Less than 7 days before our flight leaves – CAN…YOU…BELIEVE…IT?!?!

Yes, it’s official!  I’m suffering from PEFS – Pre-Excitement Fatigue Syndrome (not a real thing, so far as I know).  If you’ve not heard of it before, PEFS is condition where you’ve been excited for so long waiting for something to occur, that you get worn out just from the wait.

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I have been waiting, as have we all, for what seems like ages.  And now we are less than one week away from leaving for Ethiopia!!

The first time I left for Ethiopia, I had no expectations.  I was afraid to.  God was so amazing, that on the next trip I dared to believe God would do something – He showed Himself even more incredible.  For that reason, I am so excited to go this time to see and be a part of what God will do.

When people ask me why I return to Ethiopia, the answer is simple.  That’s because God keeps calling me.  I wish it were more courageous, such as when God asked Isaiah who would go and Isaiah said, “Here am I, send me.”  But alas, my calling was much more like Moses – God nearly had to light a bush on fire before I would go.

As others have said and continue to say, we greatly appreciate your prayers and encouragement as we prepare and as we are in-country.  We know God will do more than we can even ask or imagine, and we look forward to sharing with you what is happening via the blog.  Then, we hope to share with you in person afterward, rejoicing in what God did, and rejoicing with the angels in heaven for all the new believers in the kingdom.

 

April 2016: No Loopholes

From Allison:

Hi my name is Allison, and my eight year old son Jax and I are thrilled to be a part of the team headed to Amhara, Ethiopia next month.

When God placed this trip on my heart, raising funds to go was never a concern for me.  I had no doubt that He would provide.  He called Jax and me, and I knew He would pave the way.  What I wasn’t prepared for was how He provided.

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Jax and I sent out letters to our friends and family, and I posted a video of Jax describing our trip on Facebook.  The funds slowly poured in, and it was exciting to watch the number increase each week.  Our family prayed faithfully for the support, and each time we prayed I heard God telling me that it would all be raised in time.

A few weeks ago I received a phone call from my mom (who is also going!) asking how much money Jax and I still needed for the trip.  I looked up the number and saw that our balance was about $2700.  She told me that a friend of ours felt God telling her to pay off not only Jax and my balance but my mom’s as well.  Like I said, I was confident that God would provide, but He blew me away with how He provided.  That’s how He works. 

God provides in ways we don’t expect.  We don’t need to try to figure it out or make it happen by our own means.  He’s got it covered.  He provided safety for Noah and his family in the form of an ark.  He provided enough food to feed the large crowd by multiplying some fish and a few loaves of bread.  He provided deliverance for the Jews through a simple woman named Esther who found favor with the king.  He provided food for His people in the dessert by making manna rain from the sky.  He provided safety and hiding for the spies Joshua sent into Jericho with help from the last person you would expect, a prostitute. 

Those are just a few examples from the Bible of God’s provision.

He has promised to provide in abundance everything we need to do His work, and we know that we can trust His promises.  2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;”

As my pastor said this weekend, “God’s sovereignty has no loopholes.”

Do you believe that?  I sure do.