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We’re having difficulty posting to the blog on a regular basis. But we are posting to Facebook. Be sure and like our posts at the Fairview Baptist Chuch Facebook page! There are some great pictures and video snippets to check out. Things are going extremely well and the kids are awesome!
Today (Monday, July 11) was our first day with the children. We were able to worship with a local church yesterday; they prayed for us as a group and God has been gracious. We are off to a great start. We have over forty day campers. This is a little smaller group than last year but it was a great day.
We had one boy who said he had been waiting for us. Last year he was very interested and asked a lot of questions. Today he gave his life to Christ. As Angela reminded us, we have just a short time to impact these children, but it can make an eternal difference. This may be the only time that some of these children hear about the Lord all year.
We have a wonderful team that is representing the Lord and Fairview very well. Thank you for your continued prayers.
Hola from Guatemala! We started our day off with a great breakfast and an even better worship service on the roof overlooking the city of Chimaltenango. Sam Taylor, our youth pastor, lead us in worship and Brother Breck spoke on Mary and Martha. We learned how sometimes we get caught in all of the craziness of everyday life and forget to just worship and give praise Jesus for all of the many blessings he provides. After worship, we fellowshipped with one another and ate a gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. As we were finishing up lunch, Brother Breck told us that we would be leaving in 4 minutes to go to a block party in the community, even though we didn’t think we would be leaving for another 30 minutes. This is a great example of why flexibility is the first and last thing on the packing list. We are learning to see the Lord in each opportunity.
When we arrived at the block party, the people were a little skeptical at first, but as soon as we pulled out the finger nail polish, soccer balls, and candy, they definitely warmed up very quickly. The guys enjoyed played soccer with the boys and the girls enjoyed getting their nails painted and hair braided. We had jumpers for the children and they had a blast. For some, it was their first time playing on a jumpers. Then, we pulled out the corn hole game and all ages participated.
Kelsi’s most special moment of the day was when she gave a boy that couldn’t have been any older than two, a small car. As she was about to walk away, the little boy tapped her leg and gave her the only piece of candy he had in return for the car. This just showed her that even though they have very little, they still are so selfless and give what little they do have. This was just one of the many moments today that the Lord showed us that we need to appreciate what we have and give to others. John, the missionary in Guatemala, later told us that through the block party, two people were lead to Christ. Please continue to pray for us tomorrow as we build homes and more importantly build relationships with the families and neighbors and provide us with opportunities to lead many more to Christ.
Kelsi and Lindsey
The blog updates from East Asia are in code due to restrictions in the area where the team is serving. However, it should not take you long to decipher what they are saying. Please continue to keep them in your discussions with the Father.
Brother Breck sends the following:
Greetings from East Asia! After 36 hours of travel time that included a single 14 hour plane ride we arrived at our destination. We were all exhausted but also encouraged. We arrived around midnight local time and drove a couple of hours to our hotel in the city where we would be working. Our first day was filled with preparation. We met our translators from the local community. Many of them were members of the family, others were not. That is exciting! All week long as we share about the Father we will have students from the local university around us hearing His story as well. Please talk to Dad about them specifically.
Yesterday we split into two teams and saw over 100 in our medical and eye clinics. We helped them with their physical needs and helped them learn about our family and our Father. We were so blessed to see several become a part of the family!!! Continue to talk to Dad about our needs. Today we will be meeting with different family groups around the city to learn about them and how their work is going.
The culture here is vastly different from America. However, the people are the same as us. They work hard, love their families, and are hungry for the truth and peace that we know. Continue to talk to Dad for us and our family in East Asia.
Thank you for your prayers. We have arrived safely. Everyone is doing great. We are all extremely tired. Pray for us to have a great night of rest and his Spirit of power and energy in the days ahead. We found out we will be working in a village that has never been accessed by teams. We are excited about this pioneering opportunity for the Gospel.
Rev. Breck Ladd, D.Min.
Well, today was another great day! We started out the day going in numerous different directions. One group headed to do VBS again and had a little smaller group but very good quality time with many of our new friends. Such a rewarding time working with all of the precious children that attended VBS this week! Another group headed to the church that was having repairs done and seems to have accomplished the task and the rest of the group headed out to do home dedications. Six home dedications were done today and five decisions were made to receive Christ!! We went in groups and someone would speak to the family through the interpreter and then the Gospel was presented and then a prayer of dedication for the home was done by another member of the group.Afterwards a basket of food and kitchen items were presented to the family. This was such a sweet time with these families and made all the hard work this week more than worth the time. It was such a humbling experience I believe for all involved and we made certain the families knew this was not a gift from us but from God our Father because He loves them! Afterwards we headed to another church to do a Food Distribution for about 100 families. Once again, very humbling experience. From there we went and had supper then back to the Mission House. Another tiring day but in such a good way! Pray for us as we continue our last six home dedications tomorrow that we will see more family members pray to receive Christ! We will also be doing another Food Distribution tomorrow afternoon. Looking forward to another great day and to see what God has in store for us to experience and His people here in Guatamala!!
Leaving Santo Domingo at 2:35 to arrive in Atlanta at 6:07 pm. All is well.
“God, help my unbelief.” My unbelief is not in a fear of flying or catching a disease, of items we plan on handing out being stolen or running out of concrete for the children’s church—my unbelief is in the question, “Are we doing enough?”
I have the honor of serving the youth as an intern this summer. The first night of senior high camp Kyle Walker spoke on our relationship status with God. We all, when born, are under the state of condemnation. We will stay that way apart from being covered by the blood of Christ and becoming adopted children. As I look down the dirt roads, I see a beautiful people, but all my heart ponders is if they are separated from the living God, from their Creator. Are their hearts void of hope and the perfect love? I question if the rocks moved, medication given, and hands held are even changing that for them. We are doing it out of a desire to show the love of Christ, but we cannot even speak their language.
Today, while playing with the kids on site, one little boy in my group was taking the initiative to keep the group under control. For those who have played with children in a setting like this know that without speaking the language and no boundaries things can quickly get out of hand. However, this boy kept my group at peace by stopping the other kids from fighting and throwing rocks, including new kids, and even making sure I got the ball back. I just wanted to share the gospel with my little friend. What if he does not even know that there is a God who created him, but that his sin separates him from God; however, God made a way for them to be in a relationship—He sent his own Son. I wanted to tell him. I stuffed his pockets with balls, put my hand on his shoulder, and prayed that he would one day be born again. I prayed that the story of Zacchaeus and what Bro. Kevin had shared during the story time through a translator would one day lead him to pass from death to life if he had not already.
My mentor, when we first started meeting almost a year ago, said to me that she sometimes thinks that she understands an aspect of the faith but then later the Lord truly teaches her heart the matter. I can say the same. I am learning more about what it means to be a member of the body of Christ. I feel hesitant and vulnerable to share something I have only begun to learn. You see, the Lord is teaching me that it is more important to be with him than for him. I can personally attest that we can be in a relationship with Him, desire to love and serve Him, and be so busy trying to do all things we have heard in church, by being for Him, or the example, or good, and still be lacking a deep, active relationship with Him. I shared with the girls in my cabin at camp about Mary and Martha. We generally look down at Martha, but Martha was there. She was not out sinning or being bad or partying or whatever we say we are not supposed to do. She invited Jesus in, served him, and wanted others to do the same; however, Mary was with Jesus and he said she had chosen the good part.
Tonight during devotion Bro. Kevin asked us if obedience was the best way to show God that we love him. (If he ever asks you this, know he is about to set you up with some true and false questions—count yourself warned.) During the course of the conversation Dr. Woodard brought up when the Lord was speaking to Saul through the prophet Samuel: “And Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.’” (I Samuel 15:22) Today, I confidently rest upon Him. I am just a member of the body, one member obeying what has been given me today. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active…” I can have full faith in the promises of God and the work that He will do through Bro. Kevin’s words and a Frisbee with the Roman road on the back. Here in the Dominican Republic, I am not the mouth. I do not have to be enough, we do not have to do enough, or do all of it, because we are just members of a larger body all under the headship of our majestic, victorious, savior, Bridegroom. Yes, seeing the poverty, depravity of hearts, the darkness of culture can be overwhelming here and at home, but it is not about what I can do. It is about belief in what He has already done. Knowing Him and loving Him will lead to obedience.