Want what you want or want what you need?

Praise be to God for all your letters, prayers, emails, and encouragements all the way around! It has truly been an answer to prayer for me this week. Now that I’m adjusting to the schedule and things, God is working in me in new ways.

I typically am not a person to share with God and other people what I’m going through. By doing so, I build up pride in thinking I can deal with struggles on my own… no problem right? Wrong.

In a sermon one of the speakers did last Sunday was on Acts 3. He touched on things in our lives that we want. Simple concept: we want the things we want, which normally conform to our human nature. However, very few times do we want the things we need.

For me, this consisted of wanting comfort, but by my own efforts and means rather than seeking out the instruction of God and resting in His presence. Thankfully, He has used this weakness in me to push me closer to Him and acknowledge the fact that He desires me to come to Him and allow others to pray for me.

With that being said, here are a few praises and requests He’s brought to me:
– one of our new ladies is doing fantastic! Her love for Jesus is growing daily, and she has come out during small group bible study to share this. It is so encouraging to see her mature.
– Continual flow of food donations (all of Betel relies on the grocery stores in the area for our food; such a blessing!)

Prayer Requests:
-Our other new girl is really struggle with being in Betel and is still resisting God. She is open, but doesn’t quite seek change, and would really like to leave. She is so full of life and has so much potential, but just pray God would open her heart to him.
-Details for our new property in Coventry need to be figured out; prayer for those in charge that things would flow smoothly
– For the house leaders; it’s a stressing job running a whole house of people and daily they need a lot of patience and strength

Culture Corner:
There is, in fact, evidence of modern-day Hobbits living in Birmingham. This has been made clear to me by the copious amounts of door knobs in the middle of doors (granted the doors are not round, but it must be an evolutionary effect of Hobbit homes).


A New Kind of Small Group

With officially one week into the trip, I still feel as though I just got here but also as if I have lived here forever. Hopping in the car as a passenger on the left hand side is no longer foreign, and I have quickly adjusted to drinking tea at least 3 times a day (no complaints there).

There is no doubt that God is at work here. In the short time I have been here I have heard stories of both men and women close to death who have been awakened by the Holy Spirit.

This past week (and for the rest of the time I’m here), I had the opportunity to attend one of the small groups that meet on Tuesday evenings. For those of you who have attended small groups, they were probably comprised of mainly other Christians. Here, I am in a group of several men and women who have either just accepted Christ as Saviour or are not saved yet. This past week we studied Jesus birth and specific Mary and Joseph’s faith. The discussion revolved mainly around how we would be willing to risk as much as Mary and Joseph in our own lives as a demonstration of trusting God in our own lives. Because the men and women who come into Betel are either coming off alcohol, drugs, etc., these were some of the initial things brought up about what they had to give to God to trust in Him.

However, these were not the only things. Many of their family and friends despised and rejected them when they turned to Jesus and wanted to dedicate their lives to Him. Much like Mary and Joseph, they risked their relationships with people in order to devote their lives to God. Luke 9:23-26 sums this up well:

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

Consider this yourselves. What things are holding you back from complete trust and faithfulness to God?

Prayer Requests:
– Continued strength in going about jobs day to day
– [praise] New girls in our house are adjusting well!

Culture Corner:
I have had my first lesson this week in learning Welsh! First lesson: Head, shoulders, knees, and toes song.

– Head: Pen
– Shoulders: Es-cree-thigh
– Knees: co-zi-ha
– Toes: tride
– Eyes: Es-tee-ide
– Ears: Cles-tee-ide
– Nose: Troid
– Mouth: Keg

Like a Box of Chocolates…

Good evening from Windmill House in Birmingham, England! I finally arrived here Friday morning and took my first breathe of fresh English air as I stepped off the plane (actually it smelled more like plane fuel and baggage, but that’s beside the point).

In any case, I am living in one of the two girl’s homes in Oldbury (Windmill House is the men’s home in Birmingham and is where we can use the internet). About ten other girls (ranging in age from about 20-50 years old) are in the house, two of which just arrived about a week ago, but are doing quite well so far. Only arriving here this weekend, I haven’t experience a “typical” day yet (I have been told that Betel on a day-to-day basis is like a box of chocolates… you never know whatcha gonna get), but I was able to help with passing out flyers on Saturday morning, which advertise the various services Betel offers.

Betel runs several refurbished furniture shops, a gardening business, and also sends out Betelitos to do bag packing in grocery stores to bring income into the ministry. During a Betelito’s first two weeks in a home, they are only given chores around the house to do given the fact they have just come off of whatever kind of addiction(s) they had. It’s a long two weeks for the incoming girls as they cannot make phone calls, use the internet, or really even leave any room by themselves without someone in the house responsible for watching over them (one of the new girls calls this “babysitting”).

Well I don’t want to make this a cumbersome update, but I really can’t wait to see how God will stretch me and bless me through the girls here and appreciate your willingness to continue to pray. =]

Prayer Request(s):
-New girls in the house (an older woman in her 50s and young girl in her 20s); patience and strength during their two-week

Culture Corner:
English cars are tiny for a good reason. Roads are narrow and with people parking on the sides doesn’t help much. Think Mario Kart.

Cheerio to the States!

This time last week I was scurrying about the house trying to make sure I had everything packed (unfortunately I didn’t, but my mother graciously mailed these forgotten items to me… love you mom!) for orientation before flying out to England. Now, I’m done with orientation and am getting ready to fly out tonight from Philadelphia where I will be meeting another WEC team in London and catching a ride to Birmingham.

(Afternoon trip to Philly with the two other girls in orientation with me; they are not going to England)

I arrived at WEC’s United States sending base in Fort Washington, PA last Tuesday evening. The pictures give a much more accurate depiction of how beautiful it is here (and yes it is a legitimate castle…used to be a vacation home, then attempted military school, and finally WEC purchased it), so I will simply let them speak however many thousand words they will speak.

To give a quick rundown of orientation, we have had sessions full of things like culture shock (as well as accepting different cultures), church planting, learning how to ask for kimchi in Korean, what God says about missions, as well as how we are to respond to His call to reach the world with the message of His love. As a body of believers, we the church have the privilege as well as the responsibility to share the wondrous news of salvation and God’s end goal for man (to glorify Him forever) to every people group in the world:

And they sang a new song:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”

Revelation 5:9

Prayer Requests
– Safe travels today (for both myself and the other WEC team I will be meeting in London)
– God would continue to prepare my heart
– Continued prayer for the women in Betel (I will definitely try to provide more specific requests as learn more over the next several weeks)

Thank you once again for your prayers! They are truly coveted and again PLEASE let me know of any exciting things God’s doing in your life or how I can be praying for you. =]

In His service,