The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. (Psalm 126:3 ESV)
2019 is here, and we’re excited about this new year. 2018 had its ups and downs, but overall in every situation, we saw God doing great things for us, and we truly are glad!! “Possible” was the word God had given me for last year, and I honestly saw God focusing my heart on impossibilities becoming His possibilities all throughout the year.
One of the biggest impossibilities we’d been facing was Audrey’s immigration need. Through USCIS’s change of policies, we met Hassan from Catholic Charities, and he gave us invaluable help in filling out the needed paperwork for Audrey’s green card. It was a huge movement in the right direction. One we’ve been waiting on for years! Now we wait for the government’s answer; we’re hopeful that He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it!
At YWAM Tyler, God kept reminding us of His possibilities here too. We’ve been engaged in an initiative to get the word out on what YWAM is all about. YWAM’s training schools and mercy ministries are impacting many people, young and old, around the world. We hear amazing testimonies of how God is bringing healing and freedom. It’s exciting to be part of a ministry impacting lives for Jesus.
We’re excited to see how God is anointing this marketing initiative we’re working on. By the end of last year, the inquiries to our communication efforts had gone from a little over 400 in 2017 to over 3,000 in 2018. That’s a huge increase; Praise the Lord!! Not only have our inquiries increased, but the actual applicants applying to come and do a school here is increasing too. Already, we’re seeing an increase in our first quarter of training schools this year, and we are believing God intends to grow schools even more.
Sometimes I’ve wondered why God has us working in this department at YWAM. It’s not where we envisioned ourselves when we first came here. Most of you know we came to do the School of Evangelism with other dreams in our heart, yet every time I began to wonder what God was doing, He simply reminded me to trust Him! Be faithful with a little, and trust Me to give more when the time is right. So even in this area of our dreams over the past year, God has challenged me to believe that with Him, all things are possible. Not one dream, hope, or desire has been forgotten by my Lord. He knows what’s best.
“Hope” is the word for 2019 that God has given me. This year, He wants hope to abound in my heart! In circumstances that don’t look promising, He wants me to hope against hope (which means “cling to a mere possibility” according to my computer dictionary!). Amazing how possibility and hope go together. God is no doubt at work behind the scenes, and this year will hold His goodness!!
We had a great holiday traveling around seeing friends and family in NC, SC, and GA. Thank you to all who welcomed us into your home, fed us wonderful meals, gave us special Christmas blessings, and shared precious time with us. What a great way to end the year!
Audrey has started the year off in an exciting way. She and 3 other students from the school, prayerfully decided to start a before-school prayer and worship time called Space for the Spirit. Their first meeting was last Thursday, and it was a joy to see this group of young people gathering to seek the Lord together! It originally started as a once a month group, but the kids loved so much, they’ve asked for it to be more frequent. I’m so very proud of Audrey and the others to take the initiative on this. It was their idea, their plan, and their actual implementation that pulled this off. Praise the Lord!!!
God is doing great things in our lives. We have so much to be thankful for! I want to stay in a posture of thankfulness too. All too often negativity creeps into my thinking and sours my attitude and perspective, which kills the moment. Hope is a declaration that He who promised is faithful! The victorious King is alive, and nothing is too hard for Him!!!
Thank you for your continued support in our lives. We can’t do what we’re doing here without you! I pray you really know that in your hearts. Every victory, every blessing, every discipling moment, every healing, every freedom . . . EVERYTHING we’re engaged in and experiencing here is a direct result of your partnership!!!
There are a few things on our hearts for 2019 we are asking the Lord for . . .
We’d love to see Audrey’s permanent residency finalized this year. Praying for the immigration official who will be reviewing her case. We’re also praying for God to provide braces for Audrey this year. It’s time!
This year, as the city is planning their land acquisitions to widen the road we live next to, we will need to move. Actually the city has been talking about this road project, sending emails, and having meetings with the community people for over two years now. Because of that, we’ve been praying very diligently about it, yet I was beginning to feel a bit disheartened because we had no answers. It just all felt a bit in vain, but then God showed me, our prayers are the tilling that’s needed to prepare the soil for wherever we go next.
We are believing that God has “a good land for us to enjoy,” a word God gave me over a year ago as we prayed about this need. We’ve had some thoughts of getting a larger home to use for hospitality purposes, which might help us with some of our income needs as well. Whatever happens must be a God-thing, so for now, these are just thoughts and prayers; we will see what God has in store.
We will celebrate 30 years of marriage this June, and we’d love to do something exciting to celebrate God’s goodness in our relationship. Statistically, we were told we’d never make it beyond 3 years because I was only 17 and pregnant when we married. I’m thankful statistics don’t have the final say! 😉
We continue to pray for our kids and remain hopeful for them as well. It’s hard being apart from them, but I’m thankful for the ways we stay connected. We’d really love to get to Seattle this summer to connect with our kids there, and we also hope to return east at some point this year to see Emily as well.
Finally, Richard and I are reading a great book by Francis Chan, Letters to the Church. This book has really stirred our heart, so another thing we are praying about is the chance to attend a four day seminar with the We Are Church movement in San Francisco. It’d be a great opportunity to learn, and perhaps God has us bringing something back to Texas to implement. Thoughts are too fresh on this one to really know what God is up to, but I am hopeful that it’s good.
Hopeful. It’s the place God has me, and it’s not an unrealistic optimism either. God is good, and He knows what He’s doing in our lives. I can trust Him! I’m thankful He continues to remind me of this. ♥️