Before we get in today’s topic, we have an Urgent Prayer request:
What are your mission fields?
This morning I got an unexpected call from Roberto. We were supposed to meet this afternoon for discipleship. He couldn’t come because he is sick. Immediately I asked him: “Will you be OK for tomorrow?” His answer: “I’ll be there tomorrow, even if I have 40º degree fever (104º F)”.
You see, tomorrow is not your average Sunday for Roberto…he and nine other people are scheduled to be baptized! He is so excited you would think he was getting married!
Tomorrow is the culmination of months of preparation, study, reflection, prayer, and yes, even selection. For the first time aided by our new deacons in the interview process, we are happy to present these candidates to the congregation and to their unsaved relatives and friends. They will stand in front of a crown of potentially 150 people to share their faith in Christ and follow him through the waters of baptism.
Honestly, our part has been minimal. God has done the saving, the believers in our church have done the witnessing and my colleague/brother-in-law/friend Dann Ransom has done most of the preparation.
God is so good!
Please take time today to pray for these baptisms.
1. Clear testimonies and preaching.
2. Good health, especially for Roberto.
3. Good attendance.
4. More people to come to faith because of tomorrow.
5. For God to be exalted in His church!
Thank you for taking time and being part of this great event through your prayers, through your giving, though sharing with others the vision of what God is doing in Italy!
Jon, Melodee, Noah and Eva
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30-31 ESV)
We all take comfort in the strength that is promised in this verse. But there is a key word we often forget: “wait”.
Since my surgery on April 24th I have had to do a lot of waiting…
Waiting has been a blessing in many ways.
And God has been at work!
On May 22nd I went back to Milan with Claudio for my one-month checkup. They gave me more good bad news… an in-depth biopsy of the part of tongue they removed found another carcinoma in situ. So…more cancer, but the doctor does not see the need to take more (up to half my tongue)! You can imagine the roller coaster of conversations I had with myself and those around me. Here is a sample:Pessimistic me: “More cancer!” Optimistic me: “But they got it all.” Pessimistic me: “But this is the fourth time!” Optimistic me: “Well, in situ is the best kind to have because it didn’t spread.” Pessimistic me: “But when will it end?” Optimistic me: “Hopefully now!” Pessimistic me: “But what if it doesn’t?”
John Calvin said it this way:“not a particle of light, or wisdom, or justice, or power, or rectitude, or genuine truth, will anywhere be found, which does not flow from him, and of which he is not the cause; in this this way we must learn to expect and ask all things from him, and thankfully ascribe to him whatever we receive.” [My emphasis] (Institutes of the Christian Religion Book I Chapter II p. 40-41)
Despite the setbacks and the waiting we have much to be grateful for. In fact, God is working above and beyond our expectations and we can only look ahead to all He will do. Here are a few clear signs of God’s blessing and protection:
What more could we ask for? This very well may be one of the best years of our life!
Here are just a few important requests:
Thank you for sticking with us as I continue to wait on God’s renewing of my strength, meditating and delegating!
There are few things that excite us more then seeing people publicly confess their faith in Christ through baptism. Here is why:
Meet some really cool people who love and serve Christ in our body.