Monday, September 16, 2013

Missions Conference

   This past weekend, Friday through Sunday, was our missions conference at our church here in Liberty, Indiana.  Bro. Ron Ralph was our guest preacher, and the Cleghorn family was our visiting missionary.  We only had one missionary come through this year for the conference.  Andy wanted to "start over" with our faith promise to try to get people "back on board" and encourage them to stay faithful with it throughout the year.  The Cleghorns are a wonderful family on their way to the island of Borneo, Indonesian.  7 of their 11 children still travel with them, and to hear them sing as a family is out of this world!  They are REAL good!  We love them dearly and our church is going to take them on for support. 
   We had a lot of participation from our people here at church this last weekend.  There was a wonderful spirit in the services, and the folks are getting excited again about missions.  They haven't really done a faith promise in about three years, so this is sort of a new thing for many of them, and a fresh start for the rest.  Sunday night we took up a faith promise of $30,278! 
   Bro. Ron did an outstanding job preaching.  It was so good hearing him preach in person again instead of on CD.  Andy asked for testimonies after the service Sunday night and hands went up everywhere.  Some folks said that they have learned more Bible in the past year sitting under Andy's preaching than they have in all the years they been going to this church.  Another man, one of the church leaders, said that they've had many pastors come and go, but they've learned so much under Andy, and have come to love their pastor and that "they need to hang onto this one".  :)  Another man said, "If Andy leaves, I'm going with him!"  Not that we plan to leave.  :)  It was such a blessing to see their love for their new pastor, and hear their support for him.  We too have come to greatly love these people and truly feel a part of this church.  There is such a sweet spirit here and the church is quickly becoming a "family".  This is no doubt the Lord's doing!  We are excited about what this next year of missions holds for our church.  God used Cleghorns and Bro. Ron to open the people's eyes to the "bigger picture" of what missions is all about. 
   I have enjoyed talking to Christian about what a real missionary is.  He came up to me Saturday morning and said, "When I get big, I think I want to be a missionary and go far away and tell people about Jesus."  Later, as he held one of the Cleghorn's prayer cards, Christian told me, "I need to pray for them every day!"  My mother's heart melted, and yet, thrilled that perhaps God was touching my young son's heart about doing something very special for Him.  I know that God has a special plan for each one of my children.  We have given them all back to the Lord even before birth and are waiting to see how God will use these little tools in His service.  When Christian said that to me the other morning, I immediately thought about how the meanings of our children's names, though so different from each other, somehow turned out to mean the same thing.  We didn't plan it to happen that way.  They all have something to do with "the fields".  Like Mary, I can't help but 'ponder these things in my heart'.  Is there a reason for that or did it just happen by some strange coincidence?  Makes you wonder....   I plan to make preachers and missionaries my children's heroes.  This is perhaps the first step in what very well might be a life of service to the Lord.  Like Hannah with Samuel, it all starts at home. I pray that God will give each one of my children a desire to serve. 

   Baby Wise:  I've dropped!  Yippee!  And the contractions are getting stronger.  (Another cheer!)  I've still got 5 weeks to go, but highly doubt I'll make it that long.  The doctor has me scheduled for surgery on the 21st. of October IF I do go that long.  He doesn't want me going past that date.  Nor does he want me to labor long at all.  I'm to get to the hospital as fast as possible to limit as much of the hard contractions as possible.  They don't want to risk a uterine rupture.  I think I'll pack my bag today.  Hey, I can hope, can't I??  :)  I'm SOOOO ready!   I've fought my sugar again this weekend as well.  It has its ups and downs, I guess.  Probably just the busyness of the conference has affected it some.  I need to get back to my normal routine and concentrate on my diet again. 

Goodie baskets for the preacher and missionary.  We put "good stuff" in our crackers, candy bars, cookies, juices, yummy stuff like that.  :)  Fruit baskets are nice, but many times, there's so much of the fruit that goes to waste.  I always like to add a little bit of fruit to the baskets, but really, we normally load it up with goodies that we know the recipient normally wouldn't buy for themselves.  Makes it extra special.  :)   The guys in the family NEVER complain either.  :) 

Singing around the piano.  (Andy's playing the piano)

Bro. and Mrs. Cleghorn practicing before the service. 

Cleghorn family singing.

Bro. Cleghorn preached Sunday School.

Molly, Hannah, Faith, Joy, and Sharon Cleghorn.  These girls are SUCH a blessing!

Bro. Ron preaching.

Audra likes to find hiding places to "read" her books in.  I found her quietly sitting back there this morning.  :)

1 comment:

  1. Yay! I'm so glad to hear that the meeting went well! I really wanted to go, it just didn't work out this time. Maybe next year. :) I miss and love y'all!