Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Home Again...

The Dominican Republic team made it home safely! We were all securely in bed by 1:00 a.m. Monday morning, I suspect. In talking with some of the team members, it seems we were in and out of sleep comas all day Monday. Ha, ha, ha!

Again, I tell you the team had so much fun laughing and reminiscing on the plane and over dinner at the airport about our Dominican Republic girls. We also loved it that you were already giving money to pay it forward to the missionary women in Prague for the next retreat in October. You gave us money before we left the country, and one of you has already used on-line giving. Just so you girls can know...You have already sponsored one missionary and the head, arms, and legs of a second one! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Thank you for paying it forward. Also, thank you for paying forward the information about Pure Joy to your missionary friends; and thank you to those of you that have sent me a contact person to pray over for other missionary women in other countries. Thank you for being willing to give and thank you for learning to ‘receive’ this past week!!

Thank you also for the affirmation and awesome words of gratitude that are pouring in from you. It was our greatest joy as a team to be able to pour out into your lives the very things we believe God poured into our lives to share with you. He is a gracious God!

Big ‘kudos’ for those of you that are already trying to put into practice things you learned this week. Remember, give the people in your lives time to adjust and don’t smother them with your new insights! Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Counting it All Joy on our End!!!

His,
Vickie

P.S. I will finish our Love Commands later this week!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dominican Republic - Saturday

Today (Saturday) was our last day with the ladies! The worship and messages were God’s ending for the book He begin writing for this group over 6 months ago! They have been writing the last chapter this past 4 days and will continue to write sequels as they go forth and pour into the lives of other women here and equip them to Live and Tell the Good News of Jesus Christ!! He changes our lives!!!

Haiti girls, I hope you all made it safely home but of course it gave me great joy to sit and visit with you that extra time. Karen C., you keep the rest of us single women posted on your life and what God is up to and if we need to get a copy of that book! Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha

Deborah C., my mom is going to crack up when I tell her the story of that card for the gift bag! Jami M., you better make sure you write me when the name of that precious little girl is finally announced!

And for all the rest of you, we had so much fun at dinner reflecting back over conversations and laughter and things shared even from the team. Lisa would like to remind us ALL what is said in Dominican Republic stays in DR! ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha

We will have some pictures up for you all soon on the web site. I will send you a note letting you know when.

Thank you for your hearts, your worship, your fellowship, and all the fun, and let me say this in closing…We are impressed with YOU “NOW”!!

Please so thank your husbands for sharing you with us this week. To the single ladies, the same to your ministries for sharing you.  You all have given us Great Joy!!

To all that have prayed us through this week you will NEVER know the battle you have done on the team and missionaries behalves. And we literally could ‘feel’ the prayers!

Alli, Faith shared with us how quickly you went to work putting some of the communication stuff into application! WE LAUGHED OUR HEADS OFF!!! Please, when Erin gets the Face Book page set up for you all….you MUST SHARE THAT STORY!!!

We love you all and all our Friends of Pure Joy! Also, one last word…Thank you sooooooo much to those of you that came and gave myself and several other team members money to PAY IT FORWARD to sponsor a missionary women for the Prague Czech Republic Trip coming up in Oct! That makes my heart SMILE!!!

Love you all,

His,
Vickie

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dominican Republic - Friday

We have had an incredible day!! Kathy started out with an awesome message on warfare! So powerful! Lisa followed with a great message on marriage relationships. I cannot say any more about that because the missionary women and the DR team agreed that what is said in the Dominican Republic stays in the Dominican Republic. Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha  

The ladies continue to enjoy the worship, messages, free time by the pool, meals, etc. Good thing we sweated off the 10 lbs the first day because we have gained it all back now. We have done more laughing with this group of ladies!!! They are so funny that tonight I had to remind them that we (the team) will make the jokes.

The ladies opened their goodie bags tonight for those of you that made one for them. They were sooooooo excited!!!! I could not believe what some of you did for those women. More than that, I cannot believe what some of you were able to get in those bags.

Tomorrow will be our last day with the ladies. Please pray. God really is working in the lives of these ladies this week to encourage them and give them a place to share their hearts and needs.

Love you all,

His,
Vickie

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dominican Republic - Thursday

Today has been an incredible day. The team that God put together for this retreat has been so perfect for this season. Today Kathy, Kim, and Deb spoke to the ladies and shared their hearts. Brian, if you are reading this, tell Ben all the ladies love him! They got to see him signing a song with his mom. Carl, today Deb shared on safety. She gave us a list of the top 5 areas where people are injured from a lack of safety awareness.

The top of the list was trips, slips, and falls. Second one was burns and something else and then the rest of the list. I made that top two list by noon on Wednesday by falling down a flight of stairs (with style, I might add) and I by burning my arm with the iron (the bad part is I was not even ironing! Ha,ha,ha we’ll talk.)  Gary, you will be glad to know that Kathy’s message went well as I knew it would! If only she could have known that sooner! Ha,ha

Please pray as Lisa speaks this morning and Deb, Kathy, and I speak again today. Melody, our media person, had a virus get on her computer and lost a lot of content for this retreat and other work she was doing. Please pray for God to restore as much of that as He sees fit! She’ll take all of it but she will settle for any of it!

My dear givers, prayer warriors, and friends of Pure Joy, these women are so LOVING the gifts! The Potato bags have been a big hit. Also, the wash clothes that were handmade were perfect, because as always they do not give you a wash cloth in foreign countries. Can anyone help me understand that? They give you the rest of the towels. Hmmmmmm  

Pray that God continues to minister as we pour into the lives of these women! To all the families of the team members…everyone is doing well.  The warfare here is incredible but our God is Greater!!!

We love you all,

His,
Vickie

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dominican Repbulic - Wednesday...

Yeah, the Retreat started today!! The ladies made it in and they are a beautiful bunch for sure! There are no words to describe what it is like to spend time with your “people group.” The people group of Pure Joy is missionary women all over the world.

God is already up to some really amazing things. We had two missionary women that cancelled and we only found out about it today. We still had 6-7 people on the waiting list. Well, because we had a ministry staff person in the states that could track the list for us, we were able to move to of those missionary women up from the waiting list. I am telling you those girls are just a little more than EXCITED!! Ha,ha,ha

It is fun to watch the missionary women get to know each other and to watch the team moving amongst them. We had the privilege of carrying most of their luggage for them to their rooms today. It is so difficult for them to receive because they are on the giving and serving end so much. The benefit we received as a team is most of us probably lost 10 lbs of water weight! Ha,ha,ha,ha  

Praise and worship was wonderful and Faith has us all cracking up during her message titled “Good for a Laugh”. We did learn that God frequents Wal-Mart. At least to talk to Faith that is! Ha,ha,ha,ha,

Pray that the missionary women and staff will get good rest each night so we can always be ready to receive all that God has for us! 

I must tell you folks at home that are praying….I have NEVER felt the prayers from back home like we have felt them already here!  Amazing!  And much needed because the warfare here is incredible!

Love you all,

His,
Vickie

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dominican Republic - Monday

The team was up early to take off sightseeing and to do a little bit of shopping. We actually ended up spending most of our day at Altos de Chav√≥n and only had about 30 minutes of shopping time, which means, we really didn’t do any shopping! When you have 9 women from the U.S.A. going shopping 30 minutes is just not enough time! Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha

Not to worry, we will have one last opportunity on Tuesday before the actual retreat begins. So fear not there is hope for gifts to make it home with us!

I do want to encourage you to go to the web and read about the place we visited today.  It was an incredible place. You can read about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altos_de_Chav%C3%B3n

This afternoon when we got back to the hotel we spent time in preparations for the retreat.  I am writing this at 11:16 p.m. here and we just finished our team devotional and prayer time. It was an incredible time with the team!  This is uniquely the team God has chosen for this season. I am amazed as someone who has had the privilege to be a part of every team that has ever traveled with Pure Joy, to see how God hand picks His team for each area of the world we travel to.  

I also want to ask you to pray for one of our ladies that had registered to join us this week. Her name is Kate.  Her husband had a motorcycle accident and is immobilized for 10 days. They have 7 children. She felt like she needed to drop out and stay home. Not because of the 7 children, but because as we women know one sick man equals much more than 7 children. Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha  Just having some fun! However, please pray for she and her husband as he recovers.

I apologize for the delay in getting this out sooner tonight but I’m on Dominican Republic time. That looks like this: 10 minutes = 1 hour and “on our way” = sometime before the return of Christ. No, I’m not kidding. Ha,ha

Love you all,

His,
Vickie

P.S.  Last night I left one of the husbands out of the line up for our Arkansas men.  Ronnie please forgive me? We would absolutely not know what to do if Faith wasn’t here with us. She has kept us all laughing while she has spent 2 days crying and the retreat hasn’t even started yet!! I’m suspecting you sent her out of the country due to hormones!!  Ha,ha,ha,ha,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Greetings to the Friends of Pure Joy...

Your prayers have been answered and the team has arrived safely to the Dominican Republic and we are checked in to our hotel. God has literally carried us on angel’s wings. The group from Little Rock got to Atlanta at about 8:15. This allowed us to get to our departure gate with our stuff. I then posted Julie on the bags and Faith and Kim went to wait on the Tulsa and Austin ladies to arrive while Lisa and I went to meet our Houston arrival. His timing was perfect to gather everyone up and the trip to Dominican was relaxing. Well ok, except for the extremely turbulent spots at times but who is counting that!

The weather is warmer than we expected but I suspect we will be fine. It was so sweet to finally meet Erin, our contact missionary, face to face. She and Nayely (Hotel contact) were much needed today. The team has been just hanging out and getting to know each other better. Today we had our first team meeting with everyone present in person. Also, this evening Kim did our first 'devotional' on the unity of the body. Great devotion! Everyone is tired and headed to their rooms for the night. I will be joining them in a few moments. Just wanted you to know we are here.

Please continue to pray as we continue to let our hearts be molded for His Glory!

Also, a BIG THANK YOU to Bryan, David, and Gary for getting up and getting your beautiful wives to the airport when the rest of the world was very much still sleeping!! Ha, Ha.

To my "movie star girl", Thank you for being such an encouragement to your mom!!!! You know who you are!

I will write again tomorrow night and finish our journey on the Ten Commandments.

Love you all,
His,
Vickie

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Love is Truthful... and a "Heart" Story from Dominican Republic

Today, I want to start out with a BIG “PRAISE GOD!!!!” All our missionary women for the Dominican Republic trip have been sponsored as of this writing. Any monies received beyond today (Monday) will be put toward missionary women who will be attending our Prague Czech Republic trip in October. Thank you to all of you who have been obedient to pray faithfully and to give financially, and to all of you who have poured your hearts into those surprises that will be coming to the ladies in Dominican Republic. Blessings to all of you!!
This week we are looking at the 9th commandment, “You shall not give false testimony (witness) against your neighbor.” Some versions simply state, “You shall not lie.” The love command that goes with this verse is “Love is Truthful.” Please take time to catch up with our look at the 10 commandments by going to the week of March 22, 2012 and reading on through last week’s (http://purejoyinternational.blogspot.com/2012/03/love-is-loyal.html).

Here are the previous commandments we have covered. Remember the first four commandments are about how we should love God (and our spouse if married). The last six are about how we are to love our neighbors and ourselves.

1st Commandment “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:1-3).
Love Command: Love is Loyal

2nd Commandment “You shall not worship idols” (Exodus 20:4).
Love Command: Love is Faithful

3rd Commandment “You shall not take the name of the LORD in vain” (Exodus 20:7).
Love Command: Love is Reverent

4th Commandment “Keep the Sabbath holy” (Exodus 20:8).
Love Command: Love is Intimate

5th Commandment “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12).
Love Command: Love is Respectful

6th Commandment “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
Love Command: Love is Harmless
7th Commandment is “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
Love Command: Love is Pure

8th Commandment “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).
Love Command: Love is Selfless

9th Commandment: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).
Love Command: Love is Truthful

WOW! If ever we needed to hear the teaching of this commandment it is today. Not giving false testimony means in its simplest form, “Don’t lie.” I just read from an internet source where a gentleman put the meaning of the 9th commandment in this way (and I quote), “Don’t tell lies, don’t spread lies, and don’t live lies.” Bouncing off of his three comments, let me say it to you this way: Don’t tell lies and don’t be confused about what a lie is. If God’s word says it is green and anyone else calls it a different color then they are lying. Anything that goes against what God tells us about Himself, you, others, and the enemy is a LIE. This week I challenge you to take just a few moments and see how you are doing regarding this commandment. Are you lying to others? Are you lying to yourself? Are you living a lie at home, at work, in ministry, etc? Are you falsely flattering people to get your way? I think it would truly shock most of us if we got totally honest about this commandment. I’m afraid we have decided for ourselves what a lie is, instead of believing by doing what God’s word tells us. I have heard it taught throughout my walk with God the way they teach a teller in a bank to tell the difference between the real bill and the counterfeit bill is they study the real bill. Therefore when the counterfeit comes along they know the difference. That has been one of the nuggets I have hidden in my nugget bag in life. Study God’s word boldly! Therefore, when the lies come, you will know the difference. I also recall my very first pastor telling me this one day, “This book (The Bible) will keep you from sin. Sin will keep you from this book (The Bible). Think about that.

Dominican News

As we pack things up for leaving the country this coming Sunday I could not pass up sending you this last minute email I received from Erin, the young woman who is our contact person on the field and who has worked tirelessly with Linda (our Administrative Assistant with Pure Joy International) to get the details of the hotels, meals, and team transportation settled before we even leave this country. As you read her email that is just as she wrote, you might want to get a tissue.

I Love You All! Watch for the daily blogs that will begin next Sunday night and continue throughout the time we are out of the country.

CAN"T WAIT TO SEE YOU!!!




This time last year I was just coming out of a fog. Now that I look back at it, I can see that it was as much a time of darkness as it was a time of uncertainty. I was recovering from the traumatic birth of my son that had left me hurting physically and emotionally. I suffered for months with physical complications that took me in and out of the hospital. I noticed that when I was in public my baby was no longer the little one and wondered when he had grown so quickly.

            He was seven months old and though I could mark the passed time on the calendar, I seemed shocked to admit to the reality of months lost. I was saddened that somehow I had missed out on his new start due to my physical illness and then recovery.

 The Dominican heat had arrived and I was looking for some sort of relief, from the heat and just from life. After a complicated process of rabbit trails and misinformation, I finally had the baby's passport and I was ready to abandon ship. My older son's school schedule and then our ministry's summer schedule would keep us from traveling until the fall.

In the fall we visited our family and a supporting church in the US for one week, and I returned to the DR feeling like I was given a drop of water when I was dying of thirst. It helped me survive but I needed more. I needed to be filled up spiritually. I needed a break from my 24 hour on call to ministry and demands of my family. "God,” I cried out, “I don't think I'm gonna make it!" I had wondered if what I was experiencing was madness. "This must be what you feel like right before you lose it!" I thought. But just about that time, a chatter began amongst some missionary friends of mine in Central America. A retreat in Peru, for missionary women. PURE JOY. Just the mention of it made my heart jump for joy. Missionaries in the field just like me looking to refill and refresh to share and to grow together. The website says "I will make springs in the desert, so that my chosen people can be refreshed..." Isaiah 43:20. Amazing! A spring and not just a drop of water! "This was just what I need," I sighed in relief then I heard God say, "Not now." The message was clear and I was mad. "I NEED IT NOW. I CANNOT WAIT ANYMORE! ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME OUT HERE?" Feeling more defeated than obedient I listened and pouted. It was during the following months that I realized why God wanted me to wait.

             First, I believe he wanted me to see that though the body of Christ helps us when we are down, it is only God that can fill us up. I was grasping at people, books and events that could help me get back to Christ when really Christ was offering his own hand to me. I was searching for a savior but I already knew THE Savior. I already had a saving relationship with Christ, so I felt called to grow my relationship with Christ, personally. I realized that if I am rebuilding I should build on Christ the cornerstone. Pretty basic for a Christian but God was teaching me anew. Then I realized that if I felt this desperation, frustration in life and ministry I am sure there were others here in the DR that felt the same. When Vickie told me there were no plans to have a retreat in the DR but asked if I would like to help make it happen, I was delighted. By bringing Pure Joy to the DR I could be blessed and Pure Joy could bless missionaries throughout the country.

So since September that is what I have been doing. Rebuilding my relationship from the ground up and helping bring Pure Joy to the DR. I am so excited that we are so close to our time together. God is faithful to complete the work he has started in me. I am still not perfect and don't suppose I ever will be. I am still rebuilding and seeking God. I think it is a life long process, or so I hope. Some days we find each other and I delight in him. Other days I allow busy-ness in life's duties and responsibilities to distract me, then I miss him. But the fog is gone. The Light cut through the darkness and is showing his victory in my life and God is healing my spirit.

I am so thankful that God told me, "Not now," because his timing is perfect. I still need to be refreshed and I can't wait to drink sloppily from the springs. I love you all and I know that my heart couldn't be more ready to meet this group of missionary ladies. The Pure Joy team is amazing and I can't wait to meet them too, especially sweet Linda. I am bursting at the seams to see what God has in store for all of us.

Love,
Erin

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Love is Selfless…and Only Two Weeks away from Dominican Republic

Let me just start out today by saying to you that we are two weeks out from out departure to the Dominican Republic. God has been so faithful and good because HE IS. We have 35 missionary women sponsored with only 15 more to go. Please continue to pray that God will move on the very hearts of those who are to give, including yourself. He is, as always, faithful! Someone asked me again this week if we are on the normal time line for people giving to the missionary women. The answer is a hearty “yes!” Thank you, LORD!

Our love command for this week is Love is Selfless. But as always, let’s do a quick review of the first seven commandments and Love commands. Again, if you are just joining us, I direct you back to the beginning of the series on March 22, 2012 (http://purejoyinternational.blogspot.com/2012/03/love-is-loyal.html).

Here are the previous commandments we have covered. Remember the first four commandments are about how we should love God (and our spouse if married). The last six are about how we are to love our neighbors and ourselves.

1st Commandment “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:1-3).
Love Command: Love is Loyal

2nd Commandment “You shall not worship idols” (Exodus 20:4).
Love Command: Love is Faithful


3rd Commandment “You shall not take the name of the LORD in vain” (Exodus 20:7).
Love Command: Love is Reverent

4th Commandment “Keep the Sabbath holy” (Exodus 20:8).
Love Command: Love is Intimate

5th Commandment “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12).
Love Command: Love is Respectful

6th Commandment “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
Love Command: Love is Harmless

7th Commandment is “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
Love Command: Love is Pure


8th Commandment “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).
Love Command: Love is Selfless

Love is selfless. Wow! If we ever lived in a world where we needed to walk out this love command, it is today! God warns us in His Word in 2 Timothy 3:2 “…and men will be lovers of self.” Folks, we are there…and then some.

Walking out the Love Command of “love is selfless” simply means putting others first, dying to self, doing it someone else’s way instead of your way. In other words, be a giver instead of a taker. Takers are like thieves. They don’t ask; they take. In fact, I believe with all my heart the reason so many marriages get in trouble is there are two thieves living in the house. Let me ask you a question. If every time I came to your home, I left with something of value, taking it without asking, eventually you would say, “This woman is a thief. We don’t want her in our home anymore.” Well, husbands and wives, when you always put your needs above your spouse, you become a taker (a thief) and eventually no one wants to live with a thief. This is the same for parent-child relationships, friendships, etc.

This week I challenge you to put others first, to be a giver instead of a taker. (And while I’m here let me make you aware of something if you give to get instead of give to give. You are a thief as well. Giving to get is just a subtle type of taking!) Intentionally, put others first this week and see what happens when your spouse, kids, parents, and/or friends hear you say, “Whatever you want is fine with me.” Hmmmmm…What was that loud crash? Who passed out?



Dominican Republic News…

We are in the home stretch of preparations!! The teams will be packing next week as we get things in order to leave the county. Can’t believe it is finally coming down to it!

Please continue to pray for the missionary women, the team, all the details, our flights, our families there and here that will be left behind during the retreat and travels to and from.

Today, I have included another ‘cool’ story from a team member to me:


Vickie – Just had to share this story about listening to God. I’ve been ‘trying’ to do the listening time with God that you suggested in your blog a few weeks ago. You know me; sitting still and listening are not two natural traits for me, so when it happens, I know it’s God J. So, Thursday I had a crazy day planned with too many “to-do’s” on the list and lots of loose ends. I stopped early in the morning and did my ‘listening time’ with God. I didn’t really hear much more than, “I’m with you today; just walk through it.” So, okay, that was good. The day just went bonkers with appointments that ran behind, a meeting with old friends that I thought was on Friday but was really on Thursday – that I managed to get to, an evening picnic with some of Carl’s pilot buddies at the airport that got changed to our hangar at the last minute because the weather was so windy and goofy, getting caught in terrible rush hour traffic while needing to get to the hangar with food for the picnic, etc. etc. etc. So, when I finally made it to the picnic…late…Carl was excited to tell me about a young pilot he met and a cool God story. It wasn’t until late that evening when we had time to talk. Because of the change in the plans, he had stopped at the FBO that services our plane to pick up something he needed for the picnic and right as he was going in the door he saw a young man he didn’t recognize. The man was telling the office manager that he had just moved to Tulsa to go to airplane mechanic school because he wanted to be a pilot for MAF. The other person had no idea what MAF was, but Carl did! He waited until the two guys ended their conversation, then introduced himself, and told the young man, Doug, that we are advocates for MAF, and that started a whole new kind of conversation. Doug told Carl that he really had intended to go to another place at the airport but ended up at Riverside Jet Center – where our plane is taken care of – and Carl wasn’t really sure why he ended up there except that the picnic got changed and he needed to pick up some supplies. Doug and Carl are now doing some flying together so Doug can get his necessary pilot hours in, and Carl will be his instrument flight instructor for the remainder of the required flight training. Doug went to church with our family today (this past Sunday) and he and our son Paul hit it off big time. Carl said to me after we got home that now he knows that the airport ministry that God put on our hearts a few years ago is taking root. And, it all started with my first trip with Pure Joy when we met the Dicksons with MAF! God is just so cool! The “listening to God” so helps me see His hand in my life and Carl’s.

Thought you’d like this little story about our big God!

Love ya!
Deb

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Love is Pure...and a great word from a Dominican Republic Team Member

This week we continue our series on the 10 Love Commands. Again, if you are just joining, I direct you back to the beginning of the series on March 22, 2012 (http://purejoyinternational.blogspot.com/2012/03/love-is-loyal.html).

Here are the previous commandments we have covered. Remember the first four commandments are about how we should love God (and our spouse if married). The last six are about how we are to love our neighbors and our selves.


1st Commandment “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:1-3).
Love Command: Love is Loyal

2nd Commandment “You shall not worship idols” (Exodus 20:4).
Love Command: Love is Faithful

3rd Commandment “You shall not take the name of the LORD in vain” (Exodus 20:7).
Love Command: Love is Reverent

4
th Commandment “Keep the Sabbath holy” (Exodus 20:8).
Love Command: Love is Intimate

5th Commandment “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12).
Love Command: Love is Respectful

6
th Commandment “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
Love Command: Love is Harmless


Our 7th Commandment is “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
The Love Command is: Love is Pure

If our love toward another and our self is going to be pure, it means guarding our minds (hearts). We need to be careful to not say, do, or present ourselves in such a way that it would cause another to stumble or to struggle immorally. It means I will not tell off- colored jokes or make off-colored sexual statements and/or dress in a fashion that would cause temptation for another. It means I will put no vile thing before my eyes.

Can I just get on a soap box for a moment…I believe with all my heart that sexual sin is already and will continue to be one of the most destructive sins to the body of Christ in our life time. Because of secular media and a world that promotes tolerance, we wink at sexual sin. The sexual sins of homosexuality, pornography, child molestation, rape, sex before marriage, etc., are at an all-time high. What has this world come to when adults, not to mention teenagers, are texting pictures of their personal private body parts to one another? REALLY! If there was ever a time for us as believers to STAND UP and say God NEVER intended for LOVE to look like some of the things we have made it and call it, NOW is the time! It starts with you and me not going out and condemning people but living out God’s LOVE toward others and ourselves and speaking truth into their lives in LOVE!
Is your love pure toward others? Listen to the words you speak to others this week, check your heart, and look at your motives: Is your love pure? Are you preventing off-colored jokes or telling them? Are you encouraging proper dress or wearing improper dress? Are you speaking truth and God’s love to others or is your conversation laced with sexual innuendo around others? This list could get endless.
Also, a big warning to married couples in ministry! The enemy wants your home because people are watching you. Get some accountability in your lives, please! And stay away from emotional adultery because it is just as destructive as or more so than physical adultery.
Ok, I’m off that box now (Whewww).

Dominican News…
I have quite the sweet conversation to share with you regarding Dominican and one of our team members. But before I do that let me update you in knowing that we have 25 of our missionary women sponsored as of today. We are three weeks out so please get in those prayer closets and see if God wants you to be giving toward this trip. If He does He will speak to you. If you are in a place to listen, you will hear from Him whatever He directs you to do.

Ok, get yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy.

I received the following email from a team member this past week. And you will see my response to her. If you are one of the missionary women reading this, enjoy and look forward to this team that will be coming. If you are a team member, see the heart of your fellow team member. If you are a Friend and Supporter of Pure Joy, then welcome to the intimacy of the ministry from the inside out.

Faith writes….
Vickie,

I wanted to tell you this last night but just was afraid I didn't have the right words. I want you to know how God has changed me already in preparation for the mission trip.

I have to admit that I'd been hit or miss in the past at studying my Bible and just spending time with the Lord without other noise in my life was practically non-existent. When you asked us to make sure we were spending time with Him daily, I started to do that. It was hard at first to find time in my busy life, between diaper changes, buying groceries, cooking, cleaning house, washing clothes, church activities and all those obligations that were already on my plate. But I immediately began seeing a difference in the way I think, the way I talk, the way I act... and the ability to hear the Lord speaking to me brings tears to my eyes. My husband has started reading his Bible too and asked me to get him a version that was easier to understand because the KJV he has, well you know... Anyway, for his birthday this month, I got him a new Bible and for the first time in our almost 40 year marriage, he is reading his Bible too. God has made me aware of some things in my life that need to change. If you expected perfect people going with you, I'm afraid you'll have to kick me off the team! I'm a work in progress but I assure you there has been progress already. I've written and re-written the things God plans for me to say so many times that I hope it will make some sense when I'm through but I'm just trusting that God is in charge of it... I have vascillated (?sp) many times wondering if what God is telling me is for me or for the women coming to DR!

Vickie’s response to Faith…..
It brought tears to my eyes, literally! I want these women to understand that we are all on a journey and this really puts it in perspective! It is also a testimony to how when we are just being what God wants us to be...it touches others lives naturally and we don't even get it! Which is the point! I have heard it quoted “the fruit tree in the back yard isn't waking anyone up at night grunting as it grows and produces fruit. It just produces the fruit naturally because it is a fruit tree and that is what they do.” A good tree bears good fruit, a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree can't bear bad fruit and a bad tree can't bear good fruit. You will know them by their fruit. (Matthew 17:7) ….Meaning when you bit into it, when you spend time intimately with them, etc.

I love you, Faith, and I love watching your love for Him grow! You are why this ministry is called an inside-out ministry. We are just as excited to be ministering to the women that are going as we are those that we will be ministering to.
Have a great weekend, Sister!

I hope that you were as encouraged by Faith’s honest heart as I was. I shared with Patty (staff member) that I really wanted you as missionary women who are reading this blog weekly to see Faith striving after God for that ‘talk’. When you read that paragraph it is the essence of God’s word when Paul states, “When I am weak, He is strong.” When I read that whole section I just saw God at work in a person’s life, not her weakness of trying to figure it out but that of striving after God! And if you know me very well, you know that I loved that!!!

Hope everyone enjoyed the writing last week sent in by Kelly on the Vicks super ointment! Ha, ha, ha! I still am waiting to hear from some more of the missionary women from DR on some stories or fun facts about DR and Haiti and surrounding areas.

Love you All,
His,
Vickie

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