Friday, September 28, 2007

Ruth McWhite

It is so much my joy to be on board with this trip. God let my path cross with Vicki's when I was serving as a chauffer for a mutual friend of ours who was recuperating from chemo. Then we got to spend another few days together in Richmond, and we have just kept up through email. When Vicki asked me to be a part of the team, I only had to look at the Father's face and get a quick nod to send back a RESOUNDING YES! Ecuador is so much a part of my heart. It was the place where I thought I would spend the rest of my life. Cholera, contracted in the mtn. town of Riobamba, put an end to that dream, but our family will always love Ecuador. In fact, one of my boys found his bride-to-be there -- on a mission trip with us. She was in school here on campus with him in SC, but they really met in Tena. Also my third child was born in Quito at Metropolitana.

Anyway, having lived through some of the realities of missionary life, I have such a desire to be a part of this team coming in to bring fresh hope and love and joy from the Father's heart.

Julie Cobb - My Quito far

My name is Julie and I am going to Quito with the Pure Joy team in November. Here is where this chapter of my journey begins. At the beginning of August I got an e-mail from Linda stating that part of the team that I had worked with in Senegal in 2002 was taking a retreat to Ecuador and they needed an interpreter for a Deaf Misisonary. She asked if I would please pray about it and consider going. I spent several days thinking and praying about it before I said anything to anyone. One Saturday evening, while we were out walking, I approached the subject with my husband. His response was immediately positive and supportive. I shared with him that I was concerned that I might be “rusty” with my signs since I don’t get as much day to day practice as I used to.

The next morning I got a phone call from Charlene, a lady in my church who also signs, and she said that the sister of one of our members would be visiting the church that morning and asked if I could interpret. I explained that I could do the songs, since Charlene would be in the choir, but I asked if she could then do the sermon so I could go on to my class. We agreed that was how it would go. When I hung up the phone my husband just looked at me for a minute and said, “Weren’t you just saying you needed some practice?” He was right!! This was the opportunity I needed and God dropped it in my lap and I almost missed part of it. As soon as I got to church I found Charlene and told her I would do the entire service and quickly explained to her what was happening. At the end of the service I had the assurance I needed that I still had the skills God had given me. I knew that this trip was definitely the next chapter in my journey with God.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mena's Story

A few weeks ago while standing by a young, pretty, little 16 year old girl at church, we were making small talk and I mentioned I was trying to eat right and get in shape. She answered in her sweet, kind voice, “Well, it’s never too late!” I could hardly keep from laughing aloud because to her I wasn’t long for this world. Thinking more about this recently I began to think she was prophetic in what she was saying. It’s never too late!
There are some unchangeables in all of our lives. We can’t go back and undo some of the wrong choices we made or some that others have made on our behalf. But we can forget what lies behind and press on toward the goal for that which God has called us. But, time is short. It is short for all of us even if we are 16 or 60!

This brings me to my point. I believe that in June God began preparing me to go on two mission trips this fall. It was not a typical preparation because I was in fact mad. I was mad at some circumstances in my life, but truly after some time I realized I was just mad at myself for the sin of gluttony and laziness I had allowed to become part of my life. I began walking almost daily and when I began it was such drudgery. On my walks I began to sometimes pray, sometimes memorize scripture, and sometimes just meditate on Him and His creation and His goodness to me. Now I look forward to that daily time.

Then God allowed two opportunities for trips. In my heart for the past year or so I thought if there were two places I would like to go it would be Africa or Ecuador. Well, I’m not going to Africa but in New York I will be working with missionaries who are focusing on the West African population. When Wendy approached me about going to Ecuador I had just committed to go to New York. It didn’t seem practical or reasonable to go again in November. But, when I met in Morrilton with the team recently I knew it was His plan for me to go. It might not seem right or reasonable to anyone else, but time is short and I want to press on!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Penny Morrow - My Story

My name is Penny Morrow. Vickie asked us to blog on how we came to be on the 2007 Quito, Ecuador Team, so here goes. I have always had a “heart” for Missionaries who are on the field over seas, as my father was a Pastor for much of my life and we always had Missionaries and their families in our home. As an adult, God had given me the desire to go on a “mission” trip for quite some time but I always allowed other things to stand in the way. Having served in many areas and many church’s, I experienced a season of “burn-out” for a time. From the moment Vickie first told me about Pure Joy International and its purpose, I knew God wanted me to be involved with this ministry. I didn’t know when, where or how, but I felt the call.

Now a couple of years later and through much prayer, along with the support and prayers from my sweet husband, I am a member of the 2007 Quito, Ecuador Team! I am so excited - it’s spilling over! I can’t wait to step off that plane in Quito and “overflow” on every missionary woman I come in contact with! But do pray that we don’t have any active volcanoes while we are over there!

The Time Is Drawing Nearer...

This past weekend we had a great Quito meeting to work on the details for our trip. All team members were present except Barbara O’Chester (speaker), Ruth McWhite (speaker), and Holly Hilderbrand(scrapbooking). It actually felt like we had our own little retreat this weekend! It is always so sweet to see God bring a team together for His ministry. I was going to fill you in on some of the ways God has been at work in this team and bringing people on board but I decided to have the team members do that themselves. So, be watching as their testimonies of God at work in this process are posted. Also, please join us in praying for the missionary women.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hello and Apologies,

Techno Barbie is doing her best to stay on me about getting in a weekly blog. I haven’t been much help to her with that this past week. But the important thing is I’m writing now.

I have been in a whirlwind of excitement watching God’s hand work to continue to put together our Quito Trip and also begin our planning for the Costa Rica trip in Feb. Tuesday Penny Morrow (one of the Quito Team members) and I went to Jonesboro, AR to meet with several women that have been praying about being a part of the team. It was awesome to watch the Holy Spirit move even during our time together! I also had the opportunity to visit with their Missions Minister Larry Bailey and we began discussing ministry opportunities for next year in Africa.

Monday night I was with our church family here at FBC as we attended an association meeting with Robbie Tingle from our State Office who works with missions. He also provided a connection for us regarding a trip next year. It is exciting to see God bringing the opportunities to minister to the women missionaries overseas in the fashion He has designed for Pure Joy International.

Having said all of that I am asking you to please consider how God would have you become involved in this ministry. We will always be in need of your prayers and financial resources but just as importantly WE NEED YOU! Please pray about your church being one of the sponsoring churches for a retreat. We love to connect two or three churches as the sponsoring churches for these retreats. That is why I like to call it an inside out ministry. It is not just about what God can do through us for the missionary women but what God also wants to do for us as a team and churches here in the U.S.

Don’t be boxed in by the fact that I live in Arkansas. If you sense God’s direction for your church to be a partner on a retreat team, then contact us. I am more than happy to travel to meet with you and share the vision of the ministry with you.

You may ask but what can I do? We take speakers, worship leaders, piano players, hospitality people, craft people (beading, scrap-booking, etc.), drama people, video, camera people, prayer warriors, etc. We take who and what God directs us to do for that particular group of women after much time in prayer.

By the way, Penny got her passport back this week and she just sent off for it 3 weeks ago. Janice Mobley (another team member) and I sent off for ours before her and we haven’t seen them yet. Maybe because ours were being renewed it made a difference. I say all that to say…pray for us that they come in.

Would love to hear from some of you and it would be sweet to hear from some of the missionaries that will be attending our upcoming Quito retreat.

His, Vickie