Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Costa Rica Journey Begins

I will be posting some of the Costa Rica Team's e-mails here over the next week or so. I enjoy sharing with all of you how team members hear from the Lord about being a part of one of our retreats. The following e-mail is from Jerre Moore
Vickie, just wanted to tell you how much I loved meeting you yesterday and the rest of the team. If I ever had any reservations, which I haven't, but yesterday would have put those to rest. I sensed a room full of hearts that beat the same for Christ, His Word and His mission. I love that!

Also, I appreciated a lot what you said up front that those of us that have "inclinations toward leadership" can just sit back and rest and enjoy the trip because there is one leader ultimately and that is Christ and you were listening to Him and would let us know.....and I liked that! I'll rest...(-:

As I said, I have always wanted to go, but it just wasn't the time, but I know this is. I've had nothing but big wide open doors, confirmations thru scripture, I had just finished listening to a series of cd's by Jim Cymbla on spiritual warfare when Mary called, (that's odd but I know it's just God), and most of all Doug, my husband, is so encouraging me to go, my kids are excited about me going and most of all it is what I love to do, minister to women thru His Word. It's just the right package and God wrapped it and gave it to me. I am so thankful!

I so appreciate you, your passion for Christ and the nations and women in particular, I am delighted and honored to be a little part of this bigger picture.
See you soon and I pray God's blessings, protection and constant care of you as you go and give in His Name, jerre moore

As you can see God is working to get our team ready to minister to the women in Costa Rica!


Friday, November 23, 2007

Greetings Friends of Pure Joy International

There are no words to explain what God accomplished in our lives while visiting Quito, Ecuador this past week. I am quite sure that my life will never be the same! The movement of the Holy Spirit at work was more than I could even imagine. He showed up from the first day and never let up through the 3 day retreat. I have to believe that lives were touched in ways we will know nothing about this side of eternity! The missionary women that attended were absolutely precious beyond belief. Their desire to worship, learn, fellowship, share, and just be honest about their journey’s was spell bounding! I can honestly say that I have never experienced the hand of God in such a unique way as we did on this trip. I want to thank every person that was a part of this journey from every aspect, prayer, support, gifts, encouragement, or time! I want to especially commend those of you who prayed for this retreat. We as a team felt like we walked into this retreat on a paved highway because of your prayers. The women at the retreat with tears in their eyes would comment on how they just couldn’t believe that so many of you were specifically praying for them because of your access to their bio’s.

Linda, who was supposed to do our music, lost her voice on Wednesday but God had a plan. Wendy, Patty, Jessie, and Penny stepped to the plate and we spent 6-8 hours before the Lord putting the song sets together for the retreat. It was a wonderful thing to watch these four gifted singers be able to yield to one another, to be able to recognize what music fit their own gifting, to see God at work in all of them and to see no egos emerge! Praise God for a team that was truly sold out to God! Mena and all the team got the gifts distributed throughout the retreat. Again, the missionary women were in awe of your gifts towards them. Several of the ladies took on the activity of scrap booking with some hesitancy but in the end crossed over! Ha, ha, ha. We heard several testimonies of the blessings that activity brought into their lives. Barbara and Ruth challenged all of us with their messages. In fact I am sure that missionary women all around Ecuador and those of us from the team are all memorizing the book of Philippians even as I write this! We are all also mindful of the Names of God. Specifically, I AM.

Again, thank all of you that were a part of the journey to Quito, Ecuador! I pray blessings back to you a hundred fold. Now keep a watch on our next journey as we prepare for Costa Rica in Feb. We already have over 30 missionary women signed up and we are capping the number at 50. Please begin to pray about how you can be a part of this trip through prayer and support. We will let you know the cost of supporting a missionary to this retreat in the next week as we get all our details together. Looking forward to a new journey with Him!

Note: We have several retreat opportunities for next year already coming on the scene. If you believe your church would be interested in being a part of one of our trips please contact us.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Beautiful Faces in Quito

I thought you would enjoy seeing the women that attended the retreat in Quito this week. There are a couple of faces missing but most were in this group photo. God was so good during this retreat and we heard many testimonies of great things that were accomplished in many lives. We expect to learn of more as the women begin to e-mail Vickie over the next few weeks to report what God did for them. Thank you for praying for this retreat. Please keep us in your prayers as we turn our full attention to the Costa Rica retreat and seek exactly what God would have for those women.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Vickie Standing at the Middle of the Earth

Hey guys, thought you might like to see Vickie standing at the Equator. This was taken on Tuesday as the Quito Team did a little sightseeing in the area. Today we begin to prepare for our dear missionary women to arrive. Will post updates as we can.
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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Quito Here – Costa Rica not far away!!

It’s time, final packing is done, and in the morning we board the plane to Quito. We want to thank all individuals and churches that have been a part of preparing for this opportunity to minister to the women missionaries in Quito Ecuador. As we go we recognize that we are just an extension of your kind hearts and generosity.

Please remember, those of you that are registered as Friends of Pure Joy, that the schedule for the trip is posted in the Friends Area. If you are not registered please take a moment to do so now so that you can keep up with us through e-mail updates. We are counting on your prayers as we journey in the Name of the Lord.

Even as we are in the midst of God’s plan for Quito we are beginning to plan for our trip to Costa Rica in February. Our theme for the Costa Rica Retreat is “You’re in the Army Now” and our verse is Proverbs 4:23 which says “Above all else guard your heart for it is the well spring of life.” We encourage you to be diligent in reading the blog so you can be a part of watching the Costa Rica team come together. We already have several missionaries signed up and two sponsoring churches, Evergeen Baptist Church in Tulsa, OK and Eastside Baptist Church in Ft. Smith, AR. However, if you would like to give to help offset retreat expenses please visit our donation page to get for details about doing that.

The next time I talk to you will be from Ecuador!!!


Sunday, November 4, 2007

The One Left Behind

My name is Melinda Emerson. I live in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and became acquainted with Vickie and Pure Joy in the fall of 2005 preparing for a retreat in Jordan.

I am a doodler by trade and design Molly graphics by assignment. When I was called about joining the Quito team this past summer, I was in the throes of my middle son’s wedding preparations (my husband, Steve, and I have 3 sons). The day after the wedding our oldest son left for seminary in Louisville, KY, and 2 weeks later our youngest left for college.

In the midst of all this, I was emailing back and forth with Vickie on theme ideas … and a picture to help communicate it before we settled on the final picture. I was continuing to pray about God’s will in my going on the trip … My first reaction to any mission trip (especially a Pure joy retreat) is YES, FUN … but I wanted to be sure that it was God’s idea, not mine. I always make plans to GO until God says STOP.

Steve and I had been training to hike the Grand Canyon for the last 7 months. We took off down the mountain on September 9 and it was amazing. Talk about praying without ceasing. I talked to God for three days while living in His glorious creation! I couldn’t wait to share this adventure with the ladies in Quito! We camped out under the stars two nights and on the third day made our way out of the canyon. (let me preface this to say I am not an outdoorsy type of gal and the only tent experience I had was when Steve popped it up in our bathroom and said, “can you fit?”) So this was huge for me.

We went to find something to eat and headed out for a visit with my family in Durango, Colorado. We made one last stop in the park to take a picture and as I walked across the parking lot I slipped on a rock and fell … and broke 4 bones in my foot! Well, talk about a prayer answered with no doubts. But as I talked to God about it all – my disappointment, etc – I felt such a peace. I knew it was not my time.

I continued to work on the art work for the trip and as I set with my right foot in a cast, unable to drive, I worked over the list of ladies who would be attending the retreat. I prayed for each one and, even though I won’t see their faces, I love their hearts.

While praying with the Jonesboro team this week, I was reminded of Moses and how Aaron and Hur held up his arms when he was too tired and the battle was raging. It is the responsibility of all of us staying behind to continue to lift the arms of these ladies going on the mission… they will be tired but the battle will be won!

Most of the team has been at our home this weekend, packing the crates for the trip. Our playroom looks like a store with all the presents and treats so many of you have donated. The missionary women are going to be so excited to see gifts picked out especially for them! Thank you for your generosity. The team will return here next Sunday for their last night before leaving on Monday. Pray for them that they get lots of rest this week because the next will be busy.

I almost feel like Moses when he stood on Mount Nebo (where we actually got to stand in 2006) and couldn’t go into the Promised Land. God is good … and I’m learning to “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” Psalm 37:7

Thanks for letting me share my heart…