Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sanibonani! (Hello in Zulu, one of the eleven official languages in South Africa)

Somehow Vickie has managed to escape her favorite weekly opportunity of writing a blog again! (I can't believe I'm encouraging this sort of behavior!) Patty, this is for you because as I was brushing my teeth this morning, Vickie asks, "HEY! I've got a great idea. What if you write this blog to give me extra time to come up with something of my own?" In my own disapproving way, I ask if it's really in her best interest. And she replies that you (Patty) are expecting something like this.

My name is Sarah Walters. I am in Elko, Nevada with Vickie and the First Baptist Church of Morrilton to work with Shiloh Bible Church. My job this year entails me teaching kids about missions in South Africa as they are encouraged to bring money to buy soccer balls to send to Operation Kid-to-Kid. (Hence the greeting!) This is my third year in Elko with this church.

It's funny how God gets our attention. As some of you know, I (Sarah) used to work at FBC, and God tenderly led me to resign to fulfill his calling in my education. This past semester, during a small group Bible study our topic was GO UNTIL YOU GET A NO! Vickie had already contacted me about the trip to Elko to give me dates, and I knew the topic of Bible study that night was God's affirmation that I was to be on this trip.

Vickie and I are staying with a couple named Deb and Kevin who are just the sweetest people and best hosts. They really know how to make us feel like we have a home away from home. This week, our team (made up of Shiloh Bible Church and FBC Morrilton) is having VBS for the kids of Elko. Last year, our numbers were in the high 30s. This year God has knocked our socks off and by Wednesday has blessed us with 53 kids and we still have two remaining days!

Not only is God moving amongst the children, he is doing a mighty work during our revival services. They are TRUE revival services! Monday night during the service, Vickie felt led of God to share with us that if you are living in the past, you can't live in the present. She also said, if you are living in the future you can't live in the present. God wants us to live in the here and now. He wants us to be aware of what is going on around us right now, not lingering on our mistakes from the past or the "what ifs" of the future. What she didn't know was that Monday morning my Words from God came from Isaiah 43:18- 21. Vs. 18-19 states, "Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" God used this verse to prepare my heart for the true revival to begin that night. I witnessed the altar as it became flooded with adults, students, and children, praying and asking God to help them leave things from the past in the past, and to live in the present. Tuesday night was another amazing night as God opened the flood gates of heaven once again as more than 10 people can forward to either pronounce their faith in Christ or another commitment recently made to him.

WOW, GOD! Jesus is so amazing. I am SO THANKFUL for this opportunity to be in Elko with Shiloh Bible Church and FBC Morrilton as we continue to see our Lord move in MIGHTY, MIGHTY ways!!!

So now, you can understand why Vickie hasn't posted yet, and I promise Vickie will post her own blog soon...I will MAKE SURE of it!! :)

Sarah Walters

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yard Sale - NOT My Spiritual Gift!!

Ok, so granted you haven’t had a blog from me in over a week. Yes, Patty has been on me about it but to no avail because my focus has been on this Yard Sale thing. I realize as I type these words there are millions of you out there that absolutely think Yard Sales are the next best thing to grandma and apple pie. And I am happy about that for each of you. But...I don’t see it that way so much.

Truth is I am not a big shopper by nature. I am one of those get in the store get what I need and get out. It is almost as if it is an army maneuver. Along with that mentality therefore comes the inability to really understand the price of things. I get what works and get out!

So, when we decided to do our 1st Annual Pure Joy Yard Sale I did what any one with any working brain cells would do that shops like me……..I found someone else to be the leader of this operation. My precious friend Penny was the perfect person to lead us through this battle. She has been on a mission trip with us and is going with our team to Venezuela. But, most importantly she is a shopper. I’m telling you if shopping could be a spiritual gift that would be one of hers!!! She knows how to bargain shop and she knows the price of things. My mom and several other women came along side her and they began marking that stuff with all these different color dots and white stickers, etc. I am telling you it was a well executed Yard Sale!

Finally, Saturday came and with it the opportunity for us to pray in faith that God would not let one drop of water touch us that day even though we were surrounded by clouds, thunder and lighting and the storm that has fallen upon us hours earlier knocking the electricity out for many. He granted us favor and we had a great turn out and made enough money to support 5 of our missionaries that will be attending the Venezuela retreat in October!

Granted we did have a few wounded warriors when it was all over Saturday because a person can only bend and lift things so many times. But, all made it to worship yesterday with smiles on their faces! I think they may have been wearing masks. Hmmmmm