Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Greetings Precious Ones,

So today I am getting ready for my first day back to ministry business. I have actually been indoors for a good week which is an act of God! I know my friends that know me have really been unable to believe I have stayed down and followed Dr. Emerson’s orders to take it easy! The really hard part begins now because I feel better but I still have to be careful for another 5 weeks. So, the truth is, I will need to be more mindful of being careful than I have been for the past 7 days.

Isn’t that like our walk with God? When we are in the middle of struggles and storms it is sometimes easier to call on Him, focus on Him, draw our strength from Him but when we ‘feel’ better we start exercising that independence again that we gleaned from the ‘garden of Eden’. We don’t even realize we have been doing it until all a sudden we wake up in another storm over our heads! I pray for the day that we as His girls don’t need a storm or a circumstance to cause us to run into His arms. I pray for us as His girls just to wake up daily with the mindset that Abba is in the House! I want that kind of love and excitement towards my LORD and Savior everyday! I want to have that natural overflow of a heart committed and devoted to Him and His Ways all the time; even when it’s stormy! Because His Word is clear to us, the storm must come.

Well, we are having our first Team meeting for our undisclosed location retreat to be held in September 2009. Please pray for the team, for the ladies that will attend, and all the provision that will need to come in to provide for the time with the ladies.

I want to take time to share with you that it so excites us at Pure Joy when people come on board to give to the ministry that none of us at Pure Joy can figure out how you were moved to give except for God Himself. Every time that happens it is like God personally saying to us, ‘This was my idea and I will do it!’ I love that!!!! So, pray for us, the ministry staff of Pure Joy, that we will continue to just be yielded vessels to His counsel, direction and HE WILL ALWAYS BE THE ONE TO GET THE GLORY!!

Blessings to each of you,

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Youthful Soul...

Vickie has really done VERY well with the surgery she had on Monday. Praise God! I will, on her behalf, thank you all for the prayers you have lifted up for her over the past few days. Please continue to do so.

As Vickie and her mom, Shirley, were getting in the car to leave this morning, Vickie pulled a frog puppet out of the trunk and made it say something to Melinda and me. Then she said, "maybe I'll grow up some day and then I'll probably die". I know she was talking about playing with the puppet and maybe growing out of playing with toys, but I haven't been able to get her words out of my mind since they left. Maybe it's because I've had so many thoughts lately about how I still feel like a little girl inside and can't imagine that little girl having responsibility for grown up things. Maybe it's because I'm seeing my oldest son turn into a man and my second son right behind him and can't imagine them not being little boys anymore. I may not be playing with a frog puppet on the outside, but I still feel like a little girl on the inside. My "jar of clay" is grown up and has been patched many times, but I still feel like a little girl on the inside. 2 Corinthians 4:16 says, "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." Above this verse in my Bible, the words are written "youthful soul". There's no date, no pastor's name, nothing else, just those words "youthful soul". So, yes, Vickie, the day we're grown up, is the day we'll die! Or to clarify, our "jar of clay" will die. "We" will be forever with our Father. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 finishes by saying "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes NOT on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." The difficulty of being responsible for grown up things, for watching your children grow up and the sadness that accompanies that, that our bodies are growing older and wasting away (and requiring surgery) - those are the SEEN. We can fix our eyes on what is UNSEEN and ETERNAL.

Praise God that Vickie has a "youthful soul" - Help me God to keep a youthful soul!

Please continue to pray for the retreat in the undisclosed location planned for the Fall.

Wendy Stotts

Monday, May 11, 2009

Poland Report...

Please forgive me in my delay of getting the information out on our glorious trip to Poland! Glorious is a good word to describe our time with our sweet sisters in Christ in Poland!

We started the fullness of this journey in the airport in Chicago where the entire team came together for the first time. Three of our team members had never met the rest of the team in person. It was the beginning of watching the incredibleness of God! The one prayer that we prayed over and over is that God would do incredible things on the trip.

The team was just as all the teams are that travel together with Pure Joy-- His perfect team for the place we were going to minister.

We arrived in Krakow in the afternoon and got checked into our hotel. We then went out to dinner in a little hole in the wall establishment known for its authentic polish food. It was great! It is amazing the things they can do with sausage, cabbage and potatoes.

Then back to the hotel for rest. Got up the next morning and headed out for a day of sightseeing. Lots of thanks to Jerry and Saber who were our drivers and guides. We visited Auschwitz concentration camp where Hitler took many lives, not just Jews. We then visited the ‘Old Town Square’ of Krakow (thanks Susie for getting us around) which was very quaint and beautiful. Then we returned to the hotel, had some great pizza and began putting things together for the retreat.

Thursday we continued preparations for the retreat until around 3:00 p.m. when the ladies began arriving. We did have one group come in very early because they had ridden a train all night to get there. Of course they went sightseeing for a few hours, as many of the women had never been to Krakow. By dinner time we had all but two of our women signed in and ready to go. The other two were there by morning.

I cannot even begin to tell you what an incredibly sweet time we had in the LORD. The worship was wonderful, the messages right on, the hospitality just right, the fellowship great, and the free time a blessing! These women had great hearts for their people groups and while no different than the rest of us dealing with marriage, family, children, finances, work, etc., their love for Christ and desire to serve Him in spite of their circumstances was obvious.

We visited a house church on Sunday with some of the women and it was so sweet to watch them minister to the locals. They have three services a day. One in Polish, one in English, and one in either English with a Polish interpreter or was that Polish with an English interpreter? Anyway, you get the picture.

All and all it was ‘incredible’!

Now, we move on to our next place of ministry. Please pray as we prepare to go to another undisclosed location to minister to our ladies overseas. We will be going in September. The team is already coming together and our theme is “Where is Your Treasure?” Our theme verse is, “For where your treasure is, there your Heart will be also.” Matt. 6:21

Please begin to pray for the team, the ladies in the undisclosed location, for provision for the trip. So far we have 18 ladies already signed up. Pray and ask God to show you how He would have you be a part of this trip, if at all, in the area of prayer and giving. There are some other ways to be involved if you or your church are interested contact me at vickie@purejoyinternational.org

Again, thank you all that journeyed with us to Poland through prayers, giving, and going!!! May God Bless you many times in return.