Friday, 26 October 2012

the day before and the day after...

As most of you know, we lived through our first hurricane last night.  Posted are some photos of the day before the storm (the sunset...taken from our front yard) and some photos and video of this morning as we attempt do som clean up from the storm.  Thankfully, there was no major damage to our home, we now have our power back, and it looks like our island and church building fared well.  For those of you that prayed, thank you.  Of course, our Bahamian friends act like this is no big deal!

Going through this last night reminds me of God's promises all throughout scripture, particularly the Psalms, to protect His children.  The fact that we were inside our home with canned goods and bottled water, protected by windows, a roof and walls, gives us a vivid illustration of God's protection over us in the midst storms that come in and out in our lives.  Some, like this one, come in and out quickly.  Others beat down for extended periods and can tend to ravage our souls.  In all of them, God's promises are true for His redeemed!

Psalm 18:2 - "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my Rock, in Whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

Psalm 46:1 - "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear..."

Psalm 62:5-7 - "For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.  On God rests my salvation and my glory; my might Rock, my refuge is from God."

Thank you for praying for us!

The night before the storm. These photos were taken from our front yard...



 
 
 
Today, the day after.  Pictures of our backyard (only minor damage).  The bamboo roof blew off our back porch and lots of branches down.  God knew what trees to plant on a tropical island where storms come in and out!  It is amazing what these trees are able to withstand.  The trees in PA wouldn't last long!


 
 
 
Brief video of clean-up.
 

video

Thursday, 18 October 2012

new mercies I see

This past Sunday, Kingdom Life Church had "Friends and Family Sunday," which is an ongoing (quarterly) event.  The church is asked to invite as many people as possible: friends, co-workers, neighbors, and of course, family.  This week we had 23 visitors.  We had hoped for 50, but still 23 visitors makes a wonderful turnout.  And even though this number was reduced quite a bit from our last quarter's event, there was something special about it.  At Care Group last night we all agreed that the Spirit of God seemed more obviously at work this past Sunday; in the music, in the preaching, in the fellowship. 

Before our meeting, at prayer, one person prayed specifically that the music would affect hearts, and that phrases from songs would linger in peoples' hearts, drawing them to the gospel.  Later, we heard from one member that a friend who attended Sunday called her on Monday to ask for the words of a song we used in our worship.  She said she couldn't get one of the phrases out of her head and she'd like to have all the words to look at.  God is faithful! 

Another visiting friend mentioned that he was affected by the fact that we have children playing instruments in the service, and that he'll be back.  This man in not a Christian.  We wonder why seeing children up front made such an impact on him, yet we know the Father works through many means to draw us...

As the visitors' reception was coming to a close, I was talking with a visiting family.  I mentioned that we'd only been here a few months.  "Really? (the wife asked, shocked) You look as if you'd been here for years.  You fit right in and look so comfortable among the people here."  WOW!  God is truly aiding and assisting us!  As the only white family in the church, it is hard to imagine how we look as if we "fit right in," but God can do that!  Amazing grace.

Friends, God is at work here in Kingdom Life Church, Nassau.  The gospel is going forth.  Hearts are being pricked on many levels.  Including ours.  Living in a new country and culture is very disarming.  We see God at work despite our weaknesses.  In our weaknesses.  Please continue to pray that these contacts with visitors will bear fruit.  That many will return in subsequent weeks and be drawn not just to Kingdom Life, but to Christ, ultimately.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

unrelenting

Good afternoon...or Gudaftanoon (say that with a bit of a British accent and you'll have it about right!)  Greetings from Nassau.  Sorry for the "grand pause" in our posts, but life is chugging along here at a much brisker pace than it did this summer.  Blogging is back-burnered at times!

Unrelenting...that's the title for this post...  And what is unrelenting, you may ask?  For starters, THE HEAT!  It is just plain hot here.  Currently, it is 88 degrees, with a relative humidity of 70%.  Maybe that's why I can't get my laundry to dry?  The short little rain shower we had around lunchtime provided a few minutes of relief.  But "out came the sun and dried up all the rain," leaving it hotter than it was.  For this Pennsylvania born and bred family, a constant high 80's climate is taking alot of getting used to!

But perhaps what strikes me in the midst of this unrelenting heat is that God is far more unrelenting in his love and grace for me.  He is far more steadfast, far more holy, far more faithful, far more generous, and far more powerful than the heat of the sun, which is a mere creation of His.  This is intense.  When I am tempted to complain about the heat or the striking rays of the sun, I can remember God's unrelenting love and faithfulness to me...a sinner.  Here in Nassau we may at times miss the changing seasons, but we live with an ever-present reminder that God never changes.  He does not age and grow weary as a man, but remains steadfast in His character and attributes at all times.

 "Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not, as thou hast been , thou forvever wilt be.  Great is thy faithfulness...Lord, unto me."