I have been spending a lot of time in the Old Testament. I have laughed at just how many times God repeats himself to the Israelites...verbatim. How do they not remember?! The Lord performed countless miracles in their sight, right from the very beginning with the ten plagues and the parting of the Red Sea. And yet they still complained and doubted him. Then I think of myself and how often I doubt God and that he is greater than all of this. Maybe the words weren't just for the Israelites.
We have four churches who support us, none of whom we asked for support initially but all who the Lord brought to us. We have different relationships with each one, and we have been blessed to be a part of these churches. So many prayer warriors! Pastor Bob, the senior pastor from the church I grew up in, was here last week to speak at a retreat for Reach Global and came over to our house for dinner on Saturday. He brought us peanut butter and a gift of chocolate chips from the Palsgrove's, who have taken care of my chocolate chip need many times over the years. :) We have been blessed to have been able to see many people from the Evangelical Free Church of Crystal Lake over these four years. We have felt so loved and cared for. It's like seeing family when anyone comes over!
And we just finished filling out some information for another one of our supporting church's missions conferences. First Alliance Church of Erie is going to hold one in the beginning of March, and it looks like we might even get to Skype with them during it! Kevin will be in Salzburg for a basketball tournament, so I will have to handle that with the kiddos. How neat! They are so thoughtful and send us cards a lot to tell us that they are praying for us. They sent Christmas cards last year that the congregation had signed, and it was fun to see Kevin's parents sign "Mom and Dad Y." :) They asked for a list of care package items, but I felt guilty filling that out!
There is a couple that our church here is supporting on the mission field. They came and introduced themselves this Sunday as they prepare to raise the other half of their support. I don't know where they are going besides a restricted country...but awesome testimony! The husband is from a Middle Eastern country and shared what his knowledge of God was like growing up Muslim, mainly that God is vengeful and full of wrath. He had to flee his home country because of false accusations and went to Turkey, and from there he walked to Greece. He didn't speak any other language at the time and was desperate to speak to someone in his native tongue and found a group in Athens. By the way, it was a group of believers. :) God is so cool like that. It was the first time he heard about who God really is, and he said it was a relief to know this God, loving, compassionate, full of mercy.
He also shared that 70% of his home country is under the age of 30, and even though it is a Muslim country, there are 3 million born again Christians with about 3000 underground churches in existence. Like I said, his testimony was awesome. Gave me goosebumps to hear how the Lord is working in countries where they cannot freely worship him. How often I take for granted my freedom to do so, even in a country where you couldn't 20 years ago! God is greater than governments and circumstances that would close the spread of the Gospel. God is greater period. He was for the Israelites. He is today.