Merry Christmas from Lake Chapala!
QUESTION: Have you ever felt that sense of wonder and excitement that something awesome was about to burst upon your world, with a gnawing sense that some heavy lifting might be involved? You’re not alone!
No doubt this is how the parents of Jesus felt. There would be many sleepless nights, many dusty footprints, and a myriad of tears and prayers along the way. Fears would rise but so would hope, with each step into the light of the promise.
The old saying goes: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” The Nativity story confirms that: it took 9 months from conception to delivery, and another 33 years for Jesus to whisper that prayer: “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:4)
What can we say about 2020? It has been a year none of us will ever forget, but perhaps some of us wish we could. So many changes and so many challenges! But carry on, saints! At the end of the day, does anything compare to the precious gift of knowing and serving Jesus? And WE get to be a part in what He does in the coming year!
Praise Report on Destiny
We have some GREAT NEWS to report regarding our daughter Destiny. She is completely recovered, is off all medication, is all smiles, and she lights up our home like a Christmas candle! She has quite a story to tell. Her three weeks in the psychiatric ward of Methodist hospital opened her eyes to a level of spiritual warfare she had never seen before. It was a “lion’s den” experience. She had to lean into God to face each day. She saw her time there as an opportunity to minister encouragement to so many tormented souls, and to experience God’s protection and peace amidst the storm.
Many of her fellow patients wrote her thank-you notes. Here are just two:
“Destiny–THANK YOU! Thank you for being a friend to me when I had no one. Thank you for making me smile again. You are an amazing person, and your smile is contagious!”
Here’s another one:
“Dear Destiny, You are a very gifted person. I love the way you can feel people and call their real emotions to light. That itself is a beautiful gift. So talented. Such a loving young lady. I can only wish we met in better terms.”
Thanks to the generosity of one of our supporters (you know who you are!) we were able to make an emergency border run to Texas to get her and bring her back here with us. She will be living with us for the foreseeable future and will be able to complete her education on-line from our home here in Mexico. To all who prayed: THANK YOU!
Our Nation Is In A Crucial Moment So Let’s Keep Praying
This month our nation is in a crucial moment of its history. What will America look like in 2021? Will we experience a re-affirmation of our Judeo-Christian foundations, or will we drift into the darkness of Cancel-Culture? We must stand fast in faith and not lose heart! The promise still holds true in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people.”
Another Praise Report: Melissa is Healed and in Remission!
Earlier this year we wrote to you asking that you prayer for Melissa Shepardson, who was afflicted with a rare and very terminal case of cancer that had already spread through much of her body. After applying all the treatments they could, her doctors finally gave her 3-18 months to live. That was in August. She went in for a PET scan on December 9th and all the tumors had vanished. She is now in remission!
Finally, we want to boast a bit and say that we are so blessed to have a 14-year-old son who prays hours each day. Noah has declared his desire to be a “Nazarite” who is dedicated to seek the Lord for his generation.
It is uncanny how much this boy prays. We can be at a Taco Shop and he will be lifting his hands, and calling out to the Lord under his breath. First thing in the morning, he goes out onto our open-air second-level patio and spends 45 minutes to an hour praying, intentionally barefoot, with the morning breeze and hummingbirds dancing around him. In the middle of the night we can hear him whispering prayers in the hallway, pacing back and forth. If you know Noah, you understand that he does nothing for show. Quite the contrary. While his actions are conducted completely oblivious to what is happening around him, he resists attempts by others to bring attention to them or to dote over him. Like most 14 year old boys, he is making his way toward adulthood and wants the freedom to be himself. As his parents, we are not complaining!
Noah will often ask us how certain people or situations are doing because these people or items are on his prayer list. Sometimes in casual conversation, when we bring someone up from the day’s news, he will ask: “Is he (or she) a Christian?” Our guess is that, if not, this person will end up on the list. Noah had been praying for Melissa diligently, and no doubt his prayers played a significant part in her healing!
To think that just 15 years ago, when Noah was developing in his mother’s womb, the doctors strongly recommended that she abort. This baby, they said, would have down syndrome or some other serious problem. Naturally, being 1000% pro-life, this didn’t deter us from bringing him into the world. The doctors were wrong and God had a purpose for Noah’s life! Back in early 1956, another godly mother received similar counsel: “abort this baby or you may die!” She gave birth to me (John) and the rest is history!
Our prayer for you and your family is that you will have a blessed and joyous Christmas and a New Year filled with the blessing of the Lord!
In His Mighty Grip,