Last night, our cell group took place – always at 7 PM on Saturday evenings. I had left the cell group in the capable hands of our disciples and fellow missionaries, Edson & Kelly Lee, so I didn’t have to go and in fact I’m sure everyone would have understood me not being there. But a word of hope was burning in me like I’ve never experienced. I wanted to share about the Love of the Father that cries “Live!” It was a very emotional night as I was able, by God’s grace and all your prayers, to declare God’s goodness and victory to meet our every need in any situation. People were really impacted.
At the end of my testimony, I gave an invitation to receive the Father’s love through Jesus Christ and led a prayer of faith in Jesus. Afterwards I asked if anyone had prayed that prayer along with me for the first time, and with tears in their eyes, Marlison & Luana raised their hands. HALLELUJAH!! It was only their second visit to our cell group, but Marlison told me that he was at that moment passing through the valley of the shadow of death, with the passing of his father. He told me he felt at home in our cell group, a group of believers that are genuine and real. He told me how much our testimony had impacted him.
This is a result of all your prayers for us! You’ve taken part of this first fruit picking from our testimony. God was so good to give us something so sweet to hang onto during this week- true eternal impact.
Ruth’s mom Becky found a single stem plant that split and bloomed into two beautiful flowers. It was the very first flower that that plant had every had- it’s first fruit – and it was perfect and beautiful. Did I mention it bloomed the morning Anna passed away? It has become a symbol of hope in Ruth’s hospital room, a promise flower, and we believe it says something about our future. Twins? I don’t know – I hope so! Does it signify the first fruits of Marlison & Luana that received the Gospel after hearing Anna’s story? I believe so. Does it mean even more things? Probably. But most of all it means hope.
Continue to pray for Ruth as she is feeling better, and we’re really hoping she can leave tomorrow. All her bowels started moving last night (and let me tell you, I’ve never been so thrilled over such a stink). It was the last thing the doctors wanted to see happen before releasing her. She was free to go today, but we wanted to stay one more day to allow the swelling to go down and let antibiotics run their course. She still has a good amount of swelling, but is already feeling much better.
It’s amazing how good God has been to us – I stayed up until 2:30 last night writing 5 typed pages of all the things God has been doing, saying and working. I wanted to write them while they were still fresh! I’m not going to post it here all at once, that’s a little much for even the most determined reader, but you can bet that in the next few weeks and months you’ll be hearing a lot more. We feel so encouraged by all your prayers and notes.