Serving With Time

My name is Carmin Polanco, I am a single mother of six.  

I would like to share a little about my life and how God has impacted me through TIME Ministries. 

I became a Christian in the beginning of 2009.  I am very grateful to my oldest daughter, for at the time she was 13 and she invited me to Iglesia Bautista Quisqueyana.   This is where I gave my life to Christ, and sometime after that we had the blessing of baptized together. 

In the same year (Nov.2009), God gave me the opportunity to join this ministry working in the cleaning area.  This is where in working with love, through my brother in Christ Noe, and his wife Anyoly. I had the opportunity to meet and share with wonderful people. In the summer 2010 I served with my kids in the ministry and I loved the experience. In 2011, three of my kids had the opportunity of building a chapel in Constanza, RD. I’ve been collaborating for seven years with the conference “Mujer Practica tu Fe”. 

Today God has placed me as a Hospitality Coordinator, position that has allowed me to work in the ministry and take care of the food.

What’s the kitchen like?

It’s a very important area of the ministry, formed by a group of ladies who give the best of themselves, always in a good mood and wish to obtain the best results on time to serve the food.  They also take great consideration for organization and the hygiene, taking care of our group’s health and our own.

How do I feel at TIME?

Throughout my years in TIME, I’ve had experienced many lessons that had workout for good, helping me to be a better person and taking away any pride.  The Lord has blessed me greatly, hoping that the time God has for me here I can keep being of great blessing for Him and others, with the talent and gifts he has giving me. 

Thank you, God.

 

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{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}

http://www.timeministries.org

http://www.morethanmissions.com

Serving God 24/7

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Being a summer intern was one the most gratifying experiences of my life… And exhausting. Working on a 24/7 schedule is sometimes tiring. I found myself many times not wanting to even wake up, or not wanting to join the groups and the rest of the interns for devotionals cause really all I wanted to do was sleep and rest. Yes… I know… but looking backwards I thank God, He gave me people around to wake me up! This was such a battle for me, the fact that I aim to do so many things for God and at the same time I would usually think “I can do it tomorrow, there’s time!” But is there? 

One of the verses that really impacted me during the summer is: 

2 Corinthians 9:16 “For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”

 This verse has the Apostle Paul referring to his overwhelming call of God to preach the gospel. He is so compelled to preach that he feels a woe or judgment of God would be upon Him. He doesn’t just desire to be a missionary; he was called directly by Jesus to be one. He had no other choice much like Jonah, but the difference was Paul ran toward his calling while Jonah ran away.

But, how am I going to respond to HIS call? How am I going to make this work?… I’m no Paul, nor I had that AMAZING call by Jesus. However, I do want to BE there like the Lord wants me to be. I want to be ready as He commands me to be (Luke 12:40 (NIV) “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”).

So, do I know exactly how Gods going to use me or any of us… NO! But what I do know is that we have this great beautiful book, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit to lead us, teach us, and guide us through this journey following His purpose in our lives.

So, what is there to be afraid of?

Carol Perez.

{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}

http://www.timeministries.org

http://www.morethanmissions.com

50th Anniversary of Time Ministries

It was in 1968 during Christmas vacation that Zeral and I received a letter from a youth leader in a Church in Houston, Texas. We had become acquainted with this young man sometime before this and had told him about our ministry in Mexico and formerly in the Dominican Republic and in Cuba.  In his letter he asks us if we would be willing to take his youth group into Mexico for a mission’s experience.  

Although we had been working in Mexico for a year or so we did not have facilities available to us to house a group of young people.  However, this did not deter Zeral and he immediately accepted the challenge.  We had become acquainted with a Mexican family in the small village called Pueblo Nuevo.  We had been visiting this village frequently and often arrived with bread and peanut butter to give out to the groups of people that always assembled  as we presented the Gospel to them.  

The head of this family was a man named Manuel Davila and was one of the officials of this village.  This man possessed a lot next door to him and offered the use of this lot to us.  On this lot was a mud brick building with a palm-thatched roof and a hand dug well out front. Upon receiving this letter Zeral hurried down to Mexico to talk with Manuel and find helpers to dig a hole that could be used as a latrine. Finding some lumber he quickly built a wooden building with a two holed bench, roof and doors.  It then occurred to him that we had to have showers.  The summers in the Village area are very hot and dusty, they would have to have a way to shower.  In the corner of this lot he discovered a pile of left-over mud bricks and built a stall with a divider in the middle to make space for boys and girls.  With no roof and only blankets to use as doors we had showers with running water!.  You see we had to run to the well, lower the bucket, draw up the water and then run to the showers, thus: running water!

Out of this very small beginning we have continued to grow until now we have ministry in the Dominican Republic and in Mexico with plans to extend the work into Haiti and possibly Cuba.

We would like to invite you to celebrate with us by spending some very special times in prayer for Time Ministries.  In I John 5:14,15 we read this verse:  “And this is the confidence we have in approaching God; if we ask anything according to God’s will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us then we know that whatever we ask we will receive.”

{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}

http://www.timeministries.org

http://www.morethanmissions.com

 

50year

Crazy God Story

Crazy God StoryCrazy Love Story. 

It is a crazy story and it truly is incredible how great our God is. When we look back over our lives many times we can see the amazing hand that God has on our lives and how he is in complete control! My wife and I were in Monterrey Mexico the same month and year. We believe that we were even at some of the same locations on the same day based on my date stamp on some of my pictures. I come from Minnesota and my wife is from Mexico City. I was on a TIME Mission with my Youth Group and she was exploring another part of Mexico. We did not meet each other in Monterrey. In fact, we did not meet until 12 years later when we both were living in Anchorage Alaska. I had been in Anchorage for about two years at that point and my wife, Carmen, had been living there just a little less time than me. We lived one block from each other and I used to walk past her home daily on my way to work. Even with all these many opportunities I was blind and did not know my wife was right in front of me.

In May 1998, I had a new roommate. I did not know my roommate prior to him moving in as he came from a remote area of Alaska to take a class at the University for the Summer. This roommate had lived with me for two weeks when he came home one night and told me that he had met the perfect girl for me. I wasn’t so sure as he barely knew me. Carmen came over for dinner the beginning of June in 1998 and during that dinner is when we discovered how God has been placing us in each other’s lives. We became friends that summer. Carmen’s permissions to be in the USA were expiring in September and she needed to return to Mexico.

On the day she was to return to Mexico I decided that this is the woman that God meant for me. I proposed to her and I made a video to ask her parents for their blessings. I then took Carmen to the airport and off she went to Mexico. Our plan was to marry in Mexico then return to Alaska. We both felt that it was important to attend premarital counseling, so Carmen went to the Embassy in Mexico City and asked for permission to return as a tourist. Because she had just returned to Mexico it seemed odd that she was requesting to come back to the USA so quickly and typically this would have been denied. God’s hand was on this and her Visa was approved.

Carmen returned to the USA on November 11th, 1998. As she was coming through Immigration she was pulled aside and searched as well as she was questioned at length to find out why she was coming back so quickly.  Immigration found letters in her suitcase that I had written expressing my love and our plans. This is another miracle from God as we did not have permission at this point from the US Government to marry. Carmen would have been denied entry. We feel that God performed another miracle and blinded the agent from our intentions and allowed Carmen to pass. Yet another miracle from God was a week after this when we were in the Immigration office and God put the right people on our path and assisted us with what we needed to be legal. When we look back we see God’s hand on our lives and how God’s plan was always in play. Carmen and I were married November 25, 1998. 6 months after officially meeting one another.

My wife and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage this year. Carmen and I both work for our County Government in Social Services serving the disabled. I am working as a health assessor and assist individuals who need PCA or Government Waivers to live safely in the community. Carmen is a public guardian for about 50 developmentally disabled people.  God has blessed us with a house in Puerto Morelos Mexico. This is about 25 min south of Cancun. And we are currently building another house about 6 blocks from this first house. Our plan is to pay off our debt then relocate to Mexico. This area is in desperate need for God’s love and truth.

For the last 4 years I have been watching the growth of our town including the problems that come with it. Because our area is such a tourist area and the endless party scene is pushed, many are pulled from God and many kids are being left to fend for themselves. Cancun used to have an orphanage run by an older couple, but they had to close their doors a little over a year ago when God called home the house mom. I know there is a need in this area. I see the increase of the Mormons and the Jehovah Witness and the pull that they have on the residents of this area. The need to witness to the residents of the Riviera Maya as well as to the tourists. Just passing through the airport this past November I overheard a father and son talking about being atheist then Christian then becoming atheist again. Lee Strobel’s A case for Christ raced through my mind. I missed my opportunity to interject with this father and son, but I believe God put them there where I could over hear their conversation. I do not know what God has planned for us or how he will use us. I do feel that God is hitting us hard and making it clear that this is where he wants us.

It is amazing how God opened my heart for Mexico and the Mexican people so many years ago with my first Mission trip with TIME. I even remember Zeral’s wake up whistle combined with the sound of the roosters. This experience went beyond the plan of reaching the people of Mexico for Christ. It went beyond building Churches in the areas around Monterrey. This experience led me to a deeper love for Christ in my life and prepared me for meeting my future wife. You have my permission to use my words on how God has led our lives. God has a plan for every step we take. We may not see his plan but trust in the Lord! He is in control. You also have permission to edit as you see fit. Sometimes I tend to ramble and give too much information.

With God’s Love,

Andrew Sisson

{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}

http://www.timeministries.org

http://www.morethanmissions.com

 

 

The Making of a Missionary

As a mission organization, TIME Ministries’ purpose is to connect you with local churches where God is working.  Right now, those local churches on which we are focusing are in the Dominican Republic and Mexico.  And while our ministry focuses on short-term missions and bringing groups from the US to partner with churches in our host countries, we couldn’t do any of that if we didn’t have full-time missionaries living in those countries year-round, developing and maintaining relationships and facilities.  The more missionaries we have, the greater the reach and impact of the ministry.  And while the role of a missionary is a noble calling, God uses ordinary Christ-followers to fill those roles.  Throughout the Bible, God has used ordinary men and women to do great things for Him.  I believe that it is a combination of God, having created this person, knowing what this person is truly capable of and the person realizing that they cannot do it without God’s power to fully realize their God-given potential.  All that brings us to the question I would like you to ask yourself, “Should I be a missionary?”  We at TIME realize that it takes three things to become a missionary; a desire, a calling, and training.  Let’s explore all three of those and see if you can answer that question.

Desire is the most superficial of the three.  Many people enjoy their experience on the mission field.  The work is hard but rewarding; the nationals are friendly and appreciative; the group is working toward a common goal in harmony; you’re having an adventure outside the normalcy of everyday life.  What’s not to love.  We have many youths who, right after their trip, express a desire to come back to intern with us, but after getting back to the ‘real’ world only a fraction apply.  This doesn’t make them bad people, just people.  We all do this.  Feelings ebb and flow, sometimes from one moment to the next.  We can’t rely on them for a foundation.  When you get married, the feelings of love are present, but they should not be the foundation on which you build your marriage.  It is the decision to love that person no matter what that’s foundational.  When you become a Christian, you don’t base the foundation of your faith on feelings, but on the truth of God’s Word (II Timothy 3:14-17), on the promise of life through His Son (I John 5:11-13), on the promise of communion with Him through His Holy Spirit now living in you (I Corinthians 2:12-13, Romans 8 – especially vv. 16,17).  It doesn’t matter then if you sometimes don’t ‘feel’ like a Christian, or don’t ‘feel’ God’s presence.  The truth is, you are, and He is.  Now granted, feelings could be a warning sign that we need to work on these relationships, but they don’t negate the relationships.

So, a desire to be a missionary is important, but not foundational.  It’s important because God won’t call you to something you hate.  God created us, specifically and purposefully (Psalm 139).  We are his works of art that He created with the appropriate gifts and talents to accomplish certain things for Him (Ephesians 2:10).  So, if we do what He created us to do, we should find vast satisfaction in it.  But it is based on who He made us to be and what He called us to do.  And yes, we all have the overarching call to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20) but who you reach and how you reach them and what you’ll be doing at the time is a very individual calling.  God has made some to be full-time missionaries, but He has also made some to be high school teachers, or lawyers, or assembly line workers, or athletes, or plumbers, or managers, etc., etc.  In the book, 48 Days to the Work You Love, Dan Miller makes the comment that there are many jobs that are available in your career.  But there are also many careers under your calling.  And understanding one’s God-given skills and abilities, personality traits, values, dreams, and passions will help us recognize our individual calling.  So first and foremost, know yourself.  Sure, you may have a desire to be a missionary, but is that what God made you to do?

But we can’t leave it there.  If the first step is to know yourself, the second is to see if anyone agrees with you.  I am very good at rationalizing my decisions, and I am very quick to agree with myself.  It’s called pride, the foundation of every sin.  Satan started it by thinking that he didn’t need God and could run this place himself.  Many cults got their start by someone thinking, I don’t need the church, I can figure this out myself.   All of us have at one time been of the mind that I don’t need God, I can work out what’s best for me.  But we can’t (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). Christianity isn’t a solo sport.  We need God, but we need each other as well.  We are not meant to do it alone. The Bible is chock full of ‘one another’ verses.  Love one another (John 13:34-35), bearing with one another (Ephesians 4:2), confessing to one another (James 5:16), carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), share with one another (Romans 12:13), restore one another (Galatians 6:1).  And there are many more.  So, when determining your calling, it’s important that you don’t just rely on yourself, but on other’s input as well.  Does your church agree with your calling?  The Holy Spirit spoke to the church to send off Barnabas and Saul.  He didn’t just tell Barnabas and Saul (Acts 13:1-3).

You have the desire.  You’ve examined yourself and believe that God made you to go to the mission field.  Your church and other believers agree with this assessment and offer their blessing on your venture.  But you’re hesitant because you don’t know how to be a missionary.  While desire and calling will get you to the field, it’s training that will help you stay there and get the job done.  While the desire and calling are up to God, it’s TIME’s job to handle the training to help you become Bible Centered Leaders.  If God has truly called you to the mission field, He has created you with the capacity and ability to do the job.  You may need to learn a lot, but you can do it.   So back to the original questions, “Should I be a missionary?”  We’ll be here waiting for your answer.

Rick Jacobsen

{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}

http://www.timeministries.org

http://www.morethanmissions.com

Privilege​ of Ministry

Greetings Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV

In March of 2017, TIME Ministries Dominican Republic, along with our local partner church, Iglesia Bautista Quisqueyana (IBQ), celebrated Dorretta Brown and her 70 years of serving Jesus.  It was in 1947 that she and husband Zeral left for the Dominican Republic to begin a journey that would take them to the DR, Cuba, Mexico and many other countries in Latin America, spreading the Gospel and serving the Lord through many trials and tribulations.

If you’ve read some of the previous TIME blogs, you’ll recall that our other missionaries are also celebrating different lengths of service, five years, 10 years, 20 years, etc.  Cindy and I are celebrating seven years of service this summer, and at first glance that seems like an insignificant amount of time, especially when we compare it to Dorretta’s 70 years of service!  However, God doesn’t want us to compare or envy, but to look to Him for our worth.

It is an awesome privilege to serve with a ministry that has such a rich heritage, and even more so to be able to fellowship with those who were here when the ministry started.  That heritage also comes with a great responsibility to nurture and foster seeds that people have sown and the Lord has grown over the years.  Every day we are faced with decisions that will have earthly and eternal consequences.  Questions such as, how do we grow, how do we evolve, how do we serve more pastors and groups, are our ministries effective, are we changing for change’s sake, are we more efficient, etc.

When looking at a legacy of 70 years, one of two things can happen. Sometimes we put the ministry in a lockbox.  We want to protect it, cherish it, and even prevent God from watering and pruning it to let it evolve.  Change is challenging, and even though I have only been involved in full-time ministry for a short time, a change in attitude, direction, or ministry can be a frightening thing.  While wandering in the desert, how many times did the Israelites wish that they were back in Egypt?

On the other hand, we can run like a bull through a china shop, wanting ministry to go in the direction we want it to go, more “exciting,” envious of what others are doing, and try to establish our own legacy in our own timeframe.  Some fear change, others want nothing but change.

The question to change or not to change is similar to another question we in ministry often ask ourselves.  How do we discern God’s call and direction?  I wish I had the answer!  In my own experience, I did not hear a clarion call from above saying “BECOME A FULL-TIME MISSIONARY.”  Our esteemed founder, Dorretta Brown has offered that “the need is the call.”  Wherever there is a need for service, that is God’s call!  In my own case, I discovered that as my wife and I began to take steps in faith toward full-time ministry, God began to open doors and led us to where we are now.  While we don’t always know the end result of where He wants to send us, we are confident in His process.

I am reminded of the story in Acts 5:34 where Gamaliel is defending the Apostles, saying that if their work is of man, it will not amount to anything, but if it is from God, no one will be able to stop it.  As we look to the future and direction of TIME Ministries, we should take a similar perspective.

Every step should begin with prayer.  Prayer for God’s direction, wisdom, and discernment.  Prayer for open eyes and hearts and minds.  Prayer for His will and patience to wait for the answer.

Then, Ask, Seek, Knock.  Ask yourself, “does this glorify God?”  Ask God, “does this glorify you?”  Start taking steps of faith, walking out on limbs, and take advantage of the things he places before you.  That chance meeting you have with a pastor?  It is not chance.  That person who just so happens to have a connection in Cuba?  Find out more, look back at the steps it took to bring you to where you are now.

Avoid pride and selfish ambition.  Ask yourself, “If I wasn’t doing this, would it still be important to the kingdom?”  Would you personally be willing to remain in your current ministry if the Lord called someone else to be the agent of change or to execute your idea?  Is it solely dependent on you?

What is the end result?  Who is your Timothy?  Are you training someone to take on the responsibility of the ministry long-term when you move on, retire, or go home to be with the Lord?  What is your plan?

In my new role as Site Director in the Dominican Republic, I have the blessed opportunity and humble responsibility to begin asking such questions.  For many years we have wondered if God wants us to expand into Haiti, Cuba and other countries worldwide.  Pastors in many third world countries are in need of chapel style buildings to expand their ministry.  Here in the DR, we knew that TIME had to grow and become more stable, and the original thought was that it would come through more American missionaries.  How wrong we were!  God has raised up qualified Dominican men and women to operate the ministry and this has allowed us to begin asking the first serious questions about TIME’s future outside of Mexico and the Dominican Republic.  In our small, cautious, worldview we first think of places close such as Haiti or Cuba, but who knows?  Kenya?  Thailand?  Ecuador?  Are these the places for continued short-term missions?  Is this the time for TIME?  Please pray with us as we seek Gods will.  Help us if you know of connections in other locations where you think the TIME model would work.  Join us in prayer, financially, or in person as future missionaries if the Lord leads!  And finally, help to hold us accountable to God, and the legacy that Zeral and Dorretta started 70 years ago in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Mexico.

Thank you and God Bless!

Kris Anderson, Site Director

{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}

http://www.timeministries.org

http://www.morethanmissions.com

 Our First TIME for Sports Baseball Camp

I want to thank God for the opportunity to make the first baseball camp with around 28 young people of different ages. After more than 3 years of prayer and plans God gave us the opportunity to make it a reality.  Just weeks before the camp we did not have enough money for all the youth to participate, and I was really worried but God answered the prayer and immediately touched the heart of many people to support us with this need, and we raised enough money for not only for the camp, but other needs of sport ministries.

We had several days of baseball practice, not only focused on sports but also on the spiritual side as well and we had several speakers who shared the most wonderful stories about our Lord Jesus Christ and the power of God to work in people.

Three young people were saved, it is more than enough to continue this ministry and expand the kingdom of God through sports. After this exciting experience in our first camp, we are working hard for our second camp that will be this summer. Please continue to pray for the growth of sports ministries!

Our goal in sports ministries is to have little leagues and train them from an early age, so in the future, they can play baseball respecting others, discipline and spiritual knowledge to live a life as God wants.  At TIME for Sports, we want to teach English to the children, to guide them not to leave school to get a dream, but rather to be able to study to achieve that dream.

Our plans are great not only in baseball but also in basketball, volleyball, and other sports as well, with the purpose of saving lives for our Lord.

You have the opportunity to be part of this ministry and change the lives of thousands of young people who want to reach the big leagues, so continue to pray for us because it’s TIME for Sports!

If you would like more information about TIME for Sports or would like to support our ministry, please contact me at jcrivera@timeministries.org.

-JC Rivera

{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}

http://www.timeministries.org

http://www.morethanmissions.com

TIME Women’s Ministry 

2017 slipped away!  Let’s celebrate together the time God has given to the ministry, Woman, Practice Your Faith!!

Together we can shout, “Lord, thank you for being good!  Thank you for loving me! Thank you for the cross! Thank you for paying for my sins and for the compassion which you had on our ministry these past seven years.  Like YOU there is no one else!”

These past years have provided us strength, inspiration and have renewed us through His Word and by meeting sisters from different places. How glorious is the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We can say: “Ebenezer, until now you have helped us,  Jehovah!  1 Samuel 7:12.

In November’s gathering, about 112 ladies visited us!  The lectures were filled with power and the Lord’s glory!  The testimonies were a great refreshment for those who attended those 3 days.  The decoration was marvelous, beautiful and delicate.  The ladies demonstrated hearts open to the wisdom of God. During our 7th conference, we had the opportunity to share some testimonies in the Dominican Republic with ladies from Cuba.

Mariela de Mayo, Pastor Vladimir Mayo’s wife, and founder of the Woman of Impact Ministry, had the following impressions of our conference:

She could not remain silent about the marvelous things she saw and experienced among us.  She was impacted by God in the DR upon seeing how the schedule unfolded during our conference, Woman, Practice Your Faith.  She has filled herself with ideas, and her vision for Cuba is larger.  She is very excited to have us return to Cuba to continue developing an impactful program there.  During a conversation with Mariela in 2016, when I barely knew her, I explained the vision for the ministry of Woman, Practice Your Faith.  And she answered me, “Well, that’s the same thing we’re doing here in Cuba”.  So God united two ordinary women to unite His plan and vision in different countries.    When I arrived to Havana this year, I only went with the purpose of introducing Mothers United in Prayer.  However, I left Cuba being the coordinator of the Ministry, Woman of Impact founded by Mariela.  God uses us how and where He wishes!

{To those who are reading this report: I wish to tell you that we only want to be instruments in the hands of the Master.  Oh, that He may use us where He desires.  We do not seek glory, because to Him is all the glory!  He is an Omnipotent God!  He does not need anyone to impact men and women to accomplish His work.  He alone is God!}

Leonila Regla Perez, wife of Pastor Raidel Romero in Cuba.

I (Anyoly) was invited by this couple in 2016 to share my testimony in their church.  Sister Leonila was very excited to attend our conference, Woman,  Practice Your Faith;  and God fulfilled her desire by bringing her to the Dominican Republic once again in 2017.  She expressed to me how God has used the ministry of Woman, Practice Your Faith in order to expand His Kingdom here on earth.  She has  begun a ministry with women who want freedom from sin; and thus in 2016 she started a ministry, Woman, You Are Free.  This ministry has spread out in Cuba; sharing the Gospel and encouraging many women to continue the legacy which God has given them.  Being here in our conference, she expressed the great joy she felt.  Her tears did not stop during Healing the Heart, (our foot washing ceremony) in that God had already blessed her so much with our themes, and the fellowship with the foreign and Dominican ladies.  She also was delighted in our Sunday morning worship service and wishes to continue visiting our women’s conferences.

The United States

We received powerful testimonies chosen by God Himself.  One sister approached me to say that the conference was very beneficial to her personal life.  All that our foreign sisters shared restored our ladies who thought that their lives were done.  However, upon hearing these testimonies, their lives were renewed with new inspiration in this year 2017.

We’ve received marvelous experiences and answers from God.  Our sisters have enjoyed themselves greatly.  The games, decorations, the rich and delicious food, speakers, testimonies, songs, and a chest filled with wonderful surprises.

The DR

New ladies from different churches visited our conference.  When they first arrived they assumed this conference would be like other ones in our city.  But they approached me with tears saying that God had touched their lives in this conference.  God spoke to my life as well in this conference and we thank the Lord for showing His glory in each activity which we develop each year!

Submitted by Anyoly Rivera de Figueroa,  Director of TIME Women’s Ministries

  The projected 2018 program and budget for Woman, Practice Your Faith 

  1. Each month we have a pastor and his family for whom we pray. ( $ 350 )
  2. The first Sunday of each month our staff meets for prayer and fellowship.  ($150.00)
  3. Visits for Mothers United in Prayer in different places within the DR.  (350)
  4. January 10th we’ll hold a reunion with all involved in Mothers United in Prayer. ($200.00)
  5. February 11-16 Anyoly going there for a counseling training seminar in Indianapolis .($1800.00)
  6. May a teachers’ training  (500 )
  7. June a trip to raise support for our budget.
  8. June 2nd, a Bible class at Girasoles  ($500.00)
  9. June 11th, Meditation for experienced ladies 50- 60 years of age.  $500.00.
  10. 10.September in Cuba for a Woman of Impact conference ($2,500)
  11. 11.November 8-10th conference for Woman, Practice Your Faith with the theme: “REST”                ( Exodus 14:14) ($6,000)

“Thank YOU, Lord, for all YOU did, have done and will do!  Your love is deep and we experience it each time we enter in communion with YOU.  Thank YOU for the mercy YOU’ve given to Woman, Practice Your Faith.  It has been such a great blessing to be able to do these activities for your honor and glory! Amen”

Prayer Requests:

Please, pray for:

1.  Our annual budget.

2.  Good health for everyone on our Women’s Ministry staff

3.  The funds for the trips to Indianapolis and Cuba

4.  The Mothers United in Prayer to remain constant in prayer

5.  The future speakers of our next November conference

-Anyoly Rivera (translated by Sherry Winters)

 

Observations

I’m presently on the last flight leg home from spending a week with a team in Aza Cualpa, Honduras. We spent our days in the mountain village of San Antonio, split between Vacation Bible School with the children, and re-roofing a school, re-purposing the school’s old doors and rafters into some tables and benches, and fencing in the school grounds. The week was very fruitful, and several spiritual themes kept threading a path through my experiences. I can’t help but know that God was doing the weaving.

As is always the case when getting outside of the familiarity of my surroundings, I became immediately aware of how inpatient, complaint oriented, and truly baby-ish I can be about my schedule, my comforts, and yes, even my faith. I watched people live happily and joy-filled in what initially I would have labeled squalor, and I saw myself in a new, vivid awareness of how self-focused I truly am.

The families in San Antonio only got power to their one- and two-room concrete or dirt floor homes 24 months ago, and still only some of the homes have running water. Those that do have water still have no sewer systems, nor have its occupants ever had the experience of a hot shower. Incidentally, this is a tropical area with frequent rain and mud everywhere. This was yet one more thing I chose to complain about, but here were these lovely people oblivious to the mud. I found myself marveling at not only their joy, but also in how clean and fresh they were able to keep their clothes by hand.

Thank you, God, for revealing my immaturity by relying on the things I have in my life to provide me happiness and joy, rather than finding them in the satisfaction of my relationship with you, with those around me, and with the work that you’ve placed before me.

Another observation God brought to mind had to do with my tendency to play it safe. In fact, if we’re all honest, much of our prayer life focuses on our requests to be safe and healthy. Rather, shouldn’t we take the attention off ourselves and our comfort and instead ask God to make us dangerous for his Kingdom’s sake?

I realized that in the weeks leading up to this trip, I had spent more time in prayer about keeping me safe on my travels and protecting my family during my absence, then on God opening opportunities for our team to break down the doors of hell. If we truly know Who’s we are, and what our purpose is, we’ll start caring a lot less about our well-being and a lot more about the vanquishing of the enemy who is on the prowl for as many as he can devour.

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that I am secure with you. I have nothing to fear about what can happen to my body, my family, or my possessions. When I let go of these apprehensions, my focus will be on how I can be better used for Your kingdom.

Lastly, God revealed to me how incredibly small my vision is. Because I have so many resources available to me in the United States, it’s ridiculously common that instead of relying on God’s power to accomplish more than I could ever imagine, I instead plan carefully to do things that fit within my ability to manage. I realized this week that when I only do the safe and easy things (and often to even spend more than a little token time in prayer about them), it’s for one of three reasons— 1) I don’t believe that God can or wants to be bothered by my day to day needs or projects, or 2) because I don’t believe God is powerful enough, or 3) I’m not attempting big enough things that are beyond myself and my own resources.

So much good work is being done in and around the city of Aza Cualpa by a single woman running a children’s home. Not only does she run the home for a small group of children, but she oversees a school that reaches many more children in the community, and organizes construction and outreach projects for those in need in her city and the surrounding mountain villages. Prayer and reliance on God are not optional for her. They are vital. And they need to be vital in my life as well so that God’s glory can be shown.

Thank you, Spirit, for opening my eyes this week to what you are doing around the world through ordinary people who walk in great faith of what you can and will accomplish. Help me expand the vision of what you want to do through me.

This past week has revealed a lot about what has been lacking in my faith. Getting outside of myself and my comfortable space allowed God to do a little house cleaning while I was away. Look prayerful look around your own life this week. Ask God to highlight some areas that you can surrender more to His will in your life.

– Jeff Williams is the marketing coordinator and design and feature consultant of the soon to be released PrayList app for iOS and Android. Quiet your mind— a richer prayer life awaits. PrayList.net

 

{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}

http://www.timeministries.org

http://www.morethanmissions.com

Dirty Feet

I’m not a big fan of commercials; generally speaking, I find them quite annoying. But there is a particular type of commercial that really drives me crazy, you have seen many of them yourself, you can’t miss them since they are always on TV. They are commercials that deal with carpet cleaners, and they inevitably involve kids or pets walking across clean white carpets with muddy feet. Maybe I don’t like these commercials since once inside our home everyone removes their shoes.  Whatever the case, sometimes commercials can provide vivid pictures of spiritual realities for us, realities that Jesus even taught about—and I have come to see that these commercials do exactly that in vivid fashion.

You may remember that during Jesus’ last Passover he washed the feet of eleven of his disciples (John 13.5-20). I specify “eleven” because by the time this event had occurred Judas had already left to the group in order to betray the Lord. Just a little background before continuing, while foot washing was a regular occurrence in Jesus day, it was always relegated to slaves at the bottom of the totem pole.  In some cases, Jewish slaves were excused from such a degrading task because making a Jew wash the feet of another could potentially make them ceremonially unclean—which was a big deal for Jews in that day.  Why would foot washing be considered so degrading you may ask.  Well you have to remember that in Jesus’ day, there was no such thing as sewer drains and road cleaners—there weren’t even cars for that matter.  Consequently, all travel was either by foot or by animal, and if you didn’t grow up on a farm then you should know that animals are never concerned about finding a bathroom, they just go whenever they feel the urge and wherever the urge hits them. Consequently, in Jesus’ day it was quite common literally “step in it” if you will. If you think that your modern feet get little dirty by the end of the day then just know that there is no comparison to what would cling to the average foot of a first-century pedestrian. Think about it, we at least wear shoes and socks, but for those walking in nothing but sandals, there is no limit to what you body would touch. Trust me, but the time the disciples showed up for that last Passover, their feet were probably pretty rank and dirty.

As we know, Jesus first attempted to wash the feet of Peter, at which Peter immediately objected. I think we all can probably relate to Peter’s objection. Intuitively speaking, it just didn’t seem right, let alone make sense. Why would any right-minded follower of Jesus allow him to do such a humiliating and menial task?  Consequently, Peter withdrew from Jesus—which if you think about it, is probably never a good idea. Nevertheless, Jesus responded by explaining that if Peter wanted to be identified with him then it was necessary that he allow Jesus to clean his feet. Upon this requirement Peter suggested that Jesus not only wash his feet, but also his hands and his head as well. Jesus’ reply is very interesting, in verse 10 he remarked that “The one having been bathed has no need except to wash the feet, certainly you are completely clean” (my translation). Later, Jesus affirmed that all of his remaining disciples were “clean” (exact same word) because of the teachings that they had received from Jesus (John 15.3). Simply put, since Jesus’ disciples had believed in him and accepted his teachings, and since they would all come to know and trust in his substitutionary death, then Jesus could speak of them as having been completely “bathed.”  Consequently, in Jesus eyes they were spiritually clean. In other words, his blood would inevitably cleansed them of all of their iniquities—all of them, whether past, present, or future; consequently, all of their sins were paid for on the cross.

Right, but there was still those stinky dirty feet! Why the foot fetish Jesus? What’s the big deal since you have saved us, since you have bathed us, and since we are “certainly completely clean”; why focus on our feet? Well, let’s go back to those dreaded commercials. Remember that they always involve kids with muddy feet coming from outside into the home and leaving dirt everywhere. Now let’s move from the theoretical to real life, when your child walks across your clean rug with his or her muddy galoshes, do you stop loving them? Do you disown your children because their grimy feet have stained your beautiful carpet? Of course not, but neither are we willing to put up with the mess they are covered in, or the mess that they have created your home. As much as we love our kids, that dirt and the grime still bothers us, and although we love our children, we still want them to be clean and enjoy a clean home. Demanding that kids help keep their homes clean and orderly does not mean that a father or mother has ceased loving them—the two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, truly loving parents require their children to regularly bath, if for no other reason then for their own health and well-being. And so it is with Jesus. Even though Jesus loves those who have received him, and sees them as eternal cleansed of all of their sins; he still is offended at the worldly grime clinging to our spiritual feet. While our souls may be eternally cleansed in the eyes of our Lord, our spirits are constantly picking up the world’s grime. Just like our feet are the first to come into contact of the earth we live on—and thus the world, so also do our spirits become influenced—and thus tainted, with the ways of this sinful godless world.

For those of us that have received Jesus as our Savior and Lord, Jesus has cleansed our souls of the full penalty for all of our sins (Rom 5.1; 10.9-10; 2 Cor 5.21). Nevertheless, every day we walk around in this sinful world, and as we do its immoral grime clings to our spirits and begins to influence us. Whether we realize it or not Jesus finds that predicament distasteful, if not offensive. The world’s rebellion and rejection of all that is holy affects our hearts, our minds, our attitudes, and inevitably our actions. Try as we might, it is not possible to go through our daily lives without it constantly infesting our minds and hearts with how it thinks and acts. Paul put it this way, “Not that I have already obtained the resurrected life, or have already become perfect, yet I press on for that which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3.12). Think about that for a moment, Paul knew that on this side of heaven he was not morally perfect in the same manner as Christ!  If Paul understood that he was incapable of sinless perfection in this life, how much more so should we also recognize this inescapable fact for ourselves?

So the next time you find yourself worshiping the Lord or praying during your quiet time, as you are bringing him all of your hopes, desires, and needs, remember this simple picture—he sees you coming, and although he loves that you are running to him in devotion, the first thing he will want to do is clean that worldly grime from your precious feet. If we are not willing to first allow the Lord to clean the world’s grime from us before we climb up in his lap, then we have forgotten what Jesus is really all about, which is holiness in his people. Instead, let us take some time and be like David, who while worshiping the Lord wrote, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. . . . Wash me and I will be whiter than snow” (Ps 51.2 & 7).

 

-Monte Shanks, Ph.D., Guest Blogger

About Monte: I and my wife have been happily married for 30 years, and we have 2 adult sons. We currently reside in Southern Indiana just minutes from Louisville, KY. I teach New Testament studies fulltime for Liberty University in their graduate degree program, as well as occasionally serving as an adjunct faculty for Southern Seminary.  I also run “Ologos Weblog” at WordPress.com, which focuses on discipleship, Christian leadership, and current biblical and cultural issues facing today’s churches. I have written several journal articles, and authored Papias and the New Testament, which is published by Pickwick Publications.

 

{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}

http://www.timeministries.org

http://www.morethanmissions.com