A Grateful Heart
I stood on top of the hill of ABWE and looked across the land. I had just finished my final on-site training at ABWE. It felt surreal that I was near the end of my prefield journey. My heart overflowed with thankfulness for all the Lord has brought me through on this journey. I began to sing a song that was near and dear to my heart, “Create in me/Children of the King” by Mary Rice Hopkins.
It was a Sunday in 1999. I was sitting in children’s church, and one of the leaders had shared her testimony. I felt conflicted. I was growing up in the church. My dad was the children’s church pastor. I was a good kid. Surely that was enough to get me to heaven. After listening to the leader’s testimony, I realized it wasn’t. I was dead in my sin and eternally separated from God. My dad asked us all to stand up to sing a song. He led us in “Create in me/Children of the King”. Before the second verse my dad would always stop and say, “If you are not a child of God, you shouldn’t sing this next part. Because it wouldn’t be true.” In the past, I would sing the verse without much thought. However, that day I knew I couldn’t. I was not a child of God. That day I chose to repent of my sins and give my life to Christ. From that moment forward I knew and could proudly proclaim that I am a child of the one true King! On top of the ABWE hill I sang that verse,
“We are children of the king
We lift our hearts and hands
We give you everything”
I made it back safely to Michigan. My brother, David, and his two oldest kids, DJ and Ani, came to celebrate Thanksgiving with us in Holland. Unfortunately, my sister-in-law had to work, so she and my infant niece, Stephy, couldn’t join us. However, it was great being with all of my brothers. It had been about 4-5 years since we were all together in the same place. We played games, laughed, and ate delicious food. It was a great Thanksgiving for which I will forever be grateful.
I have a Jonas update! My friend and colleague, Christy, was able to visit Jonas’s school last week. As she sat in the back talking with the teacher and directrice, Jonas was signing with his friends. The kids were having a debate of who runs faster between them. The directrice of the school shared with Christy that Jonas has improved greatly and is at the top of his class. She also said that Jonas behaves really well and is a hard worker. Mensah, the teacher Jonas lives with says that Jonas' notebook is always worn because he uses it to study a lot. I am so proud of Jonas and how far he has come! My heart is overflowing with joy. I can't wait for the day that we meet again.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I am grateful for each and every one of you. I am currently at 95% of monthly support. I am $172 a month away from being fully funded! My goal is to reach 100% before Christmas so I can get financial clearance and be able to begin language school in January. Would you pray with me for the remaining 5%? God has great things in store, and I am so excited for the next step in this journey.
Grateful for the journey,
● Pray that things would go well as the first part of my visa to study in Canada is being processed.
● Pray for wisdom as I prepare to move to Quebec in January.
● Pray for the new public deaf school starting near where I lived and that there would be opportunities for the Gospel.
● Pray for T that the Lord would open his eyes to the gospel as I lead him through the “Story of Hope.”
● Pray for my grandfather Ortiz who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
● Pray for an ASL interpreter for Togo – big opportunity for one!
● Pray for more opportunities for me to practice signing.
● Pray for additional partners for my ministry.
● Praise God for 95% of my monthly support!
● Praise God that I completed my “Methods of Bible Study” course with an A!
● Praise God that I completed the Sahara Challenge with Crescent Project!
● Praise God for an encouraging time at ABWE for my final training!
● Praise God for the new public deaf school near where I lived!
● Praise God for the good report about Jonas!