Sunday, May 6, 2007

Side by side...

"Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the angle to the entrance of the house of Eliashib the high priest."
Nehemiah 3:20

When the Jewish remnant that had survived the Babylonian exile returned to Jerusalem, they found the wall of their great city broken down and it's gates burned with fire (Neh. 1:3). Many wept over the devastation they had seen. But God was on the move...he stirred the heart of a man named Nehemiah to do something about it. When Nehemiah got the news, he went to Jerusalem, carefully examined the situation and determined, with God's enabling, to assemble a 'team' that would rebuild the wall. And I love this next verse...when the people heard of Nehemiah's plan they replied: "Let us start rebuilding!'. So they began this good work" (Neh. 1:18)

What's this got to do with us today? Well, just as in Nehemiah's day, God has stirred the hearts of 25 people (our little remnant) to come together to do something about the heartbreaking situation that's been happening in Swaziland. Young, old, skilled & unskilled...from many different backgrounds...we continue preparing 'side by side' for our July trip. We recently spent some time together in a 3 hr team building's a picture of Kathleen and Jim trying to give clues/directions to another teammate:

Sure, we had lots of fun...but we learned a few things along the way. (hope you don't mind me passing 'em along!) We learned the importance of depending on eachother as we attempted to eat with our hands linked together (and not spill a drop...that was a challenge!). We learned that it was necessary to listen carefully, communicate clearly, and faithfully trust the directions of others in order to get a teammate 'to the other side'. We learned how important and powerful the encouragment of another is in accomplishing a task. We learned that when things get's crucial that we lean on and support one another. But probably one of the most important lessons learned was that when we work together 'side by side' much more can be accomplished than we ever could on our own. See, that's called 'synergy': where the combined interaction of a group is greater than the sum of it's individual parts. Pretty cool when you see it in action. But that's the way God intended it to be, right? The Body of Christ at work.

Our prayer continues to be that God would use our little 'remnant' to make a difference in the physical and eternal lives of the Swazi people. Again we thank you for your continued prayers and support as we stand 'next to eachother' in this amazing work. God bless you all.

Prayer requests & praises:

  • God would continue to provide the resources for the trip (praise! our girls received some support from their home church in Grand Rapids...pray that this would lead to an 'open door' to share their experiences and what they saw God do!)
  • That the remainder of the immunizations would go smoothly
  • That God would guide us all in the clothes we are to take (and plan to leave)
  • That future team-building sessions would be fruitful and all would be in attendance (May 20, June 24)
  • That our group Bible study time would draw us closer to the Lord and eachother
  • For God to work a miracle in us and through us...all to His glory and the good of others

P.S. The next NBC25 documentary on our group is scheduled for this coming Friday (May 11th on all morning and evening segments). Please watch...and pray that God uses it to stir even more hearts to action in this work!

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