Trials and Victories

I suppose you thought I’d never write. Well, I didn’t create a blog account just to tell you  that we’ve moved =] There have been many significant happenings since I wrote last, however the perfectionist in me has a hard time letting me write in great detail until I have processed everything thoroughly myself. There is always the question of what will be of interest to the masses and what will not, so before I write, let me just tell you what this is.

This is a space for those of you who desire to lift us up in prayer as we preach the name of Christ on our mission field. If you’re reading this just to get an update on the progress we’re making, I can’t assure you that our progress will always be clear. I’m going to be honest with you about our trials as well as our victories because I want you to be encouraged as we follow the Lord together that we all have times of struggle. I feel that if I only reported on our victories I would be cheating you from knowing a deeper and richer story of God’s provision and his unfailing love.

These last couple of weeks have been a blur. I admit that I have been undergoing a lot more spiritual attack than I thought I would here. When John and I interviewed for this position, we were told by our Pastor and his wife that the spiritual oppression here has been more challenging for them than when they were overseas. We’re definitly starting to experience that, and while it excites us because we know that Satan is so threatened by our being here, it is also exhausting, so we’d like to ask you to pray for our encouragement.

Last Sunday night at youth group we talked about who Jesus is. It may sound like a redundant topic to many of you who have grown up in the church, but this topic promoted wonderful discussion among our teens. I challenged my small group of girls to go beyond their sunday school answers and to understand the answers behind the truth they are believing. Once the kids understood that it was o.k. to ask questions and to challenge the belief system each small group was engulfed in a discussion that went a half -hour over our normal closing time. Kids lined up after small groups to follow up with John on more resources for how to defend their faith. No one that I’ve met gets more fired up about defending the faith through evidence and research as my sweet John–the apologist, as I call him. This Sunday night was a HUGE source of encouragement to him. He can’t wait to do an apologetics  study with some of the guys in his ‘man cave’ (aka our unfinished basement, in which he forsees such potential).

Another wonderful thing is that there is a great interest in our upcoming Junior High Youth retreat. The kids have never done anything like this before, especially not something geared to their specific age group. Something that is hard for us is that at this point Jr. and Sr. High are combined into one large group. When there are enough leaders, we are able to break them up during small group time, but the teaching is sometimes difficult for the middle schoolers to understand, and its difficult for John to teach in a way that is geared to both at the same time. We’re excited for them to have a weekend designed espcially for them in October. Please pray for the kids going on this trip to be challenged and built up and for energy for our leaders =]

 This Thursday evening I will be starting a young women’s study at my house. We’ll be reading through a book called “Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free.” I’ve read the adult version of this book and can hardly wait to tackle some of the topics with these girls. I love that they’re excited too! Please pray for that time and that group to be a safe place where girls can be honest about what they’re going through and that they would draw closer together as sisters in Christ.

Thank you all so much for reading and for praying for us. We’re blessed to have you all!

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2 thoughts on “Trials and Victories

  1. Hey Autumn. This is Kaija. I was glad to get your blog address from Julie. Since I'm not on FB anymore, it is nice to find you here. Your work — the ups and downs — sound amazing and I like reading about your journey. This book you will be reading with your teen girls sounds especially uplifting!

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  2. Auti! It is so great to hear about your life and the work God is doing there. It's weird hearing about your life through a blog, but I'm pretty sure if Paul had had blogs… well, we'd have a much bigger Bible. Your thoughts and words and experiences are super encouraging, especially because sometimes it's hard to remember that God is working elsewhere and it's not like us versus the whole world, you know? It's also good to know that you are doing well and the Lord is taking care of you (not that he wouldn't). Anyway, I love you a lot and hopefully we can chat soon. I think of you often.

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