Mexico - Skagit Valley salvations, Oct 3, 2016
As I lay in bed thanking God for being able to be in Mexico working with Bruce, Rabecca, Miguel, Olivia and our Christian family here to build a fellowship center, I am reflecting with great joy on the salvations of people in our local community in Skagit Valley, Washington. We had a couple live in Mexico for a few years and we were always anxious to hear what was going on in the ministry but it was difficult for them to keep us up to date. We were always amazed when we could get them to share about all the things that they were doing to touch the lives of others, especially when it included so many people coming to salvation - one here and occasionally 2 or 3 at the same time. You could hear the joy of the Lord as they shared the testimony of each one. We realized that they were living the life of the gospel and they were always expecting God to draw the hearts of people to Himself. Because we weren't used to seeing that in our community it was difficult to not think they had become "casual' about "there will be more joy over one that repents than ninety- nine righteous people that don't have to". The same thing in Africa where we have to work hard to encourage them to take the time to share the testimonies of the people whose salvation experience benefited from having the sets of equipment they use for the planned outreaches. There are so many everyday that are saved through the work of the Holy Spirit - through individual and group evangelism, they simply give God the glory and begin discipling the new believer into presenting the good news to others so they can also be free. As I lay here, the Lord brings back memories of these last years in Skagit Valley. We have now been restored to that level of expectancy. The Lord put this scripture on my heart as He flooded my heart and mind with the memories of His faithfulness these last 20 years as we fellowship with so many, some from the start of that new life to people we met this last week.
"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His Name; make known among the nations what He has done. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts. Glory in His Holy Name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles and the judgements He pronounced, O descendants of Israel His servant, O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones." 1 Chronicles 16:8-12.
What a special thing to remember each one, all so special, and all for His Glory. Over the years we have witnessed locally the salvations of those from different faiths - Wican, Mormons, Jehovah Witness and even Muslim. At men 's and women's small groups, conferences and in the van on the way down or back to Mexico. We have pulled the boat to the side of the Shagit River to witness the miracle and baptize them right there. We have taken people hiking, kayaking, fishing and camping and seen their lives changed before we get home. We have seen the miracle repeat itself serving at the rest area, the car wash or during the garage sale. We have had people make their decision athouse church, a ministry celebration, Harvest Kids , at the park, the beach and the playground. We have had them make that commitment at the worship trailer after the July 4th parade, the skateboard park at midnight, people visiting the Skagit County fair and the homeless at the Walmart parking lot. We have met complete strangers at McDonald's and rest areas traveling on mission trips to Mexico that made that decision as well as people on the ferry traveling to Canada. A man staggered to the back of Harvest Home a while back to drop off a bag of beer cans and walked straight away 15 minutes later a new man. We have witnessed God moving the same way as we visit the hospital, convalescent centers, dementia wards, the jail, the 3rd floor pschye ward, in the parking lot after an AA meeting, the migrant camp, the children's playground at an apartment or reading a tear-stained letter from someone that received a letter while in prison. Just meeting people when shopping or walking around our neighborhood, we have witnessed the same life changes. The Father touches one of His children, the Holy Spirit convicts them, Jesus made the Way and sometimes we get to be the messenger. And now, we are an expectant believer, just as a mother expects to soon hold the child she has birthed in her womb.
"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision" Joel 3:14
"I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." 2 Cor 6:2