Friday, May 26, 2006

May 2006

The last few months have been a time of activity & transition for the Mena family. Most of you know that in January we were thrilled to find out that we are going to have baby number four in September!

Then, beginning in February Steven decided to cut back his finish carpentry work to part-time to be able to focus more on raising support.

March was a busy yet enjoyable month as we had many encouraging interactions with brothers and sisters in Christ. First, we were invited to share with the mission’s committee of
First Baptist Church in Lakewood, CA. This is a great group of missions-minded folks that welcomed us very warmly. We were blessed when they informed us of their desire to partner with us prayerfully and financially. On March 18th we got to spend a Sunday afternoon in Yucaipa visiting with Ethiopians and former missionaries to Ethiopia. What a great group of people they were and we were really spurred on by them. At the end of March we flew to the Baptist General Conference offices in Arlington Heights, Illinois (Ben was the only one of our boys that joined us). We spent a week there producing a video, brochure, and table top display to help us more effectively communicate our future ministry in Ethiopia. Finally, on April 5th we shared with over 100 children in our church’s AWANA program about Ethiopia.

We can’t tell you what a joy it is to be able to meet and share with so many different people and see their interest and excitement about what God is doing to build His kingdom in the world. It is a lot of work, but such a delight!

Upcoming Schedule
Please keep these appointments in prayer:

May 14 — Sharing at our Home Church

May-June — Following up with 16 So. Cal. Churches who received our informational packet

May 18-19 — Connecting with Pastors and Church Leaders at Southwest Baptist Conference

May 25 — Appointment with Missions Pastor at Whittier Area Baptist Church

June 3 — Ethiopia BBQ

Jenny’s Corner

I’ve been hearing a lot about the busyness of life lately. It seems everyone is being pulled in a million directions, trying to stay afloat with all their responsibilities and commitments. With three little boys (one of which is now crawling and getting into everything) and being pregnant with baby #4, I can relate! Between the laundry (which is ever increasing!), house cleaning, taking care of my husband & my children, preparing meals, etc…. where do I find a moments peace? The Lord has shown me some wonderful insights from His word that have given me great encouragement and motivation in my calling as wife, mother and homemaker. Romans 6:13 & 19 tells us to present the members of our bodies as instruments of righteousness unto God, resulting in sanctification. The “members” of our body are our hands, feet, minds, etc. That means that as I use my hands to change a diaper, sweep the kitchen floor or wipe a snotty nose, I am being an instrument of righteousness unto God! How wonderful! And as I walk in righteousness, fulfilling the duties God has called me to, I am being made more and more into the image of Christ (I am being sanctified). Further, Isaiah 32:17 says, “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.” So, where do I find peace in the busyness of my responsibilities? It’s in the midst of every task I do in which I am walking in obedience to Christ, serving my family and honoring my God. There is true happiness...true peace! Isn’t God wonderful?

Little Mena Moments

As you can imagine, with three little boys, our
home is filled with wonderful little ‘moments’ that we want to remember forever. One of these such moments was during our Easter celebration. It was evident that Jake was taking everything to heart and really understanding what Christ has done for us when he said, “Jesus didn’t want us to be punished for our sins so He said, ‘Don’t punish them, punish me instead.’” We are so excited to see what God is doing in his heart.

There are also the more “embarrassing moments,” such as the one that happened recently at our favorite restaurant when Jake and Zack were excitedly standing up and pointing at an elderly lady who had a black patch over one of her eyes saying, “Look! A pirate!”

What’s So Bad (and Good) about the Cross?

Throughout our recent celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ, we heard a lot about the intense physical sufferings that Christ endured on the cross . It is always amazing to think about what he went through for sinners like us. Yet in all of our emphasis on the bodily afflictions of Jesus, I often wonder if we miss a more terrible part of what He went through on the cross. If the physical agony was not the worst thing He faced on the cross then what was?

Jesus’ words in Matthew 27:46 give us some insight into answering this question. There we read, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” At this moment our Lord experienced something that none of us can really understand. The One who was one with the Father (Jn 10:30; 17:21-22) was separated from His Father in a way that He had never experienced before. Not only did Jesus experience the abandonment of His Father, but he also experienced the wrath of God being poured out on Him for sinners. We can’t fathom what that must have been like, but we know that when he uttered these words he was experiencing the same kind of thing that the lost will experience on the day of judgment. In other words, Jesus endured the eternal torments of hell on the cross for us! This is something that no one could have seen simply by looking at his body, for this suffering went to the hidden depths of his soul. He was made to “be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

And that’s what is so good about the cross for us. As one of my professors has said, “The Son of Love became the object of God’s wrath so that we who were objects of His wrath might become the Sons of His love.” Thank you Jesus.

(This blog is adapted from our quarterly prayer newsletter, The Ethiopian Herald)