Monday, August 28, 2006

August 2006


Highlights
















Can you believe that its already August? Time sure flies when you’re busy. These past months since our May newsletter have been full, but good.

In June we had our first Ethiopia BBQ to share with friends at our church about our future ministry in

Ethiopia. We were blessed to have over 40 people (including children) present! Many of these have already begun to partner with us prayerfully and financially. Thank you Lord!











On July 8 we got to meet Eunice Erickson, another member of our BGC Ethiopia team, at a get-together of retired missionaries to Ethiopia, MK’s to Ethiopia and some Ethiopians. What a dear lady she is and we look forward to our children having another grandmother in Ethiopia away from home. The next day we dedicated Ben to the Lord at our home church (see back page for more on this). We spent the 2nd weekend in July with some dear friends (the Harris’) who are also missionaries to Ethiopia. They have been a great help to us in preparing us for what to expect when we finally go. On July 23 we were invited to come to an ice cream social at First Baptist of Yucaipa to hear some missionaries share. We look forward to sharing with FBC’s missions committee in September.

Up to this point in August we have been contacting several churches all around California and Arizona. We hope to connect with these churches in the Fall months. In fact, there are around 50 churches we will be trying to contact in hopes to share with them about Ethiopia in the Fall months. Please pray for us as this is a big task amidst everything else we are involved in (new baby coming, new home-school year, teaching Sunday School, teaching a series in Sept. on Wed. nights at church, work, etc.).

Support Update
Many have asked us, “So, when are you guys leaving for Ethiopia?” Good question. Our goal and desire is to be moving to Ethiopia by the end of next Spring 2007 conditioned on receiving 100% of our need monthly support. This would enable us to begin language training in August. Thank you so much for all of you who have already partnered with us through prayer and financial giving. We currently have close to 20% of our needed support!



Fall Events to Pray About
:

August-October—Contacting Churches
September-Oct.—BABY # 4. 2nd Ethiopia BBQ. Visit So. Cal. Churches.
Oct. & Nov.—Visit N. Cal. & Arizona Churches


Ethiopia
in the News

There are a couple of things going on in Ethiopia that we would like you to pray about. Some of these things you may have heard about in the news.

TENSIONS BETWEEN ETHIOPIA AND SOMALIA

First, please pray about ongoing tensions between Ethiopia and border country Somalia. Presently there is a weak transitional government that was established with the help of the U.N. in the 90’s. They have no real power, however, and in the absence of a strong central government a militant group known as the Islamic Militia of the Supreme Islamic Courts has gained strength. Their agenda is to firmly establish an Islamic state governed by Sharia (Islamic) law. There have been concerns lately that this group may seek to overthrow the transitional government. Reports have come in that troops from Ethiopia have entered Somalia to help protect the transitional government. Ethiopia denies these reports, but says that they will support Somalia’s weak government against a possible Islamist take over. Please pray that there would be peace between these countries and that this militant Islamic group would not take further root in Somalia. Pray also for the evangelistic works by Ethiopians among Somalia refugees in Ethiopia and that the Gospel of peace would take root amongst these people in their homeland as well.


FLOODING KILLS 600+

Another item to pray about is the flooding due to heavy rains that has been taking place in Eastern Ethiopia for the past couple of months. So far there have been 600+ people killed and some 200,000 people affected. Please pray that God would stop the flooding and spare lives. Also, pray that God would give Christians great opportunities to minister to people who have lost love ones, homes, who still have missing family members, etc. Pray that diseases such as malaria would not further break out due this flooding. For regular news on Ethiopia visit www.menafamily.org and click on the link for Voice of America News on Ethiopia.


BIG Mena Moment

“Do you now dedicate your children to the Lord who gave them to you all, surrendering all worldly claims upon their lives in the hope that they will belong wholly to God?” What sobering vows these are that we had the privilege of entering into on July 9, 2006. That is the day that we dedicated Benjamin (“Son of my right hand” in Hebrew) to the Lord. It is one thing to say these words and quite another to do them. Yet what safer and more secure place could there be for our dear and beloved children than in the strong and faithful hands of our wise and good heavenly Father? There truly is none, but sadly we often trust ourselves more than God and this makes it difficult for us to give them over to Him. What if He should call them to be missionaries or something crazy like that? Can we trust Him to take care of them though we are not with them? The answer is yes, but oh Lord how we need to increase in our faith. By Your grace oh Lord, only by Your grace.


Jenny’s Corner

Have you ever considered how tender and deep God’s love is for you? Recently I read a scripture that described God’s love in a way that really hit home and in a way that was overwhelming to me. Isaiah 49:15, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.” Wow! Having nursed 3 boys and looking forward to nursing my new baby, I can really identify with this verse! There is such a strong, indescribable love and connection between a mother and her nursing baby. When the baby cries, a mother feels a physical response in her body which responds to her babies needs. Did you know that God even gave us hormones that are released during breastfeeding that make us feel more bonded to our baby? And the compassion that we feel when our baby needs us!! It’s overwhelming! This kind of love is indescribable. I would do anything for my baby! Yet God says a mother still may forget her nursing baby, but His love is beyond this! He will NEVER forget us! It comforts me so much to think of God’s love & compassion for me in this way. How desperately people need to know our great God! Even His own children need these reminders so often. The following verse says, “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.” You are always on His mind. Humbling isn’t it? And glorious! What amazing grace towards sinners!


Please Pray for Us

1. Jenny has less than 3 weeks to go until baby #4 is born. Pray that she stays healthy and that our baby is born healthy.

2. That the Lord would guide us as we seek to set up several appointments to share with churches in the Fall.


3.
That the Lord would continue to provide work for Steven during our time of raising support. We thank him for his continualprovisions!