In the Art Ministry we are currently rehearsing dance, theatre, stilts, juggling, living statues, and more…. and we are busy sewing wardrobe, editing music, and writing scripts….. Why? Because we have the big challenge of taking our whole 20-member artistic company to Brazil this November! God has spoken to us about reaching children, families and youth in our neighbour nation through evangelism and two big shows (our musical comedy Welandia) and a new show called “The Trunk” which will be fresh and thrilling to watch. Our proposed dates for the trip are in the month of November and we want to present and work both in Sao Pablo and in Rio de Janeiro. Please pray for our finances and that God will open the doors to contacts with churches, theatres, and schools to be able to make a difference and be a part of the exciting movement of the Lord in Brazil!!!!
This summer has been a fairly dry one here in Corrientes, dry and hot, quite rare for this northern province in Argentina. Normally we are accustomed to stifling humidity and rain off and on through the 5-7 month-long season. Thankfully, after a run of days in the high 40s, God granted our prayers and brought down RAIN! Sparkling, cool, refreshing rain. And with the rain, our grape vine is looking stronger than ever.
It’s a funny thing, our grape vine; we have lived in this house for four summers and the first summer that we moved in, we picked (is that the right word? I’m not familiar with grape-lingo) buckets and buckets and literally more buckets of grapes off of our vine. However, last winter we had to cut the vine because it was tangled and getting out of control and things were growing all over the place, strangling the other plants. The grape vine was misbehaving, thinking it owned our back yard, and that it could do whatever it wanted with the other plants. And so… we cut it. Pruned down to a shrivly little trunk, peeking out from under the grated roof above our outside laundry sink. Of course neither my husband nor I know how to prune properlly and the next summer when we picked only one or two buckets of grapes, we thought that we must have killed the thing.
But low and behold! This summer… it is practically teeming with grapes! The vine has taken on a life of its own again, but this time in a more organized manner, growing in all the right places, hanging down just where it’s supposed to, and full of plump, green, shiny grapes! And not only are there grapes, but they are DE-LICIOUS! They are sweet, just the right bite to them, and come off the vine in beautiful clusters. In fact, we have so many grapes this year that we are going to pick them and take them by the bucket-full to the mission that we work at, so as not to let any spoil just because we cannot eat them fast enough.
This all reminds me of something that we very often experience in our own personal lives. In fact, I know quite a number that are going through what our grape vine went through, or what I many times have gone through, and will surely go through again. Many times our lives get out of control, things become tangled, our priorities become lost, and we find that we start to strangle, or suffocate, those around us with our mixed up desires and attitudes. Many times we are so focused on our own personal survival, as was this grape vine, that we reach out to wherever we can, just to find that we are barely hanging on and not producing a single good work. When we find ourselves in this state, or if somebody close to us is kind enough to show us the state that we are in, it becomes essential to “prune” our life back to the basics in order to begin to grow again, to be healthy and producing again. Now, this is not something that we can manage alone, if I prune my own life, I will pick off the bits that I deem as unnecessary but will always leave behind those bits that are so important to me, but really quite dangerous. Human beings are always, first and foremost, as we said, concerned with their own personal survival and therefore I will not prune anything that would hurt me in the process. This just won’t do. If we had only pruned the most top branches of the grape vine, the tangled branches below, the ones guiding the branches at the top, would remain. No, we need somebody to help us in this situation, somebody that can look at us with eyes of love, eyes of vision, eyes that see our true potential and worth, that will snip off everything and anything that is hindering our growth.
Aren’t we blessed to have that someone in our lives? It really amazes me how God can always see past our tangledness and help us to reach out to the heavens, growing way beyond anything we previously imagined. It is something so necesarry to return back to the last straight point in my life, cut out all that doesn’t belong, and start again. In the long run, it will be well worth it, as my life, just like my grape vine, will produce a fruit that is sweet, large in number, and a blessing to all.
Happy 2012 everybody! I tried several times to blog before the new year but always got sidetracked… so this blog now comes a week into 2012 and a very hot start to our summer down here in Corrientes, Argentina! This week we are enjoying highs of 36-38°C…. thank the Lord that we were able to install air conditioning in our house a couple weeks back. It has been an amazing blessing to have an escape from the heat and a must for Isabella to sleep properlly, especially during her afternoon naps.
I have been feeling particularily “webby” since taking on the task of updating our YWAM base website while the regular girl is out on vacations. And since it is also a wordpress site, I’ve been getting quite good at changing and updating things so I thought I’d take a stab at my own site. Of course being the budget girl that I am, my site is a free one, so I don’t get all of the fancy bells and whistles but I did manage to add some videos to the Art Ministry page and the Family Life page for your viewing pleasure.
I also got back into my Cut Out and Keep account and updated some of my latest craft projects. These will all soon be available for you to check out on my new page, Controlled Chaos… My adventures in Crafts . I’ve been creating some diy laptop and tablet sleeves so I’ll try to post those ASAP as well for you to have a look at.
And as if that wasn’t enough, since January is a bit of a slower month ministry-wise (we are going every week to a needy neighbourhood and giving drama and value classes to the kids aged 5-12 that are on summer vacation) the missionaries at the YWAM North base that haven’t gone on vacations yet have been blessed by the Biblical Studies Ministry with a special seminar just for us! So all this week and next week we are learning the Inductive Method for studying the bible as well as diving into the book of 1 Thesalonians and a mystery book for next week. God has been speaking to me a lot this week through Paul’s letter to the Thesalonians and I am feeling very encouraged by his ministry and the Thesalonians growth for all that the Lord has planned this year in ministry work!!
May this Christmas be spent with family and friends, enjoying good food and laughter, as we all celebrate the birth of our saviour, Jesus Christ, who came to us so that we could be saved. May your new year be filled with expectations and a renewed hope in the amazing things that God has planned for each and every one of us.
Lots of love this holiday season, we miss all of you and will have our skype on this Christmas weekend so that we can connect with you. Hope to talk to you this Christmas!
Isabella and I just got back from a wonderful week at the National YWAM Retreat in the province of Mendoza, Argentina. We were able to visit with friends and co-workers at other YWAM bases across the country, serve through translation, theatre presentations during the opening ceremony, a workshop about working in the industry of fashion and design… and receive A LOT from God as well!
Isabella made lots of new little friends as it seems the entire YWAM Argentina population is MULTIPLYING!!!! We arrived home safe and sound after a few delays on our 28 hour bus-ride home… Bella was such a little trooper! And I must say that she seems very happy to be home as now she can continue to practise her crawling skills… which she picked up just before leaving for Mendoza.
Please find at the right of this post the video update for the month of October. Thank you again to all of you for your continued prayers for our work here in Argentina, we feel them everyday and are so blessed to have a support team like you! If you want to be a part of our intercession team, please write us for more details on how.