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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Devotional: God of all of Creation


“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

“Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. ,… Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 40:26 &28

“…what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, …” Romans 1:19-20

Do you want to know God more? It might be a simple reminder, but look up, at the starry sky or the blazing sun. Look down at the shining ocean, the fields of green and yellow, or into the beautiful eyes of a child. Look at the natural world all around us and you will see the workmanship of the One who created you.

Even if one has never read the Bible or heard the word, he can still discover God through the world He created.

“Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Acts 14:17

If you are feeling overwhelmed today, or as if God is far from you, take a moment to stop and look around you at the incredible world God created. Through it, He has powerfully and totally revealed Himself.

Prayer: “Precious heavenly Father, creator of the universe, thank you for revealing Yourself through glorious world you fashioned.”

Be blessed today,

Lisa and Ermalee

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What's up, Doc?



As some of you know, Scott spent last week in both Zambia and Zimbabwe. One of the things he did was visit our orphan program in Bulawayo. But while the trip went very well, he came home very sick. At first we thought he was having a relapse of Tick Bite Fever as the symptoms were much the same.

By Tuesday he was getting worse, so we consulted with our doctor in South Africa. He agreed that it could be a relapse of Tick Bite Fever, but since Scott had an overnight trip already scheduled to go into South Africa on Thursday, we decided I would drive him across the border and we would have him tested where there is a good doctor and lab. Jayden had also needed to see the doctor, so we left Gabe and Mariah with friends (they were happy they didn't have to make the trip) and headed off for the border.

Unlike our last trip to the border with the Sugarcreek team where it took us 18 1/2 hours, this trip went by quickly with no breakdowns! The Chinese are doing a great job in fixing the main road to the capital which is also helping make the trip shorter, so we made it to the doctor by three in the afternoon.

Scott, it turns out, doesn't have Tick Bite Fever, but instead has a serious case of bronchitis that was borderline pneumonia. With a powerful shot and some strong meds, Scott is already feeling better. Jayden is being treated for a parasite, (It's not as serious as it sounds) and is also doing much better.

Part of the reason for the original trip, was to help one of our disciples start up a shoe business. After spending the night in SA (and a quick hour in Kruger since we were right there) we met Isaiah in the capital, bought a carload of shoes, and headed home.

On another note, Isaiah is a part of our new micro-loan program we'll be sharing more about soon. As we focus on the spiritual and discipleship, we also believe it is very important to help people meet their physical needs as well. In the coming weeks, we'll be unveiling a project that we are really excited about as we strive to impact and transform the community we are working with.

These are a few photos from our trip, both the crowded streets of Maputo and the calm beauty of Kruger.

Blessings,

Lisa



Sunday, August 22, 2010

English Camp 2010 video

Happy Sunday!

Is it just me, or does time seem to be going faster and faster? It's been a good, but busy week around our house. Scott has been traveling in both Zimbabwe and Zambia to meet with some of the leaders and to visit our orphan program. In the meantime, we've been finishing up school, and now have just over two weeks left to complete our school year. The kids have worked hard to finish before our furlough starts and I'm so proud of them.

One of the things I've been working on is putting together a number of short videos to share while we're back this fall. Here's one from this year's English Camp.

English Camp 2010 from Lisa Harris on Vimeo.



Be blessed today!

Lisa

Monday, August 16, 2010

And the winner is...


Congratulations to Jo who won a copy of Beth Goddard's Exposing Amber! Thanks to all of you who stopped by and left a comment.

A couple brief ministry updates:

Last Friday when the disciples met at the hospital to go and pray for the children, we had our biggest number yet - 15 of us! And even more exciting, was the fact that the majority (8 plus one visitor) were new disciples from this years English Camp. Pray that God will continue to grow and empower these new believers with His Holy Spirit. That the seeds of faith that have sprouted in their lives will continue to grow and will produce MUCH fruit. I'll be posting a video from the camp next week.

Scott left this afternoon for Lusaka, Zambia to meet with a couple of the leaders in Zambia then on to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to meet with the staff that runs the AOM Orphan program in that country. He will also be visiting with as many kids and caregivers as he can. Please pray for his safe travel!

Be blessed today!

Lisa

Monday, August 09, 2010

Chat with author Elizabeth Goddard with Book Giveaway!


Congratulations to Warnken Wanderings who won a copy of Debbie's Seeds of Summer! And because you can never get enough great books, I'd like to introduce you to another close friend of mine and her latest release, Exposing Amber.

Elizabeth Goddard is a 7th generation Texan who lives in East Texas with her husband and four children. She and her family recently spent five years in Oregon, which serves as the setting for several of her novels, but in 2010 they returned to Texas to live near family again. Elizabeth is the author of seven novels and novellas, including Praying for Rayne and The Camera Never Lies, releasing December 2010.

First, the blurb for Exposing Amber.


This historian loves the past…unless it’s his own. Brandon Selman is struggling to reestablish his position and reputation as a competent museum director. Hampered by scandal from his last post, he is determined to stay on the straight and narrow. He especially will not allow himself to be taken in by any innocent-looking college student interns.

Amber McKinsey is excited to learn she’s been accepted as a summer intern for the Harrington museum. Working under Dr. Selman is just the opportunity she needs to determine the direction her future studies should take. But the reality is not the dream, and her own secrets threaten to undo her.

Then, a valuable artifact disappears and Amber is the likely suspect. How can Amber leave the shadows of the past behind when they follow her so closely? And could Brandon have misjudged a woman so badly again? Will either of them learn to trust or forgive before it’s too late?

LISA: I'm so glad to have you on my blog, Beth! Tell us some of the background behind the idea for Exposing Amber.

BETH: One of the great things about being a writer is that all those things we’d love to do or have an interest in, we can explore and throw ourselves into that world—at least fictionally speaking. I love science, especially creation science and the kids love dinosaurs. I came across a museum that is connected with a fossil dig—something I’ve always wanted to do. The setting seemed perfect for a story.

LISA: Since this is book two in your latest Heartsong series, can you give us a brief peek into the rest of the series?

BETH: Book one, Disarming Andi, is set on a decommissioned missile launch control facility, and book three, Praying for Rayne is set at a fountain design company. Think of the fountains you’ve seen at Epcot. It’s amazing the science and engineering that goes into creating these amazing creations!

LISA: I find in my own writing that I often grow alongside my characters. Is there a character who you relate to from the book and who made an impact on your life?

BETH: For some reason, I find myself relating more to the hero in the story, rather than the heroine. In all my stories the characters have to learn to trust God’s plan for their life—that’s something that is a continual struggle.

LISA: Tell us a bit about the research you had to do for this story?

BETH: I already mentioned that I love science but I don’t claim to be an expert. I was able to talk with a paleontologist who conducts fossil digs. Walter Stein at Paleoadventures was generous with information, giving me wonderful details. Sometimes a contact won’t be the type of person who can give you what you need as a writer. But Walter is a writer, too, so I’m sure that helped. Also, I went behind the scenes of a museum. The staff showed me around and answered all my questions, even giving me new ideas for my story. In fact, one such idea I added mid-way through the writing. But it was too good to pass up.

LISA: What is the number one thing you’ve learned from your writing journey?

BETH: I blogged about this over at Seriously Write a couple of weeks ago—to take time to live your life, focus on your family and others. Don’t be consumed by the writing—it’s very easy to do.

LISA: You have a cozy mystery getting ready to release with Barbour as well. Can you tell us a bit about that story too?


BETH: Oh thank you for asking! The Camera Never Lies is about a photographer who learns that her ability to read emotions through the lens of her camera can also be used to discover a killer. It’s a bit quirky and I immensely enjoyed writing this story because I was able to insert my own strange sense of humor. The risk is that not everyone will get the humor. But I’m a risk taker—what can I say?

LISA: Because I know there are many aspiring writers out there, can you share any tidbits of wisdom on getting published?

BETH: One of the most important things is attending a conference and networking, getting to know people. It will all the difference in the world.

LISA: Anything else you’d like to share?

BETH: Yes. I want to thank the Lord for His great favor.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Beth! You can learn more about Beth's books here. AND Beth has agreed to give away a copy of Exposing Amber to a Stateside address. Please leave a comment on this post with a way for me to contact you!

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

ONE

ONE "Spoken Word" from LYF on Vimeo.



Sugar Creek on Mission "Powerful poem written and recited by Sugar Creek LYF Student and disciple of Christ - Michelle Mann... Michelle creatively inspires us with the passion of Christ to Love and Lead and make disciples and join with God on this extravagant adventure!"

Friday, August 06, 2010

Praises and prayers from Zongoéne


If you follow our ministry, you might know that Scott and several of his disciples have started working about three hours south of where we live in David Kuna's home village, Zongoéne. Every month, they spend several days teaching in the village and left on Wednesday morning to spend the rest of the week there.

Here's the latest message from Scott:

"God is really moving here. I think all told, we have at least 5 different studies tomorrow!

We arrived yesterday (Wednesday) about 2 PM, and after a quick lunch, walked through the village visiting all the people we have contacts with. A girl José and David met in June is very sick - well actually it really looks like she is at deaths door, literally. Her name is Gina, and we prayer for her. Today (Thursday) when we went to go and teach her, she could sit up, and said that she couldn't talk before we arrived yesterday, we we came and she could talk, then the same today, when we drove up, she could talk again. We shared Jesus with her and she then prayed with David and José, confessing many sins including going to the witch doctor. When she was through, she said she wanted to remove all the magic charms from her and follow ONLY Jesus! Two other ladies are very close to making decisions for Jesus.

You may remember Joaquin, the young man who was chained by his family so he wouldn't go around insulting and scaring the people in the village. We saw him today, out freely walking and interacting with people at a small shop. He came and got in the car to go to the Bible study near his home with us. At the study, we heard the testimony of one of his neighbors about how happy they are to see how God has healed Joaquin.

Pray for us as we have 2 1/2 more days of teaching here. We expect there to be a lot of people ready for baptism on Sunday as they have been asking and we continue to teach.

Pray also for the young disciples here with me. I am just blown away at the way the Holy Spirit is using them. We are truly on the verge of a great movement of God here!"

***********

On another note, as you pray for what God is doing in Zongoéne, please pray as well for wisdom in our car situation. One of our teams cars broke down (You can read about that here) as we were traveling with the group from Houston last month. The car has been sitting in the capital ever since being looked at by a recommended mechanic. This was one of our best cars, but we just received the estimate to fix it and it will cost more than the car is worth. We have a South African friend here who owns a mechanic shop who Scott just talked to and who will tow it here for us and thinks he should be able to fix it for much less, but we won't know until he looks at it.

Not only are cars are horribly expensive here, but the roads are very hard on them. Scott has left for the capital to oversee the transfer of the car from the mechanic to here--they would start charging about $80 for ever day we had to keep it in storage. Please pray for wisdom as we work out this situation. The blessing is that not only is Scott closer to the capital which means a quicker trip, but the disciples are doing fantastic and will carry on fine until Scott returns to Zongoéne tomorrow.

Be blessed today!

Lisa

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

What's your favorite mode of transport?


Going to a wedding in style.


My kids love this bus. (Right, Uncle WaWa?)



Boats help turn waterways into fishing and transport zones


This one's been around the block a bit too long.


You never know who...or what... you might run into...


Or when you might have to pick up a hitch hiker.


Forget fast food. Sellers will come to the windows of your taxi and sell you everything from fruit to cashews to cold drinks.



If you've got a pair of strong arms, this way is certainly economical.

Are we there yet?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Sunday Devotional: Times of Doubt



Times of doubt can crash against our foundations like a rip tide. In the first chapter of Joshua, we see Joshua taking over the role of leader of the Israelites. I’m sure that there were times when Joshua wondered what he was getting into. He’d seen the disobedience of the Israelites and their lack of faith despite the miraculous signs and wonders God had preformed before them. More than likely, Joshua had moments when his faith faltered, and yet he knew that he didn’t have to rely on his own strength and power.

“No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.” Joshua 1:5-6

With these words, God asks courage from Joshua and promises him success. God always equips his people when He calls them to do impossible tasks. He promises that He will never leave or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)

And that promise is for you.

Read the following verse and be encouraged with Isaiah that you don’t have to walk this journey alone. “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

Prayer for today: Lord, please help us to be strong and courageous when times of testing come.

Blessings,

Lisa and Ermalee