For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10)
When I (Carla) was in Bible college, one teacher led us through an exercise called SHAPE* where we explored how God had uniquely made each one of us for a great purpose. We learned that our gifts, passions, and abilities were not an accident, but a masterpiece design to fit into the puzzle of God’s Kingdom. Lately, Jon and I look at each other and wonder aloud, “How is our life even real?!” We get to use our hobbies, interests, passions, and things we simply love doing as part of our life work in transforming others. It’s like we were made for this, because we were! It’s such a privilege and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but the center of God’s will. It’s amazing to live the abundant life He promised! What has He made you for?
*SHAPE is an acronym for Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences
The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger. (Proverbs 24:5)
In the last update we shared that we had gathered resources to start a Christian library, and it is now open for business! We had the grand opening May 12 which was very well-attended and we were encouraged by the enthusiastic response of the churches. We are still looking for ways to get the word out and advertise it well so that even more people will know to come and grow in knowledge and understanding of the Bible and how to walk with Christ every day. We hired Delfina to be our librarian, and she has been doing a great job with keeping everything running smoothly. Our next steps are to gather more materials--both through local pastors contributing and from purchases made with donations--and we hope to move to a place more central to the town so that it will be more accessible to more people.
Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised. (Hebrews 10:36)
Last week my co-teacher and I were able to visit a partner church that wants to start its sewing school soon. Fatima is a lady from this church who has faithfully attended every single teachers-training class, and she is eager to share her new knowledge with others! My co-teacher was able to share a powerful testimony of how the school has changed her life, and also challenged the ladies of the church to not give up on learning new things, even when it takes patience and perseverance. So many seek after quick-fix solutions to their needs, not valuing long-term opportunities to permanently rise out of poverty because of the risk and commitment necessary. The 8 widows and single mothers in our current class are an excellent example of endurance, most of the time they arrive an hour or more before the teachers even do just to practice with the sewing machines before class starts! It’s inspiring to see how their persistence displays their restored hope.
For You are the fountain of life, the light by which we see. (Psalm 36:9)
As Jon and I celebrated our 10th anniversary on May 19th, we took a short trip to Cape Town, South Africa to enjoy a bit of time together. After a few days of fun, Jon got to work and met with many different organizations based in South Africa that were either already partners or potential partners with providing materials for the Fonte da Vida app. He was able to forge some great new alliances with like-minded people who simply long to see God’s Word available to every tribe, tongue, and nation. It was a fruitful trip, and we’re excited to have more Bibles and resources in more languages available! With the increased materials and a bit of advertising, the app popularity has been steadily growing, even having several days where over 1000 people per day were logging in! Check out our app and some of these partners in the links below:
That the library is open and spreading knowledge and life in our community.
That the ladies in the sewing school are faithful and dedicated--and learning a lot.
That we were able to begin some new and wonderful partnerships with the Fonte da Vida app.
For more people to know about and visit the library, and that we would eventually find a good location in the middle of town.
For the daughter sewing schools starting up--that they will see the fruit of changed lives just as the mother school has.
For more developers to help work on the app team--it has so much potential and we simply don't have the personnel to grow as quickly as we'd like.
Janie Smith is back in the States visiting family, but she will be rejoining us later this month. Please pray she has a fruitful time with the rest of her visit and a safe trip back to us.
Thanks for reading, please remember us in your prayers!
The breathtaking scenery in South Africa was definitely good for our souls.
What an awesome God we serve!