"Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I worship Your holy name
The sun comes up; it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes"
From 10,000 Reasons by Matt RedmanTo preface this post a little, read through it with an attitude of praise, worship and thankfulness : ) Don't mistake the worship for sorrow. What began as sorrow has ended in praise.
My aunt Pamela Geisler passed away last weekend and I was able to come home amazingly thanks to tons of airline miles... death is so crazy. We just don't get it and it always seems to catch us not ready even though "death is the destiny of every man...the living should take this to heart." (Ecc 7:2) These are the times when I can easily feel like what God asks of me is too hard. I have missed many special and important moments being away. At the same time, being home this weekend reminds me exactly why what we do is so important... 2 people got saved this Saturday at my aunts funeral and the beautiful ceremony was to me so worshipful and honoring of the Lord because that is just how my Aunt Pam lived....in praise of God at all times. The following song was sung just before the last prayer:
I had heard it before but never experienced it quite so real... I raised my hands and sung in worship right there in the church...not loud, but I worshiped in that sad moment of loss knowing that life is nothing without our worship and love for Christ. We take nothing home but our heavenly treasures and that day we enter nothing here will seem quite as big as we make it seem right now. No matter what a day may bring... Bless the Lord Oh my soul! Worship His Holy Name! Sing like never before, oh my soul!
Each new day is a chance to sing our song of praise again, a new moment to witness the promises of God fulfilled. "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thes. (5:16-18) This is not to say that we don't mourn or feel sorrow...even Jesus wept when Lazarus died in spite of knowing he was about to raise him... but we can be thankful in all circumstances and look in wisdom on even the most difficult of days.
God is powerful and always good. He continues to work in amazing ways. As a great testament to the unstoppable will of the Lord...we are so excited to say the Team Ibarra is now COMPLETE! We just received word that our final team member has been approved which sets us at 6 amazing women and 4 men of God! In just about a month we went from no leads and an incomplete team of only 5 to a full 10. God is providing and doing great things on behalf of the people of Ibarra, Ecuador. The team is doing great. I can hardly believe they have already been here for over a month. We are nearing the time when we will be travelling a few times to Ibarra in search of places to live for us, the team and the pastoral family. Finding homes, especially for so many of us that will be close in proximity, is not as easy in South America as it would be in the states. Many homes and apartments tend to be available for sale more often than they are for rent and often they are smaller spaces. We have very specific needs for the team as far as housing so please, please keep this aspect of our ministry in prayer over the next month and a half. We hope to have our places secured by the beginning of November. As a team we head to Cali, Colombia for training from Nov 21-Dec 19 and we would LOVE to come home to a home : ) Once we finish up in Cali, we plan to celebrate the birth of our Saviour and then we begin the full time work of ministering to the people in Ibarra!
We hope you consider joining us as at some point on a short-term missions trip! There is an open college group trip planned for May of next year. You can also work with the Extreme Mobilizers to plan a short-term project specific to your church. Short-term events are so important to what we do. I love that they create an opportunity for you our supporters to come and be blessed to see and do for the Lord with your own eyes and hands what God is doing in Ecuador. It also allows us to do bigger outreach events, it creates increased momentum and jump-off points in the ministry, and often it expands involvement with Extreme for those called to missions on a long-term basis. Not to mention the great encouragement short-termers bring to the field. Check out www.extremenazarene.org for more information about short-term opportunities.
Cole and I will be participating as missions representatives in the Join HiStory event this weekend held at PortNaz in Porterville, CA. Join HiStory is a conference on missions designed to engage and inspire more believers in the great commission on an international level. You can find out more about it on facebook or at http://www.joinhistory.org/event.html.
Lastly, Extreme is still mobilizing 40/40's for the Manta and Portoviejo teams starting next year. We are looking for young men and women that are called to missions and willing to serve for a 28-month term in Ecuador. If God is calling you to Ecuador, don't be like Jonah... after being spewed out of the great fish I imagine he was pretty stinky : ) If you are called to Send others to the field, I pray that you continue to do so or ready your heart to let go of whatever God is asking you to give. Don't miss what God has for you...any of you...no matter what He has called you to. Don't live wanting to serve the Lord, serve Him NOW.
Grace and Peace to each of you,
The Williams Family