God Works Through Willingly Hearts- 3 Instruments for 3 Musicians

It is fascinating for me to watch God at work and who he works through. He often works through people who others would think of as least likely. Case in point-me helping three musicians receive instruments.

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Why would I say I am least likely? I have never played an instrument, never learned to read music, never learned to play an instrument. Yet God chose to work through me to facilitate three musicians to receive instruments that help them in their ministries.

Last summer it was connecting my friend Samuel from Honduras with an older couple from my church who had a nice guitar sitting unused in their basement. They gave it to him and he now uses the guitar to help him lead worship in his Spanish speaking church.

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Then it was helping my young friend Ester receive a violin stepping out in faith that donations would come in to pay for one loaned to her by a friend at church. Through generous brothers and sisters in Christ the donations came in to fully cover it.

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Most recently it was sharing about a worship leader from Ukraine who had to leave his guitar behind. A generous person gave him a guitar after I shared my new friend’s story.

So God worked through me, a person with no musical ability, a person who often listens without singing in church because I need a much lower bass tune, to help three musicians have the instruments they needed for their worship ministries.

Jesus can work through anyone. All he needs is a willingly heart and he will take care of the rest.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Generosity of Others Opened Up Her Music

In October, I felt led to take a step of faith after hearing about my young musician friend from Ukraine having to leave her violin behind. I shared about it in The Look On Her Face-Priceless in October and arranging for my friend from the Lincoln Youth Symphony to loan her a violin. When he came to my classroom to bring her the violin, I could see the oppression leave her. Her countenance changed and has stayed that way.

Part of that step of faith was trusting God to provide the money to pay my friend for the violin. I am thrilled to share all the money needed came in thanks to generous brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to share with you a picture from the Youth Christmas Program at the Ukrainian Church. My young friend, Ester, had the lead role in it. She sang some solos and was the lead in the play. It was all in Ukrainian but I got the gist of it. She is the one in the white coat center stage.

Since that day that Ester received the violin, she has been playing both the violin and piano again and singing in her church. She has also helped children. The program Sunday evening was recorded and is being shared with Ukrainians all over.

The impact of the kindness and generosity of brother and sisters in Christ that she probably will not meet until we are all in heaven will be felt by many for years to come.

Thank you to all of my generous friends!!!

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Grateful for A Car with Heat

The past four winters my old van had a problem. The heat did not work. Not a big deal, it was more a nuisance. This morning I turned the heat on in my new vehicle and was grateful it works. It is interesting how a small thing like that can change a person’s mood.

I was already looking forward to seeing my Ukrainian friends this morning, but as the heat warmed me up, the realization hit me that for the first time in years winter will not be an issue. Driving around in temps below zero at times in the winter can be a fun adventure.

I realize that having heat in the car is a first world problem and does not compare to the hardships people experience in many countries, but as 1st Thessalonians 5:16 to 18 says:

Rejoice always,  pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

So I rejoice my car has heat now.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- About The Color Gray

A curiosity to me is a choice I have seen some young women make when it comes to hair coloring. I am not referring to purple, green, red etc. The choices that are curious to me are gray and white. Each time I see a young woman who colors her hair gray or white, I feel like saying, “why hurry about that?” The time will come when it happens naturally but then perhaps they will color their hair a different color. 🙂

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I joke with my students that I color my beard white to look older because I am young and want them to respect me as a teacher. I don’t think anyone has believed me yet.

In recent years, I have come to appreciate what God said in Isaiah 46:4

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

In the summer of 2020 during the pandemic, classes I had taught for twenty years were canceled abruptly with no notice. I would have to wait until the fall to start with different classes. It meant my main source of income for the summer was gone with no chance to line up anything due to the pandemic. But God took care of it through his people sending money anonymously. That lasted during the three months of lost income and more than made up for the lost income.

Last month when my van died and I was not sure how I would get a vehicle, it was through God’s people being generous that last week I was able to buy my car. It is perfect for my needs being easier to get in and out of as someone living with psoriatic arthritis would want.

By the way, the color of my car is fitting for my topic today. It is gray. 🙂

Whatever age we are, we can look to Jesus for help.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Prayers Were Needed/Prayers Were Answered

About a month ago, I shared a post- Prayers Needed that was about an email I received letting me know my current position would not have enough hours to keep my benefits and then my van died beyond repair. The past four weeks have been a valley time.

This week in a span of two days, it turned around. On Thursday thanks to generous donors, I bought a Hyundai Tuscon. Then yesterday I found out I did not get the position I applied for but my hours were expanded so I can keep my benefits. Even better, my current position pays two dollars an hour more and is what I actually enjoy doing. I had only applied for the position to keep benefits.

As Christians we are not immune to life’s problems, but how we handle them can be a testimony. If we give things to God and seek him through the down times, God works through us.

I am grateful I had more time with my friend Luis from El Salvador. He gave me rides home on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and rides to church on Sundays. Because of the extra time, he opened up about what happened to him in El Salvador when a drug gang tried to force him to join. That led to sharing about how Jesus understands trauma. That is one example from the past four weeks.

But now it is on to new adventures like the English conversation group that is starting at the Ukrainian church today. We will have many Saturdays together of having lessons and sharing life. I love helping refugees with their new lives in America and this group will be at a church that will share Jesus with them.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thanks to Generous People- I Have A Car

I feel so blessed to be able to say that I have a new to me vehicle. Jesus worked through his people in a wonderful way. People I have never met before in person, but who know Jesus were so generous to donate for me to be able to buy this vehicle. I really don’t know how to say THANK YOU!!!

I looked online at the various dealerships in Lincoln and what they had in used vehicles and kept coming back to the one I bought. I asked some friends about the type of vehicle I was looking at and they told me they were good vehicles. So I prayed and asked Jesus to keep the Hyundai Tuscon there for me. I spotted it last week online.

When I went into the dealership, they took good care of me. They saw my teacher ID for the school system here. More than one person told me they had a teacher in the family. They asked me about teaching during COVID. They gave me a good deal and when I went to finalize the papers, the guy I spoke with told me I had a 3 year warranty which I did not anticipate.

One of the first things I did was to call Pastor Oleg at the Ukrainian church to let him know I had a car now, so there would definitely be no problem for me to teach the refugees at his church. I also called a few Hispanic friends to let them know if they need a ride on Sunday mornings, to let me know.

Then I enjoyed the fact that my Hyundai Tuscon is easy to get in and out of. That is HUGE for someone living with psoriatic arthritis.

For everyone who donated, in God’s eyes, you have partnered with me in my ministry. Every time I drive to teach, visit, help, refugees and immigrants sharing the love of Jesus, you have partnered with me. THANK YOU!!!

It reminds me of what Paul wrote in Philippians chapter 4:

They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

By donating, by praying, you have greatly blessed me. I pray God blesses you as well.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Labor Day Weekend and Update on Books and Vehicle

Labor Day weekend is here. For my international readers, Labor Day is the first Monday in September in the USA. In our minds here, it represents the end of summer because it is our last three day weekend with warm weather. When I was a child, it was a sad day because it was the day the neighborhood swimming pool was drained and closed until the next summer.

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One Labor Day stands out in my mind. Over a period of about seven years I mentored/tutored a group of young people from Vietnam. One year they were excited to invite me to a picnic/barbecue they were having in a park. Fortunately for them, I showed up. The reason I say fortunately is because they were grilling pork ribs. They took them off the grill too soon. The meat was not cooked thoroughly. I told them, “don’t eat them and put them back on the grill.” They asked why and I explained about what can happen if pork is not cooked properly.

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My Labor Day this year is going to be spent online making sure I have all of the details about publishing my book on Amazon researched. Well unless I receive an invite to a picnic. 🙂 Now that my books are wrapping up, I have an idea for another one. So writing might commence tomorrow. My pastor is halfway through my draft of Jesus Understands Trauma. He told me he is “LOVING IT.”

Speaking of my book Jesus Understands Trauma, I chatted with a friend who is fluent in English and Spanish about translating my book into Spanish. She has agreed. After I publish it in English, we will work on the Spanish version.

I am blown away by the generosity of people donating for me to have a different vehicle. I will see my friend Doug this morning at church and talk with him about when to go look. As I sat at a bus stop yesterday, I took note of vehicles driving by. My one thought each time whether they would be easy to get in and out of. As someone living with Psoriatic Arthritis, that is a factor for me.

For my friends in the USA, I hope your Labor Day weekend is blessed and relaxing. For all of my readers, I hope you have a blessed Sunday.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

WOW What A Wednesday!!!

Yesterday was one of those days that God just kind of swoops in and changes everything. It started off at, you guessed it, my coffee shop. I went there to meet one of the pastors from my church. When I got there, the Lead Pastor was there with a married couple. It was the first time he had been there. It was like two parts of my personal universe colliding, my favorite coffee shop and my pastor. 🙂

The assistant pastor I had a scheduled meeting with came and suggested we go get lunch. Off we went. We talked about long term ideas such as considering a sending agency. We talked about many things over lunch. At the end, he pulled out a folder. Some donors mailed checks to me to help me get a vehicle!!! I was almost speechless. At the end, I was stumbling on my words and said, “I don’t know what to say.” Or something like that. It is kind of a blur.

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And oh, by the way, our lunch was burgers. So I had the coffee shop and burgers in the same day. 🙂

I know one of the donors reads my posts. So I want to say to him and his friends.

THANK YOU

I also want to thank those who donated to my GO FUND ME!!!

I have a friend who knows cars and will go with me as I look. When it comes to cars, I have no clue. I only know how to put gas in, check the oil, and change a tire. I am grateful to have a friend go with me. I do not want to rush but take my time over the coming days to get in the best situation I can.

I will keep my Go Fund Me active for another week. Two thoughts- the bigger down payment I make, the smaller the monthly payments. Also I have to think about the sales tax etc.

Again THANK YOU!!!
Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Waymaker Performed by Sinach

The past few weeks have been a rough stretch. As I have shared before, I am not sure if my job will allow me to keep my health insurance and even worse my van died, so I need a different vehicle, Due to being a tentmaking missionary, money is always a concern. I get the term tentmaking from the fact that Paul made tents for a living as he traveled on his missionary journeys. So I teach part-time for two schools and have a support check from my church each month that helps.

However, every year I have medical expenses due to living with chronic illnesses, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, celiacs, and hypothyroid. Last Wednesday, my rheumatologist upped my dose of methotrexate to the maximum dose.

I made a Go Fund Me and am thankful for the $515 donated so far. Yesterday in church we sang Waymaker during worship. Before worship service began, a friend came up to me and gave me $100. So I have $615 towards a different vehicle.

This week I will find out if I got the position I interviewed for Friday, thus keeping my benefits. I am praying for more donations to come in.

Thank you to those who have donated!!! If you would prayerfully consider donating, my Go Fund Me link is-Home Missionary and Teacher Needs A Vehicle.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

How I Got Started in My Ministry/My Go Fund Me

In October 1999, I was in Bucharest Romania talking with a missionary about connecting with people through teaching ESL-English Second Language. It was during that conversation that I felt led to pursue experience in teaching ESL though at the time, it was with the thought of returning to Romania full-time.

In March 2000, I had a training for teaching ESL with our local Literacy Council. I told them they could fill my mornings because I worked evenings. Within a month, I had 10 students I met with as a volunteer. That led to the Literacy Council hiring me in July 2000, which in turn led to the opportunity to teach for our local Community College in July 2001.

I was having fun exploring the many diverse cultures in my city when in 2002 while in prayer, Jesus reminded me he had a purpose for me in teaching ESL. That led to starting my first group at my church in May 2002, God opened so many doors of opportunity and blessed the work so much that my ministry went from an initial reaction of, “do we need that,” to “you can’t leave for Romania because look at what God is doing.”

I was doing ministry on my income as a part-time ESL Instructor piecing together various part-time teaching gigs and happy to do so because of what God had called me to when in 2008 my church began to support me with a monthly check. It is not a huge amount but has helped me make ends meet.

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Chronic illness got much worse about ten years ago. In the past five years, I have spent enough on doctors that I could have bought a new car.

That is my back story as to where I am today and why I started my Go Fund Me to get a different vehicle. Gary is a blogger who has been encouraging me in my endeavor. He wrote about in his post- Limited Time Offer. Please check out his post and blog.

My Go Fund Me link is- Home Missionary and Teacher Needs A Vehicle.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.