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A Place to Call Home

I recently started teaching our pre-teen Sunday School class, and the first week of class I had a student named Alex who truly touched my life.  He was a super smart kid with a lot of charisma and a little bit of a rebellious streak.  However, there was something special about this kid.  I remember being so aware in the moment of how much Jesus loved him.

I found out later that this kid lives on the street, and because they moved recently, the family from our church that he occasionally lived with does not know where he is or how to contact him.  I know nothing else of his story than this, but it was clear to see in his eyes that he has experienced a lot in his short life.  He entered my life for one short Sunday School lesson and I have not seen him again.

In our class we have taken a picture of every student to put on the wall, and Alex is no exception.  I proudly hung his picture there.  I want him to know that if he ever finds his way back, that he has a place to call home in my class.  I want him to know that he has a family who loves him and values him.  I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we are the only family he truly has.

Alex’s visit also reminds me that we must be prepared in every circumstance.  We never know when the hour we have with someone may be the only hour we ever have with them.  We never know the impact that hour could have on his or her life.  As a new teacher, I just naively assumed that all the kids who came would be attending regularly.  I never knew that Alex would leave as quickly as he came.  I don’t know where this sweet 11-year-old is sleeping tonight, but God knows, and I can be sure that my prayers will reach him.

And I pray that he will find his way home.

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Fire Tester

“Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder.  Now others are building on it.  But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have – Jesus Christ.  Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials – gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw.  But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done.  The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.  If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.  But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss.  The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.” -1 Corinthians 3:10-15

Last night I had a dream that greatly impacted me.  In my dream a friend accompanied an angel to visit me.  The two of them came at a moment that I least expected in order to examine and test my life, detail for detail.  As we filed through every painful motivation of my heart, I could do nothing but sit in silence and pray that they would be pleased with what they found.  When they were finished, they left as quickly as they came, moving on to someone else.

I woke up incredibly challenged, and I realized that I will pass through two different kinds of fires.  There are difficult times that I will go through in this life that can serve as refining fires if I so choose, that will purify my heart like gold is purified in the flames.  Those times are not pleasant, but if I take advantage of every opportunity that God gives me to allow the Holy Spirit access to my life, I will be prepared for the second fire.

It is also a challenge to examine my ministry in prayer.  Am I stewarding and shepherding well?  How important my time of prayer is for those I am leading!  I pray that in the end God will find that Christ was the foundation for my ministry and that my work for the Kingdom will survive the flames.

In all of this I am convicted that the only way I can be sure of the value of my work is if I stick close to Jesus, every day and in a passionate way obey Him in everything.   How is my relationship with Christ?  The moment of testing may come at the moment we least expect it.  When it comes, I want my Lord to be pleased with what He finds.

3-Minute Update! -November 26, 2013

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

 

I realize that it has been quite a while since I have posted an update and I apologize about that!  We have had quite a full schedule these past couple months at the Puerta Abierta church.  We have had baptisms, events, we tore down the dividing wall between the sanctuary and the children’s department to double the space, we moved the children upstairs and divided the age groups, etc.  I am the new pre-teen teacher and we have over 20 preteens that have come over the past month.  There are far more younger ones than that.  Our church is growing!

We now have regularly about 80 people that are coming to our church services and it is growing all the time.

 

We are in the process of updating our church blog with pictures from all the new activities.  Feel free to check that out!  Here is the link:

http://equipoambato.wordpress.com

 

You can also “like” us on Facebook:

Iglesia La Puerta Abierta de Ambato

 

Here are some prayer requests that we have coming up before the holidays:

-We have our third Encounter this weekend!  Pray for those who will be attending and those who will be working the program.  We have somewhere between 15-25 people attending apart from the workers (sounds like a big difference, but a lot changes at the last minute).

-Our third level of leaders will start their classes following the Encounter.  Currently we have 3 in the first level and 9 in the second level.

-We will be having evangelism events in each of our Home Bible Studies the first week of December.

-We have a Love in Action event coming up around the second week of December.  We will probably be working with the children of inmates at the jail.

-We will be having a baking evangelism event the third weekend in December (14th).

-We will be having an all-church potluck on the 15th of December.

-We will all be traveling around December 20th, some to the States, others to cities in Ecuador.  Our pastors and support family will be staying in Ambato to maintain everything at the church while we are gone.

 

Thank you so much for all your support and prayers!  They are making a huge difference!

God bless you!

-Chelsea

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