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November 2015
 
 
Dear Friends in Christ,

November is our family’s time together for celebrating God’s goodness, His wonderful provision, faithfulness, love and care over us. Each Thanksgiving we try to look back over the ways that God has supplied our needs and we are always in awe of His abundant provision for OSM and our family. Just like many of you, we have so much to be thankful for this year.
We are grateful for Pastor Santos, Sister Fini, Toncho and Lety in Nava, MX and Pastor Marc, Pastor Peti Noel, Pastor Etienne, and Lussade in Haiti. We have been blessed and challenged to serve with these wonderful Brothers and Sisters in Christ. They have ministered in our lives in so many ways. The example of Jesus’ love, which they walk out in front of us, is humbling and convicting. We may suffer a few inconveniences here and there, but these men and women daily walk through difficulties. We recognize that only God’s grace enables them to continue forward. Their lives are full of laying aside their own needs in service to others. We are blessed God brought them into our lives as examples of His heart for us, His children.
God has especially worked in the hearts of our family through the Bible Bee this year. They asked us to provide examples of Shelby's writings and notes taken from her many journals. For emotional reasons, we have put other things ahead of doing this in the past. The Bible Bee’s request for these journal accounts of her life and service to the Lord, caused us to read her beautiful, heartfelt writings. This has been a huge blessing. We have seen what God was laying on her heart through many years of serving Him, spending much time with Him and constantly surrendering her heart, life and desires fully to Him. She was spiritually mature way beyond her years and certainly beyond us (her parents). It has been an emotional few months as we have worked through what God is teaching us through her life.
This month we were blessed to attend the Bible Bee and hear hundreds of Scriptures quoted by 360 enthusiastic young people from all across our nation. These participants bring encouragement and hope to the audiences who hear them recite. This year we were joined by Dr. and Mrs. James Dobson, Ray Comfort and David Barton, among other inspiring speakers. Some of our dear friends joined us to watch the Bible Bee also, we are grateful for their interest in being with our family. To learn more about the Shelby Kennedy Foundation go to BibleBee.org and read about the amazing things God is doing in the hearts and lives of these young people. Though there are great prizes for winning the Bible Bee, the message is made clear that everyone who hides God’s Word in their hearts are winners. We praise God for allowing Shelby’s life to be honored and remembered in this very special way!
Two special friends, who drove many miles to see part of the Bible Bee, are Ralph and Sue Wilson. I met Ralph in Nuevo Laredo in 1999 while we were building a couple of homes. He and his wife Sue had just returned from full time mission service in Honduras. (He told me he had retired from missions, but I can tell you he and his wife have never retired from serving.) We had worked in Mexico only a year at the time. I walked with Ralph as he visited people in their homes, talking to them about their life. He was truly interested in what they said and I could tell I was in a learning situation. One pallet home in particular, a Mexican mother was cutting up cactus to cook for supper. Bending over, because he was taller than the ceiling, Ralph asked her about the meal she was preparing, even tasting the raw cactus, something I would have been careful not to do. The general rule in missions is: if it is cooked it’s okay to eat, if it’s raw don’t. Ralph didn’t know that rule. So he continued conversing with that Mexican mother and I could tell his actions really ministered to her. It was simple, Christlike ministry. I will never forget what I learned from him that day. Taking the time to enjoy the people, blessing them and being blessed at the same time, by being interested in and entering into their lives.
Kenny has been in Mexico this month. Along with working on the house we rent, he had time to visit with Pastor Santos, Sister Fini, and other friends. The things that take place in the small colonia where we minister, can be very evil and sad. We are grateful to be a part of giving a safe place for the young people to go and learn more about our Savior. Please pray with us for the ministry of Toncho and Lety and the children who attend the Dorcas House and the Carpenter Shop.
We pray God’s richest blessing over your homes and your families as you come together for the holidays. May we each celebrate Jesus with thankful hearts for ALL that He has given up for us!
Because of Christ