The Least of These

Project H.O.P.E to Nicaragua

God is doing great things in my life and our church.  As you may know, I was called to full-time ministry as the Pastor of First Baptist Church in Gainesville, Missouri.  We are loving the chance to devote ourselves to God’s work, and the commission to care for the least of these.  In the spirit of that calling, I want to share with you a challenging ministry opportunity God has presented to us.  From August 19-26, I will be traveling with the Project H.O.P.E mission team to Nicaragua.

Firstly, God has opened the doors for us to serve the people living inside the city dump of Ciudad Sandino. Each person’s survival depends on what they can scavenge for that day. In partnership with Convoy of Hope, the missions of Project H.O.P.E have opened a feeding center for the children living in the dump. The center provides lunch to the children five days a week and many times is the only meal the children will receive that day.

Our mission team will further serve the people of this community by building homes for the local community.  The poverty level in Nicaragua is so severe, that most families are living in residences that look more like piles of garbage than homes.  Straps of metal, cardboard and plastic tied to sticks.  It is our goal to help provide safer homes for families.

Secondly, our mission team will be integrating into the community, as volunteers evangelize.  Accompanied by a translator, we will be sharing the good news as we get to know the people of this culture and community.  I must confess that this is the portion of the journey that speaks to my heart the most.  I have a passion for sharing God’s word, and this is a unique opportunity for me to grow in my service to Christ.  This includes visiting both men’s and women’s shelters for those recovering from addiction and the local men’s prison.

Third, during this mission trip, the team will be hosting a children’s ministry.  In previous years, hundreds of children have participated.  This program will be similar to the Vacation Bible School experienced by our children here in the US.  Daily lessons, worship, games and other activities.  It’s more than just ministry, it’s sharing the love of Christ to a new generation of believers.

I hope you see the value in what we will accomplish.   We would like to ask that you partner with us on this cause, and devote some of your prayer time to the mission team and Project H.O.P.E.  I ask that you lift up prayer for the local community that we will be visiting and that God’s power be unleashed in such a way that lives are healed and a community is changed.  Prayer is the greatest gift and resource that you can provide to support a mission trip like this one.  To God be all the glory. 

As you can imagine, a trip like this also requires financial support from the local community.  As mentioned above, Project H.O.P.E receives donations that cover all of the building materials and resources, but the mission team needs to pay for their own related travel expenses.   If you would be willing to contribute to the financial aspect of this trip in addition to your gift of prayer, we would be very grateful.

You can provide financial support for this trip by visiting our GoFundMe page.  Thank you for your support.

Wendy and I are so grateful for your prayers and your support as we participate in this calling.

May God bless you and your family.

I AM Devotional: 100 Devotions about the Names of God

A Book Review by Wendy

Book Description

The God Who Saves. The God Who Provides. The Holy One. The names of God tell us who He is and how He loves us—explore the glory and the goodness of God in I Am Devotional.

Children will learn to trust God in everything as they learn about the names and character of God in the I Am Devotional. Through 100 devotions, children will see how God’s names reflect His love, strength, trustworthiness, etc., and what that means as they develop a strong faith.

Name of God: I AM

Meaning: God is to be worshipped

Application: Worship God by how you live!

Diane Stortz has a proven history of connecting well with both children and parents in her writing. With sales of 500,000 inspirational books for children, Diane is a trusted name for Christian families. The art of Diane Le Feyer has captivated readers of I Am and will continue to delight in this accompanying devotional with vibrant illustrations throughout and a vivid cover embellished with foil and lots of striking glitter.

The I Am Devotional is the perfect companion to I Am, the Bible storybook that first introduced children to the names and character of God.

Book Review

My husband recently did a series on the Old Testament names of God.  Understanding the nature and character of God is so important to developing a relationship with God.  If you don’t know who God is, then you cannot love Him, you cannot worship Him, and you certainly cannot submit your life to Him.  So many today are recreating God in their own image.  They are generating a tolerant Jesus, who makes no demands on their life.  This is so dangerous.  For none of us want to hear, I never knew you from our Lord.

This book is an introduction to the names of God, for our youngest believers.  It doesn’t keep it simple, but dives right into the Hebrew terms used in the Old Testament for God, such as El Emeth (God of Truth).   In each devotional, the name and description are placed in the upper left corner of the first page.  There is a scripture reference where the name is used, and then a devotional with the life application.

Most scripture references are in the ESV translations, but there are some presented in NLT, ICB, NIV, and NKJV.  For the most part, the scripture leans toward accuracy versus imprint.  There are a couple of GW (God’s Word) translations, but the majority of the verses are not.

I am so excited by this devotional and the simple method with which the names of God are presented.  The illustrations are beautiful.  The Word of God is honored, and the intention is that children would better know their Savior, Jesus Christ.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers < > book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < > : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”