Merry Christmas! Thankful for the joy this season brings. In Sweden, the first weekend of Advent is a kick-off with lights and stars and of course cookies! The word advent means the arrival of an important person, an anticipation of the Messiah to come! May these weeks be an opportunity to deepen to joy of the good news of salvation Jesus gave to us.
Reconciliation continues to be a growing topic in my heart. So many hearts are hurting because of misunderstandings or unresolved conflict that people have a hard time putting words to. Yet in Christ, it is possible. As ministers of reconciliation, may the Lord give us strength and perspective to be agents of reconciliation that many hearts would taste the freedom Jesus gave to us.
Praying for you and your families during this holiday season!
For those of you that asked…here is a direct link for any last minute giving.
First and foremost THANK YOU for making this ministry possible. Because of your generous, and sacrificial giving, this ministry continues to take steps forward. May the Lord bless you and your families as you enter this holiday season!
Thankful for the deepening of friendships and trust in the neighborhood. Through activities to meet needs (such as language and homework help) activities to build trust (chair of the election committee for building association) and activities to find open hearts (pray walks, coffee outreach and park outreach), I am thankful for how the Lord has built bridges, made friendships and teaches me how to live so that many can hear and respond to His love and forgiveness.
With Christmas around the corner, we will have a coffee outreach (to engage those we don’t know) as well as a Christmas dinner (to engage those we do know) and share truth of Jesus and the importance of our celebrations this month. Please pray for open hearts.
Here are some of the names you can pray for: Marziyeh, Asiyeh, Elena, Najla, Elahe, Sajid, Ummahany, Shanika, Hawk, Amany, Bouaza, Selina, Maria, Hassan, Nebahat, YasAmin, Faris, Helen, Linus, Nellie, Tehri, Hansko, Dave, Mark, Alex, Clare, Lize-Marie, Catarina, Lisa, and Josefin. These are people I meet with often. Would you take one or two names and commit to praying for them daily for the next 30 days to have open hearts to meet Jesus, for God to open heaven and reveal His glory and for me to have courage to take advantage of opportunities to share truth?
Financial update. Because of the increase of activity and involvement, I am looking to decrease teaching hours to increase time for the work. To do this, I am needing $250 in monthly gifts. Would you consider being a partner at $25 or $50 a month for the next 2 years? As most of you know, the tax situation has been a financial hurdle to get over. I will have finished paying 2017 and 2018 by next spring. Would you consider giving a special gift this year to contribute towards what I will owe for 2019 (about $6000)? Paying 31% on my salary for the states and Sweden makes it a pretty penny! But then I will be done paying back taxes and get to contribute monthly to the current year.
May the Lord bless you and increase your joy. May you enjoy the unfailing love of your Heavenly Father and refreshment in His presence. Please reply and share how I can be praying for you and your family during this season! Lots of love, Sarah
Relationships continue to deepen. Please pray for opportunities to continue to the conversation and share truth and grace. Nebahat (Turkish friend) and Amany (Iraqi friend) and I are enjoying meeting for weekend breakfasts and conversation.
Ummahany has become a new friend and I am trying to talk with and/or visit each week. Her 6 year old daughter Shanika is battling cancer. Please pray for them.
Every fall, I attend the European Leadership Summit. The vision to see nationals established and equipped to make a difference in their home countries continues to grow. It is amazing to be surrounded by these men and women as well as needing to have Russian translation for half the people in the room!
We took some time to see Kiev, explore it’s history, and hear current reports for those that have lived through these years of war. Please continue to pray for the church there to impact society with hope.
I always love having teams. I appreciate those that willingly step outside their comfort zone and engage the work here. For the ways they care for my neighbors and open their heart to hear for God. This past team from my home church in SC went an extra step. When I came home from the teaching job, the couple found Ikea and repaired house projects that have just been left for a rainy day. WHAT A GIFT!!!
Please continue to pray for a breakthrough this fall with following up relationships and making new ones. Thankful to see the community that God has shaped here.
On the home front…Pray for Janelle to work out the final paperwork to stay for this next year. Pray for Selina, a Swiss exchange student living with us until February. Pray for Maud, another student who will move in this next month. Thankful for the space God has given for others to live life together.