Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Ministry Update

I wanted to share an update on our ministry in the Midwest as well as thank all of  those who have been faithfully praying for us. 

Our view outside 

Right now, we are in the throes of winter and eagerly anticipating spring. We have extremely harsh winters here, which makes us all the more thankful when the sweet spring days come. Just recently, I was reading about lilac bushes, which apparently are able to thrive in extreme conditions. There are many, many lilac bushes in Wisconsin! And they flourish, despite the bitter cold winters that we experience here. This fact about lilac bushes reminded me that believers are called to press into the One who is the cleft of the Rock during the harshest times that we face spiritually. We may trust Him to bring life after the chilling winter winds have threatened us with despair. Just as the lilac bush is one of the most beautiful sights in the springtime, so may our lives gracefully reflect the glory of Christ through adversity and hardship. 

Hummingbird near the Missionary House drinking honeysuckle

O Christ, He is the fountain,

The deep, sweet well of life:

Its living streams I've tasted

Which save from grief and strife.

And to an ocean fullness,

His mercy doth expand;

His grace is all sufficient

As by His wisdom planned.

~Anne Cousin

I've shared with you before about an outbuilding on our property which we have affectionately named "The Missionary House." We've been focusing our prayers on that building, asking the Lord to provide the means to renovate it for guests to stay in. 

Last summer, I felt that Holy Spirit was asking me to take a step of faith in using all of the earnings from our small farm stand that my children and I run during the spring/summer months toward the renovation of the Missionary House. We usually use this money toward pint-sized projects/our families needs when things are tight, and so it was a step of obedience for me to trust in the Lord to set it aside. I took a large pickle jar and began putting all of our earnings in it as the spring and then summer wore on.

Next, I set a goal on paper and in my mind to complete "Phase 1" of the Missionary House. This would be part 1 of 4 parts--the storage area that is leaking and needed to be re-roofed and framed. I was hoping that what was set aside during the summer would be enough for that particular project. 

Unusual things began to happen after I had made the decision to use the money from the farm stand for Herrnhut. I hadn't shared that I would be using this money for our ministry with anyone other than my husband and a few very close immediate family members who I asked not to tell anyone (that was what I believed the Lord had laid upon my heart to do). 

My sales in young spring perennials that I dug early in the season went way up. Many people stopped by to buy hollyhock plants that I started in the house. And on two separate occasions, neighbors knocked on my door, one of them asking to buy a hanging plant that was just a decoration on the farm stand! It confirmed to me that the Lord was indeed blessing the earnings of the farm stand and had indeed led me to put them aside.

At the end of the summer, I was hopeful that we might have enough to begin the project. And yet, we fell short. I brought this to the Lord and waited. Miraculously, in answer to prayer, He unexpectedly provided through gifts that were given toward Herrnhut over the winter months, as well as a gift from a family member that was not designated for Herrnhut but that we decided to use toward this project--exactly enough to complete phase one in the spring. 

We praise God for His provision and for His faithfulness to answered prayer. We are waiting at this point for our Amish friend to contact us when he is ready to begin the work in early spring. And we praise God! 

South side of the Missionary House

I am hoping in the next update to share photos with you all of the work that will be done on the Missionary House. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. I am always amazed at how the Lord provides for us exactly in His perfect timing. 

We continue to be grateful for your prayers. The Lord bless each and every one of you. 

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