"When You Feel Like Quitting..." (May 2019 Update)
Hi family and friends,
Happy belated Easter! This is our update where we invite you to share in our lives and perhaps offer up a prayer on our behalf. We appreciate and value you!
I thought I would entitle this post "When You Feel Like Quitting..." because it is the title of this upcoming week's sermon. The message is based on Luke 24. To oversimplify, in the post-resurrection tensions the disciples' faces were downcast (vs. 17). Jesus was present, but concealed to their human eyes (vs.15-16). His glory was reflected through the broken bread and the disciples couldn't help but reflect "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:32) Do you understand how the disciples felt? Discouraged and yet, somehow burning with hope? Or perhaps wondering, "Where is God?" and then a moment later and you know Jesus is near? It's a common paradox of ministry. Life and death. Heavy hearts but glorious moments. Feeling lost but knowing Jesus is near. That is the theme of this prayer update.
Melanie, Jonathan, David, and Phil are generally doing well. The boys continue to grow in character day by day. One special highlight was Phil having the honour and privilege to wash Jonathan's feet in front of the church (John 13). I reminded him that I will always forgive him because Jesus has forgiven me. When the moment was done I asked him, "How did you feel about this experience Jonathan?" He could have said "The water was cold" or "You tickled my feet" but instead he said, "I really liked it when you said you would always forgive me, Daddy." It was a Heavenly moment for my soul. On the other side of life, we have had some significant health concerns in the last month and both boys have gotten a painful virus that has left them in excruciating pain and has affected their breathing and their ability to eat. David also had croup and we spent an evening in emergency. These moments have been very intense. I thank God for my patient wife who has cared for the boys 24/7, spoon-feeding them as needed, sitting by their bedsides through feverish nights and providing constant comfort throughout their painful tears. Please remember Jonathan and David in the days and moments to come as they are still on a healing journey and pray for strength and ongoing health for Melanie as she continues to minister to the children at home. We love them. Satan wants to destroy them. We need your prayers.
Since January's update so much has happened! We had our annual meeting where the congregation unanimously approved our mission and vision as a church; our missional endeavours have been inspiring; Phil performed his first baptism in Lindsay with other baptisms lining up; salvation stories; witnessing freedom from addictions; making application for a grant to hire staff to do outreach; and some Sunday services that can only be described with an exclamation of praise like "Wonderful!' or "Marvellous!" or "Majestic!" We are truly thankful.
On the other side, we've had a couple funerals and several people whose hearts are overwhelmed. Today we learned of a child diagnosed with leukaemia. Our hearts ache at times. Please pray with us for those who must walk through the sweet and sour seasons of life. On our own strength we are weak.
Well, we wrap up this blog with the deep assurance that Christ conquered Death and we have a living hope! We press on towards the goal to which Christ Jesus has called us. Thank you for praying with us! We love you!
Phil, Melanie, Jonathan, and David Styles