Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Hughes News #66

"Tie your shoes and pray for the Hughes"

Dear Friends,

Nearly every week we have had first time visitors to our English class.  We are grateful for the additional contacts the Lord has provided through these lessons.  While most who have come are beginners, there are enough intermediate students that a separate group now meets at the same time in the smaller of our two rented rooms.  Last month we had two visitors to our Sunday services.  One man “N,” we met months ago while going door to door.  The other man saw our sign, came in during our service and stayed until the end.

About two weeks ago we received an email from Viola’s brother Paul J., a missionary in northern Canada.  Our sister-in-law Loretta was in the hospital and he was inquiring whether Viola could come help with the housework and their seven children (oldest is eight).  We talked to our Father about it and began looking for tickets.  That night we purchased tickets and the next day Viola departed.  Despite making the purchase last-minute, the Lord provided tickets at a very reasonable price.  Loretta needed surgery but is now home recovering.  Viola’s return flight is scheduled for next week but we will be seeking the Lord regarding whether she should stay longer.  The doctors would like Loretta to not do much for several weeks.  Viola probably will not stay the entire time the doctors are suggesting, but her staying longer will allow Loretta to ease back into things more gradually.

From our perspective, March is shaping up to be an unusually busy month.  Our coworkers should have their baby (the international hospital is 2.5 hours away and Stephanie is on bed rest- next week they will go to the capital and stay there until baby decides to come), the upstairs on their house should be finished, Viola will be gone for at least another week, and our new coworker Sarah should arrive and begin the process of applying to receive her residency permit.  We always need God’s grace, but we are more aware of our need this month.  Would you please take a moment to pray now for the requests below?

In His service,
Jacob and Viola Hughes

For Prayer:
1. Sister-in-law Loretta as she recovers; Viola as she helps there
2. God’s grace to navigate an eventful month
3. Wisdom to balance ministry and long-term housing plans

For Praise:
1. A sign for our meeting place
2. Gross family should have their baby this month (also prayer!)
3. Sarah Bodaly to arrive March 16 (also prayer!)

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Praying Life- Chapters 11-12

(A few friends and I are reading this book together.  Each week we will read two chapters and on Friday I will post my comments from the reading.  Others may add their thoughts in the comments section.  If you are interested in reading this book as well, here is the link for the Kindle version of the book.)

Chapters 11-12
- "Cynicism looks in the wrong direction.  It looks for the cracks in Christianity instead of looking for the presence of Jesus."  (Pg. 96, Loc. 1249) As with many things, I think this is an area where it is difficult at times to find balance.  We want to see Christ's presence in others' lives, but we don't want to overlook or condone ungodly behavior: the "cracks" in Christianity. 

- I like his practice of looking for the difference between what others would normally be like and what they had become through Jesus. (Pg. 96, Loc. 1258) I want to consider this more when observing other people.

- "Christians aren't superior, but our Savior is."  (Pg. 98, Loc. 1293)  Amen!!  Yet in this statement I see the back door for people to dismiss their wrong behavior.  Yes, our Savior is superior, but He gives grace and strength so that we can live holy lives.  We are not superior, but our lives should be different!

- I found the following quote very interesting: "Western culture (North America and Europe), along with public cultures created by the West through communism (such as Russia and China), is the most publicly atheistic culture that has ever existed.  Among the thousands of cultures in the history of humanity, our culture is the only one not to have any regular public acknowledgment of a spiritual world."  (Pg. 104, Loc. 1327)

- I would not have expected a discussion on secularism and the Enlightenment in a book on prayer, but I thought it was helpful.  His explanation of how prayer has been put into the subjective realm and therefore dismissed by the culture made sense to me.  I feel like I was able to see others' perspective better.

I've had my say, what say you?

Discussion on Chapters 9-10
Discussion on Chapters 13-14