Missions Update

A Women’s Heart Conference

Well, another successful trip with lots of interesting testimonies. I thank you so much for your prayer support. I really felt the strength of those prayers this trip.

I had an unusual time this trip. The travel was great, no problems with any of the flights or the six hour trip up the mountain to Huehuetenango. In fact it went so smooth I was pleasantly pleased. The first day was great too. Rest, visiting with the Pastors de Sotos and the leaders of the church. It was just a perfect day.

Tuesday evening began the Bible Extension Classes. When I found out how they had set the class up, and for how long, I knew I would have some trouble. You see in Central America, there is a cultural mind set that men are king, and women are there to serve them. They sincerely believe that women were created to tend to and take care of them first and for most. Now, I realize that we still fight this attitude here at home, but it is not like there. The women are so beat down and oppressed. It is heart breaking. So, I had an experience that changed my life on this trip.

I was given about 4 hours to teach a 20 hour class. Of course, can anyone say…SCRAMBLING!! I knew I had to highlight the most important points of this theme. I knew it was going to be a challenge; and challenge it was! The students came 20 – 30 minutes late, so that meant that now my class was down to about 3 hours. With an interpreter the time is cut in half again, so now we are talking about 1 1/2 – 2 hrs of good teaching. “Ok Lord, here we go” was all I could think.

So, I will try to make this long story short– At the end of the first night a man in the class verbally assaulted me and challenged me with these words. “I will be back tomorrow to prove everything you just said is false and you are not a bible teacher, you are a woman teaching error.”  Wow, I can’t tell you how that made me feel, but I stood my ground. There was a lot more to the conversation but those were the parting words.

Wednesday night he did not return, to my surprise, and happiness… it could have been a big problem if he had hijacked the class.  So I thought all was well and kept going. The Prison Ministry and Women’s Meetings were wonderful. God came, people were touched, set free and blessed. So many shared how much they were blessed and challenged. The women were beaming with joy after the ministry and teaching. I was overjoyed!

Saturday evening, after the Women’s Conference, the Pastors had a nice meal for the speakers in a beautiful restaurant. All was perfect, the cherry on top of the cake… until we went back to the pastor’s home for cake, what happened next will surprise you and the cherry, well it was gone!

Much to my surprise, the people bringing the cake were the couple of which the husband was the man who had challenged me. We didn’t speak when he entered, there were many people there. All of a sudden I heard him speaking loudly to the husband (who is also a Pastor) of one of the other women speakers. I heard him say all kinds of things and knew he was talking about me. HOWEVER, he was speaking lies right in front of me to this man.  All in the room heard him. The other man was saying,  “that’s horrible, that’s error, she said that?” I was beside myself and didn’t know what to do. my heart sunk! I literally sat speechless in the chair and thought, “what do I do now?”

“Take me back to the hotel please, I just want to go home.” I said to Pastor Ubaldo, who was in the kitchen in another conversation filled with praise for the challenge I had given to the women police officers who came to the meetings. The folks in there were so excited about what I had shared…

I could not sleep Saturday night knowing I had to preach in the morning, knowing that this man had just poisoned others towards me.  Remember, he didn’t come back to hear the conclusion of the teaching so he was confused as to the facts.  I tossed and turned all night!!  All I could think was I want to go home now, forget this Place with all it’s machismo mentality.

“Oh God, please help me. I don’t want this trip to end on such a sorrowful note. After all you’ve done for the people here, Lord, bring the victory, please.”

Well, Sunday morning came, the Pastor and his wife (who were staying at the same hotel as Maya and I,  she was a speaker too) took us to church.  As we went to the car, they were very cool to us and informed me that, he and the man telling lies were going to have a Men’s Conference very soon.  To this I just spoke up and said, “Why, to correct what you think I said and taught?”   The wife (a speaker at the conference) said, “Well, yes, you said…  ” to which I replied,  “No I didn’t say that, and please get the CD so you can hear for yourself what I really said.”  I told them of how he attacked and challenged me the first night.  They were both taken back and then looked at me with huge question marks across their faces. The dialogue began…we did a lot of talking on the way to the service.

As I was standing in the front row, waiting for them to invite me to bring the message, I thought…

“all I am going to do is stand up, tell them God loves you, say thank you for everything, and sit back down.

As I was thinking those things, the Lord spoke to my heart.  He said, “FEAR NOT SUSAN, I AM WITH YOU!”    He gave me the message to preach which would solidify what I was not able to get out completely in 3 hours and when I stepped in the pulpit, the PEACE OF GOD came.  I began with, I know there has been some confusion concerning the teaching in the Bible School. I know that many of you were told that I said..”blah, blah,” but I would not be a Godly teacher if I left you in a state of confusion. I began my message, I had no fear, and I preached one of the clearest, most concise messages ever. HALLELUJAH!!!

The men’s faces showed their amazement. They realized that they had made a mistake. The atmosphere changed. The other man (who started it all) did not apologize but came and gave me a big hug.  He actually said he’d like to come to visit our ministry one day. On the way to Xela, to see my kids, Pastor Ubaldo told me that what I preached was amazing and that it was exactly what those men needed to hear.   He said, “wow, Sister Susan, it is so good what you taught, there is no question to what you did or didn’t say, IT’S VERY CLEAR TO US NOW!”— I, Susan was amazed, talk about the Power of God in action!! Praise be to His Holy Name!!

I am a daughter of God, a woman, wife, mother, and a teacher/preacher/pastor, and a professional. I walk in humility and love and will work at keeping Christ center in all I do! He is my life and as I go I reflect him in all things. My desire is that all men, women, and children will see and know Him through me.

This is a quick update, a newsletter is coming out soon with more info.

I love you my dear friends and partners. Thanks for all the love, support and prayer, I could not do this without you!

God richly Bless all the works of your hands!
Susan

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>Ministry Update

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Pastor Marion and I getting ready to fly up to Xela April 2010

I hope that this post finds you well and prospering in the Lord. God is so faithful to tend to us. His love is so amazing. His strength is a constant in a world that is filled with many challenges and surprises. I am always brought to a tender heart of thanksgiving when I remember how faithful He is with me. I pray that you will find this same strength and peace, this resilient force of love, as you face each new day.

I had mentioned earlier in the year about a trip to Honduras, C. A. I will not travel there this year. I have been given another opportunity to go back to Guatemala to be a part of Living Water Teaching’s October Medical Campaign. I was in Guatemala back in April and the trip was wonderful. I taught the Women in Ministry Class. I was a guest on a local TV Station, and went to the Capital as a guest speaker at a women’s meeting. It was such a successful trip. I have such a heart for helping women find their place in this world and to teach them about how important their lives are. So many women in Central America do not have the opportunities we have here in the states. So, encouraging and strengthening them is one of the most fulfilling things I do in life.

I shared in a previous blog about the challenges we faced last year. My husband had a job change and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. It was very difficult for our family. With the love and support of our very good friends and family we are all doing just great. Thank you so much for everything. I know that your prayers kept us strong as we faced the emotional struggles. We do not have words to tell you how thankful we are and how much we love each and every one of you. It’s very humbling to find that you have friends who are willing to see your weaknesses, and still believe in you. This is a true treasure in life!

I am posting this now because I have labored over my fall schedule and I just recently made the decision to go.

Many of you gave liberally to my Costa Rica trip, and my Guatemala trip this spring. In fact, for each trip I came within pennies of the budget. We purchased some books on leadership for the Pastors and staff of Zoe Church, Heredia, Costa Rica. Pastor Rene told me that the staffs of both the school and the church were encouraged. They made new commitments to work together, supporting one another. After hearing the teachings on “servant leadership”, they were challenged to see the needs of others as important and take each opportunity to build the team.

Thank you for making both trips possible. The outcome is that the people who we ministered to were changed and touched by God. Some gave their lives to Christ, while others grew deeper in their relationship with Christ, and with others.

I have the opportunity to travel again to Guatemala, with Living Water Teaching on the October Medical Campaign. I have gone on at least 8 LWT Medical Campaigns in the past. (LWT is the ministry where we served as Country Directors from August 2000 – December 2004). I usually served in the pharmacy, where I was the supervisor in the last 2 campaigns I attended. This time however, I will be serving in the “Prayer Area”. To work in this area you need knowledge of the language.

This has been a dream of mine; to be able to go on a campaign and work in PRAYER! My Spanish wasn’t strong enough to do this until our last year in Guatemala. Now, I can hold my own quite well. Pastor Marion and I have talked and she has asked me to work here. The campaign hosts a clinic where 3,000 – 5,000 people may attend. Every person is presented the Gospel at the end of their trip through the clinic. This is the area I will be working—- I am in awe about this.

As I prayed about going I felt that the time would be focused on touching the people in a different way than I had before. I keep seeing people come up in my prayer times and I sense that God has divine appointments for me.

I am posting this today and asking if you would again, prayerfully consider giving into this next trip. The dates are October 18 – 28. The trip cost is $800.00. There is a deadline for the trip cost which is October 4th. Airfare cost is around $600 – $800 as well. (On the side bar, there is a link to the Ministry Website where you will find the address if writing a check, or a link to secured on line giving through PAY PAL).

Thank you so much for taking time to pray and see how God would have you partner with me on this trip. I pray God richly bless you, as you give, and that His love be increased in you, as you reach toward Him. Your financial support is such a blessing to me. I couldn’t do this without you.

Please feel free to email, or write me with any prayer requests you may have. I am praying daily and would love to pray for you during this time. Also, I’d love to hear about your testimonies of victories won. We are walking together you and me, brothers and sisters in Christ.

I love you!
The journey continues…

>A New Day

>I am very excited to finally get this blog off the ground.

Back in 2008 I had a desire to create a blog. I started this not just to write what was on my heart, but to hear what is on yours as well. Dialogue was my vision.

We moved to Syracuse a few months after creating the blog. Many internal changes took place. The natural changes and the transition of coming to a new church, a new town, were difficult. I couldn’t get my thoughts straight. I wanted to post but couldn’t find a starting point.

Getting the Ministry up and running in NY has been so wonderful. I am in a place where God is building Susan. I have given the last 23 years to my husband, my girls, and to other ministries. I have served well. Today, it’s my turn. I stepped out, moved forward, I am speaking up, and I am entering into uncharted waters so to speak. I am so excited. The dam has busted loose.

When I was a young women, in my early 20’s, I gave my life to God. He came into my life with such power. I never knew that there was anything like it. Once my Spiritual life was open, and I could see that there was no turning back. Salvation, water baptism, baptism in the Holy Spirit, a new prayer language, all these new experiences that had not been a part of my religious upbringing. I sensed the call immediately. I heard the Lord say to me…

“Susan, come, follow me and I will make you a fisher of men.
I will teach you how to capture the lost, to open my Word to others, and build my Kingdom.”

As I write, I intend to bring the entire story together for you. I believe that it’s a story worth telling. As you follow me in this blog, you will gain wisdom on how to be a seeker of truth, a disciple of prayer, a lover of worship and an overcomer.

This is a NEW DAY for both Henry and I.

It has taken many years, through many travels to get us to this place with God. We are here and I am at peace. I’m embracing my destiny.

Romans 8:35-39 speaks so deeply to me. God doesn’t promise that life would be easy, but that the trials of life would be CONQUERED THROUGH HIM!

One day as I was struggling this past winter, the Lord said, “Susan, you have to get your story out. You have to share with others where you’ve been. You are a living testimony of my strength and power. Your story will transform many. Speak, don’t be afraid, for I am with you.” I realize that I’m not the only one in the fight against fear. Most of us fight this on a regular basis. FEAR NOT!! Is the exhortation over and again in the scriptures. Fear not my friends, fear not!

One of the things that is a reality of discipleship is this. God, will want to use you. Sometimes in saying “yes”, you will find that you may be called to be an example. It may not be just what you thought would happen when you said “yes”, but are you willing? The cross was humiliation for Christ. He said that each one of us have our own cross to carry. We had better understand what this is and become willing to walk with it, to be made an example of, or we will stay shallow, carnal Christians forever.

So Praise God, I am a daughter of the Most High God! Redeemed, delivered, transformed, and free. My Joy is in Doing His will. I love His Word and the Comfort of knowing that I have eternal life In Christ. Each day is filled with new and exciting opportunities.

Jesus, I’m Yours…

The Journey.. it’s a NEW DAY!

>Unashamed

>Through a situation in my husband’s life a little under a year ago, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder… what is that? Here is my side of the story!

INITIALLY IT WAS A VIOLENT BLOW!

The Word Book Dictionary’s definition of shame is this:

1. a painful emotion resulting from an awareness of inadequacy or guilt.

2. a state of dishonor – one mistake brought shame to all his family
syn:Disgrace, ignominy.

3. an unfortunate development.

Putting it all together… A painful emotion resulting from an awareness of inadaquacy or guilt, because of an unfortunate development, which has created a state of dishonor, disgrace or ignominy.

When one finds themself in this state of being, they feel hopeless, worthless, inferior, inadequate to say the least, and life seems overwhelming.

The word SHAME… carries an almost down grading sound. “shame, shame, shame on you..thpp, thpp, thpp!” It rings of disgust and hatred when aimed at someone. Living in it means that one feels a deep sense of unworthiness, filthiness, and rejection. All of these feelings are associated with it. It’s a powerful tool of destruction and never will produce or yeild the…

“fruit of righteousness.”

However, where there is sin, sorrow, shame… Grace far outweighs, outreaches, swallows up and utterly destroys it. The journey of any disciple of Christ will take them to the place of shame. That is the nature of carnal life. That is the state of humanity. That is where we live day to day, relationship to relationship, human with human, flesh with flesh. People with people! We need to get a clear picture of how this thing really works!

BUT THEN THERE IS GOD… SUPERIOR IN EVERYWAY… DRAWING US INTO HIS WAY!

I believe that I do see clearly. I have a solid grasp of this picture. God’s work is being completed in me, despite my weaknesses and inadequicies. He loves me and tends to me, even though I fail and fall. His Grace, undeserved favor, is sufficient for my every circumstance and no matter what I face He is always with me.

Others may shun me. Others may not understand me. Others may act as though they are better than me,(you know the old saying–HOLIER THAN THOU) but this is just carnal thinking. I am deeply loved and cared for by an unbreakable, unchangable Love. The Apostle Paul wrote so eloquently in the letter to the Romans: Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, peril, or sword? As it is written: “for your sake we are killed all day long: We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in ALL these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us! Romans 8:35-37.

If that isn’t SHAME, I don’t know what is.

One of the enemies that I have faced in this journey is SHAME. I am still facing it but from the victory side now. When it was pounding me the most I actually set my mind on the “suffering Jesus.” yes words failed me, heartache swallowed me. Anger, fear, rejection tormented me…
rage, yes, that too. How can this be happening to me????
I laid in my bed, unable to quiet myself. The only relief was focusing on a vision of the broken, marred, bleeding, agonizing Christ. There I camped for many weeks. It was amazing how only the thought of that vision sustained me. Not my great swelling prayers or even confessions of faith, just the wounded lamb of God and the thoughts of Him going through His agony kept me from utterly losing my mind! What Power there is in the Cross! There is nothing that I can take glory in, He did it all, and from there comes, the POWER TO OVERCOME!

O Lord, Make me an instrument of your Love. Rid me of all pride, arrogance, and self-centered living. Let your grace abound toward me today! I will speak of your Goodness and Mercy all the days of my Life. Thank you for Loving me, my husband, my family, my friends, my enemies, and all those in between. Your LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!

The journey, well, I’m on my way… I am not afraid Lord, no, I am not afraid! Thank you for another day of life.

I really feel confident in speaking about this. I will not fear. To me, fearing this, is the seed of pride… I’m just a woman, with an amazing God, who faces difficulties everyday. My life is an open book for all to read. I hope from these postings that you will find hope and you will come to know Christ in a greater way than you know Him now. There is so much more for us… Shalom Friends!

Feedback is welcome! Love you!

>Catching Up!

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Wow, my last post was just too long ago.

I have to confess to you my readers that this last year has been quite a year. The ministry trips went great. As I shared the Word of God, He gave the increase. People were touched and changed. He was as Faithful as He always is. Thank you Father, let your Word be established forever in the hearts of all those who heard it!

I have decided to share my inner world and life with you, because I believe it will be revealing and helpful. There is no other reason except that I think sharing and talking will bring strength to those who struggle; and we do struggle. Life is full of challenge and struggle. It’s nice to know that God really does care and that He is the one who leads us, through His Word, into victory! No matter where we’ve been!

I picked one of my favorite books to read again about two weeks ago. I opened the front page and began reading…. this is what it said:

“With admiration and gratitude, to my Christian brothers and sisters (some now in Soviet prisions) who will never see this book, but who risked so much to circulate Ivan’s story throughout the USSR and the West –
and to the young Russian soldier who endangered himself to me on a rainy Moscow street and who received a small New Testiment with the words, (this is the richest gift you could give me.)”

The Book is VANYA by Myrna Grant,forwarded by Brother Andrew. It is the true story of a young soldier in the Russian Army in the Seventies. I hope you’ll get a copy and read it. It is an amazing story of the power of LOVE!

I then read the next page, which had this one statement written on it…

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it deep within us, so that it appears nowhere on the surface, we are implanting it and it will rise up a thousandfold in the future.”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago

It was in hearing that statement that I knew I needed to share the journey I have been on for the past few years. It is a journey that has re-shaped me as a person and a believer. It has challenged me to the very core of my being and back again. The Master’s Hand is gifted beyond our understanding; He knows how to work in us as He knows us better than we know ourselves.

I remember praying a simple prayer back in 2004. This prayer was, “make me an instrument of your Love o Lord. Please reveal the things that are hindering me from becoming all that you want me to be. Bring the hidden things up so that I can see them”… and the word that came to me was…

“You are on the journey to become selfless Susan!” “Do you know what you have asked for?” —I have to say as I look back on this road I have travelled… “NO FATHER I REALLY DID NOT KNOW WHAT I WAS ASKING.” However, friends I have learned to trust like I’ve never trusted before. I have come to a place where Religion and pretense are becoming so clear to me. I believe, like Jesus said… “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me! God is not fooled with pretension.

Oh yes, God has good things for us… great things for us, but He also has transformation in mind for us as well. This past year I celebrated my 30th birthday as a Christian. I have come to know that I am not just a RELEVANT CHURCH GOER; ONE OF THE GANG!—NO, I am a true Disciple of Christ transformed and remolded by His Word, and the ugliness of this world is fading away.

LORD, MAKE ME AN INSTRUMENT OF YOUR LOVE!

Please come join me as I begin to blog, I mean really blog. My heart is full, my hands are ready writers… The Journey Begins!

>January Newsletter…Upcoming Activities

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I pray that God blesses you this year and that the vision of Christ grows clearer each day as you seek Him. As we face a year of wonderment in many areas of life I quote the Apostle Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, and I too speak strength and peace to you through Christ, our Lord, Amen.

I write this note with a twofold purpose. One, I would like to bring you up to date with what I have been doing and fill in the blanks of the past year, and two, to fill you in on where I am headed now.

My time at the end of 2008 and all of 2009 was given to my family. I made one trip back in May of last year to Guatemala to teach at Living Water Teaching Bible Institute. The rest of the time, I felt it necessary to strengthen my family through our transition of re-locating and re-establishing in Syracuse, New York. 2010 brings the Lord’s stirring again to get back to traveling as well as drawing me closer to what His purpose is for RIHPM.

I want to speak from heart to you, my dear friends. It is important to me that you know how very special you are and how much I love you. Life is filled with change and challenges but the people we meet and come to know are the true eternal reasons for living. We are divine unions, “living stones” as the Apostle Peter wrote, who are built one upon the other, being forged into a spiritual house, we belong to each other. Peter penned these words many years after an encounter he had with Jesus during His earthly ministry. The revelation he understood was that Jesus is: THE CHRIST, which literally means… the Anointed One; and His Anointing. There is so much to be gained and shared here but my main thought is this: We are His people, united in the Spirit, because of one common person, The Lord Jesus Christ. He is building His temple, which we are, and it’s this that brings us together in spite of our differences. We are living stones, fitly joined together, strengthening, and supporting one another in a world that we are just traveling through. Whether near or far, we are not disjointed because we are connected through Christ’s life and anointing. Frankly, this energizes me. When I think of eternity and what God is really doing, so much of life’s struggles just fade away. The struggle of daily living becomes easier when our goal is eternal life. The hardships, drama, and strivings just somehow become insignificant in the scheme of things when Heaven’s Glory fills our hearts.

The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans that “in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Rms. 8:37. He made that declaration after speaking of all the hardships of life that we face and the knowledge that God is able to work all things to good for those who are in Christ Jesus. Vs. 38 and 39 sum it up for us… “For I am persuaded that neither death not life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” These are powerful statements that settle any issue of lack, failure, or struggle we face. In Christ there is one thing. Victory!

As I think of you, and I often do, I pray that Christ be formed in you and that you will be rooted and grounded in His Love. I pray that you come to know him more intimately and that His strength keep you throughout the New Year. Thank you for everything you are, and all that you do. My life is richer because of you!

This past year, I also had the opportunity to teach two bible classes in our local church’s Bible Institute. “The Believer’s Authority” and “The Book of James”. The Lord also opened the door for me to meet and work with the Latin Community here in Syracuse. I have some upcoming meetings in the works with the Latin women and I have been invited to participate in a Women’s Retreat with a follow up Seminar.

Back in 2006, when I first began RIHPM, I initially incorporated to raise funds for my overseas travel. There have been times over the past year or so that I thought maybe I should just fold this and move on. The Lord however just won’t let me do that. He is drawing me to “allow Him” to show me how He will grow the work of my hands. The ministry became incorporated, in New York in Aug of 2009 and I have been working toward getting the ministry off the ground again. My calendar is filling up quickly without much work and so I would like to share with you the upcoming opportunities and ask for your help again in going to the nations.

I will be going to San Jose, Costa Rica Feb. 24th – March 3rd. I will be doing Missions Training, Leadership seminars and ministering in local churches. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala in May to teach the Women in Ministry class, for the 7th year in a row. Also November 4th – 13th a trip to Honduras is scheduled as well as the opportunities coming open here in Syracuse. The budgets for the international trips are as follows:

Costa Rica – $1000.00
Guatemala – $1500.00
Honduras – $1500.00

RIHPM also supports Missionaries in Guatemala and Costa Rica as well as sending a Guatemalan Orphan through College. I would ask that you pray about how you can get involved either by a one time donation or through monthly support. The fields are white and ready for harvest, and I am ready to go!

I need to ask your forgiveness for not staying in communication with those who have partnered with me in the past but I am much clearer on what to do and have a greater commitment to see the ministry grow and frankly, I just dropped the ball. I now have people helping with administration which is what I needed to go forward. I am confident in what the Lord is doing and ask for your prayer support as well as partnership financially. Thank you for all you’ve done and now for considering to do more.

This year is an open slate for God to work in.
The Best Is Yet To Come!