Monday, December 17, 2012

Message from Colleen Helman, High School Teacher

2012 . . . A PERSPECTIVE

This year, 2012, has been a year of changes, both for me and for my family. Some of the changes have been wonderful blessings. Some changes have been less-than-desirable, from my limited vantage point. But, the perspective I gain this time of year, as I take time to reflect, is always educational to me, and revealing as I look for God’s hand in each event/situation.

Here are a couple of “high” points:

  • Our son, Jonathan, married the love of his life in February and we, as parents, adore Roxy and love adding her to our family as our daughter!
  • Jim and I sold our home of 24 years so we could downsize to a condo in downtown Phoenix. I love it here!

Here are a couple of “less-than-high” points:

  • I unexpectedly needed to have surgery five days after school began. (I dislike things that happen “unexpectedly”.)
  • Our pastor at our church announced his retirement. (I dislike change.)
  • My dear mother-in-law passed away and is now enjoying Heaven. I know this is joyful, but I miss her.

So, there have been some surprises and changes in my life during 2012, both joyful and sorrowful. Several things have not changed, nor will they ever change:

• Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.  Psalm 36:5

• Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

• “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

• Turn all your worries over to him. He cares about you.  1 Peter 5:7

• In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:37-39

• Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Merry Christmas, and a blessed New Year!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Message from Harold Harmon, High School Teacher

This past weekend was our Christmas celebration in Mexico.  My wife, daughter, and I have been involved with this mission group, AIM, for around 12 years now.  Where twelve years ago virtually everyone lived in a make-shift shanty of some sort (one family’s house consisted of a piece of plastic supported on four corners with sticks), many of the families now have small crude block houses.  The government has laid slabs for some and has extended access to electricity to about one-half of the area we refer to as the dump.

Twelve years ago AIM supplied presents to around 500 children who lived in the area.  Saturday over 800 children showed up for the celebration and over 1200 hotdogs were served.  The mayor, with his entourage and camera crew, usually shows up when we have a major event and gives a boring speech; but he does extend appreciation for what AIM does in the area.  He has pledged to match us dollar for dollar for the food that is distributed which has allowed us to bless many more people. 

We have prayed for a way to reach the people with the gospel since our Spanish is not very good.  God has provided a retired New Tribes missionary and his wife, who live in the area, and who are going from home to home teaching the people about Jesus.  Although meager by our standards, the area has shown major improvement over the past decade.

Sandy, Paulita and I are now moving into a new area by the tracks that has about 250 people that have not been reached yet.  This is where many of the shoes that Phoenix Christian donated last year went.  Since this new effort is not really supported by AIM, everything is essentially done by the three of us.   Sandy and Paulita handed out over 200 shoe boxes filled with toiletries, etc., and served about 250 burritos.  They were very sad because this was all that we could afford to do and we had no presents for the children.  Please pray that God will greatly bless our efforts there.  Food distribution is once per month but we are only able to go down every other month because of our health and other commitments.  Our next trip will be in February. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Message from Irma Flores, Elementary Teacher

December is a month where we have shopping on our minds and buying the right gifts for friends and family.  The following poem is about heavenly shopping.  I found it on a tract from the Old Paths Tract Society in Indiana.  May it be a blessing to you as it was to me.

 Shop In Heaven's Grocery Store

I was walking down life's highway a long
    time ago.
One day I saw a sign that read Heaven's
    Grocery Store.
As I got a little closer, the door came open
And when I came to myself, I was stand-
    ing inside.
I saw a host of angels; they were standing
And one angel said, "My child shop with
Everything a Christian needed was in
    that grocery store.
And all you couldn't carry you could
    come back the next day for more.
First, I got some patience, love was in the
    same row.
Further down was understanding, you
    need that everywhere you go.
I got a box or two of wisdom, a bag or two
    of faith.
I just couldn't miss the Holy Ghost  for
    He was all over the place.
I stopped to get some strength  and
    courage to help me run the race.
By then my basket was getting full, but I
    remembered I needed some grace.
I didn't forget salvation,  for salva-
    ion that was free.
So I tried to get enough of that to save
     you and me.
Then I started to the counter to pay my
     grocery bill.
For I thought I had eveything to do my
    Master's will.
As I went up the aisle, I saw prayer and
    just had to put that in.
For I knew when I stepped outside, I
    would run right into sin.
Peace and joy were plentiful, they were on
    the last shelf.
Song and praises were hanging near so I
    just helped myself.
Then, I said now how much do I owe?
He just smiled and said, Just take them
    everywhere you go.
How much do I really owe?
He smiled and said, My child, Jesus paid
     your bill a long time ago.
--Lorine Woody