Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas


Dear Beloved Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas from all of us at Jericho! I pray that you will sense His presence and love in a unique way this Christmas! He is so Awesome! The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Him!

This is how He met the hopes of one of our little girls this Christmas (see photo above). Leslie is 12 years old and like all the children in Honduras, she was hoping to receive a new outfit (dress in her case) to wear on Christmas eve. This is tradition here……and even the poorest families make the greatest effort to buy a new outfit for each of their children so that they can wear it for the first time on Christmas eve. Leslie’s Mom is trapped in the vicious cycle of alcohol, drugs, and prostitution and she does not know her Dad, so there was not much hope in receiving a new dress from them. Leslie is now part of the Jericho Family and lives at the Villa. We have tried to teach our children to go to their Heavenly Father for their needs so when Leslie asked one of our staff members about her need for a new dress for Christmas, she told her to pray about it. Her response was, “Really Miss, do you think that the dress will just fall from heaven tomorrow morning?” You can imagine Leslie’s surprise the next morning when another staff member, who knew nothing about this request, showed up with three dresses for Leslie, Vanessa, and Genesis. Perhaps in the larger scheme of things, having a princess dress to wear on Christmas eve isn’t that important, but Jesus is teaching these little ones about trusting Him. Nothing escapes Him. He truly is a Loving Father.

Which brings me to our Christmas outreach this year. The children did a special drama for their families (many of whom are in involved in prostitution, drugs etc.) and then handed out apples and grapes (a big treat here). It was wonderful to see how God is using the children to reach their relatives. In the photos: Ana and Juan Carlos take part in the makeshift Christmas pageant (above) / Leslie and her brother Ariel talk with their Mom who initially would not come to the scene since she was hung-over (below). God’s love through her children won out, and she ended up listening to the Christmas story and receiving the presents that her children had lovingly made for her. I continue to be truly thankful for your love and support which enables us to be here to reach out to those whose hopes and fears can only be met in Him. Have a blessed Christmas and remember that He loves you tremendously and wants you to trust Him fully.

With much love in our dear Savior,
Betsy

P.S.. I forgot to tell you that the itching totally disappeared when I went to NYC. Thank you for praying!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Believe







Believe... that’s what we saw on all the Macy’s bags while we hiked up and down the NYC streets. Elvia right away asked me what it meant. We quickly discovered that it was about believing in Santa Claus based on the movie “Miracle on 34th Street” which was part of their marketing strategy. We wanted to buy something (which we didn’t, due to missionary economics) just to get the bag because for us it meant something else….the whole journey to New York City had been one of believing God for healing against all odds. God had come through in shining colors and Elvia and I were in NYC from Dec. 3-11 at the Lord’s urging to share about His power to heal.

The days were quickly filled with visits from beloved friends and family(too many to mention here) from near (NYC and Fairhaven, NJ) and far (Houston, Philly, and New Haven, CT). And of course, we visited the hospital. It was such a blessing to be able to witness to His handiwork just by showing up! Here are just some of the gifts God bestowed upon us.

Visiting Dr. Ruben Niesvizky who did not use the word “miracle” but said that this definitely was a lesson to the medical community. His secretary, Patty, was very excited and thanked God with us for this miracle healing.


My dear friend Helen Davis came from Philly for the day and we went skating at the ice rink at the Rockefeller Center. She and I love skating and I was thrilled to be out on the ice, even if I was a bit slower……and fell down at the start!

Miriam, Elvia’s sister, flew in from Houston to spend a day with us. She works for Continental airlines and had helped us in various ways during my illness, including taking care of me in her home on one occasion!

My cousin Kevin and his wife Robin and their pastor were such a blessing to us during the time we were on this healing adventure. We can laugh now about that night Kevin showed up when I was in the emergency room hanging onto life by a thread and trying to evangelize him at the same time! They took us out to a great restaurant and then we took the ferry to stay with them in Fair haven, NJ the second to last night of our visit.

God graciously allowed us to have lunch with Maria Elia. I shared a room with her Mother when I was hospitalized and you may remember the story of how God allowed me to pray with her during the final hours of her Mom’s life. What a blessing it was to get to know her a little better and to encourage her in her walk with Jesus.

There were so many more blessings, including the kind hospitality of my friend Tim and his wife Andrea and their son Matt who once again graciously allowed us to stay in their apartment in the city. Our first night back, Tim was at the hotel for a meeting so he came to see us and he was so excited to see the changes that God had wrought that he practically jumped up and down. He had definitely seen me at my worst so he rejoiced with us over this miracle of healing.

My sister Mindy’s friend Tanya and her husband sent us tickets to the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. You can imagine our surprise when the usher led us to the third row. Only in church do I ever get that close to the front! We especially enjoyed the manger scene at the end with live camels and donkeys and the singing of “Joy to the World”!

The three months spent there initially were so intense. I didn’t realize until much later that I didn’t laugh much during those days. It was so good of God to allow us to create new memories in NYC that were full of laughter and joy. People felt much freer to tell me how scary I looked now that I am through that phase of healing which made for great laughter!

I continue to be so thankful to God for this amazing miracle that all of you participated in. Thank you so much for standing in the gap for me. Please continue to pray that I will be a faithful witness to the amazing power of God available to those who Believe.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” -Hebrews 11:6

“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.’ ” -Romans 10:10-11

With so much love in Jesus,
Betsy