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God Loves Women

We just returned from a multinational missions trip to South Africa, Zimbabwe, France, and England. Although we were not sure exactly what we were going to expect in each country, we very much sensed the workings of Ephesians 2:10. There were great works preordained for us to walk in, particularly with regards to women. Perhaps, like the cries of the Israelites in Egypt, God had heard, and God was sending. La Tascha was asked to speak session after session to an unexpectedly large audience. The women were very hungry. Beyond the boundaries of nationality, age, and culture, women's hearts were aching to know their value and their place before God. Below, is an excerpt written from La Tascha to one of the women's leaders in Uganda regarding the trip.

"I spoke extensively in South Africa and Zimbabwe on value, vision, virtue and spiritual imagination. It seems to be God's heartbeat for the moment. Isn't it amazing that God's first words to women were judgement as recorded in the Bible in Genesis 3? I believe this is in the psyche of many women. God says, "What have you done?" Other than a small hint of his love for us in Genesis 16 concerning Hagar and then to Manoah's wife in Judges 13, we do not hear from God personally until Christ comes on the scene. What a beautiful moment in Luke 1:28, when Gabriel announces to all of women, not just to Mary, God's intent, and really, what God thinks of us. "Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." I believe the blessing to Mary is not that she is above women, per say, but she is the first to hear after so many thousands of years of silence, that God loves women and has a call on their lives. That is her blessing."

La Tascha did an incredible session on the chronological development of women's ministry in the Bible. I don't think I've ever heard anything like that before. From the first encounter in Genesis 3, to a full blown model of of our precious ministry to Christ in the gospels, God loves women. The trip was amazing. Many women were weeping. Not just in South Africa or Zimbabwe, but also in France. Two quick testimonies among the many that have already been forgotten. Between the three countries, one older woman told me, and then publicly said it again, that finally, she could sleep at night. That for decades, she has not slept well because her heart was sick and deeply troubled. She said she slept like a baby for the first time since she could remember after hearing what we spoke on. Her heart was at rest. A second woman, from another country, said that she and her mom were deeply blessed because their whole lives, they had thought that they had been created to just be mothers, and for the first time, a heavy burden had been lifted off, especially her mom's shoulders. From this, La Tascha asked, "Is not this the gospel? Is this not the purpose of women's ministry. As I stood watching so many women weep, some returning to church after so many years, some very deeply wounded, I was completely mesmerized and gutted. God values women. God values women's ministry. Praise to the one who does not forget his dreamers."

The sessions were recorded and will be added to the website shortly. Thanks for all your prayers regarding the trip. It was a very rich time.

 
Meet Theresa

Hi Everyone,

Meet Theresa. Theresa came from an outreach that La Tascha did in her Bible College days over 25 years ago in the projects of Baltimore. She still faithfully comes to church every Sunday and Wednesday. For the past 20 years, Theresa has been trying to get her GED so she can come to Bible College but she cannot read or write. This semester, under the supervision of our care, the Bible College has made an exception and accepted her with a full scholarship.

Every Monday and Tuesday, Theresa comes proudly to class, grinning from ear to ear to listen. She records the classes on her phone so she can listen to them again later. Midterms are coming up and she has some papers due. She asked us for some help. So far, she has been using voice to text as she speaks into her phone to write her papers, but she is not sure that her papers are saying exactly what they need to say.

We learned last night at Bible study that the day we knocked on her door 25 years ago, was the day she was about to start doing drugs. The guy she was with at the time was already doing drugs, and she had made the decision that she was going to start that day as well. I cannot imagine what her life would have been had we not knocked on her door. What an amazing testimony for the urgency of soulwinning. We also learned last night, as tears were streaming down her face, that her parents have disowned her and taken her daughter from her, calling her "stupid" and "dumb", and "unfit to be a mother". She said, "words hurt." But, as she spoke about Bible College, she said with confidence, "I know God has something really big for me."

We will start tutoring her several hours a week to make sure that she is understanding classes and completing her assignments. She will speak her papers to us, and we will type. Life's Theresa's are important to God. Thanks for joining us in supporting those like Theresa as we continue to help these new Bible College students get through the school year and find out just how big God's plans are for them.

 
You Were Born For This

We've had a busy past few weeks. At the Bible College in Baltimore, we hosted our first new student gathering. The turnout was great and the fellowship was rich. Hearts were knit together as the new students continued in their fourth week of school. We believe that these events are important for the success and longevity of their Bible College careers. Everyone needs a little encouragement. Actually, we all need a lot of encouragement and it is our privilege and duty to be a Proverbs 18:24 friend that sticks closer than a brother. The onslaught of Satan against an effective Christianity today is, might I say, intense. So, we will be hosting these events once a month as they continue on in their studies.

Separately, the York Bible College is going strong. Pastor Scibelli was the guest speaker this past Saturday. He was only supposed to teach an hour and a half, but answered questions for two hours beyond his class time and then had the time of his life leading the students on evangelism in the neighborhood. Please pray for the students there as well. God bless Adrienne as she cooks for them every week so they can go the full day (from 8am to 5pm) in intensified study. One of the students lost his job and asked us if he should stop taking classes because he would not be able to continue to pay tuition. Caroline told him the one thing he is not doing is stopping classes, but each student is going through it of their own accord, I am sure. So is the day in the life of warfare for a Bible College student.

Lastly, this past weekend, a group of twelve of us hosted a church retreat at Mount Monadnock, NH for our sister church from Marlborough, MA. The theme of the retreat was "You Make Me Brave". We were asked to prepare skits, mime, and special songs for each of the services. Just meditating on the theme and practicing the skits and mime was a reward in itself. The skits were about God being with us in these days, whether they seem monotonous or tumultuous. He is Emmanuel, God with us. Furthermore, one of the skits was about the warfare of who or what gets to occupy a Christian's mind. If we are not careful, thoughts of fear, suspicion, apathy, tolerance, or compromise will take residence, uninvited and paralyze the believer rendering him or her ineffective. Lastly, we did a mime to the song "Born For This". The song is about how there is a time to keep quiet and to keep your head down, but that time is not now. With the passivity of the church and the aggression of ungodliness that we face here in America, it is imperative that Christians stand for truth, for the word of the Lord endures forever.

The retreat was a huge success. The church in Marlborough was deeply blessed, enough to make a six foot four grown man weep... multiple times. We are glad to be going forward in the plan of God, keeping at the forefront that we were, indeed, born for this.

 
Find The Christ!

It's been an incredible few weeks. Watching the new students in our York Extension Bible School blossom has been a true privilege. Many of them drive to Baltimore for Friday night class, and then get back late only to come back early Saturday morning for 8am class. The first week, all of them said they were so excited after Friday night's class, they couldn't sleep. Cute!

Last Saturday, we were double booked. We had the kick off of our Extension Bible School, as well as our annual Women's Labor Day Retreat. La Tascha became very ill Saturday morning, but managed to speak (sitting down) Sunday morning and boy, was it worth it. She spoke about finding the Christ in our brothers and sisters because unity is paramount. In a day and age where the world is pounding down our doors, the only way to withstand this assault is to find power in a united front. Therefore, there is no space for sloppy thinking about another brother or sister in Christ. What we do not know or do not understand must be given to God and we must believe the best. The person you are judging may be another Mary with a bump in her belly (that tramp!). No, actually,... a blessed virgin. Things don't always look the best at face value.

On our end, she said that it's important to find the Christ in a person. Hunt for it. The benefit of the doctrine of eternal security is that if the person is born again, you know Christ is in there somewhere. She gave an illustration of a three-sided creature. The first side is the good, the second side is the bad, but the third side is the Christ. It is easy to know a person after the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Heck, our eyes were opened and we were made to be like God, right? But, the Bible is clear in that all was concluded under sin, and one person's good will eventually offend us, the other shoe will drop, so to speak, and then they will become marked in our mind. It would be so much better to throw all of that old thinking out (it stinks!) and look for the Christ in a person. Each believer is blood bought. Christ paid a high price for each one of us. How much more, then, shall we value our fellow believers in the same light. She ends the message with some practical tips for helping to find the Christ in a person. I highly recommend listening to the message. It's posted here if you'd like to listen. Thanks for all your prayers. God is really moving.

 
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