Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Peterson's Prayer Guide - October 2007

"I am the One who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from Me." Hosea 14:8

Many of you have inquired about Gary's headaches recently. The results of his blood tests were normal. He's had several chiropractic treatments, and the headaches have certainly lessened, though they're not gone yet. We've wondered if it may be sinus related, and may still have the MRI done in October after I return and our new health insurance year begins. We're very grateful for the improvement and for your prayers!

In the week prior to my mother's surgery, we realized that neither of my sisters was going to be able to be with her for the surgery. My sister, Jenny's new baby was very sick and was hospitalized, and several others in the family were also unwell. I felt it was important for one of us to be with her, so we changed my tickets and I left on the 18th, a week earlier than planned, for another month. I arrived in Melbourne the day before the surgery. All went as hoped, and my mother is now recovering in a ward of the hospital where I trained as a nurse many years ago. I am staying in Mum's apartment, and taking the train to the hospital each day to be with her. She is doing well, and may be home in a week or so. Though we don't enjoy being apart again, we know this is part of honouring and caring for Mum in this critical time in her life. I return on October 17th. We are grateful to Gary's mom, who flew out from California to be with him and Josiah during this time.

Our washing machine died just days before I was leaving. It was second hand when we got it 18 years ago, so I guess it was entitled to die some time. But we weren't looking for things to spend money on and were a little peeved at the timing of this event. After doing some research, and almost deciding on a new machine, we ran out of time before the store closed. The next day, as Gary was out for his morning run, he found a washing machine and drier on the side of the road in our neighbourhood. We found out they were working and free to the taker, so we lugged them home. After cleaning them up, we tried a load of laundry and they worked just fine. So praise the Lord with us for His timely and unique provision. He is indeed our Jehovah Jirah!

My US citizenship application was accepted after my interview last month. I will be able to go through the oath-taking ceremony and get my papers in January. Praise the Lord this didn't interfere with my ability to travel at this time. *Note, I will still retain my Australian citizenship.

September has been a busy month for Gary with the start of the new children's A-Z program at WordSpring and the launch of his Mission Encounter program for youth and young adults. He has also been a host at the Scripture Award Celebration with this year's recipient being Chuck and Cynthia Swindoll, and at the New Testament Celebration where 13 recently published New Testaments were dedicated. That means another 13 language groups will have the true Christmas story this year. Now that's worth celebrating!

October 6th Gary and his colleagues are running their first education programs on a Saturday. They're hoping that church youth groups that can't make it during the week will take advantage of this first Saturday of the month offering. They also have groups booked almost every Thursday and Friday through October. Gary also has some speaking engagements throughout the month. Pray that he gets the preparation time he needs.

One exciting opportunity took place this past week. Gary is often asked to do tours for special guests that come to visit, and loves to do it when he's available. Often he gets a day or even a week's notice. This day he got 25 minutes. Two key men from the house church movement in a major unnamed country were coming to visit. One was a key pastor and the other a theology professor in their training program. A local pastor and his wife from their country who live and minister here in Orlando accompanied them as interpreters. Gary was told they knew nothing of our work and little of the minority language groups in their country. Bible translation would be new to them. Time was limited, and everything would take longer because of interpretation, so he had to choose his words and illustrations carefully. As they visited different displays and talked about different issues, the interest seemed to grow. Several times the local pastor got so excited that he gave Gary a hug and said "Wow, this is so encouraging and amazing!" They were given a list of all of the languages in their country that need a translation. Gary challenged them to take up the work of Bible translation in their country so that their minority language groups won't have to wait so long to get the Scriptures in a language that speaks to their heart. Pray that God will use this encounter to help expand the work in this country where there are over 100 languages needing Scripture.

More encouraging encounters happened this past month. Gary was stopped by one of his department's long-term volunteers. She drives 160 Km/100 miles two days a week to work at Wycliffe. She said, "There is someone here who has been asking to see you." She proceeded to take him to the room where Wycliffe's new recruits were having lunch. Upon entering the room, a tall young man, sitting next to his wife, stood up and gave Gary a big hug. "Do you remember me from that "Total It Up" program (a 5 day mini linguistics course) that you helped lead in 2004? That made a huge impact on my life and led me and my wife into Wycliffe." The volunteer staffer who brought Gary to him, who also did that course said, "Yes, and he's one of the main reasons I'm here too." Wow! You prayed for him during that course in 2004, and standing before him were the answer to your prayers!

The next day Gary was stopped at the clinic desk where volunteer doctors come to serve Wycliffe members. The hostess welcomed Gary with a big smile and said. "You know my husband and I are here because of you." Before he could ask how that was, she said, "Do you remember giving our seniors group a tour earlier this year and talking to us personally about how Wycliffe needed volunteers? We sold our place, bought a trailer (caravan) and now live here in the trailer park. We have so enjoyed working here!"

Thank you so much for praying! As you can see with my mum and through the incredible contacts Gary has, God is answering your prayers and making a difference.


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