Monday, August 8, 2011
CGF Newsletter August 2011
Friends and Family Newsletter August 2011
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27
OUR MISSION STATEMENT:
TO GLORIFY THE NAME OF GOD IN COLOMBIA BY SHARING HIS LOVE WITH ORPHANS AND WIDOWS AND BY PLANTING A CHURCH THROUGH THE PREACHING OF THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL OF HIS SON JESUS CHRIST TO ALL WHO WILL LISTEN, BY THE POWER OF HIS SPIRIT, TO THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE!
God is so good! Much has happened here at El Nido de Gracia (which is the name of the farm meaning “Nest of Grace”) since the last time we were able update you all. Most things do not turn out to be the way they are first envisioned and this has been the case with our internet connection. Most of you know that our internet does not always work and many times, mid-email will cancel our connection, many times we simply cannot connect at all. We have also found ourselves yoked with many different projects and this at times has distracted us from our commitment to keeping people updated through this newsletter and especially through our blog. Thankfully the Lord is able to use us despite all our shortcomings. We will continue to strive to be better at communication and keeping you all updated.
These past two months have been filled with many experiences. One experience was helping a young teen and his mother who was and still is mentally unable to care for her son. The teen now lives here at the farm and we are pleased by the changes we are seeing in his character. He grows and changes every day and we’re excited to see who he will become. Our preteen girl is doing well also, healthy and happy. We are looking forward to welcoming some more children to the farm in the next couple weeks. It has been hard waiting, but paperwork and preparing the rooms has taken a lot of time.
We were also blessed last month to have a church from home send a mission team. Wow! You would not believe all the goodies they were able to pack in the 11 storage totes they brought and left here for us to store things in. A million thank-you’s to the team who built a roof on our tool shed, among many other things. We were especially blessed by the fellowship you brought into our home.
One of the biggest accomplishments of the past couple months has been receiving our VISAS. The process had many curves including multiple trips to Florida for Josh and a 2 week stay in Florida without family for Mike. In the long run both families and all our kids had to fly to Florida to apply for our VISAS in person. While being a costly trip it was also very enjoyable catching up with friends in Florida and the Riffle kids were able to visit and play in the pool with Grandma. A huge blessing from this trip was that the sores, rashes and mosquito bites were able to heal in Florida and now we are working hard to keep them from reoccurring. We were also blessed enormously by people while there in Florida and are now able to build another orphan house, buy a piano and buy some Spanish curriculum that we have needed. God’s blessings have been numerous.
Most of you reading the above paragraph are probably wondering what I meant when I said build another orphan house. The board approved us to start building a house on the lower part of our property. We were given a donation that enabled us to do this and now thanks to another donor we will be able to start a second then a third. God has been very gracious. We look forward to clearing land and breaking ground this week.
It has been one of our goals since the very beginning to become as self-sustaining as possible here on the farm. We have taken some steps in this process by buying some chickens who will start laying eggs in a couple months and by purchasing a pregnant milking cow from our neighbor. This same neighbor also gifted us two donkeys for packing and hauling or for having the kids ride.
Another exciting aspect of the ministry here has been starting church services here on the farm. On average there have been about 60 people attending including our families. By God’s grace, several have come to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! After spending some time with them examining the Scriptures and studying Evidence of Spiritual Life by Thomas Boston, we had the privilege of baptizing a group of people last week. While this ministry continues to grow another has just started on the island of Tierra Bomba, (which is translated Wasteland.) Every Saturday Mike and his family travel to the island where Mike has felt lead to hold a Bible study for young men, and Stacy and the kids work with a friend’s ministry for the local children. This island is a dark place and in desperate need of the Light of Christ. Please pray that the Gospel will take root there, and that God’s name will be glorified as He draws and saves people on Tierra Bomba.
Please be in prayer with us as we begin building and take in more kids. We are in need of more permanent help especially with teaching school and we need widows so that we are able to take in more kids as the space becomes available. We are also praying about what type of curriculum to use for teaching now that we will be responsible for teaching more children. There are many aspects to the building process that need prayer. Pray for us also as we try to make sure we have all our paperwork in line with governmental regulations. Pray for the souls of Turbaco, Turbana and Tierra Bomba as we continue with Bible studies and church services. Our God is our strength, to Him we look as we continue with the mission he has allowed us to be a part of. Glory to God!
Colombia Grace Foundation
PO box 114
La Pine, OR 97739
“TO THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE…”