Dear family and friends,
This past week, I thought through a moment I had with God last February that profoundly influenced my life. I was in Wal-Mart shopping for groceries. At one point I stopped in the middle of an aisle and began weeping. I was going through a season of questioning my trust in God after experiencing several losses in a short period of time. I had stopped reading the Bible and lost passion for seeking God. But, that day in the aisle at Wal-Mart, I said to God, "I can't do this. Would you speak to me? Would you encourage me? I feel stuck. Would you please help me!" The words that He brought to mind a minute later were, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Then came the words, "Lisa, keep walking." That night I read my lesson for a Christ-Life group I am a part of and a key verse in that lesson was "Trust in the Lord with all your heart . . ." Prov. 3:6. A few weeks later, a friend gave me a picture for my birthday and on it were the words, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart . . ." (I had not shared with her the significance of this verse). He does make sure we get it, doesn't He? And throughout last year He continued to say in so many different ways, "Lisa, keep walking." It didn't matter if I stumbled or lagged behind or completely wiped out. His gentle words continued to ring in my ears, "Keep walking." His words have come to mind this week as we have waited for a response from CRC World Missions and have not yet received word of whether they will partner with us. It would be easy to get discouraged, to question. However, Dan and I have ended this week with renewed trust and vision that the process of pursuing this call, as it was with FamilyLife, is designed to grow us in our relationship with the One who has called us. We do not walk this path with the sole goal of reaching a destination - we walk it out of obedience (one step at a time) and out of a desire to grow in our love for and knowledge of Him. And it is out of the overflow of His love for us that He will touch the lives of others through us - whether that be here in the United States as we pursue the calling or in Nicaragua. We will keep walking. Thank you so much for walking with us!
* We are overwhelmed this week with the love that we are receiving from others as people let us know that they are excited for us, are keeping up with our updates, are praying for us, and are interested in walking this road with us.
* Dan and I are working well together - he is setting up a blog that you can reach at www.vanzoest.blogspot.com which includes these email updates. He is working on our website, outlining a presentation, communicating with our missions pastor, and thinking through some of the next steps. I am writing these updates, keeping track of email addresses, and thinking through organizing small group dinners/child care/prayer group. We really are enjoying this process and enjoy this time of working with each other.
* I have had a good week of carving out time to be with God - thank you for your prayers!
* After 7 days of fever and respiratory symptoms, Rebekah is on the mend. Dan and I are still healthy. Will started a fever this afternoon so now we pray for him!
* Please continue to pray that CRC World Missions would let us know of their decision this week. We are at peace with whatever answer they give us.
* Health, safety, and peace for our family and extended families.
* Pray that our family would develop a passionate love for the people of Nicaragua. We are reading books about Nicaragua and watching videos to help us better understand the country and culture.
Requests For Help:
1) On March 16, we are planning a “potluck and prayer” gathering at our home for the noon meal on this particular Sunday. More details later, but you are officially invited to attend.
2) We would like to develop a list of people who are available to care for our children and the children of those who attend small group dinners. We will work with your schedule and preference regarding the number of children you can care for.
3) We are also praying for at least 10 couples to commit to doing a small group dinner which involves dinner and –not a movie- but a presentation. I am putting together a specific job description for this and will send it with next week’s update. Would just like to ask you now to pray through these needs this week and let us know how/if you feel led to be a part of filling these needs. Thank you!
* Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America - which includes Mexico, Central America, and South America (Haiti is #1).
* One of Nicaragua Christian Academy's goals is to raise up strong Christian Nicaraguan leaders to impact the future of this country.