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Monthly Archives: July 2012

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This past week I was very blessed to be a leader for both preteen and youth camp. As you can see I went with two great group of kids.

Both camps were fun but trying. We had some students recognize that they had drawn away from Jesus and have committed to working on their relationship with him. Praise the Lord that he never leaves us when we draw away from him.  From my own experience I know that our God is so patient and that no matter how long it takes us he will be there to embrace us and celebrate our return, much like the story of the Prodigal Son.

While I saw God work in student’s hearts this past week, he was also working in my own. The past few months have been difficult for me as I struggle with uncertainty.  I had such a different plan for my summer and while God is now revealing his own plan for my life, it has been hard to release my own desires once again. But what is crazy about releasing the desires that I had hoped for this summer is that God is granting me a desire that I have yearned for years.  He has provided a way for us to serve him in South Sudan and Josh and I both know that this is exactly what we are supposed to be doing. We don’t know what we are supposed to do before we go or what will happen when we come home, but we are certain that God has guided our paths to this point for a very specific purpose.

Thank you for joining us in this journey we call life.  We are trying to live in complete obedience to our God and Father and we hope that you will be able to draw closer to him through our experiences.

Love ya,

gail

Church Camp

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in gail

 

First Missionary Journey

   Just to give a little update on our trip, we have finalized our flight tickets and we will be leaving on the 14th of October and returning on the 14th of November.  We have also sent off for our visas, so that is making us very excited.

I also wanted to share something that God brought to my mind tonight.  I was at a Pre-Teen camp held at The Big Country Camp(bigcountrycamp.com) and Shane Pruitt(shanepruittministries.com) was going over Genesis 3 and the fall of man.  Since South Sudan is only about 2 and a half months away, my mind has been on that and the ministry Gail and I will be doing there.  While looking over Genesis 3 I began to think about the first missionary trip.  Not the one recorded in the book of Acts, but the one in the Old Testament, the true first cross-cultural mission experience that is found in Genesis 3.  I believe this to be the first missionary journey because it took place right after the introduction of sin into the world.  Right after the acknowledgement of their nakedness Genesis says this, “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9)

Now before we really dive into this, how amazing would it be to be able to heard God walking around?  What a privilege Adam and Eve had to know God in that intimate of a state in their human form.

But I digress.  God’s stroll in the cool of the day was certainly no accident.  He was looking for Adam because we see that he later calls out for him.  It is here that a perfect, holy, blemish-free God is searching for something that is completely foreign to him, an imperfect, unholy, blemished human.  The conversation that takes place after all of this is one that crosses 2 different cultures, a pure culture and a culture of sin.

See, God knew already what had taken place.  He in fact tells the serpent that a plan has already been put in motion where a human offspring will one day crush the head of the serpent and the serpent will simply bruise the man’s heel.  God was not take by surprise but yet he choose to seek out Adam and although consequences followed their choice, the love of God was still shown through allowing the two to live, just not in the garden.

Is this not the same today as it was in the days of Eden?  Does the Holy Spirit still not seek out those willing to listen?  Are we, as righteous and holy beings because of Jesus Christ, not going out into the broken world to proclaim what is right and good?  If God was willing to do this since the very beginning, how can I not do so also?

How can I not go to those that do not even know what it means to have an earthly father let alone a Heavenly one?  I must be willing to cross cultures and bring to broken people hope.  Hope that there is a God that cares and loves them and never leaves them.  Hope that when serving this God, it is not in vain, but for a greater purpose.  For the purpose of glorifying the only one worthy to be glorified.  Hope that no matter what this life brings, there is reward in heaven for the faithful and a crown of righteousness that will be given to those that stay the faith.

Because of all of this, how can I not go to South Sudan?  I am able, I must go.

Josh

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Josh

 

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So…South Sudan huh?

In my life, I strive to be a servant. My first job was a custodial job at a church. It was great! Yes, I had to clean some rather gross and disgusting things, I had to move the same chairs 2 or 3 times for one event, and I had to be up there at night, which can be extremely creepy. But those were certainly outweighed by the fact that I was helping the church function. Later on I realized that I had a crucial role in how people worshiped when they came to church. If the pews were filled with gum and peppermint wrappers from Sundays past, then whoever sat there would be frustrated or grossed out and unable to give full attention to worshiping God. Though it may seem like small things, as it did to me, I realize the importance of serving.

Going to Terekeka, South Sudan allows me to serve God in a new way. At this complex, which is fairly new, they are beginning to take in more children that have no family or the family cannot provide for them. They are also beginning the construction of a school where not only the orphans can learn, but children from all over the area. And the people are excited! You see, in Terekeka, people are flocking to the complex. They are providing for the needs of the people and in return God is granting them the ability to share the gospel with these children while attending the school and caring for them in the orphanage.

Am I going to South Sudan because it is the only place I can serve? No. I am going because God is sending me. I am answering as Isaiah did in Isaiah 6:8, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here I am. Send me!” I pray that I stay faithful in my service to my God. In Christ’s Love, Josh

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in Josh

 

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Why South Sudan?

Last year on July 9, South Sudan officially separated from Sudan and became an independent country. Before this separation the country of Sudan had been in a vicious civil war that left more than 2 million people dead and 6 million people homeless. The fighting, hunger and disease left thousands of women and orphans with no place to go.  After over 20 years of war there are many who are in need.  Harvesters Reaching the Nations has a program set up to not only give homes to orphans but also an education and healthcare to the surrounding community.

I personally am drawn to orphans because I know that my family is the main reason I became a believer in Jesus. I want to be able to go to these children and be the family that they do not have. I want to share with them the saving power of Jesus’ name where they can one day use it to bring true peace to their country.

Since I was a kid I wanted to be a missionary.  I do not know what drew me to the idea, perhaps all it was a good excuse to see the World. Whatever  the reason I first began to desire to be a missionary doesn’t really matter now, because there came a time when I had to choose if I wanted to be of the World or of the Word. I chose to give my entire life to God and through that decision he has called me to be used in a specific way to bring people his Good News.  Many have told me that there are people all around me who need to hear his Word and that I do not have to travel around the World to share it. I agree there are many here that need Jesus, but I believe that there are people who God has called specifically to reach those people.  Luke 10: 2 says, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” I want to be a part of the harvest, I am willing to be a laborer and this is where I feel God calling me at this time.

This post is because I want people to understand that this decision to visit South Sudan for a month is in response to a deep yearning within me to see Jesus in the face of these African children.  I pray that from this month God will give me a clearer vision as to how he would like to use me in the future.

In Christ’s Love,

gail

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in gail

 

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Donation Updates

Things seem to be coming along quite smoothly with our plans. We are finalizing our flights and getting all the important details figured out.

One of those has to do with our donations. We have found out if you would like to make your gift tax deductible there is a way to do that. Please comment on this post if you need that information and we will email it to you.  

Thanks for joining us in our ministry!

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Welcome

Welcome to our Blog!

As most of you know we have a heart to serve God wherever he wants to use us. We have been blessed with a wonderful opportunity to serve him overseas. We will be serving with Harvesters Reaching the Nations which is located in South Sudan, Africa. Their website is www.hrtn.org. Harvesters started in 2001 when its founders felt God lead them to sell everything they had.  They moved to Yei, South Sudan and began building an orphanage. They now have a school and a hospital at the Yei compound. Since that time God has led them to open another compound in Terekeka (Tear-a-kay-ka), South Sudan.  We will be serving at the Terekeka compound from October 15th through November 14th.  We hope to show the love of the Father to the fatherless while serving with Harvesters.

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This is a trip that God has guided us to and we would like to ask for your prayers while we are away. We have set up this blog that we will update as often as possible that will include specific prayer requests. Please be sure to click “Follow” to the right in order to receive emails about blog updates.  At this time we ask that you pray specifically for our health and safety as South Sudan can be a harsh country.   We would also ask for you to be in prayer for our financial situation as this trip is going to cost us approximately $3500 a piece, $7000 total.  These expenses include travel, immunizations, visas, insurance and food and lodging. If you would like to financially assist us on this journey please send your support to us at 8679 County Road 607, Avoca, TX 79503 with the card enclosed.  Please understand that since the money will be coming directly to us, your gift will not be tax deductible. Thank you for your continual support in our lives.

In Christ’s Love,

Josh and Gail Williford

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Uncategorized