December 2015 Conchshell Chronicles
NEED verses WANT
My family and I have the privilege of working alongside a group of Miskito Indians who have taught us many life lessons over this past 20 plus years.
Still in its primitive state with no electricity, running water or modern conveniences as we know it (in the first world), our Miskito friends thrive and have maintained a level of excellence in running an entire school system in its primitive region of La Miskitia. We have, together, influenced and educated thousands and have affected generations….we (includes many of you), being great grandparents, if you will of many we started with. It has been a miracle….one after the next to get us to where we are today.
Michael and Arielle came back from their visit with our leaders, teachers and with much excitement and gratitude. There is also a sense of weightiness that also come with such a visit because one feels the depth of need many of our Miskito friends face at this juncture of life.
There are a constant barrage of needs that need to be fulfilled and we bear much of the felt burden for them….there are surgeries, maladies, roofs, schools, boats, trucks needing repair, school supplies, and the general sense that our leaders and teachers need more to live on with the rising costs of basic items. We have been wanting to “give” raises and have been working hard through the café ministry to try and provide for them, but there is always more.
I am inspired by Arielle and our other missionaries who have been taking initiative over the counter in the café to ask our patrons to give a donation so that we can give our teachers a raise. It is amazing what even asking the question will do…many hearts have been moved to help and we are thankful for this.
Aside from the need to give our teachers a raise, we have two special needs this month:
1) Our Waspam Discipleship Center is 10 years old, and our leaf roof is in need of replacement.
It took 20,000 palmetto leaves to make the roof in 2006, and with the numerous storms, we have many holes that has resulted in standing puddles of water on the floor that has resulted in rotting of our wooden tables and chairs.
2) Truman is in need of a complete medical checkup in Managua. He has numerous health problems andthe doctors in Waspam are just giving him drugs which is not really helping. We must send him this month to the hospital in Managua to address some serious issues.
May God bless each of you with the spirit of reaching out for the sake of others in this time of great need. The world longs to see faith in action in tangible ways.
We desire to be a part of His movement and meeting the needs rather than fulfilling the wants. We pray that ma ny of you will join us in this season. Laura
The Leaders of Project Ezra wish you all a “Happy Christmas”!
Augusto, Onofre, Rodolio, Danilo, Maik, Carlos, & Truman
The Real Christmas Message
Our world seems to be headed in many wrong directions, all at the same time. Truth is being suppressed in favor of tolerance and correctness; The Middle Class is evaporating as the gap between the rich and poor grows; Radical elements of religions are in open warfare against everyone else; Moral Values that a generation ago were condemned are now celebrated.
Yes, our world needs a savior.
Fortunately, we are celebrating His Arrival this Christmas Season! He has already come once, and He says that He is coming back again! We who are His Body of Believers are the ones who have the privilege of proclaiming the Christmas Message.
But what is that Message? There are many in our culture who do not know! They are confused as to what Christianity is, thinking that it is just another of this world’s religions.
The prophet Micah told us where The Savior would be born:
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.
It was the Prophet Isaiah who clearly spoke the Christmas Message hundreds of years before Jesus actually appeared on Planet Earth.
Who has believed our message? Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. Isaiah 53:1,4-6
God entered this world as a baby; helpless and needing the care of the humans that He created. He grew up in an oppressive environment, worked hard as a stone mason “tekton”, had bills and taxes to pay, knew what it was like to be thirsty and hungry, have dust in your nose and sweat on your brow, and experience the sorrow of sickness and death of his loved ones.
He taught in a manner that amazed his listeners, did miraculous healings, cast out evil spirits, calmed the wind and the waves, and brought the dead back to life. Everything you would expect God-in-the-flesh to be, He was. At the same time He was a man who experienced all aspects of life. Finally He died a very gruesome death to take care of the sin issue. Now we who receive Him as our Savior and Lord are free from the power of sin and death. We have eternal life in His presence. And we have a living personal relationship with Him now that empowers us to actively love the people around us and serve them.
This is the Real Christmas Message.
Our culture is confused about the meaning of Christmas. They are searching the shopping malls and online stores for the meaning; they are celebrating at parties intoxicated on all that the world has to offer; they are sitting in their homes depressed by their life failures and loneliness.
Who will tell them the Real Christmas Message?
Our churches will host Christmas pageants and Christmas Eve services. It’s an opportunity to invite our friends who don’t know the Christmas Message. Some will come. Most will not.
Another strategy may be for us to individually tell the message to our confused friends over, say, a cup of coffee, or a meal. With all the hoopla today over “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” it’s an easy topic to bring up. Sharing your friendship along with the Message makes for a very palatable experience.
Studies show that most people who become followers of Jesus do so because of a personal testimony of a friend, and a lifestyle of Jesus’ disciples that reaches out to serve the people around us.
Please take any opportunity that is presented to you to communicate The Real Christmas Message. Here is how the writer of Hebrews said it.
Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. Hebrews 1:1-3
Merry Christmas from Mikaela, Ronald, Arielle, Laura, Moselle, Lukas, & Michael!
Please pray this month of December that:
- God’s Message of the Christmas Season would be communicated through us all;
- God will continue to provide for all the teachers and missionaries of Seek The Lamb;
- God will give us complete health as we begin the new year.
We value your prayers! They make a difference!
Give A Gift
You make make a donation to our school project in Nicaragua, or to support a Seek The Lamb missionary by using our secure PayPal donation page.
Have some of the finest coffee delivered to your door. Each purchase helps fund our school project in Nicaragua, and people do love our high altitude specialty coffee! We have just roasted this week coffee from Timor (our biggest seller by far!) Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Papua New Guinea. We slow roast it at the Rio Coco Cafe in Vero Beach, and quickly send it to you!
Thanks for spending time with us this month.
Please contact us at email@example.com or at the Rio Coco Cafe Vero Beach Florida