Hi friends!
I have to apologize to you; I've been a terrible blogger. I'm still in Canada, though, and I still need your prayers, so I hope you'll forgive me!

I was at church yesterday, and I heard a sermon on Onesiphorus. If you don't know who that is, that's pretty normal. He's a guy who lived in Ephesus and probably went to Timothy's church, back in the day. Paul talks about him twice in 2 Timothy, and that's the only time he shows up in Scripture:

2 Timothy 1:16 The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain;
17 but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. 18 The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.

This guy was pretty awesome. He was a regular dude, but he encouraged and refreshed Paul. He wasn't ashamed of Paul's being in prison (not afraid to associate and identify with someone that others were trying to shame), and when he traveled to Rome, he made a huge effort to find Paul. According to what I can find in several sources on the Internet (and some through Google Books, so it's not a totally lost cause), the population of Rome could have been several hundred thousand to just over a million at the time. I just want to let it sink in that, at this time, cell phones, phone books, and the Internet did not exist. So Onesiphorus combed through the city till he found Paul, and then he went and hung out with him at one of the lowest points of his Christian life (see 2 Tim. 4:9-16, noting everybody who bailed on him).

Anyway, I wanted to mention some Onesiphoruses (Onesiphori? Yeah, I had to go there) that have refreshed me lately:
  • Karlena and Veronica: these two ladies have become really cherished fellow-laborers. The three of us share the same heart for the Iranian church, and they are awesome prayer warriors and encouragers. They made the effort to find me and include me and pray with and for me, and they have been like cold water to a weary soul.
  • The team from Pine Lake, who came through a few weeks ago: Andy and Pam, Tim and Donna, Pam, Vera, Paige and Courtney, Grant, Ryan, Lauren, Emily, Regan, Paige, and Kayla. They were here for a week, helping with the Centre, but they were incredibly encouraging and refreshing. It was awesome to see a group of teenagers who love God, love each other, and love other people. It was also just really excellent to hang out with a group of people from Mississippi, who could all speak my language. The time I got to spend with their group was incredibly refreshing.
  • Carolyn Higginbotham and the Bellevue prayer team, Amanda McClure, Pat LaBelle, and the First Baptist Mt. Pleasant prayer team: I sent out a crucial prayer request letter, and these ladies were on it. The Lord really listened to their prayers and has started to do something special in the Iranian church.
  • My parents: they pray for me every time we talk, and they listen and love me even when I'm culture-shocking.
These people have been like Onesiphorus for me; who has refreshed you?

  • The Lord is uniting people in support of the Iranian church, and His Spirit really seems to be moving among people.
  • I have made several new contacts through some of my friends' personal networks. The Lord seems to be widening my sphere of contact.
  • I was able to have a significant part of a conversation in Farsi last Monday.
  • I have one girl (already a Christian) who wants to spend time studying the Bible with me on a weekly basis.
Prayer requests:
  • My landlord is talking about selling the house. This won't be able to happen for several months, but, if she does end up selling, I want the remaining time spent living with her to be fruitful. Please pray for an open door for the gospel. Pray that God would cause her heart to long for Him.
  • Pray for boldness to share the gospel as I build these friendships. Pray for wisdom and gentleness and real love in how I share the gospel.
  • Pray for my Farsi study. I have not been working very hard at it for the past few weeks, and I need to pick back up and keep studying.
  • Pray for this fledgling Bible study and that the Lord would open the door for more people to come. Pray that non-Christians would come.
  • I was reading Jonah in my quiet time a little back, and I hit the end of Jonah where God expresses His concern for a great city of 125,000. Vancouver has 2.3 million. Pray that the Lord would raise up laborers for His harvest here and that the Holy Spirit would work in people's lives to convict them of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and that he would draw people to Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for Karlena. The Lord has given her a big, long-term vision for discipleship and training. Pray for like-minded fellow-workers and wisdom in putting it together.
  • Please continue to pray for the Iranian church, for healing and reconciliation.
Again, thank you so much for praying!

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