Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
These first two verses of Romans 12 are very appropriate for two ministries we are privileged to be a part of: the Marriage Encounter and the Casa del Alfarero (House of the Potter), a Christian live-in drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. We ask for your prayers and thanks this month for both of these ministries.
Every one of us has known God’s mercy and great love. That mercy and love come back to him ten-fold (and more) every time a person responds by giving themselves back to him in accordance with his good will and hope for them. Paul, in Romans 12, calls it our true and proper worship. The pattern of this world is formed through self-indulgence, pride, justification, hurt, and separation. Thus the urgent need for a complete transformation (or overhaul J) of the mind. Without it we simply can’t know and live reconciliation, renewal, and restoration—especially in marriages and in breaking free of real addictions of any kind. Makes us all think, doesn’t it, and how worth it the results that really do change lives.
In 1994, still quite new to Chile, we began working with La Iglesia de Cristo Metropolitana (The Metropolitan Christian Church). They, for years, have undertaken the huge task of carrying out a Marriage Encounter twice a year. After participating in the weekend event, a couple can then sponsor others. Janine & I have participated, as well as sponsoring couples for the weekend. We helped at April’s encounter and look forward to sponsoring a couple and helping again this September. The big key to success for couples participating? The giving of themselves to each other in honesty, forgiveness, healing, & re-building “God-style”—i.e., a complete transformation of the mind. Please pray and give thanks for the many couples who just participated and for those that God is working to include in Sept.
Jack also participates monthly in the important ministry of the Casa del Alfarero (House of the Potter) Christian live-in drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for men. Between their two sites, they treat roughly 40 men at a time through a nine-month program that includes the men’s marriage and family whenever possible. Ivan and Paola head up the center and coordinate the teams of men and women who assist in one way or another. They have recently instituted a new post-graduate discipling course that makes use of many of the methods employed by the Christian Coaching ministry mentioned in some of our recent monthly Praise & Prayer Letters. Again though, especially in talking about victory over addictions, a big key to success is a complete renewal of the mind. The men need to know that they are being made new in the Lord and will not be the same as before. Thanks again for your prayers with thanksgiving!
Lastly, thanks again for your prayers for Millarai and for Jack’s going forward health-wise. Milla has been okayed to fly April 30 to northern Chile (after over a year and one-half in medical treatments in Santiago) to live with her sister and family there. She will make one-week trips each month to Santiago for medical appointments. In addition, her left foot has been healing nicely after having a portion of the toes on that foot removed (dead tissue) and doctors are pleased. What a great praise and answer to prayer this is! Thank you as well for praying for Jack’s health. He has regained almost all of his energy, and his white blood cell count remains stable. PTL!
Praising, praying, and fasting with you in our Good, Pleasing, & Perfect Will God,