Monday, August 27, 2012

By Candlelight

STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: Picture Praise, 8/27/12

As my family and I walked through the hotel hallway one night in Ollantaytambo, Peru, we found ourselves surrounded by complete darkness.  The power in the whole city had gone out in an instant, leaving us with feet firmly planted in one place, unsure of what to do or how we were going to get to our rooms.  As we fumbled around for our keys, we were met by a gentle light coming towards us.  The hotel owners had lit candles and brought them to us; relieved, we laughed at our feeble attempts to find our way in the dark and rejoiced that we finally had light to guide our way back to our rooms.  We spent rest of the evening snuggling under warm blankets and chatting by candlelight; we laughed and shared many memories by the light of these candles. 
There are times in my life and ministry when I feel like I am walking in the dark, confused or unsure of my next step, just like the dark, hotel hallway in Ollantaytambo; but in the midst of the darkness, I am greeted by a welcome light.  Although I was once in darkness, I am no longer in that place; I am now in the light of the Lord (Ephesians 5:8).   He is my light and salvation, and when I follow Him I "shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12).  Even when I feel the weighed down or do not know where to take the next step, I have no reason to fear or worry, but just trust that He is my faithful guide, illuminating my heart and leading me in the light.  This is true for you too!  Even in the midst of trouble, darkness, or confusion in your life, set your eyes on Jesus--the light of the world--and let Him guide you in the light! 

photographer: Stephanie Rushing, Peru.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Be Refreshed

STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: Picture Praise, 8/20/12

Over the past few years my husband and I, through work and circumstances, had reached burnout and took a long break for rest, reflection and renewal.  Our times walking along beaches and through national parks were great times of refreshment from the Lord.  This photo, taken at Knoll National Park on Mount Tamborine in Queensland, Australia, still speaks to me, reminding me of God’s  love and presence that sustains me as I walk with Him.

photographer: June Sparks, Australia. "My husband and I have been serving in Australia over the past 20 years."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Shine Like the Sun

STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: Picture Praise, 8/13/12

What a joy when my young friend from Madagascar recently visited me on her way back from a three month trip to Australia.  I was privileged to see God start a wonderful work in her life ten years ago (she was only 15) when we lived on her island. She helped me to learn Malagasy, while any visit to my home was a good excuse for her to practice English. Today, she has a BA degree in teaching and is doing an honors degree with English as her main subject.

More precious than her academic work is how she is flourishing in her walk with God. Three months with outspoken atheists away from her own country solidified her testimony as a Christ-follower. I “stole” this photograph of her on our favorite beach just before she left to go back to her country in political turmoil. While my heart was heavy for her, God assured me of His amazing work in her, and on her behalf...Our God is not watching us from a distance, but is lovingly at work wherever we are. 

photographer: Cecile Sander, Indian Ocean Island.

Monday, August 6, 2012


STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: Picture Praise, 8/6/12

This picture was taken in a public school in the town of Sousas in Brazil where I have been teaching Bible for around 43 years.. yes… I started early! Growing up as an MK, at the age of 13, my mother would take me along with her to help give Bible classes in the public schools and soon after that I was teaching myself. I thank the Lord that this door is still open and that we have this wonderful liberty to do this in this country.
This June I was blessed to be able to give Bibles to all of my students that didn’t have one; that is, over 300 of them, in the three public school and at the NGO Grupo Primavera. I am grateful to my commending home assembly in Los Angeles, CA, that gave me this special gift to purchase the Bibles. It was such a blessing to see the children's excitement while receiving them, what a privilege to be able to plant the precious seed in precious hearts!
photographer: Jeanne Lipsi, Brazil.


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