Welcome to A Family House of Prayer Site!

It is only just begun, and yet we are already changing the future. We are one little house … one little house that has become "a house of prayer for all nations." Please, join us in making a difference far beyond the reach of your hands …. Just say “yes” to the Lord and watch Him faithfully complete the work in your own home. “Yes, Lord. Make our house a house of prayer for all nations.” Go to the side bar and look for the first post in March "In the beginning" for starters.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Longing for Glory Divine, a poem

You feed me this indescribably sweet fruit of your Presence
And it is by Your very hand that I receive,
simply parting my lips.
And if I should reach out my own hand
to attempt to touch, to hold, to take,
would it not dematerialize,
no longer there to taste?
For it was never mine in the first place,
but gift given.
Simply a moment of eternal ecstasy,
or just a mere foretaste.
Longing for glory divine lingers on my lips

as I wait in this place.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Psalm 139 for meditation

For Meditation
Psalm 139: A psalm of David (NLT).*
1  lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me .. and you LOVE me!
2  You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away … when I am doing things my own way and not paying attention to you … and still you LOVE me and are patient with me!
3  You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do … and whether those things are pleasing to you or not, still you LOVE me!
4  You know what I am going to say even before I say it, lord …  May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to You, Lord. 
5   You go before me and follow me.  You surround me with your Love.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.  Sometimes I can even feel your hand of blessing resting upon me.
6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand! 
How can the Creator of the Universe be with me in such a close and compassionate way?
7  I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!  Your presence is in me and all around me, filling me and surrounding me.
8  If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.  My future is secure in You, for you will be with me through everything, even through the deepest darkest valley. 
9  If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.  In my weakest moments you are my strength!
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—
12  but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Night and Day are both the same in your sight – full of your brilliant light!
13  You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16  You saw me before I was born, and You LOVED me way back then!
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 
Even before I had a physical body, you dreamed me up!  You knew me and loved me from before the creation of the world!  (Eph 1:4).**
17  How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!

They cannot be numbered!
18  I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
I picture your hands full of tiny sparkling gems, and each one represents a precious thought – a precious thought about me!
How can this be?  Could it be that I am dreaming? 
[But] when I wake up,
You are still with me!
23  Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
I confess that I am anxious, that I fear; show me where I don’t trust you. Remind me of your faithfulness.  I repent from fear and anxiety and choose to cast my cares on You, knowing that You care for me.  (1 Pet 5:7)
24  Also, please Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
I want to live a life that is pleasing to you, and I want to follow you all the days of my life!

*The text is from the New Living Translation.  Words in italics are ones that I added. ( Pam Amlung)
**Ephesians Chapter 1:
3All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes5God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.b 7He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Prayer from Colossians – Ch 1 -3 (ESV) - first person, for praying outloud

Lord, fill me and strengthen me.
9Lord, I pray, asking and believing, that You will fill me with the knowledge of Your will with all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
10 Lord, fill me, so that I may walk in a manner worthy of you, and that I may be fully pleasing to You, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of You, my Lord and my God.
 Lord, I pray, asking and believing, that you will strengthen me with all power, according to your glorious might, so that I may have great endurance and patience with joy.
(Repeat above, believing this for yourself, personally.)
Thank You for bringing me into Your Light.
I thank you, Father, for you have qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 Thank you for delivering me from the domain of darkness and transferring me into the kingdom of your beloved Son, 14 in whom I have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.
15 I rejoice in You, Jesus, knowing that you are just like your Father, the invisible and eternal God, and that you were the firstborn of all creation.
Confession of Faith in Jesus and Who He Is.
 16 I believe in You, Christ Jesus, that by You all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through You and by You. 17 You are before all things, and in You, Lord Jesus, all things hold together. 18 You are the head of the body, the church. You are the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, and in everything You are preeminent [above all]. 19 For in You, Jesus, all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and I believe that You are reconciling all things to yourself, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood that you shed on the cross.
21 Although I was once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil not good, YOU have now reconciled me - in your body of flesh by your death - in order to present ME holy and blameless and above reproach before You.   23 Be merciful to me that I may continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that I have heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[g] under heaven.
Rejoicing, working, proclaiming: Christ in me the hope of glory.
24 May I rejoice even when I am suffering.  Thank you for calling me to minister and proclaim the Gospel, according to the unique stewardship that you give to me.  May I work to make your Word fully known. 26   Lord, I pray that you will allow me to be part of revealing the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations but revealed to us in Christ.  Make known again in my generation the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is YOU, Christ Jesus, dwelling in ME and in each of us. You are the Hope of Glory – You are in me! 28 May I proclaim YOU, admonishing and teaching everyone whom you’ve given me, with all wisdom, that they may mature in Christ. 29 May this be something I work hard for using your strength -  struggling with all Your energy that You powerfully work within me.

Ch 2

I pray that You will encourage our hearts, Lord, and knit us together in love, so that we may reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding.  I want to live in this reality: the knowledge of God's mystery, which is You, Christ Jesus.  In YOU are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 
May I know the mysteries of hidden treasure – wisdom and knowledge that are found in You, alone!
I pray that no one may delude me with plausible arguments. I pray that I will retain the firmness of my faith in You, Christ Jesus.
Therefore, just as I have received you, Christ Jesus, as my Lord, may I walk in You, rooted, grounded, and built up in YOU and established in my faith and may I live a life that is overflowing with thanksgiving.
I will see to it that no one takes me captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 
Confession of Faith
9 I confess that in Christ Jesus dwells the whole fullness of the Godhead in bodily form, 10 and I confess the reality that at the same time, I have been (and therefore I am) filled with Christ, who is the head of all rule and authority. 1In Christ I have also had my heart circumcised through Christ, by putting off the body of the flesh, 12 having been buried with him in baptism.  And I also confess that I have been raised with Christ through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised Christ Jesus from the dead. 
13 Although without Christ I was dead in my trespasses and flesh, You, the gracious God, have made me alive together with Christ, and you have forgiven me all my trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against me with its legal demands. You set it all aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 And I rejoice that YOU have disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Christ!
Rejecting Religious Pride
16 Because I know that Christ is alive in me, I will let no one pass judgment on me in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 I recognize that these were and are simply a shadow of the things to come.  The substance – the eternal reality - belongs to Christ. 18 For these reasons I will pay no mind to those who would try to disqualify me, by insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[d] puffed up with spiritual pride. 
19 I will not turn from the TRUTH; instead I will hold fast to the Head (you Christ Jesus), from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
20 With Christ I have died to the elemental spirits of the world.  Therefore I am not still alive to the ways of this world.  I will not allow myself to be duped into submitting to religion’s regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings. 23  I acknowledge that although these have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body,  they are actually of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.


Since I have been raised with Christ, I will seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 
I will set my mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For I have died, and my life is hidden with Christ in God. And I know that when Christ who is my life appears, then I also will appear with him in glory.
I choose to put to death what is earthly and base within me:[b] sexual immorality, impure passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  I recognize that on account of these the wrath of God is coming.[c] Although at one time I walked in these paths, now I choose to put all these behind me: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and unwholesome talk.  I won’t put others down.  Instead, I choose to tell the truth, build others up, and not lie; I will put off the old self[d] with its practices. 
10 I will put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, [Catholic or Protestant; religious or free; or any other categories that divide us]; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 As one of God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, I put on a compassionate heart that is full of kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.13 I choose to bear with others in love, forgiving others, as the Lord has forgiven me.  14 And above all these I choose to put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And I choose to let the peace of Christ rule in my heart.;
I choose to be thankful. 16 and to let the Word of Christ dwell in me richly.  I ask that you will help me, Lord, to teach and admonish others in all wisdom. 
I choose a life of singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in my heart to You, my Lord and my God. I will sing in the Spirit, pray in the Spirit, and live in the Spirit.
I choose to 17do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the Father through him.
Prayer for Help in Family Life:
18 Help me, Lord, to submit to my husband, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Help my husband, to love me, and to not be harsh with me. 20 Help my children to obey their parents in everything, wanting to please you, Lord. 21 May my husband not provoke our children, lest they become discouraged. 
May I Obey You as Your Bondservant
22 As your bondservant,[f] Christ Jesus, may I obey You in everything with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 In whatever I am called to do, may I work heartily, as for You, Lord, and not for men, 24 knowing that I will receive an inheritance from YOU as my reward. 25 May I not concern myself with those who do me wrong, knowing that the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, for You are just.
I trust you, Lord, to be my great defender and my great reward.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

On Thanksgiving ... Revisiting a journal entry from January 2014

So much to be thankful for this year!!   In June Kayla returned from Thailand and SE Asia.  In August AnneMarie left for Lee University.  And tonight she comes home to celebrate Thanksgiving with us!  But throughout this semester, I have been filled with joy at watching from a distance as she is enjoys college life.  I just wanted to post my journal entry about letting go, and say, "Thank you, Lord, for giving me the grace to not just "let go" as my children grow, but the sheer joy and excitement I have as they journey toward becoming all that you have designed them to be!"
Kayla and AnneMarie 5 and 3

Here's the journal entry ...
Kayla's kindergarten graduation

January 5, 2014.

Today I keep reminding myself to just breathe.    I can’t let my thoughts go too far down the week, because the end of the week brings something I’m not ready to face.  Kayla flies away.  And yet in some ways, I wish these few days had already passed, and that she was already there, in Bangkok, settled in with a smile on her face, so I could begin the countdown,  150, 149, 148, … until she returns, with stories by the dozen, lighting up the room with God’s crazy love pouring out all over the place, while we play catch-up, trying hard to begin to imagine all those days where she lived life to the full, becoming more, while we just lived the same, here.

I hate to admit it, but I know that this feeling of losing Kayla’s company cuts deeper than it will for the next, and the next, and the next, and the next one.  Kayla is more than daughter.  She’s sister/friend in the kingdom, my co-conspirator in this Spirit-filled life that continually strains against the status quo of American existence.  She does it much better than I, of course; far less years of baggage and habits, and far less weighing her down,  worries, hopes and fears.  And far more time to just be.  She lives and breathes kingdom love and power, soaking it in from secret wells.

I’ve raised her for this very thing, of course; so in a way it’s my own fault – this pain of letting her go so far.  But I must remember that many other moms say good-bye at this age.  And not all (not many) are so secretly jealous of the life to which their offspring is called.  No; many hold their breath this week as their barely adult child heads off to war … or to nowhere, led along by passions for things that will destroy.

I am blessed to have raised one whose passion is for God’s kingdom, and it is that which will see me through as I count down the days.  My daughter is called, chosen, highly-favored by her Father above.  Called by the King of Kings … to set the captives free, to save lives, to save souls.   Like Mordecai I must confess, “…you were born for such a time as this.”  Who am I to hold you back?

There is a part of me that knows that this first true letting go, though the most difficult to date, will be followed by more.  She will not settle for a handsome Mr. Right, with a nice comfortable job, to sweep her off to a nice comfortable suburban home, so that I can drive my minivan down to pick up the grandkids and whisk them off to the zoo.  She will choose someone who has no desire for the American dream, no desire for the status quo; he will spur her on to higher things, to do more, to go farther, to go lower, and to bring hope to the hopeless.

I refuse to hold her back.  I deeply desire for her the life that she is called to -- and the man who will pray daily with her so that this life becomes reality.  As much as I would love to see my grandkids every weekend… as much as I want to see them well-fed and protected, I would never wish upon Kayla a life half lived, or a man not ready to pursue wholehearted kingdom living with her.

Kayla, my darling, the Lord will indeed write stories using you as the main character.  Together you will bring many to know the Father, and I will rejoice!  I will never forget that I gave you back to your heavenly Father the day you were born – only hours after I birthed you.  What I realized then, and must recall each day from now on, is that you, Kayla, are more HIS than you are mine, and HE was simply gracious enough to ask.  More than that, He was gracious enough to give me the grace and strength to say yes, through tears.  And so each time HE again will ask, another letting go, it will be by HIS grace and strength alone that I say, YES!  By the grace of God, you will do great exploits.  By the grace of God, I will go with you in prayer, in spirit, one of your diligent intercessors.  And if the Lord wills, perhaps by HIS grace, we will serve together somewhere some day.  But I will leave that up to HIM!

Today I must say, as much as I am crazy in love with you, I love God more, and I choose to trust and obey, with thanksgiving for every day you are away, without wishing one of them away.  For His ways are far higher than mine!   Father, let it be done according to your Will, not mine.

Let's all hang on tight with big smiles on our faces and enjoy the ride!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

On my daughter's 20th Birthday!

To my precious daughter, Kayla,

Although I wouldn't like to travel back 20 years and relive the experience, your birth was certainly one of the most amazing gifts that God ever gave me! I can still remember being in that hospital room several hours after you were born, holding you. You were so tiny, 6.0 lbs all swaddled tightly, looking so fragile. I felt weak and fragile, too. I was supposed to sleep, since I'd been up all night. But I was too scared to close my eyes. Through tears I prayed that I would have the strength and wisdom that I needed -- just to keep you alive and healthy! But the Lord didn't answer with what I thought I needed. Instead he said, "Will you give her back to me?" I cried harder, tears falling on your cheeks. I didn't want to let you go! I felt fiercely possessive. Then the Lord reassured me, "I can take so much better care of her than you. Do you trust me? Please, give her to me." I knew He was right, though, because He was the one who had created this beautiful baby and knew exactly how to raise her. So through the deepest tears I can remember, I said, "Yes. She is yours." I laid you in the bassinet, and I held my hands open to release you. In that moment my heart was breaking, because I didn't know what that answer would mean ... even whether you would live another day or not. But as I watched you sleeping, my tears subsided and peace rushed in -- giving me a sweet assurance that He had accepted my "yes" and graciously given you back to me - for me to raise for Him. I felt a little like Moses' mother must have felt when she actually got to be her own son's nurse and caretaker. Long story short, it's been a great privilege to be "Kayla's mom". I've had to let go many more times since ... and I expect the hardest times of letting go are still to come. 

Happy Birthday, my precious daughter,and blessings for the best year yet!

PS - No, I don't feel old enough to have a 20 year old daughter - but if we had started having kids right after we got married, I could actually have a 27 year old!  And grandkids!  Now, THAT is scary!

Jamaica - the story behind the pics

July 18, 2014

We are rejoicing in all that the Lord has done over the past few weeks!  What an amazing journey!  Two weeks ago we celebrated July 4th with our daughters and some of Kayla and AnneMarie’s close friends.  Fireworks crackled, popped and boomed outside my window as I hope for a few hours of sleep before rising at 3 AM so that we could catch a 6 AM flight out of Dayton.  Many very long, bleary eyed hours later, we arrived at our destination --  The Blue House, Ocho Rios,Jamaica, and sat down to dinner with our host, Elise Yap.

Elise runs a ministry called Bread Basket Ministries to help the desperately poor in Jamaica, particularly widows, orphans, and families with unique needs.  To assist in the funding of Bread Basket, she runs The Blue House, a boutique bed and breakfast with an amazing chef – Elise’s brother, Darryl.  The Blue House is staffed by young adults whom Elise has groomed and trained – bringing them up out of situations where their futures were bleak.  One of her passions is to help build homes for those who are living in rundown shacks and have no means to better their lives, and that is where we were invited to join in … to be part of a team to build house for a very poor family of five.

Our family was particularly blessed to be invited to join together with a family from South Dakota, who funded the house building project, together with a couple of their young adult friends, and a young woman from California on this trip – a group that only the Lord himself could have knit together for the week long project.  

Elise is a Spirit-filled Catholic who readily shared her own personal journey of faith, including being filled with the Spirit, and hearing a direct call from the Lord to “feed my sheep,” which then led to her establishing her ministry.  The next morning we attended Mass at Elise’s church, which overlooks the ocean.  The liturgy was typical, but the homily was amazing, and the Eucharist left me totally overwhelmed by the Lord’s presence.  (Elise would later share that it is the experience of the presence of the Lord in the Eucharist that keeps her from leaving her church for a more dynamic one.)

Sunday remained a day of rest and we enjoyed a local beach where we talked with several Jamaican families.  Monday, however, was definitely a day of WORK!   After a good breakfast we headed to the site where the house was already started – the foundation was laid, ready for us to begin building a house for a family of five.  Rupert and Diane have three children – Daniel, a severely handicapped boy who recently turned 10, Kerry-Anne, an 8 year old with mental and emotional delays, and Tiffany, a typical 6 year old.  All three children wore huge smiles as we greeted them.  They invited us to see the house in which they live (right next to the brand new foundation for the new house).  In one very small room they all sleep together in a full sized bed – yes, all five.  And in a smaller back room they keep their kitchen stuff and other belongings.  There is an outhouse detached.  All cooking is outside over a fire.  Rupert, as it turns out, is an amazing cook!  He works as a farmer and takes on small chef jobs whenever he can.   Diane’s busy full time with the children, particularly Daniel who cannot attend school.  He cannot walk or talk, and interacts like a child of about 7-8 months old.

After being at the site for about 20 minutes we were all drenched with sweat.  As it was only 10 AM, we all silently wondered how we could possibly work all day in that heat.  But before long we were immersed in the work itself.  And it seems that once you’re that sweaty, it just doesn’t matter anymore.  You just keep drinking lots of fluids.  And you don’t even worry about having to pee, because it all just sweats away.

The first day as children from the surrounding neighborhood came, we put them to work painting – priming the plywood walls.  White paint was everywhere as children from age 5 to 12 dipped brushes and rollers and put paint everywhere.  It was quite crazy, but the kids were so enthralled with helping, that we just did our best to keep up with rolling and brushing out all the paint to a nice smooth surface.  We fed the kids peanut butter and jelly and they were sooo happy!  Elise says that most of the kids are hungry most every day.  They get food, but never enough to fully satisfy.

I helped Rupert chop veggies, as he cooked up an amazing meal in large kettles over the fire.  He was quite proud of his cooking – and we were all very impressed. Jamaican cooking at its best, with just the simplest of implements!   Later I wondered whether the food was that incredibly tasty or whether we were just all so hungry by 1:30 when lunch was finally ready.  We gobbled up rice and beans, chicken, and veggies, and then distributed the rest to the kids who hadn’t had their fill of PBJs.  (They seemed to strongly prefer the PBJ though.)

Construction on the house had begun early with our large team mixing concrete with shovels, slopping it into 5 gallon buckets, and pouring it into an area that would serve for plumbing and waste processing for the new house’s bathroom – with running water and a flush toilet – a huge upgrade.  Later the 2 x 4’s would be sawed and fitted, hammered, and screwed, and before we knew it, we were watching a house arise from the foundation.  It would become a very nice 2 bedroom home with nice living areas and a porch!

Meanwhile, as the construction progressed and the food was cooked and served, though all of this is somewhat a blur as to what happened when, Kayla, Mayana and Lia gathered many neighborhood children to sing songs and play games in a central clearing in the neighborhood.  Thankfully, this area was mostly shaded.  The kids were thrilled to join in the activities.  And my girls were thrilled to be there leading and guiding them!

What was the area like?  Well, it wasn’t too far from a main road in St. Ann’s.  It was kind of like a very large campground in a tropical forest, with clearings carved out like campsites.  On each site was a makeshift dwelling about the size of a family sized tent – or perhaps a little smaller.  The insides of the dwelling were used kind of like you might use your tent while camping – for sleeping, changing, maybe resting.  But inside was hot and stuffy.  So most people always were outside.  Cooking was always over the fire.  Water came into large rain barrel, and it was used for just about everything but drinking.  It looked clean though.  Then, in the middle of the home sites, there was a rather large clearing with a large outhouse on one side, near a river, and it contained a single bucket-flush toilet and no seat.  Not that one would have sat anyway.  The clearing was a great place to gather the children and play games, sing, and teach.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were all WORK days.  But, thanks to Elise’s great idea, we also used that time to minister Christ’s love to the children.  Each day around noon, apparently after morning chores were done at each house, the children would begin to gather around, eager to talk and get hugs.  They took delight in simple games of duck duck goose, London Bridge, red light-green light, etc.  But perhaps their biggest smiles came while singing songs.  Kayla, Mayana, and Lia – sometimes accompanied by Grace and AnneMarie, as well – led the children in Bible camp songs like Deep and Wide, Peace Like a River, Father Abraham, and many more.  And then the children taught us Bible songs that they had learned about loving Jesus and stomping on Satan, etc.  They really liked watching us catch on to their songs!

One moment I will never forget is walking down to the clearing where all five of my girls were encircled by Jamaican children all singing and dancing with huge smiles on their faces.  My girls were so engaged with the group and clearly enjoying every minute of it!  Another favorite moment was watching the little children – age 2, 3, 4 – crawling into Mayana, Grace and Lia’s laps – sometimes three to a lap!

However, I was probably the most impressed watching Kayla handle the crowd of children when it was time for the story.  With the help of promised animal crackers for those who could answer questions about the story, Kayla got them (most of them) to sit down and listen attentively.  About half of the children were very engaged in listening and responding to questions.  Each day Kayla shared a new Bible story.  On the day when she shared about Jesus falling asleep in the boat and then calming the storm, she had several children up front acting out the story and all the children adding sound effects. 

After each days story, the children were invited to prepare a craft to reinforce the story.  Boys and girls from age 3 to 12 or 13 flocked around to use crayons, glue sticks, scissors, and more, and most did a great job of trying to follow the instructions.  What was so touching was the way they flocked around us to show off the results of their hard work.  “Miss, Miss!  Look at mine!”  We lavished praise on their obvious hard work, and then we watched as Kayla had them each retell the story back – helping them to understand it better.  The children learned the parable of the lost sheep, and God’s concern for every single person who is lost from him, as well as the story of the unforgiving servant, in addition to Jesus bringing peace to the storm, and how we need not fear, for Jesus will help us through.

By the end of our time, Mayana wanted to stay on at BBM to be a children’s helper, Lia wanted to stay on at the Blue House to study under chef Derryl.  However, Kayla, AnneMarie, and Grace, while totally enjoying all of their time that week were ready to come back home, connect with friends, and prepare for the coming school year, with hopes of maybe returning to do it all over again next summer.

Tom and I do hope that we will return in the next year or so to participate in another mission trip with Elise and Bread Basket Ministries.  We are praying that God will open up the right doors and make the way clear, but also that He would lead some others to join us!

For more information about Bread Basket Ministries*, see http://www.breadbasketministries.com/

And if you are here in the Cincinnati area, please consider supporting us on August 16th for a garage sale to benefit this ministry.  They operate on a shoestring budget and would like to help as many needy children and widows as possible!

Many blessings!

*This is from the BBM site: 
Bread Basket Ministries (BBM) is
a non-profit, charitable Christian
organization ministering to the
physical, emotional, social and
spiritual needs of poverty stricken
men, women and children in Ocho
Rios Jamaica and its surrounding

In seeking to do so we partner
with local and international
individuals and organizations,
mission trip teams seeking to serve
the poor in Jamaica, as well as,
loving, generous visitors who
respond to God's call to do more
than simply vacation here.