From the desk of VOB…
“When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ Simon answered and said, ‘Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.’ When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; ” Luke 5:4-6
The context for the Scripture above, explains that the disciples had been fishing all night, and had not been all that successful. When Jesus told them to let down their nets again, I imagine they did not really want to bother. I also imagine those big heavy nets are not all that simple to maneuver. Most likely, they were tired and discouraged. But they did it anyway, and were rewarded.
We find ourselves in similar circumstances: Being challenged by the Lord to continue to drop our nets, when it seems we keep catching discouragement. As we have expressed in recent months, 2018 was a difficult year for us personally, and with great trials in ministry. On the flip side, there was certainly much fruit, and many testimonies of Divine appointments. He gets the praise because He is worthy, no matter what. To quote William Carey (a British Baptist Missionary), “Who will go down to the heathen and take them the gospel? I will go. But you must hold the rope for me!” Can we ask you to “hold the rope” a little longer, and a little tighter, as we get over the hurdles that 2019 has presented.
The situation with Mexican customs, has not changed as of yet. Our colleagues have had one roundtable discussion already, with another one planned tomorrow, in fact. The new administrator is requiring each organization that imports food, be vetted in a new and different way. This is a greater process, which is taking more time to work out the details than we had hoped. Thus, at this time, our truck loads of food crossing in every day, is considered imported cargo to be taxed on a calculated value of the food, rather than a set donation import fee. For now, that value has been set at 500 pesos (nearly $30) each time we cross. In times past, it has only been 100 pesos (closer to $6). Needless to say, what we paid for a week of border crossings, is now costing us per day. This can drain a budget very quickly.
Also, a situation has arisen with Wayne concerning US Customs. His “fast pass” Sentri card, which allows for entry into the US through a special vetted lane, was revoked last week, causing potential delays for Wayne to wait in border lines (1-3 hours varied), each time he returns to the US. The US government is way behind with the renewals on these documents. We renewed Wayne’s card over 6 months ago, and are told it could be another 2-3 months to catch up on the back log. Waiting in border lines is a sacrifice he is willing to do but an amount of time that could be spent wiser.
A greater surprise came this month, in the form of a notice to vacate our apartment of nearly 12 years. Our landlord’s partners are pushing for a renovation and a potential sell of the property. We have been very blessed to live here and the favor from the landlord to never raise our rent has been so greatly appreciated. However, we now having to scout out a new place to call home, within the current market value rentals in the area. God has been very faithful to open doors for us with housing every since we stepped out into full time ministry from our first newlywed apartment over 23 years ago. So we are asking Him to show us this next open door quickly, as we have to clear our apartment before we leave on our next scheduled out-of -state outreach, detailed below.
On the worship arm of VOB, we head out to Carlisle, PA mid March, to assist with, and lead worship at the Arrows of Glory Worship school, and Alltribes House of Prayer. These events will run concurrently with a conference called War Cry, where First Nations people, and many, many others, will gather from around the country, to learn how to sow into worship and intercession, and partner with each other in advancing the Kingdom of GOD. Carol has been asked to assist with the launching of the worship school, and will be doing lots of coordinating and mentoring. As well, throughout the event, our team will be leading worship during the 30 hour Alltribes House of Prayer/Worship time. This is the fruit of relationship building during our David’s Tent Rise Up DC event in November. In addition, the gathering in Carlisle will include prayer on the site of the 1st Indian boarding school in North America, a model for future Indian boarding schools and the horrific motto, ‘kill the Indian, save the man’. These past tragedies are only now coming into the public eye. We are honored to be a part of the healing and transformation that will surely take place in March.
Wayne served on a team last month, once again, leading the annual Living Waters training in Malibu Canyon at the Salvation Army Campground. The training was a great success despite torrential rains, flooding and mud slides due to the already fire damaged hillsides, surrounding the camp, from the wildfires at the end of this past year. The whole team was evacuated, dodging landslides and rolling boulders, for 24 hours to a near by church opened for shelter. But once it was safe to return we resumed the training and many participants were set free. One leader said it like this, “a natural image similar to the walls around stony hearts falling down and barricades of pain being removed”.
Thank you so much for praying for all of these things! Love Wayne & Carol