Friday, February 26

(Thanks to Leslie Hurst for being a guest blogger for Friday.)

Pineapples for Peace serves and supports local churches by providing both discipleship and training for local pastors and church leaders.  Murray and Robbie Lathrop work very hard to strengthen these local churches and their members.  We had a number of opportunities today to participate in their mission. Click here to learn more about their areas of ministry.

Arriving early for breakfast, we dined with a special group of widows.   The Bible makes it clear that widows have a special place in God’s heart, and we are called to love and serve them. Karen Riddell blessed us as she shared the benefits of female friendships.  She has done an incredible amount of research on the subject and is in the process of getting her book published.  We celebrated one woman’s birthday and were so inspired by one of the elder visitors who never learned to read as she recited the 91st Psalm.

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Following breakfast, Jeanna Brannon & Anne French distributed Uzima water filtration systems to ten select community leaders.  Their presentation was entertaining and thorough.  After detailing the importance of hygiene and clean water, they showed how the water filter works and explained how to maintain it.  They ended by having everyone “pledge allegiance” to using it!  Hopefully this will be a springboard for a large-scale clean water program.

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Next was a luncheon for women church leaders and pastor’s wives.   Anne French, Gloria, Nancy and Karen reflected on their “quiet time” routines.  Anne gave each woman a Spanish-edition copy of the much-loved devotional “Jesus Calling” as well as an olive wood comfort cross from Bethlehem.  Gloria tugged at our hearts as she passionately spoke about God’s love and claimed Jesus’ promise that He’ll ever leave us or forsake us.  Nancy spoke about the importance of memorizing scripture, as it is something no one can ever take away from us.  Karen warmed our hearts as she once again spoke about the importance of female friendships.

But, as seems to be the case, it was the guests who blessed us with their stories.  Nora spoke about missing her busiest (and most profitable) day at the Market to attend today’s events.  She said as she opened her tea towel with a scripture verse from Matthew (thank you Gloria’s Morning Lite group!), she knew it was a message God wanted her to hear.

I thought about what difficult lives these women lead.   We saw several of them on our home visits.  None of them have electricity, indoor plumbing or an automobile. While I can toss my dirty clothes in the washer, they wash everything by hand using a rock or washboard.   So, how do these women make time for “quiet time” with God?

No sooner had that though crossed my mind when another woman stood up and said their pastor has challenged each member of their congregation to spend one HOUR a day in prayer and reading the scriptures.   They all nodded their heads in agreement.  That answered my question and gave me a lot to think about.  With all the conveniences I have, do I find an HOUR for prayer and scripture reading? How do I spend my day? I pondered that question as I waved and watched them as they pulled away in the pick-up truck.

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The families who work on the farm and Ministry workers then joined us the evening. We were all struck with how much everyone dressed up for all of these events.   Thanks to the tireless kitchen staff, we had yet another fabulous meal.  And thanks to Lynn Hood and Karen Riddell, there was an endless supply of FUN!  Between the farm animal game, the glow sticks and dancing, everyone had a great time.  No language barriers tonight!

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You would think that after a super busy day with five events, everyone would have turned in early.  But part of our group stayed up until the wee hours of the morning…I think the laughter could be heard throughout the valley!