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“Then God spoke all these words …” Exod. 20:1

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A letter from Marta Carriker in Brazil

November 2011

DOUBT OR BELIEF

 Blessed woman, who believed what God said, believed every Word would come true!

Dear friends,

The last two Sundays we have already heard messages related to Advent at our local church.  The first one was preached by Tim two weeks ago and it was about the annunciation to Mary.  Her first reaction was perhaps fear, and she asked the angel how she could become pregnant when she was a virgin, to which Gabriel explained that this would be an act of God by His Spirit. He also told her that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant because “Nothing, you see, is impossible with God” (The Message). 

Mary responded: Yes, I see it all now; I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.  Let it be with me just as you say

In other words, Mary believed and she was honored for doing so.

Tim preaching at the Independent Presbyterian Church of Estreito in Florianópolis, Brazil

This Sunday we heard from Pr. Nicole about what had happened previously with Zechariah.  He was in the sanctuary, the people were praying outside, and the angel appeared to him and told him that his prayer had been answered.  Fear was also his first reaction.  Then he said: “Do you expect me to believe this?  I’m an old man and my wife is an old woman.”  He did not believe or submit right away to what God had declared He would do.  The result was that he could not say a word until John was born.

This Christmas I want to challenge you, our faithful supporters, to be like Mary, the one who believed.  God is still at work fulfilling His purposes for our world and we are part of His plans.  His purposes will be fulfilled regardless of our reaction, but we will be honored for believing that nothing is impossible with God. 

Christmasy passion fruit in our backyard, November 2011

Christmas reminds us that God answers prayers; it reminds us that the dark night will not last forever, that a Savior was sent to help us in the midst of our suffering.  It reminds us that when we have gifts to give, they should be brought to the greater Gift, Jesus.  It reminds us that shepherds who do not have much can witness the singing heavenly host.  And that is always glorious.  It reminds us that God blesses humankind because of those with goodwill.   It reminds us that Herods do not get away with their evil plans.

We want to wish you all a wonderful Christmas, full of the wonderful lessons we learn from the story of the manger and the One who left His glory to become one like us.  May we remember to become servants and say yes to our Lord, to believe that His plan will be fulfilled and that we can be honored by believing and playing the role He assigned to each of us. 

Thank you, again, for your support throughout this year of 2011.  We love you very much, you are our extended family, the family of God.  We hope to have an opportunity to see you next year.  May God send you many blessings for 2012.

Marta

The 2011 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 306
The 2012 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 27

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