January 6, 2017
Happy 2017 everyone!! We are so thankful for all that God has done in 2016! Thank you again to all of you that have supported us and continued to believe God on our behalf so that His Kingdom would flow through us and be advanced in the world! We hosted over 50 different events this last year and thankfulness wells up inside of us when we think about all of the new friendships we were able to create!
December was a full month for our team here in Abilene! We started off our month with some Christmas celebrations. Each of our team members painted on a canvas one thing that they thought about Christmas. After wards we gathered together and shared what God had put on our hearts to paint! We were in awe and wonder of the reality that God let go of His deity and put on humanity in meekness, so that we could be brought back to our first love in Him. That is what Christmas is all about after all… God using an imperfect woman, who in the sight of man, is worth nothing. God chose the worthless and made them valuable. God chose through the unlikely, to manifest His awesome glory and goodness, in hopes that we with unveiled faces will see Him in all of His glory and splendor. He came to us, for us, for Himself.
REDEMPTION. RESTORATION. LOVE.
One of the beautiful things about Jesus coming to us, is that when we say yes to His will invading our lives, and we truly surrender everything we have to Him, by His Holy Spirit we have the ability to become salt and light to this world. We believe here at Iris Abilene that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). God has called us to be a living tangible expression of His love and His heart to the world around us, through word and deed. Faith and works operating simultaneously, hand and hand. We had the opportunity to live this scripture out this month in our team, with each other, our local community, and also in the nations.
EACH OTHER: This month we had the joy of exchanging gifts amongst our team during a white elephant gift exchange. Some people got thoughtful gifts, some received gifts that would bring extreme joy and laughter!!
LOCAL COMMUNITY: Jeannette, Raelle, and Lauren went out every Friday morning and spent time in the neighborhood around one of our missionary houses. They baked muffins, put on smiles, and went door to door to visit the families surrounding House of Hope. They were so thankful for the opportunity to meet with sweet friends and pray for their holidays!!! Thanks to Global Samaritan Resources (local nonprofit dedicated to helping people help people), we received bags upon bags of candy that we also got to handout! THANK YOU!!
As many of you know we are now in partnership with the Transformation School of Supernatural Ministry here in Abilene. They are a branch of TSSM at Bethel Church in Redding California. They will often invite guest speakers and worship leaders to come pour into their students. Angel and Lauren were invited to speak and lead worship at a class this month! Many encountered God’s love as they talked about BRAVERY and COURAGE in the Holy Spirit. The summary for the evening is, vulnerability to the trinity is the greatest form of bravery and courage. We often do not know what God will do with our weak, broken, little lives. We know for certain that He is faithful and worthy of our trust. So we trust, and we open up our lives to Him for Him to establish His will, in His way.
AMERICA: Angel and Edna spent a weekend at We Will Go Ministries in Jackson Mississippi to minister to missionaries and to the leadership team. It was a sweet time of reflection, and redemption. God desires to reveal how He uniquely created us individually and how He wants to use us to bring Him Glory in our everyday lives.
NATIONS: Angel, Norm, Chris, and Dot had the life-altering opportunity to visit and meet up with our ministry partners in Mexico. John Arnott with Catch the Fire Toronto, and Dan Slade with Partners in Harvest also joined the team. Two days were spent in Mexico City, and three days in Jojulta. During their time there they hosted a pastor’s leadership conference and a Noche de Fuego ‘’Night of Fire’’. Thousands attended altogether and each person encountered the love of the Father in salvations, healings, through powerful messages, worship, prayer, and acts of love! This was our second time going and we look forward to partnering with them again to see the fame of Jesus reach each person in Mexico! We are so blessed by the way the Father loves His people and we get to be part of it! The Holy Spirit is an amazing gift and we are so thankful for His indwelling presence in each of us!
So many AMAZING things are happening here in the Big Country and in the Body of Christ!! Our prayer is that we would live for the audience of One. That when we finally see our bridegroom king face to face, that he will say “Well done, you learned to love!” We want to give Him all that we have, all that we are, and all that we aspire to be. We daily lay down our lives to Him, as He eagerly gave His life away for us for the joy set apart for Him by the Father.
Thank you for praying, supporting, and strengthening us along the journey!! WE ARE EXCITED FOR WHAT IS TO COME IN THE NEAR FUT