Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Maranatha Chamber Choir

Our sending church hosted the Marantha Chamber Choir this week and it was a blessing to not only be home to attend the service but to be able to host four of the guys for the night. We enjoyed the fellowship with the four college guys as they shared their pursuits in ministry and listened to how God has worked in each of our lives.

The busy life of a Missionary in the Fall

Jon flew back to California to attend other scheduled meetings and be able to make more new contacts. It is exciting to see the new churches being planted in California who are seeking to start supporting missionaries of their own. Big or Small, New or Old: it is a joy to attend churches who are standing firm on the Word of God and seeking to reach the lost sinner whether near or far. It was a blessing to present the field of Peru at Faith Baptist Tabernacle with Pastor Rodgers who gave the missionaries a tour of Sacremento which led to the opportunity to pray in the capital building (Governor Swartzneggor was in a meeting and not able to meet with us at the time). Evangelist Ken Lynch played his many musical instruments (one being the water filled china glasses) and preached for the conference. I also presented at Grace Baptist Church with Pastor Carter who had Brother Larson from BIMI as a special speaker. I was able to be in a mission conference via telephone to Germany with Pastor Pilalas who had Brother Alverson as special speaker. And, I drove down the state of California to be with Silver Valley Baptist with Pastor Abaldo who has a lively and friendly church not too far from a ghost town (as the signs on the road declared). All of the four meetings took place within seven days as the fall schedule for a missionary on deputation is so crucial as to churches emphasis on mission conferences. The winter and summer times of the year finds fewer mission conferences and more one day meetings. This makes it more difficult for the churches to get to know the missionary and vise versa.
It was good to see my sister and her family who helped me out tremendously with a car, lodging, meals, and the making and remembering of memories while out in California visiting churches.

I returned to my family back in Michigan the first week of November to see Todd Sivnksty hosting our home church revival meetings and to attend the mission conference at Grace Baptist Church in Birmingham, Michigan with Pastor Whitfield and special speaker Dr. Charles Keen.
And now to catch my breath and be sure that I am all caught up with communications. Please pray for us as we seek to schedule further meetings for 2009, raise the needed support, learn the Spanish language, and put an updated presentation together in December. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ohio churches in the fall

Jon flew back from California to attend meetings with the family in Ohio. It is always better when we are all together. I'm asked all the time about lodging difficulties while on deputation. As we travel we find ourselves staying in hotels, homes, parsonages, and very seldom in the car. We just determined to make the best of each situation. I will say that we are getting variety as we go and neither of them has been unbearable but rather memorable. Attitude is everything! We enjoy the times together as a family in hotels. In fact, because of Jon being away from the family before and after the Ohio meetings, we decided to stay in a fancy hotel with many amenities and enjoy some time together. I love my family and do not regret the quality time spent with them. But, that is not to say that we have not enjoyed the opportunity to stay in homes where we have had some great fellowship and make new friends like Mrs. Hitchman in Butler, Ohio and the Schueller Family with their five children playing with our children in Massillon, Ohio. We have enjoyed the blessings that each has to offer. And even though we have heard some scary stories from others who travel in the ministry, we will anticipate creating some of our own stories whether good or bad as we continue "the deputation trail".
Jon has now left for more meetings out west, but we will each be looking forward to being back together once again.

Monday, September 29, 2008

California Churches

I arrived in Sacramento California on Wednesday, September 24th, where my sister Jody picked me up at the airport. She has allowed me to stay with her in Vacaville between meetings of churches out in the west. It is exciting to see God working in the churches whether they are new church planting ministries or veteran. I have enjoyed the fellowship with the Pastors over meals and worshiping God together in the services. I only wish that my wife and children could have come with me. They remained back in Michigan for better home-schooling conditions and was more prudent financially. I miss being with them.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Peruvian Mountain Village

September 2008 Prayer Letter

Dear Faithful Partners in Prayer,

We came across this song recently, and it had us thinking of our commitment to missions and the people of Peru.

Looking Through His Eyes

Let me see this world, dear Lord, as though I were looking through Your eyes. A world of men who don’t want You, Lord, But a world for which You died.

Let me kneel with You, in the garden, Blur my eyes with tears of agony. For if once I could see this world, the way You see, I just know I’d serve You more faithfully.

Let me see this world, dear Lord, through Your eyes, when men mock Your holy name. When they beat you and spat upon You, Lord. Let me love them as You loved them just the same.

Let me stand high above my petty problems, And weep for men hell-bound eternally. For if once I could see this world, the way You see. I just know I’d serve you more faithfully.

What keeps us from seeing this world as Christ does? Is it our Fear, selfishness, pride?????? If only we would heed the song writer’s suggestion, and look at lost souls as Christ does, what a revival we would have! When we get to Peru, this is the heart we hope to have. That we would see the Peruvian people, as Christ does, and that the urgency of seeing souls saved would so overwhelm us that we wouldn’t waste any opportunity to share the gospel!
We’re grateful for the opportunity to have shared our ministry with churches in South Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin and Illinois the last two months. We have recently added Harvest Baptist in Hickory, NC to the list of our supporting churches and this has increased our support to 40%. We are giving God the glory for the increase and continue to pray for the day we can write to you to inform you we’ve reached 100% and are headed to Peru!
We’d like to thank those of you who have been praying for us. We’ve had to deal with our share of sickness these last few weeks and appreciate all the prayers that went out on our behalf. We are finally on the mend and getting back into the swing of things. Home school has started and we’d ask for your prayers as we once again try to juggle traveling and school, as so many other missionary families on deputation do the same. Thank you for all who were praying for our sending church and the transition of our new pastor. The church is adjusting smoothly thus far and we are grateful for God sending Pastor Estell and his family our way!

Thank you again for your prayers and support!
For His Glory,

The Harris family

Arizona in the Fall

My trip out west began by my plane arriving safely in Arizona on September 20, 2008. The cactus desert look and over 100 degree temperature for the week was clear enough evidence to me that I was no longer in Michigan. I attended a missions conference at Lakeside Baptist Church on Sunday through Tuesday. Pastor Crichton announced that fall in Arizona is where the landscape changes from brown to browner and not like the fall colors that we would see in Michigan. I have enjoyed the opportunity to share my testimony and calling into missions at the church potluck and presenting our field to Peru on Tuesday. It is a very friendly church with a love for God that is evident in their worship and service attitude. It has been good to once again be with the McCombie's (BIMI west coast representative) and Montano's (missionaries to Mexico). I am anticipating God to continue to work at this church in a mighty way. Please pray for them as they celebrate their four year anniversary next week and are currently seeking to purchase land and build a church building. They are renting space at a science center until that time. They are looking to increase their faith promise this year to be able to add more missionaries to the already twelve that they support.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Our Battle With the Viral Infection

While Nisha and our other three children remained in Michigan to recover from their viral infections. I enjoyed the opportunity of one on one time with our oldest son, Matthew. Our memories include carpet-ball, foosball, baseball game, church picnic, Wisconsin Dells, grandma and grandpa time, and many miles traveling in the car. We were able to present our mission field to Bible Baptist Church in Wisconsin and First Baptist Church in Illinois. We thank the Lord for allowing us to be a blessing in these churches as much as they were a blessing to us. We arrived safely back in Michigan Thursday night, only to find Nisha and Becca still fighting their sickness. I, the last of the healthy ones, have yet to get this viral infection that lasts up to two weeks with signs of heavy coughing, fever, and exhaustion. I find myself taking Vitamin C, Echinacea, and praying to remain healthy while trying to nurse those sick back to health. Nisha, although exhausted, has maintained the home while I was away. It seems as if Mom's are never allowed sick days or vacations.

We will be making final arrangements for my trip to the western states coming up in September as well as making plans to begin homeschooling soon.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our New Senior Pastor

Our sending church has a new senior pastor. It is the Scott Estell Family. We first met while I was the youth pastor in Wixom in 1998. I was able to present our mission field in the church that he pastored in Wisconsin before becoming our pastor. It is a blessing to have him at FaithWay and am praying for God to richly bless the transition. We are currently visiting churches near the Great Lakes and making calls for new meetings into 2009. Nisha is busy taking care of our sick children who seem to be facing colds.

Friday, August 1, 2008

South Carolina Travels

I have been traveling through South Carolina recently presenting our ministry in churches.  Along the way I got to visit with some old friends and also meet some new.

Faithful is he that calleth you

I’ve been reminded in my devotions lately of I Thessalonians 5:24 “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” As we continue the deputation process through the summer months we have been able to present our calling in churches in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. Although many churches are not looking to take on missionaries during the summer months it’s good that churches are seeking to keep missions in front of their church and not just once or twice a year. We have had one more church added to our support, been invited back to a missions conference, and have been able to give out the Gospel these last two months. Our children get excited about passing out “Smile, Jesus Loves You!” tracts whenever we stop in our travels. The Lord has once again revealed His faithfulness to us these past two months with traveling mercies and good health.

Family Time is a precious time for us. There are times that we cannot be together in our travels due to distance, schooling, health, or other unforeseen situations. We cherish the times that we have together. Our time in South Carolina allowed us to feed wild swans out of our hands at a public park. In Florida, meeting up with my parents for a week of vacation will have lasting memories. As our children are becoming more confident in their abilities to swim and jump on trampolines, it has led to three visits to the hospital, all of which have quickly healed. As parents, we are hoping that our children will also learn their limitations. In between meetings in Tarpon Springs, Florida, we were able to visit with Nisha’s dad and brother, whom she has not seen for ten years. It brought tears of joy and more compassion for them to be saved. We thank those who thoughtfully remembered our birthdays and our 13th wedding anniversary which has taken place since our last prayer letter.

We echo what Paul says in I Thessalonians 5:25, “Brethren, pray for us”. Please join us in prayer that God would be glorified in and through us. We are praying for more churches to help support us financially so that we may depart for Peru in a timely matter. Please continue to pray for traveling mercies as we travel to visit churches in South Carolina and around the Great Lakes these next two months. As home-schooling quickly approaches, there is a need to obtain our children’s curriculum. Please pray we can obtain the necessary materials before September 2, which is our target date to start school.

In Lima, Peru this week, two buses crashed into each other resulting in 25 people killed and 60 injured. It made me wonder if those who died had ever heard and received the Gospel and how many more will die in Peru without ever hearing the Gospel. The urgency of getting to the field is ever before us.