Sligo Baptist Church in Maryland has recently been added to our list of churches co-laboring with us. We enjoyed the opportunity to present our testimony, calling, and field. We also had the privilege of preaching, fellowshipping, and building friendships during our time in Maryland. Pastor Corrigan, a BIMI church planting missionary, was very kind to us in allowing our family to stay at his house. Our children enjoyed playing with his children in the tree fort in the back yard and the boys remember playing basketball as well. Katie, who almost fell from the tree, will remember when Quinn rescued her from the broken tree limb. Nisha and I will remember the outing into Baltimore where we ate dinner at a Brazilian Steakhouse (Fogo de chau).
Upon the news of Jon's brother, who hit a deer recently with their van while traveling at dawn, it reminded us once again to be thankful for the many traveling mercies that God has given us, including the trip to Maryland.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Deputation has us traveling and away from our mission house back in Michigan. It has been a blessing to have a place we can call home. Upon returning from a recent trip, my boys noticed that their bikes were missing from the garage. As I approached the garage entrance, I noticed a muddy footprint where someone had kicked in the door. The two boys bmx bikes were stolen.
Our boys first response was "Who could do such a thing?" along with disappointment of not being able to ride them. I had my suspicions of who done it and began following up on the clues left behind. I approached the young teenagers and their parents about the possibility of getting the bikes returned but was made aware of them being passed on to someone else already. One parent reprimanding her son and requiring reconciliation to take place and another parent admittance of losing control of her son and seeking to have son sent to jail for even other crimes, I began to pray to the Lord as to how to handle the matter of the stolen bikes.
It seemed as if God was allowing this incident to happen for a reason. This gave me a chance to share with our children that all the material possessions obtained in life belong to God. We have been given things for a purpose. As the boys began to reflect on the many blessings of God, they began to play with other toys rather than get bitter at the ones missing.
Later that week during our family time we were talking about God's forgiveness offered to us for our sins debt in which the boys replied that they wanted to forgive those who stole their bikes from them. I took our oldest son to see each of the boys. As I talked to the parents and explained God's Forgiveness toward us and how we would not be pressing charges but willing to forgive them, I noticed my son talking to the boys individually as well. My heart softened even more when I looked across the room to see my son walking through a tract with the boy and seeing them pray together to God. My son praying to forgive as God has forgiven him, and the boy, who earlier stole his bike, was asking God to forgive him for his sins and to save him by putting his faith in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for him. As the boy and my son concluded their prayer, I notice them give each other a hug and fist bumped to their friendship.
We never fully understand what God is doing when we are wronged but may we never lose faith in knowing that He is in control and knows what is best. At the end of it all, we look back and thank God for the stolen bikes which led to a soul being saved.
There are many birthdays in the Harris Family in the month of June. June 1st is Jon's Dad; June 2nd is Jon's brother Rory; June 3rd is Nisha's; June 12th is Jon's nephew Sean; June 14th is Jon's mom; June 22nd is Jon's birthday; June 27th is Jon's nephew CJ. We received word that Jon's sister, Renee, delivered on June 5th her fourth child named Amelia Jeanne. We find ourselves celebrating multiple birthdays together on one designated day. Jon was sure to find a babysitter for our children to be able to take Nisha out on a special date to make her feel special for her birthday. We thank all of those who sent cards and wishes to her. We cherish the times we can spend together.