Hello to you all. We hope you all are blessed and thriving. We know the Lord is doing so much in so many of our lives. Thank God that we serve an amazing God that does amazing things in our lives. I am so glad that we get to receive the love of Christ in every part of our life.
We have been so excited to hear such amazing news from back home. We love life and are so happy that so many of our friends have just had babies, are about to have a baby and have just found out that they are going to have a baby. What a privilege it is to be able to bring children into this world and be able to train them up in the way they must go. I am so happy for you all. Being a father has been one of the greatest representations of Jesus that I have been able to be to another person. It is by far one of the hardest representations of Jesus I have tried to be. May the Lord continue to bless all of us fathers with more grace and joy in our fatherhood.
Shannon and I have been helping with the local Salvation Army every Wednesday afternoon. Every day of the week, the Salvation Army is bringing local Marshallese kids that have no parents and no place to go after school. They feed them and give them rides after dinner to their homes. Yesterday, I was playing basketball with some of the boys. Shay came late because she had to pick Shiloh up from school. When they arrived I went over and loved on them. Shi and Arrow would keep coming over to me to ask me questions and give me hugs. Seeing this, one of the younger Marshallese girls came up to me and said "Why do those little girls keep coming up and hugging you?". I said to her, "Because I am their dad". She could not believe that their dad was with them and interacting with them in love. One of the Lieutenants was sitting next to me and heard it all. She told me that most of these kids either don't have fathers or have no relationship with their fathers. She was so happy for these kids to see the definition of a father the way Christ meant it to be. It has been so amazing to press into these kids.
It is so important for us(the Church) to reach the orphans(James 1:27). We must do a greater work in this injustice. We must press into adoptions. I heard a statistic the other day that said if every church in America was able to fund an adoption for a family in the church that there would be no need for the foster system until next year. What if the church was able to clear out the foster system every year? We would see these kids saved and redeemed just as we all are in Christ. I believe this has become so overlooked by us. With so many kids in the foster system, this becomes justification for pro-choice laws to stay in place. If we truly want to see abortion ended we must see adoptions happening with us Christians. We have been praying against government funded abortions(which will happen if we don't keep praying) and believing for church funded adoptions. This might be an offensive statement to some of you but this is what has been on our hearts.
On a different note, the girls are becoming more and more girly and funny. They are also becoming more quarrelsome which is sometimes funny if I were being honest. Shiloh is going to school full days now. When we told her that she was going to be going full days she was very upset with us. Of course, we didn't know if it was going to work or not. So Shay went to pick her up at the end of her first full day. Shay asked her how her first full day was and Shiloh replied "What, that was a full day?". I guess she is enjoying it. Arrow is much bigger in her mind than she is physically. She is not afraid of much. She has taken Shiloh on quite a few times and though being beat, She keeps trying again. I am so proud of my daughters.
February is going to be full but so amazing. My brother in law will be here next week. Arrow and Shi are very excited to see Uncle Johnny. I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited too. The week after, Shay and I have been asked by the leaders of the Fire and Fragrance DTS to travel with them to Maui. They have a ministry called Pure Heart that encourages destinies to come forth through forgiveness and being forgiven by God. It brings forth true freedom for those who chose to forgive and walk in this freedom. We are excited to help them minister tho those at the Maui Ywam base. I went through Pure Heart last year and realized that there were so many things I needed to forgive and be forgiven of. It is amazing.
Please keep us in your prayers. I will continue to keep all of you updated on the things that are happening here.
We love you all,
Blake, Shay, Shiloh and Arrow