Nov 1, 2012

Improving the bottom line

So for the past 2 months David and I have been trying to lower our monthly food bill. We have come up with 3 ways so far. The first is the art form of couponing. We started out trying to find coupons here in PR and on the internet. We discovered most Puerto Ricans do not know what coupons are let alone provide coupons in the Sunday papers. That left us with finding them online. We were able to print many coupons at first but soon realized there is a limit. We combined in-store sales with the coupons we had and our bill was $130, without sales + coupons it would have been almost $200. This first attempt lasted us a month, it blew my mind away that we had food that lasted us a month for only $130! Normally $130 grocery bill would mean what we bought would only last about 2 weeks. We were so excited and the next month tried finding more coupons but our coupon supply was dwindled from the last grocery trip and we couldn’t find any suitable coupons that we needed or we could use.  That is how we came up with the following idea: why not ask our friends, family members and our supporters if they would be willing to clip coupons for us if we provided a pre-posted envelope? We sent out e-mails, letters and posted the idea on facebook. A few people came forward and said, “Yeah, sure I can do that!”  We received our first “coupon donation” and excitedly sifted through the coupons. We have received 4 “coupon donations” so far and it has helped tremendously!  Go figure, right?! We use coupons for everything now, shampoo, dog food and basically any household, grocery or office item you can think of.  Hannah is even learning what coupons are and how they work. When she see’s candy or her favorite snack food she immediately asks if we have a coupon for that! We have had to retrain how we view in-store sales and how we shop using coupons. Even though PR isn’t as engrossed in couponing as the States, they still have websites where you can view each stores weekly sales circular. So instead of driving around and gathering all the circulars, we can just view them online at home, compare them with the coupons we’ve received, and make out a shopping list. No longer do we hop in the car and arrive at the store couponless and ignorant of sales! 

The second way we are reducing our food bill is that we have started a vegetable and fruit garden. We have taught Hannah to gather seeds, plant them and water them. Hopefully in a few months we’ll have our first crop! We also plan on using the fruits and vegetables to help out anyone who is in need. We don’t have a big yard but we have learned various ways of growing things inside and how to recycle pop bottles as planters for when the seedlings grow out of their indoor pots. We have made a shelf outside that sits on our porch. David is already building another place for when the plants get bigger and start producing food. Hannah is so excited about gathering seeds that every place we visit she is looking at the ground for various seeds; she has gathered Kenipa and palm tree seeds so far. She has said many times that if we take the peanut from her M&M’s and plant the “seed’ we could grow our own chocolate tree!  

The third way we have come up with goes hand in hand with our food garden. David has been learning and researching about Aquaponics.  Basically you raise fish in a tank of any sorts and recycle their water to grow and fertilize your food plants. Through various means of pumps , piping and simple gravity the water starts in the fish tank or tub, gets pumped up a pipe to your plants, the water passes through a sediment bed, watering your plants and the excess goes out another pipe and goes back down to the fish.  David is even researching and learning about solar powered pumps so that we won’t be using electricity to run the pump. Buying a small solar power system and battery is surprisingly cheap; the cost of the small system is even cheaper than using electric for running this Aquaponic system the first month!  Many people just use goldfish or some other small fish in this system but we have discovered that you can use Tilapia. Raising them and caring for them is practically free, you just have to make sure there is enough room in your fish tub. Tilapia are perfect fish for rising in our PR climate, they are resilient to illnesses and produce offspring quickly. Therefore, we will not only be raising a food garden but growing our own Tilapia as well. Now, I am not crazy about fish but as any good mother who wants to set a healthy example, I make a fish dinner at least once a week and Hannah has no problems eating Tilapia. But with this new means of food we’ll be eating fish probably about 2-3 a week along with fresh veggies from our garden!
It will take about a 5 months to build, raise the fish to maturity and produce our first harvest before we can take advantage of our work.  We have an old swimming pool that has sat outside going unused for about 1 ½ years; we are cleaning it up and getting it ready to accommodate its first aquatic habitants.  It is exciting to work, grow and harvest the food that you will be giving to your family for meals on a daily basis. Raising a garden and your own food is something that American culture has almost lost but in other parts of the world it as an every day event that is naturally done and taught to the children along with their ABC’s. 

I hope that as you have read this article it has encouraged you and maybe even given you some ideas to try to reduce your own family’s food bill. All of this might sound complicated and you might think it takes a lot of time but really anyone is capable with the mind God has given them and the Bible says, “We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength”.  If you have any ideas to add, I would love to hear them as would the other people reading this article.
God bless,

Oct 10, 2012

Hannah Banana

We both had fun making her Birthday cake and cupcakes.
      Our first born just turned 5 a few days ago. I can still remember bringing her home from the hospital and marveling at how amazing it was to finally have her home and begin our life together as a complete family.  For those of you who are unaware of her story let me share with you now:
David and I started out as any newly married couple wanting a family. However after 4 years of trying to conceive we were pretty sure that something was wrong and the possibility of never having a child was very real and hurtful. We did not have the means to get ourselves tested or even try for IVF (In vitro fertilization). 

Corky just after his surgery.
      When we first moved to Puerto Rico in 2004 we hadn’t been here for more than a couple weeks when news came that David’s dad was going in on a Friday to have angioplasty but was immediately rushed into surgery for a quadruple bypass surgery. Since we had just moved 3,000 miles across the ocean we were pretty tapped out for money. We could only wait by the phone and pray. News came Saturday morning that David’s dad had sat up during surgery and lost more than 30% of his blood but the surgery was over and successful. We called our friends back home and our supporting churches to pray. Sunday morning when David’s mother went in to see her husband, he was sitting up in his hospital bed eating breakfast and asked where she had been! We went to church that day still worried but prayerful. A Deaf friend of ours named Tony was there and he could see that David was worried but David did not take the time to explain everything that had happened, he simply said, “My dad is sick”. Tony went home that night and prayed and asked God to show him what was wrong. God did show him in a dream and that next Sunday morning Tony shared with David all that God had showed him. God had showed him about the surgery and his recovery, he said that his dad was having problems eating and recovering but because David had honored God He would smooth all of his dad’s recovery problems away and he would live a long and healthy life. We did not know about his recovery problems because David’s parents hadn’t told us because they didn’t want us worrying. His dad started eating normally that same day. We praised and glorified God over healing his father and the miraculous recovery.

    It was about 2 months later that Tony came to us again and told us that he had had a dream about us. He said God had showed him a picture of David and me with a baby girl that had blond curly hair, brown eyes, her name was Hannah and for the first 3 months we wouldn’t tell anyone we were pregnant. Tony knows Spanish, not English but he spelled “Hannah” in English not Spanish.  We were very excited to hear this news but we didn’t know when this would happen. In February 2007 we went on furlough and returned back to PR in May. We normally gain quite a few pounds from our traveling and staying with other people so when David started losing and I maintained my thick waist he began to wonder if I was pregnant. I was skeptical simply because over the years of trying to have a baby and buying EPT tests I was frustrated and didn’t want to get my hopes up. We bought a test and it was inconclusive. We bought another digital one and the result came instantly but I waited the full 3 minutes to tell David because I didn’t know if it would “change its mind”! It was positive and we didn’t wait to tell anyone we just started calling everyone. So much for waiting 3 months. or so we thought.

Heather, Hannah, Tony, and Papa Paul
       By the time we got in to see an OBGYN and to see the ultrasound the doctor told us we were 5 1/2 months pregnant! David nearly passed out and fell over! We told her all that Tony had told us and she said we were having a girl. On the delivery day all the nurses knew about Hannah's story and how we had been waiting for her.  When Hannah was finally delivered the nurses and our doctor all said, “Wow she does have blond hair the story was true!”  As Tony had said we wouldn’t tell anyone we were pregnant for the first 3 months because we didn’t know we were pregnant. We were overjoyed and amazed at this unexpected blessing that we thought might never possibly have come true. Hannah means “The Lord hears”, the Lord heard our prayers and even gave us a messenger to bring us peace while we waited!

Hannah helping with the laundry.
     Hannah has traveled to the States 5 times and went to Kenya twice. She can remember what the Amsterdam, Holland International airport looks like and where the “Jungle Gym” is located in the airport. She has a passport with about 5 pages filled with stamps and visas. We have taken her into third world countries and she has built snowmen with her grandparents in Ohio. In each circumstance and in each environment she has adapted and “gone with the flow”. To her if mommy and daddy are there when she goes to bed at night, she feels comfortable and at peace. We are so blessed to have an exceptionally graceful child!

       Now we have a second blessing on the way! Hannah can’t wait to be a big sister and is practicing taking care of a baby on her dolls. She talks all the time about how she will care for her baby brother and about all the things he will need.  She asks almost daily if the baby is “big enough to come out”.  Hannah likes to tell everyone that “mommy has a baby in her belly”!

     We know that the Lord has a special plan for Hannah and for Jacob even though he is still being formed by our Master. We pray for the grace and wisdom as we lead these 2 blessings as we raise them up with this verse in mind: 

 So that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Deuteronomy 6:2

 We are excited to see where the Lord will take them and what He has planned for them.What a truly awesome God we serve. We are not sure what tomorrow might bring that we know whatever may come the Lord is already preparing the way.

In Christ,
Heather  =)

Sep 14, 2012

And the story continues...

So in my last post, "Is your life a bank vault" I wrote about our finances and how the Lord had led us to make new commitments and renew old ones. Let me write a follow up because it’s uncanny how things worked out that following week. I believe I wrote it on a Saturday night and sometimes when you get specific with God, He’ll work in ways that are just as specific! Here is what I said last week:

What will we do if tomorrow we get in the van and it breaks down? The Lord will provide and care for us.

Well, true to His word He did take care of us because on the way home from church the next day, Sunday, we heard a strange noise. I shook my head and said to myself, “You just had to use the van breaking down as an example didn’t you?!” Come to find out the tension pulley had worn out and needed replacing and it was probably time to replace the serpentine belt as well. If we were to have taken it somewhere it would have cost us a couple hundred but David said he could fix it with the help of our friend therefore lowering the cost to just parts, about $75. But we didn’t have $75 at all.  Wouldn’t you know Monday morning we got a call saying a donation had arrived! Wow! However, when David began taking things apart he realized that the fan clutch needed replacing as well. Another $60 expense that we couldn’t meet! But we waited on the Lord and He provided for that as well. We made a commitment, and then within 48 hours we were faced with a situation where in the past we would have used the credit card to take care of everything. But we didn’t and God honored our commitment and made sure we had what we needed.

In addition we received another gift specifically for me to get an eye exam. I had been wearing the same contacts for 3 + months (for the fellow contact wearers we both know that that’s a big NO NO!) and hadn’t had an exam in a year and a half.  I finally went in and the doctor informed me that contacts probably aren’t the best for me to wear for awhile because due to over usage of a single pair of contacts and from wearing only contacts for over 11 years my eyes weren’t getting the oxygen flow they needed and thus blood was not circulating enough and blood was pooling around my eye. She said on a scale from 1-5 I was a 2 ½. The damage is reversible but only if I stop wearing contacts and switch to glasses. The donation we received was more than enough for an eye exam + contacts but glasses are a different story. Thankfully though with the exam and a new pair of glasses we had $6 left over. As always God knew ahead of time what was needed and provided a skilled Dr. to give me advice and warn me of where I was headed. Even though I am not at all happy about wearing glasses, I am thankful that I serve a God who not only knows what I need long before I even am aware of what is happening but provides and takes care of me!

In the midst of all of the above there was a brother in Christ who had begun e-mailing David. He lives in Iowa and works part time here in PR and was led to do a search for ministries here. He found our web page and read through everything. He shared that he would like to meet with us and get to know us better but Hannah and I had become sick and as a last resort David decided to meet with this brother by himself before he had to go back home to Iowa. David and this man had a wonderful time and David took him around town a little and they enjoyed lunch together. At the end this brother gave us $200 and told David to take me on a date when I am feeling better, take Hannah to the hot springs and then use the rest for whatever we needed to use it for.  We were so blessed and surprised. God used this man to provide a nice break in the midst of all our stress and answered another need we had, up until this point we still had not enough funds to purchase Hannah’s school books. This was a need we had no idea how God was going to provide for, let alone provide for it through a brother in Christ who is here all the way from Iowa! And at the time our cabinets and frig were empty, we found as many coupons as possible and went to several stores who had different sales in an effort to make every penny count. God took what this brother gave us and multiplied it like He did when He fed the 5,000 with only a boys lunch. God never ceases to amaze me!!!

So where are we now? Well after 2 weeks the van is finally fixed and my glasses are here. Has God snapped His fingers and made our debt disappear and all of our bills get paid? Nope. Do we have what we need to pay for this month’s bills? Nope. Are all of our problems gone just because we are obedient? Nope. God never promised us a problem free life in exchange for obedience and servant hood. BUT He did promise us that He’ll never leave us, forsake us or let us stumble. God’s timing is perfect and right now, when we are unable, God is doing and we are giving Him the glory and honor.

Does money and financial wealth equate Gods approval on what we’re doing? Not in the least. As my Dad reminded me last week, “There are thousands of churches/ministries who have more money than they know what to do with but they are spreading heresy and destroying lives”. We are here doing as the Lord leads us, we are obedient to His calling even though sometimes we don’t understand the reason or the “how”. For instance, when we tell people we started doing ministry in PR but we have 46 churches in Africa and Pakistan, we never fail to get, “How does that happen” response. It happens when His servants say, “Here am I, send me” and then put their faith in action.

Let me share this promise that encourages me every time I am faced with something I don’t understand:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

When God called us to the mission field, He didn’t call us to worry about paying the monthly bills and allow that to become our focus. He called us to be obedient as He leads us down the path that will prosper us and grow us. We can’t try to fit that into what we think it should look like; we must be willing to allow Him to shape and mold us as we serve Him in any way He leads.

It appears for now that this struggle will be with us for at least the foreseeable future. God has us where we are for our good and for the good of those we minister to. God has never not taken care of us. What we need to learn to do now is let go of our frustrations and worries about finances and focus on how God wants us to continue touching lives and discipling those around us for the glory of His Kingdom. 

His servant,

Aug 25, 2012

Is your life like a bank vault?

What does that mean, you might ask. Ever hear of the expression, “It’s none of your business”?  Sometimes I feel like people need to make sure everything must be kept secret, “Nobody can know about_______ because it’s none of their business.” But is this the way Christ intended the Body to behave? Are we supposed to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and have the attitude that our lives are our own and everything uncomfortable that happens to us must “stay in the family” because “it’s none of their business”? You might say, “Well I don’t want so and so to know all my dirty laundry and see all the skeletons in my closet, what would they think of me!” Oh really? Then why does the Bible say to confess our sins one to another? How are we to bear one another’s burdens if we have an attitude of “it’s none of your business”?

Let me be the first to say that for me, being raised in a private-like family, it is hard for me to be open and candid about our family struggles. The Lord has been working on me in this area for awhile which all started about 3 weeks ago while talking to a fellow missionary friend. She shared about her family’s commitment to pay off their credit card debt and stop the cycle of adding to the debt. Yesterday as I was helping David edit his article for our weekly update and working on our personal/church finances I went to bed very frustrated and troubled. I stayed up ‘til 2am  last night praying and seeking the Lord and  then the  Holy Spirit hit me with this truth: how can I expect God to bless me and my family if I am unwilling to give Him the opportunity to show Himself strong on our behalf (2Choronicles 16:9)? We want God’s blessings and provisions but we’re unwilling to give Him opportunities to do so then we blame Him for not providing or answering our prayers.

Let me provide an example through a personal experience of ours. I am going to share a testimony that for most is “taboo” to talk about. I want to talk about our personal and ministry finances. We have credit card debt that has been accumulating over the last 8 years. Our second year of marriage David’s employer in the States bounced 4 payroll checks in a row six months before we moved to Puerto Rico. We were able to get the bills repaid after our own checks bounced but we carried with us all the bank fees that were a result of the bounced checks. We tried to do things on our own by working 40 hours a week but the ministry was suffering and we couldn’t pay the bills. David came home one day fed up with trying to do both ministry and work and not getting anywhere with either and told me that he quit his job, I said, “Finally!” That day we prayed and made the commitment to focus solely on ministry and not have an outside job deciding that if God wanted us on the mission field God was going to take care of us while we focus on doing His work, the same day we received a donation and were able to pay many past due bills. 

It wasn’t until 2009-10 that the economy began to slow down and churches were cutting their mission support. We began using credit cards to supplement ministry needs and occasionally we would buy groceries and gas as well. This habit has been building ever since and now we are in a position where we have added too much ministry debt onto our personal credit cards. There is not enough money coming in through the ministry to meet its monthly expenses as well as pay down its debt. Now we find ourselves back where we were 5 years ago.  We have no way to save on a monthly basis after our bills are paid and groceries bought because there is nothing leftover, we can’t afford to buy our daughter school books, I personally have needed an eye exam and new contacts for the last 5 months, any prenatal expense that comes up we have had to use credit and a whole other list of things that we can’t afford to take care of at the moment simply because we lack money. Some have said that we need to go out and get a second job (mission work assumedly being our first “job”), others have suggested food stamps or social security checks to help supplement our income.  
In the article that I was editing for David he shared his testimony about his recent health problem and what God taught him through that experience and he also shared a verse that is so amazing and fitting for what God has shown me that I am going to reshare:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you, the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121

Every time I or David are faced with a financial dilemma we say, “If God doesn’t provide I guess we’ll just have to put it on the credit card.” Where and when did we allow this false dilemma to dictate how God provides for us on a daily basis? Have we prayed about it? Have we sought other ways to fulfill this need? Do we really “need” to take care of this situation right now or can it wait? When we whip out the credit card to fulfill a need then we have essentially robbed God of Him providing and blessing us. We have “taken care” of it ourselves. We have been given a multitude of Bible verses filled with promises that God will never let us come into harm, that He will take care of us and be our Provider and that we shouldn’t worry about what to eat or drink, but yet here we are brothers and sisters faced with financial hardships every month that temp us to “fall back” on credit.

Five years ago we made the commitment to trust God with our finances.  Recently as a family we realized the need to renew that same commitment by putting away the credit cards and allow the Lord to FULLY be our Provider 110%! What will we do if tomorrow we get in the van and it breaks down? The Lord will provide and care for us. What will we do if we’re out of cash and the cabinets and refrigerator is empty and our daughter and unborn baby need fed? God will not let us starve because His promises are real and always reliable!

You know, we have been to Africa 3 times! Our ministry has been a conduit for providing for others’ needs in amazing ways every month for years now. In addition, God has grown this ministry to nearly 50 international branches. If God can do all these things, surely He can provide for our month to month needs as well as provide a way out of our debt and stop the cycle from continuing!

So, why you ask, have I laid bare our financial situation and how does this relate to the title? I have shared this difficult situation because it is the one thing I have kept hidden in my “vault”, ashamed to allow others to see it, fearful of what others might think. But I know for sure that there are other Christians out there struggling with the same situation and feeling the false dilemma pushing the credit cards into their hands at the grocery store and I have to ask myself, if God want us to confess our hardships and bear one another’s burdens, why am I so willing to hide my own? I need to remember that when I do share the contents of my “vault” it is for the encouragement and edification of others. How can we share burdens if we live out our lives as bank vaults; keeping everything private, locked away from the public and not letting anyone know we have problems? How can I pray for my sister in Christ when she shares an “unspoken prayer request” and how can others pray for me when I do the same? David and I always ask for people to pray for us but how will they know what to pray for if we don’t want to share with them everything that we’re struggling with?

Brothers and sisters let us bear with each other, let us confess our hardships and sins to others and let us be ever ready to be there with the mind of Christ when we’re called upon to share someone else’s burden. Let us allow the Lord to fully take care of our families, don’t allow our wrong and unbiblical thinking lead us into false dilemmas. Whatever situation you are facing right now, God has your provisions and blessings waiting, all we have to do is put the credit cards away, throw away depression/anxiety pills and stop looking in other places for “help” and “answers”.  As I close out this article I would like to share some verses that have encouraged me and the Holy Spirit uses often to remind me of the importance of relying solely on the Lord: 

2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…”

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path”

His Servant,
Heather Ingram

Aug 24, 2012

Where does your hope come from?

I lift up my eyes to the mountains where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121 

I have not shared this publicly, and only my closer family and friends knew about it but during the time I was on my 40 days of renewal I was also dealing with an issue of my own. When we first learned of Heather’s pregnancy we were very excited to say the least. We scheduled an appointment and went in to have the blood work done. I had been having pains in my chest and so I made an appointment for myself to see the Dr. My right breast was very tender and was a little bigger than the other. He did an exam and shared that he felt something there and said I better go and get a mammography. Heather’s blood work came back confirming that she was indeed pregnant. My emotions that day were a bit scrambled. I was overjoyed knowing we were expecting our second child and at the same time fearful that I might not be there to see it grow up. News that the Dr. thinks you may have cancer is difficult especially when you half to discuss it with him in a combination of English and Spanish. He ordered tests for blood and urine. I left his office trying to stay positive and yet found myself fearful of the uncertain news. The following month I kept the matter in prayer. I  have a close friend who also was my teacher in HS. He just had surgery for cancer a couple weeks ago. He is a strong Christian man and a good friend. I found that it was a great comfort to be able to talk with him about the aspect of unknowing and trusting in the Lord come what may. The Bible says.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

When we do suffer we do so knowing two things. The first is that we are never alone in our suffering. God is always with us. In the ups and downs of my life I can attest that this is most definitely true. The other thing we can know as we have suffered and found our comfort in the Lord is that we too can comfort others when they suffer. When I meet a person who is divorced I can minister to them in away a person who has not been through a divorce would be able to and have learned to trust in the Lord in a distinct way. I have been through it and am on the other side happier and wiser than I have been or had hoped for when I was in the midst of it and can share of this hope with those who are suffering through it and can’t yet see how God will bring them through it.

Sadly, this aspect of building one another up in the faith does not happen as it once did. Christians are too busy, too disconnected or just fearful of what others would say. Each culture has certain mindsets that define it. For America the notion of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps is prevalent. Even in the church, though it is contrary to scripture. Christ does not expect us to do it on our own. He said He knew that we could not accomplish His will on our own. He shared that He was going to send us another just like Him. He has given us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit goes with us from day to day. He empowers us, convicts of sin, reminds us of the word of God, and gives us the words to speak even when we have no words among many more wonderful things. We are promised that we are never alone in this world and that God is always with us, that He will never leave us or forsake us.

It is unfortunate if the Christians around you are not mature enough in their faith to pray with you, encourage you with the word of God, give you a shoulder to cry on, comfort you as they had been comforted, and know enough of the scriptures to remind you of where your hope comes from. In my darkest times in the midst of so many flawed voices there have always been those one or two people strong in the Lord who have been able to go to God’s word and share with me words of hope and peace. Whether or not others have been there for you in this way I pray that after you finish reading this you will determine in your heart to be this way for those the Lord will bring into your life.

We need not put our faith in anything else other than Christ. I need to be reminded of this as much as anyone else. My friend recently helped me to remember that when I needed it. If I can be there for you, I hope you will give me the opportunity to do so.

I did get my results back over a week ago. My blood and urine tests came back all better than normal. In fact the Dr. was very impressed with the results albeit a bit surprised. I had to have an ultrasound in place of the mammography. My tests came back perfect. I am doing much better now.

With each trial we face in life we have one of two choices, will I trust God or will I place my hope in trust in someone or something else. As we have all seen in one form or another trusting in anything apart from God is not without its own types of risks whether that be, relationships, wealth, education or medical experts, medications, illegal drugs, ext. These often come along with unexpected consequences. Sometimes the risks are not as bad as we thought while other times they cost us more than we had intended.

These things I know for sure. We who are brothers and sisters in the Lord should be quick to lift one another up in the faith, to comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God We must always be willing to place their needs above our own. Sadly telling them to straighten up, snap out of it or handing them a pill is easier for us to do. Knowing what God’s word says and how it applies to our lives, praying with others and not just about them, and sharing with others that you have learned as you have suffered that when God says in his word,”.. that we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him..” You can do so not because you have read it once but because He has proved it to be true in your life and He will prove it in their lives as well as they hold on to the hope and future God has for him.

When I was at my lowest point in my life a man, mature in the faith, gave me this passage of scripture and my life was forever changed. Perhaps God will use it to change your life as well.

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing;now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches,for I give water in the wilderness,rivers in the desert,to give drink to my chosen people,the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise. Isa. 43:18-21

God Bless,
David Ingram
New Day Christian Ministry
Isa. 43:18-21

Jul 12, 2012

Prayer and Support For Jesper Moreka

Resper Moreka Recovering
In 2009 Peter Siobe after having left our first leaders training conference set out to help new branches get started in Kisii, Kenya and beyond. Brother Joseph and his wife Resper Moreka were among those first new leaders.  Joseph leads NDCM Awendo and has since it was established in 2009 not long after our first training conference. Joseph is very much like our own Timothy. It is one of the youngest of our leaders and where ever Peter is Joseph is not far behind. They have both traveled together extensively establishing new branches. Joseph and Peter were traveling to prepare for our newest church plant in the town Opapo where Peter spent last month in while his family was in the hospital. While they were there they we received the horrible news that in the night robbers had broke into Joseph’s home and attacked his wife Resper and taken all of their things. They traveled back through the night to reach her not knowing fully what to expect. The assailants had left her for dead after cutting off her hand, tongue, while also cutting her leg and back, leaving her for dead.  She is currently in Tabaka private hospital recovering. They both will need all of the prayers and support we can give them. Their medical bills are mounting. They are needing 48,000 KES. ($575) Our NDCM branches are already taking up collections. They have raised 5,000 KES ($60) so far. If you feel the Lord leading to help this wonderful brother and sister in the Lord you can give a donation here now by clicking on the following link: amount will be greatly appreciated!


David with Joseph Moreka 
Hello,  I hope you are doing well. last Sunday I did a service at  NDCM Awendo church to see on how they are doing, and I was so much blessed. pastor Joseph was not able to attend the service because he was sick and confused mentally but we prayed with him and he hopes to come normal soon. we are praying that God will provide the remaining amount because the bill is coming up and it is preventing the release of her from the hospital. I thank the churches from Kisii, Tanzania, Mombasa ,and Rwanda for their response by now we are able to raise 5,500 Kenya shillings plus 10, 000 Kenya shillings which the churches had raised for the conference at Opapo. So the total amount we have in cash is 15, 500 kes ($185 USD). so we are lacking 32, 500 kes ($387 USD). Kindly because the bill is going higher as she stay in the hospital its our prayer that God to open ways for the remaining amount, and remember that family and pastor Joseph to gain and come back to the ministry. God bless you and yours.
 ~Peter Siobe~ NDCM Mochengo
(Click Here) to help this special couple in the Lord.

Jul 5, 2012

Forty Days of Renewal

We are going to have a baby!  

      “I will get to that tomorrow……” The reality is none of us know when this day will be our last day on this side of eternity. Maybe today will be mine or it could be yours. The events of the past two years have driven this point home to me more times than I would have ever wanted. Never the less it is important to remember that this life is finite and we should not waste the time we have been given.

Hannah holding a baby chick
     As I look back at my life at 35 years old I can say I have had an incredibly blessed life. Just a few days ago I learned that it is about to be doubly blessed as Heather and I are now expecting our second child in our growing family. We prayed for Hannah for 5 years before God gave her to us so we know what a blessing it is to have her in our life. Hannah has brought more joy to my life than I could have ever imagined and now He has seen fit to bless us again. God is truly good. Not only has He blessed our home He has blessed the ministry He gave us back in 2004. God has taken us into places I never dreamed I would go and allowed us to do things I had never thought possible. Our ministry now spans across 8 countries with 46 branches that are actively living out the faith each day where they are. The journey has been more amazing than I could ever put down into words.

My sister Lesley, Hannah & I
outside of our new church. 
    God has truly exceeded all of my own expectations for this life. Have I exceeded His expectations for me? This question has been on my mind a lot these past several days. God desires us to be His perfect image. When others look to us they are to see His perfect image reflecting back to them. If we are honest most of us would admit the reflection is not as clear as we would desire it to be. Since a teenager I have had one major desire for myself. I want to be, "a man after God's own heart” just like God said of King David for whose name I share. But unlike King David I wanted to have the resolve of Daniel who excelled in all aspects of life.

    No doubt King David had his struggles, as have I. I have not done the things he did but I too have had my times where I have not walked in the spirit and instead chose to yield to the flesh. At times I have acted out in anger, said too much, looked too long, longed for affirmation, blown my own horn, yielded to the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, responded harshly when I should have spoken the truth in love, wasted time on things that were not important, spoke when I should have listened, sat when I should have took a walk, I am over weight, and I am out of shape..... In short as I look back at my life so far I am disappointed, not in what God has done, but in what I have done or in most cases not done. I want to be a better man. I want to be a better husband, father, son, friend, servant, and mentor. I do feel I have been, “a man after God’s own heat” in ministry but as I look back I see that I would like to be more like Daniel in my commitments to God, others, health, mind, and spirit.

    I do not know how much time I have left to do these things but I have decided that I am going to start today and I would like some help, if you are willing. Today I will begin a 40 day period of time to draw closer to: God, my wife, daughter, family, as well as improve my health, and reconnecting with those I love. I want to be a better man and I know just hoping it will happen is not good enough I need to be deliberate and see that I do follow through with these commitments. I would not mind your help. If you see in my life things that do not reflect Christ in my words or actions, please share them below. I want to be honest before God, myself, and you. I cannot do that if I am unwilling to consider the flaws in my character others see in me. I could also really use some people who love God and are in the habit of praying to add me to their daily prayer time.

    Maybe these words have struck a cord with your heart as well. if you would like to go on this 40 day journey of renewal with me I could use the company. send me an email, leave a comment below, or give me a call if you are willing to take 40 days and commit them as time for you to be a better man or women.

    I am going to limit my time on the computer to correspondence through email for prayers, and ministry related activity, tuning off the smartphone, stepping a way from watching TV, movies, surfing the internet ext. I will be devoting time to prayer and Bible study, exercise, changing my diet, reading, spending time with my family, building up others, taking time to reconnect with family and friends, among many other commitments I have set for the next 40 days and beyond. For all of you who will take the time to share, to pray, or both let me say now that I am grateful and I hope to hear from you soon.

God Bless,
David Ingram
New Day Christian Ministry
Isa. 43:18-21