From Elaine Van Ryckeghem
So many of you faithfully prayed, called, donated funds and encouraged us as a family and ministry during this time. Thank you!!
On Sunday our church family anointed and prayed over Brian & I on behalf of Derek, Jenn, Makana & Brison. If we looked at the circumstances as is human to do, it can be very discouraging. Against the backdrop of the finished work of Jesus Christ, we have strength to face what comes at us.
We believe that before the enemy could finish his plan prayer warriors were in action.
Our family is so blessed to have had such great love and prayer support from you. God has shown Himself faithful through these trying times!
I have internalized my stress over the last month. The torrential rains of monsoon season are generally hard on me emotionally, but the devastation from recent storms took it to another level for me.
After years of hard work at the Hope for the Island farm, we were finally making some great progress only to be set back. Seeing the destruction and effect on our farmers, as well as the local rice farmers, really affected me.
I knew I was stressed and not in a good place mentally, but I was unaware that it was affecting my health. Daily frustrations with no electricity and the resulting lack of communication, limited food, non-stop rain and wind, plus all the destruction piled up on me.
Homeschooling my kids through this roller coaster time brought my emotional state even further down. Keeping up with projects and research have been challenging with constant Internet interruptions. I developed a pattern of negative thinking that I could not snap out of. I felt I was letting my kids down. Close friends were praying for me, but for the most part I struggled on my own.
The following devotion couldn’t have been timelier.
“Satan really takes advantage of homeschoolers. When you jump into something different, such as teaching your own children, you become susceptible to his attacks of doubt and fear. Unsure of your abilities, you second-guess your decisions and desperately look for affirmation and direction. Added to those doubts are questioning remarks and comments from those who don’t homeschool, and soon you begin to think, “I could really mess up my children’s lives if I do this wrong!” The multiple battlefronts of spiritual, emotional, and physical attacks call for reinforcement from the Lord. Only His divine strength, wisdom, and power can counteract.”
“The apostle Paul understood how it felt to be attacked by Satan. When addressing the church in Corinth, he said, “For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fighting, within were fears” (2 Corinthians 7:5). I’m sure at times Paul must have questioned if he was doing the right thing when he went on his missionary journeys to establish the early churches. Not only did the other apostles criticize his work with the Gentiles, but he also suffered at the hands of his fellow Jews and the unbelieving communities he tried to reach. Add to those fears the beatings, shipwrecks, and other persecutions, and it’s no wonder he was afraid. Still, Paul continued to trust in Jesus for every need and even his very life.”
Alpha Omega Publications Daily Focus- A devotion by homeschoolers for homeschoolers Jan 28/14
I was reminded that having doubts and fears is normal as we face challenges in life. Trusting and pressing into God for His strength and perspective is the key. I have never dealt with such a barrage of emotions and negativity and humbly thank God for His grace and healing. I ask for your prayers as I face the balance of rainy season. Despite any storm or trial I want to walk through it victoriously and in line with His Word.
Again thanks for standing by us with your encouraging texts and messages that helped lead me back to the place God wants me.
After having many tests here in Cebu, I am cleared for any major health concerns and will have a follow up appointment next month. I have what is thought to be an infection because my lymph nodes are swollen. I have to watch my stress levels. Trials have always been part of serving here. What changed is how I faced them and dealt with the stress. I got distracted by the circumstances around me and didn’t allow God to lead me through the valley. I have never shared such a personal part of my life before, thank you for bearing with me. I pray you are encouraged to know that your prayers have made a difference.
Our kids are also improving after facing food poisoning. Derek is looking at creative ways that he can overcome old injuries and daily stressors that trigger migraines. He will see an upper cervical specialist when we are in North America again.