Fall Letter 2016
Dear Praying Friends,
We thank God for Who He is and for you! Your prayers for Praying Friends and around the world avail much.
And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. - James 5:15-16
We hope you will be encouraged as you read what God is doing. We rejoice in our Great God and that He wants everyone on earth to know Him and His love!
We have seen God move in very specific ways as we traveled to Moldova and Nicaragua recently. We renewed friendships and were able to make new friends. We want to give you a snapshot of what God has been doing as he took us to these nations. Whether the people we met were monetarily rich or poor, they poured out God’s love on us and we hope we reciprocated. We saw the joy in their lives as they were facing hard times, yet they were depending upon the Lord to help them and sharing what they had with others as a way of life.
Winter Newsletter 2017
Dear Praying Friends,
God answered your prayers while we were in Moldova!
Previous to the trip to Moldova God blessed us to take in Romanian and Russian (1) postcards with a picture of a crew team on the river with Jeremiah 29:11 printed on them and (2) the Way of Salvation on laminated bookmarks (thanks to Bread for all People). Friday afternoon when we were in the car returning from El Shadai seekers’ camp, I learned we would not be going to the women’s prison the next day because it had been scheduled for the following Saturday when I would in another city. I was very disappointed because of the special things God had given me for the ladies. However, God had us pray and you were praying. Nicolai and Sveta made some calls and more people made calls and God opened the way for us to go to the prison on the 3rd Day. We made a donation for 4 women to get ID’s so that when they had served their time in prison they could leave the facility and go home.
The 3rd Day:
Joining Nicolai, Svetlana, and a couple of others at their weekly women’s prison meeting, we went through a checkpoint with some officials and guards who allowed us entry. Only about 30 women were expected to join us because the arrangements for us to visit the prison had been made at the last minute. But God…somehow the word got out that we would be there so about 70 women attended our get-together.
I shared my testimony (See my testimony) and we gave out bookmarks with the Way of Salvation in Romanian and Russian to about 70 women and they listened intently to my story. Part of my story included this: When I was eight years old and was put in the hospital because I had an intense pain in my side. Because families usually did not stay in the hospital at night, my family left to go home. That night l was thinking I was going to die, so I found in my room a Gideon Bible, where verses were marked with the Way of Salvation. I read and thought about each verse and then accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord. The next day I woke up and I was well! I told my parents I was no longer in pain and the doctors dismissed me to go home. Now, I look back and think that this was God’s divine appointment for me to receive Him. He healed me physically and spiritually!
That day in the prison I led the ladies through the same verses on the Way of Salvation bookmarks. The ladies in the prison nodded in agreement as they listened to the Word of God and considered the verses. Nicolai told them they could receive Jesus too by praying and believing these verses.
Then we gave the ladies the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 printed on a postcard showing a picture of a crew team 'backing down' a river.
Explanation of the meaning of Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the plans (thoughts/words) I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you (welfare/peace/oneness with God) and not to harm you, plans to give (send/put or fasten something in place) you hope and a future (an expected end).” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) ‘An expected end’ in Hebrew represents backing into the future (like rowing a boat).* You might say we back into the future with the Holy Spirit as our coach or coxswain.
After we talked about the meaning of this verse, we practiced rowing into our future backwards with Nicolai as the coach and all of us as the crew in one boat. We laughed a lot when we looked around and realized we were rowing in various directions. Sometimes, God gives us a lesson within a lesson. That day, our lesson was: we needed teamwork to get to our destination.
Earlier in the morning when we arrived at the prison Svetlana, her sister and another lady brought desserts. They thought they had brought way too many sweets for the 30 ladies they expected. However, this was God's way to make sure that each of the 70 precious women had a treat!
After the meeting the ladies said that they were encouraged with what we had shared. GO GOD! Nadia (change of name) said coming to the prison was the way God gave her to hear the gospel. Pretty amazing!
Thank you so much for interceding for us to hear God’s voice and strength to follow Him and ‘back’ into the plans He had for us!
May God bless you to know and walk in the good plans He has for you in 2017,
Margaret J. Arant
P. S. You may find in the Tools Section of this website material you may access with Jeremiah 29:11 and the Way of Salvation translated into various languages.