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Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

Rejoicing in what the Lord is doing

Today I would like to share with you one of the ministries the Lord has given me this year.  Since March, I have been teaching Institute classes for the Deaf here in Efata.  I currently have 4 students.  So far this year we have covered topics such as Salvation Basics, Philosophy of Biblical Music, and History of the Bible.  This week, we finished up our classes for this year.  Classes will start again in March.

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On Sunday, October 13,  I received a phone call from my wife.  Because of the pregnancy, she hasn’t been able to go with me to Callao.  Since church was starting when the call came in, I thought it was an emergency!  To my great relief, it wasn’t an emergency!  Sarah was calling me to tell me that Ian had just gotten saved!  It was hard to believe at first, and I was a little disappointed that I hadn’t been there.     I rejoiced with Sarah and Ian – in fact the whole Deaf church in Callao was rejoicing as well!  God has certainly been working in the life of our son!  We have seen a change in him!  God has also given him a boldness to declare to all who will listen, “I’m saved!”

“After a time of correction, Ian and I sat on the couch eating crackers.  I explained to him again what he had done wrong, and that just as Mommy forgave him, Jesus also forgave him.  In the course of our conversation, I asked Ian if he would like to ask Jesus to live in his heart.  I almost fell off the couch when he said, ‘Yes!’  I carefully explained salvation to him and asked him again if he wanted to be saved.  Again, without hesitation, he said, ‘Yes!’  I still wasn’t sure he understood what I was asking him, so I very carefully explained salvation once again, questioning him very carefully.  He seemed to understand, and when I asked him if he wanted to pray and ask Jesus to live in his heart, he sweetly bowed his head, asked Jesus to forgive him and come live in his heart!  How my heart soared with rejoicing!  It was just about time for church in Callao to start, but I knew I had to call Matt and tell him!  Martha wasn’t home at the time either.  She had gone downstairs to church.  When she came home, we told her that Ian had gotten saved.  She threw her arms around him and gave him a great big bear hug!  She was so excited!  What a special blessing it was for her to see God answer her prayers for her brother’s salvation!  It is such a joy to my heart to have him come to me now and say, ‘Jesus took my black away.  My heart is white now!’  How thankful I am that God has saved both my children so early in life!” – Sarah

Efata Baptist Church of Callao

God’s people in Callao continue to grow spiritually.  They are learning more and more of the Bible.  Some are learning how to read the Bible for themselves.  How privileged we are to be exactly where God wants us to be, doing exactly what He wants us to do – spreading the good news of the Gospel to the lost, teaching the saved, and seeing them grow to maturity in the Lord!

The Lord’s Army

Today I would like to introduce you to two of the newest members of the Lord’s Army!  With great joy and excitement I would like to tell you first about Rosa.  Rosa is the lady in the middle of this picture.  Rosa has been coming to church for quite some time now.  Her husband, Raul, had been saved when he was younger.  He was baptized in November.  We weren’t sure if Rosa was saved, and there never seemed to be an open door to talk to her about her salvation.  We just kept praying for her, and showing her God’s love.  Two Sundays ago, I was teaching the children’s class (we now have 4 hearing children in our church!), and when I came back into our Deaf service, Matt asked me if I would witness to Rosa!  With joy I said yes!  I took her and Irene (another of our Deaf ladies) into another classroom, and shared the Gospel with Rosa.  After explaining God’s plan of salvation, and emphasizing all that Jesus had suffered on the Cross to pay for our sins (The Lord led me to really explain that in great detail.), Rosa decided to ask Jesus into her heart.  With tears streaming down both our faces, Rosa prayed and asked Jesus to save her!  What a beautiful and precious moment – especially to our Saviour!  Lord willing, Rosa will be getting baptized this Sunday.  How wonderful it is to see a whole family saved!  Now Raul and Rosa can raise their daughter Celeste and the new baby that they are expecting in the ways of the Lord!  Isn’t it wonderful to think of all the blessings that God has in store for them as they follow Him?

Elida, a Hearing young lady, came to church this past Sunday with her Deaf boyfriend and his family.  She is learning signs.  We had a birthday celebration for one of the other Deaf ladies, and as I sat across the room from Elida, I noticed how sad she seemed.  I went over to talk to her, and the Lord impressed on my heart to ask her about her salvation.  Now, I am not a bold person, but I have been praying for boldness when it comes to witnessing.  Well, let me tell you – when you start asking the Lord for something like that He is going to answer!  He gave me a boldness that I know only came from Him!  I was able to witness to her.  We waded through a lot of her thoughts and ideas and philosophies about how to get to Heaven.  We looked at each of those in the light of God’s Word.  I kindly and tearfully told her that Jesus is the only way to Heaven – it’s not our goodness, our ideas, or anything we can do.  I shared with her how the Lord spoke to my heart about talking to her about her salvation and that I wanted to see her in Heaven someday.  We both cried, and the best she knew how, she prayed and asked the Lord to save her!  How precious to know that while I may never see her again here on earth (She lives in Nazca – south of here), I have the joy and anticipation of seeing her one day in Heaven!

I think about the joy we feel here on Earth when a person gets saved…we talk about the joy in Heaven when a person receives Christ as Saviour…but we can’t even begin to imagine the overflowing joy and happiness that our Lord must feel when He sees another soul accept His free gift of salvation that He paid for on the Cross!  Praise the Lord for the always open invitation to join the Lord’s Army – no matter who you are, where you’ve been, or what you are doing with your life!  If you haven’t joined the Lord’s Army, won’t you do that today?

Thank You!!!

I want to say. “THANK YOU!!!” to each one of you who have been praying for Jenny and Gloria.  This past Saturday we went to visit in Callao.  We stopped by Pilar’s house (Pilar is Deaf), but she wasn’t at home.  We continued up the street about 3 or 4 blocks and then turned left onto the street where Jenny lives.  We met a man and woman on the way – they are brother and sister.  They were very kind to us.  We believe they are already saved, but it will be a blessing to get to know them better.

When we arrived at Jenny’s house, we met her sister outside.  We talked to her for a few minutes, then she went to call her Mom.  Her Mom, Yudy, is Deaf.  Yudy loved meeting Martha and Ian!  While Matt and the kids talked with Yudy, I had a wonderful opportunity to witness to Jenny.  Jenny is 14 years old.  The Lord opened the door with something that Jenny asked me.  She asked me if I had heard about the predictions for an earthquake.  I hadn’t heard about it, but she told me she had heard that it was supposed to have happened on Friday or that day (Saturday).  Jenny didn’t think people could predict when an earthquake would happen and I agreed with her.  But then I asked her, “If an earthquake DID happen and you died, do you know for sure you would go to Heaven?”  She thought she might, but she wasn’t 100% sure.  I was able to show her what God says about going to Heaven.  When I finished explaining salvation to her, I told her she had a decision to make.  She could decide to accept Christ as her Saviour or she could decide to reject Him.  She chose to accept Him!  I explained to her about praying to God – that it was just talking to Him as she and I were talking to each other.  I explained that she needed to tell Jesus she was sorry for her sins, and ask for His forgiveness.  She asked me if she had to close her eyes to pray.  I smiled and assured her that you could pray with your eyes open – God knows every language!  She sweetly bowed her head and prayed – with her eyes open!  I wish I could repeat to you exactly what she said, but I can’t.  I can sum it up and say that she confessed her sin to the Saviour, asked Him to forgive her and cleanse her heart with His blood, and take her to Heaven someday!  There have only been a few times in my life when the person I am witnessing to has prayed without being led!  I wish I could recreate that moment for you when Jenny prayed without being led!  We rejoice here on earth, but can we really understand the magnitude of rejoicing in Heaven?  Praise the Lord, there is a new name written in the Book of Life!  The most humbling thing is that God let ME have a part in it!

I’ve witnessed in Spanish before in the States, but I always had a better Spanish speaker with me to help me when I got stuck!  Jenny is definitely the first person here in Peru that I have witnessed to completely in Spanish without another person to help me out!!  WOW!!!  I told Matt later that I didn’t even know I knew that much Spanish!  But isn’t that how the Lord works?  “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”  Matthew 10:20

Thank you so much for your prayers!  Jenny is fruit to your account!

Ignorant and Out of the Way

Do you ever find yourself thinking about the spiritual ignorance of people?  It’s sad isn’t it?  Some people choose to be willfully ignorant, but some have simply never heard the wonderful Gospel of Christ.Then there are those people that we  consider “out of the way.”  It is possible they are “out of the way” because they are not in the Way of Christ.  It is possible they are “out of the way” because they don’t live close by, and it isn’t very convenient to make that visit.

Hebrews 5 talks about the office of the High Priest and how Christ is our High Priest.  Verses 1 and 2 give  us a couple of qualifications of the High Priest.  Verse 1 tells us “that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:”  Verse 5 says, “Who can have compassion on the ignorant and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.”  As I read those verses this morning, the Lord spoke to my heart once again about our ministry in Callao.  There are many people – hearing and Deaf – living in Callao who are both “ignorant” and “out of the way.”  They are ignorant of the fact that Christ died for their sins, was buried, and rose again the third day!  They are out of the way – they live far away – it takes effort to get to where they live.

Gloria and Jenny are sisters.  They are both hearing.  They have family members that are Deaf.  Gloria and Jenny are “ignorant” of the Gospel.  They live on a side street, in a house that would be very easy to pass by and never notice.  Gloria and Jenny need Christ.  We went by their house this past Sunday.  Matt asked me if I would witness to them.  Gloria was not at home, and Jenny didn’t have a moment to listen.  Please pray much for Gloria and Jenny.  We are going by again on Saturday.  Pray that they will be at home, that they will not only listen to the Gospel, but also make the decision to accept the Gospel before it is too late.  You see, time is running out.  Christ is coming soon!  But time is running out for Gloria in a different way.  Gloria has SIDA (AIDS/HIV).  Won’t you please pray with us that she would be saved before it is too late?  Won’t you please pray for her sister Jenny?  Won’t you please pray for Gloria’s husband and children?

Is there someone you know who is “ignorant and…out of the way”?  Let’s have compassion on them and share Christ’s wonderful gift of salvation with them!

Take a walk with me…

I have no pictures to share with you this time.  I only have a full heart to share with you.  Yesterday morning, I found myself wishing that every Christian in America could have seen what I saw.  It filled my heart with such indescribable sadness.  I would like to share with you what I saw yesterday morning while walking down the street.  Won’t you take a walk with me?

As we walked down the street yesterday morning on our way to Callao, I looked across the street and saw a man walking.  In his arms, he held a baby (maybe 2 years old).  As I watched him, I noticed he was walking rather strangely.  He was clutching the baby in his arms, but he was weaving back and forth as he walked along.  He wasn’t dodging people, for he was the only person on his side of the road.  I mentioned it to Matt.  Later on he told me that he hadn’t even seen the baby when he first looked at the man.  We stopped and watched him as he continued up the street, weaving back and forth and starting to stumble.  My heart broke for that man and the baby.  Matt and Frank followed him and finally caught up to him.  He was drunk.  We have no idea where he was coming from or where he was headed – his story wasn’t clear.  As we waited for Matt and “Tio Frank,” I prayed with the children for that man and the baby.  I helped Martha and Ian pray also.  Soon a Serenazgo (Local Police) officer came by.  The officer said he would walk him to wherever he was going.  I know prayer caused that police officer to show up.  Finding a Serenazgo officer right close by on a Sunday morning is almost never heard of!  I have no idea what became of the man and the baby.  All I can do is pray.  Won’t you pray with me for the salvation of that man and his family?

We went on our way to Callao.  Rode the train, then the combi (bus), and finally arrived at our stop.  It is a little bit of a walk to the church from where we get off the combi.  We were about half way to where we turn onto a side street to get to the church when I saw another man walking down the other side of the street.  This man was not quiet and subdued like the first man I had seen that morning.  He was loud, yet he had those same unsteady steps that plainly showed he was drunk.  He was shouting as he walked down the street – sometimes stopping to yell about something, but unable to be understood.  Once again, I felt my heart breaking.  My heart broke for that man and his family.  My heart broke as I wondered if he had ever heard the Gospel – if anyone had ever witnessed to him.  My heart broke for his family.  Again, all I can do is pray for that man.  I don’t know either of those men’s names, but God does.  God knows not only their name and where they live, but also the state of their soul.  God loves those men so much more than anyone can comprehend.

On our way to the train, I explained to Martha and Ian how blessed they were to have a Daddy who is saved – not only saved, but also a Daddy who loves Jesus with all his heart and has chosen to serve Jesus with all his life.  I again prayed with the kids – this time thankfully – thanking my loving Heavenly Father for the man He had given me as my husband – thanking Him for the Daddy He had given my children.  After seeing the second man, my heart was once again filled with thankfulness for the man God had given me.

Thank you for allowing me to share my “Sunday morning walk” with you.  It was a sobering walk I took on Sunday morning, but it turned into one of the most grateful walks I’ve taken in a long time.  Sobering to realize the task that God has called us to, yet grateful that He gives us exactly what we need to get His work done!

Our Ministry in Callao

I told you recently how the Lord had opened the door for the kids and I to start going with Matt to Callao.  We are enjoying serving the Lord together as a family!  The kids love riding on the train, and look forward to going to Callao every week.

Pedro

This is Pedro.  He came the first Sunday we went to Callao with Matt.  He has been saved and baptized.  Please pray that he will grow in the Lord and be faithful to church.  He is away right now for work, but we look forward to seeing him again in the future.

In Hermano Frank's Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Tio ("Uncle") Frank" teaching

Hermano Frank (The kids call him “Tio (Uncle) Frank”) goes with us every Sunday to Callao.  We are so blessed to have the opportunity to learn from this Godly Deaf man!

This past Sunday, I got to meet Irene.  She invited a friend to come with her, and her friend got to church before Irene did!  Irene’s friend’s name is Asunciona.

God is so good to allow us to have this ministry as a family.  Isn’t it a joy to be able to serve the Lord with your family?

Matt and Pedro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please continue to pray for the Deaf church in Callao.  Pray that God would add Deaf to the church, that Deaf would be saved, and serve the Lord with us to reach other Deaf for Christ!

 

A trip to the Market

Fruit Vendor from Belen

This man was so happy for us to take his picture.  He hadn’t been doing much of anything when we walked past.  We stopped to look at the fruit he was selling, and we asked him if we could take his picture.  He said yes and sprang into action!  That gray blur that you see in the picture is his “fly-swatter.”  I don’t think it would actually aid in diminishing the fly population, but it certainly would cause them to go elsewhere for the time being!

When I first started learning about Iquitos, I thought about how neat it would be to live in a city that can only be reached by boat or by plane.  And I’ll admit, that still holds a certain fascination for me!  But now when I think of Iquitos, I think mostly of all the people there – the people I met, the people I saw in passing, all the people who need Christ – like this fruit vendor.  I don’t know his name, but God does.  I have never been to his house, but God knows exactly where he lives.  God also knows where this man will live for eternity – who will share the Gospel with this precious soul?

Life on the River Itaya

We road on a boat called a “peque-peque” – the best way to describe it would be to say it is a john boat with a long outboard motor on it. (Matt can explain it better than I can!)  Up and down the river there are houses, businesses, and people everywhere.  They live, work, and play on the river.  The river is their life.  What they need most is the River Of Life – Jesus.  Again I wonder – who will reach these children for Christ?

 

Giant Cuy (Guinea Pig)

If you are hungry and very adventurous, you can find all kinds of things to eat in the Belen Market.  Since living in the Philippines, I have made it a personal rule to try everything at least once.  That rule has been a blessing to me and to the people I have lived and worked with.  Nothing captures the heart of the people more than for the missionary to eat their food and speak their language!  Having said that, I will now take you on a tour of what is available in the Belen Market for your dining pleasure!  This woman is selling Majas(Giant Cuy – a.k.a. Giant Guinea Pig).  I tried the Giant Cuy while we were there – not my favorite, but I would eat it again.  Not the type of meat your looking for?  How about a nice fresh turtle – and I mean fresh – he was still trying to get away when I walked by this stall!

   

Live Turtle

 

Escargot, anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your tastebuds are more refined, they have a fine selection of Escargot (Snails) awaiting you!  One lady was cooking Gusanos (Slugs) when I walked by.  Sorry!  I didn’t get a picture of that!  I kind of wish I had!

Chicharon

Fish of all Kinds!

If you prefer meat that is crispy and crunchy – chicharon is right for you! Simply buy the amount you want (in kilos, of course), take it home, and warm it up in a sauce pan.  You are now ready to add it to your mashed plantains or simply eat it by itself!

 

When you are ready for the familiar – there is an abundance of fish – fresh from the rivers!  We got to have “Paiche” while we were there.  ”Paiche” is the Spanish word for Arapaima – an Amazon river fish – said to be one of the largest fresh-water fishes in the world!  Yummy!

I hope you have enjoyed our little tour through the Belen Market!  If you ever come to visit, I promise not to feed you anything exotic unless you want to try it!  But remember – I’ll have to learn to cook it first!

White Unto Harvest

Belen

Growing up in church you hear certain verses preached often.  As a child or even as a young adult you don’t think of the reality of those verses.  This past week, I saw the reality of John 4:35, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your yes, and look on the fields; for they are white already unto harvest.”

This week I saw a city white unto harvest.  There are people everywhere in Iquitos.  The people there are very kind and friendly, but you could see in their eyes and in their faces the cry of Jeremiah 8:20, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”  Oh, yes – they have their religions, but their religions do not satisfy.  They have their amusements, but their amusements leave them empty and searching for the next thrill.  While we were there, I saw 5 Mormon buildings, and thought, “There is much being done for the devil, but what is being done for Christ?”

My heart is full this morning-Full of love for a city filled with people who deserve to hear the Gospel of Christ-Full of excitement to see all the open doors of opportunity that God has opened-Full of sadness to know that the cults are doing more than the Christians.

While we were there, we went to a part of the city known as Belen.  Belen was described to us as a modern-day “Sodom and Gomorrah.”  We found ourselves wondering, “Who is reaching the people of Belen for Christ?”  One day, we met an American at the ice cream shop.  Please pray for Mr. Walker.  He has a better opinion of Baptists now, but what he needs most is Christ.  Matt was able to witness to him, but he didn’t get saved that day.  On our last day in Iquitos, I met a young woman named Tani.  I bought a purse and a fan from her at her booth in the open-air Artisan market.  She was so kind and generous to me and my children.  She gave Martha and I each a bracelet and gave Ian a keychain.  We were able to leave a Gospel tract with her, but I was not able to witness to her.  As we left, the tears started flowing down my face as I wondered who would reach her with the Gospel.

Michael - Our Boat Guide

We have been told there are about 2,000 Deaf in Iquitos.  How will they hear the Gospel?  Tarapoto, another city about 3-4 hours away from Iquitos has about 500 Deaf.  How will they hear the Gospel?  I was ready to stay in Iquitos, but I want God’s perfect will, not my own emotional will!  We have prayed about this city for a long time, and we are continuing to pray.  We are waiting on the Lord to know His perfect will for us.  God gave us some wonderful opportunities this past week, and we are excited to see how the Lord will use those opportunities in the future.  In the meantime, we are busy with learning Spanish and Peruvian Sign Language.  We are determined to work for the Lord where He has put us now.

Matthew 9:37-38 “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

His Unspeakable Gift

Good Morning!

I’ve been reading through 2 Corinthians during my quiet time and today I read 2 Corinthians 9.  Have you ever stopped to think about verse 15?  ”Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”  Did you ever find yourself wondering, “Just what IS His unspeakable gift?”  The first thing that naturally comes to my mind is my salvation.  How often am I truly thankful for my salvation?  Having grown up in a Christian home, it is sometimes easy to become complacent with my gift of salvation.  Then the Lord puts someone in my life to remind me how precious salvation should be to those of us who are saved.

As I read that verse this morning, I thought about the other “unspeakable gifts” that God has given to me.  I thought about my Bible and how so many people don’t have a Bible at all, and I am blessed to have one in English and one in Spanish.  I also have one in the States that is written in Cebuano!  My Deaf friend Claudia came to church again yesterday.  Please continue to pray for her salvation.  Pastor Antonio gave her a Bible from the church and asked me to write her name in it.  I saw that look of joy and wonder on Claudia’s face as I handed the Bible to her and she realized it was for her!  As I watched her accept that Bible, I thought, “When is the last time I felt that way about MY Bible?  Yes, I love my Bible, and I teach my children to love the Bible, but when is the last time I felt such overwhelming joy to know that my Bible is MINE?”

Unspeakable gift…..seeing a young man named Gianmarco….having the chance to say, “Thank you for letting God use you in my life.”  He may be struggling spiritually, but that doesn’t change the fact that God used Gianmarco in my life.  God used him to break my heart for the Deaf of Peru.  God used him to fill my heart with His unspeakable gift of love for the lost of Peru.

You know, today will be an especially busy day for us.  We have a meeting this morning at Interpol – this is for visas.  Then this afternoon we are taking our final test over Book 2 in Language School.  Sandwiched in between is all the “normal” activities of every day life.  We are also packing for our trip to Iquitos tomorrow!  Pray for us – I am so afraid we will oversleep and miss our flight!  What a blessed reminder 2 Corinthians 9:15 was to me this morning.  A reminder to always be thankful because really everything in my life is an unspeakable gift of God!

The Blessing of Being Busy!

Tres Leches

 

Chocolate

What you see here are Matt’s birthday cakes!  Yes, there were two of them.  One for his physical birthday and one for his spiritual birthday – both of which were this past Tuesday.  I planned a surprise party, and actually managed to pull it off!  A special thank you to each one of you who sent a birthday greeting!!  We are still getting birthday greetings – thank you for those also!  He told me he was suspicious at the very end, but overall – he was very surprised!  We had a whole house full of people and it was great fun!  Until this morning, Martha and Ian were still playing with the balloons!  We had “beautiful things” (Martha’s name for the streamers) also, but they didn’t survive that long.  We let the Efata children enjoy the balloons this morning.  Matt mentioned to me a couple of days ago about dropping the balloons out of Ian’s bedroom window when the children were playing on the playground.  We decided that would be a marvelous thing to do with the balloons, so that is what we did this morning.

There may be some of you wondering what kind of schedule we have.  I would like to give you a glimpse of a “normal” week for us (is there any such thing as a “normal” week?) – We have Language school every morning Tuesday -Friday.  It is going well.  We are now in book 2 – learning PAST TENSE VERBS (said in a deep, booming voice!).  The Lord has been so good and gracious to us in helping us to learn Spanish.

On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, we have practice with the Deaf Choir.  They are doing really well.  Our next special is the last Sunday of this month.  The guys are doing a special – we girls get to sit and watch!  Wednesday evening is church.  Martha and Ian normally sit with us in the service on Wednesdays and Sunday nights.  Friday nights is Deaf Youth Group Meeting.  Since Frank (Deaf) is in Pucallpa, Matt is helping Pastor Antonio Suarez with the Youth Meeting.  Matt is in charge of the “concurso” (game) time!  I would just like to take a moment here and publish the fact that although there were only two girls last week – the girls won the competition!

Saturdays are soul-winning and visitation days.  We got to go as a family this past Saturday!  What a joy it is to me to see my children handing out tracts to the people around them!  We give Martha and Ian each a couple of tracts, and soon they are asking for more!  I have started making sure that Martha wears a dress with pockets in it on Saturdays – then I can put tracts in her pocket.  When her pocket is empty – she asks for more!

Matt started going with Ghuido (Deaf) to Callao on Sunday mornings.  Callao is another city about an hour away (more or less).  A Deaf ministry was started at the hearing church there because some Deaf showed up one Sunday morning.  Ghuido had been going with Frank, and now Matt is able to go with Ghuido.  Yesterday, they had one Deaf man show up.  His name is Jose.  Jose has been influenced by the JW’s.  It is not clear whether or not Jose is saved.  Matt and Ghuido were able to witness to him.  Please pray with me that God will bring more Deaf to the church in Callao, souls will be saved, and lives will be changed.

So you see, my weeks are fairly busy – but what a blessing to be busy in the work of the Lord!  What a privilege to be able to teach my children to serve the Lord!  Have a blessed busy week!