This is such a beautiful time here in Tennessee and many parts of the US, as the leaves are changing and making everything so beautiful, even though in reality they are dying so we may see the beauty not only in their death but again in the Spring in their resurrection as they bud and bloom into the beautiful creations they were created to be.
And so the cycle of life goes in nature, as Christians we have too have to die to self, to put aside the old man, through the symbolic washing of our sins through baptism, and allow the new man to be born, with a new heart and a mind that will no longer conform to the ways of this world, but that will be transformed by the renewing of his mind in Christ Jesus, as we constantly wash our new man with the Word of God.
There has been much ‘dying’ in the Gray household of late, as the Lord prepares David and I as husband and wife to take our marriage to a new level in learning to work together in an arena we haven't before, as we head off into new unchartered territory for our family, much refinement is taking place, and refinement is never an easy or pleasant process, it takes time and a lot of pain, but as we are being refined we are seeing more and more of the new creatures we are being transformed into, as we die to our selfish natures and learn to lean on the Lord in all areas of our lives, He reveals more truth and more of the plan He has for us.
Our children too are part of this process, in our time studying the word at home, we have been learning about Pauls missionary journeys and what was required of him in a physical sense in going on these journeys. It so brings joy to my heart for our children to see not only the fruit of Pauls labors, but also the sacrifice of his labors, and for them to realize that much might be required of them too, leaving the comfort of their home and friends, stepping outside of their comfort zone in a physical and for one of children in particular a geographical sense, and entering a whole new culture, that prayerfully they will embrace as David and I have and especially not having all the different cereals or snacks to choose from every day! – this a big step for our little brood.
A lot of focus is on David and I and what we are going to do, but for us as parents, we are seeking to prepare them as much as ourselves, because they too are missionaries on this journey, as believers they too are called to share the Good News and to 'Go' and encourage others. So it has been a sweet testimony this week to watch Timothy (we call him our little evangelist) in particular, step out and share his favorite verse with us that he wants to share with some of the kids at the orphanage. Timothy’s verse came about this year, with the death of his baseball coach, and writing his son a note and encouraging him with that verse at the funeral over the summer, then again this past week, when a fellow homeschool mom was suddenly taken home to be with the Lord last week, he remembered that verse and what a comfort that scripture could be for her Husband and 5 children, so for him to experientially see it come alive in his own little life, as he and Daniel and Abigail, work through the issues the Lord allows to pass through His hands hands into their young lives, to help them know Him better, and to better prepare them for what their future holds, our God is a living, breathing God, who so loves us He sent His son to die for us, I could never imagine giving up one of my children that way, but what a God we have who loves us so intimately that He numbers the hairs on each of our heads, how much more than David and I does He love and care for our children, and will prepare and carry their hearts through this season in our lives.
Sunday (during our team training!) we had been discussing as a family what skits or scripture we would like to share over there and we encouraged to kids to pray about what God would have them do, then today as we were discussing a passage of scripture we had memorized last year, Timothy remembered how we had put it to actions (thanks Stephanie B) and how he thought that would be cool to do over there. What a blessing to see fruit in their young lives!! Lord may we be so filled up with you, we will just overflow with your love for the people of Zimbabwe and South Africa....
We are so privileged to be going on this journey and so thankful to those of you who have been supporting us prayerfully and financially, to allow it to happen.
Please continue to lift our family up in prayer, and for the remainder of our support to come in. We have been blessed to be able to pay for our air tickets and to be able to cover the first months expenses over in Zim.
We will be leaving on 19 January, and still need to cover another month and a half of expenses and then ministry costs, for projects we are hoping to do in Zim. Also if you could too be praying for our house, the renter didn’t work out and we are still hoping to sell before we leave, this would relieve a huge financial burden while we are gone.
If you have been wanting to make a donation and have not yet, or are able to make another one, all tax dedicutible donations can be made online at:
If you would like to make a cash donation to help cover ministry costs in
you can mail us a check or cash donation to David or Jackie Gray at Zimbabwe 1715 Mountain Bay Drive, Hixson, TN 37343
If you had considered being a monthly supporter please go to http://www.shepsstaff.org/gray.aspx and you could prayerfull consider starting that from November 1, for the next few months, to help us reach our support goal.
Many thanks for your support and love
David, Jackie, Timothy, Daniel and Abigail