Monday, April 29, 2013

Scotland Update 2

Hi everyone!

I hope you are all doing well. I would love to hear about what each of you have been up to.

Also, if you would like to Skype or FaceTime with me sometime in the near future, please let me know! I would love to chat and see some smiling faces!

Personal Update
Since emailing you all last time, I have settled into my house wonderfully and have been super blessed with people giving me necessary items for my home (dishes, cutlery, baking/cooking utensils). The Lord has truly provided...even down to blankets, rugs, towels, and a coffee machine! I also got an AMAZING care package (thank you, Chris and Laura!) with American measuring cups in it, among other things,...I can't wait to start having fun in the kitchen. =) If any of you are interested in seeing a short video clip of my house, email me back and I would be happy to send it on to you.

I know this may sound like a shock to some of you (note: sarcasm) but, I love having a routine. =) I enjoy getting up in the morning and taking the same route to the church because I get to make friends along the way. I love knowing that the Lord could have ministry for me even in my hurried pace on my way to-and-from home. I love that the cross-walk attendant (across from the local primary school, whom people here call "the lollipop ladies") likes to comment with me about the weather each day.

To put it simply, I am loving giving every day the the Lord and seeing what He will do with it. Because, when I have a routine, I notice immediately when the Lord places something different in the midst of it and am immediately attuned to the change and asking the Lord what He would have me do in each of those situations.

On Friday, we (church staff, some servants, and the missionaries) head out to a conference inBradford, England. It is an annual leaders conference that the church here goes to and I am excited to be able to attend this year (as a side note, for you BritLit junkies...the Bronte Sisters' House/Museum is just 1/2 hour from where we will be heading).

Praises and Prayers
-Praise the Lord for my home! Pray that it would be used as a vessel of ministry and outreach. Pray that the Lord would cover it in His love and protection.
-Pray for the conference: that it would be a time of fellowship and refreshment. Pray for both Pastor David and His wife, Cathy, as they are both scheduled to speak at different times in the conference. Pray the Lord would prepare their hearts.
-Praise the Lord for His provision with my household needs.
-Pray for the many daily ministry opportunities the Lord may put in my path.

I am so grateful for each and every one of you. Please let me know if there is anything I can be praying for you about. --

Erika Bennett

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Faithful to the End

Mr Shea
As many of you already know, George Beverly Shea went home to be with the Lord this week at 104 years old. His legacy as a gospel singer and the front running musician in Billy Graham’s evangelistic crusades is overshadowed by his commitment of faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

And, to be quite honest with you, I had no idea who He was until yesterday when I, coincidentally, also found out of his passing away.

His life touched people worldwide. His ministry spanned the globe and because of His faithfulness to His Savior, people came to know the Lord and their faith grew. His music affected more people than can be counted and His life’s work is still affecting people after his death. Sure, he had his faults and I’m not in any way saying he was perfect. But, he was a saint used by God to further His kingdom. This is a hero in my book. George Beverly Shea penned this song at age 23.

I’d rather have Jesus than silver and gold
I’d rather be His than have riches untold
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hands

Than to be a king of a best domain
And be held in sin’s dread sway
I’d rather have Jesus
Than anything this world affords today

I’d rather have Jesus than worldly applause
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame
Yes, I’d rather be true to His holy name

He wrote this and offered it’s words to the Lord at age 23. The Lord blessed him with a lifelong ministry. He had worldly applause as a musician, travelled worldwide with Billy Graham, lived a comfortable life (I’m only guessing on this one). But this song says it all: even though he had those things, his heart sang that he would rather have Jesus.

At 104 years old, it can be said that George Beverly Shea was faithful to the end. Like the Parable of the talents, Jesus has looked upon Mr Shea and said "...'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' - Matthew 25:21 NKJV

During our prayer meeting yesterday morning, I also found out about a little boy named Silas who is 4-years old and losing a battle to cancer. The doctors told his parents that it was terminal and he only had weeks to live. His parents, knowing that they had to tell him what was happening, went in and broke the news to him. His response? “Oh good, that means I can go to be with Jesus now.”

This little boy’s faith is unbelievable. He is in pain. He has dealt with this pain for most of his short life. But his response speaks to me louder than the largest Billy Graham revival: I’d rather have Jesus.
He would rather have Jesus than the silver and gold he will probably never have a chance to get on this earth. He would rather have Jesus than the applause of a crowd that he will likely never be in front of. He would rather have Jesus than be here in this life on earth.

This little boy, at age 4 knows that going to heaven and being with His Lord, Maker, and Savior is far greater than anything that this world has to offer. At his precious age, he probably doesn’t even know what this world can try to offer to him yet. And still, as this little boy prepares to go to heaven, his legacy will remain: he was faithful to the end.

I can already hear the Lord telling him "...’'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' - Matthew 25:21 NKJV

Mr Shea was 104. Silas is 4. Both were and are faithful in their lives to honor the Lord and live for Him. Both had their eyes on their Savior and trusted in his perfect will for their lives. I pray I would heed both of their examples, learn from their great legacies, and do the same.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Scotland Update 1

Hi everyone! 

God is so good! I hope your Easter was blessed and that you were encouraged. He is truly Risen and indeed, He is Risen!! 

Last Week
Last week was so much fun getting acclimated to the culture, seeing familiar (and not as familiar sites) and spending time in fellowship at two different churches (Motherwell and Calvary Glasgow City Chapel). Katie and I enjoyed Passover with Motherwell Fellowship as well as a BBQ to say goodbye to one of the missionaries who's been here since last September and is heading home in a week. 

Katie left early on Easter Sunday and I am now settled in at Elain's house and looking forward to a new week! 

Happy Easter!
Easter Sunday was yesterday and it was full of new experiences and old traditions. Singing hymns as a church as beautiful as Motherwell is, praising Him for what He did on the cross and for conquering death 3 days later by rising out of the grave...I just love celebrating the resurrection of our Lord! After church, we headed to Elain's son and daughter-in-laws house to color eggs and roll them down a hill. The egg going down the hill symbolizes the rolling away of the stone from the grave, thus showing that Jesus is alive. Do any of you share in this tradition?? It was brand new to me...and in a way redeemed the whole "coloring eggs" thing...but it was still such a foreign concept, I am trying to wrap my head around it!

Today is called Easter Monday and is considered a "bank holiday." Basically, this means everyone is off work. So...Elain, Nicola (her daughter), Alex, Sam (missionaries) and I went on a "wee lil' adventure" to a place called Glentress Forest to go on a hike and walk around the town next to it (Peebles). You can see photos of the trip on my Facebook page or myInstagram page. It was a quintessential picture of a Scottish village...the kind I am sure you all think of when you imagine Scotland in your head. We even walked through a sheep's pasture...and found a football (soccer ball) to play with. It was comically perfect. =) 

Coming Up Next
Tomorrow I start at the church. I am looking forward to sitting down with Pastor David to talk through His vision for my time here. From talking with the other missionaries, I have been able to hear what they've been doing and some of their vision, as well as the ministries that are starting up (like a Sunday night Kid's Club next week...can't wait!). I feel like the Lord is already giving me some burdens and clarity, but I am still praying through them and waiting on His perfect timing. 

How are YOU doing?
Again, thank you so much for reading this!! As I have said before, I would love to hear from you. If you have a moment this week, I would love to know a bit of how you spend your Easter holiday! 

Praises and Prayers

  • For a blessed time with Katie and fun site seeing
  • For the fellowship I've already had here
  • For the joy of remembering the Lord's resurrection and first and only reason of why I am here in Scotland: to share His love and salvation with those I come in contact with,
  • For His financial provision this first month!
  • For my transition in the church and the 2 other missionaries already here. That the Lord would allow the new dynamic (with me coming in) to honor Him.
  • For His direction in where He wants me to serve. 
  • For the ministry the Lord will have me in: that I would stay still before HIm and obedient to His callings. 
  • My health: I meant to ask for this last back tends to be...well...high maintenance and I would just ask that you would pray that I would be able to sleep well and that my back would get the needed support and rest it needs. Or, that God would heal it completely! =D 

Erika Bennett

Donate or become a monthly supporter: Shepherds Staff, Account 1061