Jericho Ministries
Summer 2014
Jin Hee, Crystal, Sohyoung, Myoung, and Linda cooking on the outdoor stove at the Villa

VBS outreach at a rural school.  The children listened to a puppet show that our JM kids helped with and made T-shirts and responded to the Gospel!
Stopping for supplies in Zamorano

Dear Praying Friends,

I wanted to take a moment to share with you some answers to prayer and the way that God has been moving among us.  I will start with the amazing outpourings of His grace and then share some of the trials and difficulties so that you can know how best to pray.  So much has happened in such a short period of time that it is hard to know how to fit it all in here so I am praying that the pictures will serve as more than a thousand words!

Our last team of the summer came the third week of July and God really used them to bless us richly.   Seoul Baptist Church, Houston, TX has been so faithful to send a team every year to lead Vacation Bible Schools and to minister to the children and to cook Korean food!
Since our community has nearly doubled in size in the past year it was no small feat for them to cook such amazing food for each meal.  Our girls were blessed to have a break from the kitchen duties and the kids loved the food.  Kim Bap (Korean sushi) was a favorite!  One highlight from the week was when the SBC team led worship.  They asked us to pray for them and then they prayed for the children who needed prayer.  They prayed in Korean for the children but no translation was needed since the Holy Spirit did it Himself as He ministered to them through the Koreans.  So powerful!

 
Worshipping the King
The Quinceanera Celebration

This year we had 5 girls who turned 15 so we were very thankful when Elvia's sister offered to take on the whole blessed event.  She in turn was blessed to see how God provided through many of her friends and family so that these young girls would experience a special touch from God on their 15th Birthday which is highly celebrated event in this culture.  Gisela preached, and then Elvia placed a crown on each girl and I followed with a silver necklace that had Princess engraved on it.  We have learned that it is essential for our children to learn who they are in Christ and the position they hold in Him.  This was a great opportunity to remind them of their value and worth in Christ and to celebrate all that God has already accomplished in them and through them.  

  
Raquel and her brother Isaac

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light." 
 1 Peter 2:9 NIV
     
Maricela receiving her tiara
 
Christy,Raquel, Vanessa, Betsy, Paola, and Maricela

Angie singing at WellSpring Church in WI
Pastor Dante Gebel with Miriam and Michelle
Pastor Dante surprised us by calling us up to the front of the tent after Elvia shared our story with one of his pastors.  Here I am laughing at something the very funny Pastor Dante said.  
Eduardo and Julio at the motorcycle shop with their new motorcycle
Dreams coming true

Michelle, who turns 21 this month, had been praying to be able to see her favorite preacher, Dante Gebel, in person.   Pastor Dante is from Argentina and is used powerfully by God as an evangelist, especially with young people.  His evangelistic events often draw crowds of over 90,000 people.  Our family listens to him a lot online!  Dante is now pastoring a large Hispanic church in Anaheim, California and when Michelle heard that he was doing evangelistic preaching every night all summer long under a tent, she wanted to go! .  The other children teased her about this dream but she was not to be discouraged.    Elvia had been thinking about it too and when she approached His throne of grace, she began to sense that this was of God.  In the meantime, I had been praying about taking one of the girls up to the States with me to share about how Jesus has been moving among us and God put Angie on my heart.  Unbeknownst to me, Angie had a strong desire to visit the USA (well, most of them have that dream actually).  We were able to get both Michelle and Angie US Visas (which was a miracle in itself.....but that's another story) and so Angie went with me to Wisconsin and Illinois where we had amazing visits at different churches and with family and friends.   We then met Elvia, Michelle, and Miriam in Los Angeles where we attended the nightly evangelistic meetings.  Michelle's dream of meeting Dante Gebel came true and we were blessed to be a part of meetings that were full of supernatural healings and conversions to Jesus. 

And then there was Ed's dream.  I told him to pray really hard about getting a motorcycle because as a nurse I have never been pro-motorcycle.  In my thinking we were not going to get one on my watch.  The closest I get to a motorcycle is to sing the song by Arlo Guthrie that goes like this...."I don't wanna a pickle....just wanna ride my motor-sickle.  I don't wanna die, (big pause) just wanna ride my motor-cy (bigger pause)....cle."  Anyway, this Eduardo, well, he is a definitely a young man of prayer because that is the only way I can explain my change of heart.  He promised to use it only on our land and for farming purposes and when some extra funds came in, well....it seemed right.

"Ask and it will be given to you;  seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. "  Matt. 7:7  NIV




Considering it all joy

It was back in April when the Lord first put James 1:2 on my heart. " Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance."  It seemed like every time I turned around, He was calling my attention to that verse.  I don't know about you, but I would just as soon not face any trials. Trials don't attract me.  But James seemed to be trying to encourage his siblings  in Christ (us!) to have a different perspective about trials.  He said, "Count it all joy" or in Spanish, "consider yourselves blessed" when you confront trials because it develops perseverance.  We are so used to thinking that being blessed is when everything goes right for us that it doesn't immediately make sense to count ourselves blessed when we have trials of every kind.  But believing in the face of trials produces perseverance and that is to be highly desired.....more than having everything go our way.  

J    O   Y   ?

This has been our challenge: to find joy in, and to avoid becoming discouraged by, our trials and difficulties.  But how do you find joy in facing trials?  By counting yourself blessed or rather counting your blessings.  When we count the blessings in the trials, there is a gratitude that wells up and that produces perseverance.  Thanksgiving in the trial builds our faith. The trials have come in various forms and so has the gratitude.  There was a financial trial when a check for a rather large sum showed up that we happily cashed and spent only to find out that it had been written in May of 2013, not 2014, and had been lost in the mail for a year and not even the bank noticed.....until later!  The church who had sent the  2013 check had already replaced the check in October so suddenly we realized we had spent money that wasn't ours to spend!  God graciously touched the same church body and they ended up sending us a new donation for even more than the 2013 check, thank you Jesus!  
Noe, Juanca, Betsy, Susana, Marlyn, Gail, and Tim in 2009

And because of this renewed contact with the secretary of that church, I was able to receive e-mails from the church about the illness of my dear friend Gail Mellish.  It took some time but finally the doctors came up with her diagnosis:  stage IV liver cancer.  Gail and her family over the years had become more than friends to me.....they treated me like one of their own.  They were the ones who would pick me up at the airport in the wee hours of the morning and feed and clothe and transport me and everyone I brought up to the US with me.  They held nothing back.  Gail's heart for Jericho just got bigger and bigger as the years went by and she would cry over our children as if they were her very own.  She told their stories and went to bat for them as the director of our sponsorship program.  She loved them dearly even though she had not met all of them face to face.  The news of her cancer shocked me as it did all those who knew and loved her.  By the time the doctors diagnosed what it was, she was too weak for treatment and four days later she died. We had prayed for a miraculous healing and I fully expected her to rise up off her sick bed so it was confusing and painful when she was not healed in the way we had envisioned.  She did rise up but her destination was glory-land.   She was delivered through her trial but instead of into the land of the living, it was into the arms of Jesus. I began to ask the Lord to help me thank Him through the pain of losing her.  I thanked Him for allowing me to be with her during the last two days of her life and with so many of the people who loved her.   I thanked Him that she is now able to dance before His throne which her failing limbs didn't allow her to do here on earth.  I thanked Him for the assurance of eternity that she had. So many people are unsure where they will go when the die.  If you are one of them, there is such Good News in the Bible.  The Scriptures say:


Jesus made a way where they was no way.  The Bible says we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  We have gone our own way,done our own thing, and have been leaning on our own understanding.  Once we repent of our wrongdoings and ask Him to come into our lives and take over...He does just that.  He gives us the assurance of eternal life, not based on what we can do to get into heaven but on what He did for us.  If you have never taken that step of faith to ask Jesus to come into your heart and take over your life, I would encourage you to do that today.  With the world seemingly spinning out of control with death and destruction flooding our lives and our devices, there is only one way to truly find Peace and purpose.....and it's through Jesus.

I didn't set out to share the above but perhaps someone needs to hear that afresh.  Returning to the trials, it was in July that Helen ran away.  There had been signs of her dis-contentedness but I only really recognized them clearly after the fact.  She came to live with us when she was 9 years of age.  We had been told by the government social worker that no one wanted her and that broke my heart.  I wept when I took her into my arms that first day in my office and she wept too.  Our family definitively wanted her and I prayed that she would know in the deepest part of her being that she was wanted and loved by Jesus and by us.
 Helen came with many scars, some invisible and some very visible.  It seemed like she had grown to believe that she was accepted and loved but I knew that sometimes she still struggled with truly believing that on a heart level.  I had just come back from taking a team to the airport when I arrived at the outdoor Bazaar that we were having on that fateful day in July of this year.  Helen was in charge of selling the used shoes.  Sometime during the afternoon she slipped away from her selling post after telling the younger girls that she was going to the bathroom.  She never returned.  I can't remember exactly when we discovered that she had not returned from the bathroom but once it was clear that she was gone, we all jumped into the van to see if we could find her by some small miracle.  We drove around for awhile without success and then on our way home as we were passing by the Mall....there she was, standing just outside the Mall as if she was waiting for a taxi to come by.  I called out to her in my most motherly tone of voice (which probably was a mistake) and told her to GET INTO THE VAN.  And then she took off running.  I was just dazed at that point.  I was so clueless as to why she would be running away and not towards.  I jumped out of the now-stopped-van and charged after her.  Entering the Mall just as she was taking the escalator down to the basement floor, I realized it was too late to reach her as only a movie-style stunt could get me over to where she was.  So I just called out to her (this time in a loud but more loving, pleading tone), "Come home, Helen!".   I  didn't care about the folks now staring at us.  She just looked up at me, sans emotion, and then disappeared into the darkness of the parking garage.  I didn't break down in tears then.  That came later.  I was just so mad......not at Helen really, but at the enemy.  He had totally deceived her into believing His lies.  I wish I could tell you that Helen came back later that night and that we are all living together happily again.  But she didn't come home.  We got word that first night that she was staying with a friend and then eventually she talked her older sister into taking her in.  I sought refuge in the Word and sensed that God was showing me that Helen would be like the prodigal son (daughter, in this case) and that she would eventually come home.   Please pray with us for Helen.....that God would open her eyes and bring her home, sooner rather than later.  I can't force her to come back because our home is a privilege and not a prison  My biggest fear is that she will be enticed into the lifestyle of the streets that we were trying to prevent her from entering.  But God is bigger than our greatest fears.  So we give thanks for His power to take care of her and to woo her back.
Genesis, Helen, and Sabdi with Fofo ( Elvia's brother-in-law) in July 2014

Praising Him for:
1.  Caleb's Captain America suit that the New England Team brought in May

Caleb in his suit with Julio

2.  An amazing time of ministry in Marlyn's barrio with a powerful team from Teen Challenge New England!
Pastor Allie and Chelsea praying with our children
3.  Buttons galore!  Thank you all so so much for sending buttons which we are using to wrap our soaps for sale

4.  For healing Noe, Julio, and Jefry all of whom needed emergency room care in the span of two days.  We praise God for the way He provided healing for each of these precious Jericho family members.

5.  Provision for Miriam's upcoming semester at Judson.  We were so blessed by the response to her letter!  A special thanks to all of you donated to make this possible. She arrived at Judson yesterday!
Asking Him for:
1.  Carmen's Canadian Visa so that she can begin her studies in Canada with the Mendez family (Jaime and Edgardo)
Carmen holding a visitor's baby at the 15th BD celebration
2.  Funding for 2 new vans that we need.  We are so thankful to have received several large donations towards the purchase of the two vans we have been praying for. We still need 10K towards van #1(for the Villa) and 30K for van #2 (for our school). 
The way we are traveling now

3.  Peace of Jerusalem/Standing with Israel
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure."  Psalm 122:6  We have been praying day and night for the peace of Jerusalem and for the persecuted in the Middle East, especially the Christians.


4.  Protection as we reach out to more children in need in very dangerous areas of the city
5.  Helen's return home

Thank you so much for all you do for us!  May His Holy Name be made known and lifted high.  Maranatha.......come, O Lord!
Together for the glory God,
Betsy
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