Last month we shared a vision of God’s love for the people of France and a prayer that He would reveal Himself as their strong tower. That night, after we sent out our newsletter, a terrorist drove a truck through a crowd of people who were celebrating Fete National (Bastille Day), killing 84 people. We were, yet again, shocked and saddened by what the nation of France and the French people were having to shoulder. Will you continue to join with us in prayer for this hurting country?
People have asked us how we feel about moving to a country that is in active war with terrorism. It’s a legitimate question because it is a legitimate reality. So we wanted to share our thoughts on that in this newsletter with you all, as well. First of all, safety is an illusion. It is the grace of God alone that we all walk through our days in any amount of “safety.” Secondly, we are called to trust God with our lives. He alone knows the number of our days, so we can receive each day from His hand as the gift that it truly is. Thirdly, when faced with something like terrorism, we all have 2 options: we can respond in fear and hate OR we can respond in love and faith.
Last week we had the honor of joining in on a Bible Study at one of the churches here (thank you Pastor Hutton!) on the book of Jonah. We were all tempted to criticize Jonah’s many mistakes but then as we sat around discussing Jonah’s difficult situation we began to have a bit more empathy. What if God was asking you to go to proclaim the purposes of God to militant ISIS? Would you go? Would you respond in love when God didn’t follow through with destroying them? Jonah was faced with all these same realities. Nineveh was to Israel in Jonah’s time as ISIS is to us now. The lesson learned is that regardless of what we view as God’s justice, we must grab hold of the heart of God for people!
This passage came to mind recently:
“Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying:
‘You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.’
Wow. This ministered to us so much this week. His heart is for the nations. He has redeemed us by His blood and didn’t stop there, but made us kings and priests to our God!! And don’t you just love the part about the bowls of incense? It is the prayers of the saints. Praise God for His goodness, for His grand plan to save the multitudes from every tongue and tribe and nation and people! He alone can fulfill this. So what about us? Well, we can move forward in the obedience and dedication of a priest and in the power and authority of a king because He has declared it as so.
Be encouraged friends, we have been promised “troubles” on this earth but the promises of God for our lives are “yes and amen!” He is for you and He has an amazing plan for each of us.
We want to quickly share too about how God has encouraged our hearts through the hospitality and generosity and love of His people. Y’all. We have traveled to several churches over the past weeks and each week we are blown away by the people of God and how they surround us with love and encouragement. These churches (you know who you are!!! <3) have prayed over us, listened to us, given financially to us, fed us and laughed with us and it has just meant THE world to us! So…THANK YOU to the precious congregations in Virginia and West Virginia that have hosted us.
Last month we shared some prayer requests with you all so here are the updates on all the ways God has answered those prayers!
*It was hard work but we left Knoxville and had the privilege of visiting with family in GA and then got quickly settled in to the campgrounds in Virginia (we are in a building, not a tent! )
*The kids immediately got to participate in a boys weekend and then the next week, a girls weekend! They had SO much fun and made new friends.
*We have had wonderful favor among the very missions minded churches here and have booked up almost every single Sunday morning and are now filling up our Wednesday and Sunday nights.
*We have had new monthly supporters added!
*When I wrote the last newsletter God had provided short term renters. By the time we left Knoxville, He had provided long term renters as well!! Our new renters are ministers and desired to be closer to the area that they have heart for!
Thank you God for all of these beautiful and amazing gifts!! Thank you friends and family for praying for these things!
Upcoming prayer points:
*Pray for continued favor in churches and for more monthly supporters (monthly support is THE key to us going to France quickly!)
*Pray for living arrangements for the dates of October 11-22. We would like to stay in the VA, WV, PA area if possible.
*Pray for wisdom for us as we operate on a day to day basis. (Can we admit that it’s weird not having a “plan” of where we will live etc., beyond a few weeks?? lol)
Peter and Emily Fowler
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