Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April Update

Dear Prayer Team, Thank you so much for continuing to lift us up in your prayers. This journey has been nothing like we had pictured, but we would not change anything as Jesus is powerfully at work within us and around us.  This past month God gave us many things so I will get right to it. 

First, as many of you know, we had a terrible scare with our daughter Elora. She has been sick, but it has been very manigible. Then just over two weeks ago she seemed to be getting better as she woke up chipper and without a fever. Stacy called me in the mid day concerned about her color and thinking she looked a little blue, she called me five minutes later even more concerned and while on the phone she yelled "she is turning blue and she is having a seizure, I'm calling 911." As you can imagine these words sent many thoughts racing through my brain. As I rushed home I made a few calls and it was in this time I thought my little baby girl might be dying. By the time I got home the ambulance had left and said she was stable, but that we needed to get her to a doctor. Of course we left immediately and on our way she had another seizure and then basically went catatonic. It was a few of the scariest hours of my life. In this time Jesus showed us so much love through the Church we are helping to launch, New City Church, as so many were praying as soon as they heard of our need. Many also wrote to ask if they could do anything, to let us know that they were there...the love was so wonderfully overwhelming. By the time the doctor got to Elora she was back to her normal self and we were told that this is all fairly normal when a fever spikes very suddenly to a high degree in a child, but after all the emotions we felt in this short time it was anything but normal for us. We felt we had been given a gift, a realization of how much we love our girls and what a precious gift they are from God. When I went out into the lobby two of my good friends who are also our pastors were there waiting for me, they tracked us down even though no one new what hospital we were at, and suddenly I realized we were not alone. Jesus has provided a family that has stood with us from the second we arrived and we are so greatful for them. They could have seen us as a threat, but instead Jesus has called us to love each other and join together in seeking to transformthe city of Oshkosh. It has shown me so clearly what the church can be when we put ourselves out of the way and put Jesus first.

God has also been stirring us in our priorities and what we need to make margin for in our lives. There are things that Jesus has called us too, and because our time is very full we have to be very intentional to be part of the work that Jesus is having us take part in. Within this vein Jesus has been teaching us more about who he has created us to be and how we are to function best that we might live in his joy. This is stretching us both in different ways, but mainly it is stretching us to both take action and to be patient and wait on God's timing. 

One of the things that God has given me a passion for, and that he has affirmed through many people I greatly respect that he has gifted me in, is counseling people in their brokenness and helping them to find healing in Jesus. Recently God has placed several people in my life who I have been able to counsel in different areas and it is so exciting to see Jesus setting people free from the lies that satan would bind them with. It's crazy because before moving to WI. I was seeking out people to counsel and offering my services freely and could find almost no one. Now I am just seeking Jesus and loving people and he is sending me the broken. We are praying that Jesus would grow this ministry and that many would find freedom in Christ. 

There are other areas where Jesus is at work, but for now, know that your prayers and support are so appreciated. Jesus is doing things in and through us so much greater than we can accomplish on our own. We find ourselves clinging tight to him because we know we can't do it on our own. 

As you pray for us please continue to pray over our home and that we can make it into a Gospel centered home where It can be used for many kingdom purposes. It needs work, and slow but sure we are seeing improvement. Please also pray as we are seeking Jesus will in my work and being more present in the city of Oshkosh and in the work he has called us too. Please pray for Elora's full healing has she is still sick on and off seemingly every few days. Pray for those God has me counseling and mentoring that the truth of the Gospel would take deep root in their lives and that they would live in  the freedom Christ has provided. Please also pray for wisdom in parenting our daughter, pray the Gospel would make deeper inroads into her heart and that she would be set free from a judgemental religious heart she can have at times. We also still have the heart to foster and adopt, but we are not there yet in our house, but we know in Jesus' timing he will grow our family more. We love you all and thank you for your prayers, Jeremiah McDuffie