Archive for May, 2008

May 2008 News

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Two Quick Trips to Oklahoma

Dear Friends

I drove to Oklahoma 2 weeks ago – a trip of about 15 hours – to see my mom.  Since my dad died in 2002 my brother and I have the tradition of meeting up the week before Mother’s day to help her around the house and spend a few days with her.  Rick and I also spend some time on the golf course together ;).  He ministers in Missouri and we enjoy the rare time together.  My Aunt Charlene, who has been suffering from emphysema, was in the hospital, and we were able to visit her and pray with her.I arrived home Saturday at about 9 PM only to learn later that my aunt passed way at 11 PM. Aunt Charlene was 10 months younger than my mom and her only sibling.  So, on Tuesday of the next week I took off again and drove to Oklahoma for the funeral– this time we were joined by my sister, Cindi, who ministers in Idaho.  So, it was great being all together and seeing cousins and friends we haven’t seen for years.  My aunt is no longer suffering but my mom will sure miss her.  

Meet Jim & Martha   

Note: The following section was written by my team-mate Tara Woolard- I think you’ll enjoy it!

Jim and Martha Atwell met for the first time in Colombia while Jim was on a mission trip with Southeast Christian Church.  Jim recalls seeing Martha working each morning with the preschoolers at the church.  He noticed her spirit of servitude immediately, and this definitely caught his eye.  He later learned that Martha also held Bible studies in her home twice a week.  This was the kind of Godly woman that Jim desired to pursue.Martha had never been married and had been praying for a husband.  She had recently given this desire to the Lord trusting for his provision.  Martha knew her obedience to the Lord would always come first and she never swayed from that commitment.  She recalls not noticing when the group arrived in her country because she assumed all of them were married.

However with a little help from some key church leaders, Jim and Martha had their first meaningful acquaintance on the final day of the group’s visit.  A church friend gave Jim Martha’s email address so he could keep in touch with her.  And keep in touch they did!  In April of the next year they became engaged by telephone and on October 20, 2001 they were married in Colombia.As easy as it sounds the Atwells certainly had their share of struggles, too.  The processing of the paperwork, documentations, marriage certificates and visas was extremely complicated.  Jim and Martha both admit that it could only be by the grace of God that in the end everything came together.  However, this was confirmation to them both that God was in control.

And what a blessing Jim and Martha have been to Nueva Vida!  Jim is one of our lay leaders and is also the church treasurer.  Martha is the director of our children’s programming and started our ministry of intercessory prayer.  We are so thankful to have such a wonderfully committed couple serving with us at Nueva Vida Christian Church.

Stories fromMexico

I didn’t have room earlier, and wanted to share a story from our Mexico medical missions trip in March.  The first full day of clinics I had the opportunity of interpreting for a wonderful couple seeking help for their daughter. Esmeralda is a delightfully happy 8 year-old. The doctor and I started teasing her and she started laughing in such an infectious way everyone in the room turned to see and laughed with us. It was obvious that her parents love her dearly and were doing all they could for her – but she has horrible eyesight.  She has to sit directly in front of the television to see any type of image.  She can no longer read a book or see the chalkboard.  She is not going blind, just is terribly near-sighted. The parents simply had no money to buy eyeglasses. One of the doctors in our mission team is an eye expert who served in Africa. We were able to provide the little girl glasses and connect them with a local minister for follow-up. The family left the clinic extremely grateful with huge smiles and hugs for us. We were truly blessed to be a part of it.   

Prayer Pointers for May 2008  

♦Praise God for the opportunity to be with my family and to see my aunt Charlene at the hospital, to pray with her, kiss her and tell her I loved her before she passed away and then to return for the funeral.  Please say I prayer for my cousins John and Susie and for my mom (who lost her only sibling).

♦ Praise God for bringing together Jim and Martha.  He has allowed them to overcome language and culture barriers and are great role models for younger couples in Nueva Vida.  

♦ Please ask God to give them wisdom and divine power as they serve in leadership roles with Nueva Vida.  

♦ Praise God for the opportunity to touch lives– like that of Esmeralda in Mexico.  Pray that her eyesight problem stabilizes and pray that her family grow in their knowledge and love of Christ.

♦ Praise God for a great Mother’s Day celebration at Nueva Vida with 165 in attendance.  

♦ Please pray for Emily – she is scheduled to leave for Jamaica on May 31.  She only needs to raise another $300.    

From the bottom of our hearts we say “thank you for allowing us to serve with Team Expansion’s Louisville Hispanic outreach team.”  We love you and appreciate your friendship.  May God bless you! 

Chris and Family

Please send financial support to:Team Expansion, c/o Chris Bushnell, 3700 Hopewell Road, Louisville KY  40299. Make checks payable to “Team Expansion.”All donations are tax-deductible and promptly receipted.  Thank you!