Happy New Year - Reflections
I hope you've all had a Happy New Year. Sherilyn has informed me that it's time to write another prayer letter. We do covet and need all the prayer support we can get. We know if you are well informed you are more likely to pray, so this prayer letter, as usual will be as informative as we can make it.
This is the ninth of January. As I sit at my desk and look out the window, I see a blanket of white snow that covers everything. It's really quite beautiful, and we see it as one of God's gifts for us to enjoy. The only flaws I see are where the squirrels, dogs, and deer have made tracks in the carpet like surface. Of course, it did look prettier before they scarred the surface with their foot prints, but I know God allowed this also.
This is the first really significant snow we've had to deal with over the last three years as we were in Puerto Rico when most of the really cold and snowy weather happened the past few years.
I suppose we could have planned to be gone again this year, but after getting home in late November, having guests here for Thanksgiving, and being in Iowa with my son in December for Christmas, we needed a little time to recuperate.
However, with neighbors needing a little help with building projects, the time to just sit back and relax has been a little hard to come by. I am not complaining mind you. I love to work and keep busy, even if it does seem to Sherilyn that I like to work more than I should.
To tell the truth she is probably right, but it is hard not to help when you can, and I have a very difficult time saying no!
Happy New Year - Trip Preparations
Our next trip to Puerto Rico is scheduled to start in February again. We will leave here around the first or second depending on the weather.
We will follow our usual plan of travel again by driving to Fort Meyers and flying out of Fort Lauderdale to Puerto Rico. The Lord blessed us with the lowest air fare this time I believe we've ever gotten. The round trip tickets for both of us were less than three hundred dollars. That is an excellent price.
We will be gone at least six or maybe seven weeks this time depending on when we come back from Florida after our return. We usually rest a while there before we head back.
We always enjoy the chance to visit with our great friends, the Attos and the opportunity to visit a few services at Gospel Light Baptist Church. Those are some of the highlights of our trip.
Planned projects in Puerto Rico
We will be working in Aguadilla and in Mayaguez again. Both of these churches have been a blessing and an inspiration for us as we have worked with the Pastors and the people. When we are there we work pretty hard, but that is what we go there to do. The last trip we worked every day but Sundays the whole time we were there.
This trip will be a little different. We plan to be with Sherilyn's sister Lorraine and her husband Phil for four days right after we get there. We hope to show them a little of our work at the different churches as well as as much of the island as we have time for. Phil is a pastor in Ohio, so we think it would be good for him to see what we do. We hope that will be a relaxing and enjoyable time for all of us.
After they leave, we will start our normal mission work.
In Aguadilla, I will work primarily on re-piping the auditorium ceiling and up dating the wiring. This is not a big job, but it will not be easy because it is a fairly high ceiling, and it will all have to be done off of ladders unless we move all the pews...
I don't even want to think about that!!!
Pews are the heaviest and most awkward things I think I have ever moved, and I have moved my fair share of them over the years.
Around the middle of our time on the island we will go back to Mayaguez. There are any number of things we can do there. We have a whole list to work on.
If we finish our list we could always work on the "as built" drawings and identifying the circuits so the members of the church will know where to find the circuit breakers when they need to. We will have a very full schedule, as usual.
Happy New Year - Counting Blessings
I sit here thinking about how blessed I am to be given the privilege to do this ministry. It truly has been of God! Four years ago when I was disabled because of health reasons, it was all I could do to walk from my bedroom to my chair in the family room. I spent my whole day in that chair. I was pretty miserable and in a terrific amount of pain.
Now, I would be lying if I said I have no pain, but with the vitamins, minerals, supplements, and the help of a good doctor, I am off of all prescribed medications. I no long have to take pain killers to go to sleep at night.
I am not able to work the way I once did, but if I can work at my own speed, sit down where I need to, and stop when I must, I can accomplish some things over time.
I have found that volunteering your time and labor can be used of the Lord to accomplish some pretty amazing things, and the blessings far out weigh the difficulties.
Happy New Year - Enduring Hardness
We have a lot to do before we leave again, and I'm not really looking forward to most of it, but it's what has to be done to do what we do. It seems as though the paper work will never end!
Before we leave I need to deal with taxes, annual reports for the church, contribution receipts, (I am church treasurer) and dozens of other details.
The last trip we took we were gone about six weeks. When we got back home I had two baskets of mail to go through. It took me two and a half weeks to go through it all. I have learned from sad experience that what you don't know can hurt you, and definitely can cause you a lot of difficulty. You have to deal with what comes in the mail.
Well, if I don't stop this letter , it may turn into a book, and not many people have time to read that much. It's sad, but most people don't read or write as much as they used to. I think we may be losing something special in the process.
We do need your prayers for our work, our safety, as well as our health. Please pray with us that we will have a sweet spirit and the right thoughts and attitudes as we work, whether here in our own church, or on the mission field.
Our experience has been that trials and temptations always abound when we try to serve the Lord and others. Yet it is wonderful to know "we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us", and "we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us."
Pray that we will keep our eyes on those truths to such an extent that they become our daily reality, no matter what trials and temptations the Lord allows as we serve Him.
Electrifying for Eternity,
Dennis & Sherilyn (Nutting) Thompson
Central Baptist Church
2422 N. Thompson Drive
Sullivan, IN 47882
They accept tax deductible contributions for us.