Brenda’s Bulletin

Archive for March, 2015

March 30, 2015 Extra! Extra!

March 30, 2015 - 3:16 pm - Posted by Brenda Matthews

I have some news, but I need to tell some stories.

I love pulling pranks. As a child/teen, some of those, although funny, were not very nice, but then the Lord used His Word to transform that area. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12, NIV) So the funny pranks at the expense of the victim turned into nice surprises for the enjoyment of everyone. I have thoroughly enjoyed pulling off surprise birthday parties (but any excuse for a party will do!) or throwing in pleasant surprises to other events. I enjoy “doing” in this way, but it also raises my antennae so it’s hard for others to surprise me (in an enjoyable way!). I’d like to share one of those times.

I had only been in Barquisimeto, Venezuela a couple of years (and had pulled many pleasant surprises). I started a ministry which they named as SINGLES (pronounced with a Spanish accent). It was getting close to my birthday and they started behaving in strange ways, which alerted my suspicious nature. One couple, who had no romantic interest in each other, came to my apartment and started ridiculous talk about eloping. They kept going over to look out the window, so I suspected that the rest of the group was out there preparing something. I casually glanced out, but nothing, and they left and nothing happened. There were a couple other “strange” incidents through the week where I expected a surprise, but nothing, so I was actually feeling disappointed.

Sunday afternoon, one of the group who was returning to the city buzzed my intercom explaining that she REALLY needed to use my bathroom. This wasn’t that far out of the realm of normality, but I still suspected that when I went down to open the gate for her, I would find the whole group there to surprise me. I went down, but I only saw her. Nothing. I was really disappointed! Up in my apartment, she went running straight to the bathroom. Totally discouraged I asked if she wanted something to drink and went toward the kitchen when… SURPRISE!!!!!!! Bodies jumped out of the rooms and up from behind furniture and out from behind curtains!!!!! I was TOTALLY surprised and it was the best because I went from an emotional low to an emotional high. They totally got me! Keep that story in mind.

Many of you will remember that about 30 years ago, I was originally heading to the southern Baja Peninsula of Mexico when TEAM pulled out of that work (returning some time later) and the Lord re-directed me to Venezuela. About 4 years later, TEAM started talking about pulling out of Venezuela. It took over 20 years to start some additional new churches that we wanted to leave in key cities and to transfer the ministries over to national leadership. As I was praying about what God would have me do next, I wondered, “Wouldn’t it be funny if God led me back to Mexico after this 20+ year detour in Venezuela.” I did look into the possibility, but God directed me to Peru instead. Before leaving Peru, I had an invitation to minister in another country, so TEAM was investigating the possibility of opening that country as a new field for TEAM. Everything was always positive, but the door would close. Another positive opportunity there, but, again, the door would close. It was disappointing and then, SURPRISE!!!! The TEAM Mexico field has invited me to join them when I least expected it! Honestly, I wasn’t even thinking about it. Doesn’t God have a great sense of humour?!!!! He TOTALLY got me! And my birthday… April 20th. What a great birthday present!

There are several very interesting ministry options that would like for me to join them as soon as possible, so they’ve invited me to do a Vision Trip as soon as possible to see the ministries and talk and pray about possibilities. I wanted to get the news out ASAP, so you could join us in prayer, even though there aren’t any specific details yet. I am very excited about going to the southern Baja Peninsula of Mexico, but want to be sure it is God leading.

Please pray for

A confirmation (the rest of the requests are contingent on that)

The timing of the vision trip, probably in April

The defining of the ministry

The timing of the move to Mexico

A visa to Mexico (which becomes easier when I hit the age I’ll be at in a few weeks!)

Funds for the purchase of a small SUV, needed for the ministry, and guidance as to where to make the purchase

The best way to get my stored things from Peru to Mexico

Those are the requests that come to mind after having just received the news.

Thanks so much for standing with me in prayer during this time of transition. It’s great to see God answer our prayers! He doesn’t always do it the way we expect Him to or the way we want Him to, but, because we know God is sovereign, we can trust Him and obediently follow His leading. This sounds like the follow-up to the message I shared at church yesterday! God is awesome!

Here’s a collage of another surprise, Snow Buntings – a first-time sighting for me of these birds from the Arctic that are only here in the winter.

Pleasantly surprised,


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