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Grandmas visit

 July 2008 

One of the highlights during the month of July was having Kathy's mother, Grandma (nearly 94) stay with us for 10 days.What she shared with us further confirmed with us the importance of parents discipling their own children at a young age. Kathy has often told us that it was Grandma who prayed with her to receive the Lord when she was 8 years old.Grandma has had a huge impact in Kathy's life. But it was only recently that we realize how it came about in connection with the Billy Graham Crusade.

Kathy's family lived in Oamaru in the South Island and were active evangelical members of St Colomba Presbyterian Church. Billy Graham came to New Zealand in 1959 for a crusade & Grandma said that before the crusade, members of St Colomba trained to become counsellors for the crusade.

Grandma did this training and consequently, two year later, in 1961, she was able to lead Kathy to the Lord and follow her up. Kathy says that Grandma prayed with her each day. It made us realize what an awesome thing Grandma did in discipling Kathy. We realize afresh what a wonderful thing it is for parents to pray and share with their children, especially at a young age.

In the June newsletter, I shared about how two families in a house church had begun having Quiet Times. This month, we have some very encouraging news. The sharing together of their Q.T's is now becoming an established pattern. For the first month, we shared with them every Wednesday night, but then the school holidays came and it wasn't convenient for us to share with them for two weeks. We wondered if they would stop doing the QT's but they didn't. They were just as enthusiastic as before and the parents are now convinced of this simple strategy of getting families walking with God.

I introduced Scripture memory to them with the parents permission. I gave each person a laminated copy of Psalm 1 on one side and Psalm 16 on the other side. We talked a lot about how wonderful memorizing Scripture has been in our family. I suggested that they memorize one verse a week. This was two weeks ago. The next week we couldn't visit them because of extensive flooding on the road. They live at Moerewa, nearly 100 km's from us. Over the phone, however, one father said that some of his children had learnt the whole 6 verses of Psalm 1 while he had only managed 4 verses.

If any readers of this newsletter would like some laminated copies of Psalm 1 and Psalm 16, please click here to email us.

About two weeks ago, we started meeting with another two families in our own area. They are lovely families, but the husband/fathers are backslidden Christians and don't join in. They are, however, happy for us to meet with their wives and children. Both these mothers are very keen for us to meet with them. Our children have a good relationship with their children, having been with them in the local Christian school or attending the same church. Their older children, however, are starting to get quiet rebellious.

The first week that they came, we sensed that the children didn't want to be with us. They seemed disinterested, even though they had done the Quiet Times some years ago and had enjoyed doing them then. We explained again how families everywhere are struggling and we wanted to help them to know God. We gave out folders and Q.T sheets and did a practice run. Once again, I sensed they enjoyed sharing their blessings and what they got from their Q.T's. Most of them prayed short one sentence prayers of gratitude to God.

I said to one of the mothers that if she could get her children to do just one or two Q.T's it would be a start. She said that she might get them to have a couple of Q.T's in the weekend.

Well the next week, her daughters had done Q.T's most days while the boys had done one or two. The girls had decorated their folders. We feel that folders for keeping the Q.T sheets are very important. The folders we have are free and you only pay the postage. In New Zealand, the postage costs $1.50 a folder, but for any other country, the postage is a minimum of $12.00. If you live in a country outside New Zealand, it would probably be best to buy folders from your local stationery shop.

The sharing and praying over their Q.T's that second week didn't last very long so at the end of the time, our children played games with their children. They went away very happy.

Last April, we had a visit from Nigel Pyle, a cousin, who has been involved in setting up a Bible College and planting churches in the Philippines. He stayed with us for two nights and joined in with our family sharing the Q.T's. He said that he wanted to have all the families in their churches and the students at the Bible College doing the Quiet Times.

He returned to the Philippines to the city of Cebu and started the Q.T's with his family and is now delighted with what is happening in his family. He is now getting other families doing the Q.T's and has asked us as a family to help them promote this ministry. Consequently, we are flying to Cebu from August 20 to 10th September. In next month's newsletter, we will report on how these families are progressing in praying and sharing together.

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