Faithfully Present – Albano Update June 2023

Hello family! I want to begin by saying it was a pleasure celebrating another Resurrection Sunday with my Saving Grace family! I am so thankful to be praising with you all, the One who made a public spectacle of sin and death by rising on the third day; and because of that, the tomb is empty and we are full! To those of you who joined us for our Easter breakfast, I am thankful for the opportunity to have helped fill your bellies. It has been a tremendous blessing how God has used my passion for cooking to serve my brothers and sisters in the Lord. As a brother had told me, so much fellowship takes place around the dinner table, and it’s a joy to fill the plates and create those opportunities. The idea has been put on my heart of using this as a ministry opportunity overseas, especially regarding the highly relational Muslim culture I’m praying about serving in.

For our mission studies I continually try to add new cuisines to my skill set, and three of our last four studies I made Middle Eastern dishes. I love how it has me shop at Fresh Choice, a Middle Eastern market, and has given me the opportunity to connect with a Lebanese woman while picking out grape leaves, and with a Palestinian checker by responding to his Arabic greeting in Arabic. Besides the cooking I have been blessed with the stewardship of our Middle East care team in place of our dear brother who will is now on the field! I’m so happy to be organizing a monthly family meeting where we talk to “Dad” on behalf of our dear brothers and sisters breaking ground on this amazing new work. Prayer is so powerful for the empowerment of God’s angelic armies, and we want to support them as best we can considering the spiritual strongholds over this part of the world. I also am excited to see how God moves through this stewardship regarding my own calling to the Muslim people.

Our departing brothers and sisters had a yard sale to get rid of more of their belongings and earn some money in the process, and it has stoked my own fire to do likewise. I’ve had thirty plus years of things I’ve acquired in a small storage unit and have begun clearing it out. I cannot justify paying rent for things I cannot hold onto, especially with what I’m feeling called to do. I’m looking forward to further downsizing and hopefully making some money in the process, especially to help clear up some credit card debt which is certainly an obstacle to any further steps.

Regarding daily life, work has been good! It’s definitely a blessing to be at a company which is so lenient with requesting time off for any and all trips I take, the last of which was Israel just a few weeks ago! It was amazing to spend the time touring the Holy Land and to have the Bible open up to me in new and marvelous ways! There were definitely special moments with the Lord and with the team that I’ll have to share in my next update. As for special moments here at home, God gave me such a sweet word in my morning devotions. I got caught up reading Esther (too good to put down) and stopped about five chapters later, finishing in chapter 8. Then right after I had the Messianic Psalm 110 where something struck me profoundly, and that was, yet again, the message to GO! Psalm 110 describes how Christ will judge among the nations at His second coming, and Esther 8 says:

“The couriers who rode on royal horses went out, hastened and pressed on by the king’s command. And the decree was issued in Shushan the citadel.”
‭‭Esther‬ ‭8‬:‭14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

If the couriers had not gotten the message to the Jews in time, they would not have known that they could defend themselves from their impending doom; and the king hastened them. Christ our king, in his final commandment and great commission, tells us to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observes all things that He has commanded us. When we know that people are dying without Christ and going to hell every second this Old Testament story is a great illustration of how dire the situation really is. People across the globe, especially in the 10/40 window, need to know that there is a means of deliverance from their impending doom. Just this morning in my quiet time I had a vision of an ominous shadowy figure, mostly amorphous but with a distinguishable evil grin and clawed hands. It was flying through the air and parallel to innumerable Muslims on their faces praying, as if eager to snatch them. After praying for the people I saw a veiled skeleton looking up and disintegrating, with the veil falling to the ground. My first impression was the fate of the people, but then I felt the Lord tell me it meant that death is fading and the veil will fall.

Prayer Requests

  • That the light of the gospel would tear through the darkness of the Islamic stronghold, and that the veil would indeed fall
  • That the Lord would bless the roots being placed in the Middle East, and that I would be sensitive to the guidance of His Holy Spirit for the perfect will He has for me
  • That I would be diligent and faithful with all the stewardship He has blessed me with here and now
  • That the Lord would provide, should He desire me to go to Peru in September, to help with and attend the mission conference

Praise Reports

  • I’m an uncle! My sister Nicole and brother-in-law Arron had a precious little boy named Maddox (also please pray for their salvation, that God would use parenthood to draw them near)
  • The fifth year of the Calvary School of Missions is about to begin! (Please pray for full surrender from the students, clear direction from the Lord regarding missions, and blessing and refreshment for the saints who will be assisted and served)
  • I will be in the wedding of a dear brother who moved to the east coast. (Please pray for all to go according to plan and for a blessed time of fellowship and reuniting)