Merry Christmas to you all! The celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is probably already starting. Praise the Lord! Let our praises go forth now, early, whenever; time to thank our Father for the greatest gift of all, His Son. I like the psalmist shouting out in Psalm 96:12, “Let the field be joyful and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice.” Nature breaks forth in praise every day. We should too.
Classes to grow by
All of us missionary interns are keeping very busy. It’s such a blessing to watch the Lord work in all of our lives here on the home front, getting us ready to serve Him wherever and whenever He calls us. We just finished a Tuesday evening class on Discipleship. Our Wednesday afternoon class just started an overview of the book of Romans. Overview – does Pastor Trent know what that word means? Love it! It’s my favorite book in the Bible because the Lord showed me so clearly what grace really is and that our puny self-centered works don’t amount to a hill of beans. Let’s pray Pastor Trent spends many clsss sessions in this wonderful gem of a book.
In addition to our weekday missions classes, Pastor Trent and his wife Debbie open up their home twice a month after Sunday church for a missions Bible study, fellowship and potluck. This is open to anyone with a heart for missions and again we are so privileged to join together in one accord and share how our Lord has been stirring our hearts to serve in the mission field. On occasion some of our own Saving Grace World Missions (SGWM) missionaries on furlough join us and give updates on the real deal. A lot of life changing seeds have been planted in souls during these fellowships. I know. I have my own little garden growing inside me that germinated right inside this home a year or so ago. Love how the Lord works.
Students to love on
I’m still zoom teaching my Monday thru Wednesday English classes and loving every second of it for Voice of Refugees (VOR). See VOR here It’s developed into quite an international venue for sure. Two of our students are zooming from the Middle East – one from Libya and another from Egypt while my partner in crime, Teacher Assistant, Autumn, is zooming from London, England enjoying her evening cup of tea. “Good evening to all of you!” we greet each other as I finish my morning coffee. The students are truly remarkable. Our new colloquial phrase is, “Hey, what’s new?” Yea, the grammar and vocabulary are important for sure, but my number one focus is for the students to speak English as much as they can. Converse. Chit chat. We have a ball. Just recently after a class I got to share my testimony to all the zoom VOR students. We share the Lord whenever we get a chance.
VOR food deliveries
In the last couple months or so, I started serving at the VOR offices on Thursdays in food packaging and deliveries to refugee families in Orange County. Now this is really cool because in addition to working behind the scenes getting all the food ready in boxes and stuff, we get to go out and actually see “in person” the families on our “route.” (Zoom teaching does have its limits.) Over the last several weeks I have developed friendships with some of these families and it is such a blessing to be with them, if just for a few minutes. Everyone is so loving. “Come in and have coffee.” I seem to not get my “route” done until it gets dark. Ha! What can I say?
Oh, one more thing. On Saturday, December 12, VOR did a drive-thru toy outreach at our offices in Anaheim. Talk about the Christmas spirit! We had over 100 families with 200 kids drive through all day. It was totally organized, so many people came out to volunteer as the cars kept rolling in. We made the best of this different Christmas season. All I know is I saw a lot of smiley happy kids that day.
Devos to learn from
We’re rounding the bend teaching the book of 1st Corinthians on our Facebook page; 15-20 minute devotions as we go through the entire book, verse by verse. Now this is something else. I’ve been doing around one a week so I am like eating up the word of God making sure I am properly prepared to speak the truth. Talk about being held accountable. I am so thankful for this opportunity because I am learning so much of what God has go say to all of us. The Lord is revealing Himself more and more as I dig into His word. In Hebrews 4:12, the author says, “For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword…”. Keep cutting away Lord and don’t stop! I pray that just one person gets blessed by God’s word on the other end. We’re on Christmas break now. Come join us on Calvary Chapel Saving Grace Facebook page every weekday at 9:00 am PST. We’ll be kicking off the new year on January 4, 2021 with 1 Corinthians 14:20-33.
Smiles to worship with
Welcome to Calvary Chapel Saving Grace! Wow – I was given the opportunity to head up the Welcome Ministry at church around the time we opened up our doors a few weeks ago. Isn’t that cool! Corral together a team of glistening pearly whites to start the Lord’s day (ah, every day’s the Lord’s day, right?) is just another privilege the Lord has blessed me with. I gotta get a bigger cup I want to thank all of you who have served in this ministry. We do all have a lot of fun. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed be? Mucho gracias Pastor Tim for this opportunity.
Goals to strive for
In the beginning of September I made a goal to run so many miles by the end of the year. I was running (and walking) every day except Sundays. Boy, was I ever “buffeting my body” (1 Corinthians 9:27) because I completed this goal before Thanksgiving! Time to raise the bar. We need to create goals in a lot of things we do so we can continue to go forward and grow more and more with the Lord.
I had a cool treat near end of October. Our church had a visiting missionary from Jordan come stay with us for a couple weeks. He has been serving there for over a couple years now. I noticed he had a pair of running shoes on – actually they were just ugly worn out tennies – but I used them as a conversation point that led him to accept my invitation to run a 5K race with me in Long Beach that Saturday. We had a lot of fun, talked most of the time about him serving in Jordan and my heart to teach English and tell others about Jesus. Well, we actually did pretty good – 3rd place out of 9 runners. Hey, I FINALLY got to run with someone from church. One more thing off my bucket list. Yeah! Thanks Phil. We did it!
I want to thank all who have offered up prayers and provided financial support for me this year in my calling to serve the Lord in missions. Please continue praying for me and also partnering with financially. You know you can run with me too, really. If you would like to support me financially either on an ongoing basis or through a one-time donation, you can do so by clicking the “Become A Financial Partner” button below, or you can mail a check written out to Saving Grace World Missions with “Jim Needham support” in the memo section and mail it to: Saving Grace World Missions, 17451 Bastanchury Rd., Suite 203, Yorba Linda, CA 92886-1873.
Yes, this has been a bizarre and for some of you a scary, sickly year. But we must continue to put our faith in our Lord Jesus to carry us through this season. Get alone with Him every single morning before you start your day. Believe me, I am learning more and more this is the most important thing I need to do. He so wants to have our company. Right?
How the Lord is stirring my heart for the students and everyone I serve with at Voice of Refugees (VOR)
How the Lord is moving in my heart more and more, one day at a time, to tell people about my Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ.
How the Lord is creating a desire in my heart to kick back in the morning and listen for that still quiet voice. Sometimes I hear Him outside too with the birds!
Patience, what can I say? I am getting better at it by His grace.
That I will learn more about His love for me. He really loves us so so much.
That the Lord would continue to stir my heart for those who have not heard of Jesus Christ by providing for their spiritual (prayer) and physical (go there !!!) needs.
Would you pray for our SGWM missionaries around the world? Most of them are having a very difficult time in every way. Thank you.
The Lord continue to bless each and everyone of you and your families now and as we start a new year together. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!