Archive for February, 2011

The Blessing of Tithing

February 26, 2011

The Blessing of Tithing

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News from Peru – Maria

February 24, 2011

News from Peru (Maria) Feb 23, 2011

I did not plan on having a mission so soon here in Peru. Well, there was one and more perfect and powerful than what I would have ever imagine. On January 26, just few days before the “Camp of Faith and Prayer”, three wonderful Canadians (Lucille, Mike and Coco), ready to serve and share Jesus love, arrived in Peru. This group was as powerful as having a big team of people and the Lord used each of them perfectly for His glory. The timing was so perfect that even free accommodation was provided during their stay in Peru. They came in faith, in spite of their limited resources, and the Lord honoured their obedience.

I am writing this message while I listen to “Amazing Grace”, one of Mike’s CDs left with me. I am so moved thinking he also left his t-shirts, running shoes and all he could for the poor….he also left an empty space in the heart of many here. What an encouragement, for me and all the Peruvians that met this 22 year old man that brought so much of Jesus character wherever we went.

Coco, a 10 year old kid with the wisdom of one that knows God, was part of the team. I noticed this treasure of child long ago, when he was only six. He is the youngest son of Lucille, a dear friend of mine. At that time I asked him to keep Peru in his prayers. Before coming to Peru, in only three days, he collected small toys and cloth from his school mates to bring to the kids of Peru. He also brought his savings for his own expenses. Coco is a child that knows the power of prayer and loves Jesus with all his heart. Now, he also knows brands and flavours of Peruvian ice cream, better than Peruvians. He is also very knowledgeable of chocolates, to the point that after he described the various kinds of chocolates there were in a box he brought me (the best in the world), I couldn’t sleep thinking in the chocolates and got up to eat them. That is how convincing he is.

Lucille, the third Canadian in the team, mother of Coco and Mike’s aunt is a dear sister in Christ and good friend of mine. She came to Peru with her two older kids, four years ago with LJH mission. We exchanged few e-mails and few days after that, they were all in Peru.

There was a day the four of us went to the ocean travelling close to 1.5 hours through the Peruvian Coastal desert. After all the fun and mixing of food, ice cream and ocean, Coco was sick. We passed by the small restaurant of some friends of mine in the ocean town. They prayed for Coco and the next day he was fine. These Christian friends see major miracles all the time. They are simple people, used to walk in faith. The week before our visit a woman with bone cancer had received total healing surprising doctors and people in the town. They are familiar with miracles and live in the joy of the Lord all the time in spite that their circumstances are not easy. I don’t see them very often but when I do, the conversation, prayer and exchange is so deep that it feels as if I known them from all my life. They get together in a mountain to pray for that town once a week. The most incredible miracle they received, that even brought doctors to Jesus, took place few years ago when the son of the Pastor received healing from AIDS. He was at a point of no return, almost death. These people have never taken courses or conferences about the various ”techniques” on how to get closer to God or to be used in healing but they have received something no money can buy. Some of the people that gather at the restaurant have not even finished high school, but they know their Bible. They are fishermen, others work in carpentry and they run this small restaurant where they share about Jesus. The power of God comes from the testimony of their life, walking in faith, obedience and integrity, trying to please Jesus not compromising with men. By the way, the 2007 earthquake destroyed their restaurant and LJH provided a little help.

Many things we might never know happened at the Camp. The Lord, in His mercy, has allowed me to witness many of the fruits in the kids that went to the Camp last year. This time, the ones that came with me were 15 people. These included Canadians, las Columnas kids, Ruth, her mother and baby sister from Huanuco and my niece Liliana. Many more people wanted to come but there was no way I could take more. The father of some of the kids, a taxi driver, worked 18 hours for few days to be able to send some of his kids to the Camp. He was so moved at the change he saw in his girls last year that he wanted to come himself (he is a man that had to work as a child and did not have toys). He knows the danger there is at las Columnas (drugs, alcohol, …). One of his girls became pregnant at 16 (she came to the Camp this time). All these people are becoming very close to me. I invited all the time to enter their humble homes where they share their dreams, fears, sufferings and joys. What a privilege for me. Last week I was celebrating the birthday of the mother of the 5 girls that have come to the last two Camps. She has given her life to Jesus and many things are changing in her home. It was so wonderful not only to share the cake but the spiritual food that makes us cry and accept each other in the only and true love that heals any wound. I am going this afternoon to have a math context (various levels) and the prices are the soccer t-shirts brought by Coco. Mikes luggage is already in the jungle being used by a family that was traveling there.

Las Columnas is located downtown Lima, very close to the Government Palace. Fr. Bob’s sister who belongs to a group that gathers Christians from different denominations to help a project in the world every year, after seeing the you tube of las Columnas, suggested to her group to choose to help this project. At the beginning we were going to help with the running of a soup kitchen, but the thing they needed the most was washrooms and fixing of the underground pipes and that is what we did. Some of the money came from England and half from Canada. Many things are changing at God’s timing, faster than what I would have imagine. There is not much time, there is also a prompting in my spirit to build the church in the hearts of the people. No time for physical mega churches or waiting anymore. God does not need our money but our obedience.

It wasn’t easy, it never is when we do God’s work, but He makes things possible and stretches our faith and obedience all the time. There were trials before going to the Camp. One of the many things that happened, was when the people coming from Huanuco (Claveliana, Ruth and baby) got lost in Lima, a city of more than 8 million people. They did not have a cell phone neither my phone number with them. Imagine a woman with a baby and an 11 year old girl carrying a big bag of potatoes and another of cancha (dry Indian corn) they were bringing as a present for me, walking the streets of Lima. They were walking with all that heavy weight close to 4 hours (6am to 10 am) when they entered a small corner store and miraculously, found Claveliana’s sister! They had not seen each other for over 10 years. This was in God’s perfect plan. Claveliana’s sister is marry to a Christian Pastor. That was the exact time, we (Lucille, Mike, Coco and I) were praying asking God for a miracle to find them. Isn’t God perfect? Of course, I was out of my mind when I did not find them at the bus station, but after an hour of anguish I realized God was bigger than all that and He knew where they were and was protecting them. My peace started at the time both sisters met each other (10 am) but I only learned where they were at 3 pm. It is easy to talk about faith but when we have to exercise it, all logic has to get out of the way and the joy of the Lord is so powerful that you know you have already received what you’re asking for!

Many things to share but I don’t want to tire you and I need to sleep (please forgive my spelling and eloquence), please continue keeping Peru in your prayers. I hardly read much now because so many things are happening here. I hardly write e-mails either but my time with the Lord is the most important. I know it is not me but Him that makes all things possible.

Love you all,

Maria

Year End Letter from Father Bob Poole

February 23, 2011

Dear friends,

It has been another eventful year for us at Lift Jesus Higher.

The main event was our move to St Ignatius parish , which took place at the end of September.

Our new location is still in the area of Vanier, but we are now back within a Catholic environment.

The change also enables us to celebrate Mass on a Sunday morning for the first time in nearly ten years. Hitherto we were restricted to having Mass in the afternoon, which has made it hard for people , especially for those with young families, to commit to coming to Lift Jesus Higher on a regular basis. We are grateful to Archbishop Terrence Prendergast for his help in steering us towards St Ignatius, and we wish also to thank Fr Michael Wright and the parishioners of St Ignatius for their warm welcome .

Another new occurrence for us at Lift Jesus Higher was the emergence of a Ladies Breakfast meeting, which began on August 28th and has continued to be held on the last Saturday of the month in our new location. My thanks to Linda Holmes, together with Monique Crowley, for their initiative in getting this going .

We ran a mission to Peru again this year, but it took a different track. We collaborated with Health Teams International, a body of medical professionals , who dedicate two weeks of their time each year to providing free medical help to third world countries. They have visited India, North Korea, countries in Africa, amongst others, but never been before to a South American country. Three members of the Lift Jesus Higher community accompanied a team comprising two doctors, two dentists, three dental assistants, an optician and his assistant , plus a pharmacist to Peru, where clinics were run , first in Huanuco then in Cusco . The dedication and compassion of the medical team were such an inspiration as they gave hours of their time each day to minister to the needs of those who would not normally be able to afford even the most basic treatment.

One aspect of our ministry at Lift Jesus Higher has always been our ecumenical outreach , as we seek to fulfill our vision of building “bridges” between the Catholic and Protestant denominations. Two events which stand out from this year was our involvement in the first ever inter-denominational Way of the Cross through the streets of Vanier on Good Friday, and a joint worship celebration in the grounds of Richelieu Park in mid-September , entitled “Celebrez Vanier Celebrate”.

As well as these special events, we ran our usual number of regular ministries, such as our Thursday prayer meetings, our twice-weekly Bible studies, Wednesday noon Mass and intercession before the Blessed Sacrament and Sunday summer socials, plus of course, our Sunday Mass (now at 11:30 am). We continue to seek new ways of being able to minister to the poor and needy in Vanier and tithe from our revenue to fund these activities .

I am deeply conscious that none of this would be possible without your unfailing and generous support.

So let me close by sending you my profound and heartfelt thanks for your kindness and generosity , and by requesting that you continue to keep us in prayer for all the Lord has for us in the year 2011. And be assured of our continued prayers for you, that God will bless you as richly as you have blessed us throughout this last year.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

Fr Bob Poole

Director, Lift Jesus Higher

LJH Ladies’ Breakfast with Martha Shepherd from Madonna House – Feb 26/11 @ 9:30 AM

February 14, 2011

Hi Ladies, and men with ladies in their lives.

Lift Jesus Higher is having another Ladies’ Breakfast on Saturday February 26, 2011. You are welcome to join us.

We would like to have as many women as possible hear the good words Martha Shepherd from Madonna House will have to share with us. Bring a friend or a family member or a neighbour.

Lillian

LJH Ladies’ Breakfast Feb 26 11.Martha Shepherd.ppt

More news from Maria in Peru – Feb 3/11

February 3, 2011

Hi there:

In an hour 15 people from “Las Columnas”, “Huanuco” and Canada will be joining the Camp of Faith and Prayer in the outskirts of Lima. I’ll be sharing more with you next week after the Camp is over, but please keep us in your prayers tonight at LJH group.

Lucille, Michael and Coco (from Canada) have the main ingredient needed to do God’s work here in Peru. “Love”, the universal and powerful language that the poor and destitute of the world so easily understand.

I am getting use to see miracles every day. Jesus example is what move us here and is contagious, no need for courses or books for that. In fact, the ones that teach us the most are children.

You are all in my heart. I hope it is not so cold there.

Hasta pronto,

Maria