We are family!
“And His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation.” - Luke 1:50
Growing up in a small town, I learned a lot about life and one thing that was instilled in us was that your friends will be your friends, but your family will always be your family. I grew up loving family gatherings, a reunion, a birthday, a holiday, or whatever the occasion, the opportunity has always been wonderful. To hear the different generations share their respective stories, challenges and victories does the soul well and makes us better for it.
Something that we teach in Ecuador, is that the family is the first “religious institution” that God set up. It happened when He noticed that it was not good for Adam to be alone. There is such power in family unity and for that reason, our adversary will do all he can to stop it.
In the jungle we make sure the churches we plant are much more than just about a building and a weekly gathering, those bodies of believers become a spiritual family. One that should share their stories of God’s faithfulness and His goodness.
Over the last several months we have had many “family get-togethers”. Baptismal services where those who are 9 to 90 years-old could make their public proclamation to join the “family of God.” VBS where for almost 10 years running we have ministered to our extended spiritual families all over the jungle, this year alone we will hold 20 VBS outreaches and we expect more than 3000 kids in total to attend. And finally just this last week, Leah had the opportunity to lead a VBS in the village we went to, 18 years ago, while we were still on our honeymoon. She not only taught about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but she also performed the first baby dedication in the village’s history. Over 30 newborns and babies were placed into the Father’s hands for safekeeping, their parents agreed to raise them in the “fear and admonition of the Lord.” These stories have me humming the lines of the old song,
I’m so glad I’m part of the Family of God
I’ve been washed in fountain and cleansed by His blood
Joint heirs with Jesus, as we travel this sod
For I’m part of the family, the Family of God
Often when we write an update, you know that we are reaching villages or certain rivers with the message of eternity, but today we want you to know that due to your prayers and giving we are bringing in generations of natives into our spiritual family. One day, sooner than ever, we will gather for the biggest family gathering ever, around the Father’s throne, to celebrate what Jesus and the Holy Spirit did for us. Thank you for being a part of this amazing family that God has given us.
May He always keep you in his hands,
Joil and Leah Marbut
Drew, Will, Emelia and Aidan