Thursday, November 14, 2013

Perspective from a Co-worker in the Vineyard


I tweeted about my $161 traffic ticket yesterday. But there was more than that to it. Here's the more:

I knew I was speeding. I knew I was guilty. The unmarked car was a fancy one (probably a state vehicle) so when I saw it pull out and follow me, I knew I was done.

I rolled down my window and immediately said I was sorry, remembering that confession, although good, does not excuse me from consequence. I still had to pay. I handed over my registration and insurance card and waited. Guess who appeared?

An Asian looking man walking toward me on the highway! My window was rolled down so when he walked past I asked him if he was going to UCONN. He said yes. I asked if he wanted a ride. He asked how long it would take. I looked back at the policeman writing up my ticket and said...probably about 5 minutes. He smiled and climbed into my stinky van which usually smells like rotten vegetables or dead animals at any given moment.

We chatted and the officer came back with my "reduced fee" ticket since I had such a good driving record. The Asian man started asking him questions about driver's licenses and international driving. The police man looked at me, confused. I told him I'd take care of it.

As we drove away, I learned that I had picked up a Visiting Scholar. His wife was here: she didn't know a lot of English. And his daughter was at a university in NYC on a full scholarship. He had just gotten here 4 days ago and wanted to be dropped off at the AT&T store so he could get in line with all the other internationals who were waiting in a long line to get their new IPHONE!

We exchanged business cards. We had a conversation. It was typical conversation to be had with a new international (only some of you will know what that means! ISI people and the like). As I drove away, I had a thought about Someone.

The price of that connection was $161. But the Someone I am thinking of paid much more to ransom and redeem my soul. As I found myself moved to tears over such a thought, I was thankful for the ticket and a chance to meet a new soul who could possibly change the world.

Eternal purposes made of mundane, daily life things. Ah, that's what He does.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Aligning with God's Call

  We have been praying for a destination for over 2 years, since we had a sense that we would be moving.  Last year our Regional Field Director asked if we would be willing to move to the Washington D.C. area to focus on re-building the ministry there.  After a season of prayer we felt that this was God's direction for us.  Taking a deep breath, we started making preparations for the move.  Then life events happened:  funerals, engagements, weddings ... and timing for the move came firmly under God's control, not ours (of course, it is always in His Hands, we just recognized it). 
  Now, finally, our home is for sale and we await the next step and the miracles that are needed to complete the move.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Glory mixed with Sadness

We were jolted by the call from my sister. My brother, Bob’s, pneumonia treatment had suddenly morphed into major cancer spread once the imaging was completed. Bob moved to the local hospice and we had only one lucid visit before the drugs took him into unconsciousness to avoid the pain of progressing disease. During my last visit, I still took time to address Bob’s spirit and speak into him the Word of Life. I prayed with him and read Scripture. I was very, very glad for the sense of the Lord’s Presence and Peace. Bob was in hospice barely a week.

I had the privilege to officiate the funeral and grave-side services, though it was difficult. Even the steady soaking rain seemed determined to drench us and our hope. Of course, the only true Hope is in Jesus, and He will never be destroyed. “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness./ I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but whole-ly lean on Jesus’ Name.”

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A New Thing

The beginning of the school year is always full ... full of students, full of activities, full of surprises!The following report comes from one of our new ministry representatives.

"I have to tell you about a really crazy thing happened to me the other day," a student said while we sat on campus.  A few weeks prior to this conversation she had said that even though she's been coming to Bible discussions, what we talk about there doesn't make sense.  She said its like we're talking about an invisible person that we can't see, and don't know if he exists-so it doesn't make any sense to her.  She said that the testimony she had heard of another student was interesting to her-but it still made no sense to her.  She said, "I don't know if God exists, so how can I believe in him?"

As we continued to talk and I shared experiences of answered prayer, and evidence of God, I invited her to simply go home and say- "If there is a God who exists who made me, show yourself to me so that I can know you."  Skeptically she said she would try.

This is where her "crazy thing" came in.  She approached me on campus to share a story of how she had gone home that day and asked God to show himself.  A few days later, she was out of money.  She opened her wallet to find $40 that wasn't there before.  Surprised, she felt like God put it there.  Then a day later, she was again short $5 to pay a large bill.  She said this time she thought, if God did that before, maybe he will provide again.  She found a $5bill crammed in a pocket of her purse.  "What should I do now?"she asked sincerely.  She, for the first time experienced and realized the reality of a God who exists, listens and acts.  She wants more and openly admits that she feels lost.  She expressed that she wants to start coming to church and knowing more of this God that hears and responds.

"See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland."

Praise the Lord that He moves in miraculous ways! Pray that He would make Himself know to her."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


It is a joy to sit and reflect in the midst of this hot summer on the many things that God has done and is doing.  Daniel and Melaniew wedding in June was a beautiful and delightful intenational event.  Our home was full of family , original and new, from all over the world.                                                                                                                                                   
Then we joined our ISI family in Colorado Springs amidst the heat and fires.  Last year the hotel was evacuated due to the fires, which came within 100 yards.  This year we could see and smell them from the hotel but they were on the east, moving east. Conference was a time of joy mixed with saddness.   Inspiring speakers, rest, & reuniting with co-laborers. However, we have several friends who have lost homes in this year's fire.  Please join us in prayer for their recovery.                                                                                                                                                                    
We spent an evening at UConn ICF to say "farewell"  to our beloved friend ChiChi who is leaving after blessing us with her gifts of teaching and prayer.  We will miss her.  Our hearts were warmed as she shared the way God used ICF in her life and used her prophetic gift to inspire us to keep on keeping on.  That same evening a lovely Chinese gal shared in a creative Chinese/English lesson that ICF was her "big family", and a "place to everywhere" (ie:of influence and opportunity).  Another departing student shared shyly that the prayers of ICF volunteers helped her through a very difficult time while here. Such blessings belong to    our Lord! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

1000 Words times 4

The wedding was beautiful!  We are blessed!
Our Family with Grandma , new brother in law and new inlaws from Germany

The very, very happy couple Daniel and Melanie Cossette

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Good Soil

We are so blessed.  Carol is a "personal English partner" to a young Chinese woman and they have been meeting for a couple of years.  They have enjoyed shopping, coffee/tea meetings, and walks in the parks.  We have gotten to know her husband over time and shared many meals together.  As the evidence of answered prayer mounted up, and the testimony of Jesus was being heard, they asked us for a Bible study.  It has been so joyful to pour water gently on thirsty ground.  They want to know everything and have lots of questions.  As graduate students, they have little "free" time.  Demanding professors require more than normal workload and hours.  But our friends are making the time to read and study on their own time as well.  Normally, graduate students take 2 or 3 university courses over the summer.  So we asked our friends what they would be studying this summer.  "oh," they replied, with big smiles " we are studying the Bible with you!"  
And now, Lord Jesus, water the seeds and warm the earth.  Let deep roots grow and the plant thrive and bring forth fruit in season.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Good News from UConn ICF!

We have great stories form our last couple meetings.

One of graduate students received freedom during a time of worship when we were worshiping about how God breaks every chain. She felt the tangible presence of God come to her and break off some chains. Following this event, God set in order some relationships to bring healing and clarity in a transforming way.

One of volunteers went through a difficult trial when they found out that a potential cyst could be cancerous. In the heat of the trial of their faith, God spoke to the father(about his daughter) in a powerful way that she was going to be ok. The cyst is benign!
One of volunteers had a baby about 4 months went through a trial of their faith, when their baby was born with no heart beat. They prayed calling the baby to live and not die and the baby came back to life and they called off the coroner. Later the baby was healed of some stuff further and is doing fine now.

We also rejoice! because an international professor along with his daughter received Christ after a long journey of inquiry and seeking the truth. We celebrate the gift of salvation and coming into the family.

Last night, God poured out his Spirit on us and we prayed for one another that the power of fear would be broken over our lives and that God's love would be poured out and that we would remain strong in our faith in spite of the obstacles. There were very few people in the room that did not feel the love of our heavenly Father in room!

We thank God and give Him Glory for these awesome things He has done!

from Will Meier

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Journey Surprise

When Daniel planned his summer trip to England  & North Carolina there were specific venues and people.  in North Carolina he joined mime associates in an Art Camp for teens.  There were various instructors for various art forms.  It was a great time for all!


the smart family

The trip to England to work and perform at Project Dance London included the fun of meeting and working with friends. One friend became especially interesting!  Although they have known oneanother for 10 years, Dan and Melanie felt a special kinship this time.
Dan & Melanie street mimes

Dan performs in London

After an autumn long distance courship, Dan & Melanie got engaged on Boxing Day in England!  We are very excited for them and rejoice!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

NE Regional Conference It was the BEST of times!!!

When we get-together as a family we have a great time together!  Richard and I drove in sunshine on dry roads, through rain, fog, sleet and snow to get to Buffalo, NY!  We pressed through it all and God met us with amazing blessings.
Game of International Opinion
We played together and prayed together!
We prayed in small groups, as a family, and on the campuses in Buffalo.  We met and made new friends and enjoyed renewing older friendships.

We worshipped together, were greatly encouraged by our speaker, and were trained in M28 Bible study.

Father restored the Joy in His Salvation !!!!
We enjoyed a sumptuous banquet and celebrated with Buffalo the work that God is doing in their midst!  We mingled with and encouraged their supporters.
ISI President Dr.Doug Shaw

Family Photo

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

He is Faithful

I am learning more and more about the faithfulness of God in the details of life.  Most recently, we were on the Cape prior to the blizzard helping Mom with more of the details of living alone and making more of the necessary legal adjustments.  God favored us so completely at the RMV, banks, doctors and such that we got a lot done in a few days.  Plus, the extra household helps got done.  We left Mom as prepared as we could for the blizzard, then we hurried home to prepare ourselves.
Winter Beach
All through the storm we all connected and kept electricity, even Mom.  Then Monday morning we got the call from a neighbor.  They had lost power Saturday night ... the neighbors were leaving because the prognosis was "no electricity until Thursday night."  Mom was cold but didn't want to leave.  What God orchestrated next was a symphony of phone calls and caring neighbors that changed the tide and helped Mom decide to go to "the inn" with a neighbor couple to warm up at least for the night.  These loving people also offered to drive Mom to CT the next day!  How good is God.  We made rendezvous plans for the next day.  Then we continued in prayer, alerting family to the situation.

Then God
in His infinite compassion & mercy, restored electricity to the neighborhood!  We so praise Him!  When last we spoke with Mom she was still recovering from the emotional stress & the cold. The house was gradually warming.  And the arduous long car trip was averted. We are rejoicing and thankful for all He has done for us.
Snow, Ice, and the Calm After a Storm

Monday, January 7, 2013

Volunteers Make it Happen!

Fruit in Annandale

Indian Cooking


orchard trip October 2012

Summer picnic

When we joined ISI ,20 plus years ago, we agreed that one of the virtues of this ministry is that we value and utilize "the Church" and other ministries.  Partnership is one of our keys to blessing.  We love working in concert with churches all over the northeast and partnering with other outreaches to help strengthen them.  We are blessed.                                                                                                                                

Christmas Concert

Joy in New Jersey