Bruce and Stephanie Beers
Prayer Letter/Ministry Update
Beach Therapy. That is what we call it. Uruguay has approximately 400 miles of coastline, with long stretches of beautiful beaches. Since we live just 4 blocks from the beach, we like to go there to walk for our daily exercise. We exercise not only our bodies, but our souls as well. Surprisingly enough, you can really learn a lot at the beach. We walk, we pray, we sing, we observe, we sit, we listen.
During the summer months, the beaches are packed with people, searching for a place to relax and get some relief from the hot sun. Delighted squeals of children can be heard, beach chairs and umbrellas dot the sand as vacationers from around the world, and locals as well flock to the waterfront. The dogs leap into the water after an elusive object, and come out triumphantly, stick-in-mouth, brackish water dripping from their coat. The beach is the perfect backdrop for setting off fireworks for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. In February, the beach is littered with dead chickens, candles, shards of styrofoam make-shift rafts and the remains of food offered to the sea goddess, Imanja. During Holy Week, called Tourism Week here, severed goat heads washed ashore as evidence of other sacrifices made.
When the winds pick up in the fall, the surfers take to the choppy, churned up waters to see who can master them. The colorful kites attached to the surfboard lay lifeless on the beach, then suddenly, out of nowhere they are full and billowing and their riders are skimming across the water and at times airborne. When winter settles in, the water takes on a dark and foamy mochachino aspect as it beats against the rocks and gobbles up the sand.
At all hours of the day you can see teens with their pony tails a-swaying, jogging with their ear buds firmly implanted, or serious athletes doing their timed sprints, older couples strolling hand-in-hand on the sand, families riding their bikes together, fishermen hauling in their catch-of-the-day, people drinking mate (a typical hot tea type drink) and watching the sunset. At one local beach, as the last rays of light descended behind the horizon, everyone on the beach broke into applause. What or Who were they clapping for? Every sunset certainly deserves a standing ovation to the One who made it, but unfortunately sometimes we are too busy to even notice.
Lessons learned at the beach:
1. The seagulls toddle on the sand and hop into the waves, they don't worry or fret... "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)
2. How do the waves know when to stop? They don´t try and get their own way, they just do what God tells them. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:27-29 MSG)
3. The boats and cruise ships line up and wait their turn to come into port. We need to wait on the Lord (hmmm, I really don't like waiting). "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)
4. Many shells scattered on the beach are knobby and rough on the outside, but when turned over they reveal an iridescent mother-of-pearl lining. It is more important who we are on the inside, than what we do on the outside. "If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate." (I Cor. 13:1 MSG)
5. The Spirit goes and blows wherever He wants to, not where I want Him to. "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
6. Everybody is searching for meaning in life, for hope, for love, a reason to live...whether they know it or not. "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." (Ecclesiastes 3:11NIV)
What have you learned at the beach?
The reason we are able to serve in Uruguay is because you and so many others give to the Great Commission Fund. Your generous support allows us to partner with you in the great work of sharing the gospel of hope with our world. There is no greater privilege than this.
Each year around this time, the U.S. Alliance family joins hands and hearts to celebrate Great Commission Sunday. It is an event that unites you—the senders, and us—the sent ones, as we reaffirm our commitment to broaden the reach of the gospel of Christ into areas where He is not yet proclaimed. It is also an opportunity to send more workers into these places.
Is your church celebrating Great Commission Sunday? If so, find out when, and prayerfully consider how God would have you join others in your church to introduce lost people to the One who provides hope for this life and eternity!
If your church is not participating in Great Commission Sunday, you still can by visiting www.cmalliance.org/gcsunday.
Yours in His Service, Bruce and Stephanie.
Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer
1. Reflection Group--pray for our Friday night gathering as we read, discuss and put into practice what the Bible says.
2. Ladies Bible Study--pray that God would give us wisdom as we learn and live the Fruit of the Spirit.
3. Divine Contacts--to see where God is already at work and get involved.
4. English Camp!--to be held July 1-12. If you are interested in partnering with us in any way, please drop us a line and we will send you more information.
5. We will be traveling to the US this week for our daughter's graduation from Nyack College. We are so thankful for this milestone in her life!
Updated: April 22, 2013
- Children's Names
- Field Assignment
- Country of Service
The Alliance believes wholeheartedly in the power and necessity of prayer. We cannot “Live the Call Together” unless prayer is central to all we do—in our denomination, in our churches, and in our individual lives.
You can help build Christ’s Church around the world by donating online to the Great Commission Fund. This central funding vehicle allows our international workers to focus on ministry rather than raising financial support.
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