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Sewell Story – November 2017 Newsletter

November 2017

“Watch Me Do it.” – Jesus

 

We have been in

 

a season of watching God be God. It’s exciting, and it’s changing us all. We believe you’ll be encouraged as you read these testimonies of the greatness of God.
It’s been six years since God told us to move to the Upper Valley and three years since we drove North. What do we have to show for it? I could tell you that we have a son, our smiles are a little bigger and we don’t want to leave. I could say that we have an impressive team of perseverers, but that’s not a real word.  I could say, “The BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.” That one might get me in trouble but it wouldn’t be too far from the truth.  I think the best answer I could give you is that we’ve learned to be children of God. We trust Him like the child whose daddy is tossing him up and catching him. We’ve learned to laugh when it feels like we are falling.

A Church on Fire

In March of 2016 a group of students from Discipleship Training School (DTS) in Texas joined us for a few days. We met in the basement of the Piermont Congregational Church for a time of worship with just our YWAM team and the DTS team from Texas. God showed up in power like at Pentecost. Students and staff alike began to pray for each other and prophesy what the Lord was saying. The following morning students told us they had fully surrendered their hearts to Jesus. A young woman was physically healed. One young man reported that he had been having demonic nightmares and that they had stopped. One woman shared that she had stopped having suicidal and wicked self-defeating thoughts. One young lady said that she felt beautiful for the first time ever as God expressed his love for her. Others reported stepping into their spiritual giftings for the first time.

One of the students shared a story with us. She said that when their team was still in Texas they had a prayer time for this outreach. The Lord showed her a little white church. Inside the church people were worshipping and the Spirit of the Lord descended on them. She looked up and saw the steeple was on fire, but it wasn’t burning.

She looked down and saw light shooting out of the windows and into the community.

It was revival. Here’s the fascinating part: when the DTS team first drove in to meet our YWAM Upper Valley team we met at the Piermont Church. She said this little church was the very church she had been shown in a vision!

This night in the basement of the church the vision was fulfilled. God started what can only be described as the beginning of true revival. God is on the move in New England. He wants the hearts of the people of the Upper Valley, and He’s coming for them. We’re excited to be here and to be a small part of it.

The Kingdom Come Worship Tour

This Spring we ran our first YWAM Upper Valley school. The Lord gave members of our team, Mike and Missie Anscomb, a passion to see the Holy Spirit welcomed into our corner of the United States.

We had three people officially join for class full time and then several individuals from the community came to smaller portions of the training. After the month of class, they hit the road for a worship and intercession outreach in all of the New England states. The team left our parking lot with almost no money and absolutely no place to stay and headed to Connecticut. God met their crazy faith with provision for housing and so many new friendships. They shared the love of Jesus in coffee shops, churches, on the street and even in bars during “Open Mic Nights”. By the end of their short stays in each location strangers became forever friends and asked for us to send more outreaches. These are the people we get to work with and call our team. People of faith. I’ll put a link to their newsletter on our website www.sewellstory.com.

Yeah, but what else is happening?

As mentioned above we host outreach teams from other locations in America. These are short bursts of intensive ministry. It requires a lot of energy and planning. When we are not doing this we are meeting for worship and to plan for future schools that we will run at our base here.

Micah gets to do quite a bit of preaching. Click HERE to listen to some of his sermons. 

Beth and I do a lot of work in private, much of which is counseling that can’t be debriefed in newsletters. God has been putting His finger on our hearts and has said over and over again, “I’m enough.” He has strategically placed us behind the scenes in many arenas in such a way that we couldn’t say, “YWAM Upper Valley did this.” We’re involved but we’re partnering. It’s the Body of Christ mutually blessing and being blessed. The only person who can take credit is the Holy Spirit. Pride can’t get in the way because it can’t even find a seat! It’s so good for us. One great example of this is what we consider to be our most effective ministry in the Upper Valley. From the beginning of our time in New England we’ve come alongside a group of intercessors. We encourage and lift each other up as we meet weekly and take ground for the Kingdom of God in prayer and worship. Our team gleans from their wisdom and experience while they are blessed by our freshness and hope.

Miracles in New England!

“And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” – 1 Corinthians 2:4

We’ve seen:

  • A man healed of Stage 4 Prostate Cancer
  • A girl’s flat feet were healed into arched feet
  • A man’s shoulder was unfrozen and unpained
  • And so many more stories! Come visit and encounter God.

What’s next?

YWAM Upper Valley’s next aim is to run a Discipleship Training School (DTS). If you’ve never heard of this email me.  In short, it’s a five month school for adults to get to know God. It’s the entry level program that every YWAM staff has attended. It includes a two month outreach.

What we have:

  • A YWAM house & property with enough rooms to get lost in, including staff apartments, a classroom, and dorm rooms.
  • Seven full-time staff and several more part-time or volunteer staff.
  • One student who just couldn’t wait. He’s currently serving as a volunteer until we run the DTS.

What we need:

  • A school leader who has previously staffed a DTS. (If this might be you please call me at 603-346-1307 or email me at micah@ywamuv.org TODAY)

Please pray with us. God will answer this need.

Support Micah & Beth

As missionaries with YWAM we do not receive a paycheck. Ministry is able to happen to the extent that we are funded. When we first moved here I worked a part time job along with ministry. It was beyond tiring, but it was how God provided for us to remain here increasing the Kingdom. This past Spring God told me to give up this job and watch Him provide. He has. It’s been fun, but to continue on we need to raise at least $800 a month.

Would you pray about partnering with us financially? No amount is too small.

Call 603-346-1307Email

Overflow with Hope

Then signaling to the children to stand as close around it as they possibly could, so that their faces were actually tickled by its whiskers, it added in a low whisper —
“They say Aslan is on the move – perhaps has already landed.”
And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was anymore than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning — either a terrifying one or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in his inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Ch. VII

Last week I was on my way to deliver this message to my church  in Piermont, New Hampshire, when I hit a patch of slushy snow. I slid about 150 feet and into a ditch. Now, that probably sounds scary or exciting, but it wasn’t. If you’ve ever hit ice or super slush like this, then you probably know what I mean when I say it happens in slow motion. It’s not because it triggers a metaphysical, introspective anomaly in which time is perceived differently. It’s literally slow. You lose control, and you have plenty of time to process how lame it’s going to be once you end up in that ditch as you inch towards it. So anyway, instead of preaching I sat in a ditch at 45° and had an incredible time. As I waited for my friend, Mark, to show up with a big truck I talked to over twenty people who stopped to see if they could help me. Not one of them was able to help me in any tangible way, but they showed me Jesus and gave me hope.

Now Narnia had been cursed by the White Witch to always be winter and never Christmas. It was into this setting that Mr. Beaver spoke a chilling message of hope. “Aslan is on the move.” I was trying to figure out why God put this cool moment from Narnia into my head and realized that C.S. Lewis was once again borrowing from the Bible. Jesus coming “at the fullness of time” did not mean He came during a wonderful time. Jesus arrived into a world ruled by a pagan idol of a man named Caesar. Israel was not truly autonomous and were not in a time of closeness with the Father. Babies were being killed. Sin and empty religion reigned together. In short, Hope stepped down into hopelessness.

It was the same with the prophesies about Jesus. Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans[a] of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” was given at the same time as Mic 1:2-7 “Hear, O peoples, all of you; Listen, O earth and all it contains, And let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, The Lord from His holy temple. (3) For behold, the LORD is coming forth from His place. He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth. (4) The mountains will melt under Him And the valleys will be split, Like wax before the fire, Like water poured down a steep place. (5) All this is for the rebellion of Jacob And for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the rebellion of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? What is the high place of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem? (6) For I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the open country, Planting places for a vineyard. I will pour her stones down into the valley And will lay bare her foundations. (7) All of her idols will be smashed, All of her earnings will be burned with fire And all of her images I will make desolate, For she collected them from a harlot’s earnings, And to the earnings of a harlot they will return.

Isaiah 7:14  “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”  and Isaiah 9:7 “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” were given to the same situation as Isaiah 1:2-4 “Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; For the LORD speaks, “Sons I have reared and brought up, But they have revolted against Me. (3) “An ox knows its owner, And a donkey its master’s manger, But Israel does not know, My people do not understand.” (4) Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the LORD, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have turned away from Him.”

The Messiah is coming. Yahweh is on the move! The message of hope was given during one of the darkest times in history – during the fall of Israel and Judah.

The original prophecy and message of the Gospel was Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” There was no worse time than this. In Genesis 3, 100% of the people on earth had just sided with Satan and sinned.

In these contexts of despair, wickedness, rebellion, God proclaimed the coming of the Messiah. From the Garden to Abraham to Moses to David to the Prophets to The Fullness of Time things were awful, but people had something to hope in. Jesus would come. One day, it’ll all be made right.

When there WAS no hope, God said, “Hope!”
“Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13
Do we pursue faith and love but forget hope? Yeah.
We trust God. We choose to love because He loves us. But hope? What is our outlook on life? How do we view the future?

When there IS no hope. God says, “HOPE!”

“Didn’t I tell you,” answered Mr Beaver, “that she’d made it always winter and never Christmas? Didn’t I tell you? Well, just come and see!”
And then they were all at the top and did see.
It was a sledge, and it was reindeer with bells on their harness. But they were far bigger than the Witch’s reindeer, and they were not white but brown. And on the sledge sat a person whom everyone knew the moment they set eyes on him. He was a huge man. in a bright red robe (bright as hollyberries) with a hood that had fur inside it and a great white beard, that fell like a foamy waterfall over his chest.
Everyone knew him because, though you see people of his sort only in Narnia, you see pictures of them and hear them talked about even in our world – the world on this side of the wardrobe door. But when you really see them in Narnia it is rather different. Some of the pictures of Father Christmas in our world make him look only funny and jolly. But now that the children actually stood looking at him they didn’t find it quite like that. He was so big, and so glad, and so real, that they all became quite still. They felt very glad, but also solemn.
“I’ve come at last,” said he. “She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The Witch’s magic is weakening.”
And Lucy felt running through her that deep shiver of gladness which you only get if you are being solemn and still.
“And now,” said Father Christmas, “for your presents…

Notice that in both of these Narnia passages how the characters respond. The setting is bleak, but when the truth of hope is simply spoken things change. A message of hope shakes off our blinders. It brings chills and laughs and tears. It’s sobering and relaxing and energizing, and I hope you feel it right now. We’ve spent the last two and a half years in New Hampshire, a cold place. Where it is literally always winter and never spring for six months. Where it is figuratively always winter and never Christmas spiritually. Except this is not true. Satan wants people to be weak and hopeless, to always struggle, to always sow and never reap, but this is changing. His grip is failing. Revival is beginning in our valley. It’s just glimpses right now. It’s just light breaking through the clouds. It’s ice melting and cracking in the river. It’s the smiles returning. It’s the friendships rekindling. People are waking up, and I’m encouraged. We have so much hope. Christmas is here. Let this Christmas be just like the return of Father Christmas in Narnia. A fullness of time. A return of hope.

God is on the move! Of the increase of His government or of peace there will be no end!

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Merry Christmas from Micah, Beth, Bekah, Lil and our new little guy coming May 2017! We love you and pray you meet with the Living God today.

 

      Overflow-With-Hope

Peace On Earth: A Christmas Letter

final copy (Medium)
Yes! That is Bekah’s adorable handwriting.

Isaiah 9:6-7
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

Jesus did a lot more than bring peace, but I believe that peace was high on His agenda. It was one of His biggest goals and purposes. Isaiah said that peace WILL increase. The zeal of the Lord WILL accomplish it. God wanted this for the world, and He would make sure that it happened no matter what.

So what is Peace? And did Jesus bring it?

In Greek the word used for it means to join or to make one. In Hebrew it was the familiar word “Shalom” which was the opposite of being at war.

Peace is not hippy calm. It is relational. It is being in a state of not-war. It doesn’t look like a sleepy monk. It looks like two people tearfully hugging again.

In Ephesians Paul says, “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one.” This was a glimpse of Isaiah’s prophecy being fulfilled. Jesus brought peace. In the first century there was basically one problem. Jews and Gentiles were both getting saved. This was cool, but they were supposed to be in the same church and even in the same room. I’m happy to sing with him, but do I have to watch him eat? He’s gross! There was no end to the fighting and wall building and shutting out and name calling. But Paul worked tirelessly to fix this. He brought them back to Jesus.

Jews, how did you get saved?
By faith in Jesus.

Gentiles, how did you get saved?
By faith in Jesus.

Then stop fighting! No one is better. No one needs to become more like the other. You both need to focus on Jesus and love each other.

It’s easy to find an application to this message for first century Christians. Jews and Gentiles drop your weapons against each other. And more! Actually become one. Come into good relationship. But what about us? Well, it’s simple too. Drop weapons your against each other. And More. Actually become one. Come into good relationship.

• Is there a distanced relationship in your life that doesn’t have to be distanced?
• Jesus brought peace between God and man and between Jew and Gentile. He can do it again.
• Honor Him this season by being a minister of reconciliation. A minister of peace. Shod your feet with the Gospel of peace, and go fix a relationship!

Merry Christmas, friends! We love you like crazy.

Micah, Beth, Bekah & Lil

Movin’ On Up!!! To The North East…

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New England Outreach

Snow White and Doc McStuffins!

One night, as I was driving up a long mountain road to speak at a Bible study, I felt impressed to pray for God to send out people who weren’t planning on coming but needed to hear from Him. The sky was ominous, and if I didn’t have responsibilities I would have stayed home. We prayed and worshiped God inviting Him to speak to us. I spoke a message on repentance and submitting to the Lordship of Jesus. [click here to read about Lordship] A few minutes into this, another man joined us. He shared later that he was going to stay home but felt like he should come. At the end, our whole group (locals and missionaries) moved into a time of openness and surrender to God. This man spoke to God with such honesty, “God I’ve been in rebellion. Would you take me back? I surrender to you.”

Our team spent the month of July in New Hampshire and Vermont. We had several opportunities to preach, teach, and lead worship. We also ran a super hero themed vacation Bible school where we taught kids about God’s beautiful character!

One of our students, Mark, is from a nation closed to the Gospel. He shared a story of God’s providence. As he was preparing to come to School of the Bible his final step was to get a visa to come to the United States. He knew he didn’t have a good chance, but he prayed, “God if you want me to go make the worker smile at me when I go in. Then I will know I will get the visa.” As he walked into the room the man was smiling so wide it shocked him. He asked Mark very little and then asked, “How long are you wanting to be in America?” Mark told him hesitantly, “One year.” The man stamped his paper and said, “You can have five years!” Mark is such a joy to have and is constantly challenging me to walk in real faith through his testimonies of persecution and the true cost of being a disciple of Jesus in his country.

God has a heart for every nation. When He has people who are willing, He makes a way.

aaryn“Before SOTB a lot of what I believed was just repeated information from other people. I believed things simply because it’s what I’ve always been told. School of the Bible is giving me the foundation to stand on my faith from personal revelation and truth.” – Aaryn (SOTB 2013)

YWAM Upper Valley Update

Our hearts are full. We have been officially released to move to New Hampshire next Summer! So here it is, all of the hints and guesses are finally happening. We will be leaving Texas after this current School of the Bible in July 2014. Our team is now made up of seven absolutely committed staff and several more in the deciding/praying category. Our goal is to have somewhere between fifteen and twenty people when we really launch into ministry.

BINGO2What will Youth With A Mission look like in New England?

We will hit the ground running with evening and weekend teaching seminars open to the community, worship and intercession for the region and recruiting and planning for our first major endeavor – a Discipleship Training School. This is an introductory school into YWAM. It is five months devoted to learning and understanding who God is and who people are in Him. It consists of three months of lectures on foundational topics such as, Hearing God’s voice, Intercession, Biblical worldview, relationships, spiritual warfare, Lordship, The Father heart of God, creation, and sexual restoration. This is followed by two months of outreach to a foreign country or stateside, where students will be given the chance to put into practice what they learned during their lecture phase. This phase generally includes mercy ministries and evangelism.

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Summer 2013



“School of the Bible challenges me to think and reason yet not leave me alone in the process of any searching of the truth.  And it also encourages me to never stop learning more about God, and [that] knowing Him is not a head knowledge but a relationship.”-Maryana (Indonesia)

Praise God with us for another beautiful year of training! We are a week and a half from the end of this current School of the Bible. Teams of students and staff will be heading out to do ministry in Houston, the East coast, South Korea, Nicaragua and New England.We of course are joining the New England team. It’s a great group consisting of a bunch of Americans, an Australian, a Papua New Guinean and four South Koreans. The students will be teaching primarily on the Character of God and God’s providential hand in history. I will be serving alongside them and providing help with their teaching preparation.For you New Englanders, we will be in the Upper Valley for the whole month of July. Please come out and see us or join us in ministry. If you’ve got little ones plan on bringing them to the Vacation Bible School we run in Corinth, VT.

Update on the Big Move: Well, there isn’t one yet! Our hearts are full with expectation and excitement of what God is doing. We will be in Tyler, TX for at least one more School of the Bible, but we are not pausing the vision. Our team is growing faster than we can believe, and God continues speaking to us and preparing things locally.

Thanks for caring for us and being a part of our lives. We love you all! Please be praying for our family and the team as we prepare, travel and minister.

If you would like to give to help make this outreach possible you can click here or send checks to Beth and Micah Sewell, 1526 Graham Dr, Tyler, TX 75701.For tax deductible donations make checks out to YWAM, attach a SEPARATE note designating that it is for Beth and Micah Sewell, and send to the same address.


“He Sees Me Through” by Beth

Please take a few minutes to read a very personal note from Beth. Click here.

  All throughout this school God has been speaking through His word to me.  The word of God is a double edged sword and as you study it, it cuts deep to the heart and soul and body.  The very things I would struggle, God would speak to me about in His word.  There is no greater gift than taking season of time to study scripture.  It is so precious and just like it speaks about in Proverbs 2:4-5, And if you look of it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.Once we gain understanding, once we gain wisdom, and knowledge  we start functioning and living properly.  Our quality of life is better and not to say that is why we learn and gain wisdom but it is the result of it.  As I grow in my understanding of God, my life automatically becomes better.  I see better and do things the way I was designed.It has been a blessing to do the School Of the Bible.  Everyone who loves Jesus should do this school.

– Paul (Chicago)

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“Thank you for teaching me computer Greeklish grammar. (And also about the Character of God. And to not be a punk.) I’m sitting here crying over the way Jesus still washed Judas’ feet even though He knew (Pluperfect Active Indicative) WCR that this MOT was//delivering/betraying/delivering up// him and yet, Jesus still washed his feet. (John 13:11) Even though Judas was definitely not meeting the conditions of relationship in that moment, Jesus still loved him deeply. And so, thank you, for spending so many mornings at 7:45 giving me the tools that made this moment possible.” – Kati Rose, SOTB alumni

We are so blessed to be a part of a ministry that changes lives. Our students just returned from a week long outreach. They preached, taught, prayed and evangelized. It’s always an exciting time for us in School of the Bible, because we get to see the students grow and step out into their callings. Below are highlights from a few students.

Richard and Leo both went to Houston but with separate teams. Richard’s team worked mostly in a Salvation Army drug rehab, and Leo’s worked in a Nepali community. Leo is one of several foreigners we have in the school. All of these students spoke of how God used them incredibly in spite of the major language barriers. Our God will have His way! He will respond to anyone who asks.

We had another team join with lots of staff from the other departments of YWAM Tyler. They went to Austin, TX to do mostly street evangelism and prayer during the South By South West art and music festival. This status was just after the first week. I heard this morning that these numbers were even higher. God is doing great things!

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** New England Update:
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Not much has changed here. We are still working towards the vision, and our team is bigger! If we total up everyone who is either committed full time or loosely interested (but almost serious) we are at about 12 people. This is huge. Please be praying for this vision to come into fruition.
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Spring 2013

blockFAM“Thank you for teaching me computer Greeklish grammar. (And also about the Character of God. And to not be a punk.) I’m sitting here crying over the way Jesus still washed Judas’ feet even though He knew (Pluperfect Active Indicative) WCR that this MOT was//delivering/betraying/delivering up// him and yet, Jesus still washed his feet. (John 13:11) Even though Judas was definitely not meeting the conditions of relationship in that moment, Jesus still loved him deeply. And so, thank you, for spending so many mornings at 7:45 giving me the tools that made this moment possible.”  – Kati Rose, SOTB alumni

We are so blessed to be a part of a ministry that changes lives.Our students just returned from a week long outreach. They preached, taught, prayed and evangelized. It’s always an exciting time for us in School of the Bible, because we get to see the students grow and step out into their callings.  Below are highlights from a few students.

Richard and Leo both went to Houston but with separate teams. Richard’s team worked mostly in a Salvation Army drug rehab, and Leo’s worked in a Nepali community. Leo is one of several foreigners we have in the school. All of these students spoke of how God used them incredibly in spite of the major language barriers. Our God will have His way! He will respond to anyone who asks.

We had another team join with lots of staff from the other departments of YWAM Tyler. They went to Austin, TX to do mostly street evangelism and prayer during the South By South West art and music festival. This status was just after the first week. I heard this morning that these numbers were even higher. God is doing great things!

New England Update:

Not much has changed here. We are still working towards the vision, and our team is bigger! If we total up everyone who is either committed full time or loosely interested (but almost serious) we are at about 12 people. This is huge. Please be praying for this vision to come into fruition. 

LEARN MORE

 

Our Newest Letter Is Here!

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“Thank you for teaching me computer Greeklish grammar. (And also about the Character of God. And to not be a punk.) I’m sitting here crying over the way Jesus still washed Judas’ feet even though He knew (Pluperfect Active Indicative) WCR that this MOT was//delivering/betraying/delivering up// him and yet, Jesus still washed his feet. (John 13:11) Even though Judas was definitely not meeting the conditions of relationship in that moment, Jesus still loved him deeply. And so, thank you, for spending so many mornings at 7:45 giving me the tools that made this moment possible.” – Kati Rose, SOTB alumni

We are so blessed to be a part of a ministry that changes lives. Our students just returned from a week long outreach. They preached, taught, prayed and evangelized. It’s always an exciting time for us in School of the Bible, because we get to see the students grow and step out into their callings. Below are highlights from a few students.

Richard and Leo both went to Houston but with separate teams. Richard’s team worked mostly in a Salvation Army drug rehab, and Leo’s worked in a Nepali community. Leo is one of several foreigners we have in the school. All of these students spoke of how God used them incredibly in spite of the major language barriers. Our God will have His way! He will respond to anyone who asks.

We had another team join with lots of staff from the other departments of YWAM Tyler. They went to Austin, TX to do mostly street evangelism and prayer during the South By South West art and music festival. This status was just after the first week. I heard this morning that these numbers were even higher. God is doing great things!

————————————————————

** New England Update:
————————————————————
Not much has changed here. We are still working towards the vision, and our team is bigger! If we total up everyone who is either committed full time or loosely interested (but almost serious) we are at about 12 people. This is huge. Please be praying for this vision to come into fruition.
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My First Real New Year’s Resolution

LilyThis morning as I was laying Lily down for her nap I blew her a kiss and said, “I love you.” She smiled up at me and put her hand on her mouth. It was the first time she’d blown (tried to) a kiss to me, and it floored me. That little one year old girl is so small, but she moves my heart with a force that surprises me.

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
– Zephaniah 3:17

Aside from jokes and one failed attempt, I’ve never really done the New Year’s Resolution thing. Maybe it’s a commitment problem. After all, I’ve often said, “I’m afraid of spelling ‘commitment’.” Maybe it’s a dumb game humans play to make life harder. :o) I’m sure you could find a blog out there somewhere that would agree with your opinion. Whatever the case is I avoid them, but yesterday I was talking to Beth. Beth is the smartest person I know. She suggested a theme and set off my thinking train. Let’s make this year a call to real Christianity. I like that.

I’m going to make this official. My resolution is to live out real Christianity. I want to impress God. I want to move His heart like little Lily move’s mine.

So what does that look like? What impresses God?

I think the answer just like Christianity itself is very simple. Humans make it confusing at times, but it isn’t. I’ll tell you what impresses God–how you can move Him. You can live out relational obedience. Obey Him because you know Him and love Him not because you have to do it.

What does God expect and want? 1. Obedience more than sacrifice and 2. relationship more than a bunch of effort. It all comes down to heart motive. Real Christianity is not a list of things to do nor a call to constant misery, but it is also not a fluffy waste of time. Our God is real. He is in fact the one true God, and He has real interactions with us. He speaks to us! He loves us with a real tangible love. Along with this, He has a right on our lives. When He speaks He deserves absolute obedience from the heart–the way Bekah says, “Ok, Daddy!” She obeys because she loves me not because she’s afraid.

So that’s it. I’m making it my goal to obey God even if it hurts because He deserves it, but at the same time to have the right perspective of just being His friend rather than seeing how much I can do do do.

Simple. Let’s do it!

Happy New Year 2013 from your missionaries, the Sewells! We love you all.


 

By the way —

My favorite New Year’s joke: “My New Year’s Resolution this year is 1600 by 900 which is way better than my old resolution of 1024 by 768.”
My only attempt at a New Year’s Resolution: In 2002 my brother, Nathan, and I vowed to not drink soda for a year. I made it to the following day’s lunch.