May the peace of the Prince of Peace reside in your heart during this season. Look up, set your gaze on Him. Pause, enjoy, and recognize all the good things. May His presence be the best present, and fill you overflowing this Christmas season and always.
With Love and Merry Christmas!
Mark, Patti and Bekah
Maria is Patti's
Best Friend from
This is her perspective...
A VISITOR'S PERSPECTIVE
by Maria Hurty
“This is what love does…” The refrain ran through my head over and over on my recent visit to the fishing village of Pandan. I’ve had the privilege of being there twice previously and this third trip was a joy! Over the last ten years, I’ve witnessed much change and improvement in the village. They have running water! Of course, the villagers still prefer the suspect well water which must be pumped and carried home but in time they’ll adjust to the safe and clean water being piped right into their homes!
How beautiful to see the work of Zoe International continuing under the close watch of Mark and Patti and the competent care of the locals. In the Kenney’s absence, many have stepped up and the ministry continues! Practical needs are being met, villagers are helped to find medical care and Bible studies are conducted consistently. Children are fed a nutritious after school snack at the clean, safe, joyful and loving playground provided and staffed by Zoe. Widows and orphans are provided for day after day and promising young adults are being sent to college. This is what love does…
The local church is getting a new roof, a widowed father’s children are being provided for as he goes off seeking work, the ladies attending Bible study all have new reading glasses in order to effectively study their Bible’s and the seven month old baby is no longer suffering from the simple untreated ring worm infection that had taken over his body causing him to lose his hair. This is what love does…
On my first visit to the Philippines, I met a young girl with rotted front teeth, an impressive lice infestation and a shattered, wounded heart. When she asked me to adopt her, my world was forever changed. It was not legally possible to adopt her and bring her home to my own family but over the years, five of my family have all travelled to meet her. She continues to be near to our hearts. She is now a college educated, licensed professional woman, providing a world for her own daughter which is love filled and safer than the one she grew up in. This my friends, is what love does!to be the full payment for our sins.
This is Nora on the left, Maria's youngest daughter that went with us,
And this is Annamae and her daughter Alexa.
Then Maria on the right.
Jesus repeats the words in Isaiah thus fulfilling them…
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
Because he has anointed me
To proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovering of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed,
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
And then John says…
“In this is love, not that we have loved God
but that he loved us and sent his Son
to be the full payment for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:10-11
And so, as I settle back into my comfy American life of relative ease, I ask myself: “What does love look like in my own neighborhood?” Will I love the one hopelessly addicted to drugs, the annoying, neighbor kid, the co-worker who’s fallen out of love with her husband or the affluent couple who are lulled into a false sense of security, thinking they don’t need a savior?
God’s love has done the work that only He can do in my own heart. May I be able to look into my “village,” home and community and say: “This is what only God’s love does…!” May the Spirit of the Lord be upon me and upon you, anointing us to proclaim God’s good news to the poor, captive, blind and oppressed ones all around us.