Saturday, May 21, 2016

What a Difference a Few Days Can Make . . .

. . . in our perspective. A week ago we had a new water softener installed but there was some problem with the configuration of the pipes, and the house water was not routing through it for treatment.

So began a digging expedition for Jim that led to the discovery of an unrelated pipe problem that had to be fixed, which grew more complicated and required shutting off the water to the house for 3 days. So now after multiple challenges, that problem has been fixed but we have the same original issue.

A week ago I (Kathie) was frustrated that city water was still leaving its residue on everything it touched while a brand new water conditioner sat in the garage all ready to go. But after 3 days of NO water, except what was fetched in buckets from our neighbor's garden hose, I had quite a different perspective on the water I had disparaged a few short (long) days ago. The water that makes possible such luxuries as flushing toilets.

I couldn’t help but think about how we take for granted something like water when it’s plentiful. And sadly, the same can be true of the Living Water for those of us who have experienced it. Jesus said that those who drink of it will never thirst. I sometimes forget that people are thirsty – literally dying of spiritual thirst.

What a powerful experience as we get ready to leave this week for Croatia to join with Proclaimers and others from different parts of the world to be a part of multi-faceted outreach with our national Proclaim team in Cakovec, Croatia. This will be a new experience for Southern Cross Bluegrass Band after their ministry in Greece the past 2 years. We look forward to introducing them to Proclaim’s Ima Nade (There is Hope) ministry that we have been partnering with for almost 30 years! We will leave May 25 and return on June 6.  

We long ago came to expect and accept the barrage of physical and emotional challenges that are part of the spiritual battle as we approach the last few days leading up to a significant evangelistic event. This past week has been no exception. The plumbing issue, along with several other circumstances, has brought temptation to respond with frustration, but also has been a confirmation that we are in a significant spiritual battle. And like so many life experiences in the journey with God, the mission that we envisioned does not become a reality, but through it God leads another direction accomplishing what he intended and teaching us and stretching our faith along the way.

We have total expenses of $3900 for our flights and tour costs. If you would like to have a part in sending us on this mission you can donate here: Donate at Proclaim and select Jenkins on the drop down menu. Thanks for prayers for us and the entire endeavor as we go to offer the living water.

Kathie and Jim

Friday, December 25, 2015

I Never Learned THIS in School

It was shocking -- in a good way -- to discover this in a monastery in Greece. A floor to ceiling outdoor wall display included quotes about Jesus' birth from the familiar Old Testament prophets PLUS quotes from these ancient Greek historians and philosophers. Awesome!


Thursday, October 29, 2015

We're back from our excellent adventure!

The time in Greece was even more intense and rewarding than last year’s with 18 performances in 13 days (after 2 rehearsal days).  We had some new venues in Athens plus returns to some from last year. 

Our travel included 4 ministry cities in Northern Greece, which also took us to some amazing ancient sites including Delphi, Berea, the ancient market place of Thessalonica and the Monastaries of the Great Meteora. Our guide Costas from the Acropolis visit last year traveled with us to the north to take us to those sites. He makes everything come alive and brings out incredible historical facts that show God’s absolute sovereignty in all of history.
Again Mihalis was a master of lining up strategic connections for follow up or for breaking new ground. We helped him strengthen relationships with 2 local city officials through involvement in a community service day in one local area, and playing for a refugee center that the local city government is responsible for. Our downtown events were even bigger and higher profile this year so the sponsors (a church ministry to the arts community and an addiction recovery ministry) had a lot of visibility and many new contacts. With all the additional travel, sightseeing, and performing, we were sleep deprived and exhausted, but would not have changed a thing!

We are so encouraged by the funds that came in for all of us, for our ministry partners in Greece in these difficult economic times, and for the general Southern Cross tour and CD. Five tunes were recorded in time to be available for tour PR and for sale at concerts and stores in Greece. Now that the tour is over a few more songs will be recorded and added to those for a full CD for distribution soon.  We also had some additional donations for our own ministry fund that will help as we finish up the year. Thanks to all who blessed our team and our friends in Greece by sacrificing for this worthwhile project.

Here is our team at the Athens Acropolis on the steps of Mars Hill after reading the Acts 17 account of Paul's inspired message to the people of Athens.

If you want to see a little (or a lot) of the band in action, here is a link to a video that was shot of an entire Southern Cross concert at Katerini.

If you would like to make a donation to our ministry account at Proclaim
Select Jenkins on the dropdown menu.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

From Earth to Glory

Our summer took an unexpected turn in mid-June when my dad’s health started declining dramatically enough that he needed  to go into healthcare. I went up to Indiana to help my brother and sister in that process of getting him moved into Grace Village right across the road from his home. The transition was full of difficulties, including unforeseen complications with qualifying for medicaid, but God provided and sustained us through it all. 

An unforgettable blessing of this timing was being able to spend Father’s Day with my dad -- along with Ronnie and Diane -- the first in many years.

After 10 days he was adjusting and enjoying being with many longtime friends. The whole time with him was precious. Even though he was struggling with memory and confusion, he still joked with us and the medical staff, sang along with the hymns in chapel, and there was never the slightest bit of confusion when he prayed.  Leaving him was difficult, but anticipation of a previously scheduled return only three weeks later helped ease the sadness of that goodbye. 

Don Ogden  "Prof"  1926-2015

Then just 4 days after my return home I got an early morning call that Daddy had died. A heart attack was the diagnosis. So after a week at home I headed back up for all the family activities and  business affairs, which kind of seems like a blur! Jim and Jami came before the memorial service on July 11 and we all flew back home together. 

Again, we saw God’s hand in it all. Even though in the suddenness of the unexpected moment none of the family were there with him to hold his hand when he passed as we would have wanted, God had provided that amazing time of closure -- saying a meaningful goodbye, even though I didn't know at the time that's what it was. 

The memorial service was absolutely everything we could have hoped for with the music, the tributes, the fabulous meal provided for over 100 family members. The friends who gathered around in person or in spirit helped make it bearable. We were so blessed by the outpouring of love for our dad and appreciation for his life and impact on people. And all to the glory of God.

One of my Dad's favorite hymns:  ARISE, MY SOUL, ARISE     Charles Wesley

Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears
The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears
Before the throne my surety stands
Before the throne my surety stands
My name is written on His hands

He ever lives above for me to intercede
His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead:
His blood atoned for all our race
His blood atoned for all our race
And sprinkles now the throne of grace

Five bleeding wounds He bears received on Calvary
They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:
Forgive him, O forgive, they cry
Forgive him, O forgive, they cry
Nor let that ransomed sinner die

The Father hears Him pray, His dear anointed One
He cannot turn away the presence of His son
His Spirit answers to the blood
His Spirit answers to the blood
And tells me I am born of God

To God I'm reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear
With confidence I now draw nigh
With confidence I now draw nigh
And Father, Abba Father, cry

Friday, May 22, 2015

Tribute to a Sender

We were saddened when we received word of the passing of a dear lady who has blessed us with her faithfulness. We met Louise many years ago at a missions conference at her church when we were new missionaries just preparing to go to Belgium. From that brief weekend of interacting Louise began supporting our ministry and continued as we have lived in 3 different countries and ministered in over 30 others with 2 different mission organizations. Her steadfastness is all the more amazing as we never again had face to face contact.

When we found out a few years ago that Louise had moved we assumed this was a phase of life that might not allow her the means to continue with us financially. But she continued a donation every year until we learned that she has gone to her Lord and her reward.

I was surprised at the emotion I felt over the loss of this precious lady. We did not know her well, but she so encouraged us by her steadfastness through the years. And I’m sure this is only one of many examples of her service in the kingdom. 

It wasn't for us -- it was for God. It was not for earthly recognition or appreciation. Her heavenly reward is great.

. . . You know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.  Col. 3:24