Sunday, May 25, 2014

"The terrible-but-wonderful, humbling heart-link…"

Been doing a bit of wrestling with God these days…
~ Since last summer, we have been seeking Him for His plan for our lives in this season & have taken a a new step to live by faith & go full-time with Operation Nehemiah
~ We have been crying out for our boys in lands far away - Josh serving with the Army in Afghanistan & Jon serving with Operation Nehemiah in South Sudan & those serving with them
~Also crying out for God to heal relationships & we are seeing His hand 
~Also trying to solve Rogers's health issue and the way is getting clearer!

With much out of our control,  our only recourse was to look up!   He has proven Himself so patient & faithful. Though many things are still in process, we are trusting that He is faithfully completing the work He has begun in our hearts and lives and that of others as well.

One of the things He is putting his finger on is the area of finances. For almost 3 years of the past 4, we had no promised income, no savings,  no credit card & without making our needs known, we only asked our heavenly Father and He has so faithfully provided… AND He certainly fine tuned our hearts in the process of waiting on Him. [see some of our MANNA posts]

As we have joined Operation Nehemiah & have stepped away from employment again;  William Levi, who lives by faith,  has urged us to raise monthly support so that we can run the East office of Operation Nehemiah... but we have resisted, wanting to continue solely waiting on the Lord.  Until we recently read something that we have since been wrestling with…

God has various ways to support those in full-time ministry. Don’t try to dictate to the Lord the means by which you will be supported. Some are unable to bear the sacrifice of their pride to rely on the gifts of others. They decide they will only minister if they can pay their own way. Others fall into the trap of spiritual pride believing that the only way to do God’s work is to have Him tell people to give to them, without their making their needs known. [Ouch!] Still others rely too much on people - they look more to their contacts than to God. If He were to lead them to do otherwise they would have trouble trusting Him...

"We need to get God's way of looking at ministry and money firmly in our minds. We are concerned with what work is getting done and getting the money to see that our goals are accomplished. They are, after all, goals for God's work, aren't they?

“However, the Lord has a far different bottom line. 
His primary concern is restoring relationships-- between us and Him and between us and each other. This is why He has designed it so that we rely on others for financial support while we do His work.

“Jesus modeled this for us. He supported Himself through as a carpenter during His early adult years, but during the three years of His full-time ministry, He and the disciples had "Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their own means. (Luke 8:3)

“As people give to the work of the Lord, many wonderful things happen… "  ~ Cunningham

This has certainly been true as God has provided through others & in all sorts of creative ways through the years, but we are wrestling with the fact that we do not have the opportunity to freely share the stories of His faithful provision, because we have kept our needs a secret.   

As we thought about this and wondered if God were leading us to share more openly, I saw what rose up in my heart and realized that I [Patty] had become proud of the fact that we have looked to God alone. It has been an amazing adventure living on manna quite literally as day to day, we look to him for bills, or the gas money to get to somewhere He wants us to go, or for food to see us through the next day or so, or to call Jon in South Sudan, etc. etc. and each day He sees us through. But now I see that in the process, no one can appreciate how faithfully He has provided for us. So here I am struggling with letting people know more fully, for fear of what?  I’m honestly not quite sure... but having admitted my pride, I am so thankful I can repent & listen. So we are being compelled to consider making a change as He leads.

We would rather be self-sufficient... but we would miss the terrible-but-wonderful, humbling heart-link that occurs... There is a special bond forever between you and the person who gave to you. You care about them and you pray for them... and naturally want to share news with him about your ministry, reporting what the gift has done in the work of the Lord... [This has been our experience as friends have shared with us & vice versa, but then we read on and we are compelled...]

It may not seem so for a struggling missionary or pastor, but if a giant foundation were to fund his work or some billionaire were to write a huge check, it could be the death knell for his ministry. Missionaries need more than money. They need people praying for them and for the extension of God’s kingdom, engaging with them in spiritual battles through prayer and giving...  At the same time the ministries needs will be met, people will have their personal vision enlarged and will come to see the world more as God does - all because of their giving and the reports they get back from their personal representative “out there”.  And prayer will go up on all sides, doing the work of spiritual warfare that is necessary for anything to be accomplished. None of this would happen if we didn’t depend upon God through others to keep the work of God going...”

“Ask the Lord what steps you are to take.  At times, He may have you tell others about your needs, obey Him. At other times, He may tell you to keep quiet and only make your needs known to Him, obey Him... don’t rule out creative alternatives either, or try to force the Lord to provide for you in a certain way. [as if we can!] All miracles of God’s provision start by heeding Mary’s advice at the wedding of Cana: “Whatever He says to you, do it.” ~Loren Cunningham, Daring to Live on the Edge:The Adventure of Faith & Finances

This quote confirms what Rog said  some caring leaders shared with him recently as he shared our George Mueller stand on finances...   So that is where we are... convicted and course corrected... realizing that God wants us to look to Him for what he’s about in each situation.  

This has been such a helpful and humbling process.  We are so thankful to all our dear friends/family who have prayed for us, and loved us though they may wonder about us. This humbling love of our Lord and from you is what we ask God to fill us with for others  The Lord is humbling His people as He unties His body!! [Ephesians 4:11-13] All glory to Him!

As we all talk to God,  He is bringing us into what He has already planned to do and we get to see Him work in power and love through circumstances we are praying about. As we join together in prayer as the Lord leads, we can celebrate together how God has faithfully intervened!! 

We do have needs here in order to have this office running here in western MA, as well as needs for training this summer, travel so we can share with others about the vision of Operation Nehemiah, and for needs of the people of Borongole.  As His body unites it is amazing what God is doing there! 

If you would like to be a part of our prayer support or monthly support team, as we serve with Operation Nehemiah, please let us know. We will keep you informed of needs and praise reports as He answers "our" prayers. 

Thanks for listening. We are humbled by His love an patience with us.
Roger & Patty, Jonathan & Emma

Friday, May 23, 2014

Humbled by God's help through His people

 We want to testify further of God's faithful hand through relationships.  
We were waiting on God and asking His provision for May rent, which was overdue and graciously a gift came in through Operation Nehemiah which covered 1/2 of it!! We also had dear old friends visit overnite and they had received a generous unexpected bonus & instead of tucking it away for a rainy day, they gave some of it to us! We were both humbled and very grateful, as we had been praying for their finances & God blessed them to bless us!!!  But we still needed $300… We had been talking to God about this and many other things that He brings up as He has you in this place of waiting on Him and that is when we were remembered again something we read, that we since have been chewing on:

"We need to get God's way of looking at ministry and money firmly in our minds. We are concerned with what work is getting done and getting the money to see that our goals are accomplished. They are, after all, goals for God's work, aren't they?

However, the Lord has a far different bottom line. His primary concern is restoring relationships-- between us and Him and between us and each other. This is why He has designed it so that we rely on others for financial support while we do His work.

As people give to the work of the Lord, many wonderful things happen… " 

As we continued to pray earnestly, the Lord provided exactly the remaining amount through a dear family member whom we had not spoken with in a very long time. It brought conviction about having neglected this relationship and an renewed desire to pray more for him and others, trusting the Lord to meet our needs as we do… Much of our time can and has often been taken up praying about own needs, but as He faithfully supplies in unexpected ways, we are encouraged to trust that He sees our need, and He wants us to care about others more in prayer.

So again I ask HOW CAN WE PRAY FOR YOU?!!! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How can we pray for you?

Each day we look to the Lord for the direction for the day's activities and for what we need to follow Him where He is taking us. On this day, we had our usual morning time and later we were emailing an update, but several of the emails got kicked back again, so I felt I should take the time to contact these dear friends to see if I had there updated info.

The first call was to an old friend from over 30 years who I had reconnected with a year ago. She was doing well back then in spite of having lost her husband, but this time when I called she declared "It was God that you called, I really needed to talk with someone." She had been through trial after trial (as have we) since our last conversation, so we had a lot in common and it was so wonderful to pray & look to the Lord together! Thank You, Lord, for using even emails not getting through to connect us on a personal level… we still can't figure out why her email will not work for me, but I surely do not mind picking up the phone and having the opportunity to pray together!

The second contact confirmed a change in email address, but also brought us into a friends life when they were at a place of having done all that they could and desperately needing God to intervene on their behalf. We have been able to go back and forth sharing scripture and things the Lord has given each of us as encouragement, as we all wait on God for things that are totally our of our control!

It was becoming very clear to us that our volunteering to help get the word out about the needs in South Sudan, involves a lot more than just that... God intends for our contact with others to be mutually beneficial!

So on this day we were course corrected in our focus.  Yes, we are called to share the needs and trumpet what God has done and is doing in South Sudan through Operation Nehemiah, but those we contact have needs as well, and we have the awesome privilege of taking time to pray for that which concerns them. We are being brought into the adventures that God is doing in a country far away, as well as in the lives of people we know right here! Oh, what a blessing to see a need, bring it to our heavenly Father, weeping with those who weep both near and far and then celebrating what He does in answer to those cries.


"His primary concern is restoring relationships - 
between us & Him and between us & each other. 
This is why He has designed it so that we rely on others… 
while we do His work." 
~ from DARING TO LIVE ON THE EDGE: The Adventure of Faith & Finances 
by Loren Cunningham

Thursday, May 15, 2014

MANNA - Look to God alone!

I had to repost this testimony of God's hand in our lives… This has become a marker… a reminder of God's faithfulness and the reality that He sees and knows and is on the job!!

On Wed. Sept. 18th, two days before we had to take Jon to the airport on his second trip to South Sudan, we had two options to take Jon and his four duffle bags of donated items and one of personal belongings to the airport on Friday. Our van had died the month before and God had faithfully provided various options to get us wherever we needed to go and we had not missed a venturing out since we lost our van. Later that morning, I found out we could not use my sister's car b/c my mom's car was going into the shop for repair on  Friday.  Later on Wed., our friends who weekly left their car here for us to use Thursday thru Monday let us know they had to take their car back to Maine for the weekend. So I was simply going to let folks know via email, that we needed help getting Jon to the airport Friday morning, but I suddenly felt strongly that we should not share our need and just ask God. 

Later, Wed. evening, I was tempted to let folks know,  I even composed an email, but before I could push "send", I felt strongly that I should not send it, & to LOOK TO GOD ALONE! 

Thursday morning after Roger left for work and Jon and Em left for the last day of working at the organic farm, some one came to the door!……………… and it was Josh!!! 
(who is stationed about 6 hours away at Fort Drum)  I screamed and cried, and I could not believe my eyes!!! Then it took me about 10 minutes to realize that Josh was our ride to the airport!!! So while I was composing that email the night before, Josh was actually on his way to surprise us!!

Here is his story: 
On Tuesday, Josh realized that it was possible that he would not see Jon for at least 11 months and could be longer, since when Josh returns from Afghanistan, Jon could be spending months in Africa again. Since he had not put in for a pass a week ahead as required, he thought of getting off work as early as possible on Thursday, driving 6 hours home to spend a couple of hours here and driving back to report on Friday am. He pitched this to his sergeant who suggested he still try to put in for a pass. So they submitted it Tuesday night. Hopeful, Josh looked into getting a rental car in town, but there were none available! So he looked into an on base rental, but the cheapest was $400 and Josh only had $300 to his name, so he waited. On Wed. around noon, a friend told Josh that if he got a pass, he could use their car! Later Wed., he was at a platoon meeting and his sergeant was assigning him work for Thursday and Friday and he thought to himself, "I did not get the pass." The next thing he knows is that his sergeant is yelling at him, saying, "Lueken!!! Get out of here! Go home! I don't want to see your face!" Josh was stunned and wasn't sure what to think & his other sergeant said, "Do you want me to make you low crawl all the way to the parking lot?" So he ran out of there, gathered his things, got the vehicle and was off and on his way at the same time I was composing the email to let folks know we had a need of a ride.   He did not tell us he was coming as he wanted to surprise us, so he contacted my brother, Jeff, who lives next door. He arrived very late while we were in bed and stayed at their house till morning, when he wandered over to our house, giving me the shock of my life!

I said to Roger that a million dollars and a limousine ride would not be as great as having Josh with us and all going the airport together as a family!!  God is so good! and He sees and knows our need! Even when there is a simple human solution to meet our needs, waiting on Him first is far better!! I often need to recall this to mind as the children of Israel did.

"I remember the days of long ago; 

I meditate on all Your works and 
consider what Your hands have done." 
Psalm 143:5

MANNA - Silver and gold have I none...

William Levi, head of Operation Nehemiah,   had called us from South Sudan early Saturday morning, May 10th , but we had missed his call. 
When we finally realized he had called, we were heading out on a prayer walk… so we listened to his message and heard that they needed $3500 in order to finish helping to build the sister church in another village and for other projects they wanted to complete in the next two weeks before they return to the USA on May 26th.  In his message he asked if our East Office had any funds, but we did not have anything to help, so we decided to take our prayer walk and call after we had prayed. We also talked with the Kirkman's who were keeping an eye on donations coming in at the West Office.  They had received a call from William in the middle of the night, so they knew the need and after checking the mail for new donations they determined there was $700 available, so after much prayer, we called William to report that. When we finally reached William in the early afternoon here/ evening there God had already provided all that they needed!! (we believe from there in South Sudan!)

Oh what a joy to not have everything we need, so that we are forced to look to God alone and find Him more faithful than we ever hoped. 


That reminds me of a new favorite song… FAITHFUL
by Steven Curtis Chapman

I am broken, I am bleeding, I'm scared and I'm confused,
but You are faithful. Yes You are faithful.

I am weary, unbelieving. God please help my unbelief!
Cuz You are faithful. Yes You are faithful.

I will proclaim it to the world. I will declare it to my heart
And sing it when the sun is shining. I will scream it in the dark.

You are faithful! You are faithful!
When you give and when You take away, even then still Your name is faithful!
You are faithful!
And with everything inside of me, I am choosing to believe
You are faithful.

I am waiting for the rescue that I know is sure to come,
cuz You are faithful. Yes You are faithful.

I've dropped anchor in Your promises, and I am holding on,
cuz You are faithful. God You are faithful.

I will proclaim it to the world. I will declare it to my heart
And sing it when the sun is shining. I will scream it in the dark.

You are faithful! You are faithful!
When you give and when You take away, even then still Your name is faithful!
You are faithful!  And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe You're faithful.
So faithful…

Though I cannot have the answer that I'm wanting to demand,
I'll remember You are God and everything is in Your hand.
In Your hands you hold the sun, the moon, the stars up in the sky,
for the sake of Love, You hung Your own Son on the die…

& You are faithful… Yes, You are faithful...
When you give and when You take away, even then, 
great is Your faithfulness!   Great is Your faithfulness!

And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe You're faithful!
Oh, oh, oh...
Oh, oh, oh...
When you give and when You take away, even then still Your name
is faithful! You are faithful!
And with everything inside of me, I am choosing to believe...
...You're faithful…


Read more: Steven Curtis Chapman - Faithful Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

MANNA - Thank you Jehovah Jireh, our Provider

God has daily provided just what we need… here is an example of His overwhelming faithful provision:

Emma and I headed out one Sat. with family to a annual Boy Scout huge yard sale held in Plainville in early May. Emma had $20 when we set out and we hoped to get curtains and whatever else we could find.   As we left, Roger yelled to us to keep a look out for a cell phone, as his had broken months before (we had to suspend his plan for limited number of months, and it had just been reinstated a few days earlier, though he did not yet have a phone).

We found some great books that Emma loved and were looking in a pile of material and linen and a lady called to another as she reached into a bag full of stuff and pulled out 3 sets of lace panels and the other lady snatched them up. After they were done I reached into the same bag and found 3 more brand new lace panels… just what I wanted and the perfect size for our living room and they were only $1 each!

Later I set out to look through the electronics as this was a well organized rummage sale. Scanning through the various items I actually saw one lonely cell phone, but it was pretty beat up and had the tiny keyboard that Roger's big hands could not manage & I had no way of knowing if it was a phone that was compatible with Verizon. As I continued to rummage, at the end of my search, I found a really cool woodland camo cell phone holder, but I did not have money on me to buy it. I found Emma and brought her back saying we should get this for dad in faith that the Lord would provide him a phone. She worried that it might not be the right size for the phone that he eventually got, but we knew he wanted a flip phone and we decided to step out in faith and get the holder for him. As we went to pay for it, she asked, "So there weren't any other cell phones?" & because she asked that I pointed out the one that they did have & immediately next to it, IN THE BOX, was a BRAND NEW VERIZON cell phone!! That phone could not have been there before and it even said it was a Verizon phone.

I was amazed and so thankful that we came back for the phone holder! Wow!  We went to pay and the guy said, "How about $2 for the phone & I'll throw the holder in for free!" Yay!!!! I was overwhelmed. You prove you are Jehovah Jireh, our Provider over and over again!

So give Roger a call and praise God with him  774-210-2800

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MANNA - God knew!

I have to share the ways that God regularly intervenes right in time to keep us from falling and to keep us going…

As I had promised to help a friend in need, I got in our car only to see that the gas gauge was on empty.  At that time I expected a $60 automatic withdrawal to clear our account that day, and we did not have the $60 to cover it. I prayed that the Lord would keep me going and resolved that if the gas light went on then I would stop and get a couple of gallons.  I made it to my friends and the gas gauge was below E, but I had peace.

In my enjoyment with my friend's children,

they asked about all the zippers on my backpack purse and I proceeded to open them up in answer to their inquiries and lo and behold I found a hidden $26 in one of the little pockets in my purse! My friend said, "Gas money!" and I smiled… little did she know. But I rejoiced that God knew!

So after I left I stopped at the first gas station and put $6 in our tank. I brought home the $20 and when we checked our accounts, we discovered money in Emma's account that she did not remember she had and another amount in another acct. and $4 in our savings. I almost left the $4, but decided to transfer it all… $64 in total. Do you know that that night the $60 transaction cleared plus and unexpected $4 one that I thought had already cleared… God knew and we avoid bouncing any transactions.

And do you know what else? ... When I told Roger my story and my plan to wait till the gas light came on, he told me that our little car does not have a low gas indicator light!  But God knew!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Reasons for Praise and Prayer!

We have been earnestly praying for the Lord to provided:
 ~for the team on the ground, 
 ~for the people of the the village of Borongole, South Sudan 
 ~for us & the Levi's & the needs of the the West & East offices of Operation Nehemiah.
We have been asking for wisdom & guidance & direction, as well as, finances & other means to move forward in the things that God has for us.  Thus we were so excited to get a call from William just a few nights ago asking us to pray for a strategic meeting this Friday.

Here's the GOOD NEWS! A local school not far from Borongole, was awarded funds to rebuild their school buildings that burned down. The community asked Operation Nehemiah to go ahead & build a prototype right along the main road to replace the shack the headmaster of the school was living in, in order to display their product. But they did not have any cement...
so God provided through an ambassador and friend of the ministry who advanced them funds needed for materials, so they could begin. So Jon & the other men have been busy at work producing bricks once again!!! The picture above shows them at work building with the interlocking Hydraform Bricks, so no cement is needed in between the layers… like Lego's! If awarded this project would include 2 school buildings of 4 rooms each, a dining hall, teacher/admin. building & latrines, which would use somewhere between 100,000 to 150,000 bricks.
PLEASE PRAY!! As this Friday morning, (when we are going to bed tonite) the authorities are arriving to decide who will get the job.  The community is hoping that Nehemiah Brick Production will get it because: they are local; they are trustworthy; the bricks are the strongest made, and it will help the local economy. 
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ARE PRAYING FOR THE EFFORTS IN SOUTH SUDAN! Your prayers and gifts do make a difference! We trust that God is leading and will make this project possible! & that He will bring this trip to a God glorifying conclusion as they will return in less than 3 weeks (May 26)

William also sent an update from the field this week and you can see the many pictures he posted here or you can read an edited version with a few pictures here:
If you haven't read Jon's phone update from May 1st here it is:
In Him Who keeps us,  Roger & Patty Lueken (774) 254-4336   God provided a phone for Roger!! (774) 210-2800 
Read all of Jon's African Adventures:

Check out our new blog: Glorious Things He Has Done! 

To send your support for Operation Nehemiah & the Lueken family's work with Operation Nehemiah:
*  or
*Mail a check made out to "Operation Nehemiah"  & send to Operation Nehemiah (East) 86 E. Bacon St. Plainville, MA 02762

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

GREAT NEWS! A local school not far from Borongole, So. Sudan was awarded funds to rebuild their school that burned down. The community asked Operation Nehemiah to build a prototype along the main road to replace the shack the headmaster of the school was living in, in order to demonstrate their product. So Jon & the other men have been busy at work producing bricks once again (as the Ambassador advanced them funds needed for materials, so they could begin.
PLEASE PRAY!! As this Friday, the authorities arrive to decide who will get the job and the community is hoping that Nehemiah Brick Production will get it because: They are Local, they are Christian and can be trusted; the bricks are the strongest made, and it will help the local economy.
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ARE PRAYING FOR THE EFFORTS IN SOUTH SUDAN! We trust that God is leading and will make this possible!
Stay tuned as William is traveling tomorrow to the larger town of Nimule to give us a first hand update. Jon's latest update is below this map or East Equatoria state in so. Sudan Borongole is near Pageri:

Jon's AFRICAN UPDATE from May 1, 2014

We had a nice long conversation with Jon, who sounded so great!
[All Jon's AFRICAN ADVENTURES at his new blog:]

PRAY FOR SOUTH SUDAN! Things are still comparatively stable & peaceful in East Equatoria state in southeastern South Sudan where the village of Borongole is 26 miles north of Nimule (on the map near Pageri). It should remain peaceful if the EE government does not take sides in this conflict.  Please pray for wisdom for the  EE state government and for the Prince of Peace to work in the hearts of men nationwide, as the violence has continued in the 3 northern states and is wrecking havoc in the nation at large. There are many displaced people who cannot plant their crops and therefore have no source of food. God help these people and this nation!

The team spent most of the first month completing the SURVEYING work, which kept them very busy and tired by days end.  Brian McKay helped them to successfully finish the surveying and he has returned to the United States.

Since then Jon has been on the GOSPEL RADIO STATION on a regular basis and he said he was able to draw from scripture study from the past few months. In the last few messages, he has centered on the gospel, as he has been reading Paul Washer’s THE GOSPEL’S POWER & MESSAGE. He says it is so foundational and full of scripture that hits you again and again with the power of the Gospel, so now he is being compelled to mention the gospel each time he shares.

William Levi is continuing the DISCIPLESHIP classes and Jon said, he was so blessed to see that the father of the young boy, Wani (who died in Dec. from yellow fever) has been coming to the meetings.  This man is an alcohlic and was let go from the brick production early in the training last fall because he came drunk, but the GOOD NEWS is that Wani’s father is attending the class, participating and contributing and God is working in His life!!

As you know from one of Jon’s African Adventures, there is GREAT NEED TO STAFF & SUPPLYTHE NEHEMIAH MEDICAL CLINIC.   The Levi’s were able to bring rapid diagnostic tests with them on this trip, but we need to see this clinic up and running, so PLEASE PRAY to that end.  The Levi children, actually came down with Typhoid one by one and they were able to diagnosis it right away and receive the proper medicine, so they are on the mend & doing much better.  

BRICK PRODUCTION has been at a stand still though there has been some interest generated. There is need of a school building to be built in Nderito, but so far that has not materialized.PLEASE PRAY that interest turns into a commitment and a willingness to pay upfront, so that the village can purchase the needed materials (cement) in order to begin.  Someone suggested that they build a prototype building in that area on the main road to show as a model for advertising, but again they need the cement to move ahead with that idea.  A TV crew from Juba came to Borongole to film a promotional about Operation Nehemiah, covering such things as the family, the church, the farm and the brick production & it aired this past week on national television!!!

You’ll be delighted to know that Jon is getting EXTRA PROTEIN IN HIS DIET these days as he gets to eat termites on a regular basis.  Lately he has enjoyed them fried and in a sauce.  He said, “I am eating bugs in sauce that are delicious and full of protein.”

To aid his study of the MADI language he was given a book that helps with pronunciation & is learning the slight variations in emphasis that change the meaning of a word. 

We, Luekens, on this side of the pond, continue to marvel at God’s amazing faithfulness in providing MANNA for us day by day, so that we can give time to work & communications for Operation Nehemiah.  The majority of our time is spent talking to God about the myriad of needs there and here... and we can honestly say that we have never seen God’s hand so clearly at work in the hearts and lives of people around us.  

We recently attended the Mass HOPE conference and had many wonderful conversations and times of prayer with people from all over. we love reaching out to others together at these conferences and are hoping to set up a TRAVEL ITINERARY TO SPEAK AND SHARE ABOUT OPERATION NEHEMIAH as a family after Jon returns at the end of Mat (26th).  We are hoping to go to a few more CONFERENCES this year when Jon is with us. Even better, we would like to set up speaking at CHURCHES orsharing in HOST HOMES. Would you be willing to invite some of your friends to come to see pictures & hear about what God is doing in South Sudan? PRAYING about heading SOUTH the latter 1/2 of JUNE to the MIDWEST in late JULYNORTHEAST late AUGUST & SOUTHWEST in the FALL.

The roots of Roger’s health issues are continuing to be uncovered and our new schedule working for Operation Nehemiah is so much better for him (no more 4:45 wake ups, 6 aminstead). He has seen a real improvement overall.  As the Lord  builds our faith and confidence in His great love for us in spite of our sin or circumstances that scream otherwise, I (Patty) marvel at the change in Roger by the hand of God!! He is light hearted, comical and joyful in ways I’ve not seen in a long time! The truth of God’s great undying love for us, and the freedom to repent and forgive, truly does set us free!!!!

We are in awe at GOD’S FAITHFULNESS in doing the deep heart work in us and others, so we are believing the same is true in Borongole.  

Thank you for your love, prayers, and support for all of us with Operation Nehemiah!

Read all of Jon's African Adventures at his new blog:

 Rubanga Cola nito (God be with you)! From the Lueken's on behalf of
~Jonathan Lueken with Operation Nehemiah  774-254-4336

Operation Nehemiah (East office) 86 E. Bacon St. Plainville, MA 02762 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Wouldn't it be strange if riches made you poor

I've got a question for your consideration
I'll make you privy to my contemplation
Let me say in my defense
I know it goes against all common sense

It's not our nature, not what we've been taught

Flies in the face of every lie we've bought
It's hard to see it, harder to explain
I know it cuts against the grain

Wouldn't it be strange if riches made you poor
And everything you owned left you wanting more?
Wouldn't it be strange to question what it's for?
Wouldn't it be strange?

I know we've got some interest to protect

A set of dots we're committed to connect
It makes us nervous in light of how it's been
To play a little game of pretend

Wouldn't it be strange if power made you weak
And victory came to those who turned the other cheek?
Wouldn't it be strange to welcome your defeat?
Wouldn't it be strange?

Wouldn't it be strange to find out in the end
The first will be the last and all the losers win?
Wouldn't it be strange if Jesus came again?
Wouldn't it be strange?

 ~Charlie Peacock

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread ~ May 3

We were especially blessed by our devotional reading on May 3 as it spoke of things we had just talked and prayed about looking to God alone the source of all we need!

IT IS THE LORD who bestows upon us freely and graciously the good things of this life.  He is interested in the common mercies we enjoy.  God gives them since he is the absolute Lord of heaven and earth.  All is God’s, and the blessings we enjoy are on loan from him.  He is the great landlord who has leased them to the sons of men. God has given the earth for us to occupy and enjoy, but also gives a particular allotment for each man’s portion.  These things do not come by chance, by the gift of others, or by our own industry, but by the peculiar designation of God’s providence.  Whatever avenue they come, by donation, purchase, labour, or by inheritance, they were sent by God.  He directed the means to get them to us.  The hearts of men are in the hand of God, and it was God that prompted them to be kind to us and become instruments of his providence and by his covenant promises.  God’s providence extends to all men.  Even the wicked enjoy possessions of his common bounty.  But God bestows his covenant blessings only to believers  
Contentment is also one of God’s blessings we should ask for when we pray.  Bread provides our needs, but our enjoyment of it is also his blessing.  Happiness does not lie in abundance, but in the suitableness of our mind to our estate (Luke 12:15).  There is a twofold war in man: the war between a man and his conscience which breeds trouble of mind, and a war between his affections and his condition which breeds murmuring and envious grumbling.  So, pray for contentment also when you pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’
Give us this day our daily bread,and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  Matthew 6:11

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Kingdom of God is Not a Matter of Eating & Drinking

We were really blessed by this reading in Roger's devotional as we endeavor to seek first the Kingdom of God and wait on Him daily for our needs. We are seeing fruit in our hearts that is only possible by His hand… Trials turned to gold. We would not trade this time of learning to trust our heavenly Father in all things, for all the gold in the world.  He Who calls us to look to Him alone is FAITHFUL to do far more than we are asking in our hearts and in the hearts of those we bring to Him. 
"The Spirit is promised as the gift of the Father and the Son, and he comes into the heart and so loves his people that he abides and dwells with them forever, acting with authority and power, according to his own pleasure, as their various circumstances may require.  He prepares and strengthens them for every event, reveals what they must know, and inclines their hearts in the ways and degrees he pleases. 
The joy of the Spirit is real fruit:  solid, substantial, refreshing, and nourishing.  He comforts, revives, strengthens, and establishes the soul.  Long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, etc., are all the fruits of the Spirit, and they are nowhere to be found but in the believer’s heart.  
Though he takes away all your outward comforts, and makes you as poor and as afflicted as Job, yet being within you, he can bring you effectual peace and comfort.  Let him make the cross ever so heavy, empty you from vessel to vessel, cause you to be destitute, afflicted, and tormented; still the Holy Spirit, being within you, can fill your hearts with joy unspeakable and full of glory.  ‘Peace I leave with you’, said Christ.  The world cannot give peace and joy without removing the cross and the affliction.  Christ gives peace in the midst of trouble.  The Spirit within us causes us to glory in tribulation, to rejoice under the cross, and to triumph even in death.  
This is a blessing, which we are sure, God never did or never will deny to any one that asks it of him.  ‘Ask and you shall receive’ is his gracious declaration.  O seek earnestly, and plead this promise, and you are sure to succeed!  God will amply supply the want of all these things, and your hearts shall rejoice, and your joy no man, no devil, can take from you."
~Thomas Charles

 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Romans 14:17
from Voices of the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings