Monthly Archives: September 2015

A Mother’s Prayer

I have prayed for the future wife of my son since he was an infant. Today my son will marry the woman of his dreams, and I am thankful. I sat with the bride’s mother last night at the rehearsal dinner and learned that she too prayed for her daughter’s future husband. God has been faithful to answer our prayers.

andrew_vanessa_rehearsal

My new prayer is that their marriage will be grounded in faith in Jesus Christ and His teaching. I pray that they will cherish and attempt to outdo the other in giving, forgiving, and loving.

I hope my daughter-in-law will come to love me as a second mother and I pray for God’s wisdom as to how I can be a good mother-in-law.

As I see their joyous smiles, I pray their new life together will be filled with faith, love, laughter, and hope.

Thank you, Father, for answered prayers.

A New Direction to Hope

I’ve decided to take a new direction with my blog posts. This site is not going to be about me, but about HIM. My deepest desire is for this site always to inspire hope. God has given me the idea to invite friends to share true stories of hope, and overcoming during a time of trial.

Last week, I attended the ACFW conference in Dallas. It was a blessing to meet so many talented Christian writers seeking to glorify God with words. Many gifted women have agreed to share their true stories of overcoming during a time of trial with you. There are also women in my community and church who will be sharing stories of grace. My prayer is that you will be as encouraged as I have been when you read their stories.

My deepest longing is that this site will be a place where women discover friendship and hope. If you have a story of hope to share, please send an email to shelia@sheliastovall.com.

Stop by often for Friendship, Hope, and Fried Fruit Pies. There’s a fruit for every season. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” Galatians 6:23-24

#friendshiphope&friedfruitpies #hope4women #hopeforwomen

Mission Possible Through Prayer

I apologize that it’s been three weeks since I last posted, but I’ve been to Kenya on a mission trip. Your prayers made this mission possible.  Thank you. On the morning of our departure, my phone zinged at 4:30 am, and a text message notified me that our flight was cancelled. I posted an urgent prayer request, you answered, and God worked out the details.

After twenty-eight hours of getting off and on planes, six of us landed at the Nairobi airport on time. Two of our team members were re-routed through London, and they arrived the following morning without luggage. We spent Saturday resting and going through orientation. loading truckEarly Sunday morning, we climbed into the ACTS truck and departed for the Tharakaland District.

Road

After four hours, the tarmac disappeared, and it was rough roads for another four hours. The long journey was worth the effort. Click on the link below to see and hear the believers who welcomed us.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9j5pq8k6ca4j8yh/2015-08-23%2008.12.30.mov?dl=0

On the first morning, Pastor Daniel told us that he’d been praying for missionaries to visit for thirty years. There is much we can learn about patience and hope from Pastor Daniel.

pastor daniel

We partnered with the local church members, and Kathy, our host missionary, divided us into eight teams to visit homes. Each team consisted of one American and four or five Kenyans.  Every person had a role: Greetings and introductions, sharing our testimony, explaining God’s plan for salvation, inquiring about prayer request, and offering an invitation to accept Christ.

Some teams walked in the equatorial sun for five hours. I had the opportunity to travel to homes on a piki-piki. I could have changed teams, but my heart was drawn to Jennifer, Janet, Pastor Pious, Pastor Silas and Meshach. I was reluctant to ride the piki piki, but I remembered the scripture. John 21:17 “A third time he asked him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, ‘Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Then feed my sheep.’”

piki

Our assignment was to help the local believers to learn to share the gospel. The eight teams shared the gospel with over one-hundred and fifty people that afternoon and about twenty accepted Jesus as their savior.

coloring

 

 

 

The next morning started up with Vacation Bible School for the children.  One group of children traveled a very long distance the day before, thinking that the first day was the beginning of the activities.  Thankfully, the local folks took them into their homes for the night, and they were able to return the next morning.  The first day the children came slowly, all through the morning – the second day there was a huge crowd by 9:00 am!  Day one ended with around 90 total and on the second day, there were over a hundred.  The second day the gospel was shared with the older children using the salvation bracelet colors, and many of them accepted Jesus as well.

parachuteDuring the last two afternoons, adult classes were offered.  The first day the Women and Men split up, and the Women discussed health issues that relate solely to women.  We had a good time of fellowship as we shared how God made women from both America and Kenya so much alike.  The Men started out discussing Livestock issues and challenges, feed, and how to make a fly trap to decrease the number of flies around their cattle and ended up talking about HIV prevention and Men’s health issues.

treatmentThe last afternoon, we held the adult class together and discussed General Health and Hygiene Issues and Water Purification.  Just over a hundred people attended that class.  At the end of each session, the gospel was shared, and an opportunity for people to respond was given.  On the last day, a few people were treated to reading glasses and some minor external medical treatments.

On the third night in Tharakaland, we showed the JESUS film and over one-hundred people attended.

filmAt the invitation time, there were several who responded and prayed to accept Christ.  All in all around sixty decisions were totaled during the week!  Before this week, the preaching point that was meeting under the tree averaged around twenty people.  The Sunday after the team left, forty-five people were in attendance!  One of the highlights of the work was when everyone gathered to pray, bless, and officially open the group meeting under the tree as a ‘church.’

I hope to recruit a team to visit Niger in August 2016, and return to Kenya in August 2017. I am praying for dentists to join the Kenya team. When Don Phillips asked me to go to Africa on three different occasions, I declined, and he asked me to pray about it. When I finally prayed, God removed all barriers, and I knew I was called to go. So I’ll ask you to do what Don asked me to do. Please pray about it.

JenniferThere’s always one person who touches a special place in my heart on a mission trip. This year, it was Jennifer. She held my hand as I approached homes to share the gospel. If a stray dog came close, she stepped in front of me. Each morning, she was one of the first to arrive, carrying a bench from her home. When we lined up to accept gifts from the local church, she had an extra gift for me. I didn’t know what to do when she handed me a young chicken. In a home that probably only had one chicken, this was a great sacrifice. Her act of generosity made me reconsider whether or not I could return to Kenya and Niger.

Your prayer made this mission possible. My prayer for you is that you too will be called to go. Come with me, and experience what it means to be someone’s answer to prayer. It is a blessing I will never forget.

#AfricanMissions #prayerandmissions #kenyamissions