Belinda's News Update
Hello all friends, both near and faraway....
In early July I was thrilled to fly to Colorado and lead worship for an international women's retreat. Joining 100 ladies representing every generation and over 25 nations felt all the more like a taste of heaven after these past 20 months of strange shutdowns in our societies. I can guarantee that I was not the only one reveling in the joy of the Lord as we sang our praises, gathered in small groups, and listened to our inspiring speaker. The ministry of Thrive (www.thriveministry.org )was a lifeline to me when I first returned to the USA after 32 years abroad. The retreat I attended put me in touch with a gifted counselor, Patty, who gave me a few keys I could use to navigate transition. Feeling so needy and lost in my home country and then to be immersed in the sweet fellowship of other missionaries was very healing. I resolved to "pay it forward". This then was my 5th Thrive retreat. I'll post some photos of those days in the "photos" section of this website.
Thrive also offers ongoing mentoring and coaching in a ministry called "Alongside". I am one of their many volunteers who meet regularly with women around the world to support, pray for, and encourage. If you know of a female missionary who would benefit from this ministry, please share this link with them:
When I returned home in mid-July I unfortunately got hit with the Delta virus* for a week. Karl and I both weathered this well, with the help of zinc and "the medication that shall not be named" but starts with "Iver...." - we are so thankful for good treatment and recovery, and we now have a boatload of natural antibodies! (*we both had a very mild bout with the Alpha virus in March 2020).
Since late June the Lord has led me to become more involved locally in our town and area. Going to our local school board meetings has given me much to pray about, especially as the influence and control of our liberal/marxist state government has increased. In 1978 I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a teaching degree in Health and Physical Education and it's still on my heart to see children grow and learn in these aspects. Karl and I are fully supportive of the rights of parents to make health and education decisions for their children, as we also want for our own grandchildren (and great-grandchildren!).
My many years in the Netherlands taught me to offer my opinions when there is a meaningful opportunity to do so... however, this is not necessarily a "Minnesota nice" characteristic. Nonetheless, it is important in great matters to not be silent. So, I'm not.
Last newsletter I mentioned that I have loved being a part of a Ladies Bible Study. These ladies are my friends and precious jewels, each one. On Tuesdays this Summer we have been meeting on our large porch for fellowship, praise & worship, Bible study, and prayer. Oh! Such rich times we have had! I'm sure I speak for each of them that God has been so faithfully shepherding us through His word and learning how to apply it in our personal/family life.
Most times I am giving the Bible study and, in typical YWAM style, addressing topics such as: hearing God's voice, intercession, spiritual warfare, praise & worship, and most recently how to study the Bible. As an application time we registered with the local Farmer's Market and had a booth called "Products & Prayer". We brought our crafts and garden veggies to sell and then offered to pray for anybody's prayer requests. Our little town (4,000 people) was blessed that day!
Last Sunday I shared at a Sunday evening "Summer Salad" gathering for women in a local church (PS - there was MUCH more than salad at that meal - yummy!). I simply shared my testimony and a song... afterwards I spoke with quite a few ladies who could relate with my story and I had the opportunity to pray for them.
October 1-3rd I will be the speaker for a Fall women's retreat nearby. My topic: "Prepare". When I was asking God about what I should speak on that is really the only word He gave me. Since then I've been exploring Matthew 25 about the 10 maidens who were watching for the Bridegroom and other passages. It won't be a large retreat but I believe it will be significant.
Some of you have asked about my (new) family. Karl and I have been married over 5 years now and our most common prayer point is family.
Here's a rundown of family for you:
My siblings: Randy (&Darlene), Barbarah (&Kent)
Karl's siblings: Pat (& Norm), Mike (&Christine)
Ross (&Laura) with Courtney (daughter Mahliah 11yrs), Kindra (son Damien 10 yrs)
Theresa (& Lewis), and Keegan (20 yrs)
We will have a family vacation September 11-18th in a cabin we rented on a lake in northern Minnesota. We hope for good conversations, fun, and to share God's love on all.
As I celebrated my 66th birthday recently I had some time to reflect upon God's faithfulness. I am so very thankful for YOU in my life - the times we've had, the memories we've made, and what we can mean to one another in these days & times. Please DO share your prayer requests with me and I will certainly pray.
Please keep me, my family, and the ongoing ministry of serving in global missions especially as I am mentoring/coaching a number of women around the world.
Thank you for your love, prayers, support, and encouragement, dear friend.
"Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another, and the LORD listened and heard them: so a book of remembrance was written before Him to record the names of those who fear the LORD and who honor His name." Malachi 3:16