Thursday, December 22, 2016

Prayer Letter - December 2016

I’m writing this from the upstairs home of my son in law, Ulises, and daughter, Elizabeth. If I look above my computer, I can see miracles everywhere…first, God’s creation: fruit trees, hills, mountains, and a cloudless sky. I see walking miracles…Ulises walking from the orphanage building, talking with two of his pastors. I see the miracle of an architect, because that’s what Ulises was before surrendering to full time service. He will always be an architect, but he has used this gift to head up the construction of a beautiful church building, the children’s home, and the lovely house where they live.

But today is also a memorable day for our family: 12 years ago, on a Sunday afternoon, angels came down to our bedroom, and escorted my husband, Tom Sloan, into Heaven. I have shed tears yesterday and today, because I miss him, and will always love him. But God’s ways are perfect always, and I can be nothing but thankful for the 35 years I spent as the wife of the most extraordinary man I’ve ever known.

In the month of October, I was invited to speak in a ladies’ conference in Acatl├ín, Jalisco, where Pastor Raymond Jones heads up the work his father started many years ago. His mother, Elaine and I truly are kindred spirits: we were born in the same year; our husbands went to Heaven in 2004; and our sons took over our husbands’ works. Bro. Raymond’s wife, Laurie, and Elaine did a beautiful job organizing this event.  In the one-day conference, I spoke 4 times to about 250 ladies, including 20 pastors’ wives, who filled the beautiful auditorium. Our day was crowned with a lady being saved. As icing on the cake, my daughter, Anna, and my granddaughter, Debbie, accompanied me, and helped with the special music.  “Thank you, Lord, for precious memories, and new friends.”

The month of November is also a special month for me, because it was 56 years ago, on the 15th that the L.H. Ashcraft family crossed the US-Mexico border, and moved to the mission field. All our earthly possessions, including Mother’s ironing board, fit quite nicely into the old Carry All along with my parents, my 3 little brothers, and me. My life has never been the same.

But, I must return to the happy present, and give you the report you’ve been waiting for, and let you know how God answered your prayers for our 18th annual Ladies’ Christmas Banquet. You are tired, I know, of hearing that this year’s Banquet was our best yet; but it truly was. God provided the finances in ways too incredible, and too many to tell you. Thank you, thank you for your prayers in that area, and for the special offering you may have sent. We had an outlandish attendance…the only word that comes to my mind, when I close my eyes and see ladies sitting outside the Banquet room, and sadly ladies leaving because there was simply no room, even there. We had prepared for 150, and there were 175 present.

Jim Roggenkamp is the humblest man I know, and was superb in his delivery of the Gospel message he preached. When he gave the invitation, four precious ladies were saved, two of those, amazing answers to countless prayers! We honored 15 pastors’ wives; 7 women on the police force; 5 military wives; (3 of their husbands attended); and 7 First Ladies. The men in our church presented a special award to a captain in the Mexican army who retired after 33 years of service. Thank you for the part you had in this miracle event.

I’ve saved a little surprise for the last: we have a pastor, as of November 27. Bro. Albino Lopez was voted as pastor of our church, and I don’t know of anyone who has a greater burden and love for our people, and vision for the work. Please pray for this young man and his wife, and for their 3 precious children, that God would encourage him, and use him as He has in the past.

Have a very Blessed Christmas with those you love, and may our hearts be filled with gratitude for the birth of our Savior, and for His mission on earth: to save sinners like me.

With love and prayers,
Billie Sloan

Nahum 1:7