Monday, October 16, 2017

Thursday, September 1, 2016

CONVENIENCES

     I turn the dial to “wash” and start filling the tub with water, I put in the soap, I put the dark or light clothes in the washer (never mixed), I close the lid and walk away to return later to clean clothes.  How simple is that? 
     In much of Africa they carry their clothes to the nearest source of water.  They then use a very strong bar of soap as they scrub the clothes on a rock with their hands.  After rinsing the clothes in the same water they then lay the clothes on a rock or a bush to dry.  Then after the clothes are dry they begin the long walk home.  This is real and this is today.
     What is the definition of convenience?  Something that makes life easier or more comfortable, especially a labor-saving device.”  How blessed are we to have so many “labor-saving device(s)” in our homes and lives.  Much of the world today is missing these conveniences but they still want their clothes to be as clean as possible and they go to great efforts to wash the dirt away. 
     Our lives are often stained with the darkness of sins that we cannot wash away ourselves whether we use a stream, a rock or a Maytag.
     The chorus of an old song asks the question;
“Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?”
     Thankfully there is a promise, a convenience, that can help us answer that question: 
Isaiah 1:16-18
Wash and make yourselves clean.  Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong.  Learn to do right; seek justice.  …Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…”
     Thank you Lord for the “blessing/convenience” of our salvation. 

Until next time…

Mark & Vickie                                                     September 2016

Monday, April 4, 2016

IT’S NOT HOW YOU GO… IT’S WHERE YOU GO


Along the streets of Togo, and many other West African countries, casket makers ply their trade.  They seem to have taken on the role of helping those who die to make a last statement when they pass from this world into the next.  You may see a casket shaped as a fish, a car, a truck, a rocket, and yes even a helicopter or a flip flop.  When a person passes away there is a certain amount of protocol that must be followed based on their position in society.  Sometimes bodies are held for weeks as they order a special fabric to be designed for funeral clothes in honor of the deceased.  Included with the appropriate ceremony is the burial in a very distinctive coffin.  As we saw these helicopter and flip flop coffins we couldn’t help but think that as children of God we will not need an aircraft to take us up to heaven and we sure won’t be wearing flip flops as we walk those streets of gold.

1 Thessalonians 4:16
16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Monday, September 28, 2015

He Heals All My Diseases

imageShe walked so far and worked so hard to reach out and laboriously retrieve dirty water that is full of disease and sickness and then carry the water back to her home. Outside the village of Tokpevia, Togo in West Africa you find this scene that is repeated many times a day by thousands of women and children across the continent of Africa. Every mother is doing her best to provide for her family the only way she knows how by providing the only water she has. Diseases, sickness, and bacteria permeate the water, but it’s the only way to quench their thirst. If only we could provide a healthy alternative.image

So many times our spiritual lives are just like this. We look for something to quench our thirst for meaning and all we find is the disease infested waters of meaningless relationships, practices, and philosophies that seem to quench our thirst for a while. When in reality we are taking in corrupt things that will eventually lead to sickness and destruction. Our sinful lives are based on thoughts, relationships, and activities that cause pain to us and to those around us.

The Africa Oasis Project was able to put in a deep, fresh water well near the Assembly of God church in Tokpevia that completely changed the life of this woman and all the others in the area. People are coming to receive the fresh water and also finding the Living Water of Jesus Christ. The illnesses are going away and their lives are being changed by the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. In Psalm 103:3-4 we read that “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases; he redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion.”

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for providing the Living Water of life to meet all my emotional, spiritual and physical needs.

Psalm 103:5 “He satisfies my desires with good things…”

Friday, February 27, 2015

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Showers of Blessing

Ezekiel 34:26 (NIV)
… I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.

Ever present children of Agbaliwiki

“Agbaliwiki”.  The strange name could conjure up thoughts of a fantasy place where children live in total bliss with lollipops and happy dreams.  In reality, it is a village in west central Togo, Africa where yellow fever was running rampant through the population.  Yellow fever can lead to kidney failure and often death.  The chief of Agbaliwiki approached the pastor of the local Assemblies of God church and asked him to pray for someone to come and drill a fresh water well for the village.  The Africa Oasis Project was able to drill a deep fresh water well that provided disease free, clean and plentiful water.  The village gathered to see the drilling process and observe the progress being made.  The well was located immediately behind the local Assemblies of God church so the parishioners could oversee and maintain the well.

As my colleague Laté Lawson and I arrived to install the hand pump there was great anticipation among the people of the village.  The crystal blue sky soon took a very dark and unexpected turn and the skies opened up in a torrential down pour.  Having driven two days to get to this remote village there was no option but to continue working in the rain.  The water from above did not dampen the excitement of the water that began to flow from the well when the pump was completely installed. Agbaliwiki children and new well and pump

Even though we were soaked to the bone and had a very long dangerous drive ahead of us to return home, we rejoiced as God had once again provided the life giving and healing clean water for the wonderful people of Agbaliwiki, Togo.  The yellow fever was gone.  And this was no fantasy.

Until next time…..

Mark and Vickie Alexander                                            10.13.14