Monday, December 19, 2011

In Utter Awe of Christ - November/December Newsletter

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Colossians 1:13-17

In Utter Awe of Christ

I (Leah) recently was watching a youtube video titled “A Social Network Christmas” (if you haven’t seen it, you really should). As I was watching it, I kept thinking, “Jesus was born in the grossest of circumstances, to a looked-down-upon couple, in a shanty town, during the time when a king wanted him dead, and the most royal treatment He got was from some wise guys who had to skip town right away – other than them, His entourage was a bunch of stinky, lowly shepherds!!” And what’s even crazier to me is how He wasn’t shock, disgusted, or disappointed about all this – He CHOSE that!!
Colossians 1 was brought up in a sermon I heard recently, and our pastor and associate pastor both brought up how just because Jesus was born physically through a human being doesn’t mean that’s when His life started. As John 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”
AND - since He was just as much God as He is today - means that even as a baby He still had the same power and ability to keep holding all things together. Isn’t that INCREDIBLE?! Do you think those wise men knew that? Do you think that was the first thing Mary thought as she held that little boy in her arms? As these humble shepherds gathered around to see the Messiah, do you think they realized that that little baby was holding everything together?
Jesus astounds me! As I think on His birth, I can’t help sit in utter awe of how glorious and worthy of praise He is. I pray for you and I this Christmas season that we will not miss out on what God really wants to teach us – and that we will be even more awestruck of Him than ever before!!

Holly Jolly Girl’s Retreat

With all of Malcolm and I’s running from place to place the last couple months, we haven’t been able to do much with the students. But we were to go to the final retreats of the semester.
We ladies spent a whole weekend getting into the Christmas spirit and discussing topics that all women need to talk about. Three lovely students gave talks about what God thinks about what we wear (modesty), how to honor God with our words (gossip and conflict resolution), and the truth our identity in Christ.
After each talk, we had an open discussion as a group asking questions like, “What is considered modest?” and “What can I do start resolving a conflict?” Aren’t these things we all need to learn and apply in our lives? All the girls seemed to really accept the messages, and learned a lot from the weekend.
I know the girls have been having a harder time connecting together this semester, so it was SO wonderful to see them encourage one another and bond as sisters in Christ!

Real Men Beating Real Sin

A few weeks ago I (Malcolm) got the privilege to go to another Men’s Retreat put on by Master Plan. I love these retreats because I get to see and learn from older Godly men. Each year I learn a ton and this year was no different.
The theme was beating sin, and there were some really great talks from understanding what sin was, understanding the role of the bible in beating sin, to working through our sin.
The last talk of the retreat was on having victory over sin, which was done by a student named Brandon. It was amazing to see how bold and right on the money his talk was. Even though he was young he had all the men there captivated and convinced through God’s word that they could have victory in their lives.  I was blown away because he had got the chance to talk only because one of the speakers could not make it that weekend. Brandon had two days notice to sit down and write it.  
I share this because I love how God works, how He changes, how He qualifies us to serve Him.  And when we let Him, He will blow us away with His unending love and power.

Praises and Prayers

If you haven’t heard yet, WE’RE AT 100%!! We thank God for coming through and meeting our goal, and we thank you all for your prayers and support! So we will be on campus full-time at the beginning of January when classes start up again.
-Pray for DCC: that students and staff will enjoy our time together, and that we will be ready, willing, and eager to learn and apply what God wants us to.
-Pray that the students will continue to stay strong and seek God over the Christmas break. Pray that they will come back excited to serve the campus for the Lord.
-Pray that God will prepare us for being on campus next semester, and that we will continue to work as a team.

On our Honeymoon cruise to the
The girls with their gingerbread town they made at the Girl’s Retreat

Men’s Retreat
Merry Christmas!!!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This Was All HIS Fault!!

Well, if you didn't want us on campus next semester, you're gonna have to talk to God about it because...

Seriously, God has orchestrated a crazy plan for our lives! When we set down our final amount in August, I (Leah) kind of thought to myself, "Well, maybe we don't go on campus at all this year..." We needed to raise an additional $2,500 in monthly support. When I was single raising support it took about 9 months to raise $2,000, so I expected this to take just as long or longer. But God quickly showed us that HE was in control and we were not. So now we are here, about 4 months later with our funds in in time for the holidays! 

We want to take a moment and thank ALL of YOU for your part in God's plan!! We thank and praise God for all of you who financially contribute, who met with us to hear about our ministry, and who prayed for us. We honestly couldn't be more grateful for every single one of you!!!

So, what's next in the Hillewaert agenda? Well, we definitely have a lot of fun and exciting things in store for us!

First, we are heading out early Saturday, December 10th, to go on our Honeymoon cruise!! We have had this planned before we were married, and every day that the temperature gets a bit cooler we have kept in mind our fun and WARM adventure that awaits us. We would appreciate prayers for safe travels and a time to recoup from this past month of traveling for MPD.

After that, we chill a bit in Durango, and then, head up to see family for Christmas. THEN we get to go to DCC again this year! DCC (which stands for Denver Christmas Conference) is put on by Cru (formally known as Campus Crusade for Christ), and it's a 5 day conference where students from all over our region come together. It's an excellent time for the students to grow more in their walks with God, and grow closer with the other students from our campus and the other campuses as well. Pray for us and the students as we prepare to go, and that the overall conference will be a great time of growth and a great time of fellowship for all who attend - and pray for anyone wh might get to hear the Gospel for the first time while we're there as well!!

Once again, we are truly thankful and humbled by all of you!! Let us know who we can be praying specifically for you.