Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you 1Thessalonians 5:18
Just a few more days until we gather around the table with family and friends, surrounded by the aromas of roasted turkey, and fresh pumpkin pie. For many, it’s the most treasured holiday of the year. Even those who do not normally take time to thank God for the food set before them will do so on this day. It is the tradition in many families for each person to share what he is thankful for–a great new job, new home, learning how to ride a bike, recovery from a serious illness. Americans have so much to be thankful for.
Pete and I have countless reasons to be thankful this year. Almost 600 (588) people prayed to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior at Fellowship of Christian Farmers International (FCFI) events we were part of this last year. You have been amazingly generous with your prayers and financial support. To be humbly honest, there were times we didn’t have the money in our budget to pay for the gas to travel to an event, but God always came through, using people like you. And because you made yourself available and open to God’s will, we didn’t have to stay home from even one event due to finances.
Besides praying with people for their salvation, we’ve been blessed to pray with folks for their wayward family members, physical healing, troubled marriages, assurance of salvation, wisdom in making important decisions. We’ve been able to give out cases of new, large print Bibles to new believers who did not own a Bible. This has been a year overflowing with God’s blessings. There aren’t enough thank you’s in the world for the year we have had, and the role you have played in it.
‘But as believers we are admonished to be thankful in ALL circumstances. What if zero souls were saved at an event, or no one needed prayer, or the money for ministry didn’t come in? Are we expected to be thankful in circumstances such as these?
What about Jesus? How did he respond when after working countless miracles, the folks who witnessed it all rejected him? What did he do when he was in the middle of a desolate place surrounded by thousands and thousands of hungry people with no food in sight other than seven loaves of bread and a few fish? What about when one of his best friends died and he didn’t make it there in time to pray over him or even attend the funeral? What did he do when he only had hours to live, knowing the agony of betrayal and death on a cruel cross that lay ahead for him?
He thanked his Heavenly Father.
When the people rejected Jesus instead of humbly repenting, Jesus thanked his Heavenly Father for those who, with childlike faith, did accept him.
He thanked the Lord that his perfect will was accomplished (Matthew 11:25-26).
When Jesus was surrounded by thousands and thousands of hungry people who had been following him for three long days, he thanked God for the little he had, seven loaves of bread and a few fish, and trusted God to supply more than enough to feed well over 4000 hungry people.
Jesus thanked God before the need was met (Matthew 15:36).
When Jesus stood at the graveside of his dear friend Lazarus, he thanked God for hearing his prayer.
Jesus thanked His Heavenly Father before Lazarus was raised to life (John 11:41).
Fully aware of the humiliation and agony of death on the cross that was only hours away, Jesus met with his disciples to institute the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:14-20).
Knowing the excruciating pain, humiliation, and betrayal he would endure, Jesus gave thanks. The cross he died on was not gold like the ones we wear around our necks. It was blood-stained slivered wood. Jesus loves us so much that he died with a heart of thanksgiving. He did what no one else could do, pay the complete price for our sin so that we could spend eternity in heaven with him. Jesus is the one who loves us above all others.
And that is the message we love to share.
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4). Kathy and Sandy love sharing the simple message of salvation with children. No matter how young, children are always welcomed and never turned away from the Fellowship of Christian Farmers tents.
November was another busy month with the Dragon Boat Festival in Hernando and Winter Haven’s Holiday Haven. We were especially thankful to work alongside Bill and Kathy Brown Please keep the Brown’s in your prayers as they return to New York today for Bill to continue his chemo treatments.
Bill and Kathy Brown and friend at the Dragon Boat Festival. Temperatures only made it to the mid-50’s during the event and it rained most of the day. Thankfully we were able to make it through without any of us getting sick.
Pete and Sandy with their friends at the Dragon Boat Races. Despite the freezing temps and low attendance, we were able to give out about 80 walking sticks and 12 folks prayed to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior!
Pete and Bill trying to stay warm. We thank Jesus for the joy we have in ministry.
One of the dragon boat racers came up to Sandy at the beginning of the day and said, “I don’t care about getting a stick. Just tell me the story. I love to hear the story.” When Sandy was done telling the bead story, the woman asked Sandy for prayer. She and her husband hadn’t been going to church for some time and she knew they needed to find a good church home. The two women had a precious time of prayer.
A man approached the FCFI tent as if he was drawn there by a magnet. He had just learned that he has cancer. After praying to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior, Bill met with the man and led in prayer for his healing and peace.
One of my favorite pics from the Dragon Boat races. Pete asked, “Do you know where you are going when you die?” The speechless mascot responded by pointing toward heaven.
It was another rainy day when we ministered at the Holiday Haven.
Pete and Bill getting the walking sticks ready for a busy day. The wind was so strong that our tent almost blew away. Even though the weather didn’t draw as large a crowd as last year, we were blessed to give away about 200 walking sticks and 14 people prayed to receive Jesus. We praise God for each one!
Please thank God for what he has done this year and will do in the year to come through the ministry of the FCFI.
Thank God for providing for the ministry and Pete and Sandy.
Thank the Lord that Bill is able to do so much and pray that his treatments will do all they are supposed to do to bring healing.
Praise God for the salvations and that he is working in each new believer’s life that they will grow in Christ and find Bible preaching churches.
Praise God that we have filled out all the paper work for the Cape Coral Art Fair. Please pray that they will accept our application and that we will have ample workers for the event.
JJanuary 8-9 Cape Coral Art Fair (pending)
January 15 Manatee Festival, Crystal River
January 29-February 4 ECHO work team, N Ft Myers, FL
February 13-19 Disaster Relief in Port Allen, Louisianna
February 26-27 Swamp Cabbage Festival La Belle, FL
March 3-6 Pioneer Days Wauchula, FL
March 5-6 Strawberry Festival Floral City, FL
April 26-28 Flowertown Festival Summerville, SC
IIf God is leading you to support the ministry of the Fellowship of Christian Farmers with your prayers or financially, please let us know. You may contact us by e mail at: email@example.com or Pete and Sandy Singer, 14880 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, FL 33955.
Thank you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
In His Grip,
Pete and Sandy