July 2004

Dear Friends and Prayer Partners,

Max Lucado describes life in general as a jungle.  It is not a jungle of trees and beasts.  Our jungles are composed of thickets of failing health, broken hearts and empty wallets.  Our forests are framed with hospital walls.  We do not hear the screeching birds or roaring lions, but we hear the complaints of neighbors and the demands of life.  The bush that surrounds us is the rush that exhausts us.

Amidst all these is the truth expressed in Psalm 23.  Our shepherd knows that we were not made for this place, but He has equipped us for this place.  He has come to guide us and to restore our souls.  Jesus does not give hope by changing the jungle.  He restores our hope by giving us Himself, and He has promised to stay until the very end.

Thanks for your prayers, cards and flowers during and after the heart attack.  Joy is feeling better and progressing in her recovery.  On the 24th of April and the 24th of May she experienced mild chest pain.  These occasional episodes crescendo'd into a more severe chest pain during the morning meeting of the 6th June.  We were visiting a Southern California assembly, and the elders humbly gathered around her and prayed before we drove back to the hospital.  There the medical team ran their tests.  Heart attack was ruled out, but she was required to spend the 6th to the 11th in the hospital.   Adjustments were made on the medications, and she started feeling stronger and healthier.  Our hope is in God Who is making something good out of it in some way we cannot see.  So we hold on to our conviction that we can trust God (Acts 27:23-25).

The Lord has provided opportunities of service both in the public ministry of the Word as well as in one- on- one discussions and conversations. We engage daily in disciple making and counseling.  Many have testified to being helped through letters and email.  In May a new Assembly started in Makurdi in the home of an elder.  It will be autonomous, independent, and indigenous.  Pray that they be guided by both the Word and the Spirit of God. 

Our faithful Savior Who has helped us in ages past is our hope in years to come; we will rest on His sufficient arms alone for His defense is sure.  What a wonderful God He is to us!

Please join us in praying:

-that our spirits will be strengthened though our bodies are decaying day by day (Ephesians 3:16, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

-that we will have a daily deepening friendship with the risen and glorified Lord (Philippians 3:10-11). 

-that our desire to shine is not to look good or to impress others (Philippians 2:14-18).


Finding His grace sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9-10),

Cyprian and Joy


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