Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So many things to post!

So here it goes...I have so many things on my mind that I've been meaning and wanting to share here, but there's just only so many hours in a day. Today, while Theo and Stella are on a daddy-daughter date, and Naya and Liv are napping, I'll see what I can fit in. :)

I've been in a women's Bible study since we moved here. It's an incredible blessing and gift to my life. I absolutely LOVE meeting each Tuesday morning with this group of believing women to study God's Word. The study we're finishing up right now is the Beth Moore study 'James: Mercy Triumphs.' It's on the life and book of James. In my years of christianity, knowing Jesus and lightly-moderately reading the Word, I never knew how much meat was packed into those 5 chapters of James, in the New Testament. Obviously that was the problem....lightly-moderately reading the Word. No condemnation here at all, but I'm defintily recognizing how deficient I am in my knowledge of God's Word, and it's making me crazy! I want to devour it, but because of my lack of discipline and the busy-ness of my life I'm limited in how crazy I can go with it. I'm working on the discipline part, but I'm super blessed to be part of this weekly study where we tear through the Word and even have daily homework. I'm being consumed with the teaching James {Jesus's brother} brings. It's amazing and I'm praying God gives me the grace to put it all into action!

 I encourage you...get into a group study if you have issues staying consistent on your Bible reading/studying. It makes a world of difference!

Not only am I being consumed by James' teaching because of our women's meetings, but we're going through James as a church each Sunday! This is a total consuming of specific teachings here! God, help us to 'get this' in us! I wont have any excuse at all if these things don't become part of my lifestyle which brings even more fear of the Lord! Ah.

Another thing thats been getting the fire of the Holy Spirit roaring within me, is listening/watching sermons several times a week. Lately, I choose Francis Chan's teachings. I can't remember ever hearing another teacher so challenging to actually live out the actual Gospel. Not good ideas of what 'might' be in the Bible, or things that totally sound like they're in the Bible,...I'm talking referrences of scripture on how we're instructed to live. The other person I've heard teach primarily straight from the Word, and only 5% personal stories or ideas, is my husband. Now maybe that means I haven't heard many teachers in my life, or that I'm just paying attention to all of that, now, but eaither way I'm recognizing the importance and difference it makes to actually be taught straight from the scriptures! Having less {not none at all!} cool, funny, and interesting talk and more actual scripture reading is bringing life to me and actually renewing my mind as I listen and believe. It's a novel idea! :)

Over the last few months we've been praying and considering starting a cafe here in Ensenada. We've been wanting to do this for years and as we considered how the girls schedules are still quite flexible and we have some extra time on our hands, it might be the time to go for it! So as we prayed, the Lord led Theo to not move forward with the cafe, but to just focus on what He's done in bringing a community of believers for us to shephard here. At first I felt a little bummed out and because I'm still totally learning to trust God in Theo and submit with a gentle and quiet spirit {rather than resorting back to my take charge, and kick and push til I get what I think is best ways}- I felt disappointed. But I actually took the time to pray and ask God to confirm to me that we shouldn't move foward, and literally the next day while in the Word, I read scripture in 1 Timothy how they were instructed to 'give their complete attention to the tasks at hand' and other directions in that same vein, and I knew for sure that was the Holy Spirit answering what WE were supposed to do!
it had been a little while since I've recognized direct instruction from God like that and I was reminded that He's always wanted to lead me like that. Psalm 32:8 says this.... "The Lord says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you."
I love it. Thank you Jesus for your goodness and kindness to me.

Another thing happening in our world, is that God wants to give us a better marriage! We've been praying for years now for God's hand to remain on us and bless us by teaching us His way of a good and Godly marriage! We've had lots of hurts, mainly because of our loose tongue which has had little control during heated times. James teaches how the tongue is full of poison, and I can assure you, he's telling the truth! So we recently began the Love and Respect series at our neighbor's house and we're learning the power of the tongue in loving and respecting one another. It's funny how right after you learn some good stuff, you suddenly have TONS of opportunities to put those things into practice! It's insane. Ha! But we're super excited to work at these things and are feeling more in love than ever. Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness to us in this marriage!

This Sunday at church we had a new family of 8 join us! It was such a blessing to have the local YWAM leaders with us and it turned out to be quite a divine appointment kind of day for them with us. Lots of love, tears, prayer and ministry happened on their very first visit. God was there and it was awesome. If they continue to join us at Baja Fellowship {the name of our little home church!} we'll be up to almost 40 people including kids. Pretty amazing considering we didn't know at all that this was our assignment while here in Mexico and we've only been here for 6 months! God is amazing and is doing things in the Body. We're convinced that if God told us on the front end that this was our assignment, we probably wouldn't have believed at first, and then it definitly wouldn't have panned out as smoothly as it has thus far. God knows what He's doing. Today though, we need chairs! Haha, since church is in our living room and apparently God is bringing lots of people our way, we need more chairs! Kids sit on the floor already so adults can have the seats, but we're already out and will soon be putting the adults on the floor too! I guess this is a good problem! {I know not an actual dilema in life, but a just a 'hosting' problem}   :)
God, please bring us chairs!

Another crazy thing about this Baja Fellowship, is that apparently Theo is the pastor. :)  In my complete effort NOT to boast {because I just learned in James, that all boasting is lying...ah}, that my husband has had a heart for PEOPLE, and to teach the fullness and truth of God's word for years now. As the Spirit transforms him, he is becoming more and more passionate and set on teaching the word accurately and living the thing out for himself. {ourselves!} The comfortable, convenient, and relaxed thing that is trying to take over the church in America is truly a devasting and dangerous thing. And it's SO hard to get out of once you're in it. Theo being raised in Haiti has seen a whole different and very poor world, so he's much more balanced in his perspective of needs vs. wants, comforts and luxuries vs. actual necessities of life, and other things along those veins. I think it's giving him an easier platform to teach from than being born and raised in the US, in all the mess we're brought up in. He was raised with a whole different load of junk but that's for another post. :) 

Hopefully I'll be back on here before another month passes, but I'll end with some key things the Lord has been putting on my heart lately...

Regular confession and repentance of our sins is absolutly critical for our growth, maturity in Christ and humility in character. We need to pray about everything, all the time. {He said it, not me!} We need to actually live out more than 1 or 2 principles or commands found in the Bible somewhere. If we are calling ourselves christians, we need to be drastically different and biblically accurate, in lifestyle than the world. Having a solid group of believers that we fellowship and grow with is also crucial for us. {An arm severed from the rest of the body doesn't do any good on it's own and will soon die.} We need to learn from Jesus, what LOVE really looks like in our daily lives. And finally....we need to study the Word of God like our lives depend on it.....because it does. :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 2012 Missions Letter

   Hey Everyone! We pray this year started off well for you. It’s been an interesting one for us to say the least. We’ll get to that, but first we want to say how it amazes us when we think of how quickly the days pass. Especially as we consider it in light of the return of Jesus. What an exciting and sobering thing! The thoughts of Jesus returning soon for his church not only make us giddy, but always make our hearts tremble with the fear of the Lord as well. We still feel the urging of the Lord to be in the place of prayer and in the Word as a family and community, primarily, no matter where we go or what we do. We’re finding so much security and peace in that. We are passionate about getting ourselves and the community around us prepared to see our King face to face!

     Since we sent out the big fancy December newsletter via snail mail, there have been changes. Right around the time those newsletters were sent, we began noticing some serious red flags regarding the ministry. Please understand that we would not want to shed any negative light on this organization, The Refuge, but we need to remain true to our convictions and to our instructions in the Word. This has been a challenging time as we were forced to confront some major problems, and after prayer, time and counsel we’ve decided to disconnect from the ministry. The other family {The Brouwers} working with us, also made the same decision to disconnect at the same time. Please pray for continued wisdom and discernment and to know the Lord’s will for our lives.

   During the last several weeks, we’ve spent a lot of time in prayer regarding what the Lord wants us to put our time and energy to here in Ensenada, now that we are not with The Refuge. “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” – Psalm 37:5 This is a scripture verse we turn to often, not only because this is one of Stella’s 2 verses memorized so far, which she recites so often, but also because God is kind and we find such comfort in this! It’s awesome!

    So currently we feel strongly to remain focused on the house church that began when we first moved here. This group of believers of all ages and stages is growing before our eyes! New people are finding their way to our house for church and we’re just wanting more than anything to steward this well. From their mouths, it is a ‘lifeline’ to our community. We have a few local Mexicans, but we’re finding it’s primarily English speakers joining us. English speaking missionaries who had been attending Spanish speaking churches are, over time, realizing that they aren’t fluent enough in Spanish to actually be fed. Rather they’re constantly translating it all instead of actually learning and worshipping. That’s apparently where our little home church stepped in. In English, we are experiencing the presence of the Lord during our church meetings and hearts and minds are truly being renewed by the washing of the Word. The relationships are being strengthened through our fellowship and we’re seeing a true brotherhood {and sisterhood} developing! For almost 5 months now Theo has been teaching each week with the partnership of our friend Sean Cates. A few weeks ago, as Theo was praying for our little congregation, he felt the Lord lead him to begin teaching from the book of James. Without me {Melissa} knowing that, I told him that our women’s bible study was beginning the Beth Moore study ‘James: Mercy Triumphs’…on the life and actual book of James. Needless to say, that was confirmation that the Lord was speaking “JAMES” for us as a community for this new year! “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.”- Psalm 37:23

   We also have been hosting prayer meetings at our house on a regular basis throughout the week with other missionary families. We have been live streaming it via the internet as well and have had people from Florida, Kansas, and Canada join us ‘live’ for worship and prayer! We have plans to join the local YWAM base in their worship and prayer meetings soon as well. Soon, our friends Nic and Michelle will move about an hour north of where we all live now, and Nic has been our worship leader for church and the “BajaHouseof Prayer.” Please join us in asking God for another Jesus loving and talented music leader!

    We are meeting many missionaries from different ministries and know the Lord has made us {Theo & Melissa} a sort of bridge for them all to connect and come together. Currently, it’s through the home church and weekly prayer meetings and is mainly serving believers. We are praying for wisdom for ways to connect with and reach our local, unsaved community in Playas de Chapultepec. {We live in a small town south of Ensenada}. Pray that God would open the doors that should be opened for us, and that we’d faithfully walk on.

   Stella is doing well with learning to write letters, numbers and with phonics. She gets very excited when she’s able to sound out words on her own! Naya is learning well too and picking things up just from watching Stella ‘do school.’ Both girls are really intrigued by and wanting to speak Spanish and French lately. They’ve even been asking to watch their movies in Spanish or French! Theo and I are happy to take advantage of their interest, and we’re beginning to function at home a bit more in those languages. They are also learning to pray each day with us and learning scripture. Naya will turn 3 on February 17th , the same day as her great grandmother, Margo! There’s just an 80 year time span there. Stella will be 5 {definitely going on 15} this summer. Olivia is finally walking all around and has a mouthful of teeth coming in. She’s sweet, cuddly and feisty!

   We are seeing the Lord do amazing things with us, as a family. Theo and I will celebrate 7 years of marriage this summer and God has really been so kind and faithful to us in specific ways, since we moved here. Communication and love between us is springing forth like never before and it seems we’re finding each other as friends again. We’re SO excited! We actually will begin the revised Love & Respect series in a few weeks with several other missionaries. Home life with the girls is tough and tiring, but such a blessing to us. We feel honored and rewarded by getting to have them. And we’re getting the opportunity to practice the patience, love, compassion, self-control, long suffering, and selflessness that we’ve asked God for, for so long. We get a go at it every day. Ha!

   We’d like to ask that if you haven’t and would like to begin supporting us, that you would contact us via email, facebook or phone! We’d love to talk about how you can help specifically with what’s happening here, such as the home church needs and personal family needs.

   We are beyond grateful for the faithful generosity of those who lovingly support us each month financially and we’d love for you to consider joining us in our pursuit of making Jesus known and exalted here in Mexico. This is why we’re here!

   Whether via finances, prayer, or coming to visit, as several have and more are coming, the Lord uses YOU to support us! Whether you support us with $10 a month or $1000 a month, your support actually makes a difference. We’re genuinely thrilled at how the Lord has faithfully orchestrated the last 5 months of us living here. In many ways, it has been very “hands off” for us, and very “hands on” for the Lord, as we’ve watched provision, relationships and ministry literally come together and happen right in front of us. Praise Jesus!

*To give tax deductible support you can go to www.lightinternational.org Then, click on sponsor a missionary, find our names and the rest should be easy. For first time supporters, you’ll need to quickly create an account before hand.

* For non-tax deductible giving, you can send a check directly to the mailing address below, give through PayPal, or contact us for our Western Union location.

Our contact information is as follows:

Theo and Melissa Steinhauer
107 Avenida Del Reposo, San Clemente, CA 92672

American phone line is : (949) 945- 5956

Emails: theosteinhauer@gmail.com  and melissasteinhauer@gmail.com

*Current needs we could use help with:

- We need to get our van worked on, so it can pass smog test in CA, and we can register it! We only have 60 days to do this and we’ll need around $600 for that!

- We feel it might be wisdom to buy life insurance for Theo just in case...

- We currently only have access to our mail, whenever we’re able to drive up into California. We need to buy a PO BOX so we can get our mail through a service here, which is about $200 for the year. Gas to CA and back is about $100 roundtrip. It’s a much better deal.