January Praise and Prayer Report
Hello and blessings to all
Every year at this time we always say, can you believe it, this year has flown by. In the case of 2009 I think that is a good thing. I think everyone was affected in some way or another by the happenings of 2009. Lets remind ourselves that if we have said yes to Jesus, we are in this world but we are not of this world. We all have much to be thankful for regardless of the trials or tribulations of the past year and ATO is blown away by the goodness of God and you His children for your commitment spiritually, physically and financially during our first year.
We have all experienced another Christmas and are entering the new year of 2010. There is so much to reflect on every year at this time. God once again this Christmas season has reminded me of Mary and her experience when the angel came to her and said you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. After a brief explanation from the angel, Mary’s response was; ” I am the Lords servant, may it be to me as you have said”. (Luke 1;26-38) Another pure picture of obedience I am reminded of was Jesus saying “My Father if it be possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, as you will”. (Mathew 26;39) WOW……could it be possible for us to put our thoughts, emotions, pride, reputations, pier pressure or any other strongholds that the world has entangled us with aside to be obedient to a calling that will surpass anything our minds could ever conceive. Mary and Jesus (showing he was all man), unselfishly reveals to us all, a lifestyle of obedience that our Father desires for us to embrace. My prayer is we all seek that type of obedience for Him in 2010!
Father also reminds me of Paul in Philippians 3;12-14, says, “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. This could be our first step in that obedience we just talked about. Many of us will have to forget about the setbacks and hardships of 2009 and remind ourselves about the Father’s agenda for kingdom purposes in 2010. Lets learn from the past but don’t allow the devil to keep you there, remember the Israelites wanted to go back to Egypt, lets learn from their mistake and keep our eye’s on the promise land!!!!!!!!
My final thought is the substance we all must believe and hold on to no matter what our circumstances look like, how we feel, what people tell us (worldly people and yes even some fellow believer’s), and all the other traps and snares of the devil. It is the essence of God’s plan for humanity from Genesis to Revelation and a common word this time of year, in song and in scripture readings, Immanuel……..God with us………what else could we possibly ask for in 2010. In 2010 and on, it will never be about is God with us it will be about are we, or to put it more personal, are you with Him. Saints I really believe the best is yet to come, so lets stay committed and hold on for a ride thats better than anything you’ve experienced at Six Flags or Disneyland.
Our first December hunt was Sarah Bonastia. She and husband Rico traveled from Missouri to hunt with ATO. Our connection to Sarah was my friend Andy Bishop. Andy is the man from Louisiana that sent us the adaptive equipment we so desperately needed and has already been put to good use. Board member Jimmy Downe and his wife Wende, along with my bride Angela, all experienced God’s true vision for ATO. Sarah harvested a great deer but even bigger started relationships that will never fade or be erased from her mind or heart nor all of ours. Jimmy said he was so glad they came, they really caught a deeper vision for what God has for ATO. Sarah has stage 4 lung cancer, which a PET/Scan soon after returning home revealed good news. The cancer is in remission and they have decided on a maintenance treatment schedule for her that will start Jan. 14th for 3 days and continue 3 days every month for the next year. When Sarah left, with tears streaming down her cheeks, she hugged me and said I really don’t want to leave. God is really doing something in this relationship, she emails all the time. Please pray for Sarah’s health, physically and spiritually.
Our second hunt was Peter DeJong, a local boy who has Cerebral Palsy. His dad David and good friend Tinker Lemke, who is how we met Peter, were also along for the hunt. Tinker a good friend of Richard Harbin’s, owner of the Triple Cross, also has been a guide on the ranch for several years. David owns a local dairy farm and Tinker works for a company that supplies equipment to the DeJong’s farm. God once again blessed ATO with new relationships and a succesful hunt for Peter, which was his first deer ever. Check out our website for Peter and everyone’s pictures under Photo Gallery.
The third hunt of December was a hunt for Chase Hennings from Dallas Texas. Chase’s dad Chad and friend ATO board member Dudley Hall were at the Triple Cross for the hunt. Chase has never shot a deer but he was a great hunter. I was impressed how quiet and patient he was. Chase saw the fallow deer and black buck antelope which are the only exotics on the ranch while he also got to see two small bucks sparing, a non-aggressive fight. Unfortunately we never saw a mature buck for Chase to take a crack at. I think thats why its called hunting but as a hunting guide I’m not to fond of these humbling experiences. They are going to see if they can return this year, if not they will be first priority next year. Please pray it will work out for Chase this year, he is really a great young man.
We need to pray for the scheduling of the January hunts. The bad weather in late December lead to the two boys who’s dads were war casualties in Iraq, to cancel the 28th and 29th. Also trying to pin down a date for the two friends that returned home from Iraq as amputees. Daniel lost one leg below the knee and Brett lost both legs above the knee. We have Dennis Joyner, a triple amputee from the vietnam war and his son Paul coming Jan. 14-16. Board member Jim Allera will be along for this hunt. Pray the schedules work out to Gods plans and that each hunt be all it is meant to be.
We are trying to plan several fund raisers for 2010. The largest will most likely be our game dinner that Eric Owings has a vision for. We also have talked about a golf tournament, team roping event or maybe an archery shoot. We need everyone to get involved wherever you think you can help or let us know about ideas you may have if your willing to put action behind them. We need to hear the Lord as to what, when and where we need to do. Anything we set out to do must be done with excellence as if we were doing it for Jesus Himself.
We need to start praying for places to hog hunt, exotic hunt and turkey hunt. I believe God can lead us to them so we don’t waste a bunch of time running all over Texas looking. We also need doors to open to show us the kids and adults He wants us to bless. We need to pray for sponsors to join us with product and finances. This is all new to me so I need direction and wisdom to see and connect with whoever God has for ATO. We also need to ask God to allow us to meet the individuals that He wants to invest in the lives of those He chooses to bless thru ATO. Please pray diligently and faithfully so we can hear the Fathers voice. Remember always keep your relationship with Him firstplace in your life, that is the only way we can glorify God and lift up the name of Jesus which should always be our first priority and out of that ATO will be all He wants it to be!!!!
God is never to busy for us, it is us that get to busy for Him; IMMANUEL…God with us…
Thanks once again for your faithfulness to serve our Jesus, its a joy to serve Him with you.
It’s all because of Him,