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PIZZA WITH MIKE

Join us for pizza and salad with Mike Cousineau.  The pizza was better than we had on the Sea of Galilee.  I’d love to be back there, but eating tilapia.

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PIZZA WITH MIKE

                Long before we found The Prayer of Jabez (I Chr. 4:10) in our bookstores, Mike asked God to enlarge his territory.  In 1979, God took him to the Ivory Coast. 

                Mike Cousineau is a long-term missionary to Africa.  Our church has had the privilege of supporting his ministry with prayers and funds.   

                In July 2005, God again enlarged Mike’s territory with the Hanna Project.  God sent the fourth team to Ivory Coast.   They now had five medical doctors. 

                The surgeries, wound care, prescription glasses and so much more all led to the true mission—189 people came to Christ. 

                I didn’t realize the area covered by the Hanna project until I looked at a map.  Tajikistan is part of the former Soviet Union, located north of Afghanistan.  This is just one of the places blessed by the God through the Hanna Project. 

                We all like success stories, and Mike was glad to oblige:

                It is against the law to share the gospel with children in Tajikistan.   Max was a street kid at 7.  At 13, he was taken off the streets by the church.  His life turned around.  He completed his education in six years.  He came to Christ, dated and married the pastor’s daughter.  

                Now to North Africa:  Morocco is 99.9% Muslim.  O that we had that percentage of Christians in America.    Morocco’s king highlighted the country’s six best organizations, and the association with which The Hanna Project works was one of them. 

                Later, the prayer of Jabez popped up in Mike’s life again, “O that you would bless me.”    Many of us may be timid to pray that prayer.  Not Mike. 

                One evening, Mike was hungry for fruit.  He went to the store and bought some oranges and bananas.  A man on the street asked him for a piece of fruit.   Mike kept walking.  The still small voice reminded him, “Bless me, expand my territory.”   He realized God couldn’t bless him if he were going to keep the blessing to himself.  He went back and gave the man some of his fruit.  The man smiled.  They both were blessed. 

                Mike asked the question we should have asked him:  What do you want from New Hope? 

                His answer:  Not just finances, not just prayer support—but personal involvement—someone to go, someone with skills.  Mike is not shy. 

                Mike and the Hanna project need workers, from healthcare professionals to painters.  And he said he might even give you one day of R&R. 

They also need a generator, as their surgeons often perform operations by flashlight. 

                In February 2010, the Hanna Project plans to put a roof on a school.  They need someone who knows construction.  They also need nurses, doctors, assistants and more.   Do you wear one of these hats?

Mike concluded, “There are greater things to come.  Do you want to be involved?”

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Check out Ebenezer and Ninety-Eight Friends and learn about Pizza on the Sea of Galilee.  You can also read an exciting adventure about Mike Cousineau.  Fun stuff to read while you’re eating your pizza and salad. 

A short PS.  The pictures on my blog are independent of me.  Right before I push the button, they develop minds of their own.  If I’d been smarter than the pictures, I’d have placed Mike in the middle so it doesn’t look like he’s talking to himself.  Maybe they’ll be more submissive next time.  I wonder if God ever thinks that about us. 

Blessings!

Marty

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PIZZA ON THE SEA OF GALILEE

dsc00445I’m so happy.  I just found our Israel pictures.  Sooo, I’d like to share with you another story from my book.

 

 

 

 PIZZA ON THE SEA OF GALILEE

 

 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”

When the disciples took a second look, they saw Jesus throwing something up into the air.  They looked more closely.  It was some kind of leavened dough.  He laughed as he continued tossing this raw bread into the air.  He seemed to be having a great time. 

None dared ask him what he was doing.  They just continued to watch. 

Finally Jesus broke the silence.  “I’m making breakfast pizzas.  Why do you look so puzzled?  Have you never eaten breakfast pizza?”

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No, you won’t find that in any version of John 21:12-14.  But it reminded me of my lunch on the Sea of Galilee. 

We were eating at a kibbutz, an Israeli commune.  We could choose between fish straight from the sea or pizza.  Sometimes I like fish and sometimes I don’t.  After all our walking I was hungry and didn’t want to take any chances.  I chose pizza. 

I now think I know what those young cooks must have thought:  “If these Americans insult us by not eating our tilapia, we’ll give them heated up frozen pizza, straight from their country.  We’ll make it taste as much like cardboard as possible. 

I don’t blame them. 

I was offered a small piece of someone else’s fish—melt in your mouth, oh so good. 

I could have had fresh fish from the Sea of Galilee, but no, I chose the safety net—pizza.

Jesus wants to give us those fresh gifts from His bounty, from the River of Life, but we don’t want to take any chances.  So we pick the hard and tasteless, yet safe, pizza.

Sometimes our denominational dogma is like frozen pizza—hard and without any sustenance. 

Our morning quiet time can be more like leftover pizza—boring and lifeless.

We can be happy with merely filling in the blanks in our Bible study book, or we can feast on the Bread of Life. 

By the way, since I’ve been back to the States, I’ve had tilapia twice. 

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May you feast on God’s good manna during this Easter season. 

 

Blessings!

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