Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Website/blog!

We have a NEW Website that will serve as our blog also. You can get there at www.wondrousadventure.com
Thanks for following us in our Wondrous Adventure with God and New Missions!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Important Update! Significant Change!

Hello Everyone! It's been a while since our last post. We are very encouraged by the number of you who have shown your support through prayer and your financial resources. This update is VERY IMPORTANT! The monthly support will NO LONGER be sent to New Missions. They will be sending a letter, to those who have given, updating you on this information. Our church has graciously accepted the responsibility of handling our support and logging all the information concerning it. For those of you who have already set up your monthly support as an automatic withdrawal, you will need to contact Bill Gruenewald or Linda Brewington at the church office to set that up, and that number is 615-824-6154. All monthly support will now be sent to:
First Baptist Church Hendersonville
(Attention: Business Administration)
106 Bluegrass Commons Blvd.
Hendersonville, TN 37075
Please make sure that you put our missionary code # on the memo line of your check. That # is New Missions-0059. Tony and I are also sending everyone our new brochure that has the updated information. Along with our letter and new brochure is a list of things that we would like for you to pray with us about. Please let your Sunday School class know about us and what we are doing so that they can pray for us as well. While we have been at First Baptist for 13 years, not everyone knows the Luther Family or that there is another family moving full-time to the mission field. We need your help to get the word out! We would love to share our story with your class or small group who might be interested in how we will be serving the Lord in the Dominican Republic. For those of you who do not go to First Baptist, we would love to be able to share our story with your church or small group. Please call me at 615-400-4875 or email me at melissa@wondrousadventure.com if you would like us to come and share at your church! We would be honored to share what God has been doing our lives and what His calling is for our family. We are still waiting with anticipation to see how the Lord will provide for us! He has already shown us so much and provided in so many ways. Thank you for being a part of this adventure!

"Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass."
Psalm 37:5

Until all know Him,
Tony & Melissa Luther

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Waiting patiently and expectantly"

“Guide me in Your truth and 
faithfulness and teach me, for 
You are the God of my
salvation; for You [You only 
and altogether] do I wait
[expectantly] all the day 
long.” Psalm 25:5

How do you “wait”? 
This is the question I have been asking myself lately. Tony and I are in a season of waiting. Waiting for our house to sell, waiting for the motorcycle to sell, waiting for all of the support to come in, and especially waiting to see God move and put all of this together. None of this will happen without Him. But, I have to be honest; I’m not very good at waiting! Well, those of you who know me well know that I’m rather impatient, and that’s putting it nicely. 
I can remember being a kid and all my family would get together on Christmas Eve. They would make all of us kids wait until we had visited with each other and had finished eating dinner before we could open presents. I would eat my dinner as fast as I could and then I would sit there tapping my fingers and ask a 100 times how much longer how much longer….? Some days I feel like that little child again sitting around tapping my fingers at God and asking a 100 times (a day) “How much longer God?”
God has been so patient with me. (And I don’t deserve it) He just keeps telling me, “In My timing, Melissa, in My timing.” But as we wait, God has pointed out to me, that He’s calling me to wait patiently and expectantly.  Not impatiently, begrudgingly, or without hope. I’m learning to put all of my plans aside and let the Lord take care of the details. His plans and His ways are far better than mine ever could be.
“The eye of all wait for You [looking, watching, and expecting] and You give them their food in due season.” Psalm 145:15
Are you waiting for something to take place in your life? There are many people throughout the Bible who had to wait for what God had promised. Remember Abraham and Sarah? God is never early, never late but, He’s always right on time! “How” are you waiting?
“I wait for the Lord, I expectantly wait, and in His word do I hope.” Psalm 130:5
Let us all wait patiently and expectantly for the Lord!
Merry Christmas and God Bless
Until all know Him,
Melissa Luther

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

We have been doing a lot of praying lately! We want to thank all of you who have been praying for us. We could not do what we are doing with out your prayers. The Lord has been good to us. He continues to make himself known to us and to affirm our call to the Dominican Republic. One of the things that the Lord is teaching me is to be thankful even in the difficulties. He never said that all of this would be easy. We are just getting started and we have a long way to go.  We have accoplished a few things over the last couple of weeks.
  • We just completed our website, thanks to Vanessa Jacobs who worked very hard to get it just right! You can check it out at www.wondrousadventure.com 
  • We received our brochures from New Missions and we are sending out our support letters this week. If you don't receive one and would like to, please email me at tonyandmelissa@wondrousadventure.com
  • We are still working hard to pay off debt by May 29, 2010, which by the way is our scheduled date of departure, Lord willing! 
  • Our house is still for sale and the sooner it sales to better! (If it doesn't sale until after the 1st of the year, we may have to push our departure date out further.) 

We would love for you to join us as a prayer partner. Email us at tonyandmelissa@wondrousadventure.com to be added to that email list. For now, here is a list of our prayer needs.

  1. That our house would sell soon!
  2. That God would raise up those who will be our financial partners.
  3. That we will continue to feel God's presence in the midst of all this.
  4. That we will be able to maximize our current resources to pay off our debt quickly.
  5. Protection against the enemy.
  6. For our marriage and family unity. 
  7. For a continued passion for the people of the DR.
  8. For New Missions and the missionaries who are there right now serving.
  9. For Brandon and Nikki James who are moving to the DR on January 12th. (Our co-laborers in Christ) 
 Thank you again for your prayers and your love for missions. Contact us anytime if you would like to know more about what we are doing.

Tony and Melissa Luther


Monday, October 26, 2009

"Come to me....and you will find rest for your souls"

"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease & relieve & refresh your souls.] Matt. 11:28

    The first thing the Lord says in this verse is to come to Him. When I've got a lot going on in my life & I'm being pulled in a hundred different direction, or I'm burdened with worries about my future; I admit that my first instinct is NOT to come to Him. I usually try to handle things in my own strength, and in my own timing. The Lord knows that I tend to be this way and that is why He keeps bringing me back to this verse time and time again.

     The next thing Jesus tells us, after He tells us to come, is that He will cause us to rest. He doesn't tell us to come to Him and He will give us the strength to labor some more. He says He will "cause us to rest." I love the amplified version that adds: "I will ease & relieve & refresh your souls." I believe this is a call to lay our burdenes down, allow Him to take them, so that we may experience His peace which comes from resting in Him. I know I sometimes forget that He's in control of all things, and there is nothing too big or impossible for Him.

     This past week we have been working with New Missions on creating our brochures that will go out to all of our family and friends to raise our monthly support. This brochure tells everyone about "New Missions", the Dominican Republic & about what we will be doing as missionaries in the Dominican Republic. Attached to it is a form that can be completed and sent in to partner with us in our mission to the people of the DR. We also have a copy of this form on our blog. It is labeled as a "Monthly Partnership Form". 

     When I think about the task of raising our monthly support that will provide for our family so that we can do what God has called us to do, I am overwhelmed and overburdened; but God has told me to rest. He is in control, so we are trusting that He will provide.

     Tony and I would like nothing more than to have the opportunity to share with you "one on one" or with a small group of you and your friends who would be interested in hearing what we will be doing and how you all can be apart of it as well. Email us at melissaluther@bellsouth.net or call us at 615-400-4875 if you want more information about meeting with us. Not only can you partner with us in prayer/ monthly support, but you can also partner with us by being a part of a short term/one week mission trip. If you've never been on an overseas mission trip, then you don't know what you've been missing. Join us for a week you will never forget. Go to www.newmissions.org and click on "mission trips/ Dominican Republic" and then click on team dates to see when you would like to come and serve with us.  We look forward to hearing from you. 

Have a blessed day as you come and rest in Him!

Life Coach & Missionary to the DR,
Melissa Luther

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We have been officially approved

We just returned on Sunday from our trip to the DR. This trip was for the purpose of Tony meeting Jeanne who is the founder of New Missions, and for him to meet the missionary team. Tony was also given some projects to complete while we were there. They are looking for Tony to oversee the facilities. He will do a little bit of everything. While we were there he installed 3 ceiling fans, did some plumbing work, put up a big sign at the Tent Church, and put together a couple of computers. On Thursday we had lunch with Jeanne and she gave us the green light of approval. While we "knew" that God was calling us to go, it is still good to get that confirmation that this is what He wants for our lives. This is a big leap of Faith. We have never taken such a risk, but God has shown us time and time again that He will provide. He has even already raised up support for us in this adventure. Of coarse, we have a long way to go, but God has been good to show us that He is at work. When we step back and look at this, it really does look pretty crazy and really impossible, but I believe that is just the way God wants it. "For nothing is impossible with God" Luke 1:37 If we could make this happen in our own strength, where would God be in that? How often do we really attempt something bigger than ourselves? I don't know that we ever have. That is why we named this site Wondrous Adventure.

While we were in the DR, we experienced some first. We ate goat for the first time. That is a common meat down there. It wasn't half bad. Leslie even tried it, but she thought she was going to throw up. I was just proud she tried it. We also got to drive the last couple of days that we were there. Now that was an "Adventure". It is totally different from here. They do not apply the same "rules of the road" as we do. There are motorcycles everywhere, and they will jump right in front of you when you least expect it. And down there, if you hit one of them, it is your fault just because you're American. So you can imagine how nerve racking it was. We stayed in "New Missions" mission house while we were there. We had no air condition, which is common for most homes in the DR unless you are very wealthy. You pretty much have to leave all the windows open so you can have a breeze, which means there are mosquitoes. I just lived with a can of "Off". We also didn't have a clothes dryer, so I washed our clothes and hung them on a clothes line for the first time in my life. It will make you really appreciate the things we have here in America. I know I take them for granted. I saw the biggest spiders and cock roaches that I have ever seen in my life. We rode on public transportation, which is a small van with about 24 people on it. I wished I could have had a picture of that. 3 "green goes" with 21 Dominicans. We looked so out of place. It was hilarious! That was just a little bit of our first time experiences. We also enjoyed visiting with members of the church and praying with those in need. The need there is so great it is overwhelming, but again there is nothing impossible with God. New Missions is changing one life at a time, and we are privileged to be apart of that. Jesus is our only hope and theirs too. While we can't possibly meet all there physical needs, Jesus is the only one who can meet their spiritual needs, and it's our job to share that with them.

As our week came to a close, and we had approval, my mind was on all the things that will have to happen in order for us to move. We need for our house and motorcycle to sell, we need to pay off the majority of our debt, we need to raise not only our monthly financial support, but also the money needed to move to the DR, which includes the purchase of airline tickets for our family to get there, a car and scooter, Language school to learn the language, (I really wished I had paid more attention in Spanish class in high school. Ha! Ha!), and first months expenses. As I was thinking about how all this is going to happen, God was very clear that He is the one that will take care of all the details. The last day that I was there, my devotion was:

"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your ways to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be Still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him..." Psalm 37:3-7a

My devotion is written as though Jesus Himself is speaking and it said on that day: "Trust Me enough to let things happen without striving to predict or control them. Relax, and refresh yourself in the light of My everlasting Love. My Love-Light never dims, yet you are often unaware of My radient Presence. When you project yourself into the future, rehearsing what you will do or say, you are seeking to be self-sufficient: to be adequate without My help. This is a subtle sin-- so common that it usually slips by unnoticed. The alternative is to live fully in the present, depending on Me each moment. Rather than fearing your inadequacy, rejoice in My abundant supply. Train your mind to seek My help continually, even when you feel competent to handle something by yourself. Don't divide your life into things you can do by yourself and things that require My help. Instead, learn to rely on Me in every situation. This discipline will enable you to enjoy life more and to face each day confidently."

What are you trying to control or predict in your future? Let's trust and delight ourselves in the Lord, and let Him meet our needs!

Life Coach, and Missionary to the DR,
Melissa Luther

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Our Story/ Selling our possessions and giving to those in need

When Jesus said to Peter and Andrew, “come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” the scriptures say, “at once they left their nets and followed him.” Mark 1:17-18

Well our story is very similar to that of Peter and Andrew. God is calling Tony and I to come and follow him to Sosua, Dominican Republic. When God calls, we must answer. And just as the scriptures say in Luke 12:33-34, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”, we are selling everything, giving up the comforts we have in Hendersonville, TN, to go and serve those in need in the Dominican Republic. As my husband Tony has said, “We don’t have that many more years left on this earth and I can’t think of anything better to do with our time, than to serve the Lord.”
God planted a seed in my heart as a young child to serve him through missions. That seed began to take root 9 years ago when I went on my first mission trip to Rio de Janerio, Brazil. A couple of years ago God began to plant that seed in Tony’s heart and that desire has only grown stronger and stronger. Leslie and I went to the Dominican Republic this summer (June 2009) and it was on that trip that God gave Leslie a vision and passion for missions. God is an amazing God and there is nothing impossible with Him. If He can take a 15 year old girl who didn’t even want to go on a mission trip & transform her into a young woman who is ready to give up her last years of high school here in the States, all her friends, prom, all her stuff, and all the other things that go along with being a teenager, to move to a foreign country, learn to speak another language and give her life to serving Jesus; then that same God can take our measly possessions and all that we have to give to Him, and provide for us everything that we will need. Phil. 4:19, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
We have committed to serve our Lord Jesus Christ in Sosua, DR. We will serve alongside 4 other missionary families. Together we will oversee 4 schools, 3 churches, and a medical clinic. The organization that we will work for is called New Missions. We will also coordinate and organize mission teams that will come from all over the US. The New Missions web site will give you all the information about coming and serving with us on a short term mission trip.
Part of the requirements for us to be able to serve as missionaries for New Missions is that we must raise all of our own support. Its people just like you who make it possible for people like us to serve our Lord. Please contact me for more information on how you can help!
This is our story, but my question for you is, “What is your story?” God has a story for each one of us. As a Christian Life Coach, what I’ve found is that most people have not watered the seeds that God has planted in them. Are you one of those people? Is there something tucked down deep inside your heart that God is calling you to do? Contact Me! I would love to come alongside you in your own wondrous adventure. My Life Coaching services are just one of the many ways you can support our ministry. May the Lord direct your paths and guide you as you seek first his Kingdom!
My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my command. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. Proverbs 2:1-8

With wondrous adventure,
Melissa Luther
Christian Life Coach and Missionary to the Dominican Republic