Push Back the Darkness

Dear Friends, Well, it hasn't taken us too long to be "home" in Prague to feel desperate for your prayers for us. We need your prayers for us today -- let me list a few reasons, and then I'll elaborate: - health - transitions - protection in ministry

Our family refrain since we've returned to Prague (3 weeks ago) has been "Push Back the Darkness." It truly is amazing - almost immediately upon arrival we started to sense (once again) that we are in a battle here. And for every good thing that God brings about, it feels like there are 2 or 3 tragedies, or losses, or sicknesses. We have cried out for God to push back the darkness that we feel around us, around our church, around our home.

And then last week, our first week of school, we read this for our family devotions:

John 8:12: I am the light of the world. Live close to Me. The Garden of Eden is no more, but the garden of your heart is alive and well. Walk with Me in the garden of your heart - letting Me fill the emptiness. In this way I can live in the world through you! Together we will push back the darkness, for I am the Light of the world.

Perhaps this feeling of desperation is a gift. (If so, for the most part it has felt like one of those gifts you want to give back and say, "Thanks but no thanks.") But if I stop, really stop, to think about it - which is hard and slightly unpleasant to do anyway - I know that it is a good gift. Why? Because this gift of desperation makes me lean and trust God completely. Entirely. Unceasingly. There's nothing that I can do to fix any of these things that are going on. We need God. We need His help, His strength. We need your prayers!

Help us ask God to push back the darkness today.

Health

Where to begin? Two Sundays ago Shanna and the kids had to stay home from church due to a last-minute lice discovery (cue massive laundry process). Clark then got a major electrical shock, and I came home from church and proceeded to slice my foot on a plastic basket (yes, I know that sounds weird). Piper has had a nagging cold. I've been to the podiatrist for my other foot for plantar fasciitis, so I now have compression tape on that foot. Lucy seems to be getting a cold. Shanna has basically been in bed for 4 days with a horrendous cold, and then her dermatologist emailed 2 days ago that the spots she removed from Shanna's back are in fact cancerous - basil cell carcinoma. (So not life threatening but still serious, and scary)

The health issues have felt like an unstoppable force in our household -- and while it's never a good time to be sick, the first few weeks of school have made it particularly hard, especially for Shanna. She has so looked forward to seeing other moms and spending good time at school to reconnect -- and that hasn't really happened yet.

Would you take a moment right now and pray for relief for all of us, especially Shanna, from our sicknesses?

Transitions

Partly due to our health, it's taking us a bit longer than we thought to get back into the swing of things here. All of us are having are various transition issues, including the kids. Clark, for example, enjoys soccer/football, but not as much as every single other boy in his class -- who only wants to play soccer all the time. Piper enjoyed her school in the US but now she seems to have some gaps in some areas, so we're going to talk to her teacher tomorrow.

Would you pray for our kids, as they reconnect with friends here? And as they re-adjust to the different lives, hobbies, languages, and interests of European kids?

Protection in Ministry

For me, this is where I need your prayers. I've asked before for you to pray for my Sundays, especially when it comes to my preparation and delivery of God's Word at church. I need prayer again. I have so enjoyed being back at Faith Community and getting to worship with our church body, but I have also felt weary and somewhat discouraged after church. Maybe I've felt "rusty" in my preaching, maybe it's another way that the Evil One wants to thwart our plans, or both. I am desperate for God in my ministry calling.

Our team is pretty desperate too. I seriously love being desperate with these people, but they need your prayers too. Especially ongoing prayers for the Hunts and baby Eliza. Her chemo seems to be going well, and her surgery to remove the tumor is scheduled for 2 weeks from now.

Would you prayer for protection for me on Sundays, and for our team in general?

Monday's weather was a great summary of my feelings lately. I was awakened at 5 am by a violent thunderstorm (very rare here). It poured down rain for the first half of the day, as I was lamenting our family's health and my poor sermon from the day before. We cried out to God before school, asking Him to push back the darkness.

And over the course of the day, He did -- in every way. The clouds and rain eventually disappeared and were replaced by wonderful blue skies and fresh air. And more importantly, my the darkness of my heart and my self-condemnation were replaced by a joy in God's salvation and His love over me, my family, my team, and my church.

Thank you, God, for the gift of desperation! Thank you, dear friends, for your ongoing prayers for us -- your desperate friends in Prague!

Love, The Davis Family