Experiencing God in Portugal
Spring Break this year was spent in 4 different churches in beautiful Portugal. Our theme for these Three2One Conferences was Experiencing God as Families. Many have never been introduced to this study that has become a way of life for us. It is the reason we do what we do - for the past 28 years! We shared our story, plus Scott & Lori Dix theirs, along with teaching on Love & Respect and God’s Design for a happy marriage. We all experienced Him!
PRAYING FOR COUPLES at ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCH ALGARVE, PORTUGAL
2018 has tried us as a family and ministry. Several times we have cried, “Lord we can’t do this…and even don’t want to!” There have been times over our entire 28 year ministry where we felt no enemy’s attack. However, we know he was always lurking and waiting for the surprise ambush that would take us out. It is overwhelming at times when you see the attacks hitting others around you, family & fellow soldiers. As I write this, I can’t think of a member of my family or Tammy’s that is not in a fight for their future right now & BOTH of our offspring are in the mix. It is strength zapping, when so relentless. 2017 ended with the passing of my father, Tommy Aten, the day after Christmas. He was the last of our 4 parents to leave this world. It’s a sobering thought to know you are now the eldest and IT! Tammy & I both are 1st borns and now for the first time, orphans. Many of you know Scott & Lori Dix, who not only teach side by side with us in ministry, he was taken out the entire month of January due to a ruptured appendix…thought it was the flu. Several of our support staff have been hit health-wise keeping them out!
But as we sang this last week to the church at Stones River in Smyrna, TN, He’s the Lifter of our heads. In one of my favorite writings by Spurgeon, “Beside Still Waters” he uses Hosea 6:1. “I believe that God, who has appointed it, has also measured your trouble, set its bounds, and will bring it to an end. His gracious design is in all your difficulties.” Thank you Almighty for being in total control of it all!…even our 1st ever car accident this past Thursday, 2 days before we were to lead the largest Three2One Marriage retreat to date in Andrews, Texas. The hit from a vehicle that ran a red-light totaled our van…we were taken to the hospital and released with only a bruised elbow, yet another failed attempt from the enemy to cripple my wife. The car hit square on her door only, where she was asleep leaning on it. Ruthless. This is not the only time Tammy has been the target; if you remember while in Peru 2 years ago, we were heading back to our hotel in Lima after a day of evangelism, Tammy had led several souls to Christ, door to door. Her window explodes and thieves reach in and steal her bag…while we were driving down a highway at 65 mph! He roams to and fro, on motorcycles, seeking whom he may devour. Hosanna - God save us.
Saying that we covet your prayers is an understatement today. Lord, raise up a mighty band of warriors to pray on our behalf!
WOMEN'S CONFERENCE, STONES RIVER CHURCH, SMYRNA, TENNESSEE
First Baptist Church of Andrews, Texas held it’s first Three2One led marriage conference, BETTER TOGETHER. The Lord brought 75+ couples to this retreat, mostly young millennial couples and families. We pray the investments made this weekend will continue to strengthen each marriage and the church as a whole. A church body is only as strong as Her families. Thank you Pastor Brant O’Connor for this great opportunity. You & your staff went above and beyond in making this powerful weekend God honoring! The rewards are gonna be many.
First Baptist Seminole hosted their 2nd Three2One Conference this past February. Dr. Joe Stewart, pastor, planned the 7 Topic Forum for Sunday morning.
SBC El Paso Staff & Pastor/wife Patrick & Dwaina Six lead our first Juarez retreat with Nolan & Marie Shockey. During the conference, we gave an invitation, 3 couples came forward of which one was a former cartel hitman! God saves… even at a marriage retreat!
Leading worship at His Place Fellowship Church, Paris, Texas has been a joy for us off and on this last year. We continue to supply for churches without worship pastors (and there are many) often wishing we could stay and minister on a regular basis with Pastor Mike Fortenberry!
Brooke continues to lead worship at Fielder Church in Arlington and serves as Admin Assistant to the Worship/Weekend Director. She will be 25 on April 29! Josh is now 30… & I am in denial.
The Author of Life… “In the womb, you are perfectly and wonderfully made; I know you very well.”
It’s an amazing thought to know God has ordained before time these gifts of our children. On June 26, my birthday, we will be the proudest of grandparents! Josh & Lia's little Aten.