Our Christmas Letter 2017

Where to begin….2017 was filled with many unpredictable events. 

This year we learned a lot about God’s provision and how we can have joy in every circumstance. 

-February: we got our little pet bunny, Duke. He was my Valentines day gift. 

 -May: we decided to slowly begin our adoption journey through foster care. 

-June: we had another huge success in blessing Samiton with the Ultimate Frisbee tournament. 

-The Summer was filled with a fun trip to Minnesota and Kauai for our second anniversary. We were also able to take a Montana trip in the Spring and a Pullman trip in the Fall. 

-This fall we are beginning our second year of Bible school,  continuing in the youth ministry and Peter is doing drums on Sundays.

-October: we had a fun time setting up the Trunk or Treat event together, blessing the community for Halloween. 

-December: was the fifth year of Christmas Project Hope. 

-We are ending the year off with taking in little blessings whenever the foster care system needs us. Peter is continuing his job as a welder at the shipyard and I have opened my schedule to full-time ministry and nannying for Norah. 

When the year began we never expected our year to unfold like this. But through it all we have fallen more in love with each other and the Lord. 

Merry Christmas, and many Blessings to you from the both of us,

Peter and Mihaela Echols 

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Frisbee Tournament 2017

 

On June 3rd, 2017 there was another huge success this year for our annual Frisbee Tournament! Although we only had five teams this year Samiton was funded 1,628 for him to go to college. We are amazed at God’s work in this years tournament. This year we had a few changes: trophies, t-shirts, we had room for three fields, but kept it at two,  and Samiton got to do a personal thank you to all the players on a video. 

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“At the end of the day our goal is to help Samiton, our brother in Christ, by this tournament. The comradery and attitude from the players was almost all positive and encouraging. Whether we have five teams or twenty-five teams we are all in for this day. This year had its own setbacks and struggles but our God is bigger than it all.  ” -Peter

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The winning team (Kung Führers!) 

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It take us about six months to plan one day to impact Samiton’s world. Even with less teams we saw smiling faces all day.  We as staff were more prepared and planning went more smooth. On the day of we prayed, set up and had breakfast before the event. Thank you all who came and donated, because of volunteers and teams we are able to bless Samiton. 

Bibliology – Contenders

My Doctrinal Statement of Faith Concerning The Bible

The Bible is the Word of God and is infalible, innerant and immutable. It is inspired by God and God alone as the authors were guided by the Holy Spirit to write the words of God, and yet keeping their personalities and styles of writing. It is comprehensive and complete, historically accurate through internal and external proofs, grammatically accurate, and unique in comparison to any other religious article.

-Peter Echols

Bible School

Courses to contenders

Bible School

This October Peter and I be going to Bible school!

Contenders Discipleship initiative is a free two year Bible school that gives Biblical education while mentoring students for full time ministry.

I never thought of even going back to school. But when we were told it was for FREE and it is two years of indepth Biblical education we could not pass up the opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to having a schedule for reading my Bible and growing spiritually as couple and as a wife.” -Mihaela

“I’m looking forward to how indepth it all is and for all the training. I will be very equipped for ministry and would like to grow in that area.”  -Peter

Please be praying for us on Monday and Thursday nights we will be in class.

 

Interested in going?  Contenders

Priority

We have too many things in our lives and too many directions we can be pulled. Where do we start to line up our priorities? What things mean the most to us in the end?

In this life as Christians our first priority must be Christ and the relationship that we have with Him. Yes our very first which means it comes before our marriage, friends, work, hobbies, etc……Some would argue otherwise but the Bible makes it very clear about where are priorities should be.

As I write, the word purpose seems to be intertwined tightly with priorities. If we don’t have a purpose there is no need to make priorities. You must have a purpose first.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you were once not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

1st Peter 2:9-10

Peter is reminding the Jews who believed in Christ and were scattered throughout many parts of the nations that they are God’s people. And just like Christians who are scattered around the world today our purpose, because of His great mercy is to glorify Him. This now leads us to prioritize our life accordingly.

and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

1st Peter 2:24

A Godly life isn’t only for certain people it’s for everyone. If we make Christ our top priority we can:

*Grow and walk in righteousness

*Die to sin

*Become more and more of a godly friend, husband/wife, father/mother, etc

*Pursue and love the Lord more and more each day

*Give everything we have sacrificially for Christ

*Be an effective evangelist in all ways and forms

So with all of that in mind is our priority Christ and the time we give to him?

Or is it just Sunday from 9 to 11?

When you wake up in the morning what are the first things that come to your mind?

 

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What Drives You?

Her Identity

Oh To Fly

 

COTN Everyday Value

    I’ve been thinking about doing this for a matter of months now. I Finally got around to doing it! It amazes Peter and me how much we have here in America. I did this exercise to help open the eyes of others including myself to help us see how much we have by  what we wear. Now I would consider myself a low maintenance person always shopping at thrift stores and looking for deals but I was surprised at the results.

Exercise: Take an every day picture of yourself. Something you would wear on a regular day ( keep it casual) If you wear make up count the cost of the make up. If you wear a watch count it, ect.

COTN money and clothes

    I’ve always heard of COTN (Children of the Nations) but never got to hear someones heart after going on a missions trip until Peter came back from Malawi.  His passion for Malawi has only grown since then. On May 21st, 2016 he has started a Frisbee tournament  to help support a friend he met there. If you were touched by this I encourage you to share this post, and do the exercise yourself. 

Other ways you can help:

Sponsering

Gifts under 25$

Gifts up to 75$

Gifts 100 and up

Frisbee Tournament 2016

On May 21st, 2016 Peter had a wish to help a friend…..

His story is found here: See You On The Field

We ended up raising $1,930 for him with 12 teams, lunch, and some donations.

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(First round teams gathered to hear the rules)

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Although it began to rain that wasn’t even half of our worries. We had sprinklers on the field going off right before we started our first round. But we did not let it stop the frisbee spirit. We used garbage barrels and covered them when they would go off every couple of hours. Every one had a great attitude about it and kept playing. We were thinking about 8 teams would show up considering this is our first year but God is good and he provided more than what we could ask for. The week of there were three more teams who registered making it 12 as of the night before.

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As the day went on we got to see how much fun everyone was having even off the field. Peter was walking around meeting new people when he wasn’t playing. Down to the very last game the positive attitude was still there for everyone.

“This became so much more than what I could’ve ever imagine. I could not thank all who helped out enough for all your hard work. It took on a life on its own Saturday. Praise God! I am very excited to see what next year will look like. ” -Peter

 

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The winning team! ( The Kung Führers)

What Is A Christian?

 

Christian.

What does that word even mean?

Do we know who we are in Christ?

 The Bible makes a clear distinction. Either friends with God and an enemy of the world or friends with the world and an enemy of God.

James 4:1-4

“What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel.You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendships with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” 

So again we should ask ourselves…

What is a Christian?

What should our lives reflect?

Where is a Christian’s ultimate meaning, joy, purpose, and significance found?

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 When I think of the meaning of Christian I think of for what it is; someone who is genuine, loving, believing, and active in their faith. This person has a relationship with Christ that is real and when you think about that person, those thoughts are the first to come into your head. So therefore that person believes in the Bible and it’s truths. They would then have to come to the conclusion of the God-head three in one, new birth, sanctification, and many other realities found in the Bible. Some people within the Christian community would say they are “radicalists” but I think Christ would beg to differ. The Holy Spirit through Paul writes to us.

Romans 12:1-2

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Christ’s ministry from the time he started out preaching the Gospel did not conform himself to the world but to save it. He acted in accordance with God’s will and presented his body as a holy sacrifice, acceptable to God. In fact he was the perfect sacrifice for the world. Christ never boasted in his own deity and used it to for his own gain. 

John 10:37-38

“If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father”

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His whole life was a reflection of a perfect spotless sacrifice for the whole world. No more debt in our hands for our sins that we can not do enough good deeds for. Although we will never be perfect we should strive to be perfect. Christ is perfect and we should strive to be like him daily. What does that look like? Picking up our cross living a spirit filled life dedicated to Christ to the best of our ability and letting God lead us.

Romans 8:9-15

“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you , though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. (This is the change I am hinting at) But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh- for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.(This was what I was referencing early when I said ‘picking up your cross daily’) For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

 

At the end of the day Christ must be the ultimate source of meaning, fulfillment, joy, etc. because if He is not am we are probably finding that in work, family, ministry or any other number of things in our lives. But that is not what Christ wants. Although, those all are good things, they fall short of the perfect being who will never fail you or stop loving you. When you give your life to Christ the mounting change of who you are from flesh to spirit is nothing short of a miracle. That would lead us as Christians to serve Christ and worship him through Spirit not serving our fleshly desires.

1st Peter 1:14-19

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written,”You shall be holy, for I am holy.” If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or god from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”

 

By: Peter Echols

The Mouth Of This Lion

Romans Reality

See You On The Field

    One night after praying for Samiton Peter was telling me how he wanted to support him more. Peter and Samiton met in Malawi back in 2015. They became very close and after getting to know Samiton and hearing his heart for wanting to learn Peter told him he would like to support him in going to college. 

THAT’S WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT. 

That night we made a web chart of who is in our community and different ways we could raise support. 

We knew asking our church as a first resort was not the best idea because of how much they already pour into other ministries. We are also hoping to expand our ministry partners. So plotting to figure out something else this idea of combining ultimate frisbee and supporting Samiton with a large community of different friend groups came to our minds. The idea seemed like a worthwhile shot so we brainstormed some ideas to get the ball rolling.

    “I made some calls and formed a core team to help me plan this out. It is awesome to see friends come together who share a common heart for serving and ministry.  As the time gets closer I get more excited because I know God has been  showing me that all it takes is a few people who love him, want to serve and he does the rest. At the end of the day my hearts desire to support Samiton comes from my walk with Christ. After going and seeing the radically different world they live in I thought to myself ‘I took so much for granted’. This friend of mine Samiton humbled me in many ways and I could not come back from that experience radically changed wanting to continue to help.” 

-Peter

 

See you on the field!

 

Peters  Malawi story: A Different World

Find event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1678619989044476/