Hey friends. Mimi here. :)
As we’ve been preparing for this next season of “going” ahead, we’ve experienced a range of emotions. We are excited for how the Lord is leading us and simultaneously nervous about all of the unknown ahead. We’ve had our friends and family cheer us on and we’ve also heard the “rational” fears of those closest to us as well, urging us to stay.
In my quiet time the other morning (hardly “quiet” with three little boys around), God opened up a piece of scripture for me, as a reminder and encouragement for the path we are on. I wanted to share that with you in hopes that it would encourage you as well.
Numbers 14 tells the story of when Caleb and Joshua were sent with a group of spies to the Promised Land, to scout it out. When they came back to the people of Israel with their report the majority of the spies said “Go back! They’re too big! It’s too scary! There’s too much danger! We’ll never survive!”
Caleb and Joshua tried to remind the people…. the Lord was with them, He had given this land to them and they could trust Him, no matter how big the enemy seemed.
The people didn’t listen to the truth, instead they listened to logic, to fear and to the masses.
They forgot the call the Lord had placed on their lives, the promise, their inheritance and ALL of the blessing ahead. They said “no” to God because they were too afraid. God didn’t make them obey, He didn’t say “ok, I’ll wait until you are ready,” or strike them down on the spot (though it appears He considered it.)
Instead, he said “Ok, I’m going to re-route you. You are going to spend 40 years wandering aimlessly in the wilderness. Your children will suffer for your faithlessness while you wander and your little ones (who you were so protective of and worried about) THEY will inherit the land. They will see your foolishness in not trusting me, they will realize my promise.”
The people of Israel missed out on so much good, on the land flowing with milk and honey, on the blessings God had prepared for them because they were too afraid.
How easy it would be to decide based on fear, on logic or the mass opinion to keep our children “safe” here in the comfort of our home. How easy it would be to say “no” to all of the unknown, to hold our children tight and try our best to keep them from the dangers and “giants” lurking out there. How easy it would be to miss out on the GOOD that God has prepared for us and cause our children to needlessly suffer, because we are trying to do things our own way.
This concept and this call challenges me every day. I don’t feel super brave or feel like I have it all figured out.
In the midst of any fear and the uncertainty of the future… I choose to remember God’s faithfulness to us. He has never let us down. I choose to listen to that faint whisper of the call I once heard to missions. He continues to stir it up in our hearts in so many ways. I choose to believe that God IS with us, wherever we go. He makes us aware of His sweet presence everyday. I choose to trust that He knows what’s best, He knows what lies ahead, and His purposes are for GOOD. He is Good.
I’m praying that God would continue to solidify this whole-hearted trust in me, and in you as well. You may not be making any major life change right now, but everyday we have opportunities to listen to the world’s “wisdom” or that still, small voice of truth.
We covet your prayers and support as we embark on this new voyage! To journey with us, visit www.belllog.org
Well…. it’s official; not that it wasn’t officially official before, but now it’s really officially official, if you know what we mean. :)
We purchased our one way airline tickets to Kona, Hawaii, departing on September 25th, to start our new season serving with YWAM. (If YWAM is new news to you be sure to read more of the back story at www.belllog.org) We will be quite the crew with 3 adults, 2 crazy kids and one baby. Caleb’s sister, Tori will be joining us for the DTS to help out with the boys while we are in classes and to experience a gap year of sorts with YWAM. We are so excited to have her with us, she is such an amazing young lady; full of compassion, love and a heart after the Lord!
The boys are excited (mainly for the airplane rides) and are already asking about what toys they can pack.
As we are making the transition from our current ministry roles, we have been asking the Lord to raise up the right people to step in. Over the past month we have seen tremendous growth in the volunteers with Safe Families, and people who are interested in carrying the torch as we leave.
Please join with us in praying for the continued strengthening of the ministries we are a part of and the new people that will be involved!
We also wanted to thank all of you who have sown into what we are doing through prayers and finances. We cannot begin to tell you how encouraging that is to us. You are equal parts to the work that the Lord has called us to. Your partnership has literally changed the lives of so many children and families in southwest Florida. We are eager to bring you along as fellow laborers as we venture into a cross cultural setting in the coming months…. it’s going to be an exciting journey for the lot of us!
If you having been praying about partnering with us please follow this link www.belllog.org/connectdonate
We wanted to sign off this update with a song that was penned by Frances R. Havergal back in the 1870s. This song was performed at our wedding and was (and continues to be) our anthem. We hope that it is an encouragement to you as well!
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
We would love to introduce the newest member of the Bell Family. The son of two very proud parents and brother of two, extremely excited older brothers! Born 30 Dec 2018... Sailor Makai Bell!
In our last ministry update we promised you some big news…. and……(drum roll) we’re moving!
More on that in a bit, first we want to update you on family and ministry from the past few months.
The boys are so much fun to be with this Christmas season (they are always fun) but this is the first year that both of the boys are collectively super amped for this season and the month of celebration leading up to the 25th. On top of that they can’t wait for their Christmas baby brother to get here soon!
Mimi and the newest Bell baby are doing incredible as we inch our way to the Dec 29th due date. Mimi is an ultra athlete; continuing to take care of two crazy boys, coordinate the nursery program at Oasis, help out with Safe Families, and run a household….. seriously, she is one amazing woman! Please continue to pray for them as this pregnancy comes to a close and we welcome our little boy into the world!
The 180 House is continuing to grow and attract more area Youth each week. It’s exciting to see kids come alongside of their peers with a passion for Christ and a zeal to tell their friends about the hope thats inside of them. This past week we had our inaugural Christmas party where the highlight (for me) was having 25 kids around the fire and reading the story of the Baby King from Luke 2. Reading the Christmas story has been a tradition in my family since I can remember (something we have continued with our boys) and it was so special to read this with teenagers, some of whom were hearing about the birth of the Savior from scripture for the first time.
The month of November has been exciting and encouraging for the ministry of Safe Families. We want to thank everyone who attended our 2nd Annual Gala and for supporting and surrounding this ministry with prayer, finances and your time. We have seen a surge in volunteers and churches wanting to plug in and we were also blessed to see a mom make a decision to choose life. This was a new situation for us, as we primarily work with parents who are trying to avoid their children having to enter the welfare system, or just need a helping hand to get back on their feet. The Lord completely touched this young mother and she agreed to cancel the appointment that had been set for the following morning to end her child’s life. Not having been in this situation before proved to be an exercise of emotions, ending with joy, hope and life. God is absolutely incredible and it was a massive blessing to see Him work!
Okay, the big news… Yes, we are moving, but not until September 2018.
So, what are we doing?
Well, we will be leaving for YWAM (Youth With A Mission) www.ywam.org to attend an 11 week discipleship training course in Kona, Hawaii and then immediately leaving for a 10 week outreach somewhere globally. (We are not sure where that is yet, but in past DTS’ they have partnered with folks in the Philippines, Mexico and Uganda. So there is a good chance that we will be going to one of those spots.) Once we are finished with the outreach we will be joining a YWAM team/base somewhere globally. Again, the specifics of that are unknown and totally up to where the Lord leads. We can tell you that we feel the Lord urging us to help in the refugee crisis in the EU and ME; possibly partnering with the YWAM Refugee Circle longterm. www.ywamrefugeecircle.com
We would covet your prayers as we prepare to leave, for us and the boys. It’s a big undertaking, physically, financially and emotionally but in the midst of it we are eager to see the Lord move in confidence, endurance, provision and wisdom.
Please share our updates with any friends or family who you feel might like to hear about missions, YWAM and refugees and direct them to our page at www.belllog.org where they can subscribe for future updates and to track with us.
If you would like to partner with us financially, specifically for this new journey with YWAM, please click here for info on how to do that. PARTNER YWAM
If you would like to sow into to what we are doing on a monthly basis, you can learn more on how to do that here. Partner Monthly
Again, we cannot tell you how much your friendship, encouragement and prayers means to us; it is humbling and a true blessing!
The Bell Family
This past September was one that will for sure go down in the record books. Massive hurricanes, widespread tornadoes, earthquakes, Bali volcanoes, political unrest, military offensives and a growing number of worldwide refugees…. it’s overwhelming and frightening at times. But there is one thing that has given us strength and hope through all of this.
Each month our boys work on a memory verse at church and for the month of September their verse happened to be from Deuteronomy 31:6. This verse takes place when the Israelites were preparing to finally cross over the Jordan to the promised land. Moses is stepping back and Joshua is being commissioned to take the lead. There is a great deal of change and uncertainty that is taking place. They have been waiting/preparing to enter this land for so long and the time has finally come…you can just imagine the nerves from the years of built up anticipation!
Moses encourages them in this moment in verse 6, and says “ Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave or forsake you.”
I love that this verse was our anthem of sorts for this past month…reminding us that no matter the circumstance or situation, the Lord will always be with us and because of this we can be strong and courageous. This doesn’t mean that everything will always work out the way we hope or envision…. sad, difficult and overwhelming things will happen, but Jesus will be there to give us the strength we need.
We live in an older, wood frame home and seeing a category 5 hurricane heading our way was unsettling. We landed on the decision to drive north to spend time with family in Chicago. It was weird packing things up, driving away and not knowing if we would be homeless in a few days….. this feeling was shared by many people and social media was abuzz with anxiety, fear and doubt (with the occasional “Lt. Dan” machismo-ism of being a Floridian sprinkled in there as well).
Driving north we started talking about all of the millions and millions of refugees around the globe. Many of those families were displaced because they were running for their lives, not from of a giant storm, but because another group of people wanted to kill them.
The storm that we were running from (in many cases) actually brought out the best in people. Neighbors and strangers alike came together to care for the people who were evacuating. Globally, many refugees don’t experience this warm greeting but rather, are met with resentment and closed doors. I can’t imagine the feeling of losing everything because someone wants you, your wife and your children dead only to be met with anger and resentment on the other side…… what a terribly isolated and lonely position to be in.
In light of the slight discomfort we experienced we had a massive burden to share some amazing ministry partners with you … we have dear friends around the world who do incredible work with refugees and displaced people groups. They are in constant need for more resources and volunteers to continue doing what they do. We want to encourage you to take some time to visit the links below and connect on some level.
Frontier Alliance International (FAI) - “Is a company of people committed to exalt the worth of Jesus Christ among the unreached and unengaged. At the end of the age and through: Local (Evangelism and discipleship) Regional (training and mobilization) and International (recruitment and advocacy)” www.faimission.org
The Refuge Initiative - “Building camps of refuge, restoring dignity and hope, and providing pathways back to independent living for those running from persecution.”
YWAM Refugee Circle - “Besides the biblical command to love the stranger and foreigner amongst us, we believe God has greater purposes for those who are displaced and seeking refuge.
In a time where mass migration is mostly associated with fear, and responded to from a place of self-preservation, we believe God has called the global Church to step forward - to not only receive the foreigner amongst us with dignity and love, but to also go - at the cost of self - to serve those who are seeking safe passage.
The YWAM Refugee Circle is a platform for teams and individuals that desire to serve in this time of crisis, as well as a place of connection point with long-term partners in the field who need committed workers, willing to lend strength in ministry”
In our next ministry update we will share more about the happenings of Safe Families for Children, the 180 house and the happenings of the Bells. We will be announcing some big and exciting news! (not the new baby…. that is exciting but thats not the news. Little dude is doing awesome, growing strong and is due Dec 29th.) So be on the lookout for our next update!
We love all of you guys and covet your prayers and partnership. We can do what we do because of your support! To sow into the Bell family and the ministries in which we serve please visit the donate page here
Caleb, Mimi, Banyan, Sebastian and soon to be, baby Sailor
Hey Family and Friends,
The Bell Family
We love Jesus and want to make Him known! Currently we are doing this through the ministries of Safe Families for Children, Oasis Church and The 180 House.