In our last prayer letter, Danielle and I shared a bit about how we have been reading some of the writings of our Puritan forbears and brothers in Christ. What an amazingly deep and beautiful treasure, filled with God’s grace, we have been discovering.
What has been one of the most apparent and striking things that we have noticed has been the ability of the Puritans to have seen the sin in their own lives and to have had a deep desire to repent. I’m not just talking about flippant, going through the motions repenting. I’m talking about heart-wrenching, difficult, nakedly honest repenting that mines down deep into the darkest places into their very souls. This has been truly inspiring. There is also this sense that this is not just a high and mighty, self-righteousness that is covering guilty feelings for some bad done. But rather, these were a people who were pursuing true relationship and fellowship with a Holy God.
Besides their ability and desire to repent, another element in the Puritan writings that stands out to me is how they were able to fully express the love, grace, mercy, justice, etc., of our Lord for His creation and all that is in it. That includes me and you.
I pray that during this Thanksgiving season, and indeed at all times just like our Puritan brothers, we could be reminded to turn to our Lord and Savior and pray, truly pray to Him to repent of our sins, to ask for forgiveness and that we would be in true fellowship with Elohim, the Creator of all things.
Please consider the following prayer as an example from The Valley of Vision published by Banner of Truth.
Read it slowly and linger over the words.
This is true beauty.
Be filled with the exceeding wonder of the grace of our Lord.
O GOD OF GRACE
Thou hast imputed my sin to my substitute,
and hast imputed his righteousness
to my soul,
clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe,
decking me with jewels of holiness.
But in my Christian walk I am still in rags;
my best prayers are stained with sin;
my penitential tears are so much impurity;
my confessions of wrong are so many
aggravations of sin;
my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with
I need to repent of my repentance;
I need my tears to be washed;
I have no robe to bring to cover my sins,
no loom to weave my own righteousness;
I am always standing clothed in filthy garments,
and by grace am always receiving change of
for thou dost always justify the ungodly;
I am always going into the far country,
and always returning home as a prodigal,
always saying, Father, forgive me,
and thou art always bringing forth
the best robe.
Every morning let me wear it,
every evening return in it,
go out to the day’s work in it,
be married in it,
be wound in death in it,
stand before the great white throne in it,
enter heaven in it shining as the sun.
Grant me never to lose sight of
the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
the exceeding glory of Christ,
the exceeding beauty of holiness,
the exceeding wonder of grace.
Hey friends! 🙋🏼♀️
By God's grace, He saw us through a tough month and a half. Such emotional highs and lows, but God's name be praised!
1 Praise the LORD!
Praise, O servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD!
2 Blessed be the name of the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore!
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the LORD is to be praised!
We summarize what all went on in our last update, so no need to share more details here. (We'd be happy to talk to you individually though. So just get in touch!)
Through the ups and downs, we have been held in the precious arms of Jesus. We know that He is for us and that He loves us.
God has used many of you to lift our spirits, so thank you...
...for listening when we complain,
...for reminding us of God's promises when we forget (why do we forget so often?!),
...for praying when we don't have the words,
...for making us laugh and helping us see the JOY in the mundane.
We are so grateful for you! Thank you!
🙏🏼 😊 🙏🏼 😊 🙏🏼
Let's talk about today. November 9th.
Today is an awkward milestone.
Today marks five years since we left our hearts in a little adobe building with computers that speak this crazy robot-like Spanish. That at the buzz of the front gate in they come. At first quietly, and then the robust laughter begins. Those of us with our vision can literally see the burdens left at the door. But I suppose if you listen carefully, you can hear a lightness in their voices too. No longer carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders (in their souls?), our friends find out who is there and greet each one with a gentle kiss on the cheek, warm hug or handshake.
I chuckle now thinking of how in the first few days of our time at CEMIPRE, we were quickly enrolled in a crash course in what I like to call "Personal Space: What's it for anyways?" Inevitably, you bump into someone in the tiny building or the newest student unfamiliar with her surroundings (and her recent loss of vision) with arms extended finds your back or arm on the way to the restroom. Oops! "No te preocupes! / Don't worry about it!"
And I think of those hard days of sharing in the disappointments of a hard diagnosis for a new student - irreversible vision loss. Of planning a lesson and only one student showing up, again. Of seeing the flicker of hope (real hope) but sadness over how the system of works over faith in Christ alone still has a hold on our dear friend.
But you know what? I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Five years of praying, asking the Lord to send us back. Five years of beautiful moments with family and friends here in the U.S. Meeting so many people to share our hearts' desire for this special place at the end of the world. But we are so looking forward to the time we can be back in that little adobe building reunited with our friends.
Here's to God's faithfulness and His never-ending love for His children. Be encouraged, friend, that in the waiting, He is still there! He has not left you, nor will He ever.
The Grotton Family
David and Danielle are missionaries serving in Viña del Mar, Chile. They work primarily among the differently enabled.