John and Bethany Arndt

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Category Archives: thanks

A Letter to Singles

June 3rd, 2014 by | Leave a comment

So a friend emailed recently, asking for advice/encouragement in her journey. I replied with something off hand… but when she replied to that I reread what I wrote, and found it encouraged even me, who only wrote it a month ago.

” Here is my encouragement to you with your hope and desire for marriage, romance, and fulfilment of your deepest desire and concerning this guy. Try to step away from the table.. you know the table we all sit at waiting with knife and fork in our hands, looking and waiting and smelling what He is preparing. Sometimes we are perched with hungry hearts and so much excitement and longing for what He is making. We are waiting, seated, looking….

But a better picture I challenge you to engage in, although I am sure you do mostly, but to pursue it even more, stepping away from from the table, setting the fork, and knife down, taking your eyes off the plate and ignore the smell for a bit, but step back. You can stand by the table, ( your not leaving the room)  but stand with arms lifted high, your voice being lifted in constant praise, adoration, affection and worship for who HE is. Attempt to worship with no ulterior motives… you know how we come to give to Him, but always hoping and wanting Him to speak to and impart to us? The Lord has challenged me in this, that my prayer life is excellent but my walk has been imbalanced as I pray more than I worship. It doesn’t matter that most is for others… its imbalanced if we are not equally if not more engaged in worship and praise then we are petitioning and listening.

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When my son runs up to me totally unsolicited and hugs my leg or neck, or looks up at me with an unexpected kiss; there is no greater feeling to a parent. I didn’t ask for it, I wasn’t even looking for it, but it was a spontaneous expression of his heart for me; he wanted to express love to me. He knows I will hug back, and its okay when we expect to receive in worship… He will always hug back. But what if we come all day, everyday, regardless of what we will get out of it, and offer our hearts in adoration and affection, maybe when we run out of words and songs we just praise with our spirits.

If your human you will always be glancing back to see if the food is coming along, you will be tempted to look, gaze, and check in, and see if the table is set, is the time getting closer? But the daily, weekly, monthly pursuit of worship as your end goal, to offer to him a heart that appreciates who He is, (more than what He does) rejoicing in what He already did.; this will cultivate deeper intimacy with Him, pleasure in Him, enjoyment of Him and then the wait time flies by, and you may even step back and wonder if this was the feast He was preparing after all. ”

If your waiting for something you feel He has promised, I bless you with  patience, a heart of intense gratitude, faith, trust and increasing delight in the ONE who is here, who has already granted us more than we can understand.

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1000 Gifts

December 20th, 2011 by | Leave a comment

1000 Gifts – By Ann Voskamp
If the book cover doesn’t draw you in, then the contents definitely will. My mother in law gave me this book after she told me how much it meant to her. I will admit I thought it was going to be a little Joyce Meyer/ Joel Olsteenish; nothing against them, I just thought I had the book pegged.  Its a common theme it seems; Thankfulness.  Yet with extraordinary words, Ann VosKamp dialogues with her maker about the true summation of life. The reader can expect to enter a deep and twisting journey into a woman’s search for authentic joy. Her story begins with the early & tragic death of her younger sister, which birthed gripping anxiety in her own life. Her personal quest is to exchange fear and distrust for the rare perspective of seeing beauty in ugly circumstances. Her journey began as she started cataloging a list of 1000 things she is thankful for. In doing so, she started to explode with happiness. Gratitude for the small things can lead to opening a treasure chest.  By breathing out thankfulness and breathing in the grace of God, she discovers both the difficulty & the simplicity of obtaining joy through gratitude. Skillfully written with delicate description’s of her own soul, this book is sure to challenge and inspire even the already optimistic reader.

The part of the book that actually spoke the most to me was about living fully in the moment. I had already been working on this; my tendancy is to task master,  think ahead, cover all bases, use my time in the most effecient way, trying to respond equally to all the various demands and responsibilities.  I book too many things in one day and end up feeling rushed, pressed, and internal frustrated. Sound familiar?  Ann wrote, “Haste makes waste.”  I took it all in.

” On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.”

Hurry always empties a soul. So to relax in the moment, letting go of what is next, and intentionally assessing the glory of God in each conversation and setting; this is the behavior of someone who is truly thankful. Time Full.

I only got it a month ago; and have already passed it on and sent it as a gift to someone.

 

The Ripple Effect

December 9th, 2011 by | Leave a comment

We ask God to do things. He asks us to do things. We both act and more links are added to the Kingdom chain of events. It becomes a cycle of faith and obedience that vibrates outwards to the lives around us, unassuming and grace blasted. The ripples multiply.

I have been asking the Lord for two years to give Baby Safe property for His full vision to come to pass;  a village that welcomes destitute, beaten down, vulnerable women and their children; and offers them safety, healing and empowerment through Jesus. Those who engage will be trained in a job skill and molded into conduits of His kingdom, channeling the same hope and restoration to the communities they settle in. Victims turned leaders; beauty for ashes.  A village that sings destiny over abandoned babies and nurtures them pre adoption, cared for at our own baby home; a radiant village of sorts.

Feeling that the time of acquisition is near, my team and I listen for further instruction on how He wants to provide such a place. We asked Him to move, He asked me to ask my brother to consider funding such a property. My big brother asks to come to South Africa to see.  My dad decides to come  as well. As plans emerge God asks my dad to invite a retired oral surgeon and his wife, my younger brother and his best friend. We welcome these six Americans and introduce them to our world.

Rewind two months, I am sitting at a cafe sipping coffee with a dear friend and baby safe staff member. She unpacks her worries about marrying the man she loves. They want to do it, they just have no idea how to pay the bride price her family will require, nor how they will finance a wedding on their own. Living in the township on standard south african wages just does not allow for such things. I encourage her to raise her expectations of what God will do and how he will use her spiritual family to provide some how. They get engaged in faith and ask God to work.

Rewind 12 months, John sells all he owns, quits his jobs, packs two suitcases, and moves to South Africa; no prospect of work here due to visa restrictions, no known missionary supporters. He prays for  four things; 1) financial supporters for his work with All Nations, obtained through prayer with out using his own strength to fund raise 2) A scooter so he has his own transport 3) A ring to ask me to marry him. 4) a fully paid honeymoon. Within one week of his arrival he gets word that an anonymous supporter believes in him and wants to support him completely through the next 6 months! Three months in he is offered a beautiful family heirloom; a ring he will give me when he asks me to be his wife. 12 months in, after a wedding, and an all expense paid, 10 day Mexican resort honeymoon his new brother in law buys him the exact scooter he has been eyeing for a year. Prayer is the stone that starts the ripples.

Currently John and I are moving into our first unfurnished home, one with more space to host visitors, and friends. Our rent cost has doubled, our support hasn’t yet; but He gives peace. We strategically budget our wedding gift money; we buy a new mattress, we buy tables, a dresser; we borrow a fridge, a desk.  search for steals and  we find them. With no money left we pray for a couch, a microwave and rent. We move. As my brothers tour the sites and nervously enter the township with us, their worldview is challenged, they rebuild a leaky shack roof, they meet our dear friends, they almost get trapped by a riot & fire in Khayelitsa.  My big brother declares that he came here knowing he wanted to pay our rent for a whole year. We are blown away and yet not at all surprised that God has provided. We are given a brand new couch and a microwave in the same week as the scooter. I prayed for Radiant Village; and in turn God set up our own home.

The oral surgeon and his wife connect with my engaged friend and her fiance who are trusting God for wedding funds. Completely unsolicited they tell them they want to help with the bride price and wedding costs. They also are moved  to sponsor a new baby safe site in Masi. But the Americans are perhaps more moved than the Africans. The small waves work their way out.  These are ripples of provision, which become waves of praise. We wait and listen for the gently rising and falling sound of hope that will come from a place like Radiant Village, that particular feeling that starts in God’s heart and ripples through others.

Salem Pregnancy Resource Center

May 2nd, 2011 by | Leave a comment



A Baby Safe presentation was recentely done at the SPRC annual banquet fundraiser.

Salem Pregnancy Resource Center has been behind me and supported Baby Safe from the beginning. They have faithfully supported me monthly and their contribution is bringing LIFE to South Africa!

Thank you for your faithful support SPRC!!!