Sunday, October 15, 2017

A year in the Valley...

By and far this has been the toughest year of the lives of our family. Starting out with colds, stays in the hospital to Chris getting in a scooter wreck that required surgery and with the culmination of losing our son. Never in our lives did we think we would ever have to bury a child. It almost seems like a dream at times, a nightmare that we are longing to awake from. I read from Psalms this morning where David said in his arrogance he would not be moved and then God turned His face away and he was dismayed. The next thing you notice is David crying out for help and God delivering him.
It does not say how long David cried out to the Lord before he was delivered only that God had delivered. We believe the same. God is bringing us and will continue to bring us through this excruciating time. We know His purposes are perfect and His timing is set to the most finite second. Nevertheless one cannot help but for this to quickly pass and we can move on to the part of the Psalm where it states that David shouted for joy in the Lord and rejoiced because God had delivered him.
I often need to be reminded before the empty tomb stands the cross. Before joy comes heartache, and this is what makes the joy so exceedingly rich. It seems so very backwards that children should have to bury their children, and yet we trust God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Not that God caused our son to die but He certainly is going to use this pain.
Please pray for me (Chris) as I am so discouraged and just beginning to doubt my calling. Pray the Lord would strengthen, establish, comfort and perfect according to His good promise.

Still laboring in the Lord's Harvest
the Sanfords
Acts 20.24

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

another exciting month ahead.

It is hard to believe that it has already been 2 months in the States for our family. Man time goes by so crazy fast. As we look forward to another month of VBS's and at least one camp we are so excited for these precious opportunities to serve our Great God.
We want to extend our deepest thanks to Ninevah Christian Church, Pleasant Hill Christian Church, and Lexington Christian Church for allowing us to come and serve as your missionaries. Thank you guys so much on our journey to raise money for our car.
As you may or may not know, we are in the States raising money for a vehicle in Taiwan, and the Lord just continues to bless amazingly. Thank you for you prayers, please pray as we are traveling to visit supporters and friends soon. If you desire to give to this ministry here is a link you can do so, under the missionary project name remember to put Chris and Samantha Sanford. Love you guys in the Lord.
This Sunday we will be at Glensboro Christian Church sharing the work. If you have a chance please stop by and see us.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

1st month in the States...

Coming back from living in Taiwan for over 2 years is both exciting and challenging. It is so exciting to see so many dear brothers and sisters, and to hear that all the while we were serving in Taiwan they were praying for us. I look back at the difficult times that we endured and realized people were praying for us. How precious the people of God truly are.
I (Chris) am dealing with a little bit of reverse culture shock. It is unusual for people to hold the door for you, when I am driving it is strange for people to not just pull out in front of me and cut me off. Also it is strange to go through a drive thru, and not speak Chinese to the people wanting to take our order.
Since we have been back we have been so very blessed. My Parents are loving the many opportunities they have to love all over their grandchildren. Every time we get in the car to go somewhere Hosanna asks if we are going to MeMe's house. It is so good to share the work of the Lord going on in Taiwan with people, and really get them excited about what God is doing in the nations.
This month we have been living with my cousin David and his wife Erin. They are a precious godly couple, with a lovely home that they have opened up for our family. We are so blessed to be staying with this precious couple. Thank you for your continued prayers and we look forward to getting together with many of you.

Romans 8:28

Monday, March 24, 2014

A banquet for life

Last night I (Chris) was blessed to accompany His Hands workers including my wife, to the Ray of Hope annual banquet. Ray of Hope is a non-profit organization that has been ministering to unwed mothers in Taiwan for many years. They have rescued hundreds of babies from the awful clutches of an abortion on demand culture. 
In fact Taiwan has the highest abortion rate of any industrialized nation, the fruit of this unspeakable practice is seen in that Taiwan also has the lowest fertility rate on the planet. Ever since abortion became the law of the land in Taiwan in 1980, the birth rate has never surpassed the abortion rate in these 3 plus decades. In fact in Taiwan for every 3 babies that are born, 2 are put to death by abortion. 
Organizations such as Ray of Hope, the Home of God's Love, His Hands and numerous others working in Taiwan to save babies from abortion need your prayers and your support. They do an amazing work defending the orphan that God calls proof of pure and undefiled religion  (James 1:27) 
Please continue to pray and ask the Lord to turn the hears of the Taiwanese that they might not be a culture of death, but rather one who chooses life. Please continue to pray as these organizations pray and seek to change the law which would make it more difficult to have an abortion for any and every reason. Thank you dear brothers and sisters for your prayers, and I do wish that you could have been there with us last night. Yet the Lord has you where you are for a purpose, please be a champion for the lives of the unborn. 

Pray for Taiwan. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

An amazing meeting

So I have been meeting weekly with a man named Chuck, and Chuck is really involved in temple worship. He makes banners for the temple. So we recently have begun to study the eight miracles of John book that a missionary in TaiZhong put together. Today Chuck and I looked at the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine. One of the questions that was asked in the material was how is Jesus able to give this miracle? And I asked Chuck how can he do this?
Chuck responded because he was a good man. So I made the statement yeah but there's all kinds of good people (in the eyes of the world) who can't do miracles and he agreed. So I asked Chuck  perhaps Jesus is God right? And he said not perhaps definitely!! 
He went on to say that Jesus has always been God. So I asked him since Jesus is God that mean He can't do wicked things. To which he agreed. So I asked him again, it's impossible for Jesus to lie right? And he said yes it's impossible for Jesus to lie! 
So I went on to say well Jesus says there is one God and he's the only way to God now is that a lie? This is the point to where he could not agree, he said that was no good and he said it two or three times.
Nevertheless he is willing to continue this study and so this is an amazing, amazing breakthrough that I have seen Chuck. I was so close to just really giving up because he's so involved in temple worship. Now this doesn't mean he's a Christian right now, but hopefully he's headed in that direction. Thank you for your prayers," please please please continue to pray for this man

Monday, February 3, 2014

Zuo yue zi

No I was not half asleep when I wrote the title. Translated this means to sit for a month. Taiwanese culture and American culture are different in many ways, one of the biggest ways this difference is seen is after having a baby. In American culture, a baby is brought into the world, and usually the following Sunday we will see the lovely couple with their new bundle of joy at Church service.
In Taiwan, things could not be more different. After a baby is born, the mother culturally is expected to stay inside for the first month after delivery.
During this month she cannot take a shower, she cannot eat or drink anything that is cold, and usually her parents move in for the month to cook and take care of the new mother. The first time I experienced this, I had just been back to Taiwan 3 months, I was going thru major culture shock, I was exhausted as our first daughter did not like to sleep at night, and having my in-laws live with us for a month (uninvited by the way) was overwhelming to say the least.
This time I can honestly say that I faired a lot better, and when they would go to the market and buy food, Sam would take a shower so she didn't have to stink it up for a whole month. Nevertheless her parents did come and live with us for a month, and it really was a great time. The family bond is so much stronger in Asian culture than in American culture. The help her parents offered was much appreciated, and we even got to study the Bible with them.
Again because of cultural ignorance and prejudice, culture shock and a host of other factors I really missed the blessing of learning and experiencing Taiwanese culture the first time. This time I really got to learn and experience this aspect of Taiwan culture and it was such a blessing.

A year in the Valley...

By and far this has been the toughest year of the lives of our family. Starting out with colds, stays in the hospital to Chris getting in a ...