Blessings Dear Loved Ones & Prayer Partners!
Greetings to all of you as we celebrate the arrival of SPRING! Yes, it is finally here. The weather is warming and now the trees on the mountain side are fully leaved out and the many wonderful spring flowers are in full bloom. This country is so beautiful in the spring as the many different plants and trees bloom for a period of about 2 months. So every week there is a new thing to marvel at. Have you ever wondered why? That’s right, why did God make it that flowers bloom throughout the year? Here we have a sequence with the fruit trees, first the wild plums, then the apricots, the regular plums, the cherries, the pear, the peach and finally the apple. There is only a very short overlap time between when one tree stops blooming and the next one starts. Is that necessary? Couldn’t all the trees, bushes and wild flowers all bloom at the same time? Why did our Awesome God create them to bloom at different times? I have an idea, look at some wonderful bible verses: Ezekiel 20:6 On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. In so many other verses God paints us pictures of that promise of land flowing with milk and honey. To God honey has a special meaning. A sweet food that has so many different meanings. A food that not only is sweet but so delicious. Mark 1:6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. WOW, wild honey that sustained his life. Do you know what is the only food that doesn’t spoil? Yes, you’re right, it’s the same food that God promises will be flowing when we reach the promise land. Honey, the ONLY food that never spoils! So to me, honey maybe is one if not the most important natural food that we have. How then is honey made? I know, you know, the little ‘bee’. The mighty worker that never stops. So is the reason for our year long blooming of flowers for the little bee? Let’s look closer at this creation: The honeybee is very popular. It has been adopted by at least sixteen states as the state insect. They live in hives or colonies. A small hive contains about 20,000 bees, while some larger hives may have over 100,000 bees. Hives include one queen, hundreds of drones, and thousands of worker bees. The worker bees are female but they do not breed. The queen bee is female and creates all the babies for the hive. The drone bees are male and do not have stingers.
Bees communicate with each other about food sources using dances. The sounds from the movement of the bees is picked up by the tiny hairs on the bee’s head. bees use the sun in navigation.
The workers collect pollen and nectar from flowers. The pollen is used as a protein source and the nectar is an energy source. Some of the pollen lands on the pistils of the flower and results in cross-pollination. This is important for some crops and flowers. This relationship between the plant and the insect is called symbiosis. WOW, we need bees to also help other crops GROW!, not just to make honey. Those little bees are actually what is allowing fruits and some vegetables to grow and mature!
Bees turn the nectar into honey. Workers must visit over four thousand flowers to make just a tablespoon of honey!!!!! FOUR THOUSAND FLOWERS for just one tablespoon. It truly is God’s creation!
Now you may think you have much more information about the bee than you need, but next time you are driving, and are amazed at the wild flowers, the flowering trees and bushes growing wild in nature, remember how God has a perfect plan for ALL THINGS! Nothing is happening by accident, or co-incidence, our Lord has control over ALL THINGS! He is indeed an awesome God!
This month we will have our annual ‘March for Jesus’ downtown on May 30th. We gather at our main train station and walk throughout town singing 4 or 5 different Hymns. We walk for almost 2 hours singing and praising God. It is a wonderful site watching us go through town and the reaction of passers-by and shoppers. Many of the local merchants come out of their shops to listen. Please pray that the songs and joy that we have, His Spirit can use to open up the hearts of some of those that these songs will be heard by. Remember our community is only 0.35% Christian, so your prayers are ALWAYS needed, meaningful and welcomed.
On the same day of the March For Jesus, we will return to our church and celebrate our love for our Savior with our ‘fifth’ Sunday sing. We invite both our morning and afternoon service members to come together and for one hour lift His name up through songs. Our morning praise band (we’re small, only 3 of us, drums, bass and piano) provides the music and we sing songs in both Japanese and English. It is always a wonderful time followed by a potluck dinner.
We are staying busy as ever. This week Kim helped out one of our members with some child care, which took her to Tokyo for the day. Ian has returned home and is now looking for work in our area. Zack is as always busy with school and basketball. Kim and I are both teaching more all the time and I have just started my second landscaping job. With the difficult economical times many are facing in the states, the amount of our monthly support has gotten much smaller, but our Lord has continued to find ways to support our ministry here. He is indeed an awesome GOD!
It seems like our family, both ours and extended is suffering from a multitude of ailments. Please pray for all of them, especially Bo’s Dad and mine, Kim’s aunt Ruth and Ben’s grandmother. We are always so grateful for all of your prayer support.
We have many dear friends that are suffering from different ailments and many ask us to pray for them but not use their name. We may not agree with that but respect their position, so please pray for the souls and bodies in need here and there. God knows each one individually and specifically..
God continues to equip us for each individual challenge and opportunity that He presents. Your prayers and support are imperative to our being here. We ask you to pray with and for us that we always strive to walk before God, wherever that may be, and be used as instruments of His love in all we do. Should God ask any of you to partner with us in our outreach for Him, please send any love offerings to: Bethlehem United Methodist Church, for Baranski John Alan Mission Fund, c/o Becky Wack, 1003 Rowan Cove, New Albany, Ms. 38652.
We hold you each in our hearts and prayers with thanksgiving.
In His love & walking before Him, the Baranski Bunch