The President's Letter
I pray for a merry and blessed Christmas for all of our friends and family in over 100 communities around the world!
I say "family" because as fellow Christians, we truly are family. We sing the songs of joy together, and we share laughter over births and weddings. We share songs of sadness together, and we share tears at the loss of mothers, dads, brothers and sisters. This past year we have had both the joy and the sadness, the laughter and the tears, but in all that has happened, there is the intimacy of family.
I want to ask each of you to remember the day when you made that decision to become a member of this great family and to reflect on the people and events that were the deciding factors behind that decision. Think about the trust, desire, and need that moved you from doubt, to curiosity, to belief, and ultimately to faith. I then ask you to think of someone in your life who is on that same journey and how you can influence that process.
Paul tells us in Romans 10:17, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God."
You may not feel that you have anything to share with that friend, but let me remind you that your story, the story of your moving from doubt, to curiosity, to belief, and ultimately to faith, is exactly what Paul was talking about. The greatest gift you will ever give this Christmas is the "Gift of Faith." The telling of your story.
Lord, I pray over this family and ask that the Holy Spirit hover over each one, and stir up that Gift of Faith for them to share their story during this Christmas season with the one You reveal to them, one who is ready to receive You in their life. May Your blessings fill their lives to overflowing so much that they cannot contain it, and that the overflow of Your love will spill out on all around them. Lord, as we see this world going through the turmoil of the last days, we are reminded in Matthew 9:37 that You said, "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few."
As we celebrate this Christmas season, help us to "Give Your Gift" and reap a great harvest of those that are ready to receive your word. Amen!
President, Tres Dias International Secretariat
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A Christmas Miracle
By Susan Kenna-Farkas
For about a year, I served on a prayer team that regularly prayed for a 30-year-old man named Eric who suffered with multiple brain tumors. He was a new Christian "on fire" for Christ, and wanted desperately to bring others to the Lord. With his fifth tumor progressing, the prognosis was not promising. He, his family, and our prayer team knew that only a miracle would change his journey.
As Christmas approached, I told Eric I would bake him his favorite cookies. But last-minute business travel delayed my cookie baking. Two days before Christmas, Eric lapsed into a coma, and the doctors gave slim hope he would recover consciousness. I felt I'd let him down. I cried to Jesus and begged Him to allow Eric to live through Christmas so his wife and 5-year-old daughter would not mourn their loss every future Christmas. On Dec. 23rd, I baked through the night, crying with each tray, pleading with God to awaken Eric to enjoy his last Christmas with his family.
Cookies in hand, I went to church on Christmas Eve, intending to go to the hospital afterward. As Prayer Warrior that day, I was one of the last to leave. The parking lot was nearly empty. With my mind on Eric as I walked, I didn't see the man standing a short distance from my car. I didn't recognize him, but was immediately taken by his well-groomed appearance and unbelievably bright blue eyes. He looked about 80 years old.
"Would you pray for me?" he asked.
Wondering how he knew I was the prayer warrior that day, I replied, "I'd be happy to. What can I pray for you?"
"All is well," he said.
I asked, "All is well?"
"Yes," he said, "All is well." Then he smiled. I'd never seen a smile so peaceful and filled with joy. He turned away, and so did I. A moment later I turned back to ask his name.
He was gone. No car, no one else nearby.
I went to the hospital to deliver the cookies. Eric's daughter was thrilled she'd have something for Santa. I whispered to Eric, "You need to wake up to eat your cookies. All is well." And I prayed for a miracle.
I learned later that my prayers were answered. Eric came out of his coma at the end of Christmas Day. He ate cookies and celebrated Christmas with his family. He was transferred to a hospice facility shortly after Christmas.
One day in mid-January, feeling an urging by the Holy Spirit to stop by again to visit, I went to see Eric. He was resting quietly, and his wife and mother were with him. As we talked, I shared with them the story of the visitor I met on Christmas Eve-the impeccably groomed 80-year-old gentleman with radiant blue eyes--and the words he spoke to me. When I described him, Eric opened his eyes and said "Paps." His wife told me that Paps was Eric's grandfather, whom Eric was especially close to, and who had died about a year prior. Eric's mom found a picture of him to show me. As soon as I saw it, I said, "That's the man who spoke to me on Christmas Eve."
We wept and prayed, thanking God for the miracle message on Christmas Eve that "all is well."
Two days later, Eric passed from this earthly home to be led by Paps to his new home with Jesus. Eric never had the opportunity to go on a mission trip or personally lead someone to Christ. But the impact of his faith journey on others continues today. It was a privilege to pray for him and a blessing to witness the miracle of his life.
Susan Kenna-Farkas is a member of the Lehigh Valley community and also serves on the International Secretariat.
A Small Miracle Story from the Assembly
Raffles generate excitement at any gathering, and quilts tend to trigger ticket sales. Two hand-crafted creations were
donated to help raise funds at the International Assembly, held in Atlanta this past July. Ticket sales to those hopeful to own one of the unique quilts totaled more than $600. The monies were designated to support Peru Tres Dias.
When it came time to draw the winners on Saturday afternoon, President Bruce Cato pulled the first ticket, then decided to challenge the audience. "I believe there is someone here who wants to match the amount." He scanned the room, and after a few moments of silence, someone finally spoke up, "I'll do it!"
Bruce had intended to tell the generous man that he could break up the amount over several months, if needed, but he left before Bruce had the chance. A few days later, the man called to report that he was on the way to the Post Office to mail the check. Again, Bruce didn't have the chance to explain the payment option. "Because," Bruce revealed later, "The Holy Spirit prompted him to increase the amount to $1000."
The Peru Tres Dias fund had suddenly grown to $1600. Can it get any better than that?
It can, and it does. Since the winner of the second quilt left early before he could claim his prize, he received it in the
mail. Not only was he delighted by the striking colors and design, he was moved by the note enclosed. It recapped the monies raised at the Assembly, and immediately he felt the Lord calling him to match the $600.
Thanks to two beautiful quilts and the hands that created them, the Peru Tres Dias fund is now over $2200.
Quilt-making is a time-honored American tradition, a labor of love that celebrates family and community. Back to top
A Message from Membership
With Christmas following so close after Thanksgiving this year, the two celebrations blend together, with our recognition of how much we are thankful for leading us into the celebration of Christ's birth. We have so much to be thankful for, so much to celebrate, and also so much that we take for granted. Tres Dias is blessed to have over 100 communities throughout the world. While some communities (perhaps your own) are vibrantly alive, others are struggling, some financially, others with the challenge of holding weekends because of war in their Country. During this season of joy and thanksgiving, I ask that each person reading this set aside time to pray that God would sustain each community through whatever struggles it might have.
If you would like to experience the blessing of serving in a Tres Dias community other than your own, either in the US or internationally, please contact me and we will get it set up.
We are excited about Tres Dias in South Africa. We already have people that are working toward this goal. This is
going to be a challenge, but Tres Dias has already met a lot of challenges in other countries. With God, all things are possible. If you have contact with someone, or with someone that has contacts in South Africa, please let us know.
May God continue to bless each of you and all Tres Dias communities around the world.
Vice President, Membership
New Spiritual Director's Guide Published
Compiled by Dr. Charles Allen, spiritual director to the Policy Committee of the Tres Dias International Secretariat, this 14-page booklet covers a variety of topics related to the spiritual director's roles and responsibilities. A copy can be downloaded by clicking the link below. .A link will also be posted on the Tres Dias Website. Download Guide
Please share a copy of the newsletter with all spiritual directors in your community.
And it's not too soon to think about 2015
Annual Assembly, when representatives from every community worldwide will join together to praise the Lord
The International Secretariat is currently laying the groundwork to make the 2015 Annual Assembly a landmark event, the first time in Tres Dias history that delegates from all chartered communities will gather together in one place. Because this involves planning on a global scale, your community will soon receive a letter asking you to mark the dates well in advance and explaining how financial support can be provided to those communities, including those overseas, that may not have the resources to send a delegate.
The dates are July 10-12, 2015. Abundant Life Tres Dias and Northern Illinois Tres Dias will co-host the event.
|March 13-15, 2015: Secretariat||North Florida TD (Tallahassee area)|
|July 10-12, 2015: Assembly & Secretariat||Abundant Life TD & Northern IL TD|
|October 2015 (dates TBD): Secretariat||TBD|
|March 4-6, 2016: Secretariat||Tampa Bay TD (location TBD)|
The Colors of Tres Dias International is published by the Services Committee of the Tres Dias International Secretariat. Don Bohl and Jan Coleman are co-editors. Ned Heffington chairs the committee and serves as associate editor and proofreader.
Ned also deserves credit for creating and maintaining the Worldwide Map.
Our objective is to publish five or six issues a year. To read prior issues, use this link: Newsletter Archive
|We encourage you to distribute this newsletter to members of your community.
Would you like the members of your secretariat to receive the newsletter directly? If yes, send us first names and email addresses in a spreadsheet and we will add to our distribution files.