newsletters

Christmas 2017

click here to read additional thoughts about Christmas from Keith

“ …I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to ALL people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:10 & 11

Merry Christmas!!

How are you? We hope and pray that you’re doing great and that God is blessing you in every way possible!! We pray that your heart is full and overflowing with the warmth of His love, the blessing of His peace, and the gift of His joy as we celebrate His coming to the earth! We pray that your life is full of childlike wonder at the simplicity and beauty of Jesus’ birth.

Wow! I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this time of year! It is so awesome! As I write, the beauty and the glory of the presence of Jesus is such a reality. Isn’t this what Christmas is really all about? Emmanuel - God with us! Because of Christmas, God is with us!! My heart is so full and overflowing with thankfulness and joy! I love the familiarity of our family traditions! I love the joy of giving! I love to sit next to a big fire in the fireplace with the Christmas tree decorated and lit! I love to listen to wonderful Christmas music! I love catching up with people I haven’t seen or heard from for a while! And I sure love Jesus!! I love to celebrate Him and His birthday!

With God’s help, we’re doing really well! It’s been an incredible year—full of God’s beauty and glory! Early in the year, we had the honor of carrying the cross in French Guiana & Iceland! Then, we were gone all summer carrying the cross in Ireland and all of the United Kingdom — Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland (Believe it or not, it was our first time to carry the cross in any of these places!). We also carried the cross this fall in Guatemala and, most recently, Taiwan, as well as many local walks! All along the way, we’ve had the amazing privilege & honor of seeing Jesus touch and change people’s lives!

One of the things we love to share in this letter each year is what we have seen God do on each trip! Our desire is to always be uplifting and encouraging but, at the same time, we always seek to be truthful and transparent…my heart broke while I was in Taiwan! There were so, so many people that I met and MOST of them had NO idea about Jesus! It seemed that everywhere I went I would see offerings and sacrifices laid out on the streets, in shops, and even in taxis for ancestors, idols and gods who can never be reached. I would pass temples and see people offering up incense and even prostrating themselves as they prayed prayers that can never be heard! There was such hopelessness, pain, and despair!

My heart rejoices at those who said “yes” and bowed their hearts to Jesus, but oh, how my heart breaks as I remember so many who had NO knowledge of Jesus! For the most part, the majority of the people we met had no understanding of what I was carrying! So very many knew nothing of Who Jesus is, or that He loves them so much that He died on the cross. They had no idea that He is alive and that they could know Him personally. They had no idea that they could be forgiven and live with our King forever! It was heartbreaking to know that these precious people had never heard the name of Jesus!! I once read from a nineteenth century missionary, “We argue about Christ’s Second Coming, yet much of the world has never heard of His first coming!” Unfortunately, it is still true today! Let’s pray together that they can understand and know the real meaning of Christmas! May God bless and reveal His glory to the people in distant lands and remote nations. This year, as we celebrate Christmas, let’s remember that it’s Jesus’ birthday! Let’s give Jesus a Christmas present! Let’s be a part of giving Him the peoples of this world!

One memory that sticks out from our journey this year is from our walk in England…one day, as we carried the cross in southern England we met a group of young people. Everyone was welcoming and kind, but most hid their faces and their hearts underneath their dark “hoodies”, piercings and tattoos. As we began speaking with them, some of the hoodies began to come off and reveal a group of young people that it was difficult to distinguish whether they were male or female. As hearts opened up, some showed us their arms that bore the marks of “cutting”…as one told us, “just to feel something!” We prayed with many, but truly only God knows the hearts. As we walked on, though, a young person named “Dan” ran after us and, through tears, told us how much it meant for us to be there…

Originally, I thought Dan was a boy, but listened in amazement as she shared her story. She told us how she had loved Jesus as a little girl. She told us that she had been a part of a worship team when she was only twelve. And then…her step-father had abused her. She became pregnant with his child as a twelve year old and had the baby at only 13. Her little boy was being raised by an aunt and Dan hadn’t been allowed to see him for years. Is it any wonder that Dan wanted to hide her, identity, gender and pain?!! Oh, how Jesus’ heart must break! There is SO much pain and brokenness in our world!!

As we prayed again, Dan, through even more tears, told us one more thing…“My name isn’t really Dan; it’s Joy!” Not only had Jesus restored Dan to Joy…He had restored her joy! Since then we’ve been in contact with her. Joy is now back on the worship team and recently went to a Christian camp, and is hoping to go on a mission trip to Kenya so she can be used to help restore other’s joy!! Wow!! What a privilege to sit on this front row seat as we watch Jesus touch, love on, bless, encourage, restore, heal and save others!! We wouldn’t trade it for anything!

All glory to God!! This was the story of our year — taxis, airplanes, restaurants, and roadsides! Everywhere we went we found people yearning to know Love! Yearning to know Jesus! Over and over again, we saw God’s glory poured out! Even in Taiwan, heads were bowed, hands were held, prayers were prayed, and tears of joy and gratitude were shed! So beautiful!! Absolutely nothing compares to being with Jesus, where He is, and working together with Him to fulfill His dream!! I wish there were words to express how humbled and honored we are to have this front-row; center-stage seat to watch what God is doing all around the world! I believe that He has given us the greatest honor in the world to carry the cross and the wonderful news of God’s love and forgiveness to waiting, hungry hearts! Thanks TONS for coming along with us!

Thank you for loving Jesus so much and for your desire to follow Him! It’s humbling and a great honor that you choose to go with us to the precious people of our world with the cross and the wonderful message of God’s love for all people! Please know, though, that we can’t go without you! We REALLY need you! We need people to pray and, truthfully, we need people to give. Believe it, or not, God has used a “Gideon’s army” of 22 regular donors and some special gifts along the way to send us to the nations! To this day, our largest gift has come from a mosque in Bosnia, and our 2nd largest gift came from a roadside bar in Oklahoma! Absolutely incredible!! He has taken the “widow’s mite” and multiplied it! It’s not OUR ministry…it’s His! We know that we are one of multitudes of ministries that are very worthy of your support – and we are a very small one at that! However, If God puts us on your heart, we would be honored and blessed to have you join us through your prayers and gifts as we go!

If you desire to pray, please pray that Jesus would increase and that we would decrease — we want to be so hidden in Him that all others see is a reflection of His love! May our hearts burn with His love so that our eyes and our smiles radiate with His glory and beauty! May He give us the grace to lift Him high so that He might draw many, many to Himself!

If you desire to help financially, you can make a tax-deductible gift by clicking here or you can make checks payable to Keith Wheeler Ministries. If I can be really transparent, talking about the ministry’s finances always makes me uncomfortable. At the same time, I think that you would probably want to know where we are and how you can help. Thank you for listening to our heart!

We pray that you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with the wonders of God’s mighty power and blessings! May we never forget that this is Jesus’ birthday! And may we remember that God wants others to experience the joy and peace of His presence, also. May we all be a living reflection of Jesus and His love and compassion, and may we care for those who are lost, hurting and suffering around the world. Let’s cry for, smile at, and reach out to the precious people of this world. Let’s all seek to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and follow Him as He leads us where He will.

Love, mercy and grace from Jesus Christ our Lord!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!!!!!!!!

God bless you!!
The Wheelers
Pilgrim followers of Jesus
Philippians 3:10

PS — I don’t know if you’ve heard, or not, but another way you can come along with us on our journey is by shopping at Amazon. All you need to do is go to AmazonSmile at smile.amazon.com and select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. We are listed as Keith Wheeler Ministries Inc. Once you select us, AmazonSmile will remember your selection, and we should receive a small donation on all eligible purchases from that point on. Thank you SO much!! We really appreciate it!

Finally, please feel free to contact us if you would like us to speak at your church, small groups or business. You can reach us by contacting us at our website, or by calling us at (918) 293 1233.