Here's an overview of the last handful of months (October through January). Text version follows the link to the print version.
I had a well-appreciated opportunity at the beginning of this year to head back to Michigan briefly for an excellent missions conference at my sending church, InterCity Baptist. My own resolve for the mission was significantly strengthened by the worship, preaching, and workshops.
The conference opened with a realistic but hopeful challenge that concluded with words that still linger in my mind six weeks later: “Easy is not on the menu [of possibilities for our lives], but for the true child of God neither is ultimate failure.”
Christians can be confident that they’ll encounter hardship, but they can also be confident that their light afflictions in this momentary life will gain for them weighty glory in eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17). God is so good to grant us an eternally worthwhile mission!
- 4 October, Santa Clarita Baptist: This church was very attentive to our ministry presentation, and I was able to discuss a number of good questions with members both during the presentation and after the evening service.
- 7 October, Pear Park Baptist, Grand Junction, CO: That night we were glad for the chance to take part in their prayer meeting. It was strikingly centered on praying for efforts to reach out to various unsaved friends and family of members.
- 11 October, Highlands Baptist, Colorado Springs: Two passionate commitments stood out as we visited this church: expository preaching and focused evangelistic training for the church membership. Though we had no previous personal connection with this church, I immediately felt the kinship we had in these common commitments.
- 21-25 October, Liberty Baptist, Dalhart, TX: We enjoyed big-time Texas hospitality during this missions conference in the heartland. They treated us to Christmas in October; Josiah was ecstatic!
- 8 November, Community Baptist, Brighton, CO: We were excited to see the Lord work among this church’s youth as they committed themselves to being bold as they shared the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
- 12-16 November, Calvary Baptist, Hollister, CA: The fellowship among the missionaries during this conference was especially sweet. The church's heart for missions and the cause of Christ was evident.
- 17-20 November, ETS Conference, New Orleans, LA: It was neat to present a paper and hear a few more, but the best part was seeing some of my professors and friends from seminary. I came back refreshed and recommitted to pursuing the treasures found in the Scriptures.
- 6 December, Lighthouse Baptist, Colorado Springs: We were thankful to visit this church because they were zealous about sound teaching and because the wise pastor works to keep the gospel central.
- 27 December, Sun Valley Baptist, El Paso, TX: I was grateful for the opportunity to serve between the holidays with this church; their ongoing partnership with us is a treasure we hold dear.
- 4-7 January, InterCity Baptist, Allen Park, MI: The SGI conference only happens every other year, so I was glad to have the opportunity to participate. The conference was followed by a helpful seminar for missionaries on learning a foreign culture.
- 10 January, Calvary Bible, Lucerne Valley, CA: It was invigorating to see what the Lord Jesus is doing there as his people are coming to a renewed zeal for proclaiming the gospel to their loved ones and friends.
- 24, 31 January, Crossway Baptist, Bakersfield, CA: I was pleasantly surprised to see how many in the church were not yet at Crossway when I presented there last year. I had the opportunity to present the work again as well as to preach to this vibrant congregation. They were an immeasurable encouragement to us.
- 31 January, Faith Baptist, Orange County, CA: This committed group of believers evidenced a deep-seated compassion for the lost in their own city and around the world. I'm thankful for their example.
- Josiah enjoyed his time with Addison and Sydney Brock while we stayed with the Brocks in January. He alternately acted the prince and the scary monster to the amusement of all.
- Jonas found the newest Brock addition, Charlize, intriguing as well. She, however, wouldn’t give him the time of day. Oh well, plenty of other fish in the sea, I suppose.☺
- Traveling through Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, and Utah, we’ve enjoyed some of the most beautiful landscapes in our nation. Praise God for these reminders of his majesty.
- With the addition of Jonas to our family, we’ve needed to update our presentation and prayer magnet. We praise God for bringing friends across our path who have helped us complete the update--all working for free or at cost!
- Continued safety in travel
- Continued health
- Godly and wise parenting
- Fruitful stateside ministry
- More partners in prayer and financial support