28 November 2010

Thanksgiving and Wish List

Last year around this time, I wrote a list of occasions for thanks in the Pittsley family. God has certainly not stopped lavishing his kindness upon us. Here is another set of recent examples:

  1. I am thankful for a very comfortable bed, wherever God has chosen to take us in the United States.
  2. I am thankful that Josiah ate his turkey without a battle this year.
  3. I am thankful that I can see my computer desk again. Being gone for a month can put you a bit behind on mail.
  4. I am "grateful that God has given us not a day, but an eternity, to thank him for his immeasurable grace in Jesus Christ" (Bob Kauflin).
  5. I am thankful that I had something other than shopping that I needed to do on Black Friday.
  6. I am thankful that the Bible is so readily available in my first language.
  7. I am thankful for Pocket Testament League, for example, making their gospels of John available for free/cheap.
  8. I am thankful for Wii Fit Plus on days like Thanksgiving Day when I don't get up early enough to walk.
  9. I am thankful for a final opportunity to present our ministry this weekend. Partners come through presentations.
  10. I am thankful for my little boy who asks, "Why does creamer make coffee light, but not sugar?"
  11. I am thankful for my littler boy who introduces Josiah to complete strangers without prompting. He's a social little fellow.
  12. I am thankful for my wife. I think she likes me.
  13. I am thankful for Weetabix; they're unbeatabix.
  14. I am thankful for a place for us to stay while we wrap up this part of deputation. It's good to have family on my side in this mission.
  15. I am thankful to be wrapping up this part of deputation.
  16. I am thankful for our current individual and church partners who are faithfully supporting our ministry.
  17. I am thankful for three churches and one individual family who have all recently indicated that they plan to become our regular financial partners in the near future.
  18. I am thankful for a God whose love for me does not depend on my love for him but rather secures my love for him.
  19. I am thankful for God's Son whose blood-bought benefits are not earned by my purity but rather constitute my purity.
  20. I am thankful for Christ's Spirit whose faithfulness does not depend on my faith but rather sustains my faith.
  21. I am thankful for a Church whose Head is reigning, whose Foundation is incorruptible, whose charter is unassailable, whose mission is unstoppable, and whose innumerable, worldwide, millennia-spanning membership shall be one day be both whole and pure.
Along with my most recent newsletter, I sent a wish list to our recently visited churches. As we begin to transition to overseas ministries, some churches have asked for ways they can help us with one-time gifts because long-term financial commitments are difficult to make in the current economy. With that request in mind, I have assembled the following list of one-time needs and requests for our time in Zambia. Please don’t feel in any way obligated, but if you or your church would like to help provide for part or all of one of the following requests, we would be grateful.

*Airline Tickets
Electronic Library for Curriculum Development
Vehicle/Transportation Costs @ $100/mo
Internet Connection Costs @ $100/mo
Internet Setup Fees
Air Conditioner Wall Unit
*Expedited Passports
Water filtration system
*Extra Checked Luggage Fee
*Police Clearance Documents
Research Scanner for Curriculum Development
*Two Action Packers $100.00
*Travel costs for our transition to Zambia have been substantially underwritten by recent extraordinary gifts from supporting churches , but Grace Baptist Mission forwarded us the majority of the funds to be repaid as the Lord provides.

Let me know if you would like to help us get on our way! Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

04 November 2010

2010 Autumn Newsletter

Here's an overview of the last handful of months (August through October). Text version follows the link to the print version.

At the Heart of Our Mission
Recently I reembarked on a journey through the missions text, Let the Nations Be Glad! In the introduction the author, John Piper, tempers excitement about the progress of the gospel in places like Africa and Asia with the tragedy of a similar spread of the cancer of the prosperity gospel. He quotes one African preacher: “Many are ignorant of the fact that God has already made provision for his children to be wealthy here on earth.…Break loose! It is not a sin to desire to be wealthy” (3rd ed., p. 19). Friends, the only effective weapon against this kind of teaching is the exposition of the clear Word of God. And training men to do that is at the heart of our mission!

Recent Meetings and Other News
8-Aug: We were grateful for an opportunity to present our work to Grace Bible Fellowship, El Paso, TX. Jenny and I treasure the friendships we have been able to strike up with the folks of this church.
29-Aug: We had the great opportunity of taking a follow-up trip to Rockwall Bible Church in the Dallas area. We especially enjoyed the chance to get to know a family there who is beginning preparations for missions in Uganda. The Lord is sending out labors into his harvest!
10-Sep: We received notice of an urgent need for a teacher in Zambia for all of 2011. After giving time to prayer and fielding advice from many pastors and friends, we ultimately accepted the assignment.
19-Sep: We recited two chapters of Revelation by memory with Grace Bible Fellowship as part of a project to recite the whole book in a single morning service.
3-Oct: We met with Immanuel Bible Church in Scottsdale, AZ, near Phoenix. We were inspired by Pastor Matteson’s skill in leading his new small group, carefully mixing instruction with thought-provoking discussion that Sunday.
6–9-Oct: I took a few days to go to Albuquerque alone to go through our stuff in storage there. I think I'll need another trip or two before I have what we need for Zambia.
10-Oct: We visited Sun Valley Baptist again, and I had the opportunity to preach and discuss some of my plans for the upcoming months. We are thankful for the faithful ministry of this church—now serving for over 50 years!
17-Oct: We enjoyed our time with First Fundamental Bible Church in the LA area. Their love for expository preaching was refreshing for me to see.
31-Oct: We returned to another home away from home at Crossway Baptist Church in Bakersfield, CA. It was good to see them again and update them on the Zambia project.

Kids’ corner
On our way back from our visit with Rockwall Bible Church we visited the Ft. Worth Zoo. our visit was quick, but the kids seemed to like it. Jonas found the snow tiger intriguing, repeating “diddy” (kitty) over and over as he pointed. Yes, Jonas, big kitty.

Praise and Prayer Reminders
Praise the Lord (1) for friends old and new who are becoming committed partners in ministry, and (2) for the opportunity to serve during 2011 in Zambia.

Please pray (1) for smooth and rapid preparations for travel to Zambia, (2) for a solid and helpful teaching ministry in 2011, (3) for the rest of our budgeted financial support for Kenya.

Thank you for your prayers and partnership in the gospel!
For Christ and Kenya,
Jeremy with Jenny, Josiah, and Jonas