28 January 2013

An Exhilarating Morning

This morning I was able to forward two emails to the business office at Grace Baptist Mission. One was from a church that has supported us for some time, New Testament Baptist. They voted on Sunday to increase our support and are now shouldering 10% of our approved budget.
The other email was also from a Syracuse area church, Heritage Baptist Church. We visited last fall and enjoyed a spirit of camaraderie with this newer church plant. The man who planted the church was a missionary to Brazil for a number of years and shares with us a passion to see godly national leadership truly lead on the mission field. They voted last week to become regular monthly supporters of our work.
Here are prayer requests that I've shared with our partners recently:
• I'm praying for at least 6 new partner churches in the coming three months. These are all churches with which we have some previous connection, and they have indicated some interest in partnering with us.
• I'm praying for quick turnaround on travel documents. I have acquired and/or located almost everything I need for a work visa. Pray that the final document arrives before 18-Feb.
• We need the Lord's protection as we travel to Colorado this week and to California in February and then back East in March. It may still be snowy both in Colorado and in Upstate New York.
• Pray for wisdom as we seek to raise our kids on the road to be humble, loving, wise and godly. God is generous to grant wisdom without scolding his people (James 1:5).

Praise the Lord with us for these two partner churches as well as for two new church contacts here in the Southwest. We've also had two sick kids recover from a flu or flu-like virus.

Thank you for your prayers! We're thrilled to see the Lord's help every step of the way.

13 January 2013

Inclined Is God Graciously to Help

"The more severely anyone is oppressed, and the more destitute he is of the resources of human aid, the more inclined is God graciously to help him." As I prepared to preach on 30-Dec, that statement from a well-known pastor caught my eye and has stayed with me. The work of God's Spirit begins with a conviction of our desperate need before him. Even when we're not at fault in our dire circumstances, God's Spirit moves us to acknowledge our needs at the Father's throne. That's why I write these updates too. We have needs, and you have a God who can help us!
The last few weeks I have busied myself contacting pastors about the coming months. We're eager to help churches and develop genuine relationships into gospel partnerships. We've introduced ourselves to two local churches in the area and have been praying to see how the Lord will use these new friendships.
I've also been preparing a spreadsheet detailing our needs for the move to Kenya. A number of churches have asked us about raising a special set of funds, called outfit and passage, to which they can contribute one-time gifts. Plane tickets, bunk beds, and kitchen appliances are all typically included in lists like this, as well as the major cost of bringing a container over. Much of the money we've already saved will go toward this fund, but we're still praying for God's provision for a number of lines on the list.
Another project I've been working on is getting travel documents together. Progress has been steady here, but there's still loads to do. One can never predict how this hunt may get stalled, so we're praying about this too.
Would you join us in our prayers for new partnerships, outfit and passage funds, and travel documents? The fact that we know you are in our corner means so much!
We can't do it without God's help, so thank you for your support and prayers.