30 May 2013

Pennellville, Poughkeepsie, Midlothian

Spring Emerges
The last few weeks have put many miles on our trusty van as we have travelled to spread the word about the incredible opportunities our Lord is granting us in Nairobi, Kenya. Strong Kenyan church leaders are eager to receive tools for training the next generation for service with Christ's word for Christ's world, and we believe God is equipping us to equip them.
Grace Baptist Church of Pennellville hosted a missions conference early this month. We enjoyed sharing our ministry vision through a roundtable discussion with some insightful questions from the church. We loved our time there and look forward to seeing how the Lord directs our relationship in the future.
Train Awaits
After that, we traveled south to Poughkeepsie, NY, the northernmost stop on New York metro's Hudson line. One of my friends at Tabernacle Baptist Church worked to get us an opportunity to present our ministry to the church and hosted us for a great discussion over some delicious New York style pizza.
Another friend of ours was able to secure a meeting for us with the missions leadership team of Grace Bible Church in Midlothian, VA. We stayed the weekend with this family, whom we know from our time in El Paso, and we treasured the opportunity to catch up with them and become familiar with their new ministry venues.
During the last few weeks I have also been able to meet with a few pastors, sharing our ministry dreams with each, and leaving open doors for further discussion when I return to support raising after our first term.
Jamin encounters a neighbor's calf.
We are leaving for Kenya, Lord willing, with the plane that takes off from Detroit on 21-Aug. In addition, we have good prospects to have 90% of our monthly support by the time we depart. Though I admit it would be nice to be even closer to full support, we are setting our hope in Christ, our Captain, that he will care for our supply lines.
We are excited that after a generous gift from InterCity Baptist, our sending church, we can knock our outfit and passage request down to needing at least $6,600. Their gift was used almost immediately to jump on an opportunity that our friends in Nairobi found to acquire a vehicle.
Please pray with us that—along with safety and health and financial provision—the time of busyness would also be a time of personal growth in Christlikeness. Your prayers are precious to us!

03 May 2013

Ninafahamu Kiswahili Kidogo.

Teaching Children at COBMA
Before we had quite concluded our missions conference near Boston, MA, we had the exciting chance to meet a friend we met in Zambia, Allan Ilunga. Allan was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but lived in America for much of his life until he returned to serve in Zambia. We're looking forward to a time when we can see one another again on that side of the Atlantic!

Meeting Allan at B & N
This last Sunday found us back at Heritage Baptist Church. They generously hosted us for a send-off service and assured us again that they were praying. We are grateful for solid church partners who "hold the rope" for us as we descend into a well of unknowns. Looking at our list of partner-churches, it's exciting for us to see how the Lord Jesus has brought us to each of these churches to accomplish his purposes in the world. Now, we're eager and elated to get to work, serving the mission of these churches to reach the world for his name.

With linguistics training approaching early this August and other projects reaching completion one-by-one, I have finally joined my wife in learning Swahili. The program we are using capitalizes on the native ability every speaking person has to learn language, especially spoken language (affiliate link). This method emphasizes taking part in pretend conversations with a recording, which works better than you might think, and one of the sentences it has me repeating often is "Ninafahamu Kiswahili" (I understand Swahili). This morning the recording made sure I added the word, "Kidogo," (a little) to the sentence: I understand Swahili—a little. Jenny and I have a long road ahead of us, but we are glad for the opportunity to show that Christ's name is great by working hard at communicating his good news well in Kenya.

Praise the Lord with us for
  • Health and safety over the last few weeks of travel, especially as we stayed near Boston during the lockdown.
  • Around $1400 has come in for our Outfit and Passage fund.

Please pray with us for
  • We have not yet met our new budget requirements, so please pray that the last amount comes in. We continue to stand around 80% of our original approved budget.
  • We have one-time needs associated with moving, so we need the Lord's provision there as well. At least $16,600 more is needed.
  • Time before departure is short, and we are still finishing up support-raising as well as preparing to go. Pray for a consistent hope in God during this time, not allowing the rush to be more important than the fruit of the Spirit.
Thank you for praying for us!

Shameless Cuteness