Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Home Assignment / Furlough / Support Raising / Itineration

I just sent out a newsletter update. You can read it online here.  There were two things that I wanted to write more about in the newsletter but decided to refrain and keep the letter short. I will write about them here on this blog.  They are two of our goals for returning to Peru.

1. Support Raising. We need to raise support to be able to return to Peru.

      I have always been uncomfortable coming out and asking folks for money. It is especially difficult these days when most people are in an economic crisis. The funny thing is that my friends in Peru say they have always been in an economic crisis their whole lives. Some people tell me that you have to be direct and ask. I have read about others, such as Hudson Taylor, who never mentioned their requests out loud to anyone but God. I think there is a balance somewhere in the middle.  First, I think the most important thing to remember is that money is only one small part of support raising.  Yes, we need money to do missions work.  Money is necessary to get us there and to keep us there. But money will only do that. It will not make us more fruitful in our work.
     We need prayer to be able to work effectively. Paul says in Colossians 4:2-4, "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison - that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak."  Not only do missionaries need this kind of support but all servants for the Kingdom of God need this kind of support, especially your pastors.  If we had all the money in the world and were not backed by fervent prayer warriors, I think we would produce very unhealthy fruit if any at all. The Holy Spirit is the one who changes hearts and produces fruit in changing lives. Our goal is glorify God by bringing life-changing renewal to the people we work with. Money will not produce that. The Holy Spirit will produce that in answer to our prayers, both yours and ours.
      Another thought about this process is that God is sovereign and He is the one that lays it on peoples hearts to commit themselves to serve in donating money or time.  In my short experience I have seen the Lord do amazing things in providing for our financial support.  Many of the folks I sent letters to responding graciously. But, I must say that a majority of the financial support that came in to us did not come from our direct pursuit. Actually much of our financial support came as a surprise from folks that we did not even expect. I will continue to trust that God will provide for our needs as we need them.  I understand that God often chooses to use our responsibility and that we need to work. I will continue to do the responsible thing and make phone calls and send letters and make visits but I will also continue to seek the face of the Lord and plead with Him to provide through His people. My prayer is that He will bless and provide people with more than they need who will be able to join us in financial support and also pray that He will raise up prayer support from people who walk with Him daily and will lift us daily before the throne.

2. Recruiting.  We hope to recruit help for Parish. We want to find a Stateside Entrepreneur who wants to develop a market for the work that our carpenters can do in Peru and sell it.  Please join me in prayer for the right person to come along and join our team by helping to get the wonderful products of our carpenters into the hands of buyers around the world. We also want to find people to join our team in helping us develop this project to make it more fruitful and guide us into the right direction to make the work of discipleship in the workplace successful. Please pray with us for this. More about this to come in the future...



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Chapters

I can't seem to stay consistent on writing posts here but I will continue nevertheless.
We are about to start several new chapters in our lives. We are at home for "furlough" raising support to return to Peru next August, Lord willing. We are anticipating our third child to be born any day now. I am also going through ordination examinations to return to Peru as an ordained pastor.

We are excited to be back in Louisiana. It has been good catching up with friends and family. We have enjoyed visiting several of our supporting churches in the area and are scheduled to visit several more. We are also extremely blessed to get to live in the First Baptist Church in Zachary's mission house.

We are also getting things ready for another addition to our family. Baby Ezra is due November 3 but with the building up of contractions we are doubtful he will wait that long.

I am taking a break right now from reviewing for presbytery ordination exams. I am going before the candidates committee today. I should be studying more but need this short break to defragment my brain.

We look forward to catching up with more friends and family and also connecting with new churches in the area and wherever we need to go. Our main prayer request is for God's blessing on broadening our support base as well as for the baby and ordination.