Wednesday
Nov142012

Nov 2012 Thanks Update

Eyes Wide Open in Prayer - Thanks Lord!

Yesterday I was cleaning out my van so that I could give a friend a ride. As I removed loads of papers and spent water bottles, I had the surprising thought that my 2001 Mercury Villager has been a key location and tool in the development of Small World Connections since before we even began in 2008.

The aspect of my old green van that is most valuable is the fact that it acts as my mobile prayer booth. I pray a lot while I drive from meeting to meeting or from our home to a ministry partner's location. In that van my eyes are wide open (both physically and spiritually) as I watch for what God is saying and doing.

I can honestly say that my parents gift of their old van to our ministry is one of the things I am most thankful for in the past five years. Mostly, I am thankful for all of the memories of prayers lifted up from behind that wheel and all of the ways God has shown Himself to be faithful in this journey.

Here are just a few times when our mobile SWC prayer booth has been valuable to me:

  1. The morning I pulled up to our first big job for our "tent making" business that we ran as we started our ministry. The goal was to model the concept of starting a flexible small business that would allow team members to make a living while still being able to lead mission teams into their target areas. This day I sat and looked at the full size house I was contracted to tear down. The huge dumpster was there and I sat and prayed in the van for something like Jericho to happen again. I really had no idea how I would tear down the whole house on my own. A few hours later my friend Jim Pollack stopped by to see how I was doing. He recognized quickly how far I was in over my head and he went home and came back with his full sized back hoe. We knocked it down that day and I spent the rest of the week cleaning up the mess and putting it in piles that the home owner and I burned at the end of the week. It was awesome!
  2. The morning recently when I made the hour long drive to meet with Pastor Joe Olson for his report back on his time teaching the Word of God to future church planters in Northern India. Joe had a ton of difficulties on this trip and every reason to not go at all or especially to come back and want to go again. I prayed that Joe would still be a supporter and advocate to rally other pastors to do the same thing in the future. When we met, Joe gave a great report to me on all of the ways Jesus showed himself to be present in every step and every day of the trip. Yes things were not easy, but Joe told me he would not trade it for anything and that it was one the most clear times in his life when he experienced Jesus' presence.
  3. The other night - when I let my son Jack slip behind the wheel himself to practice driving in the school parking lot. Of course I was praying for our safety as my foot kept slamming onto the floor....but I was also thankful for the chance I have to now help this young man go on his first mission trip experience. I looked over at him driving my van and thought - What a blessing to be able to organize the team that will go to Zacatecas Mexico at the end of December from Chillicothe Christian Church, and what an added thrill to be able to send Jack along with a team of guys that I trust and know will help him serve Christ as he serves Lowell and Sheri Glick. We survived that practice drive and I had some good glimpses of what really matters - passing on the vision of SWC to the next generation....THANK YOU GOD!

Thanks for all of your prayer and support that has made these and other prayers possible. You are a great team and I am thankful for all of you as well!

Thursday
Oct112012

October 2012 Prayer Update

I am often asked what we are working on and what ministry doors God is opening for us to Connect a Timothy Culture in the Church (Philippians 2:20-21). Well here is a summary of what we have going in each of our current and developing target areas. We ask you to pray for each of these and to let us know if you are interested in getting involved in any way. There are openings on most of these teams.

 

India - We currently have a pastor from the States on the ground in Northern India teaching the Word of God to church planters who will take the Gospel out within the next two years.

 

India - We are also sending a team to Southern India in January to do a week of evangelistic crusades and a week of work with orphans alongside our ministry partners there.

 

Indonesia - We are working with national church leaders to send a music team to serve next Summer through open concerts and music lesson training as a way to help church members build relationships in a heavily Muslim country.

 

Cambodia - We are sending a small vision team to Cambodia in November to establish stronger relationships and to make plans with our missionary partners serving there full time.

 

Uganda - We will be sending a team of 8-10 college students and church members from Delavan IL to work with our ministry partners at Juna Amagara. They will help with a medical clinic and do a week long sports camp for the orphans in the village of Kishanje.

 

Philippines - We continue to work with our ministry partners at GROW International to find ways we can connect to help resource and provide help with the exciting ways they are working to meet needs and share the love of Christ. There is a project in the works to use agriculture as a means to meet needs. Our Go Team Director David Headley will be heading there in November to finalize these plans.

 

Mexico - We are thrilled to have a new Go Team Leader for Mexico. Jacob Barrett will lead his first team to serve Lowell and Sheri Glick in Zacatecas Mexico Dec 27 - Jan 3. This team also represents an exciting connection that we were able to help make between a local church in the States and our ministry partners in the field. Chillicothe Christian Church is sending folks on a team to serve Glicks for the third time...so that is very encouraging to us as we continue to develop similar relationships in other target areas.

 

United States - We have also discovered that we need missionaries right in our own back yard. It has been amazing to be able to have our Go Team from East Africa continue to serve in our local Chillicothe community at both the CrossWord Cafe Youth Center and at Helping Hands Re-Sale Shoppe. Praise God!

 

Well thanks for praying for these and getting involved where you can through going and/or supporting these teams with financial support.

 

Friday
Sep072012

September 2012 Prayer Update

God has been on the move. He has opened doors and made connections for missions that I never would have dreamed possible. It seems that right now Small World Connections is more fully stepping into the ministry that we had envisioned when we first started five years ago. For our prayer and praise this month I would like to ask you to pray for just two things:

 

First – Our financial support – it is strange that as things have hit their stride, April and I find that we are still not fully supported as missionaries. There are a few supporters who have had to drop off for various reasons and we completely understand that situations in life change. However, with those reductions in support and the standing need to raise the rest of our financial support we find that we are now at only about 50% of what we need to continue. This of course is something that we need prayer for and if you or anyone else that you know would be interested in getting behind our ministry, please let us know so that we can follow up.

 

I think that many people see the success of Helping Hands Re-sale and assume that we no longer need support. The fact is that Helping Hands has the potential to generate needed funds for our many ministries and teams at this point, but we would like to keep all or most of those funds going directly toward ministry expenses (like team leaders and trips) besides our family financial needs. So the short story is that, even though we are giving out healthy amounts of money to many ministries both locally and internationally through Helping Hands, we (April and I) do not have a full support team in place for us as a family to continue in full time ministry.

 

Second – Please pray for our planned and proposed mission teams that are forming and beginning to form. It seems that without even realizing it our number of potential teams has doubled. I sat down yesterday to write out all of the potential trips and teams that I am discussing with folks who are serious about serving missions with their gifts and talents, and before I was done with the list I had over 11 trips being organized and a few others that are just starting the discussion stage. Here is a summary of those trips – with dates where we have them. Please lift these potential teams up in prayer even as some are being formed.

 

Sept 21 – Oct 6 – India Teaching Team

November 6-12 – Cambodia Vision Team

Dec/Jan – Mexico Construction Team

January – India Outreach

Mid Winter – Hong Kong Vision and Service Team

March – Mexico Evangelism Team (College Students)

Summer – Ukraine English Team

Summer – Uganda Orphan Ministry Team

Summer – Philippines Outreach with Youth Group

Summer – Indonesia Music Ministry Team

August – Uganda Medical and Sports Ministry

 

Thanks again for all of your prayer and support! God has used you in our ministry and we do appreciate all He does through you.