Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Almost There...

We are getting close and there is a ton to do. I covet your prayers more than ever.

Top Prayer Requests Before We Leave
- For more prayer warriors to get on board
- For grace, peace, and wisdom as I finish about 1001 last minute details
- For us to walk In His Steps every step of the way

Praise God for so many "little" answered prayers and blessings we didn't imagine.
- Benjamin was given money that he has to give to someone there - such a wonderful gift (Blessing Money).
- I've had a number of people volunteer to help take care of my family here while we are gone.
- I have others here volunteering to teach and lead while I'm gone.
- Others have provided a variety of things I needed or wanted for the trip (from a camera to compression packing bags, to a netbook...)
- Nearly all the costs have been met by generous friends - praise the Lord!

I hope to send updates out as often as possibly while in Africa. We'll see how that works.

Please pray BIG.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More To Do For The Trip

I was just asked to put some devotional stuff together for the trip - they have a quiet time each day. So that's been added to my plate. Please pray for me as I work on this.

My theme is mostly put together - one detail to tweak. Pray for guidance as I work on these lessons.

Pray too for all that I have to get done for ministry here while I'm gone.

Thank you sooo much.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Theme, Prayer, Updates

PLEASE pray for me as I finish figuring out the direction I'm going with my theme (From The Inside Out). I shared my theme ideas and wanted some feedback on any direction to take with it, but some of the feedback I've received has complicated things rather than clarified. I really want to get to work on stuff today.

Pray for my wife and family while I'm gone. New baby and busy kids with me gone. She will have some family help, but it will be a stretch for her.

Pray for us as we pack and prepare and try to figure out what to take and what not to take.

Pray for God to do great things in the hearts of the students we are going to minister to.

I don't have all the updated information from the Church, but I believe God has provided around $4000 (some promised, but most of it here). This is very humbling and a huge blessing.

I've had some cool blessings - someone gave me a camera to take and someone else is letting me borrow their laptop. We are so blessed.

Please pray big!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Theme for Speaking? More Prayer... Support


I have been eagerly waiting for their theme so I could begin working on speaking. They said...
  • Something on joy, focusing on Philippians
  • A study of part (or all) of the book of Ephesians
  • A section of your choice from the book of Romans
  • OR wherever God leads you.
If you have suggestions, let me know. (SERIOUSLY)

Here are my initial thoughts.
Theme - From The Inside Out
  • Romans 12:1-2 (How God Changes us - we don't change ourselves; 2 lessons)
  • John 15 - Abiding
  • Matthew 18 - Forgiveness
  • Possibly... Identity In Christ (could do 1 to 3 lessons or more)
  • Brokenness / Surrender - I would use John 20-21 ...
  • Something on Making Disciples (Discipleship is Relationships)

PRAYER (I plan to just share a few requests often, rather than long lists)
  • Pray for me as I work on what to speak on and on putting it together. I am hoping to not simply stand up and talk at them each session (I may do a few like that, but I want to mix it up and maximize our time in God's Word)
  • Pray for God's Spirit to have His way - the man in charge of the retreat shared that they believe there has been an extra amount of spiritual warfare in the past year or two
  • Pray Big - Pray the biggest spiritual prayers for the students and myself as you can... Be specific.
PRAISE GOD - we have our passports back with our Visas so we are good to go!!!!

God keeps surprising us with financial support for the trip. I estimate the costs at around $5000 (you can see an earlier post to get details) and we are close to $2500. I don't want to say that I don't expect to raise all that (because I don't doubt God's ability)... but we do expect to pay for some of the trip out of our long term emergency fund... which is a great use for it. We are very thankful for all that has been given. If you do give, please, please pray that the money is used for great things for God.

I want to apologize for not posting this info sooner. I will try to do a better job.

If you are planning to pray for me but I don't know about it, I would be so encouraged to know. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Prayer Requests from RFIS

I just received some answers to questions that I had for those in charge of the retreat I am speaking at. I wanted to pass on some prayer requests to those who will pray.

Here are there Requests:

- a few weeks before we left for Christmas break we discovered that the stoves and refrigerators at the center where we will be holding Retreat are in disrepair and will not be adequate for our needs. So, the person in charge of meals is working on finding other ways of keeping us all fed. Please pray that people in the community step up to help her with this, and that the arrangements that need to be made can come together and go smoothly, as the quality of the meals is a major factor in determining how well kids feel Retreat goes.

- please pray that I would be on top of things and would not forget any major (or minor) details as we continue our planning for the Retreat. (Kevin is his name)

- pray that God would be working in the hearts of the kids, preparing them for the message that He has for them during Retreat. Also pray that God would move powerfully in the lives of the students during the week of Retreat, and that the changes He works in their lives would continue well beyond that week.

They don't have a theme yet - and I am chompin on the bit - wish I knew what to be preparing for. Pray that this information is figured out soon so I can get to work.

I need to ammend the previous update on money - we have received $1920 so far. What a crazy amount. I keep praying - God - don't let this generous giving go to waste.

Pray BIG, please. Be specific.

Monday, January 09, 2012

More Praise, Prayer and Money

BIG PRAISE - the Travel Document agency I am using to get my Visa let me know that they should have it back on the 12th. This is great and is the last major known logistical pre-trip hurdle for us. I am sure there will be some more, but this was the last piece of the puzzle that I know about.

I've had a couple more people say they will pray for me - which is wonderful. I fear that many people mean to pray for me but haven't told me... and I don't have to know the names of everyone praying. But I also think many will easily forget - and if I have their names, we can contact them and remind them. So if you plan to pray for me, I'd really love to know.

I was really humbled this weekend. I was at IMPACT - a senior high conference put on the by the E. Free Central District Youth Pastors. I ran into a wonderful Senior Pastor friend who was there with his students for the weekend. He shared with me that He will be praying for us and that his family was going to support us. They gave us our biggest gift yet. I was blown away and feel very inadequate. It pushes me to pray more for God to do great things and to really desire many more prayer warriors.

As far as money goes, with pledged money and money that has come in since my last update, we are now at $1700 - which is amazing.

I am trying to figure out what kinds of little gifts and such I can bring on the trip. I also often "bribe" students I'm teaching with candy - anyone know if chocolate candy travels well in an airplane?

Thursday, January 05, 2012

5 Praying People/Couples

I am so thankful for the 5 couples/individuals that have agreed to pray for me while I am in Cameroon. I know family members will be praying. I look forward to hearing from many more who will commit to praying for us from Feb 2 - 16.

No pressure to commit and I don't want people to commit who aren't sure they can pray.

Who knows what God might do?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Praises and Prayer

I want to give God praise for all He has done for this trip and give an update on prayer.

Praise God for only spending $10 on medicines (seems impossible, but it's true) for the trip. Praise God for getting tickets at a reasonable price and having those details worked out. Praise God that for our layover in Zurich, an old friend (Alex M) is able to come spend time with us. Praise God for people beginning to commit to praying as well as more people planning to help support us on this trip.

My simple top prayer request right now is that our Visas will get back to us in a timely manner. I sent out a letter (which I may post on here) asking for prayer in which I said - "It would be a tragedy for us to take this trip in my own strength and without the prayer backing of godly friends who love me." So I really want to find people who will commit to praying for us each day while we are there. Please pray for God to accomplish great things - and that I will at least sense this, even if I can't see all that He is doing.

I am sure you can figure out many more things to pray for.