Friday, November 30, 2012

Vision trip to Bucharest, Romania

      Jamie and I are now, Lord willing, taking our vision trip to visit just Bucharest, Romania in late February.   We are excited to visit the city and the team there.  After we take the trip and meet the team working there we will have an even clearer direction if this is where God would have us serve full time.
      Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is a city still recovering from years under communist rule.  Its freedom from the communist regime began in 1989.  However, its dynamic growth since 1989 has swept many people into prosperity while leaving a large proportion of the population marginalized.  Some of the population that has been pushed to the side are the orphans in the city and victims of human trafficking.  
Part of the ReachGlobal ministry in Bucharest is focused on working alongside Romanian Christians developing new strategies for getting local churches involved in ministering to the least-loved people in Bucharest.   Some of the people groups considered least-loved include street kids and those who are at high risk for human trafficking.  A second ministry that the ReachGlobal Bucharest team is developing is Missions Mobilization.  This ministry is focused on working with local churches helping to train them to better equip missionaries being sent out to the least-reached parts of the world.  A third portion of the Bucharest team serves and teaches at Bucharest Christian Academy, a Christian K-12 school primarily for missionary, business and diplomatic families living in Bucharest. 
The Spirit of God is beginning to do amazing work in Bucharest.  While the evangelical church is small (only 1% of the population of 2 million), it includes many young people with a true passion for Christ and willingness to obey.  God is building up the body of Christ in Bucharest so that they can be a light to Bucharest, the rest of Romania, and the uttermost parts of the world.

Thank you for your prayers as we begin to make plans to visit Bucharest!!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Prayer and the body of Christ

     Since our acceptance into ReachGlobal, prayer has become a much more vital part of our lives.  For starters, last Friday was my last day working at Target.  It was a decision that took a lot of time and prayer, but we both felt that it was the direction God wanted us to go.  My main priority now is developing our team of prayer and financial partners.  Quitting was a difficult decision for us to make since Jamie will continue to work, but obedience to God is more important than the security two paychecks bring.  Obeying God always seems to place us in a position that feels vulnerable but actually is the most secure and safe place possible.  None the less, vulnerability causes us to pray much, much more.  
     While I was praying this week, God brought to mind one morning years ago when I was going to Bible college in Wisconsin.  At the time, I was trying to get more involved in my church and trying to get to know more of the guys in the men’s ministry.  Therefore, I decided to go to a men’s breakfast.  I had to get up at 5:20 A.M. and drive a half an hour to get there.  That, in itself, was a huge feat for me at that time.  In addition to getting up early, I also had no money.  I didn't know how I was going to pay for my school bill in the upcoming weeks, and I had zero spending money.  Regardless, I felt the Lord wanted me to go.  So I got up and began the 30 minute drive.  The entire way there I prayed, “God, I have no money.  I know I could put this on a credit card, but I wouldn't have the money to pay for that.  Any money I do make this month will go towards my school bill.”  I prayed the entire way there that God would provide.  When I got out of my car I walked around looking to see if God would provide a $10 bill blowing in the breeze to my feet.  He didn't.  :)
     At the restaurant I ended up sitting with a couple men from my church that I hadn't met before.  We spent a good amount of time talking about my desire to do missions in the future.  As it turns out the guy I spent most of the morning talking to was the mission’s pastor whom I had never met before.  After eating the bill came.  He reached across the table and took my bill as well as his.  I thanked him several times for what he did but was more shocked by what he said.  As we walked out the door he told me, “It was weird.  This morning on the way here I was praying and heard the Holy Spirit tell me, ‘You are going to pay for breakfast this morning.’  ‘But God’, I said, ‘I already know everyone there.  Why would I pay for their breakfast?’  So when I walked in this morning and saw you, I knew I was supposed to pay for your breakfast.”
     Our God is amazing, and He answers prayer.  That $5 breakfast taught me that God delights in seeing His children provide for other members in His family.  Thanks to all your prayers this month, we have seen God directing our steps and beginning to provide the finances for our trip to Eastern Europe in early 2013.  It has been exciting to see the the body of Christ wanting to partner with this ministry and with the goal of seeing God glorified all over the world.

With prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.  Ephesians 6:18