Sometimes we feel this deep sense of being overwhelmed at the doors God is opening for ministry. It is easy to rattle off countries that God is expanding the ministry to, but it feels like the stories of people that we meet can get lost. So here are three stories…
Pastor Dedan from Kenya
The opportunity to be on a panel about discipleship at the S4 Conference in Nairobi was so amazing. What was more amazing was the opportunity it created to meet a young Kenyan pastor named Dedan. When I was speaking, Dedan felt compelled to connect up with me to ask some questions about what I shared about disciple making. He spent all day trying to build up the nerve to talk to me-and finally at the end of the day he came up to me and said, “I know I am supposed to talk with you but I am afraid.” The conversation that ensued was one of the highlights of this trip. Not only was I able to encourage Dedan in that moment, but we have continued the conversation in WhatsApp since I got home.
Missionary Rasul in Cambodia
Many of you may remember a video that I shared last year about Rasul. Rasul is a Filipino missionary to Cambodia with Global Surge. I have known Rasul for a few years and love the opportunities to be with him every chance I get. Rasul was also a speaker at the S4 Conference in Nairobi and we had the opportunity to sit in a meeting together and plan and prepare for the launch of Foundations in Cambodia in partnership with Global Surge. Rasul’s heart for discipleship is part of the reason I am so excited to be working together. He lives out the principles that we share. He will be working on the ground to set up the two different training centers in Cambodia as well as preparing our material to be translated into Khmer!
Church Planter Gustavo in Spain
Gustavo is a church planter from Argentina. He successfully planted four churches there when God asked him to sell everything and move to Spain. That’s exactly what he and his family did. They thought God was moving them to Madrid to plant a new church; God has a different plan. He ended up taking over a dying church and began the process of revitalization. The church has now grown to 200 people and he was asking God to bring along a partner to help the church develop a heartbeat for discipleship. These were the circumstances when our ministry partner Rigoberto from Costa Rica asked Gustavo to meet with Onalee and I while we would be in Spain in July. We are so excited at how God has opened up the doors to launch a training center in Madrid in November!
The ministry God has called us to is not about the trainings, although I believe that our trainings are so helpful for pastors and leaders. Our ministry is about loving people, specifically pastors and leaders that wake up each day believing that God has more for them than what they are currently experiencing in their churches.
Another aspect of that love and support is providing materials in native languages for pastors and leaders to use as outreach. We have been so blessed to see many translations printed.
First Look @ Swahili
While Michael Parker and I were in Nairobi for the S4 Conference we had the opportunity to see the Foundations Discipleship Material “Come” section for the first time in Swahili! The first section is being translated for the new trainings in Kenya that will take place in November. Please pray about an opportunity to also train in Tanzania as well because Swahili is also the main language in Tanzania.
Speaking of Languages…
In this update alone, you’ve already read about the translation work into Khmer and Swahili. One of the best networking discussions in Kenya was about the possibilities that would open up in Africa if we translated our materials into French. This came with a very specific invitation to come to Burkina Faso and Togo to start training centers. Please pray for wisdom as we weigh this decision.
Wisdom is needed for every new adventure we face. This also includes personal adventures as our faith is never separate from our daily lives.
Welcome to a new chapter!
On August 20th, Onalee and I (along with the help of Nate and Sarah…thanks guys!) took Nicole and dropped her off at Grand Canyon University! The last little eagle has flown the nest. It was an amazing day celebrating with Nicole the new chapter in her life, and for Onalee and I to sit at home that evening and realize that we also are entering a new chapter as the nest is now empty. We thank God for every season of parenting and are excited for our new adventure with adult kids!
Please continue to pray for wisdom for our family and ministry.
Your generosity in prayer and giving is changing lives. We partner together to serve local churches and pastors, and this ministry could never take place without your partnership. Thank you!