We pray your Lenten Season and Easter was without paralleled joy.
As our family reflected on the wonderful and amazing love that God poured out on us through Christ Jesus we came away more energized and emboldened then ever to pick up our crosses and follow Him. It has been a special month for us here. Normally I kick off the newsletter with ministry news then fill in with some family fun but I'm going to shake it up and start with family for a change.
We had a super Easter Sunday of worship at International Community Fellowship in Nairobi then crossed town to have lunch with dear friends the Hunt and Jones Families.
Every Crow Thinks Thier's Is The Blackest.....enough said on this one. My sweet Lillian dressed up and ready for the Rosslyn Academy Junior Senior Formal. I'm totally in love and thrilled to be the daddy of this beautiful (inside and out) sweet young lady. God never ceases to amaze me with His blessings.
A Christian International School educational conference was held outside of Nairobi this month and we learned a number of old friends and teachers from Rwanda and Malaysia would be there so Ashley and the girls drove out. Ella Jade was reunited with Brian. Lillian with Emily and Zoe.
Our girls are currently performing in the musical production of Annie - after the show with great freinds made in Rwanda the Rossington Family. Clowning around before the Formal.
From top: Our Middle-Men group is continuing on strong as we attempt to have influence on our sons in these high school years. Regular Tuesday morning breakfast and Bible Study. We took the boys camping over the weekend at the foot of the Aberdare National Park north of Lake Naivasha where we explored the root of our identity as (young) men and lived dangerously in the wild with buffalo, hippo, monkeys. We may or may not have let the boys practice driving landrovers and motorcycles....don't tell mom.
But what happened in the world of trying to make an impact on the unreached you ask?
God is doing amazing things in Southeast Asia! Xplore and Go Mobilize groups are being held all over Indonesia now. In January our Malaysia Team trained a large group of church leaders on starting Mobilization Movements. Since then, Indonesian partners have translated, printed and distributed over 3,000 copies of these two CMM Bible studies in Bahasa Indonesia language. It has been tremendously encouraging to hear some of the stories and how groups are learning about God's heart for the world.
A prayer request from a medical student who is leading his own weekly Xplore study right now: "Please pray for our group here, so we can spread the heart of God, which is for mission. Please pray for our commitments, for studying Bible every week. Thanks a lot for supporting us with the books. God bless all of you."
Our two Stateside Teams have been doing an amazing job of mobilizing university students. 20 young adults traveled to Kenya and China to explore what it looks like to work cross-culturally for the Gospel.
Some quotes from those on the trips: "In the midst of all the craziness I began to look around at all the different faces of people from different countries who spoke different languages and God said to me, "this is what Heaven is going to look like and I want you to be a part of helping these people get there." - Chase S. "When I first decided to go on the vision trip, I didn't really know what mobilizing looked like. I knew a lot about mobilization but I had never seen how it really worked until I went. It was one of the greatest decisions I've ever made. The Lord taught me so much during my time there. One of the most important lessons I took back was that God had been before us." -Bridget S. "This past week in China, God broke and stirred my heart for the Tibetan Buddhists. He placed on my heart this great desire for each and every Tibetan to know, understand, and accept the free gift of grace that God offers through Jesus Christ." - Jacey M. "I've been struggling over the past month or two (about the future). That night God comforted and humbled me. He showed me that there were 10 people that would never have placed themselves where they are in life with the CMM, but they each had to make a difficult decision to trust that the lord is faithful. He broke down a few walls for me and taught me to trust in His strength." -Robert E.
Visit with the Preston Family
Thank you all for your continued prayers for the Preston Family and Ashley's trip. Ashley was blessed with the oportunity to love on them for a couple of weeks, Cooking, cleaning, taking Dave to rehab appointments, pool therapy and laughing/crying with Tammy.
Prayer & Praise
We are thankful for your continued empowering of us to serve His kingdom through encouragement, prayer and tangible support. We are thankful to be able to start and end every day knowing we are playing our most strategic role in serving that Kingdom in this season. We give thanks for three wonderful teenagers, for depth of friendships, for being able to love and accept love and most importantly His love.
Please pray with us for:
A number of friends and families experiencing very difficult medical situations. May God provide the right interventions, talent of care givers and miraculous healing - that it might be His will
The last month of school. That the kids, ours and yours, finish strong
MacGregor's quick trip to the the US for meetings in Arkansas and California. That they are both productive and encouraging
Wisdom for preparations for summer schedule. College visits for Lillian, fundraising tour and CMM Leadership Conference for MacGregor, camps and CMM all staff conference for the family, a year's worth of deferred maintenance on health checkups, house maintenance, tax preparation, maintaining healthy relationships with friends and family and all of those things that risk inattention after 10 months in the field. For Ashley as she helps us juggle all of that and keep our sanity.
Dear Ashley, We appreciate your part in sending us to the frontline of mission mobilization. It is a joy to share our family updates with you. Let us know how we can, in turn, be praying for you! "I always thank God for you, remembering you in my prayers..." - Ashley, Lillian, Ella Jade, Duncan and MacGregor
Transforming the mission field into a mission force
"Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God."
This quote from mission legend William Carey is driving me today as I head out for the Middle East.
Ashley and I give thanks for the part you play in what is happening starting today. Over the next 6 days we are gathering eleven of the Center for Mission Mobilization's leaders from the USA and The Field in the heart of the 10/40 Window for the next phase of our 2025 strategic planning process.
The big question: How can each of us rally our departments and teams to achieve a big bodacious goal? That goal is to establish 60 teams in the 60 countries with the greatest mission sending potential to complete the Great Commission call. We are asking God for great clarity and vision in this strategic planning process.
Will you help us pray through this 60 Team Dream?
4 Reasons we're Pursuing 60 Countries:
Listed above is a snapshot of the regions of the world God is calling us to mobilize for the sake of the unreached. We’re keenly focused on 60 countries with over 1 million believers each who have immense mission sending potential.
It’s important to remember “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Jesus from Matthew 19:26
Prayer & Praise
Prayer: By God’s grace we will walk away from this time with the plans to support God’s purpose for our ministry. Please pray for the following growth strategies:
Staff recruiting (national and international)
Praise: We praise God for the favor he has given our ministry across the world. Our teams are successfully mobilizing families, students, and leaders to embrace unreached people groups. We praise God that He is using the whole Church to reach the nations. We praise God that He desires us to work together to bring the gospel to every tribe, people, language, and nation (Revelation 5:9). We praise God for you and your strategic part in this!
Dear Ashley, We appreciate your part in sending us to the frontline of mission mobilization. It is a joy to share our family updates with you. Let us know how we can, in turn, be praying for you! "I always thank God for you, remembering you in my prayers..." - Ashely, Lillian, Ella Jade, Duncan and MacGregor
Transforming the mission field into a mission force
Wow, I was thinking I could just put together a quick update for you but my list of what you have been a part of is too long.....I suppose that is a great thing to be able to report.
In mid February a team from With Open Eyes hit the ground in Tanzania. What a great pleasure it was to host this powerfully Godly group from the US. They poured into the Maasai Mobile Messengers with encouragement, care and love. I was really impressed with the amount of time invested in just listening to the walks of the MMs, hearing their successes as well as their struggles.
From top: Horsing around during a break. Dr. Winston putting his skills to work practically as well as spiritually. You know how I am about street food....if you ever get to Arusha Don't miss Khanz's street BBQ.
From Tanzania Samaritan's Purse Air Wing brought us up to Yida Refugee camp in S.Sudan so that the team could minister to the Mobile Messengers from the Nuba region which is still at war with Sudan. S.P. also generously allowed us to bunk with them in their camp and gave the team a peek into thier activities with WASH (water, sanitation and hygine) and food distributions for the many thousands seeking refuge from the war.
From top: Church where we conducted our events - this is an upgraded construction WOE assisted with recently as the former building was burned down by muslims a couple of months ago. Air victim of the hard conditions and long civil wars. Guarding food for distribution. Waiting on sorghum and oil to bring home to families. Celebration in the middle of hardship.
left: Now for some fun....one of the great traditions of Nuba is wrestling. It goes back to a time of each side of a dispute picking their best warrior to don wrist knives and see who the god's favor in a battle for blood. Today's wrestling is much more for entertainment but still quite a battle. Somehow we thought we might have a chance and 4 of us jumped in the wring. (Thankfully because of my still healing clavicle our team doctor forbid me from participating). Of the 4 participants on our side 3 came away with not unserious injuries. Luckily earlier in the day we had visited with MSN (Doctors Without Borders) and they opened up their emergency room to us for some much needed stitches. Boys will be boys when our ladies are not there to remind us of our age.
Strategic Planning and Dreaming
As you recall last month at this time I asked you to be in prayer with eleven of us leaders from the Center for Mission Mobilization as we took part in a 5 day long "60 Team Dreaming Event" to identify our driving vision for the next number of years. We wont be calling it the 60 Team Dream and we won't actually have 60 teams (at least not in the next ten years) but we have identified the 60 countries in the world with more than 1 million evangelical believes that we will work to influence towards the unreached peoples of the world with the Gospel. Stay tuned for the big reveal of the name and the plan as we continue to work on our areas of focus.......
Prayers for the Prestons
Please continue to be in prayer with us for the Preston Family. Ashley left Thursday to spend two weeks in Atlanta with them. It is a great chance to love on dear friends of ours and assist during this transition to a new way of life. The YouCaring fundraiser to assist with immediate needs such as some home and bathroom renovations to better accommodate a wheelchair is going great. If you feel a nudge to participate please don's hesitate. Pray that Ashley would be a great help to Dave and encourager to Tammy during this visit.
Spring Break was an amazing time this year. We kicked things off with homemade King Cake and by hosting a MardiGras party to help spread the Louisiana good will to our friends here. Lillian then jetted off to Spain with for a cultural field study with her Rosslyn Academy Spanish Class. Ashley and I took Ella Jade and Duncan for a dual purpose trip to South Africa - to visit some missionary friends and get some down time but to also scout a target ministry location and attempt to recruit for our Catalytic work. We wrapped the visit up with a last minute chance to cage dive with some beautiful great white sharks. Ashley was more afraid of the frigid sea than the sharks. The experience was absolutely incredible and a must do for anyone who travels down that way.
Disciple Now Weekend
This was our sixth year to be a host family for Discipleship Now put on by BlueSky and SWAT Ministries out of Atlanta. What an incredible time. It is wonderful to witness these great college aged kids from the US traveling to Kenya to pour life into teenagers here. A powerful experience for both groups for sure.
Prayer & Praise
We give thanks for the Lord's encouragement week after week as we do our best to serve here and to love each other well. Thanks that though the travel schedule has been heavy this year we are standing strong as a family. Also thanks that our annual time back home in Louisiana is approaching where we get to see many of you face to face. Thanks that a friend Petr is free from his year imprisonment in Sudan and returned to his family. Thanks that I feel in my sweet spot of skill and calling and that each day is an exciting opportunity and challenge to face in His service.
Please pray for Ashley's time in Atlanta and my time "Mr. Momming" it in Kenya :) Pray for the unreached and underserved - that God would send the workers out into the world to share and love all His peoples. Pray that those we are talking to about their most strategic role in His Kingdom would respond to a calling in ministry be it with the CMM or another way to serve.
We appreciate your part in sending us to the frontline of mission mobilization. It is a joy to share our family updates with you. Let us know how we can, in turn, be praying for you! "I always thank God for you, remembering you in my prayers..."
- Ashley, Lillian, Ella Jade, Duncan and MacGregor
Transforming the mission field into a mission force