Oh Louisiana. After such an amazing home leave where each of you loved on us so well we are very sorry not to be there in your time of need! Not since our first launching to the field in 2008 have we felt so encouraged and cared for as this summer at First Pres. Watching from outside has warmed our hearts as we see a city that the media and others worked to divide over the summer has pulled together in so many ways to face this challenge and unify. We thank you for your love and we love you all very much. Our family is in prayer for you in this season of hardship.
O Lord our God, Source of all goodness and love, accept the fervent prayers of your people; in the multitude of your mercies look with compassion upon all who turn to you for help; for you are gracious, O lover of souls, and to you we give glory.
For our friends not in Louisiana just an update and a call to action. The state government is reporting that roughly 40,000 homes have suffered flood damage from what is being called a 1,000 year flood event. There have been reports of up to 110,000 homes effected but we will stick to the State numbers for these purposes.
Many from and associated with our home church have been impacted - homes, vehicles and business. Some in lower areas have flood insurance and many in higher areas that have never flooded do not. As a result our home church, and many other churches, have mobilized teams to help with cleanup efforts. First Presbyterian Church in Baton Rouge has also set up a Relief Fund to better assist those in very desperate situations as a result. If you are at all able and called to do so please consider giving towards that need. You can find this opportunity to help at www.fpcbr.org down the page a bit or use this direct link.
Some Happy News
From top left: Duncan had some wonderful adventures with his cousins Timothy and Ethan. Lillian was a traveling star. She flew on her own to Boston for a week to tour Gordon Collage then onto Georgia for another week of camp at Winshape. She got her Louisiana driver's license then drove Ashley up to Fayetteville, Arkansas where Ashley worked on training our new China Team staff on cross-cultural living, visited with the home office staff, her fellow Member Care Team members and Lillian toured.....eak!....Razorback Campus. Have no fears she also toured her first choice school LSU. Side note - I really do hope that she realizes that her international experiences opens a wide world of university opportunities for her to choose from. Ella Jade made a solo flight from New Orleans to Dallas to visit a friend from Kenya - Other than having a bit of trouble identifying her luggage on the other end she did great :) and managed to squeeze in multiple equine engagements. The biggest news for us is that all three of our babies are now High Schoolers at Rosslyn Academy! Can't believe how time moves. The days go slow but the years go fast.
Any ministry news to report? But of course,
Top: We completed training for 21 new full-time CMM Mobilizers and a handful of Kenyan associate staff. The training is a combination of classroom time, time spent out in the community and amongst unreached peoples practicing the skills they will use on the ground at their assignment locations. From Nairobi this group is launching to East Asia, the Middle East, Russia, the Americas and East Africa. Bottom Left: Our Middle East - South Asia Team reached full funding just weeks ago and the first part of the team has already arrived on location and secured housing. We are tremendously excited for them and I'm looking forward to a visit later this year to work together. Bottom Right: Our new China team members have started to arrive and are chomping at the bit to get to work. For security purposes I'm not posting a team picture at this time because of the most exciting news of all. Our very first full time indigenous Chinese Staffer "SanMei" has, in less than 6 weeks, raised her entire faith support budget completely from other Chinese believers. You likely have no idea what an incredible miracle this news is.
Celebrate with us and praise the name of Jesus - the Magnificent! He has done great things with and for us during this time and we are filled with His great Joy!
Prayer & Praise
For relief of all effected by natural disaster, war and poverty around the world.
For a friend facing trial in an islamic country this week for being a believer and sharer of the Gospel.
For all students as they return to school or are now having to attend an unfamiliar school do to the floods.
For wisdom as I organize my schedule for this ministry season with so much to do and so many places to be.
For Ashley as she enters this new life of being a high school mom and children that are more and more independent.
God is so so good. We praise Him for the blessings on our ministry. For supporters opening their doors so widely to us this summer to care and reaffirm their trust in us. For the opportunity to share our calling with so many. To feel home with family and friends in the USA and then to feel home again in Kenya. For His great unending uncompromising love.
DearAshley, 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! - Ashely, Lillian, Ella Jade, Duncan and MacGregor
Transforming the mission field into a mission force