We are home! In the spiritual and family sense. Being "home" with First Presbyterian Church in Baton Rouge has been absolutely wonderful. Getting tons of hugs from the people that watched our family grow into a relationship with Christ and then launched us out to the mission field has been so filling to our souls. As we would say down south "I'm full like a tick!"
We've been busy! The family had the pleasure of sharing our hearts at three services. Ashley and I were able to assist with a day of mission teaching at Vacation Bible School where the youth raised funds for a special needs school we have a relationship with in Kenya. A humbling amount was raised! Ashley and the kids also spoke at the Judson Baptist Retreat Center "Boys Mission Camp" about what it's like to live on the mission field as children and now young adults.
International Friendship Partners: Did you know that more than One Million international students come to study in the USA each year and about 60% of those are from the 10/40 Window (where most of the world's unreached people live)? The vast majority of these students never enter the home of a Christian. Our home church has a monthly event for the strangers in our midst attending LSU. This is by far the easiest way to get involved in "missions in reverse" as these young students, who are the best and brightest engineers and scientists of their countries, are coming right to our doorstep and are often hungry for the friendship we Christians are called to provide. If you are in the Baton Rouge area and are interested in being involved in this ministry shoot me a message and I will connect you with the organizers.
On the CMM Front: Our research team is busy working to complete our "Mobilization Index" of the nearly 60 countries and city states of the world where more than one million evangelical believers live and worship. This Index will guide our strategic direction for places we engage as a ministry. Our new recruiting team is busy developing a strategy to aggressively build out our ministry locations with sold out laborers. Part of that process is a dynamic media campaign where our in house creative team is blowing my socks off with impactful content. If you or someone you love is excited about ministry - whether they want to be front line workers or even behind the scene skilled talent (IT, Finance, Graphics, Operations, etc) let me know and I will take the conversation from there.
Gratuitous Kid Stuff
Stay off the roads! Ella Jade and Duncan are pursuing their learner's permits. Almost nothing good can come of this! Duncan is thrilled and Ella Jade wants to know why anyone in thier right mind would want to drive...."Don't they have an app for that?"
Duncan and I had an awesome chance to "Dude Out" with some friends Tim and Rich (thanks guys!) and their sons kicking up a ton of mud and shooting lots of guns up in Mississippi. Lillian is preparing for college with a number of classes at LSU this summer (Gifts Assessment and ACT) with good buddy Hannah from Atlanta. Ashley has been working on our camp touching up paint as she can't sit still for long. Ella Jade has had the opportunity to teach some other kids drawing techniques (here she is preparing her course materials) - maybe art teacher as a career choice?
It's been such a sweet homecoming with family and friends
Our kids have had a great engagement with folks and been able to share their life on the mission field experiences with others
Opportunities to minister to and pray for friends and supporters
New relationships built and new friends met
God's provision of potential supporters and the growth that comes from both the successes and failures
Starting a three week journey to visit universities and to participate in CMM Team Leader Training and All Staff Retreat for about 200 ministry workers from around the world
In this we need discernment, wisdom and patience
Emotional and Physical Healing for so many we meet with that are struggling in some way currently
To reach our new partnership and fundraising goals for this ministry season (see below)
As many of you know we are making a big push to grow the team that invests in our family and ministry financially this year. If the Spirit is moving in your family to join ours monthly, quarterly or annually please send us a message so we can explore and pray about it together with you.
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