The Dynamics of Soulwinning

This is the second workshop from General Conference that I’m going to highlight. I’m not presenting them in the order that we attended them necessarily… pretty much just a random order. My eyes landed on the notes for this one… and it’s a good one!

Rev. Eli Lopez

UPCIGC14 welcome

The first thing you need to know about this particular session is that it was pretty much  standing room only!  We met someone we knew outside the room and when we asked them if they were just arriving or leaving, they answered that they were just arriving and wanted to enter, but that people were lining the walls. We walked in anyway and a family with a couple of small children got them to move so that Liz & I could have a seat. YES… First victory!  (although, you’ll note that I was unable to get a decent photo of the speaker… we were further back than my iPhone could handle)

The second thing that you need to know is who the facilitator was… Bro. Eli Lopez, Director of Ministries and Senior Associate Pastor at Stockton California’s Christian Life Center. He’s got an impressive C.V. and has a great deal of responsibility in this incredible church for such a young man. Definitely Kudos!

Now for some of the highlights:

3 Battles of a Soulwinner

  1. Complacency: It takes effort to overcome complacency, for it is much easier to do what we’ve always done rather than trying something new.  …to stay with those we know rather than get to know someone new.  Yet the gospel is not just for us:  Jesus is the propitiation for our sinsand not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”  1 John 2.2
  2. Selfishness: Things will really begin to change and growth will be visible when we get to the point of thinking about others more than we think about ourselves.  It’s not about our comfort, but about their eternal life…
  3. Weariness: Remember… “We will reap, if we faint not!”  Galatians 6.9

.

3 Things to overcome those Battles

  1. The Power of Purpose: Truly understanding our purpose will help us overcome complacency, selfishness and weariness… “The motivation that took Jesus to the cross will take us to the lost.”  Jesus didn’t consider the harvest a future event, but rather a present and a pressing need!
  2. The Power of Prayer: Matthew 9.35 relates a prayer request that Jesus made to his disciples: “Pray therefore that the Lord of the harvest sends our workers into the harvest.”  If Jesus’ identity, as the Lord of the Harvest, was wrapped up in the harvest, then shouldn’t we, as his followers be likewise?  As they began to pray about the harvest, they began to take on responsibility for it… after that, Jesus sent them out into the same harvest that they’d been praying for!  Who better to go but them that have taken on responsibility in prayer?
  3. The Power of the Personal: Statistics vary in different parts of the country, but there’s no disputing that a significant factor in people coming to church remains that of personal contact. We can be active (going toward them) or passive (waiting for them to come to us)… intuitively we all know which one is better.  We are commanded to “GO and make disciples…” Give them a compelling reason why they should want to come to church!

“Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you…
and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”

Acts 1.8

Thank you Bro. Lopez!  Really a great seminar!

Upcoming Posts…

  • Saturday – An info-graph showing the growth our relationship with, and the call to, western France.
  • Next Wednesday – Highlights from General Conference Workshop #3

Prayer

  1. Pray that God helps us, through his power, to grow as soulwinners while in France.
  2. We’ve begun the process of applying for our visa from France… (Passport renewal done this week) and we’ll have to visit the French Consulate in Montreal in the coming weeks. Pray that each step in the process goes smoothly and that we find favour among men & women.

 

Here’s to #Revival_inFrance

GC Workshop #1

In today’s post I’m going to start a series of posts that will give you highlights of some of the workshops that we attended while at General Conference and how we think that they will help us to see God’s work move forward during our time in France.  First of all though, let me tell you about the…

Warm Welcome in St. Louis

UPCIGC14 welcome

I was surprised to see the extent to which the city of St. Louis rolled out the red carpet (or at least, the red banners for us). These banners were all over the downtown core along with similar themed welcome signs in several of the hotels & welcome areas as well.

There were also some black ones around town for another convention that was being held in the same venue: Organo Gold; a network marketing company that sells pre-packaged coffee (Someone did try to recruit Liz as she sat drinking her Starbucks one day: “Does Starbucks ever send you a cheque for drinking their coffee?” the salesperson asked… oh dear!)

Simplify

You may have noticed a change to the top navigation menu since the last time you visited the site. If not… take a quick moment to scroll up and look at it now.

I’d been wanting to add a “Contact Us” page to make it easier for us to connect, but with 7 menu choices already there, that would’ve been a bit much. The compromise… I grouped The Destination, The Dream and The Team beneath a single heading The Mission” , allowing me to add the new page and still reduce the options across the top, making navigation a bit more simple.

This is just one small tweak (for now) after being inspired by Rev. Lee Wells‘ #UPCIGC14 workshop…

Social Media & Church Planting

LeeWellsNot only is churchplanter Rev. Wells pastor of Landmark Fellowship Church, in Rockwall Texas, but he is also founded iChurch Marketing which aims to provide churches with new tools for a new generation. The workshop gave me ideas to help improve this blog, but it will undoubtedly lead to things that we’ll implement when in France as well.

Thanks Bro. Wells, you likely just became part of revival in France!

Here are the top 3 tidbits that I took away from that seminar:

  1.  The church’s website and social media presence have become the church’s new front door.
    (90% of potential guests will check the web first – looking for your church’s website or Facebook page – before they ever approach your real front door. If they don’t find us, they will find someone else.)
  2. 75% of Google search users never go beyond the first page search results.
    (Make sure you do everything possible to ensure that keywords and other SEO measures are optimized for your site so that you’ll be on that first page)
  3. This year, web searches from mobile devices are expected to overtake searches from a desktop or laptop.
    (Websites therefore must be mobile compatible)

When in France…

The church in Châtellerault currently has neither a website, a Facebook page or any other online presence. This is not entirely uncommon in France. There has traditionally not been as much emphasis on web presence there as there is in North America. I believe this will actually work to our advantage, because as we develop an attractive site and web presence for the church there, it will certainly stand out there in the region. I will, of course, let you know when that comes online.

Upcoming post…

Finally for today… do you remember the post where I talked about the “Big & Little Crowns” that surround Paris and how God used that image to speak to and through me on the day that he called us to France? I’m going to come back to that image in Saturday’s post, I hope you’ll come back to pick up on it.

If you don’t remember that original post, why not go here and read it to refresh your memory.
See you Saturday!

Washington D.C. an incredible city!

Here is the last installment of our “May Road-trip”…. a truly incredible city, Washington D.C.

Getting there…

On our way down, during the first few days, we’d seen the signs for Washington and thought… “Hmmmm… I wonder if…”, however we had a definite time frame and wanted to be neither rushed nor late to visit with the Mitchells in Montgomery so we just kept driving.  On the way back, however, we had no definite plans so I tossed the idea out to Liz and she agreed that it’d be a neat stop. The kids had done some U.S. history this year and would be able to relate to and understand some of the things that we’d see there.

We left St. Louis early on a Thursday morning in hopes of making the entire trek to Washington in a single day; no small feat as that represented over 800 miles or 1,300km. We were motivated. Why spend time driving two days when you can cram lots in during one, then have more time on site at the destination? 

Off we went… Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania… West Virginia (again), Maryland and finally, very late at night (thankfully… can’t imagine driving there during a weekday. Madness!) we arrived. The next day we slept in a bit but then, shortly before noon, set out to explore what is, without question, one of the most important cities on Earth.

map_WDC

Pennsylvania Avenue and beyond…

Our hotel being in Georgetown, we only had a short walk before intersecting with Pennsylvania Avenue. We turned left and followed the street, knowing that it would eventually take us to the White House. It was Friday so besides the tourists, there was still a great deal of hustle & bustle coming in and out of places like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, etc.  As we walked, there was a real sense of being in a seat of power… a city that breathes world-wide influence. Whatever your political persuasion or ideological viewpoint – whether you agree or disagree with the direction of that influence, there is no denying that it is there.

picstitchWe arrived at the back entrance to the White House… well not literally the back door…. the back, heavily guarded gate. We walked to the White House gift shop and dropped a bit of cash at the till in exchange for a few souvenirs and then headed to the south lawn of the White House, over to the Washington Monument down past the War Memorial and on to the Lincoln Memorial (collectively our favourite).

Church…

picstitchRev. & Mrs. Jerry Staten pastor the church in Washington and we connected with them upon arrival. We were able to join them for their “Evanglize D.C.” prayer-focus meeting on Saturday morning where some 40+ people had gathered. Later that day, we joined them for their Spanish service “Esperanza Viva”, and of course for church the next morning.

What an incredible church!  Extremely multicultural and very warm & affectionate. We felt very, very welcome with these folks. Under their leadership and that of their leadership team, there are over 20 small groups that meet throughout the city and the idea is that eventually, they will form the foundation of daughter work churches.

During the Sunday morning service, they sang a special number in 7-8 languages and there were three people baptized in Jesus’ name, including one in a wheel chair… their sins washed away. Awesome!

Thank you, Bro. & Sis. Staten for your time and the warm welcome we felt in D.C. at Living Hope!  The name is truly appropriate!!

Open Invitation…

If you’re in the D.C. area and looking for a church family, you can find Living Hope UPC at 1200 1st St. S.W., Washington D.C. 20024. Their phone number is (301) 481-7926.

Meet me in St. Louis

In the next two posts, I should be able to finish up detailing our travels from the month of May. Today, I’ll tell you about our time in St. Louis.

North from Texas

Liz had never been to St. Louis and neither had Sophie or Timo (Dominic went down with me in 2006 to help move home a fellow Saint-Johnner who had been living there at the time). Given the fact that we would be in Texas, and from there would begin our trek back north, it wasn’t such a stretch to consider driving through St. Louis.

We left Dallas on Monday morning and were able to get all the way to the Gateway city with relatively little difficulty. The Lord’s hand was on us to protect us as the last 2-3 hours saw very heavy rainfall pelt the highway, causing a number of really bad accidents due to hydroplaning.

The next day we rested in the morning and spent the afternoon touring World Evangelism Center, the headquarters of the United Pentecostal Church International; the organization with which we’ll be heading to France.  Rev. Jim Poitras was our tour guide: He is a former missionary to the West-African nation of Ghana and currently the Director of Education and AIM (Associates in Mission) for the UPCI.

map_STLPart way through the tour, the kids were thankful to be escorted first to the candy-stash closet where they got to fill a ziplock bag full of goodies, and secondly to the Missionary Kids’ Lounge where they could hang out and play Wii (somehow, touring and visiting is not as engaging to kids… thankfully WEC staff have thought of everything!). We then got to enjoy dinner with the Poitrases, at Tucanos, an incredible Brazilian grill.

Heights and Tight Quarters

picstitchThe next day saw us head to downtown St. Louis where we would see St. Louis’ famous landmark, the Gateway Arch.

I never thought of myself as claustrophobic, but when I stood before the elevator that would take us up 630′ (192m) to the top of the arch it was all I could do to get in (imagine trying to fit 5 people into a new Fiat 500 car – minus the windows – you get the picture).  I made it and lived to tell the story!

After the Arch, we got cleaned up and went, with our friends Brian & Shawna Hord, to Winds of Pentecost in St. Charles, MO where Rev. Tom Trimble is the pastor. I met the Hords in 2007 when I went to St. Louis to record the French DVD version of picstitchExploring God’s Word for the then Home Missions Division.

It was my third time at Winds and I’m pretty sure it gets better each time. It was Wednesday night but there was no mid-week-service slump there…. it was going full guns!  We were surprised to see an old friend, Brian Goddard, whose dad was pastor in Saint John when Liz & I first began attending. After service we had supper together with the Hords, the Trimbles, Brian and several youth. So enjoyed this time.

Locally…

Looking forward to being in my home church this Sunday. Given the extensive traveling of late, it’s been a while since we’ve been there.  Thank you to Bro. & Sis. McGuire for a wonderful day in Millville on Sunday. Thank you for believing in us and for supporting our AIM appointment.

Open Invitation…

If you’re in the St. Louis area and looking for a church family, you can find Winds of Pentecost at 1040 Fairgrounds Road, St. Charles MO. Their phone number is (636) 395-0889.

Dallas, TX… South Fork & North Cities

After spending last week in France…. and sharing details about that time with you, I’d like to once again take you back to some of our travels in the month of May… this time, to Dallas.

A Long History

(pardon the pun)

From the early planning stages of this trip, Dallas was in our sights.  The reason for this particular stop was to see old friends who are definitely part of our whole journey leading to France.

Schobert

(This picture of them from 2004 still graces my bookshelf… Rachel, you’ve GROWN!!!)

Sometime in the 2002-2003 period, Rev. & Mrs Steven Schobert came to our church on deputation; they were preparing to head to France as appointed missionaries (also replacing the Brochus at the time) and we connected well. In 2004 I went to France to present a research paper in the context of my Master’s studies in French Linguistics and the conference was in the city where the Schoberts lived. We had a couple of nice meals together and I attended church with them on Sunday – This would be my first time in the Châtellerault church. Although we don’t see each other often, outside of conferences, we have remained good friends and enjoy the times that the Lord does allow us to spend together.

map_TX

French Connection

North Cities UPC has quite a French connection.

  • Bro. Steve Schobert is Associate Pastor there.
  • During their last deputation, the Brochus based out of this church.
  • Former UPC missionary Kathy Miller calls this church home.
  • Wonderful friends, that we know from France but who now live in the greater Dallas area, also call this church home.

It was great to meet Pastor D.G. Hargrove and be so warmly welcomed to his church. We were able to just sit and enjoy service during the morning and then had the opportunity to speak during the evening service.

Thank you for your warm welcome and southern hospitality!

Touring…

During our time in Dallas we were also able to spend some time seeing some pretty important landmarks in the the area:

  • Dealey Plaza (where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated)
  • South Fork Ranch (inspiration to the 1978-1991 television series “Dallas”)
  • Flying Fish restaurant (home of the world’s first Billy Bass Adoption Center – for real!)

picstitchThe kids got to spend lots of time with their friends Winston & Olivia Wojciechowski, whom they’d only met in November 2013, at the French National Youth Convention…. but even then, they hit it off so incredibly well it was amazing.

Locally…

The fundraising and promotion continues. Tomorrow morning I get to be with Rev. Trevor McGuire, in Millville, New Brunswick.  On one hand, his church will get to be a bit spoiled, given that we’ve just come back from France and have lots to tell!  Can’t wait.

Open Invitation…

If you’re in the Dallas-North Cities area and looking for a church family, you can find North Cities UPC at 502 Belt Line Rd, Garland TX., 75040 . Their phone number is (972) 530-3668.

Small City… Big Heart, DeQuincy LA

After leaving Pensacola, Florida… our next major destination was to be Dallas, Texas. We knew that we’d have to stop and spend a night somewhere in between but we just planned on driving until we felt like stopping, and finding a hotel there… (wherever “there” was).

One thing we knew we wanted to do however, was make a quick stop in DeQuincy, LA… 15-20 minutes or so, to run a quick errand at The Pentecostal Church.

Thanks… and thanks again!

Back in March, when we sent out our information packets, TPC’s pastor, Bro. Neyland took us on as a partner… without following up with or ever having met or spoken with us. He was the first to formally take us on, outside of our home district.  This expression of “blind trust” in us meant and means a great deal to me, so I wanted to stop by in person and express my thanks. Little did I know that he would give us many more reasons to say “Thank you!”

picstitchBro. Neyland’s church has a double-wide mobile home that is used for visiting ministers which he graciously invited us to make use of. Later, we had supper together and the kids were able to play on the trampoline – entertained by the pastor’s son – before capping the evening off with a bowl of Blue Bell ice cream (oh my word, that’s good ice cream!!).

The next morning Liz was able to do a bit of laundry and the kids could do some school at a table… instead of in the car, before we all went for lunch at Bartrella’s Uptown Café (it was their last day in business).

map_LA

 

Living up to their mottos

The title for this post is no accident, it is the motto of the city of DeQuincy and features prominently on the city’s websiteSmall City… Big Heart: With a population of roughly 3,500-4,000 it is indeed a small city but oh what a heart!  Similarly… the motto for the Neylands church is Loving God, Loving People and again, they certainly lived up to that motto.

When I think of Bro. Neyland and his church, the words of Paul in Galations 4.14-15 come to mind…

you… received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus… I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.

New Friends… new Family

Most of the visits, during this trip, were with people that we’ve known for a number of years, and the time spent together with them was rich. This visit however, was not like most of those others… this was a time to make a new friendship.

We were in DeQuincy for less than 24 hours, but those hours are etched in our minds as a time of rich connection.  I am thankful for the family of God where you can come together as strangers and leave as family.

Thank you Lord for the gift of the family of God!

 

Open Invitation…

If you’re in the DeQuincy area and looking for a church family, you can find The Pentecostal Church at 301 W. 4th St., DeQuincy LA 70633. Their phone number is (337) 786-4740

to Montreal, Ottawa & back

This time last week I’d asked you to pray because I was heading to Montreal for Canada Conference and as you read this, this morning, I’m preparing to fly back to Saint John. Taking a break from details of our trip down south, let me give you a run-down of the past week.

Canada Conference

CCcompositeThis year’s Canada Conference was hosted by the incredible church in St. Laurent, pastored by Rev. Paul Graham. This church is no stranger to us (or rather, we’re not strangers there) having been there numerous times, with Rev. Dieudonné Kahozi, for various French Conferences.

The speakers this year were

Paul Mooney, Jimmy Toney, Melvin Calhoun, Raymond Woodward, Jesus Fortaleza and Albert Foster.

The worship and teaching was incredible… what a great blessing to be part of those meetings.

Bro. Woodward afforded me the opportunity to greet the conference as an appointed AIMer which was a great privilege. It took me a bit off guard because I didn’t know it was going to happen, so I don’t think I did as good a job as I could have, however, I’ll chalk it up to a learning experience and do better the next time such an opportunity arises, knowing better what to expect.  So thankful for every opportunity!

I was asked to translate the morning sessions on Friday which included teaching by Brothers Foster, Woodward, Toney and Mooney… a wonderful marathon that I was privileged to be part of (*note to self… bone-up on Revenue Canada & accounting terminology for the next time I translate Bro. Foster – haha)

Services in the Quebec District 

After the Canada Conference was over, I spent a few extra days in the Quebec District, to present our project and our burden at the invitation of Rev. Scott Grant (career church planter under North American Missions) and Rev. Dieudonné Kahozi (French pastor at St. Laurent, church planter in Montreal East and North American Director of French Evangelism). I spoke…

  1. Sunday Morning at the newest French church in Montreal, located in Montréal Est. This church began as a Bible study in Bro. Kahozi’s home, outgrew their second location, a rented 45-seat facility, 2 years later and are now in a recently-purchased location, the dedication service of which will take place in July of this year.
  2. Sunday Afternoon at International Church, a growing church on Montreal’s south shore, started by Bro. & Sis. Grant in 2009 and currently being pastored by Bro. & Sis. Hector Arriola.
  3. Monday Night at a Bible Study attended by international university students as an outreach of the Saint Laurent UPC. Don’t let the name fool you… there were 88 people in attendance. These young people are on fire.
  4. church-smTuesday Night at the Église Pentecôtiste de Trois Rivières. This is an established church that will celebrate 25 years this summer and is also pastored by the Grants. We love the church at T-R (as it’s affectionately referred to) and have been there numerous times as well.

“Office-time”

While in the area, I had a number of appointments between Montreal and Ottawa which related to my application for European Citizenship. Liz holds EU citizenship by virtue of being born there, my kids have it because or their mom and I am entitled to it by marriage (in the same way that Liz was able to get Canadian citizenship, by marriage, when she moved here) and can maintain dual citizenship. While on one hand it’s fairly straightforward, it nonetheless required a fair bit of paperwork, document authentication and eventually translation.

Why apply for citizenship to an EU nation?

Not because we plan to cut ties to Canada or anything. It will simply reduce the amount of bureaucratic hoops that we will have to jump through in order to live in Europe temporarily. Typically, France only issues 111SussexDrresidency permits for a 1-year term, meaning that after only about 6 months, you have to already begin the renewal process. Having citizenship does away with that.

This part of the process required time at both the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa as well as the Italian Consulate in Montreal, among others.

A Busy Few Days…

I’m back in Saint John today, but in the next 5 days we need to:

  • Meet with officials about Homeschool planning for the kids next year.
  • Have a final, all-morning, planning session with the 13-member team that we’re leading to France on June 30th.
  • Celebrate Sophie & Dominic’s “last birthday in Canada” for a couple of years.
  • Speak at Life Source Church in Shediac, pastored by Kent Carter.
  • Host a 3-course fundraising dinner for our 10-day mission trip to France on June 30th.

It goes without question that we would appreciate your prayers. 

God has done and is doing many amazing things and we are glad to be part of it!
Thank you for following our preparations and for your prayerful support… with it you become part of what God is doing and will do in France.

 

The Pain of Independence

I’m currently re-reading a book that I read a year or so ago… “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking”* by Susan Cain. The title of today’s post was inspired by her use of the term near the end of chapter 3 When Collaboration Kills Creativity.

Gregory Berns

quietAt the time the book was published, in 2012, Gregory Berns was a neuroscientist at Emory University, in Atlanta Georgia. He was doing research wherein volunteers played a game while in an fMRI machine. They were shown, on a computer screen, two 3-dimensional objects and asked whether one could be rotated to match the other. When participants played the game on their own, they gave a wrong answer only 14% of the time. When they played with a group… they gave the wrong answer significantly more often. The trick was… in the group-play version… other “players” unanimously gave the wrong answer… and the individual player themselves gave the wrong answer (in conformity to the group) some 41% of the time (as opposed to 14%, when playing alone). Berns took pictures of the brain while all of this was going on and saw that, when playing with a group, the individual displayed more activity in the part of the brain that dealt with visual and spatial perception: People were not consciously choosing an incorrect answer in order to conform to the group… Playing in a group altered their perception.

So what?

This work shows that the moment we enter a group we unconsciously want, or feel the need, to conform. The scary thing is that we’re not even aware that we might be abandoning our own conviction, belief or values in order to conform to what appears to be the dominant conviction, belief or value of the group.

Inversely, it also implies that it can be much easier to be part of a group since we don’t have to expend emotional energy “swimming upstream” against the crowd.

Nobody wants to be outside of the group… it’s a lonely place to be, and loneliness can be painful.

I repeat…. so what?

What does this have to do with short term missions? I was reminded again, recently, of the sacrifice that can be involved in missions. It is really an “against the tide” undertaking.

I had been aware of the story of Bro. & Sis. Verner and Abbigail Larsen who pioneered the work in Colombia, South America. Danish by birth and Canadian by naturalization, they arrived in 1936 to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to that country. Only eighteen months later, Sis. Larsen died in childbirth, leaving Bro. Larsen with a young son and newborn daughter.  Rather than returning to Canada, as the mission board urged him to do, he buried his wife and remained on the field for many years to follow.

What amazing sacrifice!

White_CindyMore recently I was reminded of the sacrifice of missions with the passing, while on the mission field, of Sis. Cynthia White, last Friday, May 16th; a lady that Rev. Jack Cunningham once referred to as a “modern day Deborah”** 

Appointed as an intermediate missionary to Jordan back in 2010, she had  several years of missions experience prior to that, mostly through the AIM program.

She pastored a Filipino work in Jordan and worked with other culturally-centered churches as well as coordinating prayer efforts and ladies-ministries.

What an amazing sacrifice… not just for her, but for her family.

A Jump into the Unknown

Filled with faith, hope and love, both of these missionary families jumped into the unknown: A place where they couldn’t see ahead of time what path their feet might tread. But neither can we see, yet, the reward that is theirs for having walked the road less traveled. At one point, however, they met with the unexpected.

I’m reminded of the words of the old hymn written by American gospel songwriter Ira Stanphill:

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand

There can be pain in independence. There can be pain in swimming upstream. There can be pain in standing out from the crowd… but no pearl comes at a meager price, no crown without a cross.

* Thankful for their example *

Links:

Atlantic District Conference 2014

AIM ADC14#ADC14

When attending district meetings during 2013, I wore a single hat… that of Editor for the monthly district publication “The Pentecostal Messenger”.  January 2014 changed that however; I began raising funds for our 2015 AIM appointment to France. Since that time I’ve generally worn two hats to district events – the proof can been in the setup to the right: Banners for the Pentecostal Messenger Editor and for our AIM project.

We have just ended the 2014 Atlantic District Conference, held at Truth Tabernacle in Moncton, NB and hosted by Rev. & Mrs John Woodcock.  It was a short & sweet time together where we enjoyed the music ministry of Rev. Sonny Schambeau and the preaching ministry of Bro. Brent Coltharp of Illinois (Dist. Superintendent and Area Presbyter).

5 Quotable Coltharp Quotes:

  • “A King builds his kingdom, a prophet speaks on behalf of the King.We’re not here to build our own kingdom, but to build HIS kingdom.”
  • “It’s not my kingdom. He’s the King and I serve the King.”
  • “Samuel, don’t take it personally… they’re rejecting me, not you.”
  • “Rather than Jehovah, who had brought them out of Egypt and made them victorious, they wanted a king like all the nations around them.
  • “Satellites can’t set people free, you’ve got to get boots on the ground.”

Boots on the Ground:

ADC14_smI really appreciate Bro. Coltharp’s message from last night… he talked about how warfare has progressed from being a “hand-to-hand combat” situation – a “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” kind of proximity – to a point where, thanks to technology, one can wipe out tens of thousands of people, unseen, using missiles, satellites, etc. from great distances.

The danger, for the church, is that sometimes we want to wage warfare similarly to how it’s done in the modern world… from a distance. We want to fast. We want to pray. We want to enjoy church IN-side our buildings.

There is a place and a value to each of these things… but if they constitute the whole of our Christian experience then we are off balance. Jesus got boots on the ground… he went out to where the people were. He didn’t maintain his distance, but got in close proximity. Hence the quote:

“Satellites can’t set people free,
you’ve got to get boots on the ground.”

Up close & personal

I enjoyed this message so much because this very thing has been a concern for me as I prepare to go to France. I am, by nature and by experience a “Second-man / Admin-support” type. That is the capacity in which I’ve functioned up to this point. However… while that experience will no doubt be valuable to me when in France, I realize that I’ll need to – with the Lord’s help – push the limits and become boots on the ground to a greater measure than my role has allowed / demanded to this point.

It’s my desire to see personal growth in this area, indeed it will be vital to cultivate this, if we are to achieve the things that the Lord has put on our heart to do.  I’m not satisfied to remain as I am… I long to grow.

Lord, let it be so.

Progress

I am also thankful for the support of the ministers and congregations of the Atlantic District. During this conference, the Lord has allowed us to:

  1. Schedule 5 more services around the district in the coming year.
    – Moncton, NB   (Rev. John Woodcock)
    – Gray Rapids, NB  (Rev. Graham Russell)
    – Juniper, NB   (Rev. Everett Munn)
    – Noonan, NB  (Rev. Bruce Arsenault)
    – Sackville, NB  (Rev. Tom Barkley)
  2. Receive several new one-time pledges toward our overall support.

Thank you, Atlantic District, for your support.
It’s an honour to be part of you.

 

April in Review

Welcome to May!

As I sit down to write this first post for the month of May… we are on the verge of a very busy month! Before we get to that, however, let me give you a quick run-down of some of the things that happened in April.

Financial Update:

progress 14-05-01

Financial standing to-date
(graphic courtesy of iPhone app: GOTRAKiT)

This graphic gives you a general snapshot of where we are to date in terms of our financial support. It shows:

  • Monthly Partners in Mission pledges* and
  • One-time offerings

At this point, roughly 14% of funds needed for a 2-year stay in France have been pledged to, or received by, Global Missions in St. Louis.

This is VERY encouraging, thank you!

* Note: This amount…

  • assumes that PIMs maintain their support for the entire duration of our AIM term.
  • reflects only those pledges or gifts already received and processed by Global Missions – some may have been sent, but are still being processed.

Honour Roll!

A HUGE thank you to those pastors and churches whose support has already been received by Global Missions:

  • Rev. Stephen Tompkins – McAdam NB
  • Rev. David Ferrell – Perth-Andover NB
  • Rev. Scott Grant – Trois-Rivières & Greenfield QC
  • Rev. Dwayne Steeves – Corner Brook NF
  • Rev. Timothy Mitchell – Montgomery AL
  • Rev. Doug Davis – Old Westbury NY
  • Rev. Anthony Mangun – Alexandria LA
  • Rev. Gary Keller – Lancaster OH
  • Rev. Wayne Neyland – DeQuincy LA
  • Rev. David Reever – Baltimore MD
  • Rev. Jimmy Wallace – Elk City OK
  • Rev. Richard Flowers – Mesquite TX

Also… a HUGE thank you to those pastors who have supported us, to date, by scheduling services in the coming months (in order of calendar dates).

  • Rev. Stephen Tompkins – McAdam NB
  • Rev. Timothy Mitchell – Montgomery AL
  • Rev. Scott Grant – Trois-Rivières & Greenfield QC
  • Rev. Steve Schobert – Dallas TX
  • Rev. Dieudonné Kahozi – Montréal East
  • Rev. Kent Carter – Shediac NB
  • Rev. Trevor McGuire – Milleville NB
  • Rev. Donald Hood – Charlottetown PEI
  • Rev. Troy Wickett – Summerside PEI
  • Rev. Keith Carter – Ste-Anne de Madawaska NB
  • Rev. Ron Carroll – Doaktown NB
  • Rev. Allison Cromwell – McNamee NB
  • Rev. Raymond Woodward – Fredericton NB
  • Rev. Michael Trail – Taymouth NB

 For up-to-date details, please see our schedule.

(During the month of May, we will be driving through the Alabama, Florida, Texas & Missouri. If you would like to have us come to your church or know of someone who might like to have us come, please fill out the form below.)

More April-Highlights…

  • On April 3rd, I began some of the paperwork necessary to temporarily move to Europe.  Bureaucracy exists in every country and France specializes in it!  Starting early, though, should help alleviate some of the stress.

Our efforts… God’s credit

We are trying to be diligent in our attempts to raise financial and prayer support. We realize however that for whatever comes in, the credit belongs to God. This principle is portrayed in Proverbs 21.31:

The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD. (KJV)
The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD. (NIV)

The assurance that “victory rests with the Lord” does not alleviate the necessity of the horsemen to prepare or make ready their horses for the battle. In the words of Duncan Campbell:

“…while God is sovereign in the affairs of men,
His sovereignty does not relieve men of responsibility.”

Contact Form:

Thank you!

Thank you for your support. Yes. You are showing support simply by the fact that you are coming back time and again to stay informed about our project and preparations. Let it inform your prayer time and be part of the work of God in France.

Not a follower yet?

You can follow by email or in your WordPress reader by clicking the buttons on the top right of this page.