As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, my focus of work is shifting as our overall ministry goals have evolved. If you missed it, you can read about that here.
I asked some of you for prayer to be able to focus again after a truly stress-filled year. I had been having trouble focusing on work and some other tasks. But Praise God, your prayers sustain me and I’m returning to my normal state of working.
The process of handing over the resource website seems to be going smoothly. I’m about to begin the process of creating short tutorials so the next webmaster understand the tools I’ve used and the way the website is organized. There’s nothing worse than receiving a complicated custom work from a developer and having to figure out what needs to be done. I hope to make this as smooth as possible. Plus, the more prep I do now, the less I will need to “help” after the hand-off is finished.
Once it’s done, I’ll be able to focus on the new platform for our church mentorship and missionary training.
String of Conferences
February and March seem to be the busiest time for supporting churches to have their missions conferences. They are fun to attend and I love getting to see all of the people who have been praying for us and offering financial support.
Country Bible Church in Kaufman has their yearly Faith Challenge to raise a separate missions fund from normal church giving. It’s always fun and filled with activities for interact with the church’s supported missionaries and outreach organizations. They exceeded their $80,000 goal by committing to give over $90,000! Praise God for those who are committed to spreading the Gospel locally and around the world. CBC is my home/sending church where I grew up and fell in love with cross-cultural missions.
Grace Bible Church in Dallas does it big with 50 or so missionaries/local outreach organizations that they support. Their conference begins on Saturday evening with a fellowship meal shared by the attending missionaries and the missions board. It’s a sweet time to get to know each other better and worship the Lord we serve. Sunday is the day we show off our ministries and interact with the congregation. I also served on a small panel where we talked about our work and answered questions from the audience. Grace was our home church while we lived in Carrollton, and I continue to serve with the women’s ministry on the teaching team and various other ways. I love the challenges we have as we pull together studies that the women will use to grow and serve together in Christ.
We were introduced to a new church in Mansfield, Walnut Ridge Baptist. Our sweet friends Todd and Rona Simmons (Todd and Scot went to high school together and have been friends ever since) introduced me to their missions pastor. I was able to set up a promotions table during their missions conference and I presented the ministry during Todd’s adult Sunday school class. It was great to have the opportunity to share with a new group. Please pray that this new relationship could turn into official financial support from the church and interested individuals.
Many people remember my Dad as the guy working in the background of the local county livestock show, helping kids reach their financial goals as they sell their animals in the sale. Ever since I was a kid, he worked tirelessly to raise support to make purchases and contributions on behalf of people in the community so that these kids received generous compensation and support for the hard work they had put into raising their animals.
As a beautiful gesture from the Kaufman County Livestock Show, the 2023 show and sale were dedicated to my Dad. My brother and his wife were able to fly in (landing just minutes before some major Texas weather hit) and attend the dedication ceremony. It’s so comforting to see how many lives my Daddy touched with his generosity and hard work as he quietly shared the love of Christ with others.
Spring Family Fun
Almost every year, Amanda and I pack up her kids and head to Corpus Christi to see Natalie … with an extended lunch stop with Joe in Austin. And of course this time we have little Lilly in the mix. It was a challenge, but we survived the seven hour drive with all the littles!
We had one great day of sunshine for beach time, a day of hanging out at home with Natalie, and a day at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History (we highly recommend it). Plus some fun stops on the road trips to and from Natalie’s. One stop on the way home was a quick lunch outside of San Antonio. The kids were making up their own games with the table condiments and Amanda and I were enjoying our food (yummy place btw … Black Bear Diner which is part of one of the large gas station stops). Before we were done, the waitress informed us that a kind young man had paid for our meal. She showed us which one, but I think that embarrassed him. He didn’t want to be noticed. But as we left, we wanted the kids to know the kindness we had received, so we had them thank him. A little awkward, but it was sweet.
Please enjoy the photos below that represent some of the trip.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support. Please let me know how we can be praying for you as well!