Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mission Possible

This weekend is our church's mission conference. This is our first experience with a missions conference and I have to say it has been awesome so far!!

On Thursday and Friday we were able to speak to the 6th-12th grade classes, the elementary chapel and the 3K and 4K classes at Hollywood Christian School. What a blessing that was. The students learned about the importance of missions and about what is going on in Burkina Faso and how God is at work there. We had many good conversations with students and teachers who's hearts were touched by the need in Burkina and want to get involved and help. I believe that we met some future missionaries!

Today I was encouraged greatly by the other missionary wives at a luncheon that our women's ministry had. It is great to hear their stories and greater to see God at work in their lives. It will be a tremendous blessing knowing I have women who are committed to praying for us. Thank you ladies!!

I am certain that Mike was also encouraged greatly by the men at their breakfast.

I want to share a video that shows some of the hardships that families face in Burkina Faso. A single mother faces difficulties trying to take care of her children. A single mother in Burkina Faso has challenges that we cannot imagine.

Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.                   - Isaiah 58:10

Love and blessings!

p.s. For more information about Sheltering Wings and ways that you can help, including child sponsorship, visit: Sheltering Wings

Friday, March 18, 2011

Live to Make a Difference

"I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things."  — Mother Teresa

I love that quote. It's a reminder that we were all created differently...with different abilities, talents, interests. AND that because of these differences, things will always be better when we come together. When we bring our abilities together, we have the power to do big things!

With our church having a Missions Conference next week, these thoughts bring me to another point. MISSIONS IS FOR EVERYONE!

God has left us with a responsibility. To bring the gospel to all nations. To care for widows, orphans, the sick, the impoverished. Love your neighbor, not just the one across the street, but the one across the world.

And just as people have different abilities, there are different ways to make missions a priority in your life.

  1. Go into the mission field. Whether it's a short-term trip or a more permanent move, God is at work around the globe and invites you to join in that work with Him. With 66,000 people dying each day that don't know Jesus Christ...there is much work to be done.
  2. Support missionaries financially. Give generously to missionaries to support their work. Funds given for monthly support and donations for special projects are helping to change lives.
  3. Pray for missionaries. Those on the missions field need your prayer. Pray for protection, material needs, strength, receptive hearts in the communities they minister to, health, that they remain encouraged, that their focus remains on God and their relationship with Him grows stronger.
By doing one of these three things you are living to make a difference! I encourage anyone reading this to look beyond the four walls of your home and really see what is going on in your city, state, country and across the globe. We often walk around with blinders on because if you are living in North America you are living in priveledged GPS coordinates. Remove your blinders and let your heart break for what breaks the heart of God.

Check out the MISSION POSSIBLE missions conference at Hollywood Community Church on the corner of Taft & 441. Friday, March 25th at 7pm is the kick-off of this weekend long event.

For nothing is impossible with God.  -Luke 1:37

Love and blessings!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Until The Whole World Hears

Lord I want to feel your heart
and see the world through your eyes
I want to be your hands and feet
I want to live a life that leads  --Casting Crowns

It is always amazing the way God works. I can look back over past years, hardships we have faced, people who have been put in our lives...God has been preparing us, shaping us for this time in our lives.

Africa had been placed on our family's heart...Burkina Faso specifically. You may have never heard of Burkina Faso before. It is a small country, approximately the size of Colorado, which resides above Ghana in the 10/40 window in West Africa.

What is the 10/40 window? It is a stretch of land that lies across Africa and Asia from 10 degrees latitude north of the equator to 40 degrees latitude north of the equator. What is significant about this area is the following:

  • Although it represents only 1/3 of the earths land mass, it inhabits 2/3's of the worlds population.
  • 90% of the people living in "window" are unreached people groups. They have never heard the good news of Jesus Christ.
  • 85% of the people living in these countries are among the poorest in the world.

In Burkina Faso there are over 150,000 orphans. Many times the mothers die in childbirth or due to complications during childbirth (1 in 10). Parents may also die due to AIDS, but more commonly due to preventable, treatable diseases. The problem is that they don't have money to keep their families fed, let alone pay for medication or medical procedures. The staggering truth is that the average life expectancy for an adult is 46 years old and 1 out of every 5 children may not make it to their 5th birthday.

Mike and Delaney traveled to Burkina Faso this past January. They stayed at the Sheltering Wings Orphanage in the town of Yako. There are approximately 48 children, aged newborn to 22 who live at the orphanage. Hundreds of children attend the primary school and secondary school which are part of Sheltering Wings. There is also a medical clinic, sponsorship program, widow basket program and weaving program. God is at work in Yako and there is more to be done in Burkina Faso.

As we prepare for the journey ahead we ask for your prayers. We are going to need a whole team of people praying for us each step of the way. There are many things we need to do prior to our move, so please pray specifically for our focus to remain on God's plan and not our own, for protection from the enemy's lies and discouragement, for our hearts to be prepared for the hardships we will encounter, for the love of Christ to shine through us, for discernment and sensitivity to a culture very different than our own, for our minds to stay sharp as we educate ourselves, train for missions and learn new languages.

With love and blessings!