Saturday, September 10, 2011

Will Never Forget

Any of us old enough to remember can remember September 11, 2001 like it was yesterday. Where we were when we first heard the news and what followed that day. I was a freshman in college and that Tuesday I was getting ready for my World Civ II class with Dr. Hellert. It was a typical morning, I woke up and slowly started getting ready for class and watched the news as usual. That's when the news broke that there was an explosion in one of the twin towers. As I sat there watching the breaking news from the side of the screen came another plane and crashed into the other tower. It wasn't long before the news media branded this tragedy a deliberate act of terror. Then came the news of the plane crashing into the Pentagon and another going down in a Pennsylvania field. It seemed like it would never end. Then the towers fell.

I went to class that day, but we did not have class. We could not. We sat there looking at each other, sharing what we knew of the events, and expressing what we were thankful for. I was glued to the tv the rest of that day and the days that followed. I went out and bought newspapers covering the attack and an American flag.

I, like many Americans, ran to a god. It hurts to say, however, it was not the one true God that I ran to. It was my thought up god, the one who would not have allowed this to happen. My idea of the truth was skewed. But as I reflect now 10 years later, I view the events of that day in light of realities I didn't believe then. On September 16, 2001 Pastor Tom Ascol and Executive Director of Founders ministry encouraged his congregation to consider nine realities as they processed what had happened to the nation. He posted them to the Founders blog on this anniversary of the attacks and I think they are as fitting to reflect upon now as they were ten years ago.

  1. The worst of human nature is on display

  2. The best of human nature is on display

  3. This is a time to mourn

  4. This is a time to pray

  5. This is a time to acknowledge the reality and power of evil

  6. This is a time to remember the Supremacy of God

  7. This is a time to be humbled

  8. This is a time to be hopeful

  9. This is a time to listen

At Pastor Ascol expounds further on each point, I encourage ya'll to check it out.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Journey Continues

The following is the support letter I began sending out last month:

A year ago I embarked on a journey as a self-supported missionary. I was still serving in Lakeshore, MS, but I had no further funding options with the North American Mission Board. I was amazed at the outpouring of prayer and financial support sent by friends and family from around the US. I'm am grateful beyond words that the Lord turned the hearts of many to help support my efforts in Lakeshore.

It has been an amazing year. The Lord has been doing great things in the community, in the life of Lakeshore Baptist Church, and in my life.

A Lot to Rejoice Over
1. The Lord really provided for my needs through generous supporters who gave beyond what I was trying to raise, which has allowed me to stay for three additional months without needing to raise support. Thank you to all who supported my ministry in Lakeshore last year.
2. The Lord has added to the number of people attending out church. We've had a few families join and a couple others that have been attending regularly, but have not joined yet.
3. The Lord has brought a man who is gifted musically to lead the singing during the Sunday morning worship services (We've been praying for this for several years)
4. The ladies in the church began meeting once a month to go through 12 Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur. This time has been a great encouragement to me, the Lord has used these women to stretch and encourage me.
5. The Lord has sent nearly 1200 volunteers through Lakeshore since this past January.
6. The Lord has provided more homes to work in and opportunities to the gospel as we work in those homes and ample ways to be a blessing to our community through tearing down and cleaning up homes still left sitting damaged since Hurricane Katrina
7. On June 12 I celebrated 5 years in Lakeshore.
8. I believe the Lord has answered prayer – I've been praying for several months on what to do after my support runs out in August. I believe the Lord has led me to continue to serve in Lakeshore. In this I rejoice.

While we've had a busy summer, I must begin thinking about raising additional support. I have put off sending out support letters up until this point, because I wasn't sure which way the Lord was leading me and I felt it would be dishonest to raise support with a lot of questions about my future in Lakeshore. Over the years I have gone month to month, semester to semester, and year to year. At this point I do not know how long the Lord will keep me serving at Lakeshore Baptist. I am here to serve and will as long as the Lord keeps me here. When people ask I just say indefinitely. I've given dates before and the Lord chose to use His plan over my plan and I am grateful for that!

In order to continue serving in Lakeshore I have determined my need to be about $9,600 for the year, that is $800 per month. (This is the same amount I've received in support each month this past year). This will go toward my living expenses, medical insurance, medical bills, personal
transportation, and other necessary expenses. Would you be willing to support me as I serve at Lakeshore Baptist Church? Would you be willing to give monthly $25, $50, $100 or any other amount or willing to invest in a one time gift of $100, $250, $500, $1000 or any other
denomination larger or smaller to aid in the spread of the gospel and rebuilding of Lakeshore through supporting me?