Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bits Beyond Brazil August

We didn't get fired! Of course, we didn't expect to. This month we went to ABWE headquarters to have our board interview. This was our first interview with the board besides candidate class back in 2005 and 2007, so we were a little nervous. But the board is so very kind and gracious and everything went very well. We were also up north for the Missionary Enrichment conference. We enjoy seeing our Brazil family and ABWE world family so much. There seemed to be a fight at every meal as to who would hold Anna Claire.

While in Pennsylvania and Virginia (the conference was in Arlington) we were able to see cousins of Sarah and I. My cousin Melanie drove down and I was able to meet her family (she has four kids). Then we stayed at Sarah's cousins Mike and Maria and the two kids that Sarah used to hang out with during some summers, Hannah and Matthew. A big thanks to both for their effort in seeing us!

I am working on a blog for missions. We already have one for our family, but this one is called Trends in Biblical Missions and is intended to open conversation about how we can improve the missions system we now have in the US. I wrote today on Crucial Conversations and how it is easy to take the "sucker's choice" when it comes to having a conversation that is difficult. We like to take the easy way out, but we shouldn't. Pray that this blog can do something for God's glory as sometimes I get discouraged about these little projects I have. If you are interested in being involved in it, please email me.

We opened our accounts today and saw our Outfit and Passage account had doubled! We are now over a third of the way to our one time needed funds for returning to Brazil. These will go mainly towards a car and will also cover passage and moving funds. I checked tickets and found great prices for us for January, but we are looking for people to partner with us financially before we are able to buy tickets. 2 partners at 150/month, 3 partners at 100/month, and 4 partners at 50/month and 4 partners at 25/month should do the trick!  Would you pray about being one of these partners? If not a financial partner, the least you can do is come with us! We are still looking for ministry partners for the Brazilian Outback!

This month we head up to Michigan where we will get some family time as well as speak at a friend's (Jeff Selph) youth group. Jeff and I grew up together at Heritage Baptist and it is always neat to continue to serve together! I am also planning on going to Pennsylvania again later in the month for a two day conference for mobilization.

Thanks so much for your continued support of us. God bless you all!
All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah, the energetic runner that sometimes gets car sick and our little roller with a very cute smile.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Mission boards

A recent trend in missions is for missionaries to be sent out of their local church without a board. Very biblical, I like it. I wish sometimes we just had one church that is really behind us pushing hard, investing in our lives. But we don't, and I am in some ways glad. We go through ABWE, the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism. Yesterday we had our board interview in which the board loved and encouraged us. They made us know that they are behind us. I told them that we loved ABWE cause their structure kept us on the field.

You see, a mission board understands missionaries. Churches probably do to some degree, but it is not their specialty. ABWE specializes in training missionaries, taking care of missionaries, mobilizing missionaries, counseling missionaries and networking in missionary resources. When we had way too many bad boat rides and were ready to give up, our administrators told us we were not bad people for feeling that way. They told us they loved us and we were doing a good job. They told us to take breaks when we needed breaks. They loved us so much. 

ABWE does not take the place of our home church, it aids our home church. The home church is the sender and the board is the facilitator. When one is sent out of a home church with no board, they do not have the networking resources. ABWE has a structure all set up to help with accountability and support on the field. They are also able to get international health insurance at a group rate. They have developed high quality internationally friendly evangelism and discipleship material. They understand how different cultures work and how to prepare for the life of a missionary. 

Before we arrived on the field we were required to attend several training seminars. We were told what to expect. That understanding can save the life of a missionary who will face daunting cultural challenges. 

So yes, be a great home church; and sure, support them for 100%. But make sure that you are connected to the resources you need to make your missionary as successful as he can be.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July Update Email

People often ask us what we are supposed to do while we are in the states. Brazilians know about furlough and used the word vacation to describe what we are doing during this year of furlough. While vacation is part of it (we are in a cabin in the smokies with Sarah's family this week), it is a small part. Our goals are these:
1. Rest
2. Report to supporting churches and friends
3. Training for future ministry
4. Recruit for the Outback, Brazil and ABWE and missions!
5. Spend time with family and friends
6. Plan on the next step
7. Raise more support

While I much prefer the ministry in Brazil to home assignment, there is much value to what we are doing here. Of course, resting is biblical, as hard as that is to do sometimes. I was challenged by a Pastor last week to take rest more seriously as tough family circumstances have taught him that lesson lately.

We have spoke at several of our supporting churches as well as some non-supporting. This last month we went down to the Atlanta area with our good friends Mitch and Christa Norman and spoke to their youth group. We still have openings available if you would like to have us there. (We can't guarantee the cute ones of the family will be there as traveling has been slightly difficult). We also will report to the ABWE board on July 18. Pray we do alright and the girls behave!

This last month I was gone for two weeks up at ABWE in Harrisburg, PA for training in Good Soil courses.  I took both the OT and NT Roots of Faith courses which were really good. I am now certified (not necessarily qualified) to teach these courses and will hopefully be able to do that upon returning to Brazil. Should you be interested in these courses being given in Chattanooga, go ahead and contact me. I have thought about doing it, but it would be difficult, but I am willing to give it a try if there is some interest. You can follow this link www.goodsoil.com
to get more info on the courses.

We are spending time with Sarah's family right now and have seen my parents several times since arriving home. We also go up to Michigan next month for a week or so to spend time with them. 

We are in constant planning for our next step of going to the Outback. Right now I am reading Church Planting Movements by David Garrison and it is really catching my attention as far as planning goes. There is much strategy in church planting, as well as much prayer needed, which makes me happy to have you all by our side! You all are such a great blessing. 

We also have more support to raise! We are waiting on confirmation from one church about a significant difference. If that happens, we will be lacking about $850 a month in support. That is only 2 supporters at $150 a month, 3 supporters at $100 a month and 5 supporters at $50 a month. If you feel like you could be one of those, please let me know or just go straight to www.abwe.org/give and get it set up! We also are in need of about $25,000 of one time gifts in order to buy a car, plane tickets, and other moving expenses.  

Thanks for everything; we love you all!
All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah, the super-duper big sister helper to the full of smiles little bug