This past week was spent in Baton Rouge at the Association of Related Churches conference, Healing Place Church, our Church plant team from Colorado Springs(Inspiration church-set to launch in September) and with Children’s Cup International Relief(our hosting mission organization). It truly was a powerful week, and one that we are not likely to ever forget. We have been fighting the issues we see in the “church” here at home…for us-it seems like the Holy Spirit has been quelched out of the local church. This weekend renewed our thoughts on the American Church- we saw and became part of a family of truly “New Testament” believers. We have struggled with locating a church to be part of in Colorado these past 2 years(until Pastor Cory and his family came along-INSTANT connection of folks that just LOVE Jesus-nothing more, nothing less!)
The people we have met this week truly are “Christ in the flesh”- we have never witnessed such grace and love. Ben Rodgers(Children’s Cup)-LOVES, LOVES, LOVES people. PERIOD!
We had the honor to spend time with missionary pioneers Dave and Jean Ohlerking(founders of Children’s Cup).. a man who’s every word seems well thought out, poignant and spirit guided; and a woman whose love is truly that of which I would expect from Jesus Himself. We met new friends that have, like us, made the decision to pursue a dedicated life(with their 3 precious little kiddos) of serving in Africa-and will be on the ground shortly after we arrive. An INSTANT connection with them-a 5 day friendship feels like a lifetime. Then for the young men that are going over next week as interns-POWERFUL testimony of teenagers and early 20 somethings that long after Him!
With thoughts lingering and now a faded memory of what we are “giving up” (OH it could not be further from the truth)-we are GAINING it ALL-we even feel a bit selfish about going!- we have never felt this free, NO personal posessions to bog us down, NO concern or worry about tomorrow(although we sure wish it would get here soon J)and all fear and doubt washed away about our decision. (as Pops(Mr. Ohlerking) asked- “If this decision requires your life-are you still ready to go?”—our answer “Would rather go “home” from there, than here in the usa!)
Preparation time is not wasted time(seemed to resonate in all that happened this week)-We are focused on strengthening our marriage, communicating, and drawing nearer to God in this time-as we know the enemy will want to tear us apart, and will look for any and all cracks and openings to do so, and we lift up our friends who are already serving so diligently around the world.
We have a start to our “marching orders”. We will of course, be with the children-taking care of a carepoint or 2(where the kids come every day for food, medical care, love and Christian education), as well-Char will be helping with administration for Ben and the African office for Children’s Cup, she will jump both feet forward to help with HPC Swaziland(2 year old church plant)music ministries, and I have a feeling-will have her heart broken a time or two by precious children. Mitch will seek God’s creativity in helping Ben and “Cup” tell the story/cast the net-video, audio, images, social media, and whatever else we can do to “get the word out”. In so doing, our heartfelt prayer is that others will feel compelled to come, to give, and most importantly to PRAY. Like most ministries this year, budgets are tight, but we know that God has supplied EVERY dollar needed to allow Children’s Cup to reach more and continue to show LOVE to orphaned and victimized children around the globe—those funds are just in folks’ pockets, and we eagerly await how He impacts lives that desperately want to then make a difference.
I just realized how lengthy this is getting, we are just so full of joy and hope for all He is doing-The flight leaves 8/30/10…one way! On a final and personal note, our fundraising is going well, the majority of our personal budget has been met, we have shifted our efforts to add on a “ministry” budget, and are praying that we can raise(in pledges and one time gifts) an additional $1000/month to meet needs, and introduce people to a God that loves them and desires a relationship with them. We have 3 months left serving here in America-and we have never been more focused on the tasks at hand with Bethesda Christian Broadcasting and Mission of Mercy- OH how we love these ministries, and OH how we pray for continued success, vision and guidance for them. We will miss these the most-and will do anything we can to stay connected to them as they continue to shape, mold and change the world.