new numbers, faithful God.

16 02 2012

Shortly after posting my monthly support at 57% due to the 2012 monthly support budget, I found two additional pledges totally $75/month in new monthly giving, and another $950 in one-time gifts!  So, as things now stand, I’ve received:

  • 59% of my monthly pledged support
  • 87% of my one-time support

In other words, I’ll be fully supported with $1,600 in new monthly pledges and $3,300 in one-time giving.  God is working through your prayers and giving, and my overall support is right at two-thirds: thanks!

More importantly though, God is building his kingdom in Ukraine, and his providence in my own life keeps pointing that direction.  Financial giving is only one of the tools God is using to build my trust in him and send me to Kiev.  At the truthXchange conference last week, and at the L’Abri conference, I met a number of people who offered contacts they have in Kiev, or sources for Ukrainian language and Russian language evangelistic and discipleship tools.  One friend recommended I connect with his friend, who I didn’t find a the conference, but ran into two days later in Terminal G of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.


this just in

22 02 2011

Four weeks ago I had a full week of support raising, meeting with an individual Monday evening, two small groups on two separate evenings, and a Ukraine dinner and ministry presentation in Atlanta. Two weeks ago I flew up to the L’Abri conference in Rochester, MN, which I’ve enjoyed attending the past six years. That weekend was an encouraging time of connecting with supporters, old friends, friends I made last year, and new friends–oh, and the conference itself was refreshing as usual. I’m setting up meetings with friends here in Chattanooga and hope to have a ministry presentation at my old church in Atlanta soon. I continue to mail and email pre-call letters out, and follow them up with phone calls for meetings or for support if I can’t travel to where a particular friend lives.

However, I need your help.  I have an aggressive goal of reaching 60% of my monthly support by April. Actually, this is more than aggressive: it will be impossible apart from a my growing team of supporters praying for God to move hearts to give as I work to tell people how God is building his kingdom in Kiev.  So I need you to do two things:

  1. Praise God that with the move of my engineering firm to downtown Chattanooga (3 miles from my apartment instead of 15 miles) I have more time for the Ukraine work before me, and have found a cafe that’s not loud and busy in the late-afternoon where I can focus on my Ukraine work without the distractions of my apartment.
  2. Pray that my work telling people about God’s work in Kiev and my call to serve there will bear fruit.  I believe if God has called me there, his people will give generously in response to the vision of what He is doing in Kiev, provided I tell them.  If I’ve told you about the ministry and you haven’t given, please pray about whether you can join me financially, and let me know if you can.  2 Corinthians 9:6 -8 says,

    “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” 

Know that you have the freedom not to give if God has laid other giving priorities on your heart.  My prayer for you is that you are giving generously–sowing bountifully–somewhere, and that God’s grace will about to you, that you may abound in every good work.  Thanks, friends!


19 03 2010

As many Christian churches do during Lent, for the past weeks my church has honed in on our sins.  Yet we know that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures.  As I see more clearly the depth of my sin, I’m overwhelmed by the greatness of Jesus’ work: He died to set me free!

Freedom.  Those who have it sometimes take it for granted, not even noticing it, and those who don’t have it long for it.  A fish in water is free, but if you were to ask the fish about its freedom, it would probably be hard-pressed to describe the water to you. Yet remove the fish from the constraints of its pond or river, and suddenly it sees how its freedom within the boundaries of the water is a life and death matter.

Freedom for life is found in the Word of God.  Like the fish in water, when we live within the boundaries of God’s Word, we find freedom and life.  Deuteronomy 4:1,2 says,

And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.  You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I have commanded you.

Two observations:
(1.) The reason God gives Israel for listening and obeying him is “that you may live.”
(2.) We ought to speak where the Bible speaks, and remain silent where it remains silent.  This gives life and frees us to be fully human.

Life comes from obeying the commandments of God.  Like a fish in water, we are free to swim when we’re constrained by the waters’ edges.  To go beyond the boundaries is certain death.

For example, the Bible clearly teaches that men and women are made in God’s image and given the cultural mandate to develop the flourishing of the earth and its creatures (Genesis 1:26-30).  It doesn’t ever define certain behaviors as inherently masculine or feminine, so we should take care to remain silent where God is silent.  To force an artistically gifted young boy to give up his art and play sports because its more “manly,” or to tell a young girl who is a gifted athlete that she should play dolls rather than soccer could squelch the individual talents and humanity of those people.  Both the boy and the girl above should be encouraged to pursue becoming more like Jesus–pursue holiness without which no one will see God–while developing the unique skills and interests God has given them.  This frees them to enrich their local communities and cities, to pursue the shalom (peace) of the place in which God plants them.  When we pursue Christ-like holiness, masculinity and femininity will take care of themselves.  (This example is from Mardi Keyes’ lecture, “Male & Female – In the Image of God.” Its available for free from the L’Abri Ideas Library:

The boundaries God gives us are real: we are to pursue holiness by pursuing Jesus.  But the life and freedom we receive are equally real.  Like a fish in water, as we swim in the waters of the grace of God for us in Jesus Christ, we become more fully human and are free to love and serve others with our unique, individual gifts.

Rochester L’Abri Conference 2010

15 02 2010

This past weekend I had the joy of attending the Rochester L’Abri Conference in Rochester, MN. Running all day Friday and Saturday, the weekend was full of plenary sessions and workshops on the power of the gospel to transform all that it touches. On Sunday, I worshiped with Trinity PCA and lunched with good friends before catching my return flight.

While at the conference I shared my future ministry in Ukraine with a number of people. One of the L’Abri workers in the Netherlands told me that there’s a Belarusian family with a vision to begin a L’Abri-type ministry in Belarus, but they were kicked out by the government and are now living and building their ministry in Kyiv, Ukraine. I hope to get in touch with them soon, and put them in touch with my team members in Kiev. L’Abri has been a blessing in my life and the lives of many people I know, so its exciting to think how the churches in Ukraine could be strengthened if their ministry were to grow in Kiev.

Thank the Lord with me for the work he is already doing in Kyiv, and the ways I and my team there may be able to support and come alongside the Ukrainian church.