A month in Astoria

5 08 2012

This past Wednesday I left Astoria, Queens, New York City, after living there all of July for a month of pre-field training.  It was a good, busy, full month including taking classes, working with Astoria Community Church, exploring Astoria, and experiencing some of the richness of New York City.  I didn’t want to leave.

Our group of 49 missionaries and 51 kids was divided into ministry teams, and my team of eight missionaries, three interns, and four kids planned, advertized, and held a free week-long English as a Second Language (ESL) class.

ESL students and teachers

our ESL class for Astoria Community Church

The classes we took covered cross-cultural ministry, team dynamics, and language acquisition skills.   We worked hard, saw incredible beauty in the city, and saw the beauty of God unifying our ministry team through prayer.  We discovered halfway through the month that our most productive ministry team meetings were those where we’d take 20 to 30 minutes at the beginning to take time to pray in an unhurried manner, as a group.

View from my friends’ midtown westside apartment building

View from my front porch in Astoria

Pray with me for the growth of God’s kingdom in Astoria, in Kiev, and all around the world.  The wall below was just around the corner from where I lived all month in Astoria:

May it be a reminder for constant prayer for Astoria and the people of God who are gathered there, for your neighborhood, and for the believers I’ll soon be joining in Kiev.


here’s the deal: give & pray today

9 09 2011

Some of you have been following my story for a while, some are new readers.  I’m writing an email update tonight (sign up here if you’d like to join my email list), but wanted to give my blog readers a shout-out.

My support-raising deadline is technically the end of November, but I think I’ve got till the end of the year.  Either way, that’s not a lot of time, and I’ve only received 34% of my monthly support.  But 63 (or 48) new monthly supporters (and three church or very generous individuals) would meet 100% of my outstanding $2,470 monthly support need.  Here’s how:

  • 1 church or person giving $300 per month
  • 2 churches or people giving $150 per month
  • 3 people giving $90 per month
  • 10 people giving $60 per month
  • 25 people giving $30 per month
  • 25 people giving $10 per month (or 10 giving $25/month)

Which giver are you?

There’s lots of other ways the math could work, but the point is I need your pledge today if God plans to supply my support by the end of the year.  His provision for cross-cultural ministry will come through his people’s giving.

I’m going to help strengthen the church in Kiev using the gifts God’s given me in music ministry, evangelism, and discipleship.  Please pledge now if you haven’t, and pray now for the Lord to provide all my needs and to confirm his calling through the generous giving and praying of his people.

Will you help send me in a manner worthy of God?  3 John 5 – 8 says:

5Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, 6who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. 7For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.


margin? nah

27 07 2011

Hi folks, just a quick update. A few of you recently visited my website for the first time, one or two of who even subscribed to my RSS feed to stay up to date. Thanks!

Very late Monday night I flew into Atlanta airport from a quick weekend in Chicago for support raising, and in Milwaukee to visit my Grandma and a few cousins. My aunt and uncle gave me a ride between the cities. I’m thankful for the time with friends and family, for the generosity of all who gave toward my Ukraine support, and for safe travels – even though when I arrived at work Tuesday morning it was with only 3 hours of sleep due to severe weather delays Monday night. I’ll post pictures from my trip soon.

However, I’ve got thank you notes and an update letter to write tonight. Thanks for your prayers and support!  Keep praying as I travel out of town sometimes, and schedule meetings here in Chattanooga.

Support raising

21 10 2010

Does the Bible provide a basis for supporting missionaries?  I believe that there is strong biblical precedent for support raising:

  1. A group of women provided for Jesus out of their means (Luke 8:3).
  2. The apostle John commends believers for their faithfulness in sending brothers out for the sake of the name in a manner worthy of God (3 John 5-7).
  3. Paul rejoiced at the Philippian’s concern for him when he received their gift, because it showed the fruit of his investment of the gospel in their lives (Phil. 4:10,17).

What are some other benefits of developing ministry partners who will give and pray for me as prepare to serve in Kiev?

  1. Raising financial support provides a concrete opportunity for me to learn to trust God more fully, it is another way of confirming the Lord’s calling in my life, and it gives others in the church the joy of partnering in the work the Lord has called me to.
  2. In Malawi, there is a Chichewa proverb that says, “Giving is investing.”
  3. Finally and perhaps most important, by establishing direct connections between me and supporting individuals and churches, support raising builds a network of prayer supporters, and this is crucial for the work God is calling me to and the growth of the supporting churches and believers.

Do you want to join my team as I build toward the borderland?  You can pledge a monthly gift or donate a special gift, and to stay up to date, you can sign up for my newsletter.