shifting numbers and our great unchanging God of grace

16 02 2012

Sorry for my relative absence here of late.  Last week I attended the truthXchange Think Tank 2012 ( in sunny Escondido, California, after a weekend exploring San Diego, worshiping with believers at Harbor Presbyterian (, and standing in awe at the beauty of a city nestled between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.  On the way home I stopped in Rochester, MN, for half the L’Abri conference, and to visit good friends and a few Ukraine supporters.  I arrived home Monday, thankful for a good trip, and for numerous reminders of the overwhelming goodness of God’s grace for us in Jesus Christ.

Meanwhile, MTW was revising my support budget for 2012.  Previously, I’d raised 60% of my monthly support, and 80% of my one-time; in their new budget, the amount of monthly support I have to raise has increased slightly, and the one-time amount decreased.  So I currently have 57% of my monthly support, and 87% of my one-time support.  I now need to raise $1,672 in additional monthly pledges, ($201 more than before).

Its tempting to be discouraged when I see my monthly support numbers shifting from 60% down to 57% due to having to raise an addition $201 per month.  But God hasn’t changed, he knew this was coming, and he will provide in his time and through your prayers.  My calling and task remains the same: reminding you that God builds his kingdom everywhere, by his grace.  Thank you for giving, for praying, and for participating with me in the work of making Jesus known to Kiev, Ukraine, and the entire earth.

The truthXchange Think Tank centered around the good news that God our Creator, who is separate and distinct from his creation, hasn’t abandoned it but actually came down, entered into creation in the Incarnation, and has made a way through the cross of Jesus that we might be re-united to God.  God is lovingly working to bring all things under the lordship of Jesus, and I believe that he will provide all my needs, according to the riches of his grace.

(The video below explains what truthXchange is all about.  Watch it, and then if you’d like to hear more the audio from the Think Tank is available on their website,


moving forward

24 06 2010

My support raising work is picking up a little speed! Tomorrow afternoon I’m driving to Birmingham, AL, to present my ministry to about 10 to 12 people at a dessert and coffee a friend has graciously organized. This should be a good opportunity to show my team’s video, to meet some new people, and to be encouraged by their giving me an evening to tell them how God is working in Kiev.

I’m hoping to visit General Assembly in Nashville one afternoon and evening next week for a few meetings with people from church I otherwise probably won’t be able to connect with face to face. Please pray that I can confirm the details of these meetings and get off work at 3:00pm Chattanooga time for those meetings.

Over the Independence Day weekend I’ll travel to visit family in Pennsylvania, and hope to tell some of my extended family about my calling to Kiev and invite them to support me. My Ukrainian cousin and his wife will also be at our Independence Day gathering, and it will be good to visit with them.

During the first week of July friends in Chattanooga are planning a dessert with some of their friends so I can tell them about the work in Kiev and invite them to consider supporting me. I will continue to schedule meetings with people locally and call friends who are in other cities to invite people to join my support team.

Please pray that I continue to build momentum in the work of building a team of supporters. I need faithfulness to continue working my full-time engineering job well, and energy to work consistently on raising support on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, as well as a few hours each Saturday.

Thank you for your important role praying for me. I will not be able to reach Ukraine or work faithfully apart from the support and prayers of my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Thanks!

where I’ve been

26 01 2010

Hi folks. I didn’t disappear, but have been negligent updating my website. For those of you who’ve been praying for me as I begin building a team of supporters, thanks! I’ve had joy and comfort in the gospel over the holidays and as this new year has begun.

Over the Christmas and New Years holidays, I covered about 2,200 miles by car, visiting family and friends, making an introduction at a church near my grandmother’s church, and connecting with some imagine a grey Europe map, with Ukraine blue, and Joel's contact info on it friends in person and a few over the phone. I designed a business card with my missions contact information, and almost caught up on reading recommended by Mission to the World for new missionaries like myself who are just beginning to build partnerships with friends, supporters, and churches.

The first request I asked you to pray for in my last post, practical wisdom to set my week-to-week support raising expectations, is still a prayer request. The Lord has blessed me with plenty of work at my engineering job, but that has meant less time than I had planned in the evenings for living and building my team. Please keep praying that I will make wise decisions regarding how I use the time the Lord gives me.

By the way, if anybody reading this has a really good borsch recipe, I’d love to try making it. Having a big pot of soup and some good rye bread is an excellent was to ward off the cold of winter and free up the next few evenings for writing, planning, praying, and calling people.  Please let me know how I can pray for you.