Archive: : Jul 2014

  1. What in the world are we doing?

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    You’re taking the baby?!

    We get a lot of questions about what we’re doing and why it’s going to take us so long to do it. Let’s take a few minutes to answer some common questions we get, and hopefully give you some clarity on our process.

    Where are you going? We’re going to Spain as media missionaries. God has called us to “accelerate the Gospel through media,” and we’ll do that by working with International Media Ministries (IMM). They are an incredible organization who are creating videos and films that tell people about Jesus in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The facility is based out of a small suburb of Madrid, Spain.

    What exactly will you be doing? As you know, my background is in media production and training, and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing at IMM. There are a wide variety of videos that are created through IMM, and they are translated into many languages for use across the world. You can see some of their work here.  Alicia has some pretty cool dreams about what she’ll be doing besides raising Paisley and helping us at IMM. We’ll tell you about them sometime.

    When are you planning to go? This is a little bit of a trick question. When we plan to go and when we actually get to go could be two different things. As soon as our support is 100% raised, we can leave. That could take a year, or it could take up to 18 months from now.

    What do you mean “support”? In order for us to move to Spain and do the work God has called us to do, we need to raise our budget through one-time and monthly contributions. Our budget covers things like insurance, housing, travel, language school, and money to do the work we’re called to do.

    Why will it take that long? We’re going to spend the next year or so building relationships with individuals and churches who want to partner with us to help send us to the field. As you can imagine, people aren’t throwing money at us, and it takes time to make the right connections who want to get behind us.

    When will you be back? Once we move to Madrid, our first term is three years. After that, we’ll be back in the States for a year, connecting with our supporters and meeting new ones. After that, we’ll be in Spain for four years, back for one, and so on. We haven’t given any limit to how long we’ll be there–only God knows!

    How can I help? There are three ways you can help:

    1. Pray. We need prayer support to help carry us through both this support raising season, as well as throughout our time in Spain. If we haven’t seen you in person and you’d like some prayer cards, let us know!
    2. Introduce us. If you’d like us to try to get connected with your church, we would love to be introduced to your pastor or missions committee. We’ll come out for a meeting, coffee, or a service, but we would love to be introduced through you. Contact us if this is you!
    3. Consider supporting us. The only way we can get to Spain is through the generosity of those who believe in what we’re doing. We know not everyone can help us by giving, but our support team are truly who are the fuel in our engine. You can give a one-time or a recurring monthly gift securely here. 

    If you have any other questions about what we’re doing, please leave them in the comments below!

    P.S. You’re taking the baby?! Yes.


  2. What a Wonderful Weekend

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    This past weekend was so amazing, I couldn’t just post a little blurb on our Facebook page.

    On Saturday night and Sunday morning, we had the honor of being with Waters Church in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. We were impressed by the quality of the music, production, hospitality, and how Waters reaches out to the community. But what stunned us was the unbelievable outpouring of support that we experienced by everyone there. People were so kind and encouraging to us and affirming of our mission.

    One of my former students, Michael McGary started working at Waters last year, and it was incredible to see what he’s built so far and the impact he’s having for the glory of God. I even got to step in to help him troubleshoot an issue with a couple of cameras…just like old times. (Truth be told, if it really was like old times, Michael would be helping me troubleshoot, not the other way around. He can make anything work!) At Waters, we got to meet some friends of friends, we met a fellow worker in South Sudan, and even some of my family came out to support us.

    As you know, part of what we’re doing to help get the word out about us is our Accelerate Coffee project. I roasted 20 pounds of coffee to bring with us, hoping maybe we would be able to sell most of it. We sold out in 10 minutes on Saturday night. All told, Waters Church bought 51 pounds of coffee. I’m roasting as I type to catch up!! Thanks to Pastor Tim, Shane, Scott, and the incredible team and people of Waters Church for making us feel at home. We felt such a cool connection with you all, and can’t wait to stay connected into the future.

    After lunch, we traveled through some pretty wild traffic to First Assembly of God in Brookfield, Connecticut. They have a small group style evening meeting in their fellowship hall, and we got to share our story with some very encouraging folks. At the end of the service, they prayed over us, and again, we felt loved beyond what we could have expected. We even got to talk to a couple who are possibly sensing a call to overseas missions. We’re praying for you, Gary and Gloria!

    We finally got back home on Monday at noon, and Alicia had to work a half day (she only has two weeks left!). We’re still blessed by what God did right in front of our eyes this weekend. He is good!


  3. Accelerate Coffee – Coming Soon

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    As many of you know, I have been roasting coffee for more than 4 years (and I still don’t consider myself a coffee snob). Alicia and I had wanted to use coffee as thank you gifts for our supporting churches and individuals, but then we thought, ‘Why stop there?’ After considering the investment, we decided that it would be worth it to try to accelerate our process to get to Spain by fundraising through coffee. For people who want to support us but don’t know how, Accelerate Coffee is a way to get involved and get something in return.

    Each week, I will be roasting small batches of fair trade, organic coffees that we will offer for sale at the churches we travel to. All of the proceeds from our coffee will go into our cash budget, which helps to fund our plane tickets to Madrid and various moving expenses. Just like Cracker Jacks, each pound of coffee comes with one of our prayer cards inside. Please don’t grind, brew, and drink our prayer cards.

    We aren’t going to be selling the coffee online just yet, but if demand is high, we’ll consider it. Starting on July 13th, the best way to get on the coffee bandwagon is to contact me directly, find us in person, or come to one of our services. Be sure to be in touch if you want some!


  4. Commissioned to Go

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    Last month, Alicia, Paisley and I all traveled to Springfield, Missouri to take part in Missionary Training and Renewal 2014 at Central Bible College. We spent three weeks living all together in a CBC dorm room, which neither of us had done for more than a decade (Paisley hadn’t either, but now she has spent 15% of her life in a college dorm!). Over those three weeks, we met and became lifelong friends with many incredible people who are giving their lives to serve all over the world.

    We played a culture learning game with our Europe team that was hilarious and poignant as we venture into new cultures, had great times of prayer all together and in groups, and heard lots of great teaching from the AGWM leadership team. As we experienced a mixture of practical training and spiritual renewal, our hearts grew with a burden to share the message of Jesus with those who haven’t heard.

    One of the misconceptions about Europe is that missionaries are unneeded because the people have already heard the Gospel message. The truth is, Europe has heard the politicization of Christianity more than anything: Christendom (the society of the church) has overtaken Christianity (following Jesus Christ), and it isn’t attractive. Historically, Europe has experienced diabolical actions in the name of Jesus, and in return, secularism is rising because Christendom has failed. There is also a throng of marginalized in Europe who so need a touch from Jesus. Groups like the Roma people (if you are unfamiliar with the Roma people, read this article about their shocking history and about how God is moving among them) and other socioeconomic or sociopolitical groups are often ignored and cast out from an otherwise modern culture.

    There is an awesome team that has been assembled throughout Europe, reaching out to the marginalized and secularized in Europe, and we will no doubt have a part in reaching them with the good news.

    ***

    On our last evening, we took part in the 2014 Missionary Commissioning Service, in the 100th year of the Assemblies of God. Ninety-nine missionaries were commissioned to go into the world, that ALL might hear. As we processed into the sanctuary, an orchestra and choir sang the song, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” and I couldn’t help but begin to cry as the words of the third verse were more poignant than they have ever been in my life:

    Let every kindred, every tribe, On this terrestrial ball,

    To Him all majesty ascribe, And crown Him Lord of all!

     

    Following the sermon by the incomparable Steve Jamison, we were prayed for by our district leadership, Pastor Bob Wise and Bill Button. We were also joined by colleague and friend, Dick Gruber, who came down when they asked the appointed prayer partners to make their way, saying, “I don’t need to be appointed by anyone! I’m praying for you guys!” Following prayer, we were presented with a Fire Bible in the Spanish language, which, God-willing we’ll be able to read one day.

    So, after all that, we are officially Assemblies of God commissioned missionaries, and we are so excited to serve as we itinerate this year, and anxiously look forward to our arrival in Madrid, Spain sometime next year.