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Chapter 24: The Plan

“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered,”before Abraham was born, I Am!”  At this they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple guards.

John 8:58-59 NIV

Jesus has plans. With this understanding we find peace.

Every time I write a newsletter, I begin with rereading my last post.  I would like to repeat some thoughts that I ended with last month:

Since the last time I wrote you all, God has revealed one major truth: He is faithful.  No matter what the circumstance, the trial, the challenge, our God is faithful.  Praise The Lord!!

This truth holds us.

Our God is faithful.

I had planned a staff meeting for Thursday the 10th.  After rescheduling multiple times, this was my last option.  Little did I know, 18 hours before this meeting I would receive an email that would inform us that the shop would be closing for 1-2 months.  (Remember, God has a plan!).

It is never easy receiving or sharing such news.  Saying goodbyes to people you have been ministering to, building relationships with and sharing life with is a difficult time.  We always know that our young staff will be transitioning away after they graduate school, this is a challenge in Youth, College, and Young Adult ministries.  Change and transition are difficult waters to guide through, but God is Faithful.

Next week we travel to London to participate in the Hillsong Conference, No Other Name.  We will explore the name of Jesus, our presence in this world, and how to incorporate Worship in all aspects of our lives.  After this conference, we travel to Scotland for a vacation and time of fellowship with our Coffee Shop ministry partners here.  On our way home, we will travel to Poznan to visit our partners in Poland.  We will have many opportunities for reflection, prayer, fellowship and seeking God’s direction.  When we return home, we will then close out Sweet Surrender and prepare for the shop to be reopened.

This means that we will have increased time for ministry.  With roughly 6 months before we return to the States, we have plenty of time and energy to actively seek where God would like us to invest this time!  We would like you to keep our family in your prayers for the upcoming months.  Scripture encourages us to take to our knees before the Lord.   Phillipians 4:6-7 says,

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Sweet Surrender and our family are going through some major changes and transitions; we pray for peace and wisdom.  We are in need of new clothes for all the kids and a few items for Michelle and I, but we need personal funds (not Church donations) to provide for these items; we pray for financial provision for immediate needs.  We are helping cover the costs of our staffs final weeks in the shop, some needs for our new apartment that we don’t have, and for monthly supporters; we pray for financial provision for ongoing and future needs.  Ideally, we would like to have enough monthly support that we could stay in Poland until next July; we pray that we can obtain 100% in monthly supporters (we are $2000/month away from this goal). 

You all are awesome people and we are thankful for your presence in our lives.  We have come to appreciate that we are not just here in Poland because of one or two people, we are here because of a large network of supporters.  If you would please join us in prayer and if you feel led, in financial support.  A simple prayer, a $10/month donation, a huge impact.  Sometimes we get caught up in grand gestures.  But it is the daily grind, the simple habits, that we can experience real growth and renewal.

We love and appreciate you all.

We would love to be praying for each and every one of you.  Please let us know how to direct our prayers while we are in prayer and petition before the Lord!  Just as we are not alone, neither are you!!

Chapter 21: Coffee!

And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.

1 Samuel 23:16

 

Where do you find your strength?  It is amazing how life can get out of control and we find ourselves on the run.  We get weary, break down, and start to lose our focus on God.  Sometimes we just need encouragement, and a great reminder of whom we serve and what He is capable of.  Even David needed this!

 

What a whirlwind this past month has been!  We moved out of our old apartment into our above the shop across town.  Here, we will apartment sit while our good friends the Adams are on home assignment.  Moving can sure be exhausting!  But we successfully moved out and in!  Praise God!  Where we are temporarily living we have access to a great park that is full of children and young families…which means opportunities!

 

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee! That has been our last few weeks.  Not that we don’t do this every day, which we do…but we enjoyed attending the EuroGastro 2014 Coffee Olympics in Warsaw and Brad volunteered with the 2014 Poland Barista Championships.  God continues to reveal the communities that we are to minister to and opens new doors with each new event.

 

This upcoming month we are planning help host a leadership group from our church and attend our first Field Conference.  This will be a great time for networking and family bonding.  Please pray that God would bless the leadership and our time together.  We are excited to meet fellow M’s from the field, and to have more friends for Loralie and Jack!

 

Jack and Loralie amaze me.  They are picking up Polish quickly and beautifully.  It is always great to see smiles on faces as they greet Poles in their native tongue…like a native!  God has really opened some awesome doors through the kids.  Praise God that our biggest fear he has turned into our biggest blessing.

 

Please keep us in your prayers.

 

-Michelle is back in the States for two weeks as she is able to provide assistance for her family.

-For Brad as he is alone with the kids for two weeks.

-That God continues to lead us and direct us with our ministry in Poland.

-That financial provision will keep us here, in school (preschool and language courses), for God’s timing.

-For finding the right apartment for our family in the upcoming months

-For language studies, shop management, and community outreach

 

If you feel led, we are seeking 115 more people to support us monthly at $20 per month.  This will enable us to seek missions without financial complications.  We of course lean on our provider, the one who calls us, as our strength.

 

Please let us know if there is anything that we pray for you about!  God bless!

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