July 30, 2014

One Week To Go!

Time flies! I am blown away that 1 week from tomorrow we leave for Mexico! It seems we've been talking about it and planning it for so long, and in just 7 days we will be boarding a plane heading out on this Family Missions trip together.

There are 23 of us going. 7 families. What an opportunity to see God work in the lives of each of these individuals, and in each of these families. The thing is, God is going to work in our lives. He is. He always does. What I love about trips like these is that it forces us into a deeper reliance on Him. We are removed from our comfort zone. We are removed from what is familiar to us. New language, new food, new sleeping conditions, new culture. Some may feel unprepared, even scared. But it's ok to have these feelings, as it leaves us with no choice but to trust God and His plans for this week.

For some on this trip, this is the first time leaving the country. For some it may be the first time on an airplane! For all of us, it is a new experience, no matter how many times we may have traveled overseas, or even to this very same location. God is planning an amazing adventure for each of us. And I cannot wait to see it unfold!

Please be in prayer for our team as we make our final preparations. Pray for us as we finalize shots and other travel needs. Pray for us as we begin packing, that we will have what we need (which usually turns out to be a lot less than we think!)

And please be in prayer about our finances. I have led over 17 missions trips over the past 3 years, and I have never seen a trip come up short financially. I fully believe God will provide for this trip as well. As of today, as a team, we have raised just over 50% of our financial need, leaving us about $15K short. If you would like to make a donation to the team to help make this trip a success, you can give securely online here: http://southbrookchurch.com/missions-giving.

Thank you again for your faithful prayers and support.

July 23, 2014

Guest Blogger: Garren Janes

As I mentioned earlier this week, our family is heading to Mexico for a Family Missions Trip. We are all super excited. God's provisions have already started coming in amazing ways! We are over half way to our goal of $7250 to cover the costs of this trip.

Today, Garren is going to share why he is looking forward to going on this trip with us:

I'm looking forward to this trip for multiple reasons:  
1. Experiencing new things is fun - Why stay in your same state or even town your whole life? The adventure of going out of your comfort zone and learning about how others live is fun and can be eye-opening if you travel to countries with critical poverty.  
2. To prove doctors wrong -3 years and 5 months ago I was laying in a hospital bed without my loved ones having the security that I would wake up from my coma. I did. But, even then, the doctors told my parents to start looking into nursing homes because based on my MRI, I should not be sitting up, typing this on an iPad, or going into 12th grade next year. My dad and two sisters went on this trip a summer ago. I can remember thinking how awesome it would be to go on this trip. When they arrived back in the states my dad mentioned that it was pretty manageable and he thought my wheelchair would be able to get
around fairly easily. So when he finally asked if I wanted to go excitedly I responded "Definitely!".  
3. To spread what God has done in my life and so many others -This, by far, is the most important part. I've recently come to like Christian Rap. The rappers that I like most are part of a group called '116 Clique'. 116 simply stands for Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." (ESV). Because I do believe that The Bible is 100% true, I am not ashamed of the gospel. Period.   
4. God works -God can take a stone cold heart and open it up to do anything. My prayer is that God will take mine and the families hearts and open it up to whatever needs to be done to further His kingdom.  
Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support as we quickly approach the date of our departure. If you are able to help financially, you can give online right now at http://southbrookchurch.com/missions-giving.com.

July 21, 2014

A Family Missions Adventure

God is good. He promised in Scripture that He would supply all our needs. And He continues to faithfully do just that. Having recently been laid off from my position as Missions Pastor at Southbrook Church, it would be easy to question God's plans for our life. It would be a natural response to question God's provision in our life. Even though we have struggled emotionally with this decision, we continue to trust God's sovereign plan for our life.

As a family, we had committed earlier this year to participate in a missions trip to Mexico, coming up in August of this year. We are still fully committed to this trip, and I am blessed to be leading this trip. We are looking forward to working with 6 other families from Southbrook as we travel to Xcan, Mexico, for 5 days of ministry. We will be partnering with local Mayan Christians and The Message of Mayans to evangelize and help out with some light construction and painting projects. We are really excited about this upcoming opportunity, for several reasons.

First, we love serving together as a family. Eight years ago we had the privilege of traveling to Ethiopia together as a family where I was able to teach in a local Bible college, while Nancy and the kids helped out with a VBS at the local church. This is a trip that has been eternally imprinted on our hearts.

Second, we are so grateful to God for allowing Garren to progress in his healing to a point where he will be able to participate in this trip with us. From watching Garren fight for his life in a hospital bed 31/2 years ago, to getting on a plane to fly to a foreign country for a missions trip is truly a miracle. We are so thankful, and are looking forward to seeing God work in and through us.

As I mentioned above, we serve a God who has promised to supply all our needs. As we prepare for the trip, one of the biggest hurdles we will have is finances. The cost of the trip is $1450 per person. Multiply that by 5, and we are looking to raise $7250. While that seems like an enormous amount, we believe that God will supply. We would love to invite you to partner with us to help make this trip possible.

Southbrook Church has a link available where you can give online securely toward our trip. Simply click this link http://southbrookchurch.com/missions-giving, scroll down and click on our family name, and follow the instructions from there.

Thank you for choosing to participate with us in this trip.