After a good Sunday at our sending church, First Baptist Church, Belleview, Florida we are packing the suitcases and display materials again to hit the road on Wednesday.

We are headed to the Valdosta Baptist Association in Valdosta, Georgia. Their Global Missions Conference goes from Wednesday through Sunday. We will all meet a FBC Valdosta and then spread out to churches all across the association. There will also be an opportunity to speak in some of the local schools.

Our place in the association will be in Lakeland, Georgia and we are looking forward to sharing life with a couple of churches there.

After that, it is back to Ocala for a couple of opportunities in the local area. We are excited to be able to tell His story in many places and even found one tank of gas at less than $3.00 per gallon. A real thing to celebrate.

Stay tuned.
 
 
The song that repeats "eight days on the road and I'm gonna make it home tonight" kept running through our heads. We just finished our 8-day road trip to Atlanta Georgia, Spartanburg South Carolina and Woodstock Georgia. Now we are back in the Ocala Florida area for a few days.

What can we say? The opportunity to serve at the Global Mpact Conference (yes they leave the "I" out intentionally) was a wonderful time. They were long days of getting up early, running hard much of the time and getting back to our host home late at night. But it was worth every moment. We spoke to groups of senior and median adults, youth, children and preschoolers. Yes we did do a 75-minute stint with 5 year olds and loved it and them.

We also had the opportunity to meet with the staff person responsible for mission partnerships at one of the Southern Baptist Convention's premier mission churches. It was a wonderful time of exploring possibilities and seeking God's plan for the relationship.

One evening we had a reunion with one of our former mission teams. It is always a blessing seeing how God continues to challenge and grow these young ladies. Passionate obedience would be the phrase we would use to describe them.

Now it is speaking/report time at our sending church on 16 October. By the way that is also the day of prayer for European peoples so please join us in praying for a great awakening.

John will be preaching Sunday morning and Lucy will be the speaker at the children's worship. We will answer questions at a fundraising dinner at noon and make our formal report to the church in the evening service.

Monday and Tuesday will be catch-up and reload days before hitting the road again to another Global Missions Conference. This time in Valdosta, Georgia.

When we are still, give us a call and we will do our best to find time to connect with you when we are close to where you live.

Our desire is to share life and what God is doing with as many as we can while we are here. Give us a call, email or Facebook messag
 

It begins

10/06/2011

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There are seasons in life and ministry. We are entering a new season and are simultaneously excited and anxious. Before you ask, "Does this mean a major change in direction and ministry?" the answer is "no". We have always tried to have the answer of "yes" on our lips and hearts before God ever reveals what He asks us to do. There are two prayers that are a slam-dunk for God: "God, you get the glory" and "God help us to be found obedient." He wants each of these to occur.

So after our first stint of living 4+ years in Gent, God gives us the opportunity to tell people in America more about what He is and wants to do there.

After getting from Gent, through Houston (a big thanks to Lucy's family for all the help in that transition) and on to north Florida we are now ready to begin the journey. We spent the last couple of days getting settled into an efficiency apartment provided by friends, seeing John's mother, Megan and Justin and getting all the things together for our display. (Well almost, another trip to the store for more laminating and supplies is on tap for today). Thanks to our great friend and supporter "C" for getting much ready before we arrived.

Tomorrow we set out for our first week-long trip that includes a 5-day missions conference in South Carolina. This particular church has been doing these for a while and has it well organized. We get to speak with adults, youth, children and preschoolers during the week. This will be done in small and large groups; at church and in homes; formally and around the tables more informally.

The concern is, "How do we accurately communicate what He wants them to hear and know about Him and His work in Gent?" We do not want the focus to be on us (the missionaries) but on Him. Too often we get the focus and are seen as something other than what we are, cracked clay pots that too often leak and sometimes tarnish the glory entrusted to us.

So what do we pack and take for "show and tell" with the preschoolers? How can we help to continue to give a global vision to children? How can we encourage youth who are ready to engage in a career choice to seek God's Kingdom first in any choice? And how can we help adults to be on-mission in an Acts 1:8 model? What can you "take" with you to help communicate?

So, today is a day of choices. What to pack and what to leave behind? What will aid in telling His story and what is just candy for the eye and ear? Never having done this before, the decisions are challenging. We have and there is so much but when does it become a focus on the stuff and not on Him?

Pray for us to be better pots. We would rather let Him overflow from our lives than leak out through the cracks. We want to tell about all He is doing but only have a limited time. How do you tell about a great God in 10-30 minutes? 

As a colleague of mine often asks, "Pray that we will make much of Him" during this time. It has to be about Him since we have little clue about anything else. But, do we really need to have a clue about anyone other than Him?

To be continued . . .