Just realizing it's been over a month since I've posted anything on the blog ... sorry 'bout that. Due to a combination of things: a keyboard that wouldn't type, a 6 month old baby who thinks he has to be constantly held, and a busy ministry season, I have been neglecting my writing. So, to make up for lost time, I offer an update for October.
- Happy Birthday to Jude!: Jude turned 5 years old! He's growing up to be such a wonderful young man. Jude's favorite things are animals (let's just say Noah's ark is the primary Bible story at our house right now), eating (he ain't picky, which is a good thing where we live), and playing (his sister would say bugging) with his sister and baby brother. We love you Jude!!!
- Happy Birthday to TWION!: The World Is Our Neighborhood blog turned a whopping 3 years old a few weeks back! We celebrated by doing exactly nothing. But, I notice that in that time, we have written about 200 posts which have been read over 30,000 times ... WOW! Some have been following this blog from China, UK, Ukraine, Israel, Russia, Malaysia, Turkey and many places in between. One of the most interesting things is that the 4th most read post of all time has been this little doozy I wrote on my youngest brother's birthday ... Happy Birthday to a PK! And, while we reminisce, check out the first 3 pieces of writing we did, as we were preparing to leave for Atlanta:
- Speaking of PK's: Earlier in the month, Rachel and I had the privilege of sharing at my parents' annual "Fishbowl Retreat". It's designed specifically for pastors, ministers, and spouses who live "life in a fishbowl." You know, where everyone is always watching? Anyway, in the almost 20 years of my parents leading this retreat, this was the first time we were able to participate. The reason was the topic of PK's ... pastor's kids! I am one. So is Barnabas Piper, son of John Piper (maybe you've heard of him?), who was the keynote speaker. We had a great time meeting new people, catching up with old friends (some of whom are PK's too!), and talking with Barnabas. Check out his book and buy a couple copies, one for your pastor, and another to read and share with your church.
- Ministry: Our work with GFM continues to grow ... God has been faithful in advancing His Kingdom throughout Clarkston, Atlanta, and the world! Here's a few highlights and updates:
- God has recently moved a family to GFM-Atlanta from our base in Houston ... Dan and Kelly (along with their 3 kiddos). Dan has jumped in with Nathan to co-lead the growing Multiplication team here. Pray for their family as they transition to a new home and provide leadership, wisdom, and shepherding hearts for our workers.
- We now have 7 teams focused on making disciples and planting churches among 5 different affinity groups ... Central Asia, North Africa/Middle East, South Asia, Southeast/East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Please pray for our workers and partners as they reach the unreached in Atlanta.
- We are in the beginning stages of a multi-year process of identifying and locating the (already over 100) Unreached People Groups in the Atlanta metro. Most of these are Unengaged at the local level. For example,we have been talking with some Japanese believers who are wanting to engage the 5,000 Japanese people in Atlanta. Less than 1% are evangelized. Would you pray for us as we work with the church to make disciples and plant churches among the Japanese here, as well as those in Japan and scattered across the globe.
- In the past few months, we have seen several Burmese people begin following Jesus, some ethnic leaders being mobilized and trained (African-American, Burmese, Ethiopian, Indonesian, Japanese, Nepali, more), lots of Muslim people hearing the gospel (and having dreams of Jesus), and a few workers clarifying their call for expanded mission fields (Houston, TX; Richmond, VA; Sydney, AUS; South Asia; West Africa). Pray that all of us would be faithful in the fields He has placed us, and that He will bring an eternal harvest worthy of the name of Jesus!
- Rachel's work with Reach the Nations Community Church continues, as does Nathan's with www.peoplegroups.info (and the Ethnic America Network), the "Exploring Missions" radio program, and with a national homestay network. There is potential for these endeavors to be able to provide our family with some income in the distant future, but currently we are only receiving 50-60% of our family's budget. Please pray for us, and for our financial needs to be met through this work and the generosity of our partners. Would you consider supporting us?