Thursday, August 23, 2007

Back from the Near East

I am back safe from the Middle East.
Still a bit jet lagged, but deeply and profoundly encouraged at the work that God is doing in the country we focused on.

I heard story after story after story that ‘everyone’ is sick of the religion there. They have had the law crammed down their throats and they are fed misinformation about Christ. So there are hundreds (maybe thousands) hearing the gospel through satellite programs, the underground church, radio, and even in the few legal churches still permitted. Any source you can imagine, God is using.

I met a taxi driver who hands out New Testaments and Jesus films whenever he senses an opening. People have dreams that point them to the Bible. It’s amazing. Really unbelievable to my modern American ears. One extended family passed around one NT and 14 converted to Christ. The hunger for the grace of the gospel is truly as a desert longs for water. Pray for God’s work in that country!!!

For security concerns, I can’t write much more on the internet. I’m making plans to return. I hope next time I see you that I can give a fuller picture.

Church Prayer:
- Our daughter church РEmmanuel Рlaunches public worship in October! Pastor Jos̩ reports great excitement about a new multicultural church in the Powder Springs/Paulding County area. They are using a phoning/invitation campaign that will lead up to their launch in a few weeks.
- Another new staff person has raised support to join us here as the music and mercy guy. Jim and Lisa move in this Saturday! Pray for the music team as they welcome a new servant leader.
- There seems to be a real openness right now as people are seeking to connect to smaller communities within Crosspoint. Pray for the group leaders and teachers who are cranking up for a year of ministry – both youth, adult and children! Pray especially for Dan and Drew as they facilitate getting groups up and running.
- Pray too for Julian Swann and all the volunteers as he leads our 13 week Habitat for Humanity house build! This is a great opportunity for you if you’d like to jump in for Saturday too.

Family Prayer:
- We are all well, but it’s a big year. Everyone is in school. Elizabeth starts her 2nd year teaching music part-time at Dominion, Jake is a senior and Erica is a sophomore, Elysia is in 7th grade. We are realizing (with some tears) that Jake is launching soon. He is a godly young man and we are excited for him, but we can’t believe he is so mature. Pray for us to savor our time this year amidst all the exciting action.
- We also opened our home for a semester to Ray Kim, a Korean exchange student at Dominion. He fits right in and we look forward to living and speaking the gospel in front of him these months. We’re having a room finished out in the basement for him, so pray for him as he lives in the rec room!

We are deeply grateful for your prayers. The protection and care God gives us through you is beyond words.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

No Job No Car - No Car No Job

Will you pray for reliable cars and trucks for our folks who are working? Getting work and getting to work can be the razor’s edge of making it this month for many in our city and some of our members and attenders.

And will you pray for - or donate - a vehicle for a member of our church who has no wheels and is 100% dependent on public transportation. The ideal would be a small pick-up truck or sedan such as a Civic or Corolla valued at $1000 to $3000. It doesn't need to be the prettiest car in town; but it need to be reliable! We will set up an IDA (individual development account) for a ready candidate to earn the car with proceeds from their new job.

Why am I asking?
We are committed to providing both relief for the poor (food, clothes, emergency assistance) and development (job skills, financial training, etc.) so that we break the cycle of poverty.

One of the challenges of helping people out poverty is that relying on public transportation actually keeps them from getting a better job. Over and over one hears in the urban areas ‘I didn’t get the job’ and sometimes it’s not from lack of effort. It’s from an unjust bias with many companies against hiring people who depend on public transportation to get to work! So, you need a car before you can get better jobs! (Something I never thought about until I moved here!)

Anybody ready to donate such a vehicle to the church (it’s tax-deductible)? Know anyone who might? If you are, please call the church office 770.333.1775 or email my associate Anthony Brogan


PS – I am flying out tomorrow for a 10 day mission to meet persecuted former-M’s, who are now Christians. We are meeting in a neutral country for a week of teaching, worship and encouragement. Thanks to all of you who are praying and giving. Pray for me, S, Mark, Jeff and the folks traveling from the difficult zone. For safety and no hassles with their govt. and pray for persecuted Christians world-wide!!! There are so many!