Thursday, October 28, 2010

Prayers Please

Greetings Friends, Family, and Random People checking out our blog!

The last Saturday we were in Colorado Jennifer received the phone call that her grandfather Traina was very ill with an infection in the hospital. She was told that he might night make it over the weekend. We couldn't change our travel plans so when we got home we were surprised to find out that we was recovering and has been ever since then. He has now been in the hospital about two weeks. He has good days and bad days. Right now he is having trouble eating and thus is very weak. We ask that you would please pray for him and Jennifer's family during this tough time. Robert A. Traina wrote Methodical Bible Study and was Eugene Peterson's professor. He just fiinished his second book that he wrote with David Bauer. Over his lifetime he has influenced numerous people with his teaching and writing on Biblical studies. He is a wonderful and special person to us all!

This Monday we are leaving to go to Michigan for a two program called Alongside. It is especially geared toward missionaries and pastors. Please pray that we have a beneficial time there and that we would be able to further process our two years in Mexico with the staff there. Pray that the sessions will be helpul to our future ministry as well.

Praise God that we found a place in Lexington where we can learn more about intentional communities and home church. We are thankful we came across Communality and that it will be a great resource for us when we are in Kentucky.

Today, as always, we thank you for your prayers and support! We cannot minister without your partnership.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

School of Spiritual Formation and Care of the Soul

Have you ever picked up the phone and called one of your favorite authors? One day in August Jennifer did just that. After reading the book Soul Custody by Stephen W. Smith she decided to call him up and tell him what an impact the book made on her life. We met Steve in Colorado back in 2008 when he shared with our group at Mission Training International. In August of this year Jennifer left a message on Steve's office answering machine thinking she wouldn't hear anything back. A few days later, much to her surprise, Steve returned her call. He mentioned that he thought it would be beneficial for us to attend a school that he had started called the School of Spiritual Formation and Care of the Soul. They hold it twice a year. Steve and Gwen have a ministry called Potter's Inn outside of Colorado Springs, CO and we decided to sign up for their newsletter. Several weeks later we saw that there were two spots left for the October school and we quickly made the decision that we would attend. It was the right decision.

Our five days in the school were full and challenging as we explored themes on spiritual transformation, Christlike rhythms in our lives, and God's love. There were about 15 students from all sorts of backgrounds and denominations, including other missionaries and two benedictine nuns. We had the priveledge of learning, crying, and praying together all week. Of course we did some laughing too.

One of the challenges set before us was to have more solitude in our lives. In solitude we can hear the voice of God. We were encouraged to spend time in nature and "let the birds be our theologians." Often times we are too caught up in our busyness to be still and know God, too occupied by noise to stop and hear his voice, or we are stuck in a pattern of life that brings death instead of life to our souls. Sound familiar? In ministry, where the burnout rate for pastors and missionaries is 75%, it can be tempting to be so concerned about the doing we forget what life is all about. If we do not truly know God, how can we minister? What is our source? We can be busy "doing" things for God, but if we don't stop to spend time with him we will not be able to transmit his love. If our desire is spiritual transformation we need healthy lifestyle rhythms! Good stuff!

Our desire is to implement what we learned, and in doing so help those to whom we minister.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Growing! Raising! Planting!

We can hardly believe that we have been in the States since late June. Time has flown and gone by slowly all at the same time. Our desire is to give you a brief update on our ministry so that you would be aware of our plans for this year.

After much prayer we have decided to take some more time stateside before going back to Mexico so that we can continue in ministry with more experience and broaden our horizons. Originally, we were going to be here for only about three months, but realize now that is not enough time. Usually missionaries spend six months to a year on Homeland Ministry Assignment (furlough) before going back to their country.

As you already know we are currently serving with GO InterNational after ministering in Central Mexico for two years. During our time there God brought about and cemented in our hearts, the call to house-church planting among the urban poor. At the present time we are in the U.S. for support raising, training in urban church planting and intentional communities, and waiting on God’s guidance to know exactly when he wants us to begin church planting. Our desire is to serve holistically through ministries of compassion, Bible study, creation care, and the arts.

We need your prayers right now more than ever!

Please pray for:
-Our monthly financial support to come in and be met every month with Go InterNational
-Rest, rejuvenation, and direction while we are in the States
-Opportunities to grow and learn
-Time with family, friends, and supporters
- Our friends back in Mexico, some of which are struggling with health problems.

Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support. Without them we could not minister and fulfill God’s calling!

Our supporting Church in Davisburg, MI and the Pastor, Uncle Bill and family