We continue to meet with potential supporters. As the weeks go by, we’re getting better at explaining our vision and what God has done for us so far.
Some wonderful developments:
1. We had a terrific visit to Christ the King Anglican Church in Dayton (Fr. Wayne McNamara, Rector). The saints in this parish showed us wonderful hospitality, hosting us for lunch. Sora had a very busy week of births in Cincinnati (80+ hours attending three different births), and didn’t get home until midnight on Saturday before our trip to Dayton. We brought Ezekiel and Naomi and worked, not too frantically, on our 25 minute presentation during the car trip. It wasn’t as polished as it could have been, but that might have been a good thing. Technical difficulties with our computer-projector slideshow were also overcome, thanks to a WiFi connection, DropBox, and my iPad, which communicated with the projector when Sora’s computer wouldn’t.
(Above: the corner entrance of Christ the King, from the parish webpage. The building is architecturally beautiful inside as well.)
We are very thankful to those in Dayton who gave gifts and pledges of support! We’re at 13.5% of our needed monthly amount, and we haven’t even sent out a letter yet. This is by word of mouth and personal contact with a few families so far.
2. Our friends Keith and Erica came to our house for dinner tonight, and we were greatly blessed by our conversation with them. Keith is a graphic designer, and will be helping us come up with a unified look for our email, web, and snail-mailed communications to supporters and to the wider world. Erica is a doula who has both worked with Sora as a birth attendant, and has had Sora as a midwife at the birth of her youngest son. She is also blessed with the ability to encourage others. It is a beautiful thing when others are excited about this ministry, and offer to help us with their talents!
3. We have booked a date to go back to Ithaca, NY, where I (Matt) was a grad student from 1997-2003. There we have a kind invitation from Pastor Jones and the elders of Covenant Community Reformed Church of Ithaca. It will be great to see them all again.
We’ve also contacted a few other churches we’d like to speak at. Pray that the Lord will continue to open doors for us to find senders to partner with.
4. On Sunday, we’ll be hosting a lunch for the members of our “Go-Team.” Ezekiel asked, “What’s a Go-Team?” I replied, “It’s the pit crew that refuels and repairs your Go-cart when you’re racing.” But seriously, it’s a core of committed supporters who will help us get to the mission field and keep in touch with us when we’re there. We’ll be going through the book Serving as Senders with them over our first few meetings.
5. Please pray for our continued efforts at raising support and finding out whom God is calling into this ministry as senders. We trust that as He has called us, so He will call others, since “how can they preach unless they are sent?” (Rom. 10:15) We just have to be faithful, work hard at our part, and be content with God’s timing.
Tomorrow, Sora and I will, Lord willing, travel to visit the saints at Dayton’s Christ the King REC parish, where Fr. Wayne McNamara has graciously allowed us to present our vision for our mission to the Philippines during his parish’s church school hour.
1. That we will be able to communicate clearly and winsomely why we believe God is calling us to this mission. This is a little more urgent because Sora, who had planned to do a bit more work on her half of the presentation, has been tied up with the busiest week of births she has ever had since she became a midwife. (I have barely seen her this week, that’s how busy she’s been.)
2. That the Lord will reveal whom He is calling to join us in this ministry as senders. We trust that as He has put His calling on us to do this work, so He will raise up senders to partner with us in doing it.
3. That we will find someone willing to be our “point person” to keep our communication flowing with CTK’s parish while we’re on the mission field. This is crucial, because a proper relationship between missionaries and their senders is a blessing to both parties, and the main way those blessings will flow to our senders is through good communication. We need someone who will be willing to relay our news from the mission field, to keep a bulletin board or forward relevant email news to the parish, and to give our prayer requests to the parish so that they can lift us up before the Lord.
In the meantime, at least some of our children will be enjoying the mid-Lent pancake breakfast here in Mason at our own Trinity REC!
- Matt has no school today, so he’s painting the trim in the kitchen. One step closer to getting the house on the market!
- I just added a “who’s who” page with pictures of our children, at the request of a supporter who wants to be able to put faces to her prayers. You can find it on the page tabs above.
- We had very two very helpful and encouraging visits this past weekend. On Saturday we met with Denise Cox (the long-term missions coordinator at SAMS), who drove out from Pennsylvania to share information with us and meet our pastor and some of our core support team. Then on Sunday afternoon we saw Bill Jerdan (executive secretary of the Reformed Episcopal Church’s Board of Foreign Missions), who was in Ohio visiting family. We so appreciate each of them sharing their decades of experience with us and the guidance they’ve provided in our preparations for the mission field.
- Our major task over the next six months will be raising financial support. We’ll be visiting other churches and talking to our friends in order to figure out who God has called into this ministry with us. This part is not nearly as exciting or flashy or “newsworthy” as what we’ll be doing once we get to the Philippines, but it is a very necessary step as we cannot hope to serve overseas long-term without a strong support team at home. We are also realizing that this can be an important ministry as well, a time of awakening other people’s hearts to the needs that have touched ours, strengthening relationships, and growing in our faith as we trust God to provide for the work He has called us to.