Have You Ever Thought About Mission Strategy? (+ 2018 Q2 Update)

Here’s a bit of what’s been happening since our last update and a look at what’s happening next:

Graduation

In May I graduated from Asbury Seminary with a ThM in World Mission and Evangelism.  My grandfather went to Asbury on the G.I. bill in the late 40’s, and my father taught here for over two decades.  So, it was a special day to share with family and friends.  However, since I’m still wrapping up my thesis, my day-to-day routine didn’t change much, and on Monday I went back to my office and picked up where I left off on Friday. :) More on that in a moment…

2018 First Quarter Update

God is at work drawing missionaries to participate in His Mission! Thomas and Elizabeth Manual are new candidates preparing to head to Guatemala were Jesus Christ is drawing whole communities of Mayans into His Holy Church.  We met a year ago at OCMCs Evaluation Retreat (ER) for applicants.   Last week, I met the six participants in the first ER of 2018.  I can’t help but wonder who among them I will introduce you to next year as new candidates?

Nativity Appeal Update

I want to tell you about a special webinar I’m hosting for you next week and update you on our Nativity Appeal.  But first, Blessed Feast of St. Nicholas! (here is a picture I took of St. Nicholas’ tomb when I passed through Bari, Italy on my way to Albania last January). 

Nativity Appeal Letter

I have a small gift and a big ask to talk with you about.  First the gift.  Enclosed you’ll find a small icon and a handmade ornament.  We got them for you when we visited Albania in October.

The icon came from the Resurrection of Christ Cathedral in Tirana.  That’s the heart of missions—proclaiming in word and deed that Christ has destroyed the power of death!  The ornament in its own way proclaims the same message. It’s made by an Albanian woman living in subsistence. She was paid a living wage for her handicraft by a missionary.  That act conveys great love as it gives her hope and honors her dignity.

Montenegro Ministry Trip Report

I want to share a little of how this trip came to be, what happened, and reflect on a few themes I hope will encourage you. You can see more photos at bit.ly/Montenegro-Ministry-Trip

In January 2017, I traveled to England for a class on Church Planting in an Urban Context.  I extended the trip to visit our missionaries in Albania.  In preparation, I posted to a missionary care Facebook group, hoping I might make a few connections for our missionaries.  I got a message from Ton Vegt—a Dutchmen passionate about missionary care in Albania.  

3rd Quarter Missionary Care Update

I wanted to share a quick update on the 3rd quarter as well as our ministry plans between now and the end of the year.

In August, I was blessed to participate in the New Candidate Orientation at OCMC.   There are times when the prayers of others feels like wind in your sails—this was one of those times!  It was a long week for me personally—I participated in all the training, helped lead a fair amount of it, and was present in the “down time” to connect with our new missionary candidates

I can’t believe this happened! (+2nd Quarter Update)

In prepping for my trip to visit our missionaries in January I researched missionary care resources in Albania to connect them with, because I believe with the very marrow in my bones that missionary care belongs to the whole church facilitated by a few with that unique calling.

Through that research I meet Ton Vogt and learned of the Albanian Encouragement Project.  Then a few months ago, Ton reached out and invited me to the AEP annual missionary conference in Montenegro (October 12-23)

Becoming One But Not the Same: Reflecting on the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul

Today is the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul.  Since you’re on my ministry mailing list, I wanted to tell you why it’s such a significant day for me personally.

The Apostles are some of our greatest heroes. Yet they had strong disagreements with each other.  For example in Galatians 2:11-14 we learn that Paul publicly confronted Peter (he ate with the gentiles Christians only when the jewish Christians weren't around).

This feast always reminds me of that story.

Missionary Care Highlights from 1st Quarter of 2017

I have a few highlights from this first quarter to share with you about our work in missionary care.  In January, I was in England for a class on Urban Church Planting and tacked on a trip to visit our Missionaries in Albania. It was great to visit with them and to experience their life.  While I could talk about that trip and each of them for pages, I want to share one story about Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald that encapsulates what mission work is all about.