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DTP Newsletter (December 2022) | “Do you understand what this means?”

“Do you understand what this means?”

The gentle words had barely left the pastor's mouth before the young, fourteen-year-old Muslim girl responded, “I'm not putting my faith in Christ because you are here. I'm putting my faith in Christ because I know in my heart that the story you just shared is true.” Aware of the Muslims around us, the pastor quietly asked once more, “Do you understand that trusting Christ means that you will most likely be persecuted?” With her head bowed, the young woman responded, “Yes, I understand.”

This is one example of the roughly seventy evangelistic conversations that our teams had on our recent short-term vision trip. Of those seventy, nine professed Jesus as Lord. Praise God. It is a privilege to be instruments in His hands to see the spiritually dead raised to new life. West Africans are hungry for the truth but have little to no access to it. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

During our trip, we got to spent time with our teammates (who are awesome!), did training at a church leadership conference, prayer walked through one area of the city, and shared the gospel. While our trip was overwhelming at times, encounters like the one described above, the hospitality of those who have so little, and the character of the pastors that we met made us eager to return with our children. Meeting our teammates and experiencing unity with them and their children was a great blessing! This trip gave us a sweet affirmation that this is where we are supposed to be. Praise God! You can see photos of our trip here.

Appointment. We were appointed as international workers by the Company on November 13 (sending celebration link here). It was an encouraging time of worship and prayer with new friends and fellow laborers. On that same night, our church voted to send us to west Africa as commissioned workers. Our church takes a “depth over breadth” mentality by investing deeply in a few strategic places around the world and by embracing each facet of the mobilization task. [Mobilization task. Here is a brief article that aims to help churches more fully embrace the mobilization task of every local church: The Local Church's Role in Mobilizing Missionaries.] It is an honor to be appointed and sent out from Clifton Baptist. We cannot express how grateful we are for our elders and our church family. There is nothing that excites us about leaving home and family. Yet, we are excited about the potential that God has in our new city and country.

Family update. Our three boys played their first season of rec soccer. It was a joy to watch them play and spend time with other families. We continue to enjoy playing Sunday soccer with other families from our church on Sunday evenings. Visits. While we were in West Africa, my (Keith) parents graciously cared for and played with our children. We got to spend a few days with them when we got back. During our appointment conference in November, Shelley's parents were also able to care for and play with our children, and then afterwards, we spent several days with them in Gatlinburg at a cabin, loaned by dear friend loaned. At one point we saw two black bears enjoying seltzer waters inside our van! Thankfully, no damage was done. Thanksgiving. We enjoyed Thanksgiving with Shelley’s family in Morristown before traveling to Virginia to spend a few days with my parents. Future. We have about six weeks here in Louisville before moving to Richmond, Virginia for training on January 23. Our focus there will be on the 6 phases of the missionary task: (1) entry, (2) evangelism, (3) discipleship, (4) healthy church formation, (5) leadership development, and (6) exit to partnership. We will leave for west Africa shortly after our training concludes on March 11.

Prayer requests. (1) Please pray that we would be efficient and effective in taking care of the necessary tasks before moving to Richmond, Virginia on January 23. (2) Please pray that we would have quiet hearts ... and that we would seize opportunities to share the good news about Christ during this season of transition. (3) Please pray that God would give us wisdom and patience to capitalize on the unique learning opportunities that we'll have with our children over the next few months—and that our children would better understand the goodness of the good news of the gospel ... and how deeply God our Father loves each of them.


Abiding in Him,

Security note: Some of this newsletter is left intentionally vague for security purposes. Please be careful with all electronic communication.

Resources

  1. Book: 40 Questions on Roman Catholicism by Greg Alison In this work, Alison uses the formal teachings of the Roman Catholic Church to provide a thorough, charitable, and succinct summary of Roman Catholicism.

  2. Book: Foundations This resource is used broadly by various churches and missions' organizations as a foundational document for biblical missions.

  3. Book: Love Came Down at Christmas by Sinclair Ferguson

  4. YouTube: “What Should I Tell My Kids About Santa?” by John Piper In this episode of Ask Pastor John, John Piper addresses the underlying issue behind celebrating Santa Claus.

  5. Article: 10 Things You Should Know about St. Nicholas — Southern Equip (sbts.edu)

  6. Daily Strength for Daily Needs by Mary W. Tileston

  7. YouTube: Why Do We Share the Gospel?

  8. Sanctification Project. John Owen once stated, “Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you." Is there a besetting sin that you can't quite seem to put to death (Rom 8:12-14)? This Sanctification Project is meant to help you bring one besetting sin "under the microscope," so that you can identify its underlying causes over the course of several weeks and put that sin to death by holding it to the light of Scripture.

  9. The Local Church's Role in Mobilizing Missionaries (declaringthepraises.com)

  10. Spotify: Almost Home by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa Embracing this song as we seek to cultivate a posture of "sojourners and exiles" with the short time we have here on earth.


Support

We are in Louisville by the grace of God and the support of His people. We are overwhelmed and humbled by those who have allowed us to be here. If you would like to consider partnering with us on this journey, simply click on the following link: MEI Support Page.


Photos and Previous Newsletter

 

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

1 Peter 2:9



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