Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Philippines preparations continue

Our "flight crew" -- the team that is planning to actually get on the plan and go to the Philippines in March -- has been meeting weekly. We've divided out the various talks that will be included in the Alpha training seminars. We've also divvied up some of the administrative duties. We've spent a good amount of time praying together and digging into scripture together. Someone made the comment at our meeting last night that God just keeps opening up the doors!

A large part of that door-opening is our "ground crew" -- those who will not be getting on the planes but who are invaluable to this effort. We have a number of people that have been paying close attention to this trip from the very beginning -- some who always knew they weren't called to go, others who flirted with the idea of being part of the flight crew but realized that this is the wrong timing for them. Still, they are faithful in prayer, in emotional support, and in giving. Yes, many people have put their dollars into this trip, and that support makes this whole thing financially feasible. We're not fully there yet, financially speaking, but we can see God providing our daily bread through the generosity of his people. So to those who have been giving, THANK YOU!

(If you want to give toward this trip, please feel free -- the easiest way is to either mail a check to Central Lutheran Church, 1103 School Street, Elk River MN 55330 and put "Philippines" on the memo line of your check ... OR you can go to Central's website, and give online using the "other" category and put "Philippines" in the line to the right of your gift amount.)

Plans continue to grow more real on the Philippines end, too. Ronald, our main contact and host in the Philippines, continues to do an amazing job of putting details together for our lodgings, seminars, and transportation. He is such a gift! We just received and accepted an invitation to speak at HisLife Ministries in Bacolod (one of the cities where we'll be speaking), too -- Pastor Joebert Ramos invited us to a special gathering of his leaders in the evening after our day-long seminar there. JR is a dynamic leader and it's exciting to think of meeting with him and his people again! (Julie and I were at HisLife one evening in 2005.)

If you are praying for this trip, please continue to pray for:

  • God's generous provision for our financial needs -- pray with great thanksgiving!
  • For God to continue leading and guiding us in the details as we prepare.
  • For our families as we prepare to be gone from them for an extended time -- for health, peace, and encouragement.
  • For our continued development and growth as a team.
  • For Ronald, JR, and others who are planning activities and connections for us.
  • For the Filipino church leaders who will attend our seminars, for open hearts and eagerness to embrace the vision of Alpha as a powerful tool for making disciples of Jesus!
  • For the Filipino people who will be invited in the coming months to these new Alpha courses -- that the Holy Spirit would move in their hearts and bring amazing growth to the body of Christ in that region!
Thanks so much for your prayers, for being part of our "ground crew"!

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