Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Urbana '09 Update

Hello from St. Louis!

This week so far at Urbana has been absolutely incredible! Everything about this conference is designed to help the over 17,000 people from over 100 countries go deeper with the Lord and clarify his desires for your life, in addition to opening your eyes to situations around the world that you may never have heard about otherwise. Here are a few of the things that have grabbed our attention:

1) The theme verse for the week is John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." Therefore, a huge emphasis has been placed on Christ becoming human and denying himself the glory of heaven to live among the filthy human race, and how Christ's incarnation into our world should serve as a model for our ministry into other cultures and people groups.

2) When doing missionary work, we have been encouraged that instead of being "an inch deep and a mile wide" we need to send smaller teams of people for longer periods of time to develop relationships rather than conversions. People don't care what you know until they know that you care.

3) The seminar we chose to attend yesterday was entitled "Modern-day Abolitionist Movement" by David Batstone. There we learned that over 27 million people are still trapped in slavery, for example, 70% of all of the chocolate we have ever consumed was produced using cocoa farmed by child slaves. This was entirely new and incredibly disturbing to us, especially because thousands of the Not For Sale organization's documented cases have occurred in the UNITED STATES! (Go to www.slaverymap.org to see if there have been cases of slavery in your area)

Needless to say, you cannot leave Urbana without an expanded view of what is happening in the world and how God is working, even in the midst of unspeakable circumstances.

Today is designed to be a reflection day, and as such they have built a lot of time into the schedule for us to step back and spend some concentrated time in prayer asking God how he would have us respond to all we are hearing and seeing and learning and feeling and thinking. Please pray for us as we go into that time. God is doing some incredible things, and as last night's speaker, Oscar Muriu, put it, it is time for us to respond in a radical way.

Thank you so much for supporting us and covering us with prayer as we make these big decisions.

Love,

Philippians 2:5-8

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Privelege to Suffer for Him

Ummm . . . wow! I just listened to this episode of Focus on the Family, and I am encouraged and blown away and challenged to live for Christ! If Ken Hutcherson can be such a bright light for Jesus with all that he is going through, how can I NOT be, as blessed as I am?

Definitely check it out, just click here, then click on the link that says "Listen Now" to hear this incredible story.

<3,