So I have a new blog. I know, they tend to multiply like rabbits, but this one is for a specific purpose. For those of you that haven't yet figured it out, my wife and I are in the process of packing up to leave for Australia. We've contracted for one year with Global Partners to plant a church in the city of Melbourne. The new blog is sort of our journal for the trip, a way to update our donors (some of you are reading this right now, so you should bookmark this site and read it regularly if you're interested), and a way for us to chronical our trip, tell the stories of the people we meet, and mostly just because I love to write. I thought that I'd give you the first post (well, second technically) here and then you can have the site bookmarked. It is:
Greetings to all of you. I know we're not actually in Melbourne yet, but I thought, what the heck, I've got a few minutes, why not update you (assuming you get to read this) on our current status.
First and foremost, thank you all for your support, either prayerfully, emotionally, financially, or perhaps in other ways (and I know there are a few of you that are).At the moment, I'm in Noblesville, IN, at the Go-Net Missions Training session. It's been an intense week, fitting about a semester worth of material into five days. We've learned everything from signs of culture shock to missiology to theology to what to do if we're taken hostage. We've run the gamut, and it's not done till 3pm tomorrow. Our brains are fried, having absorbed so much information, but it's fascinating stuff.
The good news: we have the ability to buy plane tickets now, as one of our donors (a couple, actually) has a rather large number of frequent flier miles, and they offered to use some of them to buy our tickets. Thanks you guys! While this is awesome, we still don't have a date of departure yet becuase our visas are still in-process, and it's looking like it will be another 28 days or so (4 weeks) at least. On the plus side, there's a very good chance that our budget is going to be reduced, so we'll have less to fundraise. At the moment, due to a number of new factors, we're at 79%!
In other news, Ruth and Colin (and the kids) have found a house in Melbourne! This is good; it means that a) they have a place to live, and b) we'll have a place to stay when we first arrive there ...
Prayer requests to those of you with the gift of prayer (or if you just like to talk to God):
1) Our visas: we're a bit nervous about them at present, and would be grateful for you to ask God that the visas would be approved quickly.
2) Our funds: while we're getting much closer to our goal (praise God), we still have a little ways to go. If you'd pray that God would show us the donors He's chosen ...
3) Our hearts: that God would prepare our (me and Liz) hearts for the ministry He's provided for us; a clear vision and mission, open minds and souls, and that he'd already be working in the hearts of those we're to minister to while we're there.
4) Our bodies: we've had a very trying week, and we've got a long drive ahead of us.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you. Grace and Peace be with you all.