Thursday, January 26, 2006

Declaring an Unknown God

That's the title of my sermon/presentation for this Sunday. It's based off of Paul's short stint in Athens when he saw all of the altars to different gods, including the "Unknown God", which he declared as known to the people of Athens. The Kabiye know a creator "god", but he is far off and uninvolved in the lives of humans. We are going to join with the Lord and our teammates in making known the God that they revere as unknown. Additionally, our God can free them from the bondage of ancestor and spirit appeasment, a vicious cycle of the spirits becoming angry, being appeased through sacrifice, and then becoming angry again. This weighs heavily on the hearts and souls of the Kabiye, and as Jerome Amana, a Kabiye elder, once said, "We used to lay down at night, but we could not sleep well, because Satan would trouble us. But now that we follow Jesus, our hearts have found true freedom."

What a beautiful statement of faith and conviction. God grant us all this acceptance of and appreciation for God's gift of Grace.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Missions Presentations

We have 2 big missions presentations coming up soon. The first is Sunday, January 29th at Grace Pointe, our sponsoring church. GP always has a combined service on 5th Sundays, so we will have the entire church in one place at one time. Please be in prayer about this event, asking God to continue to use His Spirit to infect the hearts of our brothers and sisters at GP with a passion for His vision for the Kabiye people.

The second big event currently planned (there will surely be more to follow) is at the Livonia Church of Christ in Michigan on Sunday, February 12th. This is a special event for Brett since this is the congregation he grew up at. His father was an elder for many years and his mother was the do-it-all church secretary(you all know the type!), and his family was very involved and passionate about this church. It is so special to be able to return to his brothers and sisters there so they can bless our family as we follow God's call to Togo. Livonia is very passionate about missions. Their pulpit minister, Larry Stephens, was formerly sponsored by the church as a missionary in Kenya for 20+ years. He returned to preach, and the church just this month sent off Larry's daughter and son-in-law, Joshua and Julie Marcum, to begin a new mission work in Cochabamba, Bolivia. We are so excited about this opportunity, and we ask that you would pray for God's blessing on that special weekend.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

To France, or not to France?

That is one of the big questions these days. Having settled on a departure date of September of 2006, we now are asking the question of whether or not we need language school. We realize that there are pros and cons to both scenarios, and we just want to seek the Lord's guidance in this matter. We would love to be in Togo as soon as possible, but we also want to be as prepared as possible. Spending a few months in France isn't the end of the world, but we have already done alot of waiting, and we are anxious to join our teammates in Kabiyeland.

Please pray for this decision. We believe that part of seeking the Lord's wisdom is seeking out counsel from our brothers and sisters, so if you have any suggestions or guidance, please feel free to comment.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Mini-Survey to Togo

Well, I got the approval from the Missions Committee to go ahead with my trip to Togo in March. The only hurdle that remains is school. I need to take at least one day off on either end of Spring Break, but Lighthouse has been very supportive of our family and our plans, so I think I'll get the OK.

The trip will be March 17-27, give or take a day or two. I am hoping to secure final plans for housing, meet with the elders of Kabiye churches to alert them of our imminent arrival, form preliminary relationships with elders and Christians that I don't already know, and encourage and give a boost to my teammates. The last item is especially important with the Neal's headed home in March. That will be a huge blow to the team that will take some time to recover from.

Oh, and there will definitely be a safari. I did Nazinga in Burkina Faso last time, and we are planning on doing Pendjari in Benin on this trip. They have lions there. I can't even imagine!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

It Begins Again

We originally created this blog to chronicle our journey to Togo as missionaries, but it seemed so far away that we kind of lost interest. Well, its now just about 6 or 7 months away, and it's time to start blogging again. From here on out things are gonna move pretty quickly. We'll keep this site updated as to what is happening, which will be alot. God has brought us on an amazing journey, and we feel blessed to be able to share it with whoever reads these words...