Thursday, March 29, 2012

Connectionalism & Regional Gatherings

The FM church has connectionalism as one of their core values and it is one of the things that we have missed the most over the last four years while in Niger. Being the only missionaries in the country and having principally one church that we are working with on a regular basis, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture and become lonely. So it has been nice to be home this year and reconnect with our partners in our ministry, our sending churches. This past weekend we had the added pleasure of attending a regional gathering where we were able to meet with many of the pastors and representatives of our supporting churches in a slightly different format. It was really nice to be able to hear the stories coming out of many of the churches and to be able to pray with thankful hearts for what God is doing and to lift up the challenges that these churches are facing together. I would highly recommend that you take advantage of the opportunity if you are in a position to participate in one. It is a blessing that we will miss when we return to Niger later this year.

We pray that you will have a special sense of the Spirit's presence as we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Put Your Heart Into It

I have found God talking to me in a few different places this week, a song from a movie, quotes from a novel and even a heart & stroke flyer! The heart and stroke flyer has been lying around our house for a while now and I found myself dwelling on the motto on the back--“Put your heart into it.” So often in life we tend to go through the motions doing the right things because we are supposed to (or maybe only because they have become routine) and we lose out on the heart or the joy of what we are doing. Don’t get me wrong I believe that sometimes we need to persevere in order to grow and I think that routine is very important.

But there are other times when we need to stop and reflect on what we are doing in order to find God’s direction or to ask Him for “open heart surgery” that we might find a new heart for the work that we are being called to do. There are some jobs that I have no problem putting my heart into and there are others that are a real struggle. Then there are seasons of our lives that pass with remarkable ease, while others seem like an unending uphill battle. My prayer for you (and for me too) is that with whatever season you may be going through or job that you may be facing that you would allow God to help you put your heart into it by finding His heart in it.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dave's Update

Last Friday, I mailed off three assignments to a prof at Tyndale Seminary, completing another seminary course. Most of my time in Canada has been taken up with courses as I work towards the completion of a master’s degree. Time is running out however since I have to finish what I’m doing by the end of 2012. To that end I hope to put together a thesis proposal for next month. I would like to do something in the area of training pastors and leadership development for my thesis since much of what I hope to be doing in the next few years will be in this area. I’ve already been involved in doing this both at the bible school; in our church in Niger and in retreats but still have lots of room for growth.

We are starting to consider return flights to Niger for sometime in July. We are struggling because the most direct flight is so much more expensive but the alternatives involve more than one stopover and changing airlines in European airports. Please pray that we would have wisdom in making the best use of our resources and time, and also that I would be able to put together a proposal that would not only satisfy my academic requirements but would be useful for our future ministry.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Exciting News!

We praise God for the way that churches have come forward to support us and the new Ministry Centre Project. It has been really encouraging (not to mention humbling) to see the way that God has put things into motion for this and here is another exciting opportunity for individuals that are interested in being involved.
We have had a donor come to us that would like to give up to $10,000 in matching gifts for the building of the Ministry Centre in Niger. Here is a great opportunity to have your gift go a little further than you would expect. Individuals that would like to be a part of this can contact us either by e-mail, or by commenting on this blog.

Thanks to everyone who helped to make our holidays special, the boys especially enjoyed using the gifts given to them by a number of the churches we visited just prior to going away. We are so blessed to know you and to have you as part of our team.