5 Minute Ministry Update
“Christ Gives Me Strength”
August and September 2015 … Nathan Burdick
Hello Brothers and Sisters,
Thanks in advance for your time! I hope you enjoy this month’s update.
Finding contentment is not always easy. I wonder, when Paul penned those words in Philippians about contentment (Philippians 4:12-13) so many centuries ago, if he was not just speaking about his physical needs but also his ministry. August and September have been a time of training and a time of growth. God has been reaching into my life and inviting me to ask some hard questions, which in the moment have not been fun, but looking back I would have it no other way. He has inquired of me questions like: Are you willing to trust me to be your provider and the leader of your ministries? Are you willing to be called a fool and a mooch for still living with your parents after graduating from college? Are you willing to go where I ask, when I ask, and do what I ask you to do—even if it is not easy, or comfortable, or how you thought your life would look? Needless to say, answering these questions has been a wrestling match of sorts. In the end the truth I stand on is the same truth that Paul writes of in the final lines of his discussion on contentment, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea has been a country on my heart for three years now. I was helping with a Wednesday night youth group when the speaker asked the students to ask God, “To whom are the people You want me to minister?” I found myself on my knees alongside the group of 12 and 13 year olds asking the same question. The word God spoke was Hagini. Not knowing what the word meant, I googled it and discovered that it is a small town in the West Central Highlands of Papua New Guinea. After years of prayer about what God’s desire is for me and PNG, I believe He is leading me to go. My first steps in the planning process have been timid and slow, but God has helped me along the way and I hope to journey to Hagini within the year. The process has advanced more rapidly as of late when a missionary who has been working in PNG for 15+ years came and spoke to a small group of missions minded young people and me. The training was challenging, informative and ultimately inspiring. I find myself facing the great unknown, trusting that I have Christ on my side—and being content in realizing that He has my back.
Fort Morgan, Colorado
As you know from my June and July update I have been working alongside a pastor and his family in Fort Morgan, Colorado in an effort to reach out to the large Muslim, African, refugee population that exists in the small town. I am pleased to report that the work is continuing. A very small team and I went up just a couple weeks ago and were blessed to find that the children we had worked with during the summer remembered us and were for the first time even trying to learn our names. What a monumental step in the right direction. If God allows, I plan to continue going up to Fort Morgan on a regular basis. Also, I am excited to say that my local church will be donating gifts to the refugee children around the Christmas holiday in hopes of producing more opportunities to share the Gospel and the love of Christ.
Work at Home
Work at Iglesia Gracia y Vida (Grace and Life Church) and Grace Covenant Church has been continuing. At the Iglesia we have been working to develop two libraries for the adults and children in the community. I am excited to say that God has provided the necessary funds for us to finish the project. In a strange, only-God-could-do-that series of events a huge portion of the funds came from a non-Christian woman who told the pastor, ‘When I heard about the project, I felt a tug on my heart to give.’ God is able! Youth group and young adults group at Grace Covenant have been awesome yet challenging lately. I have been encouraged with all that God can do, even when only one or two show up. In fact, one night when numbers were low, a middle schooler said, “I really liked having a small group tonight, I felt like I could ask any question I needed to ask.” I am learning to trust that God has a plan even for small things (like one week at youth group), and that I can know that His plan for any given event is way better than mine.
A year ago at this time, I was gearing up for “Hope for the Hadzabe”, a three month mission trip that proved to be both highly challenging and highly rewarding. Over the course of the last 9 months I have updated you on the events taking place in the Hadzabe Church in our absence. I am happy to say that they are still worshiping Jesus—no doubt a miracle of God! Now it is time to return. Hope for the Hadzabe Part 2 will be happening in January and February of 2016 for 5 weeks. Our big picture vision is to start a discipleship movement. On this trip we will be working toward that goal by putting the Gospel of Mark into the Hadzabe language as well as venturing deeper into the bush to disciple more Hadzabe people in possibly the most unreached portions of Hadzabe Land. This time the team is bigger. In addition to Charlie and I, Dara, wife, and our friend Austin, will be venturing alongside us. Only God knows what is in store, but what we do know is that we are eager to rejoin our Hadzabe family and once again worship Jesu Hieenay (Jesus who is God) alongside them.
Thank you for your time in reading this and thank you in advance for your prayer and financial partnership. It is always a pleasure taking part in gospel advancement with you!
- Please pray for mission Papua New Guinea that God would be in the big picture as well as the small details.
- Please pray for Hope for the Hadzabe Part 2. We have a lot to do and a limited period of time to accomplish it. Please pray that God would be in every iota of translation.
- Please pray for the ministries here at home. I want to see my communities meet Jesus and be transformed by Him.
- Please pray for mission Fort Morgan, especially that we will see a church emerge, of faithful people who really love Jesus and have a heart to disciple others.