I hope that this letter finds you well. Thank you in advance for your time and energy as you read through this latest 5 Minute Ministry Update. God is moving and it is my pleasure to share with you about what He has been doing.
A Man and a Statue
It was obvious that we were sitting in the sanctuary of the old church when we walked into the large room. The old banister that ran along the choir loft in the back was covered in colorful fabrics. On the floor, there were plush carpets of vivid colors and patterns. At the front of this old church sanctuary sat a man in an orange robe. Behind him was a larger than life statue of Buddha, covered in gold leaf.
The man in the front of the church, a monk of the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism, opened our conversation by turning to the statue and bowing three times, prostrating himself as low as he could. Over the course of the next hour or so each member of our group asked a question, which the monk answered. Near the end of the conversation, we invited the monk to ask us some questions too. He asked a couple of great, very difficult, questions about Christianity. At the end of our talk, the monk invited us to take a picture with him. After the picture, we shook hands and left. As we parted ways with our new friend I remember the heaviness that my heart was feeling. I was caught somewhere between grief toward this old church, in the rural Midwest, turned Buddhist temple being as it was, and a great love and respect for our new friends who had shown us such great hospitality that morning and afternoon. I felt both blessed and distraught. I think that was okay though. Looking back, I know it is just one of those situations that God is working in. A place where we as Christians can love and pray; but, all the heavy lifting must be done by God if these people are going to come to know him.
This experience with the monk was part of a week-long discipleship and missions training called Stranded. I was glad to be part of the leadership team once again this year and I am excited to report that God is continuing to raise up laborers to go to some of the most dark (unreached), dangerous, and despised places on earth. You can learn more about Stranded and Unusual Solders (the organization which runs Stranded) at www.unusualsoldiers.com.
I am excited to announce that starting in September I will be joining a three year itinerate speaking training program through an organization called Forge(forgeforward.org). The program, called Firebrand, is geared at equipping students with practical and crucial knowledge on how to do itinerate ministry. In this program I will be further trained as a speaker and minister of the gospel. Taylor and I learned of the opportunity in February, prayed about it, and felt that the Lord was leading me to apply for the program in April. We heard that I was accepted in May.
Upcoming Trips and Ministry Opportunities
We are excited about all of our upcoming opportunities:
From June 25ththrough the 30thwe will be taking a small group of youth from Grace Covenant Church to Ft. Morgan for a week long mission trip. In August (1-15th)we will be taking a group from Grace Covenant Church to Uganda to partner with Hines Ugandan Ministries. The last 3 weeks in October I will be traveling as part of a team of 3 to a restricted nation in East Asia.
- Please be praying for hungry hearts and God breathed interactions as we minister in various places this summer and fall.
- Please continue to pray for the Hadzabe (Tanzania), the Duna (Papua New Guinea) and all of the people here in the USA from various communities and churches that we engage with.
- Please pray for Taylor and I as we continue to seek the Lord in our ministry and marriage.
Thanks for reading! You are a blessing.
Learn more about the Romans 10 Project and how to partner with us at romans10project.com