Wednesday, December 27, 2006

learn. be. go. serve. ask

As I prepare to travel to Northern Minnesota with my family (2 sisters, 1 brother-in-law, 2 nieces and 2 parents) to celebrate Christmas, I am thinking about the many students and young adults who are attending the Urbana Missions Convention - this year in St. Louis, Missouri. I attended Urbana '96 and '03 and could have gone this year as a representative to talk with participants at the Baptist General Conference International Ministries booth. Both '96 and '03 conventions have had a huge impact on my life - spiritually, and vocationally.

Inspiring multicultural/multilingual worship, indepth Bible study, challenging speakers, stimulating conversations, an abundance of resources, moving testimonies, and fellowship with mission's minded people. There will be tens of thousands of participants attending this conference - Imagine the impact such an event has on the God's kingdom globally!

learn. be. go. serve. ask

Please pray that those who attend (or participate online) will be open to whatever message the Lord has for them during this time. Pray that they would seek Him and follow where He leads. Pray also for the details of the 5 day convention as they meet in a new location this year.

If you're interested in learning more go to their website has a wealth of information and opportunities to follow the events of Urbana 2006. And if God leads - attend in 2009!

The world will be different tomorrow
because of the choices you make today.
It matters what you do with your life!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Photos: Girls Night

As Promised - here are more photos of our Christmas Party.

Party Girl

December is time to celebrate the birth of a Savior among friends.

I've had the unique opportunity to have TCK friends and Global Christians who have grown-up, lived and worked around the world. Again this December we took time to gather for some celebrating. Many of the group could not attend as they were . . . well, in Japan, Germany, China, Turkey, D.C., Iowa (hey, that's another culture, right?), etc. But for those of us who were in town, we always look forward to getting together. (And we do miss those of you who couldn't come - Lisa, Bethany, Suzi, Liz, Matt, Sharon & Jamie, - and others!)

The above photo was taken at the annual MuKappa Alumni Christmas Party - at the Clarks. Many people in this group met during college and have continued to deepen friendships as the years go by.

Girls Night Out - Christmas Cocoa and Conversation. We had about 12 ladies attend and enjoyed catching up on what God's been doing in our lives and anticipating with prayer the amazing things 2007 will bring.

(Photo: Me, Liz, Holly) Liz was in the States for the holidays as a break from her work in Turkey and Holly recently relocated to Minnesota after completing her M.A. in Linguistics, and then trekking thru Alaska. Both of these friends are also former roommates of mine and it was a rare treat to have all 3 of us in the same country let alone one home. (I'm hoping to add other photos of the evening as I figure out the science of uploading photos.)

The end of each evening, for me, was spent in wonder at the blessing God has given me by surrounding me with such amazing brothers and sisters in Christ, who spur one another on, and build one another up.

Friday, December 15, 2006

November Support Report

New Team Members
I'd like to offer a warm welcome to two new churches joining my team!

Bible Baptist in Mauston, WI, and
Faith Baptist in Bayfield, WI

I've been corresponding with them through email, snail mail and by phone and look forward to meeting the church members in person this winter.

With just under 10 months to departure, the addition of these churches and more individual donors brings my monthly support now up to 40%!

Some of you have asked, "40% of what?"
Well, to cover the costs of salary, housing, ministry expenses, insurance, taxes and administrative costs - the budget set is $7,650 - per month. If you, or someone you know, is interested in joining my team visit the Baptist General Conference Website . For online donations click on my name under "Missionary Appointees" or follow the directions on the left of that page for donating using US mail.

Growing Prayer Team
I initially set a goal of finding 35 prayer partners who would commit to praying for me regularly and I guess I totally underestimated what God would do. In fact, just in the month of November, 36 new prayer warriors were added to the list of 13 people who have already committed to praying! So if you do the math with me that's 49 prayer warriors total (Keep in mind, that does not include those who are financial contributors who have also promised prayer support!) So, after praising God for what He's done - I've decided to set a new goal of 100 prayer warriors - and watch God reveal who these people will be.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Why Blog?

So, now that I've joined the thousands of others out in the blogging world, I go through my days making comments like - "I should blog about that" and making list of "future blog topics". (I love making lists!) So today, I've been trying to identify my answers to the question . . .

Why Blog?
  1. For family and friends to stay connect with updates and photos
  2. To give a glimspe of life as a missionary
  3. For educational information about culture, Third Culture Kids, Missions, and other topics that may effect my ministry
  4. List prayer requests, to keep ministry partners informed
  5. Gives potential partners a way to get to know me
  6. I hope, for some of you, it entertaining and perhaps inspiring.
  7. A place to describe what great things God is doing!

Since starting the mapcluster (the map on the right sidebar with the red dots) in October I've had 251 visitors to this blog from 10 different countries. Amazing!

I hope you come back often to see what God's doing in my life. If you have suggestions to add to the blog topics list, ideas for photos, or questions about my ministry or life - please let me know by making a comment.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Fabulous Hosts

As I reflect on the last month's travels, I wanted to share with you some photos of the amazing people who made my stay in Iowa and South Dakota such a blessing.

Jamie and Sharon - Iowa - I love staying in the Steen Bed and Breakfast, with its complimentary deep discussions about missions, eating Whitey's ice cream (even when its cold enough to wear hats and gloves) and getting the insider scoop on Hawkeye Game Day. Sharon was my roomate for 2 years in college and 3 years post college, so I love taking any chance I get to visit!

Dale and Karen Klingberg - South Dakota

Alongside the amazing conversations, laughter and "at home" feeling I will remember the refreshing breakfast view at your home - looking out to the view of snow covered ground, white barns and a huddle of cute kittens by the sliding glass door.

Thank you for sharing your gift of hospitality with me! I look forward to driving your way again!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Photos of Prayer First Luncheon

I just received photos from the Ridgewood Church of Minnetonka, Prayer First Luncheon, held Nov. 12, so I thought I'd share them with you. They are not in order but you'll get the idea if you start with the last one and scroll up. For the original post which gives more description of the day click here.

Elaine Evan - from the Ridgewood Church Mission Leadership Team

Here I am talking about my call to missions and vision for ministry.

We had soup was served for lunch - I believe this is a photo of Judy doing the serving.

Here I am waiting for the program to start. Just out of the picture are the fun people I got to talk with during the meal.
Ok, so, this photo should have been first. On the far left holding the bowl of soup, is Elaine Jahnke the Grandmother of Andrew, Aaron, and Nathan who I taught in Japan for 2 years. It was so fun to see her again!