Missions, Outreach & Prayer
In Missions, we are getting ready to leap into a busy part of the year. The Benton’s, Guy & Summer, who are Missionaries to Cambodia, just welcomed their third child into this world in January. They are now safely back in Cambodia- their Mission field after the delivery and baptism in New Zealand.. The Kramer’s left last month for 3 weeks to check on their adopted children- in 3 orphanages in Kenya & Tanzania. They will leave to move to Kurdistan on the Wednesday of Holy Week. Their daughter, Nina, will be going to Perth, Australia this summer for YWAM training and then joining them this Fall. Blaise graduates from Boarding school in May and will then go to an Ivy League school in the Fall for International studies. He was highly recruited due to his GPA. Before they leave for Kurdistan, they will visit 2 US churches- one in Allen, Texas on 3-23, they will then spend 4 days in Savannah, Georgia, and then leave on April 10th for Kurdistan. Finally, we are beginning the work of preparing for a grand 20th Anniversary celebration for our Companion Diocese of Northern Malawi ON Saturday, June 3rd, Bishop Fanuel Magangani will come here and we will be together for a retreat to begin the next chapter in our relationship. Please pray for me as I begin to fill the shoes as the new chair of this committee. As I have said before, Lord Willing, I will travel to visit with them in Northern Malawi and I look forward to bringing our greetings. Stay tuned for more details about this celebration in the coming weeks!
In prayer, much of what is done is behind the scenes. In one of Father K’s most recent sermons, he elaborated on that with the gospel being about praying in secret. In our church, we have many faithful who pray daily for those on our Parish prayer list. We have ministries whose core founding is rooted in prayer. We have a group who commit to praying for the Vestry team every month in a Vigil during their meeting. Another group commit to praying in 15 minute segments of the meeting times from 6:45 to 9:00 every month during the Vestry meetings. Many have come into the church to kneel before God and the alter to pray additionally. Our Lord delights in the prayers of His people! Those of us who go to BSF remember the chapter we just finished where Jesus explained to the disciples that “the Father will give you whatever you ask in My Name” John 15:16 NIV
In addition to our own prayers, there are several other groups involved in praying for other ministries in our Diocese. Whenever there is a SOMA Mission going to anywhere else in the world, there is an Intercessory Prayer team praying for that team and their members. I was blessed to be a part of one of these Missions. There is also a group of people who get together every Tuesday night on a Conference call to pray for the ministry of the Kramer’s, missionaries to E. Africa. On Tuesday, March 7th, they left to go visit E. Africa for 3 weeks in several places that they have Orphanages taking care of many displaced children. They also have a school, affectionately called Father Jerry Academy. They also support many groups of widows. They will celebrate the completion of a new hospital building. There are 3 orphanages in Kenya & Tanzania. Since their visit to our church last September, we have also began to connect with intercessor teams in the churches that they are going to visit while in the US. We have these calls on Friday evenings and try to involve the local prayer teams in these calls. We call ourselves the Kramer Intercessory Team. There are just 2 more church visits in 2017 left- in Allen Texas on the 26th of March and then in Savannah, Georgia on the 30th. They returned from E. Africa on the 23rd of March. The Kramer Intercessory Team will pray them into both of these visits, as we have all year in the others. They have reported to us that it has made a very definite impact on the congregations they visit, the prayer teams in that Parish, as well as how the Lord uses them to preach & teach there. On April 10th, they will “deploy” to Kurdistan, in Northern Iraq. This team will then begin the fervent prayers for the relief & recovery efforts that they will be doing there with those displaced by the ISIS regime and the liberation of Mosul. They maintain that it is safer there than in E. Africa! The Kurds love the US and watch our backs there always. The greatest blessing is we get real, accurate information that is not “spun” in any way. It is surprising how different that news can be! I will post pictures as I get them.
Last but certainly not the least is Outreach. We have to begin to live Matthew 28:18-20 to paraphrase, says to; to Go- Make- Teach. The go is certainly Outreach! We never know who or how our visits will be received. If we love the Lord, He expects us to reach out to the world and show them what we have- peace & joy from Jesus! The world is sadly lacking in both, and He offers it willingly! Won’t you join us in going out? Every time we go into a grocery store or gas station, we have an opportunity to be a witness for the Gospel. It can be as simple as how we greet someone or answer a question- our joy can be radiated to all we come into contact with.It is not just sharing our testimony, but that is important too. In our Discipleship training, which we now call TALENT for The Anglican Lay Evangelist Next Training, that is what we are trying to do- is make disciples that make disciples that make more disciples. Our next TALENT meeting will be on April 23 at 6:30 and we will hear all about our relationship with La Gran Familia, an orphanage our diocese supports in Northern Mexico. We will also hear about the Mother’s Day ingathering for the Orphanage that starts that same day, April 23rd. We will meet starting at 6:30 in the Parish Hall. You won’t want to miss this meeting! Watch for updates in our weekly church bulletins! As I said before, we have so much to be thankful for- never forget to thank God often for how he blesses us! May this Easter season make you grow & glow! Remember, Go- Make- Teach!