June Missionary Update from the Field!
“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
Last week I spent the whole week fellowshipping with other missionaries at the InFaith home office in Pennsylvania. We broke bread together, devoted ourselves to prayer, and learned how to be better missionaries to our partners (you!), and the people we are called by God to serve. In just my small class of 7, we were among believers called to serve children and seniors in Christian camps, as well as refugees, homeless, suicidal, and marginalized teenagers, prisoners, and forgotten rural churches struggling to survive. I had a fantastic and spiritually refreshing time and came back resolved to hit the ground running and build a strong support base and team of partners to make the ministry we have been called to as effective as possible. My flight landed late Thursday night, and by Friday morning I learned that the ailing pastor of the California Valley Christian Church had gone to be with the Lord and the tiny rural congregation he had devoted the last two decades of his life to was struggling now more than ever and had lost their shepherd. I stood before the grieving congregation last Sunday morning and presented the only sermon the Lord seemed to be leading me to; John 11:35, "Jesus wept." It truly is amazing how we have a Savior who conquered death and the grave, but still has the compassion to weep with us when we weep and rejoice with us when we rejoice. He is the God who welcomed Pastor Chuck home last Friday morning into heavenly glory, and will not forget His church in California Valley, even though so many others seem to have forgotten them. Although we need to be raising the finances needed to support this ministry, we could not let the church doors close in California Valley and I agreed to be their primary pastor for the immediate future. We have spent a lot of time with these brothers and sisters of ours over the past year and believe that pastoring their church is the best good we can be doing for the ministry we're called to. It's a tremendous challenge, and one we can't do alone, but with partners like you and a mighty Lord on our side, we know that His church will survive and show itself to be, ". . .an anvil which has worn out many a hammer."
Prayer & Praise
Please remember to keep the California Valley Community Church in your prayers as they struggle to keep the doors open and continue to mourn the loss of their beloved pastor. This congregation is stepping into a new season with Dean beginning to shepherd their small flock.
Pray for Camp Challenge, its preparations for the 2018 camping season, its staff, and its past and future campers. We have experienced many ups and downs. Discouragements with unexpected staffing changes, and encouragements to hear of all the kids excited to attend camp for the first time or rekindle old relationships, all with Jesus at the center of everything we do. Thanks to the faithfulness and generosity of our partners, we have even been able to provide scholarships to 6 campers! The final stages of planning are upon us and we need your prayers now more than ever.
Our funding is now at 8%, so we have a very long way to go. Please pray that the Lord would use His people to provide the financial support we need to continue this ministry and keep church doors open in the rural communities we're called to serve, pray that we would not grow weary or discouraged in doing Christ's work. Would you consider becoming one of our partners in building Christ's kingdom in forgotten communities on the Central Coast? We need you and can't continue to do this work without you.