Democracy is a great blessing that God has allowed us; please join me in praying that we use it well today.
Happy American Secular Candy and Imagination Day! (or, if you prefer, Happy Welcome the Lost on Your Porch Day!)
Halloween was never something I gave much thought to growing up, other than picking or making a costume. Candy, imagination, cartoonish decorations — what wouldn’t a kid love about it?
What a whirlwind it’s been lately! With the fundraising appeal prep work, the special writing assignment, the magazine redesign and issue, and new prayer cards, I’ve been blessed with a great flurry of work.
Now, it’s time to celebrate some more!
Every year, Browncroft Community Church (2530 Browncroft Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14625) dedicates a week to celebrating missions and the work they help support. It was Tracy’s home church growing up and launched each of us into missionary work, so it’s always a joy to visit them and celebrate together. I’m excited to share our new prayer cards and preview the new magazine (finalized and approved earlier this week) at this year’s Global Outreach Celebration.
They hold their worship services at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. We’ll be there in the morning (and other times throughout the week), so come on down and say hello! It’s always a wonderful place to worship God.
Please pray for us to bless and be blessed in each of these opportunities:
- sharing about our ministry at a display table between services and after second service
- sharing about our ministry in a breakout group at the Women’s Fellowship
- attending the 20th anniversary celebration of BCC’s partnership with the Wolof people group, which is also how Tracy and I got involved in missions and where we still have many friends
- a missionaries-only retreat luncheon (always a blessing to us and a wonderful time to connect with others in this work)
- presenting about missionary work to their Kids Club
- sharing about our ministry (along with several other missionaries) at retirees group
What a joy to celebrate! The magazine is complete!
Late in August, the South Africa office in Cape Town asked our regional office in Johannesburg to oversee creating the next issue of their magazine. The colleague who has been doing it for years was departing, and they still haven’t filled my old role there. Moreover, they wanted the design to be updated, and this seemed an ideal time. Would we be willing, and would it be possible to complete it in time to send out by November 15? Printing, stuffing and mailing preparation would require a few weeks, so I would need to be done by Oct. 24.
Learn the computer program. Arrange, obtain, write and edit the content and all images. Design the pages and ensure it’s all error-free. Do most of that by myself. For the first time. In two months. “Yes!” but also “Yowza!”
So for the past five and a half weeks, I’ve been living at my computer. Workday? Do the magazine. Meetings? On the magazine. Insomnia? Might as well go down and do the magazine. Helping my elderly parents for the weekend? Take the laptop, and work on the magazine while they’re napping. With a deadline so ambitious, I’ve spent every moment I could muster on this. I’ve pushed late into almost every night to ensure that when my Cape Town colleagues arrived at the office by 9 a.m. (3 a.m. for me), they would have the absolute most they could to work with, consider, and redirect, as they leave the office around 11 a.m. for me.
I’ve been so busy that despite having many joyful things to tell our supporters, I haven’t been able to make time to share more than a few scattered Facebook updates to keep the prayers coming.
It’s been a joy and a very satisfying opportunity to make some long overdue changes and updates, but it has also been an enormous challenge. Earlier this morning, I finally completed the magazine and held a printed, cut-to-size facsimile in my hand. Three years of ideas and dreaming and hoping and a little over a month of fervent effort finally real and tangible and present. It’s not really finished (it’s complete (all there) but still has to be finessed and approved and adjusted) and my printer doesn’t reach the same quality that the real copies will have (the colors are duller, the paper rougher, the text and images aren’t as crisp), but I’ve never held a product I was more pleased by or prouder of making.
God blesses each of us with different talents, skills, knowledge, and abilities, but there’s nothing that can’t be offered up to Him as a gift of service. The ministry I am able to perform from here contributes vitally to the work happening around the world by sharing the good news of what God is doing in and through lives and ministries. The Lord deserves our very best work, and I’m pleased to say that this magazine represents that. It looks professional, even beautiful, and it tells of beautiful things being done around the world in His name.