June 10, 2013
Dear <<Greeting name>>,
Well, after two months in Oceanside, CA, we are getting ready to pull up stakes again this Saturday, heading to Redding, in northern California, which we plan to make our base camp for ministry through the next several months. It seems pretty crazy to us to be there for the summer - last Saturday, it was already 111 degrees! Above zero! But from Redding, we will be within a day's drive to pretty much anywhere in California, Oregon, and parts of Washington and Nevada, where we are in the process of setting up church presentations. (BTW, if someone who knows of a housesitting need in any of those regions, we'd love to help out!)
To our new prayer letter subscribers: welcome! You will also be receiving a "back issue" prayer letter which details our vision for ministry (it also has old calendar information which can be overlooked :).
May I tell you a story?
As the Great Commission has been larger than life to us, we have been amazed again and again as God has turned othersâ€™ hearts toward the same goal of reaching Native Alaskans.
Loaves and Fishes
It was last fall, just before Thanksgiving. In the previous 2 months, we had packed up, set things in order at home, James had quit his well-paying full-time job as a police officer, and we had driven 5,792 miles, reaching South Carolina. It was a beautiful fall day as we unloaded the minivan, our kiddos were getting reacquainted with their friends and running off to play, and I (Shannon) ended up downstairs, unpacking a suitcase. Suddenly, our friendsâ€™ 10-year old son Daniel appearing in front of me, clutching some money in his hand. He said, â€œI really need a new winter coat this year, so Iâ€™ve been saving really hard for it. Iâ€™ve even saved my birthday money, and I have $40 so far!â€ Before I could respond, he got this huge grin on his face, thrust the money into my hand, and declared, â€œBut itâ€™s for the missionaries!â€ Then he turned and darted back up the stairs. Wow. Talk about humbling â€“ and amazing. In retrospect, we realize this didnâ€™t happen in a vacuum. We had just arrived at their home 15 minutes before, but Daniel already knew what we were about. His parents had obviously told their kiddos that we were missionaries in Alaska, and that, in order to serve God there, we needed partners with money to back us so we could focus on the work of ministry. They had been praying for us, and God moved that young manâ€™s heart to know that HE could have a part in the fulfillment of the Great Commission â€œâ€¦to the uttermost parts of the earth.â€
God has since multiplied the story of Daniel, which we tell as part of our individual ministry presentation. We have seen that act of faith and love for God reproduce: one lady who realized that she could do without a magazine subscription and some niceties dedicated those expenditures as monthly support; a young couple was touched and decided to share out of the blessings the Lord had lavished on them; a lady on Social Security was compelled to take part in the Lordâ€™s work out of His provision.
Do you think the little boy who gave his lunch away to Jesus ever regretted giving it up? A growing boy, out of devotion to Jesus, was willing to go without his lunch (picture that!)â€¦imagine his wonder at seeing what Jesusâ€™ hands did with those rolls and dried fish!! Would he have experienced that joy if he had held on to what was already his?
Would you consider the joy and blessing that God may have for you â€“ perhaps He is calling you to give Him your lunch, Starbucks, movie night out...? We pray for the â€œfruit that will abound to your account!â€ (Phil. 4:17)
We are so thankful for our partners!
We pray for you and are confident that
â€œGod is able to make ALL grace abound to you,
so that having ALL sufficiency in ALL things at ALL times,
you may abound in EVERY good work.â€ (2 Cor. 9:8)
To the praise of His glory,
James and Shannon