Jan. 10, 2023
I’m going to share my life verse: Isaiah 43:19, “Behold, I am going to do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” This verse has held so much meaning for me over the years. God has indeed created many roadways in the wilderness for me and my wife. I believe He’ll create even more of them.
1. Thanks to so many of you who have been praying for my wife, Janna, as she is in the middle of the process of knee revision surgery due to infection. The surgery scheduled for Jan. 9 for placing in the final knee has been pushed back two weeks to Jan. 23. The temporary knee is somewhat unstable, which throws her entire skeleton askew, and the result is she has experienced major pain due to this in her back and legs. We’re ready to get this done so she can begin healing.
2. On Monday-Wednesday of next week the Christian Leader Editorial Committee will meet in person in Wichita to brainstorm about the upcoming issues for the last half of 2023. This will be the first time the committee has met in person. Please pray for us, for a productive time of planning, dreaming and hearing from God about what topics should be covered in these upcoming issues.
3. USMB staff members Henri Ngolo, Integrated Immigrant Coordinator, and Brian Harris, Church Planting Mobilizer, continue to work hard with their respective responsibilities, building a lot of connections and casting vision for enhancing our immigrant ministry and national church planting vision. Henri and I plan to make a trip to California in late February and will attend Butler Church’s mission Sunday as well as visit with other pastors/leaders.
4. I’m encouraging all USMB churches to connect with another church for vital connection, relationship, fellowship and ministry engagement. Sister churches can provide a lot of synergy and fulfillment. As I’ve said before, I will continue to preach this vision over and over again: “Churches, let’s get outside of ourselves and happily connect with another church for a long and lasting relationship, whether that be a church close by or a thousand miles away, one similar to ours, an immigrant church or a church across the ocean.”
5. The National Pastor Orientation (NPO) planning committee met last week, and we are close to finalizing plans for the next NPO that is scheduled for April 17-19 in San Diego. If your church has a new or fairly new pastor (lead, associate, worship, children’s, etc), make sure they attend the NPO, and with their spouse if married. It’s a great time for them to learn more about our USMB family and to get to know several district and national leaders and also their fellow pastors. Most churches provide funds for the travel and registration needed to attend. Some districts assist as well, and USMB significantly subsidizes the NPO.
6. This may seem self-serving, but I don’t intend for it to. I’m mentioning this as part of my belief that God delights in calling His people to fund the mission of His work. What I’m getting at is asking this prayer for 2023: That our churches would unite in helping fund the ministry of the U.S. Conference and their own districts. This past year, overall church giving took another dip, being $10,000 less than the expected budget amount. Let’s work at getting church support back to levels it was at four or five years ago. The main reason is so that USMB can provide the many ministry initiatives that help make us all better. We’re in this together! We have a mission!
7. We’re increasing the development of the CORD program, a platform where churches can partner with a Congolese church (MB). And look at this! MB Foundation will match, dollar for dollar, funds needed to support one Congolese congregation in the CORD Program. Funding for one church costs $55,500, and MB Foundation is committed to matching the next $27,750 donated for this program. Thanks, MBF! We’re beginning to get donations for this. I’m praying this really catches on in this next month and we get momentum!
8. Please pray for me that the Lord might grant discernment, direction, wisdom, compassion, understanding, gentleness and grace. By the way, I am so thankful for our dedicated USMB staff. Thanks for your prayers!
9. Happy 2023!
USMB National Director
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