I've got a lot of updates, prayer requests and other things!
Fully Commissioned: The biggest update is that about a week and half ago I was formally approved to be commissioned as a missionary with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada serving the the Ottawa region! Praise the Lord! It feels like a long time. It's been a long journey, but I am thankful to have the backing of many others, including our denomination and our many friends and supporters.
We’re are going to be splitting our time working with an evangelistic network, called Connecting Streams which works with churches to mobilize their members to be active in evangelism opportunities, particularly among the poor, vulnerable and marginalized. I also will be, God willing, setting up a separate discipleship and church planting network. So I’ll be very busy, but involved in the great commission every day!
Finding Companions: The other big update is that Jean has quit her part-time job to come alongside me during this support-raising process. It means that we are working together which is by far more fun and also much more efficient. Also, I've been joined in Ottawa by a friend who has long-range plans for ministry. He plans to join me in the work here as he receives his training. We may work in some sort of missionary apprentice relationship. It is great to have a friend together in ministry. Please pray that we can continue to form a solid core of a missionary team here in Ottawa.
Fundraising Commences: Thankfully, being commissioned by the EFCC means that my support page is now set up, so that we will be able to begin receiving support from our generous donors. Our online giving has been set up here. All funds are processed by the denomination and they are able to give charitable receipts to individuals, which may come in handy for people giving before the end of the year. We finished our first not-quite-full week of support raising today, and here are the outcomes:
We've got a long way to go, but are encouraged with all that has been happening. Nearly everyone I have spoken to and shared the ministry with has stated that they would like to support us financially in some way, so we will continue to trust that the donations will come in and the Lord will provide. Please pray with us in this, as we are praying that we will be fully supported and ready to join the team by the end of February.
Fulfilling Calling: While most of my prayer, time and energy has to be dedicated to support raising during this season, I've have been able to begin some minimal work with Connecting Streams, basically just getting to know some of the leadership team and team leaders. It is exciting to see how God is putting this network together. I was able to help out with a new volunteers orientation. I was also extremely blessed to have been part of the annual Dig and Delve Apologetic Conference steering committee. I believe that it was our best conference yet, and I was given an opportunity afterward to lead a young man to the Lord and begin discipling him and one of his friends who had come to the Lord just a few months earlier. It has been a joy to disciple these two young men as they are just taking their first steps in the Christian walk. Please pray for them that they can continue to grow in grace.