Mike Scheffelin, Robert Horan and I are on our way to Bukavu. Trip 6 has begun.
In this email, I want to:
· Beg you to pray. Prayer unleashes God’s power to work His will. That is exactly what we want and the people of Bukavu desperately need. · Inform you of our schedule. We have some great stuff planned. · Answer a simple, but important question
We need your prayers. I don’t know why, but this trip has been a difficult trip to get off the ground. We started as a team of five and are now a team of three because of illness. The three people going on the trip have had some challenges as well. The people we are meeting with in Bukavu have also had some challenges. The end of this email will list some specific prayer requests.
In addition, we need dozens more people to pray for the recipients of the Bibles. We will put your name on the Bible to let the recipient know that you are praying. Just hit “reply” to this email if you will pray for this person over the next year. (If you have already signed up for this trip, there is no need to sign up again.) Think how fun it will be to meet this person in heaven!
Here’s our schedule: Friday, January 25 – Leave Austin Sunday at 5:00pm – Arrive in Bukavu, DR Congo Monday – Renew relationships and get acclimated Tuesday – Saturday mornings – Seminar to help people who want to start a business capable of employing other people Tuesday – Saturday afternoons and evenings – Encourage our three borrowers and assist them in thinking about their businesses as well as continue building other relationships Sunday – Church and missionary fellowship Monday & Tuesday – Discuss the formation Bible listening groups and distribute 200 solar powered MP3 Bibles in Swahili and French Wednesday – Fly to Kigali, Rwanda and begin the trip home Thursday – 24 hours in Istanbul – a little R&R and sightseeing Friday, February 8 – Return to Austin
On Monday and Tuesday, Mike will also be teaching a regional YoungLife director and some volunteers how to use some great video equipment and editing software to create short films to use in their ministry. Mike is donating the equipment to them.
The Question: Why do we go?
Such a simple question. The answer is a little more complex.
· We go because we can. · We go because they need us. · We go because we need them.
God has blessed us with abundance – abundant knowledge, abundant wisdom, abundant servant leaders, abundant spiritual resources and yes, abundant physical resources. We have much to share. Turns out, sharing is intensely rewarding also. 1 John 3:17-18 tells us we must share these things. (But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.)
Their need is abundantly clear. Certainly, the last email displaying the violence that they have endured for more than 20 years illustrates the need. The fact that very little works well in Congo would be another indicator. While most Congolese think that the needs are resolved with money, our view is that the needs are resolved through loving relationships.
Our need is not always abundantly clear. It took several trips for me to realize the depth of my need. Jesus has used the people to show my lack of faith and love. He also revealed some incorrect thinking and theology. My relationship with Jesus is much deeper and better because of what I have seen, heard and experienced.
That’s it for now. Thanks for praying for the people of Bukavu.
Joyfully in Christ and for the team,
Prayers for Bible Distribution: · That God would use us to inspire a vision for Bible listening and prayer that would help the Congolese know a powerful and personal God. · That the recipients would share the Word with many others. That they would listen to God’s Word together, grow together and lead together. · That God’s Word would teach husbands to love their wives the way Christ loves the Church. · That God would bring unity, purity, peace and forgiveness to a long suffering people.
Prayers for Business Formation Seminar: · That God would bring the “right” people. · That God would show people how to start and build profitable, Christ-centered businesses. · That God would prompt people to live a life like Jabez who blessed generations to come (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).
Prayers for Relationship Development: · That God would provide us with divine appointments with people who could be effective leaders in Bukavu. · That God would help us understand how the Congolese think and view the world. · That God would use us to answer the prayers of His people in Bukavu. · That God would help us be creative in communicating the need for counter cultural leadership.
Prayers for the Trip: · That God would give us keen insight into His creation – resources, environment, culture, and people – and show us a creative approach to help the people develop economically and spiritually and not make them the target of violence. · That we would be strong in the Lord, with the full armor of God, able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. · That God would keep us free from unnecessary health and safety issues.
“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13)