Friday, January 23, 2015

Keeping my talents out of the dirt

Happy New Year, dear readers! If you missed my initial posts of how this crazy adventure began, you can catch up here and here.

At the beginning of this year, my pastor preached over Matthew 25:14-29 or the parable of the master who left talents with his servants. As my pastor explained it, the talents represent any investment God makes in us (i.e. money, opportunities, gifting, calling, etc) and it's our responsibility to maximize that investment. As you probably remember, the servant who was given one talent buried it in the dirt. Common wisdom of the time taught that burying money was the safest course of action. The one talent servant took the safest route and his master rebuked him for this lack of trust.

I came so close to being the one talent servant. Several times, I almost buried my calling in the dirt because I doubted God's goodness and love for me. It was the root of my struggle to purchase the plane tickets for my England trip. It was my fear that no one else would see England as a real mission field. It lingers still in my self-doubt. But God in His great grace kept removing His investment from the holes I dug and placing it back in my hands. Let's all praise God for his goodness and patience and pray that I stop digging holes now.        

On to the updates:

Crossworld officially partnered with me and I now have an account to raise financial support through them. I wasn't able to attend the November training because I didn't have enough time to complete the prep work and acquire the necessary funds. Instead, I will attend the June 6th-19th training.

During a Skype chat with my Acts 29 Europe contact, she shared that I should by placed with a church by the first week of February! Then I can tell you where and how I'll be serving. 

It's both thrilling and scary that my ethereal dream is so close to becoming real like the suspense of a roller coaster creeping up the first height, when you know twists and loops and dips and higher heights await. The more I learn about the plight of England and the UK, the I  am committed to this roller coaster. Plus, it helps with my hole digging problem.

According Operation World, the UK's steep decline of organized Christianity is almost unparalleled in Europe.

Operation World found that in 2010:
  • UK population: 62 million
  • UK Christians: 37 million (60% of UK pop.)
    •  -1% annual growth rate
  • UK Evangelicals: 5.5 million (9% of UK pop)
    • 0% annual growth rate
      • Without immigrating Evangelicals, the growth rate would have plummeted.
    • Only a third of Evangelicals regularly attend church.
In contrast, atheism and Islam experienced rapid growth in 2010.
  • UK Atheist: 21.4 million (34% of UK pop)
    • 3% annual growth rate
  • UK Muslims: 1.9 million (3% of UK pop)
    • 2% annual growth rate
    • Muslims see converting England as a key strategy for winning the West.
England is the most secular of the four countries that make up the UK.
  • England population: 51.5 million
    • 6% of the population regularly attend church. 
These numbers break my heart. For at least a millennium, England was a Christian nation and mother to many of history's great missionaries. Now only 3 million regularly attend church. I want England to experience an awakening; I want God to take the UK back from the enemy. I am willing to play whatever part I can to make this happen and to maximize God's investment in me. Please, pray for England and the UK.

If you would like to know more about the spiritual state of the UK and specific ways to pray, check out Operation World, the definitive prayer guide to every nation, or ask me.

Please pray for me through the preparation process and for my spiritual and emotional health once I'm in the field. This is a dream come true but the work will also be hard and lonely and full of attacks from the enemy. Also, support raising is intimidating so please pray that God will call generous people to partner with me financially.

  • The Crossworld training costs $970 (lodging and meals included). 
  • Airfare to England plus incidentals cost $3000.    
  • Monthly cost of living in England won't be certain until I'm placed but I have been assured that it won't be more than $1700.

If you would like a tangible way to partner with me, please consider providing financial support to my calling. All support given through Crossworld is tax deductible and every bit helps.

Whatever payment method you prefer to use, this link walks you through all the Ways to give with Crossworld. Please remember to enter my account number 40299 or note it on you check so the support gets to me!

If you do not feel led or able to partner with me financially, I appreciate your prayers and encouragement. Both the prayers and the financial support help to keep my talents out of the dirt.

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