Dear Friends and Family in Christ:
Merry Christmas to all of you. We turn our eyes to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God help us to enjoy Christmas with worship and awe focused on Christ – and not strangled by materialism, and not diverted by the dismay of own hardships and struggles.
We are grateful and thank you for your prayers on our behalf, and on behalf of those who plant cross-cultural churches and work among the poor. We are grateful for your kind support of us, every prayer, every note or call, every financial gift. The day before Thanksgiving I was struck, for a second time in, with Bell’s Palsy; which paralyzed the nerves on one side of my face. I spent the night in the hospital, but God does things to keep you from feeling sorry for yourself. Across the hall in another room a man I knew was keeping vigil with his father who had just found out he has stage four cancer in his abdomen. As I prayed for him I realized I had very little to complain about. I am healing up and getting better but a paralyzed mouth is hard on someone who likes to preach.
Where We’ve Been:
It was a pretty busy November, with preaching and trips to Richmond, VA, Medina and Cleveland, OH, a conference in Wisconsin, teaching and preaching in Macon, Ga, and then the last two weeks preaching in Chattanooga at New City East Lake for their eleventh anniversary, and at our home church New City Glenwood. I preached with an eye patch on because of this palsy.
We have had two trips already in December, one up to NYC for an Exponential Conference on church planting and then to Oregon.
Praise and Prayer Requests:
- Josiah Katumu has moved to Chattanooga and will be installed as the new pastor at New City East Lake in January.
- Jim and Michelle Pickett had a very good exploratory trip to the border, and now we pray the Lord will show us what to do with what we are learning from it.
- Even though there are few PCA churches in Oregon it was encouraging to see several of them bring their Deacons together for training in mercy.
- The New City Network is now incorporated and is an official non-profit.
- The Reconciliation and Justice Conference will be held in St. Louis the last week of January 2020. Pray for the speakers and that the Lord will bring just the right folks to attend it. Click here for information about the conference.
- New City South City in St. Louis, and St. Roch’s Community Church in New Orleans, are still looking for senior pastors.
Pray for a generous response to the Thanksgiving Offering so we can give mercy grants and help ministries to hire interns.
- Pray for those churches who are selecting and training Deacons and mercy teams, that the Lord will raise up gifted and energetic people, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, who will know how to effectively help the poor. Part of our job is to help train them when we are asked.
- Pray for the Lord to provide administrative help to keep us going. I would love to see someone working for us for about 20 hours per week.
- Pray for consistent and solid funding for the Network so we can keep going in this ministry.
- Pray the Lord will help me finish, (our target is February) with the help of my editors and publisher, a new book called “Insufficient.” Pray that it might help encourage those in ministry.
Christmas and New Year
We hope to take some family time between Christmas and the New Year and see as many of our grandchildren as possible. As you gather with your families, may the hope and promise of peace, that can only come from Jesus, fill your homes and hearts with the deepest of blessings.