Dear Friends and Prayer Warriors:
We send you our gratitude for keeping us in your prayers and in your hearts as we continue in the mission of The New City Network; to mobilize churches and church planters, to share the Gospel, and the love of Christ with the poor and the marginalized. Thank you for helping us to encourage God’s people to love one another across racial, ethnic, economic, and educational barriers. Thank you for enabling us to stay at it in the call for justice, acts of mercy, and reconciliation; as well as to remain in the joy that comes from knowing God is on the throne of history. (Luke 4:17-21, 2 Corinthians 5:16-20, Ephesians 2:11-22)
Good works are what ought to flow from those people who have been loved by God, saved by Jesus, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Our gathering together as the church is what is supposed to stimulate us to love one another and to do good works. Those good works have already been prepared by God for us to do. So, I guess the challenge remains for each of us to make an appointment with our next good work and to get it done. (Micah 6:8, Hebrews 10:23-25, Ephesians 2:8-10)
Lord, Give Us the Grace to Know How to Love the Poor
I always need to pray for grace to love the poor. I pray for wisdom in how to do it. I passed a man on the street the other day holding a sign that said he would “work for food.” I thought, “alright, God is answering my prayer, so Lord, how do I handle this?” I went home and got some garbage bags and work gloves and came back to pick him up. Sure enough, he was gone by the time I got there. After going to a store and returning there he was again, so I pulled over and asked him, “If I give you $20.00 will you help me clean up a homeless camp?” He said “yeah” and we spent the next hour picking up debris from the city mowers having shredded a camp full of blankets, tarps, sleeping bags, and plastic bottles.
So pray for Shaun, who helped me clean up a camp that had belonged to a man, now deceased, who was called, “Wild Bill.” Please pray for others like them, by their thousands all over this country, who hustle for bucks, struggle with alcohol, mental illness, in and out of jail, and die too early leaving nothing but the detritus of their camps.
In our last letter, we asked for financial help to send Jim and Michele Pickett to our southern border to investigate ministry to immigrants, and refugees. By the very next day, one of our donors said she would supply the need and sent $5,000.00. They had a very “good” trip of learning both need and the acts of mercy being done by some ministries and churches.
We had a great loss in the sudden death of Ted Strawbridge who was a friend and colleague on the Mission to North America staff. He had only been on our staff for a few months bringing tremendous energy and movement in training conferences and fundraising. Then the Lord called him home either from drowning or drowning due to a heart attack. What a wonderful man he was, larger than life, laughing often, open and vulnerable about his own fallenness, and always pushing for the Kingdom of God. We miss him.
The New City Network is now a federally recognized non-profit. We praise the Lord for this step and hope it will eventuate in more foundation and business giving. The board of the Network is setting up the finance machinery to receive it. You will most likely be getting correspondence from the board about how they would like to handle contributions.
- Praise God for good results from recent ministry trips to Montgomery, AL (with Joan), then to Network retreat at Ridge Haven in NC, and then an intense trip to Richmond, VA.
- Pray for upcoming trips to Cleveland and Milwaukee (with Robert), and then to Macon, GA before we get to Thanksgiving.
- For God’s wisdom to make good decisions about some overseas trips.
- For some of our Network congregations which are small and struggling and praying to see greater results and growth.
- Pray for these pastors and their families not to be discouraged.
- For a good response, this year to the Thanksgiving Offering so more grants can be given.
(Photo above, 2 Cities PC in Montgomery, AL)