Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas


We're headed home for Christmas. Well, I call it home. Cherryville that is. Thomas of course will say that he has no "home" or that Africa is his home.

I'm thankful that we're in the States to spend Christmas with our families again this year and also thankful that we have David and Renee here with us! I look forward to spending time with my mom, dad and brother, of making fun of my mom, haha, visiting my grandparents, visiting old friends, having time off work, relaxing, sleeping in, eating good food.

Here are a couple pics of a few of my favorite Christmas ornaments.

News about Leslie

The Mission
Written by Renee Crane

"David and I host a group of young people at our house on Sunday nights. We have seven young adults and we have been studying the stories of the Bible. To be in this group each one of the young people is supposed to start a group of two-or-three people that they meet with on a weekly basis to tell the stories. Frances and Lydia, started a group in the workers’ houses in the tea field where they live. They now have eleven teenagers from the age 15-18 meeting every week. I meet with Frances and Lydia yesterday and in the course of the conversation they told me about this situation. They said that the place that they meet is very small, so they are packed in a single room. When the teenagers come, their younger siblings come and stand outside the door so they can hear the stories. Lydia said sometimes it is a distraction because they are begging to hear the stories. Sometimes, they get in a shuffle outside trying to get a seat closer to the door so they can hear. They were telling me that this is the only opportunity these children have for “church”!

After meeting with Lydia and Frances yesterday, I could hardly sleep last night. I woke up very early and I was so overwhelmed that I was having a hard time praying. I just keep seeing these little children pushing against the door trying to get close enough to hear. So. . . I would love to get a mission trip together to help do a day camp, holiday Bible club (vacation Bible School), call it whatever you like. These younger siblings could use a blessing! They are home alone all day and are rarely left with food while their parents literally work from sunrise to sunset in the tea fields. These children are hungry and need to be fed bread while sharing the Bread of Life. My dream is for us to give them a week that will forever be tattooed on their hearts."

Leslie's Role
Renee has asked Leslie to join this short-term mission trip to Kenya. She will be responsible for all the arts and crafts involved with the backyard Bible club/VBS. This is Leslie's first venture on a short-term, volunteer mission trip. The Baptist State Convention gives all their employees a week off each year to participate in a mission trip. It is a great benefit and one that Leslie wants to take advantage of.

The Need
This trip is scheduled for April. The ticket price alone is around $2,000. So we will need to raise at least that much. Lord willing we will be able to cover the other costs ourselves. If you would be willing to partner with Leslie through prayer or financial assistance please shoot her an email (leslieecu@yahoo.com).

Thanks so much for your involvement in our lives and in the calling that God has given us.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I need Africa

I need Africa more than Africa needs me. Do you?



I need Africa but not because Africa needs me. I need it because it puts so much of my life in perspective. It reminds me of what's important, the basic things in life. Here I am stressed over parsing verbs and declining nouns in ancient Greek. My African brothers and sisters are all to frequently struggling to get food and clean water. I need Africa because it is where I feel God calling me. Africa does not need me but it does need the message found in the Gospel.

Lord, please prepare me to be an effective witness, worthy of the calling you have given me. Sharpen me with your Word so that I may be adequate to share your message on a continent so desperate for good news.

Friday, December 05, 2008

IamSecond

"I don't think I ever really met Jesus until I stepped out of my church persona and became just another desperate, broken man. That's when He really became real to me."

In a previous blog I mentioned how much I enjoy hearing other people share their story of how God found them and rescued them. We all need to be rescued and those who have been have a testimony. Here is a website where some very powerful stories of redemption are being told. They are presented in simple, short, well produced videos. There are stories from celebrities, singers, coaches, pastors, prostitutes, soldiers, sex addicts, drug addicts and others saved out of different struggles. God has no limitations in terms of the people He elects. Jesus redeems people from all nations, ethnic groups and circumstances. And then, when those individuals begin to tell their story of sin and forgiveness...it is powerful.


Hint: click on the "Struggles" link on the bottom of the page and see different circumstances that Jesus has saved people out of. Then click on the picture to listen to their testimony.