I got nothing accomplished….
Well, it seemed like nothing was accomplished last month. I spent a lot of computer screen time analyzing and assimilating information for others at Brentwood Baptist to help determine the next steps in our Middle Tennessee Initiative. My focus was exploring needs and discovering opportunities for our church to minister to others in the counties most adjacent to ours. In one county, discussions on advancing Hispanic work are already underway.
Jesus told His disciples to let the children come to Him. We were privileged to participate in a Mission Fair / Rally where 150 children attended. Our display was to be interactive. With the help of my wife and my mother’s, I created a couple of displays to demonstrate how we help those in need. It was FUN. We used a Lincoln Log set and created a “Baptist” version of Bingo to teach missions.
Pray for clear direction for involvement with a new initiative by a ministry in Nashville who is considering expanding their reach to men in crisis.
Soon I will be working with Hope Clinic, a ministry to women in crisis. Priscilla and I will be helping with events. Also, I will be developing friendship-mentoring relationships with men who are boyfriends and husbands of the women being served by Hope Clinic.
Pray for Steven, Tim, Ronnie (Lynn), and Tom. They struggle daily facing the challenges of life. I can listen and I can give them sound advice. But they must make good choices. Pray they develop good habits. Pray they become consistently involved with a local church family.
The Ebola crisis has exposed the fear that Americans are living in today. I’ll share just one anecdote. I received a call from a very good friend who asked me to help find a place for his family to stay for 21 days. His wife and 2 teenage daughters were returning from Uganda with zero cases of Ebola, and 1500 miles east of the countries with Ebola. Their small town in Georgia wanted them quarantined for 21 days. They were able to find a place for their family.
We had a blast visiting the Space Museum in Huntsville when our grand-kids visited us for a few days last month.
Vittorio Zanardi was buried here on Friday, September 12, 2014. I began visiting him each week beginning around June 2013. Before his release in November 2013 he was baptized in prison. He was released in December 2013. His family spoke to me at the memorial service about his faith and a real change they saw in his life. His faith was certain but weak. He accepted Christ as Savior on November 4th, 2012, he told me one day. I was shocked when his son called me to say his dad had taken his own life.
What can we learn? We never know the battles going on in a person’s mind. We can only do our best to love people by creating an atmosphere of acceptance (not agreement necessarily). By all accounts from those who saw him on a daily basis, he was doing well. Please pray for his son, Nick, his daughter, Pamela, and other family and friends.
This fall, I will be concluding my visits and research, scouting for ministry opportunities in 20 adjacent counties to our church. One major component to this effort called Middle Tennessee Initiative was the expansion of one regional campus near our home in Spring Hill. Literally a 10-minute walk from our house, the new building will be complete in the fall of 2015. Priscilla has joined the choir at The Church at Station Hill. I’ve been assigned a deacon team to serve on. I’ve recently visited “The Well Outreach”, a food pantry ministry in our community. Priscilla and I plan to be involved in this local ministry.
Lynn, the 18-year-old senior we have been mentoring is doing well in school. I introduced him to the YL Capernaum Club who works with teenagers with special needs. Lynn and I helped serve the meal at the club meeting that is held twice a month. Lynn seemed interested in helping. We are praying that he will maintain interest so we can introduce him to a club that is nearer to where he lives.
We were privileged to attend a volunteer appreciation dinner at the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes. The special speaker was Brian. He lived at the children’s home when we did. He is graduating from University of Tennessee (as prestigious as U of M for you Michigan friends) with a double major. He expressed gratitude for all those who had a part in his life
And we want to express our gratitude for each of you; for your prayers and financial support.