Newsletter: Spring 2009
Below you will find a copy of our quarterly newsletter. In case you don’t already know, we are in a season of our life where we feel that God has called us to raise financial support while we live out full-time Christian ministry as well as prepare to continue on in ministry for our future. Kevin is in the process of getting his Master’s of Divinity degree through Columbia International University in Columbia, SC where he commutes weekly for classes. This has been a long road for us but every step has been worth it. Kevin has been tackling his masters for about 4 years now. He has given up alot on behalf of our family and his “dreams” to pursue this degree. And, although it’s “just a degree”, we feel and have been counseled to understand, that it is crucial to have in order to be able to more effectively use his teaching and pastoral gifts. (I do have to say , though, that a Masters of Divinity degree is more than just the average master’s degree. It’s an extensive degree that requires many more hours of credit than a regular masters and Kevin actually already could graduate with a regular masters at this point. That’s how much work he has already put into it!) Having this degree, will better prepare Kevin and our family as a whole to know God’s Word so that he can, in turn, better communicate it to others. We always think about the most influential leader’s of all time like Martin Luther and John Calvin and Charles Spurgeon and Billy Graham and even some of the pastor’s in our own pulpits and many missionaries around the world…if no one invested in their lives, they wouldn’t have become who God made them to be through each person that believed in them and supported them and invested in them whether physically or spiritually.
It has been a humbling process to watch other believers rally ’round us and capture the vision of giving our lives to full time ministry. There are alot of mountain tops to this experience and there are alot of valleys. Raising financial support is a humbling thing while also a privilege. There is never a minute when we can settle into the man-made security of knowing all of our needs will be met and we are forced to trust in a God that knows our needs and loves us. People will fail us, God will not. We are so thankful for the many who have given to us and who have remained faithful to seeing our vision through to the end. We are grateful for the handful of ones who have remained committed and who have not given up on God’s work in our lives. Many have remained at our side for all of the 4 and a half years that we have embarked on this journey and have proven that they aren’t dependent on seeing tangible fruit but rather in trusting that God is doing kingdom work often not seen by the human eye. God doesn’t need us to do his work, but he chooses to use us and we feel blessed because of that.
Dear Friends, It has been awhile since I have sat down and typed out an update letter and I wanted to bring you all up to speed on our ministry in downtown Augusta.
Our community seems like it is changing on a daily basis. There have been a number of new people moving into our neighborhood which has been a real encouragement to see that people want to be a part of what God is doing in this very diverse neighborhood. As of April 14th we have decided to decentralize our Tuesday gatherings from one house to multiple families homes throughout our neighborhood. The Bible is very clear to us as Christians that we are all to practice hospitality within our own families. Through this teaching and the conviction that our Tuesday gathering was not as effective as it once was we have decided to challenge our people living downtown to love their neighbors by having them into their home. Please pray for us as we seek to be little Gospel communities within our families.
Tara and I see our ministry as one of teaching and hospitality therefore I try to say yes to as many teaching opportunities I can. This past fall I helped teach through the book of Mark in our Sunday school class and I also had the opportunity to preach at one of our local homeless shelters. In January I started with one other man in our church teaching the Ten Commandments in two different Sunday school classes and recently was able to speak at a deacons meeting at our church. Being able to teach on a regular basis has showed me that this is how God has gifted me and that I really enjoy being able to teach his word.
The girls are doing very well. Ashtyn and Jada are both in ballet together and they are preparing to be in The Roar of Love on Saturday, March 28. Ashtyn is now five and Jada is three. Ellie has been a lot of fun and will be 5 months old this month. She is sleeping through the night and giving us lots of cute smiles and baby babble. Babies are truly a blessing from God. Tara has recovered quite well from her c-section and has started back running and exercising. She is an amazing Wife and Mommy who is constantly modeling the gospel to me and our girls on a daily basis. She is the one who makes our home a place of comfort and rest for our family and all those that God brings to our door.
I started working for Christ Community Health Services last May and continue to grow and develop in the position that God has given me here. My official title is Director of Community Outreach/Pastoral Care. This involves but is not limited to pastoring our staff, counseling patients, discipling medical students and interns that come through our clinic. I am also in charge of reaching out to our community through Health Outreaches and helping to coordinate work projects in the Widow’s Home and our current location. Please pray for us as we continue to raise money for the renovations of our new location (124 Greene Street) and as we continue to care for the underserved of our city.
I continue to plug away at my Master of Divinity through Columbia International University. I am taking 10.5 hours a semester and driving to Columbia once a week for class. Lord willing I will be done in December 2010. We constantly need your prayers and are grateful that we have other interceding on our behalf. Please pray for all that is going on in our city: Christ Community Health Services, Heritage Academy, our hospitality initiative, the body of believers living in our neighborhood that we would be united for the sake of the Gospel. Also pray for our family as we seek to be a Gospel community amongst our neighbors. While I do get paid by Christ Community and my church (internship) we still are dependent upon the support of others to do the ministry that God has called us to do. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting us these past couple of years. It has truly been a blessing to have you as part of our ministry here in the city.