Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Southeast District Leaders' Meetings

Darla & I are in Louisville, KY leading our Southeastern Eastern United States District Meetings. This is made up of Base (center) leaders from the 10 Bases that make up the Southeast District. As the Southeast District Director I have the responsibility of oversight for these 10 Bases. This responsibility includes meeting together as leaders two times each year. The photo shows these Base leaders minus some spouses.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Record Number of Students

Wow, can you believe it’s the middle of October already? Where has this year gone?

After we returned from our staff retreat the middle of September we hit the ground running. The following week our fall training schools started with a total of 65 students from 9 nations between the 3 schools. When we include our staff we have 21 nations represented in our YWAM community. Every time I go to dinner I see new faces from all over the world! Our housing and classrooms are maxed out, but it’s a good “problem” to have.

Michael's Ministry Trips

This fall Michael taught in Richmond, Nashville (see photo), a Wycliffe leadership retreat here in Orlando, and this week he taught in our Discipleship Training Schools. He’s off to Jacksonville next week and the following week we both will be in Louisville for the SE Leader’s meetings. There’s never a dull moment with this guy! (Because of his busyness I, Darla am writing this post)

What's New With Our Property Search for the Base?

Our staff and students are continuing the 24/7 prayer for the release of our campus. We’ve been going strong since April of this year, and are asking God what’s next. At the beginning of this month we handed in a proposal for a 200-acre campground, but we haven’t heard back from the owners. The last few days Michael has been out looking at other properties (in his spare time) to get a better idea of what the current property values are. With the real estate market where it is, we hope this current information may be used as a bargaining piece in the negotiations on the campground. As always, we covet your prayers!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

September Update

September 27, 2008

Hi Everyone,

Kristen had a wonderful time in her School of Worship. One of the songs that she wrote ended up on the school CD recording. After the three month lecture phase she and a band (photo below) from the school joined our School of Ministry and Evangelism outreach. They traveled to many cities throughout the USA to share the Gospel. Kristen and her band were even able to play at a Christian Music festival called Cornerstone. Below she writes a bit about her outreach.
“One of my favorite times of ministry in Washington, D.C., was when we partnered with the Justice House of Prayer (JHOP) and stood at the steps in front of the Supreme Court building with a red piece of tape over our mouths that said the word "LIFE" in a black sharpie. We did this to symbolize the issue of abortion and how all of those unborn children don't even get a say in the matter of whether their life should be taken or not. As we stood in a line facing the entrance of the building with this tape over our mouths, we kept silent and prayed that the hearts of the Congressman would break for those children and that abortion would come to an end! Two or three team members and I, after that day, bought the JHOP's red "LIFE" bracelets to remind us to keep praying for this issue: for Congress, for the pregnant mothers who plan to have an abortion, for the children who are about to be aborted, and for those mothers who suffer from the guilt of aborting their child. I felt so privileged to be involved!”

In August we held a 3-week New Staff Training time. We had 18 new staff join our team and the excitement was high as we trained and orientated them in preparation for their new responsibilities.

Toward the end of New Staff Training, Darla and I traveled to join Youth With A Mission’s Global Leadership for a strategy conference. We were allowed to invite a couple of leaders from our base, so we took Dean and Theresa Sangrey with us.

During this time we prayed and discussed God’s priorities for our mission in the coming years. This time included walking on a 40 x 70’ map of the world that identified the portions of the world where there is no access to the gospel, which means that there are no churches or bibles available to the people in these areas. We believe that God is leading us to work toward seeing the light of the gospel spread to every one of these areas of the world that we call “Omega Zones”.

We sense an urgency to get ready for the “laborers” that God will bring to us to train and send to these unreached “Omega Zones” (the ends of the earth!) This is one of the main reasons why we are so excited about the influx of new staff.

We ended our summer by taking our staff on our annual staff retreat. This is a time for Darla and I to say thank you to all our staff for a year of sacrificial work for our King! It was especially good for our staff to be refreshed, since there are a record number of students in our schools this fall. (More on that in our next letter)

Because of our numbers this fall we had to rent another house and once again have are faced with the fact that we need to see the release of a larger training campus. Just a couple of days ago I put a contract in on a very large piece of property to be used as a campus for Youth With A Mission Orlando. Please join us in prayer for God’s will to be done. We have asked the owners to make a decision by October 6, 2008.

We are so grateful for your friendship and faithful partnership! We know we would not be nearly as effective without your prayers and for many of you, the investment of a portion of your earthly treasure. We know that this is a sacrifice and that along with your support comes a commitment of heart!

Until all have heard,
Michael, Darla, & Family