Here's an update on the wonderful progress we are making together! I also have hard-copy reply devices that can be mailed in. See me in person for these. Update and Mission details follow giving options.
France : Where. What (else). How. When. Who.
1-WHERE? I will be joining the Brie church plant in the suburbs of Paris. Brie Church is Pastored by (French) Lorenzo and his wife Mary-Alice Monge and assisted by American Pastor Chris and Kirsten Furr, an American Missionary couple from United World Mission. I recently visited and interviewed with them and the UWM Team near Toulouse. After invitations from both were received we all agreed on placement with this team of church planters outside Paris!
2-WHAT? I personally will assist in the church service and Kids ministry already underway as well as helping train the French in walking with Jesus (how to have a relationship with Him and with other believers, using the Bible as the Field Manual). The Kids ministry is very reminiscent of Big House when it was just 5 or 6 cast members!
WHAT ELSE? I will get to teach English as a private tutor-for-hire in order to connect with more young adults aged 3 to 33! I love young people and discipling all ages! : ) I was surprised and excited that I'll also officially get to continue making music for Jesus as part of the mission! The French are quite obsessed with African American "Gospel" singers. They think I am one, even after they hear me sing. "Gospel music" will allow me the opportunity to share the truth of the Gospel with even more people. I am so excited to see how God has prepared a place where His heart and work engages my abilities and availability! My time as a volunteer in the Worship Ministries of CUMC have perfectly prepared me for this opportunity!
3-HOW? I need monthly partners to give sacrificially. I need to be able to sit down with you, your family, friends or lifegroup and share how you can be involved with praying and supporting this church plant! I'm excited that we have been adding new partners every week! I have been quoted as saying you can "give as little as the price of a cup of coffee per month." You can...but I really need folks to pray about giving more, sacrificially. I can NOT get there without your prayers AND financial giving. If $5 is sacrificial go for it. But maybe $50 or $100 a month is what your budget will allow AFTER YOUR TITHE. Now's the perfect time to make a year end tax-deductible gift AND to choose a monthly amount to budget and start giving in January 2011!
4-WHEN? Start giving now. We have set a goal of February 9th 2011 to leave for final training. But I can NOT leave Myrtle Beach until 100% of my budget is covered (by monthly pledges for the full amount of my budget). With a few cuts and rearranging we have trimmed it from $6500 to $4500 per month. I have secured firmly 30% in folks who are already giving. I have another dozen or so couples who have not yet named their pledge amount but promise to do so by the New Year. I am hoping their combined sacrifice will put us at 50%. BUT we still need YOU.
5-WHO? Team Brie is not only a partnership between United World Mission and France Mission, the supporting agency for the French Pastor. Several other churches in the US have recognized and prayerfully support this church plant. One of those churches is Northpoint in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. They have pledged resources and training. Today I opened my most exciting gift...an invitation to join the Leadership of Brie Church at Northpoint for the DRIVE training conference this Spring March 28-30, 2011. For info about DRIVE click here http://driveconference.com/ This is yet another unforseen outstretched hand reminding me not only to trust God but that I am unable to anticipate anything half as good as what He plans!!!
HOW CAN YOU HELP? Invite me to your home or small group to share. Then...Tell your friends...at least one other person, couple or family who you think would be encouraged by your testimony on my and France's behalf. Then invite them over for coffee and dessert and more importantly endorse this Mission by lending your voice in support. I'll even provide the dessert (if necessary) if YOU will host a sit-down meeting with you, that friend or couple, and me.
I am asking for your help. I'm not asking just because I am honored by your prayers or even because I think you can give. I may be good at teaching and foreign languages but I am NOT the best at this, not alone. I am asking for your help. Because I need your help in whatever form you can offer it. Both of UWM's missionary couples already in France really left me convicted to NOT do this alone in spite of my dread of imposing on people. Both took much longer than they expected to get in the field!
I am officially commissioning all of you as Honorary Support-Raisers and Ambassadors for the Gospel, to France in this case. You are free to contribute prayers, postage, return address labels, prayers, thank you cards, fund-raising ideas, your home, baked goods, fellowship time with your family, advice, contacts with other churches or givers, prayers or even a free basement to live in while I transition to work less and raise support more. There, it's all out on the table. I know you ALL believe this is God's will. I am asking you to help it come to pass. Thank you in advance for however the Spirit moves you to do that!
I want to close with this. Beginning now I committ to devote the time and energy to support-raising that I would to a full-time job.I was laid off right before the Vision Trip/ Interview with both Teams in France 11/26-12/7 2010. My laptop was stolen and has already been replaced by God's provision. I will receive it in a few days!!! Thankfully Unemployment covers all of my bills, if not my wants, lol. It will last at least until June if necessary. Let's pray it won't be necessary! *wink*
Thank the dozens of you who have been praying for this culmination of what God has been doing for years now! You have supported it with your prayers, and gifts and now God is drawing others to do the same. You have been a picture of God's faithfulness,,in person, to me-Jesus with skin on! Thank you!!!