We wanted to give you all a quick update about what we've been up to and what's right around the corner for us.
This past weekend was the women's retreat at Grace Fellowship here in Pickerington. They asked me to be a breakout speaker for a group of 100+ ladies. I had the privilege of speaking for 40 minutes on the importance of obedience to Christ. I knew that many of the ladies were newer in their faith and it was truly an honor to speak into what may be the foundations of their faith. We discussed how a strong relationship with Jesus motivates us to listen and obey Him. Relationship is the prerequisite. I got tons of great feedback from the ladies and really feel encouraged that the Lord moved in our groups. It was 3 months of preparation for this and I'm so glad it's behind me :) But more than that, I'm so thankful for how the Lord used my willingness to show these women how much He cares for them. Here's a pdf of the talking points if any of you would like an at home study you can do on obedience.
NEW CHURCHES AND SMALL GROUPS
We've been meeting with as many churches and small groups as possible. We've had 5 new churches join our support team since we've moved to Ohio. Praise God! Matt and I have been incredibly encouraged by so many of these churches. We're now spending all our time in developing those relationships and meeting with their groups. Please pray for more open doors for further partnerships. Please pray for favor as we're introduced to so many new people. We know the Lord has our future partners already out there, it's just a matter of us uncovering who they might be.
UPCOMING STRATEGIC TRIP TO JAPAN
Matt will be taking a trip to Japan next month (Feb. 25 - Mar. 5) with a group of pastors and leaders. Please keep this trip in your prayers. These are leaders that have been hand picked by Encompass. They are strategists and have had success in reaching some of the harder to reach groups of people in the US. They have loads of wisdom and experience that we get to pull from. Many of Encompass' leaders will be joining the trip as well. We're hoping that this will form a sort of "think tank" so we can strategize about how we can have the most impact in Japan. We're very excited about this upcoming trip and would love your prayers for wisdom and discernment.
Prayers needed FOR JUNE TRAINING
Lastly, we are really needing your prayers on getting to 100% of our support by this June. Encompass does training two times a year: June and January. If we miss our deadline by this June, it'll be an additional 6 months before we'll be in Japan. We are consistently lifting this before the Lord and asking Him to help make this happen. We definitely know that timing is in His hands and that He is good regardless. However, this is a big date for us and a really strong desire of ours. Please join us in asking the Lord to help us gain all the support needed by this June. If we're able to make this deadline, it'll be 5 weeks of training in Atlanta...and then we can literally get on a plane to Japan! We're so thankful for all of you and your support. We truly couldn't take part in reaching the Japanese without people like you behind us. We love you guys and are so grateful you're all part of our team!