Word of the day:
Discourage: v, 1: to deprive of courage or confidence. In Swahili, ‘tulivunja’ means, “we were discouraged.”
Dear Friends and Family,
It’s time for another update from Mr. Motorcycle and Stephanie as we continue preparing for action in Tanzania, Africa. As you know from our last update, we thought we would be departing the States at the end of this month to start preparing the way for our teammates. However, we’ve had some unusual developments that were at first discouraging but in the end VERY encouraging.
There were five candidates that Avant was working with to go to Tanzania. We were hoping to secure them on the team and finish recruiting other members from the July Candidate Orientation. God had other plans and within one week all five of our prospects dried up and went on to other things.
At first we were disheartened, as you can imagine! But, we started looking at it from the perspective that God is the one in control and not us. In fact, when Stephanie wrote our June update, she really felt led to share that leaving in September was our timeline, but that God may have a different one for us.
It was just days later that Mike, the Missions Pastor from Highlands Community Church (HCC), came to Kansas City to visit Stephanie and I (Mr. Motorcycle) and to meet Avant Ministries’ staff. An hour after Pastor Mike flew in, Stephanie went into labor. Originally I was going to be a participant in all of the meetings with Mike and the Avant leadership, however I was helping the midwife deliver Brogan at this time. (As it turns out this was the first homebirth on the Avant Ministries campus- very cool.) Pastor Mike had to fly out the next day and I had no idea what went on in the meetings.
Several days later I received an email from Mike S. He shared with me that HCC is committing to partner with Avant ministries in what they call a “Church Based Church Plant” or “Joint Venture.” What this means is that our entire team will be raised up from the HCC campuses and will then be trained and deployed as a unit to do a church plant. All members of the team will be part of a five year commitment to accomplish this. For those of you at Highlands this may be the first that you have heard about this, but not the last! This will be the focus of the HCC November Missions Conference. More to come….
What does this mean for Stephanie and I? For starters, we are still missionaries with Avant Ministries, but we will have more accountability to HCC as we have been asked to lead their Joint Venture team. It also means that my internship in Kansas City with Avant leadership, Scott H. and Mark B., is finished. We have moved to Washington State to recruit and train our team for Tanzania from HCC.
Following that will be:
Team Training with Avant
Support raising for team members (and the last 33% for us)
Team Leader Training for
Then departure to Tanzania!
Wow, things have changed, but we are excited about the step of faith that Highlands is making to send their congregation to plant a church in rural Africa.
Mr. Motorcycle and Stephanie