This is a new year and around here the theme has been “All Things New”. Literally, it’s as if everything we are doing these days is new, not that any roles have changed but there is a sense of “new” in everything.
We kicked of 2017 with youth camp beginning on January 1st for a full week of Sunday to Saturday fun. With this years theme being “All Things New” it seemed fitting as we began on the 1st of the year. Expectation and excitement were high as we kicked off and it was amazing to see how God spoke so specifically to so many different individuals through the great times of worship, preaching and prayer. In talking to students after camp, so many were able to hear God’s voice and gained confidence in who they are in Christ, not to mention those that got saved and met God for the first time. You’d probably be surprised that one of the most liked and talked about things from camp isn’t the games or the preaching, not even the worship….it’s the second to last morning when all of us (almost 250 people this year) go out into the two nearest villages and preach the gospel/pick up trash/wash clothes. It’s a chance for the students to put into practice all that God has done in and spoken to them, giving testimonies of His goodness.
Every year, a week after camp ends, we begin Ignite (the six month discipleship program/church interns here at Life Church). Ignite is one of the best and most challenging parts of our lives here. This year we have twenty students who are committing six months or their lives for a full three days a week (not including Sunday’s and a few Saturday classes) of seeking God, evangelism, Bible classes and even cleaning the church. Every year we begin Ignite with a “Wilderness Trip”, basically we go to the middle of nowhere for four days and three nights and test the students through team challenges. The purpose is to get everyone out of their comfort zones and to get close to everyone before we begin classes and monotony of daily classes. We have seen huge benefits in doing this, the shy ones break out of their shells, the leaders are shown and everyone is tested in their patience. Character is always shown (in all of us) and everyone leaves with a bond already made with one another, not to mention a confidence that they can persevere through anything that comes their way. We are so excited to see what God is going to do in their lives!
Before most of the hectic season began (when is life ever not busy though?) we decide that for Christmas we wanted to get away for a minute. Those two days we spent in Jinja (a town in Uganda where the source of the Nile River is) were a breath of fresh air to both of us! It is amazing what rest can do for the body and soul. We even white-water rafted on the Nile, that was a great adventure!
As we look at all that’s to come this year we look with expectation, anticipating that great things that God is going to do!
Here are a few prayer points that we would love to have you join us in prayer for:
This new year of students in Ignite – that they meet God in a new way and build a strong biblical foundation to build the rest of their lives upon.
GenAlive (the youth ministry we lead at Life Church) to see a whole new level of growth. Both in individuals coming to know the Lord and growth as a whole. We’re believing for GenAlive to double this year.
Life Church is in the middle of transition of senior leadership right now and we are believing that God is going to bring the church to a whole new level.
Personally for growth in both Seth and I in every area of our lives (marriage, friendships, pastoring young people, etc). Continual growth is Seth’s mantra….to always be learning! He’s much better at it than I am.
Thank you for believing in us and standing with us!
Wow! It’s seriously mind-blowing to think that November starts in just a few short days! So much has happened this year that’s made it fly by! After the end of July (want to see what happened then?? Check out our last video blog) we expected life to slow down a bit so we could focus on building the youth ministry and re-vamping vision in a number of ministry areas until closer to the end of the year. We were completely wrong about life slowing down for a minute or two….once life starts going…when does it ever slow down?
While life didn’t slow down all that much (except for the week and a half when Seth’s mom flew us to Italy with her to celebrate her 50th birthday…..that was a blast! We gained a few pounds each from all the pasta, cheese and gelato….now we’re on a health kick) we still took the opportunity to seek God for new vision for the youth that we lead and GenAlive as a whole. In doing so we also re-formed some of our leadership teams and launched new vision in the youth ministry. Tonight we conclude the latest Genalive series “Wide Open”. God has done so much in so many lives including our own..it’s amazing what can happen when you truly open up your heart and life to Christ. It truly has been amazing to see what God has done in these last four weeks that I’m so excited to see what he does tonight as we conclude and jump into all that God has in store for the future.
This week Seth has been working with a team on redesigning the stage at church….and it will continue being re-vamped right up until when the 1st service starts on Sunday morning. They are re-carpeting, adding stage pieces, rewiring all the sound and MORE! Seth is truly a champ and one of the hardest workers around! How did I get so lucky?
In the end of September my sister and a friend visited from Portland. While they were here we went up-country with a team of youth/worshippers to help put on the first ever youth conference at a church there. It is amazing the influence that God has given to Life Church and it’s leaders. The church where we went for the youth conference was inspired to host one in their community after attending our GenAlive conference. They have attended GenAlive for a number of years and decided that they wanted to do the same thing for the youth near them! How awesome is that? Not to mention how awesome it was to have my “big sis” and a friend come join us in life and ministry for a few weeks! The fact that they helped us move and get settled in a new house while they were here was just the icing on the cake. (yes….we moved again….so far we move once a year). The new house is awesome! A bit cheaper in rent but “nicer” than the other place…that’s a win win.
Even more of a win is that we’ll be in America for 2 1/2 weeks starting November 11th and leaving just after Thanksgiving! While were there we’ll be in Tacoma, Tri-Cities, Bend, Pdx and Centralia. We would love to hug your neck and say hello to you on this quick trip! Personally I am SO excited to be with both Seth’s mom and my family for Thanksgiving! It’s been two years since any proper holidays in the U.S. and who am I kidding I’d also like at least ten white peppermint mochas from good ole Starbucks!
As always, thank you for loving and supporting Seth and I with your friendship, prayers and finances. We are so grateful we get to serve God by following the call that He’s put on our lives.
p.s. In case you hadn’t heard that we lost our sweet little Mud dog and replaced him with Hamlet…here is a picture of the new pup! He follows Seth around like a little shadow….it is SO cute!