earthen vessels, East Africa, and the gospel
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Posts from — November 2011

Meetings with Pastors and Longtime Friends

The holiday season is not the best time to schedule regular ministry presentations with churches. They are busy with other things at this time of year. Since this creates a few gaps in our schedule, we’ve been able to schedule more personal meetings with pastors. We met with three pastors in southwest Ohio during the week of November 13. These are excellent opportunities to learn of each other’s expectations and experience in gospel partnerships.

During Laura’s time at college she made regular trips to Calvary Baptist Church in Geneva, IL, to help with their children’s programs. The pastor’s family became close friends to Laura and now both of us. We were glad to teach in their Sunday School classes and children’s church and share the ministry with them in their evening service on November 20. Of course, our visit also provided opportunity to catch up with friends and talk with Pastor Weesner about his annual trips to visit missionaries they currently support.

We visited Laura’s family in Springfield, IL, over the Thanksgiving weekend. While in town we celebrated Laura’s birthday with her family. And, on Sunday, we had the opportunity to share our ministry with the church she grew up in. Ambassador Baptist Church in Chatham, IL, is full of godly and generous people; it is encouraging to know they are supporting us in prayer.

November 30, 2011   No Comments

Multiplied Praise

We are thrilled that God would respond to our prayers, but it is an added joy to share our excitement with others. As we let others know that we are expecting a child and how God is working through our meetings with churches, we discover that so many people have been praying for the very same things we are asking from the Lord. Through this we are reminded that prayer is not simply a means to address our needs and requests; it is a powerful reminder of God’s mercy for all of our praying friends.

We are now gladly discovering that we are not the only ones interested in seeing God bless in certain ways. So it makes sense that we aren’t the only ones giving thanks to God for all of his kindness towards us. We are convinced that God intended there to be a connection between people’s devotion to prayer and the willingness of God’s people to praise him. Yes, prayer accomplishes much (Mark 11:22-24; James 5:16), but what is more ultimate: prayer results in praise. More people genuinely devoted to prayer results in more people genuinely giving thanks to God (2 Cor 1:11).

This may be repeated elsewhere, but since our ministry related prayer requests have been shared with all of you here, we would like to follow-up those requests here with thanks to God.

  • Praise God for keeping us safe and blessing our meetings with churches over the past months.
  • Praise God for introducing us to like-minded churches who are committed their prayer and resources to gospel partnerships.
We look forward to laboring with you in prayer and seeing what God wills to do for his glory!

November 22, 2011   No Comments

Exciting News!

We are so thankful to be able to tell our praying friends that Matt and I are expecting our first child! The baby is 16 weeks along and everything seems healthy. We are so very excited and grateful to God for this wonderful blessing! Matt and I love children and we look forward to (Lord-willing) raising this child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord!

Please partner with us in prayer:

  1. For a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery (due April 26).
  2. For the Lord to teach us to be godly, wise parents.
  3. For this child to grow to love God more than anything else.

Matt and I see a direct and obvious answer to many godly people’s prayers for our family. We thank the Lord for the opportunity to see Him work in our lives!

November 9, 2011   4 Comments

Missions Conference at Ambassador Baptist Church

Our last missions conference for this Fall was at Ambassador Baptist Church November 4-7. I preached for a service, talked about the ministry, and taught a Sunday School lesson. We also worked with the children during Junior Church and enjoyed the fellowship along the way. The last part of the conference featured a good panel discussion with Pastors Jacob Elwart and Tim Richmond about life and ministry.

November 6, 2011   No Comments

November 2011 Prayer Update

Pre-field ministry has already reminded us of the importance of prayer. Thank you for being a part of God’s work in us through your prayers.

  1. God is meeting our needs as we make the transition to full-time deputation. I’ll be able to work a few hours at the seminary this month as my replacement is being trained. We are also able to keep our existing medical insurance policy until we leave the country. This helps our financial situation and makes our medical situation less complicated.
  2. We are now up to 49% of our budgeted support. The rising level of incoming support continues to excite and humble us. God willing, we are on track to start our first term in Tanzania by the Fall of 2012.
  3. We have covered over 12,000 miles for deputation travel since March. Our little car has passed the 180k mile benchmark running strong. Praise God for our safety and practically problem-free travel.
  1. Please pray for the churches we are contacting. Thankfully, we’ve been introduced to so many faithful congregations who are taking the prospect of gospel partnerships very seriously. Pray that they would be wise stewards of their resources. Pray that their decisions would be guided by a mutual commitment and understanding of the task ahead of us.
  2. Please pray that our meetings with pastors and churches this month are used by God to help us all consider what would be the best partnerships.
  3. Please pray that God uses our pre-field ministry to effectively prepare us for life and work in Tanzania.

November 3, 2011   No Comments

More Missions Emphasis Meetings in MI and WI

We rounded out the month of October with two more weeks of missions emphasis meetings.

The people at Huron Baptist Church in Flat Rock, MI, invited us to share our ministry with them on October 23. I preached for the morning worship service and shared our ministry presentation during their Sunday School hour. I’m sure that the Q & A time could have extended into lunch before running out of good questions. That evening everyone gathered again for a missions themed banquet and a short challenge from Pastor Thomas. Both messages that day connected God’s glory to the task of missions. Needless to say, we enjoyed the fellowship and discussion about missions with the saints there.

While in Wisconsin over the last weekend in October, we were able to join First Baptist Church in Fond du Lac for their missions banquet on Saturday night. We helped kick off their missions emphasis month when we presented our ministry there on October 2. The banquet brought their emphasis on missions with more interaction with any of the church’s missionaries who could make it.

During my last year at Maranatha Baptist Bible College, I attended Fellowship Baptist Church in Watertown, WI, on Wednesday nights since the church I served at over the weekends was a few hours away from campus. I’m glad that we were able to be a part of their missions emphasis month. During Sunday School on October 30 Laura taught the children while I was with the teens. I preached for the morning worship service and presented our ministry in their afternoon service. That Sunday the church was also celebrating their anniversary with a chili dinner. Honestly, this must have been the fourth chili/church pot-luck dinner we’ve participated in this month! Even so, I hope that catching up with friends and our college instructors who love to serve the Lord will never get old. The food was good, but the fellowship was even better.

November 3, 2011   No Comments

MACP 2011: “Church Planting and Renewal”

The 2011 Mid-America Conference on Preaching was held on October 20 and 21 at Inter-City Baptist Church. I had the privilege of helping make the event an encouraging one for the pastors, students, and other guests in attendance. The theme for this year’s conference was “Church Planting and Renewal.” In addition to our seminary and church staff, the conference featured a number of seminary alumni who are currently planting churches across the country.

What I was able to hear when I wasn’t running errands was excellent. What I didn’t hear at the conference I’ve started to take in by downloading the recordings posted here.

Dr. Doran’s last general session address considered the nature of and reasons for forming church partnerships engaged in church planting. In the last ten minutes or so of the message, Dr. Doran proposed that like-minded churches in southeast Michigan partner together for the work of planting churches in this area. This task of church planting (albeit outside of the USA) is the task I am working towards with the help of several like-minded churches. So, for anyone following our ministry, I’d say that his thoughts on gospel partnerships from Philippians are worth considering. Follow the link below to listen. Ben Edwards has also provided an extended outline of the message at Missions Mandate.

MACP 2011 General Session 4 by David Doran

November 3, 2011   No Comments