Here are some current prayer requests that we have:
- Churches to be more involved in the community (August 2012). This is a huge desire that we have for Allendale. We know that for change to happen, the local churches need to lead the way.
- Financial support (August 2012). We have been blessed with dozens of regular and one-time financial supporters, and have never struggled to have our needs (and many wants) met. So, this request is more about continuing to depend on God for “our daily bread.” But, we also know that with more financial support, we would have more flexibility with the jobs that I need to supplement our income. Pray with us that we would know and trust in God’s will in this area.
- Allendale Correctional Institute (August 2012). Life change in the men who are imprisoned there.
- Gospel conversations (February 2013). Please pray that we would have opportunities and boldness to share how Jesus has changed our lives. We’re in Allendale to spread the gospel, not to do social work.
- More missionaries (September 2013). We feel that more people need to move here to be a part of this community, and to help spread the hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ.
- Logistics of moving to Greenville (July 2014). If you’ve ever moved, especially if it’s not just across town, you know what this entails.
- Setting goals (listed 8/12). “One of our mentors suggested that we set some specific goals that we would like to see happen. Pray that we would be sensitive to God’s will.” I have been mulling over this all year. Here’s a post (from November 2012) that begins to outline some goals: A Vision for Allendale: Looking Back, Looking Ahead.
- A job (listed 8/12). “I have been in some discussions with district and school staff about a job for the upcoming school year, but have not received any definite confirmation. I would love to continue in a role of Parent and/or Community Liaison (as I started doing last school year), but am open to what else God may have for me. Of course, I will still be one of the coaches for the high school and JV football teams.” Though I haven’t done as much Liaison work as I thought, I have been able to do some of this. I have organized a Community Partners Breakfast, and am planning another; I have helped get a few volunteers for Allendale Elementary School. I also shadowed a boy with special needs from September – December. In January, I will be begin working (part-time) for the USC-Salkehatchie Leadership Institute, as a STEM Program Workforce Coordinator. Basically, my mission is for children that have an interest in science, to encourage them to enter those field. In short, God has provided some good work, although we still depend primarily on financial support.
- Meetings in Greenville (listed 12/12). “For planning and vision-casting.” I had some meetings with leaders from Grace Church that were focused on planning and vision for 2013 and beyond. And other meetings (meals, etc) were just about mutual encouragement and refreshment.
- Joanna’s ministry (listed 8/12). “My incredibly talented and passionate wife is exploring options for where she can continue to serve in this community, especially with children. Pray for direction and clarity.” Joanna will be leading the after school program with me, and has started having lunch in schools (see this update for more details). Plus, she (and our kids) will be in Salkehatchie Stew again.
- After School program in our neighborhood (listed 1/13). “Have 6-10 students attend. Have 6-8 people volunteer once or twice per month.” By the second week, we have had 15-17 children each day. Including my wife and I, we have had 8 different adults volunteer, most of whom have served weekly. (See the Update on Our After School Program.)
- Spring Break camp (listed 3/13). For God to be glorified, for an atmosphere of love, for safety, and for good weather. We had a fantastic week! Children were loved, the Gospel was presented, no one got hurt, and on the only rainy day, we had a great indoor competition of “The Amazing Race.” Without a doubt, God made the week of Elevate Spring Break camp a huge success.
- Summer Camp plans (listed 4/13). We are working on plans. Please pray that God would direct our steps and give us wisdom. We had a full summer lined up with a variety of camps. Read more in Summer Plans 2013.
- Focus in our ministry (listed 2/13). We have many opportunities to serve and lead in Allendale, but we can’t say “yes” to all of them. We know that we want to focus on children, but we also want to explore other opportunities. Pray that we would wisdom to balance between focus and exploration in our ministry opportunities. Joanna (and the kids) got involved in our church’s Hispanic ministry, and really enjoyed it. Much of my time was with the football team and prison ministry, but I also helped with the recreation department’s baseball and soccer leagues.
- Our church involvement (listed 8/12). Both of our hearts have been moved to get more involved in the local church, but we are not sure what this needs to look like. We started attending a new church in December 2012. Joanna started getting involved in the Hispanic ministry (see the previous “Focus in our ministry” answer to prayer).
- After school program to continue in the fall (listed 5/13). With me coaching football, we cannot lead this. We can support, but we need a leader to take it over. Sadly, this one never came to fruition. Edit: The church (where we did our program last year) re-launched this program in March 2014.
- Decision about a new blog and 501c(3) (listed 9/13). I have been work on a new blog and forming a non-profit. However, my work has slowed down. Not sure if it is worth pushing through it, or whether I should just let either of these ideas go. I am not planning to launch a new blog; not worth the effort for what I want to get out of it. And because of our short season here, we will scrap the idea for a 501c(3).
- Eleuthera Mission Trip (listed 2/14). In March I will be going on a trip to the Bahamas. Please pray for safety, humility, unity, encouragement, the spread of the gospel, and meaningful relationships. God answered all these needs, plus gave me the blessing of community with other men. Read more in Community and Mission in Eleuthera.
- Elevate Spring Break Camp (listed 1/14). In this 3rd year of camp, we ask you to pray for good weather, safety, enough volunteers (local and out-of-town), and God’s love to be made known. It was a great week! We had some cold/wet weather for 1.5 days, but had fun indoor activities. Thankful for everyone who contributed time and money!
- Wisdom for what’s next for us (listed 12/13). We feel that God has told us that Our Season in Allendale is coming to a close in the summer of 2014. Please pray that we would discern what God has for us next — especially the questions of where, what, and when. Although we are sad to leave Allendale, we are excited to work for Mill Community Ministries in Greenville. Read more about that in The Big Announcement.