July 17, 2016
- Teaching - We are thankful to God for once again allowing us to invest in 24 new missionaries who attended ABWE’s Candidate Seminar this week. Jeff & Becky are part of the training team that prepare them with essential communication tools they need in Prefield ministry.
- Mentoring - Praise the Lord with us! Storytellers Abroad has now seen its first graduate headed to the field. Hannah Strayer was appointed as a long-term missionary who will be a missions multimedia storyteller in West Africa.
- Family - Baby Jacob was finally able to meet his Grandma Raymond! Jeff’s mom made the trip out from Michigan to spend a week laying the groundwork for a lot of spoiling.
- July is traditionally the busiest month of the year. These four days (Thurs-Sun) are the busiest of July, as five major events converge and overlap. Today (Sunday) Jeff left for Washington DC where ABWE’s largest event, Missionary Enrichment Conference will be held this coming week.
July 26 – Aug 11 we are hosting the next Storytellers Abroad:Missions Multimedia Workshop. Jeff will be leading a team of 14 to Togo, West Africa to teach video storytelling. We genuinely need a lot of prayer on this for a number of reasons:
- The last minute details are overwhelming in the context of an already-feverish month.
- We are behind schedule on the major components due to this workshop occurring so soon after the Nicaragua workshop in May.
- There have been a number of unusual setbacks that we attribute to spiritual attacks.
- The 15-passenger van scheduled to take our team to the airport in New York on July 29 fell through. We’ve still been unable to secure alternate transportation. Please pray that we can beg, borrow or rent a vehicle large enough to transport 11 people and a lot of luggage.
- Jacob is now 3 months old and doing great. The rest of the household is still in transition mode, so pray especially for Becky as she learns how to manage four children at very different stages.
Sept 2, 2015
- Vehicle Update – Thanks to so many of you for praying and contacting us with practical help as we were stuck without a vehicle in North Carolina over the past week. After our van was pronounced dead, the process of exploring options and waiting on the Lord led to a solution that brought us safely home to PA yesterday.
- Our old van? A friend will be picking it up in Asheville where we left it, and will try to sell it for us.
- Getting home? We decided to rent a van one-way to get us to our remaining meetings and then back home.
- A new vehicle? Though we did look at some vans in NC, the Lord clearly led us to wait and shop here in PA.
- Great visits with ministry partners – There is nothing we accomplish in the ministry of Visual Communications that is of our own ability. It is all God’s strength, God’s grace and God’s provision. Part of His design is the team of partners, together with whom we see His work accomplished. Unfortunately, the personal one-on-one fellowship with each of you does not happen often enough. So we are blessed for each occasion we have to spend time with partners, in this case some in Virginia and North Carolina over the past two weeks.
- Search for new vehicle – Our van was our only vehicle, so we are “wheel-less” until we can find a suitable replacement at a price we can afford to pay cash for. Pray with anticipation to see what God will do.
- Jeff travels to Liberty University Friday (returning late next Tuesday). It’s his first of many college visits of the new school year. He will speak in a number of classes, challenging students to missions and encouraging those in creative majors to consider participating in one of our 2016 Storytellers Abroad workshops.
- Home repair work – Our vacation was designed as a break from the ongoing work being done on our home. It has been fraught with setbacks and additional snags over the past two months. There is much left to complete to ensure that we do not suffer future water and mold damage. Pray for much progress as we juggle this work with ministry and homeschool responsibilities.
- Travel plans – This fall is prime time to connect with those who desire to serve God with their photo & video skills. Please pray for wisdom and direction in scheduling the many opportunities we have to be in universities and professional settings. Once we get a schedule in place, we’ll be sending that to you.
August 28, 2015
Our family is stranded, but in a beautiful, peaceful mountain home where God’s hand is very evident. But as we have tried to navigate the complexities of getting our family, our stuff and our dead van to where we need to be, things have been changing by the hour over the past two days.
We appreciate all the notes and prayers and concern for our situation. The transportation issues are not resolved yet, but we know God is working. We have two good possibilities for a new van. One of those is in Asheville, where we are headed now to take a look at it and drive it. We will let you know soon how He answers your continuing prayers.
Aug 26, 2015
God did something just amazing here in North Carolina. Between visits with ministry partners, the Raymond family is taking a much-needed time for renewal in the mountains. Sunday morning, on the way down the mountain to church our transmission was acting up.
That same evening, God painted this scene right in front of our cabin. None of the other missionary families here saw it (they were in a meeting that Jeff was late to in order to create this photograph). The owners said that in 30 years, they’ve never seen a rainbow here at Canaan Land. God was truly reminding us that He always keeps His promises!
Monday we arranged to have the van towed to the nearest dealer, over an hour away.
Yesterday we received the verdict that the transmission AND power steering is shot.
The van is not worth fixing, leaving us with a multifaceted challenge, and thus the call for prayer. We need patience and wisdom in all the decisions related to:
- What to do with the van
- How to get our family to our other meetings and eventually home to PA
- When and where to shop for a replacement (this van is our only vehicle)
We are confident that God’s promise to meet our needs will be revealed in His time.
June 11, 2015
- Preparing Servants - Yesterday we taught a group of new short-term missionaries. This training is aimed at helping them develop their support-raising strategies. (Photo at top.)
- Today we celebrated Micah’s 1st birthday. It didn’t take him long to destroy his “Very Hungry Caterpillar” cake.
- More Milestones - In the past two weeks, Jeff and Josiah also had birthdays, and we celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary.
Music Notes - Josiah was awarded the Elementary Music Scholarship at his recent piano recital. To hear him play one of his recital pieces, CLICK HERE.
Answers to previous prayer requests
- Home Repairs - Thank you for your prayers in regards to our house. We were able to secure two contractors who will begin work as soon as Jeff returns from Romania.
- Support Level - Praise the Lord for 14 partners, including our home church, who increased their support of our ministry in the last 5 months!
Storytellers Abroad: Missions Multimedia Workshop to Romania is set for June 16 - July 2. Day and night, every bit of energy is being poured into final preparations for this workshop. This is our biggest prayer request right now. Pray specifically for:
- Airline baggage problem – The simplified version of a rather complex problem is that the airline we chose will not allow us to bring the camera equipment we need for the workshop on board the aircraft. While there seems to be no human solution, we know that God is able to pull off something we can’t imagine.
- Finalization of details is becoming a struggle as the days draw near. Preparation of printed materials, setting up interviews for stories in Romania, and logistic management are just a few of the myriad of details.
- Travelers - Pray for the workshop participants as they begin their journeys to Harrisburg.
- Health Concern – Abby had to begin a strong antibiotic today, after finding a deer tick in her skin. Due to the severe consequences of not catching Lyme’s Disease early enough, we are taking this precautionary step under advisement of ABWE medical personnel.
LIKE our new Storytellers Abroad Facebook Page and you can follow along as Jeff works with missionaries and Romanians to produce finished video projects - telling real stories of real lives changed.
May 6, 2015
Baby Dedication at our church for Micah Raymond on Apr 12, 2015
After some uncertain weeks of how to address some major home repair issues, we just learned that our insurance company will cover a good part of the cost. We discovered mold & major water damage in a supporting wall, and we are thankful to be moving forward to resolution.
Pray for wisdom to make good decisions about which solutions are best for our house. Pray that God leads us to a suitable contractor to tackle the job, and one who can begin soon. It’s a bit tenuous right now knowing that Jeff is headed to Romania soon and we currently have a big hole in the side of the house. Pray also for the practical help we will need from local friends on projects related to the repairs.
God has brought not one, but two interns to work with Jeff for 11 weeks this summer. What a joy to be able to invest what God has given us into others who desire to serve Him!
The interns start on Monday, May 11 and we’re not sure we are ready. It will take a lot of energy at a time of year that is already very packed with ministry activities.
The team is set for the upcoming Romania trip. Jeff will be leading a group of 12 on the Storytellers Abroad: Missions Multimedia Workshop set for June 16-July 2.
The responsibilities of such a trip are immense, so we are busy with details, all vying for top priority. Pray for strength and wise oversight. Pray also for the workshop participants who will arrive in Harrisburg, PA from 8 states and one foreign country. Several team members are still trusting God to bring in the rest of the necessary funds.
March 23, 2015
Praise to God as He answered the prayers of many. Thanks to those who prayed for Jeff as he was part of a major photo shoot yesterday. The shoot was to illustrate a new Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship book. It took 12 hours at multiple locations around a resort in Lancaster, PA, using 14 professional actors.
God's hand was evident at every turn. It was a team effort. The lead designer, Miriam Miller, is incredibly talented and did an amazing job at directing every detail. Taking a ton of worries off of Jeff's shoulders was Ben Barrett in the important role of Photo Assistant. There were people to move furniture, prep food, take care of the actors, who by the way, were exceptional at hitting every cue.
Your prayers for Jeff's shoulder were answered. We had great concern heading into such a long day of shooting. With all the help, the pain was manageable and it's doing well today.
Below is a portrait of our Production Crew and Cast, and here is a short time-lapse VIDEO of part of our day.
March 21, 2015
- Candidate Seminar – This past weekend ABWE held this semiannual time of preparation for 24 new career missionaries. It is one of the training events that Jeff & Becky play the biggest role in. We’ve come away tired, but rejoicing. Our teaching team felt it was the smoothest the training has ever gone. We really got the sense that this group of missionaries was unusually motivated to get out there and share their ministry vision.
- New Life – Praise the Lord for bringing another into His kingdom! A little girl who attends our after-school Good News Club accepted Christ as her Savior, and has been excitedly telling her friends.
- Romania, Storytellers Abroad: Missions Multimedia Workshop – We are praising God for a good number of quality participants signed up for the trip. Jeff was able to purchase airline tickets for the group this week.
- Travel – After being on the road for most of the last three months, we are very grateful to be home for a while. We are thankful for the doors God has opened through countless opportunities on college campuses, and as we met with ministry partners and visited churches throughout 14 states.
- Tomorrow (Sunday, Mar 22), Jeff has an exciting, but challenging assignment. He has a fairly complex 10-hour photo shoot to illustrate a book. It is a project for ABWE’s Good Soil Evangelism & Discipleship initiative. Pray for skill and creativity for Jeff and the 8-person production team. Also, pray for Jeff’s physical strength as he has recently had great difficulty using his right shoulder (the one that holds the camera.)
- Romania, Storytellers Abroad: Missions Multimedia Workshop – Pray for insight as we move from the recruiting phase to the planning phase as we prepare for June. There are many details to attend to. Pray also for the students who are raising support for this missions experience.
February 8, 2015
Last week we asked for prayer for some real discouragements. We wanted to give an update, along with the travel schedule we promised to send. This schedule is truly an answer to your prayers, because it was very unclear when we last wrote.
Feb 8 – Today Jeff drove to Lynchburg, VA to participate in Liberty University’s Global Focus Week (Missions Emphasis)
Feb 9-10 – Liberty University
Feb 11 – Columbia International University, Columbia, SC
Feb 12 – Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC
Feb 13-14 Drive home
Feb 15 – The Raymond family will lead worship service at Golden Living Nursing Home
Feb 16 – Jeff teaches “God & Me” to local Cub Scouts (this is the last evening, so pray that a clear presentation of the Gospel will penetrate hearts)
Feb 17 – The Raymond family leads a CEF Good News Club at a local elementary school
Feb 24 – Our family travels to Texas for a number of meetings
Feb 25 – San Antonio
Feb 26 – Austin
Feb 27-28 – Fort Worth, Southwestern Photojournalism Conference
Mar 1-3 – Oklahoma City
Mar 3-4 – Dallas, then return home
- Travel Schedule – The Germany trip mentioned last time was cancelled, so everything else fell nicely into a very busy month of travel.
- Health - The kids are feeling much better. Baby Micah's captivating smile has returned.
- School Visits – Pray for effective interactions with students as Jeff presents opportunities for our Storytellers Abroad workshops and ABWE internships. The Southwestern Photojournalism Conference in Texas is a Christian gathering that has been especially helpful in connecting with potential workshop participants.
- Local Ministries - Pray that the Gospel will clearly go forth and God will save souls as we work with children and families through a number of ministries at home.
- Health - Jeff & Becky are both still struggling with persistent sinus infections.
January 30, 2015
There’s no other way to put it than to say this has been a difficult week.
- Ministry travel plans have been daily evolving as we have tried to piece together an agenda as new information keeps coming our way. Jeff has been asked to make a short-notice trip to Germany to do photography for a new “Good Soil Evangelism & Discipleship” book. Squeezing this into an already complicated schedule of college speaking engagements and ministry commitments at home has been an all-consuming task this week.
- The Storytellers Abroad Workshop scheduled to go to Nicaragua in April met its demise as we reached the final deadline today. With great disappointment, we had to cancel the workshop due to low enrollment. So today I have been wading through all the notifications and implications of that decision.
- The whole family has been sick. Baby Micah has struggled with breathing and teething. Sick kids means little sleep at night, making all the aforementioned research and decision-making even harder.
Travel Logistics – that we would clearly see God’s leading in the next couple of days, because when and where we are going has not come together even yet. Pray specifically for
- The Germany project (tentatively Feb 13-17)
- A way for Jeff to get to Lynchburg, VA on Feb 8
As soon as we finalize the travel dates & locations, we will send it out so you can be praying.
Health – simply put, our family just needs rest and recovery
The Spirit’s Power – we would not allow these circumstances to overshadow the greatness of God’s majesty, the power of His Resurrection, or the purpose of the Cross.
Dec 10, 2014
Thank you for your prayers during our 16-day, 2,400-mile journey through seven states.
- Creation Museum visit – Our family is no strangers to this gem in northern Kentucky, but we’ve never been able to pay a visit in December when they hold a huge living nativity outreach and light display. It was surely an encouragement to be there and see the Word of God upheld. What a testimony to our Creator!
- Micah is 6 months old today (Dec 11) - growing strong and healthy
Answers to previous prayer requests
- Health – we reported Jeff not feeling well as we departed. He is doing much better, and although Josiah felt bad a couple of days, we all seem to be on the mend now.
- College Visits – During the trip, Jeff visited Grace College, Moody Bible Institute and Cedarville University. He had many opportunities to speak in classes, encouraging photo, media and design students to join us for one of our 2015 Storytellers Abroad: Missions Multimedia Workshops. Something special happens when we’re able to meet with professors face-to-face to share the vision and purpose behind these workshops.
- Returning Home – We love being with people, visiting partners, mentoring students, but pay a price when we come home. To us, it’s returning to pick up where we left off. But the shock is in the fact that life went on while we were away. Time moved forward and responsibilities accumulated on the home front. Pray that we can get on top of things quickly, and that maybe we can even get the Christmas tree up!
- Students for our Workshops – The deadline for our next workshop is coming soon and we have more spots to fill.
- Hearts of our Children – that the truth they are learning will penetrate their hearts and impact the decisions they are making in their own lives. We can teach and lead, but only God can direct their hearts.
Nov 22, 2014
We wanted to get a prayer update out as we hit the road today for a two-week ministry trip through the Midwest. Suggesting that our experience with travel in any way lessens the stress and chaos of “Departure Day” would be deceptive. Adding to the challenge is the fact that Jeff has been sick with a cold/cough this week, threatening to delay our departure. Even though it set us back in getting ready (and in getting this message out), we are thankful that his health is slowly improving.
The primary focus of the trip is to visit colleges, speaking with students about using their visual media skills to serve in missions. We will also spend Thanksgiving with Jeff’s family in Michigan.
Following is our itinerary with specific prayer items:
Nov 22, Sat Drive to Uniontown, OH – Prayer is already answered, as getting a family of 5 to the point of pulling out of the driveway is a major accomplishment.
Nov 23, Sun After church, drive to Leesburg, IN
Nov 24, Mon Grace College, Winona Lake, IN – meetings with Communications professors
Nov 24-25, Mon-Tues Elkhart, IN
Nov 26, Wed Drive to Lansing, MI
Nov 27-29, Thurs-Sat With family & friends
Nov 30, Sun Drive to Chicago area
Dec 1, Mon Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL – meeting with students. Especially pray between 6-8pm (Eastern) as we are hosting a dinner event to interact with Digital Media students about missions.
Dec 2, Tues Visiting ministry partners in Chicago area
Dec 3, Wed Drive to Cedarville, OH, with visits with partners in Indianapolis on the way.
Dec 4-5, Thurs-Fri Cedarville University, OH – speaking in numerous classes throughout both of these days
Dec 6-7, Sat-Sun Cincinnati area – Visit Creation Museum
Dec 8, Mon Drive Home to Pennsylvania
August 1, 2014
There’s never a dull moment with a newborn baby in the home, so in addition to being the busiest time of year ministry-wise, this summer has been a time of transition for our family.
Last week we finished working with over 400 missionaries and children at ABWE’s biggest event of the year, Missionary Enrichment Conference.
This week we hosted a CEF 5-Day Bible Club for kids. Looking ahead, we are continuing work on the next two missions photography workshops, likely being held in Thailand and Romania.
- Missions Photography Workshops – confirmation from God regarding the locations and dates of these next two workshops, slated for 2015.
- Key Strategy Meetings – Pray for direction as we meet with ABWE leaders to further strategize our ministry goals for the next few years. This planning will go on throughout the month of August.
- Teams in Crisis – It is highly unusual for a mission to pull an entire team of missionaries out of a country. Right now, ABWE has removed two teams – from Ukraine (political unrest) and Liberia (ebola virus outbreak). This is highly disruptive to those ministries, and to the individual missionary families. Please pray for wisdom for all involved in these ongoing decisions.
June 25, 2014
- New Life – Micah Louis Raymond was born into this world two weeks ago today. Although he was three weeks early and struggled with jaundice early on, he is now gaining weight and doing well. Now on to the task of reversing his backwards day/night schedule.
- Celebrations – We’ve had a lot of reasons to celebrate in our family. In addition to the new birth, in the past month we’ve had three birthdays, Father’s Day and our 13th wedding anniversary.
Answers to previous prayer requests
- Battle of the Heat - After much research and counsel, we’ve been able to make a decision on the replacement of our home heating system. Praise God for a very experienced Christian HVAC contractor who will do the work starting next week. We also thank God for the temporary loan of some window AC units to keep the indoor temps in check.
- Portugal Missions Photography Workshop – Jeff returned May 26, after seeing God use this training to guide those desiring to use their skills to communicate messages of God’s work in the world. Every goal was more than met, and we believe there is huge potential for expanding this ministry into the future.
- Summer Camp – Abby is away this week attending Mt. Lou San Bible Camp. Pray that this will be a time of physical, emotional and spiritual enrichment for her…and that the kids will avoid tick-borne Lyme Disease which is near-epidemic here.
- Future Missions Photography Workshops – Moving forward with plans for the next two overseas workshops, we are already in communication with several mission fields. Pray that we can soon nail down locations and dates in order to start promoting these workshops.
- Teaching new missionary candidates – In just three weeks (July 16-17), Jeff & Becky will again be teaching a group of new missionaries. Pray for clarity as we train them to communicate their ministries as they go out to raise support.
April 17, 2014
- Passover seder – The Easter season was greatly enriched this year when we were invited to participate in a Christian Passover dinner this week. We were amazed at all the beautiful symbolism in this traditional Passover feast that points so directly to our Messiah, Jesus Christ. Praise God for our redemption through His Son!
- Abby’s 10th Birthday – It’s hard to believe that it has been a decade since God entrusted us with a baby girl. Now she eagerly anticipates being a “second mommy” to our new baby who is expected to arrive on the scene in late June or early July.
- Protection – Earlier this week, Jeff came home from a bike ride with some scratches and bruises and a story to tell. We’re thankful that he wasn’t hurt worse after losing control on a gravel-covered corner at 37 mph.
- Answers to last month’s prayer requests
- Candidate Seminar – More than ever before, this new group of missionaries left our training with great confidence and motivation to go out and share their ministry with potential partners.
- Ladies Bible Study – Tuesday night, Becky wrapped up the 6-week study she led in our home.
- Easter Sunday – After a special worship service at our church, our family will conduct a Resurrection Sunday service at Golden Living Nursing Home. Pray for us as Jeff prepares a message, Becky and the kids prepare music, and Abby and Josiah create a special gift for the residents.
- Portugal Missions Photography Workshop – This coming Monday is the last day for students to get their funds turned in. Pray that everyone who is registered for the trip will make this deadline so that logistics can be solidified and tickets purchased. Pray for us as we continue to develop curriculum and shore up details. The May 14-28 worksh0p is quickly approaching. NOTE: This is a major prayer concern as we currently have three students that may have to drop out due to problems with funding.
- Good News Club – Next Tuesday will be our final Bible club meeting at our local elementary school, where two children accepted Christ this semester! Pray as we have our end-of-year party with the kids, that we can solidify the Christian truths they’ve learned, guide the children to their own daily walk throughout the summer, and connect the ones who have received Christ with a Bible-believing church where they can grow.
- Battle of the Heat – The mystery of our shockingly high electric bill was solved this week when last rites were performed on our dead heat pump and furnace. The good news is that we do not have to dig a hole and bury it. The bad news is that we do have to replace it. Pray that we would wisely find a balance between an efficient system and good financial stewardship.
March 10, 2014
Praise God for Jeff’s safe travel to Lynchburg, VA and Fort Worth and Austin, TX despite bad winter weather on both trips. These trips were focused on recruiting students to participate in our International Missions Photography Workshop in Portugal this May.
As we look ahead to two months of life at home for a change, here are some prayer concerns we ask you to uphold to the LORD:
- Candidate Seminar began today with 22 receiving vital training for their new career as missionaries. Jeff & Becky will be teaching all day Saturday and Sunday (Mar 15-16). These last two days of CS are aimed at preparing them to communicate their ministry vision as they go out to assemble their team of financial partners. Pray for final preparations which include many details.
- Ladies Bible Study – Tomorrow night (Tues), Becky will begin a six-week study leading up to Easter. Please pray that those neighbors who are still unsure about attending, would do so, and those who come would be changed by the message of the gospel.
- Catching Up – Travelling as much as we have, responsibilities get let go, as you can imagine. Many practical and administrative tasks need swept up and dealt with. This week we’ve hit the point where the magnitude of unfinished business has caught up to us. Pray for healthy balance between ministry and family needs.
- Pregnancy – We are so thankful that God has blessed us with another child on the way. So far Becky is feeling good and all check-ups seem to indicate that things are going well. Pray for continued health of the baby and strength of the mommy as the July 3 due date approaches.
February 3, 2014
Since mid-November, we have been on the road more days than we’ve been home, with ministry opportunities in Portugal and Florida, and a holiday trip to Michigan in between. As we look ahead to February, here are some prayer concerns we ask you to uphold to the LORD:
Candidate Seminar is in 6 weeks (initial training for 26 new missionaries.) Our teaching team has been hard at work revising the next iteration of Fundraising & Communications training. Pray for wisdom, clarity and unity.
We need wisdom in dealing with some challenging heart attitudes.
Our latest news is that we are expecting a baby! Due date is July 3 (right before two big ministry events - our July Candidate Seminar and Missionary Enrichment Conference)
2014 Planning – we have many invitations to travel and to teach. Pray for balance and discernment, as we consider how much to be away vs. keeping an effective homeschool schedule and an orderly home. Becky and I really need a day or two to get away and pray and talk.
February Travel –
Virginia, Feb 9-14 - Jeff will be in Lynchburg, VA for Liberty University’s Missions Emphasis Week, to talk to students about internships and recruit for our Overseas Missions Photo Workshop in May. Pray that God would bring missions-minded students to fill the nine spots for this workshop in Portugal.
Texas, Feb 27-Mar 3 – Jeff will be attending a Christian photojournalism conference in Fort Worth. Pray for us as we make travel decisions. It’s still unclear if the whole family will be going or not.
November 16, 2013
As we head to the Western Europe Regional Missionary Conference in Madeira, Portugal - Nov 22 to Dec 10
1) Family Ministry - This is the first time our whole family has traveled together overseas. Pray for health and strength and a powerful impact on our children’s lives.
2) Effective Ministry - Pray that we can encourage and strengthen our Western Europe missionaries.
3) Children's Involvement - Pray that our children will be a vital part of our ministry as they encourage other MKs.
4) Final Preparations - Pray that we can effectively finalize the material for the six courses (eleven class sessions) that we will teach, and will be able to communicate it clearly.
5) Spiritual Power - Pray that we will maintain our quiet time with God during our travels.
September 22, 2013
We returned home late Wednesday from a three-week trip to VA, NC, SC, and GA and have great things to report.
1) Safe travel
2) Many profitable meetings with professors and photographers regarding the development of our new overseas student missions photography workshop
3) Teaching Missionaries - A major emphasis of this trip was the two-day seminar we taught at Source of Light Ministries near Atlanta. We were encouraged by their eagerness to receive Biblical instruction on support-raising, and really felt we helped them restore the vibrancy of their ministry vision.
1) Road fatigue always takes several days to dissipate as we transition to being back home and to all the tasks that need immediate attention
2) That factor (above) is expanded by the fact that Jeff has to turn around and head for Costa Rica next Friday. He will be working with our missionary team there who are holding a tactical training course for Costa Rican police officers. Pray for Jeff as he prepares for his first overseas photo/video project in 5 years. It’s also the first ever where the major emphasis is video.
3) Pray for effective ministry in Costa Rica Sept 27-Oct 6
4) Pray for Becky and the kids home without Jeff for 10 days
5) Last Monday, Jeff’s mom slipped on a wet floor at a restaurant, injuring her dominant arm. Initial diagnosis is that it is not broken, but she has been in great pain and still cannot lift the arm.
August 19, 2013
1) Neighborhood Bible study this fall – Becky is planning to start a Ladies Bible study in our home in September to reach out to unsaved neighbors. Please pray over the next couple of weeks as we decide which materials to use and extend invitations. Also, pray that our Yard Sale this Saturday (8/24) will provide opportunities to connect with and invite more ladies.
2) Missions Photography Workshop – This week, Jeff is working through details of taking a team of college students to a foreign missions field next May. The workshop is to teach visual storytelling photography in the context of missions, with the goal of seeing God call students to consider career missions as a photographer. Please pray for the critical decisions of locations (what country to go to) and content of workshop (which will determine students to target and co-instructors to invite).
3) Costa Rica planning – Jeff is making plans to travel to Costa Rica Sept 26-Oct 6 to create videos related to an evangelistic outreach to Central American law enforcement officers. Please pray this week as decisions are made as to the scope of these videos, which will affect choices in both equipment needed and personnel to involve. Pray also for Becky and the kids as they will stay here at home.
4) NC/GA Trip – On August 29, we leave for a three-week trip to North Carolina and Georgia. It’s been awhile since we’ve made an extended driving trip as a family. Pray for fruitful ministry as we meet with folks who partner with our ministry, and as we teach at Source of Light Ministries on Sept 10-11. Pray also for safe travel and effective homeschooling on the road.
July 17, 2013
1) Teaching at Candidate Seminar - Today is a big day as we begin teaching at Candidate Seminar this afternoon. Today and tomorrow we will be teaching 41 individuals who have committed to become career missionaries. They are ordinary people responding to the call from an extraordinary God. They come willing, but for the most part uncertain of the next steps to take. Jeff & Becky play a key role in teaching this new generation of missionaries how to prepare to communicate the ministry vision God has given them. We are involved in the last two days of candidate training, addressing their deepest question, “How do I get to the field?” Pray that we will not do this in our own understanding but that God will use us by His power.
2) New ABWE President - After a 2-year search, the new ABWE president, Dr. James O’Neill, will be presented to the Board this Friday and to our missionaries on Monday at Missionary Enrichment Conference
3) Summer Intern – This year God brought us a student intern to help with the many photographic needs of ABWE’s summer events. She has already been a blessing to us in getting many projects done as well. One of our ministry goals is to mentor young people who have abilities in visual media and a desire to serve the Lord in missions.
4) Missionary Enrichment Conference – ABWE’s biggest annual event, where about ¼ of our missionaries from around the world come to be refreshed and challenged. This year's event is being held next week in Washington DC. Pray that we will have great interactions with missionaries that will result in opportunities for us to serve them overseas through training and outreach.
April 4, 2013
Wisdom in continuing improvement of missionary training - We are deeply involved in helping new missionaries get to the field faster. Toward that goal, we have been developing new curriculum to prepare them for life during "prefield ministry," where they go out and share their ministry vision and build a team of financial and prayer partners. We teach this twice a year (March and July) during "Candidate Seminar." Having just finished the March class, we have a great deal of refinement to do before the July class arrives.
Kosovo project, groundbreaking postponed - The Kosovo Leadership Academy is a K-12 school being built to train the next generation of leaders in this newly independent country, using a Biblical worldview. The amazing part is that a Muslim government has invited ABWE, a Christian organization, to build this school. The groundbreaking will be rescheduled, pending the passage of a bill in the Kosovar legislature that will extend the lease on the property from 10 years to 99 years. That is projected to be in 3-6 months. From what I understand, it is not expected to hinder the project, they just need a little more time.
Development of new prefield website before July Candidate Seminar - In the future, the primary resource our missionaries will use to know how to create media and communications, where to go for help, as well as tips for support raising and ministry during "Pre-field," will be a new website. This will be a major project for Jeff over the next few months. It will be integrated into the July Candidate training.
Decisions regarding overseas travel in fall - There are several projects in the works for fall. We are seeking God's wisdom and direction for travel opportunities to train and serve our missionaries on foreign fields.