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Mediterranean Trip Update

ray3jpgThis is an update from Ray on his trip at the end of February to the Mediterranean to encourage D and help him strategize and develop his business plan. 

Recently, I was able to spend some time with D, at a conference held in Europe, for folks doing work in North Africa. Attendees were mostly either Christian workers on the ground in North Africa or folks from partnering agencies that sent or supported them. Each day, attendees heard updates of what God is doing in various countries in the region, and how He is building His Church. The updates from these dear North African brothers and sisters were sobering, sometimes heartbreaking, but ultimately encouraging, as it was clear that God is at work, and using all sorts of folks, and tools, to accomplish His purposes. It was really exciting to hear stories of these local churches growing, often through persecution, and even sending out workers to reach those around them.

In addition to these update sessions, a daily sermon, and times of worship and prayer, we were able to network during breakouts and meals with folks that had come to the conference, from (literally) all around the world. This alone was worth the cost of the trip, as D made connections that can serve him well for years to come.

For our part, the two of us spent a few hours each day digging into his business plan, for the start-up he’ll be operating there in North Africa. Helping him with this is one easy way that we at CCC can support the work, and participate in their mission. (On that note, thanks to David S, who has been using his gifts, working with D for a while now, giving him a crash course in Business 101.) Thankfully, D is a quick study, and is making good progress in this area, along with his language studies, learning the area, and initiating relationships, all while caring for L and the kids.

That long list of responsibilities is a good reminder for us to be praying for them. To that end, some particular things you might be praying would include:

  • Rest in their calling, as they settle into their new life there, building relationships with their neighbors.
  • Confidence in God’s good, sovereign control, even as they encounter challenges, including the recent closure of a number of churches there by the government
  • Success in their language studies, as they endeavor to best communicate with those God has called them to serve.
  • Wisdom in operating their new business, so they can make good decisions, and see it perform well, sooner than later.
  • Joy in their home, as they tend to their marriage and parenting, mindful of God’s pleasure in their faithfulness in this area.

On a personal note, I appreciated the privilege to go to the conference, and I find myself still processing what I saw and heard. As is often the case when we get outside of our backyard, we see a world that is bigger, and not quite as simple as we might have thought. We also see that God too is bigger, and not quite as simple as we might have thought. He is definitely at work, using some folks that look like us, and many that do not, some who believe “just like us”, and some who do not. This says much about His ability to build His Church, and might even speak to the humility we should have over our role in it. Much to think about…

All that said, I came away excited for the work that D and L have been called to, and excited for the privilege of us at CCC sharing in it with them.