Hello Friends and Family,
In this 3rd quarter Newsletter, so much has happened behind the scenes in the past 3 months, it’s hard to gather all my thoughts for you, but I will do my best to share some important highlights.
I will be heading out this week to Ottawa, Canada for our annual ACCI Board Meetings (Oct. 27-31). I always look forward to this time of year as I am reminded of what a privilege it is to be serving with this valued mission leadership team. Our directors John and Amy Haley, will come up from North Carolina along with our ACCI founder, Tony Hedrick. Our Canadian Director, Lauren Roth already lives in Ottawa, and our EU Director, Francesco Abortivi, will be Skyping in, YEAH for Skype! Our US and Canadian board members and staff team will join together to review the last year together, celebrate God’s faithfulness and plan together for the coming year. Here are some fun facts from our board reports for this fiscal year (Oct. 2105-Sept. 2016). I humbly share these points with y0u, so you know what you are a part of and so you can celebrate with us, together giving God the glory.
- We currently have 68 Contracted Project leaders
- Who are serving in 28 countries
- We have organizational partnership agreements with 21 mission affiliate organizations
- God has brought us 6 new contractors to our ACCI Int’l team this year
- 3 ACCI members have
completed their international mission commitments this year
- We had a growth spurt in STM individuals/teams this year – 21 individuals served cross-culturally
During our weekend of board meetings, we’ll be also gathering together for a meal with several of our missionaries that are in the Canadian area, attend Chapel Ridge Church on Sunday Oct. 30th. I will see my Belize team members again from last August. I’ll be meeting with a couple of our mission friends as well while I’m there.
Thank you all again, for helping make it possible for me to serve with ACCI through your prayerful and financial support. I am always humbled by your care and love.
Reflecting Back | July-September
Many Coffee Meetings!
I have so many favorite parts to my work with ACCI. One, I greatly appreciate, is when I am able to connect with people interested in missions or feel called to missions, and with other mission organizations that are making a difference.
In my continued research (and high learning curve) regarding the refugee needs locally and around the world, in Aug. I had the privilege to have a coffee meeting with Tom Albinson from IAFR – International Assoc. For Refugees. I learned so much from our conversation together. My take away was huge. My thoughts and assumptions were redirected over and over again in our conversation together as I listened and absorbed his wisdom and humble experience.
Some great advice from Tom: “Small is good, going slow is wise; God gives us relationships and breakthroughs and favor; there is tons of red tape, but if God wants it to happen, the doors just open; [we need to learn to] stop respecting closed doors; as people we will always list all the reasons why something can’t be done, but God opens doors that only he can; walk humbly.”
I also love meeting with missionaries returning from serving abroad who just need a listening ear, short term or long term, as well as meeting with leaders that need resources and ask for feedback. This quarter uniquely, I was invited in to several conversations like this, and I again, learn so much from each person I meet with. We are in this Kingdom work, together!
Offering Mission Training – I continue to offer all I can to my own church whether its helping in debriefing their Short Term missionaries, offering support to their team leaders or through offering their teams some preparation and teaching. It continues to be a joy to watch God raise up warriors to express and share his love around the world in such tangible and creative ways.
STM Belize Team
As many of you know, I had the privilege of serving with a youth team from Chapel Ridge Church, from Ottawa, Canada. Along with ACCI missionary, Kathy McDonald, we had the privilege of help facilitate this team in country and enjoyed serving them. We were able to set up their volunteer work, connect with the work of Pastor Herdie Castillo’s Church, Ligilisi Lareini Bungiu (Grace of God Church), in Hopkins Village. Jerris and Nadine Jones were our van drivers and youth leaders, along with Carlene Martinez, and together we prepared and carried out several youth events, a summer soccer camp and summer Bible school. We were able to pray in the village and listen to the life stories of the church family. It was God’s grace that carried us, blessed our efforts and we give him all the glory for the outcome of our obedience and service. It was an honor to stand alongside our dear Garifuna friends as Christ-followers, to learn from them, and encourage one another.
Our Adventive Team Updates
ACCI Short Termers
Von and Willie headed back to Alaska this Oct.-Dec. to Alaska Christian College again continuing to invest in the lives of the seeking, growing students at ACC. I am touched by their faithful obedience, sacrifice of time and resources serving so faithfully. Please remember them in prayer
Asia – One of our contractors heading to a sensitive area in Asia which I cannot share specifics. Please pray for her and her son as they spend the month of December serving through medical training and discipleship and as they reconnect with their ministry relationships there as well.
Rachel Feldmann will be serving in Belmopan, Belize in February, 2017, alongside ACCI member, Kathy McDonald. She will be joined by 2 of her family members. Kathy will host and field facilitate their service opportunities. We are excited to see what God does both in the lives of Rachel and her family as well how God uses them to touch those sound them while in Belize.
Mission Resources – If you are passionate about any aspect of missions, be sure to take a look at my list of resources HERE that I’ve just updated. It covers everything from short-term team resources, mission leadership, personal study, cross-cultural study, member care, caring for families and more.
Consider Christmas Gifts, from CardsBeyond. Check out the ITALY DOORS set of cards! You can now build your own card set and select the cards you’d prefer as a Christmas package for friends and loved ones! See the instructions on my ordering page HERE. Any profit from card sales will go toward my mission trips. I could really use your help and support in this fundraising endeavor; you’re an important part of the ACCI team!
ACCI ASK Newsletter. So many of you are informing me by emails that you are participating and praying for our faithful servants around the world. I just want to say, “thank you.” I am amazed by your obedience through prayer and uniting with me in caring for our missionaries in this vital way.
Our New ACCI Website
We did it, we’ve launched our new ACCI website this month! Enjoy taking a wander through the menus and pages. Your giving system will not change, but everything else sure has. Thank you to our EU Director, Francesco Abortivi for designing this beautiful website!
There are several things falling into place in regard to possible member care travel and mission trips opportunities. Once I know more, I will send out a quick video update to you by email, soon.
Italy, May 2017 – Our staff team has been busy along with our ACCI team members planning the next ACCI Gathering Retreat which will be held in Italy again. We will gather together as many of our ACCI missionaries and ministry partners to spend time encouraging one another, connecting, sharing our vision and resting.
Lampedusa – As you may recall from my last video update, I shared about a burden the Lord has laid on my heart for this tiny island far west of Italy. Prior to our Gathering, I have been invited to spend a few days in Lampedusa with others in intercession and prayer, seeking the Lord together of what he may desire for this area. We may also visit the Refugee placement camp there and also meet other church members who are struggling. My prayer is that we may be an encouragement in some way, and that the Lord reveals the first steps of direction for how He may use us in the future together with resources and our ministry partners in Italy. But FIRST, we begin with prayer and listening! Lampedusa is the first place that immigrants land, excited, full of hope, not really knowing the long journey that is ahead of them. With this truth comes great opportunity, but we first need to connect with the local church, listen, learn, come alongside and encourage. That’s all we know at this point. One step of obedience at a time.
Projetto Archippo – Also, I will be traveling with the Children’s Pastor Sara Sosa and her daughter Emma from my home church part of my time in Italy. Sara will be teaching a weekend of Projetto Archippo on the church and family/leadership, which our leadership training in Parma. I can’t wait, I know God is going to use her to bring great encouragement, resources and wisdom to those who attend.
I will also be meeting with some new partnership contacts in Rome and Florence. We hope to also connect with the AWANA director who has been working tirelessly on the international translation and application of this program for families in Italy.
A lot needs to fall into place by May! But God is faithful, every step of the way.
- For all the preparation of my travel ahead, for wisdom, discernment and finances to fall into place to serve abroad
- For the ability to be a prayerful, discerning listener as I serve our project leaders
- For the Lord to raise up additional monthly prayer and financial partners to stand with me
- For my Italian language studies to continue productively and for retention as I work with my tutor, Lorenzo
- For continued protection around Luke and I as a family, our marriage, balance of work/home life, as I am away traveling
- Wisdom as a staff team as we prayerfully consider new missionary applications that come in to us and advise some fragile needs at this time.
I’d be glad to add you to my prayer email list. Once in a while I send out a need for prayer covering. Just bump me an email and I’ll add you on my list by clicking HERE.
Would you consider becoming a monthly giving partner for one year? And by the way, no amount is too small. If you do feel led to do so, just go online to our ACCI website HERE, choose Donate US$, then choose if you’d prefer to give monthly or a one-time gift, then find my name under United States, and you’re done! Or I can email you a giving slip if you’d prefer to donate by regular mail.
Financial Update – End of the year giving is always a great opportunity to help those of us who serve for non-profit organizations, catch up a bit from the year’s shortages. If you’d like to consider giving a one time extra financial gift toward my ministry needs, it would help me to meet my annual budget in a way that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your prayerful consideration.