Dear Family and Friends:
Five seconds. Long enough to draw a slow breath and exhale it, walk down a short hallway, maybe find John 3:16 in the Bible if you’re pretty quick. (took me eight seconds!) You can’t do too much in five seconds, right?
But every five seconds, someone finishes reading the Four Spiritual Laws, a complete presentation of the Gospel, from one of our websites all over the world. Stop and think about that for a minute. I don’t know if the impact of that statement sank in with me when I heard it last month at our National Staff Conference.
Think about twenty centuries of Christianity beginning with twelve disciples and their converts. They died on crosses, burning stakes and in arenas and jail cells, and at the end of spears and stones They walked, or rather fled, sometimes, from town to town…creatively using the Roman Roads, the Jewish system of synagogues (Acts 9:20) and statues of unknown gods (Acts 17:23). They preached in the open market, in catacombs, and homes communicating on hand-delivered scrolls…
Now fast-forward through the invention of the printing press, telephone, radio and television to today. With the advent of the Internet, it became possible for individuals all over the world to pull down information on-demand, instantaneously, and for computers to manage and tally accesses and connect seekers directly to disciple-makers across continents. Our online tracts come with strings attached, as it were, to trained Christian counselors.
And we…little old me and you…help make something like this possible, for the first time in the history of the world. Just yesterday, I responded to John from Bangalore (where Christians are in the minority), who came to Christ just this way. I told him about the indwelling Holy Spirit, assurance of salvation, forgiveness of sins, the need for Christian fellowship and the availability of online discipleship resources. Thank you for the part you played in making that possible! What would the early disciples say if they saw what we can do today?
One thing I’m convinced they would say is, “don’t drop the ball!” To mix a metaphor, we now carry the torch passed at such great effort and cost from our spiritual fathers in the faith. Much sacrifice has been made to give us this opportunity and we dare not waste it.
Maybe you can tell that as I write this today, I’m excited. I have many reasons to be excited. It’s not just that I’m about over stomach flu, or that we are finished moving in to another house in Aiken. It’s not just because we have a new nephew, Scout River Eckburg (see the photo links!). It’s not even that we had an amazing experience at our National Staff Conference last month being challenged to greater intimacy with Christ, and more creative and diligent work for Him while learning of many exciting things He’s been doing in the worldwide ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.
It’s because, to borrow a phrase from a featured speaker at the conference, Joe Stowall, “God showed up on our beach.” (from his sermon on Simon Peter in John 21) We left for the conference with some challenging MPD goals before us. The Staff Conference is a mandatory event for U. S. National Staff, so we were unable to do any support development for half of July and some of August. We left Aiken with our support at 62%, knowing we needed it to be about 75% by the end of July.
So what happened? Was that too high an expectation for our God?
The Lord moved a single compassionate individual we met there to pledge an ongoing amount over 9% of our total monthly support goal! God is not subject to our limitations or deadlines, He can do anything He wants to—we’re just so grateful He still wants to! Isn’t it exciting to be a part of what He’s doing for the world?? Today our pledges total 80% of our goal!
Which brings us to something you can help us with: that means we are in sight of the accomplishment of this goal that we’ve all committed so much effort and prayer toward attaining! We have almost 100 regular financial partners, but some 346 individuals receive this letter. We understand that the Lord has called many people to our team specifically as prayer partners, and we want His calling to be the deciding factor! We know by experience that spiritual warfare and challenges mount up and could be overwhelming if the motivation came from anywhere else.
At the same time, there are others who have been receiving this letter and praying about, or are waiting for a change in circumstances, before joining us. Our desire is to be at 100% support and working full-time at the ministry in Orlando in October. Is that an audacious enough goal? I want to passionately urge you to consider if God may be leading you to take up the challenge and help us finish this goal off.
Please visit our website, http://www.thefieldistheworld.com for information about our ministry including links to online giving, our ministry brochure and our new weblog that gives detailed and timely information about our family. Please call us at our new number in Aiken, (803) 233-4396, if we can answer any questions you may have.
Mike and Cindy
”One Day Closer” ( Rom. 13:1)