August 31, 2014

The Field is the World





Skinner Family Moves to Anna, Texas

We made it! We are living in Texas now. Thank you for your prayers and provision to get us here! We left part of our hearts in FL with our dear friends there but are pressing on to what the Lord has for us to do here with the full staff of GMO under one roof.

"A wide door for effective work has been opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
(1 Corinthians 6:9)

It was June of last year I sort of divided my life into decades:

40 years a believer; 20 years married; 10 years on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ.

I anticipated being in Texas near August 1, 2014—and we were: that ended up being our unpacking day here in Anna, Texas. From that moment on, life hasn't slowed down yet. The steering council for GMO’s training department had our first meeting that week, and I hosted a training webinar in which I interviewed the leader of a very important partner ministry, Turkish missionary evangelist Isik Abla whose ministry reaches out to Muslims. Her interview became an eLearning course as well.

In June of this year, I accepted a new position as Implementation Manager for the GMO’s new “eLearning system.” As part of this new responsibility, I am coordinating all English speaking Online Missionary training program, consisting of seven overlapping training cycles with a maximum of 46 active training leaders. I manage the new eLearning system and will be using it to serve the training needs of over 8,000 online volunteers worldwide. Our first simple training course was launched last month: it explains how to use our new "Discipleship Dashboard," a valuable tool for managing the Online Missionary's mentoring relationship with new believers and their growth in their walk with Jesus. I am also involved in rewriting some of our classic discipleship material with the team here in Plano.

Life can feel like a real roller-coaster ride sometimes. Stomach-churning turns and free-falls. Unforeseen events which overturn our expectations and set us up for a free-fall! At times it can also be, as a friend’s autocorrect accidentally put it, a "toilet coaster."

We experienced some turns and free falls during this move. Our FL house that was “sold” and under contract for a month, failed to fund and fell out of contract after we locked up a contract for a house in Texas. (Please pray: our counter-offer to a new buyer was accepted August 24th, Cindy’s birthday.)

Literally, on the way out of St. Cloud, sweet Emily ended up in the St. Cloud ER after having an anaphylactic reaction to cashews from an energy bar. She has never had a reaction like this, maybe has never had a cashew because she doesn’t like nuts. We stayed an extra day in St. Cloud to make sure she was recovered well and then headed out again.

Remarkably, our 12-year-old Ford with 226,000 miles made the trip to Texas with no incidents, but blew out a spark plug on the way home from GMO the first day. Our new house's air-conditioning unit backed up and leaked through our kitchen ceiling the next day. It was almost 100 degrees with no AC! The home computer failed to boot up and the hard disk on my work lap top crashed.

Some things were easily remedied: Emily recovered quickly and is fine, we had a spare computer at work, and the home computer is still under warranty. A generous ministry partner paid for our AC fix. But with the miles and age on the old car, a repair would cost more than this vehicle is worth, so we traded it in. September is our first month of double house notes, so this is not the best time for a new car payment. All of this reminds us that we're not on an amusement-park ride, we're in a battle. And the more strategic our position, the more we draw enemy fire. But we know that we have the "heavy artillery" of prayer warriors like you. If you would, please join us in prayer for these things:

  • Please pray that our house in Florida will sell without incident this time.
  • Please pray we our new (14-year-old) car runs well.
  • Please pray for Emily and Luke as they start the year in a new homeschool co-op and make new friends here in Texas, and for Cindy as she teaches and guides them.

Would you also pray about helping us financially? A generous partner in the Texas area is making it more strategic than ever to do so. With her matching giving:

  • Your new monthly giving or increases will be matched, up to $200 monthly.
  • Your special gifts will be matched, up to a total of $5,000.
  • Will you commit to pray regularly for our family? I sense that we're in a real period of testing right now - and we want to pass the test!

During the training webinar, our partner ministry’s leader, evangelist Isik Abla told our volunteers that it is her conviction that this ministry was raised up at this time for the purpose of pulling down Islam. As Iraqi believers flee for their lives, it’s never been more clear that we must lift up Christ all over the world, as we pray for our brothers and sisters in these hostile areas. We are focusing on the love and faithfulness of God in His promise that if we put His Kingdom first, all the things we need will be added to us, and as we lift up Christ He will draw all men to Him. Thank you for your faithful friendship, your prayers and gifts as we find new ways of doing this.

 

Love in Christ,

 
(Cindy Skinner - signature)
Mike & Cindy
One Day Closer! (Romans 13:11)
 

New ongoing or special gifts are always appreciated! go to http://give.cru.org/0543730 to find out how to help us at this critical time in our service!

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