Saturday, January 31, 2015

Christian Challenge January 2015 Update!

     It's that time again!  Hope you had an awesome Christmas!  Ours was good, filled with hanging out with our students, family time, travel, and doctor visits.

     We started out our Christmas break with three of our students graduating...Kelsey, Will and Vernon.  Kelsey is going to be working on the Front Range as a teacher.  Will is continuing his studies to be a physician assistant.  Vernon is moving to Vegas to be closer to his dad and take more classes.  Keep all of them in your prayers as they move forward in their lives.


     After graduation, it was family time.  We had family come in from all over.  And of course, almost everyone got sick at some point.  I guess that just happens when you put people from all over the country together in confined spaces.  Thankfully, Rachel and I escaped most of the sickness at that point.

     For Christmas Eve, we spent time with our Japanese students.  First, it was our church's Christmas Eve service, and then for dinner, they came over to my mom's place with us.  Christmas day, we had one of them back over to celebrate the day with us.  It was a great time getting to share the Christmas experience with our students.



     After Christmas, we took a bunch of students up to Colorado Springs for Life Impact.  It's a great conference where our student this year got to hear speakers like Dr. Robert Coleman, author of The Master Plan of Evangelism.  Though this is where Rachel and I eventually got sick, it was an awesome time for our students.  It was great getting to see them grow throughout the week.  I think it was also very encouraging for them getting to be around almost 350 other students looking to grow in their faith.


     After Life Impact, Rachel and I stayed on the Front Range for a couple of more days.  I had some doctor appointments up in Denver I needed to take care of.  Over the past few years, I've been getting dizzy more and more.  My doctor in Durango thought it was because of all the concussions I've had throughout my life.  The visit to the doctor in Denver was supposed to test for all of that.  In the end, they didn't test for what we went up there for and the specialist didn't seem to really care.  It was disappointing to say the least.

     When we returned to Durango, the new semester was upon us.  Though it's still early in the semester, things are going well.  We've been tackling a lot of taboo topics within the church, things like pornography and homosexuality.  We've had some great discussions with our students about such topics.  Having students from all walks of life (including the head of the LGBT club on campus) and belief systems attending, it makes for really interesting discussions.  Being that these are topics that a lot of our students haven't studied out in scripture, I think it was eye opening for many of them and really made them think.

     With those that we are discipling, it's going well.  It's always tough at the beginning of the semester to catch a rhythm, trying to make schedules match up and such but it's starting to come together.  It seems like God is really giving our students a thirst to grow right now.  It's really awesome to see.

     With our events, those have gone well also.  Our biggest was a skiing/sledding/ice skating day up in Silverton.  We had around 20 students throughout the day.  That's pretty good for this early in the winter/spring semester.  During the trip, I was able to reconnect with one of our students we haven't seen much of this past year due to his work schedule.  It was really good.  Looking to the near future, we have a lot of great events planned that we're looking forward to.


     Looking into the more distant future, our summer plans are starting to come together.  After all of our end of the year staff meetings, Rachel and I will probably hit the road to do some more support raising.  We're still not where we're supposed to be for support and with the recent loss of a couple of supporters, we'll need to at least make that up.  We're looking at possibly going to Louisiana so if anyone might be able to open some doors for us there, that would be awesome.  Now is the time where we need to be setting all of that up.

    Our next big summer event will be, Lord willing, taking students on another mission trip back to Peru to follow up with those we met last time and to reach new areas.  Our last trip was such a huge success that I can't wait to take students back there.

     Thanks for all the support and encouragement you give!  We are super thankful for that!  Keep FLC in your prayers!

Cheers and God Bless,
Mike and Rachel

If the Lord is leading you to give, follow this link to some different options:
http://thewallscall.blogspot.com/p/other-giving-options.html

Prayer Requests:

Housing-

Turns out our well is completely dry.  Looks like we'll be hauling in our water for the time being.  Pray that God would give us wisdom on how to proceed with that.

We did end up getting a great deal on a snow blower.  It was a great deal because it didn't run.  We fixed it though, and it worked great for our first storm...but it is now broken again.  Just need to replace a belt but we're thankful we at least have the blower.  Hopefully, we can keep it running this time.

We're having a retreat at the house in February.  We're excited to use the house!  Just pray that the house holds up to having everyone here...and that our septic which is already having issues survives.

Students-

Pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to grow them in their faith and that they'd stay strong in it throughout the semester.

Pray that God would continue to reveal Himself to the students who have not yet put their trust in Him.

Rachel and Mike-

Pray that we would get positive answers concerning our medical concerns.

Pray that we would make time to rest and not get burnt out by the busy nature of ministry.

Pray that our marriage would stay strong, keeping God always at the center of it.

Does disagreement mean hate?

In this nation, we have gotten to the point where we call out the other side for hate when they disagree with our position.  Unfortunately, when we do that, we only breed more hate.  We actually create hate where it never was, nurture it to grow and thrive.

A lot of this is used for political gain.  People pushing an agenda, gaining votes, stirring the pot to make money.

Nobody wants to be called a hatemonger so we throw the hate word out there in order to keep the other side quiet.  We bully them into being scared to open their mouth.  Usually, it's pretty effective but sometimes it just backs a person into a corner where the next words to come out of their mouth are fighting words.  Hate begets hate.

Unfortunately, those who are normally the loudest for calling others out for hatred usually have the most hatred in their own heart.  It's a sad and destructive place for our nation to be in.  Maybe that is just human nature, though.

God has called us to be so much more than that, so much better than that.  Granted, so much of our nation has turned its back on God.  But for those who have not, how about we try and love our enemies as God commanded?  That means loving those who disagree with us.  Even if they bring hatred, we must bring love.

That certainly doesn't mean we can't disagree, though.  We must remember that disagreement does not have to mean there is an absence of love.  Where there is disagreement, love must abound that much more.  Disagreement brings a canyon that love must fill in order for us to continue to connect.  The bigger the gap, the more love that is needed to fill it.  Whether you believe in Christ or not, we must all make a great effort to live this concept.  If not, our friendships, our relationships, and even our nation will eventually crumble.