This September, Kelsie and I took part in No Greater Joy’s Smoky Mountain Shindig. Over 2,000 people gathered for an unforgettable conference filled with solid Bible teaching, singing, fellowship, games, and encouragement.
When Michael and Debi Pearl heard we were coming to the US for the birth of our baby, they invited Kelsie and I to speak at their third annual Shindig, scheduled for September 10-14. We agreed to come and were blessed beyond all expectation! While there isn’t room here to give a full report of all that happened during the conference, I’d like to share a few of the highlights.
The Shindig was held at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina. Nestled in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, it turned out to be the perfect venue for a conference that we believe was used of God to bless and encourage a multitude of families.
Mike presented an outstanding series on addiction and the brain. He shared many intriguing scientific discoveries which vividly demonstrate the terrible physiological effect sinful behavior has on our brains. He also showed that, while science can offer an accurate explanation of the damage sin does, only Christ can offer freedom to those in bondage.
I spoke at two of the main sessions, teaching on forgiveness and how to discern God’s direction. Kelsie spoke to the ladies about her experiences as a wife on the mission field. There were also many other speakers at the Shindig, including Nathan Pearl, Rick Batson (missionary to the Philippines), T.J. Slayman (missionary in SE Asia), Shalom Brand, Debi Pearl, and Mel Cohen.
In addition to the teaching sessions, there were family activities, sporting events, and gatherings for singles. In past years, there have been many new marriages which came about as a result of young people meeting one another for the first time at a Shindig.
NGJ also set up an exhibit hall where vendors could sell various products and services for families. Bible First had a table there, and we were excited for the opportunity to share our vision with many who were interested in evangelism. One man who stopped by our table has already been using Bible First materials in a prison here in the US!
If you’d like to learn more about the Shindig, be sure to visit www.nogreaterjoy.org/shindig. All the sessions were recorded on video and I believe they will be made available soon.
Missionary to Egypt
This year, we had just one CMO guy who joined us from the US. His name is James Slice, and he is now preparing to go as a full-time missionary to Egypt. Even before coming to Ukraine, James had his eye on Egypt, and has spent more than a year studying Arabic.
We ministered side-by-side with James for two months in Ukraine, and I can say with conviction that he is one of the most committed and faithful men who has ever served on a CMO team. I speak for the entire board of Euro Team Outreach in saying that we heartily recommend him as man of integrity who is stepping out by faith to obey God’s call on his life.
If you would be interested in supporting James financially or simply want to know more about his work, you can contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following a busy month of travel and speaking engagements in September, we’ve been enjoying some rest and fellowship with our extended family. Right now we’re staying with Kelsie’s parents, the Powells, and in early December we’ll be heading back to Fort Worth where we’ll spend some time with my parents and prepare for the birth.
Our fourth daughter is due to be born on December 19th, though past experience suggests that she’s more likely to come in the form of a Christmas gift. Either way, we’re thrilled to be receiving yet another little one from the Lord. Please pray with us for strength, health and safety for Kelsie and the baby.
How You Can Pray
- Pray for a strong team for CMO 2015. Details are available now at www.CMOproject.org.
- Praise God for over 50 Ukrainian graduates from our Bible First program!
- Pray for health and safety for Kelsie and our new baby.
- Pray for Nathan Gregson as he serves with our staff team in Ukraine. (Nathan is a former CMO team member who came for the 2013 project.)
- Pray for peace and liberty in Ukraine.