If you ask Grace and her preschool class, "How much does God love us?", you would hear this response, "This much!" and they all outstretch their arms as wide as they can and then they wrap themselves in a big "Jesus hug." Well, this month has been one big "Jesus hug". This month has been amazing and everyday we are reminded of how much He loves us and how much He can do when we trust Him with all our hearts, minds, soul and strength. God has worked so hard this month on our behalf. We are so humbled and grateful.
At the beginning of this month, we checked our database and found that we were at approxiamately 50% of the support needed to begin at Agape. We had exhausted all of our resources of friends, family and referrals. We had completed all of what we thought we could do, so we completely turned over to God the other 50% of the funding needs. We knew that if He wanted us to go, this would be quite clear as the funds would be finished by Him. (BTW-We know He raised the first half, we think He just let us do some foot work to let us feel like we did something :) Well, He secured 40% more of the funding within the next ten days. Over those ten days, we received some incredible seeds into the ministry. Seeds planted by people who heard God's calling in our lives and believed in what God was going to do with this ministry. We are speechless and are in awe of how He can move mountains. We are also extremely grateful for those who have placed their trust in us to fulfill what He is calling us to do. Thank you for coming along side us and for allowing us the privilege of serving Him with our careers and lives.
This month has been full of surprises. We received support from people we don't even know, yet they have heard what God is doing in our lives and want to be involved. We have received support from two churches that got our information before we had the chance to start the process ourselves with their missions boards. And we have received support from friends who are also in ministry but want to continue to be "givers" and support other missionaries. God has been extremely busy working in the hearts of our supporters and we are incredibly grateful for each and every one of you and your willingness to listen to His voice.
So, here we are...... we are in the last mile of the marathon. We are close to finishing the first challenge placed before us. We are in the process of rounding up our unfulfilled pledges. If you have made a pledge and have not started giving yet, please sign up on line or let us know if you need a new pledge card so you can get started this month. We would like to have all pledges processed before we leave. We are also working on finding the last few supporter needed to reach the 100% mark. Next, we will be concentrating on our next challenge of selling our home here and finding a home in FL so we can start moving.
With all that said, it is time to get to those praises and prayer request....
- Praise God for that the support raising is going very well and God has moved mountains for us in this department.
- Praise Him for the addition of the Clear Lake E Free church and Clear Lake Christian Church who have joined us as financial supporters. The E Free church is where Lance attended church for 18 years before moving to Iowa City/CR. The Christian Church is where Lance's parents are members.
- Praise God for the great responses from the Clear Lake Christian Church, Clear Lake E Free church and the Valley Church when we presented at these churches. It was an honor to have these opportunity to speak to these congregations. Thank you Lord for making these opportunties happen.
- Praise the Most High for the large seeds that have been planted in this ministry on our behalf. Thank you God for the contacts you have.
- The Iron Sharpens Iron conference was very successful and lives where transformed that day. 400 men met with God and grew stronger in their walks through that ministry. Personally, Lance met some incredible mentors and we were able to get plugged into some Venice, FL churches through our house guests for the conference.
- Praise God that the girls have had great patience and behavior when we met with supporters and spoke at churches. Everyone we meet with has been sensitive of our children and making them feel at home. Thank you for all of you who have gone out of your way to make our girls feel loved.
- Please pray that God will bring the new owner of our home to the house soon. We have said from the beginning that the support piece and the home sale piece would happen simultaneouly. As we are approaching the finish of the support raising piece, we are ready for the house to sell so we can dive into our new lives as missionaries.
- Please pray that supporters will continue to join us. We are less than 10% short on our annual gifts, so we need to have that void filled in so we can get started. We will constantly be in need of new supporters, since one time gifts will need to be replaced in the following years. Support raising and relationship building is a key part of our ministry. Please pray that we will continue to find joy in telling His story and sharing the amazing things He has done for us.
- Please pray for good weather for the weekend of July 3-4. We will be having a Bake sale/rummage sale for our move to Agape at the Shueyville Methodist Church.
- Please pray for a hedge of protection over our family. The enemy loves to find ways to attack and he is constantly looking for a foothold. Please pray that we will remain strong in Him and listen to His voice.
- Please pray for our girls. Our greatest hope is that they will come to know Him as their Provider, Protection, Shelter and one true Love. Please continue to pray for them to have gentle spirits and open hearts.
This month we have been really clinging to Scripture that points us to the end of this race. We know the end of this race is just the beginning yet this Scripture helps us stay focused on completing what He has called us to do. In Acts 20:22-24, Paul says good bye to the elders of Ephesus with these words, 22"And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. " These words remind us that it is not about us or our lives, but it is all about Him. We are trying to stay focused on what God is doing in our lives and share that story with others while giving Him the glory. We are concentrating on remembering this is about the Great Commission and doing our part to share God's good news.
Thank you for all you are doing at the throne of the King on our behalf. We appreciate all of you that lift us up to Him. Your prayers are very important to us so please let us know how we can be praying for you also.
Have a great 4th of July!
Never give in!
In His service, Lynn for the Anderson family