Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July Praises and Prayer requests

Welcome to our monthly report of all God is doing in our lives (praises) and all that we need you to pray to the Almighty for us(prayer requests). June has been a BIG month for us. Here is why....

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.

Prayer request

  • 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

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June Surprises and updates

Oh, what a great God we serve! Our God is so big and so faithful. He has been once again taking us to heights we have never known and we have seen the amazing things He can do. The last 2 weeks have been crazy, but He is our rock. Our schedule is insane but He is the constant. Let me fill you in on the things He is doing for and with us....

1. The month started with the Iron Sharpens Irons conference and some very cool house guests. We had two of the speakers from the conference staying with us for the night. Chuck Stecker and Ray Morgan from A Chosen Generation stayed Friday night before the conference. And even though our visit with them was very short, we loved having them here. Their ministry is about raising Men of Honor and Women of Virtue and it is really awesome. I have listened to Chuck's presentation from the conference and let me tell you that man has a message every parent needs to hear. I highly recommend that you check out their website and blog at www.achosengeneration.org. I wish we would have had more time to pick their brains but none the less, we were honored to have them with us for the short time they could be here. Did I mention that they are experts on Venice, FL? They totally plugged us into the Venice, FL area with churches and men's ministry leaders. Go God, he did it again! Now, we have 10 new websites to check out from our favorites and we can start church shopping before we even get there.
2. The Solon garage sale was a bust because of rain but we all survived and Goodwill will have full shelves for a few days.
3. Last week, we made a surprise visit to the Wisconsin High School State soccer tournament. Since it was only 120 miles off the beaten path to some business in Indiana we decided to surprise my family with an appearance at the game. If I would have been on the ball, I would be inserting some great picts here but since I was so busy keeping the girls from blowing the surprise, I failed to capture the look on my sister, Dad's and Mom's faces. Just imagine, what their expressions were when Grace "sneak attack hugged" them from behind in the crowd of hundreds. It was priceless. It was so worth the extra miles and hours in the car to see the family and to see Katie play an awesome game. The girls dragged Colleen away from the game every minute they could to roll down the hill and play in the grass. Thanks Colleen for being so patient with the girls.
4. The day after the game we spent 14 hours in the truck, driving to Indiana and then home. It was actually only 9 hours of driving time but with traffic delays and brief stops, it took us 14 hours. The trip was a real test of how long we can go on our drive to Florida when we move. The girls were perfect and they were a blessing as they only had one incident of whining. God really took care of us and we know He was our protector and our peace. We had a great trip and although we were tired the next day, it was nice to have that business out of the way.
5. This weekend was very eventful on the support raising front also. We recieved notice from the Clear Lake E. Free church that they will be supporting us at Agape. Praise God!
6. As we sat down and analyzed our database, we realized that God is closing the gap on the support front. We are over the 80% benchmark and are close to finishing up the race. We have plenty of work to do to finish this task but God is constantly reaffirming the direction He has for our lives and He is always showing us He is in control. Praise Him that He knows what He is doing with us even when we can't always wrap our heads around it.

So, there you have it.... that is what we have been up to lately. Praise God because He has done most of this and we have just been along for the ride.

Now, here's a little thought to close with....last night, the girls and I were playing with the bumblebees in our front bush. (Don't ask why..my girls just love bugs?!) After we caught the bee and looked at him for a while in our bug catcher, we decided to let him go so we opened the end of the bug catcher. The bee struggled and struggled trying to find a way out. He rammed his head into the plastic over and over. He did not realize that we had opened the other end and all he had to do was fly away. He struggled for almost a full minute before he finally saw that he was already set free, he just didn't know it. How many times have we tried to find our own way out of a situation? How many people do you know that are ramming their heads into the plastic of this world? Many times we try to force our way out rather than seeing that God has already shown us the way out. We often fail to see He has opened the door. As it says in Galatians 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Yes, Christ is the way to freedom and He is the only way to be set free. No matter how big or small your problems, He will deliver you if you place your life in His hands and trust Him with all your heart.

We hope you are having an eventful month too. Please pray for the new owners of our home. We are ready to have them discover this house and come to make an offer.
Never give in!
In His service, Lynn for the Anderson crew