Here is our prayer letter for January 2010...
Friday, January 15, 2010
We hope and pray that you enjoyed the holidays, and 2010 is off to a good start for you!
Thank you so much for praying for me at Urbana in late December. I thoroughly enjoyed the manuscript study that I led each morning, as well as the entire convention. I was a little nervous about leading such a large Bible study (it turned out to be about 700 people), since prior to Urbana the largest group Bible study I had led was “only” about 100 people. :^) But the studies went just great, and it turned out being very encouraging and fun to lead in that context. All of the participants in the Bible study I led had signed up beforehand for the International Poverty Track, so these were all people with a particular interest in or calling to the world’s poor. I had some great conversations with some of them after each study. It was great to study the Scripture and look at the example of Jesus with so many hundreds of young people who desire to be a blessing to the poor. I have been told that about 200 of them made commitments at Urbana to serve among the urban poor longer term. Very exciting!
The convention as a whole was also fabulous. This was my sixth Urbana, and was certainly my favorite in terms of the teaching in the main sessions. The convention theme was “He lived among us,” from John 1:14. Many of the speakers unpacked the significance of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and how it is a model for our own ministry and mission in this world. We heard testimonies from missionaries who have lived and ministered among the poor in some of the most difficult and desperate places on earth, and who face danger and even death so that others may come to know the heart and nature of God. We also heard from people who have “stayed home” and have earned a lot of money through their businesses / work over the years, yet have chosen to live a “missionary lifestyle” in the US, and give everything else that they earn to purposes advancing God’s Kingdom. It was inspiring and challenging to be called to live our lives with a singular purpose of seeking God’s Kingdom. I was happy that the convention as a whole had such an emphasis on incarnational mission among the poor. In a world in which more than half of the human population now lives on less than $3 per day, and globally, the gap between the “have’s” and “have-not’s” is greater than ever before, I think it was a very appropriate and timely emphasis!
Teaching in Mexico City
I will be traveling again in just over three weeks. Servant Partners is hosting a Global Urban Training School in Mexico City for new staff preparing to begin their ministries on the field. I am scheduled to teach at this training school from February 9 – 17. It has been 21 years since I spent a year in Mexico City as a 20-year-old, and I am excited about going back! :^) Please pray for my teaching in February, and also for Mini, Lily, and Emily at home while I am away.
May God bless you with every spiritual blessing in Jesus Christ throughout this year! We love you and are always happy to hear from you.
For the joy set before us,
Dave, Mini, Lily, and Emily
A quote to ponder:
The essential thing in heaven and on earth is that there should be a long obedience in the same direction. There thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living. (Friedrich Neitzsche)