Who Are We

Wayne, Hilary & Adelaide Denny. Preparing to Serve in Leadership Training in Senegal, Africa. God has called us to take advantage of a unique window of religious freedom in Muslim Senegal by equipping church leaders who have a heart for reaching their country and the Muslim world.

We should be jealous. . . for the honour of His name – troubled when it remains unknown, hurt when it is ignored, indignant when it is blasphemed. And all the time anxious and determined that it shall be given the honour and glory which are due to it.” John Stott

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cheddar Fries

No, that is not the only reason we are going to Dallas this weekend, although it is one of our favorite things to do in Dallas! There is a great restaurant there named Snuffers that has the best cheddar fries in the world! We always go there when we are in town.

But for the real reason we are going to Dallas this weekend...Wayne and I will be attending a Muslim Background Believers Conference put on by Gospel for Muslims. It is a 2 day conference put on by Muslim background believers which we hope will give us a good perspective and good advice on ministering to Muslims. Pray with us that this would be a fruitful weekend and good preparation for our ministry in Senegal.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ever heard a sermon on Isaiah 63?

I haven’t. The first 6 verses present God judging the nations as if He were stomping grapes (i.e. the nations) in a winepress. The metaphor portrays the garments of God as stained with blood from this judgment. Why do these verses often make us uneasy? Why are countless sermons on the love of God as portrayed in the parable of the prodigal son to be found; yet very few on this portrayal of God’s justice?

A few weeks back, I was listening to a 3 part series on the book of Romans by N.T. Wright. As the justice of God surfaces in the book of Romans, Wright made a passing comment about how in Western countries, the justice of God is often spoken of with unease, but in many countries in the world, God’s justice is cherished. The justice of God is not an attribute in competition with His love, but an extension of it. The reason Wright states this is so is because in so many countries justice is not the norm but the exception.

Think about it, what if you lived your life expecting injustice? What if you expected every cop to be dirty? Sure, some are, but not all. What if you expected every public project to never be finished but simply fill the pockets of a government official? I think what struck me the most about Wright’s comment was how out of touch I am with injustices that occur in the world. If Myanmar was not just a headline on my homepage, but something I regularly thought about, would I not long more for the day of God’s justice instead of being uneasy about it?

Longing for justice is not foreign to us. We don’t watch Die Hard With a Vengeance and hope that the terrorists are caught, but then simply let go. Come on, can’t the judicial system just let em go? I mean, this is only the first time they’ve tried to tear apart the country. As I thought about how much I long for justice while watching movies yet find it rarely passes my mind while reading the news, I was struck by a challenge from the great theologian Bono in the song Sunday, bloody, Sunday:

And the truth is we are immune
When fact is fiction and TV reality
And today the millions cry
We eat and drink while tomorrow they die
And the battle is just begun
To claim the victory Jesus won
On Sunday, bloody Sunday

This post doesn’t isn’t geared at a specific aspect of our ministry in Senegal, just some thoughts about God’s justice. I’d love to hear some of your thoughts also on why God’s justice makes us uneasy when many parts of the world cherish that attribute. Also, why do we cheer for justice in movies but scan news headlines as if we just want to be up to date with everyday conversations or internet current event quizzes (or at least answer why I do that)?

Monday, October 15, 2007

On the road again...

Well, it has been a busy last couple of weeks for us. We have spent a total of 2 nights in our apartment in the last 2 1/2 weeks. You kind of hate to have to pay rent when you're never there! God has been good though as he continues to provide for our needs and continues to encourage us in our preparations for Senegal.

So why were we gone so much? Well, we spent 2 weeks in North Carolina for the job, recruiting for Emmaus. We spent one weekend at Mountain Top Youth Camp at a retreat, visited several churches and did a few Christian College Fairs. This took us all over the state with a lot of time in the car! Between the work though, we were able to visit with family and friends, and also to visit with some individuals and churches to share our vision for Senegal. We are very encouraged that out of this trip, we have two new couples that have committed to monthly support us! God is continuing to provide for our financial needs to go to Senegal! Wayne also had the opportunity to preach at a church in Durham one Sunday. He preached on missions and we were both very encouraged as a couple of people talked to Wayne after the service and told him that they had never heard missions preached as he did and were excited about it!
Well, while we were on the road, things were happening back in Iowa as well. Our church here in Iowa took up a special offering for us last Sunday and the result is a good contribution towards our outgoing expenses! Even today Wayne found some money in his box at school from an individual who was not able to be at church that Sunday but wanted to contribute as well. It is so encouraging and exciting for us to see people get excited about missions and want to participate alongside us in what God is doing in Senegal!

So we finished up our two weeks in North Carolina last Thursday with a really long day of travel (getting a child up at 5:00 am to catch a flight is not fun) and spend last Thursday night at home. Then Friday afternoon Wayne and I were back in the car and on our way to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One thing that our mission board wanted us to do before we go to Senegal is attend a marriage conference. They realize the pressures that marriages go through, and especially when a family is adjusting to a new culture, language, country etc... and so asked that we attend a conference before leaving. It was a good weekend for us. It was good to be reminded of those things that we ought to be doing everyday, but sometimes don't. It was also good just to be away for a weekend by ourselves. We got to go see a Milwaukee Bucks game for our date night and had cable TV in the hotel (we don't have TV at home) so we could watch baseball playoffs! All in all, it was a really good weekend, but we are glad to be home!
As a side note, while we were in North Carolina, we spent a couple of nights with some friends who are missionary appointees with MAF. He is a photographer and took some family pictures for us while we were there. Here is one of our favorites!

Monday, October 1, 2007

FAQ - About support

Rather than address every frequently asked question on the sidebar and take half the space, we decided to just put some of them in a blog. If you have other questions, let us know.

Q - When should we start giving?

A - As soon as possible! All monthly support that comes in before we leave goes towards our outgoing expenses. So, if someone begins a $50 a month commitment this month (September 07), then by the time we leave that will be the same as a $600 gift towards our outgoing expenses.

Q - If I begin monthly support, how long is the commitment?

A - There is no formal commitment. It's easiest for us for people to commit to whatever our term length is. Our initial term will be 4 years (beginning Sep 08). If our support falls off while we're on the field, it's more difficult to raise it back up. Of course, we do realize that situations change and some will either choose to or be forced to withdraw support. That's OK. Ultimately, God knows yours and our situation and knows both of our needs.

Q - Why do you need so much?

A - Good question. We thought the same thing at first. One, there are several items that most people have provided by their employers (i.e. health insurance, social security tax, some contribution to retirement, etc.) In our case, we don't have an employer to provide these items. Also, contrary to what you might think; it's more expensive to live in a city (yes, if we were in a village it would be much cheaper) in Senegal than it is in the U.S. One quick example is that a $15,000 car in the U.S. would cost $25,000 in Senegal and gas is close to $6 per gallon!

Q - How much of your support needs to be raised before you can leave?

A - Our mission board will not let us leave until we have 100% of our monthly support commited and coming in (i.e. first check sent) and also 100% of our outgoing expenses in hand.