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

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We're at 100%!

As of last night, we are now at 100% of both our monthly and one-time budget including verbal commitments! Please pray that our verbal commitments will come in this week. Also, pray a prayer of thanksgiving to the God from whom all blessings flow.

This past year, God has shown us through numerous individuals that the Christian's hope does not fluctuate with the economy. Praise God for the incredible generosity that we have been able to experience.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Language learning - pronouns

Addie: Mommy, what are you drinking?
Mom: It's a yoo-hoo.
Addie: Is it my-hoo?
Mom: No, it's yoo-hoo.
Addie: It's not my-hoo?
Mom: No, it's yoo-hoo.
Addie: Oh, it's your-hoo.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Goodbyes Part 2

The goodbyes continued this week. First of all, we had to say goodbye to Dan and Cyndi. They have been gracious enough to let us live with them for the year and words cannot describe how grateful we are to them for this. You guys are the best! And I'm not sure what Addie will do when she just has to live with her mom and dad, I think she might get a little bored! Thanks for being such wonderful friends and for loving Addie so much too. We will miss you guys!

And of course, we can't forget about Duke and Daisy!

We also said farewell to Jeff and Jennifer. They were my youth leaders at Plano Bible Chapel and are a wonderful couple. I don't know if we would be where we are without them! They hosted many presentations for us this year and were such an encouragement and blessing. Thank you guys for all you have done for us, it means more than you will ever know.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

NC Farewell and support update

We're on our way to NC, our last trip there for 4 years. Hard to believe. This Saturday night, we're having a farewell party at Reidsville Bible Chapel at 7 pm. If you can make it, we'd love to see you. Call or email with any questions.

Also, with our support, we're still at 95%. Keep praying for the remainder to come in. We only have 2 more weeks left.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Almost there (support update)

We're now at 100% of our one-time support and 95% of our monthly support. Last week we reached 100% of our one-time support and have begun taking the additional one-time gifts and spreading them out over our first term and treating them as monthly support.

We only need $400/month to be at 100% and we still need this to come in before we can go.

Please pray that this remaining support will come in for us. It's exciting to think that we're almost ready to go.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Goodbyes #1

It has begun. The bittersweet task of saying goodbye. We are excited to be going to France in less than a month, but we are sad to leave so many friends and family stateside. For thanksgiving, we spent the week with my family in Iowa and got to spend some good time with family and friends.

The Chavez's are great friends of ours. Israel was Wayne's boss at Emmaus and they are also our loyal Catan friends! Hannah, Julia and Autumn have been wonderful to Addie.

This was the last visit we will have for a while with my sister Jenna and her family. We will miss you guys!

Addie gave her cousins lots of love!

Sorry I don't have a picture of Ben! We'll miss you too though!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Huge Praise and Prayer Request

If you're following the financial status on the right side of our blog, you've noticed we're now at 91% of our monthly budget and 90% of our one-time expenses! We're almost ready to go. We need to be at 100% before we can go and we're praying that we'll be there by Dec 1st. The month of December is going to be very busy with all the details involved with moving overseas and also taking time to say goodbye to so many friends and family. Because of that, we're praying that we won't need to focus on our support at all in December.

If you're interested in finishing the last bit of our support needs or have any questions, please let us know (wdenny@worldventure.net).

We're extremely grateful for how God has led so many people to partner with us. We are truly blessed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blast from the past

This weekend we had the pleasure of traveling back to Edmonton, the city I grew up in. This was our last trip (besides family holidays) and last ministry presentation before we leave for France. We had a great time sharing with people about our plans for Senegal, Wayne preached a great sermon (and I'm not biased at all!) and had a great time with friends. It sure was fun to take Addie with us, especially because of the fact that I grew up in Edmonton and the people there were really a part of my upbringing.

This weekend, Addie had 2 more grandmothers. Julie (top) and Marilyn both were a huge part of my life when I was young. It was so fun to see them with Addie, trying desperately not to spoil her!

And this was a little weird for me... I remember when Leah was born and now here she is with Addie! It was so fun to see she and her brothers all grown up. Addie and Leah had a great time talking on their phones together.

And boy is Canada a long ways away, so thanks grandma and papa for the DVD player!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Childhood, Romans 11, and some Election Reflection

I've already heard many Christians bemoaning the election results and the fact that God has now left us. I certainly disagree strongly with Obama on some points but am nowhere near the Chicken Little syndrome that appears to be sweeping through much of the evangelical church. I definitely agree that the U.S. has gone away from God on some important issues, but this election has proved that on one issue God has shown us tremendous mercy.

In Romans 11, Paul presents an extremely quick overview of the history of the world; past, present, and future. The chapter discusses how God in this present age is not working directly through the nation of Israel, but through the church. The warning that Paul gives to the church is this, "Do not become proud (Rom 11:20)." Paul knew that because the church contained a predominantly Gentile (non-Jewish) base, then Gentiles would be tempted to develop ethnic pride. Paul reminds the Gentiles that God will still work with the Jews (11:2). God has constructed the history of the world in order to crush ethnic pride. The predominant Gentile makeup of the church crushes Jewish pride and the mercy that will be shown to Jews in the future will crush Gentile pride. All this to say, the issue of ethnic pride or racism is a fundamental issue of Christianity. God is so concerned that no one forget to see Him as the the center because they're focused on their own ethnicity that He has constructed all of history in order to crush ethnic pride.

So, how has God in this election shown us mercy? For the first 200 years of U.S. history, America failed miserably on this issue of racism that is so central to God's heart. And this incredible failure placed America in a position that we could (should) have been judged. But God has shown mercy.

I remember growing up in North Carolina and hearing and even telling racist jokes. I remember hearing people say they would leave the country if a black man were ever elected president. Not that they would leave if someone pro-abortion got elected or an atheist that scorns God's wisdom, but a black man.

The fact that at the present moment my state of North Carolina is still too close to call means that a black man ran for president and white people cast ballots not based on the color of a man's skin, but on who he was as a candidate. Again, I'm not saying Obama is a perfect candidate or even that he should have been elected. But the fact that he had a fair shot shows me that on at least one issue, God has shown this country mercy. Yes, He has allowed our country to ignore His commands on many other issues and we should mourn that. But on one issue incredibly close to God's heart, we have received mercy for which I am incredibly thankful.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Witnessing History

Watching the news tonight I am excited. America has finally elected it's first African American president. Regardless of your political views, it is exciting to watch this amazing step in our history as a country. I am glad that I am able to witness a bit of history in the making tonight.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Boarding School!?!?!?!?!

I always thought of this as the 14 letter phrase that no one should ever say when speaking about missionaries, and it was definitely something that I would never say. I even told a veteran missionary that I would never send my daughter to boarding school (when I told her this I was 8 weeks pregnant and definitely couldn't imagine my little one ever leaving me!). This very wise missionary told me at that point, "Be careful. Never is one thing you should probably never say. Be open to what God would have you do."

I am very thankful for this friend who shared these words with me, and for the way God has been preparing me for service overseas. This past week, Wayne and I attended a conference on educating your children overseas. During this conference we discussed several different options for education in a different country, as well as several challenges we will face in educating her overseas, such as what language will she learn to read in first and then when will she learn to read in the other language! We realize that we have many challenges ahead of us as we seek to minister as a family in Senegal. We also realize that God has given us some exciting opportunities as well. Our first plan for Addie's schooling is for her to attend a Senegalese Christian school where 80% of the kids are Muslim. We desire for her to learn French and be able to interact with the culture in Senegal so that she might serve Christ there.

And now back to that dirty 14 letter phrase :) Yes, we did talk about boarding school this week as one of many options (the others being national schools, homeschooling, International schools, International Christian schools, online schools, and a few more). And no, we're not going to send Addie to boarding school in elementary school! But it may be an option later. With prayer and consideration, and discussion with Addie, boarding school may actually be a good option for high school. And I know you may be thinking, "Isn't she only 2?" Yes, and we're not planning her entire schooling this week, but God has opened both of our hearts to more possibilities than we were previously open to. I have heard so many good stories about boarding schools lately, about kids who beg their parents to let them go and love the interaction with other kids. I have heard about how boarding schools can make strong families stronger and build the relationship between parents and kids. I have heard about how they grow kids character as they prepare to return to the States for college. And God has softened my heart and told me that maybe, this might be an option for Addie one day.

Again, we are incredibly thankful for the training we are continuing to get and for God preparing our minds and our hearts for serving Him in Senegal.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wisdom from Addie

Yesterday, Hilary's sister, Kara, was talking about the opening sermon illustration she heard that morning about the two presidential candidates talking a lot about change to which Addie responded, "I like to change my diaper."

Cleaning up your own mess. Sounds novel. Addie for President in 2052!

Soul Care

I've recently been very exhausted with the constant travels, presentations, phone calls, etc. and spent some time this morning trying to recharge by reflecting on Hebrews 11 and a sermon from my boy Johnny Edwards.

Here's a great quote from a sermon based on Hebrews 11:13, 14, "And confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things, declare plainly that they seek a country."

Commenting on how all pleasures now are but a foretaste for eternity with God, he writes

"To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops; but God is the ocean."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

FAQ (updated)

I posted a FAQ a while back, but thought it was time to update it.

Q - What is a good amount to give?

The short answer is anything. Many have asked, does a $10 or $20 commitment make a difference. The answer is definitely yes! We currently have about 1/3 of our support coming from commitments in the $10 to $50 range.

Our most common amounts that people give are $25, $50, or $100/month, but those certainly aren't the only amounts that are helpful as we have commitments from individuals or families ranging from $10 to $300/month.

Q - What is ongoing support?

Our mission board sets a monthly budget based on how much it costs to live and minister in Senegal. We need commitments that equal our monthly budget. These commitments can be made on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis. We must be at 100% of our ongoing support before we are able to leave. This means that for every commitment, the first gift needs to have come in before we leave.

Q - How can I give to ongoing support?

We often call our ongoing support, monthly support, but it can actually be given on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis.

Monthly commitments can be given through Electronic Funds Transfer or mailing a check to WorldVenture. If you're interested in having the money drafted from your bank account, just download this form and mail it to WorldVenture (see address below) with a voided check. If you want to send in support by check, just download this form indicating how much you're committing, how often you will send the gift (i.e. monthly quarterly, annually) and then mail it to WorldVenture along with the first check.

Please be sure to include our name and missionary # on the forms, Wayne and Hilary Denny (#026)

Attn: Receipting Department
1501 W. Mineral Ave
Littleton, CO 80120-5612

Also, if you decide to commit, it helps us tremendously if you can send us a note letting us know how much you're committing, wdenny@worldventure.net.

Q - When should we start giving?

As soon as possible! All monthly support that comes in before we leave goes towards our outgoing expenses and current ministry expenses. Also, we need the first gift to come in before Jan 1st in order to get us to 100% of our budget.

Q - What percentage of your budget do you need to be at before you can leave?

100% committed and the first gift sent in.

Q - How can I give towards your one time needs?

You can give directly online or mail a check to:

Attn: Receipting Department
1501 W. Mineral Ave
Littleton, CO 80120-5612

Please be sure to include our name and missionary #, Wayne and Hilary Denny (#026)

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

There is no formal commitment. Some may only be able to give for 1 year. Others may support us for 30 years. It's easiest for us if you can commit to whatever our term length is. Our initial term will be 4 years (beginning Jan 09). 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 or be forced to withdraw support. Ultimately God knows yours and our situation and is in control.

Q - What if I can't commit to a monthly gift, but would still like to give gifts as enabled.

Our monthly budget set by our mission board is not an exact science. Over the course of time, we are likely to have supporters that are unable to continue giving and will need either new supporters or unexpected gifts to make up the difference. Also, if the value of the dollar goes down, so does our salary. Unexpected gifts can make up the difference here also.

Q - Are the gifts tax-deductible?


Q - Any more questions

Contact Michael Smith at WorldVenture, 800-487-4224 or email me, wdenny@worldventure.net

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Long overdue update...

We're at 84% of our support committed!
We've applied for our visas to France!
We have plane tickets reserved for January 1st!

Wow, I think we're going to be moving in a couple of months!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We're home!!!

After 8 weeks in a row on the road, we're finally home! Just wanted to let everyone share in our excitement!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Summer update and prayer request

This past week, we were in Conway, SC at Bethany Bible Chapel for Tuesday and Wednesday nights (We were able to take a few hours for Addie's first trip to the beach). This upcoming week, I'm preaching Sunday morning at Randleman Bible Chapel, Sunday evening at Reidsville Bible Chapel, and then we're giving Senegal presentation updates at my parents house in Reidsville, NC next Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday (If you would like to come, please let us know).

Please continue to pray that as people hear our plans, several more will become interested in partering with us. We only have a few months left to finish raising our support.

Also, please pray for our energy level. We've been on the road since the last week of June and are really tired. This summer has been incredibly rewarding, but also exhausting!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thanks MTI Staff!

We are so thankful for the staff at MTI who made our stay there great! We are especially thankful for the children's staff who made Addie's time there wonderful. She had a rough start, but by the end of the 5 weeks, I wasn't sure we would be able to get her to leave!

Gay and her grandson Mekhi were there all 5 weeks. Addie absolutely loved Gay who was with the babies the whole time. Many times Addie would end up with the babies too! Mekhi became good buddies with Addie too. I think he liked her because she taught him the phrase "I have stinky feet!"
Thanks Gay!

Jenessa was Addie's teacher the last 3 weeks. Addie was so excited to go down to her class everyday. They did some great crafts too (I'm not sure I'm ready to let Addie finger paint like Jenessa did!)
Thanks Jenessa.

Danielle was Addie's teacher the first two weeks. I think she had the toughest job! But she got Addie to love being in the nursery. She taught Addie some great new phrases ("that was awesome!) and a new song (something about two tigers running fast...)
Thanks Danielle!

The most amazing part is that they got 5 two and three year olds to take naps together in the same room every day! Addie loved her special cot. We actually had to go down one night and show her that the room was locked because she didn't want to sleep in her bed in our room.

Thanks again MTI staff!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Mommy and Daddy, go on a date!"

I told Addie tonight that we were going to go on a date and she almost pushed me out of my chair to go! She was ready to spend some time with her friends Tim and Andrea. They have been at MTI with us now for 4 weeks and we have enjoyed getting to know them! Addie has made friends with lots of people in our time here and brings joy to so many!

Thanks Tim and Andrea for letting us go on a date and for being such good friends to all of us!

"Would you be mad at me if I volunteered to die?"

Our training at MTI this week as spurred many interesting conversations between us. Let me give you a little background for this question that Wayne asked me. Wednesday morning, the topic on our schedule was You Under Stress. Tuesday afternoon we had talked about different kinds of stress, and so I'm thinking on Wednesday morning, we may talk about how to deal with the stress of shopping in a new culture, or dealing with the stress of learning a new language. It was a little different though. We told we were going to be having a simulation that morning and then they broke us into two groups and took us to the basement. We were then herded into a small space about 8 feet long, 6 feet wide and 5 feet high made out of cardboard boxes. It was then that we were told what the simulation was. "You are hiding from rebels who have taken over the area. Your children have been evacuated to safety, but you must figure out how to survive." We heard the rebels moving around outside our shelter once in a while and had to be quiet, then had to make sure everyone was ok, and then at one point, we were told that 5 of us could evacuate on a plane that was coming in to rescue some and we had to pick who. Later on, the "rebels" found us and were then told we could free 3 people, and finally we had to pick people to be executed. The simulation finally ended with 4 of our group "shot" (complete with real gun sounds) and we were all freed.

Yes, it was just a simulation, but for many of us, it brought images of what could really happen. Even reading the news this week, we are reminded that the world is a very volatile place. We have no guarantees of our future, and though Senegal is a very peaceful country, we never know what the future may hold. I was also reminded very strongly this week though that God is in control and on the throne. To be honest, I was very excited at the end of the simulation to realize the peace that God had given me. If I had done this a few years ago, I think I would have been much more emotional and frightened during this simulation, just thinking about the possibility of this happening. It was amazing to me though the peace that God gave me, because I know it was all from Him.

I have been thinking a lot about persecution lately (this was just one of the many reasons why). I was reading Philippians 3 this week and was struck by the verses 10-11..."that I may know him and the power of his resurrection"... ok, sounds good to me!..."and may share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead." This last half is what I have been thinking about. I am glad that God has saved me and that I will be like him in the resurrection, but often I really don't want to share in his sufferings or become like him in his death. But this is what he has called me to do! I was reading in 1 Peter later and it talks about rejoicing in suffering which I share with Christ. Too often that is the last thing I want to do! But then I was thinking about what I often pray, "Father, make me more like your Son." And then I realized that this prayer is not just about being like Christ in his glorification, but in his suffering as well. We often speak of taking up our crosses as just being inconvenienced by people, but what if it really means following Jesus into death, am I willing to do that as well?

So this brings us to Wayne's question, "Would you be mad at me if I volunteered to die?" We were told to pick 3 people who were to be executed. If we didn't pick, they would kill us all. This was a very difficult decision for both groups (we were in separate groups by the way). And my answer to him? "No!" Yes, I would be very sad, but I would not be angry. God is calling both of us to serve him overseas. Our lives are his. And we firmly believe that this means both in life and in death, we are his. We believe that God will redeem any sacrifice that we make, even though he may not save us in this life. We want to know Christ and be like him.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Update on our training

Sorry for the lack of posts recently - the internet was down all last week. So to catch you up on what we are doing in Colorado...we finished our PILAT language program over a week ago and now are into week 2 of 3 of SPLICE, the cultural and interpersonal program. We have enjoyed both programs so far, but they have been vastly different. PILAT worked our brain, SPLICE is working our hearts. It is amazing how exhausting introspection can be. We have dealt with such issues as community, cultural differences, lifestyle choices, conflict, and stress! We are finding it very helpful to think through these issues as they directly relate to our not so distant future plans.

We also had the pleasure last week of meeting with our WorldVenture Africa directors, Glenn and Kathy. They treated us to a wonderful picnic one evening and we had a great time picking their brains and gleaning wisdom from their years of overseas service. They were a great encouragement to us!

And finally, Addie. She has been doing great and has really turned a corner this week as far as being comfortable in the nursery and really enjoying all the people around here. She was quite overwhelmed the first few weeks at being away from mom and dad all day and then having people around all the time who she didn't really know well (mommy was a little overwhelmed too!). This week though she has been doing great in the nursery and has made some older friends as well (as in our age!). She even got to spend one evening with Tim and Andrea while mom and dad got to go on a date! We are so thankful for all the workers and friends here who have done so well with her and put us so much at ease.

Sorry this post isn't too exciting. We have been learning a lot though and as we process it, we promise to tell more (when we're not quite so tired!).

Here is a bonus picture, just in case you forgot how cute she is!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kids say the darnedest things . . .

A major aspect of our training this week has been to develop a language learning strategy. We've talked a good bit about how kids learn languages compared to how languages are often taught in school. As kids learn a language, they don't simply engage their minds in memorization drills or simply mimicking a person. They hear language in context. They learn the word for apple not from a book, but as they're picking one up and eating it.

Adults can imitate the success of kids by likewise involving more than just their brains (Total Person Response). In thinking about how we can utilize this method in our language learning, we've had drills this week where we've attempted to learn languages by using drills that engage more than just our minds. I've been attempting Russian and Hilary, Vietnamese.

As in my previous post, I think the scary part of this learning is remembering the T.V. show, "kids say the darnedest things."

One of the funny stories we've heard this week is from a missionary still learning the language who went to his mechanic and thought he said, "my car won't start, can you change the points." What he actually said was, "my car won't give birth, can you change it's bananas." Stay tuned in the following years for more from "Missionaries say the darnedest things."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bringing good cheer to all nations

So what's painful about watching this video is knowing that we will sound like that when we try to learn a new language. One of the major difficulties in learning a new language is hearing it correctly. Some non-native English speakers don't hear the difference between the English r and l and consequently, they don't pronounce them differently. Undoubtedly, as we seek to learn French and then Wolof in Senegal, we will likely encounter sounds we've never made before and bring laughter into the lives of many people.

Today in class, we spent a few hours learning what some of those sounds are in other languages that we can't hear. As we were told, "if you don't hear it right, you won't speak it right." Our class began with 7 pairs of Vietnamese words and each pair was different. I could only tell the difference between 2 pairs. Today was very helpful although I have a sneaking suspicion that I need to continue going to class to ensure I can sing Jingle Bells in French and Wolof without people laughing at me.

Our week in pictures

Last week was a busy week getting ready to leave again (aka - a lot of laundry!) But we also got to enjoy a nice overnight visit from Grandma and Papa.

Complete with a trip to Snuffers (mmmm...those cheese fries are good)...
...and some time at the park with Grandma.

We then headed out to Colorado on Sunday, drove to Kansas and continued through western Kansas on Monday, where we saw...

...(hate we didn't have time to stop!) and again...

...and then had our first view of the mountains!

We are presently at Mission Training International in our first two week program on how to learn a new language. We have already learned that there are 44 sounds in the English language and got drilled on a few sounds that our mouths never learned to make when were young (my mouth hurts!) We will give more updates as we learn more!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Quick trip to NC

I remember as a kid playing baseball with my friends and there being times when we needed an extra player and so, my sister, Lauren, would play with us. Her lack of interest for baseball in general was demonstrated by how she would regularly call "time out" right before she was going to be tagged out. As a kid, that frustrated me to no end. As an adult, I realize the only reason she played was because of me. We needed an extra player.

I recently flew into NC to surprise my sister at her farewell party. This past school year, she quit her job as a librarian at an elementary school and is planning on going to schools around the world that need help setting up a library. Her first stop will be Rwanda and she leaves next month.

In actuality, Lauren will be doing what she has always done, think about others more than she thinks about herself. I was very thankful to be able to be at Lauren's farewell party and wanted to tell her then what I'm writing here (but I lost my voice when I was there). Lauren, thanks for being a great sister. And yes, I wasn't paying much attention to how you always cared more about others than yourself when we were kids, but I am now.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Learning to be a missionary

What do you do when you're driving across the country and your A/C goes out?

Deal with it...

Why it's cool to be an MK- reason #1

Who else gets to sleep in a tent all the time because a crib doesn't travel well?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A gift from God

God has blessed us both with wonderful families. We will miss them tremendously when we are overseas. This summer we have the opportunity to spend time with our families before we head overseas. Last week we were able to go to Chicago with my family for a few days (our camping trip was canceled due to midwest flooding!) Here are a few pictures from our time together.

Addie and her cousin Elias always have fun together. Here they are at the zoo.

Addie and Grandma looking at the monkeys.

I think "Papa" holds a special place in Addie's heart!

And she loves "Baby Zach" as we all do. He did this a lot on our vacation.

And you can't go to Chicago without your Cubs gear!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Is Jesus enough?

Last weekend we had the privilege of attending the Voice of the Martyrs conference in Oklahoma. It was very encouraging, challenging, and sobering to hear from Christians who have lived under the persecution that we have only heard of. But more encouraging than just hearing their personal stories was hearing their excitement for the church and the way that God was growing the church in their country.

I particularly remember one couple from the Middle East. She was wearing the full garb of their country to hide everything but her eyes. Her husband also had his face completely covered. Due to security reasons, their names were changed. They both faced persecution on a daily basis. They told stories of believers in their country who were in great danger because of their faith. But he did not focus on this as much as the growth of the church. His excitement over the church was amazing! They were not focused on the constant danger and persecution, but on how God was building His church!

Lately I have been thinking about if in my own life, if God is really enough. I want to be at the point where things don't matter, my life and safety don't even matter, and God is brining me to this point. It was very encouraging for me to see believers who really know this. They know that their lives and safety are nothing compared to knowing and serving God. One Palestinian Christian told of how they kept water buckets in the front of the church so that they could put the fire bombs out and then continue the worship service. These believers really know that Jesus is enough! They continually put their lives at risk to worship God and to spread His name! I am thankful for the opportunity that we had to listen to these Christians who have a deep conviction that Jesus is enough.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Voice of the Martyrs

Tomorrow we leave for the first trip of the summer. We will begin by going to a Voice of the Martyrs conference in Oklahoma (on our way to Iowa). We are really looking forward to the weekend and being challenged and encouraged by those who are giving everything for the Lord. We recently met with some friends who are missionaries in the Middle East, and they reminded us that Jesus is all we need. I think we (myself included) often forget that in the society we live in. I look forward to being reminded of that this weekend by people who have given up all for Jesus.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Be still and . . . (what's the rest of the verse)

If you're like me a few years back and most of my other classmates in seminary at chapel that day our speaker asked us the same question, you would say "and know that I am God" is it. Look again.

"Be still and know that I am God
I will be exalted among the nations
I will be exalted in the earth."

Psalm 46 does provide personal comfort in the face of challenging situations. But a major part of what brings comfort is knowing that God will be praised among all nations. A focus on longing for God to be praised in all nations is a forgotten but essential aspect of worship in the Old Testament (see Ps 57:9, 67, 86:8-10, 117).

I've often had a wrong understanding that missions began with the church. Granted missions is done differently in the church, but even in the Old Testament, God's plan was to bless Israel in such a way that all nations would be drawn to worship him (Deut 4:5-8).

The past 4 weeks, I've been teaching a class on "Being a globally minded Christian" at Plano Bible Chapel and the topic of "other nations" in the Old Testament was where we began. Preparing to teach that first class reminded me how important it has always been that God be praised throughout the world.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My favorite preacher...

I know I am biased, but I think Wayne does a great job. This is his sermon from May 25th about "Breaking down the dividing wall" or "Christ died for that?" Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I love my husband

Today we are blessed to celebrate our 3rd Anniversary! I am so thankful to God for blessing me with such a wonderful husband.

I love you Wayne!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How important are missionaries?

Were my parents wrong? Have I been mislead? From my childhood, I've heard that every Christian should be involved in serving others and also desire to share about Christ with others. This upbringing has impacted my desire to teach about Christ in Senegal. As I reflect on what motivates me, the question arises in my mind, Does God need missionaries?

In the book of Acts, the apostle Paul confronted a group in Athens who worshiped several gods and tried to appease those gods and obligate the gods to show them favor. Paul's responds,

"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything (Acts17:24-25).

So, why does Paul tell this group God doesn't need anything and isn't served by humans, but then write letters to churches emphasizing the need to serve? Or specifically related to myself, if God doesn't need me to serve Him, why am I moving overseas? How important am I?

I think the short answer is, I'm expendable. God doesn't need me. The God who created this entire world could cause the rocks to cry out proclaiming who He is. But praise God that while He doesn't need humans, He still lets us participate. God is not requesting help because His plans require our skill sets. He is freeing us from triviality and allowing us to participate in what truly lasts.

To say it another way, everyone praises something. C.S. Lewis once said, "it's the misfits and malcontents who praise the least." Everyone instinctively praises great books, sunsets, lovers, sports teams, and so much more. We enjoy praising greatness. Now we have the privilege of praising throughout the entire world the essence of greatness, God.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Parlez-vous francais?

We're working on it! Addie has begun to come with us to study French as well. She loves Claire and knows that when she sees her, she should say "Bonjour!" We think it is probably good for her to hear someone speak French who has a good accent (Wayne says I still have to work on mine :) Claire is wonderful with Addie and speaks French to her a lot while we are there. We are very thankful for her and all the help she is giving us. Thanks Claire!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday night with nothing to do

  • Muslims believe Jesus was born of a virgin, never sinned, and never died (all things not true of Muhammad)
  • The surahs in the Koran are not chronological.
  • A shift in Muhammad's ministry (and the tone of many surahs) change from his early years as a prophet in Mecca to his time in Medina.
  • The beginning of the Islamic calender is not from when Muhammad first received revelation, but from when he fled to Medina.
  • There is big difference between what the Koran teaches and what Muslims believe (probably the same could be said of Christians)

Tuesday nights are now open again because last Tuesday was the final of a 12 week class on Encountering the World of Islam. Above are just a few of the facts and concepts we gained from the class. We had 2 classes that were taught by Muslims (one week was on how Islam expanded, very interesting class!). Overall, we were again reminded, it's good that our mission board is requiring us to do a certain amount of pre-departure training.

Probably the greatest benefit of the class for us though was a reminder that we are seeking to meet a great need. Islam is one of the biggest religions in the world and a very small percentage of missionaries and missions giving goes towards reaching them.

The class continued to burden me for Muslims in that they appreciate Jesus for many things, but until they embrace Him as their Savior and God, they are missing out. What greater gift has been given to us than God revealing Himself to us through His Son and providing a way through His Son for us to be in relationship with Him!!!

Praise be to God for this incredible gift and may we always be motivated to shout how great our God is!