I’ve Been Everywhere, Man
After a long hiatus, I am eager to return to form here on the blog and bring a wide variety of posts over the course of the next few weeks. Just as a catch up on Nikki and my deputation travels, April & May have been two hectic months. Back in April, I embarked on a two-week long solo journey as Nikki stayed in Kansas City to care for her mom after having foot surgery (Her mom is doing great now, FYI). It is never as much fun traveling by myself (as evidenced by my post from last August when I was forced to leave Nikki behind on a trip) and this was no exception, but it did give me the opportunity to catch up on a bevy of podcasts as I wandered the open roads. In fact, during the course of those two weeks, I listened to 29 podcasts all told, including sermons by Mark Driscoll & Perry Noble, an audio book (Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff, very funny), two different Lost podcasts (The Transmission & The Official Lost Podcast), Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me: The NPR News Quiz Show (a personal favorite and always quite hilarious & enlightening), and Word Balloon (a comic book creator interview podcast). I’ve included links to all of these podcasts, in case you are interested in checking them out.
That was a pretty hectic two week work period for me as well. I had 3 speaking engagements, 16 meetings with pastors, I dropped off packets of information on our ministry at an additional 5 churches with secretaries, I booked 2 future church meetings (including a missions conference), I had an additional 2 tentative future bookings, I received 3 promises of support, and I traveled 2583 miles. My journey took me from Kansas City to Bloomington, Illinois, to Mansfield, Ohio (with multiple stops in Illinois along the way), to Cincinnati, to Fremont & Findlay, Ohio, to Goshen, Indiana (with numerous stops around the state), to Gurnee, Illinois (outside of Chicago, again with multiple stops), into Wisconsin just barely, and across to Knoxville, Iowa before I returned to Kansas City. It was quite the journey, and I will probably throw up some more in depth posts about the trip coming soon, accompanied by pictures I took of the journey.
Since then, Nikki and I have been to Pueblo, Colorado, where we joined almost all the members of our team that is working in Manila, many of whom we met for the first time. It was exciting to see how God has drawn us all together, and clearly if He has some many joining this ministry, He intends to do something bigger than is already occurring. We had a time of vision casting from Greg Lyons and I will soon be sharing some of the big things that came out of that meeting as the time becomes appropriate. We then had an awesome missions Sunday in Bolivar, Missouri with my former professors from Baptist Bible College, David & Barbara Lingo. Their church is one of the most passionate missions churches I’ve been in, and we are excited to call them partners in our endeavors. Nikki and I then proceeded to Shreveport, Louisiana (a foreign culture in its own right to this Kansas boy). We attended some seminars put on by Louisiana Baptist University and met pastors that we hope might lead to connections with their churches. The sessions were phenomenal and I will share more about those classes coming up as well. Of particular note was a class taught by Dr. Elmer Towns, co-founder of Liberty University & current Dean of the School of Religion. He has written over 200 books during his 50+ years in the ministry and is an incredible scholar.
We then proceeded to leave the Deep South and return to Kansas by way of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Nikki ran a 5K with her good friend Erin Wilson. We then visited a church in Wellington, Kansas before turning our course to Springfield, Missouri for Fellowship Week. We spent a great week catching up with friends, hob-knobbing with pastors, attending BBC’s graduation, and solidifying some future plans for a couple upcoming projects that Nikki and I are tackling. I can’t say more yet, but there are some exciting opportunities that God has opened the door for that we are praying about in connection with our ministry. Please pray for us to have clarity and direction over the course of the next month as these plans begin to take shape and I look forward to filling you in on what God is doing. We are now back in Kansas City for the next few weeks and it feels like letting out a deep breath of relaxation after the craziness of our recent schedule. Our summer is shaping up to be a bit slow on the church appointments until August, but that doesn’t mean Nikki and I will have any shortage on things to do. We will still be striving to make connections through phone calls & face-to-face meetings, as well as hosting some garage sales upon our return to Hutchinson, off-loading some of our belongings we wish to shed in preparation for our big move to Manila. Thank you for your prayers during our journeys. It has been one wild ride, and I can’t wait for what’s next to come.