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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Home Stretch...

In less than one month, our long awaited journey, will be underway. We still have an enourmous task of prepartion ahead of us. In fact, I recently sat down and realized how much work their is still to be done. I ask that you please keep myself and our group in your thoughts and prayers as we "round the home stretch."

In our preparation, members of the group have began a Bible study that meets every Sunday before the morning services. I haven't been able to attend all of them, however, the one that I could make, was quite significant for me. We studied the meaning of John 17 and the importance of Unity. It was a great session, but it wasn't until later in the morning that God really spoke to me. Pastor Dale (New Covenant Pastor) had a good portion of his sermon focus on the the same verse, John 17. It was a total "God Moment," because it was completly un-planned!

Some may call this a coincidence, but I think of it as God speaking to directly to me and the others in the group. It was such a moving moment, that it sent chills up my back all morning long. We also took communion at New Covenant on Sunday morning. It was great to spend time in prayer as a church, and also to dip the bread in the wine. It has a completely different meaning for me, than it did even 6 months ago. It represents so much of what I beleive in, that I see the blood (wine) stained flesh(bread) of Jesus on the cross. He truly did die for our sins.

I encourage everyone to read John 17. It taught me 3 things: How Unity among believers and non-believers can exist, how to protect myself from evil, and how infathomable eternal life truly is. The verses are significant because many of the words come straight from the "Lords Prayer." This is often an every-day prayer that families say before dinner. Have you truly ever thought of the meaning behind those words??? Sit down and examine this. Really break it apart and see the relevance behind EACH word:

The Lords Prayer:

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Our group has been encouraged to fast before and during our trip. This doesn't mean to neccesarily give up all food. It does mean, however, to give up something significant to you, and to fill it with complete and utter dependence on God. I have considered giving up coffee. For you who know me well, this is going to be quite difficult for me. I realize how much of a "crutch" its become, especially since I work the 2 a.m. shift at the T.V. station. Encouragment is always welcome!

I will be in touch soon, and more frequently as the trip approaches. Remember, I am making one more video documentary before we leave. In the meantime, here is a list of prayer requests for our group. Thank you and God Bless!

That God would protect us from the evil one. Pray especially for spiritual, emotional and physical health of everyone involved in this mission.

Please include the NC team, our hosts Kallie and Charmain of the El Shaddai Ministry, Vasco and Busisiwe of the Manzini church and Pastor Guambe of Mozambique.

That God would sanctify us in truth so that we would be holy as He is holy.

That God would perfect us in unity. Pray for unity of God’s people.
Especially unity for our team and for the people we will be working with.

That we bring glory and honor to God in all we do and say. That we would reflect the light of God to everyone we come in contact with.

That God would continue to help us accomplish the work He has prepare in advance for us to do.
Pray that all preparations that need to be made will be made according to His will.

That God would continue to help us keep His word out of obedience and love for Him.

Thank God for everything He has given us through Jesus.

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:20 PM

    Derek, The trip is really getting close now, but it sounds like you still have a lot to do. We continue to pray for you and the whole team as you prepare for Africa. The Lord will bless you richly, because your mind is stayed on Him. Thanks for the update, and we will see you this weekend (June 16) Love you forever, Mom

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  2. Anonymous5:43 PM

    So I just read your blog thus far, and the one that really stood out to me (not that they all didn't!) was the one about the trip you made to St. James in Bay City. I doubt you've gotten down that far in a while, but it couldn't hurt to post it up here too. ;)


    -It's excellent to hear how you went to St. James and talked to the children about this wonderful cause that you're contributing to. I once was a student at St. James elementary, and am a parishoner at the church where Father Bob resides. He is a wonderful man, very kind and caring, and it's no surprise he offered you such good advice. I would love to hear more about your upcoming journey, so feel free to shoot me an e-mail at akspaul87@charter.net. You definitely have a heart of gold. :)

    Best of luck to you on your trip, and God bless!

    Ashley

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  3. Anonymous6:00 PM

    Hi Derek,

    The Lords Prayer is such a special and significant prayer..."Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven"...means so much, since it clearly states that we must follow and do that on earth as is expected in heaven! Also, it is the most powerful prayer on Forgiveness, which is one of the most difficult things for humans to do...that is to Truly Forgive those who have wronged us...and the neat part of the prayer is that it asks those who we have wronged to forgive us as well...A truly beautiful two way street...Thank you for reminding me about the significance of this prayer, and reminding me that it is not a prayer to be taken for granted, but rather, a prayer that should remind us Daily of the basic, but difficult practices we must do as Christians...Avoiding temptation, forgiveness in Every way, and to be Thankful for All that is givin unto us..."Our Daily Bread"...And also, to keep us Safe in our daily routines...Deliver us from all Evil...Amen...Because, after all, it is His Kingdom...now and forever...and the Glory is for Him...for all Eernity...

    God Bless You Derek, for all that you do. I know God is with you every step of the way, and that he will give you strength as you prepare for the final aspects of your journey. You will be amazed at how easy it will be to give up coffee, especially, since there is such significane to the reason why you are giving up your most favored beverage. You won't even miss it...Guaranteed!!!

    Your Friend,
    Bill Pavlov

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  4. Ron Roby11:41 PM

    Derek, i cannot really express how proud i am of you for your involement in the mission trip and for the way you keep us posted of the preparation, and how glad i am to call you my friend. You and the rest of the group are in my prayers. But...give up coffee??? What?? Are you nuts!!?? God gave us coffee to enjoy!!...and to be able to work a 2 a.m. shift!! Thank God for all the gifts he gives us everyday, so many that we just take for granted. I thank him for allowing me to know you!

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  5. Anonymous7:07 PM

    Hi Derek~ Thanks for the update. You're just around the corner now to your testimony to God's work to all the world. As you make your final preparations; trust Him as you work thru Him. He will give you full armour so His message of LOVE will be delivered. Our prayers will continue as you embrace the days ahead. Love you~ A.Debi

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  6. Anonymous6:41 AM

    Hey Derek......My friend Brody and I just read your blog....and I continue to pray for your whole team as the days draw near. The Lord bless and keep you......have we really missed the coffee....it is better to be empty and our hearts on the things of God....then to be filled with such things as coffee. You are the best...and I am proud to call you friend. Bob
    P.S......I liked the note underneath your mother's comment. Peace and prayers! Bob

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