Coming Home

January 27, 2010

How do I start and where should I begin?  First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who has expressed their concern for us and committment to pray for us!

No doubt many of you have heard by now that Kate, Jude, baby girl and I will be leaving Holland in the next week (probably Wednesday).  If its a shock to you, perhaps it is good for you to know you are not alone in that sentiment; our church’s board informed us of our dismissal only 48 hours ago.

The short story–in a very long story of both many ups and downs, twists and turns–is that Monday evening the leadership of Cross Culture (the church we’ve been serving) has expressed their satisfaction with the job we were invited here to do.  Specifically the task we were charged with included freeing the lead pastor up and raising up a new youth pastor.

Over the course of the last fifteen months I have been able to assist the lead pastor here in handful of ways, from leading the youth and teaching on Sundays and during the week, to working with him to c0-create the current expression of our church’s mission and means for engaging that mission (displayed in the church’s mid-week meeting area).

On the other side, though we have perhaps had less time than we’d have liked to disciple the youth leader who will taking our place, we are very excited to see how the Lord will work through him.  God is just beginning to do some exciting things here in Holland (see here and here), and I hope you will join me praying for the growth and continuation of these new ways in which Christ is being named where he has not been so before!

Looking Back

Looking back this year has been as much about learning as it has been about ministering.  Personally I feel my love for and relationship with Jesus has deepened as he has lifted our eyes from the what of his church’s doing (Acts 2:42-47) to the why (Acts 1:8).  He is the God who sends, and because he has come himself, I know that he is also going before us now.

Looking Forward

So where is he going before us?  To be completely honest, I’m not sure.  Of course our primary focus right now, aside from packing, is in looking forward to the arrival of baby girl in early March.  Beyond This we’re not really sure where the Lord is leading us.  You can be sure we will keep you posted as things become clear and the Lord paves the way forward–whether that path leads us to Vancouver or beyond.

Again, a huge thank you to those who have so faithfully supported us through email, Skype or Facebook, or in prayer or finances this past year!  You have carried us many times!

As to specifics, the four of us plan on leaving Holland in seven days–just two days before Kate is no longer allowed to fly!

Lastly, for those of you who know the Youngers, keep an eye on their blog or Facebook accounts for more information on their plans to return to Vancouver. (also, a huge thank you to Nathan and Anna for taking care of things here so that Kate, Jude and I are able to return all together!)

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Missions Cookies?

July 29, 2008

It has been incredible these last few days to watch as God has been providing for the garage sale our senders are putting together for this Sunday.  While I had originally thought the sale’s main purpose would be helping to get rid of Kate and my stuff.  Now, with the addition of the fresh vision of our senders, the sale has become a get-rid-of-their-stuff/fundraiser aimed at raising Kate and My airfare to the Netherlands! 

It has been awesome to see people get behind this.  From the donations that are now overflowing my parents’ garage to the cookies I hear are being made to sell, I find myself thinking over and over, “This is the whole church taking the whole Gospel to the whole world!”  So many times I when people hear missions they think, “What can I do?”  Come check out the sale this weekend, and you’ll find your answer in the actions of all the people it took to clean, price, setup and run this sale.  This is missions.  It is no less.  Thank you for your ministry alongside us!  We could not do it without you–nor would we want to!

Wiki Opportunities!

June 11, 2008

If you have not yet made it over to our Advocate’s wiki please check it out!  I have recently added some features that have incredible potential! 

The first one is for all of you out there who have not yet joined an Advocacy Team, and is located on the wiki frontpage.  By filling out the form located there we have opened up an avenue by which anyone can become part of an Advocacy Team, while simultaneously contacting the leaders of each of the five support teams so that they can follow up. 

The second tool we have created on the wiki is for those of you who have friends you think would be interested in joining our team.  The page is located here and contains a brief form that will be emailed to upon completion.  

I hope these tools prove to be good avenues for us to interact as a team.  I look forward to where this will all go as our Advocates begin to take hold of the vision! 

Thank you again for your involvement and support of us along this journey!  We are so honored to be partnered with you in this! 

God Bless!

June Update

June 6, 2008

Thursday May 22nd over 30 of you came to Crossroads to do something radical: you opened the door to participation in our ministry in a way that has never before been done at Crossroads.  Typically, when a missionary goes out, only a couple items linger on the senders’ “to do list”; paying and praying being the most persistent.  When we met May 22nd, we began a process of carving a new vision of mission and participation in the building of God’s global kingdom—and man is it exciting!  Kate and I were both blessed and blown away by your contributions during the night and we look forward to the unfolding of even greater things which lie in store! 

            Slowly, and yet all too quickly, the work moves forward and Kate and I continue our long journey toward the field.  For us May 22nd was a quantum leap in the support that will carry us to Holland, so I’d like to recap so that we can all stay on the same page.  The chief purpose of the night was to establish and explore five major areas of support: moral, communication, logistical, financial and prayerful.  Looking out in to the months and years to come, we are going to need shoulders to cry on, hands to help, hearts to give, ears to hear and co-laborers to work alongside.  Where do you fit?  Check out joewulf.pbwiki.com where you can read about the specific challenges and responses the team came up with.  Then we invite you to get involved by contacting the leader of the group you fit best in!  Don’t hesitate to email me with any questions!

 

            Here are some of our major prayer needs we are struggling with right now (also check out our blog at joewulf.wordpress.com for more updates!):

     BABY: We start our Bradley classes on the twelfth!  Only ten weeks left!

     SUPPORT: We have $1700 in monthly pledges pray for the clarification of Crossroads’ role 

     ADVOCACY TEAMS: Vision, clarity and leadership in each area of support!

 

            Thanks you again for your patience and willingness to learn with us through this process!  God bless!

Technology in Mission

May 14, 2008

It is like the question never leaves me: “How can we use technology to further the building of God’s Kingdom?” While I sometimes find this question being applied to ministry in general, I more often apply it directly to the task of missions (as a subset of mission, which of course draws the whole of Kingdom Building in to the mix). Most specifically, “How can we, with our sending team, leverage technology to involve the whole Kingdom of God in building the whole Kingdom of God?” Two nights ago, I stumbled upon one answer to the question: RSS feeds.

“RSS” stands for “really simple syndication” and is technology by which regularly updated pages are brought to the consumer (check out the introduction of the article “RSS” on Wikipedia for more information).  So what could be done with a technology which “makes it possible for people to keep up with web sites in an automated manner that can be piped into special programs or filtered displays” (1)?  Prayer requests.  Though I have yet to figure out how, we will be using RSS for prayer requests so that everyone of our senders has the option of receiving to the minute updates of our prayer needs in Holland through the automated updates of an RSS feed. 

This is one way we can partner better to do mission together, but it is far from the end, because it is only one man’s brainchild.  What else can we do?  What insights or ministry might you bring to the table?  If we are to pursue the Great Commission then we must do it as the “whole church, bringing the whole Gospel, to the whole world.”  Where do you fit in?

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