As of July 1st, Whitney and I will be on staff with a new ministry: The Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE). So we are leaving Lynchburg after 7 wonderful years and will be moving to the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area. I will be assuming the position of Director for Student Mobilization. Whitney will be the Administrative Assistant for Student Mobilization. Our department will be responsibile for all high school and college-aged missions efforts working with nearly 1,400 missionaries in over 80 countries around the world. For more information on ABWE you can go to www.abwe.org.
Please pray for us as we pack up and move at the end of the month! For our new housing and phone contact information, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your prayers!
Friday, June 15, 2007
Greetings from the Republic of Georgia! Thank you so much to everyone who has been a part of our team through prayer and finances. This was my first time to the Republic of Georgia, a land that still bears many effects of Communistic rule that ended in 1991. Today it is a beautiful nation that is in much need of hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are over 5 million people that live in the Republic of Georgia, but less than 3,000 believers in Jesus.
Our team was blessed with the privilege of serving with Charles and Nina Hoblitz, veteran missionaries who serve with Baptists International Evangelistic Ministries (BIEM). They have just moved to Tbilisi, Georgia after serving for the last 12 years in St. Petersburg, Russia. By partnering with this couple, our students were able to have a front row seat in witnessing what missionaries encounter when first moving to a new field; both the good and the bad. Charles and Nina have only been in the Republic of Georgia for about 2 months now.
Our ministry revolved around several avenues in 3 main cities: Gori, Kutaisi, and Jwari. In Gori, we met for several days with Pastor Beso and his church. We conducted evangelistic services, spent one-on-one time with church members through translators, traveled to different areas for fellowship, and prayed for one another. Our time with Pastor Beso proved to be extremely encouraging for their church, especially their youth, and for our team as well.
We spent the next few days in the city of Kutaisi with Pastor Omari. Through this experience we learned the value of understanding the language and culture as a few problems arose due to communication barriers. Our time, however, was still profitable. We spent time interacting with their church, conducted a church service at another church, prayed for one another, and just had good fellowship.
For the last leg of our trip we went to a primitive village called Jwari. Jwari is a primitive village of about 8,000 residents. There is no running water and the electricity is spotty through much of the day. Here, the Hoblitz’ are looking to plant a church because there is great spiritual need. The correct Gospel of Christ had never been preached their before. What I mean is there was much influence in the region from Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Orthodox church (paganistic). Many involve themselves in empty practices of lighting candles, praying to pictures, and other rituals. We conducted street evangelism, spoke one-on-one with nationals, held evangelistic outreaches, showed the Jesus Film in the Georgian language, and prayed over potential buildings for a church plant. Throughout our efforts we saw 12 people come to know Christ as Savior.
Charles and Nina will need a building to help plant the church. The building below is the one they hope to purchase. We spent time prayer-walking the campus. They need much prayer support for this process to be finalized. Please pray for them as they seek to work with nationals in obtaining the proper paperwork. They will need an additional $35,000 to repair the builiding. As you can see from the pictures below the exterior walls are in place, but no plumbing, drywall, or electrical work has been done. Pray for the resources and physical labor to be provided.
Our team was wonderful. At times there were hardships due to the heat, lack of meals, or normal facilities. However, our team really expressed a heart of servitude, compassion, and humility. Chris and I were extremely please with the way our students, served, were willing, and stretched themselves in many ways. It was truly a joy to serve with them as leader.
Thanks again so much for all your prayers and support!