Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sheffield Baptist Church

Well folks, we've just returned home from a wonderful weekend at Sheffield Baptist Church in Halifax. Pastor Henry Grift invited Liz and I to be a part of their annual Spring Missions Conference several months ago. We were so pleased to be able to be a part of this exciting weekend. It was a great encouragement to us to see such interest in missions.

It was a double portion of blessing, in that we were able to share in the conference with our friends Phil and Gracie Welch. The schedule was jam packed and we were spoiled by all of the attention and several wonderful pot luck luncheons.

Day 1 [Friday, May 29]
We arrived prior to the 6:30 service and were enthusiastically greeted and shown to the hall where place had been prepared for us to set up our table. The conference featured three missionary couples and a single missionary lady.

The Friday evening service served as an opportunity for Pastor Grift to introduce the missionaries and the conference. We enjoyed very much a presentation by Willa London, working with the Pregnancy Care Center in Halifax. Noel and Bev Facey of the Gospel for Asia Mission shared with us as a part of their music ministry "On Eagles Wings"

Day 2 [Saturday, May 30]
On Saturday morning the men met at Smitty's and the ladies at Cora's for breakfast. At the men's breakfast we all gathered around a big table for a great time of fellowship. At the close of our breakfast, we were richly blessed with a devotion by Phil Welch.

Liz and I took the opportunity in the afternoon to do some shopping for the upcoming men's breakfast and had our Arrowhead Costco cards activated. We met back at the church at 5:00 for the missions banquet and potluck. Another wonderful time of fellowship and visiting that was followed by the evening service.

We enjoyed some praise and worship with the college and career group band, Dyverted, and were truly blessed and encouraged by the music. The evening service was a lot of fun and featured a Q & A panel with the missionaries. It was a great chance to hear about some of the work of the other missionaries and at the same time gave us the opportunity to think on our feet. After the Missionary Panel we enjoyed a ministry presentation by Phil & Gracie who spiced things up with a bit of trivia and chocolate! And once again we enjoyed some wonderful fellowship following the service.

During the conference, Liz and I were treated to accommodations. A wonderful Christian lady, Pauline, opened her home to us for the duration of the conference. We felt right at home and enjoyed, very much, our time with her!

Day 3 [Sunday, May 31]
This morning Phil and I enjoyed being a part of the men's Sunday School class, while Liz and Gracie shared with the ladies. It was a smaller group and we enjoyed the opportunity to share our testimonies and answer some questions about missions that the men and ladies had!

During the Sunday morning service we were treated to music by the Transformed Quartet as well as the church choir. Elizabeth and I had the opportunity to present our ministry and shared our Arrowhead DVD. And once again we were blessed by Phil Wlech bringing the Word to us in his message for the morning service.

This evening it was a wonderful surprise to see our home pastor and his wife, Jeff and Sharon, and our friend Rebecca, all out to support us! It was a great encouragement to us! Noel Facey brought a missions presentation and I was priviledged to bring the closing message for the conference. And once again we enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship and refreshment in the hall following the service!

It was such a wonderful weekend, and we are so pleased and encouraged to have been a part of it! And I have to say a huge thank you to the good people at Sheffield for their generous contributions to our collection of Canadian Tire Money. Over the course of the weekend they donated nearly $35 to Arrowhead!

Liz and I are off again in the morning to Shediac, New Brunswick to share a ministry presentation with a WMS group and friends. I'll give you an update on that on Tuesday.

Some ladies in the church went to a lot of work to decorate the church hall for the conference. This is a photo of the Missions Banquet on Saturday night. You'll notice the wonderful mural on the wall behind the display tables and the flags lining the walls.

This was taken during the Question and Answer Panel. (L to R) Noel Facey, Bev Facey, Elizabeth Fawcett, Grant Fawcett, Willa London, Gracie Welch, Phil Welch

Dyverted brought some wonderful praise and worship music. We were certainly blessed by their ministry.

Phil and Gracie began their ministry presentation with a bit of trivia, it was a big hit!

Phil brought us a wonderful message today in the morning service!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Questions about finances...

As you may have noticed, Elizabeth and I very seldom talk about our finances with respect to this ministry work. We feel strongly that this work is the Lord's and He will provide for it as He sees fit. As such we try not to make money a focal point of what we're doing.

We have however been receiving some inquiries as to the status of our finances, so here we will endeavor to answer some of your questions.

Trusting in the Lord completely to provide for our needs is a bit scary, especially as new missionaries. It means that we have to let go of control... and that is no easy thing. Liz and I have entered into a new phase of our lives, one that gives us the opportunity to trust the Lord in ways that we never could before because of ... well, quite frankly our selves. It's an exciting time and we are looking forward to it very much.

We've begun to find that Faith missions seems to have become something of a cultural oddity in our society. There is a misunderstanding of just what it means to work as a volunteer and be supported by those who believe in the work that we are doing with NCEM at Arrowhead. Much in the same way that a pastor/minister relies on the financial support of his congregation, missionaries rely on the financial support of churches and individuals who would like to be a part of the ministry in a practical way. God doesn't call everyone to be career missionaries, praying for and financially supporting a missionary is a way that you can share in the ministry in a very real way.

By way of an update for you, NCEM executive have worked with us on a monthly budget. We have a personal budget set in the amount of $3,175. This monthly amount encompasses our living expenses, travel expenses, ministry expenses, personal expenses, retirement, health insurance, some training and taxes. Our monthly pledged support has been growing and we are currently averaging about 40% of our budget.

Elizabeth and I are currently not on salary with the mission. This means that any money that has been coming in has been set aside in trust for our ministry work when we do begin on salary. Some of these monies have been available for any ministry expenses that we have had during our ongoing period of deputation.

We are very grateful for the financial sacrifices of those who support our work with NCEM with gifts of money, we are blessed by every single dollar.

It is so important though that we have a powerful team of prayer warriors! And even though you may not be led to support us financially, we hope you will feel led to support us in prayer! There is a great Spiritual warfare raging against the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the prayers of believers are vital to the ongoing struggle.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spring cleanering...

Liz and I have been having a fun weekend with the Strouts at Arrowhead. We arrived at lunchtime on Friday and have been working with them to do some Spring cleaning in the main lodge and the big field. Being here and working with them has been great, but it's really made us feel reluctant to go back home to Windsor... it would be so nice to be living here and be able to be busy at work right now. We know that the Lord has His own time table and we'll be here when the time is right. But it certainly is nice to be able to be involved even just a little bit.

Kevin & James taking a breather, we moved Arrowhead's newly donated chairs to the main lodge for the upcoming men's breakfast.

Marcia, Liz and Deanna cleaned the windows in the main lodge.

James taking care of some cobwebs...

Liz cleaning house in the pantry...

Monday, May 11, 2009

LifeGuard... Anyone?

Things are well underway at Arrowhead Native Bible Center in preparation for
this summer's upcoming camps. There are many needs to be met, one such need that is vital to the ministry of summer camp is a lifeguard. If you are a qualified lifeguard or know someone who is that might be interested in volunteering at the camp we'd love to hear from you! There are lots of opportunities to serve at Arrowhead this summer though, and if you have a special gift you feel the Lord could use please feel free to let us know!

Liz and I had the pleasure to bring a camp and ministry update to Habitation Baptist Church this past Sunday in Port Royal, Nova Scotia. It is so encouraging to see the excitement and support of a fellowship that is burdened for First Nations ministry.

We are busily preparing our May/June prayer letters, if you're not receiving our regular mailing and would like to, please drop us a line... we'd be more than happy to add you to the list! We will be around town here for a couple of consecutive weeks for a switch, so if you're around too we'd love to see you!

Monday, May 4, 2009

New Maryland, Moncton and Cumberland Bay...

It has been another whirlwind weekend. On Friday morning I loaded up the car with all of the groceries to transport to Arrowhead and we hit the road at about noon. We took our time and got to Kevin & Marcia's just in time for supper (perfect timing if you ask me!) The house was full on Saturday and we had a great time visiting with friends.

Arrowhead has been blessed this summer to have an intern student from Bethany Bible College in Sussex, NB. Deanna Bleakney will be helping out with not only the work at the camp, but Bible clubs on reserve as well - and will have a busy study load to top it all off. All of this promises to keep her very busy for the summer.

On Sunday morning we had the privilege of traveling, with Kevin & Marcia and their family, to New Maryland Baptist Church (near Fredericton) to take part in Camp Sunday and represent the ministry at Arrowhead. It was a wonderful opportunity to not only be encouraged by the folk there, but to meet and visit with some other Bible Camp directors in our region.

Sunday afternoon we were on the road again and on our way to Moncton. I was asked to give a message at the Awana closing at Parkside Baptist. It was such a wonderful encouragement to see all of those young people studying and learning not just scripture, but doctrine. The Awana program at Parkside is quite active and there seemed to be a good turnout of kids & families. It was great to catch up with some Bible School friends as well - it never ceases to amaze me how quickly you can pick up old friendships and reconnect.

After the Awana closing Liz and I enjoyed a few minutes for coffee with mom before we headed home to Windsor. We arrived here shortly after midnight (with no serious car difficulties... er... none that aren't absurdly common at least)