Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010’s right around the corner

Hi friends,

Merry Christmas to all our dear friends, loved ones and supporters! What a beautiful season this has been for our little family and we trust and pray it has been the same for you! Our teaching series at our church was “Prepare”, it was such a great few weeks of truly preparing our hearts and minds and even emotions to grasp what this time of year symbolizes. So many times we are about the “do”, and God just asks us to “be”………I pray that as we wind down 2009 that you find a few still moments to just “be”.

At this time of year, DaNae and I tend to process where we are in life. It’s become a process we look forward to, believe it or not. As we approach 2010, we hope each of you have a chance to look back, be present, and look forward, too. Take a minute to think through 2009 and what God has done in your life. How has He blessed you, surprised you, encouraged you, and challenged you. Take some time to be in the present – what is God doing with you and your family right now? How, if at all, is it tied to what He’s done in the past and brought you through already? Finally, look to the future – what is the trajectory He has you on? Where is He leading/directing you? What do you think He’s preparing you for?

As we apply this to New Zealand, we can look back and see how God has taught us to persevere. When we started this journey, we never expected to be raising funds for this long in the economic situation around us. We’re fortunate to have a clear call to NZ and encouragement along the way - they act as markers that we can hold onto when we question ourselves. We also see how God has met our needs in two of our three support goals as tactile proof that He’s moving us forward.

We can look at the present and see how God is sustaining us in this journey. With our original plan, we had the financial cushion to sustain us as we raised funds (we do not draw any support until we are in NZ). Needless to say, that cushion is long gone but God continues to provide work to sustain us. It’s been a blessing to totally rely on him for our day to day needs.

As we look to the future, we still feel strongly that God has called us to NZ. It will take circumstances beyond our control to deter us from this call. We anticipate serving cession and being a resource they utilize to launch and develop their community ministries. We wonder what else God has in store for us as we continue to raise funds. We wonder (with a bit of trepidation) how He will develop our character. We look forward to stepping off a plane a half a world away and allowing cession to see this plan become a real asset to them. We hope to see God draw enough monthly supporters to our team to make this happen.

For those of you who have been a part of our past and present, we are so thankful for how God has used your faithfulness to be part of our call. Several times, support has been more than just a financial partnership – it’s been the shot of encouragement we’ve needed to keep going. The need is great to get us to NZ – in 2 months, cession will start their new year. If you have been considering joining our team or have committed to joining but just have not had a chance to send in paperwork/give online, now would be an awesome time to consider joining us. Global Partners can only process commitments when they receive them - they can’t include our “word” on things that are coming. If God’s calling you to act, you can use the online giving option at www.praygivego.com to have your support recorded for this year. Thank you for caring enough about us to keep us on your spiritual radar. May 2009 end as a year you will remember and may 2010 bring you closeness with God that is beyond your imagination.

Happenings Here and There

It has been a busy few months in the Reynolds household, our last updates told of New Zealand Desserts coming up and talking with several individuals, along with Rob traveling in Nov. to speak at a church in MI and meet with other churches there. Put the events of the Holiday on top of that and its been a hopping time around here. Thank you for your prayers on our behalf over the last two months. Our desserts were such a blessing, great conversations with many dear people and Robs trip to MI went really well. There are times that we feel the pull of giving into the feelings of “this is just not happening fast enough”, but then God gives us His gentle reminders (big and small) that He is there, that He is guiding and directing and that He never abandons us in the middle of a call!

Our dear friends in New Zealand have had a busy month as well. One thing they started a few years ago is an outreach project called “Christmas Town”. The big deal this year is that they were actually written up in a local newspaper, below is the article and will give you an idea of what the project is:

• Howick and Pakuranga Times
IT’S time to fill your stocking with Christmas cheer and a walk through A Town Called Christmas this weekend.

The festive event – now in its third year and organised by the Cession Community Church – sees The Depot at Lloyd Elsmore Park in Pakuranga transformed into a Victorian Christmas town with snow and candy-cane delights.

Lead pastor Brett Jones says it’s a day “designed with family fun in mind”. Christmas goodness waits behind every town store for people, particularly children, to partake in.

The Candy Store has delicious treats with a seasonal flavour, the Baubles of Joy shop is a place where families can make tree ornaments, and the Stationery Shop is a hive of Christmas card activity.

Then there are regular crowd pleasers, including Pimp My Sleigh and sleigh rides. Mr Jones says: “Every year we target an aid project as part of A Town Called Christmas.

“It’s about modelling something important to our children about the heart of Christmas. The first Christmas was an act of extraordinary self-giving, so we want to echo that generosity.”

This year’s project is the Sahassee Microenterprise project in India, which helps people – in partnership with Tear Fund – break the poverty cycle by encouraging sustainable small businesses.

How cool is that!!! Please continue to pray for their impact on their community and for the transitions coming in the next few weeks for the church. We have mentioned these transitions before, but just to recap they have a few staff members moving to their next call, one is pursuing seminary full time and the other is moving forward with the call on her life to plant another church! These are awesome endeavors however it leaves cession|community with a huge leadership hole to be filled. This is where the Reynolds come in and the realization of just how important it is that we get over there ASAP. We are so thankful for all of you who support us in so many different ways; truly words cannot express our gratitude for coming along on this journey with us.