Tuesday, September 12

Additional Status Info

In addition to being directly sent out and under the authority of Christ Community Church, we have voluntarily submitted ourselves under the board of directors of a like minded couple who minister in Smolensk, Russia. Kinney and Elise Mitchell have been serving the Lord vocationally in ministry for dozens of years. They have ministered here in the US as well as in at least two different countries abroad. The board includes Chuck Baggett, an elder at CCC, Phillip Morris, member of CCC, and Scott Duley, pastor of Grace Immanuel Church in LaGrange Kentucky, as representatives for our specific situations and circumstances.

By coming under this umbrella of guidance, we receive not only the obvious and already mentioned benefits, but also the experience of the Mitchell’s who have ministered the gospel in other cultures for close to two decades. There are other practical implications for us as well, like being eligible for medical insurance which we have not had for a couple of years now.

I realize that the entire situation that we find ourselves in is not completely clear and easily understood by all, but I do welcome questions, because in asking you will help me be able to understand and articulate the status of our current circumstances.

Monday, September 11

Status Change

As a result of an increasing conviction that missions, either local or international, is an aspect of ministry that ought to be carried out by the local church, we have restructured the facilitating facet of our work in Ethiopia. Because we have the great privilege of being part of a church that has the same conviction regarding the church’s responsibility, we are now more closely united with our church, Christ Community Church, New Albany, MS. We have been commissioned and sent out by the church and now as a result of this status shift all of our support will be facilitated by the church.
The church is not functioning as an agency in that they are not giving us a complete salary package as a missions agency may provide. However the church is willing to receive appropriated funds on our behalf and funnel them in their entirety to us. This financial aspect is wonderful for us but really pales in comparison with the delight we have of being under the direct leadership and authority of our church elders. To have our church, people that we love and that have clearly expressed their love for us, praying for us, coming along side us, and pastoring our souls is infinitely more significant than the financial structure of the missionary work.
We realize that it is absolutely unfathomable for all missionaries to be able to be structured is this same way. In fact, if only missionaries sent out of their local church were able to serve then there would be very little work being done. The church in our culture has neglected this view of mission work and therefore agencies have picked up the slack in an attempt to carry out the Great Commission. It is a great blessing that these agencies have assumed the responsibility of the church and continued with taking the gospel to the nations.
Oh, how we thank God for the opportunity to work with agencies like IOI, and we look forward to continued ministry alongside of these God provided ministries that are seeking to honor His Son with all the honor and glory that He is so worthy of.