From KY to NYC…

Sorry it’s been so long since we’ve posted.  Here’s what’s been going on:

General Assembly:  After Living In Grace, we were home for a week, and then I (Brooks) went to my very first General Assembly of PCA elders in Louisville, KY.  It was particularly special for me because I was able to vote for the first time on the various doctrinal and procedural issues that were brought up.  What a great opportunity to help shape the the church that we will one day hand over to the next generation!

I also served the denomination as a floor clerk, counting votes and running papers back and forth.  It sure made me feel better about all the greasy pub food I ate, and I got to meet a lot of people that way!  More than anything else, it was encouraging to share with friends new and old what God is doing in us and through us as he leads us closer and closer to Japan.  Please pray that some of the connections I made might become fruitful ministry partnerships for us.

Camp Braveheart: The day after I got back from General Assembly, Riva and I went back to Ridge Haven to be a part of Camp Braveheart, a camp that my mother-in-law runs for kids who have lost a loved one.  If you haven’t heard of this ministry before, you can check it out on facebook here, or go directly to the Camp Braveheart website by clicking here.  We had the opportunity both to lead these kids in musical worship and to open the Scriptures with them.  It was so encouraging to see many of them embrace the gospel on a deeper level as we talked about God’s white hot pursuit of his people from the beginning of the world to its final consummation yet to come.  While God’s Word does not make the grief less painful, it does give us hope by reminding us of the love of God, even in the midst of the pain.

Here are some pictures:

You just gotta sing Days of Elijah with motions…

Each student made memory boxes for their deceased loved one

The kids also smashed pots and put them back together, labeling each piece with a different emotion or memory. Then we placed candles in them to remind us that Christ’s light shines through our brokenness.

The kids also gathered rocks from the stream, labeled them with the stages of grief and symbolically placed them at the foot of the cross.

Though we won’t be able to take them to Ridge Haven, we look forward to spending time in a camp setting like this with the MKs who live and serve in Asia-Pacific.  These kinds of experiences have provided us with invaluable training that we hope will be used of the Lord to facilitate much needed times of rest, reflection, and spiritual growth for the students God has placed under our care.

CCMI: Cross Cultural Ministry Internship – Today we arrived in New York City for MTW’s cross-cultural training.  It is an opportunity for us to learn more about how to study language, culture, and work with teammates is developing outreach ministries.  We don’t have a lot of information at this point as to what we will be doing, but we couldn’t be more excited.  Stay tuned for frequent updates.  

Within an hour of our arrival we saw the scene below unfolding outside of our apartment window:

A boy emerged on the roof being chased by two cops. When they finally pinned him they high-fived and escorted him to their car…

Not to worry, though.  According to our neighbor, this is uncommon.  We are staying on the Northern tip of Manhattan Island, in an area called Washington heights.  If you ever get a chance to visit, I would recommend the Next Door restaurant.  Our food was incredible.  At 9am, we’ll begin training downtown.  Please pray for us to be open to what the Lord has to teach us during our time here over the next month. 

We could not do this without your financial and prayer support, so from the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

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