Our Latest newsletter and a special report!
On Monday, May 13th, the day after Mother’s Day, Sara, Ashea, myself and a bunch of others will be down at Jimmy G’s Barbecue here in Fremont, Ohio setting up and doing a fund raiser for the Newfields missions work.
I’m not exaggerating when I say Jimmy G’s barbecue is probably the best I’ve even had. Not only that, but of all the people I’ve heard talk about the place, and I’ve heard quite a few, I have not heard a single negative comment. Everything has been positive, about Jim himself coming out to say hi while folks are eating, to the rest of the staff and especially about the food. Smoked salmon, ribs that have been cooked for 5-6 hours, barbecued brisket, chicken and pork…mmmmm… so good…excuse me, I’ll be back in an hour.
I met Jim last fall and we hit it off. You see, not only is Jim a great cook, he is the pastor of a church here in Fremont and a man with a big heart for missions. Sara and I presented our missions work at his church on April 21st and are now just about a week away from doing this fundraiser with his business.
Jimmy G’s is usually closed on Sundays and Mondays, but Jim said he would open up on Monday, May 13th from 4-8pm and serve an all you can eat limited menu with drinks and sides for $12 a person ($6 for kids under 10) with all the profits going to our missions work! Not only that, but he said we can put out our missions table, put literature on each table that night, hang a newfields sign out front and do whatever we want to let people know what we are doing! If you live in the area I hope you can make it out!
Would you please pray? Not only for a big turn out but that we would pick up regular monthly supporters from this event? One time donations are great but regular support allows us to budget and plan. In fact we are about $500 a month pledged away from our support goal for going to MTC. Would you pray that $500 a month in support could be added through this? Whether that’s 10 people pledging $50 a month or 5 $100 or whatever the combination. We won’t be in anybody’s faces that night, but we’ll let people know how they can be involved through our literature and our table.
Also, I expect most of the people who come out will be believers but I’m sure there will be some who aren’t. Please pray that the open door at Jimmy G’s would start the opening of the doors of their heart to the Gospel!
We will be sending out our next newsletter in a week or so to fill you in on some big things that have been happening recently!
Jimmy G’s – 1321 West State St Fremont, OH 43420 (567) 201-2920; http://www.jgbbq.com
It rained like a sprinkler system all week at camp that year. We were all soaked to the skin each and every day. The mud squished up to our ankles for every game we played and the hill we were supposed to walk down quickly became a 2 second mud slide to the bottom! I literally threw all of the outside clothes away that I wore that week. That was 10 years ago this June. This was the summer of 2003 and it was the first and only week I went to a Christian camp as a high schooler.
Alongside thoughts of my high school crush and whether I should play football that fall, a question was burning in my mind as I went through that summer, “Lord, are you calling me on to the mission field?”
I distinctly remember walking into that chapel building in the mountains of North Carolina and seeing an 8′ banner hanging across the wall, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Great! I thought, sounds like the messages this week will be on missions and maybe I’ll get the answers I’m looking for.
Twice a day for 5 days we met for chapel and not a single message was preached on missions.
The final night I was sitting towards the front. All the preliminary games and yelling contests were done and brother Bob Hooker got up to give his last message. He didn’t preach on missions that night but he did say somethign that God used to help set the course of my life, “If God is telling you to do something, it’s time to do it!”
I made a commitment that night to follow God’s leading onto the mission field. For years I had been wondering and analyzing if God wanted me to go and that night it was crystal clear; the time of thinking had past and the time for action had come.
Ten years later, having followed God around the world and back on short term trips, up to the altar for marriage, through 9 years of part time seminary, countless hours of study and ministry, and now with a little one; I am excited to announce that we’ve been formally accepted to the New Tribes Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Roach, Missouri!
Classes start August 19th and Lord willing we will be moving out there August 15th. In the following months we’ll be sharing more details of what we will be doing at MTC and how the support is going. In a nutshell, will be 1.5 or 2 years of linguistic technical and jungle camp training. There is a lot more to say but that will wait for another post.
Thanks so much to those who have labored with us through prayer, gifts, encouragements and everything else. We certainly haven’t made it this far on our own, and look forward to working with you in these next steps.
Momma, Ashea and I are doing well. So blessed by our church family here at Gibsonburg GBC and enjoying Sara’s family who is visiting from Vermont this week. We are blessed.
The sleepless nights are harder than I expected but the inexpresable joy when I look into my baby girl’s eyes is overwhelmingly more powerful than I could have imagined!
On Thursday, March 28th at 5:30 pm Sara’s water very distinctly broke and we were off to the hospital. 4 hours later the contractions were not regular and not making much progress so they gave her a small dose of pitocin to help things along and it certainly did help things along! 6 cm and 3 hours later at 1:26 am we had a baby girl in our arms!
Sara’s active labor was actually too fast, in that Sara suffered quite a bit of tearing. After 45 mins of trying to sew her up (and keep in mind she did not have an epidural so she got to have the full birthing experience here!) Sara had lost a lot of blood and the doctor realized there was more tearing than she originally thought. So off she went for surgery while I was left holding our little girl.
After a couple hours of pacing, praying and staring at this gift in my arms Sara was rolled back in with a good report from the doctor. Dr. Bunni said she didn’t even know how many stitches she put in but thankfully most of the tears were not very deep and the ones that were deep, were stitched up fine.
(Click on any image to open a gallery of larger images)
The rush of thoughts and emotions Sara and I have experienced over these last 6 days can’t be described, only experienced. We love our girl and can hardly wait to get to know her, but as Sara and I agreed on that very first day, we are stewards of this child and our job is not to keep her but to equip her to be sent out one day into the Lord’s work.
But in the meantime this is the first grandkid on both sides and we are anticipating some serious spoilage!
To those who knew about the labor and prayed; thanks! To those who didn’t; I would like to have let you know, but apparently blogging on a laptop during childbirth is frowned upon, something about priorities
Please pray or continue to pray for our new family as we get adjusted to having a baby and begin the journey of learning the great balance or work, ministry and family, to the glory of God.
One last thing, check out this video if you want to get a glimpse of what is waiting for us if we go to Papua New Guinea;
http://vimeo.com/62476018 (The video is from Justin Rees in the Pei tribe of the Sepik, swampy, region)
Craig, Sara and Ashea! “…even to the remotest part of the earth” Acts 1:8
P.s. A great big giant thanks to Jess Barnes who was with us for the whole labor. Her wisdom, experience, and humble servants heart was a HUGE blessing! And a great big thanks to all the others that have already served and and who will.
I hope Spring has started were you live, but it sure hasn’t started here in Ohio!
Sara and I recently made some Newfields t-shirts that we are selling. They are forest green with white print and are a Glidan Dry Blend 50/50 (fifty percent cotton/fifty percent poly), so they shouldn’t shrink in the dryer.
The shirts are $15 a piece (unless you feel like donating more ). The shirts have our logo on the front and on the back they have our website name printed as well as the first part of Romans 15:20, “It has always been my ambition to preach the Gospel were Christ was not known….” (Yup, that’s a picture of one at the top!)
The money that comes in will be put toward our future missions work, especially getting to the Missionary Training Center in Missouri this fall. But more than the money, we hope these shirts will remind the wearers to pray for us and the missions work AND start some great conversations with people who read them. I’ve had some really cool opportunities to talk about the Gospel because of Christian shirts I have worn. You see someone reading it and it’s as simple as asking, “So, what do you think of the shirt?” And just like that you get an extra crown in Heaven! Well, maybe that’s overstating it, but they are still a great witnessing tool!
We have sizes Small – XXXLarge. If you want a size that we don’t have let us know. When we get enough requests for that size we’ll have them printed up!
So let us know if you want one! Send me an e-mail that includes how many you want, what sizes and your mailing address. email@example.com Shipping will be $4.00 per shirt, but if you order 3 or more I can send it for a dollar less each (also, if you go to a Grace Brethren Church and your pastor is going to the mid-year meetings next week I bet he’d be willing to bring it back for you! This way you don’t have to pay shipping. Unless of course he decides to charge you!) OR if you want to organize something at your church and order a whole bunch at one time let me know and we can ship it even cheaper!
Also, the simplest way for you to pay would be through the “Donate” button on the home page. You don’t need a Paypal account to use the button. Then just enter the total amount including shipping ($19 each for 1 or 2 shirts, $18 each for 3 or more).
If you’d rather send a check you can send it to;
Grace Brethren Church of Irasburg
P.O. Box 41
Coventry, VT 05825
Memo: Newfields T-Shirt (Don’t forget the memo, really important!)
Thanks for all your prayers and support! Sara officially went from just regular pregnant to Very Pregnant this month! One month and counting! Please pray for safety for her and the baby and for opportunities to speak in more churches to open up. Thanks!!!
I recently met with a pastor at McDonalds for breakfast to talk about presenting our missions work at his church. We had the usual conversation; small talk in the beginning that transitioned into the details of the missions plans. Neither of us were in a hurry so we really took our time to talk about the work as well as swapping ministry and life stories.
At one point he mentioned that he played a lot of soccer. Later on I starting asking him some questions about his soccer days. I have to say I was pretty impressed. He said that his high school soccer team, based out of a major city, not only didn’t lose a single game his entire high school carrer, no one ever scored a goal on them. That team went on to get silver in the junior Olympics in Mexico City. A sports magazine referred to them as one of the greatest American teams ever. He went to a college that historically rarely won half their games. But each year he played there they only lost 3 games every year. He was approached about playing professional soccer and considered trying out for the U.S. Olympic team. He didn’t end up playing pro soccer but got married and went into ministry instead.
As I was asking him these questions and he was telling me these and other stories I was amazed at the people he had met and knew. Many professional soccer, pro football, (includer a former kicker for the Patriots who had a couple super bowl rings, go Pats!) pro baseball players and a whole bunch more! But this next part is what really got me.
I said to him, “Wow! I can’t believe you’ve met and know all these people, that’s incredible!” To which he replied, “For all the people I’ve met I’m more excited to be sitting here talking with you than with any of them.”
…………”Well that’s humbling” was all I could think to say.
Of course, he wasn’t referring me personally as we’d only met once. His statement was in reference to the work we are doing, bringing the Gospel and planting churches were there are none. That’s the value he places on the Gospel.
How important is it to you?
Click on the link below to read Issue #5 of our newsletter!