Projects 4 Missions says Thanks on Giving Tuesday

Dear Friends,

This time of year often gets cluttered with piles of mailings from non-profits who would never write at another time of year. In recognition of “Giving Tuesday” we wanted to send you a note from a friend and ministry partner.

No doubt you already know and feel that this last year has had a few too many surprises and unexpected turns. We have been praying for you all in what we know has been some very trying times. We all need the encouragement of fellowship so let’s work to stay connected in whatever ways we can. Please feel free to call or email if you ever need someone to talk or pray with.

As we work on an end of year report for Projects 4 Missions we want to express to you how incredibly humbled we are to have you partner with us. Of the hundreds of ways you could spend or invest your money you have chosen to sacrificially give toward this ministry and God has blessed that work.

We are glad to share with you that our basic monthly costs, which consist of a small stipend to cover project consumables, tool repairs and administration, are now being covered by regular monthly giving. It may not seem like a big milestone but to us it is huge. We continue to work toward building our regular monthly support level (which is nearing 30%) but we are confident that as we continue to be faithful to serve where God guides that He will take care of those needs. We are very thankful for God’s provision through your partnership.

With all the craziness in the world it is important to recall the faithfulness and constancy of our God. From the infancy of this ministry when it was just us giving a helping hand to missionaries as best as we could, up to today, we have never lacked the essentials for what God wanted us to do. God’s faithfulness goes well beyond just having money for a project. We do not have the time or space here to recount even a portion of the ways God has taken care of us. However, I regularly reflect on things like: wheels not falling off trailers, many thousands of dollars worth of donated equipment, and specific answers to prayer. But there is so much more. All these speak highly of our God and we honor Him.

On this “Giving Tuesday” we would encourage you in this way:
First, not all giving is money. When you are serious in prayer, or send a personal letter to a missionary or lend a hand to a project in person, you are giving a piece of yourself and investing in eternity. What and where can you give of yourself for God’s purposes?

Secondly, Give to God. He deserves respect, honor and a place of significance. Your mouth and life are the means to give something special and meaningful to God.  Hebrews 13:15 says to offer up to God a sacrifice of praise. Colossians 4:2 encourages us to devote ourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reminds us to rejoice, to pray and to give thanks in all circumstances.  Let’s do that!

Finally, Give on purpose to a greater purpose. Be faithful in supporting your Church. This is right and appropriate.  Also consider supporting a missionary whose focus is sharing or teaching the gospel. If you do not already know such people then talk to us, we would love to introduce you to several people who are on the frontlines. Developing such a relationship via phone calls and visits will definitely push your faith into a more active place. (2 Cor 9:10-11)

Thank you again for your partnership in prayer, in relationship, in participation and financially. We are very thankful for you.

If you are not already receiving regular emails and other stuff from Projects 4 Missions we invite you to sign up here.

If God moves you to make a special year end gift or monthly donation toward this ministry, you can use this link here, or click the donate button below.

One of the recent family pictures that didn’t get made into a new prayer card.

Ready…. Get Set….

We’re two weeks away from Chester and Rich flying to Kenya to meet the Kamau family and get aquainted with their ministry – Hope Anew Kenya. Both Chester and Rich have now have the required immunizations, and we’re praising God that Rich’s passport arrived today, so now they also both have the necessary travel papers!

The site of the future Camp Nasaru

The schedule of their trip includes traveling out to tour the camp site (above), meeting local architects, engineers and builders, visiting building supply stores and touring other camps in the area. We’re excited about this opportunity and the way God has opened doors each step of the way so far.

Would you join us in praying for this trip? We hope to email out daily (or nearly daily) short prayer requests and praises starting a few days before the trip. If you’d like to receive these updates to pray for us, please sign up below to pray for us.

Pancake Party!

Join us for pancakes and fellowship!

Hear about our work with Bible camps, and about our upcoming missions trip to develop a Bible camp in Kenya

Share favorite camp stories

Saturday, November 14 (yes, short notice!)
2:00pm – 7:00pm, come and go anytime
VFW in Ashland, NE
102 s 24th St, Ashland, NE 68003

**You’ll also have the opportunity to support our trip and ministry by purchasing handmade items for donation.

We’ve chosen a larger venue than our house for this pancake party so that we all can socially distance as we feel comfortable, but please don’t come if you’re feeling sick!

If you wish to bring along a food item, feel free to bring something that goes with pancakes, but please don’t feel obligated.

And yes, pancakes in the afternoon. Pancakes are good all day long!

We are trying out this idea as a way to increase awareness of our ministry and the ministries we serve. We’d love your feedback, and to see you there!

Prayer request update

Thank you so much, dear friends, for praying. Isn’t it great to serve a God who hears and answers our prayers! We wanted to take a few minutes to share with you a few specific answers to your prayers that we’ve seen in the past two weeks.

  • Stove #3 is still working. Special thanks to our friends who gave us their old stove in our time of need!
  • Chester had been looking for the perfect trailer to use for hauling ministry tools for a few months. A bit over a week ago (the day we emailed asking for prayer for encouragement!) he found the right one, and in God’s perfect timing, a friend was going to Minnesota and would be driving right by the seller of the trailer. He agreed to pick it up for us, and Thursday evening we had a new trailer for ministry use!
  • We asked you to pray for our Suburban to run. Chester got it running, and we left in it on Friday afternoon to drive down to Texas. Less than three miles into the journey, it broke down again. We were grateful for being so close to home. After hobbling it home, we unpacked the suburban, packed it in to the trailer that God had provided just the day before, and set off again in our smaller Pathfinder. God’s timing was perfect, and the Pathfinder ran reliably for the entire trip, even though it was less roomy than the Suburban.
The shadow of our car and trailer as we drive….

  • We asked you to pray for Rich the architect to get the time off work approved so that he and Chester could go to Kenya to meet the Kamau family and the site of the future camp and begin design work. We received word on Wednesday that Rich’s request for the time off was granted. So we are ready to purchase tickets for this trip! God has already provided the cost of the airline tickets. If you would like to contribute to other costs of the trip, donate here, or see our list of other ways to help here.
  • We asked you to pray for our spiritual encouragement and refreshment. The conference we attended was very much just that – a terrific time of being spiritually fed and refreshed. We renewed friendships, added new friendships, learned a ton and gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of scripture. What a terrific time! Even the kids very much enjoyed it and stayed engaged through the conference, that is fantastic at a conference on systematic theology oriented toward seminary graduates and those already in ministry.
Micah was given a book titled “Eternal Life” for free, but Isaiah had to earn the book titled “Eternal Rewards” by rubbing his tummy and patting his head.

Supporting Families at Home

Chester is leaving the family behind on a missions trip in early December. Going with him is Rich, who is also leaving a family behind. The families here would love some extra help in their absense! Here’s some ideas (add your own in the comments!):

  • Provide meals for the families at home
  • Help drive kids to/from school and events
  • Provide babysitting for Mom to have an evening off
  • Pick up groceries for the family when you buy your own

As the trip approaches, we’ll add to this list, and create a sign-up of ways to help out.


Prayer Requests

Friends – Would you mind praying for us today and this week? For the past few weeks now, we’ve felt spiritually attacked. It’s been comical (two broken stoves within a week), a bit painful (a broken tooth) and annoying (computers that don’t work right). It’s also been distracting (a project was delayed while we tried to fix stoves), and is starting to hinder our work (we tried to haul a load, and discovered that our trailer has two flat tires and of course, only one spare tire). Our patience is being tried(we’ve been trying to wait patiently for Rich’s boss to approve time off so that he and Chester can go to Kenya, but the approval keeps being delayed). And it’s starting to discourage us (after Chester spent an entire day working on the Suburban, it started backfiring).

This week, we are planning to leave for a week of visiting family and friends and getting some spiritual refreshment at the Grace Evangelical Society conference. It’s our version of a family vacation. The conference is an eleven-hour drive for us, and we want our vehicle to be in great shape to do it. Today, Chester plans to spend a portion of the day, in the freezing rain, troubleshooting and fixing whatever is causing the Suburban to backfire.

Would you please join us in praying:

  • For us to not be discouraged in our circumstances
  • For the Suburban to start working properly with very little additional time invested
  • For our health to stay good (we seem to be in a covid hotspot right now)
  • All the details of our upcoming trip to work out
  • Rich’s boss to allow his time off, and soon, so that we can purchase tickets for Chester and Rich to go to Kenya in six weeks.

And an additional prayer request: Our friends, the Shires, who serve in Southern France are in the process of buying a home. They have asked us to consider coming to help renovate so that they have sleeping quarters for all eight children as well as an office space to use for their work. Please pray for God to provide for them and to work out for us to help them if He would like us to.

The first of the broken stoves….

Hope Anew Ministry

We are glad for the opportunity to introduce you to some other missionaries with our agency (GlobalGrace Fellowship).  Francis and Kim Kamau are missionaries in Nairobi, Kenya, serving impoverished children through Bible clubs and after-school activities.  Their ministry, called Hope Anew, shares the hope that comes through God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

The Kamaus have a dream of extending their ministry to a camp outside Nairobi for kids to get out of the slum, see the beauty of God’s creation, and be introduced to Jesus and discipled in a focused environment.  Nine acres of undeveloped land have been donated to this project, and God has provided a 1200 ft. well and pump on the land.  This campground has been named Nasaru – a place of refuge.

Francis (everyone calls him “Kamau”) and Kim have asked us to prayerfully consider joining the ministry of the camp by developing a masterplan. Working with other industry professionals and the Kamaus we hope to develop clear plans for infrastructure such as electrical, water and waste systems, camp layout, building design, agricultural and animal management, security details, and whatever other things needed to help realize their vision without making costly mistakes in building location, inadequate structures or utilities.  

Clearly this is a project bigger than just our family but God had already laid it on the heart of an architect to help and we have been talking with other professionals as well. We are moving ahead taking each step as God provides.

Based on God’s provision and initial leading, we are tentatively developing plans to send Chester and Rich Burton (the architect) for a survey trip in early December. This survey trip will allow us to meet the Kamaus in person, visit the campground, and visit possible sources for materials and construction equipment. A good survey starts with understanding the goals of the projects, the materials and methods which are commonly available and even the unexpected weather conditions which need to be taken into consideration. The survey data guides initial brainstorming but becomes essential reference material for the masterplan in determining which solutions fit best for the costs, the manpower, and the materials available. 

Would you prayerfully consider partnering in this endeavor?

Here’s a few ideas of ways to get involved:

  • join the research team to help find solutions or resources 
  • give toward the cost of the trip (we expect costs to be ~$3000 total for Chester and Rich to go)
  • join our prayer team (we’ll send out a daily prayer requests near and during the trip)
  • help support the families staying home (provide a meal or a babysitter, or drive kids to school). We very much believe that the whole family is part of the team so we want to make sure that they are supported as well. 

Perspective

At dinner on our date a few days ago, we drew out a mock-up calendar of our next six weeks, and started plotting the major ministry events that we wanted to fit in. It ended up looking like this.

The time between now and the trip to Kenya plotted by week. Only showing major ministry activities.

Amy’s reaction: Aak! So much going on! When are we going to breathe?

Chester’s reaction: Look, there’s open space almost every week. I mean, are we really doing any anything at all?

Cruising on into Fall

The past two weeks

Thanks for praying for the Glad Tidings Bible Camp craft fair two weeks ago.  We (especially the kids) had spent time preparing crafts to sell, and were a little disappointed by sluggish sales, but we still had a really fun weekend!

Last weekend, we were glad to be able to help a long time friend and missions co-worker in the Omaha area by stripping and preparing her house for painting. We are very thankful that God provided perfect weather over two days and just the right amount of people and material at exactly the right times. It was awesome to spray the last square foot just as we ran out of paint. We’re especially thankful for several people who stopped by to help scrape and prime.

A seven-year-old helper asked her “Why do you want your house spotted?”
Even little ones got in on the fun of scraping and priming
Isaiah took the trophy for “largest paint peel”
The leftover paint from last time her house was painted ended up to be exactly enough to put a base coat of paint over the primer.

Looking ahead

Several weeks ago, our mission (GlobalGrace Fellowship) introduced us to another missionary family. Francis Kamau (he goes by ‘Kamau’) grew up in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya, became a Christian as a teenager, served as a missionary to Zambia, then returned as a missionary to the very place he grew up in. He and his wife Kim have been serving kids in this slum for several years now, and have a dream of starting a camp that will get kids away from the destitution and filth and into the beauty of God’s creation, and at the same time teaching them about Jesus.  Nine acres to build the camp was donated last year, and they have asked us to help design the camp before they start construction.

We’re excited about this project and God is blessing our involvement with it.  Right now, we’re preparing for Chester to visit Kamau and the camp grounds in November.  He will be accompanied by Rich Burton, and architect who has offered to take off work to join on this survey trip.  We hope to develop a camp design, and if God would allow it, we’d also like to return as a family to also help with the construction of the camp sometime in the future (possibly in 2021).

For now, please pray with us for the details of the November trip. There remain many details to work out, but of particular concern are renewal of passports in time, getting time off work for Rich, and potential travel restrictions. We anticipate the survey trip cost to be around $3000. In the next few weeks, we’ll tell you more and introduce you to the Kamau’s ministry “Hope Anew”.

Summer is for Ministry

This summer – well, this whole year – isn’t very much like we imagined, but that doesn’t mean there’s no opportunities to serve.  Here’s a few of the things that have kept us busy the past few months.
 

  • We hosted a few work parties to finish up the Glad Tidings Bible Camp kitchen renovation, including the installation of new double doors!  We were very encouraged to have several families and individuals join us, and are pleased that the new kitchen and dishroom are very functional.
  • Later on, Chester served two weeks at Glad Tidings Bible Camp, cooking, handling maintenance emergencies and discipling staff during their limited camping season.
  • Micah also served six weeks at Glad Tidings Bible Camp, doing maintenance and groundskeeping.  He and another staff member listened to “Kingdom Man” by Tony Evans during the time, and found it really beneficial to their spiritual growth.
  • Eva, Moriah and Isaiah detasseled corn for about a month.  Isaiah broke his thumb toward the end of the season, but is mostly through the healing process.
  • Seven Wednesdays were spent with Chester and the kids hanging ceiling fans for a family from church.
  • Chester and the kids also did a couple of small landscaping projects for people who serve God here in Omaha.
  • We removed carpet from a local house so that the owner (a widow reaching out to an unreached people group in Omaha) could get new flooring.
  • We hosted “Gramma Camp” at our house – four days of up to 18 local cousins for a camp.  It was a blast (and now we’re tired).
  • Chester helped three people in ministry find suitable cars during the summer.  In one case several of you partnered with us to make the car a gift.  

The biggest highlights of the summer for us were the opportunities for local people (you) to join in the projects.  A really special thank you to those who joined in serving!

As we look to the fall, we’ll have more opportunities and “work parties” for you to join with us. Thanks for serving with us and praying for us!

Chester fixing a van door
Isaiah and Josiah cleaning up after carpet removal.
“Gramma Camp” fun with homemade boats.
The last day of detasseling for 2020!