Retracing the steps of the Apostle Paul, sort of

Today is my 55th birthday. Jeannie says I am now her “human coupon”. She wants to take me with her shopping because I am now eligible for senior discounts. On this day, I am sitting down to write to you out of gratitude for the life God has give me and the partners who have journeyed with me in it.

About five years ago, God laid it on my heart to spearhead a European Initiative and mobilize for CHE work in Central and Eastern Europe. Today, there are new programs in Hungary, Serbia, Romania, and Croatia, a French Network headquartered in France, and six different organizations collaborating together to expand the work into Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Jeannie and I have been studying the book of Acts with our men’s and women’s Bible study and Galatians with our home group. In the process we have done some tracing of the Apostle Paul’s missionary journeys. I took a look at my calendar for next year and suddenly realized that God is sending me next year to catalyze work in the same part of the world where the Apostle Paul journeyed (more about that in a minute).

God continues to open doors for our ministry. We are humbled and grateful to be called to places where God is already at work – and so thankful for you who send us. Since my last email letter, we conducted our second wholistic missions conference with more than 600 in attendance, equipped more than 100 people for CHE ministry, visited key CHE partners in Southern Africa including a team in Zambia reaching 69 communities. (The Zambia team has active community health evangelists reaching tens of thousands of homes everyday). In South Africa we trained key leaders from around the globe with Healthcare Christian Fellowship International to help them toward their stated vision of 100,000 CHE programs in the 100+ countries where they have ministry. I traveled to France to draft a partnership with an experienced CHE team that has set up a French CHE Network. I traveled to Switzerland for collaboration with evangelical leaders from around the World at the Transform World Leadership Summit. In addition to the above, we are growing a network service team, now with seven partners, and are preparing for the launch of a new website that will map CHE world and serve as a connecting point for CHE workers everywhere.

In the coming year, I have three major trips scheduled: Ephesus in Turkey, Durres in Albania, and Barcelona in Spain. Paul ministered in Ephesus on his second and third journeys, and in Albania (the region along the east coast of the Aegean Sea, then known as Dalmatia) on his third journey. Paul expressed his desire to go on to Spain after visiting in Rome, but we are uncertain he ever made it there (Romans 15:23-28).

In Ephesus in March, evangelical leaders from around the world will come together to launch a million village challenge aimed at mobilizing and equipping the church for wholistic ministry in a million villages with a special focus on the unreached. I will co-chair this meeting, and Community Health Evangelism will be the primary strategy.

In Albania in April, mission leaders from Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans will come together under the banner of the CHE Network with the goal of identifying their portion of Million Village Challenge and launching CHE programs in 14 countries in the region.

In Barcelona, I will gather with other network leaders to study strategies for developing high impact mission networks.

Please accept my sincere thanks for your faithful partnership. I trust all is well with you and yours.

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September 2014 Prayer Letter