Dear Prayer Partners,
IMPORTANT NOTE: Our web address has slightly changed. Here is our new one to save on your browser: gonzogazette.net
Beyond that, here are a few things to catch you up on our latest and to share how you might pray for each of the following…
OUTREACH: Our May 18th outreach “Nothing But the Truth” turned out differently than planned. Rather than an opportunity to share the gospel with non-believers, it became an apologetics training night to equip a group of believers who attended, some traveling from different areas and neighboring cities. Although there was a degree of disappointment that we were unable to reach out to non-believers we do recognize the value of equipping the saints through this type of gathering. We had a lot of positive feedback from those who attended, especially the owner of the coffee house where we hosted the evening. PRAYER: Please pray for wisdom on how to proceed with this series of outreaches in the fall and for God to show us the best way to connect with the lost in our community.
CC KANDERTAL: Although we always strive to be transparent in our reports we feel the need to be exceptionally clear in this one in order to solicit your prayers! CCK had an unusually strong start for a European church plant as we grew to almost 60 or so people in our first year. But, our numbers have been in the decline for the last year. We’ve mentioned this in previous updates but the reality of it is hitting us more and more as time goes on. Throughout this season we have encountered spiritual warfare that has affected our numbers. In some cases those who left simply moved to other countries. Others have left for reasons like… We’re too small, they do not want to feel an unspoken pressure to serve in light of obvious needs, English speakers who are more interested in being in a completely German church (even though our heart is to become more German over time), and other reasons have been for some theological differences. For the most part, we haven’t really understood people’s reasoning for leaving and primarily see it as the enemy’s attempts to discourage a new work from getting off the ground. We have a very specific church vision and approach to Bible teaching that the locals have told us is rare but needed in our region. We believe that this community needs what God sent us to give but realize that there will be resistance and even flat out rejection. On top of all of this, we are losing our worship leader in a month and there are no new prospects to replace him. Our main translator and her husband’s work schedule along with some family needs that they’ve had to help with have made it difficult for them to be at church with us as often as they’d like. This has unfortunately left unavoidable gaps in our translation ministry (she is currently looking for a new job so please pray for that and the family situations they are helping with). Collectively this has all been weighing heavily upon the hearts of our core members and ours of course. Nevertheless, we are seeking God’s grace and wisdom in order to discern what He is doing and how He wants us to respond personally and as a church. PRAYER: Please pray that God would supply all of the church’s ministry needs, bring new families and individuals who share our vision and have hearts to build up and use their gifts at CCK and that God would give us wisdom and breathe new life into this ministry. We are asking these things for His name’s sake not our own!
CHURCH COVERAGE: We are grateful that God has provided coverage here at CCK for the summer. This was one of the major things that we needed in order to have the freedom to go on furlough. Edmund and Martha Coronel (founding pastor of CC Herborn, Germany) will be here for all of June and July, covering on Sundays and ministering to the members of CCK and the community. PRAYER: Please pray for God to guide and use them over the summer months, for Him to provide for all of their needs, open doors to share the gospel, and grace to effectively minister to the body.
LIKEMINDED WORKERS: We are thankful for those who faithfully help and serve at CCK but we ultimately need a team of workers who are dedicated to working with us full-time to help establish the work here more sustainably. Our intern Jayme has been with us for a year and has done an amazing job. However, we knew she was just coming for a season and has more of a heart for Africa. She will be leaving us at the end of the summer to pursue her next mission field. PRAYER: Please pray for God to send likeminded workers with a heart for church planting in our community, discipleship, evangelism, worship and raising up locals into ministry. Specifically, we are asking for married couples seasoned in ministry, both Germans and others.
CONFERENCES: We are thankful for how God has recently provided for us to attend some Calvary Chapel led conferences this summer. The first one is next week at Calvary Siegen here in Germany. Unfortunately, we will only be attending the first few days of that one. The next is in California at CCCM for the International pastors’ conference in June, and finally, when we return from our furlough we will head to the annual Refresh Europe Missions Conference in Millstatt Austria in August that we normally attend. PRAYER: God would speak and truly refresh our hearts and minds through each of these conferences.
UNEXPECTED CAR REPAIR: We have an additional and urgent prayer request to add to those we sent out earlier this week. While taking our car in for regular servicing and to go through the bi-annual road test required in Germany, it was discovered that our front brakes were in very poor condition and that it wouldn’t pass the test unless they were repaired. That unforeseen repair added an additional $770 to our bill, bringing it close to $1300 (Auto repairs are extremely expensive in most parts of Europe, especially Germany as you can see). We don’t really have the extra funds laying around for this but unfortunately had no choice. We are trusting God to provide. This couldn’t have come at a worse time as we are preparing to leave for the U.S. in a week and hadn’t factored in an extra expense like this into our budget. PRAYER: We’ve made payment arrangements with the mechanic so it’s not all due immediately. Please pray for God to provide for this unexpected and unavoidable expense that popped up.
SUMMER FURLOUGH MAY 30-AUGUST 5: Our furlough will begin with a few workdays in Chicago with Frank’s part-time job. From there we will head to NY city to spend some time with a supporting church and visit some of our favorite spots in the city. Afterward, we will be in southern Florida where God has blessed us with a short vacation by providing a place to stay and a car through some local Calvary Chapel connections we have there. Next up will be California where we will spend the bulk of our remaining time, visiting with family, friends and a few supporters. Our furlough will end with a road trip to Tuscan AZ to visit family and then a visit to Colorado to connect with friends and Frank’s employer (the part-time job that we’ve written about) who is headquartered in Denver. We are exceptionally thankful to God and the saints who have provided vehicles and housing at each of our stops. God is good! PRAYER: Please pray for a refreshing and restful time in the U.S., that He would speak to us on the things we are seeking Him on, for provision for all of our daily needs while there, and for opportunities to share about our ministry if He so wills!
NEEDS: Each time we go back we normally buy basic needs like clothes, meds, and some electronics because they are much cheaper in the U.S. But this time around we have some major electronic needs. We both have iPhone 5S’ that are basically running on life support. We are hoping to upgrade to 8’s or newer. We know these are expensive but trust that God can do it. If anyone has a used 8 or newer and is willing to let it/them go for a reduced price please let us know. Suzie’s iPad (my old iPad) could use replacing too, though it isn’t as urgent of a need as our dying phones. Beyond the major electronic needs, we do need new shoes and clothing of all sorts as we haven’t done any real garment shopping in over two years. PRAYER: Please pray for God to provide for new phones, and clothing while we are stateside.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Over the years we have learned time and time again that at each stop and in each new season God has had a purpose. Not only has He worked through us in various ways but He has also pruned back the branches in our lives to produce even greater fruit in us. At CCK’s recent women’s breakfast the sister whom Suzie asked to share spoke about obedience to the Lord. At one point she shared this quote which we’ve really seen as a theme in our lives. “When God calls you to something, He is not always calling you to succeed, He is calling you to obey. The success of the calling is up to Him, the obedience is up to you.”-David Wilkersen. Regardless of the “success” that we see or don’t see, we simply want to obey the Lord by being faithful to do what He has put before us, and to bear the fruit in our lives that He is pruning us to bear.
SUPPORT INFORMATION: If you are a church or an individual and would like to learn about partnering with us financially with either a one-time gift or regular monthly support you can visit our “SUPPORT” page here.
Blessings and thank you again for reading and praying! We appreciate you standing in the gap with us!
F & S