From the entire staff at International Outreach Ministries: Mike, Ron, Sandy, Kim & Dawn, sincere, appreciative greetings! We pray this letter finds you and your family doing well and enjoying your summer. Mine has been busy and wonderfully challenging.
The latter part of April and early May, I was in Kenya teaching at the KMTI satellite school in Nakuru with IOM Associate Danny Williams. Along with KMTI Founder, Leroy Curtis, and current Director, George Wafula, we also spoke at the annual alumni conference on the main campus in Kitale. As always, it was good to be in Kenya.
I spent a few weeks in June at a beach “campground” just outside the town of Mariupol, Ukraine, located off the coast of the Sea of Azoy. I was there with IOM Associate Missionary Clint Eaves and his “Crumbs from the Table” ministry team. Working with Latvian and Ukrainian nationals, Clint and his wife Shannon endeavor to change the lives of orphans in these former Soviet bloc countries, through regular visits to selected orphanages, by sponsoring summer camps, and by getting involved in the lives of selected young men and women as they “age out” of the orphanage system. Without intervention, only a small percentage of former orphans have what they need to become productive citizens.
Like so many IOM missionaries, the Eaves’ are doing all they can to make a difference where they can. Their personal adoption of 10 children from Russia and Poland over the last 12 years is one of the things that make them uniquely qualified and gifted to do what they do. While I’ve known Clint for over 30 years, it was a special joy and privilege to spend a few days seeing, experiencing and playing a small part in the kingdom difference he and his family are making.
Speaking of making a difference, there is an insightful little story found in 2 Kings 4:42-44. The prophet Elisha is eating with some of his followers when a man arrives bringing an offering of the first fruits of his corn harvest and some loaves of bread. Elisha instructs his servant to share the bread with the men. Shocked at the instruction, the servant exclaims, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” But Elisha is adamant and repeats the instruction:
“Give [the loaves] to the men, that they may eat. For thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’ So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.”
Like the disciples in the New Testament story of the little boy with two fish and five loaves [See Matthew 14], Elisha’s servant thought his ability to help make a difference was dependent upon what he could produce on his own. Sadly, we too often fall into the same life-limiting trap. In fact, one of the Enemy’s primary lies is, “you don’t have enough to help others.” In contrast, our Father’s constant, demonstrative promise is that there is more than enough! Everyday IOM associates are releasing all they have and asking God to make it more than enough. Your prayers and financial support for IOM missionaries help provide spiritual loaves that God multiplies to help feed spiritually starving people all over the world. We can rejoice and celebrate—and by the grace of God, lives are being changed. His kingdom is coming; His will is being done!
Also, by His grace, the remainder of the year includes for me trips to Mexico, Cambodia, Poland, Germany, Spain and Italy. Next year’s calendar already includes visits to China, Kenya, and possibly Ukraine and Indonesia. The primary purpose of all this travel is to encourage and support IOM missionaries who are “grinding it out” on the field. As you are able, I ask for your prayers on two specific fronts: first, that there would be the financial resources necessary to travel, and second, that we would have the spiritual resources needed to bring spiritual encouragement to those we serve. As always, like you, we are trusting in God’s faithfulness and love for his people, which is always greater than our own.
On behalf of the IOM Associates you pray for and support financially, thank you.
His servant and yours,
P.S. If you have questions about IOM that I can help answer, feel free to call me at 601-395-5290. (If I don’t answer leave me a message and I’ll return the call as soon as I can.)