This is the latest newsletter sent to those who have committed to being part of our prayer team. If you want to be kept similarly informed personally, email me and let me know your email address.
November 9, 2010
Dear Prayer Partners,
Sue and I arrived home Friday night after our first board meeting for Grace Valley in north Georgia, and a trip to the Caregivers Forum in Wisconsin. We had a wonderful trip, and God answered prayer concerning the benefits of this time.
At the Forum, I met Dick Germaine, who established a ministry in New England a number of years ago for connecting pastors in small groups. Just three weeks before the trip, my good friend, Duffy Johnson, had recommended I seek him out via email, since we shared a similar concern for the welfare of pastors. Well, God had other plans. Our first night at the Forum was designed for each of us to stand, introduce ourselves, and describe our ministry (or in our case, our ministry plans.) Seated immediately to my right was the gentleman Duffy had wanted me to meet. Neither he nor I knew he would be present at the Forum. It was a divine appointment. We spent nearly two hours together the next afternoon, as I learned all about his story, ministry, and strategy. We are now praying about partnering together in some way in our Georgia based ministry. It turns out an old Bible College acquaintance, Bill Filmore, is carrying out the same ministry in partnership with this tried and true saint, but Bill is located in Michigan.
Our first board meeting, back in Georgia, was thrilling. We had such a wonderful time sharing in the excitement of what God is doing. I was able to really begin establishing a long term relationship with our associate director, Cliff Hamilton, whom I am looking forward to mentoring as we go forward. Cliff is excited about working with the children and families of pastors. We sense we’ve yet to imagine all God has in store for Grace Valley. Each of the board members were very encouraged by the meeting.
The day before the board meeting, Sue and I spent the day driving around the Canton area with Cheryl, looking at houses. We anticipate the Lord will lead us to just the right property at just the right time. On that same morning, we looked at some adjoining property that would make an even more beautiful approach to Grace Valley. All we need is for the Lord to provide us with that land. It would also enable us to better position the buildings on the property, allowing for more space between them. It would greatly enhance the overall site plan, and give us greater flexibility in pursuing a greater vision long term.
The need that calls us is certainly great. In fact, if you go to our website and read my blog entitled “The Need is Great,” you’ll understand all the more why God is calling us to this work. The website is www.gracevalleyministries.org. I’m pleased to report that we now have brochures and business cards printed for the new ministry as well.
Here is how we would ask you to pray:
- We are asking God for His miraculous provision of that adjoining piece of property when He sees fit. This is an ongoing request and we are happy to wait on His timing for this.
- Pray for the Lord’s selection of a home for us in the Canton area. We’d like to be able to begin the ministry right away with enough space to house a couple with a private entrance, until the Lord provides us with a cottage on Grace Valley property.
- Pray for my decision about whether or not to utilize Dick Germaine’s small group strategy for pastors. I will be consulting with Bill Filmore before making a decision.
- Pray for the lives we are being prepared to touch that God would lead us to just the right people who will benefit the most from the ministry.
- Pray for Crystal Cove Community Church as they continue to search for my successor. Ask the Lord to lead them in a timely fashion. Our hope is to be able to make our move from Florida to Georgia no later than April of next year.
- Pray for Sue’s business transitions. She will be based in Georgia but with a branch in Florida.
- Pray for God’s financial provision for our ministry and for that of Cliff & Melissa Hamilton. We will keep you posted concerning when we make the transition from church income. Meanwhile, support is welcome for our start up expenses.
Thank you so much for standing with us during these exciting days of transition. We thank God for each of you.
Love in Christ,