“The Heart of Man Devises His Way…”

“…but Yahweh determines his step” (Prov 16:9). We all make plans. We need to for many things in our lives and especially the most important things. Yet, an inordinate degree of planning can be born out of pride and desire for control over our lives.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:13-17

So, Ashley and I have planned our way. We have computed, received counsel, and prayed, and we desire to take the next step after CAPA and Malawi in a direction to be useful for God’s kingdom and the delight of seeing God expand His glory through Christ over the whole globe. Yet, we await our Lord’s sovereign pleasure in the (re)direction of our plans. We want to share our plans with you so that you can be praying for us as we begin to make our transition from Malawi back to the United States. Let me give you an overview in timeline form.

  • May 17: Board a plane to leave Malawi.
  • May 18: Arrive in the morning at LAX (desperately in need of coffee no doubt).
  • May 18-21 or 22: California fun! Visiting family, friends and Grace Church (we’ll be at Doulos!), hopefully going to the beach and Ikea!
  • May 21 or 22: Packing up our earthly belongings stored in LA in a moving truck.
  • May 23: Leaving LA and driving to Sacramento. We will be having a group dinner with our Sacramento family and friends, if you’re in the area we’d really love to see you!
  • May 24: Travel from Sacramento to Boise. Getting a night to visit with Ashley’s Grandma, sister, and brother-in-law.
  • May 25: Leave Boise and arrive in Spokane.
  • May 25-31st: Spokane week
  • June 1-July 31st (ish): Back to Boise! Chris is doing an internship at a church in the Boise area (Heritage Bible Church) so we will be there for the summer!
  • August 1st (ish): Back to Spokane! Classes at TMS begin at the beginning of August so we will be back in Spokane for me to start classes again.

Many of you already know, but for those who don’t, we are planning on moving back to my hometown of Spokane and my home church of Faith Bible Church which hosts a Master’s Seminary extension campus. There are several reasons that Ashley and I believe that moving back to Spokane is a good fit, but let me give you the top three.

  1. Continued training and mentorship by pastors and elders at FBC. The Lord has really reminded us that the primary qualifications for an elder-pastor are character (1 Tim 3, Titus 1), and we need mature men and women in our lives investing in us as we seek to grow in those character qualities (2 Tim 2:2). God has providentially provided an opportunity in our home church to not only continue mentoring relationships we have from the past but also to be able to continue with top-notch academic training from TMS.
  2. Opportunity to serve our home church. It is our desire to be in a place where we can be useful for Christ’s kingdom. This last year that was in Malawi at CAPA (the Lord really redirected our steps for this one!). This next year, after talking with good friends and leaders at FBC, we believe that we can be useful to our home church even as I continue to train and aim for vocational ministry in the future.
  3. Opportunity to eventually be elder-affirmed from FBC. Since FBC is our home church, we would desire to be affirmed in character and direction for any future full-time ministry the Lord would have us do. Moving back to Spokane affords the opportunity to be under the elder’s scrutiny and shepherding that we desire as we await the direction the Lord was have for us for future ministry.

As we make this transition, there are several things that you can be praying for

Practical

  • Safe travel
  • Finding employment back in Spokane
  • Health insurance for Ashley for Rheumatoid arthritis and other health issues
  • Finding a good living situation back in Spokane
  • Wisdom for how to keep partnering with CAPA in the future

Spiritual

  • Continued focus on CAPA and ending well here
  • Being useful and blessings to the CAPA team here
  • Hearts that are not anxious for the future but trusting the Lord’s provision and rejoicing in how He provides
  • Grace to keep encouraging the CAPA team even after being back in the States
  • Serving no matter where we’re at desiring to see Christ’s glory and not our own

 As we near the close of our time serving with CAPA, we can say with a whole heart that CAPA is one of the most exciting ministries that we have witnessed. It is exciting to see how the Lord is using the school to train pastors academically and at the heart level, and we know that that training will trickle down throughout the whole country and quite possibly even farther. It is our constant prayer that God would use CAPA to strengthen the witness of the true gospel of Jesus in this country. On CAPA’s behalf we would like to strongly and prayerfully ask you to consider partnering with CAPA prayerfully and financially. Here are some ways you can be doing both right now.

Prayer

  • For students. Visit capa.prayformalawi.com to see the student profiles. Also like Central African Preaching Academy’s page on Facebook and see some of the student profiles there. This should give you good prompts for prayer.
  • For recruitment for MDiv students for this coming academic year.
  • For personnel: Beginning Hebrew instructor and administrative assistant.

Financial Needs

  • After we vacate our apartment, CAPA would like to hold it for the next folks who will be coming in August and serving like we did. Giving financially toward this need would be a huge blessing for CAPA. (About a $2000 need).
  • A new campus is being built closer to town that will house International Bible Fellowship and CAPA. Giving toward the building of this facility will provide a great facility for CAPA and IBF, providing a launching pad for much ministry in Lilongwe and Malawi as a whole.

If you are interested in giving to CAPA follow this link, and scroll to the bottom to donate.

Thank you all for your support and prayer! We hope to see many of you soon!

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