My colleagues just circled my cubicle, laid hands on me, and prayed for God’s protection and blessing, asking for fruitful ministry and great impact to happen as I leave for my first of what should be many trips to Africa. It just got real.   

After they left I realized that I’m leaving the country and haven’t been able to communicate that to a lot of my loved ones.  From there I realized there was even more that a lot of you may not know. So I went back to the blog site Jamie and I have been trying to publish since Christmas break –unpublished all the other pages (we can talk about the name and explain words later), and started a journal so that you all would know that this weekend I leave for two weeks.

Back in March the Lord made it clear to us that He was ready for me to transition out of my position at The Master’s College and continue furthering our ministry education and experience at Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF).  CHF is a non-profit organization with the sole mission to deliver hope to suffering children by equipping local churches for gospel-centered mercy ministry. In support of this mission, CHF provides food, clothing, medical and other assistance to families who are hurting and hungry around the world. Not second to this CHF also provides a biblically-based ministry training program to help equip local churches –providing resources to help them proclaim the gospel to the world. On April 30th I started as a Ministry Development Coordinator for Africa; tasked with caring for relationships in the existing resourced countries of Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe; and developing new ones, in new places.  Part of my accepting the job offer was a commitment to trade our family vacation in for back to back trips to Rwanda, Uganda , Zim and Zam in June and July.

Sunday I leave for an evaluation and training trip to Rwanda & Uganda with 3 others. To say our family is excited would be an understatement. To say we’re not tense would be a lie. There’s an about even mix of excitement and sober concern in our hearts concerning the journey ahead.  This won’t be the first time I’ve been away from the family for an extended period of time, but I did JUST get my passport in the mail! I’ve stood at the rim of the Atlantic ocean with the family back home beside the Pacific, however this is the first time I’ll cross it.. and without The Ross Crew. But God is faithful –rather than clinging to my leg and begging me to stay, my wife and children are pushing me out of the door in eager anticipation of what God is and will show us He’s doing in our lives for His glory. Go figure!

A couple nights ago I gave the family a detailed hourly schedule that spans the two weeks and gives them an idea of what I’ll be doing and when. We all agree that the most exciting part is the 8 hours I have to suffer in France on the way home. Beside that the opportunity to teach and train 35 pastors in Rwanda and 45 in Uganda bible study and interpretation methods equally thrills us all. Along with the training our team will be serving alongside our Mercy Network Pastors in home visitations, food distributions, and other ministry. The days are jam packed and long and will most definitely warrant breakfast –and lunch- in Paris before we return. :-)

So pray for us. Many have asked what they can do for the family while I’m gone and I can think of no greater thing than for you to pray. I simplified our requests so that all you have to do is say “Lord Jesus cross the t’s!”

·       Pray for the time away. On both ends Jamie the kids and I all know we need the Lord’s grace during this brief separation. Pray for God’s protection for all of us. Pray for God’s peace to envelope our hearts. And pray for hope –we need to continue to be hopeful about participating in God’s will as a family at such an immersive level.

·       Pray for the technology. Communication will be vital in keeping us all at rest while I’m away. Jamie and I just went back in time and downloaded Skype in case we can’t have a Hangout ;-) Even better still iMessage and a couple FaceTime calls wouldn’t hurt.

·       Pray for the travel. Lots of moving parts in air and in country and we need the Lord to pave the way. I’ll be in the air for a whole day on the way out and a day and half on the way back. While on the ground I’ll have no idea where I’m going. This brings me to the next t..

·       Pray for the team. If you’ve halfway put things together you realize I just met the people I’m depending on and they just met me. If things are to go as planned and be fruitful we’ll all need to be humble and patient with one another

·       Pray for the trip. More than anything we desire to have a fruitful trip. Success is not determined by what we want but what The Lord does. Pray the Lord’s will would be done and not ours.

Grace and peace family! Share this blog as you desire. If the Lord sees fit Jamie and I may be writing here during my travel.