Several are wondering where Imagine Network has been ... we've been silent and off-line for some time, but so much is going on! Let me give you some updates:
On the down side:
- We're STILL in process of applying for our 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. We submitted it June 18, and have diligently filed follow-up responses to questions asked of us. I've learned a lot about non-profits, and we're not even one yet! So leaving that in the Lord's hands...
- Our personal support level has plateaued at about 62%. The statement above has something to do with that, as we've been hesitant to ask more supporters to join us not knowing what our status will be. So personal finances have become an increasing distraction ... and yet God has shown His faithfulness over and over again in taking care of us.
- While I love seeing God's miraculous provision, it's not a good way to plan for the future (dependence on God, yes; not pursuing stable funding, no). So I'm constantly looking for extra part-time work, which of course can take away from the building of the ministry but is a growing point as well.
- We've had little public emphasis on our international partners, but projects, ministry, and trips are always being worked on. It's been a challenge getting these opportunities to participate in front of others.
- "Plan A" for funding Imagine beyond our personal support raising is supposed to come through churches participating in the Network. So far, only one church has "signed up" with a financial commitment. Not certain what this means, but still trying to position Imagine to help local churches link to our world mission partnerships.
On the up side:
+ We've grown in our faith and as a family! Priorities have come into better focus for us and we can resonate with more family in Christ around the world than we could before.
+ We've deepened our desire for, and understanding of, the Great Commission. It is so easy to get distracted from it, even by 'good things that are challengers of the best'.
+ We've gained more contact with the Global Church and have new perspectives into God's amazing work around the world, among the poor, the oppressed, and the unreached.
+ We've been busy with Kingdom things, even if not always 'gainfully employed' by them! Here are some highlights:
a) Sent Kenya partners through Biblical community development training by C.H.E. (levels 1 and 2).
b) Recruited a local church to participate in Oasis, a conference for Muslim evangelism.
c) Put together a global missions awareness event with 6 mission leaders, sharing to over 170 people in attendance, raising over $15,000 in support for their work.
d) Shared with some U.T. Pan American students about Islam and how to reach Muslims.
e) Preparing to go to the Middle East in November on a prayer team that will meet Christian workers from all over the region who are creatively extending the Kingdom in some of the most "closed" countries to the Gospel. I look forward to becoming an advocate for some of these back here in the west.
f) Preaching and speaking opportunities, as well as informal conversations with several pastors about directing their churches on a missional course. I need to learn to bill them like an attorney! : )
g) Organizing Crescent Project's first international training event (Sahara Challenge - Europe) to provide training to workers in Europe and North Africa striving to reach Muslim communities with the hope of Jesus.
h) And starting plans for a young man to return to Germany as a "baseball missionary" for most of 2011, and getting ready to host our German partnership pastor for some planning and recruiting here in Texas later next month.
So as you can see, a lot (and more) is going on! Whether Imagine becomes a self-sustaining non-profit is yet to be seen, but it has been a joy to focus on these things. If you are considering helping out financially (and right now would be a GREAT time to do that!), serving an international partner with your time and talent, or would like to know more about anything I mentioned, please contact us. Always available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (956) 369-4951.
For a list of Imagine's 2011 Global Impact trips, please see our facebook page, The Imagine Network.
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