Thursday, May 28, 2009

Busy Days!

It is hard to believe we have been home for over a month! So many things we need to catch up on, along with taking many opportunities to travel and share our ministry with others. We have needed this time to reflect and now plan for what is ahead.

This last trip was the most challenging and thought provoking of the trips we have taken so far. We were in Mongolia and India. If you followed our blog, you know some of what we experienced in these very unique cultures. It has taken some time to combine all our experiences from this past January through April (3 separate overseas trips) and gain a broad perspective of what it is God is calling us to do now. Since our “job” was created out of a need for teaching and equipping the church, we are especially called upon to lean on the Lord for wisdom and insight. Proverbs 3:5-7 guides our actions. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. “

What we do know now is that tremendous effort is being done on the part of brothers and sisters in many different spots around the world. Christs church is growing in places that have not seen much witness of the gospel recently, in some cases for centuries. Despite many obstacles, God’s truth is being revealed in the hearts of people and they are being transformed. Unfortunately, the men who have been called to shepherd these churches are largely untrained to carry out their role as pastors. Our primary task is to help them, and their wives, to understand how to study the Bible and to teach it effectively, so that they can then accurately evaluate cultural norms and beliefs and begin to transform thinking of their congregations to be more like Christ. Our ultimate goal is to raise up gifted national pastors, who in turn will be able to train others.

At this time we would appreciate your prayers for our present efforts. Alan is developing a course of basic theology to teach to men who have little education and /or minimal reading skills. This is a huge undertaking requiring some “storytelling” to help in the development of theological/biblical thinking. Edie is working on a series of “talks” related to the biblical role of women as a wife, mother and ministry partner. She would also like to include some practical application of women from the bible and history. We both need time, inspiration , and a sensitivity in our hearts toward those we will be training. These projects need to be done by early June for translation. We will be leaving for a trip to Africa & Europe at the end of July.

We also ask you pray for us as we will be on the road for many weekends sharing our ministry with churches and individuals. We still need to raise about 48% of our support and want to work diligently at that task. By God’s grace He has given us freedom and peace to trust in His provision as we try to be faithful in our part. Still it is a battle of the mind and heart and we would appreciate your prayers on our behalf.

On a more personal note, we are still adjusting to all the new circumstances of this new role. For example, we need to learn when to quit working each day. Since we both work at home now, it’s hard to know when work ends. It seems there are always deadlines and a constant need for mental creativity and learning. Then there is also the regular stuff of life around the home and responsibilities with caring for Edie’s elderly mom. It gets to be overwhelming at times. Thank you for lifting us up before God’s throne of grace.

Here is our schedule for the next several weeks.

May 16-17: Hope EFCA Dubuque, IA

May 17-18: Meeting with Area Leaders of South Asia

May 23-24: EFCA Algona, IA

May 31: EFCA Fort Dodge, IA (evening)

June 13-14: EFCA Erie, IL (preaching )

June 20-21: EFCA Muscatine, IA (preaching)

June 23-25: EFCA National Conference in Mpls, MN

June 23-25: Meet with Kenya Team, ReachGlobal event

June 28: EFCA Albert City, IA

Thank you so much for your faithfulness in prayer for us and for your service to Christ in all that you do. He is the Almighty God, at work in our hearts to conform us to the image of His Son.

To Him be all the Glory,

Al and Edie Lewis

1 comment:

weatherlover said...

It was so important to hear from you two last night! No, you will never change Al, which is just ONE of the things that draw us to you. Your sensitivity and tender heart toward the things of God. Edie, your sweet spirit and desire to be the woman God wants you to be and help other women to find their place in God's will for them is an extension of the mentoring you have done to many for so long. We love you and are thankful that we can be a small part of your ministry. You will always belong at 'home' with us.