Swinging for Egbe

“We are a Christ-centered community where disciples are made (Matthew 28:19) by loving God and caring for others (Matthew 22:37) in the greater Kernersville area and throughout the world.” – Main Street UMC mission statement

Main Street United Methodist Church is where I grew up and where I have been a member since age 2.  I have always known it to be a pretty exceptional place, but the last few months have made me realize exceptional would in fact be a pretty exceptional understatement! Since our decision to move to Nigeria in January, our church family, has led the way in getting the whole community rallied behind us in support. Individual members, Sunday school classes, women’s circle groups, the youth group, etc. have easily been the providers of over 50% of our funding, and they haven’t slowed down yet!

Most recently, the church decided to dedicate two of its annual, large fundraisers to our ministry. A yard sale in April and golf tournament in May. Many people worked tirelessly to warrant great success, and in both events Gods power reigned as record breaking totals were made. Allowing us to take a giant leap forward in working towards 100% funding! Nick and I love watching as more and more people use their unique gifts to step alongside us in our ministry. We love giving our church family and friends another opportunity from which to find joy in serving Christ. I think anyone involved so far can tell you just how FUN it has been! When you step up and give back to Gods kingdom the joy gained in return is simply unmeasurable!

Clearly, Main Street UMC, is living out the above statement of mission not only through us, but through so many different avenues!!! Here below are some pictures from both events. I hope you can see the JOY in serving CHRST seeping through each one!

yard sale
UMW Circle #5 – sponsored this great yard sale for Egbe
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Jill our cashier!
yard sale 2
ladies working hard
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Egbe Golf Tees
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Hole Sponsors- the whole community getting involved!
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checking in the golfers
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Nick, Morris and Ever Green Farms
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goodies for golfers!
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good friends having fun
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happy team- Mark second from the left was the leader of putting this whole tournament on. He worked very hard for Egbe!
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young supporters having fun
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putting contest judges
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Hot Dog Cooks!
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our ladies team
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teeing off
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Mary Beth and Dalton

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Luke (our t-shirt designer) and Danny Flynt

Safety in Gods Will

nigeria girlsThe happenings and breaking news out of Nigeria over the past couple of weeks is nothing short of tragic. Our hearts are breaking for our Nigerian sisters, innocently taken by such an evil and malicious attack. As this story, as well as, other news of militant activity across northern Nigeria has made world headlines many family members and friends have rightfully been concerned. Their fret has had them asking questions. “Are you sure you should move to Nigeria? Does this concern you? Are you still going to go? Do you feel safe?”

Well, to sum it up and answer these questions: No, we are never sure about most things, and we can never be totally 100% sure we are making the right decision. However, ONE thing we can be absolutely, positively, undoubtedly sure about is our relationship and trust in God. Yes, the news is very concerning to us and we pray everyday for Gods sovereignty to take hold and put an end to this menacing group! However, yes we feel safe! Why? First of all, this activity is very far from the town which we will actually live- about 700 miles to be exact. However, more importantly, no matter if we are living in a quaint American neighborhood with 24 hour neighborhood watch or in the bush of Nigeria. The center of Gods will is where we find safety.

nigeria map
travel time has limited accuracy due to road conditions. could probably say +5 hours 🙂

This is our belief and our stronghold. Rooted deeply in the teachings of scripture. We know those who have relentlessly sought out God and His will have surely found their padded room, their CPI, their safety net, their safe haven! Noah, followed Gods will and was a survivor of the great flood. Jonah, finally sacrificing to God, was saved through the belly of a whale. Moses followed Gods will and led the israelites to safety out of Egypt. David, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, the list goes on! We much prefer the heart of Nigeria inside the will of God, then any “super safe” place outside of His will.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

 

A Prayer for 5

A few weeks ago Patrice Milesprayer sent an e-mail asking if being in Nigeria by mid July was a viable option!? Due to their personal missionary furlough and large summer short term teams mid July would prove to be better timing for our arrival then our previous goal- end of July or first of August. If we did not arrive in July. it would be best to push back and wait until mid to late August before entrance to the field.

Initial thoughts from Nick and I were, mid July sounds best! Yes, we can do that no big deal! Count us in! Then pulling out the calendar, reality set in- wow July that is SOON! Like merely a few months away! Will we be prepared? Will we be done with all our reading!? Done with all our training!? Will we be 100% funded!? Wait, only a few months left with friends and family!?

Consequently, I took the initial thought and merged it with those more realistic ones and threw them all away!!! This is not my choice to make! I must turn this one over to God. So, I stopped right then and asked in not these exact words but something along the lines of… “God, you know where Nick and I stand. We would go to Egbe now if we could. You know it is our desire to go in July. However, is it yours? Lord, I know the date is already written. You have already decided when we will arrive. Will you help reveal this to us? Are we being too manic, too rushed? Calm our hearts, clear or minds, and help us make the right decision. God if it is your will to have us in Egbe by July show me, tell me. How about this, right now we can’t leave. We can’t actually go until our need for monthly financial partners is met. If July is your desire spring up for us, this week, 5 new people who want to join us through monthly giving. Lord, I pray for 5, and for July!?”

Well, I emailed Patrice back and explained to her that July selfishly, sounded better to us then mid/late August. I told her we would do our part in making the necessary steps to allow that to happen. However, Patrice and I both agreed God would reveal to us what He wanted in His own perfect timing. So, we couldn’t know for sure quite yet. Well, this was on a Friday I went about my weekend and start of the week as normal. Then, Monday the magic started happening! Monday afternoon leaving school, we received an e-mail, a friend of the Miles family found our blog and wants to support us monthly. Really!? Amazing, sure let us tell you how…#1 of 5. Next night, Tuesday, a family member tells me, I want to support you monthly, here is my information will you help me enter it in on the website. Really!? Amazing, sure let us show you how…..#2 of 5. I was so energized; I just love when God shows off! I e-mailed Patrice told her about my intentional prayer for the week, and how it was developing. She was amazed too, and decided to join me in this prayer for 5. She said, “lets give them until Sunday night.” “Of course,” I said.

Maybe I was too amped up. Wednesday went by nothing, Thursday went by nothing, Friday went by nothing. Then Saturday a friend and supporter of again, the Miles family had logged on and set up his monthly faith commitment. Even though he had already given a large one time amount he decided to bless us once more! Really!? Amazing…# 3 of 5. Sunday, the last day I still needed 2. Well, my wild and crazy Aunt comes over and says to Nick, “Here is my card, put in my monthly donation. You know I like for you to just do it for me!” Really!? Amazing, sure lets help you get that done…#4 of 5.

Now, before I go any further. I don’t want to give you the wrong idea here. I by no means was trying to test God or give Him some type of ultimatum. My goal was simply trying to be more intentional in prayer, sharing with God my needs, and hoping for Him to shed some light for me during a difficult decision making process. Not testing Him, I knew His sovereignty could surely put me in my place if I was stepping out of line in prayer!!

Well, Sunday night came and went. I was only at 4 of 5. Admittedly I was grateful, but at the same time a little disappointed. What did falling short of this goal mean. Now, I am even more confused God!!! Does this signify don’t go wait until August, did it convey God wanted us to just man up and make the decision, or perhaps did he give us 4 symbolically. To say He will be our 5th, always leave room for Me to provide the rest? Well, He knew I was too type A for this. He knows His precious daughter, and that I don’t rest easy with “wishy washy” answers.

Monday morning Nick called me, “you didn’t read a full e-mail Katie.” He had been reading through e-mails that morning when he found this. At the bottom of an e-mail from friends, they had written, “Also, how do we sign up to become monthly financial partners?” An e-mail which was sent out on Saturday afternoon.  Far before our Sunday night deadline. Most likely in too big of a hurry I had missed it- it was Gods answer! Really!? Amazing, lets e-mail them back…..#5 of 5.

Be intentional in prayer…it works…He Listens….and if your prayers are in His will they will be answered! You just got to slow down and listen! Amen!

Visit our GIVE page to become part of a ministry God undoubtedly has His guiding hand in!