Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ministry Update

B.U.D. GOES SOUTH!

Something exciting has been going on in our ministry and I want to share it with you. On a recent solo trip to Mexico, I was invited to a marriage enrichment class at a local church. The pastor and different couples began to discuss ways to love and honor their spouses. I started to think, "What would be the best way I could demonstrate my love for my wife?" Suddenly, without hesitation, the answer erupted in my spirit - bring her to Mexico. The thought was radical - perhaps too radical. I love Mexico but would God actually want us to go?

You must understand that my wife, Martha is one of the godliest women in the world. We've been married for over thirty years and she has been a virtual rock of stability and a consummate servant. She possesses great wisdom and insight but is always willing to be in the background - often to the point of being overlooked. For the past three years, Martha has faithfully served in the accounting department of a drug rehabilitation center but has had a burden to do more - much more for the Kingdom. She has been an administrator, teacher, musician and mentor. She has a tremendous heart for abandoned children.

I also began to consider my daughter, Molly, who is working part-time for B.U.D. A few years ago, she experienced an incredible transformation in her life. As a result, she possesses prophetic giftings and a heart for the hurting. She loves to minister to others and suffers when she is not able. Both Molly and her husband, Adam, want to minister full-time but lack the necessary resources to do this in the U.S. They have three beautiful children who are being used in powerful ways for the Lord.

Both Molly and Adam have been greatly impacted by Mexico. They attended the Cave of Adullam training program that was birthed there. Molly's first opportunity to minister publicly was in Mexico. Adam was greatly used when he prayed for the sick in Mexico three years ago. They were even married in a Hispanic church in Minneapolis to demonstrate their love for the land and its culture.

As I sat there in the marriage class, I knew there was no question Martha, Molly, and Adam would jump at the opportunity to go to Mexico for an extended period. As I continued to mediate on this idea for several days, events began to confirm that God was preparing us for something new.

But my mind and heart also went to South Minneapolis. What about our work in the urban core - the vision we have carried for transforming revival? What about the urban pastors we have partnered with for years? I can't abandon this dream or these beautiful people. This could only work if it also benefitted the people of Minneapolis.

HOME BASE UPDATE

When I got home, I began to share privately with my family, friends, and our Board of Directors. I also discussed this with our urban ministry partners. It was so encouraging to discover that everyone felt this was a true God-given assignment. I am also confident this experience will have a positive effect in South Minneapolis. Mexico is currently experiencing major spiritual breakthroughs. I believe it is important to tap into this for the sake of our country - especially our cities. But this cannot be taught, it must be caught. We must allow sufficient time to absorb the passion, power, and faith that are being poured out. We then want to serve as a catalyst and bridge of God's transforming power.

Recently I went to Texas where I discussed these issues with my friends, Robert and Ani Duran. I began to work with Robert in the early 1970's in California. Since then, we have worked together in three seperate ministries including Bethany Urban Development. The Durans have been missionaries in Mexico for many years and run a very effective ministry called the Cave of Adullam in the city of San Luis Potosi. They have a tremendous vision for training, church planting, and have been very active in reaching the indigenous peoples of Mexico. They are seeing the Kingdom of God penetrate and replace the kingdom of this world.

The Cave of Adullam staff and their Mexican associate pastors are welcoming us enthusiastically. More than anything, we want to be a blessing to them. They have asked us to assist them in several areas. Many details need to be worked out but this is the current plan.

EXPANDING THE MINISTRY

At the end of this coming summer, Martha and myself along with Molly, Adam, and their three children will be leaving for San Luis Potosi for nine months. We will be taking some of our household possessions and storing the rest. While in Mexico, we will be a part of the Cave of Adullam staff and faculty. Molly and Adam will be involved in the day-to-day operations of the training program with the thought that someday they could provide operational oversight for a similar program in the Twin Cities.

Martha will be investigating opportunities to minister with abandon children along with home schooling children of some of the staff. One of the ministry pastors, who was once an orphan himself, has already begun to make this vision a reality. I will continue to teach in the school along with exploring the possibilities of opening a coffee shop ministry in the city - Urban Jungle Mexican style!

We will be helping students, pastors, and staff create prayer sanctuaries in their homes. This has been our major source of revelation and strength the last three years. We also will be working to translate Molly's CD, Set Me Ablaze and my book, Consuming Love into Spanish.

During this time, B.U.D. will continue to function in South Minneapolis, with different volunteers covering the major areas of responsibility. My son, Dan, will become a key U.S. representative for B.U.D. during this time. I will be continuing to communicate with our U.S. partners and will be accessible by email and phone.

We covet your prayers during this transition phase. We need wisdom, strength, and resources. The cost of living in Mexico is less than the U.S. but we will need additional support because of the loss of income of Martha, Adam, and Molly's jobs. Molly and Adam's family need an additional $800 in monthly support to make this work. Please pray about what part you could play in this key transition.

WE WOULD SO APPRECIATE YOUR INVOLVEMENT!

PRAYERPERATION V

On Friday, January 16th, we conducted our Prayerperation V prayer vigil at Oliver Christian Ministry Center in the heart of South Minneapolis. The evening was filled with prayer and worship. We were scheduled to go until 1:00 am but couldn't stop for some time. More churches and ministries were involved than ever before. There were times of deep repentance, communion, spiritual warfare and spontaneous praise. It was the Body of Christ praying and working together for a key urban neighborhood.

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned" (Isa 9:2).