Holding the Fort

Hello Friends and Family!

First of all, I want to thank you all for reading this. It is such an honor to know that we have people supporting us in prayer who want to know how to pray for us and what the Lord is doing in and through our lives!

As some of you know, about half of our SGWM staff has been on an almost 3-week (including travel time) trip to South Asia. With Pastor Mike’s wife gone there as well, leaving him to fill the role of mom and dad, that has left most of the day-to-day responsibilities for SGWM to land on myself and our awesome intern missionary (who is raising support to become a missionary in Croatia) Rebecca Alaniz. She has been such an amazing asset to our team and has helped make these three weeks a breeze! By God’s grace, we survived the team’s absence, but we’re looking forward to their return! I’ve already seen some of the amazing work they’ve been able to do over there, and I can’t wait to hear all about how the Lord used them! While I’m a bit jealous not to have gone, I’m honored that I get to stay behind and support them by holding the fort here at the SGWM office to free them up to be used by God there. Here’s a pic of our team there:

Part of the team in South Asia!

In the meantime, we are just about ready to go live with a project that has been in the pipeline for quite awhile, our SGWM prayer book! This will be an amazing resource that will showcase all of our missionaries and their basic prayer requests for their ministries. What a wonderful way to keep our missionaries and their needs in front of “senders” here at home! I’ll be getting the book live in PDF format this week so that people can download it for Kindle, iBooks, or just as a PDF. Be on the lookout for this!

With our senior pastor, Trent Douglass, gone on the South Asia trip, I had the opportunity to preach at my church last week, which was a huge blessing. I taught on one of my favorite passages, Paul’s prayer at the end of Ephesians 3. I loved studying and being reminded myself of my need for strength in the inner man, to be rooted and grounded in Christ’s love, and to be filled with the fullness of God! If you’d like, you can listen to it here 🙂

Things have been fun with the family as well. Maggie (4) and Harrison (2) are doing their first swimming lessons this week, and are already doing an amazing job! I’m proud watching them be brave out in the water. We also got to go on our first family camping trip with some friends in June! It was just a one-night test run, but it was super fun (even with all the hard work!) and we’ll be going again with our Life Group in July.

Maggie in the floral swimsuit, and Harrison on the far right leaning over the water

Jude kickin’ back while brother and sister swim

Camping!

Fun with friends

Plumb-tuckered out from camping!

Also, Amy had the opportunity to lead a workshop on the subject of Biblical community at our church’s women’s retreat in May. I got to listen in on it, and she did an amazing job! With all of her responsibilities as a mom, there are certain gifts she doesn’t get to utilize as much as we’d like her to. But I was able to take care of all three kids while she was gone, and it was great to hear her use her gift of exhortation and put her exegetical skills to use! I’m super blessed to have a wife who loves the Lord and can lead other women to look to Him.

Amy teaching a workshop at the CCSG Women’s Retreat

Please be in prayer for my upcoming trip to Uganda in October. We’re still ironing out some of the details, but I’m really looking forward to going there to sit with and encourage our missionaries, and to bring home a vision for all that the Lord is doing there. I’m praying about some other possible trips over the next couple of years, so please pray for direction for us on that.

Love you all! Thank you for praying for us, and please feel free to respond to this email letting us know what is going on in your lives and how we can pray for you!

All the Best for His Glory!
Joel, Amy, Maggie, Harrison, and Jude