February 2015 Update

“Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you,” says the Lord and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” (Is. 41:14)

Happy sisters
Happy sisters

As we move into 2015, we are aware of two facts: our own insufficiency to do the work God has called us to do (I am a worm, not a man) and the fact that that God will provide a way. The year 2014 has been a very rough one and has left us ragged and wounded. A difficult pregnancy has given us Zoe, our second girl, and along with her, much more responsibility. The days are long, the nights are short, and strength is in short supply. But it is all worth it! Then came a very emotionally draining time in the church which has lasted several months. The fallout has largely settled and the wounds are healing. This has all left us as a family worn out. Working full time, pastoring  a church, and having a family is all taking its toll on us.

In the midst of this darkness comes a clear word of the Lord: “Change!”

It is time to reevaluate what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how we are doing it. Yes, the year 2015 is a year of change. Please pray for that change. Pray that God’s best will come for us as a family and for the church. We see it as our task to guide that change in a responsible way to see what the Lord may do. I have requested a shorter work week from my employer so I can concentrate more on the ministry. That is our wish, but we will see what becomes of it.

Millstatt, Austria
Millstatt, Austria

I had a very blessed time at the Pastors Conference in Austria, thanks for praying! I survived driving through the Alps in winter (wasn’t so bad!) and God really reinforced several things there. One theme that reoccurred was God’s power being made manifest in human weakness, and that certainly applied to me. Spiritual warfare and being faithful in ministry were also secondary themes. The times of fellowship were great; I had some fruitful heart-to-heart discussions. We really are all experiencing the same kind of things. Nobody is alone or suffering uniquely.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”  (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Lastly, God seemed to reinforce they fact that He will make a way for us. We don’t know exactly how this will come, but we are moving forward in faith, trusting Him to reveal it in due time.

European leadership Q&A
European leadership Q&A

As an update to forming our legal organization (non-profit), the documents are now with the Ministry of Finance. Should they give us the approval, we would be able to issue receipts to the donors, who could then deduct that from the taxes. The paperwork would then go to the office that approves the legal associations for final approval. At least the matter is not longer in our hands, waiting for our own action. Please pray for a swift and smooth approval from both offices.

Thanks for all your prayers are support!

Marc, Linda, Sofia, & Zoe McSweeny