Support Update!

Support Update!
Hello Friends!  Just wanted to send out a quick update to let you know what is going on with my support raising for service with Flying Mission in Zambia.  There is good news and there is challenging news!  Let’s go with the challenging news first.  Flying Mission reevaluated my budget for living expenses in Lusaka, Zambia, and recommended that I raise about 30% more monthly support than I had been originally planning on.  Housing and fuel costs have driven the cost of living up considerably in the past few years and my original budget was not including that.  That is definitely a new challenge as I am still hoping to begin my pre-field training in September!!!  The good news is that I reached my original budget goal, and even with the new higher budget I am at 75% of my needed monthly funds!!!  God is continuing to work!  I am getting very close to being able to resign from my position at Kent State but before I do that I would like to be above 80% and closer to 90%.  THANK YOU SO MUCH to those that are already partnering with me for monthly support, but for those of you who haven’t taken that step yet now is the time!!!  Even if you can only do $25 or $50 a month, every little bit helps!  If you click on the “Pledge” link you will be forwarded to my new website where you can print and send in the donation from. Also feel free to email or call me with any questions.
For those of you who have been praying.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!  I continue to need prayers for the support raising, that I will honor God in how I ask for support and that the needed funds will come in.  Also that God will continue to prepare my heart for such a big life change, and that I will have the strength to keep following him wherever He leads!  The support that I have felt over the past months from everyone on my team has been amazing.  Thank you!

Tentative Timeline
Many of you have asked how soon until I leave, and if things continue to progress as they have and I can reach close to 90% of my fundraising needs by August it looks like this will be how my next 6 months will look.
August 27th-December 19th 2012–Prefield flight training with JAARS in Waxhaw, NC.
December 20th 2012-January 2013— Back in Ohio saying my goodbyes and tying up loose ends.
January 21st 2013-February 8th 2013— Cross Cultural Ministry Training with MTI in Colorado.
February 9th or after— Leave for Zambia!!!!

The Cripple at Your Table

I was listening to “Carbon Ribs” 

 by John Mark McMillan the other day and thinking about the chorus that says:

“Cause I’m a dead man now with a ghost who lives

Within the confines of these carbon ribs

And one day when I’m free I will sit

The cripple at your table

The cripple by your side.”

Then I came across an interesting story from the Old Testament.  Perhaps this is where John Mark got his inspiration for the song or perhaps not, but either way it tied things together nicely for me.

In 2 Samuel 9, David who had become King of Israel wanted to show kindness to Saul’s (the former king) family for the sake of Jonathan, Saul’s son, who had been David’s best friend.  Come to find out there is only one relative of the family still living.  Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth, and if spelling his name wasn’t difficult enough, we also find out that he was crippled in both of his feet and living at someone else’s house because he couldn’t take care of himself.  David instructed that Mephibosheth be brought to the palace, and I can guess that Mephibosheth was quite fearful when he heard that King David wanted to see him.  Generally speaking in those days when a new king came into power he killed any relatives of the old king to make sure no one would try to usurp his power.  David, as we know, had much different intentions.  “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan.  I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”  (2 Samuel 9:7 NIV, emphasis mine)  I can only imagine what Mephibosheth was thinking… “Wait, what?  The family land was very generous of David to give back, but did he just say I will always eat at his table?  The Kings table?  Where all of the his sons eat?  Is he aware that I am the grandson of the man who tried to kill him over and over and that I am crippled?”  Mephibosheth had nothing that he could offer, no merit with which to earn this privilege, but David bestowed it on him anyway.   WOW, what a change, he goes from living in someone else’s house because he can’t support himself, to having his own land and eating at the kings table.  So the story ends “And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the King’s table, and he was crippled in both feet.”  (2 Samuel 9:13 NIV)  The story begins and ends with the fact that he was crippled in both his feet.  Mephibosheth didn’t do anything to merit the kindness David showed to him, and he was never healed of his crippled condition… but regardless he ate at the King’s table always.

I was struck by this.  This is our condition, we are crippled by sin in more than just our feet.  We are crippled by sin all throughout our bodies, and even worse in our hearts.  We cannot change our condition any more than Mephibosheth could change his.  And we can’t earn the God’s favor any more than he could earn the right to sit at David’s table, he was wholly dependent on David to sustain him, and we are wholly dependent on God to sustain us for this life and the life to come.  It really puts things into perspective and makes me thankful that in my crippled condition God has brought me to Him and I have the honor of being the cripple at His table.