October 2007

A Word from a Shilohite: Judy Edge

The church at Shiloh has enjoyed having the Smith and McKinzie families here. Some of the 
newer members, like myself, who have not been at Shiloh very long are getting to know these families of Team Arequipa. We are truly enjoying them. I, along with some others, have recently been asked to be a part of a "missions committee"/support group at Shiloh Road for this team. It has brought back so many memories for my husband, Mark, and me. We were part of a five family team sent to Cordoba, Argentina back in 1989. (I graduated from ACU, got married and went to South America within a 10 month time period!) Bill and Holly Richardson were the more "seasoned" missionaries on our team and we all looked to them in so many ways for leadership. Team Arequipa is so blessed to be guided and mentored by Bill Richardson from Harding University. The Lord has used Bill in so many ways to touch so many people's lives. Bill is 
a Godly man who boldly goes and teaches in the name of the Lord. If I had to use a Bible character to describe him it would be Joshua or Caleb. He has always had an "it can be done" attitude that reminds me of the men sent to spy out the land of Canaan. While ten spies 
said "no way,” Joshua and Caleb said that the promised land could be taken because they knew that God was behind the plan. 

Bill knows the God behind Team Arequipa and will help guide this team and lead them when Satan throws doubts and discouraging times at them. This team will be a blessing to Arequipa, Peru and many people will be brought to Jesus Christ because of their attitudes that say "yes, we can take this city for the Lord." May God bless Team Arequipa richly and know that we are on our knees praying for the Lord to "send out workers into his harvest" (Matthew 9:37-38) just like this team. 


Evangelism Part I

One of the greatest difficulties we face as a team is inexperience. As with most vocations, inexperience makes it hard to get a job in the first place—or in our case, raise funds to get to the field in the first place—which in turn leaves us asking how we will get experience. This is only the initial hurdle, since inexperience really matters most for the very reason employers are hesitant to hire novices: we've got a lot to learn once we finally do get in the field. It's the initial hurdle that we've been dealing with, though, and it has caused us to ask pointed questions of ourselves. 

Shiloh Happenings

You may have heard it said that time flies when you are having fun. I can attest to the truth of that statement. Our time in Tyler has been flying by and the month of October was no exception. We have been wrapped up in ministry and team development, fundraising and prayer. We have received encouragement from so many people and truly feel blessed to be where we are right now. I want to share some of the progress we have made and some news we have received that I think will lift your spirits as it has ours. 

They say the best is always saved for last, but I just can’t wait. We have met with the Shiloh elders and have received their blessing on our mission work! God is truly faithful and is so good I can hardly put it into words, but I’ll try. Shiloh has agreed to join with Cedar Lane, Megan’s home church, in the sponsoring and encouraging of our work in Arequipa. While there are many details to be worked out between ourselves and the churches, we are excited about this partnership. This is truly an answered prayer, and such a blessing to know that those who have raised us and brought us to this point will continue being part of our journey. 

Now that we have two churches joining together in support for us, many people want to know where we stand financially. Cedar Lane and Shiloh are both in the middle of the budget process for 2008 and are prayerfully deciding what level of financial support they can provide. They are both looking at up to half of our total salary needed of $90,000, and are committing to help us raise our relocation and work fund from area churches. We have also sent out letters to Tyler area churches in the hopes that they will join with Shiloh and Cedar Lane, either with a yearly pledge or a one time donation. Please be in prayer for these churches as they make these decisions. 

So, what else have we been doing at Shiloh these two months? Along with various teaching responsibilities, we have been involved with projects such as Habitat for Humanity and Karing Kitchen. Greg had the opportunity to preach on October 7th. He spoke about the Good News and how it still is good even when it is not only to you but through you. He did a great job and the church was blessed by his words. 

A major project we are beginning is the formation of a Mission Support Team. This team will support the work in Peru in a number of ways. Not only will they be advocates for the team at Shiloh while we are in the field but they will take the lead in motivating the congregation to be more missions- minded. We foresee their participation, leadership, and ministry being invaluable to ourselves and a powerful tool for the congregation.