Friday, October 06, 2006

Prayer Requests and Answers - 10-06-06

Praise for previously answered prayers:
1. We have completed the support raising and medical clearance portion of our journey to Peru. (We’re still accepting pledges, since it is common for some pledge partners to miss some months or have to stop completely. As such, having pledges above your minimum helps to make sure that finances don’t become a bottleneck for the ministry.) Having passed the line of the minimum amount we need to go, we were granted approval to purchase tickets. We’ll be departing for language and culture studies in Costa Rica on January 3rd. Praise the Lord!
2. My mother-in-law has recovered well from Gall Bladder surgery and my father-in-law is recovering well from hernia surgery.
3. I’ve been writing the doctoral project and am really enjoying it.
4. Willy is loving preschool.

Prayer Requests:
1. Anointing—the Holy Spirit’s presence in visible, experiential form. Over the past year, I’ve been really blessed during our missions services to have so many kind believers join their faith to mine. This has resulted in some awesome experiences where people have been saved, baptized in the Spirit and dramatically touched by God. I don’t have any hallucinations about the power for such an anointing residing in me. It is pure grace. There have been services where I had been fasting and praying, memorizing the word, doing everything physically possible to be an anointed speaker, which resulted in a very blah service. Then, at other times, the Holy Spirit fell with great power in spite of me. The Spirit is like the wind—blowing where and when He chooses. But, as I hinted above, one characteristic that really seems to invite the Spirit’s tangible presence is when many believers believe together. So, I’m asking for my friends to believe with me and ask the Spirit to continue, and INCREASE, His presence in our services and work. I’ve got three specific events in mind: A) SALT—Dec. 29-Jan 1. SALT is the leadership conference that Chi Alpha (XA) puts on every year. It is a huge honor for a XA pastor to be invited to speak. This year, I’ll be the main speaker on Dec. 29 & 30. I want to be used by the Lord as an open and faithful vessel. I want the students to experience the presence and power of the Spirit in a mind-blowing way. I want each student to get the gift of faith so much that they move mountains, raise the dead and overcome the fear of Man in sharing the truth about Jesus as Messiah. B) Our continuing services. Even though we’ve crossed the finish line, we still have many services yet to fill before we leave in January. Lena and I don’t want to be lame duck missionaries. C) On the mission field—that means here (as we witness to unbelievers, worship the Lord and preach the gospel), in Costa Rica and in Peru. I’ve developed a taste for spiritual fruit and want to increase my daily intake.
2. Spanish—my doctoral studies put the kibosh on my Spanish studies. I’m asking for the Lord to give all of the Shraders the gift of Spanish.
3. Spiritual, Eye Opening Empathy—In my doctoral studies, I’m learning how much we need empathy for others to incarnate the Father’s heart. Empathy is to feel what other’s feel. The Pharisees knew what God’s word said, but they failed to implement it properly because their hearts were hard. I want empathy for my children, so that I can be a kind and understanding father. And I want my children to have empathy for others, so they can be the best missionaries possible. A 9 year old boy with empathy can convict the hardest of hearts.
4. God’s care and confirmation for our families: As we get closer to our departure date (Jan 3), it gets harder to be nonchalant with our families. We’re aware of it all the time. I’m asking the Lord to confirm our calling for our family members, so that they will be just as certain of our calling as we are. I ask, also, that He care for them (of course, that’s His nature). For my mother, Lena’s parents and our siblings the cost of taking our children overseas feels very expensive. It’s interesting that when someone gets called to go, the price of going must be paid by many. Our families and our friends pay emotionally and financially. It takes a lot of faith to go, but it also takes a lot of faith to send a loved one. I once asked my friend Ty Silva (a missionary that I’m honored to call a friend) what the most costly part of missions life was for him. He said, “Saying goodbye to my daughter, when she became a missionary.”
5. Doctor of Ministry writing speed & clarity. I’m typing like a mad man…I just hope the end result doesn’t sound like it was written by a mad man.

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