|November 12, 2006 Update|
| ||The trench is filled! A mission trip is lined up! Read the latest update of Foundations Ministries by clicking the Read More link below.|
Dear Hobbits, Seraphim, Cherubim, Saints, Sneeches, Marsh-Wiggles and (I'll let you decide),
Hi, faithful friends and prayer partners and supporters. You rock and I appreciate you and I really hope you know that! Due to popular demand, it's time for another update. Okay, one person's demand...and he's my cousin (thanks, Jeff!). Much has happened since 10-2 and I'm going to cover the workaday details of ministry first, so feel free to skip to the prayer requests.
The trench is filled! One of the students, Ben, made a connection with a friend. Hap, who is seventy-four, brought his sixty-year old bulldozer and we watched him fill in, literally in minutes, what took us days to fill by shovel. It might be a stretch to call it a "driveway" yet, but we are driving up and down it rather than walking ½ a mile carrying everything one brings or takes away from home—including children. I'm afraid we won't be in as good physical shape after this. And we can't pretend we're pioneers as realistically. I think I can bear these sacrifices. We parked next to our house for the first time since August 25th!
We're preparing for our mission trip to Nicaragua, where we'll spend about four weeks. God has provided in numerous ways to make this possible. We'll be working with Alongside Ministries En Nicaragua (AMEN). Five years ago, Kathy and Halle August went to Nicaragua for a two-week mission trip—and moved there six months later with their three sons. They've bought and fixed up a house and then 7 acres on which they've developed a sports complex with a baseball stadium, soccer pitch, basketball courts, and guest dorms. They started a preschool and run a meal program twice a week for local children. AMEN's vision is to live in the community alongside the people to whom they minister, develop friendships and relationships, and model Christian lifestyle as best they can. So God connected us with a ministry that matches our ministry values and makes Foundations' start-up process look sane and normal and a little cautious! But then we thought the price was going to be prohibitive: $50/day/student. However, in God's timing, three of the weeks we'll be in Nicaragua, Halle and Kathy will be in the U.S. We get to housesit! Instead of $50/day, we'll pay $4.50/day while they're gone to help cover household expenses and $18/day while they're home. Bob Floyd, our treasurer, found us tickets for $100 less than the going rate (we paid $681). We'll do our best to keep things running while they're out of town, including sports with the local kids (I know, ministry is sacrifice!), and some painting and maintenance projects on their facilities. Oh, and since our hosts won't be with us most of the time, we'll all get to try immersion in Spanish!
Meanwhile, here at the ranch, the students are doing great! Mind you, it's no honeymoon, unless your honeymoon involved eight people just getting to know one another and learning to get along, working at a job much bigger than they can do in their own strength and digging into their own souls and psyches and motives and growing closer to God in really messy, funny, absurd, occasionally infuriating ways. I'm loving it—but I wish you a different honeymoon. I try to be open and transparent about my own struggles, but much of the great stuff going on I can't tell about because it's not my struggle to tell.
We've done some good ministry, including helping out with some neighbors and with Serve Wenatchee (a wonderful local ministry) moving. We didn't know that our neighbor—a woman in her fifties with severe back problems—was moving, only that she might need help cutting firewood. So a couple of our students went to her house to check how we could help. When they explained that we would love to help her move, she started crying and said "God must have sent you, because I have to be out within two days and don't have any help lined up yet and can't lift anything." We told her, "Yeah, God did."
After sudying Genesis, Isaiah, Luke and Romans, we spent a week each on Worship, Inner Healing, and Identity. Perhaps the most satisfying aspect for me has been the students' growing ability to integrate what they are learning into their lives. On Tuesday of "Identity week," I gave them a detailed outline on the Kingdom of God to help anchor God's intension for our identity. Instead of teaching them, I had them walk me through it. From not knowing what the Kingdom of God is when we started in (it was a question on their application), they now describe in wondrous complexity this Kingdom—are seeking their part in it!
This past week, James and Valya Hopkins, missionaries with YWAM in Ukraine, came and taught about missions to help prepare the students for their trip. When people have lived by faith in difficult circumstances for years, they have great stories! Coincidence? They were able to challenge and gird (now there's a good biblical word) the students and me for what we'll face—thanks to Natalie, who worked with them in Ukraine, for hooking us up!
As for the R-Ws, we're doing very well. We can't keep up this pace forever, but fortunately we don't have to. Instead, I'll be on the mission trip for December, and then starting in January we'll focus on getting everything legal and built for the Fall of 2007. I really wanted to do a spring session starting this March, but there's simply too much yet to do: building the kitchen/dining hall/shower room, 3 more cabins, and getting our conditional use permit and all the other legal approvals. Putting in power took much more time and effort and money than any of us imagined. Also, sometime in May of 2007 we expect to have another baby. That's your bonus for reading all the details and not jumping right to the prayer requests. The Board had urged us to wait until next fall for the second session and now I see their wisdom. Great to have a wise Board!
- There are more people to praise God for than I can list here. Please ask Him to bless Dan and Hap Richmond, Dennis Baker, Dave Honsinger, Ty and the college ministry Solid, Mark and Ryan from the PUD, our neighbors Skip and Margee and Troy and Erin, and all the people and businesses and churches who have helped us develop the property and do this first session. Special blessings on Ron, Sean, Andrew, Marsha, James and Valya, our guest teachers.
- We're about two steps from getting the power all the way in. The PUD finished their part and we now have a big green transformer box that hums very electrically. The students press their ears against it and dream of heat and lights in the cabins. But we still have to run wire to the cabins and to our house. Pray that God will empower us to finish the job before we leave for our mission.
- The driveway is also two big steps from being a driveway: leveling and gravel. Right now, cars drive at their own risk and even our truck scrapes and slides. Snow fell last week, and then rain, and now we have mud. Please pray that we would find the resources to get these done before the snow stays or we're going to have a l-o-n-g winter.
- Two-and-a-half months into the program, I'm convinced more than ever that I should be investing my energy in this. Change takes a long time. During our week on Inner Healing, each of the students told their story. I was floored by what many have been through and survived. God's mercy and people's cruelty are manifestly evident in their lives. No wonder young people need a place where they can be saturated with God's love. Please pray that each of them would choose to go through their struggles while clinging to God, rather than fleeing or going around their problems. We are deep into conflict and reconciliation now; how they grow will depend on these choices.
- Mission Trip! We need specific prayer for this on several levels: 1)that the students will work faithfully to raise the support they need, 2)that they will be able to serve and make a difference while we're there, and 3)that the experience of seeing how most people in the world live would change how they relate with God, their "neighbor," and their world from here on. On the homefront, I'm going to be away from Kim and the girls for six weeks, three of which Kim will still be teaching and all of which will be winter here. Please pray that God would provide the help they need to keep things running and to take care of the girls.
When people have lived in challenging circumstances for a brief time, they hope to develop great stories; we're working on a story here. Here is the good news: When we first started convening as a board, we developed a budget, which felt like extreme speculation because at that point everything was unknown. For the year pro-rated from when we started, the support we've received has met this original budget by +$95! I just shake my head in wonder. Then I rejoice in your faithful partnership--and that God really is involved and knows He's doing. I can't quite explain why that surprises me, but... The other side is that some of our original cost estimates were too low (have you seen copper prices?) and some of the donations we had reason to expect haven't come through (I suspect every ministry could tell a version of this story). I'm about to walk the thin line between sharing a prayer request and singing the blues about how much money we need to finish putting in power, gravel the driveway, get a reliable 4wd vehicle, and pay for my part of the mission trip. I like the blues and all, but let's conclude with this: God will provide everything we need to do this ministry He called us to. Please pray for God to increase our faith to the level we need to walk through this. While James was teaching, it struck me that I feel "maxed" in this faith thing. So I want to say, "Enough. Stop!" But that implies I have a set limit within which I try to stay. Biblically, that's wrong. Kim and I are growing in our faith, and growth comes from...feeling maxed and then trusting God beyond that. So here we are, right where we belong. Pray for us, okay? Thanks.
Really, truly, looking you in the eye, and with my sincerest tone: Thank you.
"May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this." (I Thessalonians 23-24) Let it be.
In His Joy,
Mike and Kim Rumley-Wells
6380 Stemilt Creek Road
Wenatchee, WA 98801
509 670-0276 www.foundationsministries.net
Please send support gifts to:
Foundations Ministries, Inc.
c/o Bob Floyd
517 N Mission St. STE 2i
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Electronic giving also available--see the Partner with us section.
| || Posted by timd on January 22, 2019