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February 14, 2007 Update Letter
  Get caught up with the latest news and dreams of Foundations Ministries. Find out why there is an "s" in "Ministries" -- click the "Read More" link below!

Happy Valentine's Day! May you know that your Beloved (Luke 3:22) adores you.

As always, prayer requests are at the end. I seem to have a lot to say here, so judge accordingly--it's your time.

I'm amazed at how long I took to feel fully "here" again. I'm seeing everything through the lens of Nicaragua, which is far from comfortable. Some have mentioned that the re-transition back into one's culture goes slower as we get older. Huh. I suspect that having pushed hard starting...last February, I reached exhaustion and my body finally let me know. So I took some time to recover (not exactly a vacation, just a less densely-packed schedule) and I'm now able to look ahead at all that will need to happen between now and the Fall.

Kim and I celebrated one year in this house on February 10th. Happily, it was 25 degrees warmer this year.

Foundations is pursuing affiliation. I've always felt nervous about people who "just want to get married," and aren't so particular as to whom. We don't "just want to get affiliated." We have some specific needs in which partnering with a larger organization would help. But this is one of those "Y" in the road times which could make all the difference.

We would really appreciate your prayers for wisdom and the ability to hear what God wants to tell us. Our main options are Columbia Grove/the Evangelical Covenant denomination or Serve Wenatchee Valley. We are discussing the possibilities with both organizations.

[Okay, if you are interested in our administrative process, read the next paragraph. If not...I promise there's nothing about new pregnancies hidden in there.]

My first concern in affiliating is that we are compatible in theology, vision and approach to ministry. Okay, that's three concerns lumped into one, but they are interrelated. From our end, we need a good partnership for accountability, mentoring and insurance. I'm not a practical person (go ahead, debate me), so insurance is not my driving concern, but to do ministry in our present culture, we must have it. As an independent, (relatively) low-budget organization, we look like a high risk to insurance companies. We would prefer not to re-invent the wheel, or even the better mousetrap, so we're seeking some kind of mentoring relationship with leaders who have started or directed similar ministries. We also want to be, and very clearly demonstrate that we are, beyond reproach. We have a board so that our director, God bless him, doesn't wander off the path of orthodoxy; having outside accountability will serve the same function for our board (God bless 'em). We don't necessarily have to meet all those needs through the same source.

In addition to official partnership, the main blips on our radar are: recruiting the next class of students; Spring building projects; zoning and county health permits; Phase II [cue Dramatic Music].

Last session, we had a group of volunteer students who worked instead of paying tuition. Oh, they worked. They also endured rugged conditions. This session, with students paying $3,000-$4,000, we aren't going for Club Med, but we are hoping to offer showers. Last year, the snow melted and the mud dried up about the end of April. We started working about mid-April, which made for some heroic-sounding "I walked to school nine miles uphill—and then had to build the school!"-type stories. We need to raise the money for materials for a kitchen/dining hall/shower room and then rally the skilled and not-as-skilled labor for a good ol' barn-raising. The GOOD NEWS is that we have POWER! Genuine, PUD, plug-in-the-power-tool-and-it-makes-manly-power-tool-noises power. So, difficult as installing the power was (ask a Foundations Alum about walking—or filling—the trench), we needed to do it in this order to make the larger building projects more feasible. We're also hoping to add three more cabins so that we can have a capacity of 15 students and guest quarters for teachers to stay.

You don't need me to describe recruiting students or zoning permits in detail: the one is self-explanatory and the other...well, I know a few of you read that administrative paragraph above, but...

However, I will tell you about [Cue Dramatic Music] Phase II!

Did you ever wonder why Foundations "Ministries" is plural?

Foundations Ministries has a vision. We have started a Discipleship School. That's Phase I. Our purpose for the students is:

Love God

Find Your Passion

Change the World

And we really believe that young adults can do all three. Foundations Discipleship School creates space and provides time for this to happen. We don't claim to have it perfected quite yet, but we're doing it.

Phase II of our vision is to buy a house in South Wenatchee, the poor section of our city, and establish both a residence and a ministry center there. We need a good-sized, multi-bedroom house in a central location. This will provide a focal point for Foundations students to do ministry in town. Those whose hearts connect there may be able to move in after they have completed the program. The goal will be to build relationships, to serve those living there in practical ways, to be Christ's body in South Wenatchee.

We found a house. Not only does it have five bedrooms—four upstairs with a bathroom and a big living room for neighborhood kids' clubs, tutoring, etc—it also has a studio apartment in back. The location is exactly where we'd hoped. It's old and it needs work, but for the Wenatchee real estate market (which has skyrocketed!) it's a great buy.

We are now looking into financing the purchase and putting the word out for renters who have a vision for ministry to the poor. We're praying in faith that God has preceeded us and that some people who feel called to minister there will be ready to partner with us. Frankly, Kim would move there if I'd let her. (Those who understand our relationship get the humor.) Some of her students live on that block.

For those of you thinking (along with my mom), "Isn't starting the Disicpleship School and having a new baby enough to keep the boredom at bay?" we are both fully engaged and challenged. However, the local ministry component of our first session was one of the weakest points (with the exception of our partnership with Solomon's Porch—see below in "Prayer Requests") because we were unable to connect with any active ministries there with whom to partner. We've always felt called both to train disciples/future leaders and to love those in need right here. Now we've found a great prospective location and this isn't the first time that an idea seems impossible. Our property looked way out of the range, then God made it possible. I think Kim feels about the home in South Wenatchee like I felt about here: sure, it's impossible, but God doesn't mind.

So...

Prayer Requests
●...I'm asking you to pray with us for Phase II. If this isn't God's timing, He will make it clear. But if it is, we aren't going to miss it because it seems challenging. God has the resources and I know He intends to transform our city (and us). There's no question He loves the people there and desires for their conditions to improve [lives to change]. I don't believe that if you do something that seems good, God will magically make it work. I do believe that God has formed these desires in our hearts that He intends to fulfill. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Yup. Pray that.

●Please ask God for wisdom on our behalf. Partnership with another organization carries potential for great good and serious difficulty. We really don't want to take a false step. The practical needs must balance with the best long-term compatibility (in other words, Desperation is a lousy Cupid, if you'll forgive the Valentine's truism).

●Ask God to prepare the students who will be with us in the fall and show us how to connect with them. I'll be presenting Foundations at a Church in East Wenatchee in the next few weeks (Calvary Crossroads, Pastor Jay Caron). I got to speak to Solid, the college ministry in town with whom we've developed a great partnership. I'm seeking more venues to get the word out.

●We'll need your prayers for building the kitchen/dining hall/shower room and the cabins. Materials, builders, permits. God knows what He's doing. We're learning to align ourselves with His work. That's so easy to write, and living it...much messier.

●The zoning/permits/licenses part of the task holds special unappeal to me. I really love doing this ministry. The loving-the-young-adults-teaching-the-Bible-talking-about-Jesus ministry. Zoning is the necessary evil (probably not the best choice of words) administrative task that we must complete to do this ministry. Deep sigh. Please pray.

●I did a board swap with Solomon's Porch, the local ministry to homeless and at-risk youth where our students volunteered. I am now on their board and Desiree, who is married to Steve, their director, is working toward joining ours. This will deepen our partnership with them and give us a highly gifted organizer. Make this one a praise.

●Anything else...oh, yeah, one more thing. There's this baby...

I'm amazed that we're so peaceful moving through week twenty-seven. Kim is tired but otherwise feeling fine. Every doctor's appointment has produced only good news. For those who don't know our history, weeks 26-30 of Kim's pregnancies have bad associations for us. I'll just say pray for strength for her and for the baby to be born at the right time. I'll probably open a baby date-and-weight pool when we get through these weeks.

All right, that's a substantial update. I hope you feel like you got your email's worth. Seriously, thanks for reading it, supporting, and praying for us, to whatever extent you can. You are our partners and the Body of Christ with us. This ministry exists because you have joined in.

Parting thought: I've been thinking about investing a lot lately. I'm reading The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner, the book the movie is based on. Investors scrutinize their investments and returns painstakingly. We're all investing our lives every day; today we're choosing our investment. We ourselves and our time are the capital we have to invest. Jesus gives really clear counsel on how to invest. Do we hedge our bets with Him? Why? I'm asking myself, "What return am I hoping for?" Then I go to church and pray, "Thy Kingdom come," and I read, "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." Investing like this scares me. It also fills me with joy. My Beloved knows.

In His Love,

Mike
  Posted by timd on December 17, 2017
 


  
 

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