struggling…but God is faithful

anxietyThe past few weeks have been an exercise in truly trusting in God when I say that I am trusting in Him.  You would think after the past year I would totally rely on God’s promises to take care of me and my family.  I have seen Him provide for us as we sold our old home, moved to a new area, started a new ministry, helped my wife overcome breast cancer, provide the finances to cover all here medical expenses and so on.  It has truly been a year of one example of God’s faithfulness after another.  Yet, I sit here now knowing that Satan has been attacking me full force and making me worry and be anxious about God’s provision.

With the ministry that I work for, my family has to raise our own support to cover all our bills, living expenses, and ministry costs.  So, a big part of what I do is schedule meetings with churches, organizations, and individuals.  Currently, we are at about 82% of our needed support level and so I have been scheduling as many meetings as possible to try and get fully funded.  The great news is that I have been blessed with several meetings and people have seemed genuinely interested and concerned about our ministry.  The bad news is so far none of these meetings have led to new monthly and yearly support commitments.  Also, during this time we have had tons of trouble with our van and put money that we really needed for other financial issues into getting it fixed.  There are also some upcoming financial bills that I know will be here soon that just have led to me feeling totally overwhelmed.  There have also been some just struggles of loneliness and other issues that I really have felt have been hitting me hard during this time as well.

I am very much the type of person who likes a plan.  I like to know what needs to be done to get from point A to point B.  This struggling and sense of being overwhelmed this past month or so has really just began to take a toll, with anxiety, tightness in my chest, sleepless nights, and other issues derived from worry.  I have been so blessed with things that God is doing great in our ministry and opportunities to use sports to work with kids, but yet can’t help but feel Satan is using anxiety to rid me of the joy that I should be having.

The good though is that I know while I am nervous and anxious over the future my God is not.  He is in total control, even though I often feel alone.  In over 12 years of full time ministry and living on support, I have never had a need that God has not met.  And so I am retreating into His Word and promises.  From the time I accepted Christ as my Savior on October 14, 1984, my favorite verse has been Hebrews 13:5 which ways that God will never leave me nor forsake me.  That’s something I have to remind myself of overtime that I feel anxiety setting in.  Rather that wallowing in worry, I have to be diligent to call out to Him and not go to my automatic how do “I” fix this mode.

I know that deep down that if I trust God, He will always reveal Himself to be faithful.  That was evident this past weekend.  On Sunday after church, I was really struggling with anxiety and my chest was so tight that I was honestly scared.  I ran out to do some errands leaving my family at home and my anxiousness kept growing and I couldn’t shake it.  When I got home, though, as I shared in my last post, I had the opportunity to lead my 5 year old son to the Lord.  It was in that moment that God reminded me, “Andy, I got this.  I will take care of you and your family.”

great-is-thy-faithfulness

And I know that He will take care of us, I know that there is not a need that I have that He cannot meet, and I know that when I seek Him I will always find Him.  Pray with me that I will seek Him.  That I will look for God’s blessings and evidence of His faithfulness and not let Satan rob me of joy and thankfulness.  Pray with me that God will provide the needed support partners for our family to get to 100% and that I will have peace as we wait and be diligent to keep pursuing potential partners.  I hate being consumed by anxiety and worry, but once again am thankful that my God is not!

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still working on support…

fca_logo1A couple of posts ago I shared about my transition to working full time with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  So far I have enjoyed my first month on staff.  Even though I am still not plugged into all that I am going to be doing, I have loved getting to know the other staff and making new connections in our new town as well.  My main assignment is still working on getting the rest of our needed financial support.  We are currently at a little over 60% of our needed goals, but several people have promised to start giving regularly and we are waiting to see what those commitments will be.  I would love the opportunity to come share with you about what my new role with FCA will be and also how you can partner with us.  If you want to meet please let me know and we will get together!  Also, if you know you would already like to partners with my family and I, check out our online support page .  There you can sign up to become an Automatic Monthly Partner.  More than anything though, please keep my family and I in your prayers!

Leadership Camp Fundraising Update – May 20, 2014

All_In_BlackGod has truly been blessing our fundraising efforts for going to camp this summer.   Almost everyone has raised enough money to pay their camp registration fees!!!  We are praying for about $200 or more to come in so that all the cost of transportation to and from camp and meals on the way to and from camp will be covered.  Our students have been busy sending support letters and speaking in their home churches to raise funds.  They have also been participating in a weekly Bible study at our house.  It’s been awesome to see how they are growing in their walk with Christ and taking ownership of raising their own funds for camp this year.  To those of you who have already partnered with us financially and prayerfully we thank you.  If you haven’t done so already and would like to help support our students please let us know.  Thank you so much!

May 1st – Leadership Camp Fundraising Update…

the 2013 LCHS Leadership Team at FCA Leadership Camp!

the 2013 LCHS Leadership Team at FCA Leadership Camp!

Since last week when I wrote to you about helping support our FCA students as they are raising funds to go to Leadership Camp this summer, much has happened.  God has truly been blessing and funds have been coming in already.  Since that last post we have had one student who wanted to go to camp, drop out, and two more decide to join our Leadership team and go to camp this summer.  This changes our financial landscape a little bit.  Before our goal was to raise $2,200 to take all students and chaperones to camp.  With the addition of one more student than we were planning on, we now need to raise at least $2,425 to cover the cost over everyone’s camp fees and travel expenses.  God is already at work with almost $1,000 of this money already raised!!!  We are truly excited and blessed by the generosity of family and friends of our students.  Please keep praying for us as we prepare for camp.  This coming Tuesday night we start a Bible study on becoming a true follower of Christ and not a fan with our Leadership team.  Pray that as we prepare to go to camp that God will use our Bible study and their personal quiet times to begin to prepare them for all they will learn at camp and to give them a heart to share Him with others.  Also, please not only pray for all these needs, but ask God how He might want you to partner with us in taking these students to Leadership Camp?  It may be your support and prayers that God uses in the lives of one of our students to set Lee County High School and the world on fire for Christ!

stressed out by a little light…

the dash of this van contains the stressing little light!

the dash of this van contains the stressing little light!

For the past month or so I have been stressed out by a little light on our family’s Nissan Quest mini-van. It’s the “Service Engine Soon” light. The two big stresses this light has provided for me was first of all the safety of my family. My wife primarily drives the van and more than likely has both of our kids in with her if she is going anywhere. So, I want them to be safe. Secondly, as with most families in America the last thing that you want is another bill. So family safety and finances have been weighing heavily on me.

I took the van in to the shop about a month ago, and wouldn’t you know it, on the day I drive to the mechanic the little light disappears. This is actually not a good thing. For the mechanic’s computer to read what is wrong with my van they have to have that light on. So, no dice as to what the issue was. About three days after that trip to the shop, the little stressor came back on!

Today, I finally took the van back to the mechanic’s and thankfully this time the light cooperated and stayed on. I left our van there for most of the day so that it could be tested and hopefully diagnosed. Thankfully the answer was not painful. There is a sensor that says my gas cap is not on tight enough and is making the light come on. The cap is on perfectly tight and normal, but that sensor is reading otherwise. The bad news is that light will probably come back on, the good news I can ignore it for now. Sometimes the melding of technology and mechanics for the purpose of making life easier is not such a good thing!

great times and bad news…

After a very much needed week for some r and r in Michigan we arrived back home in Kentucky tonight.  Our family was able to spend the past week at my Uncle and Aunt’s cottage on Crystal Lake in Whitehall, Michigan.  It was just nice to be able to swim with the kids, play in the sand, canoe and enjoy time with our extended family.  Best of all we really didn’t have plans and were able to take each day as it came, which was awesome.

On our trip Erin also celebrated her birthday.  My parents we able to take out the kids one afternoon and Erin and I were able to go see “Brave” and have a birthday date together.  My beautiful wife is also a very cheap birthday date.  I offered to take her anywhere she wanted for a birthday dinner and she chose Taco Bell!

We left Michigan on Saturday morning and drove to Goshen, IN to visit one of my good friends and his wife and kids.  My friend is a pastor and we made it to his church in time for Maeven to attend a kids carnival.  On Sunday I had the privilege of sharing with their church about the what we are doing in ministry with KMM and the Rec Center.   During the Sunday School hour I was able to present PowerPoint presentation and in the main service give a brief summation.  Hopefully some good connections were made for both support and help here at KMM!  Most importantly we had a great time catching up with old friends and being able to share ministry concerns and ideas with each other.  God has truly blessed us with great friends.

Over all our trip was great.  God blessed us with a great vacation and great fellowship with family and friends.  To say we were coming home on a pretty big high from this blessing is an understatement.  Unfortunately when we have highs sometimes we have some pretty big lows.  Yesterday I really felt as though some new financial support for us as missionaries was hopeful, but tonight when we arrived home we quickly went from hoping for new support to finding out we are losing some very faithful support.  We arrived home to mail letting us know that some supporters for various reasons are going to have to stop their financial support.

Over the past week God has show us through something as simple as a vacation that he He is in control and taking care of us.  In a time where we really need to be adding new supporters and seem to be going in the opposite direction I know that God has a plan.  Please join us in prayer though as we pray for patience in waiting to see what the plan is.  God has blessed us with many past and present support partners and we are so thankful for them and their commitment.  Pray that financial support partner contacts can be made and opportunities to share about ministry with KMM can be made.  God is great and God is going to do something awesome through a difficult time.  Please pray!