Blessed to be a Blessing

“Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing…. and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.  So Abram went, as the LORD had told him.” 

Genesis 12:1-4 records the first blessing in the Bible.  God would bless Abraham and through him, all of the families on earth would be blessed.  This promise would be fulfilled in the coming birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. 

The Lord has blessed pastoral couples and ministry leaders this past year.  We saw His hand of blessing as pastoral couples and ministry leaders met together in person for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, as we shared heartaches, learned from God’s Word, worshipped and encouraged one another in Christ.

God blessed us with travel mercies and health as we journeyed to the Republic of Georgia, Peru, Guatemala and twice to Armenia.  

Each of these training conferences seemed like a miracle as God held open doors for us to enter the country and gather together despite COVID and political unrest. 

We saw God bless the growth and unity of our international teaching team.  We were able to come together in March to develop 21 online training sessions called Higher Ground.  These 15-25 minute teaching modules are aimed at equipping and encouraging ministry leaders who may not be able to gather in person.  

Most enjoyably, we saw God bless the ministries of the pastoral couples we serve as they multiplied the Gospel throughout their countries.  We have been blessed together to be a blessing to others and we are grateful for God’s steady leading throughout the year!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:1-2

In November, we were also blessed to welcome Pastor Will Schraven to our team as our Eastern Europe Associate Director.  Will and his wife, Marie, have 45 years of ministry and cross-cultural missions experience.  He is a gifted teacher and has served with us on multiple trips.  His pastoral heart has endeared him to our conference leaders and we look forward to seeing the Lord continue to multiply the ministry in Eastern Europe in the years to come. 

Experience has taught us to hold our plans loosely, but it seems like 2022 is shaping up to be an exciting year.  We look forward to returning to some strategic areas and to beginning ministry in some new ones.  Currently, we have training conferences being planned in:

In Christ, we have been blessed beyond measure!  Our sins are forgiven.  We have been redeemed and adopted into the family of God.  We have an eternal destiny and home. 

We are blessed to be a blessing!

Will you continue to bless others through us with your prayers and financial support in the coming year?

COVID and travel restrictions may be able to detour our plans at times, but they do not stop the Gospel from being preached. In every opportunity that we have to Encourage, Equip and Engage these faithful leaders and pastoral couples we see how God is blessing them to be a blessing to others.  

And the Shepherds’ Support Board: 
David and Beth Butler, Jack and Nancy Shirley, 
Connie Troxel, Sid and Zane Williams, and 
Daniel and Kate Wurzberg