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There seemed to be more than just symbolism involved in the past month’s turning the page from 2020 to 2021. And along with many of you, I’m hoping and believing that the opportunities that have come and look to be coming my way are an indication of the Father’s continued mercy and grace upon my life and the ministry I’m privileged to lead.
Training – The center point of my ministry with Gateway Global is in the development of sister–church partnerships (SCP). Over two sessions in early January, I was able to lead an orientation on SCPs with CHE Euronet leaders from eight different Central European / Balkan countries through Zoom, and I am looking forward to facilitating two more SCP orientations in February. One will be with local mission leaders from my home church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the other with leaders from West Meadows Baptist Church in Edmonton, Alberta. Additionally, the Mission ConneXion (online) conference in January asked me to lead a workshop on short-term mission team leadership.
Writing/Speaking – In addition to this quarterly newsletter I write, January brought with it some more opportunities for me to share my thoughts and ideas on mission, ministry, and life.
Podcast – I was interviewed on the Finish Last podcast to discuss what led me to global missions and why others should consider what Jesus is saying to them about the subject (https://finishlastpodcast.podbean.com/e/finding-your-samaria-with-special-guest-randy-schmor).
Article – Standards of Excellence in Short Term Mission asked me write a short article on partnership basics (soe.org/articles/4-foundations-for-partnership).
NAB Update – Some of Gateway’s mobilization efforts are highlighted here in this piece I wrote for this weekly update on January 29 (mailchi.mp/nabconf/update-1-29-21_ethnic-partnerships-in-the-nab).
Also, in the next month or so I’ll have an article in NAB’s Onward magazine on the global Church.
Family – Holiday gatherings were definitely limited to smaller events (just our son Kameron and us) or canceled altogether (due to COVID, see below). But one definite highlight was the chance to join Kameron on his first official paid vacation(!) as we enjoyed a four-day ski trip in Michigan. We all had a great time (and a great on-the-hill condo), whether around games, meals, conversations, or of course the amazing skiing.
Health – As we all know too well, the pandemic began toward the beginning of 2020, but it took the entire year for it to hit our home right during the last few weeks of the year, which was, of course right during Christmas. Shelly and I both tested positive in mid-December but were spared many of the harsh symptoms that others, who were not so fortunate, some of whom we know personally, had to go through. Of course, we were disappointed to have missed out on some special events but consider ourselves blessed to only have experienced milder symptoms and quarantining.
As I wrote at the beginning, I’m hoping and believing as we begin this new year and have a lot of reason to be excited about the future. And I thank many of you for your continued interest, support, and participation with me in NAB Gateway (Global).
For the Kingdom,
- Hopeful 2021 plans – Please pray that I would wisely and gracefully plan (and change plans!) as the future unfolds for all of us.
- Training and Writing – Thanks for praying for the two sister-church partnership orientations I’ll be leading in February and also for the NAB Onward magazine article I’ll be contributing this month.
- The United States of America and the Church – 2020 (and January 2021) has been a challenging and confusing time for these two DIFFERENT entities. Pray. And pray for the global church, wherever its located.
- Thanks – sister-church partnership orientation with CHE Euronet partners and potential partners. Also for the workshop on short-term mission team leadership I had the opportunity to present at the Mission ConneXion conference.
- Honored – Being asked to write an article on Partnership for SOE (Standards of Excellence in Short Term Mission).
- Grateful – Time with Family – Thanksgiving (Oklahoma), Kameron’s holiday visit, and our ski trip (Michigan).
- Blessed – Shelly and I testing positive and recovering from COVID-19.
And to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
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