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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

God Can Do WAY MORE - December 2012 Newsletter

 
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Ephesians 3:20-21
 

God Can Do WAY MORE!

 

 

I (Leah) was reminded of this verse halfway through this past semester, and I was hit with this thought, “God can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine. What do I ask for? What have I been imagining?” I realized that day that we can easily be the limiting factor for God to work even greater things to happen! God has such amazing plans – are we on board for them to happen?
About two years ago, we planned a Connect to have free pizza, a game, and a couple testimonies that shared the Gospel. We had prayed for at least one person to come to know Christ personally. That night, Alex came for free pizza, and a couple days later accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation from sins!! Malcolm has worked with him one-on-one since then, so he holds a very close place in our hearts. Now Alex is leaving to go back home to Florida for school. Please pray for Alex as he transitions to life away from consistent, loving atmosphere to follow Christ. Pray that he can share Jesus with others, especially his family.
About three years ago, we had a retreat where Ashlie came for the first time. After hearing all this talk about having a relationship with Christ, Ashlie asked a student, “What would you share with someone who wanted that?” My friend, Hedy, went through the Gospel with her, thinking she was training Ashlie to share it with someone else. In reality, when Hedy went over the prayer at the end, Ashlie told God she was a sinner and wanted God to have control of her life! Since then, Ashlie has grown into a mature woman and a budding leader. After two summers serving at Walt Disney World in Florida, she has decided to go back again for her first semester after graduating from Fort Lewis College. I had the pleasure to not only watch Ashlie grow, but walk along side her and challenge her the past year in discipleship. Pray for her as she works and shares the Gospel at Disney, and as she adjusts to life outside of college!

About four years ago, I was just starting my internship with Master Plan Ministries. I had met a feisty freshman, named Mollie, who wanted to really to live for Christ. This last semester was the last semester I had with her before she left on another adventure on a sailboat in the Caribbean. At her last Connect she presented in her farewell speech, “I’ve learned a lot through these past few years of college, but I think I can sum up most of what I learned in three main points. One: It’s ALL about God – everything comes back to Him. Two: Give all the glory to Him. Three: Never give less than 100%.” I couldn’t be more proud of Mollie! Pray for her last semester on the sea to be fruitful and safe, and that God will show her what He wants her to do after college.
Though we are excited about what God has done in the lives of students, we are more excited to see what He has in store next! We are already seeing and expecting God to do immeasurably more than what He has already done on campus and in the lives of these students.
 

Prayer Requests


-       PRAISE GOD!!! The policy has been reviewed and changed – evangelism is protected and no longer limited on campus!! Thank you SO MUCH for praying! Pray that next semester we can go out strong to share the Gospel with the entire campus!
-       We have 11 students signed up to go to Denver Christmas Conference! Pray that they can raise the money they need in order to go. The school has provided a charitable sum to help them pay for the conference, but they still need a little more. If you’re interested in helping them, please contact us ASAP. Pray also that they will learn a lot during their time their, and that the conference will spur those students going to be excited to reach their campus next semester.
-       Pray that our students will be safe over their Christmas break, not only from snow, but also from temptations that come from home. Pray that they will instead be rested and excited for the next semester to go all out for God!


 

A Special Request


As the year comes to a close we look back at God’s abundant provision in our lives and we cannot help but praise Him! We have not once gone hungry, and have had all of our needs met every time. Without you these stories of students’ lives being completely changed by Christ would be far harder.  We thank God for your prayer and support in making all of that happen. Nonetheless. things rise up that are unexpected costs and expenses.  Here are a few things that you can prayerfully considered giving a special end of the year gift to.
-Car maintenance: Both of our cars are in need of new sets of tires for the winter. And the Suburban is in need of a new battery.
-DCC: We are going and need your help to get there so that we can lead and encourage the students.
May we ask you specifically pray about giving a special end of the year gift of $50, $100, or $500 to be put towards these needs?  Thank you for considering this. If you give, whatever the amount you decide is great, and all gifts are tax deductible. 
To give go to www.masterplanministries.net and go to the donate page and click Malcolm and Leah.  Or send a check written to Master Plan Ministries at P.O. Box 1082 Durango, CO 81302

 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This Little Light of Mine - October 2012 Newsletter

 
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.”
Matthew 5:16

Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch
 

This Little Light of Mine


 
If you haven’t discovered yet about Master Plan Ministries, we really – I mean REALLY – want people to know Jesus! Though we hit some snags in reaching the campus with the Good News of Jesus Christ this semester, God has had no problems reaching people!!
One day the guys couldn’t find any place on campus to have their bible study, so they went inside a room next to the public ping-pong and pool table. The room has tons of open windows for everyone to look in. The next day, a guy named Elvin approached Malcolm as he was heading into an appointment with another student. “What were you guys doing in that room yesterday?” he asked. “We were having a bible study,” Malcolm replied. The guy proceeded to ask if Malcolm would have time to talk to him. As he couldn’t at that moment, he told him he couldn’t but would like to talk a little later. After Malcolm’s other meeting, he found Elvin in the same place, almost waiting for Malcolm to get done.
Elvin had a lot of hurt from a church from his hometown, and so many other things that weighed heavy on his heart and mind. Malcolm got the chance to not only listen to this guy, but also share the Gospel with him! Though we haven’t seen much of Elvin, we are still hoping for another chance to follow up with him. Please pray for Elvin!
The other great opportunity we had was at our latest retreat. We tried super hard to invite new people to come, and God provided the new people! We had around 6 new people, at least half of which are not Christians!! I (Leah) had an opportunity to share the Gospel with “N”, who was at the retreat solely to find out more about Christianity.
 I asked her questions about what she liked and didn’t like about Christianity. One of the things she liked (which she found quite a few things appealing) was forgiveness, and how you can always be forgiven. The one thing she said she didn’t like was “the whole accepting Christ in your life thing”. I asked, “Oh, like how exclusive it is?” “No,” she replied. “It just doesn’t make sense to me, because I’ve never had an experience like what others have talked about.” Though I did share the Gospel, “N” was very overwhelmed with all the information she was receiving. We are hoping to get together before Thanksgiving break to talk more. Please pray for “N” to know Jesus personally, and that her and I can at least meet up and talk more.
The last neat thing that happened at the retreat was I found out that one of the new students (who has been meeting with another staff member) was a camper in her cabin at Camp Id-Ra-Ha-Je West in 2005!! They had had a tender moment in the cabin, which is one of the few moments I can remember from 8 years ago.
In all these stories, we can see how God is orchestrating a grand story. He has been so faithful  in our lives, and in the lives of those around us. He is drawing people to Himself, and He has chosen to use us as we allow ourselves to be available to share His Good News!!
Brandon and Anne giving a talk on discipline and commitment at our last retreat. They got engaged 2 weeks later!! Pray for them as they make plans and finish out their last semester of college.

 

Prayer Requests


 
-       Keep praying for the situation with the administration. A letter has been sent, and the administration said they will look over the policy! Praise God!!
-       Pray for God’s wisdom and good ideas on how to continue to reach the freshmen! We can tell there has been another shift in the students, and we need to just think about our game plan to reach them.
-       Denver Christmas Conference (DCC) is a 5-day conference with Cru, which is such a neat time for our students and us. The students not only get challenged to share their faith and to live boldly back on their campuses, but also to spend their summers for God. Pray that many of our students will commit to go, and that they will learn a lot from their time there.
-       This semester is very quickly coming to a close – and we can hardly believe how fast it has flown by!! Keep praying for perseverance and energy to finish strong on campus!!
-       Continue to let us know how we can be praying for you as well!! We thank and praise God for you and all your prayers and financial contributions to keep us in full time ministry at Fort Lewis!!
Celebrating Shawnee's (far right) at retreat

Witnesses to Changed Lives - September 2012 Newsletter



“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:2



Witnesses to Lives Changed

 

One reason people love fall is for the change that happens – the air, the smells, and especially the colors on the trees. But one change that we have been privileged to witness is the change in the students. And just like the oncoming of a new season, these students have been transforming right before our eyes.
I (Leah) met with two girls on two separate occasions at the beginning of the semester for one specific reason – to find out where they were with God. One professed to me, “I would really like to look into different religions this year.” The other said, “I really don’t want to follow God cause it’s been so boring for me.” Now, a little over a month into the year, the first told me recently, “I learned at the retreat how God shouldn’t be just someone I go to just when I need Him, but someone I need to follow every day.” While the other girl asked me later that same day, “How do I seek after God? What should I do?” (These were all paraphrases from our conversations we had.) As you can see, a complete 180ยบ!!
Malcolm has seen two lives change before his eyes this last month. One was an encounter with a new student named Ray, with whom Malcolm got to share the Gospel and bring this young man to a point of decision. His reply to this invitation was, “This is something I’m definitely interested in, but I don’t want to quite yet.” Malcolm has tried to meet up with him again, but hasn’t had the chance to. Please pray for Ray, and that Malcolm will get another chance to meet up with him to see where he is at with God.
The other transformed life is our good friend, Chris. Chris is now a junior at Fort Lewis. When we met him his freshmen year, he was so quiet and shy he barely spoke to people. This year he is leading a bible study on campus, sharing his faith and taking other steps in becoming a leader. He certainly has a heart of gold, and it’s a pleasure to watch God change him over the last few years!!
 We praise God for all that He has done!!! We thank Him for calling us and using us to be His tools to live out the Great Commission here at Fort Lewis College. And we thank Him for providing us YOU – our faithful team and partners in the Gospel – so we can be here to work alongside His amazing work!!


 

Prayer Requests

 

-       Please pray for the administration at FLC: A new solicitation policy has limited (but NOT eliminated) our ability to share the Gospel on campus. Though we are still able to meet people and get into conversations, it has made it difficult to do so. Please pray that this can change, but in the mean time still be able to share boldly with the whole campus! And pray that we can keep making and maintaining good relationships with those in the administrative positions.
-       Pray for the new students: Many new students, who came to events at the beginning of the year, have already dropped off from Christian fellowship. Pray that not only for them, but also for those who are involved to make the right friendships that will encourage them towards Christ.
-       Pray for our leaders: Our leaders have busy schedules, but are devoting themselves to serving despite their workloads and long hours on campus. Pray that they have time to not only be diligent in their schoolwork, but also to be able to rest and invest in others on campus.
-       Pray for us: Malcolm and I have loved being on campus, but we also haven’t had many nights or weekends free. Pray that we get time to rest here and there. And, overall, have Christ’s strength in our weakness, and His wisdom in the work He has called us to.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A New Season - August 2012 Newsletter

 
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

 

A New Season

 
Thank you to all who prayed for our trip. We had a WONDERFUL time!! We traveled through 5 different states, visited 6 different national parks, and enjoyed the last 13 days of summer vacation.

Many of you may have had to go buy pencils, notebooks, rulers, and all the other supplies to get ready for school. Some of you may have had to pack up childhood rooms in cars and see your kids off to college. While others of you may be simply enjoying these last days of summer, and looking forward to changes that fall brings. For us, we have prepared our hearts, minds, and schedules for our favorite time of the year – the beginning of the academic school year!!

We returned from our vacation to sprint into ministry. What a blast we have had! Getting to hear stories from the summer, meeting new students from all over the place, and being able to share the Gospel with people – we are thoroughly enjoying being back in the swing of things!!

We’re only a week in, and so far we have had over 15 people indicate decisions to follow Christ!! PRAISE GOD!!! Many of those were indicated on cards after our first Connect meeting. One guy met with a staff member before classes even began to talk about Jesus, and made a decision at the end of their meeting! God is doing amazing things before our eyes, and it has only been one week.

Another great story was at our first Thursday dinner of the year. We had a great open discussion, with a handful of students being fully honest that they were there investigating Christianity. After the big discussion, one student said he didn’t know the Gospel to one of our student leaders. The leader shared the Gospel, and though the student was very interested he didn’t make a decision yet as far as we know to follow Christ. Please pray for him to make a decision soon!!

First Thursday Dinner!!


Prayer Requests

 

We are so excited to see all that God is doing! For this reason, we really wanted to share this with all of you. These praises have come with their fair share of pressure. As we have faced some obstacles in meeting students. And as a couple, small things have come up this week to distract us from ministry and getting time together. But thanks be to God as He continues to give us the strength to persevere!
-       Pray for opposition to cease so we can continue to meet students to share the Good News with Fort Lewis College.
-       Pray for our student leaders to have the time and heart to serve this year.
-       Pray that we can be faithful to follow up with the students who we have met so far this year. We both have packed our schedules with appointments with new students to learn about and share Jesus with!!
-       Pray that both Malcolm and I can stay refreshed and energized to keep going. We will be leaving for another wedding (this one in Idaho) for another good friend of ours this month. Pray for safety for our trip, and for us to return ready to keep running the race in Durango!!
-       Thank you for your prayers, and for sharing your prayers and praises with us!
Swimming in the pond at the Ranch fun day

Paintball fight!!

 


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Our Passions for HIS Glory - July 2012 Newsletter

 
“…if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”
Colossians 1:23


 

Our Passions for HIS Glory

 
As Leah and I walk through our first full summer together, we find that expectations can crop up everywhere.  For example, we were wanting to make sure we were well rested, recuperating from the past school year, and able to do ministry the way we have wanted to over the summer. These were difficult to keep balanced, but it has been a great learning experience, especially for me (Malcolm).
This summer brought more challenges than the school year in some ways. I got the chance to step out of my comfort zone of being in a leadership role when Leah and I got to lead the evangelism team at Night Vision. The time and energy spent there was great, and all the effort was not a loss as we learned just the other day that over 100 people gave their lives to Christ at the event.  Praise God for His faithfulness in working in people’s hearts! God exceedingly showed how faithful He can be if we are just willing to get out and let him work. I’m in awe of how God can take all of our insecurities and make them disappear and loose all meaning compared to watching people come into a saving relationship with Christ. Thank you for your prayers and help!
Almost as soon as the show was done, we were off Denver as we had planned a climbing trip with the three interns we have this summer. The purpose of this trip was to go climb and share the gospel with climbers we met (and, at least for Leah and I, to learn how to plan and lead some sort of trip).  We really want to learn how to use the things we are passionate about for the glory of God’s name.
One story of the week was when we were working on a boulder problem with about 6 other people at the same time, learning about them as we climbed.  After a couple of hours the conversation about God naturally came up and we had a full blown conversation about whether or not God was perfect and whether Christ was the only way to go to heaven. For me, there is nothing more exciting then talking to people about Christ while climbing!
We had a very fun week as we got to go to Boulder and Mt Evans for climbing, and Rocky Mountain National Park, Water World, and a Rockies Game for some relaxing good times.  I’m blown away with the blessings that God have given us.  We got to spend a week in some of the most beautiful places, enjoyed God’s creation and sharing the best news ever with people that desperately need him.  As always the first time you do something there is always kinks and quirks to work out, but overall I came away thinking these trips could be very successful in the future. 

Sharing the Gospel at Night Vision
 

Prayer Requests

 

-       Pray for those who received Christ at Night Vision, and for the staff who are following up with all of them!!
-       Pray for our students – freshmen move in  August 23rd, our big kick off BBQ is August 25th, and classes begin August 27th!! Pray that our students will come back ready to serve, and that students and staff will get the chance to reach as many people as possible and quickly as possible.
-       Pray for us as we leave August 14th for our last trip for the summer! We’re bummed because we’ll be gone for all the beginning activities (we’re returning August 27th), but we’re so excited to get a fun vacation AND get to see some dear friends get married August 25th in Oregon!! Pray that we will have a safe trip, and also come back ready to go hard on campus for the 2012-13 school year!!
-       Thank you to all of you who have been sending us prayer requests!! Please know we’re praying for you all.

 



Friday, August 3, 2012

Never Will I Leave You



Malcolm got to write the newsletter this time around (which he did a great job, I can't wait to post it)! We had a great time this last month and God has been showing us both a lot. I (Leah, if you couldn't guess) really wanted to share something that God showed me this past month.

When we were up in Denver, God really put on my heart to reach out to a couple friends of mine from childhood. They have both been on my "Most Wanted" list for a long time. When we were in middle school, I took both of them to Camp Id-Ra-Ha-Je west where one did pray to receive Christ (though I do remember she was very afraid of hell, so I'm not sure if it was actual surrender to Christ or not - I'm not judging her decision, but she definitely is not living for Christ needless to say). The other I remember loved her experience at camp, but not sure she really made any commitments to Jesus. Regardless, they both have been exposed to the Gospel, but neither are living for Christ. In fact, I have seen them both go through very hard things since leaving high school. I don't want to share their personal lives here.

Anyway, with one friend, it took almost all week just to set down a time to see her. She kept changing times, bailing on our set time, etc. It was becoming a little discouraging. But God kept encouraging my heart saying, "Keep pursuing her. Show her how I won't give up pursuing her." So I kept pressing! Finally, we set down to have dinner after her work. Malcolm and I went to her work, and asked if we were still on for dinner. "Oh, I have to go to Boulder for something tonight!" she replied. AH! All this work, and I got 15 minutes of chat time! I wanted so badly to share the Gospel with her, to remind her of how good God is and how much He loves her! But God (and Malcolm) reminded me as we drove away - HE is in control! It's not my job to change hearts. It's my job to be obedient. And that's what I did. Gosh, even now my heart hurts for this friend of mine! How badly she needs Christ's healing in her life! How much hope she could have!! 

God keeps reminding me of one thing she said to me as we were hugging, "You are such a light to my life." How good is God! I barely did anything, and yet I did exactly what God wanted me to do - be obedient - and He did all the rest of the work!

My other friend is at a whole different place than my other friend. We got a whole hour to catch up, but I also didn't get to share the Gospel with her. But while I used the restroom, Malcolm got to share his testimony with her! (May I just say, I love that man I married!) 

I really desired to open up these relationships again, and to show these ladies just how much I love them and care for them, and ultimately how much God loves them. Pray for them please! And pray that I can be more bold next time to share the Gospel - or really, just be faithful to be obedient to what God wants me to do. 

God has really put this on my heart to encourage anyone who is reading this that it is never too late to reach out to those around you! Whenever I think of these friends, He has brought these scriptures to mind:

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" Hebrews 13:5

"...if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself."
2 Timothy 2:13

God doesn't give up! God is relentless in His pursuit of people! We don't have to give up either. There are 2 times in which it's too late to keep reaching out to other people: if they die, or if you die. Sharing the Gospel with nonbelievers is one thing you can't do in heaven. Let's pray for each other in this!! Let's be persistent to show how persistent God is!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Renewed and Ready to Run - June 2012 Newsletter

 
“…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Isaiah 40:31
 

Renewed and Ready to Run

 
We finally have had the chance to have some down time this summer - HOORAY! God has blessed us tremendously with allowing us opportunity to go camping, enjoy the outdoors, and relax at home. We also got the chance to celebrate our 1st anniversary! Thank you so much for praying for us and our marriage – and we ask that you keep praying for us too, cause we have a long ways to go still!!

While we’ve been able to make merry our time of summer, we’ve also been able to hear how God has been moving and working in the lives of students. While camping in Crested Butte, CO, we had the chance to meet up with Anne. Anne joined 13 other students from around the U.S. (one of them being Rachel, another gal from FLC) in the month long summer project called Lifelines. Though she had only been there less than two weeks, she said that the lessons she had learned already were worth the trip!! Please pray for Anne and Rachel as they finish this week, and then process their time once they return home.

The other blessing through our students has been through a girl I will call “M”. My (Leah’s) relationship with M has been one over text messages trying to encourage her to follow God, meet together to try to talk, to come to Connect – ANYTHING to help her grow in her walk with God. This has been going on for a couple years now. Not too long ago, she texted me to say that she truly wants to put God first in her life and get connected with other believers. I could tell a change, especially when we actually got to get together for coffee and meet for the first time face to face! PLEASE pray for M in her walk with God, to stay in fellowship with believers, and that the enemy will not snatch her away again!!

We love our students, and we can’t wait to see them all again in a couple months! Keep praying for them to stay strong in the Lord this summer!!

 

Other Prayer Requests

 

-       Night Vision 2012 is July 13th & 14th!!! Please pray for us to reach any non-believers that may come, and clearly communicate the Gospel so everyone we talk to can know exactly how to have a personal relationship with God. If you’re in the area, don’t forget to come by and hear great music!!
-       Following Night Vision, we are taking the 3 interns that are working with Master Plan this summer to go climbing and share the Gospel up in the Boulder/Denver area. Pray that we can be VERY intentional with sharing the Gospel with climbers. And if you’re in the area and feel like giving climbing a try – contact us soon! We would love for you to join us!!
-       Both of us need to remember to rest so we can run hard once the school year comes. Please pray that we can not only get through the events, but also have time to rest and prepare for the upcoming semester!!
-       If you don’t know yet, Colorado is on fire! Please pray for those fighting the fires, and for the fires to cease. Rain would be nice as well!