This is a week of fasting for East Park Church. Many of us from East Park have committed to omitting something from our daily routine to be intentional about listening to God: listening to what God has for us personally as well as collectively as a body of believers.
I have to admit, fasting has never been easy for me. I tend to avoid it altogether. "What should I fast from?" "Do I communicate with God differently while I fast?" "It can't be too easy, but it also can't be TOO HARD!" "Am I doing this right!?"
I decided to participate this week in fasting along with many other members from East Park Church. I truly feel God will honor my heart and my effort to connect with Him more deeply. I stand in that confidence through a very long (and ongoing) road of discovering who I have been created to be, and embracing the gifts and talents God has given specifically to ME. God knows me and my innermost being better than I know myself. He will speak to me in a way that will allow me to hear Him. Why pass up a chance to join my community in hearing from our Creator together?
I am ignoring the questions above and trusting that God, the God that knows me intimately and personally (the good along with the bad) will know how to guide and direct me to Him. When I am with HIM I will be utilized in the most effective way possible. THAT is what I desire. And because I am part of a community of believers at East Park Church, I desire that for our community as well.
I feel honored and privileged to be in the leadership role of our International Missions Ministry at East Park. It is something that I will always care about because God has given me that passion. I care where this ministry goes. I care who we God leads us to partner with. I care about our current partners. So because of this, I have also used the time of fasting this week to seek if God would have us take on another partner in addition the three partners we currently have. If God does in fact want us to take on another partnership, the question then becomes, who will it be?
Our short-term missions team of 5 (Kathi, Katie, Jordan, Tom and Myself) felt God spoke to us about 3 partnerships specifically. I will leave a little more information below. All the partnerships we visited and learned about are so deserving and amazing in their own ways, but our team connected specifically with these three.
John and Nok are church planters in Bangkok, Thailand.
ITDP- Integrated Tribal Development Program; Northern Thailand
ITDP works with the Hill Tribe people in Northern Thailand, close to the Burmese border. There are three different ways to partner with them.
1. Support of key personnel-Teacher salary
2. Support of Micro Loans
3. Fund a village water project
Manara International; Amman, Jordan
Manara International was founded by Isam Ghattas (pictured above left) more than 40 years ago. This ministry helps in three ways: distributing the word of God, refugee relief, and development of Christian youth through camp ministry.
We hope you will join in praying with us as we seek God's guidance in these partnerships!