Thursday, October 23, 2008

October Update

Dear Friends and Family, Thank you for bearing with me as you wait in eager anticipation of my next newsletter. Here are a few of the things I am involved with. Spiritual Emphasis Week – For a solid week chapels are held each day where the students (high school through middle school) here and message and take part in worship music. This semester’s theme was Unlearn: making room for the path of Jesus. The goal was to shatter some preconceived ideas about our walk with God. For example few understand that we can encounter God anywhere. Not just at church or bible study, but anywhere. The response from the students was amazing. Many were moved to follow God more seriously. A few chose to follow Christ in a way that they had never experienced before. Praise God for a school like the Alliance Academy where the church can grow and move and prepare leaders for this world so desperately in need of Him. The Chaplain’s Office – The day to day in the Chaplain’s Office is filled with small administrative ministry tasks, but often riddled with wonderful conversations with students and teachers about a huge scope of spiritual issues. Often I feel unprepared and unworthy to even engage, but my God works in and through me. Pray for the ministry that happens here. Already I’ve watched students change their actions, words and attitudes after encountering God through a conversation or a worship service. He moves in ways that we cannot comprehend yet are sometimes privileged to witness. Youth Group – For the next three months I am filling the position of youth pastor at English Fellowship Church. This has been a burden of responsibility more than a joy given all of my other primary tasks, but still a blessing. A full time youth pastor will arrive in January and take over, but until that time I have been charged with the task of “keeping it alive”. Youth mean more to me than just being alive, but unfortunately I don’t have the time to help it thrive. Thanks to God who provides all we need, I do have a few well needed and well equipped volunteers. Our theme at the moment is of “Denying ourselves, Taking up our cross, and Following Him”. This is truly an opportunity for some well informed Christian kids to become mature and bold believers. Pray for them as they become involved in the youth group and encounter God in new ways. Worship Teams – At the Alliance Academy my official title is Director of Worship. This means I lead and develop six teams of students that lead worship for chapels, Guardians and Youth Group. So far God has brought me almost thirty students who desire to know more about worship and learn more about how to do that. Pray that I can be a conduit of true, spiritual worship. There is a true potential for some radical transformation in the hearts and minds of the student body through ardent and genuine worship of our King. Guardians – Guardians is a Christian Service Outreach that targets middle school students. A group of 12 high school students whom Adam and I have identified as potential leaders and who are solid in their faith and belief in Christ partake in running a youth group like ministry for middle school students. The group we have this year is incredible. I have been blown away by their maturity and capability. They are willing and active in sharing their faith and trying new things. Pray that they would grow more than we could ask or imagine. Day to Day Ministry –Last Thursday while having a general conversation with the man who guards my apartment building, we began to talk about religions. He was unchurched and has not heard the gospel. After him asking me a few questions about what I do and why I’m in Ecuador he paused. I realized he was debating whether to ask this question or not and decided it would be ok. He asked “Loren, how do I become a Christian? How do I do that?” and I was more than willing to share the gospel of our Savior with Him. Please pray that I can find an Ecuadorian pastor and church to connect Him to. He really knows nothing about God or Christianity, please pray that God would give me the wisdom and words to speak to him and may he be first of many to accept His Word and lead others to Christ. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. They are truly priceless. May God continue to bless you each as you seek Him and use your worldly treasure to make others glad in Christ. What else should we use it for if not to bring others to Him? I pray that God would open the eyes of every believer to the great needs of this world and that we would gladly give all we have if it would further the cause of Christ. There are several needs that have arisen over the past two months. 1) I have two small groups of guys that I meet with regularly for lunches and discipleship. You have a heart to give toward this ministry please do as my budget is not covering this cost of taking boys to lunch. This is where the majority of lives are impacted and changed, when they know that I care enough to talk with them and challenge them over a meal. 2) As the Director of Worship I need a guitar. The office owns one that is in poor shape. It is shared with other departments and therefore often not available or not in the place I need it when I need it. The guitar would need to be an acoustic electric guitar able to be plugged in. If you know of a guitar available to be given to the ministry let me know. If you are willing to give towards us buying a guitar here in country that is also doable. Thank you. 3) As some of you know. My shoulder was injured at the beginning of the summer and has increasingly become more painful to lift or carry things with that arm. What is needed is an MRI. This runs around $350, this is not enough for my insurance company to cover as I have a $1000 deductible which would cover surgery. If you can help me with this expense it would be greatly appreciated as I would be able to better participate in ministry if this could be fixed. This expense would be personal, so checks would have to be made out to Loren Holland and sent to my state side address (at bottom). Thank you again.4) Alaina and I are preparing for marriage and are going to begin the book Love and Respect. Please pray for us as we do so and are guided by God and couples who have agreed to walk us through this material. Thank you all once again. Loren Holland 6233 15th ave. Meridian, MS 39305
View of Cotopaxi Volcano from my apartment roof

No comments:

Post a Comment