Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Finest Woman

I thought I should share this.
video
Thank you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Illmo

Greetings All,
The past weekend we spent in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. If you have ever seen the movie: Planes, Trains and Automobiles the landscape they cross when the train breaks down seemed to be exactly the same place we were. Distant relatives of mine invited us to share at the evening service of Illmo Baptist Church. The people there were very kind and inviting. Pray that Christ was glorified in our presentation and lives and that any foolishness or self exalting will be forgiven and forgotten by those we encountered, for His Name's Sake.
This week I finish my collegiate duties and await my Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration. Thank the Lord that its practically over. I will take the final on Wednesday and from then on be free to read any book I want. It has been a long 4 1/2 year journey of ups and and a lot of downs, but He is good.
This month pray for three very distinct things if you will:
Clear Vision of His hand at work
Assurance of our Calling
Passion for that Calling
Alaina and I are thankful for the Lord's continued provision. We are so close to being at 100% supported financially, but until we are supported financially and through the prayers of God's church we will not be going anywhere.
Merry Christmas!
Loren
(the picture is of our mission home in Jackson, TN)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

November News

Dear Friends and Family, Support After four months of traveling, speaking and raising support, October showed the second lowest amount received this year. Talk about discouraging! From nearly 1/2 raised to only a 1/4 was a real blow. We have not stopped praying and seeking the Lord’s face and this past month we have seen Him work miracles. In the month of November, 10 new families have committed to support and pray for us regularly. Three times now we have spoken to small groups of friends and family in their homes and have found wonderful encouragement. Many have expressed assurance and encouragement of and from our calling to Ecuador. We are now at roughly 1/3 of our needed monthly support pledged. Praise God as He does His work exactly as He intends. Recently, we finished reading the book of Acts. From the Day of Pentecost to the journey of Paul we saw how the hand of God is at work mightily in those that deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Jesus. The truth rings clear; He is enough. Every disappointment, discouragement or loss is made up for in Christ Jesus and He will never leave us. Freedom, love, hope and grace are ours only through Him. Health Both of us had H1N1 and successfully passed it on to friends. Sharing is caring. We have both recovered just fine, but during our period of sickness I was asked to lead worship for Fellowship Bible Church’s youth group. I was so excited to be able to play, but my voice was almost gone. Thankfully, the students were forgiving and they decided they would have me back in the future. Praise God that the possible cancer scare Alaina’s mother endured turned out to be nothing. She came to the US for some tests and nothing showed up. We were able to visit her in Texas while she was States side. While in Texas, I had the privilege of attending the TCU - Utah game at TCU. Yeah, horned frogs! Celebration Nov. 28, 2009, Kristen Cisneros and Trevor Schmidt were married in Hooper, CO. It was a huge blessing to attend and be in the wedding. Trevor and I have walked through much of our lives together and I am so glad he has found Kristen. She is a wonderful woman of God and I couldn’t be happier for both of them. While we were in Colorado we spent Thanksgiving with my grandparents and aunt and uncle’s family. Alaina has found that she fits right in with my cousins as they are all red heads and love to play Dutch Blitz. Unfortunately there just wasn’t enough time or snow to go snowboarding while we were there, but on our return across the south we experienced snow in Amarillo and again outside Ft. Worth. So beautiful, so long as you have a warm coat and a board under your feet. Thank you all so much for your prayers. They have been felt and so deeply appreciated. Alaina and I have both known the influence of Satan when we are not covered in prayer. Some days we just seem angry for no reason at all, when we know full that the Master is in control. It seems everyday we learn a little more about trusting our God for every single need. In Him Loren and Alaina Holland 6233 15th Ave Meridian, MS, 39305 601-572-5176 (AT&T - US) Skype - gregeoryh www.hollandfamilylife.com If you would like to contribute to our monthly support there are a variety of ways to give. A check can be made out to International Teams. Indicate either on the check or on a separate note “for the ministry of Loren and Alaina Holland”. Exact wording is important for IRS reasons. You may give online at www.iteams.org/give where you will also find a link to setting up an Electronic Fund Transfer. On our web site there is a link titled “GIVE” which will explain the different ways to give in more detail. If you have any questions you can contact us or International Teams at 1-874-429-0900. Thanks so much.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October Prayers

Dear Brothers and Sisters, We need prayer. The last few weeks have been so strange. The Lord has blessed us with a home until Dec. 31, the day we plan to go to Ecuador, but we are really finding it hard to raise the monthly support we need. Each day Alaina and I have been praying for wisdom in how to approach our situation. So far, there is shelter over our heads, food on the table and a bed to sleep on, but we want more than to just survive. Each day we have resolved to trust him more as we just don’t know what to do next. We are $2000 away from our needed monthly support. Pray and ask the Lord what your part could be in getting us to Ecuador. Pray for us as there are some family health issues that have come up. We aren’t sure what they mean for us in the long run, but they could affect our timeline for going to Ecuador. Early in the summer we believed that God was leading us to set our feet in Jackson, Tennessee until we go to Ecuador. This is for two reasons: 1) to raise support, 2) we need a common place to call our home in the US. We have been very impressed with a particular church community’s passion to follow Christ, so what better way to choose a place to live than a church body? Because we are relatively new to the area (myself more than Alaina) pray that we can connect with people and find ways to serve. Fellowship Student Ministries (FSM) is the youth group at our church here in Jackson and we feel led to invest our time there. The youth leader has asked if I would be willing to lead the worship a few nights a month and I am looking forward to that. Through dinners, lunches and get-togethers, we have made a few friends and connections so far, but pray that we can make profound relationships with those that will hold us up in thoughts, prayers and through accountability. The Lord has granted me a passion to see people ministered to through honest conversation. Much of my mentoring came through times spent around a small table with hot beverage. The opportunity to begin a ministry like this within the Alliance Academy has come up and I am ready to pursue it. Pray for direction and clarity on what steps should be taken. Immediate needs for that ministry would be an espresso machine and miscellaneous coffee shop equipment. Thank you all for your prayers and support. Please continue praying as both Alaina and I have felt Satan against us. We really feel like God has allowed us to be where we must be completely dependant on Him. For now and always we will put our faith in His future grace. In Him Loren and Alaina Holland

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Holland Family Life

HOLLAND FAMILY LIFE September 2009 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” -Acts 9:15-16 How many of us really anticipate the cost of the calling of Jesus. When he said that if anyone would come after Him they must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him. He even says that we must consider all things as lost compared to knowing and following Him. Hating family and leaving homes, and persecution on top of that; the whole thing sounds pretty intense. Jesus promises eternal life in return, but is it worth it? Read more at www.hollandfamilylife.com (Be sure to sign up for the RSS feed by clicking on the RSS button)
MARRIAGE
AMAZING! WONDERFUL! HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!
TRAVEL/TRAINING
Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and beyond! Over three months of traveling more than 8,000 miles staying in 15 different bedrooms/living room floors presenting our ministry to countless people, handing out prayer cards to every praying person we met. Now training has come. Elgin, Illinois, home of International Teams headquarters is our resting place for the next three weeks. The first week Alaina will be taking classes I took last year, then for the remaining two weeks we will be together learning from the best of IT trainers. We are both very much looking forward to being stationary for a time. In November my good friend Trevor Schmidt will be getting married to his fiancĂ©, Kristen Cisneros in Alamosa Colorado. As best man I will need some help with games and such to ‘share’ with him and the wedding party. Any suggestions of fun wedding things to do, please let me know. We are looking forward to a wonderful time of celebration.
SUPPORT
Our support status is as follows: The God we serve is infinitely wealthy and we are His children. He will withhold no good thing from those who love Him. We are praying for a monthly support level of: $3,508.44. Our monthly support level average for this year has been approximately: $2,000. We are just over half way to what we have budgeted. If anyone would like a copy of our budget please let me know and I would love to answer any questions that you have.
BACK TO SCHOOL
For the next three months I will be completing my degree in Business Management from Thomas Edison State College. It was God’s will that I take International Management after repeated attempts at testing out of another course. With as much time as we will be spending over seas I’m sure it will not hurt to have such a class under my belt. Pray for clarity of mind and diligence to study over the next three months.
SCRIPTURE
Over the past three months, Alaina and I have been fighting for time in the Word and deeper intimacy with Him. It has not been easy. Just this morning I was led to 1 Tim. 6:6-16. Paul is pointing out those that search after riches in this life and urging those that have made a confession of Christ as their Lord to run after eternal treasure. The fact that the book was written to Timothy, who often serves as a sort of symbol of young Christian leaders reminded me of the young people that are making confessions of faith and living their life out in front of a movie screen or Xbox. He begs us to find greater pleasure in Him; to come alive, truly alive. Ponder and act on this verse: Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. - 1 Timothy 6:12 Thank you all for your prayers and giving. Each of you is dear to us and should know that Alaina and I pray for you often. May God bless you richly as turn from worldly pleasures and find true pleasures at His right hand. -Loren and Alaina Holland 6233 15th Ave. Meridian, MS 39305 601-572-5176 lorenalaina@gmail.com www.hollandfamilylife.com
GIVING
If you are interested in partnering with us in our ministry by giving click on the attachment or send us an email requesting an information packet. You can also give online by going to www.iteams.org/give or visiting our website www.hollandfamilylife.com and click the link on the home page that says GIVE. There are so many ways to give if none of these works for you. Just let us know your preferred method and we can make it happen. Checks should be made out to International Teams. On the check indicate “for the ministry of Loren and Alaina Holland”. Send to: International Teams 411 W. River Rd. Elgin, IL, 60123 (tax deductible) If you would like to send a personal gift make out check to Loren and Alaina Holland and send to: Loren Holland 6233 15th ave. Meridian, MS, 39305 (non-tax deductible)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Get our updates!!!

If you would like to receive the Holland updates on life and how our training is going please take the following three easy steps!!
1) Go To: www.hollandfamilylife.com
2) Click on RSS subscribe
3) In the bottom right hand corner click on any of the ways you desire to be contacted about our updates! We recommend the "subscribe in mail" to get the updates coming to your email account.
If you do receive our updates, we would love to hear from you!
lorenalaina@gmail.com
In Christ, Loren and Alaina Holland

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In case you hadn't heard

Alright!
We have our website up and running. If you want to see more, read more, know more about Loren and Alaina Holland look us up at:
See ya there!
-Loren

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Married

Marriage,
What a crazy past month!
Culture readjustment returning to the US
Wedding!
Marriage!
Honeymoon!
Support Raising!
God has been guiding us along a beautiful path these past weeks. Prepar
ed or not, it has all been in His timing. He is good and has given good gifts to us His children.
The wedding was gorgeous. The folks in Jackson did a fantastic job. As I told them, it was "more than we could have ever imagined!" Check out Alaina's facebook for more pictures.
Thanks you all for coming and making it
the most special day of our lives. Alaina and I have waited a looooong time and today I must say it was very much worth it.
The honey moon in Cancun was also more than we could have imagined. Lots of sun and a beautiful resort. He is too good to us!
We are in the process of raising support to go back to the mission field of Quito, Ecuador. If you would like to see us this summer or hear from us, send us your email: lorenholland@gmail.com or give us a call: 601-572-5176. We will be covering the greater portion of the United States in faith that God will provide along the way. Next week we will be in Texas celebrating 4th of July with Alaina's family. From there we will be on our way to Colorado for a few weeks to visit friends and family on Loren's side. Though things are pending at this point, we are hoping to visit a ministry called heartsupport.com in Las Vegas, NV after Colorado. They provide an online community where people can seek
help from addictions, eating disorders, cutting, etc. We hope build some relationships as well as ask some questions about how we can do better at providing a safe place for students to share their struggles where we are working in Ecuador. Oregon and Washington will be our next stop where Alaina's father is from and worked as a pastor for several years. Then, its back across the country to Chicago where we will be in training with International Teams mid-September.
It will be a fun summer and an eventful Fall.
Please let us know if you are anywhere near
the locations mentioned or even in between. Please pray as Alaina and I present our ministry to others and continue to do the work of missionaries even here in th
e US. Thank you all so much.
-Loren and Alaina Holland

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back in the USA

 

My final weeks and days in Ecuador were wonderful.  My entire life I have not been in one place, let alone, one country for more than 4 years at a time.  A few years ago I decided that when the time comes to pick-up and move again I want to truly miss the people I am leaving behind.  Yesterday I left a community of people, students, teachers, mentors, pastors, workers, Christians and non, that I will deeply miss.  The Lord knows when I will return to them.

      

      The past weekend I took advantage of my “freedom” and went for a visit to Shell.  Saturday morning I rented and rode a bike from Banos (Banyos) to Shell.  The ride took about 4 hours compared to when I did it in 6th grade when it took us all day long.  Despite a pretty bad sunburn and a very tired body I was very refreshed to get back to my ‘home’ town where I had spent so many years of my life.  God blessed me with the time, money and place to just reflect and prepare for the upcoming life events.  Two books went with me.  Real Christianity by William Wilberforce and Friend Raising by Betty Bernett.  I could be wrong with the second author’s exact name.  Both of the books were excellent!  I highly recommend the first to anyone that is battling mediocre and culturally Christianity.  The second helped prepare my mind and heart for returning to the US to raise support.

      

      The thing that has been resting deep in me these past weeks has been the weight of God.  As I was flying today I wrote down this thought.  We do not have the words to express the vastness or weight of God’s glory so rather than seeking a better word for His greatness, let us seek to know the glory of God.  What I mean is this: when we say that God is a good God, that is a true statement.  But, to describe God’s goodness compared to our goodness, there is an eternal difference.  How else should we say it then?  More words?  God is a good, great, awesome, magnificent, magestic, glorious, wonderful, generous, lovely, beautiful, God.  Even these words in our finite minds cannot ‘hold’ the weight of their truth in the context of God.  How do we KNOW God to BE who or what He is?  This , I cannot answer except to point us to the Son of that God, Jesus Christ.  It is through him that we see the glory of God in the face of Christ.

           

It is true that nothing compares to knowing Christ.  As Paul describes his desire in Philippians, he considers all things to be lost and rubbish compared to knowing Christ.  What things are in our way of knowing Christ.  I know that I constantly am fighting to see Him through the trash.  Media plays such a huge role in this.  Good movies or bad, if they distract from knowing Christ, it is rubbish.  As a rule, if it is distracting you from knowing and following Christ, where true life is found, life that the Christian claims, get rid of it.  Let us throw off every hindrance that keeps us from running the race.

            Spirit of God, move in and through us, teach us the value of Christ in the face of the wor

lds business and vanities.  In the light of His glory let all things be considered lost.  We embrace that every loss for the sake of the gospel and the glory of God is made up in Christ Jesus.  Lord, take from us the distractions, grant us focus, clarity and discipline to see you as you are and feel your weight.  Then, let us respond to you in true worship.  Be glorified, O God.

                        -Amen

Not a Bad Thing

Dear Friends, Two weeks from today I leave Ecuador and return to the US. Four weeks from this Saturday I will marry Alaina Bare and they say marriage will radically change my life. They probably know what they are talking about. But, if Christ had not first made a radical change in me I could not see that God has His loving hand in every moment of our lives, big and small. Returning to the US has brought many questions to mind over the past months. Among those questions is: Lord, what would you have me do? This fleshes itself out this way: Where will we live this summer? When should/will we return to Ecuador? How will You provide the food we need? Fortunately we serve a God that is more than willing to show us His love for us. The risk is trusting Him to provide all we need. That I am confident that He will do. Another question that picks at me even more is: How and where do we seek a home church? How and where do we root ourselves in a community of believers that will commit to loving and supporting us as we seek to love them? You see it is very difficult to feel commissioned and supported when there is little connection or friendship with those that are sending us. Many of you I know well and have supported me faithfully in prayer and often finances. For that I am eternally grateful. But, because I was raised in Ecuador, my “home” church is here. It is a strange dynamic to most and is something that I’m sure many mission-minded MK’s have dealt with. This is why both Alaina and I have felt led to spend more time in the US seeking out and building that community of relationships. Currently we would like to return to Ecuador by Christmas, in time for the second semester of school. Our summer travel plans will remain the same, but we will spend a few intentional months building relationships in the community in which God has yet to show us. There are a lot of realities that come with this. -Someone else will have to take on my responsibilities here in Ecuador until I return -We will need a place to live while we are in the US -We need to prayerfully consider the community that God would have us ‘root’ in. -Details must be figured out with International Teams and Youth World alike to see if they agree on this plan.
Please continue to keep us in prayer as we begin these next few chapters.  He is faithful.
-Loren Holland

Friday, April 17, 2009

Don't Waste Your Life

So Sweet!
This is a hiphop video made possible through the ministry of Desiring God.
Here's what they say:
"DG's media team partnered with Reach Records to make a hip-hop video encapsulating the message of John Piper'sDon't Waste Your Life."

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wisdom

A little over a week ago I was taken back to my first growth spurts in my spiritual life.  Thinking back on my first journal and the entries made, there was a consistent request made.  I prayed for wisdom.  Often daily I wrote my prayer to God that He would make me wise, able to discern what His will was for me and really how to live the life given me.
As I continue in ministry praying for the lost and reaching out to those that have decidedly not chosen the life of Christ, I continue to seek wisdom.  But to pursue wisdom in our choices there are a few essentials that must take place.  What are they? and Why?
These things are first of all humility to allow God to change your mind and ultimately a willingness to change your pattern of living.  From the start, we all must realize that we are dead in our transgressions and sins until Christ makes us alive in Him.  The pattern often still remain though.  The excitement of a new life must be coupled with surrender to change the lifestyle that you lead.  This is a difficult thing to comprehend or even explain to one who has grown up in a Christian home and has developed a mediocre faith.  If we cannot submit to humility and see how there is still a deadness about us in our lifestyle, can a true lasting difference be made?  I am inclined to think not.  Hopefully, when we are brought to Christ the One who satisfies, it is for a hope so far beyond us that we are captivated by His promises.  
It seems that today we are bound to a lifestyle of entertainment pursuit.  We "need" time to vegitate in front of a television screen with little thought to the content of what we are watching.  Between the latest movies and the latest pills we move to "godless" remedies.  There is nothing wrong with good pure entertainment especially if it feeds the soul and enriches the imagination.  But, do we do a good enough job filtering what goes in?  Often this message is what is preached to youth in youth groups, but all people needs to hear it.
When living in Colorado, Trevor, my roommate and I, decided not to have a television.  We felt convicted by the question, "Do we know Christ well enough to be spending our time and money on TV?"  Our answer consistently was and is, "No!"  Occasionally we watched a movie together, but never more than once or twice a week.
There seem to be so many believers claiming Christ as their Savior, but how wise are the choices they make on a daily basis?  Choices involving internet, television, prime time, friends, etc.  Where is time, money and energy spent?  Where is one's mind the majority of the day?  The answers to these questions reveal the spiritual life of every person.  If someone is in a relationship with Jesus Christ, there will be a noticeable difference in the way that they live.  A love for something well beyond them will be evident.  If that spiritual life is exercised the results will show.  Results like not only saying "no" to ungodliness, but knowing how to recognize it.
So, lets pray for wisdom from God to not only live a better way, but to live a better way as a result of 
CHRIST MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE.
Let us remain in Him, commune with Him and ask him for the wisdom to test and approve what his good pleasing and perfect will is.  Let us desire to be workmen approved, who do not need to be ashamed.  
-Loren

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Only 7 weeks until I go back to the US to get married.  I've committed to waiting, but still, as we say...I can't wait!
First.  Shoulder Stuff
My shoulder operation went very well, in fact I slept through the whole thing.  Now, a week later I am able to type at a computer.  I'm hoping to get my stitches out tomorrow.  Pray that I will soon have fun range of motion with my shoulder and can get back into normal operation.  Thanks to all who have prayed for healing.
Second.  Coffee Shop - Subsuelo.
A few weeks ago i was approached by the director of the Alliance Academy regarding a coffee shop idea.  I had mentioned to some people that I would really like to more actively pursue youth through venues such as coffee shops and perhaps even develop one through Youth World.  The school would like us to create and run one right where we are.  What a great opportunity to try the waters out!  So I wrote up a proposal and design layout.  Since the location is in the basement area of the CMA dorm I thought the spanish word for basement (subsuelo) would fit well.  The feel would be like the "commons area" on a college campus.
   Thus far the proposal has been well received, but there are many things that need happen if we are to open it before the next school year begins.  Not only will we need coffee machines, blender, sinks, cups, napkins, lids, ice, coffee, milk, refrigerator, freezer, couches, coffee tables and miscellaneous coffee shop items, but we will need staff to help build it and staff to help run it.  Then of course depending on donations, we will need the money to make it happen.  If you have any coffee shop experience, if you have experienced any ministry through the availability of being able to sit and talk in a coffee shop one-on-one or with friends.  Please if your heart has any desire to see this dream become a greater reality don't hesitate to let me know.
Third.  Raising Support
After Alaina and I return from our honeymoon we will begin the process of traveling and speaking in churches around the US to raise awareness and support for what is happening in Ecuador and to return there by October.  Please let us know if you would like us to visit YOUR church, youth group, bible study, club or even gang.  We both have had hearts to return to the mission field where we were raised and continue the ministry that we were exposed to as students.
Understandably, times are more difficult in the US than they have been.  Just recently a bog post appeared on Desiring God's website by David Mathis.  He gives just 5 of God's purposes from Scripture for recessions out of countless purposes and they go like this:
1.  To expose hidden sin and so bring us to repentance and cleansing. 2.  To wake us up to the constant and desperate condition of the developing world where there is always and only recession of the worst kind. 3.  To relocate the roots of our joy in his grace rather than in our goods—in his mercy rather than our money, in his worth rather than our wealth. 4.  To advance his saving mission in the world—the spread of the gospel and the growth of his church—precisely at a time when human resources are least able to support it. This is how he guards his glory. 5.  To bring his church to care for its hurting members and to grow in the gift of love.
Many will find reasons and good ones why they just can't give to missions right now.  Unfortunately more will try to save their cable or satellite television before they seek to save the lost.  More will invest in their yard or their SUV or daily mocha or DVD collection long before they ever think to invest in world missions.  Truly I think we all could do with a little less numbness of entertainment and comforts and fall more deeply in love with Christ and choosing even more to be a part of what He is doing around the world.
Thank you all once again for the support and prayers that many of you have sent.  Things continue here busy as usual, but it is by the mercy of God that we have been given this ministry and therefore we do not loose heart.  May God bless and keep you today and always as you remain in His love actively pursuing the One that will satisfy completely.
In Him
-Loren Holland

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Future Blessings

Greetings everyone, Many of you know that matrimony is on the horizon for Alaina and me. Unfortunately we cannot send official invitations to everyone, but all are welcome. The wedding will take place in Jackson, Tennessee. If you are interested in joining in the celebration, just let us know and we can give you directions. Once, early in our relationship, a good friend asked me, “What do you and Alaina have in common?” Her and I were both in the same Christian Service Outreach and it was obvious that God was the center of both our affections. This truth, along with her joyful spirit, attracted me most of all. Therefore, it was very clear from the start that God had called us both into full time ministry. Now, after many short-term trips and college nearly out of the way Alaina and I are applying to be full time missionaries with International Teams. This fall we hope to return to Ecuador and continue working with Youth World in the Ingles Student Ministries (ISM) Department. What we will do: ISM primarily works on the Alliance Academy International campus. The Alliance Academy is an English Speaking, Christian, k-12, American school. Alaina and I both graduated from this school and are excited to return and work with the students. We will identify and train potential Christian student leaders through a variety of means. 1. Chapel: Facilitating Wednesday chapel each week that is attended by the entire secondary. 2. Discipleship Groups: led by ourselves and school faculty. 3. Training: faculty that are interested in leading those Groups. 4. Guardians: A Christian Service Outreach (CSO) that trains high school students to disciple middle school students. 5. One-on-One: Staffing the chaplain’s office where we get hourly interaction with many students and often conversations. What it will take: It seems that many are hard pressed financially. For some even employment has been difficult to find. We understand the cost of going and doing what the Lord has called us to. There is a price that comes along with serving Him; if there was no price, then it would not be worth the risk. We will answer His call and we hope and pray that you will partner with us in answering that call. We humbly ask for… 1. Prayer: How can we go without His body praying for us as we enter into a cross-cultural, bilingual, third world? Please, pray for us as we are in the process of going. Even now, pray for the students of the school. 2. Finances: It takes money to live these days. Crazy…I know. Because we are still in the preliminary steps of being accepted as full time missionaries we do not have an exact quota we must reach though we must be fully supported before we can go. The missionaries here in Quito let me know that our projected need per month is approx. $3,000. This will include flights to and from Ecuador, travel costs within the US while raising support, set-up costs for housing and ministry in Ecuador. 3. Physical Needs: As mentioned we will be setting-up a house. A house needs things like a bed, refrigerator, washer, dryer, oven/stove, microwave, dishes, etc. Though we will be getting married and registering at various places we do not want people to give us breakable or large things such as dishes or microwaves. The majority of those things we will purchase once we are in Ecuador. Summer Calendar Alaina and I will be traveling this summer to visit as many of you as possible, we also hope to take on more supporters. We would like to do two things: 1. Visit you who have been faithful in prayer and support. 2. Visit churches and ministries that are doing a similar work and are alive with excitement toward the ministry that God has given them. So, if you would like for us to come and speak to your particular body or simply to visit, let us know when and where would work best. Dates between June 15th - Sept. 6th will be dates that Alaina and I would love to visit you. Feel free to pass our information along to anyone you like. Taking Action Now If you feel the Lord leading you to take part in our ministry in a financial way, this is how. Since I (Loren) am already a missionary with International Teams you can send checks or cash to: Loren Holland International Teams 411 W. River Rd. Elgin, IL 60123 Be sure to make the check out to International Teams and indicate that the money is “for the ministry of Loren Holland”. This process will change in May when we change over to full-time missionary status. Those of you who already give on a monthly basis will receive instructions on how to change over. Thank you all so much for what you have already given to the Lord’s work here in Ecuador. He has and is doing great things. I have been reminded this very day that we consider the ministries we’ve been given as mercies from the Lord, not obligations. May He alone be praised for who He is and the work that He is doing. Blessings -Loren Holland 6233 15th ave. Meridian, MS 39305 www.lorenholland.blogpot.com 601 572 5176

Friday, January 23, 2009

Extended Hearts

     When I was in High School I began a relationship with an artisan vendor named Carlos Remache who sold things across the street from the school here in Ecuador. During high school I got to know him through buying Ecuadorian gifts from him to give others. Once he asked me if I could help him with getting some back backs from some boys in his community about three hours north of Quito. At the time I was happy to help him out though I didn't even know him that well. The backpacks were for two boys whom he has been discipling for several years now. When he asked me to help the boys with the two gifts the boys were in early primary school. Now they are beginning secondary. Last semester my friend told me the boys had worn the backpacks out from years of use and were very much in need of new ones. Again I was happy to help him as I have many supporters who have freely given so that I can freely give to those in need here in Ecuador. As you have given know that two boys here in Ecuador as well as a Quichua Alliance Pastor, Carlos Remache are receiving blessings that they could never afford.
This first picture show one of the boys, Juan Carlos, on the left kneeling and Carlos Remache on the right standing over them.  The bottom photo is the second boy, Luis Humberto, with one of his backpack.
     Carlos Remache just finished his title in biblical studies to be an Alliance Pastor for his town.  He already has missionary dreams and visions of his own to reach his people.  Continue to keep him and his wife and sons in your prayers.  From time to time I help them out with other expenses such as medicines, bus fares, etc.  He is hoping to get into the Alliance Quichua seminary that meets at the school as soon as the Lord permits.
    Thank you all for playing a part in helping out the brothers who are doing such a great work in their own country.  
May the Lord Bless and keep you.
-Loren

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New Home, Almost Home

This next semester I am living with the Weir family.  They are long friends of my family from back in our Shell days.  It is so nice to have some home cooking again.  Already I'm finding more energy to complete my daily tasks.
It has been only a few days since Alaina went back to the US.  Having her here in country was so nice.  Spending everyday together was wonderful as we tackled natural tendencies and family differences while preparing for marriage, etc.  So very good!  She has started her student teaching in Jackson and seems confident in what she's doing.  She has already broken up at least one fight.  Pay for her as she learns the ropes of teaching high school and middle school over the next 4 weeks.  Afterwards she will go to Costa Rica and teach at an international school called Country Day School for 8 weeks.  She will then return and have a couple of weeks before graduation May 23.  Two weeks later we get married, June 6.  We are both so excited to get there.  Pray that we can stay focused on the work God has for us right now and be patient for His timing.  In the mean time we are reading books such as, The Most Important Year in a Man's/Woman's Live, Love and Respect and This Momentary Marriage.  Each are books that have been recommended to us to prepare for marriage and so far they have been great!  Those along with some audio sermons by various pastors and teachers will be our curriculum for the next 4 months.
Planning a honeymoon is tough stuff when you don't have much money.  If anyone has any suggestions of places I am open.  Perhaps you know someone who would love to help out financially, that would be great too!  We are looking at the Caribbean, but haven't found anything inside of our budget yet.
The plan for the summer is to travel across the US while visiting supporters and speaking in churches.  The budget I have now as a single missionary will change as there will be two of us.  Therefore, we will be praying that the Lord moves hearts to give toward His work here in Ecuador.  In late September we hope to return to Ecuador and continue on.  Both Alaina and I will be working in the chaplains office.  I will continue as the Worship Director for Alliance and she will volunteer as needed.  More than anything we will seek to know and love each other while doing the work of missionaries.
I've noticed that my primary focus must be on learning to love my wife as Christ loved the church.  That is one of the greatest ways to show the glory of God wherever He calls us.  Family is such a wonderful design as it represents and is God working in and through relationships.  People sharpening each other through conflicts and loving each other through difficulties.  I truly cannot wait until we can be TOGETHER.  By the time we are married we will have been together for over 5 years.  Almost 4 of which have been long distance.  We love each other very much and are so glad to have waited this long.  Thank you all who have played a part in our growth.
As marriage approaches, pray that planning for the upcoming school year will be one where we can focus on loving one another.  We have lofty dreams of what we will do together, Lord willing.  Thank you all for your prayers and support since I have been here in Ecuador.  Please do not stop mentioning me and Alaina in your prayers.
-Loren