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

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