Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Letter 2013

Dear Friends, What an incredible year. We have seen King Jesus do so many amazing things in our lives this year it is hard to know what to share and what to leave out. With that said, we will cut out the witty intro and dive right in.

After graduating from college in December, 2012 many transitions happened all at once. After much prayer, and a nine and half year wait we welcomed our second child into the world, Elora Grace. She is completely amazing and beautiful. Recovery was hard for Stacy as she had to have another c-section, but she was up and running around in no time. We had decided she would stay home with the baby so this was a big transition for her. 

January was also when I started working part-time for Home Depot. This job was very short lived as it was a 30 min drive at 3 AM and I almost died, literally, like every day. After this, I took a part-time job with Subway and McDonalds. It was a frustrating time, but we were grateful for Gods gracious provision. I also began serving Hopewell Presybterian Church in January as an interim pastor. Serving Hopewell was one of the highlights of the year and we were so blessed to be part of this church, even if for a short time.

2013 was also the year of the move. We lived at 5 addresses this year, no thats not a typo, I meant to write 5. In fact, if I ever decide to call it quits as a pastor I know I could be a professional mover, maybe even run my own business...LOL. I'm still not sure if God was trying to teach us something through all of those addresses, but we defiantly hit that point where we felt we couldn't go on. We had to move from the college in Toccoa, and then we moved to WI, but that's getting ahead of the story. 

In July of 2012 I started putting out resumes out to churches that were looking for pastors. Although we received some offers the right fit just did not present itself. Rather then jump into the wrong sittuation we decided to wait and see where Jesus would lead us. It was also during this season that we began to read The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The book rocked our prayer life and we began to pray in new and radical ways. It was during this time when the Spirit led us to forsake everything and embrace him and pack up and move to Oshkosh, WI to start a church. This is an amazing story about Jesus moving in miraculous ways and if you would like to read it let me know and I will send it to you as I already have it in letter form. Jesus spoke so clearly though that we knew we had to go. Seeing people give to help us get to Oshkosh was so humbling as their gifts said, we believe your supposed to go too. 

When we moved to Oshkosh we did not have a job, a house, or anything lined up. We had one connection in WI and a small budding connection in Oshkosh. We just knew we had to go, and that we were supposed to go now. After living in a hotel for two days we were invited to a Missional community, a group of people living intentionally on mission for Jesus, for a local church plant called New City Church. Before the night was over we had a place to live for a few weeks and a place to store all of our stuff for as long as needed, and we did not ask anyone. This church has been an amazing blessing to us and we are so grateful to God for them. We now had a place to live temporarily, but no way to pay rent. Within eight days of moving I was hired as an assistant manager with Arby's and the training went so well that they promoted me to store manager before I was even finished with training. We then found a month to month renting sittuation, which everyone said did not exist in Oshkosh, until we bought a home in November of this year. Even this was a miracle as we were given a grant to make the down payment on our house and pay all of the closing costs that were left to us. 

Stacy and I also celebrated 10 years of marriage this year. It was awesome as we got to go to Laguna Hills, CA for free for training in starting churches for our anniversary. Of course we made sure we had free time to celebrate! We had a wonderful time remenicing about all Jesus has done in our marriage and how he pulled us from the depths of despair just a few short years ago.

On the church planting front we are in bit of a holding pattern until the new year. We have some logistical things to work out, but in the mean time we have been settling into and getting to know Oshkosh. God has truly settled our hearts here in a supernatural way as we all love the city and have a deep sense of belonging here. 

I cannot leave the letter without mentioning our daughter Aurora. She is amazing, but we have struggled with her some this year. She is strong willed and a natural leader and we pray that God uses this to do great things for the Kingdom. 

As I come to a close we do not know what 2014 has in store for us, but we are on this journey with Jesus. So whatever this year brings we know that as my friend Jon says, "God's got this."

Merry Christmas, The McDuffie's

November Prayer Letter

Dear Prayer Team, I am completely blown away that it has been a month since I last wrote. The graciousness of our Heavenly Father that is upon us is overwhelming as we seek to plant a King and kingdom oriented Churches in Oshkosh, WI. Much has happened this month so let's dive right in.

As most of you know, I have been training as an assistant manager at Arby's. The training program involved long hrs coupled with a long drive and it was very wearing. As the program came to a close I was assigned to the Oshkosh store which we were so grateful for. Four days into being at the Oshkosh store I was offered a store manager position within the company at the edge of town. I was blown away. After praying and talking with Stacy we decided that I would take the position if they would come up in pay. Although my district manager said she did not think they could do the number I asked for, I asked her to pursue it anyway, and it was approved. Not only has the ability to provide for our family improved, but I also no longer have to close the store and it does not require any more hrs than the assistant position. Thsi will of course open up evenings for family and laying the ground work for planting a church in Oshkosh. The position has also given me a platform where I have been able to share the faith with the employees. We are very excited to see what Jesus will do in this next season with this position. I do not know how long God will have me at Arby's, but it is clear he is moving while I am there.

When we moved to Oshkosh we both knew God was burdening our hearts to buy a home even though we had no idea how we would go about this in this stage of our lives. We just knew God wanted us to plant ourselves firmly within the city. Although God closed the door on the house we have been praying over, he has given us a home. We our scheduled to close Nov. 22 and it has been a miracle. We knew that God wanted us to open our home for the sake of the Gospel and we were looking for a home with the space to accomplish this. To be honest everything was out of our budget that was of any size. Not only did God give us a home right within our budget, but it has a ton of Gospel opportunity. The last thing we needed was a down payment. In the process of looking for a home we found a charity grant program that we applied for and we are being given our down payment. I am continuously blown away by what Jesus can do when we walk faithfully and get out of the way.

On a different front, God is doing something uniquely wonderful and beautiful in our relationship with New City Church, the church plant we have been asking prayer for. They have shown us so much kindness and favor. In the book of John, just before Jesus goes to the cross, Jesus prays for his people to be one so that the world may know that we are his. This is what God is stirring with New City. We have gone out inviting people to attend New City, have prayed and continue to pray for God's favor on their ministry, and have sweet fellowship with them. In a similar manner they have sought our good and Gods favor on us, even to the point of bringing us up on stage and publicly praying for us and the ministry God would have us take part in here in Oshkosh. I don't know what God is ultimately going to be doing through this relationship he is building, but I do know that the King and his kingdom are shining brighter than any one man or church. No turf wars are going on, but instead we are just trying to love each other well and be gracious to one another as Jesus has done for us.

The last thing I would share is where we are at in the journey. With October over, we still have not had a date set for the final stage of our church planting assessment. It is very possible with the holidays coming that it is delayed until the New Year. There is a time where I would have found this very frustrating, but I know Jesus is sovereign in our situation and we can honestly say that we are not worried at all. In the mean time, God has been stirring our hearts for the city of Oshkosh in some specific areas. One of the ways Jesus is stirring us is to have Missional communities within the local pubs here in Oshkosh. This is not to be cool, hip, or trendy, but simply to engage people where they are at. In WI the pub is the community center, it is where people connect, meet their friends, and go for fun. Jesus engaged people where they were at and we believe this is what he would have us do also. 

On a different front, God has burned in me the need for sound Biblical counsel in the lives of his people and in the world in general. Beggining in college with several professors The Lord has affirmed through many people that he has gifted me in this way and we know he would have me use this gift for his glory. We are not sure how God is going to be using this within Oshkosh, but he has recently placed a couple people in our lives who have a similar passion for counseling and it is clear God is stirring in this way. We are praying over how God would use this ministry within Oshkosh. 

The third thing God has been stirring in our hearts for sometime is to be part of foster care and adoption, and the with almost any city, the need is clear. God is not just stirring us for the children, but for the parents, that we might lead them to The Lord so that they can learn what it is to be Godly parents and be able to bring their children home. However, we are aware that many children are not able to go home and because God has been gracious enough to adopt us into his family we believe he would have us open up our lives and unconditionally love the orphans of the world. All of this is so much bigger than us, but we know Jesus is leading in this manner and where God guides he also provides. So we are continuing to walk by faith day by day.

As I come to a close I ask for you to pray over a few things...

First pray, over Missional communities in the pubs. Pray we would know where to start and for Gods favor with pub owners, and that many would come to the faith, and that we would grow leaders from this ministry.

Please also be in prayer for us as we seek to close on the house, paint all the rooms on the inside, getting settled, and all the things that go into an endeavor like this. 

Also please be in prayer over how God would have us use counseling within Oshkosh and what this would look like.

Pray over us beginning the journey into foster care and adoption and that this would become an extension on what the church is doing, not just what the pastor is doing.

Please continue to pray for New City and Gods favor on them. Pray we would be clear on how to partner and engage with each other and that we would continue to recklessly love each other. We have been dreaming kingdom dreams together and God has more here than I think we can currently imagine.

Pray that we would not lack in funding to minister to the city. Pray that we can establish full funding for the church plant. We have a key partner in this process lined up that is waiting for our assessment to be completed, but we need an additional church and individual partners.

Pray that we can get 100 people to commit to giving $10 a month for a one or two year commitment. This would be a huge step in getting us to the point of fully funding the work that Jesus has set before us. If you feel led to give to support please send your gift to:


W6107 Aerotech Drive

Appleton, WI 54914

Please make checks out to WGLD and be sure to memo line the gift to McDuffie Church Plant. (These gifts are tax deductible).

Pray that God would direct us to the right people to establish a core group and for men to train up to be leaders.

Pray that we would have families and churches lined up to come and serve on missions trips in the summer and fall of 2014.

Pray for an intern or two to commit for at least a summer, but preferably at least a year.

Pray that some would sacrifice and move to Oshkosh for the sake of the gospel and the kingdom to be part of planting a church in this city.

Lastly, please continue to pray for our family. It is easy to get so busy serving God that you lose sight of Jesus. Pray that Jesus would be the center, the very essence of everything we do.

We love you all and thanks for means so much.

May the grace of King Jesus be upon each of you, The McDuffie's

October Prayer Letter

Dear Prayer Team,

First sorry this letter is late. In September we have took the foot off the gas a little bit and aloud ourselves the chance to settle and get to know the city of Oshkosh. Some key people in our church planting process have encouraged us to not push the process of planting. They have encouraged us to allow ourselves the chance to settle in the city and get to know the people and it's culture. We have found this to be very sound Godly advice. Although, we have spent time settling in the city it has still been a very busy, eventful, month as we move forward in planting a church in Oshkosh. In the past month I started as a manager at Arby's until we work out raising the funding we need for the Church plant and lay the ground work needed to get off the ground. I have been training in a near by city so this has been a time consuming process. We have also been seeking to buy a home in the city so that we can firmly establish ourselves. As you might know we have been been praying over a specific home since before we moved to Oshkosh, but as The Lord began to close that door he also began to open our hearts to the city as a whole, not just a specific part. God has directed us to some amazing doors in this search and we feel so blessed to see Jesus provide in this way. (We will have more house news in next months letter). We also went to training in CA this month as part of our church planter assessment process. This was an incredibly blessed time as we made some great connections with fellow church planters and were able to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. As we have moved into October we are looking forward to completing the church planting assessment process sometime this month or in early Novmber. We are also moving full speed ahead on our housing situation and establing ourselves in the city. The Lord has been placing strategic people into our lives and we know with each passing day that The Lord has guided us here and that he is in this work. The love that has been growing in our hearts for Oshkosh has truly been supernatural as we know that we are not just here to plant a church, but we are home. This is a huge part of the planting process for both ourselves and those we would try to reach. There is more to tell, but for now, know that your prayers mean so much to us and that Jesus is moving in this work. 

Please be praying over a few things for us...

Pray we are able to establish ourselves in a home as we do not just want a home for ourselves, but we are praying that we could minister from our home and use it as a hub for being on mission for Jesus. 

Pray that we can establish full funding for the church plant. We have a key partner in this process lined up that is waiting for our assessment to be completed, but we need an additional church and individual partners.

Pray that we can get 100 people to commit to giving $10 a month for a one or two year commitment. This would be a huge step in getting us to the point of fully funding the work that Jesus has set before us. If you feel led to give to support please send your gift to 


W6107 Aerotech Drive

Appleton, WI 54914

Please make checks out to WGLD and be sure to memo line the gift to McDuffie Church Plant.

(These gifts are tax deductible).

Pray that God would direct us to the right people to establish a core group and for men to train up to be leaders.

Pray that we would have families and churches lined up to come and serve on missions trips in the summer and fall of 2014.

Pray for an intern or two to commit for at least a summer, but preferably at least a year.

Pray for our family to stay Jesus centered as we move forward and to not lose focus on our priorities. 

Lastly, pray that some would sacrifice as we have and move to Oshkosh for the sake of the gospel and the kingdom to be part of planting a church in this city.

September Prayer Letter

Dear Prayer Team, 

My heart is full as I write our second update to you. We arrived in Oshkosh in August 11 moving on faith. God clearly spoke to Stacy and I that we were to move at this time, yet we did not have a house to stay in or an income source to rely on. When we arrived in Oshkosh we stayed at the Super 8 hotel with holy anticipation of what God was going to do. Our first Monday here, August 12, I spent time looking for a job and a place to rent month to month as we are looking to buy a home in Oshkosh. After a very disappointing day, we checked back into the Super 8. Tuesday, we started again, and by Tuesday night we still had nothing; nothing but an invitation to go join a Missional community group, that is part of a church plant in Oshkosh called New City Church, for dinner and a time of sharing. During this time the pastor, who was the only person we knew in Oshkosh before we moved, and we barely knew him, asked this group how they could help us. That night we had a place to stay until September virtually free, a beautiful furnished 3 bedroom home, and a place to store our stuff for free as long as we needed. A miracle from God! I wish I could say that I had walked every step by faith those two days, but my flesh tried to take things into my own hands and I had to humbly go before The Lord in repentance. The Lord is surely gracious and forgiving in the midst of our sinfulness and stupidity. After moving in, we continued to look for month to month housing in Oshkosh and everyone was telling us that they didn't exists here. Then God decided to provide another miracle; we had two people contact us about renting from them month to month through a phone call and Internet post I had made. We are now living at 631 Franklin St. Oshkosh, WI. 54901, a fully furnished beautiful duplex. While all of this was happening I was still looking for a job to help provide for my family in the initial stages of Church planting, eight days after moving to Oshkosh I interviewed with Arby's and they hired me as a manager. Although it has taken some time to get all of the paperwork through I have finally started work. We stepped out in faith and in eight days I had a good job and within two days we had a home to live in which transferred into another home to live in. Additionally, our relationship with New City Church has truly been supernatural and I am excited to see how the Spirit will use this partnership in years to come. As I come to a close I want to share how you can be praying as I believe God wants to do miracles in this time and place and you can be part of that. 
Prayer Request:
  • Pray for New City Church as they launch their Church plant this week, pray that the Soirit would move in a party way and that they would see a great harvest.
  • Pray for individuals and families to catch a Kingdom vision and move to Oshkosh with us for the sake of the Glory of God and to join our church plants core team.
  • Pray for monthly giving partners to support this work (If you feel led to give or want to make contact with us you can mail a check to Jeremiah McDuffie 631 Franklin St. Oshkosh, WI. 54901. However, you can also mail a check to WGLD W6107 Aerotech Dr. Appleton, WI. 54914. (This is the best option for monthly giving and tax deductible gifts). Be sure to designate the funds to Jeremiah and Stacy McDuffie church plant. 
  • Pray that we raise the last $2,000 needed to make our initial $5,000 of initial support needed.
  • Pray for us as we go to CA to take a huge step in our assessment in Church planting with the CMA and Acts 29 September 18-22, and that we could finish this process by October.
  • Pray that we would have another church or two come along side us to support the church plant financially for two-three years.
  • Pray that God would give us a home to do much ministry out of (God has given us a huge vision for our home and we are praying way beyond our creature comforts to Kingdom living).
  • Pray that individuals, families, and churches would commit to coming to Oshkosh for a missions trip in the next two years for the purposes of evangelism and working on the ministry home.
  • Pray that we would make connections with community leaders that would lead to God honoring partnerships with the city.
  • Pray that we would connect with lost people within the city.
  • Pray that we would have continued clarity of vision for the city and this church plant.
  • Pray for our family that we would stay Christ focused and centered.
  • Pray for a core group of 50 people to launch this church.
  • Pray that our prayer team would grow to 200, it is at 100 now.
  • Pray that the churches of Oshkosh would be one and would network together for the good of our city and the sake of the kingdom.
I am sure there is more, but that is good for now, we love you all and are so grateful to our God for your faithful prayers, Jeremiah

August Prayer Letter

Dear Prayer Team, 

Well the time is officially here, the McDuffie's are leaving for Oshkosh, WI this Saturday, August 10th and will be arriving August 11th. God has been doing some truly amazing things and we want praise The Lord as He has already given us a prayer team of almost 100 people. Please pray that we reach 200 people by the end of August. Additionally, we have raised $2,300 and are almost half way to raising the initial $5,000 in missionary support that we need. We also have a small church and three families committed to giving anywhere from 6 months to two years. Please continue to pray that we are able to raise the remaining $2,700 and for 12 more families and a church to come along side of us and give monthly to the mission of God in Oshkosh. We also want to praise God as two churches are seriously considering missions trips to Oshkosh along with a couple of families. Pray that in these first two year that we will have teams come and help get the church plant off the ground through short term missions trips. We would also ask for prayer for our family as we seek wisdom about housing and working outside of the Church plant. We are praying over a specific home that we see so much Gospel opportunity in, pray that The Lord would give us 309 New York Ave and for temporary housing until this deal can be made. Also please pray that we develop a full partnership with the Western Great Lakes District and another Church planting network that would go a long way in this Church plant getting off the ground. Pray over our family, that Gods favor would be upon us. Pray for New City Church, a church plant in Oshkosh, that we have begun to network with that Gods favor would be upon them and that they would see thousands come to The Lord. God is shaping and refining our vision for this city and we ask that you pray for continued clarity and vision as we seek out what The Lord would have for us. We love you all and thank you for praying. In the Love of Christ, The McDuffie's

Gods call on our lives...

Dear Friends,

We are writing to share with you what God is doing in our lives and to ask you to pray about partnering with us. As many of you know, we have been searching for God’s place for us since last August. In His good and perfect time the Lord has revealed to us that place, Oshkosh, WI. Our call to Oshkosh has been so clear that neither Stacy nor I have any doubt that God has directed us to this city.

In early May of this year, I had a conversation with a man in Wisconsin, Jeff Brown, and it was clear that our hearts were drawn together. However, Jeff was only looking for church planters at the time and I had not allowed the Spirit to present this possibility to me before this conversation. After praying for several weeks Jeff and I talked again. As we closed our conversation I asked Jeff if we could pray and I prayed over three cities in Wisconsin that the Spirit had laid on my heart; the cities of Eau Claire, Kenosha, and Oshkosh. After I was done praying Jeff could not believe that I had prayed over those three cities as I had never been to Wisconsin, yet we were praying over the same three cities that Jeff and his office were praying over that God would bring church planters to plant churches. We both instantly knew God was doing something bigger than us and we began to pray more fervently. Soon after talking with Jeff, Stacy asked me if the Spirit was placing a specific city on my heart and I told her “Oshkosh.” Without telling Jeff what I had told Stacy, I contacted him to see where he felt was most ready for a church plant and Oshkosh was his clear answer. We were directed toward Oshkosh again the same day as I had posted on facebook for friends to pray for us as we were considering planting a church in Wisconsin. I was almost immediately contacted by a woman who I had not shared even the slightest comment with in years, and she shared with me how she and her husband almost planted a church in WI, but moved in another direction, the city was Oshkosh. After a trip to Oshkosh the Lord has affirmed that Oshkosh is where he is sending us.

Stacy and I find the prospect of church planting again both exciting and terrifying. However, we both know the Lord has spoken to us and the Spirit has confirmed that we are to move in this direction. As we move forward we are asking you for four things. First, and most importantly, we are seeking to raise up a prayer team of 200 people. We both consider this to be the most vital piece to what God has called us to. If you will be praying for us please let us know so we can add you to our prayer request newsletter. The second thing we would ask is that you would pray and ask the Spirit if he would have you relocate to the city of Oshkosh to be a part of this move of God. We know this is a huge ask, but we believe God has others who would join us in this endeavor. Perhaps it would be you and your family. The third thing we would challenge you to do is to begin to see if you or a group from your church could come to Oshkosh to do mission work for a week or two at a time to help us reach out to the community in the next year or two. Lastly, although we are already developing some strong partnerships we also need to raise financial support and challenge you to sacrificially give to the mission of God in Oshkosh where only 6 % of the 160,000 people in the metropolitan area have a relationship with the Lord. To help us get off the ground we need to raise $5,000. If just 50 people give $100 we will meet our goal. We are also looking for monthly partners who would be willing to help the church plant financially for its first two years. We ask that you please pray and ask the Spirit what the Lord would have you give.

If you feel led to give or want to make contact with us the easiest way right now would be to mail a check to Jeremiah McDuffie 116 Stoney Farm Dr. Eastanollee, GA.30538. However, you can also mail a check to WGLD W6107 Aerotech Dr. Appleton, WI. 54914. (This is the best option for monthly giving and tax deductible gifts). Be sure to designate the funds to Jeremiah and Stacy McDuffie church plant.

We will be praying for you as you seek the Spirit’s direction in these matters.

In the Love and Grace of Christ Jesus, Jeremiah and Stacy McDuffie