Thursday, December 26, 2013

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

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