Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Miracle - March 6th, 2009

We have some huge news and a prayer request we need you to be praying for. This prayer request requires immediate and continued attention. I want to ask you to read this entire post as it will give you great perspective on a new door God has opened up to our ministry. But before I get into the details of this, let me give you the background.

God has been doing amazing things on campus this semester. If you haven’t yet read our last newsletter please do as it will inform you on huge steps many students have been taking. We’ve seen students sharing their faith more boldly than ever before, discipling other students more effectively than ever before and multiplying to multiple generations in ways we’ve only dreamt about in years past. We desire to see this level of spiritual multiplication happening on a national level but have not previously had the capacity for this type of expansion. We have a couple new campuses we’re working with student leaders on, hoping to help them start ministries but currently don’t have the capacity to staff these campuses. We’ve recently developed a plan for summer projects designed to expose students and lay people to intense multiplicational evangelism and discipleship training. These projects are being advertised to thousands of Christian students but we currently only have the capacity to train a few at a time (in other words we will be turning away hundreds of applicants). To see more on the “Crush Fear” summer projects go to www.crushfear.com. Beyond the student ministry, God has opened up doors for us to be training and equipping churches and pastors with Great Commission tools and we desire to see God multiply this area of the ministry also. With all these new developments in the ministry God has given us, we have an increasing need for new staff. We just accepted a “new” staff couple (they are actually former staff) onto our team last week and they are leading a ministry on 2 other campuses in Denver (there are also currently multiple other potential staff couples interested in joining our staff). Besides them, though, we need many more new staff to effectively multiply to new campuses and cities but currently we have no staff training and development facility that would make this possible. Finally, MPM does own a lodge here in the mountains - this is a vital part of our ministry. We keep it affordable and usable for Christian groups nationwide but it is currently booked 2 years into the future and we have to turn people down all the time. All this being said, we have long known that we need a new, larger, headquarters facility which will enable us to train more students (potentially 1000 each summer), work with and hire more new staff, spread to several new campuses which currently have no ministry, host Great Commission workshops and trainings for pastors and leaders from around the world and provide an affordable retreat facility to churches and ministries from around the country.

This facility has recently become available. We have been offered a magnificent property in the mountains close to Durango. The facility has 5 buildings (including a “hotel” with 24 private rooms and a staff house with 7 rooms), a large trout pond, a creek, a ropes course and tons of equipment (outdoors equipment, tools, trucks, busses, a tractor, etc). It is easily accessible year round and would meet all the objectives and goals we’ve been looking for. The current owners are believers and in full time ministry and have chosen to give us the property for the amount of their debt. This literally means we can acquire the property for less than 20% of its “as is” market value. The debt is currently around $400,000, the property is worth many times that. In addition to the $400,000, we would need around $600,000 to bring everything into working order. That means we would need to raise at least $1,000,000 (and possibly a little more) to purchase the property and bring it up to full operating capacity, to be used to multiply spiritual multipliers worldwide.

Russ and Linda (MPM directors), Erin and I and the MPM board of directors have been praying for weeks that God would give us wisdom about this opportunity. We set a few standards in place that had to be met before proceeding. A new staff couple that could run the lodge so we could keep focussed on the ministry on campus, a general contractor capable of doing the work, mechanics to work on the vehicles, favor with the code and zoning officials, plumbing and electrical help, legal help, a web site designer, video editing people, engineering help and other volunteers for various parts of the project. We also decided that these people would have to share a heart for the Great Commission and demonstrate a lifestyle of commitment to Christ. God has provided every one of those individuals in a matter of 3 weeks!!! Last night our board of directors met to discuss this possibility and vote on whether we should pursue raising the $1,000,000. They voted that Russ and I along with the rest of our staff team should take the step of faith and trust God to raise $1,000,000. This money has to be raised by May 31st.

So where do we stand now? I am excited about this step and realize that it will take a miracle, but God is a God of miracles (see Rom.4:17 and Micah 2:13). Interestingly, in December, standing at a bus stop in the Middle East, with my father-in-law and friend, fellow staff member and accountability partner Austin, I said, “I would really like to trust God with something huge - like raising $1,000,000 or something crazy like that.” Austin replied, “me too.” Neither of us knew at that time, that this lodge was even available - I am confident God was beginning to prepare us for this step. Russ and I will be stepping out and trusting God to give us the right appointments with the right people who will desire to partner with us in this vision for spiritual multiplication worldwide. Our goal is to raise enough support to set up a $500,000 matching fund and then follow that up with $500,000 of other donations. We realize raising $1,000,000 in the middle of the biggest recession in our lifetimes seems crazy but our God is more than capable.

With that in mind, we want to ask you to begin praying with us for a miracle. We also want you to share this prayer request with as many people as you can, standing with us in prayer, trusting God to blow all our minds with His faithfulness. We will be keeping you posted on how this continues to develop and should have a website, videos and other resources soon. We would love to come share the vision for this amazing opportunity with you, your churches, small groups and friends, but more on that later.

Erin and I couldn’t be here without you and you are a vital part of this ministry - all that God has been doing and all the potential areas He will lead us into in the future. We are so thankful for you, we miss each of you and we love you a ton. Pray for and expect a miracle!!!

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