ICP Update / September 2017

Dear Friends, 

Two years have passed since I left the work in Memphis to lead this missions organization based in Arkansas. It took some time to get oriented to the networks and foundations that ICP had built, and then more time to springboard from those and get the right people in the right places to accomplish the mission. 

I continue to build the ICP team, but now the work is moving along at a rapid clip. The challenge no longer has to do with planning the work, but now is a matter of holding the reigns back so that our organization doesn't take on more than it can realistically handle. 

We recently returned from 4 weeks of training modules in two locations in Ecuador. We are constantly amazed by the quality of team members that the Lord sends our way to work alongside us. This mission would be impossible without faithful folks like the those pictured below. 

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Right now we have 3 fundamental needs: 

  1. More Funds. More funds means more travel, training, personnel, and operations. In short, it helps us roll out deep discipleship cycles in new locations.
  2. More Trainers. We are always looking and praying for more men and women who walk closely with the Lord, have adequate training, and the gift of teaching to spend a week on the ground with us investing in the lives of men, women, and children through systematic teaching. Go here: www.trainingforpastors.com and here: www.icptraining.us for more info. 
  3. More Personnel. We are asking the Lord to bring along more full-time workers to join our team in the critical work of training leaders in the church across the globe. Email me if you have questions about this: internationalchurchplanters@gmail.com.  

Finally, we are available to come and share a short presentation with your church, Sunday School class, or small group. Just let us know you are interested. 

Paul David Tripp on Parenting

As a parent of five children all under the age of ten, I can tell you that parenting is hard. This short video series has been a refreshing refocus of my calling as a dad. 

I highly recommend it. You can sign up here: www.crossway.org/parenting

Other books for parents that I recommend: 

  • Raising a Modern Day Knight  -Lewis
  • Shepherding a Child's Heart  -Tripp
  • To Train Up a Child  -Pearl
  • The Faithful Parent  -Peace

AUG 2016 UPDATE

When we work to make progress it isn't a harried lunge toward an uncertain outcome.

Our labor is a joyful and certain journey toward a clear calling, under the auspices of an unshakable authority. Paul told the believers in Philippi that he was sure that he who had begun the good work in them would bring it to completion. As we spend ourselves on the training and equipping of faithful pastors across the globe, we are sure that God will bring this work to completion. We're just thankful to be a part.

Below are snapshots from our most recent engagement in Ecuador (touch the picture to advance).

Besides spending time disciping/training several hundred folks, the Lord allowed us to take significant steps toward establishing systematic training cycles in both Tambo and Shushufindi. 

 

Finally, Shushufindi

After three days of gasping for air (due to altitude and sheer beauty) in Cañar, we flew into the Oriente. It's a different world in the jungle. Instead of distant mountain peaks and looking down into clouds, we are enveloped in the heat, humidity, and greenery of the jungle. 

We saved the most intense and grueling leg of the trip for last. Here in Sucumbíos we are spending two full days training pastors, leaders and lay folks (more than 100) from 7:30am until 5:00pm.  

This is an exploratory trip in which we are testing out the possibility of beginning ongoing training cycles in this area. 

Along with specific training for men, we are provided a track for women, and children as well. 

Thank you for your interest and partnership. To find our how to invest in pastors around the world through financial support, go here: www.supporticp.us

For information about upcoming work that you can be a part of, go here: https://intlchurchplanters.squarespace.com/upcoming-work/

Then, Tambo

After a rougher-than-expected four hour bus ride back to Guayaquil, Austin (Augustine) and I picked up the rest of the team in the airport. The next morning, straight up the mountain. Tambo-bound. 

We spent the evening with two local churches, teaching the members. One is an established, traditional church. The other is a house church that sprung up when a few believers moved into town and had to work all day Sunday at the market. They meet at 8:00pm Sunday night. 

And, of course, the vista is breathtaking. 

Something interesting happen when a group flies to another country and works to minister together to folks from another culture. It's a little like fasting in that attitudes, fears, worries, sin can surface that was hidden before. That's why so many people who participate in short-term missions report deep, abiding change in themselves.  

This verse has been particularly comforting for me today. Something about the phrase "his promise to care for them" struck me, and stuck with me. 

Manta / Day 2

We visited a second tent city Friday night. This wasn't the plan, but during lunch we met a group of Nazarenes who were conducting a medical clinic and serving a meal in one of the camps. We caught a taxi and made our way over to "Refugio Santa Fe" (Holy Faith Refuge) that evening. We learned that the 40 families living there have 3 weeks relocate. The worry and struggle, as you might imagine, is overwhelming. 

Later we caught up with four siblings that lived at the children's home where Austin and his family served 10 years ago. They were 12, 10, 7, and 3 when Austin and his family moved back to the U.S. This was the first time together since that day. Austin is now a church planter in Vermont. 

Manta / Day 1.5

Manta was devastated just a few months ago by a powerful earthquake. You wouldn't know it today, unless you crossed orange cones and walked into the parts of the city that are basically rubble. If you look closely as your taxi zooms through the slanted streets you'll notice cracks stories tall. 

We are on a fact-finding trip. My traveling partner, Austin Smith, lived here a decade ago rescuing street kids. We'll have dinner with some of them tonight. 

Today we visited a "tent city." Families who lost their homes have made homes out of donated Coleman tents and visqueen. Our focus at ICP is training pastors, not felt need 

One last picture. Me enjoying a cup of instant coffee. 

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First, Manta

I'm one of the weird people who really enjoys flying and layovers and seats in their upright positions. Hopefully this will last because I'm looking at a lot of airport time in 2017 . . . but we'll get to that momentarily. 

Currently, I'm in Manta, Ecuador with a good friend and co-laborer Austin Smith. Austin is a church planter in Vermont. He and his family worked alongside my family in the early stages of planting Pueblo de Dios in Memphis. 

We are here for two reasons: 1) Austin used to live here and needs to connect with loved ones after the earthquake.  2) We are looking to develop partnerships and, perhaps, widen the scope of our training work in Ecuador. 

We'll be working in a tent city this afternoon. I'll continue to update with stories and pictures. In the meantime, we appreciate your prayers and support.