1. Participating in monthly outreach in Astoria in order to survey the neighborhoods and gather demographic and spiritual information which lead to identifying those individuals who are interested in joining us for initial Bible study and cell group gathering for our church plant. We have been thrilled to have our first two meetings with a couple and with a woman over meals in follow-up to this surveying process and are anxious for this to continue each month as the numbers of people grow. We are rapidly making community contacts within our daughter’s school, and in the nearby neighborhood and will partner with an organization that helps incarcerated women and their families with donation of Thanksgiving food baskets on behalf of our church plant.
2. I participated in the audience of a recent taping of an episode of the Dr. Oz show which addressed the controversial topic of physician-assisted suicide. It was a privilege to respond to the invitation to those affiliated with the Christian Medical and Dental Association to be present with our opinion, and to be prepared and coached by email by the CEO of the CMDA, to be in prayer and to practice a public testimony with a Biblically based statement of why this is a very dangerous area.
While I was not called on to give this witness, I was able to discuss my stand with others around me, make contacts within the audience, witness first-hand how influential people in the television industry express their opinions and fashion their media in order to do so. It gave me a very important venue to practice intercessory prayer for those who are in the public eye and may sway people’s thinking, that their focus may fall toward the Lord.
3. Participating in the Project Jerusalem Church Planting conference and retreat at the Pocono Mountain Bible Camp (October 28-29). This confirmed a strong sense of purpose of this chapter of our lives, allowed us to hear and be affected by Pastor Matt Hoskinson’s dynamic Gospel-centered preaching from theWord, and challenged our marriage immensely in the areas where we need the greatest surrender to the Lord.
1. For continued provision of finances and support going into the internship year.
2. For multiple opportunities to reach out to the community in Astoria boldly in order to grow the church plant; for Thanksgiving outreach project involving preparing food baskets on behalf of our church plant, partnering with a local women’s employment organization and their food pantry.
3. Continued strengthened marital unity: in our vision, mutual support and encouragement.
Prominent Lessons I have Learned this Month
1. Laying myself down at the cross is the only way I will be able to be best used of the Lord, and have peace and trust at how He is using me.
2. The Lord’s timing is perfect, and my daily striving is good but has to be hand-in-hand with His permission, His anointing, and His blessing for doors to become wide open.
3. To walk by faith and not by sight will please the Lord (Hebrews 11).
Key Goals for Next Month
1. To continue building individual relationships with all those we come in contact with in order to establish our first cell group for our church plant in Queens, and to continue to identify and participate in community outreach activities.
2. To continue to serve at First Baptist Church in the children’s ministry and other activities.
3. To balance busy domestic life, to practice patience with our children and with circumstances, and to practice time with the Lord, while intensely multi-tasking between attendance to our children’s nurturing and teaching, participating in the above activities, and studying and writing for my own medical career, even if a full-time job is on hold at this time per the Lord’s leading.