UPDATE (July 16): The presentation that I told you about a couple of weeks ago (see below) is tomorrow! Please pray for me and pray for the Foreign Missions Committee at Downtown for wisdom and discernment as they make decisions regarding who to partner with. They have far more “asks” than funds so they have to say yes to some and no to others. For our ministry with Lumenations, I of course hope it is a yes and ask you to join me in prayer that we get the funds we need for this work. Below is a sample of an “Missions Minute” update that I did while in Uganda, just one way we try to minister to our local church.
I (Ken) will be meeting with the Mission Committee at Downtown Church here in Searcy on June 17 about a possible partnership with Lumenations - specifically asking for funds for Lumenations travel, media and administrative expenses for the year. This church blessed us greatly this past year with some special donations to cover the cost of Rwanda and Uganda as well as some helping us to get some “starter equipment”, the very basics needed for media work. These funds are crucially needed for any continued work we do here at Lumenations, so please pray for this meeting and for favor with the committee and this partnership.
While you are praying for funds, please pray for provision for our family. In this past year, we’ve lost over $1,000 per month of our support, a significant percentage, and I am working to raise support to replace that.
And don’t forget, the Leongs are still working to raise Aaron’s support for his future work with Lumenations! This is in the midst of moving his family to the other side of the U.S., so keep praying for them as well!
Thanks for you prayers!
PRAYER REQUEST FROM KEN & TANJA:
Please pray for our son Robbie and his bride-to-be Hengrida Biçaku. Almost one year ago, Ken and Robbie were in Albania for the betrothal of Robbie to Hengrida. Since then, Robbie has been diligently working to get a Fiancé Visa for Hengrida and, this past month, it finally happened! Robbie will be flying to Albania on the 17th of this month and will be bringing Hengrida back on the first of August. We praise God for the work He has done to bring them together. Please pray for their new union before God and life together, for Hengrida’s adjustment to a new culture, for the Biçaku family as they say goodbye to their daughter and for all their travels.
Want to read about how an arranged marriage in 21st century America came about? CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THEIR “HEAVENLY ARRANGEMENT”.
Click the pic below to read an amazing article about the growth of the Gospel in Algeria.
One of our prayer team members sent this prayer request:
One of my best friend’s brother passed away this week. He was (as far as we know) not saved. Please pray for her and her family during this incredibly hard time. Please pray for my friend as well, she has, as of a couple years ago, decided she wants nothing to do with Christ or the church. Thank you for praying.
Thanks, Aerial, for letting us join you in praying for your friend and her family.
ORIGINAL POST: Our daughter, Bethany, who lives in Northwest Arkansas doing midwifery work, passed out three times yesterday - twice at work and once on the way to the medical clinic of a friend of ours who is a doctor in Fayetteville. Most tests were good except her EKG showed abnormalities so we are up in Fayetteville right now taking her to a cardiologist this morning. She passed out again this morning. Thanks for your prayers! Ken and Tanja
UPDATE 6 - (7/2) Bethany is in Searcy with us and recovering well, continuing to feel better and stronger each day and more “normal”. We praise God that there have been no more fainting spells and ask for your prayers that this continues! Again, thank you so much for your prayers!
UPDATE 5 - (6/24) Bethany is in recovery from her surgery now. The surgeon, Dr. Soliman, just came out and said the surgery went well. The ablation was in the left side of Bethany’s heart which they were not expecting. Doing an ablation in the left side produces an immediate risk of stroke so they stayed in there and monitored her for an extended period of time. THERE IS STILL A RISK OF STROKE, so please pray against this. After the ablation, they tried for a long time to induce the arrhythmia and were unsuccessful which is good. There is a 5% chance that it did not completely correct the arrhythmia and she might need to get a second ablation procedure done. There is also a possibility that her fainting is due to something other than her heart and her heart arrhythmia was simply discovered because of the fainting. So, we thank God for a successful surgery and pray for a quick recovery (we have not been invited back yet to see her). Please also pray that this will fix her fainting spells as well. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS!!
UPDATE 4 - With regards to her Ablation procedure on the 24th, please pray that it is a complete success and that there will be no need for a pacemaker.
UPDATE 3 - June 15: Bethany is back home with a heart monitor. Since she has continued to pass out, we have to be careful to escort her wherever she goes to be able to catch her if she faints. Please pray for an end to the fainting and for healing, even as we plan the waiting game for the upcoming procedure on the 24th.
UPDATE 2 - June 14: thanks for all your prayers! Bethany was scheduled for the heart procedure on June 24. Unfortunately, she has continued passing out so she has now been admitted into the hospital (Washington Regional). We are awaiting the cardiologist to see if things should and can get moved up.
UPDATE 1 - June 13: She has been diagnosed as having WPW syndrome, it's an electrical issue with her heart that is treatable by an Ablation. This is a surgical procedure sending a cable into the heart that basically burns the "extra wire" there that is causing the problem. The "plumber" Heart doctor was very positive about it. The "electrician" Heart doctor was more cautious and said that, due to the area of the procedure, there is a significant risk of needing a pacemaker due to both "wires" being so close together. There is a high success rate of the issue being permanently cured as well. We did get a second opinion from our friend Dr. Ted Fish, who heads up the Cardiology here. They are all pretty urgent about the procedure being done because of how often she is passing out and the EKGs.
They don't want her driving or being on her own at all until this procedure is done. If she passes out many more times, they would want to put her in the hospital until the procedure can be done. We are waiting to find out how soon that can be done but they are putting it on the fast track. It looks like the earliest they are able to schedule the procedure is July 10 but they are going to see if it can be done on June 24th. Please pray that it can be done sooner rather than later and pray that the Ablation will be a success with no complications resulting in a need for a pacemaker.
Ken and Tanja and their younger five are driving out to Tuba City, Arizona. It has been 25 years since Ken started bringing teams from California to serve and share God’s love on the reservation. They joined the great work of missionaries Paul and Ann Ghee. One of the first locals they connected with was a young teen named Eric Kee. Ken was blessed to baptize Eric in the cold Colorado river near the Grand Canyon. Ken remembers he and Paul praying that Eric would one day lead the church here in Tuba City and God answered that prayer. Eric and his wife Tracy live in Tuba City with the children and are full-time ministers with Tuba City Church of Christ. They are supported by the church that Ken and Tanja go to now! Some of the leaders of those mission trips from California as well as one of the “youth” and Ann Ghee will join together to, once again, serve and share in Tuba City with the Kees.
PLEASE BE IN PRAYER FOR THIS TRIP:
Pray that we will be an encouragement to the Kees family and their great ministry there, as well as the other leaders and believers who are part of the church there.
Paul Ghee passed away when we were in Albania, this will be our first time to see Ann since then, please pray that we can be a blessing to her as well.
Pray for the Shackelfords and others for safe travels to Arizona and back home.
Ken will be speaking Sunday morning there, pray that God will speak through him clearly!
Pray for the Navajo people, that they will all come to know the love of the Father God for them and the saving power of Jesus.
The Leong family are moving from California to Maine. CLICK HERE for their update about this. Below are the prayer requests that you will also find in their update.
From the Leong family:
We’d really appreciate your prayers for our move:
we would love prayers that we find a house before the school year begins
pray that we connect with a church family in Bangor that can also be a base of support for our ministry
please also pray that we find a niche in our community where we can serve God in our daily lives.
This is a big change for all of us, and particularly Ezra, so please be praying for our adjustment as we say goodby to California and likely experience some culture shock upon arriving in Maine.
The Leongs would love to pray for you too! Please remember you can comment below!
Thanks for your prayers! I arrived home late Wednesday night. It was an amazing and very blessed trip. I look forward to sharing stories and prayer requests in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, please pray for the follow-up discipleship that our Ugandan brothers and sisters will be doing with the many, many new believers from our outreach in the slums.
Please pray for our trip to Uganda:
Please pray for our team who will be on this trip: Eric, Melanie, Salina, Tammy, Victoria, Chris, Madison, Kate, JP, Taylor, Barry (maybe?) and Ken. Pray that we will work well together. Pray for health. Pray that God will use us well, teach us what we need to know - for the Holy Spirit will fill us up and guide us and that we will be open vessels for His Spirit.
Please pray for OPEN doors: openness to the gospel when we go to the slums and prisons (not to mention everywhere else) to share the love of Jesus and hope we have in Him; openness by our fellow believers who are leading disciple-making movements to TELL THEIR STORY; openness by the government and others who could either help or hinder our progress along the way.
Pray that God lead us to just the right people whose stories HE wants to tell!
Pray that all of my media equipment makes it to Uganda and works well!
Pray for our travels: to and from Uganda, to and from the slums, to the towns where we will visit the prisons, hospitals and orphanages.
Please lift up the believers there who will be leading and helping our team, espeically Jimmy who is our primary liaison.
Please pray for our spouses and children who will be back home.
Pray that God’s will be done on this trip!
Our second “story-gathering” trip is coming up later this month, this time to Uganda. This time we are joining a short-term mission team, mostly from Primecare Medical Clinic as well as First Baptist Church here in Searcy. My co-founder of Lumenations, J.P. Wornock, will also be on this trip - his second time to Uganda. I’ll be sharing more prayer requests as we get closer but I would love for you now to begin praying for everyone making plans to go: Barry, Chris, Eric, J.P, Kate, Ken, Malanie, Salina, Tammy, Taylor and Victoria.
As I’ve shared before, Shelby has recruited a team to help get the Perspectives Study Program (www.perspectives.org) to Searcy for the first time ever. Stage One is to get at least 3 partner churches to work together to host it. This is a great opportunity to promote unity in the Kingdom but is also a challenge in an area where the churches don’t have much history of working well together. (though that’s changing, praise God!)
Please join us in Thanksgiving that we now have two official partner churches: Fellowship Bible Church and Downtown Church of Christ. Please pray for at least one more church to partner with us so we can move forward with plans for the PSP this coming spring, 2020! Please also join us in praise for a great team that has come together to help Shelby make it happen!
Please join us in thanksgiving for the gift of marriage! Tanja and I will be celebrating our 30th anniversary this Sunday. We are leaving tomorrow (Wednesday) for a special getaway so please also pray for our kiddos while we are away.
I will be teaching Perspectives Lesson 11, “Building Bridges of Love”, at Compass Evangelical Free Church in Columbia, Missouri Sunday Evening, April 14. Please pray for God to speak through me. Please pray for God to present some “divine connections” for His Kingdom work through Lumenations. And, as always, pray for my road trip and for Tanja and the kids while I am away.
FOR THOSE OF YOU SEEING THIS AFTER THE FACT: Please pray for all of the connections I have made these past few months from my various speaking opportunities.
Please pray for a great worldwide movement of God that unites Jesus followers - just as Jesus prayed. Scriptures say the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective. Who is more righteous than Jesus himself? I believe His prayer in John 17 WILL come to pass. May we join Him in His prayer.
This picture shows a young youth minister (me) with an even younger teenage boy named Eric Kee. This was just after I was blessed to baptize Eric following his commitment to follow Jesus. We were on the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona and had just hiked down a beautiful canyon trail to the freezing Colorado River, where he was baptized. On the hike back up, the late Paul Ghee and I prayed that Eric would one day lead the church here among his people. Praise God, that prayer was answered 5 years ago when Eric, his wife Tracy, and their beautiful children moved to Tuba City, AZ to lead the church there!
Part of the support for their work comes from the church in Searcy where we attend. This past year has been a very challenging one for the Kee family and the missions team here has asked me to go spend some time with them - to encourage and, if possible, help in the renewing of their vision for the work there.
I will be leaving for Arizona Saturday morning and spending a few days with them. After going to the rez for many, many years in the 90s and early 2000s, it has been a LONG time since I’ve been there last so I am looking forward to it.
WOULD YOU PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS TRIP? Please pray that God would use me to bless the Kee family and the mission there among the Navajo people. Please pray that I have ears to really hear their hearts as they share. Pray that I am filled with wisdom from the Spirit in how I respond and encourage. Please pray for my travels as well and for my family here while I am away.
My friend Roy Moran is on the board of several mission agencies. He is, like us, passionate about reaching the unreached and sparking Disciple-making movements. He asked me to do an update on a video sketch focusing on unreached peoples in North Africa. Here is a link to it - posted on our “The Story” blog. Would you watch this and pray for the unreached peoples listed?
May your ways be known…
…throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere.
May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you.
Let the whole world sing for joy, because you govern the nations with justice and guide the people of the whole world.
~ Psalm 67:2-4
My daughter Shelby has become a Perspectives coodinator and we are working to get Perspectives to Searcy for the first time ever! Yesterday, we had our first “Leader’s Luncheon”, where we invited Pastors and leaders of area churches and ministries to join us to hear about Perspectives, how it could bless their churches and ministries and how they could be a part of this movement here locally. Shelby has pulled a great team together and the luncheon was a great success. We had representatives from around 10 different churches, including two Baptist churches, 3 churches of Christ, a Methodist church, an Episcopalian church, an Assembly of God church and some non-denominational churches! What great variety. I could feel God smiling on our gathering - He loves when His people come together! Please pray for the follow-up that we will be doing with them as well as other meetings with churches that are interested but were not able to be there. …and please pray for God to move in this area and connect more people with His heart for the nations!
A couple of weeks ago, my friends and I were praying diligently for a member of our church and house church. He and a team of doctors were in Haiti and the situation in Haiti became extremely volatile. There was country-wide unrest and chaos.
Did you know about that? You wouldn’t hear about it from any of the mainstream media, even the 24/7 news channels. America has the most self-focused news in the world and we are often completely oblivious to what is really happening around the world.
I want to point you to a really great resource that I’ve known about for a while but my daughter Shelby recently reminded me of: it is Justin Long’s “Weekly Roundup.” Justin Long is part of the Beyond mission’s agency and he specializes in global research, with particular attention to things that would effect missionaries around the world.
You can subscribe to his “Weekly Roundup” and you’ll get an e-mail each week full of great information about God’s world! Check it out here: https://www.justinlong.org/roundup