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
Below is a copy of a prayer request my daughter sent out to her Searcy Perspectives Team today, I thought it’d be good to share:
Hey Searcy Perspectives family!
Please be praying for my dad, Ken Shackelford. He's currently in Dallas and is supposed to share about Perspectives tomorrow at the Missions Resource Network Center (Church of Christ, mostly). However, he is sick right now with a bad head cold, similar to what I had when I was up in KC for the Coordinator's training! Pray for a miraculous, quick healing so that he can present well, but that God would speak through him regardless!
Please also be praying against spiritual attacks against our team members - against anxiety/fear, lies, sleep, and health! Be aware that big things are happening in the Kingdom right now, and the enemy does not want it to happen. In typing this all out to you, I am also reminding myself to be prayerfully aware. One of my mom's recommendations during spiritual attacks/tough times is to just be playing worship music in the background, quietly. Tanja/Mom says, "If demonic forces are going to be attacking, I might as well force them to listen to praise music while they're at it!" :-)
Be blessed as you go about your work today. Thank you for all of your prayers, team!
Please pray for Ken this week as he travels to Dallas, TX to attend and speak at the “Teachers of Missions Workshop”. “TOM” is a gathering of missions-focused academics and thought leaders from the Church of Christ fellowships and universities around the nation. Ken has been asked to speak about the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course and then be a part of a discussion on whether the Churches of Christ should be more engaged with this course. Ken, of course, thinks they should!
Please pray that he does well to share the core paradigms of this life-changing discipleship program. Pray also for divine appointments with like-minded people as he shares about Lumenations as well. While there, Ken will also be meeting with leaders from the Missions Resource Network which has its headquarters in Dallas. They will be discussing possible collaboration with missions and DMM-focused media projects.
Please also pray for safe travels and for Tanja and the kids while he is away.
One of our kid’s friends is having a very, very difficult time. Jackson is as good a boy as I’ve EVER known, literally. Tanja has said many times that she prays for him to be the future husband of one of our girls one day. He has a special anointing from God. His health is under severe attack now. Last year, Jackson became very ill and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. He missed out on school this past fall. He was finally able to get back to school this semester for a little over a week but then became very ill again. He has been in the Children’s Hospital in Memphis for three weeks now and they are struggling to know what is going on. Please pray for Jackson.
It has been 10 years to the day since our boy Robbie started being able to say some words again after a couple of months at Arkansas Children’s hospital. We know what its like to have a son suffering and in the hospital with so many unknowns. We know God works through PRAYER!
Dear Lord, you touched our son Robbie with healing. Please come in power again and heal Jackson in Jesus’ name. To you be the glory forever. Amen
Please pray for the creation of the Lumenations “snowball”!! This year, one of our goals is to create a “proof of concept” collection of video modules - one complete week’s lesson series. We are calling it the snowball because it is our prayer that God will use this to help build momentum for Lumenations that will build upon itself to grow exponentially, like a snowball rolling down hill. We hope it will provide some “a-ha!” moments for people connected with Lumenations and others who might have the resources to help make the vision of Lumenations become a reality. This will be a major undertaking and, for the snowball to happen in a year’s time, God will need to provide major resources. By resources I mean more than money (though that is needed too). We will need God to provide people who will be able to help out, interns for the summer as well as a way to bring people on full-time who feel God calling them to work with Lumenations. So, pray for a big beautiful snowball that God can use well!
Please pray that we can be like Jesus, who only did what the Father told him to do - no more, no less. Pray that we can be productive and efficient while operating in His strength and peace, staying in step with His Spirit. Pray that our daily agenda be His agenda for us. Pray that all of us at Lumenations will only say “yes” to the good opportunities that our God’s opportunities.
Thanks for your prayers for my Northwest Arkansas travels. I felt God’s blessings in a tangible way during my travels. I returned home Friday and I am leaving this morning for Branson, Missouri. Please be praying for my travels and for the two Perspectives lessons I will be teaching today and tomorrow. As always, pray for divine appointments! And pray for Tanja as she “holds down the fort” with our family while I’m away.