Heading to NWA

I (Ken) will be traveling to Northwest Arkansas from January 21-25. He will be teaching Lesson 2 of the Perspectives Class, “The Story of His Glory” at the following places:

  • CROSS CHURCH in Springdale, Tuesday morning, 1/22, 9am

  • FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH in Rogers, Tuesday evening, 1/22, 6:30pm

  • JOHN BROWN UNIVERSITY in Siloam Springs, Wednesday evening, 1/23, 6:30pm

  • CHRISTIAN LIFE CATHEDRAL in Fayetteville, Thursday evening, 1/24, 6:30pm

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Besides these speaking engagements, I will also attend an afternoon meeting on Tuesday at the “Global Outfitters” center. I plan to drop in and visit my friends at the Center for Mission Mobilization as well. I am also trying to get a meeting with some of the teachers/leaders of John Brown’s media production department. Here are my prayer requests:

  • Pray that God use me well and speak through me as I teach this amazing Perspectives lesson.

  • Pray that those who attend these Perspectives classes will come to a new (or renewed) understanding of God’s glory and how they can connect more fully with Him by giving Him the glory He deserves.

  • Pray for many DIVINE APPOINTMENTS as I meet with many believers and share about the ministry of Lumenations.

  • Pray for an opportunity to connect with the Media Production department of John Brown University and that God would open a door for potential interns and even full time teammates from JBU.

  • Pray for opportunities to grow my professional resource network, prayer network and support network on this trip as well.

  • As always, please pray for safe travels, for my 240,000 miles Mini Cooper to keep puttin’ on!, and for my family while I am away.

  • Please pray for opportunities to connect with dear friends while I am there as well.

Local Ministry Prayer Requests

FROM KEN: You have read before that, at Lumenations, “ministry comes first”. So, naturally, we are going to take advantage of great ministry opportunities where we are based out of. For the Shackelford family, that means here in Searcy, Arkansas. Though these are local, they have global implications! Here are a few of the things we are doing locally that I would love for you to lift up in prayer.

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CONNECTING WITH GOD’S MISSION: This past fall, I was asked to teach a Sunday Morning Bible class at Downtown church (where we attend) on missions. I basically taught the Biblical section of the Perspectives course and it was a really sweet time with about 20 people who attended regularly. I guess it was received well because I was asked to teach it again, this time in the “Family Life Center”, the large multi-purpose room where the church worships on Sundays. This past Sunday was our first one and I was pleasantly suprised with how many came and how many different generations were represented. We had over 70 attend with college age all the way up to retirees and everything in between. Please pray that God would bring everyone He wants to be in this class to attend. Pray that God would open the hearts of everyone taking the class to truly connect with the mission He has created them especially for. Pray that God would speak through me and that I can “practice what I’m preaching”.

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PERSPECTIVES SEARCY! - I’m so excited to share that our daughter Shelby has committed to leading the charge to get the course, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, to Searcy in the spring of 2020! She will be heading up to Kansas City next month to go through the coordinator training. She has already hosted a meeting at our home for a team of PSP alumni who live here. This is the beginning of what will be her coordinating team. Shelby is a graduate student, works as a graduate assistant at Harding University and also has a part-time job taking care of my mom and my parents home. This is a huge undertaking so pray for energy for Shelby! Please also pray for God to provide host churches here. Perspectives only goes into an area where three or more churches (of varying backgrounds) are willing to work together to host it. Please also pray for church leaders who “get it” when it comes to what Perspectives has to offer, who are Kingdom-minded, and who will help promote the course to their members. I will be attending the local ministerial alliance to get that ball rolling. Please pray for a great coordinating team to join Shelby. Finally, please pray that God use this course here as He has in so many other places, to help people understand His Global Purposes and how we can all work together to reach the nations.

THE GATHERING: we attend a church on Sundays but we also want to BE THE CHURCH and gather and worship and pray and dig into God’s Word and live life and be real together with whomever God sends our way. We host something we are calling “The Gathering” and we are meeting on the 1st and 3rd Sunday evenings of the month at our home in our very big room. We have people coming from 4 or 5 different churches and some who aren’t a part of any other church. At our last gathering, we had over 60 there including a boat-load of kids! Would you please pray that God bless this Gathering and do with it what He wills?

THIS AND THAT

First, a praise! We had our bi-annual board meeting today and it was great. Thank God with me for a great meeting and a great board of directors!

Second, please continue to pray for the Leong family as Aaron continues to share the mission and vision God has given him and invite others to partner with this work.

Third, this might not sound very spiritual but it is VERY important for the work we are doing at Lumenations. Our start-up fund and studio fund last year never got past 50% so I just got the bare essentials and figured out how to make old things work, incuding our studio computer (which is an ancient 5 years old, especially ancient for cutting edge media production work). Well, it completely stopped today, it is a goner. Please pray that God either resurrect this iMac or provide funds to replace it with something more useful than a pretty paperweight.

Thanks for your prayers!

10 Years since Robbie's Illness

Today marks 10 years since we made the frantic trip to Arkansas Children's Hospital with a very sick boy. He was able to walk to the car from the house but, by the time we got to the hospital, I had to carry him. What a journey that was and so many of you were with us every step of the way with your support and prayers. Many have asked us to tell this story, write about it, etc. Maybe someday. What I did do was to get all of our CaringBridge & Facebook posts put onto our web-site with pics along the way (see link below or click on the picture). There is a link on that first page that takes you to Shelby's first post when she created the Facebook group that ended up being in the thousands of people. One interesting note is that Robbie has been asked to go to a youth conference in London, UK this coming April to share his testimony of God's faithfulness and healing. ...and continued faithfulness!

Here is the blog link: http://theshackfamily.com/stripes/

Please join us in praising God for His healing power over Robbie.

We also praise Him for all the good things he did during the very intense and traumatic time - for Robbie, for our whole family and for many who were praying for us.

I will be leaving tomorrow (Saturday, 12/22) to go to Kansas City to help Robbie move down to Searcy. Please pray for safe travels and for a good transition for Robbie.

Leongs Christmas Travels

[NOTE: Aaron continues to work to raise support in order to join Lumenations full-time. He will be travelling over the Christmas season, which will also give him a chance to connect with some folks in those areas. Here are some prayer requests from him.]

We would appreciate if y'all could pray for us for, specifically:

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  • 4-5 meetings I have in Texas with individuals.

  • TRYING to get appointments to meet with Michigan church leaders the week of New Year's.

Kimberly will be accompanying me on most, if not all of these meetings.

Thanks y'all!
- Aaron

Year #2... coming up!

As we close out this year and begin year #2 of Lumenations, we are so thankful for God’s faithfulness to us. We ask that you join us in prayer for Spirit-driven direction for this second year - knowing what to prioritize, how to move forward, and even what to pray more earnestly for!

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Pray for continued clarity of vision and for us to even grow in our understanding of the vision God has put before us. Pray for all the ministry God gives us as we pursue this vision. Sometimes it seems like the ministry is something that is done “on the side” but really it is at the heart of God’s passion for people and, therefore, at the heart of Lumenations.

And…pray for more prayer warriors to join us!


A modern day martyr ...and friend

I was blessed to connect with John Chau when I did some training with All Nations Family in October of last year. There have been a lot of articles about his recent death - this is the best I've read thus far. Please keep the Chau family and all those connected to this in your prayers.

ALSO, please pray for my friends at All Nations who are in the middle of it. They are seeing God move in amazing ways but they are also under a great deal of attack. Here is what dear friend Mary Ho, International Director of All Nations, wrote about John, his mission and his martyrdom:

(click on the pic below to go to their site)



One going, one coming

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Bethany will be heading to Northwest Arkansas this weekend to live and work while finishing her stateside requirements for Midwifery certification. Please pray for this transition and pray that she can find a job while there as well.

Robbie will be heading this way over the Christmas holiday. He will be living with us while working and saving up to get his fiancé here from Albania. Please pray that he can find a job here. (He is now a Certified Automotive Technician / Mechanic)

No Comment

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Hey prayer team, my apologies, I have been hoping to have this prayer page be a “two-way street” so that you could comment or type out prayers for me and other prayer warriors to be blessed by. I just realized that the entries I have been putting in have not had the “comments allowed” option switched on. So, I will try to remember to have it on and available. PLEASE NOTE: any little prayer you might have will be a great encouragement. Just helps us to know there are prayers going out there. And, maybe when you comment, others will too! God bless and thanks for your prayers!!

Family Matters

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The work I am doing for Lumenations can be done from pretty much anywhere in the world that has electricity, internet and an airport within driving distance. While some places might be a bit more strategic to live in than others, we know God clearly led us to “set up shop” here in Searcy, Arkansas. One of the primary reasons for this is to be closer to family and minister to them while at the same time serving our global mission. My mom, Joyce Shackelford, was diagnosed with Alzheimers shortly before we left for Albania and it has progressed significantly now. My mom was an amazing servant and she cared for my Grandparents faithfully for decades - first my Grandpa Shackelford who had Parkinsons, then my Grandma Shackelford who had rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease, and finally her mother, Grandma Brewer, who had Diabetes. She always did it without complaint and with joy. Seriously, none of us can remember hearing her complain! I think that is why I love this picture so much, taken about 6 years ago, as it shows her joyfully laughing. It really captures her heart. What a blessing to grow up seeing a joyful servant of Christ, who had served and ministered abroad, serving her family and honoring her parents. Now it is our turn and we are blessed to be able to BOTH serve abroad and serve our parents here.

My daughter Shelby is living with them and helping take care of her “mamaw” while working on her graduate degree. Tanja’s parents also live here in Searcy and it is a blessing to be close to them as they are not getting any younger. (Oma and Opa, if you read this, sorry! :-)

Would you please pray for our family?

  • Please pray that we will serve with joy and without complaint, even when it feels burdensome

  • My mom is often confused and doesn’t know us and even her own husband most of the time. We are thankful that she still has her sweet joyful spirit about her in the midst of the confusion. Please pray for peace and freedom from anxiety.

  • My dad fell yesterday. He seems to be okay but please pray for safety for him as he gets older and more frail.

  • Please pray for Shelby, my sister Donna, and Tanja who do the majority of care-giving for Joyce.

  • Pray for all of us as we juggle the demands of work, ministry and family.

FINANCES

As we begin get ever closer to the end of our first year of Lumenations, I have some prayer requests regarding all things financial: support, accounting, reporting, etc.

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  • Support: we have been so blessed by the generosity of so many and, as we get close to Thanksgiving, we are TRULY thankful. For our family and for Lumenations, we have historically received about 1/4th to 1/3rd of our annual support in the month of December. Would you please pray that God lay it on the hearts of those connected with us to give generously in the coming month? …especially those who have not been a part of our regular giving but have given in the past. It is always nice to start the year with some breathing room in the budget.

  • Supporters: please also pray for everyone who has given through this past year! Pray that God blesses them abundantly and protects them and their family. Pray that their generosity is returned to them ten-fold!

  • Accounting: there will be much to do on the financial accounting side of things as we close out our first year. Since God has yet to answer our prayer request for accounting help, please pray for perseverance, wisdom and strength for me as I dive into all things Quickbooks (and other software we use) and finish out the year well. We want to be good and accountable stewards of every penny that God blesses Lumenations with. The finance “hat” is not my favorite one to wear (nor the best fitting), but it is part of the package while we are small so I am willing to do whatever it takes!

Speaking at The Rock

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UPDATE!! (11/7) - THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS, CLICK HERE TO SEE SOME PICS. IT WAS A GREAT DAY IN COLUMBIA, MISSOURI.

Greetings! This coming Sunday, November 4, Ken will be speaking at The Rock Campus Church in Columbia, MO on the campus of Mizzou. He will be speaking on Connecting with God’s Heart to a few hundred college students there. Afterwards, he will speak at a luncheon gathering of church leaders from various churches and denominations in the Columbia area. The focus of this talk will be on how God blesses churches that are connected to His heart for the nations. What great opportunities!

Please pray for Ken as he prepares and finalizes his message. Pray for the Spirit to work powerfully both in Ken’s preparation and in the moment as he speaks. Pray that God moves Ken out of the way and puts Jesus squarely before those Ken encounters. Pray that everyone who hears these messages will have a renewed vision of their co-mission with Jesus. Pray for clear divine connections with people who might be interested in partnering with Lumenations in some way. Also, please pray for his travels up to Columbia - pray for his little Mini Cooper with 240,000 miles to keep chugging along! …and pray for Tanja and the kids while he is away.

Shelby - On the Go (as Usual)

Please pray for Ken and Tanja’s eldest daughter, Shelby (pictured below with her Grandmother who she helps care for). She will be flying out today for quick trip to Italy and Germany. She’ll be visiting Ken’s sister Lucy and her husband Tony in Italy and then will go to Frankfurt to visit with and encourage a mission team there. Pray for safe travels, blessed reunions and divine appointments.

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Shelby is currently a graduate student getting a Masters in Teaching and is also a graduate assistant at Harding University. She is planning to go to the mission field soon after getting certified to teach. She has a passion for teaching English as a second language and for making disciples. She also helps her “old man” out with Lumenations fairly often as well!

MINISTRY - Sending Churches

A significant part of the ministry of Lumenations is to help churches be great sending churches. We have been blessed with many open doors to minister in just such a way. CLICK HERE to see an update on this in our LumenationStory blog (or click the picture below). Please pray for this aspect of our ministry. Pray that we can truly help churches engage with God’s heart for the nations! Pray that we can help them care for the missionaries they send out in a real and relevant way. Pray for God’s direction in making the most of the opportunities He gives us to minister in this way.