God has truly blessed our family to be a part of eMi! We are incredibly grateful for the wonderful people who have chosen to partner with us in this ministry and we want to keep everyone updated on our progress of transitioning to eMi staff. Most people have asked if we have a set date for when we plan to move to Colorado, but there are still a couple hurdles that we need to cross to get us there. First of all, we need to get fully funded. We currently have around 50% of the monthly supporters needed to cover our monthly budget set by eMi. We have also received many generous one-time donations throughout the past couple months, which has more than exceeded the minimum amount required by eMi to be deposited in our support account prior to joining staff! Taking those donations into account we have approximately 75% of our budget donated or committed for our first year with eMi. Our initial commitment with eMi is for 3 years, and while we do expect that some of the one-time donations will recur, we are hoping to find additional partners that are willing to commit to routine support (monthly or annually) for this 3-year time frame. Please be praying for those that God is preparing to partner with us in this ministry and please share our journey with anyone that you think may be interested in getting involved.
Please be aware that the eMi donation site has a new web address. The new address is http://www.emiusa.org/donate.php. Donations can still be made directly to our support account by selecting the STAFF donation category, and then selecting my name CHANDLER, JASON – 2126 and can be set up to recur automatically from a credit/debit card or electronic check.
The second hurdle we face is selling our house. We have had a couple showings in the past week and we are praying that it will sell soon so that we can start looking seriously for a place to live in Colorado Springs. We are also praying that it sells close to our asking price to avoid a significant financial loss. So, if you know anyone looking to buy a great house in Auburn, send them our way!
Sarah and I spent the past week in Colorado Springs with eMi for new staff and intern orientation (blessings on GiGi and Poppa J for keeping ALL THREE BOYS for EIGHT DAYS while we were gone! Also, a huge “thank you” to our neighbors, Todd and Whitnie Helms, for nursing our sick dog back to health while we were away!). Over the course of our time in Colorado we got to learn more about the history of eMi, our role in global missions as an organization and as individuals within that organization, as well as how to serve people and share Christ with people in different cultural contexts. It was an incredibly eye opening week for Sarah and me that also served to confirm our calling to eMi.
We are fortunate at eMi to have several staff members with tremendous experience in cross-cultural missions and living in cross-cultural settings that we had the privilege to learn from this week. One of the main issues that can hinder the effectiveness of cross-cultural missions is the lack of understanding of the people that you are trying to serve. When serving in the developing world, the people will inherently have a different worldview than someone from a western culture and their actions and responses can be very misleading to an American who doesn’t think outside the context of what is normal to them. Without a basic understanding of their worldview and a true heart to listen to their needs before taking action, it is easy to do more harm than good (despite even the best intentions). Even sharing the gospel needs to be done in a way that is mindful of the greatest felt need in that culture or it will not be readily received. I am glad that eMi provides this training prior to sending people out into cross-cultural settings.
As part of our updates, we want to introduce our partners to some of the astonishing things that God is doing around the world where eMi has the privilege to be involved. So, I am going to start including stories of some of the projects that eMi is participating in or has completed, and the lives that are changing through this ministry.
The first project trip of 2013 left earlier this week for Cambodia to serve a ministry called Remember Nhu, which exists to prevent young girls from being sold into sex trafficking. The eMi team is going to provide them with a master plan for a fully funded campus for two 50 children homes, national staff quarters and supporting facilities on a 2-acre site near Takeo Cambodia, including a self-sustaining hydroponic garden and fish pond. At a time when more people than ever before are being sold into slavery (particularly the sex trade), ministries like Remember Nhu are helping make a difference in the lives of these defenseless orphans, giving them physical and spiritual hope. For more information about this ministry, check out their website at http://www.remembernhu.org or check out this video:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)