After a mere nine months, it's time for the next post on this blog! Our hope is to use this as a reliable means of communication and updates. Ergo, new posts are soon to follow!
We have now become missionaries with an organization called Global Outreach (GO). GO is a non-denominational sending agency that exists to facilitate getting missionaries to wherever the Lord is leading them. GO does not maintain its own projects or ministries under its own institutional name so it does not dictate to its missionaries where they are to go or what they are to do. Obviously, they remain vigilant to be sure all of its missionaries and their activities are consistent with GO's beliefs and standards. We have been very impressed with their integrity and devotion to the Gospel and are happy for their help and accountability.
Becca and I have now started the process of support raising for Ethiopia. If you are reading this, you have probably already received a letter from us. I wanted to give a brief explanation of how we are going about all of this. The first letter was an introduction, intended to share just the basics and let you all know that the time of departure is approaching! Over the next nine to ten weeks, we will be getting in touch with each person in order to share the details of what God has laid on our hearts. We know you all have busy schedules and we want to honor them. While letters are helpful, we do want to share face to face with you, if possible, or at least on the phone, if not.
KEY POINT OF POST:
As a typical, prideful American, I am fearful and leery of the whole idea of asking people for money. As a Christian, though, I must move beyond that and try to explain our process. We feel God is leading us to leave our jobs and move our family to Africa. There we will be ministering to the needs of the people of Soddo, Ethiopia, through the avenues of surgery and other medical care, nutrition and evangelism. In addition, we will be involved with discipling and training African doctors to become surgeons so that they too can carry on the ministry of Christ across Africa. If this is to succeed, there are many needs that must be met. This will include God's blessing and grace, consistent and persistent prayer, the relational and emotional support of family and friends, and funding. We are absolutely confident that God is faithful to provide those needs. As we discuss these needs with you, please understand that we wish only for God's will and direction in all this. As we head into this ministry, we want to invite you into it, as active and necessary participants. That is, we want you to be a part of it, an owner of it. Therefore we want to point not to ourselves but God in heaven as we share with you. Please pray that He would lead you to a "yes" or "no" about this, and then obey! Again, we are confident that God will provide, so please do not worry if the answer is "no".
We look forward to meeting with you and sharing with you!
In service of the King,
Paul and Becca Gray