2012 has proven to be the busiest, most spiritually intense and highly productive in several years. I am experiencing mixed emotions about a life mile-marker...I start medicare in July...while I am thankful because I haven’t had any health insurance for five years...on the other hand I refuse to start thinking old...retirement is not in my Bible or in my pocketbook.
When I pastored a church, leading and caring for the congregation was my first assignment. One of the blessings and responsibilities of our present ministry is being able to hear God about something on His heart and quickly adapt our work to reflect God's Kingdom economy. This year the Lord is leading us to focus more intensely in two areas: Mentoring and the spiritual battle surfacing in our culture. We will maintain what He has given us in mobilizing PrayerWalking in Omaha, First Responders, and our work in Tijuana, but several other areas will change as we focus more on mentoring and the spiritual battle in our culture.
Sheryl and I both have seen a significant increase in mentoring opportunities, allowing us to equip, guide and care for the next generation. I am currently mentoring a youth pastor, four people in various ministries and mentoring\consulting a pastor, his church and their leadership team. I come away from sessions so awed at Gods' favor and the wisdom He has given. Mentoring is incredibly satisfying and exhilarating as a young leader gives us the honor of coming along side and speaking into their life and ministry...it redeems many of the hard times from our life and multiplies ourselves in to others...another expression of God's Kingdom economy.
Sheryl is also staying very engaged in ministry, both through the CFCI Omaha Base and outside of those responsibilities. She gives oversight to the Omaha Urban Plunge, which will be bringing approximately 40 short-term groups into Omaha during the next several months. These groups are here 3-5 days, and in that time are exposed to 5-9 different ministries or non-profits working in the city with our under-served populations. Before the end of the year, we will see nearly 500 individuals on those teams, who will be challenged with what they can do in their own communities.
She also has been meeting individually with about 15 different 20-and-30-somethings in a mentoring relationship...developing their leadership skills and guiding their spiritual growth. It's truly fulfilling to watch them mature in their faith, learn how to hear God more clearly, and process where their path is taking them personally.
Several writing projects are on the radar screen, but never quite seem to make it to the top of the priority list! She has started picking up some projects for another local ministry, writing press releases, workbooks, and various other projects for them. The primary benefit, in addition to the income, is the continued expansion of her vocabulary!
The sexual orientation ordinance passed here in Omaha and then an even more intrusive one in Lincoln. Ahead on their agenda is to remove the church exemption and repeal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). While this is part of a larger agenda, it is more about the state of the church than homosexuality. Frankly, too many people in too many churches are laying low instead of engaging this very real threat. We are being tested as to how far will we tolerate government intrusion into the church and into our individual freedoms...and we already have lost more than most know. Churches all over our nation need to awaken...not only to the threat, but awaken to God in personal and corporate repentance in a great revival that transforms churches and the communities around them. At the end of this update are just some of the attacks on religious freedoms we have documented and we are adding more all the time.
Our team of leaders formed the Nebraska Heritage Coalition and are working to oppose this ordinance in various legal and spiritual ways that we believe are Biblically redemptive. Here is a quote calling for a shift in strategy from Pastor R. Loren Sandford, Denver, CO that I encourage you to think on:
"...we must shift our strategy from trying to call a once Christian nation back to God and refocus our efforts to thinking of ourselves and our ministries as the early Christians did under Roman domination. The former leads to shrill cries of prophetic judgment against a people who once knew God and should still. The latter acknowledges that the culture has long since ceased to be Christian and determines to win the hearts of those under its influence through love, grace, demonstrations of miracle power and service. Fail to make this shift and we will find ourselves ever more marginalized and ineffective in the days to come."
We had planned to be back in Tijuana in February, then tried for March or April; now we are aiming at late August. I hope to be in the Boundary Waters for the 38th time in July with my grandsons and some other Grandpas/Grand-kids and this summer. This Fall it seems like nearly every unmarried niece and nephew in the extended family have decided to get married!
You can keep up on what we are doing on our blogs listed blow. Thank you so much for standing strong with us in prayer. Please pray for more to join, and please also continue to send any insights and leadings you receive from the Lord. Sheryl and I have weathered several significant spiritual attacks on our health, finances and emotions during the past few months. Part of putting on God's armor is when we each take up the Sword of the Spirit and pray into the Spiritual realm, praying for each other for protection, wisdom, grace, provision, favor, and more...so please keep us informed aboutwhat is happening with you and any areas where we can pray.
More than ever we appreciate the privilege of serving the Lord as our vocation…and that would not be possible without your partnership. Together we are able to do what none of us could do alone. Our monthly support has been a little low in recent months, so we have made several adjustments, including refinancing our home at lower interest rate and payment. We currently need about $500.00 in additional monthly support in order to keep things stable. Would you take a few moments to pray for us and for our support? Info is on right side.
Thank-You so much for partnering with us through prayer, support, time and encouraging friendship!
We pray you will know God’s Blessing and Providential Grace, please keep us informed of anything we can pray for in your life.
Dave & Sheryl Gehrls