Thursday, June 9, 2016

Newsletter: Update Summer 2016

So far the first half of the year has been very difficult and beyond busy, yet through it all God is still good… all the time! InBounds Ministries, Statesville Christian School, and the Team Burden has kept me busy beyond any other time in my life. It has been tiring and hard, but rewarding at the same time! I’ll give a brief update on family and the school and then a little more detail on InBounds…

2016 has proven to be an emotional year for our family. Things such as my mom passing away in January (and subsequently my dad fighting depression/psychosis) led to many trip to Indiana… and I got the honor of preaching my mom’s funeral and seeing multiple professions of faith in Christ! That was mixed in with our family vehicle blowing its transmission, only to then have the engine blow 2 weeks after we fixed the transmission. The vehicle problems through Elisha behind on getting his license, and once we got it fixed Elisha broke his arm and was again put out of driving… (he just got his license this week.) Caleb graduated high school and within a few days was off to a summer job in West Virginia and will leave straight from that job to a year-long internship in Alabama. Christa will be in high school in the fall and Faith will be in middle school… This past week alone Lisa drove me to the airport in Raleigh, drove Caleb to his job in WV, drove to pick up Christa from a friend’s house in SC, drove back to Raleigh to get me at the airport, and then drove to Alabama where the girls are helping with a VBS. (God’s hand of protection has been on her in the travels… she even got run off the road into the median at over 70MPH and was able to drive through the grass and back onto the hwy. to keep on trucking.) This is only an overview of how busy it has been for Team Burden this year…

Being back at the school serving as the Director of Discipleship (campus pastor) has allowed for a lot of incredible ministry opportunities and to supplement our income in a way that has helped us make it through a lot of the unforeseen expenses (i.e. car troubles, medical expenses, trips to IN) The school allows me opportunities to teach the Word; counsel students, families, staff; plan and implement missions on the local and international front; plan chapels (which includes getting great teachers and missionaries in, such as Freddie Coile from Focus Evangelistic Ministries and Quinton Williams from LifePoint Church [AL]);  etc. And it brought me back around some dear friends that have proved incredibly valuable to help me through a rough start to the year. In the last few weeks alone I have chaperoned a group of 8th graders in Gettysburg, Philly, Baltimore, and D.C.; I also just spent 6 days in the Dominican Republic with the graduates of 2016 serving in sports outreach, VBS, and also preaching in churches. (This week I am running a bit slower than my normal pace…)

Now on to InBounds… I thank God for the opportunities InBounds provides via the athletic platform. I continue to be amazed at all God is doing through our MAD Hoops outreach here in NC. We are seeing incredible growth spiritually in guys that have plugged into this. The leadership of guys like Jon, Stew, David, Caleb, Mitch, Time, Colby, etc. keeps everything rolling and is spawning even more outreach. We have been blessed on the local front to not only see the basketball platform grow, but also (thanks to an incredible donation we received while in Alabama) we are getting a lot of individual time with youth through our Vertimax training. And on top of it all Jon and I got to coach a middle school girls’ team and pour into those gals. I have also continued to travel to speak at various churches (and am currently booking singing/speaking gigs for the fall)

One of the most exciting local outreaches is now our Sunday evening fellowship, The Arena: Today We LIVE! (Love Intentionally Value Everyone) This group is such a blessing as I get to pastor them and we have truly developed a missional group that is committed to one another and to making a difference in our world!

This most recent trip to the DR was in conjunction with the school but I was able to build on some things for our InBounds outreach there. I picked up a few partnering pastors that have asked me to come back to preach/train. I also met an American church planter that has moved there and he is right on doctrinally and practically in building sustained ministry. We are also maintaining our connection in Pedernales Dominican Republic with our dear pastor/friend Eliezer Caraballo. We have partnered specifically with him in trying to help get the medical needs met of a little girl named Carolina. There have been some obstacles but progress is being made.

This summer and fall: All of our local outreach is continuing; on top of that I will attempt to get a few more bookings for speaking/singing; the travel schedule will again include Alabama (where Lisa currently is and where Caleb is moving in August – to include more plans for our outdoors outreach); Georgia (where Lisa will be working at Camp Grace); Indiana as we will do out typical trips there (including a fall engagement to teach at the Youth Evangelism Association national conference); Florida (to see Clay and Sarah and look at some future plans for our outdoors outreach); and we would like to at least send a couple guys over to Pedernales DR to check in on Carolina (yet need the finances to roll in for that.) On top of that I need to head back to the DR for the preaching/training opportunities that were presented last week. I will also host coaches retreats and our first ever InBoundsOut adventure weekends…
My international travel is not going to be as much as typical in a summer due to a couple reasons.

1.       Simply the finances… Right now InBounds is simply making it through month to month yet outreach is increasing. Please, please pray for God to touch the hearts of the “senders” to see the need to help us Go MAD!

2.       I am tired physically and needing to work in some rest time for not only recovery but also to key on more writing. This August will mark the beginning of my 30th year of ministry (and also I will celebrate 50 years of life…)

We need help! Our ministry van has right at 300000 miles on it and we just dropped over $800 more into it. We are in great need of storage for InBounds equipment, preferably that can double as a location for some of our local outreach (and have even considered just setting up more area at our house.) Caleb is working his tail off to get funds for his internship, yet could use a lot of help on that end. (He is living in another state with no vehicle to get around; and once he arrives at the internship will have opportunity for foreign outreach in Lebanon and Madagascar.) We are completely out of devotional books and tracts that need to be printed. We have ideas for selling some ministry t-shirts to help supplement the ministry but need inventory and/or equipment to print. And the list could go on and on…

Bottom line is this: Rest assured that InBounds in Going MAD locally, nationally, and internationally! We are not slowing down and will continue in ministry even if the financial well runs dry. But you have an opportunity to Go MAD by being a sender… by helping to fund the outreaches. I guarantee that every penny is properly accounted for and we take our stewardship seriously! With finances we can:

·         go more places and share a clear Gospel message

·         go more places and teach how to study the Word of God

·         go more places and train pastors/missionaries/leaders/coaches

·         print more materials that clearly teach the Word

I would take time to write a better newsletter… but as I stated before I am tired this week! Please pray for us; and pray for the Chapman family… my dear friend and colleague Stephanie Chapman went home to be with the Lord last night and left behind her husband and 2 girls (1 in college and 1 a rising senior.) Friday will be the funeral and there are a lot of current and former students and their families affected by this!

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