Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Team Wisconsin Updat 2-26-08

This past Sunday southwestern Wisconsin had the sun shining, there was no major snow storm and the temperature was actually close to freezing – a welcome relief from around 90 inches of snow and cold temperatures, much of which seemed to fall on the weekends. We had a good day with Pastor Dennis and Sela Jones and the Beulah Wesleyan Church. Pastor Dennis played his guitar and sang. He did a great job. I didn’t know it, but he came from a very musical family and was close to launching a musical career before the Lord steered him toward full-time ministry. Another interesting thing that many don’t know is that they also have two Great Danes – and they’re BIG! After lunch and my annual dialogue with Dennis, Reenie and I headed to Minnesota to visit with some good friends and give Reenie a chance to do some shopping before the wedding.

Transformation City

Jason Butler and the new north Milwaukee church plant had their first service back in the Rosebud Theater last Sunday. In addition to the launch team and others, they had 8 people there for the first time. They didn’t reach their numerical goal, but they were encouraged by the response and the fresh start at their new location. One of the things that has happened through the past several months of wrangling with the city fathers is that it has opened doors to communicate the vision and dream with the community and leaders. It has also served to unite and encourage the entire faith community to work together to reach the community with the gospel.


Saturday about a dozen men got helped Pastor Josh refurbish the Jubilee Wesleyan Church in Baraboo. Pastor Josh and Jamie had led the congregation in redoing a lot of the interior and exterior of the building which had fallen into disrepair and was in desperate need of upgrading. An office and nursery have been added upstairs and the entire main level is being insulated and dry-walled, with new windows, lights, and sound system. With the help of Pastor Dwayne and some men from Eau Claire, Pastor Roger Miller, a local carpenter and his son, and a couple of men from the church, the entire ceiling was insulated and sheet rocked. A local reporter even came out, took some pictures and interviewed Josh. The story was on the front page of the paper.

Iglesia Cristiana Wesleyana, Casa de Restauracion

I’ve had two meetings with Pastor Juan Morillo and Pastor Daniel Munoz in the past week to discuss the exact location for this new church plant. Waukesha County has the fastest growing Hispanic population in the state of Wisconsin and will soon surpass the total in Milwaukee County and we are feeling this is where we need to move into. Please pray as we look for housing in the Waukesha area and work out a location for the new congregation to meet. They are presently meeting in one of the family’s homes on Saturdays.

Focus Tour

Pastors and staff will be coming from all over Wisconsin next Thursday, March 6 to spend a day with Phil Stevenson and Jim Dunn. The focus will be on the pastors themselves and on being missional churches and a missional district. Please pray that the Lord would speak through and empower the presenters to encourage and challenge us.



26 Red Cedar LBA

27 Dialogues


1-2 Red Cedar Visit

4 Dialogues

5 Nicaragua Partnership Meeting

6 Focus Tour (Pastors)

8 Casa de Dios LBA

9 High Point Visit

10 The River LBA

15-16 Mt. Pisgah Visit

17-20 DS Institute, GBA

23 Easter Sunday

25—4/1 Vacation (our son’s wedding)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Team Wisconsin Update 2-20-08

I was privileged to speak at Hayward Wesleyan Church last weekend. Hayward is in north central Wisconsin where, when you stay overnight in a hotel on the weekend there are as many snowmobiles in the parking lot as there are cars. Pastor Mark and his family were in Ohio where he was speaking in his home church, ministering to his family who just recently lost a loved one in a tragic car accident. It was a great opportunity to connect with the staff of the largest church in the Wisconsin District. Pastors Ben, Loretta, Tim, Heath and Jeremy, along with Pastor Mark, are doing a great job leading the church to continued growth. Just a little over a year ago they gave birth to a daughter church in Minong. Their baby church has grown to two services. We are working on property issues because they are already outgrowing the facilities they are renting. Interestingly, as The River church was launched, other churches have contributed people and resources – Spooner, Gull Lake, and Darrow Road. Hayward continues to make an impact in their local community, in Wisconsin, and around the world.

Dialogues & Church LBA’s

This past week I had a good meeting with the Valley and Woodland LBA’s, as well as some good dialogues with pastors. It is exciting to see light bulbs come on and churches catching a vision for what a missional vs. maintenance church looks like.

Special Prayer Items for This Week

1. Transformation City and Jason Butler

Jason and the team are preparing for their Grand Opening Sunday, February 24 at the Rosebud Theatre. Please pray that:

· People who have heard about Transformation City and are not connected to a community of faith will feel compelled to come

· People will hear the message of the Gospel both this Sunday and next

· God would remove obstacles and distractions for people to come and hear the message

· God would surround every aspect of the church

2. Nicaragua Medical Team

Please pray that these last three days would be filled with hope and promise for the hundreds of Nicaraguan who will receive medical attention as well as an opportunity to connect with Christ and the Wesleyan church in Nicaragua.

3. The River Church and Ben Kidder

Please pray that God would give wisdom and direction to this new congregation and the DBA as we work on property and space issues. We need to purchase something, upgrade and expand facilities for the short term, then plan for future property acquisition.


February 20 Dialogues

21 Our Saviors’ LBA

23 Baraboo Jubilee Construction

24 Beulah visit, Dialogue

26 Red Cedar LBA

27 Dialogues

Friday, February 15, 2008

Team Wisconsin Update 2-15-08

Last Sunday I was privileged to be at Lakeshore, the church that was restarted about 8 years ago in the Madison area.  Since the original restart in Middleton, the congregation has moved to the southern part of the Madison area.  They are now meeting in Chavez Elementary school and have purchased another home in a growing neighborhood for Pastor David Treloar and his family.  It was another cold and winter storm morning – par for the course here in southern Wisconsin this year.  We had a great time worshipping with the congregation. This has been a year of transition for the Treloars.  After moving to a new home, David’s father and mother came to live in Madison because of the discovery of his Dad’s cancer.  David and Lisa have helped them through the surgery and subsequent therapy.  Reenie and I had the opportunity to share a meal with the family on Saturday evening to catch up with their journey.  Pray especially for them as their LBA meets this weekend to work on vision and strategy for their future.
Sunday evening I went from an extreme winter in Wisconsin to an extremely nice winter in Florida.  The Indiana Wesleyan University Board met for three days to dream, plan and prepare for the future we feel God has for IWU.  The President and cabinet worked together to help develop some strategic initiatives and plans to help the institution fulfill its mission to the Wesleyan Church and impact the world for Christ.  We feel extremely blessed by the Lord for the way He is using this institution to raise up young men and women who are truly becoming world-changers. 
The Nicaragua medical team is there his week, distributing hundreds of pounds of medicine and assisting several thousand patients.  Please pray for this team’s strength and wisdom, that people would see Christ and want to enter into a relationship with Him, and that positive connections would be made with the Wesleyan pastors and churches.  The Wesleyan church in Nicaragua continues to grow.  In the past two years there have been 5 new congregations and preaching points established.  There are now 3 Christian schools.  Mike and Amy Knox and the Eckhardts are giving good leadership to the work there.


February 13-21 Nicaragua Medical Team Trip
17 Hayward visit
18 Dialogue, Woodland LBA
19 Hales Corners LBA
20 Dialogues
21 Our Saviors’ LBA
23 Baraboo Jubilee Construction
24 Beulah visit, Dialogue
26 Red Cedar LBA
27 Dialogues

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Team Wisconsin Update 2-8-08

Over There
Thank you for praying for the Pastor’s training trip this year in Nicaragua. This was our 8th trip to invest in leadership training for the pastors and leaders in the local churches and schools there. A great team included Richard & Jan Concklin, Mark Holmes, Brandon Willis and Cindy Terry from Wisconsin and Jim Eckhardt and Mike Knox from the field. We had the opportunity to travel to Matagalpa and see the area where one of the four new churches is being planted. We also toured the school that World Hope and Hillside Wesleyan church have established and built.

There are presently 14 churches and preaching points, along with 3 schools operating in Nicaragua. The Tipitapa church and district are preparing to begin churches in three different areas, along with another school, this next year. We are still working on and praying for the right land and facility to house the district ministry center for office and training.

Please remember to pray especially for the medical ministry team that is heading to Nicaragua February 13-21. We are fulfilling the command of Jesus to minister to those who are sick through these medical teams. We are also beginning to see some fruit through changed lives as a result of this faithful service.

Over Here

The Wisconsin pastors and spouses got together for the annual “Getaway”. It was a wonderful time for everyone and David Holdren, the presenter, did a great job speaking truth into all of our lives. We left refreshed and excited to jump back into ministry.

Eau Claire was my destination last weekend. Pastor Dwayne and his staff – Matt, Chris, and Kathy – continue to give good leadership to the ministry there. It is always a delight for me to stop in where I pastored for 10 years. I saw a lot of friends and new faces. Eau Claire has played a significant role in missions, particularly in Nicaragua. Kent and Hannah Peterson lead two of our ministry teams each year to Nicaragua and there are many people that have gone as team members or assisted in packing meds for the medical team outreach. Thanks, Eau Claire, for your investment in the kingdom both locally and around the world.


February 7 Spooner LBA

9 Janesville LBA

10 Lakeshore visit

10-13 IWU Board Retreat

13-21 Nicaragua Medical Team Trip

16 Hales Corner LBA

17 Hayward visit

18, 20 Dialogues, Woodland LBA

21 Our Saviors’ LBA

24 Beulah visit

26 Red Cedar LBA

27 Dialogues