Plans & Purposes
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
On Tuesday, June 21, at 6:07 a.m., our team of 13 brothers and sisters in Christ will board an airplane en route to Ljubljana, Slovenia, to take part in running an Evangelical English camp for 12-16 year-olds. Literally hundreds of details have had to come together over many months to make this camp happen, both on the part of the Josiah Venture staff and of the New Life Church crew. In fact, for the team leadership’s part, we started formulating ideas for this year’s camp before our plane even landed back on home soil after last year’s trip, and we began the process of forming a new team as early as November, 2015. As a team, we have been diligently putting plans in place for an exciting camp, full of creative games and great conversational English lessons, and, we especially hope, an effective ministry, through which the kids can experience the Father’s love, mercy and grace.
We desire to be intentional and give the very best of our efforts, but plans can be troublesome, because there’s a point where we can get caught up in the fog of details and the outcomes we have envisioned, and the vision gets hazy. When we can see only the steps, the logistics, that are right in front of us, we easily become discouraged and forget the purpose behind all the plans. But we’re almost through the fog! Just one more week of putting one foot in front of the other, and then we’ll be there, and the vision will be clarified by the presence of the people we’ll be serving.
The other trouble with plans is that they are so fragile! One illness or injury, one lost bag or missed flight, one strained relationship or miscommunication, could cause any or all of our plans to crumble. And you know what? That’s okay. Because the God we follow is a God of love, mercy and grace, just as we hope the campers will discover, and he has a plan of His own, which is the big picture, which he’s dedicated to fulfilling, for the purpose of his glory. We want to mold our purposes to his, and trust him to be at work through the Holy Spirit.
As much as we would love for everything to go smoothly and for everyone to stay healthy, we acknowledge that often Christ is most clearly seen in his followers when they are at their most dependent on him. By all means, pray for our physical and spiritual protection…but pray most of all that we will put our trust in the Lord, not in our plans, and that he’ll be glorified in us, no matter our circumstances, to the result that more people around the world come to delight in him!
On behalf of the Slovenia team,
We are now fully funded and are so thankful for the Lord’s provision and for the many generous families who have blessed us and this ministry with financial gifts! We now ask for increased focus on prayer support from our partners in the gospel. We have many, many needs! We’ll keep you updated as the trip progresses, but here are some important ones to start with:
- For humility, patience, and grace toward one another. Cooperative attitudes, and a willingness to reach out.
- For the relationships built at camp to be healthy, impactful and long-lasting (particularly for Slovene Christians to build discipleship relationships)
- For encouragement and clarity of vision, and spiritual alertness
- For Ben as he prepares the nightly “camp talks” (verbal presentation of the gospel), and for our small group and one-on-one discussions, that the Holy Spirit will lead the way.
- Spiritual growth for the young Slovenes who will be helping with camp this year, as they take on new responsibilities and practice serving and leading
Physical & Logistical
- For the final details of workshops, games and English classes be resolved well
- For a total of 35 students to register for camp (currently at 32)
- For a safe arrival (and return)
- That our nutrition and rest needs will be sufficiently met; physical protection from illness and injury