Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Wore a Tie and Wished I Hadn't

This morning it became officially official. I stood beside my Sr. Pastor and told the church we were headed to Kenya. Surprisingly most of the comments weren't about my departure, but more about my tie. Actually I think it was every one's (including me) way of dealing with the hard truth that God was calling us away. The second comment I got from everyone was how excited they were to see us responding to God's leading.
But it got me thinking... which can be dangerous at times.
I've worn a tie on stage a total of three times at VRBC. The first was on the day I was hired. The third was on the day I was resigned. BUT the second.... well the second was what my Pastor called this morning an "open your eyes" experience. The second happened half way through our ministry at Valley Ranch. I'll never forget the call I got and the two weeks that it started. The second time I wore a tie on stage was as I stood over the casket of the only student I've lost in 15 years of student ministry. I still have his picture taped to the inside leaf of my Bible. I put it there to remind me to ask; remind me to ask the only question that counts in this world. I never did. I thank God that the young man's family knew that He was a Christ follower, but it doesn't quench my thirst because I never asked. I'll never make that mistake again.
I want to encourage you to walk this week in the sobering thought that the people around you aren't guaranteed tomorrow, you aren't guaranteed tomorrow. Ask the question.
I wore a tie to get hired four and half years ago. I wore a tie today so that honestly my mom wouldn't get on a plane, fly over here and spank me on this important day. But I'd give almost anything to of never worn that second tie. Lord... give me strength to ask.

Praying this week for the Stickneys:
*The final details would be worked out and the container to ship our things would be set for mid May.
*As packing begins that it would all make sense where to go and how to go there.
*ACO's Society status to move forward this week, getting us closer to having access to long term visas in Kenya.
*Stress of the unknown and mess wouldn't effect Tom & Kerry's parenting or their relationship with each other.
*Finances to make the move and yearly budget numbers would begin to come in.
*Prayer for Sydney & Nathan-Raegan's Teachers at Greensteads. That God would already be creating a special place in their hearts for them.
*God would put a special person in our lives that would already be in place to assist Sydney with any learning obstacles.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Future Begins

Here We Go Ready or Not!
The two year prayer journey has come to an end. No, we haven't stop praying, in fact praying even more, but we have decided that God is calling us to Kenya full time. Kerry and I are now the Executive Directors of African Christian Outreach. ACO is a ministry that was started by Tom's parents in the early 70's in Kenya. The ministry focuses on Evangelism and Discipleship on College campuses across Kenya. We will be directing staff on 5 campuses spread around the country. Our new home (new to us, built in 1940's) will be in Nakuru, a city about 2 hours north of Nairobi. Sydney (7) & Nathan-Raegan (5) can't wait to see Zebras on the drive from Nairobi to Nakuru and meet their new big brothers and sisters involved in the college ministry.

The next few months (May & June) will be filled with trying to get everything ready to go. Can you help? Of course you can!
First - We could use your prayers!
Pray that our transition to Kenya is as smooth as possible.
Pray that our work visa issues are resolved quickly
Pray that our fundraising goals are met
Pray for health, sweet goodbye's to family, friends and students at Valley Ranch Baptist
Second - We could use your muscle & mind!
Tom will be packing the house, a container with all our things and who knows what else the first part of May
Kerry will be trying to figure out what to take, how much to take and how to get it all together.
If you want to help, want to visit or just want to watch, we'd love to have you!
Third - We could use your money!
No way around it, so I'll just say it. It takes finances to run the day to day ministry, it takes finances to get the Stickney family there, and it takes finances to fill and ship the container.

Tom's last day as Valley Ranch Baptist Student Pastor will be May 31st. We will be traveling to Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio and points in between during June seeing friends and raising support. We'd love to stop bye and see you if we're in your neck of the woods!

We are in the process of building our site. So an online donating tab will appear soon. ACO is a registered 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. So all donations are tax deductible.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Need List

So many have asked us to tell them what we need, so here it is:
Full Mattress
Twin Mattress
2 Dressers
Coffee Table
End Tables
IKEA Gift Card (we've picked out some things here and feel like the shipping in flat boxes can save us room)
Video Camera
Tools (saws, hammers, nail gun, screw guns, router, screwdrivers)
Raegan wants a telescope for his birthday and won't let me not put it in this list
Curtains (Red, Brown, Yellow, Green, Purple) lined would be great
Throws (Blankets)
Wal-Mart Gift Cards (for the little things that you can't think of till two days before)

Thank You. Remember you can pray for this list!!