Hey there friends and family,
I don’t think we’ve ever had more to share with you than we do this time around! So let’s get right to it:
(1) I am now the Executive Director of Emmaus Ministries! As of April 1st, Tom Phillips transitioned out of his role with Emmaus into a new ministry as an ordained Priest at a local Church here in Oviedo, FL. April 5th, the board appointed me as the new Executive Director. It’s an incredible privilege and blessing to be able to continue to serve this ministry along with a great team of leaders. It’s impossible to put into words how much Tom & his family have impacted our lives; we’re so grateful that our friends are staying in the area!
(2) On Tuesday, I am leaving for a 10-day ministry trip to Nigeria with my Dad. We will be visiting the rural school that we just completed on the property of the widow of our former African Ministry director. We will also hold a 3-day training conference with Pastor’s, and a 2-day discipleship conference for Young Adults in Abeokuta! I’m so excited to have this experience with my Dad, and I cannot wait to return to work alongside people that have become true friends in Nigeria. This trip came up very quickly for us, as we just decided that I would go a few short weeks ago. As a result, we are still about $1000 short of our budget for this trip. If you would like to contribute to help cover the cost of the gathering, feeding, and resourcing of the Pastors and Young Adults, you can do so at heartcryinternational.org/donations // When given the opportunity to make a note, simply write “Nigeria Mission” and 100% will go to this mission.
(3) Our School of Biblical Studies is cruising along with 8 incredible disciples! We just completed the Epistles of Paul and currently the students are studying Hebrews. Recently, a student wrote down a testimony of what her experience in the School has meant in her life, it makes us cry every single time. For the first time, Latoya has been a student along with this community an is digging daily into the Scriptures, often before anyone else is awake! (She’s my hero, but don’t tell her I said that). THIS is what you are partnering with, the absolute transformation of lives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ! We are so humbled to be a part of this ministry:
“Most often, we aren’t aware when we are in the midst of a moment or experience that is shaping us into the person we will become. I don’t mean things like weddings, births, or deaths, but more the things that happen that deeply and truly impact the way we see the world around us. The things that dictate how we relate to other people, how we see ourselves, how we interact with life in general, are usually things that are reflected on later, rather than watched in real time. My name is Morgan Phaneuf, and I have the honor and the unexpected privilege of actively participating in one of those experiences in real time. Emmaus School of Biblical Studies has changed not only the trajectory of my own life, but also, how I see myself and more importantly, understanding how my Creator sees me.
I’m a very nontraditional student, my husband and I have been married almost 11 years and we have two children, an 8 year old boy and a 6 year old girl. I’m not fresh from a DTS (Discipleship Training School), I don’t have a passion for missions (in the traditional sense of the word), I’m a stay at home mom. However, I knew that my Bible was supposed to mean something to me, and it just didn’t. I wasn’t just Biblically illiterate, I was Biblically ignorant. I couldn’t have discussions with my children after church on Sundays because they were learning stories I had never heard, Keep in mind, I have been a believer for almost 15 years! Emmaus has pioneered a way for people just like me, your average mom, to know my Bible in a way that was absolutely not accessible to me before.
There is no way for me to express how just 3 short months have changed my life. I could go on for hours about revelations, surprises, frustrating passages and truths that I have needed to hear my entire life! However, there’s no time for that, so I will just say this: I am not just having an experience that is changing me forever. I am on the cusp of leaving a legacy so that my grandchildren’s children will know God. Emmaus is teaching me how to love scripture so much, that I want to write it on the hearts of my children in a way that I know they won’t be able to help but write it on the hearts of their own. I am living out Psalm 78:6-7:
‘…so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children, so they would put their trust in God, and would not forget his deeds.’”
(4) The new program we launched this Spring, our Biblical Narrative Series, has a ton of momentum with increased attendance each time! Last Monday, we covered the books found in our New Testament from Hebrews through Jude, and 47 people attended from 7 different local churches! The room was jam packed and next month we are moving to a larger facility. God is doing something incredible wishing the body of Christ here in Central Florida, as there is a growing community of Biblically Engaged Disciples of Jesus!
(5) Lily and Grace just posted a new video on their Facebook page, they’d love to share it with you all…you can check it out @ LilyGraceSing on Facebook.
- Maya has been having some challenges with School lately and we have some important decisions to make going forward. You can pray that God would give Latoya and I wisdom and strength, and that He would fill Maya with peace that surpasses understanding.
- Pray for energy & encouragement for Latoya as she navigates the 10-days without me. She is very blessed to have some help, but she always is the one truly making the sacrifice when I go overseas.
- As I mentioned, we need about $1000 to cover the final costs for the travel & ministry budget this Nigeria trip. God is always faithful to provide.
- Pray for our students as they progress through the last two-months of their New Testament study. Seth, Eduardo, Niko, Noah, Morgan, Carolyn, Lexi, Alexa and Latoya.
- That God would give us discernment each step of the way, that we would pick up what He is asking of us and not get too busy by picking up other things as well!
How can we pray for you? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to join you in prayer however we can!
We truly love you so much, and we are humbled that for the last 7-years, so many of you have saw our family and this ministry as worthwhile soil to invest in. This is honestly the most exciting season that we have ever experienced!
Grace and Peace,
Caleb, Latoya, Lily, Grace, Maya and Faith