Monday, December 14, 2009
Dear Ones in Christ,
This special season of year, when we celebrate the coming of our Lord into this world to be our Savior, is a vivid reminder of the importance of missions. When Isaac Watts wrote his famous Christmas carol, Joy to the World based on Psalm 98, he noticed the repeated emphasis in that psalm of the universal significance of Christ’s coming. That is reflected in words like: “He comes to make His blessings known, far as the curse is found” and “Let every heart prepare Him room”. A gift so amazing as God the Son coming in human flesh and offering Himself as a sacrifice for sin, is something that must be proclaimed far and wide. To this end, we want to thank you for your prayers and financial support of our ministry to the Datooga Tribe. It is your sacrificial prayers and support that make this ministry possible.
Starting on January 1st, I will no longer be employed by our home church (Calvary Baptist in Westminster, MD). We prayed fervently over the course of this past year that God would enable us to be at 50% by the end of 2009, and we were overjoyed this past week when we received word that another supporter had joined the team raising our support level to 50%!! I know many of you participated in praying for this goal, and I wanted to inform you so that you can participate in rejoicing with us and praising God. In the midst of this economic recession, God demonstrated that His ability to provide is not hindered by the weakness of man!
1. Would you continue to pray for the salvation of Mike Haley—God is clearly convicting him, but he is afraid to trust in Christ for fear of what God will change.
2. Our 2010 schedule is beginning to fill-up, but it is still not as full as I would like to see it. Would you please pray that God would lead us to churches which would be willing and able to support our ministry?
3. Pray for a great and effectual door for the Gospel among the Datooga.
4. Pray for our partners, the Myers family. They will be making plans to return to TZ in the New Year!
1. We are now at 50% of our support!
2. We remained healthy throughout the turbulent fall season of travels!
3. Mike Haley has increased his attendance at church!
Yours in Christ,
Aaron and Nicole Shipe and family
P.S. We would love to be able to assist with your VBS program or any other youth programs you might have this summer.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Or 1995 Astro mini-van held 8 passengers (for a family of 8-with 5 in car seats) and often left barely enough room for luggage and missions display stuff. We began to pray and God directed us to this 2004 Ford 12 passenger van with low mileage. We also prayed for a specific price and God once again answered our prayers! Thank you to all who prayed for us in this matter. May God be praised as He even supplies our mundane physical needs like a vehicle!!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
This past month my wife and I had the privilege of visiting Valley of Fire State Park outside of Las Vegas, Nevada--where we had been for a Missions Conference with Southern Hills Baptist Church. While traveling through the desert park, we came across a historical marker which marked the location of the death of Sgt. John J. Clark in June of 1915. He died of dehydration after he ran out of water in that fierce desert land. As my wife and I continued to travel on, just a few miles further we came upon a place where water was literally bubbling out of the rocks into a fresh water pond and then flowing down hill from there. All around that stream in the desert was life; with lush green grass, palm trees, and even a myriad of fish. If only Sgt. Clark had made it a few miles further he would have had all the water he needed to live.
I was reminded of this sight when my Pastor, Tim Leaman, preached out of Isaiah 55:6-13 to open our Missions Conference. The conference theme was "Living Water for a Thirsty World". In those verses, the Lord compares the life giving power of water on thirsty ground to the life giving power of the Word of God to thirsty souls. Peter Steveson in his commentary on that passage says,
"Isaiah now illustrates the certainty of God's promise to receive those who come to Him. Moisture, "rain" and "snow," comes from the sky to water the earth and bring forth fruit. From this we gain seed for future crops and food to sustain life, v.10. In the same way, God's Word will bring forth fruit. The fruit of God's Word is redemption, drawing men away from their sin to Him."
This is tremendously encouraging to me because currently many of the Datooga are in an even worse condition than Sgt. John J. Clark, but the Word of God has not lost its life giving power. In fact, verse 11 tells us that God's Word will not return unto Him void, but will accomplish that which He pleases, and we already know that it is God's decreed will to save a people to the praise of His Son from every kindred, tongue, people, and nation! Oh to see the Word of God pour out like rain upon the Datooga people!
Thank you for all of your prayers on our behalf. Here are some prayer requests and praises in and for our ministry.
1. Pray that God's Holy Spirit would be active convicting the Datooga of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.
2. Pray for the Myers family as they continue to travel on furlough and make preparations to return to TZ early next year. Pray for safety, wisdom, health, grace, and a break-through in bringing the Gospel to the Datooga.
3. Pray for a great and effectual door for all who are faithful with the Word of God as they minister among the Datooga.
4. Pray for us to remain safe and healthy in our travels and to be able to be in TZ by the end of 2010.
5. Pray for the salvation of a local man named Mike Haley.
1. We decided not to get a motor home, but began to pray for a larger vehicle and God answered some very specific prayer requests and provided us with a 12 passenger Ford van with low miles for a great price!
2. We are currently around 40% and praying to be at 50% by the end of this year.
3. We have had a great fall being a part of several Missions Conferences at great churches!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
"The mountains are His. The valleys are His. The stars are His handiwork too. My God is so BIG, so STRONG, and so MIGHTY, there's nothing my God cannot do--FOR YOU!!"
My children were singing this song as we drove down the road to Fellowship Baptist Church in Ferndale, MD this week. That song fit so well with lessons that God has been teaching me these past few months.
I must confess that initially when I surrendered to God's call to the Datooga I was nervous about the financial situation that our country was entering in to. I began to wonder whether it was a bad time to begin the deputation process. Would we be merely setting ourselves up for failure? The Lord brought numerous Scripture verses to mind such as, Psalm 24:1 "The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." Also, Psalm 50:10-12 "Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof." Along with Haggai 2:8 "The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts." All of these speak of God's infinite power to provide for His people regardless of the financial climate.
Over the past 5 months, we have seen God provide in amazing ways. Just yesterday I received notice that of our Outfit and Passage expenses, our passage expenses have come in. Also, we are at roughly 1/3 of our needed monthly support! Praise God! Hudson Taylor rightly said, "God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supplies."
We are keenly aware that this would not be possible without the sacrificial support of many of you. Thank you for your love for our Savior demonstrated in this very tangible way. We believe with Paul that your giving is "an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God."
- Would you continue to pray that God would raise up the additional support needed so that we might quickly get to Tanzania and begin the much needed work among the Datooga?
- Please pray for continued health and safety as we travel.
- Please pray that we would be able to effectively communicate to God's people the surpassing value of knowing Christ and renouncing the things of this world to know Him more.
- Increased support
- Health and safety
- Many friendships in Christ established and others strengthened
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Andrew Murray, the great South Africa pastor of the 19th and early 20th century, in his book The Prayer Life gave a compelling illustration about the importance of prayer. Prayer, Murray said, is like when,
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Mat 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Would you join with us in the use of this most crucial of weapons by praying for the salvation of the Datooga?
Monday, March 9, 2009
2235 Bowersox Rd.
New Windsor, MD 21776
Calvary Baptist Church
2127 Old Liberty Rd. W.
Westminster, MD 21157
Gospel Furthering Fellowship
221 Hamilton Ave.
Myerstown, PA 17067
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Well, little did I know we would be set to prove that truth. Just two days later, my laptop was stolen from the church* (read below to hear "the rest of the story") with all my valuable "missions contacts". When I was sitting in my house frustrated about the "bad luck" that had come my way, my wife encouraged me by reminding me of the truth I had shared with her just two days earlier. It seems in some sense that our first few weeks on the deputation trail have also proved this truth. At our first church, New Southwest Baptist Church in Baltimore (a wonderfully vibrant church), we arrived to find the basement flooded and then shortly thereafter our projector died on us. When we finally presented the Powerpoint on my computer screen, the sound and pictures did not "sync up" (though it worked perfectly the night before).
When we arrived at Berean Bible Church the next Sunday instead of the basement flooding, the sanctuary was without heat and it was 46 degrees inside (Although we joked that this was the coldest welcome we had ever received, in truth the people of Berean were warm and loving). And then, yesterday it snowed and sleeted and rained all day as we prepared to travel to Red Lion Bible Church. And on top of all this, Nicole was probably the sickest I have ever seen her all last week.
Wouldn't it seem that since we are trying to do God's will that everything should go well? Well, not if the examples of Mary and Joseph in the New Testament and Joseph, and David, and the prophets in the Old Testament hold true for us today. Jesus said plainly what we are to expect in John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." Admittedly my projector not working and my computer being stolen don't quite reach the level of tribulation that others have faced, but the principle still applies. We would be careful not to equate troubles with God's frown upon us. William Cowper, the great hymn writer, put it best, "Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace; Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face."
On the whole, however, deputation has been a positive experience thus far. We have had the privilege this year of presenting our ministry in 3 churches in the MD and PA area (New Southwest Baptist Church in Baltimore; Berean Bible Church in Greencastle, PA; and Red Lion Bible Church in Red Lion, PA). At each church we have had the privilege of worshipping, praying, and fellowshiping with fellow believers. One of the dangers (and I use that term loosely) of serving in a local church is that it is easy to get tunnel vision and imagine that the work of God in one's church is all that God is doing. Deputation has reminded me that God's kingdom is broad and is advancing still and that the gates of hell are still unable to stop that great advance.
* Now about the computer-- We began to pray that God would convict the person who stole the computer and that they would return it. Today I am writing on the once stolen computer because God answered out prayers and it was returned to the church. Praise God that He controls even the thief!
For us that we would quickly make a full recovery to good health
To have safety in our travels
That we would quickly raise our support
That we would be able to encourage the people of God to evangelize for the glory of God!
That the hearts of the Datooga would be opened to the Gospel
That our calendar would fill up.
Thank you for your prayers.