January 2019 Newsletter
IAM - Closing out 2018 and
Starting strong in 2019
We feel that it is always important to keep our focus on WHY God has called us to the mission field He has called us to…these numbers spell it out VERY clearly:
We will never back down in proclaiming that WE KNOW THE ANSWER to seeing these terrifying statistics change… JESUS! He is the ONLY answer!
Please continue reading to see how your partnership has helped us in taking Jesus to the Fatherless of Central Florida and Western Kentucky as we closed out 2018 and started 2019 strong!
2018 FLORIDA IAM Review
As we reflect back on 2018 as a team, we have to ask where do we start and how do we adequately express God’s showing up. How did God honor IAM’s staff, volunteers, prayer warriors, and supporters in their obedience to bring hope to the fatherless through the heart and life changing Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Three words: Local Church Engagement.
God put us in check at the beginning of 2018. He convicted us hard core. While I believe that our intentions have always been meant for good and God’s Glory, we truly operated in the belief that we(IAM staff/volunteers) could make an eternal difference on our own(IAM staff/volunteers) and our call was “send them all to us!” Today we KNOW that without Local Church Engagement, without the Bride of Christ being FULLY involved, not only will less fatherless youth be met, we(IAM staff/families) will burn out, but ultimately we absolutely DISHONOR God by robbing the Church of Partnership with their God in fighting for the fatherless!
With that being said, reflecting on 2018 and anticipating 2019, we could not be more excited for our Local Church Partners and their desire to see a generational, eternal change not only in the lives of fatherless youth that we are in contact currently but for years and even generations to come!!
Psalm 78:3-7 things that we have heard and known and that our fathers have passed down to us. We will not hide them from their children, but we will tell a future generation the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, his might, and the wondrous works he has performed. He established a testimony in Jacob and set up a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children so that a future generation – children yet to be born – might know. They were to rise and tell their children so that they might put their confidence in God and not forget God’s works but keep his commands.
If these youth do not have an active father to tell them the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, then who? That is the COMMAND. It is way more than today and now or even future generations, but for eternity. Are we as the Local Church CONVICTED and BOLD enough to get messy and share the heart and life changing Gospel of Jesus Christ with this much underserved demographic?
Our precious LADIES FOR THE LEAST group met out at the Lodge in Lake Wales, FL to pray over every area of ministry there on October 21, 2018. It was such an intentional and impactful time together!
KENTUCKY TEAM UPDATE
In November, we were blessed to see God increase the Kentucky Team by adding David Franks as our Kentucky Field Director. To try and tell the story of how our Faithful Heavenly Father re-crossed our paths with David and Meagan would take 3 newsletters, so we will try and condense… Becky’s Father, David’s Father and Meagan’s Father all partnered together in ministry in Kissimmee Florida almost 40 years ago. To serve as a second generation ministry team is incredibly exiting and humbling. Please pray for David and Meagan and their family and pray that God will continue to call missionaries to the fatherless field!
OSCAR CROSS COMMUNITY FEEDING PROGRAM OPENING DOORS
The Thursday feeding program with Oscar Cross is by far one of the highlights of this staff teams week! To hear their faces light up as they come through the hall and see our team, and then hear them express their thanks is priceless. But do you know what is even better? We have been challenging them to memorize scripture. We encourage them to then take the initiative to tell us the verses they are learning during our time together. Slowly the number is increasing as they come up beaming and ready to share the treasure they have been working to hide in their hearts! PLEASE pray with us for these kids and that God will use us to lead more of them to Him and know best how to utilize the time we are given there to intentionally disciple them in loving Him more and growing daily in Him!
We have a few new opportunities that have recently come for us to start and build partnerships, similar to our program with Oscar Cross, in local area city and county schools! PLEASE pray for us as we develop those partnerships and meet the new kids who God has called us to love and serve!
A TRIAL RUN THAT PROVED VERY FRUITFUL
During the month of December the Kentucky Team tried something that Mark felt strongly God was calling us to take a huge leap of faith with. We did a Christmas gift card giveaway with the hopes of blessing and helping some of the single moms and grandmothers we have been serving here that have become our heroes. It was also our hope to meet more of them whose paths here have not yet crossed ours since starting to serve in Kentucky. Word traveled quickly and in one day we had the mothers/grandmothers of 300+ youth come through our office and gave away approximately $13,000 in gift cards and certificates! Since then, Mark and David have been able to continue bringing those mothers back to the office for personal meetings in efforts to start to schedule the youth on upcoming IAM events and know better the needs of each individual youth we will be serving. It proved to be such a fruitful event and God has blessed our obedience in more ways than we can say!
LOCAL CHURCH PARTNERSHIPS THRIVING AND EXPANDING
The Lord has been SO good to increase partnerships and bring new partnerships with several local churches in both Central Florida and Western Kentucky! THAT IS THE GOAL!! To see each and every one of God’s Churches get passionate about reaching the fatherless within the walls of their congregation, but also sending out their members as missionaries in their community to reach fatherless youth most church members already know and interact with on a regular basis. We are seeing this start to happen in so many congregations and it is beyond exciting! Pray with us for this aspect of the ministry and PLEASE speak with your Pastor or leadership team at your church about how your church is doing their part to obey scripture and lead fatherless youth to a Heavenly Father who loves them and created them for a great purpose!
OUTDOOR RETREATS STILL ONGOING
Yes, IAM Florida and Kentucky is always planning for and praying over the upcoming retreats we keep on the calendars… but the stories of those could fill every newsletter we send out! In effort to keep you updated on all of the other aspects of ministry, we want to use our newsletter to do just that. HOWEVER, go to our IAM Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/IdolsAsideMinistries in order to see updates on ongoing retreats and incredible God sized stories, please LIKE the page and follow how you can constantly partner with us through prayer for the fatherless we are serving.
Rejoicing over a great event in Kentucky this past week
HELP US COVER OUR UPCOMING Florida EVENT IN PRAYER:
THANK YOU to all of our supporters who have or will be contributing to either event and we look forward to celebrating with you ALL that God is doing in both of these areas to reach fatherless youth!