Continuation Of The Journey

Have you ever felt that you are in the midst of something so great that you wanted to share with others? That is where I am right now.

For those that know me or have followed my journey via this blog you know that I love to help people. From an early age I liked helping my parents and others. What a gift I’ve been given to serve the Lord.

Selling Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Last weekend I was privileged to help organize a yard sale at a local flea market to help my friend Doug Jett move one step farther on his quest to get to his field of service in Costa Rica as a missionary. I put the word out and the donations flooded in. We had everything from holiday decorations to measuring cups (sorry, no kitchen sink was donated ūüôā !) My sweet friend Sara Howard and Doug came and rescued the overflowing stacks from our dining room and kept them for the day of the sale. The sale day arrived (a little too early at 4:50 a.m.) and we descended on The Barnyard Flea Market. While we were setting up we started selling stuff. First, it was a dealer from the flea market that wanted to buy all our dvds that had been donated–there were 42 of them! We were off to a roaring start.

The part that was so special was the opportunities that this time presented. People had the opportunity to donate and to shop. The sweetest part was watching people’s eyes when I explained that all the items were donated so Doug could be a full time missionary in Costa Rica. This gave us a chance to talk with people about Christ. Some were so interested they wanted to write Doug’s name down so they could pray for him and his ministry. We had friends who stopped by, bought items, and then would pay more than the asking price and said to keep the change. Through all of this Christ was glorified–and isn’t that was life is supposed to be about?

Meeting New Friends

Tonight, my husband and I went to dinner to meet three people who are part of an organization Dale and I volunteer with, MissionNext. They were in town to help Paulette Fitch, a staff member for MN. I love meeting people and had asked her if we could stop by. When you are part of an organization that has people spread across the country it’s so special to have people on your home turf. So I had the chance to meet Nelson, Bob, and Jamie.

Nelson is the founder of Finishers Project. He had a vision from God years ago to create a way to match people called to the mission field with agencies who need workers. Check out the Finishers Project website to see how it works. I can’t begin to even figure out how he would have known where to start on that project! He is one smart man.

Bob and Jamie were new to us. They are part of the MissionNext team and with Wycliffe (the folks who translate Bibles into native languages.) These two very engaging men shared a little of their experiences growing up as children on the mission field and later serving as well.

Because you know I love to talk I asked questions. I always am looking for new bits of encouragement from others experiences. While I know that God is constantly using me, there is this part of me that wonders if I’m on the right track or if this opportunity might be a link to another step God has for me. The Word of God was totally reinforced and reminded me that it is His plan, not Mary Lu’s. So often I want to rush ahead to see what is down the road. God is the only one that knows the ending of each moment and story. We are to enjoy the journey and work toward His purposes.

At the end of this delightful evening Jamie asked if the group for pray for Dale and me. Wow! Listening to these folks pray over us was very humbling. Remember 3 of these people hadn’t met me before tonight. It was like being part of a huge God hug! Feeling the Holy Spirit surround us just gets me so excited.

Where To Next?

My life is very busy with work at WSPA-TV, school at Southern Wesleyan, my work with MissionNext and of course my family. In each of these facets of my life there are opportunities to serve. Your work and your life should be a glorification of the Lord. I fall short most days but am loved by a forgiving God who picks me up and gives me a second, third, and fourth chance to walk with Him.

Dale and I go soon to a retreat with The Journey Deepens. A retreat which is part of the MissionNext organization. We are going to spend time with the Lord and perhaps discover some new directions for us as a couple and as individuals. Maybe the Lord will tell us to stay the course. We are going with our eyes and our hearts open.

Also, in May MissionNext will be bringing a conference to Spartanburg, South Carolina. We’ve been praying for this event to come here for a long time. This will be an opportunity where those who want to know more about serving, those who feel called, and those who are ready to jump into short or full time service can come to get answers to questions about being a missionary. There are opportunities to meet with agencies that partners with MissionNext that are looking for workers. There will be workshops and speakers. It is a very inspiring time and of tremendous value. If you are interested click here for more information. We’d love to see you there and by all means invite your friends!

I would love to hear your feedback on my blog or anything else that you might want to talk about.

Being loved by the Lord is the best thing in the world!

Blessings,

Mary Lu ūüôā

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

God Keeps Moving

Have you been through one of those times when things seem as dry as the desert? ¬†You question what you are doing, are you moving in the right direction? And just when you think that it’s time to steer the ship in another direction something happens that makes you say….I’m going to keep following the path.

The last year and a half for me has left me with a bunch of those moments. ¬† For the first time in my life it hasn’t left me defeated it’s left me energized. ¬†The difference–REALIZING THESE ARE OPPORTUNITIES that the LORD has given me to broaden my horizons, think of things in new ways, and rest in His love.

I’ve always been a believer but to have a relationship with God is something so special. ¬†My relationship with the Lord is very similar to having one with one of my good friends EXCEPT¬†that the Lord is ALWAYS there. ¬†He knows what I need to hear, what I need to feel, and when to gently redirect me.

Perhaps the most special thing that He does for me is put me in situations where He (I like to call it nudging me) moves me to talk to the speaker, pastor, or VIP in the room.  Most of the time I usually am introducing someone new to Finishers Project but sometimes there is more to it.  This past Sunday was one of those opportunities.  The Lord sent Dale and I to Hope Point Church in Spartanburg.  The guest pastor was Mac Lake.  Mac is the Chief Launch Officer of The Launch Project, a church planting network based in Atlanta.  This man is on fire for the Lord and passionate about serving.  His message was all about the church raising up leaders and multiplying them.  How treating people well and encouraging is so much better than tearing others down.  I would
encourage you to sign up for his blogs on his website. ¬†OK…back to the story: After the service I waited for a few people to speak with him. ¬†I came armed with my Finishers Project information and my business card. ¬†I told him that I was a visitor and was

Mac Lake

blessed by his message. ¬†Now watch how God works….I told him I felt God had brought us to the church to hear his message and I wanted to take a minute to tell him about Finishers Project. ¬†I handed him the brochure and my card. ¬†I briefly explained how we help mission organizations connect with people who are looking for their place on the mission field. ¬†He stopped, looked at me, and then smiled. ¬†He told me that he and his partner in their ministry have been trying to find more workers for their organization. ¬†It’s just the two of them and it’s so hard. ¬†It is very possible that they may enter a partnership to become a new mission agency with Finishers Project!

Another area of my life that is incredibly exciting is my work with Dr. Debra Eischen.  She and I are embarking on a project that I will share details about later.  There is no

Dr. Debra Eischen

doubt in either of our minds that God has brought us together.  We just clicked from our first conversation.

Details coming soon right here!

Blessings,

Mary Lu ūüôā

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Journey To Pacolet Mills….

Don’t you just love when God gives you the opportunity to feel refreshed and renewed? ¬†I do. ¬†For months I have been questioning my call, why things didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to. ¬†Ah, there is the key¬†the way¬†I wanted them to! ¬† Patience hasn’t always been at the top of my list of positive traits. ¬† Perhaps that is why I have fit into the television news business so well–having a sense of urgency, get it done, and cross it off the list so we can move to the next thing!

The past two weekends I have taken the opportunity to let the Lord pour His love over me. ¬† Last weekend I went to the Extraordinary Women’s Conference in Greenville, SC. ¬†I heard stories from remarkable women like Candace Cameron Bure, Angela Thomas, and Lysa Terkheurst who are living in this world, have crazy schedules, but continue to spread the message of God’s love. ¬† These women have families to take care of, financial worries, and all the other things that we all experience. ¬† I most identified with Lysa Terkeurst because I had just finished reading her book “Made To Crave.”

At this conference we were treated to great Christian music (Jeremy Camp, Francesca Battistelli, and Michael O’Brien.) ¬†Each one has a very unique story and how they carry the passion of God in their hearts. ¬†After the conference I took the time to learn more about Michael O’Brien–an amazing story of redemption, look it up!

This weekend I was part of a team from Finishers Project which¬†was invited to the North Spartan Baptist Association mission conference in tiny Pacolet Mills, SC. ¬†What a wonderful weekend it was at Brown’s Chapel Baptist Church. ¬†I was able to talk to missionaries who serve all around the world and found some who serve right here at home. ¬†Learning their stories and why they do what they do is so fascinating to me. ¬† Cup of Hope is one of those ministries. ¬†Click here to learn more about how selling coffee is helping to finance missionaries, plant churches, and fighting poverty. ¬†Another ministry IGO is selling colorful jewelry with beads made from magazines. ¬† These beads are crafted into necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry by women, children, and orphans in Uganda, East Africa. ¬†The money from the sales are sent to¬†East Africa and used to support the Bible training of African Pastors and Church Leaders throughout Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Southern Sudan. ¬†Click here to learn more.

Also, I had a very personal spiritual experience this weekend. ¬†At some point during the weekend I realized that the reason I feel called to be a missionary is because I like to help people. ¬†While this may seem simple to you, this is¬†VERY powerful realization to me. ¬†The past year for me has been about how do I get from point A (where I am now) to point B (working full-time for Finishers Project.) ¬†I derive great joy from helping and loving others. ¬†This isn’t about how fast we get to the finish line….IT’S ALL ABOUT THE JOURNEY, MARY LU!

I had the honor of talking with Dr. Gordon Fort, Vice President of Global Strategy for the International Mission Board Saturday night. ¬†I was inspired after listening to sermons for two nights (and my husband and I went back for the Sunday morning service) and I wanted to share my story with him. ¬† I can only say that God is the one that pushes me to meet people that are keynote speakers. ¬†It’s happened before and I do feel the Lord’s hand on me and whispering in my ear that I need to talk to these people. ¬†Dr. Gordon made me feel like I was the most important person that he needed to listen to at that moment. ¬† I always feel better when I have the opportunity to share the message of Finishers Project with someone new. ¬†Dr. Fort encouraged me to continue my work and remember this is on God’s timetable. ¬† I was so motivated afterwards!!! ¬†Isn’t it just incredible when you step out on faith, make a connection, and God blesses you for it? ¬†By the way, if you ever have the chance to hear Dr. Fort preach–GO! ¬† He is great. ¬† He has the courage to say things we’ve all thought, weaves in stories from his life journey on the mission field (as a child and as a missionary), and has a wonderful sense of humor.

Honoring the Lord in my life is the top priority. ¬†I truly believe that He will make a way for me to utilize my talents. ¬†It’s so important for me to remember that I need to surround myself with Godly people, take advantage of opportunities to interact with missionaries, and pray for those who are on the field and behind the scenes making this world better for everyone.

I hope the Lord blesses each one of you this week with something very special and unexpected.

If you would like to be a supporter of the vision God has for the Saylor family click here.

Blessings,

Mary Lu

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Time Goes By….

I can’t believe how long it has been since I blogged. ¬†October? ¬† Where did the time go? ¬† I needed to take some time out to work on raising support, recharging my spiritual battery, and life got in the way too.

I have talked to lots of people about Finishers Project and really am trying to figure out if I’m on the right track. ¬† Have you ever felt like you were so in the will of God and were on the path He created for you? ¬†I certainly did and still do. ¬† I have shared how God turned me around and I felt handed me an opportunity to be a part of an organization, Finishers Project, and that was my destiny. ¬† This was what I prayed for to find an opportunity to use my gifts, talents, and time for Him. ¬†Which leads me to the role of being a non traditional missionary.

Raising support is not an easy task.   You must open yourself up to the possibilities that people want to be part of your team.   Strategies are developed, appointments made, and then the actual meetings.   I love meeting people or getting to know people better.   I know I am not perfect but I knew God was with me so there was a peace about the process.

Through these appointments I was invited into people’s homes and in turn into their hearts. ¬†In many cases, you get a glimpse of real life that people are struggling with. ¬†Some of the people you don’t think have burdens have tremendous ones that they bear with such grace. ¬†What a learning opportunity to see how people are coping with cancer, financial difficulties, or family issues. ¬†The Lord created these divine appointments to allow me (little old me) to be able to help share in a very small way these burdens and help minister (I hope) to these wonderful people. ¬†This I believe is an important part of the mission. ¬†But at the same time, it hasn’t produced the fruit that I had hoped in the terms of funding.

I’ve always felt like the Lord has used me (even before I was a Christian) as an encourager. ¬†I like listening to people. ¬† I’ve found some people need someone to listen to them. ¬† ¬†They don’t need or want advice, just a listening ear. ¬†I feel blessed that there are times that I can keep my mouth shut and truly listen to my friends (some days this is easier than others.) ¬†I don’t want that to change. ¬†I want to be that person people trust and will also ask me to pray with and for them.

I want 2012 to be about the Lord.   I want to be deeper in the Word.  I want to find more people that want to know how they can serve the Lord better and I can share what Finishers Project is about and perhaps that will guide them to the opportunity of a lifetime.  We shall see what the Lord has in store for this year as I keep plugging away to find what my role is!

I thank the Lord every day that I have family and friends who surround me with love and don’t try to change who I am. ¬†I rejoice that I live in a country where I can worship freely.

I do wish that people would treat each other like they want to be treated and honor the Lord by loving one another. ¬†And politicians, what is their problem? ¬†Help create solutions and help people. ¬† Do something to work together to help the people who voted you in office. ¬†There are some good politicians, but don’t work against each other. ¬†Aren’t we all human beings with brains and hearts? Sorry, that’s a little SC GOP Primary drama coming out from being in the newsroom all day!

I want to share the GOOD NEWS with people every single day.  Lord help me not to miss the opportunities!!!

Thanks for reading and ENJOY 2012 and listen to someone today!

Grace and Peace,

Mary Lu ūüôā

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sharing Your Story

I currently work in the television news business and we tell stories every day.  Stories are part of who we are, how we feel, and what we have experienced.

If you are a Christian it is so important that we share the Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ¬†I don’t believe there is any specific way to do this. ¬†But one thing I do know for sure and it is something my pastor Dr. Mike Hamlet shared with a class I was taking many years ago, “this is your story and no one can take that away from you.”

I’m currently taking a class at my church with a large group of women on the study of Ruth. ¬†Our women’s ministry director, Donna Ward is leading us down the road of Ruth and Naomi. ¬†I missed the first two classes but Donna made sure that I was equipped with the homework so I wouldn’t be behind. ¬†The story of Ruth is one most women identify with because she is a woman and while it has a tragic beginning it’s a story of survival and does have a happy ending. ¬†Ruth is one of my very favorite stories in the Bible.

What Donna is helping us see is Naomi shared her faith with Ruth. ¬†When everything started falling apart Ruth was the one who, by faith, helped move things along because Naomi took the time to share what God had done for her. ¬†When was the last time you told someone about Jesus? ¬†I don’t do it nearly as often as I should. ¬†Some people are naturally shy or maybe even fearful of sharing their story. ¬†I think what we need to remember is that it’s just like sharing something wonderful about our children, an experience we’ve had or an incredible place we’ve gone. ¬†People like to hear when you’ve had something happen that fills you with joy.

I’ve also found two really great tools to get you motivated. ¬†Kay Warren has two video devotionals that are very dynamic and have caused me to think about how I approach my life. ¬†Both are based on a book she wrote called Say Yes To God. ¬†These are 30 day studies that come to your email inbox. ¬†I’ve enjoyed playing them on my iPhone while I’m in the car …even though I miss seeing her face. ¬†And I’ve watched each one of these multiple times. Very good tools for a good lift if you are dragging or need encouragement. ¬†And if you are already having a great day it makes it better!

Click here to sign up for the Say Yes To God study.

Click here to sign up for the Choose Joy study.

I love drawing inspiration from other people’s stories. ¬†My mother, Mary Lu Clark (she’s the original Mary Lu) and I were talking last weekend about how what you do can be a ministry. ¬†She had a business for many years designing and putting together decorative flags to hang in front of people’s homes. ¬† She heard from many people during that time how the flags helped to celebrate babies being born, birthdays, graduations, and the seasons. ¬† The most special times for my mother were those where lives were given a boost. ¬†A husband buying a flag for his wife who was dying of a terminal illness and that flag would put a smile on the wife’s face. ¬† This is a ministry! Sharing joy with others and a part of yourself is what Jesus wants you to do!

Stop today and think about what your ministry is.  God has shown me that mine is to move to Finishers Project and help send workers to the mission field to carry out the Great Commission.  My goals is to help make Finishers Project a household name around the world.  I will do this through various marketing strategies, using my 27+ years in television as a basis for making contacts and spreading the word.  I need to have more partners on my journey. If you would like to be a part of my ministry click here.

Have a joyful day!

Mary Lu ūüôā

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Figuring Our Where Your Mission Field Is!

When you are called to the mission field it is truly a life changing experience.   At the same time though it can be one filled with so many choices.

I felt the call to missions for at least 5 years but it wasn’t until 2010 at my church’s Global Impact Conference that I went down front. ¬†I filled out the paperwork saying I wanted to go. ¬† I thought I was supposed to go on a mission trip and signed up to help with our church plant Redemption Hill Church in Medford, Massachusetts. ¬†The experience was wonderful. ¬†This one week showed me how just a few people can make a difference to others. ¬† This trip appealed to me because I have a heart for mission work in our nation.

Before I left for the Massachusetts mission trip I felt like I was called to do more. ¬†That is when God opened up the door for me at Finishers Project. ¬† Figuring out where you fit in the picture mission work is where using the tools Finishers Project has comes in. ¬†Finishers Project provides a way for you to easily input your skills, desires, time of¬†commitment, and area of the world where you want to serve into a document called a service profile. ¬†In return you receive information where you match with 50+ partnering agencies that need workers. ¬†The agencies where you match will contact you and you are free to contact them. ¬†Dialogue begins between you and the mission agency. ¬†This research tool from Finishers Project is great because it gives you an idea of what sorts of opportunities you might be a good fit for and its free! ¬† There’s no obligation but it’s an incredible starting point.

When you are exploring the mission world there is also another tool I would recommend. Finishers Project President and CEO Don Parrott has written a book called I Want To Make A Difference Now.   This book answers so many questions people have when exploring missions.   
There are short stories in the margins of people just like you who have gone down this road and how they’ve found what God wanted them to accomplish.

If you are feeling the call to missions don’t ignore it. ¬†Talk to your pastor. Try filling out a service profile at Finishers Project by clicking here. ¬†Read books. ¬†Don’t ignore the call….would you want to disappoint God?

Check out a new web page I have created at ArkPages. ¬†It’s a new tool which interfaces my blog, prayer requests, pictures, and social media.

Blessings to you,

Mary Lu

If you would like to be a supporter of the vision God has for the Saylor family click here.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A Couple That Inspires Every Single Day

For more than a month I have been inspired by a couple who I work with.  Jimmy and Jaimie Moore were newly married and just the most delightful couple you would want to meet.

Jaimie and Jimmy on their wedding day

Their world was forever changed on August 8, 2011. ¬†Jimmy was in an accident where he suffered a spinal cord injury. ¬†From the very beginning, Jimmy has been a fighter and his wife Jaimie has been by his side. ¬† We’ve watched Jimmy go through several surgeries and each time amaze the doctors.

Jimmy and Jaimie are now at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. ¬† While I’ve never been there (yet!) its the most incredible place. ¬†If you have a chance check out their webpage.¬† ¬†Jimmy has learned to write his name (and his wife’s name too!) using a tool that he holds in his mouth, he can turn pages in a magazine, play UNO, and all sorts of things. ¬† He uses a device called a sip and puff which will help him¬†maneuver a wheelchair and he’s using it to use a remote control for his television.

Jimmy continues to learn everyday at the Shepherd Center

While all of these things are so amazing to me. ¬†I am in awe of how God has surrounded this couple with so many people praying for them. ¬†From the instant that word started to spread about the accident people were praying, sending emails, Facebook, and Twitter messages. ¬†Having been in television news for 27 years I don’t recall (except maybe when 9/11 happened) seeing a time when so many people were openly praying. Those prayers haven’t stopped. ¬† The world has embraced Jimmy and Jaimie and wait for their iPhones to ding to let them know another Caring Bridge update has been filed. ¬†We all hunger for the latest news on our friends and what their day has been like. ¬†We miss our special friends.

The outreach from this has been tremendous.   Our competing television stations have sent gifts, money, and crews in the field are always asking for the latest news.  Last week I talked with the assistant news director at the Fox television station in Charlotte.   A group of photographers had gotten together and wanted to send a basket.  A special Facebook page was set up to keep everyone informed on the latest news and provided a place for people who felt led to donate money to help them.   Other plans to help this couple are also in the works.

Still I come back to the prayers. ¬† What a precious gift prayers are. ¬†They don’t cost anything and mean the world.

Thank you for taking time to read this post,

Mary Lu

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.
Romans 15:29-31

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Excitement Is Building!

The title says it all:¬†¬†I am EXCITED to be part of something that truly is greater than anything I’ve done before. ¬†When I committed to devoting my life to the Lord it was a scary step but one that I knew I needed to take. ¬†Committing myself and my family to take on the challenge to joining Finishers Project was filled with a little fear (o.k. more than a little) but at the same time I knew this was something I was called to do.

Committed:¬†I know without a doubt the Lord wants me to work as the Director of Communications for Finishers Project. ¬†This is a wonderful group filled with people who love the Lord. The organization is the “bridge” that connects those who feel called to the mission field. Those called to the mission field devote their life to work that the Lord wants you to do and it means sacrificing in many ways.

I am a missionary:¬† My mission field is to help make Finishers Project known to mission agencies and to people all around the world. ¬†I believe in this organization and know that I will be able to help in ways that haven’t been tried before.

Time is ticking away:¬†I’ve set a goal of being fully supported by the end of the year. After much prayer and time spent discussing with Dale I am going to take a hiatus from school in September. ¬†To devote more time to support raising. This will take on many dimensions. ¬†I will be participating in support raising training, I will be meeting with families asking for their monthly support, I will be speaking to groups, and there are special projects in the works.

Support Team:¬†I have a wonderful group of women who are covering me in prayer and they are excited about partnering with me on this journey. ¬†We are putting together a “yard sale” of sorts at The Barn Yard Flea Market in Greer, Saturday August 6. ¬†We’ll be there ready to go at 7 a.m. with some treasures donated by my friends in the area. ¬† We would love to see you if you can stop by. ¬†All the money will go to my fund within Finishers Project.

NEW THINGS IN MY BLOG: ¬†I’ve added a new book to the book collection. ¬†Check that out. ¬† As well as a new section on blogs I recommend which feature some of my favorite blogs. ¬†I welcome suggestions feel free to send them to me.

I am blessed beyond believe with a family who loves me, friends who support me, and a church that believes in missions.   I am very rich indeed.

If you would like to be part of our team it’s very easy. ¬†Click here¬†to make a donation.

Keep looking up to the Lord,

Mary Lu

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Drawing Inspiration From Others

God calls all of us to serve His Kingdom.

I derive inspiration from God every day.  The Bible is full of stories of ordinary people who are called to do extraordinary things.  These stories are still unfolding all around us.

Take for example a young man I have come to know.  His name is Jonathan Howard.  He is engaged to a young lady I work with Sara Lewis.

Jon and Sara

Jon has experienced a year of transformation. He accepted the Lord as his Savior and took several months off to work with the group YWAM. ¬†He recently returned from a mission trip to Chile where he spent time fixing houses, building bridges, and doing whatever needed to be done. ¬†Jon felt called to go on the trip, God provided the funding, and he was whisked away. ¬†He was going along as a worker. ¬†God had other plans and Jon was placed in a leadership role. My husband Dale and I had the chance to hear about this life changing trip not too long ago. He knew God called him to this trip and when parts of the team had free time Jon chose to keep helping and blessing others by serving them. ¬†He told us about nights when he slept outside so he could look at the stars which were so brilliant (but it was VERY cold out!) Jon did that because he knew this was a part of God’s creation that needed to be viewed. ¬†He also knew he might not return. He had many other experiences where he was the only one speaking English but God made a way so they could communicate. When you go somewhere where people don’t have running water or indoor plumbing this is a chance to see how blessed we are in the United States.

To me Jon’s life ahead (he and Sara will marry in September) is one of endless possibilities. ¬†He is on fire for the Lord. ¬†I know that whatever God has in store for Jon and Sara that it will be something so special that we can’t even begin imagine what it will be. ¬†I look forward to helping support that vision when it becomes clear.

UPDATE ON REACHING THE GOAL:¬†I want to update my readers on where things are with the journey to work for Finishers Project full time. ¬†I’m very excited about the opportunities that are before me and can’t wait to get started.

My Prayer/Sending Team:¬†God has sent to me a team of precious women who are helping me on this task. Some are local and some live far away. ¬† Nonetheless, each has a very special place in my heart. ¬† Sara Lewis is my coordinator and she is in touch with the ladies and sends out our weekly prayer request. ¬†Last week some of the members met for the first time locally to share a meal and come up with some fundraising ideas. ¬†Our first official activity will be August 6 at the Barn Yard In Greer on Highway 101. If you have items you don’t need anymore let me know (864-381-3218) and we’ll come get them.

Support Raising: In order for me to do this job full-time we are seeking financial supporters to join with us to help Finishers Project grow. ¬†There is a personal as well as a ministry budget we must have in place before I can leave my current job. ¬†I have had several people come on board our financial support team and pledge to give monthly. There have also been several one time gifts as well. THANK YOU! ¬†If you would like to be part of our team it’s very easy. ¬†Click here to make a donation.

Dedicated to serving the Lord,

Mary Lu

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When You Make A Choice To Follow The Lord

Today I am wrapping up a wonderful vacation and wanted to share blessings that surrounded Dale and I on our time away.

When you make the conscious choice to follow the Lord remarkable things really do happen. ¬†I made a promise to myself to not be too connected to the “world” while we were gone. ¬†My work blackberry broke before we left so the only connection I had to work was when I would get out the laptop and check work emails. ¬†I only did that 3 times while we were on vacation. ¬†The Lord blessed me because while I did have my personal phone where I can receive emails I can choose to look at it when I wanted to, not because I knew there were pressing matters to attend to.

We spent time in Virginia with my parents both going to and coming from Pennsylvania. It’s always such a blessing to be with them and to not feel pressured to do anything. There is true joy in sharing conversation and some good food.

The trip to Pennsylvania was one we had only made once before by car. ¬†It’s a long trek but we had some of the most spectacular scenery to lead us along. ¬† Being in the mountains (just as if you were at the beach) you realize God made all of this for us! Wow! To see mountains as far as you can see, more trees then you could ever count, and water gushing under bridges is a magnificent sight. ¬†On the trip we saw a groundhog next to the road just surveying the scenery as if he was a census taker (I was hoping he didn’t venture into the road behind us!)

Pittsburgh is a beautiful city

When we emerged from the mountains and descended on the Pittsburgh area it was such a shock.  After being so comforted by the mountains for so long it was time to get used to something new.   Pittsburgh is a very busy bustling area.

We were so fortunate to be able to spend several days with Dale’s brother’s family in a little town called Evans City which is about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh. ¬†The town has a population of about 2,000 and is one that is filled with people who care about their neighbors. ¬†David, Dale’s brother, is a Lutheran minister at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. We arrived on Sunday evening (Father’s Day) and learned that vacation bible school started Monday morning. ¬†Several churches partnered together to put on the week long time of teaching youngsters about the Lord. ¬†We couldn’t wait to help!

I am always interested to see how different churches work together.  I can say that the Evans City VBS was a joy to be a part of.   Watching all age groups work to share the love of Christ through lessons, crafts, music, and games was so much fun.

Pastor Dave leads the games.

The theme was Pandamonium. ¬†We helped David with games. ¬† I don’t know that we were much help but we all know that having an extra set of hands can be handy when you are trying to focus children. ¬†I had the chance to talk to several women about their faith and how being part of a church family means the world to them.

Being with family gives you such a sense of appreciation of time. ¬†We were able to share with our families more about Finishers Project. ¬†This was a wonderful time to answer questions and help them understand what this mission is all about. ¬†We learned about different projects going on with David’s church.

Karen and Dale at Fallingwater

When we visited one day with Dale’s sister Karen we learned God is calling her into the hospice ministry as a volunteer. Nothing can beat seeing the excitement in someone’s eyes when the Lord is calling them!

Fallingwater in Western Pennsylvania

This home is built on a waterfall.  Such an engineering feat of genius!  Karen has visited the home many times and had wonderful insight for previous trips.  She greeted me at the end of the tour (we had diverted on a trail to take pictures of the home from a distance) with a mug of ice cold tea, cold watermelon, and a washcloth that had been in a cooler. She was a genius for thinking of these things.  It was extremely hot even in the shade that day.

We journeyed from Pennsylvania back to Virginia for a respite at my parents before making tracks for SC on Saturday. ¬†We were able to celebrate Dale’s and my birthdays a little early with my folks. ¬†Always a wonderful, unhurried time.

God blessed us with a beautiful day to drive home. ¬†When we were about 20 miles outside Greensboro we were involved in an accident that I can only describe was one of God’s providence surrounding everyone involved. ¬†I was stopped on a little two lane road to turn into an old mill we were going to check out. ¬†A group of motorcyclists were behind me and the leader of the group didn’t stop quick enough and ran into the back of us. ¬†From my rear view mirror I saw he and the bike turn over. ¬†I wasn’t sure what we would find when we got out of the car. ¬†The man was able to get up and had a big knot on his leg but other than that was fine. ¬†After we determined we were ok and we called 911. The NC State Patrol came very quickly and while we were waiting for the paperwork to be done Dale thanked the man who hit us for being honest and saying that he hit us. That’s when we learned he was a Southern Baptist deacon with a church in Conway, SC. God arranges the strangest places for people to meet. ¬†We were able to share with him that we were going onto the mission field and about Finishers Project. ¬†After all the paperwork was done the motorcyclists were able to get on their way and we found a place to get a new tire and headed for home (the body work will come later.) ¬†God continued to bless us throughout the day with the people at Discount Tire in Greensboro who put a new tire on and we were ready to go in 20 minutes. ¬†The people at Smoky Bones took care of us at lunch. ¬†Even when we spilled tea on the table several waiters descended on us to clean it up. ¬†We arrived safely home–and the driver of the motorcycle called us to make sure we made it home. ¬†That doesn’t happen too often. ¬†He said he had a few more scrapes and bumps but he made it home in one piece too.

Every day I am so grateful that I made the decision to follow the Lord. ¬†He is my strength that I rely on to get through the tough times but He is also the one who makes me committed to the mission. ¬†I’m so glad we had our time away¬†and am ready to settle down the making the move to Finishers Project full time. ¬†I can’t imagine a better way then to help Christians become involved in service to our Lord. ¬†If you would like more information about Finishers Project feel free to check out the website by clicking here. Or you can email me marylus@finishers.org

We are very grateful for those of you who are supporting us with prayers and financial contribution.  If you would like to be a part of this exciting journey with us click here.

Dedicated to His Service,

Mary Lu

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment