Turning of the tide, Feb 2013

Turning of the tide.

It was two years ago this week that Teniece and David were in Odessa. We have looked over the pictures and often told the children stories of what it is like. I almost feel like Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit, writing his stories in a book. We long for the chance to return to Odessa and it has been a desire that we have struggled with. Up until this month it has felt like the harder we tried the more it slipped out of our grip. Finally, it is getting closer!
#1  We have met our minimum departure budget!
This budget comprises of plane tickets and money to put a deposit on a flat (apartment) and to buy some pots and pans, alarm clocks, linens, and other stuff needed to survive day to day. It is enough to go, but does not include return flight, large equipment like power regulator, water reservoir tank, and clothes dryer. We are so happy to have met this mark!
#2 We met minimum monthly budget……. kinda of. Based upon last year’s giving averages we entered 2013 needing $700 per month to close the gap. This month, God has been moving in our family of churches. Two churches in particular The Bridge and Mountain West have both stepped forward announcing support of us from the church’s general funds for a period of no less than two years. This plus the Elders at The Bridge unanimously pledging to support us personally put us within $15 per month of our Ramen Noodle minimum budget…but we are not done yet. We also picked up two more additional individual supporters who more than whipped that $15 in to submission.  This is only our minimum budget so please know that a need is still there. We do have enough to finally ask our leaders at International Messengers if we can finally go… and we did.
#3 We have permission!
International Messengers has given us permission to buy our plane tickets. Our goal is June 1, 2013 to be in country! This will allow us a month to settle in and help prepare for the summer English Evangelism Camps. Maybe you would like to come serve alongside us at one of these camps? If so, let us know!
We cannot express our gratitude enough to all of you helping over the past years to help us get to this point and we thank you for all your prayers and support. David was especially excited to be asked by Pastor Michael Shreve of Mountain West to come and share with them. This was a great opportunity and it also taught a great deal of humility. We cannot understand how that man delivers those messages three times every Sunday. David only had a small part in the three services but he (as well as the rest of us) were wore out at the end! February has been a joyful month for us and you all have had a part in this success. We also celebrated Teniece’s birthday, the big 35, this month and we had our annual trip to Ninja Steakhouse for some delicious food and time with family.

Ephesians 1:16  I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
Praise we are going!
Prayer that we will prepare properly.
Prayer for the kids as they prepare to say goodbye ……again.

 

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If its not easy…..Give up! Jan 2013

“If its not easy, Give up”

I have looked at many quotes of encouragement. I have studied many great men and women of history.  Victorious men and women don’t succumb to the above statement. Many of the undocumented losers in history have said this but it is Napoleon that is credited with “History is written by the victors” This statement was also echoed by Churchill. In fact it is the giving up is the opposite we see through history.

Another good one is “Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill. My favorite encouragement comes from Jesus who in Matthew 24:13 Said “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

December was a record month. We saw our largest month of donations yet.  However it was not enough to get us to Odessa. We also saw our largest loss of donors. Last year six of our donors felt forced to quit giving to the ministry. Since returning from Montana we have lost over $600 in monthly donations so while our donations base has grown each month it has been a hard fought battle. We hope you stand with those in prayer who have encountered bitter battles causing them to have to pull back their gifts. Also remember it is the forces of evil that we battle against not people.

Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

We Have taken January to pray and consider how to continue to wait on the Lord and how to serve him in light of our current situation. We feel that if we are going to wait or serve the Lord for an extended period of time we need to do that by living in a home as family. We have shared residences with others over the last 14 months. Due to us surving on less than $2000 per month for a family of five this has not been an option. We have been in prayer over God presenting us with an open door to one of the following prospects.

Choice #1 is a interim position with a Church so that we may continue to engage in ministry while we wait for full funding  and possibly be able to lead some short term mission trips.

Choice #2 is that I receive a position with Maersk who is a large shipping company. Our hopes is that Maersk will take over four Russian Ports over the next two years and expand their inland operations. If I take position with Maersk most likely I would be paid as a local which is much lower than US standards so support would still be necessary. Our real hope is that David could prove himself a worthy candidate to mange one of the ports by the time the contracts for Russia comes active. This action seriously hinder our time for ministry once in Ukraine or Russia but would be a way we might begin the ministry until full funding comes in.

Choice #3 is David takes a position in the oil fields working a 28 day on and 28 days off schedule. During his time off he would lead missions trips to multiple world Site hoping to increase the awareness for the need of missions to foreign lands and help others to see success as witnesses for Christ. The ultimate is to help someone first hand witness a profession of faith because of their willingness to go according to the Great commission. Our fear is that the six weeks away from family out of every 8 weeks would take a toll upon the family.

Choice #4 is David takes a secular job. First he would not be available to the type of employment of his past as he cannot commit to being there long term as our dedication is to the mission field of Odessa Ukraine. Also another fear is that once a secular job is achieved the giving would die off as people lose faith in us working in the ministry. Only three people gave while David was employed before, and all three were family.

So we ask you to pray with us as we simply look for any of these opportunities to be presented to us so that we may follow the Lords leading. I do find it interesting that of the people who have “questioned” our decisions to endure none of them were givers. Those who invest in the kingdom look for victory while those who only watch the show hope for failure. Thank you all for continuing to believe in Gods calling and continuing to support us even when it’s not easy.

Praise – David has shared the Gospel with 7 Interns from foreign lands this month for the first time and with two non believing Americans and one Catholic who places her faith in the sacraments. Six have attended church.

Praise – The van is need of some work including tires this past months influx will help us to afford the new tires for Goldie our 13 year old van.

Prayer – Please pray that those around us encourage us and look for the success of the kingdom and not encourage us to give up. We pray we have the strength of Job and continue to praise God while others say curse him and walk away.

Make It or Break It? December 2012

Make it or break it?

Here it is a few days after Christmas and I hope you
enjoyed the holiday and found ways to share the
good news of Christ to others. As I write this letter
Christmas has not arrived yet so I do not have the
pictures of the happy kid faces unwrapping presents
to share with you. Our plans are to support a local
women’s shelter Christmas morning and spend
time with the kids there. Hopefully I will have some
pictures to share with you in our January newsletter.
I have come to realize that all of my kids sang
and performed for different concerts, plays, and
productions this December and it is surprising for I
cannot sing and have no clue about how to carry a
tune. I have enjoyed seeing them venture out into
an area I have no knowledge. It is a joy to see the
saplings grow outside the shade of the oak.

This month has seen some good ministry and we
have enjoyed reaping where others sowed, seeing
the salvation of many and actually getting to
participate in some of their lives. We also are sowing
in places we very well may not see the harvest with
our own eyes. We pray God will complete the good
work in them that he has started as we move to the
next point in this journey.

So where are we? This month is our “Make it or break
it month.” Should we not receive funding this month
for Odessa Ukraine we will start to evaluate “How
we can get there?” A friend once told me “If you are
willing to go then God will provide a way”. I also
heard “Where God guides, He provides.” We have
put our lives into this. We have sunk everything we
own into this venture. We have sold it all. We have
given all we are to being in the service of the Lord.
We are not giving up. All of our belongings fit into
our 2000 Ford Windstar van, yet we are rich in the
experiences we have had over the past few years.
Our parents have been so gracious in the past year

allowing us the use of their homes and utilities, but the

issue remains that should our support for the mission not
come in we will need to change the manner in which we
wait in order to complete the task God has set before us.
Our prayer is that others will desire to see the kingdom of
God advanced in Odessa Ukraine. We must ask ourselves
how we are contributing to seeing this come to fruition.
We know that all money belongs to the Lord. Will you use
the gifts God has given you to support us in the mission?
Please pray today if you have not felt led to give to this
ministry. I am in great anticipation to what next month
brings. As always thank you for your prayers and support.

David Price-Williams & Family

The Job Offer, November 2012

The Job Offer

Once I was offered a job making more than I had
ever made before. The company was rumored to
have a lot of problems but who cares if they are
paying you a lot? The first paycheck I received I
was told “You might want to hurry up and cash
that. There will not be enough in the account
to cover all the checks by the end of the day.”
As you might have guessed, I didn’t stay there
long. The job was not worth it, and of course it
took a while but the company folded. Now, I am
on the other side. I am making less than I ever
have before in my life. However, this is the best
job I have ever had in my life. The size of the
paycheck is not the gauge I use to determine
the best job.

I have had the opportunity to witness to many
people. Most are not citizens of this country.
In fact, one of the interns had a shocking
revelation. “Americans care more about their
country than they do their God. Muslims are not
this way.” I am thankful for this job opportunity
that allows me to reach those whom I may not
have come in contact with otherwise.

Ministry is a big part of what we do. We have
shared with religiously lost people, those
who place their hope in their works being
judged rather than their faith in God. We are
often asked the age-old question “If God is a
loving God then why do bad things happen?”
It has been a joy to be the ones that these
people seek out for the truth. We have had
the opportunity to talk to some before certain
difficult decisions are made. To the lost the
decisions seem hard, but to us they are simple.
It has also been a joy as people are beginning
a new walk with Christ we have had the
opportunity to help guide them to someone to
help in their discipleship and accountability.
Sometimes we have had the opportunity to
participate in humanitarian help as well like
feeding the poor and reaching out to the
community. I love our new job. The pay stinks
and the hours are crazy—up at 5:00am and
other times I have gone until 3:00am. I can’t
always post pictures and tell all the great things
we see happening out of concern for those
involved.

We continue to trust God for our provision. We
continue to tithe and use our finances to glorify
God. We hope you understand this letter is our

way of asking you to help us in the work we do

and the work we hope to do in Odessa Ukraine as

well.

The Price-Williams Family
“I have found that there are three stages
to every great work of God: first, it is
impossible, then it is difficult, then it is
done.” – Hudson Taylor

Hold firm but be flexible, October 2012

Hold firm but be flexible!

Oxymoron or good advice? Good advice I say. We are closer to our departure date than we ever have been before.  As I have spoken to many other missionaries I always thought due to the burden upon my heart  that God would provide funds quickly. Many have waited. Some of our good friends had 7 years before they finally were able to go. Of course, there were others that sent out letters to 50 people and received full funding immediately. A few who paid their own way and in all accounts it ended badly. Learning to trust in the Lord for your provision is a big part of becoming a missionary and I do believe God wants me to get all the training possible.  There are many who go as “tent makers”. Often performing jobs that do not pay enough to support missions and ministry but it gives them access to a place otherwise closed off to long term missions. They are usually in “closed” countries. Russia is one of these nations where you need a business visa for long term stay. So we are holding firm to Gods call BUT we are flexible in how and when we will serve Him.

We sought out advice from those who were living in the U.S. while waiting to go. The main advice on how to survive was ministry and giving. David took on part time work at Chateau Elan (golf, winery, resort) in order to accomplish this. David is working and giving the proceeds of this job directly to International Messengers to help cover some debt of shortages each month. David has begun missions work among the 10-15 interns there. They come from China, Turkey, Egypt, India, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Brazil and South Africa. David has had a chance to work hard and show them he cares for people and will joyfully endure and share their burdens. He has had the chance to share the gospel fully a few times. The biggest obstacle has been Americans who call themselves Christians but provide no evidence of it with their life. This is often the largest objection to them placing their faith in Jesus. God is faithful and every shift provides more fruit and Lord willing, before we go we will have already impacted the world.

In these past few months we have enjoyed being part of and serving some churches that we have built relationships with. Generally on Sunday we go to two church services enjoying the fellowship and the Word of God while connecting with people so that once we are in Ukraine it is not just people we met once, but our friends. On Sunday afternoon Megan participates in a youth bible study followed by youth group at The Vine Church. Megan has enjoyed using this opportunity to bring friends who are lost to have a chance to engage the gospel. Monday- Friday our general work load in the morning is getting three kids to school. Jacob rides the bus but Emily and Megan have to be transported. We also devote our selves to physical training at least 3 days per week. We also have scripture and prayer time each day in order to seek the Lord. We schedule one hour per day to read and pray but often this time grows. On Wednesdays at Black Shear Bapist, David participates in the men’s ministry “Fuel”. Megan is involved in the youth program as well as Jacob in Awana. David works with “FAITH evangelism” class on Wednesday nights also at Black Shear Baptist. David also is involved in men’s ministry small group on Thursday mornings at The Vine Church. Teniece also participates with The Bridge women’s ministry on Wednesdays. Megan has brought some of her friends to Blackshear as well.  Sometimes we feel like the van is part our ministry getting to and fro. With gas prices at their current level we burn $600-$700 plus per month just on fuel plus we have spent over $1000 in repairs over the past couple of months. We also attend Ekklesia on Friday nights. We also try to plan for a couple of ministry meetings each week. David averages about 30 hours per week in addition to this so we remain quite busy while waiting on the Lord to go to serve the Kingdom. Thank you for standing with us in this busy time of waiting.

Prayer

Prayer – Funds, we are still in need of funds and that is the only hurdle to leaving for Odessa. We wait for Gods provision and please pray that we do not go further into debt to IM while waiting.

Prayer- Please pray our van would suffice until we leave without any further repairs.

Prayer – Please pray for continued strength and fruit in this time.

Endure, pray, and listen. August 2012

Endure, pray, and listen.

Hello everyone!

August has been both a struggle and a success
for us. The beginning of the month seemed a
free fall with David coming down with the flu
while we visited Mobile and Pensacola. He took
medicine for two days until he basically had to
yield to the sickness. We drove back to Atlanta
where David fought off the 104° fever and was
nearly bedridden for a week. We then had to
cancel two very important meetings he had been
looking forward to for most of the summer. His
sorrow might have been a reason the bronchitis
took hold. It then took another two weeks to get
to the point where he wasn’t constantly coughing
on everyone. He has now returned to good
health, for which we are all thankful.

As with many parents, the return to school was
celebrated like a holiday. Initially, Emily was
excited to go to pre-school but this excitement
soon turned into a Mommy deficiency.

Thankfully, she has recovered and has settled in
just fine. Megan was excited to return to her old
middle school and rejoin her friends, thankful for
God’s provision for her to have a scholarship for
eighth grade. Jacob was also excited to get back
to making new friends. Three different schools in
1.5 years and I am amazed at how his social skills
have improved. He now looks forward to the
opportunity to make new friends in fifth grade.

Teniece really enjoyed having Megan’s birthday
party this month. It was a joy to have family over
to celebrate. On Sunday some family friends
from Covenant Life Church enabled Megan to
have some of her friends come over to ride
horses and have another small party. We were

really blessed by this as we saw the joy in our

daughter’s eyes. What a blessing it is to see others
bless your children!

Our focus has been raising short-term teams for next
summer and meeting with churches for support.
We have made great strides and had some great
meetings. We look forward to partnering with these
churches and others. Churches tend to run on an
annual budget so it appears we will be in Atlanta
until January 2013. Since we are also running
about $600 short each month David is considering
part-time work so that we will not go in debt with
International Messengers during this time of waiting.

Another focus this month has been continued
ministry wherever we are able. David was offered
a chance to join Ekklesia on training day again this
month and felt that he learned as much as he taught.
This has also been a big month of growth for us
spiritually. We have seen grace in such a new way
and have witnessed how abundant it is in our lives.
We have grown thankful that the Lord would allow
us to pursue Him and this mission and are humbled
in His provision. We would love it if you could join us
in whatever capacity you have available to you. We
love all of you and look forward to the opportunity
to love others as Jesus did.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love
each other: just as I have loved you, you also are to
love one another.” John 13:34

Thank you for your support and prayers!

The Price-Williams Family

Santa, learning to believe?

A missed opportunity.

As a child I watched Dana Carvy as the Church Lady and enjoyed one of the most memorable skits. As the “Church Lady” in the skit “Church Chat” Dana’s Character draws the conclusion that Santa is Satan if you just move the “N”.  We laughed it off and thought nothing of it and went on in our jolly holiday. Little did I realize I was allowing an opportunity to learn to just slip by me.

As I have watched organizations fight feverously against the Country moving Jesus out of the public eye. I have often thought of the Crusades and how the “Christians” went and by force battled for the promise land to be under Christian rule. Often the Church wrote certifications “covering” the sins of men who brutally fought killing men who were just defending their home. I wonder how far we should go to “fight” for Jesus. I look back to the word to find that often God let armies of 100k perish because they fought without his blessing and then I see where he used only 300 to defeat and Army of 100k because they allowed him to work. I wonder sometimes in my diligence to fight for Christ if I have done it by the sweat of my own brow or by the glory of God? I have often “fought” against Santa feeling he took away from the holiday designated for the Christ. All the while I was missing and important lesson that I could have learned from Santa.

Once I had a conversation surrounding the development of the peace sign. As we look at the history of it we find different speculations of its origin. Some point to the fact it was a marking upon on of the German Tank regiments and was meant to be the incognito version of the swastika since the swastika was outlawed. We also heard it was from and artist who painted it for the purpose of a peace sign and each section stood for something different. Then we hear of the upside down broken Cross with is a sign of Satanism.  What is the true meaning of the peace sign?

Another item close and dear to many of our memories is the Christmas Tree. This also has many belief’s on its origion. Some say it was because it was an evergreen it had spiritual powers and was the Sun Gods promise he would return to full strength in the summer and so many adorned their house with it at the winter solstice or the shortest days of the year as praise to the sun God. Others say because it was evergreen it symbolized eternal life. Many used it to keep the evil spirits of disease away by hanging it over the door and placing it inside since winter was the time when most people died of illness. The Catholic Church had a Saint claim to use the shape to teach about the trinity. The red balls once were apples to hang upon the tree to symbolize the tree in the garden and the lights were Jesus. The list goes on and on, but one can easily see the real meaning of the tree could be evil but our memories of childhood we reflect on are of good.

Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

In all things, will you see the good that God has for you, or will you see only the evil the world has intended for you? So often I fought Santa rather than learning how to use the idea of Santa to the Glory of God.

“The Polar Express” was beautiful movie full of mystery and marvel. I stumble at the thought that the main character (the train Director) is also the man in “Da Vinci Code” in which the fundamentals of Christianity are painted as false. This movie encourages children to believe in Santa Clause. It forces the question, can we believe?  So I ask myself, a few questions, first who believes in Santa. Who encourages the belief in Santa Clause, and finally who is Santa Clause?

Once again turning to the pages of history nothing is recorded in early Church documents about St. Nicholas. Most of his history is that of legend written in many books and stories but nothing “legal”. Saint Nicholas of 300 AD is agreed to be the persona of which Santa Clause is based off of. Kriss Kringle is the name which Martin Luther referred to Santa as. He was from Turkey and was from a rich family. This is about the only constant in all the stories. Some claim he was a miracle worker as a child. Some claim his Parents died while he was a lad, others claim as a young man, some never mention them. One of his most famous exploits is there were three girls who were so poor, they were without food. They decided that they would go be prostitutes the next day and he gave them money that night. Some said it was thrown through the window others say it was placed in their stockings which were by the fire drying out. Some even say the three were prostitutes who had been killed and he raised them from the dead. Some say he named them Faith Hope and Love.

Another story of the most beloved Saint in the history of the east and west Church is that he would make night time visits to the poor and leave gifts for them in the cover of darkness so that he would not be praised for his kindness. However in the year 303, the Roman emperor Diocletian commanded all the citizens of the Roman Empire, which included Asia Minor, to worship him as a god. Story has it he was put in jail for not worshiping himself for no one knew his true identity and as he was a Christian he would only worship God. Over 2000 Churches where built in his honor and he was the patron saint of many. The English split away from the Catholics brought about Father Christmas. The name Santa Clause may have come from the Dutch Version of Saint Nicholas.

All of the History is unsubstantiated legend yet how many parents teach it to their children? I wonder how this legend can glorify Christ. We cannot even for certain tell the history of Santa Clause to our children yet they believe. Why do they believe? First they believe because we believe. Second they are dependent upon their parents for their livelihood. They trust us for their provision and we ask nothing in return but love, so to them to believe there is one who would bless them with a gift and ask for nothing in return but belief is believable. Santa Clause is a small way to learn how to believe. The difference is that Santa Clause is not even the real story yet it is believed by children because they trust you. When the falseness of Santa is discovered a piece of that trust in you as a parent also fades away. When I tell them the love Christ has for them they will subconsciously remember the heartbreak of Santa and they will live by the Old saying “fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice, shame on me”.

The missed lesson of Santa Clause is that Christ said if we believe like children we will find Heaven.  So by watching the way little Children believe in Santa is how I learn I must trust in Jesus and his words. Santa came from a good start, I guess. It has turned into something  that actually tears down the trust between a child and the parent or Grandparent, or neighbor, or anyone who “fools” them with this lie. So when the story of Christ is taught they will feel it is too good to be true and they will not be fooled again.

Santa is a good way to learn how to believe, but the story will build walls that may one day hide the truth from them who once believed. The question is not whether it is evil or good, but how you use it, how you see it, that determines whether it is good or evil.

Genesis 50:20(a) You planned evil against me; God planned it for good