Thursday, December 19, 2013

Here We Are

On Monday Kelly left for Rwanda.  Right after Christmas a team from All God's Children International will be arriving in Rwanda.  Kelly will be working with them and all the Christmas parties they will be throwing for our ministry and other local ministries.  She made her plans to go to Rwanda early because she had the time off school and she wanted to be able to make the most of her trip by spending time with her family and friends before the team activities start.  It was a long journey, including an overnight in Washington DC, but she made it (and all her luggage too)!  Next, this coming Monday Mike will be leaving to join her in Rwanda and prepare for the team's arrival (the team heads to Rwanda on December 26th).

It is going to be strange to have the two of them missing on Christmas Day.  We prepared for this by having our own "Mini Christmas" with them on December 16th.  But I have still resolved in my mind that next year we will ALL be together on December 25th!

Last month we had the wonderful blessing of being able to take a family vacation to Orlando, Florida.  (Thanks to frequent flier miles and my mom's timeshare.)  It was cold and busy (only 4 days to spend in 4 parks of Walt Disney World) but we had a lot of good times!  Nice that my mom could join us too!

All this talk about traveling, but there is one thing that has been on my mind for a long time now.  I want to be able to go back and be in Rwanda again.  Not to move there, but to have a long visit.  Like a month or two.  The kids do too.  Mike and Kelly have both been back for the annual Christmas parties, but the rest of us have not. The problem: finances are an obstacle.  $2000 plane tickets x 6 people = a lot of money.

A few weeks ago Nate was telling us that he had been talking to his teacher about when they come back from Christmas break.  He told her he would not be there because he was going to be in Rwanda.  Nate is just sure that if he wants to go he should be able to go!  He got teary eyed when we told him that he just couldn't go right now.

I wish that I could figure out a way to raise enough money for all of us to go to Rwanda next summer.  I'm just not good at that kind of thing, neither is Mike, and I'm not sure what to do.  Please be praying for us.  In addition to the strong desire we have to be back in Rwanda, there is also the possibility that a US family will be moving to Rwanda this May specifically to work with Ten Talents International.  It would be great if we could be there to help this family get their new life and work in Rwanda established.  Again, please pray!

As an aside, all the kids are doing well in school and working hard.  Mike's (project manager) job is busy and sometimes stressful but we thank God for it.  My job (part time office manager) is going well and sometimes I pick up some full time work on the side (which makes life extra busy but always help with the expenses of a large family).  We have all been pretty healthy and we have so much to be thankful for.

I hope your Christmas is full of the peace and wonder of Emmanuel, God with us.
May God Bless You,

Monday, July 1, 2013

I will not be satisfied.

Right now, in this season of my life, I find myself focused almost exclusively on my family and my home.  I work part time (usually, sometimes full time) and most of the rest of my time is spent taking care of my family.  So, it's easy to understand what occupies my thoughts.  I think about my family.  My mind is active and I think about what they're going through, what I want for them, what I can do to help them, how I fail them.  All of these things go through my mind.  There is one overpowering thought that keeps pounding in my heart and it is what my heart longs for.

I will not be satisfied.  I cannot be.

I will not be satisfied with my children living a "normal" life.  We are not a "normal" family.  God has called us out and shown us amazing things.  He has used us and we have seen the great things that he can do.  My heart cries out, "Status quo just won't do!  My children were put into this family because you have something more for them!  Bring them into the fullness of your will for them.  Help them to walk in the light and full revelation of your plan and purposes for them.  I know you want to use them.  They will touch many lives.  They will be world changers."

I will not be satisfied unless my children have an amazing walk with God.  Going to church on Sundays and knowing the truth is not enough.  Being a "good" person is not acceptable.  Making choices that line up with the Word of God is only the beginning.  I expect and I declare that my children will have an amazing faith filled life.  I want them to have an amazing faith that sees the things that are not, and calls them as though they were.  I want them to have an amazing anointing on their life, that all across the pages of their life you see the echoes of Isaiah 61:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
    for the Lord has anointed me
    to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
    and to proclaim that captives will be released
    and prisoners will be freed.
 He has sent me to tell those who mourn
    that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
    and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
    he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
    festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
    that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
You will be called priests of the Lord,
    ministers of our God.
You will feed on the treasures of the nations
    and boast in their riches.
 Instead of shame and dishonor,
    you will enjoy a double share of honor.
You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.

Whatever power I may have in my life, whatever love and passion for God, whatever unwavering faith, whatever boldness, whatever wisdom... my prayer for my children is a double portion of whatever I have!  I want them to taste and see that the Lord is good.  And then once they've tasted to come back for more, and more, until they become so thirsty and desperate for him that they jump in all the way!  Holding nothing back, no reservations, all their hearts, soul, mind, and strength.  I will not be satisfied unless they have a passionate love affair with the greatest lover of all time.  I want their passion for God to be consuming.  More powerful than any pull of this world, more powerful than any fear or shame that may try to cling to them.  I pray that NOTHING will be able to cling to them because of the power of the cross so greatly at work in their lives.

I will not be satisfied unless they receive and drink deeply from the lover of their souls.  I want them to receive the love that heals every wound, silences every fear, crushes every lie, and fills every cell of their being with power and joy.  I want them to be baptized in the Daddy love of God.  I want them to know they have his full approval in every moment of every day.  I will not be satisfied unless they know this in their core.

And if I see my children falling prey to the lies and chains of this world, I will not be satisfied until they are walking in the freedom that God intended for them.  Sin will not be their master!  Money will not compete for the love of their God!  Time will not be wasted on gainless pursuits!

My prayer for them is that they would forsake everything else and leave behind everything that entangles and run with abandon the race which God has set out for them.  That they would have the faith to believe what I believe about them, that they ARE world changers.  Not that they are going to be world changers, but right now, right where they are, they ARE world changers!  I know God has placed within them everything that they need to see more than they could ever imagine.  No eye has seen, no ear has heard, what God has prepared for them.  Exceedingly, abundantly more than they could ever ask or think!

I will not be satisfied unless my children experience the real and powerful touch of God in their deepest, innermost being.  That they would know that walking with Christ is real.  That the Holy Spirit is real.  That they will experience his presence in a tangible way that would ruin them for anything "ordinary"!  That they would experience the reality of God's power.  That the hand of God would touch their innermost parts, and that like Jacob, they would never, ever be the same again because of the touch of God.

I cannot, I will not, be satisfied with anything less than this for my children.  This is the inheritance that I ask of God for my children.  How can I give them this inheritance?  Is it present in my own life?  I ask God to give me more of what I am asking for my children, so they will see it in me and hunger for more in their own lives.  But even where I fail and I fall short, I pray God makes up for what I lack.  I pray that we would be a family set apart.  In this world but not of it.  That we would stand out as "strangers" here.

This is my heart's cry for my children everyday.  Do I see it happening yet?  Like Elijah I think I see a cloud the size of a man's hand, but I believe that an outpouring of rain is coming!  I do not see the answers to my prayers yet, but I believe in the power of prayer and like the widow who would not let the judge rest until she had justice against her adversary, I will not rest this prayer.  Ever.  It is my heart's cry and it always will be.

I will not be satisfied.

In Him,

P.S. to my children:  do you believe that God listens to your mom's prayers?  Then you better get ready because God is gonna pour out all over you!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

We walk by faith, and not by sight...

Right now Mike (Sr.) & Kelly are wrapping up their last few days of a 2 1/2 week trip to Rwanda.  They left on December 27th and met up with a team from All God's Children International.  The first week was spent putting on several Christmas parties.  Now that the team has left Mike & Kelly are taking care of other things.  Mike has several things to accomplish for Ten Talents Rwanda, please be praying for God to help him, give him wisdom and grace, and to guide everything.

There have been a lot of changes for Mike in the last 2 months.  In November he wrote this letter to our supporters:

Dear Friends,

As I prepared for another trip to Rwanda, I said good bye to my ill father and reassured him that it was ok to stop fighting death for his family’s sake.  We knew he was in extreme pain because his heart and lungs were failing, and it just felt selfish to ask him to hold on any longer.  So after saying good bye for what I knew was the last time, I boarded a plane and headed to Rwanda to visit someone else whose heart was failing. Only, unlike my father who had lived a long full life, this was just a child.  As I stood before him in the hospital room, his mom next to him with tears in her eyes, I couldn’t help feeling like I was ready for a fight of my own.  Not a fight with flesh and blood but with the kingdom of darkness that was trying to take this child’s life.  So, while it was painful to hear that my father had passed away the day I arrived in Kigali, it made me all the more determined to see this boy, Benjamin, healthy again.   Through a series of miracles, Benjamin received a heart valve transplant in the Sudan and made full recovery.  He is able to celebrate in vigorous dance and play soccer with others his age. Now a little over two years after surgery, you would never believe he was the same person I saw in the hospital room.

I am so grateful to God and to our supporters for the opportunity todevote all of my time over the last four years to the ministry of Ten Talents International.  So much was accomplished: new programs were started, new staff were hired and trained, children were rescued, the lives of families were changed, the hungry fed, and supporters added to the team.  All the while, God provided in miraculous ways. 

There is no doubt in my mind that He is not done yet.  He has more great things planned for TTI and Rwanda.  So, while I am not ready to say, “It is finished” - I do believe “Mission accomplished” is in order.  Nearly five years ago, I heard God say to me, “Now is the time.”  I knew he meant, “Now is the time for Rwanda, and now is the time for me to devote myself full time to the work he had called us to.”  With my wife’s full support, I stepped away from a great career as a union carpenter working for a reputable company, to take a leap of faith.  I was believing that God would provide, and as I have said, he did provide in miraculous ways. 

Because of the things that God helped us accomplish, the staff we were able to put in place, and the training we were able to provide to that staff in Rwanda: I believe it would be in the best interest of the ministry if I now step back from a full time position and find employment elsewhere.  This will free up resources that could be put to use in other areas that need them. 

The last few weeks I have been working as a union carpenter, and I am not sure how long the work will continue, but I am confident that God, who has always been our provider, will open the right doors.  I am still very involved with the continuing ministry of Ten Talents in Rwanda, and I will still lead short term mission teams to Rwanda at least twice a year, but I will be asking Lisa to take on more of the day to day responsibilities around the TTI office.  This ministry is not slowing down, in fact we believe that God is going to enable it to expand and deepen, as it is His desire that more hearts and lives be changed for His kingdom.  The nation of Rwanda is still a ready and ripe harvest field.  As we show them the compassion of Christ we believe their hearts will be opened to the truth of his salvation.

If you have any questions about this transition, please feel free to send me an email or give me a call.  Of course we would greatly appreciate your prayers for our family and for the ministry.

God Bless You,
Michael McColm

We praise God because Mike was able to work all the way until just the week before Christmas, which gave him some needed time to get ready for the trip to Rwanda.  Now we are praying that God will provide work for him to step back into when he returns, and that it will continue.  We thank God for his favor & provision.  

We appreciate your continued prayers for our whole family as we walk by faith, and not by sight, pressing onward towards the goal that God has set before us!

God Bless You,