“Mobilizing Families for God’s Kingdom Worldwide”
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all
comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 4:6-7
Dear Friends in Christ,
Between the election and the economy, so much has happened in the world since our last
letter! Like most families, we’ve had some very engaging discussions about world events over
the past two months. We have also had some wonderful times of prayer, fasting and Bible study
together. Our own vision and passion for what God has called us to as a family has grown.
For example, during one of our “Becoming a Great Commission Family” seminars at a
church recently, we heard of a young person from a Christian home who seems to be walking
away from his faith. Sadly, we have heard many such stories ever since our early years in campus
ministry, but it seems like even more so in recent years.1 As we have talked and prayed as
a family, one of our sons pointed out that like so many young people, when this person left
home, he found out that in the world’s eyes, “He wasn’t cool, and it mattered to him.”
We asked our children why ‘being cool’ had not ultimately mattered to them, now as they
look back as young adults. The answer came in two words: “Family evangelism!” Wow!
That’s the core vision of our ministry. Family evangelism is a key to discipling your children to
walk with Jesus for the long haul. You risk being ‘uncool’ and being rejected when you do
evangelism. So being involved in evangelism teaches us to value what’s eternal over what’s
‘cool.’ This is especially crucial for children and young adults who are often susceptible to the
world’s definition of ‘cool.’
1 In his latest book, Josh McDowell says, “Denominational leaders have confessed to me . . . estimate[s]
that between 69% and 94% of their young people are leaving the traditional church after high school.”
The Last Christian Generation (2006), page 13.
GRATEFULNESS & INVESTING IN ETERNITY
We chose the verse from Philippians above for this season of giving thanks. We are so
grateful for you and your on-going prayers, support and encouragement in Christ. Recently,
our pastor said something like this: Wouldn’t it be wonderful and amazing in God’s providence
during these tougher economic times if Christians actually became more focused on investing in
eternity through giving to ministries and missions? Maybe the Lord is shaking us up, to turn us
to Him and to His agenda.
With these thoughts in mind (family evangelism, our gratefulness, and investing in eternity),
we have an important matter we would like to share with you. We hope it is helpful to first restate
our ministry vision:
1. OUR VISION — “Great Commission Families”
“Help families take steps of faith toward greater involvement in the Great Commission.”
In the spring of 2006, after 23 wonderful years in ministry with Campus Crusade for Christ,
we launched our own unique family ministry with a vision to:
- Create local evangelistic opportunities for families to join with us together. This is the
powerful family discipleship that is the desire of our family ministry to help facilitate!
- Teach and share as a family, a family vision for multi-generational faithfulness to God’s
Kingdom: in our home, at conferences & churches, wherever the Lord gives us opportunity.
As more and more Christian families simply evangelize and disciple their own children, and
then seek to minister together as a family to those around them, we will see revival in our land!
2. OUR NEED — Currently 30% Underfunded
We are still in a faith-supported ministry, and we are trusting the Lord for the ministry
partners we need to carry our family-based missionary vision forward. The entrepreneurial
challenges of launching a new ministry to families has included support related challenges.
We are trusting the Lord to raise up the additional ministry partners which we urgently need.
We have been about 30% underfunded for over 2 years, and it is an increasingly urgent need.
In addition, as always we have special needs which include braces and tooth extractions for
Daniel, as well as ministry expenses for printing our tracts and booklets, web design and travel.
Your giving for special needs helps us cover those expenses. Thank you!
3. CAN YOU HELP?
Would you prayerfully consider increasing or beginning financial support of our ministry?
- Long-term, our greatest need seems to be an increase in our monthly support. We are praying
and working hard toward that end. As the Lord leads and enables you, please consider
if you can invest more in eternity through our “ministry with a family evangelism focus.”
- Or perhaps a year-end (or New Year) special gift is how the Lord might lead you to invest in
our ministry now.
** We are specifically praying that by January 1st we will have 21 new or increased commitments
for the on-going support of ministry. For example: 8 people at $25/month, 6 people at
$50/month, 4 at $75/month, 2 at $100/month and 1 at $150/month (or equivalent annual amts.).
In light of the financial uncertainty in our country and our world, would you partner with us
to reach families and the next generation with the truth of the gospel, the only thing that really
lasts and is eternal? Other investments may fail, but investments in people and the gospel will
bear fruit that remains.
God’s great blessings to you and your family,
Bernie & Linda and family
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and
steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do
not break in or steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~ Jesus (Matthew 6:19-21)
Here are a some family and ministry photos including from various evangelistic outreaches
and speaking opportunities we’ve had as a family in recent months. Enjoy!
In October we all attended a wonderful family conference in central Virginia where we met many families who were
encouraged by our challenge to answer as a family Jesus’ call: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” From
left: Sarah, Aaron, Daniel, Bernie, Joshua holding Abbi, Linda, and Kerin holding Rachel. Linda and Julianna Shedd.
And Sarah’s senior portrait. Next month she is completing her B.A. in Music from Thomas Edison State College in NJ.
A highlight for our family is to take other families with us for walking or biking tours of our local Civil War battlefields.
In addition to an enthusiastic re-telling of the battle that is frequently punctuated with Bernie saying, “And that reminds
me of a Bible verse!”, we also give our families gospel fliers reprinted from the Civil War to give to other folks we meet
in the park. Folks readily take and read them. At Manassas, Rich Lewis joined us in character as a Civil War soldier.
In Ohio, we spoke on Hospitality & Evangelism, Family Missions, and Raising Entrepreneurial Children (Josh & Aaron
shared many of their experiences). We were with dear people at churches in Altoona, PA and Chesapeake, VA for two
of our family weekend seminars, “Becoming a Great Commission Family.” Back home in Maryland, it was a treat to go
with our pastor and his three teenage sons to hand out 1,000 Maryland flag gospel fliers in Thurmont at “ColorFest.”