Sunday, November 15, 2009

We are Thankful!

We are nearing the Thanksgiving holiday, and while many of us are already thinking past it to Christmas, we wanted to take some time to remember the Lord's many blessings upon us.

We are thankful for the opportunity to serve Him in Mexico City! What a privilege it is to be called to be the standard-bearers to those who do not know Him. Troy and I are also thankful that the Lord has placed a similar calling upon the children for the time they are with us. They are just as excited--if not more so--about telling the Mexican children about Jesus!

We are thankful for the Lord's help during this period of fund-raising. He has helped us setting up church meetings and has helped us as we begin reaching out to individuals as well. This week we have 3 individual meetings! Praise the Lord! Next Sunday, we will also be speaking in the first pastorate of Troy's at Tilton EMC in Iowa. We are excited about "going home" and seeing again those friends who made up our very first church family. The Sunday following Thanksgiving, we will be traveling to Flora, Illinois and speaking in the EMC church there.

We are thankful for such wonderful friends and family members who have taken up our cause both prayerfully and financially. We could not do this without you! May the Lord bless you abundantly for your faithfulness to us!

Please keep us in your prayers this week as we have our first individual meetings and as we prepare for our trip to Iowa. We are privileged to be able to spend Thanksgiving week with Jenny's family in West Des Moines on our last Thanksgiving stateside for awhile.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

6-Month Mark

It was pointed out to Troy yesterday that we only have about 6 months until the May departure date. Wow! It kind of boggled the mind a little bit. We still have a long way to go in the funding, but we believe that as the Lord gave us this date Himself, He knows our need and will provide. There is a story of a community that was experiencing drought, so the pastor of the church called everyone together to pray for rain, telling people that God would answer the prayers of the body and send rain. But on the day selected for the prayer gathering, only one person arrived with an umbrella and rain gear. It's one thing for us to say we believe the Lord will provide--it's another thing to actually act on it as if it had already happened. To that end, we are beginning the paperwork to apply for passports, and whatever other paperwork or steps need to be started. After the Christmas season we will begin the process of packing, storing, and/or getting rid of our stuff. Pray for us!

After a delay, our first batch of letters to individuals went out yesterday. On them, we specifically stated that we would be calling them to set up appointments on Monday. They've officially gone out, so now we have to act on them or appear incompetent. This is scary! Neither one of us were gifted with the abilities (or the ease) of asking people for money and so this is extremely out of our comfort zone. Please pray for us, for Troy especially. He is working on our presentation book to go through with them and getting everything organized. On top of that we are still trying to schedule churches during the remaining weeks of this year and into next. We know that we cannot raise the needed funds on our own. But we also believe that it is not good stewardship to just sit back and let the Lord do all the work--we believe that we have to do our part as well in GOING and TELLING. So please pray with us that we're able to schedule at least 2 personal meetings each week and at least 3 church meetings a month (we want to be traveling 3 out of 4 Sundays each month).

I was reminded during my quiet time this morning of Peter walking on the water to Jesus. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, he was fine. But the minute he looked around and saw the raging sea and heard the winds, he started to sink. Pray with us that we can keep our eyes on Jesus and the goal He has for us. Pray with us that the sea of doubt and the winds of discouragement do not tear our focus away from Jesus.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Delayed...but not Discouraged!

Due to recent illness and a van that is having issues, we have not been able to travel in the last couple of months. We had originally hoped to reach 50% funding by December, and still believe that the Lord can work a miracle, but we urgently need your prayer.

We have made a list of individuals in the Jackson area to contact with the hope of scheduling meetings in which we can share with them about our ministry in Mexico City. We have also made a list of churches in our denomination that are within a day's drive of our home. Please pray with us that the Lord will help us fill our calendar--even during the coming holiday season--the busiest time of the year! Thanks!

Thank the Lord for Health!

Earlier this month, the swine flu visited the Gentry house. Although only the girls were tested for it, and only Tayler was diagnosed, I believe that Troy and Clayton probably had it as well, as their symptoms and fevers were very similar to Tayler's. Tori and Cody each had viral upper-respiratory infections, which left me to take care of 5 sick people! Thankfully, the Lord kept me healthy and prevented me from being sick as well. After a couple weeks of running fevers, coughing, and generally lacking in energy, everybody is on the mend. We are thankful that we didn't the more serious complications of swine flu, especially considering Tayler's heart history. Thank you for all your prayers while we were sick--I truly believe that I could not have stayed healthy and the illnesses would have been a lot worse without them.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Funding Goals

Below are some prayer requests that we have pertaining to our funding. We appreciate all of your prayers for us in the coming months! Thanks!

1. We would like to reach 50% funding status by Christmas so that we can attend Cross Training at HQ in January. Please pray that the Lord raises up financial supporters to help us reach this goal.

2. When we go to the 3 week training session, we will need to have someone go with us to help take care of the kids and monitor their school day while we are in the training sessions. Please pray that we will be able to find someone who can help us out in this manner.

3. There is an opportunity for us to participate in the 3-week online training program Kingdom Come Training offers. It is a very intensive program but one that will help us as we learn how to share our ministry goals with others in a fund-raising meeting. Please pray that we will find just the right time slot that will be the most beneficial to us while fitting our busy work and school schedule.

4. Many of you already know that we are planning to move to Costa Rica in May, 2010. We sought the Lord's Will in this and feel like this is His answer to us, His promise. There's still a lot of financial and prayer support to raise in the coming months, but we feel that He can and WILL provide! We felt He was calling us to, like Peter, step out of the boat and trust Him in faith. So we are doing so, making plans for a May departure. Please pray with us that we will be 100% funded and ready to make the move to Costa Rica in May.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Facebook Group

For those of you on facebook, we invite you to check out our new group, Gentrys' Mission to Mexico. It's an interactive way to stay informed and provide feed back to our ministry posts while having a bit of fun as well! See you on facebook!

Weekend in Illinois

This weekend we will be speaking in two Illinois churches. We will be at Faith EMC in Fairmount, IL for Sunday school and the morning worship service. We will be at First EMC in Oakwood, IL for the evening worship service. Please pray for safe traveling mercies and for the Lord to speak through us in the services.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Eaton Rapids Holiness Campmeeting

We are finishing up another great camp experience, this time in Eaton Rapids, MI. This was our very first time to this camp, and in fact, our very first time to Michigan. We have had a really good time getting to see some of our close friends and making new ones.

God has been pouring Himself out on the camp in mighty ways as we have seen numerous people at every service seeking the Lord through prayer at the altars. This has been a truly enriching spiritual week and we are thankful for this time of challenge, refreshing, and renewal.

We are also thankful for the ways God has been supplying our needs. Besides the missions offering that was taken on Wednesday there have been several who became prayer partners and monthly financial partners. We are so thankful for each of them and pray that the Lord will bless them and provide for them.

There is so much more that I could write about that I may have to write another post after we get home on Monday.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Indian Springs Campmeeting

The Gentry family has just recently finished up 10 wonderful days at Indian Springs Campmeeting. If fact, it was so great it is hard to know where to start and I am not sure I can fit it all into one blog post! This was our third year of helping with the kids program and running the missions porch for that program. This year the program theme was on the armor of God and our missionary story was on Hudson Taylor. It was amazing to see the hand of God at work through the lessons that were taught and the events that transpired throughout the week. There were several things that happened in the lives of the adult workers that reminded us of the need to have the armor of God on ourselves and we sensed a great need to be in prayer for the program and what the kids were learning.

Of all the great things that happened during the week, which included a local church looking at making a significant commitment and the kids program leaders surprising us with the kid's missionary offering, there is one even that stands head and shoulders above the rest. On Friday morning Mrs. Jeannine Brabon gave a Gospel presentation and an invitation to pray to ask Jesus into their hearts. One of the kids that responded was our daughter Tori! We are so excited that she has taken this step and it put and exclamation point on a great week. Thank you for all your prayers for our family and our funding. God is answering in amazing was. If you would like to know some more of the details, just let us know and we will be more than glad to fill in the gaps.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Missions in the Midwest

This weekend we are in Indianapolis, IN for the annual OMS missions retreat. We are excited to have the chance to see many of our friends and to hear what God is doing around the world through OMS. We will also have the opportunity to see many of the missionaries who are on the Mexico field and to meet some of our future colleagues that are still raising their funds.

We want to thank you for your prayers over the past few weeks as June has been a busy month. Our traveling has been a little different this month, but with trips to Iowa, Georgia, and Indiana we have certainly need your prayers for safe travel. We are looking forward to being in two camps in July - look for more details to come on those.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Some Much Needed RnR

Following the Sunday morning services this Sunday (May 31), the kids and I (Jenny) will be taking the van and driving from Marshfield, Missouri to Iowa for a mini-vacation. We'll be spending Sunday night in Fairfield, Iowa visiting my sister and her husband and then driving on to West Des Moines on Monday to spend the week with the rest of my family. Please pray for traveling mercies as we drive to Iowa and as Troy drives back home to Jackson for the week. On Friday, June 5, Troy will fly to Des Moines, as we will be speaking at our Iowa "home church", Faith EMC in Oskaloosa on June 7.

The kids are exited to attend Nana Camp for the second summer and I am looking forward to some rest and relaxation (and some good 'ole spoiling. You're never too old to be spoiled by your Mom).

Gentrys in Marshfield EMC

This Sunday (May 31) we will be speaking in both services at the Evangelical Methodist Church in Marshfield, Missouri. Please pray with us for the following:

1. That the Lord will give us traveling mercies, especially as we are taking both vehicles.
2. That the Lord will bless the meetings and services and speak through us.

We've had some really great meetings lately and are thankful for the Lord's provision. I (Jenny) lately realized the full impact we are potentially having on those who listen to our presentation. We were reminded a few weeks ago at the Central Lakes District conference that it was during a missions presentation that a teenaged Troy received his call to missions. That reminder made me realize that the Lord could be asking the same thing of someone sitting in the pews of the churches we speak in. Through our testimony of the calling that God has placed on our lives, we might just be the instruments He uses to open someone else's eyes and heart to missions. So, along with the above prayer requests, please pray that the Lord would soften the hearts of those who hear our presentation and that they will be open and sensitive to His leading. It would be awesome to hear someone say, "It was during your presentation that the Lord called me to be a missionary." Not for our glory of course, but to know that by being obedient to share the burden He has placed on our hearts, someone else took up the call as well. As always, thank you for your prayers.

Monday, May 11, 2009

On a Roll!

Troy and I really feel like we have finally gained some momentum in our fund-raising efforts. I believe that we are doing all that we can humanly do in this process and the rest is up to the Lord. We recently watched a video clip on creation and just how big the universe really is. If I can find a link to the clip, I will post it so that you can see it for yourselves, as there is no way I'll do it justice. But watching the video and realizing, perhaps for the first time, just how big the universe is (and how even bigger our God is to have created it), Troy said to me, "This is the God who is going to provide all our needs. This is the God who can and WILL get us to Mexico." It was an emotional moment, to say the least. We are in awe that He has even asked this of us to begin with. Many people have questioned our decision to have four kids (knowing we'd need to raise funds to support such a large family) and have expressed to us that it is an impossible task we are undertaking. Don't we know it! There is no way that we can personally raise these funds! And if the Lord hadn't called us to Mexico, we wouldn't be able to, either. But He HAS called us! He WILL provide.

Thank you for your prayers for us as a family. We could NOT do this without your prayers. I believe that we need prayer support far more than financial support. Without prayer, we would get nowhere, be unable to reach anyone. Please, keep those prayers coming! Pray for our travels. Pray for more people to partner with us prayerfully and financially. Pray for the more meetings, more opportunities to share in churches and with individuals. Pray that the Lord will direct our every action and step. Finally, please pray for the two of us to be steeped in the Word even more than before. The enemy hates people who are following the Will of God and will do all that he can to cause them to falter. Only by arming ourselves fully with the full Armor of God and allowing Him to be our rearguard will we repel the fiery darts of the enemy.

Best Week Ever

Last week at the Central Lakes district conference of the EMC, we had our best conference/meeting to date. We were given approximately 20-25 minutes to speak during the missions service. The Lord was with Troy and helped him to express to the conference attendees the burden we have for the Mexican people. We had been searching for several days in various stores for a laser pointer to use during our powerpoint presentation, but to no avail. Watching Troy struggle to point out some various things in our pictures, Dr. Ed Williamson handed Troy his personal pointer and then told him afterward to keep it. Thanks, Dr. Ed--you were a direct answer to prayer! After Troy spoke, Rev. Jack Conner (district superintendent for the Mid-states district) encouraged everyone to pray about supporting us. We are thankful for the support of all the denominational leaders present at the conference--it is a blessing to know we have the support of our denomination! An offering was taken up for us and several individuals gave us enough money to pay for our return trip home (this means we will have fewer receipts to submit against our missionary account). The best of all was that so many people took prayer cards that we had to order some more immediately upon leaving the camp! What a great problem to have!! Many of the pastors in attendance also indicated their desire for us to come speak in their churches. So we came away with new prayer and financial partners, a laser pointer to use in the presentation, a love offering and enough money to get home, and meetings to be scheduled. God has been so good!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Meetings, meetings, meetings!

This weekend the entire family will be traveling to Grace EMC in Haltom City, Texas for a missionary meeting at Ike Cowell's church. We will be speaking to a combined Sunday school class of adults and youth and will also have a few minutes to share in the main worship service. Please pray for safe travel and for the Lord's blessings as we share.

Literally the day after arriving back home from Texas we will pack the van up once again and drive to a conference center near the Indiana/Ohio border in order to attend the Central Lakes district of the EMC's annual conference. There we will have the opportunity to set up our display and have been granted 30 minutes to speak during the conference on Wednesday! Please pray once again for safe travel and for the Lord's blessings as we try to speak with as many pastors as possible about scheduling meetings in their home churches.

Our goal is to have missionary meetings set up at least 3 out of 4 weeks each month until we have raised enough to support full-time fund-raising. Please pray with us that the Lord helps us to reach this milestone soon! Our whole family is anxious and excited to begin the language school stage in Costa Rica but we can't do that until our financial obligations for ministry are met. Thank you so very much for partnering with us in prayer and financial support!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Atlantic District Conference

During this week I have had the privilege of being in Ridgecrest, NC at the Atlantic District Conference of the Evangelical Methodist Church. As you can see from the picture it has some great scenery to enjoy. Yet, it has been a great time to renew old friendships, to make new ones, and to enjoy powerful services. At both District Conferences that we have been at this year the Lord has really opened some doors up for us and we are grateful for all that He is doing. We have been able to pick up some support at these conference, both prayer and financial, as well as get some meetings scheduled in area churches. Pray that as we travel to two more District Conferences in the coming months that they will be as productive as these two have been.
The only thing that would have made this trip better would have been if my family had been with me.
Thank you for your prayers and support, we greatly appreciate them. The Lord is moving on our behalf and we give Him all the praise and the glory.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mid-States District Conference

On March 26-28th we will be in Haltom City, TX at the Mid-States District Conference for the Evangelical Methodist Church. While we are there we will have the opportunity to share about our calling to Mexico in the Missions Banquet on Thursday. We will also be utilizing this time with the pastors to try and set up as many meetings as we can for the coming months. We ask that you be in prayer for our travel, our time of sharing, and that we would be able to get as many meetings as possible set up.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Language School

This week we received some news and I believe with all my heart that it is the Lord's answer to our prayer. We received an email that OMS and OMS Mexico are leaning toward sending all missionary candidates heading to a Latin field to a language school in.....Costa Rica! We were very concerned that it would raise our overall fund-raising cost but were surprised to learn that it won't change it much. Praise God! The school has 3 trimesters of study and you can enter the school virtually at the start of any trimester--which means that we won't have to wait around for the start of a new semester like we would've at the other schools had we just missed the start of the last semester. ON THE GROUNDS is a nursery school for Cody's age group with all kinds of activities (including some Spanish education) as well as a regular school for the other 3 kids! So Tori, Clayton and Tayler will be able to attend school and learn the regular subjects in English; P.E., music, and art in Spanish; along with formal Spanish training! What all this means is that Troy and I will be able to concentrate solely on our language studies without worrying about the kids' education or figuring out what to do with them during the day--and they will have the chance to learn some Spanish right along side us (something they would not have gotten at the other two schools)! I can't tell you how excited I am about all of this. Both of us are even more excited to get the funding finished than ever.
On an aside, there are a couple weeks in between each trimester, so if y'all come to visit then we'll have time to show you around Costa Rica. It's not a big country and San Jose (where the language school is located) is in between both coasts (the country is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean) with some gorgeous mountain and waterfall scenery closeby.
If you want to see the school, just click here. On their website you will also see links to the kid’s schools as well.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kids in Church

This last Sunday at Wesley Chapel there was a special emphasis on the children's ministry and as a result our three oldest children were involved in part of the service. Clayton and Tori recited a memory verse with the rest of the kids while they were holding on to a whale they had helped to make. They made this whale while they were learning about Jonah. Then Tayler sang "Sanctuary" as a solo. Even though she said she was nervous before hand she did a really great job. After she was finished the worship minister called her back up and had her lead the entire congregation in singing the song with the motions. She told him later that he had made her dream come true. Needless to say we are very proud parents.