The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. (James 5:16b-18 ESV)
Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, (2 Thessalonians 3:1 ESV)
“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14 ESV)
Historically, during times of pressing importance, Christians have come together to fast and pray in order to petition God to move on their behalf. That is what we are asking you to do this week. We believe that the work of training pastors and planting churches cannot be done without God’s active involvement.
This next year is going to mark the transition from preparation for ministry to the actual start of our ministry! We are asking for prayer grouped in three spheres of our life: our family life, our ministry life and our everyday life (those miscellaneous aspects of our lives that are nonetheless important). We have an exciting time ahead of us and are glad to have you praying with us as we ask the Lord to guide, provide, and bless our ministry!
A. FAMILY LIFE
 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,  The LORD bless you and keep you;  the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;  the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.  “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” (Numbers 6:23-27 ESV)
Focus Item: The girl’s transition
Background: The girls have had a great transition to Nicaragua but it isn’t over yet. They love their school, their new pets and their friends. August marks the beginning of their new school year and, this will be the first time they have to manage a full school year attending a traditional school. Some of their friends won’t be returning to the school, and some will be leaving Nicaragua. This will be their first taste of transitioning friends here in Nicaragua.
Prayer: Please pray for endurance for the girls and that their transition will continue to go well.
Focus Item: Bethany’s Surgery
Background: Bethany fell when she was younger and hurt her teeth. She has actually been wearing a bridge for several years. This year she will have the bridge removed and need a surgery to help bring down here permanent teeth that were damaged. We need to coordinate care starting with a dentist here and our dentist in Winter Haven. Amber and Bethany will probably make a special trip back to Winter Haven in order to have the surgery.
Prayer: Please pray that we will find a great dentist here in Managua who will be able to coordinate with our dentist at home. Pray that the damage to her permanent teeth would be minimal and that the surgery will go well.
Focus Item: General Family Welfare
Background: Living in a third world country can be tough. It comes with increased health concerns as your body adjusts and you have to deal with things you wouldn’t in the developed world. Additionally, the unique stress can put a lot of pressure on marriages, parent-child relationships, and inter-child relationships.
Prayer: Please pray for wisdom and patience. Pray that we would maintain good health and learn how to deal with added stress. Pray that this new life would bring our family closer together.
B. MINISTRY LIFE
 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.  At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. (Colossians 4:2-4 ESV)
Focus item: July Pastor’s conference in Nagarote
Background: This is our first official ministry event AND the first time Tony will be preaching in Spanish! We are have joined with Crossway Church from Davie, Florida to be a part of this event. We hope that this will be a strategic event that will help us build relationships for our future work.
Prayer: That the conference will be a success in serving the pastors and that it will be a building block for our ministry.
Focus Item: Language school
Background: Our full-time language school should be wrapping up in September!
Prayer: Pray that we will continue to grow in our ability to speak and understand Spanish and that we will be prepared for our ministry launch!
Focus Item: “More Training” launch in November!!
Background: After more than 3 years of training, planning, prayer and hard work our official ministry launch will take place this November when a group of us will gather at Pinas De Paz, the ministry center of our MTW teammates, Robbie and Murray Lathrop, and hold a facilitator training. The first arm of our ministry is “More Training” in which pastors will receive high quality theological education in learning groups. We will be coaching and overseeing the facilitators of these groups. Our hope is to start with at least five groups of 3-4 pastors each.
Prayer: Pray that the Lord would bring the right guys to this training who will be partners with us in ministry and excited to facilitate the learning groups.
C. EVERYDAY LIFE
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:19-20 ESV)
Focus Item: Ministry financial support.
Background: Even though we have reached our support pledge goals, we still need the support to come in. We also need new people to continue to join as life changes for our supporters and they either cycle off our support team or lower their level of support.
Prayer: Please pray that God would continue to supply our needs and that we would rest in confidence knowing that he is in control and able to provide.
Focus Item: Our Car
Background: As we mentioned in our last newsletter our car has gone through many repairs in a short period of time. On the one hand, these types of repairs are normal for older cars and 3rd world cars. On the other hand, all these repairs have occurred in an abnormally short window of time. This has limited our mobility and cost us a lot of money. Also, in this next year, we would like a second vehicle so that Amber would have one while Tony is out doing ministry and so that we can get around when the other is in the shop.
Prayer: Please pray for a season (an extended season) of time when our car wouldn’t need any new repairs and that the Lord would provide us with a second vehicle in this coming year.
Focus Item: Friendships
Background: This really comes in two forms. We would like the Lord to help us maintain our friendships with all of our wonderful friends in the United States even though we are in Nicaragua! We also would like the Lord to help us make new friendships in Nicaragua and deepen the ones we already have.
Prayer: Please pray for special bonds of friendships that can withstand the distance with our friends in the United States and pray that the Lord would help us develop strong friendships in Nicaragua.