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Missions Stories

April Update

It’s hard to believe April is almost out the door! As we reflect back over the past month we are humbled by God’s grace and love in our lives.

Thank you for your ongoing prayers. We have spoken to many people and home groups during April. One of our goals in May is to step out and speak to churches.

Here are our prayer points for this month:

  • pray for all those we have shared our calling with – that God will move in their hearts as to how they should be involved in missions – supporting us or beyond
  • pray for the church body (as a whole) that they would be careful not to let the world strap them down by debt or other worldly cares
  • pray for a growing desire in our hearts to fulfill The Great Commissions – whether in person or from afar
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Missions Stories

March Update

What a busy and exciting month! In the midst of visiting other local churches and speaking to home groups, we were visited by a historical blizzard aptly named a ‘Bomb Cyclone.’

LightSys had their annual March Spring Break Code-a-thon for missions. College students came and volunteered their time, working on smaller software projects. Howard was able to spend one day, each of the three weeks, encouraging them to pursue their callings in IT and missions.

For all who call Calvary Church their home – you can’t help but be blessed by their missions outreach. March is when they hang the flags in the worship center and provide a platform for existing missionaries to share their updates. This year, we were able to set up a table to share more information on our own upcoming trek into missions.

Along with the extra exposure – and visual reminder – we diligently reached out to everyone we knew to see who would like to hear more about our next chapter in missions. If God has put someone on your heart that would want to hear about IT in missions please let us know. We are always looking for referrals.

Please continue to keep us in prayer: that when the spiritual warfare hits, we can easily identify it rather than be distracted by it. Also, we are looking for individuals that are called to be a part of our sending time.

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Missions Stories

February Update

Hello all –

February was very encouraging for us for several reasons. First we ended the month at 19% of our support raised. That is nearly double what it was at the end of January. Thank you all for continuing to support us and pray for us. We also got to present in front of the church at our sending church; Calvary Aurora. They produced a very professional looking recording of that presentation that can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/318777547.

We also discovered something about the new domain that we are now using; initforjesus.com. The original idea behind initforjesus was that we are “in it for Jesus”. However, a few weeks ago, we realized that it could also mean “in Information Technology (IT) for Jesus” since we are going into IT missions work. God must have a sense of humor. Nonetheless, we are in the process of converting everything over to using inITforJesus as our brand, so to speak.

Again, thank you for all your support and prayers. If you, or anyone else you may know, is interested in hearing more about what we are doing, would like to support us, or would like to be part of our sending team, please email us. Please continue to keep us in prayer.

~Howard & Karen Owsley

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Missions Stories

January Update

First and foremost we would like to thank those who are supporting us both financially and through prayer. We recently hit our first milestone of having 10% of our support received; plus another 4% that we are waiting to arrive. We also have several people praying about supporting us, so please pray for God to work in the hearts of those that have been, and will be, called to partner with us in this journey.

This past month, at our church’s men’s breakfast, I was moved by a devotional in Luke 5. It was when Jesus was calling Peter out to be one of his disciples. Peter had been fishing for a while with no success and Jesus told th

em to cast his nets out further in the deep. Peter did as Jesus said and had such a big catch that he had to have others help him bring it in. God spoke to me in this, that we need the help of other people as we go into missions. Karen and I started courting after coming together in a “Serving as Senders” class that focuses on having a sending team for missionaries. We had not organized our own sending team because we were not going overseas. However, God was telling me we need a sending team.

After much prayer about this, we are asking if any of you would be interested in being a part of our team. We are looking for about 5 or 6 people that will come alongside us for accountability in raising support, spiritual and emotional encouragement, prayer support, and general assistance. We would get together as a group once or twice a month and possibly more often individually. If you are interested in getting involved in our sending team, please let us know as soon as possible.

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Missions Stories

December Update

Hello all –

It is time to come up for air after making it through the holidays and the busy schedules that December can bring – and write a short note on how God has been moving in our lives as we look ahead to missions.

We spent many spare moments speaking with individuals, groups and churches about our mission venture.  Sprinkled in along the way, we were able to spend some cherished time with out-of-town family & friends.

We want to thank all of you that have begun giving as well as those that have agreed to support us.  We are amazed at how God leads us to the people that He would have us partner with on this journey. We have doubled our progress since last month but still have a long way to go.

Thank you for your prayers!  We have discovered some semblance of organization as we proceed through the tasking of meeting and sharing with others.  Please continue to cover us in prayer for the following:

  • Protection against spiritual warfare
  • Strengthen our marriage
  • Obedience to God’s leading

We would love to uphold you in our prayers as well – please let us know how we can be praying for you.

~Howard & Karen Owsley

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Missions Stories

November Update

Hello all –

We just wanted to send over a note and keep you updated on how God is working in our life.

November came with some changes.  Howard, who was waiting for a clearance for the past 15 months, was transitioned into working on a software project.  

After 9 years, Karen transitioned from working for WSi Healthcare Staffing to staying at home.  This will give her the opportunity to spend more time with the support raising task that is ahead of us.

November saw the close of our 15 week Perspectives class.  It was very informative and gave a great view of God’s missionary movement in the Bible.  We also were able to connect and speak to the group about our own upcoming venture.

We were able to enjoy Thanksgiving here in Colorado with some dear friends as well as drive to Kansas City and spend it with 23 of our closest relatives!  We had a little excitement as we waited out the “Kansas City blizzard” and came back a day later than planned.

We are also in the process of meeting with individuals, small groups and churches as we share what is ahead in missions for us.  Please keep us in prayer:  that we continue to keep God’s direction, stay organized, and protected against spiritual warfare.

We would love to hear from you.  Please let us know how we can be praying for you.

~Howard & Karen Owsley

 

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Missions Stories Prayer Requests

Stepping Out

After a period of patience, resting, and waiting on God’s timing, we have been officially approved by LightSys, and Calvary Aurora, to proceed with raising support and building ministry partnerships. I have to admit though, it somewhat feels like Peter standing on the edge of the boat getting ready to step out on on the water. However, I do know that everything up to this point has built up our faith to face this challenge. Thus, we are boldly stepping out into this new phase of our journey into missions.

Over the next several months, we will be meeting one-on-one with people to share our vision and to build relationships with those that are called to partner with us. Please pray that God will connect us with those individuals, and if you feel you are one of them, please let us know.

Update (Oct 21, 2018) –
The Lord spoke some encouragement to me yesterday through these scriptures:

Joshua 1:6-9
“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Hebrews 11:8-10
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. 10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.

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Missions Stories Prayer Requests

God is on the Move!!!

I am in awe on how God moves sometimes. We have spent the past 6 months talking to around 30 mission organizations to find their full time needs as they relate to Information Technology (IT) and software development. We discovered an overwhelming need for IT generalist (networks, help desk, general IT support) in missions and some needs for software development. It appears that, in many cases, the mission organizations are not getting their IT needs met so they have never really looked at software needs. None-the-less, there is a large and growing need for IT and software specialists in missions

At the beginning of July, we started giving out prayer cards to our friends and family seeking prayer as we seek God on which mission opportunity to go with. We narrowed the group down to 5 software development positions. With everyone praying, God quickly began raising one opportunity to the top by greatly increasing my passion for what they are doing. We started feeling God was calling us to work with LightSys in Colorado Springs (www.lightsys.org). One of our zealous friends asked us if that was because it would be easy. I have to admit staying in Colorado is easy and there are 4 military bases that I would have retiree access to. However, it is not because it is easy why we feel called to LightSys.

LightySys operates as a mission organization to help other mission organizations. LightSys does IT and software work for any missions organization for free. They also organize, and oversee, the ICCM America conference bringing IT folks together to learn from each other, to encourage one another, and develop a network of relationships that will help each other better serve God in there IT roles. Lastly, LightSys also works to bring awareness of the growing need for IT specialists in missions as well as help mobilize these people to any mission organization, not just to LightSys. My role at LightSys would be writing software as well as helping mobilize IT folks and Karen would be doing administrative and some accounting tasks.

We believe that God has confirmed this calling to LightSys multiple times and in multiple ways over the past few weeks. First by the strong passion for what LightSys does and then by others that could easily see the vision. However, we wanted to hear the Word Of God tell us to go. I felt called to read Nehemiah and related to the move of God that Nehemiah was leading and that he brought so many people together to complete all while not making a profit; however I wanted something more direct. Then at a believers meeting, our afterglow, I was seeking to hear from God and one of our pastors took us to 2 Corinthians 1 about how Gods promises are yes and amen and started a discussion on trusting in what God is doing in us. However, we were still looking for something more specific. We went ahead and met with LightSys and verified that our vision and passion matches LightSys; and it did. We continued to pray for a word and prayed that God would close the door if we were not supposed to go to LightSys. The next day, while listening to a sermon on spiritual gifts, Jeff Johnson was talking about missionaries and creating a work and leaving it to the locals to continue; this caught my attention. Then he shared the verse “… I have opened a door for you that no one can close …” from Revelation 3:8; we now have our verse telling us to go.

Now we will be spending a week working along side LightSys as the final confirmation for us to go serve there. And again God comes through in glory. Karen and I will have to take some of the time off without pay. However, a couple of years ago, I got to bless a man with a trip that changed his life and never expected repayment. A couple of weeks ago this man gave us a check that will cover all our expenses and lost pay.

Please pray that God will bless this time and continue to grow us in His calling.

Update (Aug 9, 2018) –
Everything went very well in Colorado Springs. LightSys officially offered us a position and we accepted. Next step is to be commissioned by Calvary Aurora and then start raising support.

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Missions Stories Prayer Requests

Weighting On God

In mid March, much to my surprise, we were told that my weight could prevent us from serving in certain areas of the world. This is primarily due to health concerns in areas that have very poor health care; and secondarily, that it would not be a good witness to those who are poor and often hungry. My weight has been a battle for me for most of my life but, knowing that God has called us to missions and that He is in control, I knew that I needed to turn this over to Him. Feeling that a 25 BMI was too big of a goal, I set a target of reaching a 30 BMI by the end of the year; I did the math at realized that the 63lb I needed to lose was doable. I was not looking forward to it but on 16 March I started on my wight loss plan. We went and bought FitBit tracking devices, a digital scale, and I started tracking my calories online. The geek in me definitely loved all the technology and I quickly learned that walking everyday was VERY easy and tracking my calories kept me acutely aware of what gave me the biggest bang for buck food wise. Shockingly, I was not hungry, sore, or discouraged; God knew exactly what I needed to do this. A lot of weight came off the first few weeks but it continues to come off at a healthy rate; as of today, I have lost 25lb which is 40% of my initial goal. God is so good! He teaches me to trust Him in so many ways. I have no idea where God will send us; but He knows. In July we will be laying out all the opportunities we have discovered and will be seeking his guidance through prayer and fasting to see where we should go. But God in is His awesome wisdom knew that this level of progress on my weight would free me to have the confidence to not fear that my weight would hold us back. And then as icing on the cake, my work has a site that tracks healthy habits and rewards us financially; I am only a few days away from earning the $250 cap for the year.

Please pray for us to continue down this path of being better steward of our bodies so we are available to serve God wherever He may send us. Also, please pray for God’s will and discernment on selecting a place to serve.

 

update (Sep 27, 2018)

13 more pounds to go until under a 30 BMI

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Missions Stories

Don’t Choose. Do Both!

Over the past 2 months we have been talking to several missions organizations about a wide range of opportunities and God is good. These opportunities range form traditional work with unreached people groups to general missionary support roles in our own living room. But the more we talk to these groups, the more we see the need to serve. Also, I keep seeing the possibilities of doing something hybrid such as working in a foreign country, church planting, relief work, helping children, etc, and also working in a general support role that we can do from home anywhere. This could fulfill my calling to use my software skills and allow us to be involved in more traditional missionary work as well. I have been seeing this since the first time we met with any organization. Then, about a week ago, I was playing this in my head with a couple of specific opportunities and was praying for God’s guidance on this as I walked back to my desk at work. When I got to my desk, the first thing I saw on my email was this image below. It is interesting to watch God lead and guide this. I am not sure where this will take us but I know God is in control. Please continue to pray for us.