Thursday, May 08, 2008

Small Group



It may be hard to believe but oohing and aahing over Jackson isn't the only thing that we're up to these days. One of the highlights of the past month was the start of a new small group. The group is held in the home of Cassi (one of our members) and Manoel. It's also the home (for now) of Kelly and Gladson, their siblings-in-law. (Russ performed their wedding ceremony about a year and a half ago.) We're really excited to be making inroads into their neighborhood. Each week we've had a different mix of friends and neighbors, some who have visited ICOS before and some not. Russ and I have also learned the hard way not to eat too big a supper before we go because there's always a ton of food afterward. Cassi and Kelly combined are the size of a pencil but love to make everyone else eat. And eat. And eat.

We love the feel of this group because it's a really young group. Almost everyone is our age or younger so it's a lot of fun. No one but us has kids yet so Jackson gets passed around for "practice" (he's such a patient guy!).

Please keep this group in your prayers as we try to get it off the ground! It's a huge neighborhood so it will be a million years before we exhaust its potential! Pray also for Cassi's husband, Manoel. Church has been a part of his life at times but he has seen churches do a lot of stuff that he doesn't agree with so his heart is a little hard toward church. But he faithfully attends our study so we hope to change his mind about what church is.
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Heather A said...

Congratulations on the new group! Can't wait to visit it! You will definitely be in my prayers! Less than a month....!!!

Joe said...

I’m writing this to inform you about a project I am working on something that will help missionaries like you raise awareness and support. I am in the planning and design stages of launching a missionary news website (GodWitness News) and I would like you to be part of it. The purpose of the website will be to increase awareness about what missionaries are doing around the world. It will be missionary related news, by missionaries. The design I’m working on will be similar to the Yahoo News or to the BBC News websites.

I’m a professional Internet marketer, SEO expert and web designer. I have been thinking for some time that there must be a way I can use my skills to further God’s kingdom. After doing some analysis, I discovered that although there are many missionary blogs and websites, there are not many that have been optimized correctly to get a lot of readership traffic. You are probably aware of this, but a couple of the most important ways to get a lot of traffic is by having a high Google (Google, because it gets the most search traffic) PageRank and by having new content – A LOT of new content.

That is were you come in, with the content. Before I launch the news website, I would like to get 100 (eventually, I hope to have even more than this number, but this would be a good start) missionaries around the world to agree to be “news journalists.” If you are interested, I would like you to be one of the 100. If successful, there would be thousands of hits a day on the website. You would benefit by having many thousands of people around the world read about how God is using you, the work you are doing, and the people you are working with. Hopefully, some of the people visiting the website would support you with prayers and/or finances. Maybe some of them would want to volunteer to help with some of the projects you are working on. You could also benefit from having increased traffic to your website (each article you write could have a link to your website).

If you choose to participate, I would like you to agree to provide at least 12 articles in a year’s time. If you don’t want to write that many, you don’t have to feel obligated to do so though. The topic choice would pretty much be up to you. You could write about events in the country, challenges you are facing, tips for new missionaries, how God provided for your needs, and more. The articles don’t even have to be all that long. If you want to write more detailed articles, that’s fine, but if you want to write short ones(minimum should probably about 300 words), that’s fine too. You can also submit videos and photos. I just ask that everything submitted is good quality (you know, dot the i’s and cross the t’s, spelled checked, etc.) and original. It’s fine if it’s been published in print before, but if the content is already on the internet, the news websites PageRank will be reduced if the content has a copy somewhere out there on the web (yeah, the search bots are picky like that). Search engines don’t care about copies of videos and photos, so no worries there. The reason I say a year is because that is the time period through which I will evaluate how well the idea is accepted and whether I should continue the project. Call it beta testing if you want But that is about the necessary time needed to make the website a success.

If you are interested, please contact me by sending an e-mail to Please let me know your name, the country you are working in, your missions name, your website, your contact information, your website, and any questions you have. Please provide as much of that information as possible as it will be hard to keep track of everyone if I have so many participants. Sometime after I get your e-mail and once I get the site going, I will send you a user name and password for your publisher account. I may also send updates or more detailed article criteria (good titles, photo sizes, etc.). I will also send a statement of faith that will have to be agreed to. Pretty much Jesus is the only way, the truth and the light and no one comes to the Father but through him.

I think that’s about it for now. Oh, yeah one more thing, I would like participants to add a link from their website (if they have one) or blog to the news website. In-links is another way that Google uses to establish PageRank.

Thanks in advance!

God Bless You!!


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