Friday, April 20, 2007

Our 2007 Missions Support Letter

Dear Friends, Family, Co-laborers,

Each year, right around this time, Tony sits down and carefully constructs a support letter for one (or two) of his many missionary adventures. For years, I have been the whisper in the background, voice of reason (hehe – OK, maybe not ALL the time!), prayer support, and the organizer of funds, hotel reservations, an administrator of sorts and the point person the homefront. It has honestly been a fun journey, while a little sketchy at times (like the two weeks while he was in Brazil and we had no shower to speak of in our house!), and I would never trade those years for anything else.

This year, things have come together for a different sort of adventure, one that we have been dreaming of in our hearts for several years. God has opened the door for us to go this year as a family on a trip that seems, in many ways, designed just for us! We have the opportunity to embark on a family adventure with a team of leaders and students from our church to Vienna, Austria and Sopron, Hungary to serve the European missionary families working through Christian Associates International. These families will be meeting together for a week long conference and retreat and we have been chosen to serve these families by providing childcare while they are involved in learning and planning together.

I would like to invite each of you along on this one in whatever capacity you feel comfortable. We will need lots of preparation and prayer, patience and wisdom as we attempt to be Godly leaders/parents/servants, and a huge amount of faith as we tackle the daunting task of raising support for our family of four. We are excited and scared all at the same time, so please join us in any or all of these areas in the first Sheng missionary adventure! ~Deanna

CAI's existence is based around impacting Europe via the multiplication of high-impact leaders and churches, and a family from Grace has been working with CAI for the past few years. Our team's main goal will be to assist with different facets of the children's ministry for the kids of CAI workers. This trip has great elements including: blessing Grace's network of families who have invested everything for humanity's sake in Europe; having students spend some time with these innovative and unconventional people; and the opportunity to do ministry in a spiritually hungry post-Christian culture that is Europe. Being that this trip is focused on children, our own kids will also have lots of great opportunities to serve beyond themselves. The 16 of us fly out on August 8 and return on August 18, and our travels include flying in and out of Vienna, Austria; children's ministry during the conference; and a service project day trip with the whole conference back into Vienna. There may also be possible opportunities for our students to travel with CAI middle and high school students to do some service projects with local ministries in Vienna for a longer duration.

We would love for you to be a part of our support team. To start, you can pray for:
- all of our summer teams [Baltimore, NYC, Liverpool and this one] - for their leaders, their students and the logistics.
- for our Hungary team - for unity, for our leadership and for the vision to know that we will prevail.
- passports, airline tickets and logistical details.
- for our Mission Advance weekend, a missions prep weekend for all our summer student teams, June 22-24.
- for Tony and I as both leaders and parents, and the discernment about both roles.
- for K [9] and E [6] and for the contributions they will bring to the CAI kids and our team in general.

We also have to raise a significant amount of money - the total for our family being $7100. If you feel led to support financially, that would also be a huge blessing. There are two ways you can financially support our team. First, you may send a check in the enclosed envelope with the response card. Please make checks payable to Grace Community Church and in the note section please specify, "SPACE Hungary - Shengs". You may also contribute via the Internet, by clicking the "Online Giving!" link at the top of the Grace Church webpage - Click the "eGive" link and after entering the appropriate donor and bank information, fill in the amount for "Short Term Missions" and specify for "SPACE Hungary - Shengs".

We dream of how this summer will catalyze the lives of our students, our church, and our children - giving them a direction for shaping human history because of the passion that Jesus has placed in their hearts. Thanks for your support and prayers, for supporting SPACE [Students Prepared to Act For Christ's Empire] and being an integral part of mobilizing students for mission. ~Tony

Images: Austria and Hungary, Em's castle, Kt's thoughts, the fam at Easter.

Related: Historical Mission Support Letters [2007, 2006, 2005]

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