Urgency with Excellence
“What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short… For this world in its present form is passing away.”
– I Corinthians 7:29,31
Joyful greetings to you in Jesus. We wanted to take a minute to update everyone on our life and ministry. Just when it seemed that COVID was starting to subside and things were starting to return to “normal,” the events in Ukraine continue to make us feel like we live in a much different world than just a few short years ago. Paul’s words above, true when he wrote them 2000 years ago, seem more apt than ever for the days in which we live! If there is one word that presently describes the task of reaching the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is the word urgency because the time is short. Yet, coupled with the need for urgency is the need for excellence. What we do, we must do well. These often competing goals have to be held in constant tension as we press on to fulfill the task of planting “a thriving church among every people.”
Our work of mobilization is the first step in the church planting process. The goal of mobilization is to see God raise up men and women to actively join in that task. For some, it means heeding God’s call to go to the ends of the earth. For others, it means partnering with the ones who go through prayer, encouragement, and giving. The idea is that all of us will be living with “kingdom eyes” and responding to the world’s vast spiritual needs in the role that God has for us.
One of the ways that my coworker Drew and I engage in mobilization is by representing Ethnos360 at missions conferences held throughout the state. Spring is a busy season for conferences, and this spring there are conferences at LeTourneau University, Dallas Theological Seminary, East Texas Baptist, and Houston Baptist University.
Like last year, I am also taking part in our local Perspectives class here at Texas A&M. This is a great way to meet young people who are interested in cross-cultural work. This year we have 130 students attending the class each week! We’re excited for a more “normal” class after COVID put a damper on things the last couple of years.
Finally, one ministry change that has happened recently is that I have been asked to learn my supervisor’s role as “Rep Coordinator.” This mostly involves administrative work for our dozen or so mission representatives around the country. I would really appreciate your prayers as I am still relatively new to rep work, but look forward to bringing past administrative experience into this new role. I definitely still feel like a learner. Thankfully, I have a very gracious team of reps to work with!
We are blessed to be able to serve near most of our kids (and granddaughter!) here in College Station. Michael recently moved to Vancouver, WA for a few months for a bit of an “adventure” that is a change of scenery from Texas. He has a job as a caregiver at a health facility there. Cara was recently admitted into the nursing program at Liberty University!
Ben and DakotaKate continue their jobs in town. Ben is an engineer for a firm based in Wisconsin, and DakotaKate works in the Global Outreach department of our church (which means we end up writing e-mails to each other frequently!) Katie continues to pursue a Community Health degree from Texas A&M.
Finally, Andrew and his wife Katie recently learned that they were matched to a residency program in College Station beginning this summer after Andrew graduates from A&M medical school in May. We are glad that they will still be around for this chapter of life as little Elle is growing too fast to keep up with! Obligatory grandchild photo below.
Thanks for praying for our ministry. Here are a few specific requests:
- Praise for fruitful ministry and opportunities to meet with students, churches, and schools.
- Pray for Neil’s upcoming missions conferences at East Texas Baptist and Houston Baptist University.
- Pray for the students that we have been meeting with, that God will lead them in their next steps.
- Pray for Neil as he learns new ministry responsibilities.
- Pray that we will walk with Jesus and work each day with urgency and excellence.
Thank you once again for being part of our team, mobilizing men and women to go to the unreached peoples of the world! We are so grateful for you all.
Love in Christ,
Neil and Becky Burleson