“I have given Him my faith, and sworn my allegiance to Him; how, then, can I go back from this, and not be hanged as a traitor?”  Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan

The other day I was talking to a friend who works at Reformed Theological Seminary here in Atlanta.  I asked him how they prepare students for ministry.  He wasn’t sure what I was getting at so he asked me what I meant.  To be blunt, I said, how do you prepare your students for war?

Two years ago we embarked on what has become the most audacious and awe-inspiring journey of our lives – a journey to reach imprisoned children in Africa for Christ.  It didn’t take long for us to realize that the mission field is also a battlefield.

Although we expected attacks, we weren’t fully prepared for them.  There is a profound difference between reading about persecution and tests, and actually enduring them.  Not to mention they came from some unlikely sources.

While the first year of SixtyFeet was marked by tremendous joy, hope, and a few tears, the second year has been marked by significantly more trials and testing.  Like never before we’ve felt the resistance to the spread of the gospel.  We’ve seen discouragement, competition among the people of God, and the havoc that rumors and gossip create.  There have been attacks from nearly all sides.

As many of you know, we’re just regular moms and dads passionately pursuing Jesus.  We go to work each day, tend to our families, and generally live life together.  Nothing super special.

Yet for some reason many people have questioned our motives and intentions.  Sadly, the most painful attacks have come from within the body of Christ.

If we’re honest, some days we have felt like throwing in the towel.  It can feel like too much of a sacrifice for our families, our time, our wallets, our friendships, our jobs, and our health.  Could we just go back to life the way it was before the ministry started?  Would we even want to?

No and a million times no!  A year ago we wrote this: ’No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62. Our hands are firmly set on the plow. We know our lives will never be the same.  Frankly, we pray they never will be.” 

That was true then and it’s true now.  Our lives haven’t been the same… and we don’t want them to be.  This light momentary affliction is nothing compared to the eternal glory that awaits us.  This is especially true when we consider what God has done this past year.  It’s all too easy for us to get turned in on ourselves and sometimes miss the miraculous work that God is doing in the midst of a little pain:

* Over 100 hundred children have come to faith in Christ

* Dozens upon dozens of children reunited with families and removed from the penal system

* Over a thousand children received consistent medical attention

* Participation in a thriving church plant that has seen Muslims and witch doctors come to faith in Christ

* The beginnings of a justice initiative to provide children with a voice in court

* Almost 100 children sponsored and receiving an education

Who in their right mind would turn back from this work?  The Kingdom is advancing.  The gospel is proclaimed.  Salvation has come.  Jesus is exalted.

It’s been a great year!  Thank you for helping to make it possible.