Dear friends -
Sunday I begin a 6 week sabbatical from Forgotten Voices, which is likely a far bigger deal for me than it may be for you. During this time I will be unavailable by phone, email, Facebook, etc. I’ll be gone until early September.
Thank you to all of you who have made this rest possible. To our supporters, thanks for giving to our ministry. Please keep going. I and the kids need you still, even though I am going to rest. The work goes on.
Over the last 8 years I’ve worked an insane amount, pouring myself into founding, developing, maturing, hindering, and refocusing the ministry of Forgotten Voices. For me it’s not the work that has led me to needing rest. Serving Forgotten Voices is often not work at all but a hunger that goes unsatisfied as I do what God created me to do. Instead my need to rest comes from the deaths I’ve seen, the losses my soul has carried, and living on the edge — yearning to God for provision, discernment, and poise amidst the storms God has always carried me/us through. And I guess the work has added up.
- Please pray for our time of rest. Please pray for Katie, Avery and I as we rest and retreat.
- Please pray for the children, pastors, and churches we serve as they are not able to take these breaks, though they need them, as well.
- Please pray that the Lord provides for our needs. I’m responsible for raising most of the money and this is the first break at a critical time where we have significant needs remaining.
But most importantly there are some things I want to share with you as I go, heal and prepare to return with renewed focus and dedication to the ministry of Forgotten Voices.
1) God cares deeply for you and so do I. God’s love for you is deeper than the deepest ocean, far wider than you can see or imagine. The great calling on my life (and yours) is to worship God and to draw others closer to Him through my prayer life, my actions and my trust in Him to find rest in the storms of life. God wants us all to rest in Him. As I rest know that I will be thanking God for you.
2) God cares and wants us to care about widows and children orphaned. Every time I feel far from God or confused by our complex world, I find peace and guidance in looking to the Word and to those caring for children. As I go and retreat for 6 weeks, please pray about what God wants you to do about the needs of children orphaned by AIDS and, perhaps, how you want to join Forgotten Voices in our mission.
God’s heart for the orphan and widow is enough to demand all of us pray over what we should do. It’s enough to challenge us to look deep into how we are living our lives and the aspirations of our souls.
I’m leaving Forgotten Voices for 6 weeks, without access to email, phone calls, Twitter, etc. This is one of the scariest things I have ever done. I care so much for the children & churches we serve. What if you all stop giving? Stop sharing? Stop caring if I have stopped advocating? These questions have been whispering in my mind for months leading up to this very weekend. But the truth is there is little truth to the whispers. God cares for children orphaned by AIDS so we should too. How people respond to that truth is beyond my capacity to control. It remains true.
So I am going, quietly, without fanfare because the team I leave behind is talented beyond measure. Each of them is more gifted in their area than I, a recognition that brings me great joy and peace. The ministry goes on.
My challenge to you is that you look for ways to see & experience God’s great love for you AND you pray about what God would have you do with Forgotten Voices to love children orphaned by AIDS. Encourage our team and our partners by making a gift at ForgottenVoices.org. Thank you.
As I go and retreat, know you will be close to my heart as I thank my God for the joy of serving this ministry and prepare to serve with you on our journey ahead. God’s peace be with you. See you in September.
With love and admiration,
While Ryan is away (and after he returns), you can always contact Forgotten Voices at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 717.506.3144. Please join the entire Forgotten Voices family in praying for Ryan, his wife, and daughter as they retreat for 6 weeks of rest and renewal.