Jesus, Hope of the Nations

Dear friends,

The Christmas season has been extra special for us this year as we have been blessed to celebrate with our whole family together on the same side of the ocean. We have enjoyed a couple of our family traditions from Kenya plus some extras that are unique to being in the States…like drinking hot chocolate while watching the tree lighting in downtown Lancaster and attending a very meaningful Christmas Eve service of music and teaching at our church.

Even so, it is important to remember why we celebrate Christmas – God became man in the form of Jesus. In the book of Isaiah, we are reminded of the prophesies about the coming of Jesus. We are also reminded of the HOPE that we have in Jesus: “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31NIV) These are powerful images…those who HOPE in the LORD will SOAR LIKE EAGLES and WILL RUN AND NOT GROW WEARY.

During our visits with churches this Fall, we have been sharing about the theme of HOPE. In a broken world where events each day lend themselves to feelings of hopelessness, Christians have a message of HOPE based firmly and securely in Jesus. In the devotional Jesus Calling by Sara Young, we are reminded that “Hope lifts your perspective from your weary feet to the glorious view you can see from the high road. You are reminded that the road we’re traveling together is ultimately a highway to heaven.”

As we head into a New Year, remember how Peter encouraged the early Christians in 1 Peter 3:15: But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (NIV) Are you prepared to share the reason for the HOPE that you have in Jesus? How can each of us be more involved in sharing Jesus with the unreached…those who have not yet had an opportunity to hear about Jesus? Jesus is the HOPE of the nations!

Here are a few ways you can be praying for us in the days and weeks ahead:

  • PRAY for Micah this week as he travels to Atlanta, Georgia with a group of young adults from our church to Passion 2020. PRAY that his heart would be ready to hear from the Lord. He will head back to Messiah College on Jan 7 to take a three-week course on Islam. PRAY also for Micah as he begins the process of looking for a good summer job…his first job other than work study at college.
  • PRAY for Hannah as she will be doing some extensive traveling over the next few weeks before the start of her spring semester. PRAY for safety in travel and a fun, encouraging time with friends. PRAY for Hannah as she is seeking to find a summer internship that fits well within her major and gives her an opportunity to explore career options.
  • PRAY for Rachel as she walks closely with patients and their families in her job as a social worker. PRAY that as families wrestle with difficult medical decisions, she may have opportunities to share with them the reason for the hope that she has.
  • PRAY for us, that we would have wisdom and very clear direction regarding several decisions that we have been lifting before the Father. We are in a season of waiting on Him.

Our schedule for the next two months is below. We are hoping to connect with you somewhere along the way. Please let us know if we will be in your area and if we can stop by for a visit.

May you start this New Year thankful for the HOPE you have in Jesus,

Brian and Missy Wagner

Family Thanksgiving

January/February Schedule

Sunday, January 5: St. Matthew’s EC Church, Emmaus, PA
               8:45am speaking during Worship Service  
               10:00 am sharing during Sunday School  
               11:00 am sharing during Worship Service 

Sunday, January 12: Bangor First United, Bangor, PA
               10:30am speaking during Worship Service

January 13-17 – visiting supporters/friends in Oregon

January 18-22 – visiting supporters/friends in northern California

Sunday, January 26: Bethel EC Church, Conestoga, PA
               9:00am sharing during Sunday School  
               10:15am speaking during Worship Service 

Saturday-Sunday, February 1-2: Grace Community Church, Willow Street, PA
               Details to follow

February 4-20: Trip down the East Coast to Florida and return…multiple stops along the way

Sunday, February 23: St. David’s EC Church, Weiglestown, PA
               8:00am speaking during Worship Service 
               10:30am speaking during Worship Service 

Prayer, Acronyms, and a Request

Dear friends,

One of our prayer requests for this year is: “Opportunities to effectively share God’s heart for the lost and the part RVA plays in supporting families who are sharing Jesus in hard to reach places.” We are excited that we have had several opportunities to share about what God is doing in the world, not just at RVA. We are also discovering that a lot of the language that we use and phrases that are very common to us are very uncommon here in the US. Here are two examples.

TCK

In September, we had the opportunity to attend the MK Synergy conference which focused on MK care and education. It was a great time to rub shoulders with over 160 other MK caregivers and educators and learn more about the needs of and resources available for Missionary Kids (that’s what MK stands for). MKs are a subgroup of TCKs (Third Culture Kids). The vast majority of our students at RVA are TCKs and that means they have a unique set of challenges, experiences, and giftings compared to peers in their home countries. When we brought home a revised, updated version of the book that is widely considered one of the most authoritative resources on TCKs, one of our own adult children promptly took the book and started reading it. The response was one of “this is all about me!” All of this has served to remind us of the importance of ministering to the children of those called to serve in the uttermost parts of the world.

UPG

Speaking of the uttermost parts of the world, another acronym that is very common overseas is UPG. Over the last several years, AIM (Africa Inland Mission) has honed their focus on Reaching the Unreached in Africa. We have also been spending more deliberate time talking about and praying for UPGs (Unreached People Groups) at RVA. If you are not sure what a people group is and why this is so important to Christians today, check out this short video to learn more.

One of the steps we are purposefully taking to help provide more information to those who are interested in missions is to provide links and information directly on our blogsite. You can go directly to Missions Resources on the site for suggested videos and resources to learn more about what God is doing in the world and to help build a vision for missions within your church or fellowship group.

A Request

Finally, we have received our new prayer cards and would love to share them with you. Unfortunately, our mail list is very outdated. Please send a quick message (by email, through Facebook, by carrier pigeon) with your current contact information (mailing address and phone number) and we will send prayer cards to you. These can help serve as a reminder to pray not only for our family, but to also pray for RVA, UPGs, TCKs and AIM (is that enough acronyms?).

Our schedule for November is below. We are also working on a plan for a road trip to visit friends and supporters along the East Coast in early December…more details will be coming soon.

Serving Together,

Brian and Missy Wagner

November Schedule

Sunday, November 3: Bethany EC Church, Ashland, PA
               9:00am sharing during Adult Sunday School
               10:10am speaking during Worship Service


Sunday, November 10: St. John Kimmels Church, Ashland, PA
               8:15am speaking during Worship Service
 
Sunday, November 17: Bethany EC Church, Tamaqua, PA
               8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am – speaking during all 3 Worship Services

Sunday, November 24: Mohn’s Memorial Church, Mohn’s Hill, PA
               9:00 am Sharing ONLY during Adult Sunday School
               10:30am Worship Service (Missy will sharing at the 11:00 Children’s Church)
 
Please write if you’d like more information on the any of the places we will be or if you would like to schedule a time to connect with us!
  

Fall Speaking Schedule, Part 2

The month of September and early October filled up quickly as we began speaking, traveling and attending conferences! In the process, we’ve had encouraging visits with churches, family, friends, former (and future) RVA staff, and RVA alumni while traveling in Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Georgia. We have been incredibly blessed in a number of ways since our last update and have been sharing stories of God’s goodness with many during our travels.
 
Here’s some information on where we’ll be speaking for the next few weeks:
 
October 18-19: Messiah College
     Homecoming & Family Weekend at Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, PA
 
Sunday, October 20: Hershey Half-Marathon
     TWO of our kids who will be running – the rest of us will be happily cheering them on from the sidelines and waiting with open arms at the finish line! Please PRAY for safety and energy as they run!
 
Thursday, October 24: Susquehanna Region Missions Brunch
     10:00 am Trinity EC Church, Lititz, PA
 
Saturday & Sunday, October 26 & 27: Grace Community Church, Willow Street, PA
     Saturday evening – 6pm
     Sunday morning – 8:00am, 9:15am, 11:00am
          *10-minute interview at all services
 
Sunday, November 3: Bethany EC Church, Ashland, PA

     10:10am Worship Service
 
Sunday, November 10: St. John Kimmels Church, Ashland, PA
     8:15am Worship Service
 
Sunday, November 17: Bethany EC Church, Tamaqua, PA
     8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am – Worship Services
          *speaking at all three services
 
Sunday, November 24: Mohn’s Memorial Church, Mohn’s Hill, PA

     9:00 am sharing during Adult Sunday School
     10:30am Worship Service (Missy will sharing at the 11:00 Children’s Church)
 
Please write if you’d like more information on the any of the places we will be or if you would like to schedule a time to connect with us!
 
REMINDER: Check-out our new blog site https://kenyawagner.home.blog/
 
Brian & Missy Wagner

Congratulations…You Found Our New Blog!

One of the  first projects for this Home Assignment was to set up a new blog site. The old Aimsites blogs are being phased out later this year and we needed to modernize a little…with the emphasis on little. We launched the new site this week! Check it out at https://kenyawagner.home.blog/.

While it is still fairly simple, we have updated the photos and the content. You can also find a sneak peek of our new prayer cards. We will be working on improving the look and feel throughout the year along with adding more links and content.

We also want to remind everyone about the upcoming Open House in the Harrisburg, PA area this Sunday, September 22. Please RSVP if you are planning to join us and we will send the address. The Open House will be at the home of Steve and Lynn Sheffer from 1:00-4:00pm.

Blessings,

Brian & Missy Wagner

Update 19-6: Fall Speaking Schedule

Thanks for your prayers over the last few weeks as we moved Hannah and Micah to Messiah for the Fall semester. They are both relatively settled with one week of classes already finished. Please continue to pray that both of them will quickly adjust to their classes and be able to balance academics, friends, and campus jobs.

We’d like to fill you in on our speaking schedule and hope you’ll be able to come and hear what the Lord is doing in the lives of students at Rift Valley Academy and in the hearts of those throughout the continent of Africa.

Sunday, September 22

Wyndamere Heights EC Church, Lewisberry, PA  10:00am service

*OPEN HOUSE – Since we have quite a few friends and supporters in the area, we’ll be having an informal open house at the home of Steve and Lynn Sheffer from 1:00-4:00pm. Please let us know if you plan to stop-by and we will send the address!

Sunday, September 29   

Grace EC Church/House of Blessings/Christ Church, Ephrata, PA                                           9:00 am Sunday School          10:30 am Worship Service

Sunday, Oct 6

Trinity Lighthouse, Royersford, PA 8:00 am Worship Service 9:15-10:15 am Sunday School 10:30 am Worship Service

October 9 – October 13

Travel to AIM’s US offices in Peach Tree City, GA

Saturday, October 26

Grace Community Church, Willow Street, PA 6:00pm Worship Service

Sunday, October 27

Grace Community Church, Willow Street, PA 8:00am, 9:15 am, 11 am Worship Services

Upcoming Events

We are working on our schedule for the year and would love to connect with as many of you as possible. Most of our Sundays will be filled with speaking at churches, but we are very free during the week.

Please write if you’d like more information on the any of the places we will be or if you would like to make a plan to connect!

Brian & Missy Wagner

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