Behold, I am doing a new thing.

Isaiah 43:19 says this,

“Behold, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

This has been such an encouraging piece of scripture for me and my family lately. Some of you that have been following us know that God is calling us into full time mission work with Nexus International. We are in the very beginning stages of this process and are excited, and also nervous, about the journey ahead. As is traditional with most all missionaries, we will be raising our full support for our time in ministry. This includes not only raising funds for our ministry needs, but also for our families needs as we devote our time to caring for youth leaders around the world.

This scripture has reminded us that as God is doing this new thing in our lives and as it is coming into fruition, HE will make the way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isn’t that such a comforting thought? To know that God will provide the path through the difficulties and will bring substance and life into places that are baron and dry. Support raising is a very scary thing for us. It completely makes us depend on God to provide for our every need. God has been extremely faithful in His provision thus far and we don’t expect him to quit. God is always good and is always working for our good and His glory.

“Most missionaries will quit before they really even hit the mission field because they lack the necessary funding and support. I will not be one of these people. That’s where you guys come in.”

You might be wondering what support raising will look like for us. It will officially begin after I attend a support raising bootcamp in Fayetteville, Arkansas in April. This bootcamp is meant to reveal the biblical basis for support raising and to help equip missionaries to be spiritually healthy, vision-driven and fully funded. Most missionaries will quit before they really even hit the mission field because they lack the necessary funding and support. I will not be one of these people. That’s where you guys come in.

I am shooting for a goal of being fully funded within 6-8 months. This will be difficult and require A LOT of time and effort on my part. But, where we are faithful to ask God for help, He is faithful to provide. If you have read this far, then chances are you are interested in what my mission is or you are someone who cares about me enough to read what I write. Either way, I would LOVE to sit down with you in person and share the vision of what God has put on my heart and how we can join together to help fulfill that mission and calling as a team. Jesus says in Luke 10 that, “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send out more workers.” He has called me to be one of those workers and now I must recruit co-laborers to help me reap the plentiful harvest. Will you be one of them? I can only ask that you begin praying if God would have you join my team and whatever He tells you, I pray you would be obedient to follow His direction, one way or the other.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a sit down meeting with us you can fill out the contact form here and we will get back with you as quickly as possible! Thank you so much for your time in reading this. It sincerely means a lot to us that you would consider supporting us. We ask that you be in prayer for us as we continue to walk faithfully toward the calling God has placed on our lives.

Thanks and God Bless,


The Wingfield Family

Valuing Others in Christ

I just recently returned from my second trip to Ecuador with Nexus International. I have been working with Nexus for the last 4-5 years and have recently began the onboarding process with them. I have known that God was calling me to this ministry about 2 years ago, and I’ve just not obeyed His calling. God has shown me that His timing is so much better than ours. You might be wondering what Nexus does, I’ll tell you below.

Nexus has a vision to reach local, catalytic leaders around the world and to empower, equip and encourage them in the work of making disciples of young people in every culture. We recently just spent 10 days with upwards of 50 of these leaders in Latin America. One of Nexus’ staff members, Juan Carlos, has been discipling me for the last 4 years (that’s another blog post in itself). He is from Ecuador originally and has lived in the states for 10-12 years with his wife and 3 kids. The one thing that I can tell you about Juanca is that He loves people very well. He embodies the love that John 15 speaks of when it tells us to “lay our lives down for a friend”. It is because of this love I have experienced Jesus in ways deeper than I could have imagined. He has this same love for these leaders in Ecuador.

When we think of making disciples, we must look at how Jesus did it. Jesus was super relational in his discipling of the 12. They spent most all of their time together. Whether it was teaching, serving the multitudes, walking from town to town or retreating to the wilderness for solitude, Jesus was with his disciples. This is the foundation for leading people into a deeper walk with Jesus. We must be with them. As we ourselves are in closest relationship to Jesus (John 1:18) , we must let the hope and love from Him, pour out into those we are seeking to lead. We have to value others more than ourselves (Philip. 2). When we do this, Jesus is glorified and made known to those around us. Juanca has been giving his life away to some of these leaders for close to 10 years. He has been close to them, cried with them, laughed with them, celebrated with them and so much more. He has done this for me as well, and that is why I am in the place where I can respond to God with a resounding YES, I will follow you wherever you ask me to go.

We spent a lot of time in conversation with these leaders last week. Just talking of how God is working in our lives and what He may be asking us to go and do. The first part of the trip was spent at a camp teaching at a conference called “Pescando Hoy” or “Fishing Today”. We got to speak to leaders from all over Ecuador on how to be intentional in reaching young people and equipping them with the tools necessary to care and disciple youth in their communities. The latter part of our trip was spent in the wilderness with a few other youth leaders from different parts of Ecuador. We camped and climbed mountains for couple of days all while speaking of how Christ was working and transforming our hearts to help us reach those He has given to us. Christ modeled retreat a lot with His disciples. He utilized the wilderness as a way to teach people about kingdom truth’s and the Father’s character. We too like to use this for the same reasons.

The last day of our camping trip we climbed a large mountain, some of which was almost vertical and required some climbing skills and a lot of bravery (at least for those of us with fears of falling). As we topped the summit and all gathered around, we sat in silence for a few moments, listening to the gentle wind blow. We were reminded of when Elijah encountered God on the mountain, God wasn’t in the earthquake, the furious wind or the fire, but He was in a still, soft voice almost like a gentle breeze. We couldn’t help but to respond in awe and worship at how good our God is. It is through experiences like this, however strenuous and fatiguing they may be to get to the top sometimes, it’s there that we encounter God and man how that’s worth it!

As I looked at the leaders around me and realized their relationship with Juanca, God showed me something. He showed me His long term plan for making disciples. Our society as made us far too impatient in most every way. We often want to see immediate results and if we don’t, then we move on or think we have failed. The people on top of the mountain with us that day were a 10 year investment, and this was only the beginning! I was reminded of how we are given an opportunity to steward all that God gives to us. People are no different. Before Jesus went to the cross and he was praying the High Priestly Prayer in John 17, Jesus pray’s for those that the Father had given to Him out of this world and then Jesus prays for future believers! He could have prayed for anything…But he prayed for his friends and then he prayed for you and I. He prayed that we would “not be taken out of this world, but protected from the evil one” (v15). The same way that the Father sent the son into the world, so was the son sending us into the world (v18). His prayer is that we would be protected in THIS world. He was sending us out like lambs among wolves. Have you ever seen how sheep protect their young from predators? The mature ones circle around the young ones and fend them off. This is God’s design for His church as well. Those of us that are mature, should put other’s above ourselves, protect them from the evil one and teach them how to do the same. 

This was amazing!!! I am so thankful that God would reveal to me this plan in His word and in those around me. I am so hopeful and excited to approach my relationships with a new vigor and excitement for leading them towards Jesus in a more intentional way for the rest of my life. This trip was affirming in my calling in so many ways! Now the process begins of raising my support so that I can do this on a full time basis. I will be creating a video of my time in Ecuador that you can check out on my Vlog! If you want to hear more about our ministry and the leaders we work with, you can contact us on this page. If you are local we would love to have you over to our home for coffee to talk more about our ministry and how you could potentially be involved. If you are far away, thank goodness for internet, we would love to Skype with you and possibly drink coffee at the same time, so it’s almost like we’re having coffee together! If you would like to stay connected to our ministry you can register for our monthly newsletter here.  


Thanks and God Bless,

The Wingfield’s 

Abiding in the True Vine

Have you ever likened your faith to a tree’s anatomy? Probably not. To begin, Jesus often used object lesson’s during his teachings with the masses and his disciples. Most of the time these objects were of creation. This was not because he didn’t have anything better to use, it was intentional on his part. He used parables and stories of that which was around them. Things that they saw on a daily basis, to make it connect with the deeper truth he was really trying to get across. 

Take the parable of the sower for example (Matt. 13). A very familiar parable we all, hopefully, have heard or read at some point. The seed that falls among the rocky path shows us what happens when we have no root. It springs up because of the shallow soil, but as soon as the sun comes out, the plant withers away and is scorched because of it’s lack of root. How often is this the picture of the church today? I’m afraid that the church, specifically the western church, is so focused on increasing their number of converts, new volunteers/members and new candidates for baptism that we miss the point. Jesus didn’t die for someone to use his sacrifice as a “get out of hell free” card. He wants to intimately know us. Therefore in His great commission to us, he said to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you and I will be with you until the end of time.” He didn’t simply tell us to go and convert as many people as possible. Jesus wasn’t looking to add as many people to his friends list as possible, he was looking to build His kingdom. This would take commitment and sacrifice. Only people willing to count the cost, forsake everything and follow Him would make the cut. Upon hearing some of these hard teachings, some of his followers even chose to “turn and follow no more” (John 6:66). 

You see, Jesus doesn’t want fair-weather fans. He wants to have people that are willing to rejoice in the valley as much as on the mountaintop. He want’s us to be completely satisfied in Him. Why? So that our joy may be complete (John 15:11) Have you ever though about that? Being completely joyful? Not needing anything else to bring joy to your life. Jesus does that. Jesus fulfills that. 

I hope that my writing doesn’t just discourage you in your faith journey, it’s not my intent. I hope to challenge you for sure, but in hope’s that you will respond, repent and grow. Don’t get me wrong either, I love the local church so much and it has played an integral part in my faith and growth. But, I think a lot of our churches have good intentions, but may ultimately be doing more harm than good, if they aren’t delivering the full truth of scripture, but only some watered down version. 

Please feel free to reach out to me at any point with questions or concerns you may have. I would love to chat with anyone that has questions or concerns.  Until then, may God be with you!

-Paul

Stepping Out in Faith

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been camping out in Hebrews 11. I’ve been reading and re-reading the chapter to try and gain a better understanding of it’s meaning. The entire chapter is all about faith. What is faith? What are some examples of characters in scripture that had tremendous faith? All of these questions, this chapter answers. Why, you might ask, do I need to know what faith is? Shouldn’t it be an easy answer? Yes and no. Faith, according to chapter 11 of Hebrews is this: verse 1

” Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Pretty simple right? Eugene Peterson translates it this way in The Message version, “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.” 

We often think of our faith as something that is required of us, and that’s the extent of it. Maybe faith is a checklist to you. Maybe it’ s marking off your prayer time, your devotion time, etc. That, my friends, is religion. God doesn’t delight in sacrifice, he delights in obedience (1 Samuel 15). We don’t often think of it as the foundation under everything that makes life worth living. In fact, most of the time, we find our faith comes in to play when we need something from God, not in our every day lives. We often count on our faith in times of desperate measures. We fail to see the importance of our faith when times are good and things are the way we want them. You see, God want’s what is best for us. He has a plan to give us a fulfilling and abundant life! This, much to our surprise, sometimes includes suffering though. But, according to Hebrews 11, our faith is the foundation under everything that makes life worth living.  What more could you ask for? The faith that we have in God should include what we hope for. That begs the question, what is it that you hope for?

I have 3 small children. They range from age 2 to 7. As you would expect, they don’t always listen. Sometimes they do though. When I ask my oldest child to do something and he waits to go to do what I requested, is that still him obeying me? Or, is he allowed to wait until he thinks the time is right to go perform the task that I asked of him? You see, delayed obedience is the same as disobedience. When I ask my son to clean his room, I don’t want him to wait until he feels like it, because he won’t ever feel like it. I want him to do it right then. Isn’t this the same as what our heavenly father asks of us?

I’ve known for some time what the Lord was calling me to do. I’ve sat back and intended on walking in obedience to that call, but on my own timing. I must repent for this, for it is a lack of faith and disobedience to God’s call. You see, part of me stepping out in faith, is to begin relying on God to provide for me and my family’s financial needs. I need to start raising support. This scares me a lot, because it’s unknown to me. But, this is a step in faith, which always produces growth and THAT I am ready for.

So that leads me to ask you the question, have you heard God calling you to step out in faith? If so, what is keeping you from stepping out and doing it? In Exodus 13, when God commands Moses to send out 12 spies to the land of Canaan, the spies saw the men of the land, and they were giant and looked powerful. They returned to Moses and said that the land was surely flowing with milk and honey as God had said, but they would never be able to conquer the men that inhabited it. They doubted in God’s provision for them. Much like I have done. As a result of their lack of faith and disobedience, God never let them see the land He promised them. Instead, they were sentenced to wander in the desert for 40 years, and not one person who had seen God’s miracles in the desert entered the rest and the land promised to them, except for Joshua and Caleb that is. Because they were faithful and their trust was in the Lord.

I don’t want to be like the Israelites. I want to see the promised land. I want to enter into God’s rest for me and see the fruitful place he has promised me. This can only happen in obedience to His calling though. So, I want to encourage you. If you have heard God’s call, don’t let anything hold you back. Step into it will full trust in Him. He will sustain you, He will provide for you, He will make clear your path. Remember, it is only step by step that you will get there. That is where our faith lies, in each step, not at the end of the road, but the journey it takes to get there.

So stay tuned, I will be updating everyone with how God is providing for me and my family as we trust in Him to do so. We would surely appreciate your prayers as we are on this journey. If you’ve read this far, please do leave me a comment, question or some encouragement below, it really helps!

In Christ,

 

Paul

Welcome to the new blog!

Welcome to my new blog and website! I tried everything I could to import all of my other blog posts over to this new one, but unfortunately I was unable to do so. I will be starting fresh here and hope to deliver some pretty regular content. My hope with this new site is to give you one single location to access all of the content I put out. I am new to this and not very consistent at this point, but I hope to change that.

My heart is that you will be able to look into our life and see all that God is doing. I hope you will be able to read the insights and perspectives I gain, in my walk with Christ, through my blog. I hope that you will be able to see what it look’s like to focus on being a disciple making family, how we spend time as a family, how we spend time with those we are investing in and much more through our Vlog. I hope to be able to give other church leaders and followers of Christ alike, a better understanding of wilderness ministry and it’s leaders making an impact for the Kingdom through my podcast.

I hope that this website is used for the glory of God and to encourage, equip and empower others to plant their root’s in Christ and abide in Him, so that He may produce fruit and be glorified. I would love to hear from you so be sure and comment or email us with any questions, comments or encouragement you may have!

 

In Christ,

 

Paul and family