Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Christmas is fast approaching and I hope all of you have a Wonderful and Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!! Our family will take some much needed rest and slow the pace down a bit. We are looking forward to having some quality time with the children. We try so hard to focus on Christ during this time and for it not to be about the gifts and parties. However, I'm finding unique ways to share stories about Christ through these ways. Christ was our ultimate gift from God, and I hope you take the time to share with others during the holidays how He has/is impacting your life. I am so grateful that He saved a sinner such as me. He didn't have to, but Christ chose to come to earth as a baby and live as a human. Not only that, but in the end Jesus was crucified on the cross for all the corrupt things I have done and do. Lord I thank you for such a sacrifice as this and pray I never get over the glorious gift you gave me five years ago.
I want to thank God for all the family and friends who have been such a great support to our family. The Lord has been so good to us. Take some time during this season to reflect and focus on how blessed you are. Have a Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year!!!!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I hope many of you reading this are receiving updates by our newsletters now. We are sending out monthly updates to better inform you what we are doing, where we are heading, and how much support we have raised thus far. If you are not receiving them and would like to, please contact us.
This weekend we will be meeting with Anthony and Misti Shelton. They are a missionary family serving at the Uganda Baptist Seminary who are on furlough until early next year. We are anxious to spend time with them, since we will be working along side of them in Africa. It will be great to learn more about life in Jinja, and what they suggest for being the most prepared to move there. They will be visiting Urbancrest from Thursday through Sunday. It should be a great time of fellowship and fun.
Please pray for our family as we continue on this path. We are working hard to network, share, and spend time with those that God puts in front of us. He has opened many doors up in Oxford to minister to university students and the community. Along with that we are trying to incorporate various ways to keep our support team informed and others excited to be a part of our team (emails, newsletters, webpage, prayer cards, etc.). We are also participating in a missions training course through our church every Wed. All this among Aaron teaching and me homeschooling makes for a busy home. However, God has blessed us beyond measure with the amount of time needed, health, and stamina to get all accomplished that needs to be done. I know many of your prayers are being answered. Please continue to pray for our family.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
The campaign that we are starting we will call the 4/40 pursuit. What we need to be in Uganda is $4,000 per month and $40,000 initial deployment expenses. This will get us there, keep us there, and provide the necessary funds should we need to evacuate the country for any reason. Since we do not have a large organization supporting us (or taking a cut of our donations :-), this is imperative. We would be happy to share with anyone interested the specifics of this budget as we wish to be absolutely transparent concerning the financial side of things. The more eyes that take a look at something, the more likely we will catch things before they become nasty surprises.
We will be attending the missions celebration hosted by First Baptist Waynesville, Ohio this weekend. The dates for this celebration are from Thursday the 30th until Sunday the 2nd. Pray for the connections we might make here and that Christ's mission is moved forward as a result of our attendance. This is the first missions conference that this church has undertaken so pray for them as they sail into uncharted waters. We look forward to being used by God to encourage others to catch His vision for world missions!
We are happy to speak at any venue that we can fit in with our current schedules. Please, please, please, please share what God is doing with our family with others. We would love the opportunity to speak to your church or group to simply share the vision that God has given His people for the nations.
If you are interested in being a financial partner with us, I’ve given details on how to do this below. I assure you that you are investing in a venture with the best return on investment you can imagine.
How you can help financially:
Pray!!!! After having done that, consider how you might partner with us financially as we seek to impact Africa for Jesus. A pledge of any amount monthly is our primary need at this point. If 100 people give only $40 per month, we have met our monthly expenses. The math is simple and no amount is too small. Every $132 pledged monthly buys us a day on the field providing high level conservative theological education to African pastors and teachers. These pastors and teachers (UBS students and graduates) are currently impacting an estimated 170,000 African children. The multiplication from this work is staggering. The fruit from this endeavor will be shared by all who are connected to it through praying, giving, and going (see Philippians 4:14-20). However, none of us can be a part until the funding goals are met. If God leads you to be a monthly partner with us, simply contact me and I'll record your pledge and you can start giving right away (see below).
If monthly support is not feasible for you at this time, a one time donation toward our initial deployment expenses is another way to help. We will be purchasing and shipping a 20' container with all of our household goods in it from here to Uganda. We will also need to purchase 6 plane tickets. There is the expense of purchasing a vehicle in Uganda. Ugandan work visas must be purchased. All of these (and more) things are needed before we can go. We welcome general donations or donations toward specific parts of the mission.
Any and all donations are tax deductable and all of your donations will go directly toward supporting this mission (we have no admin overhead). There are two ways to give:
Make your check out to Gateway Global Outreach; annotate on the comment line BOGAN Uganda
Mail it to:
BOGAN c/o Gateway Global
PO Box 591
West Chester, OH 45071
We have coordinated with our home church (Urbancrest Baptist Church) to receive electronic (credit card) donations. Note that there is a 3% service charge levied by the credit card company that is taken from all donations tendered in this manner. Go to http://www.urbancrest.info/Donations. Enter the amount of monthly or one time donation in the "Other" field. Enter BOGAN Uganda in the box below that and select the one time or repeated option as appropriate. Click "Donate Now" and you'll be directed to the PayJunction site to make your secure donation.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The children and I had a wonderful trip to the Smokey Mountains. We saw a few bears, trekked to the top of Clingman's Dome, managed to keep all the kids alive tubing on the rapids, and tried our hand at gem mining. It would have been nice to have Dad with us, but all in all it was a great vacation.
We thank all who have prayed and supported us through these past few months. It has been greatly appreciated.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
While Aaron is in Africa, I've decided to take the children on a short trip to the Smokey Mountains. This will be the first time all the children have visited, that they can remember. Please pray for safe travels and for health. Nicholas just had nine teeth surgically removed a few days ago. We are praying that no complications arise from this and it won't hinder us from going. We will be leaving on Aug. 9th and returning on the 14th.
We once again want to thank all of you who are lifting us up in prayer continually. The prayers are definitly felt. If you are not receiving regular updates from Aaron and would like to be on our distribution list, email Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added.
Friday, June 25, 2010
These past few months have been trying to say the least. However, we have found strength in the Lord and have kept God's word as our guide. In recent weeks two opportunities have presented themselves. First, an opportunity for Aaron to possibly teach at Uganda Baptist Seminary in Jinja, Uganda. Second, to work with Multi Ministries in South Africa. Aaron is planning a trip to Africa in August to visit both of these ministries to see if one of these is where God may have us serve full-time.
Please continue to pray for wisdom and discernment for us. We know God has a perfect plan for our family. The hardest thing is not to get ahead of His plans and to remain patient. With Aaron only having one more year left to teach at Miami University, I sometimes feel the time crunch and get anxious about what is next. However, I believe that God is very aware of this and all things will work out according to His perfect plan. Our family so appreciates the love, support, and prayers that we have received from so many of you. We thank you for showing the love of Jesus to our family through this stretching time.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Our family is adjusting to our new home and town. Oxford is a beautiful town and we are hopefully going to get involved with some outreach in the local community soon. I'm trying to finish up homeschooling the children for the year. We have found a co-op in Oxford that we will be starting next school year. The children are excited to be meeting some children their ages. This co-op has about 60 children, and about 40 of them are in high school. That is very exciting to Nicholas and Dylan. Last night we attended a drama production that was put on by the high school students at the co-op. They did a fantastic job and I was amazed at the props, costumes, and acting. I can't wait for our children to be a part of such a production next year.
Please continue to pray for our family. We covet your prayers.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
So, the question that looms large for us: what now? Well, we don't have a definitive answer yet, but we know that God has called us to serve Him on the international mission field. Our home sold in three weeks which is a miraculous event in and of itself (we closed on the place two days before it was decided to not move forward with Kenya). We are unemcumbered and ready and willing to go anywhere and do anything that He wills. We are already praying over possiblities in places like Uganda, Malawi, South Africa, Australia, and many other locations. Please join us in praying that God's perfect will for our family will be done. We know He will show us what to do when the time comes; please pray that we will be found faithful.
In closing, I wanted to share from Oswald Chamber's devotion (My Utmost for His Highest) for April 29th:
Title: The graciousness of uncertainty
Base scripture: 1 John 3:2
Naturally, we are inclined to be so mathematical and calculating that we look upon uncertainity as a bad thing. We imagine that we have to reach some end, but that is not the nature of spiritual life. The nature of spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainity, consequently we do not make our nests anywhere. Common sense says---'Well, supposing I were in that condition ....' We cannot suppose ourselves in any condition we have never been in.
Certainity is the mark of the commonsense life: gracious uncertainity is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. Immediately we abandon to God, and do the duty that lies nearest, He packs our life with surprises all the time. When we become advocates of a creed, something dies; we do not believe God, we only believe our belief about Him. Jesus said "Except ye....become as little children." Spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, but uncertain of what He is going to do next. If we are only certain in our beliefs, we get dignified and severe and have the ban of finality about our views; but when we are rightly related to God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainity and expectancy.
"Believe also in Me," said Jesus, not ---'Believe certain things about Me.' Leave the whole thing to Him, it is gloriously uncertain how He will come in, but He will come. Remain loyal to Him.
Please continue to pray for our family as we continue on the path that God has laid out in front of us. We only look to Him for the answers.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Please pray that we find a place to rent in the next week. Also for all the packing and moving that is going to occur in April. Our closing date is April 21 which is also the first day of the mission conference at our church. So many exciting things are happening!!!! Pray also for Aaron's mom, who lives with us, and is also finding a place and moving at the same time. So much going on but leaning on the Lord each step of the way. Please keep praying for our family as we continue this trek to get to Kenya.
Friday, February 26, 2010
We have begun making many of the necessary preparations to see serving in Kenya become a reality. Our house is for sale and will be on the open market this week (if you’re interested in buying a house just north of Lebanon, Ohio, let me know ;-). Aaron will finish up his final two classes at seminary in May, and we have begun a 42 week training program that will provide additional information/experience for cross-cultural ministry. We are also actively pursuing support partners to labor alongside us in the work in Africa.
We are seeking churches and individuals that will be a part of the vision God has given us for Kenya. We would be happy to speak to anyone almost anywhere concerning the work that is being done and is to be done there.
In addition to an army of prayer warriors, we need financial supporters as well. Here are the details of our current financial needs that will get us into Kenya:
Construction of mission house - $20,000 (includes space for short-term teams)
Vehicle purchase - $5,000 (in addition to liquidating our vehicles here)
Airline tickets for 6 - $8,000 (a rough estimate)
Participation in the eternal mission of God – Priceless (sorry, had to do that)
If you wish to contribute financially toward any or all of these needs, make your tax-deductable contribution payable to Gateway Global Outreach (our sending organization) and provide a specific designation for the funds if you so desire. 100% of any contribution of any amount goes toward the project since our sending organization is all volunteer and thus works for heavenly treasure only. Mail contributions (payable to Gateway Global Outreach) to:
Aaron & Dana Bogan
PO Box 591
West Chester, OH 45071
Once in Kenya, we have tentatively budgeted for $2,600 monthly living expenses. We will be compiling monthly pledges for any amount for any duration of time. The specifics of this are still in process at this early stage so stay tuned! If you know you wish to be a monthly contributor, let me know and I will be sure to get you the specifics as they are ironed out.
Oft times we hear from people who apologize for not being in a position to provide financial support and feel that they are not an active part. Please know that if you are praying for us then you are THE active part. If you pray for us, the resources will find their way to us and, more importantly, your personal relationship with the Lord will benefit as a result of your time with Him. I strongly encourage you that if the Lord has put this ministry on your heart, continue to stay current with us and provide the prayer that we will so vitally need to be sustained through all of this.
I humbly ask that you consider partnering with us for the long haul. I am gathering email addresses and contact information for those interested in receiving consistent updates concerning this ministry. If you know of someone, or a church/group that might be interested in becoming a partner, please feel free to send this on to them. Again, I am creating a new distribution list for those interested in following along for the foreseeable future so if that is you, please contact us to receive updates.
Lastly, please pray for us to continue to walk in God’s will and His timing in all of this. There is a temptation to run ahead of the Lord and try to force that which is not meant to be. As we continue to walk the path to Africa, please pray that we do so in step with Him.
May the Lord of all bless you richly in Christ.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Right now our main focus is raising funds for the missionary house and seeing that it is built. At this point the Taylors have a little over half the funds raised, so we need to raise about $20,000 more. Once the house is built, and we raise our family monthly support, then we can move to Kenya. The next part is to raise funds for the technical school. Aaron has already begun the process of writing grant proposals to non-profit organizations that are willing to help fund educational projects in Africa. Along with those grants, we will raise funds for the school as well.
You may be asking why is it so important to build a technical school. Well, in Kenya the government does not provide free education after 8th grade. So many of the children are left without an education and are not able to find adequate work to support themselves. Penuel Technical School would provide Bible center education to this population of children along with teaching trade skills in various areas. Skills such as masonry, carpentry, plumbing, welding, auto mechanics, tailoring/dressmaking, computer courses, and hairdressing will be offered. However, along with teaching these trades, the educators will share the Gospel and teach about Jesus Christ. There is no such facility within the locality of Kakuyuni, hence the need for this there is great.
Right now we are looking for churches who would be willing to have us come speak and share this vision. The more prayer and financial support we can find among churches, the more our brothers and sisters in Christ can work alongside us to help educate and support those less fortunate in Africa. As Psalm 19:17 says, "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done." The need is so great everywhere, but God has called our family to be the hands and feet to those in Kakuyuni, Kenya and the surrounding areas. Please pray that doors would open and for workers to come alongside us. This is going to be exciting to be a part in what God does in Kakuyuni.
Till the school is completed, Aaron and I will be acquainting ourselves with the people, culture, and language once we get there. My full-time job will be to help our four children to adjust to all their new surroundings. Aaron has already connected well with the leaders at Kakuyuni Redeemed Gospel Church and will be working closely with them. He has a calling to teach local pastors, so they in turn can go and teach many others in their congregation. There is also a medical clinic and school close by the property that I hope to volunteer my time at. Since I am a nurse, there will be ample opportunity to help those within the community. Also there is a local pastor who travels to various villages teaching orphans about Jesus Christ every Saturday. I hope that our family can help him in doing this. Needless to say, I don't think it will be hard to find opportunities to be Jesus's hands and feet.
In closing, I've been thinking a lot on obedience. At times I have trouble being obedient to God because of fears and sometimes I want to do it my own way. As James 1:22-27 says, "Obey God's message! Don't fool yourselves by just listening to it. If you hear the message and don't obey it, you are like people who stare at themselves in a mirror and forget what they look like as soon as they leave. But you must never stop looking at the perfect law that sets you free. God will bless you in everything you do, if you listen and obey, and don't just hear and forget. If you think you are being religious, but can't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and everything you do is useless. Religion that pleases God the Father must be pure and spotless. You must help needy orphans and widows and not let this world make you evil." How easy is it to fool yourself into thinking that I'm doing the right things. I read my Bible, pray, go to church, and do good things. Those are all wonderful things to be about but ultimately each one of our calls is to glorify God in all that we do by being witnesses for Him. He just so happened called us to Kenya to be His witnesses and testify to all the great, awesome, and amazing things He has done in our lives. The first of many was to accept us as the sinners we are and cover us with the shed blood of Jesus Christ. All I can say to that is "Yes Father, send me and use me how You see best." Sometimes that obedience thing is tough but I go back to the cross. I want to share what Christ has done for my family and so we can help the "orphans and widows" of Kakuyuni, Kenya. God Bless to all.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The first few days we spent in Nairobi, the capitol of Kenya. We spent much of our time pricing items so that we could come up with a cost of living amount. Most people were out of the city for the Christmas/New Year holiday so getting around the city was easier than usual. Still the traffic was crazy. They drive on the left side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right. Everything is backwards, including going up and down stairs. Talk about being confused and not even wanting to attempt to drive there :) We really didn't get a chance to meet many people until the latter part of our first week there.
In addition to Nairobi, we also visited many areas in the bush. We went to see the medical clinic compound Ric and Jane Taylor, the missionary couple that we are working with, built and ran for many years. It was hard for them to be back there in some ways, but neat to see how so many people showed up quickly to see them. They helped and ministered to so many people there during those years. God used them mightily to meet the health needs and feed the children of that area.
Kenyan countryside.Another day, we attended a wedding north of Nairobi. The bride and groom were from two different tribes—which created a good deal of confusion—and somehow we ended up right in the middle of all the festivities. The most interesting part of this was where we were at the house of the bride's parents to pick her up. The groom's family walked up the hill singing in their tribal language (Kikamba) carrying gifts for the bride's family. Once we walked up the hill to the house, the bride's family were singing in their tribal language (Kikuyu). We spent some time outside the home waiting on the groom's family and friends to negotiate for the bride. This negotiation honors the tribal tradition of paying a bride price but was not a true and standing prerequisite for the marriage. All in all it was an amazing experience that neither Aaron nor I will ever forget.
When Sunday came, Aaron preached at Kakuyuni Redeemed Church in the village where we will be living. There are roughly 200-300 people that attend this church that has already planted some 30 other churches. It was a little overwhelming to have to speak in front of the whole congregation and sit at the front the entire time during the service. If you are mzungu (white person) then you are very important according to them. So they feed you first, make you sit in the choice places, and carry things for you. It was hard for me to adjust to that, but it is their way. The church was inviting, warm, and full of God's love. They accepted us with open arms. Many pastors, deacons, and elders from the other 30 churches came to meet us. We had a time of sharing, and so many of them said they would support and help us anyway they could. They finished by singing us a song in their language that was close to angelic singing. It was here that I felt God’s confirmation for our call to Kenya in general, and Kakuyuni specifically. There is such a need for teaching and for discipleship of these beautiful Christians. We then visited the property where we will be building our home and the technical school. There is a peace there that I have not found elsewhere. The property is set back off the main dirt road among trees and mountains. Above all else there is quiet; this is definitely a place where a person can experience the small still voice of God without the distractions all too common in the West. The pace there reminds me of my time growing up in Eastern Kentucky when I was a little girl. I always dreamed of living a simple, peaceful life among God's creation. The setting was enchanting and I could easily envision our house sitting on the land. However, through all this I also kept thinking of our four children. Even though this place is beautiful, it is filled with great and overwhelming hardship and problems. We will be bringing our children into a culture they don't understand, people they do not know, and language they cannot speak. I know it will be hard for us all, but God constantly kept telling me I am their Provider and I love them. I told God that I'm standing on His promises and know He has our best interests in mind, because He does love us.
Our last few days in Kenya were spent at the Massai Mara Game Reserve to see all the animals of Kenya. We wanted these days to provide us a time to hear clearly from God and each other before we firmly committed to living in Kenya. The trip there was a four hour ride from Nairobi through the Rift Valley. We knew very little about the Rift Valley but as soon as we saw it our breath was literally taken away. It is indescribable how beautiful it was, and we knew this was yet another gift and affirmation from God. Aaron and I both sat there with tears in our eyes knowing that we were so blessed to be seeing this. At the top of the Rift, we stopped at an overlook to take pictures. As Aaron was taking a picture of me with the valley behind, he stopped and pointed. He was speechless—which is rare for him :) It was the exact scripture that God had given him two weeks before leaving for Kenya. Isaiah 54:17 "No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me," declares the LORD. There it was on the wall. A declaration from the Lord and a prayer answered. Again no more than thirty minutes down the road, a truck comes toward us and above the cab is written, "God Is Love." By the time we arrived at our destination we knew we were to serve in Kenya. Our time with the Kenyan people was amazing. They are so hungry for God’s Truth. The needs are so many, but we pray that we can play a part in sharing Christ and loving those whom He puts around us. Please pray for our family and for us to Glorify God in all that we do. There will be so much going on this year but we pray to stay focused on Him. I thank all of you who have prayed, supported us, and given financially for the trip. We have definitely felt the prayers and God delivered big time (as He always does :).