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Matt’s November 2020 Missions Update

Matt and Ruth Braun

Encountering Jesus

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TREK Training Completed

I am so grateful that I get to walk with Jesus as He disciples these Trekkers. It’s been such a blessing to have spent the last couple months with our TREK community as each of the individuals discern a long term call into full time ministry. The last two months were full days of training with different speakers coming in each week to teach. They taught on cross-cultural evangelism, spiritual authority, house church movements, spiritual gifts, peace, and reconciliation. These teachers shared their own personal experiences of engaging these topics in their ministries. It was a very rich listening experience.

We also spent time as a community getting to know one another through prayer, worship and fun together. The Trek group is presently starting the practical service component of their training. As they are still unable to travel internationally, each of them will be stationed in Winnipeg, working with the indigenous community. We are excited to watch them function as a team while they stay in Winnipeg for the next few months supporting local ministries. Because they still hope to travel internationally and experience missions in another context, please pray that borders open in the next few months.

I loved to see the hearts of the Trekkers molded as they were stretched to new understandings of the depths of God’s love. Even with uncertainty to their ministry assignments, they have been flexible and allowed God to call them wherever they are needed. Through this process of openness, I have seen a passion grow in them for local assignments. I am excited to see how God uses each of them in this next season of ministry.

The most encouraging and transformative part of TREK was that each of the Trekkers met Jesus and were transformed. For some, it was through certain sessions. For others, it was living in community, praying and worshiping together. How amazing to see people encounter Jesus. It seems like the perfect formula when you take hearts that are open to whatever God has plus an encounter with Jesus. I am excited to hear the stories of where Jesus leads them.


TREK Evangelism Training

One thing that stuck out to me during the Trek training sessions was a calling and equipping towards evangelism. I feel like this is a spiritual gift that is currently lacking in the North American Church. I was encouraged to see the Trek group and myself getting excited to share our faith wherever we are. Each of the different weekly modules seemed to have some component of evangelism, such as a house church continually inviting spiritually curious people into community, sharing faith with the grocery store clerk or restaurant wait staff, or even sharing faith through online English classes with people from the Middle East.

I have been challenged to bring small conversations of faith into my daily encounters with people wherever I am. This conversation can be as little as asking if there is some way I can be praying for them and allowing God to lead the rest. It is so easy, especially in these days of minimal social interactions, to stay socially isolated, just doing my daily tasks and moving on. But what if we spread some more seed by encouraging those around us or asking if they need prayer and seeing how these seeds might take root? I have already chickened out a couple times at the grocery store coming up with lots of excuses why I shouldn’t ask if they need prayer because they are busy or there are people waiting but I am praying for courage and an attentive ear to hear God’s nudging.


TREK Module Information

Each of the TREK modules were video recorded. We would love for you to be able to benefit from this great teaching. If you or maybe your small group would be interested in access some of this training please contact me.


SOAR 2021 Update

Last week, I met with ministry leaders and pastors who are interested in SOAR Heartland. The overwhelming consensus is that they want SOAR this year even with the restrictions but are aware of what limitations the restrictions might bring. We are also looking at shortening SOAR for this year to make it safer and more accessible. The passion and creativity of a few worship leaders who committed to serving on SOAR was a great encouragement. I am looking forward to how worship for SOAR 2021 will shape up.

Of course, things are all still very unknown, but we continue to seek what God might have for SOAR this coming year. Stay tuned for more updates as our planning group meets on the November 28th via zoom.


Family Update

Our family is doing well. Although we’ve embraced the chaos of continuous change in life, we have found grounding things to do as a family. Abbie has settled well into high school and is getting to know her classmates. Caleb’s class size has drastically diminished with his friends all being in different groups. However, he continues to flex his strong social muscles and always gets to know more people. Lyric has been the most consistent. He loves going to school and continues to make verbal and social progress. Lyric was really excited to turn six and loved his at-home birthday party. Ivory is a happy little girl, full of joy, and always ready to dance and talk your ear off. Ruth has been amazing at navigating all the changes. She’s brought order and encouragement to all of us during the chaos.