"My grace is enough, it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness." 2 Corinthians 12: 9 & 10

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Starting CR in Ghana!!

CR to Ghana Prayer Guide
 February 2-10, 2012
“How to Start CR & Lead a Main Event Night”

We thank God for the privilege of traveling to Ghana for our second trip, to share CR!  We have heard God call us & have a group of 35+ people in Ghana who want us to train them on leading a CR Large Group & Open Share groups (the Main Event Night!!)  Our trip dates are  2/2 – 2/10…   We are very thankful to CR @ SHBC who gave $5,550 in an offering taken on our 10th Anniversary!  We are able to take CR Bibles, Life’s Healing Choices, an Advanced Leadership Training Guide, Leaders Guides and many other items that will enhance their understanding!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away;
 the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to
 himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18

Our team, left to right:
Josh Lawrence, CR Pastor @ SHBC, John McIntosh, CR Leader
 Steve & Norma Murphy, Ministry Leaders - CR @ SHBC,
& Sheryl Spirlock, CR Leader & Assimilation Coach @ SHBC

We realized four years ago that God was calling us to take the ministry of Celebrate Recovery internationally.  Praying for God’s direction, it has become evident that God is making a way to bring Celebrate Recovery to Ghana and using us to bring the message to this country! On October 1, 2011 we held a CR Seminar for 196 Pastors from Ghana, sharing this ministry!   The response was overwhelming and exciting that those in attendance understood what this ministry could mean to them personally, to their church and everyone in Ghana!  Apostle Odai is hosting this second seminar to train a selected 35 from several churches to start CR in Ghana!   The people are very kind, compassionate, love the Lord, are intelligent, hard working and we believe they can definitely start CR in their churches, especially Maranatha Power Ministries!

While on this mission trip to Ghana, we need and are asking for you to be part of our daily prayer team.  Your prayers were invaluable on our last trip and we so appreciate them again now!!   Below is a brief itinerary of this journey.  You can follow along day by day and pray for specific things.  We will be posting on our blog: http://CRtoGhana.blogspot.com from Ghana (depending on internet connections!) so we can stay connected with you and let you know how to specifically pray for us during our trip. We love to read your comments back to us too!   As you watch our journey realize when we are in Ghana, we are SIX HOURS ahead of CST!  (If it is 9am in Tulsa it is 3pm in Ghana!)

Thursday, February 2     The Murphys  Depart Tulsa to Atlanta, 6:30am/Delta - & arrive in Atlanta @ 9:30am, visiting the Shockleys for the day.  The rest of the team leaves Tulsa at 3:45pm, arriving AL at 6:30pm   - We leave together on the next flight from Atlanta @ 9:25pm.
Please pray; for safe travel from home to the airport and on each of our flights, for the visit with Shockleys and that connecting with our team will all go smoothly!  Pray we are able to sleep on the flight overnight…  Pray especially for our families we left at home:  for their protection, provision, strength & peace while we are out of the country!
   Philippians 4:6  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer & petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Friday, February 3 We arrive in Ghana @ 1:10pm.  Apostle Odai has contacted authorities in Ghana who run the prisons, as we would like to share CR with the prison officials in Ghana for future teams from our CR!  We will also be settling in at the Shiloah House & getting ready for church in the evening!  Several from our team will be preaching!   Their Friday service lasts till 4am so hopefully we will nap sometime to stay awake that night!
Please pray; that going thru customs in Ghana goes smoothly, that our luggage arrives on the same flight with us, that our travel in Ghana is safe and that we arrive somewhat rested, that we are able to talk with prison officials about CR & for reunions with those we met in October!  Pray for the evening service that the message would be inspiring, encouraging & understood by all! 
Philemon 1:6  “I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ!”

Saturday, February 4 We will be getting up very early to drive out into the villages to encourage the village pastors, share the gospel & give mosquito nets where needed!  (Last week one of MPM’s drivers was killed, driving a team back from a construction mission trip.  Two others are in the hospital.)  We will return early enough in the day to get ready to attend a wedding at Maranatha Power Ministries!
Please pray we will stay healthy and that this trip to the villages would prove profitable for the Lord, for those who knew the young man who died & especially his wife and child, for the church as it grieves this loss, for us as we go into the villages with the nets, pray we will be an example of openness & love, share truths from God and be an encouragement to the people. Pray people receive Christ & for safe travel for our team & for this couple who is getting married & that we stay awake & not rudely fall asleep!!
Matthew 19:26  “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!”

Sunday, February 5 We look forward to attending church at Maranatha Power Ministries & Josh & Steve will be preaching, one at the 7:30am service and the other at the 10am service!  We look forward to taking Apostle and Valerie to lunch after church and to resting up Sunday afternoon for our training to begin on Monday!
Please pray;.   Pray for our participation in the morning services & that God would touch lives, that people would be saved, for each of us as we teach a Sunday School class…  Pray for our time with Apostle & Valerie that we would enjoy a sweet fellowship with them, have time to discuss their ministry & any problems or questions they have about CR.  Pray for the leaders God is raising up, even now, to lead CR in Ghana!!
Mark 12:30  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
with all your mind & with all your strength!
 The second is this, love your neighbor as yourself!”

Monday, February 6   Day 1 of Training:   (9am-4pm)   We will start each day with worship, prayer and include a testimony each day.  We will be training on the 8 Principles, the history of CR, about the areas of recovery, how CR is set up & run and the 7 keys of CR!
Please pray; for us to be used by God, that we will be understood on all levels, that we would “connect” with the people, that those attending will grasp the heart of recovery, for those who will be attending this session- for their travel and for their hearts to be opened, that we will have the appropriate answers for their questions!
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him
 and he will make your paths straight.”

Tuesday, February 7 Day 2 of Training, 9am-tpm  The 2nd day we will be training on how to do a Large Group & then we will participate in a mock large group before lunch!  After lunch we will train on Open Share groups and thoroughly go over the Small Group Guidelines.  Before we leave for the afternoon we will have mock Open Share groups!
Please pray  that the Holy Spirit will convict our hearts and give us wisdom, direction & strength to share all God has done through this ministry, that we can explain the ministry & answer questions to their satisfaction!  Pray for Cynthia who will be cooking 40 lunches a day for 4 days, taking care of us & our needs at the Shiloah House, as well!
    Romans 1:16  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes:  first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

Wednesday, February 8   Day 3 of Training, 9am-4pm On the 3rd day we will speak about the Essentials for Unity, discuss forgiveness & amends, sponsor & accountability partners & look at the different teams needed to start a Main Even Night.  Again, we will lead mock Open Share groups…
Please pray; that the Holy Spirit is our guide and that we continue to be used for Christ.  Pray for us to continue to rely on God’s strength each day and that each night we continue to get the rest necessary to maintain our health and our stamina for the task we get to be a part of.  Pray for us as we speak at the training, preach (perhaps on the radio) & wherever we go!
Ephesians 2:10  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

Thursday, February 9  Day 4 of Training 9am-Noon…  On the 4th day the participants will lead a mock Large Group (including teaching a lesson!) and will also lead mock Open Share Groups!   We will have time to answer questions, take a look at areas to address but especially to encourage the participants!!  After the training we will spend the afternoon saying good-bye & thank you to our hosts!  At 9:55pm we will leave Accra, Ghana heading to New York!
Please pray:  for us as the participants lead the Large Group and Open Share times, for confidence to grow throughout the week, for God’s presence to be felt & for healing to take place even in these beginning stages, for Cynthia who will have cared for us all week & prepared lunch for 40 each day, for those leaders who will be identified and especially for the plans they hold in their hearts & minds for starting CR in their churches, for God to provide for all their needs that they would find healing personally & be able to share it with others & for our next steps to return in the future to train on starting Step Studies!
Ephesians 5:1  “Be imitators of God, as beloved children, & walk in love, just as Christ also loved you & gave Himself up for us, an offering & a sacrifice to God.”

Friday, February 10 We arrive in NY at 4:50am, change planes & depart NY at 6:20am, arriving Atlanta at 9am, departing at 10:50am for Tulsa.  We arrive in Tulsa at 12:10pm!  Our plan is to be at CR @ SHBC by 7pm!
Please pray: that our experiences are just what God thinks we can handle and that we are open and honest with each other as we review all that we have seen, heard, smelled, touched, and tasted during this trip.  Please pray for rest and for our hearts to be forever changed by this experience. that our processing of our trip continues, that we would be open to how God has changed us during this adventure, for safe travels, for our good health to continue, for our connections to be smooth and for our energy to be enough for the trip home. Pray for the transition back to life in the US & that we make it safely to CR @ SHBC this night!
Ephesians 4:1  “Make every effort to keep the unity of the
Spirit thru the bond of peace.”

Thank you for being a part of our prayer team and for your understanding of how very important you are to this mission trip experience.  Thank you also to those who will be stepping in for us while we are out of the country at CR @ SHBC and our Life Group!  We are praying for you, too.  We’re praying that God blesses you for sharing your prayers with us.  Yes, we will see you on Friday at CR, February 10th, 2012…!! 
   Norma, Steve, Josh, Johnny & Sheryl

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Congratulations on 10 Years from Apostle Odai!

Listen to Apostle Odai congratulate CR @ SHBC for 10 years of recovery!  Apostle thanks those who gave to the offering totaling $5,100 to bring Celebrate Recovery to Ghana and his church, Maranatha Power Ministries!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Returning to Ghana!!

Five from Celebrate Recovery @ Southern Hills Baptist, Tulsa, OK will return to Ghana on 2/2!  We are preparing now to train church leaders and Pastors to start a Main Event Night!  Pray with us that everything we communicate will be clearly understood by those attending, pray for travel safety and good sleep on the flight to Ghana and that our witness would bring glory to God and a message of redemption, hope and peace!  Many thanks to our CR whose offering is helping provide for this effort of taking CR to Ghana!  Last Friday on our 10th Anniversary the offering collected was $4,707 and will be used to purchase CR Bibles, Leaders Guides, meals for the participants and many other necessary expenses!  God bless each of you who gave!!

Pray for Apostle Odai and his church as they have experienced a tragedy this week!  This is the email message we received from him yesterday:  "We send you this tragic news from the mission field. Our construction and mission team went to two Islamic villages to build two pole barn churches at Gulumpe and Zabrama. On their way back to the Headquarters in Accra, they were involved in a fatal accident where our 34-year old driver died instantly and the two others injured. The deceased left behind two children and a wife.   I want you to pray for the two children and the two other victims. We have also lost our only construction and mission truck that we use for crusades and missions. Please pray that the good Lord will give us a new truck for crusades and missions. Also, I will be grateful if you pray for protection for me, my family and the entire congregation."

Watch the blog now and especially while we are in Ghana!  This is our best way to communicate all God is doing in Ghana!  Thanks for the prayers!!