6/14/18

Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

There are many dates we hold close to our hearts. Some dates bring memories of joy while others bring feelings of pain and suffering. We remember the day we got married, the day our children were born, and the days we lost family and friends. Over the last few years, several dates have had an impact:

4/18/17: We had a four hour interview with Africa Inland Mission.  We shared God’s call on our life and most of our life history. At the end, Kristi invited our family to attend Connect Week.

7/30/17-8/5/17: During Connect Week, we learned more about what God has been doing through Africa Inland Mission since 1895.  We met individuals and families who were also taking this next step in the process and learned more about life and ministry in Africa.  

8/3/17: The Scheirer family was appointed to serve as missionaries with AIM!  We finished Connect Week excited and better equipped for what was to come because of the information, spiritual guidance, and training we had received.  We also gained access to our Outbound checklist, a lengthy list of dates when items must be completed in order to become an official AIM missionary. We have been working on checking off these items since August 2017!

5/14/18: One of the biggest items on this list is financial clearance.  As of today, we have secured $4,015 of the required $5,800 we need in monthly support.  Monthly support is what holds up our family and sustains our ministry in Africa.  Our hearts and lives changed in 2013 when we started tithing to our local church. When we gave consistently, we started to care about the things God cares about. He really cares about loving people and that is our ministry.  We have been called to love some awesome teenagers while their parents are spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ across the continent of Africa.

6/14/18: On this random Thursday in June, we will receive a call from the home office of Africa Inland Mission. During the call, we will review our checklist to see if we have completed all that is necessary.  The date of this call has consumed our life recently because it is the last door we have to walk through to complete this process.

Will this happen?  Will we complete our final items and get financial clearance?  It is not really up to us because this calling came from God. There is more we must do, but God’s plans are greater than the plans we have for our life.  God is in complete control and we have to step back and allow God to work and complete this process.

One step we are taking to complete this process is an invitation to you.  We invite you to become a monthly ministry partner with our family. Some very amazing people have already starting giving on a monthly basis and we would love to have you join us!  Donate here or contact us with any questions you may have (jbscheirer@aimint.org).  If you can’t join us financially at this time, please pray God will raise up people who can support our ministry. We love you all and couldn’t do this without you.

Grafted In

plant graft

Romans 11:17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root

This time of the year is planting season at the farm I have worked at for almost 13 years. A few years ago, we started using grafted plants. People believe plant grafting has been around for 4,000 years.  The process is used to help with drought tolerance and disease resistance. In a grafted plant, it is the rootstock that allows the plant to thrive in difficult conditions.  Having a solid rootstock allows a plant to thrive when it would most likely die.

In this process of becoming full time missionaries, there are days when we temporarily lose sight of what grounds us.  The details involved with preparing to move our family to Africa are overwhelming and never ending and the emotions involved with moving our roots are so real.  When we are still and acknowledge Him, it is clear: God is the rootstock we need in our life. We are all separated from God and have no reason to be grafted into His family. We are so thankful that God continues to remind us of who we are and where we stand in His family.  Through Jesus, we are no longer separated from God. Through Jesus, we can have a personal relationship with God.

The more we have relied on our rootstock, the more we have grown and the more we have been able to share how Jesus radically changed our lives.  Worshipping Him and leaning into His Word has focused us when we didn’t know how things would turn out.

When you look at this picture think of God the Father as the rootstock and yourself as the top of the plant. When the rootstock is taken care of, everyone can see the top flourish.  There is a little piece of rubber that holds the top and rootstock together. You have to cut two different plants and bind them together. There is a scar that forms and then the plant becomes one. Think of that scar as the debt Jesus paid on the cross for all of our sins. The scar heals over time, but it must be protected and maintained. Finally, the plant becomes stronger than ever and bears fruit.

https://usgiving.aimint.org/missionary/1052720

 

Getting Closer

Matthew 7:7-8

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

March was a busy month for the Scheirer Family.  Over spring break, a test flight from Raleigh, NC to Chicago, IL went well for the boys.  We drove through a midwestern spring of snow and ice to get to Beth’s hometown of Normal, Illinois. Braving the storm was worth it for we were greatly encouraged by the responses to ministry presentations we made at Beth’s home church.  Seeing church family Beth has known her whole life, friends and kin support what God has called us to made it clear God is trusting us more each day. We just feel so blessed to play a small part in the work Africa Inland Mission has been doing in Africa since 1895.

We also listed our home on March 20 and had eight showings and four offers in the first 24 hours!  In addition to a quick sale, we are renting from the buyer after we close and can stay put until we leave on July 9th (praise God)!  As you can imagine, we have gone through various emotions in this part of the process. We are so thankful for the blessing of a quick sale and gracious buyer, yet there are times we just aren’t sure how to let go of the space that has become our home.

When you let go of something for God, he always has another door for you to walk through.  This August we will walk through a new door and into a new home. Our family will grow from four to twenty four and our hearts are excited to meet the amazing students God will entrust to us for this time. Pray these students will see Christ in us and know they are loved each day.

We are so thankful to our family and loved ones who continue to sacrifice their time and resources to support our ministry.  Through the prayer and financial support of many amazing people, God has helped us secure $33,000 of the required $35,000 in outgoing expenses.  We have also secured close to $3,700 of the required $5,800 each month.  Our focus at this time is meeting with those interested in helping us reach our goal of $54,000 in order to purchase a vehicle in Africa and contributing consistently on a monthly basis.  This dream is so close to becoming a reality! We are blown away, amazed, humbled, and honored people believe so much in what we are doing to share the love of Jesus Christ.

If you would like to take an active role in God’s redemptive work in Africa, please consider joining our team. Your generosity will greatly impact our family, Rift Valley Academy students and families, and lives across the continent of Africa.

The more we have stepped out with our faith, the more God has stepped in. He is our provider and it is evident through the people He has placed in our life. Thank you all for the generosity you have shown our family.

https://usgiving.aimint.org/missionary/1052720

 

 

 

Greatest Gift

Mark 12:41-44 “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money in the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only the fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything-all she had to live on.”

We have learned so much the last few months about developing ministry partners. Relying on others for financial support is a humbling experience. We understand people come from different places and what they support may or may not line up with God’s plan for our family in Africa. There have been some very special moments along the way and here is one that stands out and melts our hearts.

Each year our family makes our Christmas trip from North Carolina to Pennsylvania to Ohio and back to North Carolina. This year was particularly special when we arrived at Beth’s sister’s house in Ohio. As a family we decided not to get presents for the kids (Alaina, Ava, Aria, Emmett, and Watson), but in its place we would spend time together and do some things as a family.

We had some little gifts like pictures and cookies to exchange (Thanks Uncle Ron), however the greatest gift we received came in a small bag from our nieces. As Beth and I opened the bag there was some cash, a bracelet, and a small note to our family. The money was to support our ministry in Africa and the bracelet and note were to encourage our family that God and Jesus are with us on this journey.

Beth and I were completely humbled by the support of our nieces, but not surprised. You see they have pretty amazing parents who work hard and give generously. They lead lives committed to Christ and the evidence of their faith is bearing fruit through their daughters.

This is the part of the journey that’s hard. How do we leave behind these amazing kids? The rest of our amazing family and friends? If you think it’s easy, it won’t be. There will be plenty of tears shed as we move to Kenya this summer, but we have to keep in mind how God felt as he sent His Son, Jesus to earth. He sent Jesus to die for the sins of the world and he sent Jesus for everyone.

We would encourage you to see giving as an act of worship. When you give to the things God cares about, your heart begins to change. You begin to care about the things God cares about. No matter where you are, God cares greatly about you and the people in your city. Our ministry will support taking the Gospel to places we’ve never heard of and we know God cares about getting the Gospel to unreached people groups in Africa.

Thank you for following us as we prepare to leave this summer. Our greatest need right now is having people come alongside us, committed to supporting our family’s ministry on a month to month basis. We would encourage you to pray about this and would love to have you join all the amazing people like our nieces who have sacrificed to spread God’s love in Africa. 

https://usgiving.aimint.org/missionary/1052720

Trusting Him

 

Bethel Road

Acts 1:7 “He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times and dates the Father has set by his own authority.”

Hey Everyone, we wanted to give you an update on what God has been doing in our life this month. It’s been up and down, Beth and the boys were sick at different times for over two weeks. The amazing part about this month is how God continued to move and opened more doors for our family.

We recently met with a realtor and have been preparing our house to put on the market at the end of March. We brought our sons Emmett and Watson home from the hospital to this house. Our dog Jasmine passed away in this house. For over seven years, it has been the base God provided us to grow into the Scheirer Family. People may wonder why we would sell our home. While having a place to call your own is awesome, we know home will be wherever God has us together as a family. Most importantly, selling our home will allow us to focus completely on our ministry in Africa.

Developing ministry partners is another focus right now. We are currently meeting with people to share what God is doing in our life and invite them to join us on the journey in the way of prayer and/or financial partnership.  By June 12, 2018 we have three goals, all of which are required for our ministry to begin in July.  We aim to secure:  

  1. A minimum of 100 prayer partners (committed to praying for our ministry on a weekly basis)
  2. A minimum of $35,000 in our Outgoing Fund (covers all expenses involved with getting us to Africa)
  3. Financial partners who are committed to sustaining our ministry ($5,800/month – covers health insurance, life insurance, housing & ministry expenses, and other benefits through Africa Inland Mission)

The key to our ministry’s long-term success is having prayers partners who pray over our family and financial partners who support our ministry on a consistent basis. If this ministry is something you would like to support, we would love to sit down and talk. If you live far away, we can always FaceTime or Skype.

Fighting illness, traveling for work, and preparing to sell our house, we were not sure how this month would turn out. We actually raised more support this month than in December or January.  God is faithful and we have learned to stand back and let Him work for He can do more than we could have ever imagined. Thank you for your interest in our ministry.

https://usgiving.aimint.org/missionary/1052720

 

 

Identity Crisis

 

AIM Thumb print

Thanks for following our journey to become missionaries. This has been a humbling process the last three years. Now that you know where we are going, you might want to ask how did you get here?

So much of my life I didn’t know where I was going or what I was doing. Looking back, I’ve been lucky. There were so many times I felt lost or I identified with the wrong things or wrong crowds. I’ve identified myself as a son, brother, athlete, traveler, employee, husband, and father. While most of those things are true, there is one identity I should have taken hold of a long time ago.

In 2013, I gave my life to Christ at Lifepoint Church. Listening to Pastor Jeff Kapusta preach the gospel was eye opening. Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ never really entered my mind. I knew you should go to church and pay attention, but actually admitting there is sin in my life was overwhelming. The fact is, admitting that I had sin in my life should have been easy. We are all separated from God and the only way to redeem that area of my life was believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Lord over my life.

Does that decision wave a magic wand and change everything? That’s a very easy NO, but my life changed a lot. I began to care about things God cares about. Serving and loving other people made sense because that is what Jesus came to this earth to do. He stepped down from heaven and lived among us. He was tempted with everything we are tempted with, but did not sin. Jesus is the ultimate example of how to love and serve people.

We hope our walk with Christ encourages you. When we asked Jesus into our life everything changed. There was a new hope and I felt like I was becoming the person God created me to be. The word sin can be scary, but sin destroys our lives if we don’t recognize it. Sin leads to addiction, unhealthy habits, overwhelming debt, and can lead to death. We might not physically die, but we will be separated from God.

Am I free from all these things now? Again, the answer is NO, but there is a peace in my life that was never there before. I know Jesus wants me to love my wife as Jesus loved the church. I know I am a better father because of my relationship with Christ. I know I don’t have to walk this earth alone and I know I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Now, we hope our life is a reflection of Christ. We hope our students at Rift Valley Academy see Christ in us and it inspires them to follow Him. I remember hearing that you should be careful to let Jesus into your life because he might take over. If living a life of service and loving others is a result of taking over, I’m glad he did.  

If you have questions about a relationship with Christ let us know. We can talk about it or point you to a life giving church that will walk with you.

 

Have It All

When I walked in the doors of Lifepoint Church in the fall of 2012, I was doing it to support my wife and check off the box next to good deed for the day. What has happened over the last few years is unexplainable, may sound crazy, and might leave you with doubt. I pray it leaves you with hope, an understanding of how much God loves all people, and a belief in the love of Jesus Christ.

Beth and I grew up in church and saw our families attend church regularly. When we moved to Wilmington in 2005, we were pretty comfortable and enjoyed hanging out in a coastal community. We were in and out of church for the better part of seven years, never committing to anything. When Beth became pregnant with our son Emmett, she started attending Lifepoint Church.

After the first week I joined her at Lifepoint, I realized something was different.  I found myself wanting to go to church. I started to understand what a relationship with Christ looked like.  In 2013, Beth and I gave our lives to Christ and were baptized later that summer.

Maybe this doesn’t sound too crazy yet, but our life began to change dramatically. We had a new hope; we knew who we were in Christ. We began to understand that Jesus came to this earth to die not only for Jared and Beth, but for every person. Our hearts began to change and I found myself wanting to go on a short-term mission trip.

In the winter of 2015, I went with a group from Lifepoint Church to Nicaragua where we served with Amigos for Christ. That week completely changed my view of God and how God loves the world. I had undistracted time with God and saw his creation outside of the United States. I saw how important it was to get the gospel to people who had never heard of Jesus. God placed people on the trip who told me about a boarding school in Kenya. Having attended a boarding school earlier in life, my mind began to race.

On the second-to-last night of that short term trip, I couldn’t sleep.  I felt God calling me to pray with Him. During that time, I felt God telling me to look back on my life experiences and see how He prepared our family to be called into full time ministry.

I never imagined taking a trip to Nicaragua would somehow lead our family to serving as missionaries in Africa.

So for the last two years our family has been preparing to serve with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) as dorm parents at Rift Valley Academy (RVA) in Kenya. Rift Valley Academy is one of several ministries of AIM and exists to serve missionary kids whose parents are serving through AIM in 20 African countries.  In July of 2018, we will be taking what we can, moving to Kenya, and serving our role in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

We invite you to journey with us.  See why we would give up our jobs, our home, and a comfortable life to serve Jesus.  We hope to inform people about the work Africa Inland Mission has done since 1895 and the vision they have moving forward. Most importantly, we want others to experience the love of Jesus and hope your lives will be impacted in some way by our story. We feel there is no greater call on our life than serving others through Christ.

We are currently looking for prayer and financial partners.  If you would like to learn more about partnering with our family, please contact us directly. We would love to sit down with you and share our story.