Hello Everyone! It is COLD here in East Tennessee. Thermometer read 17 degrees F this morning. However, I am so excited to bring you the news that I will be returning to AFRICA on a mission trip this June! The anticipation within me has sky rocketed and I am so jacked up that I can barely contain myself. The memories of the mission trip in 2012 are fresh in my mind and I am chomping on the bit to return to the jungles of Uganda to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
God has led The LORD’S Child (the non-profit organization founded by my church) into covenant with an African Church and we have received 200 acres with which we can build a God centered village in the heart of the jungle. To own this much land in Uganda is practically unheard of. Squatters abound in the area and once they have set up a permanent dwelling they cannot be uprooted. However, once the title to property has been received and there are inhabitants on the property, squatters cannot move in and stake a claim. They must become part of the village. This could only happen by a direct action of God. These squatters who become part of the village will be exposed to the Gospel of Jesus.
What was once only 7 acres has now become 2oo acres! An orphanage and dormitories for the orphans are almost completed. A church has been established. We hope and pray to establish a medical clinic to administer very basic medical services, establish wells for safe drinking water, and establish a school. There will be areas for forestry, agriculture and fish farming. The goal is to establish a self sustaining village and give the credit and glory to God. Then, we depend on God to provide us with more land and do it all over again in another place.
Before I issue the challenge I’d like to give some personal background.
May 23, 2013 I underwent knee surgery on my left knee. Not bad enough for a replacement but bad enough. I weighed in at 267 pounds! I’m still wearing a brace on that knee. The doctor told me that unless I lost a good deal of weight that I could expect to have both knees replaced within the next two years. I took their advice to heart and today, January 4, 2013, I weigh 228 pounds, having lost 39 pounds. This was achieved with diet and minimal exercise on my part. The goal is to weigh 190 pounds on my 52nd birthday on May 2, 2014. That means I have 38 more pounds to lose. It also means that I am going to have to amp up the diet and exercise to do so because it seems I have hit a plateau over the last three weeks.
The 2014 Mission Trip Challenge is this:
I am asking God for 100 sponsors at $40.00 each to raise the funds to get to Africa and back. However, I, personally, have difficulty asking for financial support without making some kind of sacrifice myself. This is what I propose. If you feel so lead, sponsor me with a sacrificial gift of $40.00 and sacrifice the time to pray for the mission, me, my family and the mission team. In return I will sacrifice food (which I love) and time to seriously exercise (which I don’t love quite so much) to lose weight, improve health, and be in the best shape of my life to advance the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Additionally, for your support and prayers, I will be in prayer for you. So, do not hesitate to send your prayer requests in with your sponsorship. I am dialing in for this mission trip. I plan three separate 21 day fasts with extensive prayer between now and May. I know that I need your prayers whether you choose to support me financially or not. I suspect that you could benefit from my prayers as well.
Additionally, I ask that if you assist me with a sponsorship and prayer, to tell at least 10 other people that you know about this challenge and encourage them to get on board with their sponsorship and prayer requests. Send in their prayer requests as well. With 63 days devoted to praying and fasting scheduled I am certain that I will be able to cover them with prayer as well.
It really is that simple. You sacrifice $40.00 and prayer to send me. I will sacrifice food and time to exercise, time to prayer and fasting, and my vacation time to go and do the Lord’s work. Together, we fulfill the Great Commission as God’s witnesses according to Acts 1:8 “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” I believe that God sees all and He blesses us for our faithfulness. You send, I go, God wins.
Additionally, so you don’t have to wonder, I will make weekly posts so that you can keep track with mission plans and my weight loss process.
If you feel so lead, send your sponsorship of $40.00 or your sacrificial gift to: Lonnie Richardson, 501 Keeneland Blvd., Seymour, TN. 37865.
DO NOT make your check or money order out to me. Make your check/money order out to: The LORD’S Child
Write my name “Lonnie Richardson” in the lower left corner.
Your contributions are tax deductible if you follow those two simple instructions.
Be a blessing to others as God will bring blessings upon you.
In His Grip,
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