Summer Update!

Greetings!

One of the purposes for this blog is to have a clear forum for us to share updates to friends and family. We thought we would take a moment to fill you in on what we’ve been up to so far this year as we move into the summer! (And apologize for taking so long!) We also would love for you to walk with us in prayer, and so we will add some ways that you can be praying for us.

School is still very much a part of our lives! Even though we both have Master’s degrees already, we are pursuing more education to make us more qualified for what we want to do. Dan has begun an online Biblical Counseling program, with the goal of slowly taking classes to gain another Master’s degree and certifications in Biblical Counseling. With this training, he can better serve in a ministerial role in our current or future communities! Amanda is still pursuing her Education Specialist degree in School Psychology, along with working to obtain behavioral specialist certifications. It feels like we have never stopped going to school, but we try to think about our pursuit of education as a way to train us to be more qualified ministers of the Gospel. We don’t know what that will look like yet, but we know the Lord is using this time to allow us to get education and experience, and for this, we are grateful.

We also are both working full-time in secular positions. Dan coordinates market research studies for a healthcare company. Amanda works with students with special needs in school or home settings. We both have easy days of work and hard days of work too, but our jobs right now, while not our dream jobs, are helping us gain experience and skills that we will use to further the Gospel. Stay tuned, and you might hear how God is using our current jobs to spread His message!

Church is also a major part of our lives, and we love the community of Citylight! We are both heavily invested on different serving teams in the church (Amanda works with the kids ministry as a lead teacher and doing curriculum preparation; Dan runs the soundboard and prays with people during the service). Once a week, we meet with a small-group of Citylight people to eat, read the word, share our hearts, and share our lives with one another. Since joining Citylight, we have been a part of a couple different groups over the last two years, but we have been with this specific group of individuals since November! We love having a group of people to know, love, and build relationships with, and we have really grown in love for this specific group in the last several months.

When we are not doing schoolwork, working, or doing church activities, we are spending time with our friends, trying to take care of our bodies with exercise, enjoying puppy cuddles, or just trying to refresh ourselves before the next thing on our schedule. This summer, we are hoping to spend some time camping and being out of the city! Life seems very full lately, but God graciously fills us and strengthens us for it.

Well, since school, work, and church are the big things in our lives right now, we could use some specific prayer for these areas.  If you are so kind as to want to pray more specifically about any one of these areas, please let us know and we would love to share more details with you.

  • Pray that we can feel endurance and strength that can only come from God (Ephesians 3:14-21)
  • Pray that we can rest in Jesus in this busy season (Matthew 11:25-28)
  • Pray that we can glorify God in everything we do (Colossians 3:18-25)
  • Pray for our marriage, that we can walk with Jesus together (Colossians 3:1-2)
  • Pray that we can live missionally, being bold to share about Jesus (1 Peter 2:12)

For those of you that have already been praying for us, we want to share some ways that we have already seen God at work!  Thank you for your prayers!

  • Our neighbor is excited about Jesus and studies His word!
  • Amanda’s process of certification has begun! The first round of paperwork has been sent in! Just waiting now!
  • God has provided us lots of opportunities to grow toward Him and love Him more deeply!

Thank you to everyone who prays for us, cares for us, and loves us from close or far away! Feel free to reach out to catch up and share what is going on in your life!

 

El Salvador Update

Hey everyone,

Last Sunday (well it was last Sunday when I started writing this but by the time you are reading this, its probably been about three weeks)  we had a team meeting and got a little more information about the trip, and wanted to share some updates with you on the trip, the team, and on our thoughts and hearts for the trip.

The Apology

Firstly, I want to apologize for neither of us posting many updates about the trip thus far.  We have not really received much more information than what we had started with.  Hopefully, we will have a little more regularity moving forward with the updates as we move closer to the trip date.

The Purpose 

So, the general purpose of trip is as we had expected.   Our primary activities will be working with the after-school program and the football ministry that focuses on Salvadoran deportees from America. We will also be determining if Citylight can begin a long-term partnership with Envision, focusing on a pop-up medical clinic.

Our trip will, God willing, be followed by, and probably preceded by, trips from a variety of other churches across the globe that are coming to help with several of these mission fields.  This is important because a one-week program will not keep kids out of the gangs or deportees from falling back into the gangs.  Our trip is a piece of God’s bigger plan for El Salvador.

The Prayers

For those of you praying for us, there are a few key ways that you can be praying for the trip.

  1. Safety.  El Salvador is incredibly violent country, riddled with gang activity.  Because of that, it is not the safest of place to be.  We did find out that as Americans we will be a thousand times safer than the people we are reaching out to.  The gangs can control or at least get past the Salvadoran government, but the US government would be much harder for them to thwart.
  2. Finances.  The trip is not free.  I have a longer note below about the specifics.  Pray that the team can raise the needed finances to go on this trip.
  3. Discernment.  One of the primary reasons that this trip exists is to discern if this particular church in San Salvador is a place that we (Citylight) could establish a long-term relationship with.  Pray that we can have supernatural discernment in knowing if and how to continue with this partnership.
  4. Growth.  My hope is that we will ultimately be doing and discerning God’s will on this trip.  Amanda and I hope, one day, to live long-term as international missionaries.  We are praying that God can use this trip to grow and prepare us for the ministry opportunities that he has for us in the future.
  5. Jesus. This is the most important one.  If you can only pray for only one thing, pray for Jesus.  We desire to have Jesus be present on this trip, changing lives and making miracles.  We want to share the truth about the true Jesus and support those that are already on the ground there doing just that.

The Finances

I went back and forth about how much to share here about our finances and fundraising.   Ultimately, I decided that if you cared about us and the trip enough to read this far into the email, you probably would like to know how things are going and how you can be praying for us.  This is one major area where we need prayer.  So far (as of August 20th) we have a little less than $500.  For this trip we will need another $3,500.

I may not have a degree in math, but we are not where we need to be financially.  We had hoped that we would have a larger portion by now, but, as you can see, we don’t.  If you would pray for the financial aspect of this trip and pray that we will be able to raise the remainder of the money needed, that would be greatly appreciated.

If you are feeling like the Lord is calling you to support us on this trip, you can donate online at http://citylightphilly.com/give/ and desiganate the give to: El Salvador – The Buckley’s.

Stay Connected

As always, we would love to stay connected with you!  You can stay connected with us by 1) subscribing to this blog and reading, commenting, and sharing feedback on our posts, or 2) by emailing us at buckleyfamily14@gmail.com.