Pray BFF Letter #184
Friday, January 14, 2011
Going In & Out
Dear Prayer Partners,
We begin 2011, our second decade of ministry, with many challenges. First I will report on God's grace at the year-end missions conference and then look at a key discovery that further prepares us for future expanding ministries.
What an end to 2010!
Thank you so much for your prayers. I was physically unwell with a raspy voice and persistent cough throughout the Chinese Mission Conference. Pastor Hugo came down sick (with something else) at the very end. But God provided! Let me share one event.
Our afternoon counseling sessions were shortened to a one hour period of time. More than 30 people signed up for this one hour! At the beginning of the conference, we managed to train many counselors. We were not sure how many could or would turn up for this one hour. We could only wait upon God to provide. Praise God the counseling team was able to counsel all the thirty that came. It was exciting to see them sitting everywhere talking and sharing. I felt like an airport traffic controller.
We desperately needed your prayers, and God mightily answered. Only He could help us out in such situations and in so many other smaller ones.
We praise God that most people made it to the conference despite the severe snowstorm. Speakers cancelled but God gave grace. I almost had to stop counseling and speaking several times because of coughing fits, but then my cough would subside until I finished speaking. God's grace. Thank you for your prayers!
What a beginning to 2011!
Each year we face certain struggles as the ministry grows. We are always challenged by the huge amount of editing necessary for producing materials. This year will be no different.
I noticed a trend that was beginning to overwhelm me and the web sites limits. When I go to different countries to train the pastors and Christian leaders, I come back with a wealth of video training materials not only in English, but also in their own language.
For example, Myanmar: In total I produced 15 bilingual training videos. Not only was my own computer being stuffed to the brim, but my web host could not handle these large videos.
My web costs last year went up and up. What would happen this year? Adding to the problem were the increasing number of video formats being introduced! Last year iPads came into existence. Smart phones are increasingly able to download and view videos from around the world (different size, different format). I have enough difficulty producing the video in one format. Even when I do them in medium quality, they take up so much room!
Before the end of the year, I had to do something with the popular Myanmar materials. I took eleven of the videos offline and just put up audios (mp3s). I was not happy about it, but it was growing beyond my control.
As I looked into the future, I was stumped and realized I just did not know what to do. As a stop-gap measure I produced a Library of the Burmese videos that people could order. I just could not keep those videos online. The problem would only worsen as I looked ahead.
I just purchased tickets for Uganda and Ethiopia. I will hold three 3-day seminars. I would love to put those videos on the web too, but how? Forty more videos? (There will be three different seminars.) You can see how our resources would be overloaded.
God provided a breakthrough. I found a video host who, not only allows me to upload many long videos, but offers them in different formats rather inexpensively.
I have taken much time in the last weeks just trying to upload my videos to Vimeo. It is also necessary to change the many links on my website. We are making progress slowly with these technical issues, but they have everything to do with growth of this ministry. God wants us to provide quality training to Christian leaders around the world via the web.
Now we can look forward not only to catching up on the backlog of training materials but also produce new ones, such as ones from Uganda and Ethiopia, as God provides grace.
This is an awesome time to be alive. That these materials can be produced and freely offered around the world is simply amazing. I remember wondering how God could bless me more than He had when I was pastoring. This is one amazing example of how God is multiplying our efforts.
Praise God the free Burmese videos are all back online. Including other videos we have 36 videos already uploaded. Take a visit! View "Continuous Personal Renewal" which shows you how to grow despite setbacks, sickness, struggles and even a lukewarm spirit.
Thanks for staying with us through these tremendously challenging times!
Praise the Lord for extraordinary grace during the Chinese Mission Conference. The trained Next Step counselors met with over 170 people in the Next Step counseling sessions.
After two weeks down, I am finally is feeling better, though still on the tired side.
I am extremely thankful for making finding a place to post the large videos.
After searching 1-2 months, I have finally got my tickets for Uganda and Ethiopia!
Thankful for wonderful financial, prayer and love support from many during this Christmas season.
There are still many more video uploads and technical changes to be done.
My attention was taken with developing the Next Step materials. Now he will play 'catch up' on other writing and editing.
Preparations for Africa's 3 seminars are underway. Pray for the two coordinators. One location had to be changed. Much translation work is going on.
Continue to pray for Allison's finances for the second semester starting at the beginning of February.
God is my strength!
Rev. Paul J. Bucknell, President and Instructor
Biblical Foundations for Freedom
Phone: (+01) 412-398-4559
3276 Bainton St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212 USA