Pray BFF Letter #182
November 30, 2010
BFF's Tenth Anniversary!
Dear Prayer Partners,
BFF's first webpage was produced in January 2001, but the real beginning started on my knees before the Lord seeking what He had for the next stage of my life. I had absolutely no idea what God wanted. With seven children to support, and no money coming in, I cried out to the LORD. He heard my cry early on a Saturday morning in November 2000 and in two days, I knew what He wanted me to do. Biblical Foundations for Freedom was born. BFF is an ongoing series of miracles.
I had never written a web page before then. I had no financial resources to prop up this new business venture for the Lord. If anyone looked objectively at this beginning, it would be subject to great ridicule.
There were two things I detested in high school and college: writing and public speaking. Now there is nothing I enjoy more than these. I am not the best, and as I edit my writings, I am kept humbled, but God has given me many things to write about. A deep passion and vision guides this ministry onwards. BFF is all about God's grace and wisdom.
In the back of my mind, I believe there are those God has called and gifted but who refused to go forward. So God dragged this ungifted one along and provided an endless amount of support and grace. Amazingly, He continues to work. I am ever grateful for God and for you who have prayed and supported this ministry. God is mightily using BFF's material.
God's Word stirred my memories this morning as I read from Deuteronomy in my quiet time.
"For the Lord your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing" (Deuteronomy 2:7).
Not lacked a thing. Right. We have come close to not having those needed 'things,' but God has provided miracle after miracle to keep us functioning. For many years we had no savings. We even stopped using our checking account at times. We have no retirement fund. Some may criticize the wisdom of this way but this is the pathway that the Lord has led us.
We have four teenagers and a couple others coming along behind to take their place as they grow older. Expenses with college and other life events will increase our challenges. We will watch how God provides.
One of my dreams has been, yes a crazy one at that, was to live by faith. I wanted to see God do it. We have had ten years of this life now. 20% of our income seems a bit more predictable now, but for many years, we knew not where one dime would come from.
What about the overseas training trips? BFF often provides materials, food and more to Christian leaders attending the seminars in developing countries. God has provided every time. More often than not, He has provided during the last two weeks before departure! I do remember once, on the way to the airport to leave the country receiving a Western Union number to give to the host pastor after the seminar to meet the unexpected needs!
God used my dream to train me, not only to overcome anxiety, but to train pastors around the world. They are so encouraged by our simple retelling of God's faithfulness to us.
"You have not lacked a thing." Thank you for being part of that mysterious formula through which God works.
God has brought about this ministry at a key time in history. We are not just involved in developing quality Christian training material but also are linked to an ever broadening distribution process. People ask me, "Where did those people in India or Burma get to know you?" They have read BFF training articles on the web.
This year our goal is to have 3 million web pages read. We are on track to reach the goal by God's amazing grace. We have a great amount of training material in all sorts of areas that God uses to help people. We do sell printed copies in our store (take a look!), but we offer our training materials on Library free to Christian leaders in developing areas and to all on the web.
Our ministry has moved step by step with the advance of technology (always many steps behind though). Printers, computers, software programs, internet connections, etc. We started with mediocre AOL and a modem on our phone line. Things have changed today, have they not? Now wireless networking and smart phones are taking over the market.
Videos, talking books, iPad apps, etc. Where are things leading? We do not know. We have produced many training sessions not only on mp3 but now on videos. This is where things are moving. It would take forever to translate our one 'Initiating Spiritual Growth in the Church' D1 seminar into Burmese writing. But we have done one better. We now have a BFF Burmese Training Library with mp3s and Libraries of all 15 sessions. Included is a Burmese handout. It is bilingual so those who speak Burmese or English can understand.
God is reaching out and bringing quality training to His ministers around the world. You are part of this ministry that is literally functioning on the front lines of God's kingdom. Thank you so much for working together with us!
We are so glad for God's development of the BFF ministry and our part in it.
Thank the Lord for a wonderful family time during this Thanksgiving holiday, even got to talk to Allison through Skype.
The Burmese RSS feed had over 10,000 views this month. They largely are not from Burma but other places.
Been able to start editing Overcoming Anxiety, Finding Peace and Discovering God into a regular 6 x 9 book form. Many people have been helped through it. We want to get it out to more people.
Three sets of handouts to be translated have been sent to Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia, for upcoming March-April seminars.
God has blessed each of the seminars held by others that we mentioned in previous letters.
- I probably get one desperate prayer request each week. This one from a pastor/Bible School director/orphanage caretaker in Burma. There are about 30 orphans there. I only have eight children to care for. They have so many more poor children to care for. Please pray for them.
"My child care children are very sickly and suffering this and that. Since they are from remote areas, they are not used to this location and climate yet, that is what I think. Among them two girls are a bit serious, one girl has more than two boils on her legs. It had already started when you were here. Another girl is not able to walk, becoming worse. She did not go school for two weeks now. The doctor told us that she needs major treatment. That will require some more money. I am a bit worrying." (Check BFF's Facebook wall to see this orphan group performing a song/dance video!)
Pray that God would continue to guide and bless BFF in the days ahead.
Focus for Paul as he writes and edits.
Blessing on our aging parents. Paul's Dad will be 90 in February.
God has been providing for our needs. Pray that all needed funding comes in.
Preparations for Africa's 3 seminars are already starting. Tickets soon to be bought.
Paul will be training at the end of December's CMC'10 big Chinese mission conference.
Our daughter Allison is almost done with her first semester. Pray for finances for the second semester.
God is awesome!
Rev. Paul J. Bucknell, President and Instructor
Phone: (+01) 412-398-4559
3276 Bainton St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212 USA