From Home-Assigment to now….at a Glance

As you all know we were in the States from June 2015 until August 6th 2016. During that time we were able to visit all of our supporting churches and most of the individuals that support this ministry. When we landed in the States we were $1,500 a month below our needed support. So we hit the trail meeting new people and churches that could possibly be interested in joining the ministry in Asia.

Besides traveling to churches, I took a job with a construction company which allowed us to:

  • offset the cost of being in America
  • pay on some college loans
  • buy a car for our eldest & second daughter
  • pay for Caleb’s ear surgeries
  • pay for Moriah’s travel expenses for surgery
  • make some repairs on my parent’s house
  • and we managed to go camping at the beach

Back to 2016. In early February we,  Lynette and James, headed off to Central Asia. Our role was to facilitate Crucial Conversations training for 7 people. We had a great time meeting this team and discussing the importance, roadblocks, and process of navigating hard discussions we so often find ourselves in. This training, in our opinion, is a must for teams. We had an awesome time with this group; working through the material proved helpful yet again for us. We also saw some amazing sights and experienced a little bit of snow.

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After leaving Central Asia we headed to South East Asia where Lynette went to Cambodia to participate in a teacher training conference and James went to Thailand to join workers from East Asia. Five days later we were both in Thailand meeting with regional leaders where Lynette co-led a training on how to effectively administer ministry assessments. We enjoyed being reunited with everyone even though it was only for a short time.

At the conclusion of our broad Asia visit we went back in North Carolina where we continued to visit churches and see our financial support go up. Although it took over one year to get our support back up to a healthy level, this time afforded us more family time with my dad. Looking back, the delay in getting back to full support was a real blessing.

While in the States I continued to meet with the Asia leaders online.Each month we discussed Asia plans, progress and spent time growing in leadership skills. Although leading from the States was difficult, I  was encouraged that the leaders I work with are faithful leaders. I am so encouraged because these leaders are leading others…this makes my job easy.

With all our support in we returned to Asia in August 2016 which also marked our 15th year in Cambodia. It doesn’t really feel like fifteen years but this picture is a clear reminder that time has passed by.

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Since our return we have been quite busy. Lynette is teaching third grade and has 40 students. She is paired up with another teacher which has been a blessing for both….and the kids too!  Lynette has also been making progress on her Masters courses.She has two more classes and a capstone project and then she’ll be done.  I have been touching base with the leaders and ministries within Asia. Since October, I have flown to Thailand, America, East Asia, and the Philippines and have enjoyed meeting with leaders, teams, and working on ministry strategy.

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Situational Leadership training with leaders from Cambodia

One of my priorities is developing other leaders.In early October I co-led a training on Situational Leadership. Just this month a new leadership development group was started (Leader Excel). I meet with these leaders every month to discuss different aspects of leadership with the goal b eing to grow in leadership character and competency.

Today, we, like most everyone else, are gearing up for Christmas Day. Moriah and Kailyn have arrived from the States ( a week ago) and we’re enjoying them being here. It’s like they never left. The Cottle family is taking this time to rest, spend time with each other, attend Christmas meals, musicals, and parties. It is that time of year.

As we get closer to the end of 2016 we are reminded of God’s love, power, provisions, sustaining right hand, protection, and the many ways He has shown Himself faithful. As we turn to 2017, we look forward to the exciting opportunities God will bring our way. We look forward to how God will continue to work in our own lives molding us into His image. We look forward to how God will transform our children and build their faith. We look forward to how the Church in Asia will grow and expand.

Thanks to each of you for the role you play not only in the ministry of Asia but in our very own lives. We realize that your love, prayers and financial giving provide the encouragement we need and the resources required to continue working here in Asia. Thank you.

We hope you have a Merry Christmas,

The Cottles

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Time to….

A few weeks ago we finally arrived at full financial support. Hooray! This meant time to get serious about packing and making final preparations. So, I (James) bought tickets for us to leave August 1st. Within 2 1/2 days of purchasing the tickets we got word that one supporting church had to stop financially supporting us; at least temporarily until they could recover from financial struggles. At the same time, we found out Lynette’s position at Asian Hope was terminated due to budget deficits. This is terrible timing!

The last few weeks we have been wondering what to do and how to move forward. Is it time to stop? Is it time to change directions? Is it time to….? Needless to say our heads have been spinning. We have discussed the current events with several people (family, friends and organization leaders), we have prayed and sat still listening for what the Lord might be saying to us. In times like this (cloudy & confusing) its really difficult to see the forest for the trees. So, we lean back on what we have the most confidence in not towards what we have no (or little) understanding about and trust that God will direct our steps as we move forward towards what we discern as His leading. Time to trust and move.

As of today (June 30th) we are in conversation about another job opportunity for Lynette which will aid us in getting back to Cambodia. This opportunity comes with a salary and covers our kids school tuition costs. We are waiting to hear the final word from the school’s administration on several details before we can accept this offer. Hopefully we will hear back from them soon. We do know that if this moves forward Lynette will need to leave July 22nd which is a little sooner than expected.

What do we need right now? Prayer. Time to pray our dear friends. There are many things to work through and do and we need wisdom, strength and grace. We also need more financial support. With the loss of one of our churches we are in need of $500 a month. Getting this amount in before we depart would help stabilize our finances as we launch back to ministry in Asia.

Thanks for partnering with us and we will update you soon as we know our next steps.

James

April 1st (no fooling)

April 1st is most widely known as the day to play tricks on others. It can be a lot of fun. I remember one time my mom stood behind me at the breakfast table asking me “who cut your hair; you have a bald spot.” I remember getting angry and telling her no one has touched my hair and that I didn’t either. Of course being the good little prankster that my mom is, she insisted with hand gestures and raised voice that I had a bald spot. Right before my boiling point she said “April fools.” That was about 33 years ago. She got me good.

Well this April 1st had different meaning for Lynette and me. It was the day set to determine whether or not a June departure back to Cambodia was going to happen or not. Several months ago Lynette and I felt we needed to set some dates/goals to help us gauge our financial progress and feasibility of departing back to Asia. Since we have people using our car and staying in our house in Cambodia along with people under our direct leadership who are all affected in some way, we felt it was fair to give all the people involved a heads-up on when we would return so that they too could make plans to find their own car, a house and adjustments in ministry can be made.

April 1st has come and gone and although we did see a slight increase in monthly support we did not meet our financial goal of $1,400 a month. So we are sticking with our decision to cancel our June departure.

What now? We have set a new date (June 30th) to determine a feasible departure date. We are hoping and praying for our needed monthly support to be mostly end by June 30th in order to purchase tickets for an early August departure.

Since the kids school year begins in August we are hoping we can board a plane back to Cambodia.Having the kids split their school days between two different systems is not ideal. Besides this, we have ministry responsibilities that we need to get back to. Please continue praying for us as we seek new partners to join us in reaching those in Asia.

Thank you for your faithfulness to the ministry. We are very grateful.

James & Lynette

 

We’re moving

Gotcha! I know you opened this blog wondering where the Cottles are headed. Well, sorry for the let down but what we mean is; we’ve been moving around from church to church, state to state and even went to Asia. Yes, we’re moving.

We just returned from Wilson NC where we participated in a three day missions conference. WOW! We had a great time sharing about the work in Asia, listening to other missionaries and meeting the great people of the church. We left so encouraged. The church highlighted the Faithfulness of God over 25 years of faith promise missions giving.

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On January 27th we boarded the plane for Central Asia. Upon arrival we spent one day seeing some sights in what is referred to in Act 2:9 as Cappadocia. Yes, we walked the land where the first people to hear the gospel in their own language lived. Pretty cool! After our one day of sight-seeing we did engage in three days of training in another location.

Lynette and James standing at the edge of valley filled with cave homes that early Christians lived in.

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Around the 14th century Christians returned to this area fleeing from persecution.

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Lynette entering the passage way that led to the church. Once through the small hallway the cave opened into a small church. Pic on the right is of a church in a different cave.

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This is a table inside one of the caves (all stone). Eating area for the church…made me rethink the Lord’s Supper.

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Lynette being coached by the pottery expert…no not me.

After this trip Lynette headed to Cambodia to hold a three day teacher training seminar and James headed the Thailand to join other World Team workers from East Asia and then James hosted the 2016 LEAD meetings where the Area leaders came together to grow in effectively assessing the ministry we lead.

Thanks for your partnership. Your partnership not only keeps us in ministry but allows us to minister to other missionaries who are working among various unreached people groups.

Cottle Update

Summer has come and gone,  and cold temperatures have moved in. We even had some snow flurries for about 10 minutes. Fortunately, we have acclimated to the cooler temperatures and are ready for winter in North Carolina

Over the last few months, we have visited one supporting church, spoke at a men’s prayer breakfast, drove to Pennsylvania to debrief at the World Team office, visited family in Virginia  and shared our ministry with several families over dinner. We’ve also had two successful surgeries:

First was Caleb’s surgery the Monday after Thanksgiving. The surgery went well and he is making great progress. Notice in the picture he is pointing to his ears that no longer have hearing-aids.

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The second was Moriah’s shoulder surgery on January 5th in Colorado. Her surgery went well and she is now back home after spending five days recuperating while enjoying the snowy scenic view from her window. Moriah returns to Liberty University on Friday the 15th to begin her second semester of her junior year.

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What’s next for us? Now that the holiday season is over and things begin to normalize a bit, we are gearing up for travel, speaking and getting our ministry support up to where it needs to be. We are in need of over $1,000 a month in newly pledged support. Please pray along with us that this amount will come in by April so that we can secure tickets for a June return.

Special thanks for praying and supporting our family and ministry; your partnership is crucial in reaching others for Christ in Asia.

We MUST walk

I absolutely love the Gospel of John and particularly chapter four verse four. It reads: “He (Jesus) had to go through Samaria.” We know by verse seven through twenty-six that there was real purpose in Jesus’ MUST trip to Samaria; it was to deliver a powerful and life-changing message. That message is “I am the Messiah.”

What amazes me as I read the gospels is how Jesus is always with the people who needed to hear and receive that simple message. He walked the markets, visited the temples, traveled to distance villages, walked the shores, went on fishing trips and so on; he did this to connect with people. Jesus went to popular and unpopular places alike. He went to his home town, nearby villages as well as distant locations that were potentially hostile. Jesus walked among the people. Jesus has clearly set the mode on how to reach others and by doing so there is a direct challenge to us as believers to follow in his FOOTSTEPS.

M With M

One way for us to follow in his FOOT STEPS is to make reaching Muslims a MUST. With 1.4 billion unreached Muslims we have plenty of opportunity to walk among them and influence them towards the true Messiah. John 4:35 tells us that the harvest is ripe and I believe that applies to Muslims. One question we need to answer is; should I be one of the people who MUST walk among Muslims? Its a worthy question worth pondering.

PRAY GREEN is focused on praying-equipping-mobilizing Christians to serve among the many unreached Muslims in Asia. Please join us in praying for the following points and consider serving with us to establish communities of believers among the Muslim people.

Pray:

  1. That strongholds and darkness would be broken among Muslim peoples
  2. That more workers would respond and serve among Muslims
  3. That Muslims would be receptive to the gospel message
  4. That a disciple-making movement would begin among new believers

We MUST walk

I absolutely love the Gospel of John and particularly chapter four verse four. It reads: “He (Jesus) had to go through Samaria.” We know by verse seven through twenty-six that there was real purpose in Jesus’ MUST trip to Samaria; it was to deliver a powerful and life-changing message. That message is “I am the Messiah.”

What amazes me as I read the gospels is how Jesus is always with the people who needed to hear and receive that simple message. He walked the markets, visited the temples, traveled to distance villages, walked the shores, went on fishing trips and so on; he did this to connect with people. Jesus went to popular and unpopular places alike. He went to his home town, nearby villages as well as distant locations that were potentially hostile. Jesus walked among the people. Jesus has clearly set the mode on how to reach others and by doing so there is a direct challenge to us as believers to follow in his FOOTSTEPS.

M With M

One way for us to follow in his FOOT STEPS is to make reaching Muslims a MUST. With 1.4 billion unreached Muslims we have plenty of opportunity to walk among them and influence them towards the true Messiah. John 4:35 tells us that the harvest is ripe and I believe that applies to Muslims. One question we need to answer is; should I be one of the people who MUST walk among Muslims? Its a worthy question worth pondering.

PRAY GREEN is focused on praying-equipping-mobilizing Christians to serve among the many unreached Muslims in Asia. Please join us in praying for the following points and consider serving with us to establish communities of believers among the Muslim people.

Pray:

  1. That strongholds and darkness would be broken among Muslim peoples
  2. That more workers would respond and serve among Muslims
  3. That Muslims would be receptive to the gospel message
  4. That a disciple-making movement would begin among new believers