Looking over the Garden
Dear Friends and Partners of Love’s Door for All Nations,
Thank you all for your partnership in our lives and in our Garden. When God began speaking to Regina and me (2006) about leaving our comfy nest for an unknown inheritance. He spoke so loud and clear and with so many convincing proofs that He would be our Guide, our Sustainer, and our Provider. We left our Known for a deep unknown – when we quit our jobs and dispersed our goods we still had no assurance of any supporters or even of where we would go or what we would do – only a vague leading. But we Knew that our Father is worthy of our obedience and Great enough to trust with the full weight of our lives in His hands. We Knew that he loves to do “exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we can ask or think.”
God began showing us visions of His Heart for the orphan – to upset this world’s injustice – that “the least” will become the blessed; the passed over and insignificant, with no hope in this life, would become the ones infused with God’s Character and Grace and Knowledge – and indeed become the most influential leaders of nations!
He began showing us that His Church would begin to shine in the darkest corners of Africa’s unreached landscape, not as an American marionette, but a truly indigenous Body of Christ; and that this Church would hold in it’s ever-growing heart the passion to see Justice for the orphan, the widow, the poor and beat down.
And God began to show us that we would be used by Him as a highway, a bridge, to connect the Church in the “First World” with the Real World – real poverty, real orphans and widows, real ministry among the unreached peoples of the world.
These three pillars – orphans, Church planting, helpers from the West – have become a reality – not by anything of ourselves, but alone by His Greatness and Sovereign Love!
We cannot brag as if anything is of ourselves, for it is ALL from His Hand. We are so much less that He deserves, and daily we are reminded that if He had chosen more capable soldiers He could have done so much more. And yet we cannot shrink back because of our weaknesses, but must be faithful to keep our hands to the plow.
And yet we see some evidences of Fruit. The orphans God has given to us are indeed being transformed into the blessed and fortunate. Isaiah 61 is coming to pass – God is gathering “the poor… brokenhearted… captives… prisoners… (and) giving them a turban, instead of ashes, oil of joy, instead of mourning, a garment of praise, instead of discouragement. They will be called oaks of righteousness, trees planted by the Lord to reveal his splendor. They will rebuild the perpetual ruins and restore the places that were desolate; they will reestablish the ruined cities, the places that have been desolate since ancient times” We are seeing the little lives God has given us are really beginning to “reveal His splendor”! And our hope that these little ones can actually be the ones that will “restore the desolate places” is becoming less hard to imagine! Our two orphan homes have taken on 5 new kids this year, and our Family Table Sponsorship Program has doubled! We are even beginning to partner with another orphan ministry to extend beyond our walls.
Our vision for an indigenous Church is coming to pass as well. “Second generation” churches (churches started by the local converts, rather than the trained church planters) are beginning to take hold. Locals are raising up with a vision to care for the beat down – volunteering to build and operate a school for the neglected kids of the area. More and more of the churches are forging an identity of their own, without outside props.
And our “Bridge” ministry – connecting worlds – we just feel so blessed at how many lives we have been privileged to influence over these years since God sent us out. These are not just “visitors” or “workers for us” – they are saints in the making that God has sent to us for a part of their shaping process. This past year there were over 30 who were with us a month or more. Next year is already slated to be many more than that.
Over all of these “accomplishments” is the reality that our Father is the Master Gardener, and it is only by His Sovereign choice that we can do anything. We have been blessed this year to experience his Loving Pruning. My health is in His Hands, and one thing after another has kept me low this year and a half. Our finances are in His Hands, and we have been sorely tried to keep looking to Him in the desert where provision is scarce. Our closest allies – our Board members and friends – have been torn and separated with fleshly strife, leaving us lonely and brokenhearted. Our favorite house-mother passed away and one of our orphans left the fold. We trust that all of these things are shaping us – “that we may bear more fruit” for His glory.
Dear friends, it is in this light that we say “Thank You!” Many of you have been a part in this ministry – if you have prayed for us, supported us financially, visited us or sent us words of encouragement – all of these ways and more, many many hands have shared in the service to the Least and the Lost. And the inheritance we will enjoy for eternity will be shared among us. So THANK YOU!
And finally, I want to invite you to partner with us in this coming year. We see God moving people, gathering some powerful soldiers like we have never had before, coming for a year or two! And we see vision rising up for another step in the transformation of our nations – a quality school that will infuse in many more children the society-transforming building blocks of Life. It will be a school that mixes practical skills with quality education and Christian values.
God spoke to me this year that the level to which we have trusted him for miraculous Provision, Guidance, and Sustenance, will pale in comparison with what we will see in the future! I want to invite all of like mind and willing heart to join us in this walk of faith. You may be called to come and serve. You may be called to sow financially into this field. You may be called to pray and intercede for us. You may be called to serve from your home or on our Board. I invite you to listen and obey – walking in faith with us for something way beyond ourselves, for the Glory of God!
Dan and Regina Bumstead.
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