Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Monday, September 20, 2010

What I want for my birthday

Friends, thank you already for the tremendous outpouring of love and thanksgiving to mark my birthday. What a year it has been:

personally - my beautiful wife, Katie, and I celebrated our 1st child's arrival (Avery Joy - she was born June 6) and moved our family from Boston to PA into our first home.

professionally - I graduated from grad school, went to Africa 3 times, watched you help our church partners in Africa send our 5,000th kid to school among many other amazing things!

Along the way this year, I've met some incredible people and shared many memorable conversations around the world. Our God has abundantly provided for Katie and I. There are too many to list here, but know I rejoice with you at the Lord's favor upon our house.

On a sad note, I lost my grandfather this dad's dad - Isam Keith. When he passed away, I was unable to go to the funeral because of bad weather. I lost many friends in Africa due to AIDS related deaths...too many to list here. For my grandfather and these friends, I dedicate this year to your memory and the love you have helped me learn to share with others.

Last year, I felt like God wanted me to share 20 stories of people and places that have influenced me and blessed my life.   This year, for my birthday, I've been rather silent --- trying to talk less and listen more.

I've decided what I want for my birthday. It's simple really. I want you to pray for me. I'm inviting you to join me in praying a prayer for God's continued guidance on my life. I'm asking you to pray for me as I lead Forgotten Voices, stand in the gap for kids (it gets emotionally overwhelming), and for me most importantly as a father and husband.

Pray that I continue to listen to the Lord as He leads our ministry. Pray that I seek His wisdom, not my own. Pray that my life is a sacrifice, ready to be molded into a cup that serves the Lord's will. Pray that my eyes are open to see God's work all around me and join him where I should, yet remain fervent in prayer for those areas where I should not work, but others should. With our work, it's easy to get distracted with good things that are not ours to pursue.

From the bottom of my heart - whether I know you personally or you just read my blog - you all inspire me. You help me see and experience love through your support for kids you may never get to meet, but you love them just the same.  Through you, I've learned how to love more deeply.

I love because Christ loved me. Today, as you pray for me, know that I continue to pray for you. That you also would come to know and experience the love of Christ in your own lives. That your love for our work at Forgotten Voices would also flow into a love for your neighbors and family. That you would delight in the presence of our God. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude today that you and I get to play a small role in extending love to those around us --- here in the USA and around the world.

Today - pray for me as I lead and serve. I'll pray for you. And take a moment to share love with someone around you who needs it. That's what I want for my birthday. I'm thankful for each of you and your warm greetings.

All the best,


brian said...

Happy birthday Ryan, and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'll be praying for you and Forgotten Voices!

Heather said...

Ryan, Happy Birthday! We love you very much and we will most definitely be praying for you.

Heather, Dan & Johnny