January 25, 2019

Dear partners in ministry,

I'm getting progressive lenses next week. This is a new experience for me as I have never needed glasses until the last 5 or 6 years and still just use them to read. But the progressive lenses will help me as I move between reading and working on computer screens. But this has another application as I consider the work of Christian schools and our youth. Students and adults are really living in 2 worlds at the same time and need to be able to move between them quickly and seemlessly without losing focus on our God-given purpose or identity.

2019

Progressive lenses

The wider world is currently dominated by a search for personal pleasure and power. We must learn to see clearly through the misdirections, redefinitions and outright lies that are driving popular culture and return to a clear understanding of who God is and what He asks of us.

The closer circles are too often driven by painful relationships and poor choices because we don't know what is right and wrong or because we refuse to act on that knowledge. We must learn to read God's Word, understand it and apply it in our own lives and in the daily routine of family life, school and work.

Brussels Report

Thank you for your prayers this last month! Paul spent 2 days in Brussels at the end of January discussing trends in education and the particular challenge of the sexual revolution that permeates our culture and educational content these days. National Christian education leaders gathered to encourage each other and pray that God will continue to use the tool of Christian education to bless, teach, heal and bring the lost to Jesus.

Here are 3 takeaways:

  1. Our schools and Christian leaders need to be aware of the dangers and protocol of the sexual revolution. There are poisons in the form of popular culture, media influence and proposed "standards" that are hijacking our definitions and understanding of truth.
  2. One huge opportunity for Christian schools right now is to inform and engage parents in the conversation, providing a foundation of truth for their daily life and thinking. Fathers especially need to understand their role as protectors, models and teachers of truth in their family settings. The problem is that most cultures are losing ground so quickly with broken or dysfunctional families and absent or abusive fathers.
  3. We are not alone in this struggle! We are joined together for the cause of Christ here in Europe and praying for God's wisdom and strength. Jesus has already won the war but we must be faithful, compassionate and stand for God’s truth in every setting.
2019

With leaders in Christian school movements from 12 countries at European Parliament, Brussels

Prayer

You can participate in the global day of prayer with Christian schools around the world on February 12th! Go to the ACSI page to view prayer requests directly on the map. If you are part of a Christian school, add your prayer requests as well as we join our hearts trusting God that He will move mightily in our schools, in our cities and across the globe.

This year we are praying for our students to be “rooted and established in love, [having] power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge . . .” (Eph. 3:17-18, NIV).
prayer map

ACSI Global - #schoolsthatpray

Please pray for the upcoming International Educational Leadership Conference, which will host 200 educational leaders from 30 countries. This event will focus on building strategic partnerships between Christian schools in the global network of ACSI for the purpose of fellowship, professional support and growing a vision for the ministry of Christian education.

Please pray for Ellie, Silas and Timothy as they teach and learn each day in the school setting and interact with teachers, students and parents.

Please pray for our continued financial support. Paul will be in the US in May to connect with families and churches in the eastern US that we have not seen in several years. Please let us know if you can host Paul at your church or home for a time of sharing.

Thank you!

Thank you again for your continued commitment to us and the ministry God has called us to share in Europe! Ellie, Silas, Timothy and I continue to pray for you and appreciate your communication with us through email, Facebook and other formats!

Giving is possible online through our website. Connect with us on our US phone, 1 239-234-4606 or by e-mail at madsen@journeyofjoy.org. Remember that we are 6 hours later than Eastern Standard Time ;). Thank you!

In the Journey of Joy,
Paul, Ellie, Silas & Timothy Madsen
Serving in Europe with RCE International