I’m off to Dallas for a couple of days to attend the opening Sunday of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship’s (BTBF) Annual Missions Festival, plus have a few meetings in the area concerning World Orphans.

I regard BTBF as my ‘home’ church – the church where, almost ten years ago, my wife and I joined the staff. It sounds trite, I know, but time sure does fly and memories are so sweet.

The BTBF Website describes the 2007 Missions Festival this way:

"This year, we’ve chosen "Open" as the theme of our Missions Festival because Festival week offers amazing opportunities for God to open our eyes to the needs of the world, open our hearts to pray for the world, open our lives to go and see the world, and open our God-given resources to advance God’s work in the world…"

Missionfestivallogo

"Open" is a quite fitting tag for World Orphans also. This year, God has opened many wonderful doors for us. Not least amongst these is the official approval by the Government of Iraq to establish the first fully-recognized church-based orphan homes there. What an amazing door of opportunity that is!

We’ve also had open thresholds for partnerships with some incredible organizations, the ‘granddaddies’ of the mission agency world. Through their involvement we’ll have hundreds of ‘feet on the ground’ to assess, present, fund, and monitor projects with indigenous churches.

Open hearts and lives are very much a part of the equation, also. Donor partners have been praying and participating in ever-increasing ways in 2007. Many have joined us in our "Oktoberfast" prayer and fasting campaign this month. Many have given to enable churches to open doors to desperate, parentless children. Some have even come with us, to personally see doors of hope open for these children. We’ve also had quite a few new staff members join us, to pray and pry open entryways for further engagement and rescue.

It’s a world of opportunity out there. Churches are ready. Children are waiting. Doors are open.

For all our dear friends in the Dallas area, I regret that my schedule is very full for my short visit. I hope to see you all on a return trip – with the whole family – after the baby is born in April.