Here’s my year-end letter to those of you supporting our ministry here at AIM. It’s been a good year.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
As we approach the end of 2008, my family and I are so thankful that God has given us a ministry that makes a difference in so many lives and that he has given us partners like you.
I don’t often get to see the long-term fruit of our ministry, but every now and then God connects the dots for me. A few weeks ago, I was speaking at a conference in Nashville, and God blessed me with a picture of the long-term impact of AIM’s ministry.
Halfway through the talk, a young man caught my attention and said, “Hi, I’m Bruce and Lynda Morock’s son.” I couldn’t believe it – I had worked with them 16 years ago doing projects in Mexico, and now their son had grown up to carry on the work they had started.
Afterward, a young lady came up to me and said, “Hi, I’m Abby. I was with you at your end-of-the-millennium project in Mexico. I’m married, and we’re raising a family now, but we still want to go to the mission field.” She introduced me to her husband, an outreach minister at a nearby church. They described for me their heart for ministry in Uganda. I reminisced with her about ministering in Reynosa nine years ago and talked about connecting her with some contacts in Uganda.
Then, on my way out the door, a man stopped me to say, “I just want to tell you what a difference AIM’s ministry has made in my life. The projects that we went on changed our lives!”
Seeing the long-term change in lives like these is always a gift, but increasingly we’re able to see the short-term impact, as well. As our young people have scattered around the globe, they’ve begun to invest themselves in work amongst the poorest of the poor. This last year, we saw the greatest expansion our ministry has ever experienced. The World Race is doubling every year. We have the strongest group of leaders we’ve ever had. And in a few months from now, we’ll take our 80,000th person on a short-term mission trip. Whether training up Mexicans to go to Islamic nations, feeding orphans, or reaching those caught in the sex-trade in Southeast Asia, we’ve been overwhelmed at the fruit.
In January, Karen and I will return to Swaziland, and we’ll see a four year-old girl who has to walk three miles to our feeding center every day. We’ll check up on Pelile, whose family was brought back from the brink of starvation by our team. We’ll see our new health clinic and new feeding centers. We’ll visit hundreds of orphans that we feed every day there.
We’ll also rendezvous with the World Race team that Karen and I are coaching this year. We’ll continue to challenge them to press into God and all the new ways that he wants them to depend on him. We’ll get to meet with them and help them to process their identity issues.
It’s all a marvelous privilege. It may be a bear market on Wall Street, but I maintain that it’s a bull market on hope in many of the places that we work around the world. We have the very thing that the world is looking for, and we are stewarding a generation that is moving toward its destiny in ever greater numbers.
This next year, as the economy goes south, we expect the number of young people going through our World Race program to double. AIM’s trips for youth groups and college students are also continuing to grow with ever-increasing strength.
Of course, without your help, none of this would be possible. Some of you have given sacrificially to help to raise up young leaders and to address the world’s needs. Others have given up privileges and comforts to simply support my family’s living expenses. Without you, our dreams of a better world would not be possible.
Let me first thank you for all that you’ve done, as well as encourage you to help us meet the financial challenges we face this next year. Your generous gift will equip us to extend our reach even further. So much depends on you and your generosity – we face major challenges and we depend on your partnership.*
God bless you!
Seth and Karen