Monday, December 26, 2011

Thank you for giving to the Lord!

Christmas always looks different for us every year, with family in different parts of the world, and country,  it is hard to stick to traditions each year, but one we always do Christmas morning is remember our Saviours birth and His sacrifice for us. The kids always take great joy in baking and decorating a cake for Jesus each year, and in singing Happy Birthday to Him!

3 weeks and 3 days to go!! the kids are off to their grandparents through Thursday, so David and I are hoping to utilize this time to get a lot done, and have some time together to pray and seek the Lord for our upcoming trip, if you could be praying health over our family, sickness is crouching at our door and seeking to overtake us, so praying for some good rest and restoration in the Lord.

Packing and Taxes/year end bookeeping are high priority this week (guess which one is preferred!) - sorting through all the generous donations from so many of you.  Thank you too if you have given support this month, we do not receive our next statement till 7 January, so if we haven't thanked you personally we are very grateful.

We still have a few last minute needs:

1.  Our main thing is the rest of our support, to help cover our living expenses and our travel and medical insurance which is proving to be a lot more costly but necessary than we first anticipated for 5 of us. We trust the Lord to bring this in as needed, but if you would like a year end tax deduction for 2011, please be sure to get it mailed in or done online by 31 December.  Otherwise our account is open to receive donations anytime, even while we are gone, if you would like to wait till the New Year.

2.  We do still need about $400 aside from our personal support, for a ministry project we are trying to fulfill

3.  Crochet hooks - we have need for some more, had a few more people over there express an interest, so would like to go prepared, Need at least 10 crochet hooks size K (6.5mm) and about 5 Size N (9mm) and also if you have any unused yarn, we could do with a few more of those.

4. A few 3T girls outfits

5. 2x8pack AAA baterries; 1x8pack AA Batteries

Also quite a few people had been asking about getting with us before we leave and praying us off, we will be getting prayed off and church (date tbd)  and we are planning on doing something on the Sunday before we leave the 15th of Jan, will post details when we have them.

Much love in the Lord and God's richest blessing for a prosperous New Year in His realm.
David, Jackie, Daniel, Timothy and Abigail

Thursday, December 22, 2011


O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,

That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

Its hard not to read that without singing the song through and in doing that truly allowing it to penetrate your very being and marvel at what Jesus truly did in coming to this earth, not as a Wealthy, Tyrannical King overthrowing Roman Rule as the Jews hoped he would, but still a King none the less, but born to a young girl, a baby born in humble circumstances, the Saviour come to save the world, not from Roman rule, but from the sin that kept them from truly knowing God.... 

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, Phillipians 3:8

Paul so eloquently counted the cost, and counted the only worthy thing in this life knowing His Saviour Jesus, and he was willing to suffer again and again and again…he suffered the loss of prestige, social status, material things, physical comfort, he was willing to be beaten, jailed, shipwrecked … yet through it all he still stood for what he knew to be the only worthy thing in this life – to know Jesus, knowing that that was the only thing that counted for the eternal, that this world and all its trappings were worthless rubbish – fit to be thrown on the garbage dump.

Am we willing to go to those measures for the sake of my Lord? the bible clearly tells us in this world we will have trouble – but Jesus will give us His peace.  Its been a very emotional and trying week for our family, and when I stop and take stock of the ‘perscution’ we have faced, which seems pitiful and nothing in light of whatJesus or even Paul endured on this earth.  Trials however are still trials and have to be endured, which for us lately has meant being misunderstood, being mocked for our faith, ridiculed for the choices we are making for our family, but we are so thankful to those who have supported us, who have lifted up our hands when we could not, we are eternally thankful to all our wonderful friends who have made this journey possible for us.

According to 2 Corinthians 4 our afflictions are momentary and light, are they hard to endure – absolutely, I am sure Jesus felt immense physical pain when He was whipped and beaten and nailed to the cross (and He had to power to stop it) but if you read on you see that those afflications produce for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond comparison!! How momentary and light are my afflications as an American living in a comfortable materialistic society compared to how Jesus chose to live on this earth and what He did for me.

Jesus asked His own father, the God of Creation to take this cup from Him, Paul asked three times for his 'thorn' to be taken from Him, we have a huge trial we have endured our whole 15 years together, but sometimes, the very thing that we ask the Lord to take from us, is the very thing He uses for good and to accomplish His purposes, momentary and light afflications vs eternal glory...
So as we come close to leaving on our trip, the enemy is throwing his darts fast and furiously, and we ask that you would lift our family up in prayer, so we can keep our eyes focused on what is truly of value in this life.  Obedience seems to come with a price in this modern world we live in,  standing up for what is right will cause you to be misunderstood, but take heart dear friends cause Jesus has overcome the world, He was probably the most misunderstood person to ever walk this earth, and He was perfect, sinless, unlike myself a sinner however I am by grace, how much more should I glory in the path He has set before us, so we may ultimately bring Him the glory in His good and perfect time.

Almost 8 years ago, David and I had a choice set before us, to be obedient and move to Chattanooga, that choice made in obedience to Christ and His will for our lives, has brought us to the place we are today, it has been a long hard road, trials have come and continue to come, and we have had to make some hard and sometimes seemingly unwise choices according to the ways of this world,  but oh the joy we have in knowing that if God is for us who can be against us.

So we ask this Christmas week that you consider the cost, are you willing to pay the price to be a true follower of Christ, to obediently walk in His ways, regardless of what it may cost you, yet knowing that nothing other than truly knowing the one who came to save us – Jesus – can compare.

Emmanuel – God is with us! How we wait till the son of God once again shall appear...

If you have considered making a donation towards our trip, we are close but still needing to fulfill a portion of our anticipated support and ministry costs, and if you would like to make it as a tax dedcutible donation before year end, it can be made online at  before 31 December, thank you so much...

 Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 11, 2011

According to His riches and glory

We haven't even left and we are just so in awe of the Lords provision. It so grieves my heart when people who never truly have taken the time to get to know our God and have never truly experienced His grace and His goodness, spend their life trying to disprove something that can only be proven by truly taking time to learn it experientially.

When you see the hand of the Lord move and watch something like our upcoming trip come together and watch every little detail and every little need, even down to specific books or little glow sticks be provided for, or something that truly is a want just to bless a family just because it would truly just show them God's abundant pleasure He takes in giving them good things, you can only marvel at how sweet it is just to take Him at His word and just to rest upon His promises.

No amount of thanks can ever justify how grateful David and I are to all who are making this trip possible, so many have and continue to give, there are still needs to be met, finances to come in, but if God is for us who can be against us! Our God shall supply all our needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus!

Friday, December 9, 2011

6 Weeks!

The bricks have fallen down, But we will rebuild with smooth stones; The sycamores have been cut down, But we will replace them with cedars Isaiah 9:10

As our time draws near to leave, we are once again encouraged by the Lord in knowing we are not on this journey alone, in knowing that it is not just our journey with the Lord, but like Moses in battle in Exodus 17, we have a great multitude of witness and encouragers to lift up our hands when we grow weary.  The battle is not ours but the Lords!  Those of you who have come alongside us and supported us in every aspect of being able to go, we humbly thank you for your sacrificial giving of your time, prayer and resources.

Six weeks today we will be on African soil! it is quite surreal to imagine it, and some days we just wake up thinking, what are we doing!! is this really happening, then the Lord gently leads us to verses like:

Isaiah 9:2b-4 Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.

...and we are once again encouraged knowing we are not on this journey alone, but that the Lord will uphold us with His righteous right hand, as we go onward into battle.

The end of the year is coming up and Christmas is almost upon us, and we know many needs abound this time of year, we have been so blessed with much to go on this journey, but we still need to fulfill the rest of our support need to cover the rest of our expenses while away. If you have prayerfully considered a financial gift towards our trip, we would greatly appreciate anything you are able to give. All donations are tax deductible for 2011 if given before the end of December.

We also would like to thank all of those who have given so generously towards a lot of the supplies we have needed for our trip, our basement looks like an explosion of loveliness!! It is so exciting packing and anticipating the sweet people we will be spending time with and being able to bless them with all your generosity!

We love you all, and ask for your continuing prayer for our family as we go out, that the Lord will fulfill the rest of our financial need as He sees fit, that we will have all our preparations done in a timely manner, that our family will be shown favor and travelling mercies as we go about our journey for the months we are gone. And for our time with Autumn next week, as we have an early Christmas with her, that the Lord will give her a supernatural peace and understanding about what we are doing, and that our time with her will be peaceful and fruitful in the Lords realm.

Much love in the Lord

David, Jackie, Daniel, Timothy and Abigail

P.S. we have also posted an updated list on our blog of the few items we still need, if you are able to help with any of them (it the previous post to this


What a huge blessing to be able to take things off this list! we thank you all so much for helping us gather all our needed supplies, we are still in need of a few more small things, and we are still trying to cover a portion of a ministry project and the rest of our personal support needed, which is cruical at this point to allow us to fulfill what we feel the Lord is calling us to do, ALMOST there!! so exciting, we are eternally thankful to everyones obedience in coming alongside the Lords work and allowing us to go, and share your gifts and talents with the wonderful people we are going to serve...

Supplies still needed:

*$150 x 3 donations to be able to fulfill a ministry project

* Balloons and punch balls and a plastic pump

* K and bigger size crochet hooks

* 2 x 10 inch Battery operated with AC adapter fans (this can be ordered online and shipped free to Walmart, if they don't have it in stock in store)

*Any books, cds, dvds you no longer want - we are looking for some specific things and can use your old books to trade in at McKays to look for what we need

*Any financial support you are able to give towards the rest of our monthly support
We still need to cover two weeks living expenses, our Medical Evacuation Insurance, half the cost of the kids typhoid shots, and our visa costs, if you would even consider giving a monthly amount starting this month, this would help us considerably

Many thanks
David and Jackie

Friday, November 18, 2011

Items needed

This is a list of needed items for our trip, leaving 19 January, it includes items needed for people we will be ministering to in Zimbabwe, if you are able to help with a couple items it will greatly help us cut down on costs before we go:

*Preschool/Kindergarten educational (and fun) games/toys manipulatives
*Elementary age educational games, school supplements like games, cards, math manipulatives
*Any books, cds, dvds you no longer want - we are looking for some specific things and can use your old books to trade in at McKays to look for what we need
* Nail polish - assorted colors
* Glow sticks
* Balloons
* Baby formula and any new or gently used baby and toddler blankets and large beach towels, cloth diapers
* 3T-4T girls clothing (summer and winter)
* Womens size 18-20 clothing
* Mens Medium shirts/shorts/pants
* Mens button down dress shirts and ties, any size
* New resusable shopping bags (Publix/Target etc any of the $1 kind)
* Any crafting beads/threads, charms, jewelery making type stuff, including tools
* Any used costume jewelery in good condition
* Parachord (parachute rope) we need 800ft of this, plus 100 x 5/8inch contoured side release buckles, preferably diff colors (for boys) 100ft increments (about $80 in cost if ordered online at )
* Battery operated fans (larger than hand held, but not as big as large box)
* Batteries AAA, AA, C-cell, D-cell
* Large beach towels
* Nyquill
* Starbucks (or other reg and decaf brand 12-16 oz bags) coffee
* $150 x 7 increments (donations for a ministry project)

We would like to have everything in hand before Christmas, so we can see what we still need.
Many thanks for all who have helped with supplies and our trips in the past, we are always grateful our community and how you guys always come alongside us and help.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to help cover the remainder of our support costs please go online to:

If you would like to make a cash donation to help cover the costs of the above supplies, please make a check payable to David and Jackie Gray and mail it to 1715 Mountain Bay Drive, Hixson, TN 37343

Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank you so much for the overwhelming response to the Lords call! He truly does provide for His  work, as long as we are obedient to His Calling.  Jackie and I are excited to see what the Lord has in store for Zimbabwe and South Africa, and we are looking forward to encouraging His people by coming alongside them to build them up, be the hands and feet of Jesus and by giving some of them a short break from ministry….below are the details of our trip, including prayer and financial needs….much love in the Lord, David, Jackie, Daniel, Timothy and Abby

Trip details:
We leave early morning 19 January 2012 flying into Harare on the evening of the 20th

We will be spending 6 weeks in Zimbabwe, and splittin our time between Harare, Chinoyi and Kadoma, our plans and times are slowly coming together, which is exciting to see...

South Africa:
2 March: We will fly out of Harare, Zimbabwe and down to Cape Town, South Africa, then in Cape Town South Africa through May 4, David will be returning early April to start the boating season here in TN.  Pray for our time in South Africa, as we work it out and seek the Lords will for us there.

Jackie is also praying about offering a short bible study for 4 weeks, which she would like to open up to many of her friends she still has there.
Prayer Requests:
To remain flexible with our itinerary as the Lord leads or as physical circumstances dictate.
  1. Transportation while in Zimbabwe, and for all  of our host family’s vehicle issues to be resolved long term.
  2. Firm plans for our schedule in Zimbabwe
  3. Our children to adapt quickly to the Zimbabwean culture and food, and for them to be a blessing to those they meet there and for the Lord to continue to reveal himself to them on a daily basis.
  4. That we will be a help and not a hindrance where the Lord leads us.
  5. For health for the whole trip, especially in Zimbabwe, and for the kids not to react to malaria meds.
  6. For the Lord to reveal His purpose to us with regards to Living Hope
  7. For unsaved friends to see the Lord through us
  8. Rest of our finances needed.
  9. For the Lord to multiply our time and resources there and for wise packing!
  10. For us to be sensitive to the Lords leading and not be overwhelmed with the needs we see.
  11. For our house situation in the US, for the Lord to make it clear and to provide for our needed bills while gone.
  12. Unity for Jackie and myself
  13. Abby is having her tonsils and adenoids removed the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, pray for the surgeon and quick uncomplicated healing.
  14. For Abby to be able to see a real live giraffe (seriously she is very set on this).
Financial Needs:

We are so grateful to the seemingly endless number of people who have contributed financially to get us this far, thank you also to those who have committed on a monthly basis, we still have a ways to go and would ask you to prayerfully consider giving in one of the following areas:

      We  still to cover 6 weeks of living expenses, ministry costs, insurance and a little more for medical and visa costs on this end
   100% of (non taxable) cash or check donations made directly to us will be put towards ministry costs.
               All donations made out to Shepherds Staff are tax deductible
If you are considering giving financially, all tax deductible donations received online or by mail by Shepherds Staff, before 31 December will be able to be written off for your 2011 return.  Shepherds Staff will receipt you for all monthly and one time donations. You will also be able to give any time online, while we are gone.

 If you give a cash or check donation directly to us please make the check out to:
David and Jackie Gray and mail it to:
1715 Mountain Bay Drive, Hixson TN 37343
and we will send you a thank you!

All online donations can be made at: or made out and mailed to:
Shepherds Staff Mission Facilitators,  P.O. Box 53640 Albuquerque, NM 87153-3640,
Be sure to put David and Jackie Gray #6003 in the memo line

HEBREWS 13:20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Cycle of Life

This is such a beautiful time here in Tennessee and many parts of the US, as the leaves are changing and making everything so beautiful, even though in reality they are dying so we may see the beauty not only in their death but again in the Spring in their resurrection as they bud and bloom into the beautiful creations they were created to be.

And so the cycle of life goes in nature, as Christians we have too have to die to self, to put aside the old man, through the symbolic washing of our sins through baptism, and allow the  new man to be born, with a new heart and a mind that will no longer conform to the ways of this world, but that will be transformed by the renewing of his mind in Christ Jesus, as we constantly wash our new man with the Word of God.

There has been much ‘dying’ in the Gray household of late, as the Lord prepares David and I as husband and wife to take our marriage to a new level in learning to work together in an arena we haven't before, as we head off into new unchartered territory for our family, much refinement is taking place, and refinement is never an easy or pleasant process, it takes time and a lot of pain, but as we are being refined we are seeing more and more of the new creatures we are being transformed into, as we die to our selfish natures and learn to lean on the Lord in all areas of our lives, He reveals more truth and more of the plan He has for us.

Our children too are part of this process, in our time studying the word at home, we have been learning about Pauls missionary journeys and what was required of him in a physical sense in going on these journeys.  It so brings joy to my heart for our children to see not only the fruit of Pauls labors, but also the sacrifice of his labors, and for them to realize that much might be required of them too, leaving the comfort of their home and friends, stepping outside of their comfort zone in a physical and for one of children in particular a geographical sense, and entering a whole new culture, that prayerfully they will embrace as David and I have and especially not having all the different cereals or snacks to choose from every day! – this a big step for our little brood.

 A lot of focus is on David and I and what we are going to do, but for us as parents, we are seeking to prepare them as much as ourselves, because they too are missionaries on this journey, as believers they too are called to share the Good News and to 'Go' and encourage others.  So it has been a sweet testimony this week to watch Timothy (we call him our little evangelist) in particular, step out and share his favorite verse with us that he wants to share with some of the kids at the orphanage.  Timothy’s verse came about this year, with the death of his baseball coach, and writing his son a note and encouraging him with that verse at the funeral over the summer, then again this past week, when a fellow homeschool mom was suddenly taken home to be with the Lord last week, he remembered that verse and what a comfort that scripture could be for her Husband and 5 children, so for him to experientially see it come alive in his own little life, as he and Daniel and Abigail, work through the issues the Lord allows to pass through His hands hands into their young lives, to help them know Him better, and to better prepare them for what their future holds, our God is a living, breathing God, who so loves us He sent His son to die for us, I could never imagine giving up one of my children that way, but what a God we have who loves us so intimately that He numbers the hairs on each of our heads, how much more than David and I does He love and care for our children, and will prepare and carry their hearts through this season in our lives.

Sunday (during our team training!) we had been discussing as a family what skits or scripture we would like to share over there and we encouraged to kids to pray about what God would have them do, then today as we were discussing a passage of scripture we had memorized last year, Timothy remembered how we had put it to actions (thanks Stephanie B) and how he thought that would be cool to do over there. What a blessing to see fruit in their young lives!! Lord may we be so filled up with you, we will just overflow with your love for the people of Zimbabwe and South Africa....

We are so privileged to be going on this journey and so thankful to those of you who have been supporting us prayerfully and financially, to allow it to happen.

Please continue to lift our family up in prayer, and for the remainder of our support to come in.  We have been blessed to be able to pay for our air tickets and to be able to cover the first months expenses over in Zim.

We will be leaving on 19 January, and still need to cover another month and a half of expenses and then ministry costs, for projects we are hoping to do in Zim.  Also if you could too be praying for our house, the renter didn’t work out and we are still hoping to sell before we leave, this would relieve a huge financial burden while we are gone.

If you have been wanting to make a donation and have not yet, or are able to make another one, all tax dedicutible donations can be made online at:

If you would like to make a cash donation to help cover ministry costs in Zimbabwe you can mail us a check or cash donation to David or Jackie Gray at 1715 Mountain Bay Drive, Hixson, TN 37343

If you had considered being a monthly supporter please go to and you could prayerfull consider starting that from November 1, for the next few months, to help us reach our support goal.

Many thanks for your support and love
David, Jackie, Timothy, Daniel and Abigail

Thursday, September 22, 2011

FUNDRAISING DINNER Tickets: There is still time to reserve your tickets for our Dinner Fundraiser at Blue Orleans Seafood Restaurant Downtown on October 2nd (5.30pm-7.30pm) Onsite Childcare is available for $5 per child (max $10) Tickets for the Dinner are $20 ($25 includes a $10 Blue Orleans Gift Card). If you come to Calvary Chapel Chattanooga we will be selling tickets before and after all 3 services this weekend. AUCTION: Gray Family Auction: Online Silent Auction (click on link to view auction)  is available for viewing online-many more items still to come, you do not have to attend the Dinner to bid, but bidding will be open till 7pm at the dinner...come join us for a wonderful evening, and be a part of what the Lord is calling our family to be a part of in Southern Africa.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bear much fruit...

How we are but dust, but in and through Him, that dust can be turned into something eternal, something of infinite value, that no amount of money can buy, or sustain eternally.

We live in a society that screams materialism, that revolves around how much you have or don't have.  One of the elements of going on the mission field, is money, the need thereof, and oh how we need it, we cannot go without it, but lately through trying to raise support and trying to 'get what we need' I am slowly realising that God knows that need, that no matter how much we market, or campaign, or send letters or emails or have fundraisers, God knows that need and will supply it.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"  Phillipians 4:13.  The Lord does not need our works, yes we are called to be obedient to His call and to do what He asks of us, but does He really need us to do anything? He is God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the very breath that we breath, the one who hung the stars in place and knows them all by name - by name!! I can barely remember my kids names day to day in the busyness of life.  How so much higher and wiser are His ways than ours!

In the stilllness here of the night I realise that all He really wants is a relationship with me, for me to talk with Him and walk with Him, and how in doing that I start to see the plan He has for my life, and then in turn how when I am obedient to the things He asks of me, I in turn find myself in deeper realtionship with Him whick in turn leads me to start getting relational with others, yes He could just drop us a check into our bank account for what we need to go on our trip, but oh how sweet are the relationships we are developing along the way, how refining is the process for us to become more and more like Him.

In the effort to raise support, how sweet are the friendships that are deepening through this process, and some more than others, some are being refined or even blown away like chaff, but how sweet is the fruit in the lives of those around us as others see and watch us Walk and Talk with our Lord, may we all be a blessing to each other, and truly use what He has gifted us with - whether it be finances, time, prayer, encouragement, acts of service...22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22 and 23 

 In our current walk and talk with the Lord we are seeking to raise our airfare to go to Zim and South Africa, there are a few fun ways to get involved by either coming to our Yard Sale this Friday 2-5pm and Saturday 8-2pm, or by joining us for a sweet evening of Fellowship at Blue Orleans in downtown Chattanooga on October 2nd from 5.30-7.30pm (tickets available through Thursday 22 Sep)  or lastly by bidding on our Online Auction, see tab at top right of Blog page...

May the Lord bless and keep you and make His face to shine upon you, may He be gracious to you and
give you His peace....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Ephesians 1:15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spiritf of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

This past Sunday Evening we had to great privilege of being part of something BIG.  You know when you see the Mighty Hand of God at work in others and you are there in the midst, by none of your own doing, but just privileged to see how great the Lord is, and how when a few individuals are faithful in prayer and obedient to the calling the Lord has for them, you truly see what can be accomplished for His purposes.

Homes of Love celebrated its 10 year anniversary this past Sunday, and when 79 orphaned children are living in a loving home, being taught the word of God, attending school and learning what it truly means to be  “ predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will”  Ephesians 1:5, it is a beautiful thing and I know it makes the Lord smile and say "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'. Matthew 25:23

Our friends Shadrech and Millie in Zimbabwe, and their now 5 children, have been ‘grafted’ into this marvelous work of the Lord and we are truly thankful that the Lord has us in their lives for such a time as this, they are one of the reasons we are wanting to go to Zimbabwe, to be a part of this marvelous work of the Lord.  After Sunday night David and I truly looked at each other on the way home, having a WOW moment, having had the Lord confirm in both our hearts that sweet night, the deep longing of our hearts, to say with all certainty that we are truly sons and daughters of God, and the people of the beautiful land of Zimbabwe truly are our brothers and sisters. And we thank God that He has called us for such a time as this to be a part of the great and marvelous work He is doing in that land, to be able to humbly serve those who are accomplishing great and mighty things for our great and marvelous God.

“and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that w may also be glorified with Him:  Romans 8:17

So as we continue to have this calling confimed in our lives, we ask that you petition the Lord with us for the saints in that land, as they seek to do spirtitual battle and go against cultural norms, that the Lord would strengthen and heal them both  physically and spiritually, that He would provide much needed resources to help them to continue in their calling, and that as the team from our home church Calvary Chapel goes out in a just over a week, that they would be an encouragement and help to those there.

We would also ask for you to prayerfully consider making a financial donation to help us cover the costs of our trip and ministry costs when we go.  Our target date for leaving is January 15, 2011, which has shifted some to help better serve those we are going to serve.  We still have a mountain to conquer financially, and are trusting the Lord to accomplish this.

If you would like to make a financial contribution towards our trip please click on  and click on the DONATE NOW button, all donations are tax deductible and will go towards our airfare and living expenses on our trip.  If you would like to give more than you are currently able, you can also get set up as a Monthly Supporter and give a smaller amount over the course of a few months (i.e. if you would like to give $100, but cannot afford it in one lump sum, you can set yourself up as a monthly support and give $20 per month over a 5 month period),  you can cancel your monthly support once you have reached what you would like to give.

BLUE ORLEANS DINNER: Lastly please note that our Blue Orleans fundraiser dinner is now on Sunday October 2nd, space is filling up fast, so be sure to reserve your spot now, payment is not due till the middle of September (please see previous post for full details)
 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen  Ephesians 4:19-20

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Save the date: Sunday October 2, 2011 (date has changed!)

Blue Orleans 2 October 2011, 5.30pm-7.30pm
Please note the date change, if you have already reserved a spot, please let us know if you are still able to make the new date)

We will be hosting an exclusive and fabulous dinner at Blue Orleans Restaurant, in downtown Chattanooga at Market and Main Street, to help raise support for our upcoming missions trip to Zimbabwe and South Africa in December 2011.

Reserve your seats now, tickets are limited and will be a minimum dontation of $20 per person (adults and children) in the restaurant and $5 per child in the childcare area (12 and under maximum charge of $10 for families of 3 or more children needing childcare).

We will be having a fun night of Great Food, Fellowship, Silent and Live Auctions and Sharing our heart on what we feel the Lord is leading us to over there in the short term for our December-February trip and long term over the next few years. 

Please email or call Jackie 423-304 1508 to reserve your spots now.  Childcare will be limited to the first 50 children and the restaurant to the first 130 to make reservations.  If you would like to purchase extra tickets please also let us know.  Payment will only be due in September, but we need to know how many to cater for in advance, so reserve now!

AUCTION:  If you would like to donate any items to our silent auction please let me know, Professional Services, handmade goodies, perishable and non, gift cards, paintings any items really!  All proceeds will go towards our airfare and towards projects we would like to be do with the ministries we will be working with.  We are also looking for 2-3 larger items for our Live Auction.

*If you would like to help serve or have teenagers that would like to help serve in the restaurant and with the childcare, please also let us know.

If you are not able to come that night, but would still like to be involved, we are still trying to raise monthly support for our expenses in Africa, for the months we will be gone, all online donations are tax deductible and can be made either monthly or as a one time gift at:    Acct no: 6003 (David and Jackie Gray)

Much love in the Lord
David and Jackie

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Overcoming Goliath...

Dear Lord,
We're here to love You, to obey you, to glorify You. O my Beloved may I be a joy to You!
Today thankfulness comes from having the privilege of being able to pour into my sweet family, as much as laundry, and dishes and cleaning and schooling can get tiresome, I am amazed at how each morning the Lord renews us and gives us grace for another day - how privileged we are to be entrusted with the life of another - at times I am overwhelmed with the joy that my children bring me, but other times I am overwhelmed with how much heartache we can cause each other as human beings.  On my first trip to  Zimbabwe I was in awe when we got to see giraffes - I had never before seen a real live one that close, they are so beautiful and statuesque, I almost expected Noah to be standing around the corner next to the ark! But how much more beautiful and worthy of our admiration is the One who created our children and all living things. Gods promises are always true, He never has and never will fail us or cause us heartache or dissapointment, when man seems to fail you, look to the One who will never fail you, who will never dissapoint you or let you down!

Aren't you grateful for the delight and privilege of praising our wonderful God, the most beautiful and generous and trustworthy of all beings!
Today I choose to trust the Lord, to remember His promises and to listen and be reminded of the Goliath's He has overcome in mine and my families life, today I lift up friends who also face their own Goliath's who maybe need to be reminded that the Lord is faithful and trustworthy and His promises are always true.
As we continue on our journey to sell our home and trust the Lord to provide financially for a big journey with our young children, in just over 4 months, may I ask you to partner with us in prayer and petition the Lord with us to give us the patience needed in the process, to trust His timing and provision and to be sensitive to what He (not what we feel) He is calling us to. 
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:5

Sunday, July 17, 2011

For Sale

Acts 17:26...and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation

As our boundaries begin to shift and we feel the Lord tugging on our heart to continue forward with our journey to Africa, we find it is time to set up for ourselves guideposts, so we may return to the cities we feel the Lord leading us back to:  our FOR SALE sign in our yard being the first one!

Please would you prayerfully partner with us as we seek a buyer or possibly renter for our home, which will allow us to downsize considerably to enable us to go to Africa for 3 months this coming December, not only will it help us financially but we also feel long term it is part of the Lords plan for us to be over there longer term.!/pages/Grays-Home-for-Sale/236255709728615?sk=info to see all the info, please feel free to share this with anybody whom you think may be interested.  The Lord has very graciously allowed us to sell two homes on our own in Florida, so in light of wanting to be good stewards with what He has gifted to us, with our real estate over the years, we are pursuing this route for now.

If you would like further information on our trip, our would like to contribute financially please click on the link on the RHS of this blog which will link you directly to our Shepherds Staff account.

Please also follow our blog so you can stay updated on our upcoming fundraising yard sale and dinner....

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Heart of the Mission

 Ephesians 3:    14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Continue you on our journey with us to Southern Africa, as we share our vision and some of the people and places we will be going to...please click on the link below, as we share our hearts with you!/profile.php?id=725724179
(and click on the Missions promo Dec 2011 video link in our profile feed)

Monday, May 16, 2011


Once the African bug bites, it seeps into your skin, slowly releasing its beautiful poison that intoxicates your heart, tightening its beautiful grip on your life, never to leave you...such is the journey we continue to be  on with the Lord

Yes we are finally getting ready!  We have had quite the year and quite the journey to get to this day, the Lord has been so gracious and tender with us these past few months as we have been seeking His will and waiting on His timing.

So here we finally are with the next step in our journey to Southern Africa.  All along we have felt led to move to Africa full time, but never really felt the Lord showing us His timing, so we have waited and prayed and been on many journeys with the Lord the past few months, and feel He is leading us to go on a 'medium term' mission trip as a family this coming winter.

For now we ask that you be praying for us, and how the Lord would provide for us on this 2-3 month journey, and if you feel led in any way to support us or have any creative ideas on how to go about raising support for this first trip, we would be eternally grateful.

Also if you would like to continue to receive updates from us, just keep reading and praying for us as we send blogposts.  If you would not like to be subscribed to our updates, please feel free to unsubscribe towards the bottom right hand side of our blog, and also please feel free to share this with anyone you think may be interested.

Looking forward to meeting back with you here real soon...

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10