Tuesday, October 31, 2006

News From the Dudecks

Greetings to all our friends.

I want to relate a couple of things that happened last month that show just how close God is to our everyday lives. You'll need to read these few paragraphs carefully to get the full message.
As you know, my work in SIM is in information technology. A few weeks ago I was working on a computer that needed to have a CD-RW drive installed. For some reason that computer refused to recognize the drive. I tried everything that I could think of. I searched the knowledge bases and the internet for hints, and still it did not work. The next day, a Friday, I continued to try to get it to work. Finally about 4 pm I stopped and prayed to the Lord. I said, I know this is not a crisis, but we are supposed to ask for wisdom when we need it, whether it is a crisis or not. I finished praying, and worked on the computer some more. Within two minutes, I had it working! The Lord gave me the thought of searching the Microsoft knowledge base in a way that I had not tried, and the exact answer that I needed came up. It was something totally obscure that I could never have figured out on my own. The Lord showed me that He is right here.

The next Monday morning after that, I decided to ride my bicycle to work.
The weather forecast showed that it might be the last day this fall that it would be nice enough to ride the ten miles each way. We live on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina, and the roads between our home and the office are rather narrow in places. I take a route that has the least traffic. That morning I was praying all the way, Lord, just let the drivers see me. As I was riding along at a place where there was not a lot of traffic, a car drifted to the right and clipped me with its mirror. The driver did not even stop, probably didn't even know she had hit me. It just tipped me over, and I was not really hurt. I got up and was able to continue on my way. The bike was undamaged. I had bruises on my wrist and thigh, and scraped knuckles. Another driver stopped to help, but there wasn't anything he needed to do.

I was thinking about why the Lord allowed me to be hit by an unattentive driver, just as I was praying that they would see me and give me space to ride. The fact that I was not injured, even though if the car had been six inches more to the right I might be dead now, was because the Lord had his hand on the car all the time. He was right there, and moved that car just where He wanted it to go. I don't know if He has anything else He is doing through that accident, but at the very least He a second time confirmed to me his intimate involvement in our lives.

The lesson of these two incidents is something that I really needed to have confirmed to me. There are two areas of ministry that I am involved in, beyond the SIM office, where I have been wondering what the Lord is trying to do, because He has not answered our prayers in the way that we need or want, and it is tempting to think that He is withdrawing himself from us.
The first of these is with regards to the strategic direction of my ministry. As you know, we started our ministry in the French-speaking world, and I have felt the stirring of the Lord for some time for the possibility of a new overseas assignment that would take us to French-speaking Europe. We have looked into opportunities in Switzerland that seemed like something we would like to do, but there are various obstacles that so far have prevented us from proceeding. I was beginning to wonder if we had misinterpreted the Lord's stirring in our hearts. It is nothing that the Lord couldn't change in a heartbeat, but He hasn't done so. It is clear to me that He is doing something, but it is not yet time for us to move forward.

The second area of ministry is called La Clef. It is a ministry that uses music to reach to the heart of the French people, by means of pre- evangelistic concerts as well as other efforts. In 2004 we took a team to the south of France where we worked with a new church plant, and had an effective ministry. But we ended up with a large amount of expenses that still have not been paid. We had prayed and consulted with those who were involved as to whether we should go ahead with the trip, and the answer was, yes, the Lord will provide. But now, over two years later, He still has not provided. It is tempting to think that we misunderstood His leading. But I am absolutely certain that He was and is with us, and He knows & is concerned about this need.

We currently are starting to plan and prepare for another tour in 2007. We are making plans to bring the director of SIM for France, Alain Soudrain, here to North America to help us raise awareness and raise funds for the expenses of both the 2004 and 2007 trips. Tentatively this will happen the first and second weeks of January.

It is clear to us that we need to assemble a team of prayer supporters and financial supporters on whom the Lord is putting a burden of interest for the French-speaking world. There is much more to the story of the La Clef ministry than I have mentioned here. It involves young French-speaking Canadians, who make up most of the musicians of the team.
If you would like more information please get in touch with me. You can also go to http://www.laclef.org.

Family news and prayer requests.
Pam finished her course of study in paralegal technology last spring, and has been trying to get her first job in a law office, but so far has been frustrated. Please pray with us that she will find the right job.
Jennifer is in 11th grade and doing well in school. She is active in the Committed Young Christians club on campus (yes, they have Christian clubs in North Carolina high schools!), and is standing firm for the Lord. She is showing interest in engineering, as well as art.
We are planning to go to Southern California for Christmas, Dec 21-26. We will mostly be with Pam's family during that time.
I am planning to visit churches and friends in Southern California in February-March 2007.
As always, we would love to hear from each of you.
P.S. If you would like us to send this to a different E-Mail address, or if you wish to be removed from the list, please let me know.
In Our Lord,
John, Pam & Jennifer Dudeck
jdudeck@zenia.simcsg.sim.org Charlotte, North Carolina


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