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Focus Guayaquil

We asked you to pray with us as our staff team and students prayed together and sought the Lord's guidance as we choose a new world parnership focus.  We had an amazing time a few Sundays ago as we gathered to hear a challenge about reaching the world for Christ.  We then prayed together and voted.  Our plan was to have two rounds of voting- first to narrow the four choices to two choices and then again to choose from those remaining choices.  Both staff and students were praying that the Lord would make it overwhelmingly clear.  And clear it was!  We decided at the first round of voting that it was unnecessary to vote again. 

Our staff and students, through the Lord's leading, settled on Guayaquil, Ecuador.  We'll be moving ahead quickly in the process of getting to know the lay of the land there.  We're doing that already by doing as much research as we can.  (You can check out some of what we're learning here: And we'll be getting to know the city and the students there on the ground starting in the spring!  We're planning to send both staff and students for vision trips next semester.  We're very excited to see how the Lord would use Chicago students to reach the students of Ecuador. 

It's become somewhat of a tradition that we have our Chicago Metro Fall Retreat the last weekend in October.  We're looking forward to this weekend when we'll gather with 200+ students from both the Chicago-land area and Northern Illinois University.  Pastor Kevin Butcher (from Amy's church in Detroit) will again be speaking to students.  This year he'll address the topics of shame and grieving losses.  Please pray for both our students and staff as we engage with some pretty heavy topics.

A specific prayer request is that Andy would remain healthy and full of energy throughout the retreat.  Recently he's been very sick for big events that he's planned.  We also ask for the Lord's protection... you may remember a few years ago our car our teammates house were broken in to just days before the retreat.  Andy has also experienced some anxiety/depression surrounding the retreat in the past.  All that to say, in the past things have happened surrounding this time of year that could lead one to believe we're experiencing spiritual attack.  We trusting the Lord is going to do some incredible work in the lives of students this weekend.  Please pray with us!

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