Dear Praying Friends, March – April 2017
These first few months of full time deputation have been busy, exciting, and crazy all at the same time. We have presented our ministry in 32 churches thus far, and our pledged support level is at approximately 22%. Praise the Lord! We are very thankful for each church and individual who has partnered with us in prayer and financial support. Since starting deputation, “every need has been supplied and every moment satisfied”. Time and space would not permit me to list every church and individual who have helped us in so many ways, so let me just say “THANK-YOU”.
Home Mission Update:
- As we have been researching the city of Sioux Falls, SD, we have come across specific statistics that I would like to share with you:
- Sioux Falls is a city of 176,000 residents. They are on track to increase their population by 75,000 within the next 24 years.
- There is an African immigrant population of at least 8,000. That is 4.54% of the current population.
- There are 137 languages represented in Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls is considered by the US government to be a “dump zone” for immigrants.
- The Sioux Falls school district is currently dealing with 64 different languages.
These statistics highlight the fact that God is bringing the foreign mission field to our backyard. God has Providentially placed our family exactly where we need to be at this time in our lives. We are excited about planting an international Baptist church in downtown Sioux Falls by the Spring of 2018.
The Lord has also opened the door for our family to travel to St. Paul, MN for an evangelistic crusade under the gospel tent during the first full week of August. We will be assisting a local church as they reach out into the African immigrant community there with the gospel of the grace of God! Would you help us pray NOW that God would prepare hearts for the preaching of His Word in this community known as “Little Africa”? We are also praying that the Lord would provide us with a good pickup truck to pull our tent trailer to St. Paul.
Foreign Mission Update:
The Lord gave us an unexpected tax return this year, and we were able to purchase flights for Angie and myself to travel to Ghana and Burkina Faso from June 28th – July 14th. Our goals for this first trip to West Africa are as follows:
- Preaching in many locations throughout Ghana and into Burkina Faso. We want to see a harvest of West African souls in Heaven.
- Partnering with missionaries and national pastors to learn how we can assist them in preaching Christ, planting churches, and providing curriculum for Bible Institutes throughout West Africa. We desire “fruit that remains” for the glory of God.
- Preparing to promote West African Missions through our ministry “The Hope of Africa Baptist Mission”. We believe that the Lord has a “larger narrative” for us than what we could fulfill as a single family. We will detail that narrative in future letters.
We appreciate your continued fervent prayers for the physical health of our family. Last week, Micaiah narrowly avoided a shunt revision. His shunt is working intermittently and he has developed “slit ventricle syndrome”. His neurosurgeons do not want to perform a shunt revision unless there is a complete shunt failure because of the risk of complications. Past experiences dictate our agreement with their decision. God has given us so many miracles with Micaiah in answer to the prayers of God’s people on his behalf over the years. Please continue praying for him.
The James Ruckman Family