Cairo 2014

Cairo 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fall 2014

I recently returned from a trip to Africa. In Nairobi, Kenya I was blessed to be able to speak at the annual Spiritual Emphasis Week at Rosslyn Academy. Rosslyn consists of missionary kids (MKs) and third culture kids (TCKs). The students represent a wide variety of nationalities, languages and cultures. They are the future leaders of their countries, and private businesses. The services were concluded with a senior high retreat. On Friday night, God moved in a tremendous way around the altars. It was obvious that God was speaking directly to many of the students!

From Nairobi I went to Cairo, where we have a large number of kids, whose parents are serving with Live/Dead. The families are learning the language and culture, while planting churches. I happened to arrive on October 6th, which is an Egyptian national holiday. The evening I arrived, from the team apartment, I was able to see a Muslim Brotherhood demonstration in the streets. We were close enough that our eyes were burning when the police fired the tear gas. What is amazing to me is that we have families willing to lay it all down for the sake of the call of God. Children attend make-shift schools while parents engage in language studies. They all are adapting to a new lifestyle; which is not always an easy choice, and sometimes, a dangerous one.

We are blessed to be able to come alongside these families to provide support! The MKs are always such a blessing to invest in! We know that as we invest in these kids, we are helping mom and dad fulfill the calling that God has placed on their lives, as we help to provide the educational, spiritual and emotional support. As the MK specialists, we ask that you pray for our families in harms way! We have families all over this world that are living in dangerous and challenging situations. They are following the leading of the Holy Spirit. We need to be bombarding the gates of heaven for their protection and provision!

Next week we are headed to Thanksgiving Retreat in Winter Park, Colorado. We are expecting 199 people to join us! Most MKs remain stateside for college, while the parents return to serve overseas. It is a huge sacrifice and challenge for the parents. This retreat offers support to the MKs, living in a new country, with a new culture, without the benefit of being able to go home for holidays. Many MKs come to the retreat desperate for a time with God, and with people who understand one another. Pray that God would direct the ministry at Thanksgiving Retreat!

As you pray for the retreat, pray for the following things:
-       Divine encounter with God
-       God’s protection (200 people traveling to Denver, skiing, tubing)
-       Relationship (MKs love relationships with other MKs)
-       Logistics (details, details, details)
-       Parents, who are missing spending time with their kids
-       Wisdom, as we share God’s love with this awesome group of young adults

Financially, Dargan and I find ourselves in the need of monthly support. We have not had a full itineration since 1999. We looked at our budget, yesterday. Our last budget was created for us in 1998. We are far behind where we need to be! We are currently about $2,750/month behind. That is a huge sum! Itineration is not possible with our current travel and ministry schedule. We would have to stop the support we currently provide, in order to travel and raise funds necessary, Would you help us in the following area?
-       Pray that God would raise up supporters
-       If you are able to support us, you can fill out a commitment form at Just search for Phillips, and follow the steps.
-       Perhaps you know of pastors, adult MKs, or friends that believe in the missionary family! We believe that by supporting us, and the MK program, you are investing in an entire organization of missionaries! I recently shared the need with an adult MK. He immediately said “Put us down for $100/month!” I was totally blessed!

-       Commit to pray with us for the MKs!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

January 2014

We just finished an MK retreat in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was an amazing retreat! We had approximately 100 MKs at the retreat, while their parents were in their own meetings. The focus of this retreat was the Holy Spirit. Our goal was for MKs to see how the Holy Spirit could use them to have an impact on the continent of Africa. It is always amazing to see how God moves at these retreats. When you consider that 80% of MKs do not have a youth pastor or children’s pastor, you begin to realize the value of having a retreat every couple of years. They are so critical to the overall spiritual health of the MK community.

In a couple days, we will be in Thailand, leading a retreat for all our families living in Northern Asia. We covet your prayers as we invest in these families. One of the main reasons families leave missions is because of challenges raising kids overseas. We delight in helping missionaries overcome these challenges! As you can imagine, the challenges of growing up in Northern Asia are huge.

Dargan and I have been leading the MK program for ten years. It has been an amazing journey!  Our biggest challenge right now is maintaining our missions budget. We are still supported through our missions account in AGWM. We rely on support of our friends, family, and churches. Thanks for your continued support! If you believe in missionary families, and would like to support us – as we support the missions body, you can do so at

In our Christmas card, we sent out our travel schedule for 2014. As we are at the retreats, would you remember to pray for our missionaries and their families represented at those retreat? This is what is currently on the calendar for 2014:

Unreached People Groups MK retreat in Nairobi, Kenya
All-Africa MK Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa
Northern Asia MK Retreat, Cha Am, Thailand

AG College visits, meeting with MKs in our AG universities

Candidate Orientation, interviewing new missionary families
Brussels, Belgium, Christian Center

All-Latin America and the Caribbean MK Retreat, San Jose Costa Rica
Missionary Kids Caregiver Conference, 35 missions agencies MK ministers. Chad is the keynote speaker on the topic of MK discipleship.

MK retreat for families in Russia and Eastern block countries, Athens, Greece
Missionary Training in Springfield, MO. Preparing new MKs for missions life
Missionary Renewal in Springfield, MO. MKs coming home for a year of itineration

Middle East, North Africa, Central Eurasia MK Retreat, Izmir, Turkey

AG College visits, meeting with MKs in our AG universities
Nairobi, Kenya, speaking at an MK school
Cairo, Egypt, visiting Live-Dead MKs.

AG College visits, meeting with MKs in our AG universities

Thanksgiving Retreat for MK college students


Nairobi, Kenya, Live-Dead Retreat

Thursday, November 21, 2013

As missionaries, Dargan and I rely on the support of people to continue to minister to the MK of AGWM. We went to Belgium as missionaries in 1999, with a fully raised budget. When we returned from our first full term, we were asked to move back to the States and take over the MK program. With the schedule of AGWM, we were unable to complete an itineration prior to taking over ISMK. Currently, we only have about 60% of our budget raised. Over the course of 14 years (since our last itineration), we have lost some support, and gained some other supporters. The net result is a zero loss, and zero gain. However, budgets have changed quite a bit since our first term. As the MK Ministry Director, I am already on the road about half the year. It is very challenging to try and raise a budget in the midst of running the MK program and spending any time with my family. We need to raise $2,000 in monthly support. EVERY missionary family benefits from the MK program. Your support will impact every family, no matter where they serve.
This summer we also had a full month of training new MKs and helping veteran MKs with their transition back to the USA. Approximately 100 new MKs were trained and prepared to transition with their parents to a new country and life. One of the greatest joys is seeing young American kids catch their parents vision for missions, and be able to declare “God has not only called mom and dad, but God called our entire family to be missionaries!” This training process for MKs is critical to the overall effectiveness of a missionary transitioning to a foreign country. If the kids understand the call of God, and are able to personalize it, the parents are able to focus more on the areas to which God has called them.

This summer, ISMK did something unique during the annual Missionary Renewal. About 130 MKs left the CBC campus for a week-long “MK Camp” held at the Royal Rangers campground in southwest Missouri, Eagle Rock. Jr high and Sr. high MKs left mom and dad for a week of their own camp. Specifically focused on them.

This summer we made two major changes to the youth program during Missionary Renewal: first we combined the junior high with the senior high, then we sent them to Camp Eagle Rock for the entire time. Camp Eagle Rock is owned by the GCAG, managed by the Royal Ranger department. It is located approximately 2 hours Southwest of Springfield, or about an hour west of Branson. From an administrative standpoint, taking the MKs to Eagle Rock was quite a bit more logistics. There was a lot more work in arranging that entire program. However, as this camp-style event is repeated, the logistics will become easier.

Since the major overhaul to the schedule of MR, the youth program has struggled the most. One of the greatest things about MR has traditionally been the relationships that the MKs form with each other. With the changes to the schedule, the MKs were really struggling making the same depth of connection that they had in the past. Many of the staff lamented that specific challenge. The other main challenge with the schedule change was the effect it had on our evening services. We were losing the overall spiritual depth that MR has known in the past. The changes that we made to the program this year were an effort to change those specific challenges: time with God, and time with one another.

Overall, the camp was highly successful. Our two main objectives were definitely accomplished, as demonstrated in the response we received from parents and MKs following the camp. I was able to attend a couple of the services, and I was overwhelmed with joy as I saw these things taking place. Things that we, in the MK office, had dreamed about and had planned and hoped would happen! The MKs were definitely connecting with one another and with the staff at a much deeper level. The MKs had more time to build life-long relationships. They also had plenty of free time.

The greatest benefit to the retreat style youth program was the service/meeting times. Every MK was present for every session. MKs were not reliant on parents to drop them off and pick them up. The prayer times were meaningful, not rushed, and exactly what our MKs need more of.