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October 5, 2013

Capitol Commission PA - October 2013 Update

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” - Mark 9:24

This passage sums up where my heart was at the beginning of the summer.  After spending months trying to maintain the ministry, provide for my family through other means, and meet their needs relationally, I was at my wits end.  I found myself insecure about these efforts, fearful about the future, and disconnected from those I cared for most.  During this uncomfortable period, the Lord was growing my dependence on him.

I was reminded once again that I cannot rely on someone else's faith.  For me this related to my belief, confidence, and trust that I am called to minister at our State Capitol.  It was not about the circumstances we faced, but answering the question the Lord had laid on my heart, "Do you believe you are called to this ministry?"  If I truly believed, then the hardships and difficulties before us must be faced with confidence in the Lord as we follow him, and not with doubt.

Going into the fall session we made the decision to make some changes in terms of the ministry.  Namely, I would commit to being at the Capitol Building every day the General Assembly is in session.  The hours that the legislators commit to serving in Harrisburg are the hours I would commit to serving them, and all those who work at the PA statehouse.  Little has changed in our circumstances, but the Lord has graciously allowed us to step out in faith.  We look forward to the ways he will show himself faithful in providing for our needs, just as he always has in the past.

Praises:

  • I had the privilege of attending a state legislator’s conference in August.  While there to promote the ministry of Capitol Commission among other states, I was blessed to spend time with our State Ministers from Texas, Illinois, and Indiana.  It was inspiring to witness the quality of relationships they had developed with the leaders from their respective states.
  • We had a dessert social / fundraiser at our dear friends’ home last week.  It was a pleasure to share about the ministry to eleven other people who attended.  Thank you Peter and Joan for your hospitality.  If others would like to host a similar evening as a way to introduce their friends to this ministry please contact me.
  • The fall session started on Sept 23rd.  It was a completely different experience attending both committee meetings and the general assembly, meeting legislators in the halls, praying for them, teaching the Bible study, and writing them notes of encouragement.  The ability to share this experience with them is an important aspect of the work.  Serving in this manner will go a long way in providing the opportunity to speak the truth of the gospel into their lives.
  • I began posting prayer request that I receive at the Capitol immediately on Twitter.  If you follow me @jeffwhitebread you will receive these updates in real-time, along with the names of three legislators to remember in prayer on a daily basis.  You can access this information via a web browser at www.twitter.com/jeffwhitebread or on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CapitolCommissionPA.

Prayers:

  • I have developed prayer cards to be utilized by the local church in their efforts to pray for those who serve in the public arena.  I believe it is important to connect the prayers offer by the church with the focus of our ministry that places a full-time disciple-maker at the Capitol.  If you would like more information on how to participate in this initiative please contact me.
  • We will be travelling to Navigator Headquarters in Glen Eyrie, Colorado to attend our yearly gathering of State Ministers for Capitol Commission.  Please pray for safe travels, to watch over our kids while we are away, and the developing of deep relationship among the staff.
  • Please pray for my wife and three kids, our relationships, and the Lord’s blessing during the times we are apart as a result of ministering at the Capitol.

Needs:

In this section I will provide a list of specific needs that face the PA ministry.  If you choose to give to one of the needs listed below you will have an immediate influence on our work.  Any money given in this manner will be applied directly for that purpose.  We are still in the process of raising support for the ministry and are currently at 40% of a $60,000 budget.  However, we will no longer seek to carry the burden of funding these immediate needs alone in the midst of this short fall.  We will bring these requests before the Lord, then to you.  In doing this we will allow the Lord to provide for these needs as he deems necessary.

  • Printer - $1200: The cost of a Dell LaserJet and a year’s supply of toner to produce our Bible studies for the legislators and other printed material for the ministry.
  • Printing Cost - $300: The cost to print out 1,000 prayer card and envelopes to be distributed to churches in Pennsylvania.
  • Health Insurance - $1000/month: Ishbell and I are currently not covered by any health insurance.

In laying out these specific needs I look forward to seeing how God will meet them.  I cannot help think of sharing with those at the Capitol how these specific needs have been provided not through my efforts, but by God through the generosity of his people.

All for God’s glory,

Jeff Whitebread
State Minister
Capitol Commission Pennsylvania