Our media team just finished the video for our 2015 Women’s Retreat here at SWO. Check it out and sign up today!
I am looking forward to traveling to the Great Plains of South Dakota this week to do some bow hunting. I looked at the weather forecast and it is going to be clear, but in the SINGLE DIGITS! I love it! I hope that I will be able to post a picture of a big old buck that I take with my bow. I love being in creation, and appreciating the Glory of God on display. Get outside and enjoy it! I will keep you updated on the trip. I have not been there in a few years, but killed nice buck there a few years back.
I am also excited to have the opportunity to preach to a group of hunters in Mitchell South Dakota while we are there. Pray these men will respond as we challenge them to be the men God would have them to be. I am always grateful for these kinds of opportunities. I will post and update when I get back.
This is my favorite time of year. I love football season, hunting, Thanksgiving and Christmas and just the beauty of the mountains in October and November. Fall time has been especially brilliant here in WNC this year. I don’t know that I remember a year where fall was so perfect.
One of the misconceptions that a lot of people have about SWO is that we are really only busy during the summer. The reality is, we run a really busy schedule during the school year, and have had a lot going on this fall. We hosted five Fall Retreat weekends (Equip Conferences), two SWO Marriage Retreats, a Fall Be Strong Men’s Conference (there will be one more this coming spring, March 12-14, 2015), World Missions Conference (2nd one is on April 24-26), Worldview Conference, Iron-On-Iron Student Ministry Conference, and numerous day trips for local middle schools and high schools. We also hosted 6 Christians School retreats. In the middle of all of this, we maintain a pretty active travel schedule. I have seen many of you while on the road this fall. God has blessed us so much in 2014.
Our summer SWO15 schedule is already filling up fast, and we are over 1000 students ahead of SWO14 registrations. If you are a student pastor, don’t delay in getting students signed up. Several weeks are already full and others are close.
On that note, we have been recruiting summer staff for 2015. We need a lot of folks on board in order to do ministry the way we feel it most effective. If you or someone you know is looking for a place to serve, please pass along the link to the SWO15 Summer staff application. It is an amazing experience–one that is life changing. Please give me a shout if you have questions. I want to include a link to a blog that one of our SWO Institute students wrote recently about serving on Summer Staff.
It’s pretty crazy to look at the history of Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters and the way the Lord has exponentially grown this place. Beginning in 1997, we’ve come a long way—and Nancy McDaniel played a huge role in those formative years.
Nancy began her involvement at SWO on the Board of Directors in the early 2000s, helping to establish the DNA of this ministry. Originally from South Florida, Nancy became one of the first board members to have a hand in the pulse of this ministry. She not only understood the vision and goal of SWO, but she also understood the inner workings delicate nature of the administration side of camp. So much of her ability to understand SWO was due to the fact that she really became one of the first board members to really be involved with everyday life here. Understanding the importance of both ministry and administration in the business world is pretty difficult for most people, but not so for Nancy McDaniel.
Because she had such a heavy involvement with everyday life here at camp, she was able to spear-head the Coop project when we grew too big for our chapel. She wrote grants, talked to donors, and oversaw the project.
Tim Litchfield, our reservations coordinator, remembers Nancy as feisty. He recounted a story in which he and another girl on staff at the time, Amy, were writing a proposal for faster internet in the office. They handed the proposal to Nancy, who confronted them about a week later to discuss it. In Tim’s words, “Nancy let us have it for about 20 minutes letting us know exactly why our proposal wasn’t to be taken seriously.”
Apparently their proposal didn’t measure up to the professional standards of Nancy, so she informed them of all the things they needed to work on before writing another one. She ended the conversation by informing them that despite their best efforts, their plan to get faster internet had been approved.
A week and a half ago, Nancy McDaniel passed away, and Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters grieves her absence. Francis Chan said, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” Nancy’s life reflected this quote. She served on the Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters board of directors for a little over 12 years. Although for the past 6 years, her health prevented her from being as involved as she once was, she still remained a part of our Board of Directors, and stayed as connected as was allowed.
Once you’re a part of the SWO staff, you’re family, permanently. We feel her loss here, but we rejoice in the fact that she invested her life in things that were of eternal value.
Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters and I are incredibly grateful for your love, support, and investment, Nancy.
We will miss you.
This year has been crazy. If you’ve followed my facebook updates, you’ll know that Little and our 2 oldest traveled back to Uganda to bring JuJu and Mo home at the end of May, right in the middle of our summer staff training. Holloway life isn’t easy or calm, but JuJu and Mo have fit right into the chaos. While we still have to go through the United States adoption process, I plan to update you guys on how things ended up on the Ugandan side of things throughout the next month.
I can’t begin to express in words how overwhelming the support our family has received throughout all of this has been. I’m so grateful for each of you.
Our SWO14 summer was great, and I’m excited to have this website up and running again. As most of you know, things don’t really ever slow down for us here—I love it! We’ve already had a couple retreats and one conference. Most of you are already back in the swing of school and work. As you get into a rhythm this fall, I want to leave you with this resounding truth in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” In the busy-ness of work, Scripture is sufficient. For the single mom trying to make ends meet, His Word is enough. College student, the Bible is alive and applicable for your circumstances.
It’s easy to let our situations dictate our thoughts, emotions, decisions, etc. I challenge you in this new season to establish yourself in the Truth. Abide in His Word, daily, and let it change you.
‘til the whole world hears,
We are excited to report that the passport applications for JuJu and Mo have been turned over to Immigration here in Uganda. This is sort of like the halfway point of the process. Turnaround for these applications has been about a week, so we will hopefully have our passports in hand by next Monday. Once we get those we can begin the medical screening process, which takes about a week. From there, we go to the US Embassy. The Embassy stage is about a week, barring any hang-ups. We have quite a few friends who have run into various paperwork issues at the Embassy, so pray we are vigilant and detailed in preparing the documentation for the Embassy. Once we are at the Embassy, we can be out of country within a few days. We are just asking people to pray for us until we are on a plane headed for home.
As I write this, I am awaiting a flight for the States. I will be flying into Jacksonville, FL. on Thursday to speak at a church, then home on Sunday. I will have a few days at SWO, then, head to Charlotte for the Live Sent Conference at Hickory Grove. Little and the kids will be staying here in Uganda, and I will return on Monday, March 17. We are asking for prayer during this short trip.
Pray for Little and the kids, and for the continued process of adoption while I am gone.
Pray for JuJu and Mo, as this will be the first time I leave them for more than a few minutes, since we got them. Pray they have a peace from God as they try to figure things out.
Please pray for God’s favor as I prepare, study, pray, and preach God’s Word to students over the next couple weeks. I so desire the power of God to grip the thousands who will hear.
We love you all, and are so grateful for you.
Judge Signed the Court Ruling!
Thanks to all who have prayed with us for the judge to sign the court ruling. It is done! He signed it at 7:00 pm today, Friday. We do have a few things that need to be corrected before we can go to the US embassy for document review. The document file for these kids is literally about four inches thick. There are so many forms, and they must all match perfectly. Names and spellings, dates and places, and every detail must be without contradiction. If any two documents do not match perfectly then the whole process can be delayed weeks, even months. Pray that as we move through the passport and medical stages, the other documents can be corrected and ready for US embassy review, in the final stage.
One of the critical changes that must be made is to Mo’s birth certificate. We were told that it should arrive in the lawyer’s mailbox on Monday. This would be a huge blessing because we could then go to apply for passports on Tuesday. I fly out at midnight Tuesday night. We have to have the birth certificates and the court ruling the judge signed today in order to apply for the passports. Keep praying!
On the lighter side, we are enjoying the time here, and the people we are meeting. I wanted to share a couple of videos that you would hopefully enjoy. We are trying to introduce the kids to everyone before we get back home. Through the comments and emails, it is obvious that so many of our extended family already love these two with us. Thank you all for that.
We will keep you posted. Pray on!
- The judge shows up to court (4 a.m. EST).
- The dads are found for custody to be granted (one has been located and the driver is confident he will find the other).
- Brody and Little will rest in God’s sovereignty over the court proceedings.
- The judge will rule in favor and grant custody.
- The court and legal process will proceed rapidly (4-5 weeks best case scenario; 6-8 weeks average; 11-12 weeks possible).
- Passport, Medical and US Embassy processes go without delay.
- Continued safety for the Holloways (including Juliet and Elliot) that they will be steadfast and courageous though it all.
Brody invites you to begin praying at 4 a.m. EST and continue until 11 a.m. If things go as scheduled, these hours will cover the entire court proceeding period. Thanks in advance for your prayers and for your continued love and support of the Holloways.
I heard a pastor say last week, “Joseph was the first person to receive Christ by faith.” He made the point that Mary received a person-to-person visit from the Angel Gabriel, and then she had a baby human placed in her body. She knew, but the faith she had was different than that of Joseph. He had to completely trust in the Word of the Angel of the Lord that this really WAS the Christ child that Isaiah had prophesied would come. He was the first man of faith in the physical, incarnate, realized Christ.
Matthew says Joseph was a “just” man. This meant that he loved God’s law, which would have demanded that this child-mother with child, be punished. To excuse her sexual sin would be to exercise fleshly mercy. Joseph knew he did not have that authority. God has said that mercy cannot be without justice. And Joseph loved justice. He loved God’s law. But he also loved Mary. He refused to ignore the just law of God in favor of the love of a human. He was a just man. So the conundrum was before him, and he embraced it.
“And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.”-Matthew 1:19
He would preserve justice and preserve Mary. Joseph shows us grace that has a spine. But God preserves Joseph. He gives him a faith through the Word he brings him — that will be the first-ever faith in the incarnate Christ as greater than The Law. Christ is the fulfillment of The Law that would have demanded Mary’s punishment and Joseph’s action. The Law was fulfilled in Christ. He said it himself (Matthew 5:17). Joseph was the first to believe this. He was saved by faith, and so in a sense, Mary was saved by Joseph’s faith. In this faith Christ fulfilled and satisfied the Law, which is exactly what he was coming to do.
He was just a construction worker, who raised a kid he didn’t actually father biologically. I like this guy. I can learn a lot from him.
I wanna be the kind of husband and daddy Joseph was.