Before we get to what’s new, we want to recap some highlights of the past few months as we completed our sixth year with Life Action. We had the privilege of ministering in ten churches this spring (combination of Thirst Conferences and Summits), finishing up the season in two beloved churches in Canada where we had spent time in fall 2010. Time and time again, we witnessed God moving mightily in individual lives, marriages, and families. Key ingredients in these encounters were prayer, wholehearted surrender, and a desire to meet with our extraordinary God. In June, we settled into the house in Holland to rest and be refreshed for a few weeks before life kicked into high gear the end of July. We were invited to be the speaker family for the inaugural Week #9 of Life Action’s Family Camp where we taught Biblical truth in the context of revival and marriage/family. What an incredible week! Twenty eight families from all over the country gathered for a focused week of seeking the Reviver and reconnecting as families. If you haven’t experienced family camp yet, visit www.lifeactioncamp.com to sign up for next summer...we’re leading June 16-21, 2014 and would love to spend the week with you! Here are just a couple testimonies from the week:
I was so blessed as a single mom. There is no other place on earth where I can take my son, an only child, on vacation where he can experience what it is like to be a part of a godly, Christian family. Personally I’ve been so encouraged on what it means to be humble and to fill the role God has for me. I’ve just entered the beginning stages of dating after 16 years of singleness. This series of messages has really helped me to focus on what God wants my future marriage to look like. God intended for me to hear this message to prepare me for a future in his image. – Cynthia
I came to camp not as the spiritual leader of my home. I’ve always let my wife set the pace for the family. God impressed on me that I need to answer to a higher calling if I expect my children to follow the footsteps of Jesus, I need to show them what that looks like. This week has changed my life. – Mike
The day family camp ended, staff training for our three road teams began. Ben had been preparing throughout the summer to lead staff training for the first time which was a huge endeavor and responsibility. However, his administrative gifts and attention to detail (as his wife, I can brag on Ben a little!) were used mightily by God to help facilitate an extremely effective and productive staff training. And this past Sunday, all three teams kicked off their first Thirst Conference/Summits of the year. Whew! Truthfully, it was an exhausting five weeks in Buchanan, but totally worth it as we watched God put together team members for every role and responsibility with amazing hearts on fire for Him.
And this leads to our season of change. This winter we sensed God’s clear direction to finish our time on the road as Team Director and Family Revivalist for the White Team. We have absolutely loved road life and everything that road life has required and afforded our family to do. But just as we clearly knew when God was telling us to go on the road six years ago, we just as clearly knew that He was telling us it was time to complete road life after this ministry year finished at the end of summer. We still had a strong desire to minister with Life Action, just in a different capacity… a role that would allow us to be back in West Michigan. And God has orchestrated all the details to bring us home to Holland AND continue with Life Action. Ben has accepted the role of Director of Team Operations which means he will give operational oversight to the Life Action Outreach Division which includes all three road teams. He will be working from home two days a week and from the National Ministry Center in Buchanan (approximately 75 miles away) three days a week. We will also continue to be part of the home based speaker team and be involved in teaching family principles in four to six Summits per season. Although coming off the road is a huge change for our family, we continue to be affirmed of this decision in many ways. One specific way is the need and desire to be closer to minister to our families. In April we received the news that the adrenal cancer that was removed from Jennifer’s dad through surgery a year ago had metastasized to his lungs. He is now undergoing chemo treatments. Please pray for healing for Jack and strength and peace for both Jack and Joan as they walk this difficult journey…and as we endeavor to walk it with them. This summer we have been reminded of the necessity to give thanks for difficult journeys and how it is usually in those journeys that we experience deeper intimacy with God. Each day we are choosing to give thanks.
As a family, we are all very excited for this “new normal” at home. We understand that being gone for six years is a long time, and it will take time to build/rebuild community. We were blessed with amazing community on the road and long to experience that again here in Holland. This week begins our eleventh year of homeschooling (Christian is a 10th grader, Elizabeth is a 7th grader). As refreshing as summer is, there’s something wonderful about our school routine and engaging in learning together. And we’ve added another member to our family! Kyle Shields traveled on the road with our team for four years as drummer and team manager. He became a good friend of our family, and when he shared that he was looking at colleges in West Michigan, we invited him to move in with us. He’s been with us since June and is a great addition to the family.
Thank you to all of you who are part of our support team, either through prayer or financial giving. God has used you to sustain us over the last six years. Please continue to pray for us. Being home full time means additional expenses for us ($1,600 per month increase for groceries, car insurance, gas, utilities, etc…), and we are in need of additional supporters. We have those who currently support our ministry, but we are asking the Lord for additional partners. Would you ask the Lord if He would have you meet our needs in this way? We are trusting that He will provide.
With grateful hearts, Ben, Jennifer, Christian, and Elizabeth Slenk.
Ben (574) 276.7909
Jennifer (616) 644.4368
www.lifeaction.org (select “ways to give” then “support a staff member”)
Checks made payable to “Life Action Ministries”
PO Box 31
Buchanan, MI 49107