Monday, September 16, 2013

September Family Update - A Season of Change

There is a definite cool, crispness to the air each morning as we enjoy a cup of coffee on the front porch. We’re not naturally early risers, but there’s something remarkable about the quietness of early morning, when the truths of God’s Word just read are allowed to simmer in our hearts undisturbed before the responsibilities of the day attempt to jolt them from the forefronts of our minds. That autumn atmosphere is a tangible reminder of change: change of weather, change of clothing, change of schedule, and this year for us, a change of location and roles within Life Action Ministries. Fall has always been a favorite season for us. We even got married nineteen years ago on September 9. So it seems only fitting that we begin our season of change now.

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

bslenk@lifeaction.org
jenniferslenk@gmail.com

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
2007

 2013





Saturday, April 20, 2013

April Family Update


Forty degrees, rain, and wind today…we’ve experienced a lot of crazy weather in the trailer this spring. One day the air conditioner is on, the next the furnace and space heaters are running. But one thing that has been consistent is the hand of God moving in the hearts of His people. Since February when we left snowy Michigan, we’ve had the privilege to minister in the North Carolina towns of Kinston, Cary, and North Wilkesboro as well as Brownsburg, Indiana and Jefferson City, Missouri (where we also spent our spring break at a wonderfully rustic campground). And now we are in Van Wert, Ohio preparing to start a 4-day Thirst Conference on Sunday. When an individual is willing to lay down his pride and humbly cry out to the Lord, amazing things can and do happen. Here are just a couple testimonies out of the hundreds that we have received:

“The Lord has taught me a life changing lesson on forgiveness this week. I was truly hurt by the person in my life that means the most – my wife. God laid on her heart to come clean and tell me a terrible secret she had been living with for almost four years. God granted me the power to truly forgive her.”

 “I wasn’t able to attend every evening, but somehow those nights that I did come, I heard the critical messages for my life. My wife and I have been divorced for four years. Lately, we have decided to try to rebuild a life together. I wasn’t much of a Christian when my trouble began, but soon after, I recommitted my life. Still uncertain on how to be a Godly husband, Monday and Tuesday I heard messages on the role of a husband. With new guidance and assurance, I approach this new construction project with confidence and joy, and definite purpose. Thank you.”

In late January, we had a wonderful opportunity to travel to Colorado Springs, Colorado for a week away as a couple. During that week, we were ministered to by dear friends and “spiritual parents” Tim and Anne Evans. We participated in an intense (36 hour) counseling time with them called Restoring the Foundations which was a huge blessing for us personally as well as training to better equip us as we minister to others. It had been a long time since we’d gotten away just the two of us, so it was a very life-giving week. Thank you, Tim and Anne for your continued investment in us. And thank you Mom and Dad Rogers and Mom and Dad Slenk for taking care of Christian and Elizabeth while we were gone.

The remainder of the ministry year includes churches in Manchester - Tennessee, Hudsonville - Michigan (West Michigan friends, please come see us at Georgetown Bible Church May 5-8!), and three weeks in Ontario, Canada. We will be leading week #9 of Life Action’s Family Camp July 29-August 3 right before we begin Staff Training for the new teams during the month of August. And to wrap up the summer, our team will again lead the Labor Day Weekend Family Camp right before the team heads out for the next season (www.lifeactioncamp.com).

Christian and Elizabeth have had a wonderful school year, and we are eagerly anticipating the wrap-up of our tenth year of homeschooling. Christian has been studying History of God’s Kingdom, Biology, Algebra II, and Spanish this year. With high school biology comes dissecting, and we are very thankful for our team member Kyle who has enthusiastically helped Christian with dissecting an earth worm, crayfish, perch, and frog. Elizabeth has been studying the second half of American History, Astronomy, and Pre-Algebra. She loves creative writing and has done a wonderful job playing piano and singing each week at our Ladies’ Luncheon. This is the time of year when we plan for next school year (which Jennifer thoroughly enjoy doing), and we are anticipating a cost of approximately $1,200 for school curriculum which includes all subjects for Christian who will be in 10th grade and Elizabeth who will be in 7th grade. Elizabeth is also scheduled to begin phase two of orthodontics this summer which is going to be $4,000. Will you ask the Lord if He would have you help us specifically with these two large expenses? God has so graciously and abundantly provided for us these last six years on the road, and we are again believing He will do the same at this time.

Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support. Please pray for us as we seek to finish this ministry season strong. We know that our only hope as individuals, families, churches, and as a nation is for God to do a revival in the hearts of his people. “Lord, send revival, and let it begin in me.”

With grateful hearts,
Ben, Jennifer, Christian, and Elizabeth








Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Team Coming to Holland



Dear Family and Friends,

For the past five years so many of you have been faithful in supporting us with your friendship, your prayers, and even with some of your treasure. What amazes me about this is that most of you have never had the opportunity to really experience what it is that we do in the context of direct ministry, but all of that is about to change.

For those of you who live in West Michigan, our team is coming to facilitate an eight day Thirst Conference at Calvary Church (517 West 32nd Street) in Holland starting this Sunday (www.calvaryb.org).

Services will start this Sunday, November 25 and continue each evening through next week Sunday, December 2. The schedule looks like the following:

Sunday Nov 25, Session 1 at 9:15 AM.
Sunday Nov 25, Session 2 at 10:30 AM.
Sunday Nov 25, Session 3 at 6:30 PM.
Monday through Thursday (26th-29th) evening services at 6:30 PM.
Tuesday Nov 27, True Woman Ladies’ Luncheon 11:30AM—1:00PM.
Friday Nov 30, no services.
Saturday Dec 1, Home Life CafĂ© 9:00 AM—1:00 PM.
Sunday Dec 2, Services at 9:15, 10:30, and 6:30 once again.

Child care is provided for all services as well as clubs for Elementary, Middle, and High School students.

I know that for some, this schedule may seem like a lot. When was the last time you spent a week just seeking the Lord for a work in your own life, your marriage, or your family. Something special happens when we take the time to step out of the normal schedule, the traffic, the busyness of life for the purpose of meeting with the Lord. Your decision to join us on this journey over the course of one week has the ability to change your life forever, to truly experience something extraordinary, not because of the team, but because of an experience with God that you may have never had before.  

God may use your willingness to meet with Him in this context to spark a change in your life that has the ability to impact your family, your community, and maybe our nation. In times past, God has used the obedience of only a few to change the course of history in our nation. Maybe Calvary in Holland will be that next place God chooses to use to change the world for His glory and His honor. Will you join us?
Looking forward to seeing you this coming week.
Ben, Jennifer, Christian and Elizabeth.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Family Update - October


Dear Family and Friends,

Almost two months into our Road Team Ministry Season, six churches, several thousand miles, and ministering to over three thousand people has been an exhilarating and moving experience, and we are just getting started. We are scheduled in twenty five locations this season and are eager to see God move in extraordinary ways. Below are just a couple testimonies from the hundreds that we have received as we investigate what an authentic Christian life looks like….

“Before Life Action came to our church, my spiritual life was best described as so-so or lukewarm. I had sin in my life and simply couldn’t seem to shake it loose. Through this I have begun to realize just how much more God has to offer than the world. This revival has challenged my lukewarm self and lit the fire under me to begin change, starting with myself. Lord, send revival and let it begin in me.”
“What a week! The time has flown too quickly. Thanks for all the preparations all of you have made. God has spoken to my heart through your words of wisdom from God’s Word in ways I have not felt for a long time! God is such a great God! Thanks for your help in giving me a renewed spirit at 80 years of age. Thanks be to God, I feel vibrant and alive once again after losing my husband to cancer almost two years ago. He (God) is so awesome!”

“What a blessing this team has been! I have been in this church for 60+ years and this has been one of the most meaningful things we’ve had. Thank you and God bless you from an 85 year old white headed woman! I have learned that God is not through with me yet and I still have a ministry to serve Him.”

“God has spoken many things to me these days about how God sees me. I tend to think that I’m walking a fairly pure life – because I compare myself to those around me. But God’s standard is His Word! So I’ve taken an honest look and seen so many areas where I fall so very short. When that is realized, His grace that He so freely gives becomes the precious gift that it is. I want more of God in my life – less of me, more of Him; less stuff, more giving; less grumbling, more of the fruits from His Spirit. My heart is ready to hear Him. I’m ready to be truly open to His call.”

What an experience to see so many people reprioritize their lives and continue this journey with Christ as the center. When revival comes, we live in such a way where we say, “God, it’s all Yours.”

 One new experience for our family has been with Jennifer having a significant outbreak of shingles on her face and in her ear. About three weeks ago she was not feeling all that well (we thought it was allergies) and broke out with a “rash” across the right side of her face.

 It proceeded to break out in the form of blisters which also appeared on her lips and into her ear. Because of this we decided it best to see a doctor, try to figure out what was happening and why it was so painful. Upon the diagnosis of ear and sinus infections as well as shingles, we received some medication, and Jennifer has been on a very regimented schedule in order to rest and heal. Needless to say, the past three weeks have been difficult (especially for Jennifer) as we have navigated this new experience. One decision we have made is to come home for a few weeks to allow Jennifer to see her regular doctor as well as rest and heal at home in Holland. On Monday we will begin this journey back to Michigan from Florida.  

For the next three weeks I will be giving direction to the team from a more permanent location (Holland) as they travel to North Carolina and Mississippi. I will then travel to Tennessee as the team conducts a Thirst conference there. Would you please pray for us as we navigate this? 

On an exciting note, our team will be coming to Calvary Baptist Church in Holland to host an 8 Day Summit from November 25 through December 2. Please make a note to come to these days if you are within driving distance. We would love to have you participate with us and hopefully experience God in a way you have never experienced before.

With Grateful Hearts,
Ben, Jennifer, Christian and Elizabeth.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Trusting Beyond Understanding




To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. —Psalm 25:1-5

If you've never been at the place where the trials are so significant that you don't even know what to do, then you won't understand Psalm 25. David is pleading, God, I'm not seeing it. I know You have ways, but I have to learn them because everything that's happening makes no sense to me at all. A big part of trusting is learning this truth: trust must extend past understanding.

In August of '09 I taught Psalm 25 in my church. 98 percent of our people knew nothing about what I was facing and dealing with, but my circumstances sure caused me to understand verse 5 where David says: "Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation." The word salvation can have many meanings in Scripture. Most literally, it means to “make wide.” It's contrasted with a person who is in a narrow place full of trouble and distress. I'm stuck here. I can't move. It's too tight, God. It's closing in. It's very dark. And he's saying here: You're the God who gets me out. That's what he's claiming by faith. If you've ever been in the I-need-God-to-get-me-out-of-this place, that's what this is about. I wait for You. No one but You can get me out of this. You are the God of my salvation.

Well, when you say that you're waiting, that means that you're accepting God's timing and the wisdom of it. You're confessing this: I'm not fussing. I'm not fuming. I'm not fixing. You’re not thinking in the back of your mind, Oh, I could do a few things to get me out of this situation. I've got some insights. I could say some things. I could get some balls rolling. I could take hold of this if I had to.

Waiting means you’re no longer relying on what you can figure out or even understand. It is deliberately relying on God through prayer and flat-out trust. This is way beyond me, Lord. I’m leaving it in Your hands. I know I don’t have to understand in order to trust You. I'm waiting on You for my salvation; You have to get me out of this narrow place.

James MacDonald

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Family Update: October 2011




www.slenkfamily.blogspot.com

On Monday, we arrived in Louisiana just outside of New Orleans. We have just completed four great weeks of seeking the Reviver at Mayfair Bible Church in Flushing, MI, Emmanuel Baptist Church in Wabash, IN, First Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff, MO, and First Baptist Church in Marion, IL.  

To see people set aside the time and step out of the traffic of life to hear from the Lord has been of great encouragement to us these past few weeks. So many lives changed as individuals step up to the responsibilities that God has entrusted to them as men, husbands, fathers, women, wives, mothers, employees, neighbors, and friends. Below are just a few of the two hundred plus testimonies that we have received in just the past few weeks: 

“I could write a book, but I will lift off and land the plane on this page. My idol has become trying to fix my family through books, counselors, worry, prayerlessness, etc. How is that working for me? Not so well. We/I have been walking a dry, lonely, messy road going through what we have never experienced before and not knowing how to fix it. I finally have come to the point of understanding – I CAN’T DO THIS ON MY OWN. I quit trying. I have confessed boxes of sins (on your page). I asked my husband to forgive me(who has hurt me and whom I have hurt – husband/daughter). I plan to confess and ask my daughter to forgive me this afternoon in therapy (long story – needs to happen there. Praying for protection of time – this will be hard!) I’ve been a Christian for almost 29 years. The walls I have up with others I have had up with God. I have been a baby Christian for 29 years because I didn’t understand how to have a personal RELATIONSHIP with God. Thanks for showing me. The theme of God’s voice in my life lately has been it is about relationships. I’m getting it – the light bulb is on!! Praise be to God.”

“I prayed for Jesus to come into my heart about 2 ½ years ago. I did not grow up in the church and have been coming when I can. I haven’t really had a real understanding of what it is to walk in the light. I have not had a full understanding of all that I do that is actually sinning. I find myself feeling ashamed and that I will never be free of sin, so why try to stay in the light. So I find myself falling back to the old habits of staying in the dark. Over the past few days, I feel that my understanding of what it is to be a Christian has grown more than I ever thought it could. Every question I have asked in prayer over the past few nights gets answered the next day. I know now that I am the Lord’s. No matter what I do, I can’t be taken from him. I have a better understanding of what I need to do, how I need to walk, who I need to forgive, who I need to ask for forgiveness from. Most of all I feel him with me and his love for me. The Lord certainly brought me closer. I met the Lord a few years ago, I got to know him these last four days.”

“I was skeptical of this conference, not of you guys personally, but of the idea that 4 days (4 DAYS!!!) in a row could whip up something meaningful. I confess I was wrong. Your transparency and talents combined to set an ideal environment that truly was ‘set apart’. I’ve been on a 10 year drought due to anger, stress, stubborness, (you name it) due to family health issues, business issues, sons walking away from the church – a slow death occurred. I hid it from most –staying very active in church, but hating it more and more. I tried several times to ‘revive’ out of it – to no avail – leading only to more deadness. I feel so much softening and renewal in these 4 short days. I believe dryness and emptiness have been healed and am excited about what comes next. I also wonder what it will look like and if it will persevere. I believe it will, but not because of me. I already tried that. I feel God doing things, and its been a long time since that happened. I don’t think things will ever be the same, and that the future will be unlike anything I’ve known. Thank you for coming and letting us just ‘be’ and just concentrate on the important. May God bless all of you with the same as you carry on this important work.” 

“Wow! So much has been going on in my heart and life these past few days I can’t possibly express what has happened but I’ll try to share just a few. First, my husband and I have been married 49+ years but there has not been any joy in my heart as I look toward our 50th anniversary. Bitterness, selfishness, pride, resentment, grudge – I could go on but I think you get the picture. This week the Lord has been peeling layer after layer of sin and revealing these sins in our lives. The Lord is healing our marriage. Still needs work, but it is the beginning! Also, depression, anxiety has plagued me for years and I felt as if I had a huge hole in my heart and God is filling that hole not with meds, but with His love and grace.” 

“God was never real to me until this Thirst Conference. I’ve grown up in the church since before I could remember and I prayed the prayer around age four but even though I never knew it, I never truly loved Jesus until yesterday through the words of the speakers and the music of the praise team. God revealed Himself to me. I had my first real devotion time this morning and for the first time I was certain He listened. I feel joyful and I keep bursting into tears simply because I am so happy. God bless you for sacrificing so much to follow His direction, for there is no doubt in my mind that He sent you to minister to me and help change my life. To God be the glory.”

The next five weeks has us in Slidell, LA, Rome, GA, Milton, FL, and Brownsburg, IN before coming home late November for some time to rest, reconnect, refresh, and prepare for a long winter/spring semester (January through early June) that will be taking us into Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Colorado. Jennifer and I and our family continue to be amazed as what God is doing in people’s lives as they continue to move in obedience towards Him.  

Below are a few ways you can be praying for us as:

· Continued safety for our team (29 individuals) as we travel.
· As parents, Jennifer and I would continue to minister to Christian and Elizabeth as they grow up.
· That we would stay fresh and committed to what it is God has called us to, that it would not become routine or mechanical in nature.
· Jennifer is scheduled for much needed foot surgery as soon as we get back home (November 28th). Please pray for wisdom and discernment on the part of the doctors as well as the healing process for Jennifer while we are home for the holidays. We also have a high deductible HSA health insurance plan that requires a $5,000 + co-pay that will be required and we are trusting God for the funds necessary for this.

Thank you for your friendship and support over the past four years as we have had the opportunity to minister in over one hundred local churches thus far. This truly is a great adventure.

Sincerely,

Ben, Jennifer, Christian and Elizabeth

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Berrien Center Bible Church Thirst Conference Update






We have just completed our first Thirst conference at Berrien Center Bible Church in Berrien Center MI. What a great place to start our season as we get back on the road (close to home). Our team was prepared and ready to serve this local church body. Many came back all four nights to seek and hear from the Lord. On our last night many shared what God had said to them and how they had responded. Below is one testimony of many that we received:

“God found me dry. What I thought I needed these days wasn’t what I really needed. God showed me that the strife and chaos in my home wasn’t because of my family members. The problem was my sin. 

I had become selfish. I thought the conflict was everybody else’s problem. God showed me the depth of my sin. I was self-righteous. I wanted my family to be close to God but I was unwilling to be close myself. I was rude, insensitive, and impatient. This caused all sorts of problems with selfishness and anger in our home. God also showed me that I was judging my wife. I was critical, unloving, and did not honor her. I was withholding my love because she didn’t meet my expectations. I was totally broken by what He showed me in my life.

My wife and I spent considerable time asking for and receiving forgiveness. God has brought so much tenderness into our marriage in such a short time. I am so thankful for God’s grace – His covering over my sin.

We certainly have not totally arrived, but God has brought us many miles all at once. Also, we have hope for the future which we haven’t had in a long time. Praise the Lord!”

What a great testimony of taking responsibility for the role that God has you in! What an encouragement this was to us. What an encouragement this man will be to his own family in the days, weeks, and months to come.

We traveled to Flushing MI yesterday and arrived at Mayfair Bible Church where we will start our second conference of this season tomorrow. We are eager to see what God has in store for us as well as this local church body over the course of this next week.  

Please pray that we would be authentic in sharing the truth of God’s Word as well as for this church body that they would be willing to move toward God, reflecting His image through their obedience.

Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. 

Ben, Jennifer, Christian and Elizabeth.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pass It Down

Excerpted from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.
Family Life Today.

Pass It Down

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go.
Psalm 32:8 NASB
How can you tell if the spiritual-sounding words coming out of your children's mouths are evidence of a true faith?

The fact is, you may not really know until they're somewhat older, because most children are clever enough to say what they know Mom and Dad want to hear. It often takes some severe testing to determine the veracity of your children's faith, and that doesn't usually happen until they're well along in their teen years, perhaps even college-age or older.

Our children began to have their faith tested in middle school. They started coming home with questions like, "What does the Bible say about evolution?" or "What does God think about being gay?" We had many lively discussions at the dinner table as I played devil's advocate to help them think through their beliefs. That's when they began to discover truth on their own from Scripture.

I don't know how to emphasize enough the importance of this kind of training. Depending upon whose research numbers you believe, the rate of young adults who abandon the faith of their parents is somewhere in the 50- to 80-percent range. We're talking about a major problem.

If we are to avoid the fate of many other nations where Christianity has dwindled into irrelevance, it must begin in homes like yours. Your children can only hitchhike on your faith for so long. You must constantly be looking ahead to the day when you release them to take their own journey of Christian belief.

May we raise children to invade and infiltrate the twenty-first century, not with faith standards blindly adopted from their parents, but with biblical beliefs honed into convictions.

Discuss
What are the key messages and convictions from the Bible that you want to pass on to your children? Discuss how you can both do a better job of diligently teaching and training your children.

Pray
Ask God for the passion to make biblical training a top priority in your home, as well as the peace not to worry about being a super-theologian--just to share what you're experiencing and learning about God.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Home Soon



Dear Friends,

This ministry season has taken us to twenty four churches and one maximum security prison and is fast approaching its conclusion. It’s hard to believe that in a few short weeks we will have completed our fourth year on the road. It does not seem possible that we have been at this four years already.

What an opportunity to see lives changed as a result of individuals getting real about their true condition and seeking the Lord like never before. Just last week, as I had the opportunity to teach on marriage and family, we received this testimony:

“I have no doubt in my spirit that you have been sent by God, these days have changed my life forever. Me and my wife were talking about and in the process of divorcing after outside counseling and church counseling but all that changed during this conference. We are now showing love for one another and praying together….. We have been married for twenty five years. Our lives have been changed forever and we are so grateful to God. Thank you for your ministry!”

Regardless of how exhausting life on the road may be, testimonies like this make it all worth it. We have received thousands of testimonies of changed lives throughout this season and are grateful that we have been given the opportunity to get in on what God is doing in people’s lives.

As we conclude this year on the road, we begin to look forward to some time at home to rest, recharge, begin the process of training our new team, help upcoming churches get ready for our next ministry season (25 locations), and meetings at Life Action headquarters in Buchanan, MI. However, we are especially excited to reconnect with family and friends who we have not had the opportunity to see much over the past nine months.

Personally, I am excited to work in the yard, use the grill, sit on the porch, and do many of the things that don’t happen when living on a church parking lot, things that would be considered “normal”.

However, one of the things that “normal” presents for us is an increase in expenses. Things like: utilities (gas, electric, trash, water, etc...), groceries for all our meals (while on the road, the churches take care of most of this for us), and gas and insurance for the car, etc…

We also have the need for some minor house projects. The house needs to be stained, wood chips for landscaping (it’s been four years), and we experienced some water damage in the basement this past season.

Coming home for the summer increases our costs by $1,200 per month totaling $3,600 for the three months that we are home. Add approximately $1,000 for the house projects and we are looking at a total additional expense of $4,600 (trusting that the home projects are minimal).

I am asking God to raise up forty six people to contribute $100.00 to help us be “revived” this summer at home. Would you please be one of those individuals? Our current level of support does not allow us to be home for a length of time like this. God continues to provide for our needs and maybe He would use you at this time to help meet this specific need.

With a grateful heart,
Ben, Jennifer, Christian and Elizabeth

You can donate online using the link below:
www.lifeaction.org/donate/support-a-staff-member

Or if you prefer to donate via check, make your check payable to:
Life Action Ministries (indicate Ben Slenk on the memo line)
PO Box 31
Buchanan, MI 49107

All contributions are tax deductible.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Work of God......

Dear Friends,

On this weekend of remembering who God is and what He has done, here is a report I got this morning from a pastor in Little Rock, AK from last night's gathering. This is the end of the third week of unscheduled meetings every night. Be encouraged as God is making Himself known.

Also, as you pray, one of our teams is extending a conference in Cleveland, TN because of the extraordinary work of God. Our ministry has scrambled to form a fourth team to cover a Summit beginning Sunday in Saltillo, MS. We are praying that all of this is a reflection of God stirring in many places. Is it possible that national revival is approaching?

Currently our team is in Chattanooga, TN where the service last night went three hours and the conviction of the Spirit of God was heavy upon us.

In His grip!
Ben and Jennifer Slenk (and family).


The Wedding Ring that Funded a Homeless Prayer Center
Report of God’s Mercies 4.22.11

Last night, we began a teaching on Acts 2 and 4. It was beautiful to be reminded that we are experiencing, in a wonderful measure, exactly what was happening in the book of Acts. But we pointed out that there is one component that we are not yet quite seeing. No one considered that anything they had was their own. This is hard for us to even imagine because our thinking about our possessions (even among the most committed believers) is so Americanized. What would it be like if EVERY believer in the WHOLE CHURCH IN THE CITY didn¹t think of ownership, but was willing to give whatever God asks to meet the needs of the rest of the body so that (just as in Acts 4:29 and following) there was literally no more need? How it would amaze believers and create curiosity among unbelievers! We have been burdened in our heart for a long time that THIS ONE ACTS MODEL would be an amazingly powerful tool of witness to a lost world if it occurred in our whole city and have even prayed for this with our city pastors. One of our other teaching pastors followed with an exhortation from the first verses of James 5. Reminding us of our incredible wealth and how silly to be hoarding it, as we see the day of the Lord approaching. Then, another pastor was led to remind us from Matthew 17 that the Lord

Jesus was interceding for US, individually, by name at the right hand of the Father. Why should we worry about anything? Fear anything? Therefore we should take courage and do exactly what the Lord prompted us to do. There is nothing to fear. And again, we read from Psalm 27 that we should be strong and let your heart take courage.

In a few minutes, a precious sister came up trembling. She had been prompted to do something and she had prayed and prayed about it and the Lord kept impressing her heart about it. She went to her husband thinking he would disagree but, he agreed with the Holy Spirit! She then removed her (large) wedding ring and said that she wanted to give it to meet the needs of the homeless. A few minutes later, a man who had come from another church came up, told a story about a similar situation in Florida and said that he wanted to help buy back the ring for the lady and said all I have is $250 but I wanted to take this step. As he said this, one of the pastors was reminded that he had $250 in his pocket and this was amazing because he NEVER CARRIED CASH, BUT that very day had been given that money. They were able to put the $500 into the offering basket that contained the ring. People began streaming to the altar, filling the basket with money. In a few minutes, when the basket was full and after several other wonderful moments of prayer and ministry, we called the lady who had given the ring and her husband up and had a glorious wedding ceremony! You, like Mary, have given a beautiful gift that has anointed the Lord¹s feet and filled the room with the fragrance. But now, the King of Kings wants to remind you that you are married to HIM. And HE places this ring on your finger as HIS bride.

The church erupted in celebration.

In a few minutes, another amazing moment of giving occurred. Several nights ago a young woman came up whose husband had committed suicide in her presence 30 days ago. She was weeping and requesting prayer that God would deliver her from her anger towards God. People swarmed around and prayed and that anger was gloriously lifted from her soul. Another sister on that night mentioned to us that night that this widowed young wife needed a car and the people began to give and then a man who came in later found out about the need, had a 2001 Ford Explorer that the day before his father had said he needed to give to someone, and he gave her that car. Plus, she received the $2850+ that was in the offering. She NOW came to the offering and said that the Lord had told her to give HER wedding ring that had been given to her by her late husband. In a few minutes, another man came privately to me and said that he wanted to buy back HER ring for her, and others followed. We performed ANOTHER wedding as we placed the ring on her finger and reminded her, again from Psalm 127 that when mother and father (or husband) leave me, the LORD WILL TAKE ME UP! And reminded her as we placed the ring on her finger that God the Father was her husband and provider and she was married to Him. TWO WEDDINGS IN ONE NIGHT! And that was just the beginning!
Also,

• A couple came from another church and had two of our men come to the mic and share a need with their unnamed church where the pastor’s wife had just left her husband. It is a young, wonderful church. They wanted it to remain anonymous. The church TRAVAILED in prayer, reminding the enemy he had no right to touch God¹s pastor and the Lord¹s bride. Deep, fervent prayer and spiritual warfare on their behalf.
• A man that our church loves stood (for the first time in his life publicly) to admit that he had a 40-year addiction to alcohol. Before he finished the people came streaming and weeping around him. For the first few minutes, all you could hear was moaning and weeping and then massive, soulful, fervent prayer asking that God would deliver this brother. Four treatment centers had not delivered him. Great prayer was offered on his behalf.
• A brother from another church came to ask prayer for his son who is addicted to drugs and bound up. We invited others who were bound up with any issue to also stand for prayer and then those who had children who are bound up to stand. Dozens stood and the church gathered around them all with fervent prayer.

• A young man comes up and says that God has put the homeless on his heart and that the Lord has told him to go and live in a place where he can help men in need.

• Another brother comes up to tell us that his small group has already been praying about that and that they had prayed for a house in the Levy area and TODAY THE LORD HAD GIVEN THEM A HOUSE through a local Hispanic ministry. It’s a fixer-upper, but it is now God’s house to be used to help pray over and restore the homeless.

• We envisioned what it would like if God brought revival to the city for His glory, and EVERY HOMELESS NEED WAS MET. It could happen and has happened before in times of revival.

• People began to stream to the offering basket putting more and more money in the basket.

• A homeless man comes and brings his ring that his daughter had who died 12 years ago. More money comes in.

• We report that we are gathering Friday night on Good Friday. We cannot imagine being anywhere else but in His house with others on such a holy day.

• A dear sister, formerly Catholic, reports that she had always gone to her former Catholic church on Easter week services because she loved the reverence and the reminders of the Lord¹s work for her. But, she said, “I am now in this sacred place and I love it and am so grateful and will be here tomorrow night celebrating the Lord’s death and resurrection.”

And, at the close of the night the offering was counted. We know of more that is coming in, but at the CURRENT MOMENT THE OFFERING IS $12,747 given spontaneously and prompted by one beautiful, sacrificial gift. To God be the glory!!!
We meet tonight, Good Friday, at 7 pm around the cross and the Lord¹s Table.
Come praying. Bring someone to the Cross!