It has been a challenging few months, and we have watched E4 Project run very low on operational funds to sustain the ministry. In our prayers, the silence from God has been almost deafening . We’ve been crying out to God and we even started to make some decisions based on the logic of our situation. Fortunately, God showed up in the last minute and we wanted to share with you all how God has shown up in our lives and given us absolute confirmation and confidence in His plans for this ministry.
We came very close to shutting down the ministry after 13 years because of the lack of funding. We had even started discussions and the evaluation of potential steps involved in closing the organization. This initiated a period of grief as well for us. It has been a long season in the desert for Eric and me, and we could no longer see a way forward. One of the things we continue to learn is that God doesn’t show up early. In this case, He showed up pretty late, if we are being honest. As we started discussions on closing the ministry, God showed up clearly for the first time in months.
He brought a missionary couple into our lives who listened, counseled, and challenged us. They asked us if we had heard from the Holy Spirit that we were supposed to shut things down or if we were moving forward based on our circumstances. We answered them in the negative, we had not heard from God on this, we just were looking at circumstances. They challenged us to spend time praying and seeking solitude with God to see if He would answer us. Within a week of this meeting with friends, God showed up again. Eric and I took turns going to the mountains to camp and be alone with God. While Eric was sitting at a lake at night, God showed him a picture of how E4 Project is having incredible ripple effects across the countries we serve. We often cannot see it all from here, but our ministry teams in Gabon, Congo, and Pakistan are saving lives physically and spiritually through our work together in serving Him.
Eric and I started to pray for confirmation regarding what Eric had heard from the Holy Spirit. The floodgates opened in a way we haven’t seen from God in a couple of years. Within three days of his camping trip, we had over 15 separate instances of confirmation that God was not done with E4 Project or Eric and my roles. After such a long time in the desert, I honestly cannot explain how the pouring out of encouragement and confirmation impacted us both. We went from concerns about money for E4 Project, our family, and our future to trusting God implicitly. We continued to pray and together knew within those few days that we were ALL IN. We would do anything God asked of us. We enter September with a renewed passion and excitement for where God is taking this ministry.
We don’t know precisely what E4 Project will look like as we evaluate each program with the national church leaderships in the countries we serve, but we know we are all in and will give our lives to serve Christ in whatever way He calls us. We have been silent in our correspondence the last six weeks as we have worked through one of our most significant ministry challenges to date. You will hear more from us soon as we do a bit of a reset with E4 Project and listen closely each day to God’s direction. We are excited to see where this goes and pray that you will continue to partner with us as God leads.
As I was reading through my devotional this week by Jennie Allen, called "Made for This," I came across this quote, "What if we took the pieces of our lives (no matter what the world says they are worth) and use them to help others flourish for the sake of Christ? All of a sudden our motives would narrow to contain more of God and others and less of us."
I love that; it represents how Eric and I are moving forward. The practical ways of the world don’t exist in God’s economy, and we are trusting Him to show up and lead us and this ministry as long as He knows it can help the Kingdom flourish.
Thank you for taking this journey with us. If you would like to hear more details or have any questions, please feel free to reach out to either one of us, Eric: 720-891-0889 or Brynn: 720-308-4194. We would be happy to share more.
Serving Him together,
Eric and Brynn Schmidt
Founders, E4 Project