Making Connections

Sometimes it’s just about showing up

A Note From Temple:
Greetings friends and family back home in the good ol US of A. We are still finding our footing here in Southall. I’ve had to abandon my efforts to get the house in order so that I could focus on getting my kids music classes up and running. So we are still cleaning around the piles and constantly trying to remember where we left something.

I’ve been running around like the proverbial headless chicken focused on the next step in front of me and missing the forest for the trees. How do you like that mixed, cliched metaphor? đŸ˜‰ But truly I’ve not been really thinking about such lofty things as kingdom work lately. Turns out I don’t really have to think about it that much.

temple_walkingWe wound up putting the kids into school earlier than anticipated and figuring out after registering that we’ve put them in a school that is close by as the crow flies but as buses trudge not so much. So I’ve been spending quite a bit of time waiting at bus stops and walking my tail off.

I first noticed “R” at the bus stop near the school walking her son in and pushing a stroller with a cute little 12-18 mo baby in it. I noticed that she had pinned the baby’s hood at the top of her head to make it smaller and keep it from slipping off. Not the most flattering way to adapt the hood but still cute in a gnomelike way. So I thought ok, she’s a fairly practical sort. I also noticed that she wears a bindi every day and the bit of henna smear in her hair part. So she’s probably hindu.

We sat near each other at the bus stop several times and finally made eye contact and smiled on the day that I had to take her bus over to the church for Mum and Toddler group so I thought “Hey maybe she would like to bring her baby to the group!” So I invited her and quickly realized that we were going to have trouble communicating because her accent is very thick and my American ears are very unaccustomed to such cadences. But she understood and said that she couldn’t today but maybe another day.

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A couple of weeks later I was in the middle of trying to promote my kids music classes and so I gave her a card for a free class and hoped she might join us for a demo. She seemed interested but I had no idea if she would really want to come or not. Or if she would be able to afford the classes if they liked them.

The next week we saw them at the bus stop after school when we were on our way to Kids Club at NLMG and invited them to come with us so her son could enjoy the club too. She was again interested but not able to make it that day.

But then the next week she asked me about it and made plans to come next time. Thankfully we made it to the bus stop in great timing to hook up with them and ride to the church together.

Her son “S” really enjoyed the club and “R” met one of our church members that not only speaks her native tongue but is from her home town! I was really struck by how beautifully providential that meeting was.

So after the kids played football or legos and did crafts and ate a snack they came into the sanctuary to listen to a Bible study on Jonah and then practice a memory verse. So here is “S” sitting with a group of christian kids and a few sikhs and hindus and learning a Bible verse. Probably his first time to hear the scripture.

She is coming to my class next week and seems excited about it.  And we’ve been talking a lot more although the language barrier makes me stumble around a bit and her too. I have learned quite a bit about her and I’m struck by how resilient she is. Maybe that’s an immigrant thing born of necessity? Or maybe it’s just her. But she has been through a lot. She told me that the reason she can’t come to my Monday class is because they take an offering to the Temple of Shiva on Mondays.

I am praying that one day she can come to my Monday class.
God is at work here building His kingdom and generously using the likes of me. All I gotta do is show up.

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Deployment Day!

It has been a long three years. It has been an insane month.
But, at last, the time has come to pack our bags, say our goodbyes to friends and family and get on the plane this afternoon to take the family to London.The emotional roller coaster ride really kicked in after our hugely succesful “Dollywood to Bollywood” concert at CCC in January. We raised over $6000 and had a wonderful time with almost 200 of our friends. We were joined in music by two of our heroes, Andrew Peterson and Gordon Kennedy, who shared some of their songs. The night was capped off by an appearance by Jonathan Cain of Journey, who joined us onstage to play “Don’t Stop Believin'”. A truly amazing night for all of us!

Temple then traveled to London for a week and found us a flat in Southall where will be living. Her time there was very blessed as things came together providentially to line up all of the details on our new digs.

We then had to compress our life down to a 20-ft. shipping container. With the help of an amazing group of friends and church family, we cleaned out our apartment at the end of January, throwing away everything that wasn’t nailed down and packing up the rest for the shipment to London.

We cannot put into words what a blessing the folks were who helped us through this gargantuan task.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!

We then began a month of crazy nomadic living, spending our time in East TN with our family. Much of the craziness revolved around our quest for UK visas for our family. It involved biometric scanning in Atlanta by Homeland Security, a mad rush to Nashville for birth and marriage certificates and much gnashing of teeth as we waited to find out if we were approved by the UK embassy in NY.

The visas arrived yesterday, just over 24 hours before our scheduled flight to the UK!

We have grieved, celebrated, worried and praised God through all of this. We have seen Him working in the details and on our hearts. We have seen His plan in motion and are blessed to be a part of it.

And today we begin the next chapter of the story.

Thanks to the generosity and support of literally hundreds of people around us, we are now able to take a huge step in faith and get on the plane for London. We covet your prayers at this key juncture, not only for us but for our family as well. This move is not easy, is not taken lightly and is affecting many people beyond our immediate family.

We will send out updates to this list and via Facebook as soon as we can from London. There will be much to do once we hit the ground, but staying connected will be an important priority.

Thank you all from the bottoms of our hearts. It has finally come: Deployment Day!

We need your support now more than ever!As we head to the mission field, we need financial partners more than we ever have before. Regular monthly partnerships will help us live on the field and to ensure the longevity of our ministry in the UK.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the ministry, paid through our sending agency, SERGE.

CLICK HERE TO PARTNER WITH OUR FAMILY

Thanks for your continued support of our family and our call to serve the South Asian community in Southall.

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Prayer Requests For The New Year

PRAYERS

As our departure from Franklin rapidly approaches, we have much to pray for.
It is an exciting, yet scary time for our family. Much is still in flux. Please keep all of our family in mind as you pray.

Our plan is to move out of our Franklin apartment at the end of January. We will be selling a large amount of our things before packing the remainder into a shipping container to send ahead of us to London. After vacating our premises, we will spend two weeks in Knoxville with our family before traveling to Toronto on February 16th for two weeks of missionary training.

We will return to Nashville for a couple of days after that to pick up the rest of our stuff and our dog, Dolly. Then we fly to London the first week of March to begin settling in to Southall.

UNCERTAINTY

There are still a lot of things that we don’t know about our situation in London. Temple will be traveling by herself to London in January to find us a place to live. This is a huge prayer request for us, as there are many dynamics involved in finding a flat. We need something economical, yet big enough for our family of five. We also need to find a landlord who will let us do a month-by-month lease and who is OK with us having a Yorkie in the house. Temple will also be laying the groundwork for her pre-school music class at that time, including scoping out locations for the class and beginning to market and advertise the classes.

We still have details to work out about shipping our stuff and which stuff we can keep and what we will need to replace on the ground in London. There is much that still remains to be seen in this process and there is certainly stress with all of it. Please pray for discernment in the many decisions we will be making over the next few weeks.

TRANSITIONS

We are in the midst of a major life change and it is affecting each member of our family in different ways. We have pulled the kids out of school and will begin home-schooling in two weeks. Please pray for all of us in that change. We are leaving a place that we have lived for the past five years and that fits us nicely, to move to a completely new environment that may not be quite as cozy. We are having to give up a lot of our material possessions and comforts to be able to make this jump to London, where things will be tight financially and pared down in many ways. These changes are hard on each of us and we covet prayers of peace and discernment as we work through it all.

GRIEVING

Along with these transitions comes much grieving and loss. Our kids are leaving friends that they love and schools that they were embedded in behind us. That is painful for each of them, but especially for Aria, our 14-year-old daughter. Please pray for peace for her specifically as she has much to lose in leaving Franklin. We are leaving a church family that we love, that includes many friends and groups that we are connected to. We are also leaving a large group of friends in TN that Temple and I value very much.

Finally, please pray for the grieving around our larger family. Leaving parents behind for what could be a five-year term is very painful for Temple and I. And for our parents as well. It is all made harder by the fact that we have chosen to make this move, so there is a certain amount of guilt and remorse as we watch those around us grieve and hurt in this process. We are faithful that God is IN this process and that He will give us what we need to make it, but we covet your prayers of peace and understanding, not only for us, but for the people around us who are affected by this move.

FINANCES

This continues to be a major prayer request for us. We seriously need more regular monthly supporters to partner with us to make this whole thing more viable in the long term. We have lost some support along the way, but we have also gained new partners as we prepare to leave. The more recurring monthly support that we can lock down before leaving, the less pressure will be on us to make up the difference on the ground in London. This recurring support will be paying for our time of working on the staff at THREE different church plants in London, both as worship leaders and communication specialists.

Click here to partner with our family

We are also currently seeking start-up capital investment for the music school in Southall. There are considerable expenses involved in starting up a venture like this and we are prayerfully seeking partners interested in helping get this Kingdom business off the ground. We believe in the vision for a contemporary music school based in and around the existing church plants in Southall as a viable business opportunity as well as an organic and powerful outreach into the community. Please pray that we can find like-minded investors who would help us get this vision off the ground.

JANUARY 13th EVENT AT CCC

On Tuesday, January 13, we will be hosting a final fund-raising event at CCC, with an Indian dinner at 6 pm, followed by a concert at 7 pm. There will also be a silent auction going on during the event. Admission will be free, but there will be a love offering taken, with all proceeds going towards our mission fund. There is much to do to prepare for this event and your prayers are greatly appreciated. We have food to prepare, musicians and music to line up, silent auction items to secure and a million other details to lock down. Any help in this is greatly appreciated and welcomed. Please contact us through the form at the top of this page if you would like to lend a hand..

We are hopeful that this event would not only give us a final push for our mission fund, but also be a special night to celebrate with our friends and family before leaving on this journey. Everyone is welcome and we hope TONS of people show up!

While we are scared about many things, we also continue to see affirmations of God’s calling for our family and we are moving ahead faithful in God’s active presence in our lives and in the process.

 
Thank you all for your continued support of our efforts to serve the Kingdom in Southall.
Blessings from the Cundall Family!
Brent, Temple, Aria, Aja & Koa

Chet Baker’s Unsung Swan Song

Here is Temple’s take on a great David Wilcox song based around the life and death of jazz legend and heroin addict Chet Baker. This is from her 1999 record “Patchwork” which was recorded in Atlanta with some wonderful friends and musicians.

 

      Chet_Bakers_Unsung_Swan_Song.mp3

 

 

Buy A David’s Harp CD – Partner With Temple & Brent

Christian music and study project “David’s Harp” is now partnering with our ministry to help raise support for our mission and tent-making efforts in London.

Produced by music veteran J.C. Meyer, “David’s Harp” is a music project featuring some powerful songs and spiritual insights centered around the idea of David, the Psalmist, as the first singer-songwriter. If he were writing and performing today, what would his music sound and feel like. J.C. and his top-notch group of singers and musicians set out to answer that question.

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The latest CD, “The Song Inside You”, is available now on CDBaby and a portion of the proceeds will go toward our efforts to serve in the South-Asian community of Southall, in London. The link below will take you the CDBaby store where you can sample and purchase this powerful song cycle.

CLICK HERE FOR DAVID’S HARP CD OR DOWNLOAD

There is also a blog that goes along with the music project, with more insights into the music and the ideas behind it all. Click the link below to check out the blog and sign up for the “David’s Harp” mailing list.

CLICK HERE FOR THE DAVID’S HARP BLOG

We are very grateful to J.C. for this partnership and his efforts to help us answer the call to serve through music. Please take a second and check out this amazing music and study. If you like what you hear, you can download songs or buy a physical CD. You will get a great record and be helping to send our family onto the mission field in the process.

Thanks for you continued support!

Brent & Temple Cundall

 

 

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4 Reasons Why Being Involved In A Church Is Worth The Hassle

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
– Colossians 3:14-16

This is an article for the de-churched and those thinking of becoming de-churched.

What does de-churched mean? If you have ever been active in a church community, but have decided not to be, then you have de-churched. It doesn’t make you “un-Christian” or mean that you don’t have a solid relationship with Jesus. It just means that you are currently not plugged into a church.

Church populations around the U.S seem to be in decline. One of the (many) factors in this equation is the rising number of folks who are “de-churching”, that is choosing not to be involved in a church community for various reasons. There are a lot of people out there searching for something, but don’t feel that they get it from a church.

How many times have you heard things like this:
“I believe in God, but I don’t believe in organized religion.”
“It’s just not worth all of the hassle to get up every Sunday just to be hit up for money.”
“I just can’t find a place that lines up with what I believe.”

“Men go crazy in congregations; they only get better one by one” – Sting

All of the sentiments are valid to the people sharing them. I would even add one of my own:
“A church is nothing but a group of broken, flawed people. How do you THINK it’s gonna go?”
With all of this being said, why should people bother? What value is there in today’s information-heavy world to go through the hassle of finding and investing time and talent into a church congregation? We have databases full of scripture, video sermons and spiritual reading at our fingertips; powerful & compelling spiritual music on our iPods; dozens of worthy charities and ministries out there to donate money and time to. Why bother with a church?

I think there are many good reasons why you should bother and I want to illustrate just a few. And please understand that I have seen the best and the worst sides of churches. I was on staff at a large church for 5 years and saw the good, the bad and the ugly in living color every day. It was hard for us on some of those days to stay involved in the church that I worked for. I simply knew too much. But even at it’s most broken, I saw that church do amazing things – in spite of it’s failings, God used the church to do powerful good for the Kingdom.

I still believe in The Church, as a whole, and it’s value to believers and non-believers alike. Here are several reasons why it is worth the hassle involved with being a part of a church community.

1. WORSHIP
As a musician, I am especially sensitive to the power of worship, especially corporate worship. I have felt the Holy Spirit move through the room and been touched by it during moments of worship. My belief is that we are “hard-wired for worship”. Each of us has built in to our core software an appreciation for music. Why would God choose to give us all, no matter what ethnic background, a love and innate understanding of the beauty of music? I believe it is because we are built to worship and music is a huge piece of that. It is a vehicle in which we can approach the divine. And when we lift up our voices and instruments in praise, it opens up a connection to the Holy Spirit in a way that very few other things can. Sure, there are many different styles of worship that resonate in different ways with each of us, but somewhere there is a church that worships in a way that resonates with you. You have but to look and listen. And the pay-off is a way for you to join your voice with others, praise the Lord in thanks and admiration and get a little taste of the divine.

2. ENRICHMENT
We are all blessed with gifts and talents. When you join a congregation, you begin to see the varied gifts and talents of the people around you. You also get to add your gifts and talents to the mix. There have been several times in my walk that I have run into situations that I was not equipped to handle. From home repair issues to major life struggles with money or addiction. In these times I have seen members of my church family step into and enrich my life, in ways that they were uniquely gifted to provide help. I once saw a group of relative strangers show up at my house to help me paint the walls one Saturday so that we could more effectively sell the house quickly before losing it to foreclosure. It was a powerful and enriching vision for me to see these people stepping up to help my family. Maybe house-painting isn’t your thing, but maybe you could enrich someone’s life in a different way. By being connected to a church family, you bring your gifts to the table and have a chance to sample and appreciate the gifts that God has given others.

3. STUDY OF THE WORD
The Bible, to me, is an intimidating, yet essential tool in my walk with Christ. I have never actually made it all the way through the Old Testament. However, I rely on the red-letters to guide my life and my choices in many important ways. If I was left on my own to study the Scriptures, I confess that I would often be more confused than enlightened. I didn’t study Aramaic or Greek and I don’t have a “solid”  understanding of the historical context of much of what was written in the Bible. All of what I do know about the Bible and how it directs and inspires me came from corporate Bible studies and teaching sermons that I heard while connected to my church. There is much beauty and power to be found in Scripture and sometimes it means the world to have someone teach you how to find it. There is so much to learn here and you can find a guide through it in a teaching church.

4. SERVICE
I am, of course, a very mission-minded follower of Christ. To me, we are called by Jesus to serve our world and it’s people in many different ways. It is with gratitude for His sacrifice that I choose to offer myself and my family to missional service. How could we not? We are mightily blessed on many levels and are able to serve, so we will. Most churches have connections to some level of service, be it within the community or globally. If it is in your heart to serve in situations of poverty, get involved in a church that sends short-term missions trips to South America or India and go see what real poverty looks like. Or go with a mission group to the local jail and pray for the inmates there. Either way you will get back more than you give through serving the Kingdom. Serving through a church body can offer doors to many transformational service opportunities.

It’s not an easy proposition, choosing to go and get involved with a bunch of strangers, in the hopes that you can make connections there. But I think you will find that there are very few churches out there that wouldn’t welcome you and be glad that you chose to be there. It’s an investment in time, money, talent and, often frustration. But it is also an investment in your life, your community and the Kingdom of God.

That can’t be a bad thing.

Brent Cundall

March 2014

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Merry Christmas From The Cundalls!

Merry Christmas everyone! We hope tat you are having a blessed Christmas this year and that 2013 is a very blessed year for you.

2012 was quite a year for our family. Click HERE to see some pictures of our family and friends in 2013.

Brent

2012 was, for me, a struggle at times and a testament to God’s love and provision at other times. I was laid off from my job at CCC in July and have been struggling with finding steady work since then. I am currently freelancing and taking any kind of work I can get. That situation has been tough for our family, but we have also been hugely blessed by all of the love and support we have been receiving from our family and friends through it all. From random acts of kindness from strangers to amazingly generous offers of help from people we know, we have seen God work to take care of us through the people around us.

The missional calling has kept us busy this year. We have raised over $13,000 in support now and have shared our music and hearts with dozens of people. The plan is to deploy to London in 2013, so we are about to step it up a notch. Please pray that our support hits the 80% mark. Once we get to that point, we can begin to take a salary and benefits as full-time missionaries. We are trusting in God’s plan and provision. The journey to missional service has been a very blessed one so far, and we are hopeful that the journey will continue in 2013.

High points this year? My beautiful family; Playing music with my wife and sharing our hearts for missions.
Low points? Several, including job loss in July and a gall bladder attack in December.
Blessings? Too many to count, and not worthy of any of them.

 

Temple

This has been a blessed year in so many ways and I particularly want to point out how blessed we’ve been this Christmas season. We knew we wouldn’t have much money and were thinking it would be a “thin” Christmas this year and then God poured out His love through His people and, wow. Our family and our church family have blessed us so much that I think our kids are getting an even more abundant Christmas than last year! Just amazing. It’s humbling. I was having a tough day thinking how I wished we could do it all ourselves when I thought about that line in “My Cousin Vinny” when he’s lamenting the fact that he had to have help to win his case and she (his fiance) says “oh no! You might actually have to say thank you!” in mock horror. Touche. So… THANK YOU ALL! :0)

Aria
Aria turned 12 this year… wow. And discovered paintball. She is busy learning to play piano, guitar and various percussion instruments in the percussion ensemble at school, plus choir. Guess that fruit didn’t fall far from the tree, lol! Her teachers have told us that she is mature for her age and is a natural leader. She is growing into a beautiful young lady:0)
Aja
Aja turned 7 in February and is almost 8 but she acts 18 sometimes. She began New Hope this year in second grade and so far she’s enjoying it. She has been loving getting to know all the kids at school and singing in the choir at church. She loves to draw and seems to have a keen eye for graphic design and typography…much like daddy :0) She’s excited about our eventual move to England.
Koa
Koa turned 5 this year. He loves goofing off and making us all laugh. He’s progressing quickly through his phonics book as we do Kindergarten at home this year and is already reading sentences. He also enjoyed singing in the choir at church for the first time. He’s slightly obsessed with lego wii games and Skylanders and any sort of weapon. I think this is normal… tell me this is normal!
Dolly
Dolly is the newest member of the Cundall family. And the smallest, weighing in at less than 5 pounds. She is a Yorkshire Terrier and she joined our family last Christmas. She is super-cute and very laid back. In many ways she seems uniquely suited for life with this crazy family! We love her very much and are so blessed by her!

Financial Support Update

Over $12,000 raised so far!

We are so very blessed by the generosity we have experienced over the last year, as we have begun the daunting task of raising support to go to Southall and serve. So far we have raised over $12,000 total in financial support for the ministry. We have seen over 50 people partner with us and we currently have over 100 people on our mailing list. We are especially excited to see our home church beginning monthly regular support in December.

We still have a long way to go, though. We need to raise over $50,000 in one-time expenses and a regualr monthly support level of $11,000 before we can deploy to England. At this point we have a little over 10% in monthly support lined up and a little less than 20% of the one-time expenses. We are trusting in the Lord to provide as He sees fit, but are prayerful that more support will be in-bound so that we can plan for 2013.

We hoped to deploy in the summer of 2013, and 2013 is almost here.

Please consider a monthly partnership with our ministry.

Click HERE to sign up online to support our ministry financially through World Harvest Mission. All donations are tax-deductible.

2012 Dollywood to Bollywood Fun Run & Free Concert

Bring the whole family for this fun run around the scenic CCC campus and free concert to help support the Cundall family as they prepare to go onto the mission field in the South-Asian community of Southall, London. The concert will feature World Music MIssion musicians and some very special guests. Music will vary in styles, from bluegrass to reggae. Temple and Brent will also perform and talk some about their ministry.

There will also be food available as well as activities for the kids. So please, come out for a Saturday morning of fun on the grounds of CCC.
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Time: Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. Run begins at 9 a.m. Music event begins at 10:30.

Location: Run will happen around the perimeter of the CCC property including parts of the trail by the river.
Concert and other activities will be happening in the back parking lot and around the covered walkway.
Registration: To register for the run, please make a donation of at least $10 to the Cundall missionary account with World Harvest Mission. You can register and pay on-site on the day of the run, or you can make an online donation via the link:

Click to make an online donation to the Cundall’s ministry

 

Check back here at Temple and Brent.com for more information as the event gets closer.

Be a Part of Our Ministry in London

Seeking monthly supporters: As our family prepares to offer the next season of our lives to service in London with World Harvest Mission, we want to invite you to come along with us. Your financial support is invaluable to us and necessary for the future of our ministry.

Our goal for deployment of June 2013 seems like a long way off, but without support that begins now, we won’t be able to make it to the field. One-time donations to the ministry are greatly appreciated, but we ask that you prayerfully consider monthly, recurring support at any level. We plan to be on the field at least 5 years and we would ask that you partner with us, starting now, as we work to build the Kingdom in the South Asian community in and around London.

Click HERE to sign up online to support our ministry financially through World Harvest Mission.

All donations are tax-deductible.