Wednesday, September 30, 2009

chat it up at Starbucks

Hey everyone!
I was so stoked to share this with you i couldnt wait to write! Every week as a school we go out to do local evangelism. Because it was the very first day of the school we didnt make anyone go out. A few of our staff and students really wanted to go out anyways. They headed out to the local startbucks before praying and ended up chatting with some people in line (when you have an accent, its not hard to get attention). Anyways, after praying and acting in obedience 4 people asked the Lord to come into their lives for the first time!!..on the first day of DTS....4 people! I was so blown away by this! We knew God was going to do some really cool things and it is already happening. I have been a part of local evangelism for a while and been ok with just "planting seeds" but this takes things to a whole new level. The harvest is ripe. I challenge you in the ordinary mundane things (like grabbing a coffee) to share with someone the love of might just make all the difference in their lives.
Until next tim....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

how He loves us

He is Jealous for me
loves like a hurricane I am a tree
bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of the sudden I am unaware of these
afflictions eclipsed by Glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are
and how great your affections are for me

Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
how He loves us so

We are His portion and He is our prize
drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean were all sinking
So Heaven meets Earth like a sloppy wet kiss
and my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets when i think about
the way...
He loves us
oh, how He loves us
oh, how He loves us
Ya, He loves us.

I recommend if you don't know this song to download it. Kim Walker "How He loves us". It brings you into a place of Worship. Listen to the words. Let them sink into your soul. Lets worship the Lord!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beautiful faces

I was just getting excited about going to India and thought i would look up some images. God is already breaking my heart for these beautiful people. Thank you for praying for us.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Curry anyone?

So this week has been really good as we continue plugging away at staff training. We've been covering everything from how to do proper one-on-one's and small groups to what it means to lead out of influence not authority to whose going to make sure the speaker has their coffee. As many of you know, Kelly and I have just finished an entire lecture phase (3 months) and are beginning a new one. If we were playing by the rules we'd been in some foreign country eating rice and curry before heading out to run an evening youth program for street kids...yes I admit outreach is my favorite part of the DTS program so we are extremely excited to be heading out to India and Bangladesh for 2+ months in December!!

We have had the advantage of being around and planning outreach before the DTS even began and are stoked to say that all of our contacts are already in place. Now its just a matter of waiting on God to put together a sweet team; then begin training and praying like crazy before we step onto that machine that flies us across the ocean to spread the Good News to our fellow humans in South Asia.

For Kelly and I this is more than just another DTS outreach. It's the first step into a vision God has been speaking to us for a few years now. To put it simply we just feel God is calling us to go and stand in solidarity with the oppressed and enslaved of South Asia for a season; to see how we can be a part of creating a world Jesus describes as the "kingdom of heaven." The Word calls us to "walk as Jesus did," and I can't help but find as I read through the Gospels Jesus continually walking with, spending time with, and advocating for the outcasts, the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed. Our hope is to discover how we can be a part of bringing the good news of the kingdom to the peoples of South Asia.....SO with that said, we will actually be staying in South Asia for approximately 6-8 weeks AFTER the DTS outreach is officially over. More details to come on what "the dream" actually looks like (or at least what I hope for it to look like), but most of our time will be spent scouting out and visiting dozens of ministries within the India/Nepal region, specifically those focusing on human trafficking and slavery as well as holistic and sustainable community development and lots of Fair Trade stuff. So yeah...thats it for now. peace.

*see Is. 1:17, Micah 6:8, and Jeremiah 22:11-17, Amos 5:21-24 if you feel like being challenged by God's heart for justice.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


So the September DTS is finally and officially in the works. All 8 of our staff are here safe and sound...Roz and Dan from the UK; Bri from Australia; Cj, Amanda, and Paul from Canada; and Megan and Callie from the States.

It's been sweet as we have seen God already unify our staff team through the first few days of staff training. Kelly and I really have a vision to break the norm with this school. We hope to see the students and staff living and learning together as we seek out what it really looks like to live the kingdom; it looks a lot different than we might think. "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" was the cry of a revolutionary who came not to start a new religion but to transform the social, political, economic, environmental, relational, and spiritual landscapes of our society. To "repent" literally means to re-think your life. To re-think the way we spend and earn money, the way we relate to people of other cultures and religions, the way we define success and greatness, even the way we view war and international diplomacy. What does Jesus have to say about these things? Does he say anything? We have all heard more than our share of the message about Jesus, but what about the message of Jesus? You know, blessed are the poor, love those who hate you, do not judge lest you be judged, if you want to become great you must become slave of all, it is better to give than to receive...did he really mean all that?! Do I actually believe all that (i mean who really considers the homeless guy down the street blessed)? At least I say I do, but I'm not sure it would be very apparent by the way I live my life.

Our hope for this DTS is simple: to look at the message of Jesus afresh, with new eyes, that we might begin to understand what it looks like to live out this message in a way that brings real change and real hope to our fellow humans. Our pray is that the students on this DTS will catch a vision to create with their lives what only their hearts can conceive; that is faith. To risk that Jesus' way of life really is the best way, and it has something real to offer a hurting and broken world. That if we begin to dream and live those dreams, the invisible will become visible and the impossible will become possible.

Jesus puts it this way: "Very truly I tell you, all who have faith in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these...(emphasis mine)"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

the "unjust" manager...

Robert was one of many other cocoa plantation managers in the area. High temperatures and unbearable humidity have made the Cote d'Ivoire a favorite place for cocoa trees to grow and thrive. Robert had been contracted by Nestle and was entrusted with the resources needed to plant, grow, and harvest the little beans that end up in our houses as bars of chocolaty goodness. Unlike the other managers in the area, Robert hired able working men to work his plantation and paid them a fair wage (enough to feed their families and send their children to school). Eventually Nestle starting noticing that of the many contracted plantations Robert's was running the least cost efficient. The bottom line's of the other managers were significantly reduced through exploitation of children...they could be hired for a pittance or even paid nothing at all. Nestle told Robert that he had two months to cut cost or they would cancel his contract. Robert knew the consequences of laying off the men that worked in his cocoa fields, for he himself knew the struggle of providing for a family. He had a decision to make: play by the rules of Nestle which would force him to hire and exploit children or continue on paying fair wages to able working men and lose his plantation. Robert, being the shrewd man he was, actually chose a third way. He decided not only to continue paying fair wages, but he would use his last payment from Nestle to help out his community. He had heard of a boy who had been wounded by a machete working in the fields and offered to pay for the medical bills the family could not afford. He voluntarily cleaned up a mess of cocoa husks another manager had discarded inappropriately on the land of a community down the road. He even began cutting some of the debts of employees (I mean he had nothing to lose at this point right?). During this time a reporter from the UK had been investigating the labor practices of cocoa plantations in Cote d'Ivoire and discovered the work Robert had been doing to improve and help out his community. Word quickly spread and Nestle was actually praised for the social and environmental standards that were being implemented in its cocoa plantations (funny how that works right?). The story goes Robert was later contacted by the executives of Nestle and rewarded for the way he had managed his plantation.

The parable of the "unjust" or "dishonest" manager never made much sense to me...maybe its because he wasn't unjust at all. Maybe its because he had actually acted justly or "shrewdly" as the Word says. Check it our yourself in Luke 16 and read it afresh. Maybe the message of Jesus was a bit more subversive than we thought.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Just a few pics of some of the friends i made while we were on the Gold Coast. This beautiful Muslim family was from Kuwait...Their lives didnt seem much different than ours. They got a Wii for Christmas and loved to go out to coffee with friends and talk about boys :). PLease keep them in your prayers that the Lord would encounter them in powerful ways! Until next time!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Let them come...

So over the past few weeks kelly and I have been making the messy transition from fully staffing the July school lecture phase to fully preparing and leading the entire September school. Its hard to be spending less time with the current school since we've built so many amazing relationships, though we continue to disciple them through 1-on-1's and small groups we have had to take a step back in order to devote our attention to the 6 new staff and 24 new students coming in the next few weeks!! Its exciting to see God continue to move in the lives of the students, especially as they prepare for outreach phase (my favorite part!)...pray that God will enlarge their hearts for the nations of India, Thailand, and Indonesia as well as create opportunities for His love to be shared to these people.

Please pray for staff training to run smoothly as seek we God's vision for the September school and work out the many logistics of making a DTS happen!

(a side note me and kelly)
We have been married for 14 months now (i think) and its been the best and fastest ride of my life...and yes a bit challenging (try getting married, moving to australia, being in charge of running schools for a bunch of 18-20 somethings, not mention the constant traveling and 60 hour get my drift). But I wouldn't trade it for anything. And I want to say "thank you" to all of you who have be faithfully praying for me and kelly as we continue to step into a vision we believe God is giving us. Yes, I'll be the first to admit its still a bit blurry, the only way I (and God) would have it...seeing clearly doesn't require much faith. (more on that next week, the vision i mean). So that's it for now. peace.