Innovation….

Whatever you may think about Michael Jackson, no one can deny his talent, skill, or creativity. When I think of MJ, I think if innovation in the music world, and the music video world. He started at such a young age, and it didn’t take him long to realize that he had thoughts of his own about music, dance, and entertainment.

So many dance moves can be traced back to him. So much of modern pop style has its roots in his creativity. He was a pioneer in many ways. He tried things that people had never seen or heard before.

He obviously did get way out there, and for whatever people are saying he obviously had some personal issues and problems.

You still have to appreciate his innovation. His obsession with perfection may have caused him lots of personal pain, but it drove him to do some great things in his industry.

So be inspired to step out and do things that no one has. Be creative, try and risk and see if good things happen. While you do it though, remember there is a reason for our skills and talents and abilities. They are given to us by God for God’s purpose.

Line those things up with purpose, then you can have greatness and fulfillment.

I Pray for MJ’s family and hope that he made his peace with God.

David

Transformers…

I am by no means a movie critic, but I have a lot of people ask me about my thoughts on Transformers so here it is. I went with my friend Spike and my 15 year old daughter Taylor.

As far as the CG effects, nothing better, It is completely believable in the sense that you forget its imaginary, it seems absolutely real.

The action was great, and the story line wasn’t bad.

The movie did have a story but it was somewhat disjointed. It was absolutely too long. There was no reason for it to be that long, and it truly just ran out of steam at the end. You know what is going to happen, and it just didn’t have the suspense i expected it too. It was so long I fell asleep at the end.

I thought the actors were great. Although it didn’t take a lot of great acting, and didn’t bring greatness out of the actors, it was still a superb performance by each actor.

The last thing is, I got very uncomfortable with my daughter there, because of the arbitrary vulgarity. Sure there were parts that were funny. Many funny parts, however there was no real reason for the vulgarity. The sexual inuendo was poured on think, and was completely unnecessary.

So all in all, it was fun, great action, way to long, too much sexual innuendo, and arbitrary vulgarity. It was funny and had a pretty good story, just took a long time to get there.

I like the start of the movie. He’s great!

Thanks
David

The power of multi site….

A few years ago, very few people were thinking about this model of “one church, multiple locations”, now for many its becoming a viable option.

There are so many great benefits that come with this. I believe it is really the new “God Move” to take some powerful visions and spread them across the nation and globe through multiplying efforts from one place to another.

To many, it seems strange and the methods used seem to evoke much controversy and criticism. What are the benefits? Here are some I like.

1. Campuses have the opportunity to benefit from the vision of the whole. Makes them a part of something bigger than they are.

2. Its a great training platform. Guys wanting to be excellent and develop within somewhat of a safety net. they can stretch their wings but have someone there to catch them if they fall and help them try again. Great learning experience and support structure.

3. Gives you the ability to accomplish much more because you are a part of something that is bigger than you are. The synergy is awesome.

4. It expands opportunities for people to work in full time ministry in their skill set, in their talent, their specialty. No longer does full time ministry mean one or two things, it could mean hundreds or even thousands.

I love what God is doing, and this is really not new, the only thing new about it is technology and methodology of the day. But this is the model that the new testament church used to enlarge the influence of the church in the world.

I love the fact that we are a multi-site church. Harvest had 4 campuses and has just added a 5th. Bringing people together around the vision that God has given us to reach and touch the lives of people for the cause of Christ.

I love what God is doing, can’t wait to see whats next. We are working and learning through the process, bottom line just do what God has called you to do, and love every minute of it.

thanks
David

No place like Home…

Something happened when we were in Rwanda. Something that caught us all off guard. It was so surprising, it evoked emotion immediately and unexpectedly. It made us all so proud, and so inspired. It was truly a great moment.

When we were at the university of technology in Kigali, and had the night with the next generation, where we thought about 300 hundred would gather and over a thousand showed up. It was an inspiring night in itself. The passion with which these young men and women worshiped, the talent of the singers and dancers. The response to the challenging word I spoke on the responsibility and hope of Rwanda. There was one thing however that happened, so spontaneous, so completely unexpected that it blew us away.

The night was an all night event, so because we had a leadership conference to finish the next morning we left about 1:30 a.m. Before we left I wanted to introduce the entire team to all the young people. As i was going down the list, telling who these people were and what they did, and what it took for them to come, they were so receptive, and cheered and clapped. It was great. Then it happened. I got to Sam Laymen, who is an airplane electronics engineer, and in the U.S military. I introduced him, and what he did, then I said, he is in the Air force, he is in the U.S. Military. That placed erupted! They cheered and clapped and cheered and clapped, it was so unexpected that I got emotional, pride swelled in me. The thought came to my head. The world does not hate America, no matter what the media says, not matter what some in America think. That place went crazy when we said he was in the military. We all teared up, and I explained to them, why that would mean so much to us, and i told them thank you for loving America, and America’s military.

I left there conflicted. Realizing that I had not known how effected I was by the constant bombardment of negative reports about our nation. I realized that it wasn’t true. I realized how proud I am to be an American. We were all just blown away.

I thank God that He is using us to help other nations and other peoples around the globe. I thank God for placing me and my family in the United States of America, so we could have the mindset and the prosperity to be able to do what we do. When we go, we are not trying to turn other nations into the western world. I train our people that is not what we are doing, we are helping and sharing the Gospel, but at the same time we are not ashamed of America, we are thankful and proud of our nation and what it stands for. Lets not lose that.

God bless America! There is no place like home.

David

You can live in the shadows, or the light….

Tonight’s meeting with Ambassador Simington was a real treat. We had met with the ambassador at the embassy and he invited the whole team to his house, or “our house” as he liked to call it.

We came in and he introduced us to a couple of friends from the peace core. Nice people. We set around and talked as the staff brought us drinks and snacks. He asked the entire team their name, what thy did in life, and what most impacted them about Rwanda. It was a very interesting conversation. After everyone had shared, he began to tell some stories. He ended with a story of his visit to the Genocide Memorial.

The second story of the memorial is dedicated to the children who were killed in the genocide. He said he had noticed something particular about the photos. The pictures were obviously of dead children, and it reminds us of the atrocity of the genocide. He said, however, if you look at the photos all the children’s eyes look they have a bright light in them. It was from the flash bulb, not the red eye effect but the flash bulb reflecting in their eyes. He said when he noticed it he had the thought. The Rwandan people have a choice, they can live in the shadows of the past or the light of the future.

He teared up when he said it, it was a very moving moment for he and the team. You know Jesus said that he was the light of the world. He also goes on to say that we are the light of the world.

When we are reaching out to others, when we are sharing the love of Christ, in practical ways, in spiritual ways, in any way, we are carrying that light and we are modeling that light.

They key to Rwanda being all it could be has to do with that light. The light of the world Jesus himself. They can make laws, they can build an infrastructure, they can do a lot of things, but what will truly make a difference is a heart change. A relationship with Jesus Christ.

I was inspired by the Ambassador, he cares about America and about Rwanda, and how we can help them. I’m encouraging you. Reach out and help someone else, whether in Rwanda, or in your own neighborhood. Live out of the light of the future, and not in the shadows of the past.

So now we go home and start planning for next year, and in the mean time, reach foster kids in our county, teens from around the nation, then leave for Cambodia and help widows and orphans there and teach leadership through Christ to those who want to learn.

Don’t just see the light, be the light.

God bless you

David

The clinic…

We are so excited that we got all the glitches worked out for the clinic. Here in Rwanda many times the national govt is a very cooperative and forward thinking and grateful for people coming in and helping, but sometimes, not all the time, just sometimes the local govts are not. Thank God for giving us connections and friendships that have helped us get through the issues and have our clinic. The clinic was a huge success. I will have to post pics later, due to some technical difficulties.

The area that our clinic is in is a major prostitution area one of the biggest in Kigali. A lot of the problems we saw were STD’s, some stomach viruses, some infections, some problems that were severe enough we were able to refer them to a hospital and doctors care.

The first day because of some of the difficulties it took us a bit to get started once we did we saw around 175 to 200 patients total. The second day we had more dr.s and were able to see around 500 patients. It was a very busy day.

The children were dirty and mostly bare footed. They’re community was the poorest of the poor. It was a slum. One of the dr’s told me that the ditches there, and he pointed to them, they were filled with trash and all kinds of filth. He said when it rains and the ditches fill with water, they will use the water out of those ditches to drink. So you can see what a need their is for medical care and for teaching these families how to be healthy. What not to eat, what not to drink, what promiscuity is doing to them.

One of our doctors spent time while people were waiting in line teaching them. He said they are just ignorant of the facts. This is how they have lived from generation to generation and their thinking has to be changed.

I can’t imagine that their life expectancy is very long. In this culture if you are 50 or above you are considered old. Some places even 40’s are considered old. To most of the young guys we were working with, i was old, and as you all know I am very young. (sorry a little of my mid life crisis coming out there..lol)

When we talked to the minister of Justice, he said something that is very true. There is something to do to help in every sector of society. Humanitarian efforts, spiritual efforts, infrastructure efforts, business efforts, and on and on.

Our meeting with the ambassador was very informative. Stewart Simington the third. He is a good man. He has only been in Rwanda since September, but he definitley has his finger on the pulse of this nation. He was very helpful in giving us ideas for the future and was so welcoming.

He was very appreciative of Americans coming here trying to help. He has invited us to bring the entire team to his house this afternoon to talk. He wanted to see them all. He is a great representative for America here in Rwanda. You would be very proud of our embassy here as well.

So We have done what we can, the team is out shopping for souvaneirs and I am staying back in my room recovering from a bout of either food posining or a bug i picked up but either way yesterday was tough. Its times like these that you truly miss home. I’m feeling great today. Just resting recouping my strength, and ready to come home. let me say again how great this team has been. I always say this after a trip but its true every time. I would take harvest people anywhere around th world to help people because our culture connects well with those who we are trying to help. Thanks Pastor Kirk and Nancy for raising us to care about people locally, regionally, nationally, and around the world.

Love you all and look forward to seeing you soon.

David

One God move after Another….

Had a great meeting with the minister of Justice Here in Rwanda yesterday. He is a great man, who cares deeply for his nation. He had a firm grasp on where they are and where they need to go, and what it is going to take to get there. The good thing is that there are many places and ways to help, and it seems they are very open to our participation.

We are going to do our best to partner with them for the benefit of their nation. He said he was excited because we were not just talking but we have shown our desire to help coming back several years and training leaders and help the poor with the medical clinic. He helped us with others we could and needed to talk to and said he was available to us for further help if we need it.

We met with the Rector of the Law Center. Vestina was a great lady and is from Uganda. When we do the leadership seminar for law students next year it will be at this place. All the law students in Rwanda must go through this center to learn law and ethics. She was wide open to us helping and we were so appreciative of her time. What a great lady. She has a great challenge and no doubt she is up to it. She is from Uganda and I told her I had been there and that we helped watoto last year, and that we love Gary and Marilyn Skinner’s ministry at KPC and she said that was her home church. Wow! God is giving us great friendships all over Rwanda that we can partner with to help this great nation.

So we are meeting with the US ambassador today and he is a great man, anxious to meet with us, and we are excited to meet him.

There is plenty of need, in this nation, and it will take great partnerships to make it happen, so we are allowing God to open those doors and use us to make a difference.

I am missing home a bit, especially my girls, My wife Janae, my girls Taylor and Sydney, but they tell me, a little time away is worth it, to help people. I agree.

God is good, and He does good!

David

I love Rwanda

We have had a great Sunday! I had the privilege of being in Pastor Jackson’s church this morning, they had a big choir of young people that sang their hearts out. It is truly awesome how they worship.

We had a great time, I spoke on being blessed to be a blessing. We talked about the good Samaritan and how the church must reach out to the hurting and bring them in to safety. They responded well. They are so receptive to the challenge of growth and compassion.

Saturday we had our last day of the Leaders conference it was truly remarkable. We had one of the district leaders with us and he was so moved. He was a great man. Very inspiring. On Friday night we had our next generation meeting, and it was way beyond what we expected. The level of passion and purpose that these young adults have is amazing. We showed up and their hopes were that there would be at least 300 people their. Turns out over 1000 under 30 young adults (college students) showed up.

The meeting was so moving. Lots of praise and worship, lots of dancing and fun. Then I had the honor of speaking to them. It was a God moment, that I wont even attempt to describe but definitely had future implications. This nation has a very bright future.

We had a glitch with our medical clinic. There is paper that didn’t get signed. So we have to meet with the minister of health to get it through so we can start the clinic on Tuesday. We were concerned and so we prayed. We were connected thru pastor Jackson to a young man, who is a well trained Doctor and Captain in the Rwandeese military. He just happens to be President Kagame’s personal doctor. He is personal friends with the minister of health, and he is going to meet with him, to get approval and has agreed to work in the clinic with us. Wow! God just doesn’t stop making a way and giving us favor. This trip has turned into one testimony after another.

Yesterday we were at the orphanage and their were two litte girls that were telling me scriptures. They had gone to church and were taught these scriptures, but they did not have a bible of their own. They wanted to see my bible to read some scriptures to me. So they looked them up and read them to me and they read remarkably well. I was so excited to hear them read the word. I had to get them a bible, I was going to give them mine, but still needed it for the rest of the trip. One of our team, jayme had brought a bible just to give it away and felt like God was telling her to put it in her bag that day. So there we were in a position to give them a bible so we did. Thats not where the story stops. One of the scripture they read to us was Psalm 100:1-2. I went to the next generation festival and was listening to music, and preparing to speak, all of a sudden i got really sick. My stomach was sick, a fever came on me all of a sudden I felt horrible. I kept hearing that little girls voice saying Psalm 100:1-2 but I couldn’t remember what it said, so I turned there and It says, “bless the Lord Oh my soul and forget not his benifits, he has forgiven all our iniqueties, and healed all our diseases. That was so powerful in my heart that I said God I know this is true and I receive it. I immediately was healed. The fever left, my stomach settled and I was able to really hear from God and share a strong word with these young people. God really moved.

We have had so many great things like that happen. So many new connections. So many requests to go to different places and bring the word of leadership. We have been invited to the Kongo, to Uganda, and to Butari to name a few. God is opening doors.

The team is doing fine. Stephanie is a superstar, she is a good leader and did so well with the orphans and getting them glasses. Owen and Charlotte, have been incredible, connecting with leaders and people. Helping with everything without reservation. They went and spoke in a local pastors church today and did so well, they were such a blessing.

Jayme has such a mothering spirit and is connecting with so many of these great kids and youth and pastors, She is very enthusiastic.

Cindy is a superstar, She has worked through many things with the medicines already, and has done well organizing the clinic.

Cory and Bobby Reddinger, are simply stellar. Their heart is so wide and full, and they both communicated some powerful things in the leadership conference.

Sam layman, he has to be the nicest guy i have every met. His heart is so tender and he has truly been affected, and he has affected the lives of others as well. He jumps right in with both feet.

Andrea Stefaniak, and her husband chad are great new additions to our stillwater campus and man she has been such a contributor on this team already. Always positive, I don’t think this girl knows how to be negative.

Its been great so far, and its only the first week. Tomorrow we meet with the minister of Justice, we speak at the university of Rwanda in Butari, we meet with the rector of The law school and get prepped for the clinic. Clinic on Tuesday.

Everyone is healthy, everyone is happy, and everyone is very proud of the things God is using us to do.

Praise God!SDC10932

another great day

Today was simply incredible. Our leadership conference continued. Our friends from Uganda led some music, they are a powerful team, the sing beautifully and dance? Wow! Cory Redinger gave a great word. I taught the leaders on the idea that Excellence in leadership requires wisdom. Wisdom is very important. It’s the practical application of the knowledge we have. We looked at the life of Joseph and how the leadership principles he practiced were based on wisdom, and if applied to our own lives will bring huge success.

After conference we had some lunch at a nice little African restaurant, it was very good. The team is doing great, they are so flexible and are going with the flow. God is changing all of us in different ways.

We then went out to an orphanage and tested kids for glasses and fitted many with new glasses. What a great opportunity for ministry. We played with the kids. We used crafts, games, We pulled all the girls together and I told them the story of Esther and how God really loves them and wants them to be great leaders as well, and that they are important and God values them highly.

It was great experience; it has given us many thoughts about how to bring some solutions to some of the problems Rwanda is having.

The weather has been excellent. We are now getting something to drink at a restaurant and meeting with our team, then we are going to the next generation all nighters’. That’s right unknown to us they turned it into an all night worship fest with me speaking and our Uganda team doing music and many others singing and dancing. I am hearing that groups from all over Kigali are coming. It should be fun. We won’t stay all night because we have the leaders meeting tomorrow for one last day, morning and afternoon sessions.

More to come, we are loving it and have had great impact, and it has changed us as well as them. It is amazing, when you can see leaders grow and develop and feed and care for orphans all in the same day. What a life? The global reach for 2009 is going strong.

God Bless
David
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leadership is universal…

This year again I am so blessed by the pastors and leaders here in Rwanda, they truly want change, and are hungry to know better how to lead and develop leaders.

We had a great conference today, we have with us a friend from Uganda Pastor Samuel who brought a team of guys that sing and dance. They are amazing! High Energy. Just the way we like it at harvest.

Owen spoke for a few minutes on radical change, we are being flexible as our itinerary seems to be the most fluid thing here. Its really funny they are trying to get us into as many things as they can.

I spoke a message this morning on the heart of God. This afternoon on a spirit of Excellence. We had a Q and A which never fails to amaze me. Their questions are intense and they are hungry for true training and answers.

The leaders here are like leaders everywhere else. They need validation, they need encouragement, they need inspiration, and direction.

So what’s next? Tomorrow more leaders conference, then we go to an orphanage and fit them all who need it with glasses and take them food. Then tomorrow night starting at 9 pm our Next generation meeting. Which we found out today is an all nighter. Fortunately we get to go back after a few hours to sleep for the next day of conference. We will be in different churches on Sunday. Monday starts the medical clinic and Owen and I get to meet with the rector of the nations leading Law School, more to come. Please continue to pray for the teams strength. We are having a great time.

Please respond when you read these and be blessed.IMG_0145IMG_0259SDC10919SDC10783