harvest summer so far…

WOW! we are having a great summer so far. The ministry and outreach that has happened sense June at harvest is incredible. I am so thankful that God has challenged us to reach out, and count it an honor to serve God in this way. GFC, impacted many ladies lives from around the region, our Rwanda trip, became more than we ever hoped, Royal family Kids camp was phenomenal and Kids camp was off the charts. We have now completed our first week of Youth America Camp.

As I stood by the stage last night and watched as our young adult staffers prayed for the young people. I felt such pride, such passion, excited that we have a church that promotes, embraces, and empowers the next generation. Janae and I stood in that room watching as our young adults rose to the occasion in their worship, and passion for God, and for the church. We have so much to be thankful for, but the one thing today, I am thankful for is that my girls are growing up in a culture that lets young people see, there is room in the church for them, and the future of the church is in their hands.

The recording was powerful. We truly captured a night with God! Its been a great summer.

I love summers at harvest. Stay tuned, two more weeks of Camp and then we leave for Cambodia. Can’t wait.

David

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My girl Taylor

Check out this cool web site featuring an article about my girl Taylor….http://www.paperdolllife.com/cause/

15 miles and counting…

2 days ago i did something that I use to believe I could not do.  I ran 15 miles.  WOW, what a challenge.  It was very difficult.  If you have read my blog before you know that I have run up to 12 miles, and thought that was quite an accomplishment.  When we ran this 15, i was doing great until we got to about 12, the furthest i had gone to that point.  My body just wanted to quit, but my friend and coach Andrew just pushed me and kept running in front of me to get my body to just come along.  It hurt, and was hard, but I’m so glad I did it.

This is why leaders are so important to our lives, because when we are struggling we can look out front, and there is someone who has been where you have before and knows you can make it.  Just keep running they say, come on you can do it they might say, but the thing that helped me, was the fact that andrew did not stop or slow for me, he just kept running, so when i wanted to stop, i couldn’t because he was out in front leading me on.  When I wanted to give up, I would look ahead and he would just keep going, so I felt compelled to keep moving.

I encourage all of us to look to our leaders, and be encouraged and keep going, even when it hurts, even when its hard, and even when you don’t think you can.  look out in front, and see the example that you can do it, because someone else has.  Then look behind you, there is probably someone on your heals.

David

encouragement…

Well my marathon training is going well….I have to admit when I first started I was determined to do it, committed that before I turn 40 i will run a marathon, however in the back of my mind, i really didn’t know if I could do it.  Now I know I can.  I feel great and it keeps getting better.  I know this however, the reason I have kept going and will keep going is because of the partnership I have with my friend Andrew.  For example today on our four mile run there were a couple of times i was tired and wanted to stop, (didn’t get enough sleep) he just said, come on you can do it, we are almost there.

Its amazing how powerful those words are, “come on, you can do it!”  I just want to encourage everyone, you can make it, whatever you are trying to accomplish don’t quit, don’t give up, you may be tired, or restless or hurt, just don’t give up, you can make it.  One of the best ways to make it, is to find someone else you can cheer on.  Someone you can partner with to be an encouragement.

Encouragement is a powerful thing…try it, you’ll like it.

David

Getting older and excited about it….

I have a great life!  I hear people my age so often say, “I wish I could be young again.”  I’m not very old, i’m actually only 39, but that is almost 40 and to many that seems old.  My wife Janae and I have decided we don’t want to be that young again.  Not that we didn’t love every minute of it, but truthfully I love being married 20 years.  I think its great to have the passion of new ideas and also some experience to go with it.  I love Knowing the excitement of risk, and what it truly means to take one.  I like having fun with my friends and have serious conversations but at the same time, knowing not to take myself to seriously.  I wouldn’t go back, but I am doing my best to keep the best elements of being young in my life.

I do that by dreaming, keeping the dreams passionately stirred up inside me and my family.  I told my wife two years ago, because I’ve had several friends go through some devastating mid life crisis.  I said I will not allow myself to be kicked off course.  So two years ago I set some goals.  Spiritually, mentally, and physically, and relationally.  I have kept myself aiming for those goals, and have seen my life improve in every area, and not allowed myself to become disallusioned by insecurity.  I’ve had my moments and mental battles, and Im sure will still have but this has truly helped me.

I told myself I would run a marathon before 40  which is quite a challenge because at the time i was way over weight.  5’9  250 way to heavy.  In this time i have lost over 50 lbs and and last monday i ran 9 miles without stopping at a decent pace.  My marathon on November 16th, so I will be meeting a personal goal and a spiritual goal at once.  I am using my race to raise money for our global reach efforts to stop human trafficking.

I love my life, I don’t want out, I don’t want to go back, I don’t regret.  I am doing my best to become what God created me to be, and loving every minute of it.

what are you doing to work this time in your life…i’d love to hear about it.

David

eyes wide open…

It is hard to imagine that there is a world out there, a coordinated, systematic, organized network of pedaphiles who prey on the innocents of little girls.  It’s hard to imagine that there are people in this world who would sale their own children into this ring of perversion for a little money and the relief of the responsability of another mouth to feed.  I know, we want to keep our eyes shut, if I just don’t see it, then I don’t have to deal with it.  If I act as if it does not exist then to me, it doesn’t and i have no responsability. 

Do not be decieved, this world does exist and it is based on two things, perversion and unadulterated greed.  Men, getting out of convictions because the grease the right palm.  Men not being prosicuted, becuase there is money to be made and no one cares about the lives it is destroying. 

My problem is I have seen the lives face to face.  The beautiful little innocent, precious lives.  Little girls who love to play, and to be appreciated and to be treated like a princess, have been taken into the depths of perverse abuse, not just molestation, or even rape, but sado masicistic abuse.  There are those who have been rescued or made it back home out of the nightmare only to be sold again.  I can’t stand it, I can’t tolerate it.  I won’t.  I have made up my mind to have my eyes wide open.  I am so excited, there are many great organizations who are doing something about his problem.  Attacking it head on to stop it.  They are directly rescuing girls, sheltering girls and give them after care. 

We are proud to be part of helping to stop human trafficking.  We were able to spend time and resource to give the girls in a rescue “a week for a princess”  Our way of showing them how special they are, and how God has a purpose for them and what has happened to them can not stop what God can do.  It was our first one and it was phenominal.  I couldn’t believe how great it was.  I could go into all kinds of detail, but lets just say, it was life changing for them and for us. 

We are getting involved, in rescue, in after care, and in foster care.  Not only around the world but right in our own back yard.  Someone has to speak for those who can not speak for themselves, someone has to stand in the face of greed and perversion and say thats it, no more. 

I dare you to look into the face of these little ones, from 4 to 14 years of age, who are so resiliant and realize what has happened to them, and then try to keep your eyes shut.  If you can, somethings wrong with you.

We all need to be aware, we all need to resource and help those who are on the frontlines like ICA, like Hager, Like the IJM.  Jesus said suffer the little ones to come to me, he said it would be better to tie a heavy rock around your neck and through yourself into the river then to hurt one of these little ones.  If he was so passionate about kids, His heart must be for his church, and people everywhere, to love beyond their denial and open wide their eyes, and see the reality, realize its not a nightmare, its happening right now, and then act to stop it.

Stay tuned, and I’ll give you some ways you can help.

thanks

David

Headed home.

Where the Asphalt Ends

first let me say there may be several mistakes in this blog because I am using a keyboard that is set up a little different.  I am currently sitting in the Niarobi airport, waiting on a flight to Ethipia to continue this great adventure.  The story I am abut to tell you is true and one of the most impacting of the time we have been here. 

The team in uganda really had one objective when they came here, and that was to build an educational faciltiy for watoto and to connect with the kids, and we did that every day.  At night after the work day was over, we would walk into the community and mingle with the people, talk to them, give them gifts, and just get to this neibhborhood.  This district had a huge nighlife, and we got right down in the middlle of it. 

Tyson had met a young man whos name is Alex, alex is about 24 and a year and a half ago he gave his life to Jesus.  He has a little sidewalk shop where he sales shoes, im sure you will see pictures of it later.  He is doing his best to make a living for he and his family.  He is responsible for his mother, his sister and his baby.  He had a wife and she ran away, she had the baby, left her with the family and ran away.  She is a precious littl baby girl named praise.

Alex, is not only a shoe salesmen but also a preacher, he goes up and down those streets, and preaches to the pimps and prostitutes and addicts and impoverished and everyone he can talk to about Jesus.

Before i arrived from Rwanda the team had gone out ministering and i hadn’t gone yet, it was evening and dark so Tyson, John and I went to the slums.  This is what they call it.  Its off the beaten path.  The main road is one club after another, one pool hall after another, one shop after another, but when you go up this road, where the asphalt ends and you are walking on mud and dirt, the further you go the worse it seems to get.

We took Alex so he could interprate and we went up into the slums.  There were people everywhere, kids roaming the streets, there parents not having any idea where they are, if they have parents. There are men and women out and the smell of marijauna is pungent in the air, and merchants selling their wares, and prostitutes doing the same.  It was shocking how many kids are out and roaming.  We had made a friend, his name was mike he was nine years old, his mom died, his dad moved away and he lives with his older brother, who i don’t get the feeling ever knows where he is at.  It is a sign of friendship for friends to hold hands, so Tyson and John are carrying bags with bibles and goodies in them and michael and i were walking along and michael was holding my hand, and alex was telling me of the great things God is doing in his life.

We started handing out bibles, you would have thought we were giving out free food, we gave out 100 i believe and we could have easily given out 1000, Tyson was brilliant though, he would tell them, “i am giving you this, share it with all your friends, bring them over and you all read it together.” 

So we would give out bibles talk to different ones abuot Jesus, and tell the Jesu akwagala, Jesus loves you.  They would grab those bibles and say thanks.  It was really amazing.  We continued to walk up the street and we came to a church, I’m sure it is nothing like what you may picturing right now in your mind.  It was a one room building, beat down and run down, but they were keeping it the best they could and were very proud of it, it was called “Christ in you the hope of glory church. We walked in and there were several women and a few children, worshipping God, they were praying, we asked if we could join them, it was one of the neatest moments, i wish i had pictures of tyson, worshipping with them, but i didnt have my camera and the moment was not appropriate for a picture, it was one of those times that is so surreal you have to remind yourself its actually happening. 

After we prayed we begin to sing songs with them, they danced, and we loved on them, and we felt like giving the church an offering, i think what we gave was about 100 dollars, which would probably far surpass the budget for a year, you would not believe the response, they shot off like a rocket, and begin to dance and shout, and we were overjoyed by there gratefulness and simple thanksgiving.  So alex said, pastor you should share with them, and so i preached a short sermon to which the responded with great joy.  We prayed with each of them, and hugged them and the crowd grew by double by the time we were finished with kids and women who heard the commotion. 

As we walked back down, we gave away neclaces, candy, treats and bibles, and we shared our faith with them.  We had told Alex earlier that we were interested in ministering to the pimps and prostitutes, and wanted to give them a bible, so we were walking down the street he had us by the hand, and all of a sudden we ducked into this dark ally, very narrow place, and as soon as we did there were men who grabbed our hands and begin to offer women to us.  It was a disgustingly filthy place and very dark, there were men standing, and many women setting on a bench waiting to be sold.  These were not women being forced at least it didn’t appear that way and alex said these were women who didn’t want to do anytihng else, so they did this, he said he frequantly tells them they need Jesus and they need to Him to change their lives.

It became very uncomfortable very quickly, so I leaned in to Tyson and I said they are obviously misunderstanding our purpose here.  Which is fairly naive of us, white men from america, handing out gifts and walking straight in to prostitute central, what were they going to think.  I said, “lets back out and try this another way.”  We backed out and sense they know Alex and that he preaches Jesus to them and does not approve of their lifestyle we sent him in with a bible.  Then we walked off, knowing we did the right thing, we stopped and had a coke, and when we did the most miraculous thing happened. 

We turned around, and there was one of the prostitutes she had followed us out, she said, “I want to know Jesus.”  We were a bit shocked, but right there on the street, we prayed with her and she gave her life to the Lord.  When she asked, another young teenage boy who was standing there said, i want to know Jesus too, so he prayed with us and received Jesus.  While we were basking in the glory of this moment, another prostittute came, she was probably 17 and she said i want what they have, so we prayed with her too, about that time, the pimp sent one of the girls down to tell the two who had given their lives to Jesus not to ever come back, and we said praise the Lord!  We used wisdom and left at that point, but left knowing that we had shared the love of Jesus with people who were hurt and bound by sin, and just let Jesus does, He set them free.

Sometimes we need to leave the asphalt of our lives, we need to say goodbye to the good road and go ahead and trek up that muddy dirt road of the world, and well find that there are people shining a light there, and we will find there are hungry hearts there, we will find people who need Jesus there, and if we take the love of Jesus where the asphalt ends, it will change us as it changes them.

What is the asphalt in your life?  Your comfort?  Your status?  Your pride?  Your fear?  Step onto the dirt, and get your feet dirty, it will be the greatest experience of your life.

My next blog I will tell the rest of the story, we went to alexes house, to reach his mother, it will break your heart for those who need love and help, and inspire you to do what you can to reach another’s world.

Please excues type o’s and blunders i am using a keyboard that is not like what we are used to and can cause more mistakes than normal, which i’m famous for anyway.

David