We are here safe and sound

sorry it has taken a minute to get this post up, but this is the first time I have gotten to a place to get on the web.  There will be pictures on the next post, later today.

We are having a great time, everyone is doing well and feeling great, we started with a bang last night.  We invited leaders from the next generation from two colleges here in Kigali and had around 280 show up.  We packed the church building out and the worship team really were anointed, its an amazing thing to worship with Christians around the world and realize they serve Jesus just like we do.  The whole team expressed what a great moment it was.  I spoke to them about healthy leaders being dreamers.  It was a great night and a great response.

The team is out today, one group is painting school rooms for the local church here who also runs a school, one of the best in the nation.  This will help them move forward in development and accreditation.  The worship team is practicing and setting up to do a high school assembly this evening, and the other team went to an elementary school in an impoverished area and gave them shoes.

God is doing great things in and through the team.

thanks for all your prayers and support, not only for us on this short term team, but for the ministries here long term likc Christ Church Rwanda, and Rwanda Outreach.

More to come…

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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/

Its a dark and rainy day….

I love days like this, I don’t know why but they slow me down. They cause me to think. To reflect and to meditate on things to come. I am thinking of the true possibilities of our Global Reach for Justice in Rwanda. We are leaving on June the 8th. I was meeting with the team just days ago, and we ask the question, “why do you think you are supposed to go on this trip?” There were many different answers. Some said, “I want to help the children,” while others said, “I’m not sure what I can do but I want to help change things for the people of Rwanda.” They all truly gave good answers.

I think we all should take time to ask that question about our lives in General, as to why we do what we do. Why are you involved in this or that? Where are you serving and why? It should bring perspective and clarity.

I asked myself, why are you going to Rwanda this year? My response is simple. To produce potential in people. I see this as one of the main reasons for my life. I have a vision for the potential in people and I feel my assigment in life is to help people realize that potential.

I know when we look at places like Rwanda, we see all the bad things that have happened. After having been there and built so many great relationships, especially with young Men and women who want to lead their country to health, I see a lot of promise and unending wells of potential.

My purpose in going this year, is not to just give a fish, but to teach them how to fish. I have kept relationships going through the web as much as possible, and we are planning a major connection with young leaders when we go. I believe that interaction and teaching, and relationship time is going to make a real difference in the lives of these young Rwandans, and in the life of the future of their country. We are going to help them in humanitarian ways, and in leadership.

How do you change the world, by seeing the potential of change, and producing it.

That’s why I am going to Rwanda. Why do you do what you do? Please share.

What a Trip!

Wow, we are here and smooth worn out.  That is one long journey, but worth every minute.  Our team is terrific, great people, great attitudes, and great passion to help and change lives. We left OKC Monday afternoon and here it is wednesday evening on July 30th and we just got in a few hours ago, it is a  haul.  We had a great time getting here.  We met with our friends from New life, Pisit and Karen, and we got the schedule lined out and are believing the next few days are going to be high impact, fun and exciting, world changing ministry for the people of Cambodia, and actually for us too.

I’m not going to write long, because to be honest it wouldn’t make any sense, its taking everything I have just write this…Can you Jet lag? We got in, ate together, had a team meeting and Now everyone is off to bed.

Everyone is feeling great, and ready for the challenge.  We love you all and thanks for sending us to help change the world.

David

What we can do

What we can do

How Can I Help? This is the question that many American Christians ask today. The emphasis is not on help but on I. In other words, what can “I” do about it? There are many issues, and when we really start thinking about all the things that need to be done, it can be overwhelming. In our world these issues are not small either, they are enormous it seems. There seems to be injustice everywhere. Injustice is when something is being done to a person they don’t deserve, it is assault on innocence.

I just got back from Africa and the issues there range from poverty, starvation, malnutrition to sex slavery and trade, abuse in every form, and corruption runs rampant through the continent. It is incredible however to see the Christian church alive and well there, and they are literally changing their world. You don’t have to go to Cambodia to find these types of issues. America has its own problems with foster kids, and prison recidivism rates, as well as homelessness and a plethora of abuses.

We all know how overwhelming it can be. We are in good company however. Gideon said, “what can I do?”, Moses said, “what can I do?” Esther said, “What can I do?” The truth is we can’t do everything, and we can’t change the world over night, but we can do something. One thing we can’t do, one thing we can never, ever be guilty of as the church, is doing nothing!

What can we do? What did God say to Moses? He said, “What do you have in your hand?” Moses had the equipment of his occupation, his staff. God is not asking us to do what we can’t He is asking us to do what we can. We have the equipment to do what He wants; we have the ability, skill, and talent. What we can do, is within our reach, it is no further than our next decision.

What can we do? Take responsibility. Realize, the issues that surround us everyday, whether locally, regionally, nationally, or globally are not going away, we can not hide from it, we must stand up and move out. There is a scripture in psalms 119:68 “you are good, and you do good; teach me your statutes.” David basically encapsulates the character of God in one simple statement, and then says, “Teach me how to be like you.” We’ve done well as the church at the first part, being good. We learn about how to grow and develop as a Christian and How to be spiritual, or at least appear that way. We need to begin to practice the second part, doing good. What worked in Cambodia and what is working for us right here in the metro of OKC, is coupling the two characteristics of God. Being good, and doing good. It is living the mission of Christianity, by being Christ to the world. We are spreading the message of Jesus, and we are doing works of kindness like He did, and these two things brought together, will change our world. What can we do? Not everything and we can’t change the world over night, but what the church must not ever be caught doing is nothing. Jesus did something and so can we. Lets tear down old thinking and limitations and then transform our minds, and actions to be that of Christ, and let the world know that in our churches the least of these are being effected and changed, because we are being and doing, what Jesus led us to do.

Building and Blessing

Wonderful, beautiful, excited, intelligent, brilliant, purposeful, loving people are what we found at Watoto. This place is one of the best thought out, powerful, life changing ministries I have ever seen. It would be fruitless for me to explain how they do things because I only know a portion; it’s enough to say life changing could not begin to describe how this place affects you.

We have been able to build and educational building, working alongside African workers; this was a great learning experience. We were able to play with the kids and just have fun with them. They are so much fun, and appreciate everything.

When you hear their stories it’s unbelievable. You have to shake yourself, and say, “Could this be true?” The fact they are still alive, or doing well, is a miracle in itself. We’ve met some of the leaders for Watoto and they are hard working people and many of them were Watoto children themselves, have grown up and become independent. One young man is called Walter, he is like a Forman, he is 24 years old and he oversees the building projects in the village we were building in. He was a watoto child himself, and he is grown up with a desire to help the elderly women of Uganda, so he and his friend James have bought a plot of land and are planning on building a widows ministry. They are currently taking supplies and ministry to many widows in the community. He is attending university and studying project management.

We’ve seen the kids that came to our church last year at momentum. They remembered us, and were very happy to see us. We had lunch with them in their homes. Side note my stomach is presently suffering the effects of the multiplicity of ways to eat the banana.

Last night we went to a very nice restaurant, an Italian restaurant in the heart of Uganda, yes seriously, the owner is from Italy, great guy, and to our surprise Marylyn Skinner showed up to eat with us. We ate with her and she shared her story with us, which was gut wrenching and inspiring, I can say without equivocation I have never met any person like her. She is the personification of faith, and Courage. She is fun and friendly but when she starts sharing what they have gone through to do what they do, you immediately realize this is a formidable person. She is a definite hero. Gary and Marylyn are truly influencing and bringing change to Uganda. I won’t tell any of the stories because she will be at our girlfriend’s conference in June and she may communicate some of these things. If you are a woman and you are reading this you have to be there, you will truly miss a moment from God if you are not there.

I have been so blessed by our team. These young men and women have worked tirelessly every day. Getting up early, working hard in the hot son with brief intervals of rain and wind, the weather here is beautiful, but that son will get you if you aren’t careful, don’t ask me how I know. They have loved on these kids, and played with them for hours at a time after working hard all day, or in a lunch break. We have a great people in our church and this team of Misty, Emily, John, Tyson, Nicole, Maggie, and Gretchen are superstars. They are caring, loving, compassionate people. I am sure they have been impacted to a greater degree than the impact they have made.

Our clinics in Rwanda are doing great as well. They are seeing hundreds of medical cases, and getting the opportunity to treat them, to pray with them and win many of them to the lord. I’m so excited that Church of the Harvest is following the will of God and doing something to change the world, bringing the Gospel to people who so desperately need it, in word and in deed.

Again let me say thank you to all those who have helped us to be able to fund these projects, and send us to Africa, it has made a mark and that is to your account.

David

Did You Change the World today….part 2

I met an educator today that is changing the world. As I have said before my wife is an educator and I am a Pastor, so our lives are great, we find ourselves in the path of need all the time, and get the opportunity to change our world one individual at a time, which is usually how it works. Never underestimate the power of one or few to bring real change. One of my favorite quotes is…

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

I also Love Proverbs 31:8-9 (MSG)

“Speak up for the people who have no voice,
for the rights of all the down-and-outers.
Speak out for justice!
Stand up for the poor and destitute!”

Its important that those who can speak out, those who can help, do. If we don’t who will. There are those who can’t speak up for themselves or stand up for themselves, and even if they did they would not be seen or heard. We as teachers, have that responsability, because in my mind the most injustice in the world finds its focus on children or the young, and it is our responsability to teach, train and help them learn and grow, to partner with their parents to build a strong foundation for their future.

I connected with a young lady today that is doing just that. She is an assistant principal in one of our local middle schools (Del Crest Middle School, Midwest City, Ok). This particular school has a fairly impoverished population and she knew that a lot of her kids would be home alone over spring break, she wasn’t sure what they were going to eat, or if they would get breakfast and lunch, and she knew that most of them would be home that whole time by themselves and the idle time spent can easily turn into trouble. So She created a program where they could come to school over spring break. There were a certain number of Kids invited and then a certain number of students above that who could sign up to be a part.

She Invited some of her students who were struggling academically and this afforded them an opportunity to ask a lot of questions and get great tutoring, becuase the ratio was about one teacher to ten students.

She had 90 students show up and attend all week. She told me that it has been incredible. She and 10 other teachers gave up their spring break to be there for these kids. We played a small part by providing breakfast and lunch one of the days for everyone.

Wow! As I spoke to her I could see the fire in her eyes, she had great expectations for these students, and she got the results she expected. What a great thought, what a great educator to think beyond the norm, to think at the level of the students need, and how it intersects with the teachers dream. I am so impressed, and I will support her and work with this school as much as we can to be a help to someone who is changing her world today.

Inspired

David