#wecandosomething

#wecantdoeverything

Sitting in a hotel in Phnom Penh Cambodia, it’s 11 pm and I’m talking to my wife Janae back home in Oklahoma. I had visited the genocide museum that day. I saw poverty like I’d never seen or even knew existed. Overwhelmed I begin to weep. I wept for the children, the hungry, sick, orphaned, and impoverished. I wept for the trafficked, and those walking for miles for clean water. Although I was moved with compassion I felt completely frustrated. I knew God was calling me to this, but had no clue how I could possibly do anything about all this injustice. I remember asking God what do you want me to do? Who am I? How can I help? This is to much.

#wecandosomething

God begin to reveal to me that, NO, I couldn’t do everything, but I could do something, and just because I couldn’t do everything I shouldn’t avoid doing the something that I could do.

So for the last 8 or 9 years now we’ve been doing what we can. Raising money, leading teams, medical clinics, crusades, Pastors and leaders trainings, feeding the hungry, building classrooms, and homes for orphans, water projects, partnered with local churches in Asia and Africa.

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I list these things and show these pictures not to say look what we’ve done but rather look What God can do over the years if we allow Him to use us. We truly can do something. One of the most rewarding things about living this life trying to fight injustice is to see how many people out there are doing the something they can do and it is truly making a difference.

#werefusetodonothing

Once we realized that we didn’t have to do everything, and that we couldn’t anyway we made a decision. We’ve seen the poverty, we’ve seen what HIV/aides is doing in the world. We’ve seen the corruption and the results. We’ve seen the girls and boys who’ve been ravaged by human trafficking. We’ve seen the multiplied millions of orphans around the world, and we refuse to turn our head and act as if it’s not happening. We refuse to wait for someone else to do something. We will do what we can, period. Justice is righting wrongs. We have taken it as our calling to look injustice in the face and bring solutions to right the wrongs that we can.

Most importantly we want to share the love of Jesus with our words and actions and make a difference in our world.

We can always use your help. How? 1. Pray. I mean this sincerely. We need all the prayer we can get for our trips, projects, team members and local churches we work with around the world. 2. Give obviously building classrooms, hope centers, feeding the hungry, housing orphans etc costs money, and a lot of it. God has blessed us to be a blessing. So, if you feel compelled to help us financially, we would truly appreciate your help. 3. Be on Team. you could apply to join one of our short term missions teams.

If you want to help you can go to http://www.globalreachforjustice.com

I Thank God for the privilege of serving Him in this way, and I would count it an honor to partner with you. #wecandosomething

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Something to Say about INJUSTICE


Its encouraging to see how many people are becoming aware to the injustices and need around us and around the globe. So many great organizations are taking it as their responsibility to do something about injustice. Many are attacking this plight on humanity called “Human Trafficking.” Slavery is as real today as its ever been in the history of the world. We are going to stop it however, by Speaking out, Reaching out, and Helping out.

Many are attacking the injustice of hunger. There are families right here in the US and around the world, who are hungry. My wife being a teacher sees it all the time. Kids who are not being cared for well, either hungry or sick because of the lack of good food. The issue around the world is unbelievable. Just what I have seen in the places I have been will blow your mind to think that people live in these conditions. We are doing our best to do something about it. Yes these situations occur for different reasons, and truthfully those things need to be dealt with, but in the mean time, we will not let the innocent suffer the injustice because of some judgement we are making. How is this injustice being dealt with? People are Speaking out, Reaching out, and Helping out.

We could go on and on, about poverty, about exploitation, about clean water, about orphans, and homelessness, and when we look at all of this, it makes us afraid, overwhelmed, feel hopeless, and an over all resignation that there is nothing we can do. Truth is the way things change in the world, is by the pattern I’m talking about now. What we can do is very simple, and doable if we truly have passion to do it. Speak out, Reach out, and Help out.

Because I spend time developing ministry and projects to address these issues, and raise money to help with this and take trips to do the work, I have learned something very real. We can’t do everything, but we can do something. Truthfully if everyone did something, we could wipe out, some of the injustice in the world.

So join me in the following.

SPEAK OUT! Do some research, become and expert on the issues and talk about the problems, make people aware of what is going on. Share stories and solutions, force people to get their head out of the sand, and realize we are our brothers keeper. Talk it up.

However without action TALK IS CHEAP!

REACH OUT! So now that you’re speaking out, start reaching out. Align yourself with people who are doing something. Reach out to them and partner up. Reach out to those who are on the front lines and support. Things don’t change because we wish they would. They change because we do something about it. Doing something about it costs money. Some go, and Some send, but everyone can do their part. Don’t remain isolated and indifferent, reach out.

Now you’re speaking out, and reaching out, good, one more step though.

HELP OUT! Its not enough to speak or reach, we must cross the barrier, find out what we can actually do, and do it. When we first started thinking we could do something, it was daunting, but we realized, there are people who stand around overwhelmed, there are people who talk forever about grandiose plans for change, and then there are people who actually take steps, however small, and do something. We decided, we would be the latter. Whether locally, or globally, we would do what we could. What we have found is that over the years, the little we can do, turns in to generational blessings and help for people who are suffering injustice. We starting helping out.

So there you have it. The pattern for change, for dealing with injustice. SPEAK OUT, REACH OUT, HELP OUT!

Please share your thoughts, solutions, and concerns about injustice. Lets right the wrongs around the world.

David

Depraved…

I have just finished watching “Nightlines” report on tracking a pedophile in Phnom Penh Cambodia. I feel much like i do every time I encounter this. I feel a full spectrum of emotion. I want to cry for the hopelessness of the situation, I’m enraged at a person who could be so depraved as to move from one country to another and make a life there for the purpose of sexually abusing children. Its appalling, so much so that your mind almost wants to say “is this really happening?” Its the ultimate in Surreal.

I probably would say that like so many americans do, except I’ve been there, and I have worked with many children who have been rescued from the sex trade, and our ministry spends time and money to help keep this from happening to other children and helping those this has happened to.

Make no mistake, this is happening all over the world. It is interesting how it happens. The culture is ripe for it, because of what has happened in the history of Cambodia, there are some in that culture that do not have the same respect for human life as others, and there are predators many who are american who take full advantage of this. They see children as a product not a person. Couple that with poverty beyond the pale and you have the makings of using human beings as slaves. Let me just say however, that so much of the cambodian population are very loving, caring people, we have many great friends there, that frankly are changing their nation for good from the inside out.

Its very interesting to me that this man they are reporting on, “Harvey Johnson” an american has gone there and is living there, he is a pedophile disguising himself as an english teacher. The people of Cambodia want to learn english very badly, and its a perfect front to trap kids. He can set himself up as a trusted american there to help them, and make a living in doing so. While there are many organizations that use this tool for good, this man is taking advantage of the culture to please himself.

What is so profoundly treacherous about this situation is that it is in mass destroying the lives of innocent children. Effecting them mentally, spiritually, emotionally and Physically, many times at the hands of their own desperate parents. I can’t tell you the stories I have heard and witnessed for myself of little girls as young as 5, that have been abused. Some that have lost their mind, some have lost their ability to ever have children of their own. Some have been so deeply scarred their future looks bleak at best. However there are many great organizations working with these children around the world. Some who are literally rescuing these children right out of the hands of their abusers. Others have taken the role of aftercare, and counseling. Many organizations are helping pro-actively by getting kids off the streets, and out of situations where they could be taken, or bought for human trafficking purposes.

I have also seen so many of these children who are such success stories of what compassion, love, counseling and ministry can do. Turn their whole world around and give them a safe, second chance.

We work with several and know others, but there are a lot of people out there trying to do something about this travesty. Lest you bury your head in the sand, don’t think it is not happening right here in america. the statistics of children who are being used and abused in sex trade settings in our own country are astounding. WAKE UP! Help! do something, we can not let this stand. Its our responsibility to help the innocent to speak up for those who can not speak for themselves. Who have no choice, who are in the clutches of people who will use them for profits until they are not worth using and then toss them aside like little more than an old dish rag.

We are doing what we can, and I am continually pursuing partnerships, and relationships to work with in this endeavor. How can you help? You can support the organizations that are doing something, or you can get on the front lines and help that way. We are doing both.

Come and see and support what Global reach for justice (Church of the harvest’s global initiative) is doing around the world, to help in this arena and others.

November 13 Friday night, our global reach for justice banquet (fund raiser) withe special guests the Watoto children’s choir from Uganda Africa. It will be a night to hear what we have done, and what we are going to do in 2010 and beyond.

Other organizations to help as well are, International Crisis Aid, International Justice Mission, A21 campaign (chris Cain).

When I saw this for the first time, the little baby girls that are so precious and was told their stories, and read the case files, i was left in a heap, and could only think about my own daughters, and how I would turn the world upside down, if someone were to try to harm them like this. Well, I believe that God has made us as responsible for the innocent as he has our own families and we must stand for them, we must act for them, we must speak for them, we must give for them, and we must stop this for them.

I am not writing this as a spectator on the sidelines, but as a person who has been there, who has seen this first hand, and who is doing something, although I wish much more, we are doing what we can. There are a lot of ways to help, we can all do something.

I will be writing on this more in the next few days. Lets take this head on and lets stop this madness. Kudos to Nightline for exposing this evil.

Thanks
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.

And the journey Begins…

Last Sunday night we had our last real meeting in preparation for our trip to Africa. Everyone is excited, but a little nervous. Its a big deal to arrange your schedule, get your family settled, make sure everything is taken care of while you are gone. Just packing and making sure you are taking everything you need is very tedious.

The Greatest challenge is to prepare yourself for cultural differences. Things are very different there than here, and it takes some adjusting. Thats why we train our people to have an attitude of learning, and not go in with all the answers but with some questions.

We are keeping our eye on the goal….”bringing hope to the forgotten children.” Whether it is the orphans in Uganda, or the children whose families were ravaged by genocide in Rwanda, it is our goal to bring hope to them.  In Rwanda we are bringing hope through medical clinics for rural area communities, and teaching and training spiritual leaders.  In Uganda we will be building an educational facility for the Watoto village.  In Ethiopia we will be rescuing girls from human trafficking and placing them with a ministry that can provide so much for them.

Most importantly we are taking the love of Jesus to people who so desperately need it.  Love in word, and action.  It is our goal to address injustice and make changes.  We will do what we can, and i believe if everyone would do that consistantly we will have real change in our world.

I am looking forward to connecting with the families and friends that we have and the ones we are going to meet.  Be watching this blog for day to day information and pictures as we go through this journey.

David

Do I want to wait in the emergency room for a year and a half?

Well, this seems to be one of the more peculiar years in a presidential race history.  I find it all very interesting, and hope everything turns out in the best interest of our country.  I have no desire through this blog to endorse a candidate or try to persuade anyone based on my own political passions.  I just had a thought the other day that was worth voicing.

I’m sure you have heard about the FEMA Trailer fiasco on the southern coast.  After Hurricane Catrina and all the damage, one of the solutions was to house people in trailers so they could come back home and pull their lives back together.  So many were just leaving and staying gone, which would have been my course of action.  Seeing that nothing major has changed has only solidified my position on that.  By the way, when it happened we opened our facility and took several families from new orleans in for about six months, so we have some first hand experience with the situation.

First we all know how long it took for help to come in the first place, which is rather frightening for everyone in the united states.  Do I believe the slow response was racially motivated? No.  Do I believe it was all Gearge Bushes Fault?  No.  I believe it was poor planning on the Mayor, Govener and federal Government part, of which our president is a part.  Not to mention the local corruption.

The bottom line is that is what beuracracy gets us.  Slow response times, bad decisions, complicated issues.  There is nothing simple about it.

Now, back to the trailers.  These trailers were mass produced to house as many people as they could while things are being rebuilt.  A year and half ago, a report came out, where many of the people in these trailers were complaining that they and their children were getting sick, and having headaches, and they thought it was because of the trailers.  Now that sounds far fetched, and I can see someone saying, “no, how could it be the trailers?’  but recently a year and half later, they send a specialist in and find that the way the trailer were made, and i cant remember at the moment what element it was that caused the problem but something in the construction of those trailers was making people sick, and “now, we have to get all these people out of the trailers and get them another place to stay.”  35,000 trailers by the way.

So what’s my point exactly?  And how does it relate to the election or politics.  Here is how, we need to know the policies of the people running.  We are naive when we think the President, and I mean any president, is making all the decisions, and influencing all the policy.  There are three branches of Government, and they all inform our lives.

So we need to know what the candidates think about specific things and do we agree?  So, still, how does that relate to this.  We have big government candidates.  People who want to socialize health care, which a little research of nations who have it will enlighten us to the enormous problems with it.  My point is, do we want the system that took so long to respond to Katrina, and then took so long to respond to their own mistake, with the trailers, and still have not created a good solution in New Orleans and the coast, do we want that system to be our health care system.

Do I believe that everyone should have health care available to them?  Yes.  Do I believe that the corruption in the health care system, and the insurance companies, and the legal system should be addressed and dealt with because of their appearent unholy allience held together by greed?  Yes.

I believe there are ways to deal with this and I believe that everyone should have access to health care, and there are ways for the govt to help make that happen.

Lets be honest with ourselves however and look at the operations of many things the government takes on versus the private sector and as far as being successful is concerned there is no comparison.  Lets be careful that in our compassion we come up with the best solutions, and beuricratic, govermnet controlled, government being the answer to all lives problems, has never, will never, and can never work effectively.

Just some thoughts I’m having.  There is something to like and something to hate with every candidate, thats why we should base our decisions on principles, values, and Record.  Things that are fact, and final.  What people say can and will change in the course of political battle, that is the nature of the beast.

I have interest in what the candidates think about injustice, and how they propose to change things, and so far, I haven’t heard anything new, or anything at all.  We need to help others and we need to provide for those who need provisions, while empowering them to learn to provide for themselves.  There are organizations that can do this, and are, but where do our candidates stand really?

So Just think Long and hard, not with the passion of personality, or the enflamed partisan view point, but with our brains and our hearts, and in my case much prayer, research and consideration, and remember there is more to vote for than the president.  Lets make the goverment take responsabillity but not be our answer for everything.

David