World Series Wonderment

I have to admit I’ve never been a baseball fan, and I have no skin in the game as far as the series goes. I really don’t care who wins, but have found myself enthralled in this series.

I’m more of a basketball/football enthusiast, but I think from now on I will watch the world series. There is inspiration to be gained from it.

Lesson from last night.

Never give up! If you just keep playing it reaps results. Win? Maybe, maybe not, but if you give up or get down, you absolutely will not win! If you win, great, but if you don’t you can feel great about your effort.

It has me wondering, what am I missing? Maybe I should become a fan.

What do you think?

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12 miles and counting…

Saturday morning was quite a work out…we took a step up to twelve miles, with the humidity, and the distance it was a challenge let me tell you. I have to say however I am very excited to have completed it. To be able to say I am almost half way there is a big deal, to me anyway. I am training for a marathon on November 16. So we are getting there, we are going to be ready.

I was very inspired when I went to run, because when we got there, there were a couple of guys who were taking a break, that had already run 24 miles and were running 25 more. I cant imagine what kind of condition you must be in to do that, they were training for a 100 mile run, I didn’t even know there was such a thing. WOW, 100 miles. It was truly inspiring to think that you can get your body to do that. It just takes consistant discipline and major mental drive to do it.

I have to say there were a couple of times I wanted to say I can’t finish, but my friend, kept me going, and I begin to imaging the young ladies that we are raising money for. Their little faces are forever etched in my mind, and not only them but the thousands who I haven’t seen, that we will reach in the future that are currently captive in the sex trade, one of our objectives in this run is to help fund our global reach efforts next year, which all will either directly or indirectly combat human trafficking. We want it to stop, and we are doing what we can, and this is a way to raise money. When you think about what they go through, what they contend with day in and day out, let me tell you it will keep you running.

Secondly its a goal I set that before I turn 40 I will run a marathon. I will do it. I’m believing for God to keep us healthy and strong to continue our training, and get it done so we can run and raise the money needed to do what needs to be done.

What is it that inspires you to go beyond where you think you can?

David

Reality Check

Let’s face it. Most of us, well, all of us are subjective when it comes to evaluating ourselves. We can easily see and criticize the weaknesses in others, but not ourselves. We don’t usually say, “I need to change to make my marriage better.” It’s more like, “if my spouse would change our marriage would be better.” We don’t usually say “If I would manage my money better I wouldn’t have so much financial stress.” It’s more like, “if my boss would pay me more, I wouldn’t have the financial troubles I have.” A reality check is realizing that we need to take personal responsibility for our lives.

I think of King David, after he committed adultery and conspired to commit murder. He seared his conscience by doing what he wanted, not what God expected. He didn’t change until the prophet Nathan looked him in the eye and said, “You’re the man.” That is what you call a “reality check.” A truth that broadsides us back into reality.

A few years ago Pastor Kirk (my friend and mentor) did that for me. I had planted a church, with a group of friends whom I loved and still love very much, each of them are now doing some kind of ministry in church and several of them in full time ministry. No doubt, it was a great experience, but it just wasn’t working. In hind sight I can see I chose to plant a church for convenience, not that there’s anything convenient about it except, it was the only available opportunity that fit with what I thought I should do. Needless to say, and I won’t go into the whole story, we weren’t doing well.

When I was in the middle of this project, my wife, Janae kept saying to me, “you need to call Pastor Kirk.” To be honest the last person I wanted to speak with was Kirk Pankratz. I was embarrassed and felt like a failure. I didn’t want to tell Pastor Kirk, “my church is not growing, I’m depressed, we’re broke, my wife is mad at me. So I just wouldn’t call him.

Out of the blue, Pastor Kirk calls me. He invites us to come up and hang out with his family. Hesitantly, (meaning I couldn’t think of an excuse fast enough) I said yes. Now, the rest of this story is a divine reality check.

Kirk, asked me, “So, how’s it going?” I, the paragon of virtue that I am, begin to spill the truth. “Everything is great!” I said. I don’t even remember what else I said, but it was just more nonsense. Then, Pastor Kirk turned to Janae, as if I hadn’t said a word, he asked Janae, “how’s it really going?” She blurts out with no hesitation at all, “It’s horrible, and he is working himself to death. We are not growing, we are struggling financially, (code for Broke!) and he won’t stop!” all the while I am kicking her under the table.

There I am, in a heap, officially “reality checked.” I knew it was all true, and that my stubborn pride was hurting my destiny, my family, my team, and myself. Kirk and Nancy said something to me that was life changing. “…as long as you don’t give up on Gods plan for your life you’re not a failure.”

So here is a reality check for you. To change is not to admit you’re a failure but it is the true path to success. Don’t let pride and arrogance hold you back from your purpose in God. What ever needs to change, just admit your wrong, and change, and God will move quickly on your behalf. Consider yourself “Reality Checked.”

-David Gadberry

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