Cambodia here we come.

Our team is preparing to leave for cambodia. It’s a great team almost all of them have been before. Cambodia has a special place in my heart. I have so many friends there and we have seen such great things happen in the local church there.

It is our pleasure to come along side the church in cambodia and do what we can to help them. We really don’t look at what we do as classical missions but more of an expression of the local church because it is the long term leaders of local churches around the World that are truly making a difference and we are just joining our local church with theirs to reach the world.

If I could characterize global reach for justice it would be to say we are doing our best to fulfill James 1:27, and proverbs 31:8-9, and Ephesians 4.

We want to help the widows the orphans and train leaders for the work of the ministry. With Gods help we will do that.

Dedication

We went to the build site today to dedicate the classroom we built.  We all gathered around and prayed over the building.  It was a moving experience.  In the words of one of team members Sam Laymon.  “As I laid my hands on the building and begin to pray i could see generations of students coming in and out of that building.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Our goal at Global Reach (The missions arm of Church of the Harvest) is to have long term impact.  Even though we take short term missions we want to have long term impact.  So when I partner with people I want to be someone who has a proven track record and great vision for the future.  Then we purposely work on projects that will benifit long term.   Like, instead of just doing a crusade, we do events through the local church and center everything around that so when we are gone, whatever we have done short term, has pointed people to a more long term connection.

Like instead of renting equipment for an event, buying the church some equipment then use it, then when you leave they have the long term effect of this new piece of equpipment, instead of a one or two night event of rentals.

Building classrooms at Watoto ensures, literal generations of orphans will be cared for, educated, as well as encourage to lead using biblical principles and leadership.

Short term trip, long term impact.  God is good, and thats it.

ACTION

Ethnolinguistic map of Uganda.

Image via Wikipedia

As I sit here at the watoto village called Subi I realize the difference between talk and action.  It is clear that much of the church world can talk with the best of them.  We have a tendancy to tell about the things we are going to do, or cast vision about what we should do, but There is a significant difference between talk and action.  We all know this, but when you are in Uganda and you see the results of acting on what you say it is an eye opening experience.

It seems to be this simple for the Skinners.  Uganda has an orphan and Widow problem, we are going to do something about it, lets take them in.  Now what ever that means in terms of practically building facilities, raising leaders, creating a philosophy is merely steps of action on the way to doing something about the problem.

James said, I’ll show you my faith by my works.  Yes we must talk, we must share, we must cast vision, but at some point for things to change, action has to be taken, and if we just keep it simple the “way” to do it will become clear, as long as we are committed to ACTION!

Power in Partnership…

Well, we only have two and half days before we head home.  That seems so fast, but I think everyone will be ready by then.  I would say that the key word to this years global reach to Africa is Partnership.  I have had so much fun this year in building some new relationships and partnering together to make a difference around the world.

God has partnered us with some great people who have a heart like we do to reach the world.  God has put a new friend in my life this last year, that I have grown to value a great deal.  A man named John Osborne.  He is the director of ROC (Rwanda Outreach Coalition), and works at OC in their program to help Rwandan Students as well as working with Christ Church Rwanda.  He has connected me with some more new friends.  Brian Hixton a great man, who has a heart like God.  He cares for people, and is an exceptional planner and details man.  Which just means, he cares a lot.  Pastor David The Senior Pastor at Christ Church and His team, Pastor Rusty, Pastor Eddie, and Pastor Moses.  What a great team.  These men and their wives have made commitments to the cause of Jesus that few have, and it is apparent that God is using them in a mighty way.

We partnered with them in Rwanda, partnered with Watoto in Uganda, partnering through the local church is where its at.  The only way to make a long term impact is to partner with long term local church teams.  I urge all short term missions programs out there, to take a hard look at the way you are doing what you do, make sure it is connected an partnered with a long term local church partner.  If you don’t, you may feel like you are making an impact but in the long run, it’s a shot in the dark.  You can know that your efforts are not in vein and have a long term impact through partnership.

I urge you long termers to use the energy, passion, and gifts of short term teams to help train your teams and give you a big momentum bump when you can.  Ive always been a partnership person, and now more than ever.  Church its time we took the limits off, joined hands, and let God do His thing.

I’m inspired and truly appreciate the power in partnership.  Its a divine principle established by God, lets do it, partner.

Latest update from Uganda

Downtown Uganda

Image via Wikipedia

We have had a great time so far here in Uganda. The team went out and built today at the Watoto village. What an experience. It is so moving to know that building a classroom in a Watoto village can impact generations. I would like to say thanks to all of you who have been praying for us, and for those who contributed to the cause of Global Reach Africa financially. You have made it possible for us to fulfill the mandate God has given us to right wrongs where we can.

There are over 2.5 million orphans in Uganda, and partnering with Watoto is the best way we can do something about that. They are truly the real deal. They are reaching out now to South Africa and looking forward to the sudan in the near future. My world enlarges and dreams get bigger just being around these great people. They are the best kind of dreamers too. Unassuming, humble, and relentless. Let the devil do what he does, let the circumstances be what they may. We will use obstacles as opportunities and see the promise in the problem.

The team is doing so well. The chemistry on this team is so incredible. As I type this up, I can hear them upstairs playing cards together and laughing and enjoying life. Work hard, play hard, its the only way to be. God is so good.

Everyone is doing fine, feeling well, and can’t believe the trip is almost over. We are missing home and anxious to see everyone but God is doing some great things here.

Tomorrow we build some more, then dedicate the building, then thursday we get to visit the different villages, and those who have sponsored Watoto kids get to visit with their sponsored child.

If you are a part of harvest, let me encourage you, that you can change your world right at home right now. We are right in the middle of our summer server opportunities, and their is a mission field in your back yard through our major outreaches that go on all summer. Kids camp, Foster kids camp, and Youth America. Share your faith today, with your words, and with the expression of the Love of Jesus.

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…