Every Bible Counts

Today I had a great conversation with a new friend from Tenesse who I met here in Uganda. A humble guy, who came to work on a painting project for Watoto. 

As he was planning to come he felt that God impressed him to bring some bibles. He took the bibles wrote the plan of salvation in the front and high lighted the scriptures in each bible. 

One of the days he was working he felt impressed to take the bibles to the work site and when he got there there was a Watoto teacher. He told her about the bibles and she teared up and said if he would give her the bibles she we distribute them. 

THE NEXT DAY she came back to him and told him that she took the bibles to the village and a man gave his life to Jesus after receiving one of them. 

He was so happy, that he heard God, obeyed and a life was changed. Glory to God!  

Every action of obedience makes an eternal difference. Even if it seems small to you it’s big to God, and to whomevers life is changed. 

#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

God has not Forgotten You

In Mark 5 there are two intersecting accounts that equally reveal the power of God and the action that moves Him. Faith.

One is the story of a woman struggling for years.  Having lost all of her resources, left to accept her fate and die. She hears about Jesus and acts on her faith. She decides that if she touches Jesus he whole situation would change and she was right. She pressed through the crowd touched him and was made well.

When she touched Jesus he was on his way to Jairus house.

Jairus, a great leader in the community had a desperate situation,  his daughter was gravely ill. He was so distraught, his status meant nothing, his influence meant nothing, his wealth meant nothing.  When he saw Jesus he fell to the ground in front of him and asked, “will you heal my daughter?” Jesus said yes I will.

On his way there he was interrupted by the faith of the woman. After his encounter with the woman, Jairus servant arrived on the scene and told his master, “no need to bother the master further, your daughter is dead.”

The words were final, cold, and must have caught Jairus off guard as the truth of them settled on his heart.  “Dead”, that word is so harsh. Have you ever thought about what Jairus must have thought in that moment. His answer was on its way but seemingly too late. If only Jesus had not been interrupted, if he had not stopped, maybe his daughter would have lived. Why does the women get healed and his daughter die?  Did Jesus forget?  Did He not care? 

In that moment despair, grief, fear, anger, sadness and regret must have landed on him like a ton of bricks. Should he have just stayed with his daughter, was this foolish to run after Jesus hoping he could cure her, had his desperation drove him insane?  Why? Why? Why? 

He believed just like the lady, he humbled himself, he asked for help. What more could he have done? 

He felt alone, abandoned, shocked, and his whole world seemed to be unraveling right before his eyes.

Jesus must have seen the sheer terror on his face.  He arrested his thoughts and said with an uncanny confidence. “Jairus, don’t be afraid, only believe!” Only believe, as if to say it’s time to stop all the torrent of thoughts racing through his mind. Don’t doubt, don’t fear, don’t grieve, don’t be distracted, only believe.

Today if you feel alone, forgotten, isolated, disappointed, stop listening to the wrong voices, bring the crazy thoughts of doubt, fear, and discouragement to a screeching halt and Only believe. No matter how final things feel to you, nothing is final to God.

Help is on the way, He’s not late, He’s not forgotten you. It doesn’t matter how things feel or look, ONLY BELIEVE.

Just like Jesus rescued the daughter of Jairus he can and will rescue you.

Update

We’ve had a tremendous couple of days. Arrived Saturday night in Uganda. Had the privilege of attending Watoto church Sunday morning, what a blessing that was. They are incredibly excellent, and their worship experiences are like a big celebration. They have 28 services over 10 campuses God is using them to change their nation.

It was great for the team to get some time with Pastor Julius during orientation. He is a great man and the pastor at the central campus.

Sunday afternoon after church we had the opportunity to go to one of the villages and eat. Traditional men with 4 of the families. We ate, then played with them. They love singing, and dancing, and they are passionate about football (soccer).

Monday morning bright and early we went to the job site and learned that we would be laying a foundation for a new building. Hard work but worth every minute. The team is having a great time and they are hard workers everyone.

I love working with watoto because its not just about a project its about the impact on generations for decades to come. They are truly raising the next generation of African leaders. It is amazing to see how innovative, industrious and visionary they are here. The level of leadership is remarkable.

Leadership Training it’s imperative all over the world

Wow! What a day! It’s 7:30 pm and I am leaving kampong Cham and going Phnom Penh. It’s been an eventful day.

It started early this morning in prayer and study looking over the Me kong river. Went from that to breakfast with Pastor Meng Hong. A good man and pastor with a huge heart. After breakfast we went to the hall where the pastors conference was already in progress. There were 54 pastors in attendance. It was a great day of interaction. I taught two leadership development sessions and then we had lunch and when we returned I taught on marriage and ministry. I found that the same relational issues exist everywhere in the world. It was quite funny.

While I was teaching, the team was working at the Hope center. They worked on such projects as painting the gates, creating a new walk way, and two different landscaping projects. Some of the team went to the market to prepare for the party tonight. Buying the clothes, backpacks, school supplies and toiletries. This is not an easy job. Buying for 31 orphans is definitely a major task. A big thanks goes out to signature dental who provided toothbrushes, and toothpaste for all the kids.

So the team and I all met back at the hotel and rushed to get ready for the party. This requires, getting all the elements organized all the gift bags filled all the roles disseminated. Big Props to autumn and Taylor and our Cambodian coordinator Kimmy.

We went to the hall we rented for the party, got the music going, blew up balloons hung up the decorations, set out the stations-coloring, nails/hair/make up for the girls to make them feel special. A balloon station where team members make balloon animals for the kids, a twister station, a painting station, a scarf making session. Just the biggest party you’ve ever seen.

They love it. Every year they just get so excited. It’s like Christmas. We party, dance and then have the big gift give away.

This year I was only able to stay for the very first part so I left to go to phnom penh. I have an early morning meeting with the staff at new life and then a lunch meeting with the expat teams at new life. Looking forward to all of those.

God is so good. All the time! I miss my girls but love what God is doing. At least I have one of my girls with me. The team will finish the party tonight then have a soccer clinic tomorrow with the hope center children.

Then we are almost finished. It’s gone fast. I can’t say enough about this team. Each one of them have been superb in every way. Everything you want in a team.

Team:

Autumn Ellis -harvest Okc Campus
Taylor Gadberry – Harvest Edmond Campus
Louie Hamilton – harvest Okc campus
Micah Nimmo – harvest Okc Campus
Chandler Boyce- harvest Okc campus
Lauren Lee – harvest edmond Campus
Mariah Johnson – Your Place Church Pryor, Ok
Rachel Strange- Your Place church Pryor, ok
Angela Tracy – harvest Stillwater campus
Jordan Hodgden. – harvest Norman Campus
Chad Raunborg – harvest Okc campus
Ashley Newey – St Luke’s Okc
Adrienne Jefferis – harvest Okc campus.

You should be proud of these committed people who have given their time and treasure to this cause and they have made a difference.

We love you all who have made this possible. Thanks

True Religion

James 1:27

Every year when we drive up to the hope center the kids are in the front porch clapping and cheering smiling and so happy to see us, and we are equally as happy to see them.

This year there was a noticeable difference. Many of the older kids have grown significantly in the last year. They are so beautiful and respectful and treat us like family.

Every year as they greet us and sing songs and introduce themselves, I think to myself where would they be if they didn’t have the hope center. Would some of them be dead. Died of disease or malnutrition, or lack of food? Would some of them be forever stuck in the cycle of poverty, having no education, or decent clothing or medical attention, and never be able to break out. Continuing the cycle into the next generation.

Would some be the victims of a heartless trafficker who thinks children are a commodity to be bought and sold for work or sexual perversion?

The truth is now they are safe, they are covered. They may not have parents who are alive but they have family in this hope center.

Thank God for Pastor Meng Hong and Vat dei for having the courage and strength to do this. It is our pleasure to help support them. It is our honor to come each year and have a party for the kids and distribute 3 new sets of clothes for each of them, to get them all of their school supplies, to bring them new toiletries. To get them bicycles to ride to school, to do upkeep and new projects around the home, and so much more like a washer and dryer, the installation of indoor bathrooms, an overhang so the kids can play in the shade, painting and reprinting the home, landscaping, sewing machine, to make clothes and to teach the kids.

Over these years we have supported them in a significant way by all of this and much more including money to help with ongoing expenses throughout the year.

The most fun thing though is what will happen tonight. Tonight we will throw our annual party for them. Something they don’t normally get. We eat together, we dance, we play games, we give them all their new stuff as presents. It’s truly like Christmas to them, and it’s such a joy to us.

Thank you! From the bottom of my heart Thank You! If you have supported a missionary if you have given towards projects if you have prayed for us. If you have sent a family member to come. Thank you.

We could not do this without you.

This is true religion, this is the heart of God. This is pleasing to the father.

The most important thing is that if these kids were not able to be placed in this home they would probably not know Jesus or have heard of him in any clear way.

This is great if it was just changing the life of one child but the truth is it is changing the life of generations.

This is true religion!

Wonderful weekend

Yesterday was phenomenal. I had the privilege of speaking in all the services at the central campus and the team was able to be a part of the opening of a brand new service and campus for new life.

They are reaching so many people. To give some perspective the average Cambodian church that’s 10 yrs old or more averages 20 adults. They started this service with 108 adults. This church is truly going to another level.

The service last night was powerful. A huge praise celebration. I spoke on the power of praise and the place erupted in praise. god really touched lives. The team was praying for people and joining in the celebration. It was remarkable to see.

In the afternoon the team was able go to the dump and minister to some of the most impoverished people in phnom penh. It’s hard for many west enters to fathom the depth of poverty in the developing world but it is good for everyone who can to see it and do something about it. We are doing what we can. Needless to say yesterday was a good day.

We are going out to kampong Cham today to our hope center there to spend 2 and 1/2 days with the orphans there. We will conduct classes, games, party’s, work on the home.

It’s a privilege to work for the kingdom.

This is the day

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Great day! Last night after 2 full days
of travel the team got on the bus and drive 4 more hours out to the province. Jet lagged and tired they jumped out of the bus, played games with the orphans at the hope center, talked to them and were just absolutely stellar.

If you’ve never done that than you wouldn’t understand how incredibly taxing and challenging that would be, but we all agreed we were not going to let travel problems stop us from connecting with our hope center.

I’m so proud of this team. We were able to bless pastor Sokhan and Esther and their team with resources to help with the amazing job they do with the orphans.

This morning the team went with their feeding program team and went to the village to help with feeding village kids who are in desperate need. While I traveled early this morning to phnom penh to meet with pastor Jesse and their pastoral team. We had a great meeting. The presence of God was present and blessed us all. They have a team of world changers. This church is truly positioned to influence the nation.

Team is on their way back to the city and we will meet up in just a few minutes.

We will connect tonight with university students who have aged out of children’s homes. They are orphans. New life has “next step” homes to provide housing and help while they attend university. Great ministry opportunity.

Thanks for the support. Continue to pray.