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…

harvest summer so far…

WOW! we are having a great summer so far. The ministry and outreach that has happened sense June at harvest is incredible. I am so thankful that God has challenged us to reach out, and count it an honor to serve God in this way. GFC, impacted many ladies lives from around the region, our Rwanda trip, became more than we ever hoped, Royal family Kids camp was phenomenal and Kids camp was off the charts. We have now completed our first week of Youth America Camp.

As I stood by the stage last night and watched as our young adult staffers prayed for the young people. I felt such pride, such passion, excited that we have a church that promotes, embraces, and empowers the next generation. Janae and I stood in that room watching as our young adults rose to the occasion in their worship, and passion for God, and for the church. We have so much to be thankful for, but the one thing today, I am thankful for is that my girls are growing up in a culture that lets young people see, there is room in the church for them, and the future of the church is in their hands.

The recording was powerful. We truly captured a night with God! Its been a great summer.

I love summers at harvest. Stay tuned, two more weeks of Camp and then we leave for Cambodia. Can’t wait.


No place like Home…

Something happened when we were in Rwanda. Something that caught us all off guard. It was so surprising, it evoked emotion immediately and unexpectedly. It made us all so proud, and so inspired. It was truly a great moment.

When we were at the university of technology in Kigali, and had the night with the next generation, where we thought about 300 hundred would gather and over a thousand showed up. It was an inspiring night in itself. The passion with which these young men and women worshiped, the talent of the singers and dancers. The response to the challenging word I spoke on the responsibility and hope of Rwanda. There was one thing however that happened, so spontaneous, so completely unexpected that it blew us away.

The night was an all night event, so because we had a leadership conference to finish the next morning we left about 1:30 a.m. Before we left I wanted to introduce the entire team to all the young people. As i was going down the list, telling who these people were and what they did, and what it took for them to come, they were so receptive, and cheered and clapped. It was great. Then it happened. I got to Sam Laymen, who is an airplane electronics engineer, and in the U.S military. I introduced him, and what he did, then I said, he is in the Air force, he is in the U.S. Military. That placed erupted! They cheered and clapped and cheered and clapped, it was so unexpected that I got emotional, pride swelled in me. The thought came to my head. The world does not hate America, no matter what the media says, not matter what some in America think. That place went crazy when we said he was in the military. We all teared up, and I explained to them, why that would mean so much to us, and i told them thank you for loving America, and America’s military.

I left there conflicted. Realizing that I had not known how effected I was by the constant bombardment of negative reports about our nation. I realized that it wasn’t true. I realized how proud I am to be an American. We were all just blown away.

I thank God that He is using us to help other nations and other peoples around the globe. I thank God for placing me and my family in the United States of America, so we could have the mindset and the prosperity to be able to do what we do. When we go, we are not trying to turn other nations into the western world. I train our people that is not what we are doing, we are helping and sharing the Gospel, but at the same time we are not ashamed of America, we are thankful and proud of our nation and what it stands for. Lets not lose that.

God bless America! There is no place like home.


Helping people…the great adventure

I love adventure.  I love trying knew things, taking a challenge, doing something thats fun or gives you a rush! I love the risk of it the commitment of it, the courage it takes to be adventerous.  If someone around me is not asking, “you’re really going to do that?”  or,  “are you sure you want to do that?”  I know I’m not really living.

I love adventure.  The greatest adventure in life is taking the challenge and the risk.  Making the commitment, and sacrifice.  Accepting and embracing inconvenience for the sake of helping others.  There is no rush, no excitement, no fun, like helping other people.  Getting involved in their lives, dealing with their issues and helping them find solutions, this is adventure.

There are so many christians in the world right now who are living this great faith adventure, and I love it!  I love it that the church is figuring out, that the answers are not in setting behind our four walls enjoying each others company, but it is in reaching out and bringing people in that is changing lives, and causes great adventure.

Christians who aren’t passionate about Jesus, are struggling being bored with their Christianity because they’ve lost the adventure that is supposed to be at the forefront of a Christians life.

One of the reasons I love our church, and many like it is because we are living the adventure, we have lots of people who have embraced this exciting life and are doing it together.  This week we will be serving women at our “Girlfriends Conference”  Women from all four of our campuses and over 50 other churches will come together and experience a highly creative, spiritually impacting, relational and fun conference.

We have volunteers that will take their time and serve these ladies so they can have this life changing experience.  We also run youth camps all summer long, june through august at our OKC facility.  Rental camps and Our National youth ministry, Youth America. Next Monday we will be taking a team to Africa, where we are leading a pastors and leadership conference as well as a medical clinic for two weeks.  At the end of  July we will be taking another team to Camobdia, To work with Orphans and impoverished children, helping them  not be victimized by human trafficking.  We have a Kids camp as well as a Royal family Kids Camp which is our ministry to Foster Kids.  A free camp for 85 foster kids ages 7-11.

That may sound like a lot, and is why we call summers at harvest one big adventure!  We are committed to Change the world through the adventure of helping others.  All the teens, all the kids, all the adults, locally, regionally, nationally and globally we will help this summer, are all part of this great adventure called Christianity.  Its about taking the chance to love people, to extend grace to them, and to live life full tilt for the greatest adventurer of all time.  Jesus!

So jump off the bench, get off the sidelines, get in the game and enjoy the adventure and who knows, you might open up a life of adventure for someone else.


Next Generation….

OK, I’ve had it…Sound mad don’t I? Not really, I just hear so much talk about how bad the Next generation is coming up. It May be true for some, but I know a lot of young people who are productive, who care about life, who care about the important things. It will not be some political plan, some technology, some process or ideology that ushers in the next great thing, or the next great leadership movement. It will be the leaders of this next generation. The young people so many love to hate today.

I know that all we hear about is the negative on everything, partially because the media stokes that fire, and partially because we buy the smoke. However There are some great young leaders coming up. Oh there not in Hollywood, they are not even visible to you and I, but they are there and they have some thoughts.

My Daughter is one of those. Guess what, My daughter is not in to drugs, My daughter is not caught up in things that are illegal or self destructive. Now hold on before you judge me for being prideful, which, alright I’m a little guilty of, She isn’t perfect, and she tries my patience on a consistent basis, just by being a teenager, I try hers as well.

Taylor turned 15 today, she is, and I can’t say this without partiality, one of the best kids I know. She really wants to change the world. She cares about people, she cares about her relationship with Jesus and allowing Him to use her life, and their are tons like her. Volunteering, using their gifts and talents, and time to help others.

I think our future looks bright! I love it that my daughter wants to change the world. That can sound kind of idealistic to us over 40 crowd. I must still be idealistic too then cause I’m trying to change the world as well. So Taylor is going with me to Cambodia this year, and we will do our best to help others together, and by the way, that’s how you change the world. So all you young people out there, we believe in you, we see potential in you, and we are depending on your leadership and enthusiasm in the future to help change the world.

I have people ask me all the time how did you get your daughter to think like that, to be like that. I use to say, just the grace of God, but the truth is a little more specific than that.

1. I spend time involved in her life, and listening, cultivating and supporting her dreams and talents.

2. I surround her with dreamers. I have lots of friends who are big thinkers, and world shakers and I get her around them and let her listen and naturally they speak into her life.

3. She is planted in a great church and has great Pastors and pastoral figures speaking into her life, and helping to encourage and support her.

4. We Talk, talk, talk about everything.

5. I have listened to parents who have gone before me, and employed their advice.

6. She has the most incredible down to earth yet faith filled mother on the planet.

7. She surrounds herself with friends who are full on committed to Christ and she creates friendships with kids who she is reaching out to for Christ.

I can hear someone saying right now, well she’s still young and she could mess up. Yep, and probably will, Thank God for His Grace and the knowledge that His dreams for her do not hinge on my imperfections, her mothers, her leaders or hers, but rather on His perfection.

So Thank God for Taylor and her generation….Can’t wait to see how the world changes.