Monthly Archives: August 2013
Two Years Ago & A New Path
Today marks the two-year anniversary of an encounter that forever changed our family. I write this post not to try and draw attention of any kind to me or my family, but to give glory to the Lord for how amazing He is and how incredible His ways are. When we follow His lead, the results are miraculous!
On August 26, 2011, Dana & I were hosting a welcome home event for a friend who had spent several months in Africa on the mission field, and I was excited to simply sit back and watch the presentation. To that point in my life, I was totally content with the career path I was on. I was using my business degree and contributing to the success of a large employee-owned organization. It was where I assumed I would stay comfortably nestled for the long haul. What happened that August night changed everything. Although I had been a Christian for many years, I had never had an experience like what took place that night.
Despite the contentment with my career, I had long wrestled with a tug at my heart caused by my experiences while participating in short-term international mission trips. My eyes had been opened by the vast needs I had seen first-hand throughout the world. Those experiences left a mark in my spirit that couldn’t be erased. As great of an impression as those experiences left in me, I seemed to always take the Road of Avoidance so that I wouldn’t have to answer all of the questions I faced… one of which was “How can I – being so insignificant – make any difference considering how big the needs are?” That night, as I felt the presence of the Lord in a tangible way, I vowed to stop avoiding all the questions and do something about them. I made a commitment right then that I refuse to do nothing when I knew He was calling me to do something and finally start making a difference in the lives of people who desperately need it. Perhaps Josh Wilson, in his music video “I Refuse,” says it best (watch it here). I had heard this song a time or two prior to that particular night, but in the days and months that followed, it became my personal anthem.
Much has happened in our lives in the last two years. Apparently God took my “I Refuse” declaration seriously! Our family has experienced all kinds of changes, emotions, and unexpected twists along our path, but we can confidently say that every step has been worth it. We have been re-made and re-positioned to give our lives to a brand new career path involving world missions efforts. All things truly do “work together for good for those who love God and are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
On this special anniversary, I’d like to pose a few questions that have helped guide our family’s present and future path. I present them in hopes that you are encouraged and inspired to answer these and whatever other questions there are that linger in your heart. If by me asking a few questions, you are connected in a deeper way to the work He’s doing in and around you, then mission accomplished! I’d love to hear your thoughts and responses to these questions that have greatly impacted my life:
- What is it that has truly marked your soul and can’t be erased?
- What is it that both breaks your heart and makes you angry at the same time?
- What if you could truly make a difference today, and God took you seriously when you cried out in response?
- What’s the cost if you don’t respond to the tugging inside your heart? (My friend, Trevor, in New Zealand says, “Little ideas that tickle and nag and never go away… do not ignore them! For in them lie the seeds of your destiny.”)
- What if today was the day you stopped waiting for someone else to do what you were made to do?
I hope you, at least in part, have addressed these questions in one way or another in your own life. If not, it is my desire that you FULLY know that you are created to make a significant impact for the Kingdom of God! May you say NO to doing nothing and YES to doing something! May the path you take today and tomorrow be filled with purpose!
Happy Anniversary (to us),
Family Camp in Austria
It has been good to be here and finally meet so many of the wonderful people that Prepare International works with on an ongoing basis. Our family has enjoyed spending great time with people such as Robin & Kathleen from Belgium, Willie & Esther from Belgium, and Carlo from Croatia. Each of the families here represent key pastors and leaders in their respective countries that God is using to truly be a voice and a tool for the Kingdom of God. It has been hard for me to comprehend the fact that so many of these pastors lead either the only one or one of just a couple of Christian churches in their entire region! I am both saddened and challenged to know that in my town there are 400+ churches and yet our city is still FULL of the lost and broken. Some of the stories I’ve heard this week tell of European cities the same size as Lubbock, yet many may only have ONE church… and that one may have 40-50 people attending. Seriously?!?! Now that I’m meeting these great people first-hand, it is evident that the need to provide training, mentorship, and encouragement is greater than I ever imagined. We have been given so much and can provide so much for others if we’re just willing to say YES!
It is for that very reason that I’m more excited than ever to be a part of the training team at Prepare International. I eagerly look forward to not only continuing to spend the next few days with these great brothers and sisters in Christ, but also to the opportunities this fall to travel and teach in the training schools in Holland, Belgium, Macedonia, and Poland. I am honored to serve the cause of Christ in this way!
To all who are a part of our support team, I cannot say thank you enough! Your partnership means even more now than I can express. Thank you!! You are making it possible for the nations such as Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia (among others) to be won for Christ and discipled into true sons and daughters of the Kingdom!
Please take a few minutes and read the blog that we have been updating here each morning. See the faces and know that families are being encouraged, marriages are being strengthened, and the presence of the Lord is working supernaturally!
Keep praying! God is mightily at work!