Greetings to you all. We hope you find some interesting bit of news of our family and what we are up to. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Comic Book Superheroes

Have you seen Batman Begins, or Superman Returns, maybe the four X-Men movies, or what about the new ones coming this year like the Green Lantern, or Captain America? Seems like we are a bit obsessed, yes? Well just the other night me and Lia watched Batman Begins and how from the darkness he became a symbol of courage and justice in Gotham. Do you remember any movie lines? The only one I remember from the Micheal Keaton Batman is "Where does he get such wonderful toys?". What about the new one, "It's not who I am that defines me, but what I do." Just a little different. Now don't get me wrong, I like the Keaton Batman, and I like the new Batman, but there is a marked difference in our superheros today. In Superman Returns there is a point when Superman is talking with Lois Lane about her paper where she said that no one needs a saviour anymore, and he turns to the city and says "I can hear them all, and they are crying for a saviour." That quote may not be exact for any of you who are superman fans. It has been awhile since I saw the movie, but you get the idea.

What is the point you ask? It is this. When many of these comic hero wonders were created it was during a time in our history when things were uncertain, people wanted to have someone that could fly in and rescue them, save them from all problems. In the Christopher Reeve Superman we saw him battle Lex Luthor and even turn the whole world around just to save Lois from Death, but in the new one we saw how nothing, not even a convenience store robbery was to small for him to take the time to save. Superman suddenly cared for the everyday joe on the street.

Now we in America must be truly losing our creative streak as instead of thinking up our own new heroes we just resurrect the old ones from the comic books sitting in old boxes in our closet and give them a new flair. But I ask the question, what is our depression today, why are we so desperately searching for a saviour? Because we want to be saved. A weak saviour will not do so we look to one who can fly, one who is not ashamed to wear his underwear on the outside of his spandex. We look to one who can hear us and come to our aid faster than a speeding bullet. We want a hero that can take our sins on himself because he is the only one able to do so, he is the only one able to bear them.

Is the time ripe for our Saviour to be known in His creation again? It would appear so. Will we let the opportunity slip by? I hope not. Will we let our own insecurities keep us from bringing the ultimate saviour to this dying world? It is not about us but about Him, and if Superman can hear them all crying for a saviour, then the true saviour of the world can hear them. It is time to show them not Superman in red and blue spandex, or Batman in his special black armor suit, but Christ in His glory, the empty cross and tomb.

The world is ready and even begging for a saviour, lets show them one.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Remembering...the pain

It has been sixteen months since we left Yei. For sixteen months we have been living here trying our best to fit in to life in the states. A roof over our heads not made of grass, hot and cold RUNNING water, Wal-Mart, ah yes, Wal-Mart everything you need and don't need under one roof. Mangos don't taste quite like they do fresh off the mango tree as compared to straight off the grocery store shelf. Oh to be asleep at night during the end of mango season and be awakened to the sound of falling rotten mangos splatting on someone's head. Or watching the ammunition dump being blown sky high because some careless soldier caught it on fire while trying to harvest honey. All night long those bombs, explosives, grenades, and small arms were popping only about a mile or two away. Life different, and there is no going back.

I know I've made this comment to some before, and I will make it again here, "How can you pick up the threads of an old life, when so much has happened.."? This was Frodo's mussing at the end of Lord of the Rings. Ultimately he wasn't able to pick up that old life and that is why he left for the undying lands to bear away his burden. But what of us who have no undying lands in this life, just the slow drudgery of day to day until that one day when we either cross the river or see His return in the clouds? How do we move on? Can time, the ticking of the hands, really heal all wounds in this life? For all of eternity we will have every tear wiped away by our loving Father. There would be no such need unless the time of this world is not enough to heal all wounds, maybe that is what Frodo learned.

How do I describe the thoughts floating around in my heart? How do I communicate such pain and joy? recently I was talking with a good friend whom i have not had much interaction with in a long time. Upon reading this this friend will know who she is and I am grateful for her asking about Yei. Not many have done so and yet I don't think I would have known how to respond if they had. The beauty and wonder of the work that me and my wife have done and the pain and sorrow that we have endured is not an easy thing to convey.

It is very hard to make understandable the inner ramblings of the heart. they do not come out in nice ordered sentences and paragraphs. My heart was very wounded while serving in Africa. While all are to blame for some actions Satan is the real cause behind all evil. I made many mistakes... many. It has been hard to grasp the forgiveness extended to me by my Father, harder still to extend it to those who hurt me. Have you ever seen the movie Braveheart and looked into the eyes of William Wallace when he discovers Robert the Bruce's betrayal? I know that feeling. It was hard to leave Sudan, almost like I was retreating. But God told me it was time for the sake of my own life, and that of my family. Sudan almost claimed my life physically, spiritually, emotionally, and in the end it would have also been the life of my family. God saved our lives in a very real sense. Was I bitter...yes. Am I bitter...not anymore. Those people were and still are my family. I pray blessing on them and I wish the best for them. But it was not just the arguments, insults, mistrust, accusations, or insults that lead to such pain, I lost something very close, closer to me than I knew it to be at the time.

Some of you have heard of Isaiah, some of you have not. He was a little boy that was introduced very briefly into our lives. He was an HIV positive baby, and he had an older sister named Rose. At the time we(me and Lia) felt that as we stayed in Sudan we would adopt these two kids once we had a house and take care of them. While they were with us another girl visiting the base at the time was taking care of Isaiah and loving him like a son. But she was not to stay and what would happen to him after that. We figured we would take him. It was not to be. While on leave in Uganda all of us as a family were sick our whole week there and that is when we heard God tell us it was time to go. What?! But looking back it was. What of Isaiah? It was time for him to go too. Shortly after our decision we got the news of his passing to be with his Creator. Forever healed of a mistake that was not even of his own doing. And while his sister is now left alone she is in a home where she is loved and free from the burden of a child that was not hers to bear. She took it patiently and may God bless her for the lost years of love spent watching her brother. and from what i have hear He is. But that does not ease the pain of losing one whom I regard as my son.

How do you pick up the threads of an old life? Simple, you don't even try, for it is impossible. My life is forever changed and I can either run from the pain, or learn from it. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. I have made my choice....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Prodigal Son (Backpacker) Project

This is kind of like a refresher for some but maybe a bit new for others as there may be some new folks reading our blog. I wanted to tell you all again a little bit about where we stand right now along with a bit of our purpose for this ministry.

The Prodigal Son Project is a new vision that God has given us. The basic idea is this, to reach young travelers in Europe and ultimately the world with the gospel of Christ there by sending out more traveling missionaries to spread that same gospel to the ends of the earth fulfilling the Great Commission.

Our plan on doing this is to invite these young weary travelers into our home, which will be in Scotland, and having them stay with us. While in our home they will hear the gospel as well as seen it lived out in a day to day basis. They will have a warm and inviting home atmosphere where they can feel free to stay as long as they want and discuss about God, Jesus, life, or anything else they may want to talk about. Backpackers are generally quite open to discussions on religion and we will use this to bring in the gospel. Those that accept Christ will be welcome to stay with us for discipleship and rest to build on their new foundation if they choose. If they wish to move on they will be given whatever tools we can provide, such as a bible, to keep them in the right path as they continue their travels. Hopefully and with God's blessing they will spread their new found faith as they travel and in this way continue to spread the gospel to other areas. This is the goal of the Prodigal Son Project.

Now where are we in seeing this goal? Well right now we are in the USA preparing ourselves to move to Scotland to work with/under YWAM there. YWAM, or Youth With A Mission, is a non-denominational missionary organization. We will be with the YWAM base there for about six months and then move on from there to a small town in the north called Oban. Right now we are facing some challenges. The first is support, we need to have around 4-5,000 a month in regular support raised to pay for the cost of living in Scotland as well as to pay for our plane tickets and visas. We actually need this support before we can even begin processing our visas. and two we will eventually need our own home. As you can guess the cost of houses in the UK are not cheap.

Our prayer and plea is this, that you would pray and ask the Lord to guide you in some way to help us. If it be prayer only we would not be disappointed. A soldier can have everything he needs to attack the enemy, but with out the land ahead prepared through offshore bombardment he can not win. Only with a pre-emptive strike can he succeed. Without prayer we can do nothing. If the Lord should lead you to give we would be greatly pleased as again a soldier can have all the pre-attack he can, but without ammunition for his gun or food for his stomach, he will not survive. We too need the finances to help with everyday expenses. However if the Lord leads you to give just a one time gift that will be thankfully accepted as well. A very necessary part of our ministry is that we own our home in the UK but being expensive we need to raise the money for purchasing a house. All such one time gifts would go towards that house.

I am putting on here information on where to send support if the Lord should lead you in such a way. The address is ACI Int. P.O. Box 1131 Clifton, CO 81520 Checks can be made out to ACI International. With the check enclose a letter stating that it is "preferenced for BIE", do not put our name anywhere on the check.

Again, thank you for taking the time to read this and we thank you for your prayers. For a sideshow and more info on our mission please see our earlier post in the blog archives on the right side of the page and click on "2010" and then on "May". Thank you so much.