Monday, August 27, 2007

Alone with the wife

So, I have a week alone with my wife.  The kids are spending a week up at my parents.  I hope they use this opportunity to commune with nature, but I am sure they will still get in plenty of time eating and watching tv since we don't really watch it at home.  I hope they have fun.

They are gone, now what to do with the wife...   Well, let's see.  A man in love with his beautiful wife, home alone for a week.  I could bring her flowers each day and make it romantic.  I could draw up a hot bath and play her favorite music and let her have a relaxing week.  I could take her out on a date a day.  I could let her do whatever she wants to do and go biking....  Wait, the shock is still not in.  Darn, that idea is out.  I could play video games ALLLLLLLL week.

I actually have an idea of what I want to do.  It is really out of the normal for me.  I want to work on the house.  I want to redo the bathrooms and the hallway.  I need to put in two new sinks.  I need to put in some cupboards and a new counter top.  I could actually put one in in our kitchen this week, too!  Yeah, that sounds like  a great idea.  I could get all this done, and put in a patio this week.  That would be great.  We need a patio, too.  We need the bathrooms done.  We need some plumbing work as well.  Yeah, I could do that.  That's it!  I know what I am going to do.  I am going to work on the house all week.  That should also show my wife how much I love and appreciate her.  Okay, the matter is settled.  I am going to work on the house.

But wait...  I have to work all week.  I have youth ministry on Monday night.  We are also having an outreach to our community in the form of a Back to School Bash tonight, so I can't miss that.  I think there is a missions board meeting Tuesday, so I can't work then.  Wednesday is dedicated to ministry school.  Hmm, no work on Wednesday.  I can work on Thursday.  I will get it all done then, because then the house will look great for the youth ministry meeting at my house on Friday. 

I wonder how much of this I can get done in one night?

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Go to and play all the Dirt Bike games

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I want to do this

I wish I could just do this one time.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Peru Part 2

Peru Part 2

NOTE: This is a word I shared with our church last weekend. I felt
though it is directed at our church, there are some things that the church as
a whole can get from it and therefore I am posting it the way it is.

This was a rough trip. It wasn’t hard in the things we did. It wasn’t
hard because I got sick. It wasn’t hard because I brought my son and not
my wife. It wasn’t hard because he was correcting me. It wasn’t
hard because of any discipline or anything. It wasn’t hard for anything
you would expect. It was a hard trip because the Lord had some lessons He wanted
to teach me.

1. I would like to publicly say the team was awesome. Joe and Terisa did a
great job of leading and involving the whole team. Joe never needs to be in
front of anything, but he works very hard when it is time to be in the crowd.
Terisa is very multi-dimensional. I know her well as a co-worker, and know what
she is capable of, but was very surprised to see her doing things like playing
volleyball and interacting in a different way than on previous trips.
2. Mark. I must say I was proud of him. He and I have been taking Bible College
courses together and it was very exciting to see my brother do so well. I almost
cried when I watched him give his first alter call on the trip. Almost all of
the 100 people came forward to accept Christ.
3. Maggie was a trooper. She always made sure there was prayer before a ministry
opportunity. She did a great job of coordinating the food preparation for the
outreach as well.
4. Our youth were awesome. The trip was rewarding for me just to be a proud
papa. As the youth leader I was so proud of God and our youth watching them
devote themselves to everything and everyone. Emily was always smiling and loving.
Natalie blew me away by just jumping into everything and moving so naturally.
Nathan was a wonderful son and teammate on this trip. He stepped way out of
his comfort zone and did things I never thought he would do in the name of Jesus.
You guys made the last six years of ministry seem so much more valuable by watching
Christ in you over the trip.

There were funny things that happened on this trip, but I think I will surprise
everyone and not talk about them. I think there are some things that happened
on this trip that really apply to our church.

1. Level of intimacy. I noticed this several times, but mostly when Nathan
and I were sick. We were driven to a doctor, then through the city and the jungle
back to our camp. During this time I noticed the man driving the truck had communicated
with well over 40 people. Some of this happened at 70 mph while someone was
facing the same direction as us and turning left away from us. I would see Peruvians
everywhere I looked, but this man saw friends. I got to thinking, how many people
could I know was I the one driving the truck in our neighborhood?
2. Being separated from the body while I was sick. This was very hard for me
to be away from the work. Our church is a church of workers. This is where most
of our fellowship happens. It was very hard for me to keep away, and to be honest,
I pushed myself to give the appearance of being well because I was lacking the
3. Speaking the language of the “other”. On previous trips I have
been afraid of really trying to do this. This year I purposed in my heart to
speak their language as much as possible. I spoke a whole message in Spanish
by reading the evangecube message. I feel me trying to connect with them on
their level was more important than it was to have to go through any filter
or have them connect on my level.
4. Prayer. At the crusade, I prayed for a young paralyzed boy. I prayed for
him for a long time, and found myself trying to convince God to heal him. I
also tried to reason with God and debate with Him to heal the boy. I came to
a point where God just said, “HEY”, and in an instant I understood
that there was nothing I could do or say that would sway Him more than He was
already swayed. I learned to pray in a more simple fashion, like, “God,
you know this person and love this person; you know what they need, please release
the grace necessary for this person to walk further in You.”
5. Prayer again. I almost feared being on the front line of prayer because of
last year. Last year I had a paralyzed boy that I prayed for first. I saw him
stand before my very eyes last year. I was completely exhausted after praying
for that boy last year. I ended up not being able to pray for anyone else to
be healed at the crusade after praying for him. I asked God last year not to
have to pray for such “impossible” things again as it had worn me
down physically and broke my heart emotionally.

This year, the first day we were on the front line God wanted to start trouble
with me. He knew what I wanted, but He wanted to teach me something else. He
had a woman run from the other side of the stadium to find me and grab me to
pray for this paralyzed boy. When I got there, before the previous lesson, there
was no time to get frustrated with God for knowing I will only end up praying
for one person tonight. I jumped in and started praying until I got the release
and learned the other lesson. Then I asked God why it went this way. “Why
did I have to be the one to pray for an “impossible” situation?”
Dad answered me with this word. It is a word for the church, as much as it is
a word for me personally. God said to me that He called me to an “impossible”
task that I might see Him. It brought to my mind how many “impossible”
things I have been through before. It brought to my mind how there were things
that were impossible to get out of, but mandatory to go through.

The Lord told me He purposely calls me to such tasks, knowing they are the most
outwardly impossible. He has told me that these are the works I have been called

This was also a picture of our church. We are called to this. This is a work
that others have considered and even tried, but failed because of different
reasons. If it is going to happen, it is going to be God’s work.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

First Peru Post. The Itinerary

Well, I have been pondering what to write about our mission trip to Peru for a while. There were a great many things that happened, but they left me with much to ponder and sort out. This was perhaps one of the most personally challenging trips I have been on.  CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PHOTO GALLERY

With that said, I still don’t know where to begin. I could, and will most likely have to, break the trip up over several posts. I can’t see a way to write about so many things in one post. Doing that would cause a very long and disjointed article. It would also be hard for my brain to stay on track. 

I like to journal my adventures on trips like these so I can remember things that happen. This year I was not able to journal everything, but I did get a great deal of it. The problem is since I have returned I have been in the topsy turvy world of company mergers and have had to devote much time to work. This has made it even harder to process the events on this trip. With all of that said, I think it best to start at the beginning and relay the events first. I will give an overview of the daily events of the trip:

• The trip went from July 15-24.  It was organized by Missions Without Borders.
• Sunday-Fly to Atlanta with our Michigan Team. From Atlanta we fly to Lima. This took about 10 hours, so we stayed in a hotel in Lima.
• Monday-We woke early to go to the airport to fly to Pucallpa. We had breakfast with all of the team who had arrived to the hotel during the night. All total there are about 70 of us. Upon landing in Pucallpa we were greeted by the local church. When I say the local church, I mean all of the local churches. There is a lot of unity between the local churches and they were very excited to have us come and partner with them to see their city won with the Gospel. After we got to the camp we received a huge party thrown in our honor. It was very humbling.

From there we needed to get to work. Over the last year our team has raised money to buy food for the poor. After the party we worked together to bag 600 bags of groceries and supplies. This took about three hours to get everything bagged and put away.

The whole team went to Central Park. They had something similar to an amphitheater where we ministered to around 200 people. Many were saved.

• Tuesday-Wake up early and enjoy a nice Peruvian breakfast. All of the juices are raw and very good. The food has a staple of potatoes.

Hop in a bus and drive to the first location. We ministered on the Ucayali River front. We performed drama, dance and skateboarding. We gave testimonies and had an alter call. Of over 100 people, nearly all of them gave their hearts to the Lord.

This was a split session so we also ministered in a river rest section where people went to rest from their work travels. Here we ministered to about 50 people. Many were children. We had a lot of fun with them. We played and made balloon animals with them. We performed some funny skits and gave a few testimonies. Nathan, my oldest son gave his testimony for the first time on a mission trip. I could tell he was nervous, but he did a great job.

Back to the camp for lunch and our next assignment. We went to an area where it is a park and many of the taxi drivers take breaks to play soccer. We ministered to nearly 100 kids and young people by the time we left.

Back to the camp for dinner and to clean up. We went to church. Actually we went to three churches. We ministered in three churches and gave food to the 25 poorest families in each church. Each of the other teams did this. There were four teams, so we went to 12 churches total that night.

• Wednesday-I am sick. We were going to a school. Every time we go minister in a school I get sick. It has happened each year. This is a Presbyterian School run by a Korean Missionary. The school is huge and beautiful. The lady wasn’t very impressed with us as we ministered to the preschool. She wanted us to preach to them. We had to up our game for elementary, and hope to be still on the grounds for high school.

Fortunately we lent the mic out to Pastor Bo. Pastor Bo preached a word in a way the kids could understand. This put us in good graces with the school master again and we were able to pull out all the stops and have fun with the high school. We ministered and lives were touched. This was a very rewarding time.

Split session again. Off to the market across the street. We walked around and got people interested in taking a few minutes to join us in the middle of the market. We ministered, and there were over 100 who came. We saw many lives changed. We also prayed for several sick people here.

Back to the camp for lunch. We headed back out and ministered again in a park. This time we worked with another team. It went well. Over 100 people got saved.

One more session. I am forcing myself to feel better. I am helping our leader with the administration and other duties as I am the youth pastor and am closer to the youth to know who needs to do what, when. I get an opportunity to do these evangecubes. I ask the crowd if they want to hear me in English or Spanish. They chose Spanish. This is the first time I read in Spanish ever on a mission trip. A personal goal. It went well. I need to go home, though.

Back to the camp for dinner. I am too sick to go on. It was a bummer because it as the first night of the evangelistic crusade with Steve Fatow.

Guys come back to the room, but I am fading in and out of reality. I have a 105.3 temperature. There is a difference of opinion between the local doctor and the American doctor. I can’t really remember all of it as I was pretty sick. I just remember drinking some tea at one point and going back to bed.

I might be able to sleep this off… Uh oh… Nathan is sick too. Not good. No one else in the room hears him. I don’t know where I got the strength, but I am able to help him. Several showers later I finally tell him the grace is removing and I need to sleep for two hours.

• Thursday-Now three of us are sick. Fortunately, Mark, my friend from church, doesn’t get everything we have. He avoids the fever. Now it is a serious matter. Nathan and I go to the doctor. We were never sure of what we have, but we know it was expensive to get all the meds.

We get a treat on the way home. We get to drive out of the city into the jungle. This was amazing. The only problem is it is 100 degrees and we are sick. It was wild. 70mph through the jungle. Wild animals, big jumps, wood bridges, all the makings of a great ride, except the weakness, fever, nausea, diarrhea, and thirteen year old in the same condition laying in your lap as he is too weak to enjoy the adventure. Interesting Father emotions here. I will tell you about them later.

• Friday-Getting back on my feet. We ministered in the morning. I did the administration. It went well. Back for lunch and out again. Ministering in a church. Over 200 young people and children in a room smaller than a one car garage. An awesome time. Dinner and out to another church right on the edge of the jungle. About 300 in a slightly larger building. We went to the crusade, but were on the back end of the ministry line so we didn’t pray for many people. Over 1,000 got saved, though.

• Saturday-Fun Day. We were invited to take the maiden voyage down the Ucayali to an indigenous tribe to minister. The ministry that owns this boat has planted 60 churches down the Amazon and its tributaries over the last 75 years. This was a surreal honor. It was amazing to see what they do. They minister like we do, but they also bring electrical power and help to these villages. It was awesome.

We also got to swim. Nathan and chose not to, but he did walk the beach and took some awesome pictures. I stayed on the boat and rested.

That night we prayed for healings at the Fatow Crusade again. This time we were on the front line. There was a boy brought up in the back of a car who was paralyzed. I prayed for him. As a matter of fact I was grabbed by a lady from the other side of the soccer stadium. This was no easy task as there were close to 2,000 people on the ground. This was definitely something God wanted to use to teach me through. I will tell more about it later.

• Sunday-Church. We had our own service. Worship was run by youth from all of the churches who were on the trip. I love worship like this. From there Steve Fatow came and shared. It was pretty light as Steve felt that he really wanted to connect with the group. This was really cool as in the years I have known Steve, he has been one of the most powerful evangelists I know, but there is a real intimidation toward talking to him. I have talked to him before, but this time, he showed us that he was more appreciative of our labor over the week than what “he” was doing as an evangelist. This was another God lesson for me.

There was a time of ministry later on, but the Lord wanted our group to regroup. We spent a lot of time together and my youth shared with me and our team leader about their thoughts of the week. This was good. As I was out for that day and a half, this was necessary. This time also gave us time to minister to our interpreter who was a great blessing to us.

The last night of the crusade… My personal goal was to pray for as many people as possible. I wanted to catch up that lost time from being sick. I prayed with my son, Nathan and we prayed for a lot of people.

Miracles, do you want to know about miracles??? On this night we got to see some miracles. Because of the confusion and noise of 4,000 people at the alter seeking salvation and healing, if someone gave details to me, all I could get to Nathan was the basics of what to pray for. One guy had some form of cancer and his hand was stricken with blackness and withered. He stuck his hand in my face and I grabbed it. I don’t remember what I prayed, but when the Lord told me to let go, his hand had returned to its normal color. Nathan and I also prayed for a man. The man pointed to a tumor on his stomach. Nathan didn’t see it for some reason as he was probably getting bumped all around. He asked me what to pray for and all I could tell him was pray for his stomach. Nathan prayed, and then I prayed. Then the Lord told me to put my hand on his stomach and the tumor was gone. Things like this are just amazing. For me, I hardly know the language, and I rarely ever really know how to pray. This just shows you it is all God.

• Monday-Travel back to Lima. After our flight, we were given a bus tour of Lima. Lima is like Las Vegas. There are bright lights and casinos everywhere. It is a very expensive place as well. A bottle of water in Pucallpa cost 1.5 Sole, and in Lima I paid as much as 5. We had a dinner together that was great. We also went to a shopping area. Then it was back to the hotel. A quick nap for us as we got to the hotel at around 10:30 and we had to get up at 3:45 in the morning.

• Tuesday-Return flights. Not much to say here. We relaxed and it was good. I needed it as I was only feeling about 50% from the sickness earlier. I think we got home at about 9:30pm. It was good to see my wife, my younger son, and my girls.

That pretty much sums up the itinerary of our trip. I will be sharing more on the lessons the Lord taught me as we were there, but I felt I needed to start here. All total, I figure we were able to minister to about 10,000 people over the week.