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Archive for August, 2008

To Haiti With Love…

In just a few hours, my wife and I will board a plane and travel to Haiti for 4 days.  We will be ministering the love of Jesus Christ to children in an orphanage in an area called Cape Haitian.  Our primary purpose in going (well…it’s always primary to minister the love of Jesus, but…) is to get a vision for starting up an orphan care ministry here in Delaware and other parts of the U.S. where we can provide on-going support to the work and ministry in Haiti.  So, we will be meeting with a lot of different pastors and leaders while down there so that we can get a good assessment of what the needs are and how we can best support the work that is going on.  Our plan is to lead mission teams there each year that will help minister in a number of ways:  ministering to the orphans, sharing the gospel in the community, helping build a medical clinic, etc.  Also, we would like to collect clothing, toys, school supplies, etc. and send them there throughout the year.

This will be our first trip to Haiti and we are really excited to see what God does.  There has been a lot of “resistance” just recently which I believe is a tactic of satan to bring discouragement.  But the more “resistance I see, the more excited I get because I know that the Lord is going to do something amazing while we are there.  So, I take that resistance and turn it into more fervent prayer, knowing that the Lord is in control of everything.

I have already shared our vision for this orphan care ministry with a few church leaders and already have a couple of churches who have expressed interest in wanting to join in this partnership.  We are doing this with a Haitian Pastor who is currently pastoring a Haitian church here in Delaware, but is the one who has started this orphanage and planted a few churches when he lived in Haiti.  He is very excited that we have joined up with him and have already been able to generate a lot of interest from others in this work.  My wife has had several of her friends give her bags of clothes and supplies to bring with us to the orphanage.  Our suitcases are packed with stuff…all for them, except for a few changes of clothes for us while we are there. 

I am so excited to meet these children and share the love of Christ with them.  We already bought them a bunch of candy and snacks to bring to them, as well as some home made dolls that some churches from somewhere in the U.S. sent to us to use for ministry and outreach.  But I am so excited that while I was at Wal-Mart tonight to buy some last minute essentials, I was thinking of these kids and therefore bought some matchbox cars, a barbie doll, a soccer ball, and a game of “Trouble”.  “Trouble” is a great international game because it is so ridiculously simple, that you can learn it and play it in any language!  So, it will be so much fun to play such an “American” game with a group of children and adults who probably don’t speak a word of English.

I love the nations!  There is just something so amazingly beautiful about going to a different nation and proclaiming the universal saving message of Jesus Christ.  Oh how I pray that the gospel will be received by many and that names are written in the Lamb’s book of life as a result of our efforts. 

Well, I must go now and try to get a few hours of sleep before my extremely long day of travel begins.  Our flight is at 7AM, but leaves out of D.C., therefore we have to leave here (Wilmington) at 3AM so that we can be at the airport 2 hours before we leave.

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And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"  (Rom.10:14-15)

I am a missionary serving with the North American Mission Board.  I have been serving in Delaware now for a year and a half.  My wife and I were commissioned and sent out by Biltmore Baptist Church our home church in Asheville, North Carolina.  During our special commissioning service, the scripture verse that the Missions Pastor shared was the one above.  It is for this very reason that we left the beautiful mountains of Asheville and moved to Delaware.  When God has called, I am compelled to go…and so we went.

We are currently living in the city of Wilmington and God is giving us favor in the ministry that we are involved in.  I work as the Evangelism Director for the Delaware Baptist Association.  My role is to work with the churches in helping them reach their communities with the saving message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  My greatest passion is to see the lost come to know Jesus.  Like the apostle Paul, "I am compelled to preach the gospel, woe to me if I do not preach the gospel." 

God has given me a tremendous passion and desire to minister in the inner city, particularly to the African-American community.  Now, I don’t know why that is the case…I’m as white as they come…I don’t listen to hip-hop, I don’t wear my jeans hanging at my knees, I got zero basketball skills, no rhythm, and I certainly can’t jump.  But nonetheless, I have a love for the inner city African-American community that I just can’t describe.  And my greatest desire is that I would be able to spend my life sharing the love of Jesus Christ with them and seeing them come to place their trust in Him.

Much of my time these days has been spent in the city ministering to the poor and broken.  My friend Terry and I go out once a week to minister to the homeless by taking them out to lunch and providing shower kits and bibles for them.  It is a great way to build relationships with them with the hope of being able to share the message of God’s truth.  Each time we go, we take one or two out to lunch with us just so that we can love them like Jesus does, make them feel their sense of value as a person, not looking at them as a "project" for us to fix or a "program" where we feel good about ourselves for reaching down and doing our good deed before God and others.  No…it is about loving these people as Jesus does, spending time getting to know them, realizing that we are no different…we all come ragged and tagged before God, and it is only by His grace that we have what we have.  If I had a couple of bad breaks in my life, maybe I could have been the one sleeping under a bridge.  So, we love doing what we do.  We get to meet a lot of interesting people, and we never know what each day will look like. I have had so many great opportunities to share the gospel with many of these and also have prayed with many.

I travel a handful of times per year and speak at churches telling them what God is doing through my mission work in Delaware.  I always tell people that it is not my desire to make them feel guilty for not getting involved and serving their community if they are a Christian, but rather I simply tell them that if they are not serving others in their community and reaching out to people, then they are just missing out on so much joy and excitement that a disciple should have.  I absolutely love going out to the streets and engaging in people’s lives and sharing the saving message of Jesus Christ with them.  There is nothing better that I would ever want to do.  I hope that when I get to heaven, that the first thing that Jesus notices about me are my feet…that He would say they are beautiful

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