Reaching those - who would be lost in His Name to be Priest of the Lord...Isaiah 6:16

Our main purpose is to Reconcile all people to knowledge of the gift of grace and power of God in todays world for their individual lives. We will have a discipleship teaching orientation for Pastors, leaders and believers of all ages with a special focus on areas that do not get many well-known speakers including widows and orphan. Today’s calling seems to be Africa, but the Lord recent spoke to our hearts to think bigger…His is a WORLD WIDE OPERATION- and He will not lose what He died for---His people- You

Saturday, December 22, 2012

From the Heart of my Husband

Remember what it was like when you were a child, and Christmas was near? The tree went up and the presents began to appear. The food changed to cookies and snacks of all kinds of sweets. If you had a Grandmother 40 years ago, she was likely to be baking cakes and pies and cookies. My favorite dessert was “Watergate”- at least that is what my grandma called it. A kind of a pistachio pudding on top of crushed pretzels and graham cracker crust covered by cream cheese frosting and whipped cream with those delicious pistachio nuts and maybe some crushed walnuts  and don’t forget the mar chino cherries!!

Of course I was special to my grandma. She had a name only she knew for me, and I always got to help bake.

I may not have felt special in many other places, however, until her death at age 94, she always made me think I was her one and only favorite. My epiphany during my eulogy of her funeral with all of our extended family siting in the congregation in front of me as I spoke was that she, of course, just had the talent to make each person feel that they were her one and only special themselves.

Well, today begins Christmas weekend. We now live 4000 miles away from those days. It was 35 below zero, and I spent 4 hours outside working on our new log house thinking about this blog that my wife ask me to write about our calling to South Sudan.

It was a year ago at 49 ½ that my life changed dramatically for the better. Oxymoron that it may be it was a heart attack that was the catalyst for the change. Up until that day, I was pretty self-centered focusing on what I wanted out of life only.   We have had the privilege, or maybe we made the way, to enjoy our dreams in travel all over the USA, Canada, a cruise to Mexico, and spending time in Germany. Living in Alaska these last 8 years, fishing and hunting and business have been amazing.  Kids and Grandkids the same- amazing!

Yet how could I have missed (that secret my grandmother lived each day) that most important part of life all these years- People.

Before that heart attack I did not really ever care about people (notice I did not say “my heart attack” because I do not own it. It was just that an attack against my body to try to stop God’s plan in our lives that was just around the corner).  Maybe no one ever knew how I felt, or perhaps, they all did. I do not really know. Truth be known, I only needed those people that I thought made my life what I wanted it to be. That was pre-heart attack.

After that experience, I feel God spoke to me a couple times in my spirit. He said, “ Denver if you always tell people off and treat them the way you feel  they will not receive my love  when you decide you want to share it with them. “

 God later made it clear to me that he loves me like He loves Jesus since I am a son adopted by Jesus blood on the cross to Himself.  He also said that he loves each person in this world like He loves me and that He needed me to begin to love them that same way.

 I admit this stopped me in my tracks. It also melted all my prejudices toward people. People that were like me and people that were different.  I began to realize that either because I was taught by peers, family, education, society, or by my own life experiences that I had developed a reason for not liking almost everyone. You see the Japanize bombed Pearl Harbor. The Germans (my own heritage) killed the Jews and caused two world wars. Not sure exactly why, but African Americans had done something, and so had the rich, and the poor, and the homeless, and the prisoners, and the democrats, and the republicans….the Catholics, the Baptists, the ….and well how far do you want me to go.  

I began to understand real joy comes from loving people. It is a GOD THING.  People who do not have the ability to love us back on their own, as well as, those friends that do. I imagine each person has to realize this on their own and cannot get it just because I write that it happened to me. All I know is that I once was blind and now I see. I see that my own heart is free to love, and receive love like never before because I learned to not be wrapped up in my own little world of consumption and acquisition.  I learned that I do not have to earn my way to God. His Grace is free as a gift, and I cannot do anything to achieve it. I must quit trying and take Grace just as God wrapped it. I learned that peace with myself, others, and God came as a result of realizing He loved me enough to die for me to give me access to His kingdom and His throne.

He calls me son. God loved people. He created people. He died to save people from their slavery to sin.

He calls to us to love each other.

What did Jesus mean when He said, “Love your neighbor? As yourself? Love your enemies? Love your brother?” Did He really mean Love them like I would want to be loved?

Stacey and I started supporting a little orphan boy in Africa. No big deal. It was the right thing to do.  What is a dollar a day? I drink more in soda each day than that. Then compassion increased it to three kids- A girl and two boys. They have nothing.

 Even though the crooks of the world had used photos of children like these to steal people’s money and harden all of our hearts further to giving when we see those appeals, these were real kids who had nothing-  Real friends of ours had been to this place, and told us about how it was there. So up until this point in time it was – someone far away that I did not know, and well God would Bless me for giving right? That was my thinking. Until one day a letter arrived in the mail from Oliver. He is 10 years old, can read and write English, and had lost both his father and mother as a result of the war. He had nothing to do with the cause or the result himself. He is just a victim.  His letter to us began personally, “Dear Denver & Stacey,……I am praying for you. Thank you for sponsoring me. I hope you will visit…….”

Truthfully, you either get it or not here. God melted both my and Stacey’s hardness of heart and prejudices in one second. I NEVER wanted to go to Africa in my whole life. Yet that day we were called to go. At first it began as just a visit to a little boy; then, it developed into helping while we were there. Finally, it has become a consuming fire call on our lives for the future.

We have so much in America- The choice of the best schools and hospitals; the choice of where we live and what we eat. It is difficult to imagine a little child alone that may own no more than an oversized pair of shoes and a shirt if he is fortunate and nothing else. No school or medical available in the whole land, and no one to care, or try to help him.  Not just one child like this but more than you or I can imagine.

This Christmas season shopping is not the same for me. I see people filling their carts with toys and gifts.

I wonder: would they possibly share one of those with someone that has no one to care. Or are the gifts all for themselves and their own families- Much like what I have done over the years. 

What if we all just shared a little?

Remember that Grandma I told about earlier? What do those children do that never had a mom or a grandmother like that? What if the only people they had were other kids without parents?

One lady did something about this. She gave up what she had in Wisconsin and moved to South Sudan with her Husband and son. The last 10 years Mama Lily and Dennis and Lance have built two orphanages based on God’s love. They have helped almost 500 kids. Yet many others have not been helped and many even died alone. If you ever read her book, it would challenge you to reach deep inside and be part of the solution.  Imagine a budget of $65,000.00 per month to feed your kids?

God will make a way for you to help. God will make a difference if you just care. No matter if it is giving $1 a day to feed and clothe and educate one real child, who would most likely die without that help, or just maybe your talents and skills could change a nation by physically going. No effort is without notice.

Remember the widows mite Jesus said was more that all the rich offerings?

We in our world as people need to care because it was not many years ago we had our own civil war in our own country. What if that war, or the depression of the next generation, or Hitler’s madness of the next had not been stopped and your kids were left alone dying without food or friend? It could be you there. It could be us- anyone of us?

It does not matter, who you are, or what your faith, age, or financial ability is. Your help is important. Everyone can give some love no matter how big or small.  Grandmothers can make clothes, Schools can befriend and support other kids, or business people can be human and share liberally to make a difference in a generation that could grow up loving America for all of the love America gave to them. 

They might be the one to save your grandchild’s life someday.

Stacey and I did not know how much this would cost. Yet God has supplied the entire amount for our personal expenses on this first step of our two month journey. Half the money came by way of increasing our income, and half of it came through people like you giving. God is a giver. I hope those who really know me someday will say that we are like God in that way.

We are excited that in just over a month we will be on a plane to love these children. I have been given opportunity to speak 9 times in their chapel services and most likely will preach in the churches as well.

We also hope to help some kids on our way thru Uganda, and shore about this with friends and churches in Germany on the way home almost two months later. I believe one day soon we will join this mission full time.

I cannot speak for you my friend, but if I can make a difference to one or a dozen or a hundred thousand 

The journey begins with the first step. Walk with us won’t you?

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Suitcases for South Sudan

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' – Matthew 25:40

God has been faithful and provided everything that Denver and I need to cover our cost to South Sudan. We are excited as all the final details come together. There will be several opportunities for both of us to minister to the children as well as the widows while we are there.  I’m still waiting for Denver to have some spare time (that’s a funny a word around here) so that he can write a blog about what he will be doing there but for today I’ll tell you a little bit more about what I’ll be doing.

I have the opportunity to work with the widows to do a bible study as well as doing quilts together. This is something God put on my heart to do several weeks ago; I told you about that in a previous blog.  God has directed me to do a study about the body of Christ and to make quilts as a representation of that.  I would like to be able to take enough material for each widow to have a quilt when we are done. That will not be an easy task since we are only allowed 15 kilograms (33 pounds) when we fly into South Sudan.  I’ve decided to do the quilts with micro fleece and just do them a single layer to keep each quilt as light as possible.  We will also be making them 60 x 70 (2 yards of material) to keep the weight down. Two yards weighs about 14 oz and I need to take enough for 15.  It would have been nice to do a larger one and have it more detailed but that would mean that I may not have enough to take to everyone and this ladies have so little that I just couldn’t figure out how you could take only enough for a couple quilts.  

The other project that we are working on right now is taking suitcases with extra supplies for the orphans in Uganda and possibly South Sudan. We are allowed to take 3 suitcases each to Uganda with us, but then from there we are only allowed 33 lbs. There are so many orphans that could use our help that we can’t imagine going with only one suitcase when we are allowed three.  We do hope to be able to take some extra supplies to South Sudan but we won’t know that until we get there. We can pay to take in extra weight but it’s only on a space available option so we can’t be sure. We plan to pack two extra suitcases for South Sudan and two for an orphanage in Uganda.  If something happens that we cannot get them on the plane then we will leave all four suitcases in Uganda but either way we want to make sure to touch as many lives as we are able.

If you want to make donations for the suitcases, our address is listed on the right.

Here are some possibilities:

Bibles (we would like to take several with us)
Shoes of all sizes but the lighter the better
Formula (this is very difficult to get in Africa)
Baby bottles and extra nipples
Hard candies
Extra material to leave for the widows
Baby blankets
Granola bars
Propel drink mix
Nail polish
Toilet paper
Clothing / all sizes
Soccer balls, dolls, little cars,  yo-yo’s, or really any small child’s toy
If you have any other suggestions, just let me know and I’ll let you know if I think it will fit in the suitecase.

Our flight leaves Alaska on February 6th so computer access after that time will be limited. All updates will be done through this blog so be sure to sign up to receive email notifications whenever a new blog is added.  I will keep you posted with pictures and updates as often as I’m able.

God bless you all for you prayers and support.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A child of God

Today this physical body of mine turns 42, but I I am still just a child.
A child of God
 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  –Psalms 103:5

It has been an amazing year of God’s blessings. God is faithful to His word.
Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. – Galatians 3:8-9

 Our yearly Christmas letter is on its way and you can read about several of our blessings there, but in case you didn’t get our Christmas letter (give us your address we’d love to send you one), I wanted to share a few of those blessings with you today.

-It has been almost a year since Denver’s heart attack. Praise God for his healing and for the year that we have had together growing in our walk with Christ.

Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. – Psalms 30:2

-Sixteen years ago, I crushed a vertebrae in my back from a skydiving accident and have dealt with pain ever since, but God healed my back and I am pain free.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. – Proverbs 3:7-8

-Although the budget for the mission trip to South Sudan looked impossible in our eyes, God has provided everything that we need.  Praise God!!!
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.- Philippians 2:13
- Being filled with God’s Holy Spirit.
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 5:18-21
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. – Acts 2:4

-The love of our precious children and grandchildren, the love of wonderful parents, and the love and support of an amazing church family. I thank God for every member of His body because every one of you is important in my life even the thousands of members that I have never met but the spirit that is in me knows you well and loves you… much that He gave you his only son.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Have you ever been in love?

Today as I try to write what is in my heart, I find myself at a loss for words and as one singer said “It comes out I love you”. It means so much more and no matter what, it comes out I love you. Have you ever been in love? Have you ever felt the kind of love that makes you feel like a part of you is missing when that person isn’t around? Have you ever been that in love with someone that you’ve never met, someone that you don’t even know their name or what they look like?

When Denver and I heard God’s call for us to go to South Sudan, we were very excited to “look after orphans” – James 1:27. We tried to plan the time that we would go to be when the kids would not be in school so that we could love on them as much as we possibly could.  At the same time, we both felt God was calling Denver back into the ministry and we tried to figure out how all this fit together.  As plans began to come together, we learned that we would be going during a time the kids would be in school and although we will still get lots of time with them, it would not be our primary focus.

Currently, all of our communication is done through a gentleman in Texas who contacts South Sudan to determine what our mission will involve on this trip. One of the primary objectives is to spend some time with Pastor Dennis and Mama Lilly, who started Harvesters; this will help us in determining Gods call for us to long term missionaries in Africa. In addition to that, Denver will be working with the Pastors in Yei and have some teaching opportunities with the older boys at the chapel there. He will also be preaching while we are in Terakeka (Both are orphanages run by Harvesters; we are spending time at both locations).  When he is not preaching / teaching there is plenty of construction work and other things to be done.  (Maybe one of these days he can write a blog explain more in detail about the ministry work that he will be doing there. It is very exciting)

After it was determined what Denver would be doing, the question came from Harvesters of “what are your wife’s gifts and what are some of the things she would like to do”? At first the question seamed so simple: work with the children of course. Why else would I go to an orphanage? So I began to pray about what exactly to say and what were my gifts? It didn’t take long before I heard God say that I should work with the widows at the orphanage (the orphanage hires widows to help care for the children, to do laundry, cooking, etc.).  Hmmm…..there is the rest of the verse “to look after orphans and widows in there distress”.  I continued to pray and Gods voice was so clear that I began to get very excited – it’s always much more exciting when you walk in total faith than when you are doubting what you’ve heard.  In the same way that I will never forget the exact moment and details of hearing Gods call to South Sudan, I will never forget any detail to God’s call to work with the widows.  He gave me the message that I was to share with them in a bible study and also a quilting project that I was to do that would illustrate the message.

I contact the gentleman in Texas with what God had directed me to do and he passed that information on to the orphanage in Yei and I was left to wait for the response.  I would need them to be in agreement with what God had directed me to do.  I waited, and waited, and waited. I prayed that God would reveal this to Mama Lilly, because I did not doubt what He had called me to do.   I even thought, well if Mama Lilly doesn’t agree then I’m going to go with my message in hand because I know that is what God is saying to do – not that I intended to go against her but just to be prepared for when the door opened because I knew that it would.  Finally after 5 weeks, I received an email and at the very end it said something to the effect of: Oh and I can’t remember if I told you or not but mama Lilly said she thought that was a great idea. One of those moments when you feel that the answer was there all along and that your faith was being tested as you waited for the answers.  My excitement grew even more!!

There is so much to explain and so much that I probably can’t find the words for, but don’t get confused into thinking that I was excited because I just love the heart pounding effects of sitting with a group of woman that I don’t know and that really I know nothing about and delivering a message to them from God. It isn’t that I just love that leadership role and thrive for those very moments. No, I would rather find myself listening quietly in a corner; listening and learning from someone else, but God’s call that day was so clear that the excitement and joy inside was His; and the love inside is His as well.  At the same moment that I heard His message about what I would be doing with these amazing women in South Sudan, I instantly and completely fell in love with them.  

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? – 1 Corinthians 3:16
For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ – 1 Corinthians 12:12

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. – Ephesians 2:22

God’s Holy Spirit dwells in me; that same Spirit dwells in each of those woman in South Sudan. Together we are members of Christ body.  God so loved the world (every person) that He sent His son.

That same spirit that dwells in me and loves me dwells in them and loves them. At that moment that God spoke to me about another part of the body of Christ and what they needed, I felt a deep love for a part of this spiritual body that I’ve never met, that until that moment, I had never even thought about; it flooded in my like a powerful tsunami and now no matter how I try to explain it, it just comes out

I love you

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I am not strong enough to carry two water jugs

About six years ago we built our little cabin in the wilderness of Alaska. It is beautiful and peaceful, and I love it here.  Living here however, has meant that we do not have running water and we carry our water in 7 gallon jugs; that’s about 58 pounds per jug. Denver and our sixteen year old son can carry two jugs at a time without much trouble, but I always carry just one.  The other day there were only two jugs in the back of the truck; for a moment I forgot who I was and grabbed both jugs out of the back and headed for the house. I took about five steps before I remember that I’m not strong enough to carry two jugs.

This past week has been full of things that seemed impossible in our own sight; things heavier than what we are able to carry. Through this God has reminded us that we are not supposed to carry this heavy load and that He desires to carry it for us.

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens – Psalm 68:19

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. – Psalm 55:22

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? – Luke 12:25-26

And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. – Luke 12:29-30

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. – Luke 12:32

Like those water jugs, we are carrying around more than we can carry and we do not need to because Jesus wants to carry it for you.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Who are you?

Today the sky is a clear bright blue and the sun is gleaming off the snow that covers the landscape. It’s a beautiful day but for a moment we lost sight of all that was good and wonderful and allowed satan to bring us confusion and disharmony.
Through all of this I’m reminded of a message that God brought to me two nights ago. He woke me three different times to say: Do Not lose focus of what I have called you to do. Sometimes in the process of everyday life we allow satan to control our thinking and our emotions and so quickly we lose sight of who we are and what we have been called to do, so my message today is a reminder to myself and if you can gain anything from it, then I praise God for using me to bring this reminder to you as well.

Here is who I am:

A Son of Abraham

Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God – Romans 4:16-17a

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham – Galatians 3:7

 The temple for the Holy Spirit

You, however, are not in the realm of the fless but are in the realm of the spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you….And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you . -Romans 8:9a &11

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. – Ephesians 2:22

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? – 1 Corinthians 3:16

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; - 1 Corinthians 6:19

 A child of God

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry “Abba”, Father.” The spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:14-16

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God - Galatians 3:26a

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! – 1 John 3:1a
An Heir of God

Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ   -  Romans 8:16a

So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. – Galatians 4:7

And Oh there are so so many more.  I could continue to list them all for you and maybe you would take the time to read them and believe them but I would love it more if you would leave a comment and list Who you are. You can just add another supporting verse to what I’ve already listed or better yet, you can add to the list of Who you are.

For God does not show favoritism – Romans 2:11

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

More than just enough

I imagine we've all seen the television stories of the starving children all over the world and our hearts have compassion. We see the little child holding the small bowl hopeful for some porridge that will provide them just enough to stay alive. I am moved by the desire to save as many of Gods people from starving as I am able, and yet I can't help but feel that they are in need of so much more. Praise God for enough to stay alive, but what if they could have a more nutritious balanced diet? In addition to food, what if they could have shelter, clothing, and an education? As my heart longs for them to have more, so also our God longs for us to have more.
This is what God spoke to me:
My children are starving. They come to church on Sunday morning with their small bowl hoping for a little porridge so that they can survive for another week. 

God wants us to have more than a little porridge. He wants us to read and study his word so that we are continually full, never lacking.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything James 1:4

He has already provided us with everything we need and it is all there in his word if we just begin to receive what He has already given us.

God is doing so many amazing things in our lives right now that if I were to put it all in one post you may likely see how long it is and not read any of it. Denver and I thank you for all your love and support; both financially and through your constant prayers.   
Throughout Gods word it says that He blesses us. That is evident in our lives daily if we open our eyes to what He has done.  Praise God - this week Denver and I were able to purchase our tickets into Entebbe Uganda. Travel arrangements are different than I’ve ever done before and it isn’t as simple as just going online and clicking a button. We were able to use some airline miles to get us to and from Minneapolis which helped to reduce the overall cost of the flights, which still were more than what we had estimated.  We used a travel agent to get tickets from Minneapolis because she was able to help us get missionary tickets. One of the benefits of this is that we are allowed to take 3 suitcases, which doesn’t really mean anything because when we go from Uganda to South Sudan, we are only allowed 33 pounds of luggage; yes that is going to be challenging. The main benefit  of the missionary tickets is that they are refundable or exchangeable should dates or anything need to be adjust; which we don’t anticipated but were told this will help reduce the cost of evacuation insurance which we will still need to purchase before we can go.  We also need to purchase tickets from Uganda into Yei, South Sudan. This is a little more complicated because we have to do this through the airline in Uganda so when the finances are available we will have to contact Uganda and then wire the money for the cost of the tickets. The total cost has gone up from what we originally anticipated but the more that I study God word; the more I find peace in knowing that He will provide.

For it is God who works in you to will and act in order to fulfill his good purpose – Philippians 2:13


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Quick to Listen

James 1:19 says everyone should be quick to listen and slow to speak. Throughout my life, I took that to mean that when talking with other people, we should let them do the talking and we should listen to what they have to say. At this very moment God has opened my eyes to see that He is instructing us to be quick to listen to Him; quick to follow Him, quick to do His will.  James 1:22 goes on to say: Don’t merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Let me step back for a moment because when I sat down to write today, I did not know that is what I was going to say. I was thinking about many times when not knowing what to say has held me back from doing God’s will. That I felt I needed all the perfect words laid out in front of me before I could begin to speak and that is when God gave this scripture to me. I didn’t understand how it fit really because I wanted to write about speaking and the verse is more about listening. Then as I began to type, I felt like my eyes were opened: quick to listen.

Yesterday as I was at the Laundromat, a young man walked in with a cast on his foot and I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to pray for him; for healing for his foot and for forgiveness.  The message played over in my mind as I thought: but I don’t know what to say, how would I start this conversation, what will he think of me saying I am praying for his forgiveness. The moment passed by slowly and quickly all at the same time until he walked out the door.  How do I describe that moment when you feel like: God I’ve asked you to use me and then I didn’t do what you’ve showed me to do. I asked for His forgiveness and within minutes He showed me yet another stranger only instead of asking for praying for healing, He prompted me to witness to her and invite her to church.  My first thought was: really God so fast, no time to breathe after letting the last guy walk out. This was followed by the same thought as before; what do I say? Except this time I couldn’t bear the thought of her walking out and me left asking for God to forgive me again. I searched for something, anything to strike up a conversation, but my tongue was locked in my mouth. This is when I wanted to just think about the part of scripture that says to be slow to speak. I can be slow to speak, that’s easy, but I was being called to speak and so finally looking for anything, I asked her if she needed to use the laundry basket (there is only one and I was using it). I wasn’t sure how that was going to go anywhere but God was able to use that simple question and turn it into an hour long conversation that lasted until after we were both done doing our laundry and just talking about what God was doing in our lives and eventually inviting her to church.  This time instead of her walking away and me asking God to forgive me, I walked away with a joy in my heart knowing that I had allowed God to use me and it felt amazing.

After I left, I reflected back to different times in my life that I either spoke or didn’t speak as the Holy Spirit prompted me to do. When I didn’t speak it was because I felt like I didn’t have the words to say and when I did speak, still I didn’t have the words to say. I realized I had been waiting around for the perfect words planted in my brain ahead of time before opening my mouth and yet the words didn’t come but when I stepped out in faith and began to act, everything that I needed was there.  

When you are “quick to listen”, God gives you everything you need, including the words to speak.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Orphan Next Door

There are orphanages all over the world and so many more that are needed, but don’t forget the orphan next door; the one sitting next to you at school, standing next to you at work, walking past you in the grocery store, or even sitting next to you at church.

Denver and I went to the Believers Convention in Texas for our anniversary this year; what an amazing week it was. God spoke to us in so many ways and brought healing to my body from an injury 16 years ago.

During the preservice prayer one morning, God spoke to me in regards to orphans.  Everyone who attended was divided up into prayer groups that would pray for different needs around the world. Denver and I were directed to group one which was praying for orphans.  For us, it was more confirmation for what God is calling us to do in South Sudan, Africa; however, God revealed to me orphans in a new way.  I had always thought of an orphan as someone who had no parents but rather God showed me that an orphan is someone who does not know a fathers love.  James 1:27 says that religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is to look after orphans (ὀρφανούς). The Greek word ὀρφανούς (orphanous) means bereaved, an orphan, fatherless, desolate.  The same word is used in John 14:18 when Jesus says “I will not leave you as ὀρφανούς (bereaved, an orphan, fatherless, desolate); I will come to you”, yet there are those who are still without love. God has a heart for the fatherless; see Exodus 22:22, Exodus 22:24, Deuteronomy 10:18, Deuteronomy 24:17, Deuteronomy 26:12-13, Psalm 10:18, Psalm 82:3 and many more.  Notice that James 1:27 says “God our Father”.  With God there is no one without a Father or without love. Psalms 68:5 says: A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.  God does not desire anyone to be without love and especially without knowing of His love.


God has a calling for each of us; for Denver and I that calling is to Africa but He is calling you as well.  For some, God is calling you to share His love with someone much closer to you; someone just next door.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Our call to South Sudan

Thank you for checking out our new blog. I’m not a writer by nature and therefore never had a desire to have my own blog; however, it has been something that God has been speaking to me about doing. Being the faithful servant that I am, I checked and double checked for the past month to see if this is something He really wanted me to do because I know there must surely be those who are more qualified than I. God reminded me however, that He often calls those who do not consider themselves worthy in order that His name may be glorified. It’s easy to walk in our own path and desires but when He calls us to do something that takes us out of our comfort zone, we must rely completely on Him.

In that same way, God has called Denver and I to go to South Sudan this February. Last summer, God had placed it on my heart to go to the orphanage in Yei, South Sudan, but I tried to explain to Him that there was just no way Denver was ever going to go to Africa. I reminded Him how much Denver dislikes snakes and heat, and that of course Denver would never let me go without him. God continued to speak to my heart about going and so again, I explained that if He wanted Denver go to, He would need to tell him because I wasn’t telling him. Thank you Father for being so patient and understand with me. 

Last December, Denver had a heart attack and although God did not cause him to have a heart attack, He did bring him through it a change man. The doctors put a stent in his heart, but God gave him a new heart that day; a heart for His people. Together we began to study His word more intently and He began to speak to us about loving people. His word directs us over and over again to love our neighbor and yet we so easily dismiss it. One day when we were watching a Christian gospel program, as they sang of Gods majesty, they showed beautiful scenes from Alaska and then they went to the crowd instead. Denver thought, show me some more of the majesty, but God spoke to him and said: I am.

Over the months that followed we felt God was calling us for a greater purpose; to love His majesty.  On May 14th, I walked to the mailbox to find a single envelope in the box and words can not really describe what I felt and how I knew but I carried that envelope back with a joy of knowing there was something special in there; somehow knowing this was Gods answer. I placed the envelope on Denver’s chair where I always leave the mail, and I waited. Denver explained to me later that he was going to throw the letter away because he thought it was the monthly newsletter that we get from Harvesters Reaching the Nations and he already gets that online so he didn’t think he needed to open it but because I distracted him with some sort of conversation, he opened the envelope before he even realized that he did. Inside were three very special letters from the three children that we sponsor at the orphanage. Denver read them out loud in order to share with me; the first two were wonderful letters from the children but it was the third that melted our hearts. This letter was from Oliver Duku. It started out Dear Denver and Stacey (we were surprised that Oliver had addressed us by name); it continued; I pray for you. Wow, we knew there was genuineness in that statement.  This precious boy in an orphanage from the other side of the world was praying for us.  Oliver went on to tell us a little bit about himself and then stated: I love you.  I don’t think those three words every hit me the same as they did that day. This little boy, who knew me by name, loves me and prays for me. Then there were the words that completely and total transformed our world: I hope you will come visit me, and in that moment Denver and I both said “We Will”. James tells us in chapter 2:5 “Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” Oliver had so much love and faith that we could not imagine anything but going to him and saying, here we are and we love you too. It is amazing how God worked through a child to ask Denver to do what I was unwilling to ask him.   We quickly began making arrangements to visit  in February and March 2013.

Since that day in May that will forever remain significant in my mind, Denver and I have been asked by God and Harvesters to consider a mission for long term involvement there.

We are honored to have you follow our journey, Oliver’s journey, and the journey of Harvesters Reaching the Nations (