Archive for June, 2012

Hannah with some of her Venezuelan friends

(We got a chance to talk to Hannah by phone tonight–she is half way through her mission trip in Venezuela!  We are so proud of her!)

El Amor de Dios (The Love of God) is the church we worked with today.  They had a whole team of people who traveled with us to the different ministry sites.  The Venezuelans are so giving; they continually bless us.  It is a privilege to be here working with them.

Several of the sites we went to today were schools.  When we were at the second school, one of our ladies was ministering to a group of students.  As she was speaking, she was reflecting upon when she came to know Christ as a small child.  Her thoughts traveled back to how her mom was talking to her, and she asked a simple question, and as a result of that conversation, she came to Christ.  As she was sharing this morning with the students, one of them asked a simple question, and as a result, a group of children came to know Christ.  She was ecstatic sharing her story because it was as if her story was reproducing.

At the last site, one of our men had the opportunity to share with a couple different men who had seen the drama.  The first of these encounters was with a man on a bike.  As our student approached, the man was willing to converse, but he was not ready to surrender his life to Christ.  Thankful for the seed he had planted, our student moved on to share with another person, this time a police officer.  The police had blocked off the street for us, and this man was one who was guarding the perimeter so that cars were detoured.

As our student shared, the officer began to tell his story.  He used to go to church, but once he became a police officer, his entire life changed, and he quit going to church.  Life as an officer is difficult, and he had never gotten back into church.  He did not want to make a commitment at this time, but our students watched as the battle played out on his face.  It seemed as if he wanted to follow Jesus, but there was something holding him back.  With heavy hearts, they shared this story, moved to tears and prayer for this man.  In the end, though, they realized it was a great opportunity to have, and they continue to pray that someone else will follow along behind them to lead this man to Christ.

Please pray for our work tomorrow.  This is the last day of drama ministry we will have in Guanare.  Sunday we will be in churches, and on Monday we move to another city.  Please pray for fluidity for tomorrow as there are three different churches that we will be working with throughout the day.

You can check out more pictures and updates at http://www.awestar.org/venezuelatu2012/

Hannah In Venezuela Update

Posted: June 26, 2012 in missions

 

 

Here’s the latest from Hannah and her team and a picture of the team having some down time in the pool!

Hello from Guanare!  We have moved cities yet again, and we will be working here in Guanare, the hometown of our contact, Pastor Jorge, for about a week. 

Our time in Barinas ended well.  On Sunday, the leaders had the opportunity to preach in different churches.  The Venezuelan churches are very welcoming, as they enthusiastically receive us as part of their own.  In the afternoon, we worked with the Light of the World Church.  They had planned for us to present the drama in a cancha, but it rained all afternoon, and when it rains in Barinas, no one comes outside.  After spending time in our MOM and POP groups, we set up to do the drama in the church, because one teenage boy had shown up to see the performance. The church thought we were crazy to perform for only one, but we knew that this boy matters to God, so he matters to us.  After the drama, one of our students had the opportunity to converse with him, and the boy shared how he had used to attend church but had quit.  When he heard about this drama group, though, he thought he would give it another shot, and as a result, he recommitted his life to Christ. 

Monday brought us to a school.  We had back to back performances during first the junior high and then the high school recesses.   The high school students were very attentive, and responded well when our students went to minister to them.  Even though some may have gone through the motions because their friends were doing it, our students recognized the fact that it was exciting that the church had information to be able to follow up with them and tell them more about Jesus, no matter what their decision may have been.

We were also able to return to a plaza we had been at earlier in the week, Plaza del Estudiantes.  This drama was not on the schedule originally, but with some extra time on our hands, we knew we needed to be busy about His work.  Even though our contacts had not scheduled this drama, God had.  As the students went out to minister, a man walked up to a group, and one of our students began to share with him about Jesus.  The student spoke very quickly because the student was afraid the man would walk away since he seemed to be in a hurry.  He did not rush away, though, but stayed and heard the Gospel and received it.  He was very eager to get plugged into a church, so the students introduced him to the pastor we were working with, and he gave him the church’s information. 

This afternoon, we are resting and enjoying some time of fellowship.  This evening we will be having some corporate worship and then teaching.  Please pray that the students will receive what God is saying to them with open hearts.  Please pray that in the midst of continuing to minister through the drama that the reality of what Christ has done through us will be fresh in our minds.   Thank you for your continued support!

Thank you for praying for Hannah!  For more updates, please check out http://www.awestar.org and click on trip updates!

 

(Hannah is the at the farthest left facing us doing the sword fight in the Freedom Drama)

Sarah talked with Hannah last night on the phone before they depart for Venezuela today.  Sarah said she was doing well and enjoyed her awestar team.  The following is an update from Kenny and Whitney, the country coordinators of the Venezuela team!  Keep praying!

Check out http://www.awestar.org–what a great organization to send yourself or your students with to share the Gospel.  You can also find pictures of the Venezuela team as well as updates from the Peru and Cambodia team.

Our day started with a great time of worship, as several worship leaders joined together to lead us to the throne.  It gave us energy to face a whole day of drama training.  Thank you for your prayers, as the weather for training was great!  We finished training the drama before lunch, and afterwards we performed it over and over again, tweaking and perfecting their parts.  We are so proud of our students; they began the afternoon knowing the whole drama, and as we challenged them to make bigger motions and expressions, they rose to the task without complaining.  We culminated the afternoon with a dress rehearsal, each of the three teams performing for the others.  It is exciting to see how far we have come in only a few days.

This evening Brent brought the teaching, and many students were moved to surrender themselves fully to the Lord for the task at hand.  It is a beautiful thing to watch the Lord work!  We ended our evening with a time of commissioning where each team took time to pray over the other teams.

Tomorrow afternoon we will begin our journey to Venezuela.  We will land in Caracas very late tomorrow night/early Friday morning, and then we will embark on a lengthy bus ride to the city where we will begin ministry.  Please pray for safe travel as we go and for planes to depart and land on time.  Please pray that the students will not lose the focus they have gained in the past couple days.  Thank you so much for praying for us!

Your Country Coordinators,

Kenny & Whitney

Image

What a great picture of a great team!

We dropped Hannah off on Sunday at Dallas Christian College for her mission trip with Awestar to Venezuela!

Was it tough?  Definitely, but wow, what a great opportunity for her.  She is in great hands with Kenny and Whitney and Craig and Karen leading the team!

Sarah and I are thrilled for her to see how she grows in Christ.  Needless to say–our eyes will be glued to http://www.awestar.org to see the updates and pictures of her and her team.  Will you join us in praying for her and her team?  You can see regular updates at http://www.awestar.org/venezuelatu2012/

Latest post from tonight:

Thank you for your prayers!  We saw God answer them by bringing us a cloudy afternoon and holding off the rain while we practiced the drama.  It was such a blessing!  The students are doing very well in learning their roles, and they have had good attitudes.  Tomorrow we will finish up with a full day of drama training, so please continue to pray for our attitudes and memories as we finish sharpening this tool we will be using.

This morning we went through some teaching, and we were reminded that in order to continue with a sense of awe, we need to be in the Word daily, praying, fellowshiping, and worshiping.   As a team and as individuals, we will strive for this on a daily basis.

Our time here at Awe Star University is drawing to a close, as we will be flying out to Venezuela on Thursday.  Please continue to pray for our unity as we get to know one another and grow together in our walks with Christ.

Your Country Coordinators,

Kenny & Whitney

You can also check out the updates from the Peru team http://www.awestar.org/perutu2012/ and the Cambodia team as well.  We have two students from our church, Danielle Dobrinski and Nick Teague who are two of the four leading the Cambodia team http://www.awestar.org/cambodiatu2012/

Am I Crazy?

Posted: June 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

As my daughter gets prepared this week to leave for Dallas on Saturday and then to Venezuela for 30 days, it has been encouraging to see God provide. We have appreciated the encouragement and financial gifts as Hannah takes this huge step of faith. At the same time, some comments have caused us to question, “Are we crazy?”

“She’s Only 14!”

My response: Look at the Scriptures–see how many young adults/teenagers God used to accomplish his purpose. He used a young adult/teenager to carry His Son! WoW! Think about that one!

Why is it we wait to encourage our kids to take risks for God? A lot of times, it’s too late–they’ve either lost interest, have found idols to replace God, or have all together left God. Why not start allowing our kids to take BIG risks for God?

As a youth pastor, my saying has always been, “The same Holy Spirit that lives in me as a 38 year old believer lives inside of a 14 year old believer.” Usually as we get older we stop taking risks for God.

“Aren’t you afraid that something might happen to her?”

Yes, but……I can’t live in fear. I have to live by faith! Faith in the One who saved me and saved my daughter. Worry cannot add a single moment to my life according to the Scriptures. She has just as great of a chance for something to happen to her here in the States as she does in Venezuela.

If you really think about it, staying could cause more harm. Think about it this way….the organization she is going with is an incredible organization who I trust my daughter with. I love the fact that they share Jesus, but what is awesome is that is not all they do. Discipleship is a HUGE part of what they do. Their day is filled with sharing the Gospel, fellowship, discipleship, worship, and prayer–that sounds like the church in Acts 2. So….for 30 straight days, she is going to experience Jesus 24/7.

She cannot lose….Our family cannot lose! It’s a win-win!

If she stayed, yes she would be discipled because we are a Deuteronomy 6 home and she would go to church, but there would be moments where the world could become her idol through ipod, wii and other things. For some reason, we feel like our kids are missing out if they aren’t entertained 24/7.

Will she experience difficult times on the field? YES! But what greater place to be to learn how to walk through it than by experiencing HIM 24/7?

For so many years, I have admired the parents who have sent their kids on these ridiculous “trips” that cost thousands of dollars because they have realized that their kids are a gift on loan from God. I now am putting all of this in action myself. I can either hide the talent(my daughter) or we can encourage her to multiply the kindgom and when Jesus returns, we will hear, “Well done!” (CHECK OUT THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS IN MATTHEW 25:14-30)

God has entrusted to me and my wife our kids while he is gone(v. 14). He gave us five talents: Hannah, Noah, Grace, Elijah, and Judah. We can invest in them or we can bury them, but there will come a time when Jesus will return and we as parents will be called to account of how we used our talent(v. 19)

Now, I know these scriptures, are talking about money, but I can’t escape the thought of this principle of my kids are talents and he has loaned them to me!

Plus, I want my kids to know Jesus + Nothing = Everything. They need to see that He is our soul provider and comforter.

How are you going to afford it?

I can’t afford it. We got in the game late–we had a month to prepare and raise $4000. Here’s the thing–it’s not about the cost, it’s about the calling! Let me explain.

About a month and a half ago, my daughter and I were on a road trip and I asked her what she was going to do with her summer. If my daughter could, she would hang in her room all day and read…now, that’s not a bad thing, but as a dad I believe God has great things for Hannah to do. Not much was said.

The next day, Hannah says, “I feel called to go to Venezuela”. WHAT???? That’s not exactly what I had planned, but I knew Hannah really prayed about what was next. A few spots opened up on the Awestar Venezuela team and Hannah was one of the answers.

I am the dreamer and I was like, “Let’s go for it!” My wife is the realist and she was like, “We can’t afford it!” We in all honesty, reluctantly moved forward. Can I tell you something–God provided! Today is the deadline for all of her money to be in and guess what–the final money came in LAST NIGHT! Through generous giving from family and friends along with her purse website: http://www.hannahmadepurses.com, all of her funds came in!

Where God leads–HE PROVIDES!

So…….

I guess in a sense I am crazy.

I am crazy enough to believe that when God says something, believe in faith that He will come through in His Timing and in His way!

I am crazy enough to believe that my God who knows the number of hairs on my head is going to take care of my daughter.

I am crazy enough to say I am not ashamed of the power of the Gospel of Jesus. It is power of God at work, saving everyone who believes-Jews and Gentiles alike.

I am crazy enough to believe my God is my

  • Alpha and Omega
  • Sustainer
  • Shepherd
  • Savior
  • Emmanuel(God with us)
  • Counselor
  • Refuge
  • Strength
  • Protector
  • Deliverer
  • Friend
  • Great I AM
  • King
  • Lord
  • Maker
  • Messiah
  • Prince of Peace
  • AND MORE!
Please follow my daughter’s mission trip at http://www.awestar.org and check out trip updates starting next week!