There’s a teenager in my house…

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Well, technically this teenager grew up in my house! =) In fact, I raised him. It just feels like in the blink of an eye, this once cute little ‘chubbee bunnee’ (yes, that’s what we used to call him) is no longer cute, nor chubby. But has instead grown tall, bony, and strong! A fine young man in the making. How did that happen? 13 years has whizzed by just like that. I often wish I could have done more, building the foundations in his life, but I also know he’s in God’s hands. I look forward to the teenage years, and the many more God-given opportunities to speak into his life.

I must admit that I miss those years when he was little, but I’m also very glad to see how my boy has grown… and (thankfully) his physical stature mirroring his growth in other areas of his life – his character, his love, care and respect for his friends and family, and most of all his sensitivity to God’s work in his life.

Josh, I know I’ve said this to you time and again… but I want you to know that you are SUCH a blessing to us, God’s wonderful gift to Mommy and me. We love you! Happy Birthday!

 

Family of 3

Our 1st mission trip as a family, to Japan (in 2001). Josh was about 5 months old then.

Josh and Daddy

pout

em & j

on a date

Hanging out together on our regular ‘dates’

 

My young man fixing breakfast for himself

My young man fixing breakfast for himself =)

Coaching well…

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miheret & kennedy I desire to be a coach that leads a person to be:

– Dependent on God

– Attentive to His voice

– Obedient to follow

– Effective in his service

– Faithful to press on

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Kennedy Nsom is from Cameroon, he’s the VLM leader for Francophone Africa (16 countries). Miheret Tilahun is from Ethiopia, he’s the VLM leader for Southern and Eastern Africa (19 countries). They both give leadership to digital strategies for their area. It’s a privilege to be given the opportunity to coach these two passionate and godly leaders.


 

Divine Appointment

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Divine Appointment

Last night, I had the opportunity to share Christ with Andrea & Sahra (two gals working at the guesthouse we’re staying at for the conference).

They are from Switzerland doing an internship here, and have been serving us breakfast everyday. We discovered that they had just started their time here, arriving just about the same time as us.

The past few days, God has been prompting me to pray for an opportunity to talk about Christ with one of them. They are usually busy, even in the nights. But yesterday night, I saw Andrea sitting quietly by herself at the lobby. It was her off day. I started talking with her, and trusted God to lead it to a spiritual conversation. Then when I ask if she was interested to find out about a personal relationship with God, and she said ‘Yes’. So I flipped out my iPhone, went to the Knowing God Personally app, and began using it to share with her. As I began, Sahra, her friend came out and also joined in.

Would you pray for them? They seem open, but uncertain if they really want to fully believe. I challenged them to read gospel of John with an open heart and mind, trusting God to speak to them where they are.

Pray for meaningful follow-up as we connect over FaceBook. =)

Just come…

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raphah

I saw this simple yet beautiful art piece in the prayer room at our office yesterday.

The little explanation below read: “The NIV version of Psalm 46:10 says: Be still and know that I am God. The Hebrew word for still is ‘Raphah’ which is a causative verb and means to cause yourself  to get quiet, to mend by stitching…”

The artist went on to explain how she had initially mistakenly left out the ‘h’ and had to literally repair it by stitching it to the rest of the piece. She adds, ‘I come to God imperfectly, with my mistakes’

My part is simply to ‘Come, just as I am (even with all my mistakes) and be quiet before Him’.

His part is to mend, repair, make whole.

 

“Lord, I’m still before you…

whisper to me your words of wholeness in my life.

I’m broken… in desperate need of you.”

 

You too can come to God with all your imperfections, with all your failures, all your mistakes. He wants to ‘stitch’ you up,  He wants to heal you, make you whole again.

Would you let him?

Blessed Christmas!

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We are so blessed to have the opportunity this Christmas to visit with good friends in Montreal. Even though it’s really cold here… (sub-zero temperatures!), we’re experiencing the warm hospitality of our friends, and the reminder of Christ’s unending love for us… that warms our hearts in Christ!

This Christmas season we pray you find true Rest in Him. Rest in what Jesus has accomplished… not on what we have done.

May the reminder of Christ’s coming bring true Peace, real Hope, and lasting Love to you and your family!

Asia Coaching Trip

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posing for quick pic at the TCCC office

posing for quick pic at the Taiwan CCC office

I just returned from Asia where I spent a few short days with a number of our movement’s national leaders. Together with my colleague we’ve had the privilege to coach them in thinking through various digital engagements that could become strategic levers in influencing & impacting their cities & countries for Christ.

Our trip took us to Beijing, Taipei and Seoul all in the span of 5 days.

enjoying the famous ginseng soup with our Korean CCC leaders

enjoying the famous ginseng soup with our Korean CCC leaders

I had the opportunity to further explain and ‘unpack’ our global VLM Vision Map, which outlines our overall priorities as we engage in this arena of ‘Virtually-led Movements’.

I’m thankful for your prayer partnership. We felt enabled by the Lord to listen well to these leaders’ journeys and what God has called them to, and to encourage them. We’re thankful for the wisdom & insight God gave us, and the courage to speak & lead them in consider various strategic digital engagements.

Together we serve Him.

 

 

 

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Trace Goes West!

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Trace Goes West

This past weekend, our whole school (of 45 families, 80 kids) went camping! We had a fun time in the great outdoors, and a good learning & growing adventure for all! The temperatured dropped to a the chilly 40’s F (less than 5-7 deg Celsius) but it did not stop us from having fun!

On Saturday morning, I was asked to give a short devotion (from John 8:12, about Jesus, the light of the world) to all the kids. It was a fun challenge as I had to communicate to kids from from Kindergarten to middle school (14yrs old). I chose only 1 key focus, that ‘Truth alone does not set us free. It’s truth applied that sets us free.’ So while Jesus IS the light, our main responsibility is to follow the Light well, to walk in the Light, to obey Him. I got everyone involved in a little ‘mirroring game‘, which I used to illustrate the idea that to follow well, we need to observe well, listen well and be faithful in following how He leads us.

Thankful for how the Spirit spoke through His word, and through me. A number of folks (esp. parents) came up to say that my little devotion was concise and impactful (even for them – as grown-ups!) Praise be to God! Thank you Jesus for your leading and empowering.

trace camp mashup

 

A ReNEWed Call…

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God is calling us to yet another adventure… back to Orlando, Florida.

This past year at Lake Hart Stint has been a tremendous time for Lil and me, and the kids. In so many different ways, it’s been a important milestone for us, in our personal growth, in the growth of our family, in the spiritual lives of our kids, in our own knowing ourselves better, and the journey of discovering His will for our lives, and the next chapter He’s writing in our story.

The attached newsletter gives an overview of what God is calling us to. It’s a compelling task & vision that I’m privileged to be part of. And I’m trusting God to grow me more as I serve Him in this context for the next 2-3 years. Would you pray for us?

 

Download our newsletter here

If you would live to give or pray for us, please contact us, and we can give you more details.

Equipping leaders in Latin America & Caribbean

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Hello from Brazil…

This past week I had the privilege to fellowship with several key leaders from the Latin American & Caribbean region of our ministry. My co-worker and I were invited to visit them to coach, encourage, and plan together their virtual strategy for their Student-Led Movements in 46 countries in their area. It is a daunting task, but on that we believe can be accomplished with His power through the use of various creative media &  online strategies.

Latin Americans top world rankings in the use of Social Media! Every month, over 114 million people in Latin America visit a social networking site, representing 96% of the entire online population. All to say that the opportunites for ministry are huge!

SOME EXAMPLES:

  • One recent internet campaign in Bolivia that our team helped put together was able to generate 5703 visits and connections through a single website.
  • Staff are receiving training to help them be more familiar with using Social Media to connect with their students and those inquirng about faith in Jesus.
  • The EUV (Equipo Universitario Virtual) team has produced good-quality videos that address the top-ten topics that students face, to get them interested to explore faith issues.
  • Our Brazil ministry is literally overwhelmed with requests from students to start movements in their universities. We can’t always send staff, but plans are being made so we can equip & coach them through various digital means, so that the movements can multiply even faster.

Your prayers and partnership are making an impact here in Latin American!


From L to R: Renner fr Brazil, me, Tabo fr Argetina, Chandell fr Curacao (Caribbean) and Selegna fr Panama. Rich, my co-worker is behind the camera =)

Why Good Friday is good

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So why does Good Friday mean to you?

Why Good Friday is good…

 

When I was growing up…the truth is, Good Friday is good primarily because it was another public holiday YEAH! (and therefore a school holiday!)

Thankfully, I’m grown (and matured) in my thinking and attitude, recognizing the greater significance of this holiday. =)

When you stop to consider, Good Friday is probably one of the most interesting paradoxes of the Christian faith. When else do you celebrate the death of a Savior, calling death ‘good’? It’s totally counter-intuitive. Only when you realize the broader picture of why the death was needed, and what it accomplished does it make any sense.

To me, Good Friday is good not only because Christ took my place and died for me…

It’s good because God planned and purposed it, to redeem mankind (and me!) to himself, to fulfill what would ultimately bring Him glory!

It’s about us, yet really it’s about Him.

So, why is Good Friday good to you?

 

Watch this short film to find out how why and how He made it good.