Our first intern turned Missionary Associate…

People often ask me what I like most about leading teams. I battle internally over my answer. Seeing the light turn on in someone’s eyes as they receive real and practical help along with hope in Jesus in the midst of great need is hard to beat.

However, seeing the team members I lead watch that light turn on in the eyes of the one they’re helping just might be my favorite part of what I do.
Meet Shannon. I met Shannon at a conference about a year ago. She was a youth pastor in her home church. She had gotten saved through her church’s bus ministry. When she, as a student at Southwestern Assemblies of God University got the opportunity to be the youth pastor, she told her students that she would be there until every one of them graduated. Committment.
Last year, the youngest of those first students graduated. God was prompting her heart to bust out and do some crazy missions something. What? She felt peace as He told her He’d let her know. We met a year ago. She came up after the service and said this was what God had for her and she was ready to join the team. That was a Saturday, When I called her on Monday, she had told her pastor, found some initial funding sources and was on her way.
She worked with us in El Salvador, Indianapolis, South Carolina, the Philippines and N. Asia.

This week she was approved to be a Missionary Associate. She’s coming on board full-time.
If you’ve met Shannon, you know she’s got that light in her eyes as she’s watching from a front row seat some good things that God is doing.
Pray for Shannon! Pray her fundraising will be swift.
Pray that others will join her.

College students still stay up late and like Chili’s

I learned some things this week.

Seven days ago I was in Phoenix at the Master’s Commission Conference, I then went to Dallas (Waxahachie) to spend time with students at Southwestern Assemblies of God University. Yesterday I was in chapel at Evangel. Busy week.

I’ve spent a lot of time with college (age) students lately. Here are a few things I learned…

1. I’ve heard it said that “this generation is overpreached and underchallenged.” I think today it’s more like “Challenged but underfacilitated.” Yesterday a student told me, “I’ve wanted to do something like a Convoy of Hope Internship for a long time but didn’t know how.”

2. Still…some are bored with the thought of missons. They like the concept and agree it’s a good and necessary thing, but aren’t sure how it applies to them if they’re not “called.” I guess perhaps that’s not necessarily news, but I saw it this week. How should the “normal” person who doesn’t preach or feel led to fill a passport connect with missions?

3. There is passion when there is buy in. I saw some people near me in Phoenix who are passionate about Guitar Hero. They don’t worship it, but they sure like it and spent a lot of time passionately playing. They’re a part of something cool. I don’t want to create a missions video game or anything, but it got me thinking…

4. Chili’s has good Fish Tacos. I enjoyed them with some very cool students from SAGU.

It was also fun seeing a friend who works hard. I worked with Pastor Ornan in the Dominican Republic…in a pretty tough place. He was in Phoenix last week and told me how much Convoy of Hope helped his church last March when I was there, and broke the news that he’ll be building a new church soon…cool.

An overview of our interns in 2007

I’m not living in yesterday, but wanted to share a quick overview of our interns in 2007…

 

Convoy of Hope JoshWe launched with two interns this spring. After one went home with a pre-existing sickness, we finished with one. Josh is a great man and I was proud to see him pave the way. He and the field guy, Sean, worked hard in the Gulf doing Katrina relief and then in Uganda helping refugees.

Our summer team grew to eight and they worked very hard in El Salvador doing outreach and building bio-sand water filters at schools across the country. The team also worked in Indianapolis, IN at an outreach that helped 4,500 people.

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P1090107And finally, our fall team of nine is in the midst of incredible ministry. They worked in Charleston, SC, and the Philippines (I just returned), doing outreach and helping meet physical needs with feeding programs, school kits, and more. They returned late last year from N. Asia where they helped rehab a school and a community center, also connecting with local students who are learning English. 

Catching the chicken

Hey…I just got a Facebook page.  Didn’t really know what it was until last month.  Fun.  Still will post blogs here.  I like the fb thing though.  Would love to connect there…

I returned last week from N. Asia.  What a trip.  The team is doing well and just finished with some hard work.  They’re actually sleeping as I write this, after just touring the Great Wall on their way out of the country.  They’ll be home Friday.

Here’s a short video from when I was there.  After a long day of work, we had some fun as many chased a chicken.  Caleb sure makes us all smile…

We tried balut…

I haven’t blogged in a long time, but when you eat balut, you just want to share the experience.

I just returned from Manila where I worked with our Convoy of Hope Intern team.  We had fun.  Among the fun times…eating balut.

If you don’t know, balut is a partially formed duck fetus, still in the egg and boiled for your enjoyment.  It comes in various levels of development, but ours had the beak, feet, eyes, feathers and more.  Not all ate it, and we could understand why.

Here’s what they egg looks like…

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Shannon went first…you can see the video below.

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Others followed.  Here’s what the duck looks like out of the egg…

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Unbelievable.  We ate that.  With great pride, Nate, Liz and Erin stayed away.  Kevin too…we respect that.  Here’s what they thought of the situation…

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That’s the story of eating balut.  When with future teams, I’ll be able to say, “I’ve had that…thanks though.”  Here’s video of Shannon’s tasting:

The Dominican Republic was wonderful

On my first international adventure with Convoy of Hope, I worked with Doug Corbett to lead a team to the Dominican Republic.  Wonderful time.  I thought I’d add a photo or two for your viewing pleasure…

 

I had fun with Emmanuel, and was able to pass on some shoes from Convoy of Hope.  He loved these…

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Handing out food overseas was fun…

 

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We even did some Book of Hope distribution in a school…like the old days…

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Families responded well…

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It was fun.  I look forward to next time.

New Orleans…still in huge need

I was in Louisiana last month…and wanted to mention a few things.  That city is still in huge need.  We were in the 9th Ward, where the flooding was beyond severe.  Here are some houses…

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You can see the spray pain on the walls where they went searching for people…the houses you see here had water nearly to the roofs before it started receding.  The house here mentions that they found a deceased dog “1 dead K9” it read…

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We had fun working with some local churches for the God Cares event.  Over 1100 people came, and over 20 adults decided to follow Jesus that day.  It was crazy hearing their stories of how they waited on roofs, on the side of highway bridges, in their attics for hours-days to be rescued.  God’s doing something huge in New Olreans, but there’s still a lot…a lot…a lot to be done.  If you’re interested in working in the area, let me know.

People wated on the bridge you see here, as water flowed through like a river.  We used it to share hope at the event in March. 

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Two great stories from Gautier…

So last on April 16, 2006 Lisa and her 4 kids, along with her ex-husband Damien moved out of the cruise ship they lived on (post Katrina…it wasn’t anything near paradise) and back to Gautier.  Don’t know the struggles they’d had, just know the marriage was over.

The SAME DAY, there was a Convoy of Hope Outreach in the city.  They went.  Skeptical.  Needed the food.  Needed the break.  Fun stuff for the kids.  Went to the connections tent, and Lisa heard about Jesus.  Felt love.  Accepted Him.  Her life changed.  Damien did the same.

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They got involved in The Refuge, a church in Gautier, and learned more about Jesus.  They loved this new normal.  In front of the church…Damien (re)proposed.  Healing.  The officially got married, and will have a ceremony on May 19 to do so publicly.

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I watched the family worship on Friday…they were all focused on Jesus, tears pouring.

On Saturday, Damien helped at the outreach in 100 ways, as did the two older boys, and Lisa…helped in the connenctions (i.e. prayer) tent.  She prayed with people for hours, and was able to share this new life she had, from the perspective of someone in that seat a year earlier.

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Wonderful people.  I want to get to know them more.  When the story is typed up with quotes, and more details, I’ll link to it here. 

 

Last Monday (April 16) Leroy died.  Seriously.  They found him unconscious in front of his FEMA trailer, with NO VITAL SIGNS!  They called paramedics, and prayed for him like crazy.  The pulse returned (after more than a minute) and he’s now dancing with joy at the life he has.  Literally…dancing…in this photo.

God is good…

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