Stories continue…an update on Jason

Early last year I made this video about a little guy we met in a squatter village near Manila. There’s now more to the story…

Update time…

If you saw the video, you know he was living in very difficult circumstances. The people I know in his country are good people who love and care for their children, even if they lack necessities. However, Jason was in a particularly abusive situation and the government decided to get him to a safe place…

In this safer place, he gained physical strength and is now full of hope and faith. Our team returned a year later to visit him. He was strong, full of joy, loved to pray and smiled a lot. Mary Beth, the team leader, shared much more on our interns blog at

We met Jason through the Convoy of Hope’s Children Feeding Initiative. His belly if full, mind is learning, heart is full of faith, and he loves life and people.

Some reasons I believe this story is turning out well…

1. People are praying.

2. Our local partner in the area is incredible. He’s a very humble pastor, who sacrifices much for his community. He could work in another place making really good money, but he follows God’s call and is there. He’s very invested in this story and has spent tremendous time praying for and working towards the right solution.

3. The Children’s Feeding Initiative is about much more than feeding stomachs. It’s been an answer to the prayers of the pastor and his family, and a key tool for them to use in reaching their community.

4. People are following God’s plan for their lives…donors, our interns and intern staff, local missionaries who are helping the pastor, the pastor and volunteers from his church, our Convoy of Hope staff that gets food and more to this village, representatives of the Filipino government, those who run (and donate to) a nearby children’s home, and people who pray!

Thank you for caring for little guys like him. I look forward to sharing another update about his life someday.

Meet Nik-more than rock and roll

Everyone has a story…and learning stories about great people is one of my favorite things. Here’s a bit about Nik. He started the band Undying Allegiance 5 years ago, but stepped away for this season to help the poor around the world as a Convoy of Hope intern. His story includes way more than the 1 1/2 minutes you’ll see here, but I wanted you to get a glimpse of this great man who has a great perspective on life.

Here’s the first single from his band’s latest project. It’s ironically called, “The Story of Our Lives.”

What is a time or situation in your life that helped you gain perspective?

Meeting the team: Andy

I get to meet some really, really good people. People like Andy. He and the rest of the Convoy of Hope Intern team members challenge me, encourage me, and help me keep life in perspective.

Here, he shares 2 minutes of his incredible life story. I’ll post about other team members in the future.

What gives you perspective?

It’s not just what you do…

“It’s not just what you do, it’s what you set in motion.” I don’t remember when I first heard that phrase, but it sure is true.

Teachers teach grammar and spelling, which became key foundations to people like Mark Twain, Mark Batterson and Mark Driscoll.

Tiger’s dad gave him those golf clubs when he was just a toddler. (We’ll keep praying for you, Tiger.)

I worked with a team from the US in the country of Ghana. We worked with Ghanaian friends to distribute Books of Hope. During our two weeks in one city, together we shared about 40,000 copies of His word to students around the capital. We passed through town two months later to see that our friends had shared about 200,000 copies. Since then, they’ve shared with every student in numerous provinces of the country.

I won’t forget being 17-years-old, standing in our church parking lot and hearing a friend share an idea, “gardenWhy don’t you go on this missions trip with me to Spain?”

I don’t know what will happen from this, but last week our interns in Bangladsh worked at an orphanage to plant a rooftop garden. They didn’t work alone; many of the 250 orphans helped the process. The orphans learned about gardening and saw (most of them) their first rooftop garden.

Someday, they won’t live at an orphanage and they’ll need to provide for their families. They now have a new interest and skill.

I’d rather teach gardening than give a bag of vegetables. I’m not sure what it’ll set in motion, but maybe someday we’ll see…

Our version of Kids with Cameras


During intern training, our team watched the movie, Born Into Brothels. In the Oscar winning documentary, kids from Calcutta’s Red Light District are given cameras and taught to use them. Out of the project, an organization called Kids with Cameras was born. We liked the idea.


Here’s how we used it: after school, 12 girls from Bangladsh go to Uttam’s Place, an oasis they can see from their home in the slums. There, they study, learn, play, laugh, eat, shower, wash their clothing and smile a lot.  Now, they’re kids with cameras who love to take pictures.


A key lesson they’re learning? There’s no one on earth like them…they’re unique, special, and there’s a pretty fantastic plan in the works for their lives. They’re learning some other key things too…



banglrOur interns spent last week with them. We played, did crafts, shared songs and stories, ate and got to know them.


Getting to know the girls was insightful. One told me how her father is crippled. Another talked about her uncle recently dying. They’re all have their stories. They’re unique and they’re beautiful. They’re learning and having a blast at this special place.


Last week, they learned about photography and how like photos, each of them is unique and special. Smiles, laughter, interest, concentration, and joy infected each of these special girls. They took many, many photos and look forward to learning more.


The most frustrating part of the week? The stomach flu all 10 of us got. We’re better now, but not done with Uttam’s Place! The team goes back the next week…and even next month. I’ll post some of their photos when I get them.


We’ve taught the basics of taking pictures…and just started with a few details before getting sick.  Anything you think we should include in our future lessons? banglcamera


Note: Many thanks Fred & friends at Lawrence Photo in Springfield, Mo.  They donated/gave great deals on cameras we took to the center that helps the girls.

Some thoughts from this side of the world

Yesterday I left the world’s densest country* to head to the world’s highest.  It’s been a wild ride full of wonder, intense poverty, beautiful people, and opportunities to serve.


I’m here strategizing the work our interns will do during the spring ’10 Convoy of Hope internship term.  So many places with so much need.  Opportunity.  Impact?


We’ll work with little girls who live in the slums but who are finding a way out with help from people who love them.

opportunity (2)

We’ll work in a very special orphanage where the lives of children are changed forever.**

opportunity (3)

We’ll connect with churches that are making a difference and do our best to encourage with a sweet partnership.

I’m actually pretty overwhelmed by this trip…and excited by the opportunity.  More thoughts from here a bit later…



*For those keeping score, it’s the densest except for city states like Vatican City, etc.