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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Trinidad Wrap Up

As often happens, I did not find the time to post during this trip nearly as much as I had intended to. Between the busy schedule and having to stand in the middle of a mosquito ridden field to get wifi, it just didn’t happen. Right now I am sitting on a plane flying north to Miami, Trinidad very much behind me.

As always, these trips are a great way to live in community with your siblings in Christ. Friendships that could normally take months or years to form, can begin to exist within days inside the incubator of a mission trip. I laughed louder than I have in some time with Caleb and Brent as they reminded me again what it is like to be young in the Lord. I learned that Aaron Lippard (of the Lippard Tribe :o) was the first person (with his buddy) to travel across the island of Papa New Guinea without motors (basically with a kayak and little else). I found unexpected treasures within each of the ladies (Ashley, Alicia, Wilma and Ivy) as they shared their amazing testimonies of how God changed their lives. Without speaking a word to me about it, Daniel taught me how to lead people into God’s fullness for their lives so gently that sometimes they don’t even know they are being led. And the kids… Can you believe it? The Lippard’s brought their 4 young children (age 5-13) with them on this trip – and it was AWESOME!

Expectations was one of the themes of this trip. What do we expect from God, what does He expect from us? Far greater men have wrestled with these questions, and as I try to decipher their answers I have found myself wanting…

I expected God to show up in powerful ways. He did. I saw young men in prison brought to tears as they turned their troubled lives over to a savior that is more than able to change them forever. I saw children who lived lives surrounded by idol worship acknowledge that our God is the one true God. I saw my brothers and sisters wrestle with their faith and come out on the other side; stronger and more willing to be a light to a dark world.

For me, this trip was one of coming to grips with God’s expectations of me. Like many Americans, I have been conditioned to expect all life’s solutions to come quick and easy. Yet, the more I get to know my God, the more I see that those that profit most from being His are those that are willing to labor in the fields and do the hard work of perfecting their faith. For me, this trip was a reminder that if you linger too long in yesterday’s grace, you will miss out on today’s abundant life. God has an adventure for me and its one that I don’t need to leave my present circumstances to enjoy. But as I learned from my brother Aaron this week, you won’t ever discover the mysteries of the island if you don’t get in the kayak.

So this is how I am ending this trip, with a beginning. Words will only get me so far. Its time for me to get in the kayak. I know there is some difficult paddling ahead. But I also know that if I can push through to the things that God wants of me, I will never want to be the man I was before I had the courage to get in the boat.

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Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Missions

 

Days 3-5 in Trinidad

They past few days have held some really good times here in Trinidad. Our team is meshing well and we are really beginning to do the work that we set out to do.

Today will be our third day of VBS. On the first day, we had about 15 kids, then 30 the next. These things can grow significantly as the days go on. It has been really cool watching all these kids eagerly learning about Jesus. Our theme for the week is HOW HE LOVES US. Instead of just telling the kids “Jesus Loves You”, we are trying to help them see all the specific ways in which he loves us. As the number of kids coming to VBS grows, so to does the amount of adults peeking their heads in to see what the commotion is all about.

On Sunday evening, Aaron, Ashley, Caleb and I all had the opportunity to lead worship at the TTUM church service. From the get go, they informed us that we were to do no less than 6 songs! The culture here allows for entering the presence of the Lord without the restraints of time. People weren’t looking at their watches waiting for worship to be over, the were soaking in the things of the Lord and allowing Him to minister to them in His time… How cool.

Yesterday, after VBS was over, we went to an orphanage. There were a good number of older kids at this orphanage. Several of them though that Sabian Lippard looked like Justin Beber, so that was interesting :o)

As we move through the week, I am praying for more opportunities to serve the people of Trinidad and show them Jesus in a tangible way. I am expecting God to open doors to speak into the hears of those that are lost, hurting and in need of a savior.

THANK you for all your prayers thus far… THEY ARE WORKING!!! Our team is healthy. We are trying to step into the things that Lord wants of us. It is a very sweet thing to witness.

-j

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2011 in Missions

 

Day 2 of Trinidad..

Well, our wifi access down here is a bit spotty, so I am not sure how often I will be able to update y’all on here. Even though it is Day 3, I will just update you on Day 2 for now… I’ll get back later tonight and let you know about the fun festivities of today!

DAY 2

Day 2 was pretty relaxed. In the morning we spent some time learning about the culter here in trinidad. We visited some Hindu temples and toured the countryside a bit. In the afternoon, we shouted out our VBS location. We then canvased the neighborhoods inviting kids to VBS this week.

A neat story about the VBS… Some of you may know that we had originally planned on coming to Trinidad in April. That ended up getting changed to August. Well, the Lord’s timing is perfect. When TTUM (the ministry we are working from here) went and talked to one of the Local churches about our trip in August, they were so happy. They are a small church plant and had been desperately wanting to do VBS for the children during the summer (school would not have been out in April), but did not have the staff to pull it off. Since we came, they are now able to do the VBS they wanted. VBS’s like this are a key way that these churches grow. The kids come, and then the adults come to see what is going on and soon, the church is growing! How cool…

PRAY

Please PRAY that God draws kids to the VBS and that we have opportunities to talk to the Lost about Jesus. Pray that our entire team stays healthy (I feel great btw) for the whole trip! Thank you!

-j

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2011 in Missions

 

Trinidad – Day One

Off we go… I am not used to such nice flight times. Today I rolled out of bed at around 8 am and headed over to the church at 9. We had a nice drive to O’hare and now we are sitting around waiting for our flight to Miami. Besides almost leaving my guitar in the screening line, things have gone smoothly…

Not too much to update you on, but I do have some prayer requests:

HEALTH
I have been feeling a little under the weather for the last couple of days. Even now, my throat hurts and I am not feeling 100%. Pray that this nastiness goes away and that I can concentrate on the tasks at hand

HEAVEN
I want to hear from heaven on this trip. There are some specific things I am seeking the Lord to speak into on this trip. Pray that I am sensitive to his leadings…

HOME
Amy always gets a little anxious when I am gone and this is the first time that alex has been old enough to realize that I am gone for so long. Pray that they have peace in their hearts and FUN while I am gone.

Thank you all for your support… Be sure to post your responses on the blog. It is so encouraging to see your support.

-j

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Posted by on August 12, 2011 in Missions