Saturday, 28 July 2012

DTS Family Portrait

This is my beautiful Voice for the Voiceless DTS  family here in Kona, Hawaii. I love them so much, and am so blessed to be a part of their lives.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Everything To Give

There are few words more powerful within the craziness of life than "me too." When someone can honestly say that they have been where we are, that they have experienced what we are experiencing, that they made it through what is currently killing us, it extends light and hope into our situation. Loneliness is conquered by the stories of people who have been where we are because they offer a sense of finality to trial that can often only be gained with the perspective of time.

Everybody has a story.

I now have the honor of staffing a Discipleship Training School of 16 students. All of them are from different places in the world. They all have different families, backgrounds, experiences, and histories. The diversity of the group became apparent this week during a time of very real openness with one another. Every person had a different story; a battle with addiction, hard family lives, broken homes and broken hearts, betrayal, mistakes, hurt, and a lot of shame.

And as they shared, the miracle became apparent. It makes very little sense as to how these 16 individuals could have made it to this same season of their lives at the same time without some divine, governing purpose. There is power in their testimonies because the very fact that all of them are alive and here at this moment is a tale of the miraculous, and I believe that that has everything to do with the purpose of this DTS: Within their stories, they have everything - life, power, victory, success, freedom and love - to give.

I get to take a group of six of these students on outreach in September to Ghana and Togo, where we will use our stories to touch the lives of the people we meet. We will relate with those that the western world has forgotten because we ourselves have at some point fallen through the cracks. We will reach out to those who have been cast aside by culture and society because we know what it's like to be chosen last. We will tell our stories, and we will also tell theirs, for everyone has a story worth sharing. Every person deserves a voice, and in september of this year, we will set out and we will be a part of that Voice for the Voiceless in West Africa.

And as we share these stories, we hope and pray to see the world become a smaller place: Where we identify with one another regardless of race, where we learn from each other, where we see and we hear and we know how to treasure the stories of our brothers and sisters, because these are the stories that will change everything.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Faith like Noah's

Recently, God has been speaking to me about Noah. (Yes, I believe that God speaks to us, but that's a different topic that I'd love to discuss with you another time.) For those of you who don't know, Noah is the guy in the Bible who built the ark and had all those pet animals. The conversation between Noah and God that day would have maybe gone like this:

"Yes, God?"
"I'm going to need you to build an ark because I am going to drown everything and everybody on the planet except you and your wife and your sons and their wives. I'm also going to need you to round up two of every kind of animal that exists and bring them on your ark with you. Make sure you bring enough food."
"Um... Okay."
"Thank you, Noah."
Noah shifts uneasily."Uh, God?"
"Yes, Noah?"
"What' an ark?"

And so on and so forth. At that point in the Bible, no one had ever seen a boat, let alone an ark. In fact, it's likely that no one had ever seen rain, let alone a flood. But Noah built the ark, smack in the middle of the desert, and he rounded up the animals and somehow got them all on the ark, and then, eighty years or so later, the rain came as God promised.

All of this is pretty crazy, but here's the thing: Out of Noah's faith came his obedience to God, and his obedience resulted in life on earth.

I want faith like that; I want my faith to bring life to the earth. I think that that is exactly what I have an opportunity to see here on  this Discipleship Training School. We have 17 students who are all incredible individuals, and I am believing, in faith, that every one of them goes on outreach this quarter. We have already seen God provide about $2000 so that some of the students could stay to begin lecture this week. I am believing, in faith, that we will see incredible, miraculous, undeniable moves of God in both of our outreach locations, India and West Africa. We want to see people set free, children spoken for, and voices of the voiceless made known to the world.

Please pray that I have increased faith - faith like Noah's.