Sunday, July 26, 2015

One Month. One Nation.


This week will culminate a month-long effort to plant three new radio stations in partnership with FEBC in one of the most unreached nations of the world.  The figures are somewhere between 1-3% evangelical Christian in this Asian country, but the stations we are involved in will help bring the Good News to hundreds of thousands more people there.

The project is called "One Month. One Nation," because, as a result of what is happening in this month alone, it could result in much of this unreached country being covered by Christian radio.  How?

Well, we are partnering with Moody Radio, whose staff has been sharing with listeners about this exciting project throughout July.  And they've been responding generously.  It all culminates this week.

On Thursday and Friday, several Moody stations will be dedicating the entire day to raise pledges to get these stations on the air.  In fact, Moody's Indiana stations will have a couple of their on-air people at our headquarters broadcasting live.  This means a 4:00 a.m. start time locally for them and our staff.

You can listen live to this event on Thursday and Friday all day at:

http://www.moodyradioindiana.fm/

I co-host a podcast with Reach Beyond President Wayne Pederson, and the latest episode has all the details. Listen at:

www.reachbeyond.org/podcast

Thanks for your prayers.




Sunday, June 14, 2015

Back in the Saddle Again

It's a nice headline, but I don't really ride horses.  However, I do like to run and I'm back at it after more than a month off.  I was forced into bike riding because of an injury, and I've enjoyed that new way of exercise.

Walking the Reach Beyond 5K with Biscuit was a step in the right direction at the Reach Beyond 5K several days ago. 


When Noonie and I were in California last month, I decided to take a nice run around the track I lapped hundreds of times when we lived in San Luis Obispo.  I felt a twinge in my heel on the first lap, and like most guys, I kept running.  The full three miles.  And I could hardly walk for the next several days. 

I had strained my achilles tendon where it meets the heel.  Ouch.  I mean really ouch!  I took five weeks off and tested it out on the treadmill the other day, and it felt great!  (That means I didn't feel anything).  So, I 'm back in the saddle again.  Wait, I'm out of the bike saddle and back in my running shoes.

The Lord has been teaching me about wisdom lately.  I guess He knows I need it after deciding to keep running the day I hurt myself.  Here is Proverbs 8:34-36 personalized:

"Blessed are those who listen to wisdom, watching daily at her gates, waiting at her doorposts.  For whoever finds wisdom finds life and obtains favor from You, Lord.  But those who fail to find her injure their own souls;  all who hate her love death."

I've been meditating on these verses for a few days, and looking for opportunities to exercise wisdom.  God's wisdom.

Had a great visit from Dennis and Linda Escalante a couple weeks ago.  Their daughter, Olivia, married our son, Tommy and we haven't seen each other in three or four years!  A fun reunion.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Discouraged... why?

I've been going through a time of discouragement lately, which really isn't like me.  For some reason, I can't seem to get a grip on things, and I'm not looking at life with the same positive outlook I normally have. 

One of the reasons, I'm sure, is the bad news I've received on a number of fronts.  I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and that translates to a steady bad attitude.  I've hidden it from most, but it's there.  As a believer, I tend to beat myself up over it, knowing that I'm supposed to be upbeat all the time.  Or am I?

One of the things that has hit me hard is the deportation of several Christian workers in a Central Asia country.  I was just with them a few weeks ago and was so encouraged by what they were doing in such a hard place.  But, now, most of them have been sent out of the country, leaving their work behind.

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Fish Out of Water

I don't swim.  In fact, I can't swim.  So installing a water-wheel pump in a fast-moving aqueduct in the countryside in Central Asia officially qualifies me as being a fish out of water. 



This is where I found myself in mid-April, and it turned out to be one of the most unique experiences I've ever had.  Honestly, my role was minimal.  They had the project under control without me.  But I took a lot of pictures and video, and really did help lift the huge unit a couple times.

This waterwheel pump will deliver over 100 tons of water per day to a farm over 500 yards away once the piping is attached.
What does a water pump have to do with ministry?  A lot, when you consider this is a way to show people you care.  And when you care, relationship happens.  And when relationship happens, you get to share the most important relationship with them, your relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Eternal Impact of This Pump

 

In this Central Asia country, less than 1% are evangelical Christians.  When I joined a pair of missionary engineers from Europe on this pump project, they had already been working with the local farmer for 4-5 months in preparation for this day.  And I could see clearly that they had a relationship with this man and his family.  They had labored alongside him for the opportunity to provide water for his farm but the Living Water, too.


Please pray for the over 5 million people in this unreached country, that they would have the opportunity to hear the gospel and respond.  The pump experience, for me, was a lesson in ministry in a country where you have to be licensed by the government to teach the Bible and proclaim the Word in a church.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

How We Are Responding to the Nepal Earthquake

Ironically, I was standing next to the Rock of Gibraltar when the earth shook in Nepal.  I was on my way home from a three-week international trip with Reach Beyond, and Gibraltar was my last stop.

Immediately, our team members around the world began communicating about our response to this devastating earthquake.  Reach Beyond has indigenous partners in Nepal, where we have planted eight radio stations and have built a birthing center.  These facilities are in hard-to-get-to places, and members of our team are in the process of getting there right now.

Four of our missionaries are on the ground in Nepal, meeting with our partners to assess the situation and see how we can best come alongside them in providing relief.

I was in the studio a few hours ago recording our next podcast episode, which will be released tomorrow (Friday), sharing more details about the situation and our response.  I encourage you to check back and listen.

Please pray for the people of Nepal.  I was there a couple years ago, and have vivid memories of places that are now ruined. 

If you want to help with a donation for our relief efforts, I encourage you to do so.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Doing Ministry in a Hard Country




Leaving home and everything you know as familiar is one thing. But uprooting your family to another country and another culture, where you may be the only believer in your town, is something totally different.

I just spent three days with nearly fifty people who have done just that. They've done it because God has called them to share the love of Jesus in an unreached nation in Central Asia.

They're doctors, dentists, water engineers, teachers and people with a variety of other professions.  They are using their skills to improve the quality of life here. But more than that, they are earning the right to tell people about the love of God. It's a message they have never heard and  certainly can't wrap their minds around.

I've been in class for three days actually, hearing report after report of the realities of missions work in this hard country. How wonderful to hear how one worker has earned the respect of  his entire neighborhood because he deals with people as Christ would. He is one step closer to having the conversation with them about this amazing God-man Jesus. 

I'm looking forward to getting out into the field in on Monday to walk with some of the workers through the ministry that they do.  There's nothing like seeing it first-hand.  

Thanks for your prayers.  I've really sensed them.  The key to a good day is a good night's sleep, especially when I'm in a time zone 12 hours away from home.  I've had excellent nights of sleep.  It has kept me sharp and effective during the day.

From here, it's off to see our kids and grandkids in Turkey for a nice vacation with them before another week in another region with Reach Beyond team members.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tell us What You Think of Our Brand New Podcast

I'm thrilled to let you know that we just launched something that has been in our plans for several months.  The premier episode of the Reach Beyond Podcast has been released, and I invite you to listen as we "bring the world to your window."



Reach Beyond President Wayne Pederson and I had a great time recording this premier episode.  We share how believers around the world have come alongside to “Make Ebola Kick the Bucket.”   You’ll hear about “The Bucket Brigade,” and the victory being won over Ebola in one of West Africa’s last hot spots. 

Our special guest is Bob Augsburg, founder and President of Way FM, a nationwide Christian radio network reaching 1.2 million listeners a week. Way FM has a vision to take the gospel to people around the world, so they have partnered with Reach Beyond on a radio project in Asia.

You’ll also hear about a need for prayer for partner stations in Thailand in the aftermath of a military coup; and how God has opened doors in Mongolia.

Go behind the scenes with us and enjoy the podcast.  Let me know what you think.

Listen now.