Friday, May 27, 2016

Team Noonie!

Our daughter, Jayna, surprised the whole family with a Team Noonie t-shirt she had designed so we could come around Noonie during this cancer season.  I've worn mine twice already at the gym!  And our cute grandkids wear theirs a lot.  These two look much better than I do, as you can see...



Some have been asking how they could get a Team Noonie t-shirt.  Jayna said she could facilitate that, but it would be best to order several at once to keep the cost down.  If you'd like to ask her about it, you can email her at jaynarylee at gmail.com  (I had to spell it our to avoid spammers--not you!).  And thank you for being part of the team.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Day With Eternal Implications

More than 70,000 people a day die without Jesus.

When I saw that statistic, it pained me.  These are 70,000 individuals, all over the world, that will spend eternity apart from God.  Day after day this goes on.

That's why I'm advocating for the 2 billion+ who have little or no access to the gospel and have never heard the name of Jesus.  This just can't continue.

Sunday, May 15, tomorrow, is the first International Day for the
Unreached, on Pentecost Sunday. It's a day when believers are being alerted to the greatest injustice in our world-- that in this day and age, in a world of technological advancements, there are still billions who don't even know what the name of Jesus means.  They've never heard of our Savior.

Noonie and I encourage you to do a couple things.  First, pray for unreached people around the world, that the Church can get the gospel to them.

Second, visit the Day for the Unreached website and download the Great Commission Action Guide.  I wrote this publication a couple months ago and I'd like you to have it.  You'll find some practical things you can do to help reach the unreached.

I recorded a podcast with Reach Beyond president Wayne Pederson a short time ago, focused on the International Day for the Unreached.  Give it a listen when you have time. You can also listen on iTunes.
http://dayfortheunreached.org


Friday, May 13, 2016

Mother's Day was Extra Special This Year


Jayna came out from LA for Mother's Day!
It was a special treat to have her here. 
She did something memorable for Noonie
and the whole family.  Details are at the
end of this post.


Three down, five to go.

Noonie had her third chemo treatment yesterday, and as I sit here and write the next morning, I am absolutely amazed at how she is doing today.  She is not groggy, slow, uncomfortable and all the other things she felt after the first two treatments.

It is remarkable, and it is God!  Thank you for your faithful prayers.  There is no other way we can explain this.  We are experiencing the answers to your prayers.

I was so impressed by how good she looked I asked her a few minutes ago, "Would you like to write this post yourself?"

She said her mind wasn't quite clear enough to do that, so I'm stepping in again to give you an update.

Noonie is ready to leave the house for the hospital for
her third chemo treatment.  You can see where the port
is located on her left side.  All the chemo is administered
there so she doesn't have to have an IV each time in her arm.

We showed up a little before 8:00 yesterday morning and Noonie was in good spirits, ready to go.  She was seated in her comfy chair and the process was started to prepare her port for the chemo.  However, once the nurse got started in the prep work, it appeared that the port was clogged.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Good News on the Cancer Front

 

NOTE:  Please pray for the earthquake recovery efforts in Ecuador.  Reach Beyond's roots are there, as we were established in Quito, Ecuador over 80 years ago as HCJB.  We have many missionaries there, and a Reach Beyond medical team is on the ground serving in the disaster areas.  This will be a long recovery.  You can read the Reach Beyond report here.  As God leads, will you give to help underwrite the costs of our medical efforts







Yesterday, we received word from the medical oncologist that Noonie's lymph node tumor had shrunk by half!

You bet we're thrilled and praising God!  So many people are praying for Noonie (and me) and the Lord is answering.

Let me put this in context.  Noonie has only had one chemo treatment.  On top of that, she hasn't even started the drug that is most designed to specifically shrink the tumor.  That won't happen until the second four treatments and beyond.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cancer


It was less than a month ago.  We had been waiting several days for the results of Noonie’s biopsy.  She had discovered an enlarged lymph node under her arm.  Waiting was hard. 



On a Tuesday afternoon, the radiologist met with us and called us back into a room where he could talk with us privately.  He was either going to say, “It’s good,” or “It’s bad.”  The words “It’s bad” came out of his mouth and we were stunned.  This meant Noonie had cancer.


Thankfully, the doctor was upbeat and didn’t speak with a doomsday outlook.  He was caring, positive, and it was the first glimpse of God involved in this journey.  We have seen it often since then.

It took another few days for pathologists to determine the source, and that waiting was hard, too.  By the end of the week, it was confirmed as breast cancer.  By God’s wonderful grace, Noonie received the news when she was with her sisters on a sister reunion on the East Coast that had already been planned weeks before.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Reporting from Africa

This is my third trip to Ghana, West Africa with Reach Beyond.  It's a country that was spared from Ebola last year.  It's also a country rich in Christian heritage.  It provides a safe place for our regional team to be based as they journey to do work in many countries that have little gospel influence or penetration in Sub Saharan Africa.

I'm here with three colleagues from Reach Beyond as we spend time with our missionaries and see first-hand what is taking place in the field.   We hope we're also being an encouragement to these faithful servants of Christ.

Today we drove two to locations and spent about 7 hours on the road, which is not unusual when you're trying to get around into remote places.  I'm about to retire for the night, but I wanted to give you a peek at what we have been up to the past couple days.

Yesterday, we walked down a 100-yard path to this watering hole,
where a village of about 200 people used to get their water.
  Kids and women would make  the walk to this place for
totally unhealthy, dirty water.


In 2014, Reach Beyond worked with the villagers to drill a well.
Now the village comes here for clean water.  It has transformed
the people, who have also embraced the Living Water.  The pump
was so easy to use, as I poured some water for our friend Ben.

Today, I met this morning show producer for a station we
helped buid in Assin Fosu, Ghana-- NKWA FM. It was about a 5-hour
drive from Accra, where we are staying.  The whole staff
made us smile with their contagious smiles.  They love the
Lord and sharing him with the city.

We went inside the studio and this announcer team interviewed
us.  We spoke in English and they translated into the local language.
SonSet Radios made it here.  We have delivered a
couple thousand or more to this station, so the
staff can give them away in the community.

And this is the view of the city from the transmitter
and tower site.
We visited a slave castle nearby that was built in the 1400s.
It was sobering to hear the story of how thousands and
thousands of men and women were brutally treated here
before being transported to America and other countries.
This is one of the rooms where they were jammed in.

Tomorrow night we fly home, but not before some more driving on some unusual roads.  We'll also visit a clinic and indigenous partner we've been involved with for several years.  I'll share those photos when I return.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Finishing the Task


I'd take credit for the headline of this post, but I stole it.  I had a good reason, though, because it's the focus of something I was involved in several days ago.

It was a gathering called Finishing the Task.

Finishing the Task is a movement led by Paul Eshelman, who
founded the Jesus Film.  He is pictured here.
For three days, 500 ministry and church representatives met in Orange County to focus on the solution to God's biggest challenge given to man.  That is, how can we take the Gospel to every people group on this planet?  

More specifically, how can bring the love of Jesus to the people groups that are still totally unengaged with the Gospel?  Not one Christian worker, not one believer, not one church... nothing.  As one person said, "These people groups haven't been reached because they are the hardest to get to."


Across the front of the auditorium a banner stretched from end to end.  On this banner, there were nearly 500 people groups listed, their language and where they were.

Rick Warren speaking to attendees.
I was there with five other Reach Beyond staff.  We were challenged by Rick Warren, Francis Chan and Paul Eshelman (Jesus Film Founder).  We interacted with others who were seeking God's will about being part of the solution.  We heard reports of how the church is growing in some of the most resistant countries in the world.

At the end, two of our missionaries sensed God nudging them to adopt more than 30 people groups in a country where Reach Beyond is currently doing work.  It's not something that we cannot accomplish alone. In fact, these missionaries will be approaching indigenous church planters in that country to ask them if they will partner with us and even spearhead this effort.  It will take many outside churches and ministries to be a catalyst for this effort.

I was energized and given a refocus on the calling God made on my life five years ago:  to take the Gospel to the unreached.  Those are places where less than 2% are evangelical Christian. 


It was also energizing to be in the room with hundreds of others of the same mind.  And I was honored to sit with those who are on the field giving their lives in other cultures.  All for the sake of the Gospel and to help fulfill the Great Commission.

As a result of Finishing the Task, nearly 250 unreached and unengaged people groups were adopted by churches and ministries in attendance.  This was nearly half of all the groups spread across the banner in front of the stage!

Find out more at www.finishingthetask.com