Saturday, August 8, 2015

God's Great Provision

A 4:00 am start time was something I was not looking forward to.  But, I climbed out of bed a 2:45 am a couple weeks ago headed into the office, where we had a real radio station set up.  Yep, I was going to be on the air for three hours with Moody Radio Indiana.  They had two of their on air staff there with us.  It turned out to be a wonderful experience once I got my diet coke in my system.

I wasn't alone that morning.  Many of our Reach Beyond staff came in to answer phone calls.  Our office was the central call center taking pledges for two days.
Here's the scoop...

Our "One Month. One Nation." campaign ended earlier this week and wow, what amazing results.  Our hats off to Moody Radio, which jumped in and owned this project in a powerful way.  They had four of their stations centered on this effort to build three new stations in a specific unreached country in Asia.

For the month of July, they told their listeners about the project, and immediately listeners responded.  In fact, when we got to the final two days, we were about 40% to our overall goal of $200,000.  That was a critical point in our timeline, because the final two days were focused, all-day efforts to hit the goal.  We had hoped to be 30% of the way to the goal.  I knew God was up to something special.

So, did we hit $200,000?  No, we hit over $311,000!!!  Yes, that much was given for this project to bring the gospel to unreached people via radio.  What that generosity meant was that not only did we raise enough for three stations, but also enough to run them for the first year!  Praise be to God for his provision.

Let me close this post with a testimony from a listener who listens to the station we are expanding to three new cities.  As you read this, imagine what will happen in the coming months as new listeners find the station:

I live with my father and son. My father is 86 years old. My son is impaired. And I am blind. I have been losing my sight for 7 years. Our family income is only the sickness benefit we receive for our disabilities. Church people come to help us. Because of that, I became a Christian as a result of fellowship with Christian people. 

But when I started to listen to your radio program, I came to understand I was not really a Christian. After your broadcasts, I would call on God’s name and pray to Him for the first time. So I am very thankful for your encouraging radio program and for showing me how to pray to the real God.

On 8 September 2014, I visited your radio station to meet with members of the ministry team.
I asked if I could serve with them and join in their prayer ministry and they welcomed me in.

Now I am at home. I am alone or someone is with me. It is no problem to pray.  When I call the radio station, I share my life and find out what I should pray for. Always, someone from the radio is near me, as a friend, to help someone like myself who is blind.

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:

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

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.