Friday, November 09, 2007

Kids Korner

We just finished a week of fall break... it was great having David home from the dorm! We just stayed around the house... enjoying watching some movies & just being together. David had a couple wisdom teeth removed early in the week so he didn't feel like doing much! We even celebrated an early Thanksgiving on Saturday with turkey & pumpkin pie. (Jess will be in the US over Thanksgiving so we figured we'd celebrate while we were all together!)

The kids had a good first quarter in school... grades are good, David was a member of his school's varsity volleyball team and is in the middle of basketball tryouts this week; Krysten is a member of the school's worship team, student government, & yearbook staff; Betsy just started intramural soccer and has lost 2 teeth! We are so thankful for the opportunity the kids have to attend a school with such high caliber teachers and expectations of the students. We know they are learning valuable spiritual & character lessons along with their academic classes. A few examples:
  • Betsy's second grade class memorizes scripture each week... these are not just little short verses but LONG ones that have lots of meat to them! Her class has also spent several weeks studying the life of Miriam... from what I remember from my childhood, Miriam got one lesson and that really wasn't about her... more about her watching over Moses... he was the key person in the story, not Miriam.
  • Krysten's Bible class is studying the book of John this semester. They are also memorizing passages of scripture and have to read the book through 5 times over the semester, as well as Psalms & Proverbs. She can tell you key themes of each chapter as well as key verses.
  • David is in a Discipleship class this semester. Rather than studying a specific book, they are learning how to study on their own using various tools- scripture, Christian biographies, and other Christian writings. To be able to pull out scriptural truths and apply them to their own lives is a goal of this class.
Krysten celebrates her 13th birthday later this month... we'll officially have 2 teenagers in the family! We're excited about this milestone and are thankful for the godly young lady the Lord is growing her to be.
  • Pray for the Lord to continue to speak to Betsy's heart about a relationship with Him. Pray for us to be faithful in sharing with her the Good News.
  • Pray for David as he interacts with other students & teachers at school. Pray the Lord will continue to grow him into a young man with a desire to live godly.
  • As Krysten is involved in classes & various activities at school, pray for the Lord to continue to develop in her a teachable & gentle spirit.

Nehemiah Teams American

28 teams serving in 13 different areas in 3 different countries within the PacRim Region. This is the need for summer 2008. Complete job descriptions can be seen online at (search for mission projects using the keywords, "Nehemiah Teams"), on our website ( or e-mail us ( for a listing of the requests. Evangelism, service, & media (journalism & graphic design) teams are needed. New teams for 2008 include:
  • Little Orphan Nanny Teams: No adventure on these Nehemiah Teams! No mountain treks. No backpack necessary. Not much to offer here except work: mopping floors, changing diapers, feeding & holding babies, and playing with children. Embrace the cross! Be a part of the first orphanage Nehemiah Team and care for "the least of these." 3 teams needed. Davao City (#87033) or Manila (#87034)
  • Urban Poor Evangelism Team: The concrete jungle of Manila will surely push you to the limit. Manila is home to 8 million urban poor in which 95%+ do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Your team will partner with local pastors, serving in the slums of Manila, to reap this great harvest. You will have the experience of seeing hundreds led to Christ. You will live in local churches, bathe from a bucket, and wash your clothes by hand. Don't forget your cross!! 2 teams needed. (#87035)
  • South Korea: Refugee: Wars, famine, oppressive governments, catastrophes, & calamities... whatever the cause, we live in a very volatile world. The UNHCR reports that there are over 19 million refugees. Hearing a number that large may cause you to default into a compassion-fatigue mode. Don't hit the ESC button yet! This next summer you can help change the lives of 60 refugees from an unreached people group. After escaping from their home country, these young people traveled & spent time in other Asian countries before they finally found a home in South Korea. Your team will live with these students, teaching them English, life skills, and showing them that there really is a God who loves them. (#88051)
  • PacRim Ag/Construction: One of the least reached countries in the world. Its borders are closed & its religion keeps its millions in darkness. With agriculture & community development, borders are being crossed & light is being established. Be a member of a 6-man team, working hard for 8 weeks this summer. Help establish a demonstration farm which will impact thousands of people. Jobs may include setting up a nursery, building homes for resident farmers, planting coffee, and sharing with workers about the hope in you. 2 teams needed. (#88148)
Have a semester??? For many, a summer just isn't long enough. Just when you start forming meaningful relationships... it's time to go home! Semester positions are available for the following areas: Siquijor Island, Dinagat Island, Camotes Island, Can-avid Riverboat, Dolores Riverboat, Dapitan City, and Urban Manila. For more information, check out or
  • Pray for the Lord of the harvest to call out workers into His harvest field.

Nehemiah Teams Filipino Update

It has been an exciting past few months as local churches, associations, & schools have begun planning for their own summer 2008 Nehemiah Teams! Currently there are 6 different national "franchises" preparing to go among the unreached & hard to reach of the Philippines during April & May. There are plans for multiple teams to work among 14 different people groups/areas of the Philippines. Our role has changed from that of "doing it" to "training others to do it" as Jess & Filipino teammate Rey have been providing training for these different franchises. A first for this coming year is an international team... a team of Filipinos traveling to one of the least reached countries in the world using agriculture & community development to spread the light of Christ in this dark place.

  • Pray for local franchises as they pray, plan, & mobilize to fill their teams so they can share with those who haven't heard.
  • Pray for local partners to work with national teams in these unreached & hard to reach areas.
Check our website to see a listing of Filipino teams for summer 2008.

Tailgate-ing Through Life

Sporting events, especially football, are intoxicating for the young men who go on the field every week in front of thousands of people. To play for a nationally known college football team is the dream of many. Stadiums are packed inside, thousands tailgate outside, radios and televisions are tuned in so that literally millions hang on the next down. Fans, even Christians, make many sacrifices to be a part of these weekly events. Hundreds of dollars are spent, and hundreds of hours are invested to “support” the favorite team.

If the lights could be dimmed for a moment, and in that moment, God could give us perspective, what might we see?

Modern American sports has only been in existence about 1% of the time of world history. Only about 5% of the world population even knows the rules of football (or even cares). It is electrifying to be in a stadium 100,000 people cheering, but…. What will we say on Judgment Day when we tailgated through life watching a football stadium fill up every three days with children dying from hunger related diseases? As the privileged ones who know the truth, have a Bible (many Bibles), have a church, what will we say to the ones who didn’t? A football stadium a day fills up with the dead who died not hearing about Christ. What will we say to the more than 1.5 billion on that day who had no messenger? How will it sound to them when we try to explain the rules and importance of carrying a leather ball over a goal line and that we spent more money and time on that than on them?

In Germany during the Holocaust when Hitler was on a mission to wipe out the Jews, they would transport them on train cars going to the concentration camps. As the trains would pass through the towns, the Jews packed in the cattle cars would cry out in hope that people would come to their aid. One church, located close to the tracks, was disturbed each Sunday morning by the sounds of these people wailing. So finally the church calculated the exact time that the train passed. They began to schedule a hymn for the congregation to sing right when the train would go by in order to drown out the sounds of the people.

We too, as Americans, have been successful in isolating and insulating ourselves in this life from the wails of those dying without Christ. But on that day when the cries of enough people to fill up 15,000 football stadiums are heard, what will be our excuse?

Let us not be found tailgateing through life.