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Posts Tagged ‘Harvest India’

Advent – Day 18

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I spent the day at Starbucks today reading a book and a letter that I got from my Compassion child that I sponsor. I have been supporting him since my birthday of 2006 – it was my gift to myself. As I was writing Ladouceur (who is now 11), I was trying to put myself in his shoes in the country of Haiti and what his everyday life is like. This is when I appreciate all the countries I’ve been to and how I’ve seen with my own eyes what poverty-stricken countries go through. Not too long after that, my buddy Kory Kredit posted this video of an India trip I took with him and Cornerstone two years ago. Even though I love the ministry of Harvest India, that was a one time trip for me (unless He calls me back). But it was a trip that came at the perfect time of my life. I saw the power of God and the power of prayer in a country dominated by Hinduism. I was able to share my testimony to hundreds of lepers, dedicate a water well and saw scores of people come to Christ. Harvest India has made a difference in the Kingdom because of prayer. I needed a boost to my faith during that difficult time and I can now look back at that spiritual marker as a source of hope. God has always used my life for extraordinary things and I time and time again forget His faithfulness. I needed to see this video. Later today I got an amazing out-of-the-blue email that just blew me away, but yet not surprising because it is how God works. Watch where God is working and join Him thereExperiencing God. Try not to figure what He is doing and just take a step in faith. As I join in this new partnership, I look forward to sharing this awesome God story as it unfolds. God is working and He loves us enough to ask us to join Him.

2011 Team to India

2011 Team to India

Hundreds of Indians coming to Christ at a crusade

Hundreds of Indians coming to Christ at a crusade

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The leper colony I shared my testimony with

Lots of people wanted to be prayed over

Praying for the people of India

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Me with some of the orphans in India

Jeff Gokee is always good at coming up with gimmicky ways of raising awareness. I guess after being a youth pastor for many years, he’s good at it. Staches and Buns wants to raise $10,000 for the orphans at Harvest India. One way they are trying to raise these funds are by asking some of us men to grow mustaches and for the ladies to wear their hair in a bun. I’ve never really grown a mustache, but it is ‘Movember’ and I thought I’d try. Plus I like telling the stories to people about going to India when they ask me about it.

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Tonight I returned to my church of 15 years for a worship and praise night. I was blessed by the many friends and family that gave me hugs and loved on me. There was a lot of healing and many tears shed tonight. I was also moved by Suresh Kumar of Harvest India’s message. God is such an amazing God of redemption and restoration.

“In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’” Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Thy sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it came about before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. “And I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake,”’” 

   2 Kings 20:1-6

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Tonight was a special night for me. My friend Sarah had never been to Phoenix One and asked me if I’d go with her. While having dinner with her, we caught up with what was going in our lives. It was cool because she needed a friend she could trust and we have always been that for each other. I was able to just love on her as a Christian brother. I told her I get how judgemental and self-righteous the Christian community can get and how we just need people to love more and I was happy to do that for her. God’s a God of love and of second chances and showing that to each other is the start of healing.

She ran into a friend while waiting outside Historic First and I was able to catch up with several people myself. My friend CJ has been a rock in my life and someone who has shown me that unconditional love that I got to show Sarah tonight. As we walked in I saw Alina. I love that girl and I was glad to get a little time to give her a big hug. Then Jaimie and Allison found me and we were able to put a large group of us together up in the front to enjoy the worship. It was a powerful moment to be in corporate worship with several of my amazing friends. God’s done so much for me and I just wanted to give back to him and thank him for being so awesome.

Jeff Gokee brought up Suresh from Harvest India to speak about the lepers. It brought tears to me to see their faces on the screen. I remember every face from when I was in India giving my testimony in front of over a hundred of them. Then my friend and Pastor of New City Church Brian Kruckenberg gave this amazing message from James 1:13-17 on how God is good.

Alina!!

Suresh and Jeff Gokee

Brian Whitman

God is good, all the time.

Satan tempts us because we don’t believe this. If we did, we wouldn’t struggle with our temptation that eventually leads to sin and then to death. He lures us in by our own desires (our desires from within). The word own comes from the from the greek word IDIOS which is where we get the word idiot. So the tempter shows how good the pleasure looks, but not the consequences. (great example from Brian – a sneeze feels good, but like sin, it gets everywhere). So like any idol, when we glorify something more than God (like people), it can’t possibility stand the test. Our heart idols will let us down everytime. We have to believe God is good and live that. That’s why he’s not only good, but he also came down to show us (James 1:12).

“If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world” C.S. Lewis

Brian Kruckenberg

I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me John 17:23

It was such a powerful message and I was happy to hear that it spoke into my friend Sarah. I was able to hang out and catch up with friends afterwards. Johnny and Criselda (who just got engaged) came up to me and told me how they ran into my friend Candace in San Francisco last weekend and didn’t even know her. Somehow my name came up and they ended up putting two and two together and got into a long conversation. I thought that was really cool. Then CJ, Karla, Jaimie and a bunch of us walked to the The Stand for some late night dinner and fellowship. Karla is an artist and a photographer and we talked about doing a fun adventurous photo shoot. We want to make it Indy and Lara Croft – but with cameras. I enjoyed hearing her testimony. I made a bunch of new friends tonight and just had an all around blessed night. Thank you Jesus.

Hanging at the The Strand

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I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:10-11

At a worship event tonight, I was able to worship with friends to this song written and recorded by Brian Wurzell and Ryan Axtell. They wrote it while on a mission trip to India. Download the song from Itunes and the proceeds go to help Harvest India and the amazing ministry going on there.

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- in Atlanta, GA

“Out of the bow of brokenness God flings the arrows of healing!” – Louie Giglio

Louie Giglio opened Passion 2012 in Atlanta with this amazing message from Luke 7 that has been speaking into me at this particular moment of life in which God is using my circumstances to use me to live for him. It’s about intercession. God at this time is intersecting my life and he is healing and fighting for me. I am putting my past behind me and through his power he has freed me. I have tried to control my sin for some time and now his grace has come just at the right time. The gospel at its heart is a resurrection of the dead (Ephesians 2:1). And he is using this moment to use me for something awesome because God uses all trials for good if we follow HIS ways.

They all realized they were in a place of holy mystery, that God was at work among them. They were quietly worshipful—and then noisily grateful, calling out among themselves, “God is back, looking to the needs of his people!” The news of Jesus spread all through the country.  Luke 7:16-17

Passion is all about making the name of Jesus famous (Isaiah 26:8). He cares about the needs of his people. One way Passion makes that tangible is through their Freedom campaign. Do Something Now is a way you can give to causes that frees slaves and the oppressed. Every year thousands of students will raise millions of dollars during this four-day conference to help these causes. It’s amazing! I love what Passion does and what they are all about. Passion has changed my life and aimed my heart to the world and what I can do.

Thousands of students standing up for FREEDOM outside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta

Freedom – Indifference is not an option

My friend Keira is doing something amazing with her gift of photography. She is using her business to fight injustice. She is donating funds to three amazing organizations that I have been directly been involved with – Streetlight Phoenix, Harvest India and Homes of Hope. I had a great talk with her about this and I was so inspired by her heart for this. Her and her husband Jonathan are such an encouragement to me as a couple. Check it out her blog post on her new ministry here.

God has been working in me as well with injustice ever since he has been working in me these past couple months. I’ve always had a heart to speak against it. God hates injustice and so do I. I’m really praying for direction on the path he is taking me at this moment, yet being still to listen so I don’t do things my way. My pastor just finished a series in Micah and the passage about acting justly and with mercy has been flowing through me. God is raising me up from the ashes and I am putting my trust in him. I am ready to be brought back to LIFE and live for him!

Isaiah 58:6-12

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HE IS RISEN!!!
Good Friday

Worship service in the Student center

Cornerstone hosted a Good Friday worship service. They held it at noon in the student center. What an amazing sight to see many come out on their lunch breaks to give thanks to the Father. Thanks to Ryan and Brain for putting this together.

Later that evening, we attended a Friday night service at Redemption church. It was a beautiful outdoor setting at the Gilbert campus. It was awesome to see 3000+ come out to worship under the stars and give thanks to God for giving His son to die on the cross for us. Pastor Justin spoke on how much God loves us to do this for us. I love the illustration he gave about God even giving His son despite those that reject and turn away from Him.

So what does life look like beyond Easter? When the busy week comes upon us, do we stray and forget about the cross? How do we live our life for Christ day in and day out so we don’t have to constantly live for high moments in order to correct our paths when we drift?

All church Friday night worship service at Redemption Gilbert campus

For Easter, Christin and I served at Cornerstone Saturday night. We met up with our mothers and attended service later that night. Cornerstone had this “Egg your City” theme in which they used eggs to help promote the Easter service. The cool thing is that they also challenged those that attended to “Change the World”. They asked if we would donate $15 to help clothe and feed a child in India. Cornerstone has a strategic partnership with Harvest India and there is a huge need to feed these orphan kids. The goal was to feed 2500 children. Between the 6 services, people stepped up and sponsored over 4300 children ($63,000). Praise God!

I loved how Pastor Linn tied in the feeding of the hungry with an Easter message. What we believe in is a big deal. Deep down our hearts are hungry for something and we look to the wrong things to fill us. The majority people in India are Hindu. In Hinduism, they believe in karma and this idea that we get reincarnated into something better in the next life if we live out our lives well. Well.. we need something more to satisfy our hunger because the result from us filling it with worldly stuff (accomplishments, relationships, etc) produces bad fruit like worry, anger and pride. These things will build a wall that will separate us from God. We need to make contact with God and let Him fill our hunger and deepest needs. Christ is the bread of life and if we believe, we will never go hungry or thirsty.

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. John 6:2-27

Earth Day

Good Friday was also Earth Day. I saw it as a day to celebrate God’s creation and how we need to take care of it as inhabitants of this Earth.

Lent – Week 6

Final week of lent. I have really enjoyed using the resources of World Vision ACT:S as I participated in lent this year. The information they provided really got me in tune to the world and the need out there. God has really made my heart ache for those in poverty and how I can be used to be a voice for those that don’t have one. Please pray and consider how you can be an advocate and be a part of creating a modern-day book of Acts of living.

This is Romeo. He is one of many growing number of street kids that are roaming around Albania. His family left him and he was forced to live life on his own around the age of 12. He is often ignored by those passing by as he has to beg and steal in order to eat and live. There have been many times I have felt forgotten or left out. In fact, I have done this to God – forgotten about Him. Yet, God never leaves me and is always there. This gives me hope that we are never forgotten and that He will use us.

A great example is the shepherds in Luke 2: 8-11. Shepherds were forgotten people in their society back in biblical times. Yet God used them to spread the news to them of Jesus’ birth. How awesome is it that a great host of angels appeared to them that Christmas morning to proclaim the birth of Christ. God then used their excitement to spread the news to others. God will use anyone for His purposes.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NIV).  

Jesus came to this broken world to be one of us. Because of what He has done for us, we have the opportunity to partner with Him and be a light to those that know Him. Imagine if instead of ignoring a street child like Romeo that we give him food and shelter. What a way to impact someone who needs to see and know the love of Jesus. God has called us to be missional and to seek justice for His people. I want that for my life, to see the world the way Jesus did and to love on others the same way He has loved me.

May we bless the world with comfort. Comfort when a child is suffering and no parent can help, so that we may become the arms of a God who heals. Amen

May we bless the world with peace. Peace for the persecuted and those who struggle to provide, so that we may become the feet of a God who brings good news. Amen

May we bless the world with love. Love for the ones who only encounter the demons in others, so that we may become the heart of a God who feels every human affliction. Amen

May we bless the world with wisdom. Wisdom to pass wisdom, so that we may become the mind of a God whose dreams become reality with the breath of a word. Amen

And the blessing of God, who provides comfort, peace, love and wisdom, be upon us and all that we love and pray for this day, and forever more. Amen

Today marked the end of my 40 day only drinking water as a beverage campaign for Blood:Water Mission. This year it was a lot easier for me to give up my morning coffee. I either really don’t need it or God is really working in me. But this lent season was very impactful for me as it came at a time that God is refining and restoring me to be who He wants me to be. I am grateful for the prayers and support from everyone while using this time to learn more about myself and drawing closer to God. God is working!

Pumping a water well after dedicating it in India - a huge blessing for me!

The work that is being done in Uganda and others parts of the world have really been inspiring to me to learn more about water. I have always had a heart for these water wells and how they can provide clean water for an entire village for very little money. God has really taught me a lot through Blood:Water mission about how much water we waste here in America and how we take it for granted. From not drinking coffee and tea for 40 days, I saved $105 and I will be donating that money to help fund water projects in Uganda. Please read this inspiring story of how God is working in Uganda here.

Oh coffee. How I missed you..

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