India Update Week 2

AWAKEN 2016 LOGO FINAL

Hey everyone,

2016-03-01 05.53.55I am on the plane writing this update fresh off the trip to India. It was a great time once again and there were several good things that came out of it. Here’s a little review of the time there and what we are looking at for the future.

LENT

Of course I am practicing Lent this year but it’s not been the typical Lent season for me. I have not been able to engage as I would normally. However once I got to India I realized they were having prayer meetings as part of Lent each morning at 5am-6am. This was not what I wanted to hear after 29 hours of flying and then another 4.5 driving. But the next morning I got up and went to prayer and it was great.  Lent isn’t just about giving up something like sleep but about embracing sacrifice knowing that it is worth it. Even before the trip, I’ve been trying to engage in prayer more diligently and intentionally and I have noticed a marked difference in my life because of it.  I shared a devotional several times during the prayer meetings over the last 13 days and plan to continue my early morning prayers throughout Lent at least. Hopefully the practice will lead to a habit that will lead to more intimacy with Christ.

CHURCH

The first Sunday, I preached a couple times in the main location but we didn’t go to all the locations. We went out to Vellaturro in the evening, which is about 40 minutes away. The last Sunday we did all the locations but canceled the Nuanna service because of sign practice.
The churches are doing well and growing. Everyone was happy I was there and I conveyed all of our love and prayers for them. A couple of prayer concerns for the churches:
  • Snakes. One of the locations is constantly being disturbed by poisonous snakes slithering in during the service. This last Sunday it happened once again 5 minutes after I departed! Pray they can get rid of them and or close the building off in such a way as to keep them out.
  • Building. A couple of the churches are meeting outside and really need a location more permanent and unaffected by weather changes. Pray they can secure these things in the coming months.

WAVE

2016-02-28 08.38.41The WAVE conference was great this year, with many commenting about how much they learned and how fun it was to be part of the event. We had 55 on the first day with several of those being first-time signers. Our numbers dropped to about 30 on the second day because unfortunately we were hosting during a time when many are studying for exams and don’t want to miss school or course.
The conference expanded this year by adding a Skype session from the USA with Trevor leading a session on student leadership. This was an exciting thing to offer as we try to amp up our value for those attending.

We worked on several songs but highlighted “Awake”, “No One Like You” and “A Better Way”. They really have picked up so much from watching YouTube and the couple of sessions we have done via Skype. The India WAVE team has only been together for about 15 months but seem like much longer as they have gelled and sign pretty cohesively as a group. I am very proud of their progress.

WEBSITE

One of the other things that was a huge accomplishment on this trip was the relaunch of the SAC website. About a year ago, SAC launched a site but in that time it had suffered from the need of additonal content and updates. On this trip I was able to help them create a new site and get the information updated, as well as create a couple of new pages for them to begin soliciting donations and keeping donors better informed. Take some time and check out www.sacministries.com

SUMMER

We have a return trip planned for the last part of July until about August 10. The schedule will include hosting a 5day camp for the orphans and children who live in the nearby villages. We are estimating about 100 kids each day.
While there we will also be sharing with the churches and WAVE team as well teaching and preaching during several meetings. One other major hope is to be able to get a radio tower installed so that Pastor Rajendra can broadcast services each week. He is already on TV daily as they are recording services and using those to broadcast. We want to be able to round out the media outreach by getting a radio station set up for him to share the gospel from the home location.
DSC_0986I don’t have much information on other aspects of our ministry at this point but hope to catch up and better update you with that next week. Thanks again for all your prayers and support of our ministry in India. If you or anyone you know is interested in serving in India this summer or on any other trip with us, please notify me. All trips must have commitments by the end of March. Thanks!

V2H February 22, 2016 Update

AWAKEN 2016 LOGO FINAL

 

 

 

 

Over the last week, here are a few things things that have happened. Thanks for your continued prayer and support of Vision 2 Hear.

Valentine’s Day Everyday.

Vision 2 Hear El Salvador hosted a Valentine’s Day event in Suchitoto to celebrate love with the people of Nuevo Renacer. Complete with decorations, gifts and food, everyone enjoyed the festivities made possible by the love of Christ through His people. We are so happy to be able to partner with Vision 2 Hear El Salvador as they continue to demonstrate the love of Christ to those in the mountains of El Salvador. Here are a few pics of the heartwarming event.

The Movement Moves

TN MovementAs many of you know, The Movement, a church ministry of Vision 2 Hear, had been praying about securing land and a building to formally organize. Growing out of the storefront location over the last two years, The Movement had been packing about 60 people in the tiny space.
Through lots of prayer and “only God” moments and connections, 12717688_10207420691094249_8416725333321148262_nThe Movement was made aware of property of a church that was going to dissolve but wanted to give their church property (building and van) to another church in need. The Movement filed paperwork to become its own church and has now become an official “church” in Tennessee under the pastorate of our good friend Terry Davis. Vision 2 Hear and The Movement will still serve together in future ventures and we are excited to see all that God does now that they have launched with their own ministry. Continue to pray for The Movement and church as they make renovations and preparations to impact the Chattanooga area even more with the love of Christ! Congrats to everyone at The Movement and praise God for His faithfulness. If you are in the area and want to visit or join, come to 6739 Levi Road in Hixson, TN.

Awaken India

2016-02-19 07.32.44Right now I’m in India and it’s been a jam packed first week. I’m just now getting adjusted to the time change, which may have been a little easier had I not had a full 24 hours of no sleep due to a bug lodging itself in my inner ear! It’s fine now so no worries. Here’s a summary of the trip so far.
Leaving Atlanta at 3:15pm on Tuesday I traveled for about 29 hours to Hydrabad. With a stop in New Jersey and a little delay, the trip as a whole was what I expected. I even got some fairly decent sleep on the plane which is not usual for me.
I was warmly welcomed on Thursday morning about 6am by Pastor Rajendra and his wife and daughter at the airport and off we went for a 4 hour drive to Vijayawada. As we drove we spoke about upcoming events.
We stopped for some breakfast at a jammed packed rest stop complete with Baskin Robbins and Subway among other local fare. It was a welcome sight to get some food My stomach would recognize. I had a little subway sandwich and of course the others had some Indian cuisine.
After getting to the house and settling in the next few days played out with early 5am prayer meetings. We met for an hour of devotion and prayer and then took about an hour to exercise and get into shape. One of the things that is essential to me staying on top of my game is to make sure I push myself in the area of physical training regardless of where I am. It’s nice that Rajendra wants to join as well. So we have been having a daily boot camp of training.
After exercising and breakfast we then had meetings at 10am-1pm and took rest after lunch until the evening meetings from 7pm-9:30pm which really meant 10pm haha. This was the structure for Friday and Saturday. There were a good amount of people coming to the meetings. One very special lady attending the meetings had heard about them through the TV program Pastor Rajendra does daily and decided to travel 150km to be with us for the three days of meetings. Wow, what commitment!
DSC_0072The weekend ended with several meetings as is usual for Pastor Rajendra. We had a prayer meeting at 5am then church at 8am and 10:30am and then we had lunch. We departed at 3pm to make a church service by around 4. Pastor Rajendras brother spoke at one location and we went to another. We all came back to have the final celebration services which went from 7pm-10pm and then a huge feast afterward. The last service was packed with people literally sitting on the floor in the aisles.
It wasn’t long after the final service ended that I snapped a few pics of the people in the streets and then I went to bed. I was exhausted from the travel, exercise and no sleep the night before from the bug incident. I still don’t know what crawled into my ear but I had been asleep about an hour before being rudely awaken by hearing and feeling something deep inside my ear.
Immediately jumping up, I tried to extricate it with my  fingers, q-tip and of course just shaking my head. I eventually got the spray shower and blasted it into my ear hoping to drown whatever was there and expel it from the canal. This ordeal went on all night until everyone awoke for the prayer meeting and I got some ear drops to apply as a final resort. My ear seems to be fine, a little popping seems to happen when I swallow but I’m sure all will be fine in a day or so.
It’s Monday here now and I’ve had a nice long sleep. Aside from being a little sore from the workouts and travel, I’m doing well. This week we have the conference for two days which will involve all day sign sessions, along with some Bible studies. For the end of the week it will be a little more planning intensive as we meet and prepare for the summer. We will also discuss further the radio station and plans for launching that in the summer too.
The orphans are doing well and growing up quickly! It’s wonderful to see them happy and in good health. All the churches are doing well also and send their greetings. Thanks for your prayers and I’ll update you again next week.

What Do You Expect?

expectantyly await god to surprise you with himself.

 

What do you expect from God today? It could be any number of blessings. But there is no greater or more glorious gift than God giving Himself to us. Today as you journey through life, be expectant to see God in new a wonderful ways and remember it’s God giving Himself to you.

Comment back on how God has shown Himself to you lately.

 

 

Korea VBS Day 1

Several children and students from the area attended the VBS English Camp we held yesterday. Along with games they did some praise and worship along with a message, presented in Korean. They made a passport and filled in their information then went through some different stations where they learned about American culture and practiced English sentences and vocabulary based on those stations: Hotel, Airport, Restaurant and Shopping.

Project One:27 Days 1&2

This week I am in Ringgold, GA at Burning Bush Baptist Church helping with an event called Project One:27. The origin for the mission and project is taken from James 1:27 that says:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

This week there are several crews working on different homes and assisting them by repairing roofs, putting in wheelchair ramps and repairing flooring. Teams of students and adults from Burning Bush are impacting their city and community in a huge way by making this event possible.

Each day teams rise and head to the work site by 7:15am and work until 3-4pm, sometimes even later. Then each evening there is a worship time and Bible study, which I am leading. Students stay at the church and hang out each night until 11pm and then head to bed to be rested for the next day’s work.

Tomorrow we only work until noon, as there are fun activities built into the schedule. Also, I’ll be speaking at another church in TN in the evening and all students from the project have the night off anyway because it’s Wednesday. The project ends on Friday night with a community wide outreach. Here are a few pics from the first couple of days to show the work we are doing. Keep in mind that the temp has been mid 90’s 🙂 I give props to all those who are working so hard on these projects for these families. It’s awesome to see what God is doing!