Thursday, May 28, 2009

Crazy Day!

My first flight from Chiangmai to Bangkok was cancelled! No way I was going to make my connection, so after a Thai conversation with my friend Aoum they put me on another airlines (Nok) ---- to a different airport in Bangkok . . .

After a short bus ride and a 45-minute van ride I made it to the Suvarnabhami airport . . . but its a van ride I'll never forget! Heck with anything I said about the motorcycles in Hanoi, this guy was possessed! They had 14 of us crammed into an 8 passenger van - it was raining about an inch a minute, the windshield wipers were barely working, and this guy had never been told about hydroplaning!

I don't know the conversion but at one point during the rain - in city highway traffic - he had the speedometer pegged at 150 kmh (and I had just seen a speed limit sign that said 80 - and did I say it was pouring!) and he was using all 4 lanes to pass. And none of the other passengers even blinked!

Waiting now for flight to Taipei (and typing this on this internet kiosk) . . . 3 hour flight, then off across the pacific to LA!

Wow, it's been a quick and awesome 2 weeks, now I've got the next 24 hrs to reflect on it . . .

Your Kingdom come!a

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More New Thai Friends . . .

I've spent most of the day with Campus Crusade for Christ staff here in Chiangmai . . .

Following Christ here is much different as less than 1% of Thai's are Christians . . .

All of the staff have told me their stories of how they grew up as Buddhists . . . awesome, incredible stories of ow God has worked in their lives!
They inspire me with their stories of faith and their heart to share life with everyone! It convicts me of how easily and often we forget what God has done for us . . . WHY??
All of them have at least 4 or 5 people that they are discipling at a time . . . Reminds me that we are called not just to be followers, but disciples (and disciplers!) or we so miss the fullness of our faith.
Mike Christian has been hauling me around and is an American who started CCC for Christ in this region and has been here since 1986. (Don't have a pic of him yet.) They call him 'Uncle' as a great sign of respect . . . very cool to see all the fruit God is harvesting through him . . .
These are pics of some of my new friends . . . The first picture is of BJ & Dew (I've been calling her 'Mountain Dew'!)
BJ is the CCC director for the northern part of Thailand . . . and has an incredible family story that I will probably share soon.

Dew has been on staff for 9 years . . .
The next pic is Moo -- what a sweet girl, she comes from a Chinese Buddhist family near Bangkok . . .
And then Ruben (who I've been kidding about having a hip American haircut) who also comes from a Buddhist family. Ruben was the first Christian in his entire village and goes back sharing his story with the entire village!

Your Kingdom come . . .

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thai Friends . . .

These are my friends Aoum and Kat . . .

They have been an incredible blessing to me here in Chiangmai . . . I wouldn't have progressed near as much if they had not been so gracious.

They have given a ton of time to taxi me around everywhere . . . Have been great interpreters and able to get me out of social/language jams . . . Have been very patient in explaining to me Thai and Buddhist customs and traditions in our many hours of discussion . . . etc, etc

They work for the House of Blessing church and orphanage (Kat's father is the pastor) . . . and Aoum is planning on beginning seminary in June!

He has a vision to reach the younger generation who are somewhat more open to hearing about faith in Christ.

Pray with me for our new friends . . .

Compassion Found

"And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time."

This is found in Nehemiah 9 -- After God had helped the people to reconstruct the wall of Jerusalem, they celebrated and also recounted the many times that they and their ancestors rebelled against God but He he continued to have compassion . . .

It could just of easily been a recounting of my story . . .

I was just struck with God's mercy the last couple of days as I've been reading through Nehemiah -- the pattern was that over and over again the people sinned and rebelled and God still had mercy! This is one of the many times that in the Old Testament we see in the lives of His people as a community the pattern of how God's love and mercy continues to work in our lives today . . .

"But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love." (9:17)

"Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the desert. . . . You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them." (9:19, 20)

"But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers . . ." (9:27)

"But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God." (9:31)

I'm in a land that knows little or nothing about grace and mercy. It's hard to watch -- none of us can make it to Nirvana.

I am so thankful that I don't have to. I am so thankful that I don't have to live in shame and regret. I am so thankful that I don't have to live with the burden of trying to 'do good' so I can work off my sin.

And neither do you. I'm praying that today you will be thankful. And that you will live and move and breath in the forgiveness of Christ!

Your Kingdom come . . .

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday's Journey . . .

I spent much of the day exploring Buddhism and the Thai culture . . . Auom and Kat have been great friends and guides . . .

Buddhism is everywhere here . . . the entire culture is actually wrapped around Buddhism

This first picture is of the first temple we went to . . . it's the oldest and largest temple in province and it's located in downtown Chiangmai . . . it was built 700 years ago!

We then went to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep ( it's high on a mountain about 15 kilometers from Chiangmai and it is a very sacred spot for tourists. It's amazing all the buddhas here and how the people pay homage. The next pictures are of some of the altars in the Temple . . . it is huge . . .

The last of these pics shows a young buddhist ringing some bells as part of worship hoping that it will bring them more good fortune . . .

The last picture on the post shows my two Buddhist Monk friends -- Suriya (from Burma) and Gorn (from Chiangmai) -- they spoke pretty good English and were gracious enough to spend an hour and a half with me talking about the Buddhist faith . . .
Very interesting -- Buddhism is much about us making ourselves one with everything and overcoming suffering through following the 8 footpaths of a good life . . .
They even asked me some questions about Christianity . . . I told them I would pray for them and I think they said they would do the same for me . . .
Your Kingdom come . . .

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday in Chiangmai

It's been a whirlwind since I left VN . . .

One quick night in Bangkok without much sleep and then a short day yesterday in Chiangmai after arriving here early in the afternoon.

A much different culture in Thailand, they have definitely fully drunk the western kool aid. I am staying in the downtown area of Chiangmai and it is touristy and very racy.

Also a different spiritual culture since it is an open culture to all religions, although very Buddhist . . .

This morning I preached at the House of Blessing -- it is an orphanage and small church. They are doing awesome things with children there. One of my contacts here is Auom who works at the orphanage (his father-in-law is also the headmaster/pastor of the orphanage).
And for you weak at heart we went over 2 hours this morning (they told me I and an hour to preach although I only took 50 minutes) and it's about the same heat/humidity as Corpus and there is NO AC!

The first picture is a shot of some of them as we worshipped this morning. The next pic is of all the kids at the orphanage (Pastor Rachem is next to me) . . . They wanted to take a pic with me before I left :)

We spent much of the rest of the afternoon, talking and eating all kinds of incredible fruits, Wow!
This last pic is a couple of them . . . The bluish one is man-coot, my favorite (and that's a peeled one on the far right); and the furry one is rambutan - also awesom . . . We also had mango, lychee, passion fruit, and durian (a smelly fruit) today . . . they're everywhere.
Tomorrow, I'm hoping to discover more about Thai culture and spirituality -- hopefully going to spend some time talking to a buddhist monk . . .
Pray for open ears and eyes . . .

Thanks From Tan

Thanks to all of you who sent birthday wishes to Tan!

He asked to post the below:

Dear my bro and sister at Oso Creek
Sorry for late reply, It was a special birthday for me since I received lot of your congratulation. Through John, I have heard lot good things about your community. I am very excited to see the possibility of partnering between GVI and Oso Creek for the transformation.
I would like to express my thanks to all of you and hoping that one day I can host you in Vietnam.
Vu Manh Tan
GVI staffer

Friday, May 22, 2009

By Scooter in Hanoi

Had an awesome time with GVI staffer Tim today touring Hanoi . . . went to the cultural museum, the Hanoi Hilton (known as the Hoa Loa prison in Vietnam - with a history much deeper than the American War - as the Vietnamese call it), and saw a ton of the City all by scooter . . .

It was cool to learn more about the culture and people of Vietnam - I have so much more respect and love for them than before . . .

And it was cool to do it on the motorbike, it's crazy, I took some video with my camera but that will have to wait for later . . . This is Tim -- Thanks Tim!

Off to the Hanoi Airport headed to Bangkok . . .

For the Kingdom . . .

Thursday, May 21, 2009

On the Move . . .

Made it to Hanoi . . . maybe three hours sleep on the train last night . . . was very hot . . . train pulled in at 4:45am - is that considered morning yet?

Parting with Forefront Team today which is going to be sad . . . I've truly been blessed to be with them, they're awesome!

Will spend the day in Hanoi hanging with Tim - a GVI staffer . . . We're gonna tour the town on his moped!

I have great peace about my time in VN . . . actually felt a little homesick this morning watching the others pack to go home . . . but I'm excited about the next adventure in Thailand!

This pic is of Tan (pronounced 'done') a GVI staffer who oversees most of what is going in and has been with us this week . . . I may of said it before in a post, but this dude is a world-class leader! I'm calling him the sanctified Godfather of Vietnam. He knows everyone, get's it done, and is a man of incredible faith.

AND, today is his birthday . . . so if you can take just a minute and email him Happy Birthday. His email is: Tell him you are from John's church in Corpus Christi.
And if you want to greet him at the beginning this is the 'Howdy' of Vietnam: Xin chào!

Last Day in Ta Phin

Another great day at the school and in the village in Ta Phin . . .

We had a 'closing ceremony' of sorts at the school and all the teachers and administrators talked about how much they appreciated us coming and for all that Forefront has done for them and that they hoped that their relationship would continue to grow into the future . . . an awesome model for transformation!

The Forefront Team as well expressed their thanks to the teachers/administrators for the relationship and letting them come and be a part of their lives . . . it was all very cool . . . many tears and hugs . . . And in the midst of the morning we even showed them how to play frisbee and gave them some frisbees, that was wild, even the construction workers joined in and had a blast.

We then went to the village of Ta Phin for a couple of hours . . . these pics are of the village -- very primitive, mostly Red Zau . . .

In about an hour it's off to Lao Cai by bus (hour trip) and then back on the all-night train to Hanoi. Then tomorrow night I'll say goodbye to VN and onto Asia Air headed for Thailand . . . Wow, this has been awesome so far . . . no telling what's in store . . .
Not sure how much blogging I'll be able to do in next couple of days . . .

His Kingdom come, His will be done!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ta Phin Kids


Let the little children come to me . . .'

This little guy was unsure at first about me getting too close to his special bird . . .

The school children are awesome -- I did some entertaining yesterday with my juggling . . . they actually thought I was pretty cool (ok, that's my interpretation!)
The teachers on our team are doing a great job connecting with them!
One of the things I love and appreciate about GVI (the organization whose umbrella I am here under --- check them out here) is their committed, patient approach to impacting the culture. I'm seeing so much evidence of it here in La Phin and they've only been here for a year!
It's ALL about relationships and connections . . . Transformation is a lifetime journey!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday in Southeastern Asia

Today (Tuesday) we spent the day at the Ta Phin school again -- we even all sang to the teachers at the end of the seminar today (yes, me too! but it was only 'It's a Small World') . . .

The teachers and administrators also made us lunch -- this was my first super authentic Vietnamese lunch (i.e. like you would have in a rural familie's home) --- I ate bamboo for the first time (interesting) and was told that they leave the chicken foot in the soup to add flavor! This first pic is of us at our table at lunch. As the sweet lady was pouring stuff into my cup, sometimes you just say 'Thank you', chew, swallow and smile :)
But hey I'm getting pretty decent with the chopsticks!

Later this afternoon I went for a walk down to some rice fields near the school . . . was a little awkward at first as I could tell the Hmong working in the field were saying to each other -- 'What the heck is that crazy white guy doing down here?' But after I just stood and watched about 15 minutes (with no common language sometimes the only way to communicate is just to show an interest in them and smile) . . . they warmed up . . .

These next couple of pics are of them plowing with their water buffaloes (the guys do this) and then re-planting the rice . . . as I understand it they put many seeds in one small area and then as the seedlings come up they pick them and then re-plant them in other fields.

These last couple of pics are of a couple of men who came by carrying rice . . . and the new world record that one of the guys doing the work at the school set in stacking tables to set bricks! (They obviously don't know about OSHA here :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hmong Need

This Hmong family came to the school building today in Ta Phin as we were leaving -- their child that the wife is carrying had a very bad abcess, so much so that you could see the puss dripping from the child's leg as they walked up . . . .

There is a nurse on the team who treated it topically and bandaged it up but we don't have the anti-biotics they need and the nurse said that short of the child's little body fighting off the infection the babies life will not be long . . .

When I see these things up close it reminds me how much need there is in the world. . . And how just a little attentivenes and action on our part can transform people's lives . . .

Ta Phin

We had a great day at the school in Ta Phin . . . I got to hear the GVI story of how they are transforming this community. (And I also had an opportunity t0 tell much of the story on video that we can hopefully show in the future.)

This first picture is of the water tank that GVI and Forefront church built here last year. Before then the students did not have access to potable water at school so many did not come - or only came sporadically.

GVI built a water line from a stream about 3/4 of a mile away. They then put in a water filtration system to give the school acess to potable water. Because of this twice as many students (mostly from the Red Dzao - another mountain people group who imigrated from China) now come to the school (From 110-220).

Not only that but the people living in the path of the line also plug into the system and have clean water. This second picture is of one of the homes that now has water.

There's more to the story . . . but the bottom line is that they have blessed over 600 people in this small community and this water project - running the line, the storage tank, water filtration system ---everything cost $5,500! Amazing!

Down below are a couple of other pics from today --- two men driving their water buffalos just outside the school and then terraced rice patties near the school (those continue to amaze me!)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

In Sapa

Had a great all-night train ride last night - felt like I was on the Oriental Express . . . This first pic shows our cabin where us four guys on the team slept - pretty tight quarters. But I slept awesome with the rocking of the train all night . . . and I was told that it was probably good that it was dark and we couldn't watch the bridges and narrow passages that the train navigates through the mountains.

We arrived in Lao Cai at 5:30am and then took an hour bus ride to Sapa - this is where we are staying for the rest of the week. Very small town in the mountains.

The ethnic majority is the Hmong people (they originated and migrated from China) . . . they cater to the tourists in this village but are rural, poor. This is a Hmong man driving his water buffalo through the streets.

Later in the day we saw some of the beautiful countryside - this last pic shows some of the terraced farming on a mountainside - if you click on it and enlarge it you can see the people (probably a family) working the terraces.

I think I'm pretty caught up on sleep and ready to roll -- tomorrow morning we leave about 6:30 to the remote villages where the team will be doing a conference for teachers and admnistrators as well as some physical work on the schools . . .

Your Kingdom come, Your will be done!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Made It!

Wow! What a ride --- now 40 hours later I'm in Hanoi!

I know I'm a hick from Texas, but this was a huge plane I rode on all last night! And I made a new friend - Frank - from Taipei.

This other pic is a first glance of Hanoi - insane traffic! I'm really blessed to still have strength right now . . . it's Saturday at noon here (midnight Fri there) a little touring around the City and then we get on an all night train to the North
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Night 1

What a difference a few hours make. It's 2:47 am Texas time and
instead of being sound asleep I'm waiting to board my third plane of
the night/morn and there's a tired crowd....
This flight is 18 hours and I'm praying hard that I can sleep.
When I get to Taipei it will be 6:30 am Saturday!

Your Kingdom come, Your will be done!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Prayer Mantra

Short prayer mantras can be powerful as God burns something in our soul. They help me stay depnedent on God and focused on His vision.

For the last couple of months there's been a mantra that is there most days when I wake up and I've prayed over and over and over: Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.

As I leave for Asia in just a few hours I'm gonna keep throwing this out to God as I ask Him to open my eyes and ears to see Him and hear Him.

Prayers can be dangerous. They can be adventurous. I hope this one is both.

Lord, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

1 Day!

Wow, time flies, I leave for Asia tomorrow! Still have packing and a few last minute loose ends to tie up, but it's amazing how God has brought everything together!

Alright, I've decided that I will be communicating (as I have WiFi) by two means: Twitter and this blog.

Twitter is a leaner and meaner way to communicate short, quick messages. I will be tweeting more frequently. If you want to check it out you can go to: (after you join, my user name is john_bradshaw) . . . one of the cool things about twitter is that you can get the tweets (messages) directly on your cell phone as a text.

And then daily (again, where I have WiFi) I will be blogging right here!

I'm excited and expectant! Please pray that my eyes and ears will be open to what God has to say.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Communication Streams?

As I'm away in Asia I'm trying to decide the best way(s) to communicate back (that is as I have wireless service) so that you guys can be part of the mission.

Just taking a little poll . . . What is the way that you receive 'social updating' the most effectively:

- blogs

- facebook

- twitter

Just 'comment' at the bottom of the post with one of the above (or two?) . . .

3 Days!

In 3 days I leave for Southeastern Asia! I'm extremely excited and at the same time just a little edgy.

I'm going to be in different cultures, with a different languages, different food, customs, currencies, governments, etc, etc, etc . . .

But man at the same time I'm going to be on mission!

A new adventure for me. And isn't it always a little uncomfortable when we adventure out? Whether it's across the street or across the world isn't there always going to be a little tension when we put our lives in places that are unknown?

And isn't that where we learn to trust God a little more each time?

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

New Posting Life

Alright I just figured out that I can post to my blog via email and my iphone . . . new blogging life . . . so I'm trying this from email???  And attaching a picture for fun to see how that works out . . . . this one is the twins and their sisters Tina & Elle last week during Swine Break 09!

John Bradshaw
Lead Pastor, Fellowship of Oso Creek
361.993.4463 (o)
361.877.6461 (c)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day . . . Food for Thought

After several false starts, a lady named Anna Jarvis began the modern Mother's Day movement in America in the early 1900's. Through her efforts Congress established Mother's Day in 1914.

It's been said that Ms. Jarvis was so dedicated to each Mom being celebrated that she insisted the apostrophe be placed after the ‘r’ and not after the ‘s.’ It was to be a singular possessive, a day for each family to honor their mother, and not a plural possessive just broadly celebrating Moms.

Anna Jarvis was so passionate about this that she actually spent much of her later life fighting the commercialization of Mother’s Day. One thing that infuriated her was the growing practice of purchasing greeting cards. She saw it as a sign of being too lazy to write a personal letter. She was even arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother's Day.

Hmmm . . . So how are you going to honor your Mom? (Sorry, Mom I already sent a card . . . but I really do love you!)

Vision Update 09' - Part VIII

Read or Die.

That kind of radical. But I know for me it's true. It's through reading that I am exposed to new ideas so my mind and creative juices don't whither away. It's through reading (and listening) that I'm rattled out of my little world into the possibilities that this planets holds.

If you really want to know more about this vision that God has been placing in our soul, I want to point you to one book about On Mission and one book about DG's. Now, I could give you 10 more (and I will if you ask) but these are two of the best to help you to think further:

DG's - Search and Rescue - by Neil Cole

On Mission - Glocalization - by Bob Roberts, Jr.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

National Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer. The theme this year is Hope.

Are you praying - really begging God to change your life and the lives of those around you?

For the last few months as I've prayed it seems like what is always on the tip of my tongue is: Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Please God may we be vessels of Your Kingdom. Help us to put our lives before You so that we will changed. And that by Your Spirit working in us we will be change agents.

Vision 09' Update - Part VII


I've spent most of these posts talking about being On Mission, but Discipleship Groups are the catalyst of everything.
It's about shifting from orienting our activities around institutional goals, to living a life of people development. Helping others live out the Kingdom.

We've learned in the last 50-years of American Christianity that church is a series of programs with measurements designed to monitor how many people are in those programs (or giving to those programs). That's what they teach in seminary. That's what we've done.

But is the primary expression of what it means to follow Christ, how many times you attend church? Or, how much money you give? Or, how big our buildings are? Now, those aren't bad things - and yes, they can be expressions of a life given to Christ. And they can just as easily be expressions of religion.

Isn't the primary expression of following Christ, becoming more and more like Jesus? That's what DG's focus on. If our lives are not being continously transformed then we'll miss the mission!
DG's are groups of 2 or 3 who are learning together what it means to follow Jesus. They center themselves around the Bible, accountability and praying for those in need.
DG's are about planting ourselves in good soil and letting God transform us.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Vision 09' Update - Part VI

So why this shift in vision?
Why this intensity about being On Mission and this focus on being more Outward driven instead of Inward oriented?

Maybe a little picture will help . . .

At Oso Creek we speak in terms of being on the 'journey.' We even give people a 'ticket' when they show up and ask them to come to the 'dock' where we encourage them to come aboard.
Maybe we just need to be clear about what kind of ship we're on. . . . It makes all the difference.
Sadly, much of the church (talking Big C church here) has become like a Cruise Ship . . . A cruise is a journey, it just really doesn't go anywhere. It's about our pleasure and comfort - and anything that interferes with that isn't welcome.

When our church is like a Cruise Ship we find ourselves thinking about stuff like:
'Are my needs really being met here?'
'Do I like the music today?'
'Why all this talk about groups? Sounds inconvenient.'
'Is the 'service' good?'
That's way too much about us . . . .and it characterizes way too much of the church.
Being On Mission is more like being on an Amphibious Assault Ship! My Navy friends tell me that their made for people (about 1,500 at a time), not comfort. And that they're used primarily for humanitarian purposes.
They're going somewhere! They have a purpose!
And when you're on an Amphibious Assault Ship you're thoughts are more like:
'Is the mission clear?'
'Who are we helping?'
'Am I prepared for my role and equipped to succeed?'
That's why the shift. We don't want to be a cruise ship. We want to be on mission for the Kingdom of God.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Book Review . . . Enduring Justice

Another book review. . . This one for Mother's Day and done by my beautiful wife Cindy . . . Enjoy . . .

Summer’s approaching and you’re looking for a novel that has mystery, drama, and relevant issues...Enduring Justice by Amy Wallace is it! The main character, Hannah Kessler, is living in bondage to abuse in her childhood and the reader will walk with her through her emotional journey of healing and finding hope. At the same time, we’re taken into the minds of a white supremacist who will go to any length to be the ‘leader’ his father always wanted, and a FBI Agent who is out for justice, or is it revenge?

Amy Wallace does an incredible job making the characters come alive and seeing life through their eyes. I recommend this book to anyone who has experienced abuse or who are battling revenge, or anyone who just needs a reminder that God is Good! It is truly a story of hope!

If you want to order a copy Click Here and happy reading!

And oh yeah, if you want a free copy be the first one to comment on this post that you want it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

HS Mission

How does being on mission change our lives?

Last night I took the HS guys - and the college guys who are helping lead them - downtown to the Station. (And actually Clarence & Peggy Moore took us all . . . Thanks!)

The Station feeds the homeless on Sunday and Wednesday nights and then they have a really cool interactive Bible Study with the 40 or 50 homeless who are there. Our young guys locked in! They served them, they talked to them, and before we even left they were telling me ideas about how they wanted to serve them next time ('and can that be next week?')

You see being on mission isn't just about a warm fuzzy or checking a box, it's about Jesus giving us mission and purpose for our lives! And until we enter in, we completely miss it!

When Jesus was walking the planet and when He started drawing crowds looking for warm fuzzys, He always said something really crazy and then most the people walked off.

He said things like, 'If you really wanna follow Me you've got to deny yourself and suffer with me every day in following Me.' . . . And, 'If anyone wants to come after Me and doesn't hate their mom & dad compared to Me, then you can't follow Me.' . . . And, 'If you don't hate your own life, then forget following Me.'

What He was saying is, there's a cost, a sacrifice. But if . . . if you are willing to give yourself away, you will find The Kingdom and Power and Purposes of God!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Awesome Encounter!

We had an incredible Men's Encounter this weekend! Here are the 25 men (24 + me taking pic) who got a jolt of God this weekend! What a great group of guys.

Pray that they will keep running the race with all they've got! I believe that these men are going to rock the world!

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philip. 3:13-14

Friday, May 1, 2009

Vision 09' Update - Part V

On Mission - International

For about a year now the leadership has been praying about how we can connect internationally with a nation, region or unreached people group with a long-term view for the Kingdom.

Jesus told us in Acts 1:8 (my version again) that: 'When the Holy Spirit comes you will be filled with My Power. And you will go and live out my story all over the planet. On your street, at your job, in your City and across the world!'

It was not an either, or (locally or globally) -- but AND (glocally).

Now, here's a cool part that many of you haven't heard -- In 14 days (on 5/14) I leave for two-weeks in Thailand and another Asian Country. It's an awesome door that has been opened.

In the first country I'll be observing a group who has been there for over 10 years. Watching how they have built relationships and blessed the people. And seeking to build relationships and look for opportunities. And doing the same in Thailand.

And I want to be clear that I'm not going there to do all the 'work.' Think of it this way, I'm going as an 'advance scout' - searching for ways that you can use your gifts and vocation and resources to build into people's lives.

We want to have a long-term development approach, not just a short-term 'trip' approach. Yes, there will probably be many short-term trips, but they will all create a long-term bridge.

Through relationships I'm searching for: How can we can help with water/food supply? Ag development? Sanitation needs? Education or technology development? Small business building? . . . Whatever the needs might be, that match the gifts and experiences God has given us . . . And through those relationships be Kingdom builders.

Stay tuned . . . this is awesome stuff!