Spent some time with Jerry Davis today from Grassland Heights Baptist Church. We reviewed the first version of our itinerary for camp, and even began to assign leaders to the different areas of responsibility. Our camp theme for his camp this year is "Taproot". Jerry tells the story of a tree at his home in Texas. The actual type of tree alludes me at the moment, however bottom line because of the dryness of his area of the world. This type of tree only typically lasts about 10+ years, but the one that was in his front yard was over 40 years old. The neighbors were convinced that the roots of this tree had tapped into some sort of constant water source underground. So many of our students that walk through student ministry stay with the group for their years in school, but often don't plant deep roots in their love for Jesus. So as they leave the shelter of the constant rain of student ministry, they find themselves in new dry land, and with short roots, many, upon many find themselves with their world of faith and belief in God falling and failing. Its a story that is repeated at an alarming rate in this country. So our goal this summer is to help each student tap their personal root of love for Jesus with all their heart, mind, soul and strength, so that we will see bunches of lives tied to Him for generations to come.
To give Jerry some quick props, if you don't know Jerry and all the resources he represents for Inter-linc, while also being a Good husband and father, and a FT Youth Pastor, it would be worth your time to get to know him over a cup of coffee, or through FB, or even at Inter-linc. Bottom line if you are a YP looking for every good resource to help you in this journey, Jerry should be one of your guys.
Here is his FB link http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1293506767&ref=ts
you can get the rest of his info from there.
Also received an email from my buddy Jared Miller today. He leads an organization in East Africa called Keza. Keza helps women and their families, find ways to remove themselves from poverty, by taking products they can create and make even better, and creating a market for these products and distribution routes for the products. Keza's first project comes from a large number of women in Rwanda who create the most beautiful necklaces out of paper beads. My wife has 3 or 4 thanks to Jared, and she adores them. Jared and his partner in crime Ilea are doing a wonderful work for the Lord in East Africa, and the Lord will often bring them up in my mind to pray for during my studies. Like most in the world, the perception of this economic climate has caused fear, and so their non-profit is feeling the pinch, however to quote his email "We'll make it though, We always do." That's what i love about Jared, he doesn't just know Jeremiah 29:11, but he knows what comes with those promises, that is verses 12 - 14. Yes, you will find me, says the Lord. And when you find Jesus, you will make it. If you want to check out more about what they are up to just go to www.keza.com.
Part of our reflection today, was running a few errands. Stopping by Barnes and Noble to pick up another copy of Wild Goose Chase to give away. Speaking of Barnes, am i the only one that goes in there wondering if there is enough life in me to read and devour everything in that store that catches my attention. I am not talking ADD here, i mean truly, from books with incredible pics of pet cats (yeah i dig em, they have personality, call a cat with "here boy" and see if they don't give you the international peace sign.. random i know), to destinations i have yet to travel to, to studies about the elders of the faith, to books about books of the bible, to all the children's stories that i have yet to read to my sons. From Barnes to Sams Club to buy bulk, to Target, and we ended the evening by running to Fido's downtown, just the 4 of us enjoying some end of day treats. If you visit us here in Nash Vegas, i want to suggest a few places to be sure to stop by. During the day, The Frist Center, BiCentenniel Park, and if you go south of town, The Factory. At Night, for dinner DaVinci's for pizza, then for dessert and atmosphere Fido's, if it's nice, sit outside, 21st ave in the evening is great.
Jess and I also found out that our friends the Hollis' are headed to Mexico next week. Along with leading a family with 3 kids, and running a highly successfully Landscape Venture Company, Coaching, Mentoring and serving the churches Youth Ministry, you get the picture, their a pretty amazing family. Chris and Colleen lead "Embraced By Hope" which serves orphans in Russia on the east side of the country currently. It is where they got their son Carson from a few years back. However the Lord has also led them to a group that is helping orphans in Mexico. With all that is happening in that part of the world, seems a number of doors were if-fy the past week or so, but now the Lord has seemed to take care of those issues, and is leading them to see how they can serve next. To learn more check out www.embracedbyhope.org.
Since we are on orphans for a moment. My buddy Adam who is a YP in Detroit and his wife are getting ready to adopt 2 children from Rwanda. I learned there are over 1 million orphans in that country. However Rwanda does not want to work through US agencies, instead, if individual families do the hard work to get through all the paperwork to make an adoption happen, they choose to work with you directly. Pretty amazing, if the Lord were to prompt you in that direction, just drop me a line, i will get you in touch with Adam asap. He has got some great stories and contacts for you.
Like many out there. I continue to gain insight about my learning style. So i am constantly digesting material in very short spurts. Which causes me to be in about 3-7 books at a time (props to long time Pastor L.H. Hardick for making this process ok in my life). Some friends of ours, Jason and Mysti White, gave me a book called "Stripped, by Jud Wilhite", a while back. I have with good intentions put it by my bed stand for a while now, however just recently i put it in the car, and began to read it at any red light or 3 minutes in a parking lot waiting for a friend. The book is about Jud's journey serving Central Church in Las Vegas Nevada. And it has caused me more than once to wish my heart would struggle for hurting of this world more than it does. I want to warn you, if you are religious, this book IS NOT for you. That is not a slam, or put down, just reality. Only if for Freedom you are set Free, will this book make you hungry.
Which leads me to my close, though i have soooo much more to say (as all my friends know, i have no idea when to shut up), however Jess just came in with her last quote from W.G.C. and its perfect to share ... - In the words of another daring twentieth-century missionary, C.T. Studd, "Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bells; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell."
I pray that my life's reflection will point more to actions that live in the above statement, and not just my thoughts and great beliefs.
May the Kingdom be evident to each of you, as your love for Jesus spurns you on. PEACE!