Thursday, November 29, 2007


Hey everyone,

It's about 3am Eastern time and I'm sitting in an internet cafe' in Amsterdam drinking a cappuccino and waiting for my flight to Nairobi to take off. The flight to Amsterdam was pretty smooth, and fortunately I was able to get a little sleep on the way. Once the flight takes off I'll be in the air for another 8 hours, so I'm going to try to get some more sleep...hmm maybe that cappuccino wasn't such a good idea after all, oh well.

It was really cool on the plane, as I looked around and realized I was surrounded by a whole bunch of people who were from all over the world. The guy who sat next to me was returning home to Kuwait, the family ahead of me was from India, and a whole group of people near me were returning home to Zimbabwe. I couldn't help but think that even though we are so different God loves each of us the same and made the same sacrifice for each of us because He loves us. I also, thought how awesome it is that God understands each of the languages that were being spoken on that plane, and desires a relationship with each person.

It was hard to say good buy to my family this morning, but realizing that God loves every person from every nation, and He has given me an opportunity to be involved in training Youth Leaders around the world who will in turn be equipped to share His good news with young people in their culture, makes it all worth while...It's all about the Kingdom!

Well, I need to power down and get to my gate for the next flight to Nairobi...I'll try to find a place to plug in and keep you up to date with what God is doing in Kenya. Please continue to pray that God gives me strength and hearts are open to His word as I do a bunch of preaching and teaching.

God bless,

Monday, November 26, 2007

Going To Kenya

Well, it's hard to believe but on thursday 11/29 I fly out for a three week ministry trip to Kenya. There has been a lot of prayer and planning that have gone into making this trip a reality, and I appreciate everyone continuing to keep me and my family in prayer for the duration of the trip as well.

Here's what I'll be doing while in Kenya...

* 12/3-7 - Speaking twice a day at a Youth Camp in Ruiru ("Be The Change" is the theme for the week)
* 12/3-7 - Presenting a seminar to Youth Leaders called "Effective Leadership"
* 12/9 - Preaching at Ruiru Baptist Church
* 12/10-14 - Speaking at Chapel, Interacting with YM Students and involvement in the Seminary Graduation at Kenya Baptist Theological College
* 12/15-16 - Leadership Development and future planning sessions with YMI's Center for Youth Ministry director in Kenya - Sylvester Onyango
* 12/17-19 - Safari in the Masa Mara region of Kenya into Tanzania with Dr. Randy Smith, President of YMI

I did an interview this morning with one of the Radio Hosts of the Family Life Network and he asked me what people should be praying about as I go on this trip...I told him to pray for Open hearts and open minds to the life changing power of Jesus' Love as I present it in a variety of venues in Kenya. I ask the same of everyone else as well.

This is going to be an experience with tons of potential for God's glory, so please continue to pray with me as I seek to be used of God.

Keep checking back regularly over the next month as I'll be updating the blog with pictures and updates of what God is doing.

God bless.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

YMI Board Meeting Update - Louisville

Hey everyone,
I'm writing this e-mail from the Louisville airport as I wait for my flight to leave to come back home.

I'm in Louisville for the annual board meeting with YMI. It was my first meeting with the board, and what an incredible time it was! Gathered together in the board room were guys from all over the country who have a common passion to reach students for Christ around the world through training the next generation of Youth Ministry professionals in countries that are desperate for what we offer!

I sat next to guys who have been pivotal in shaping the direction of youth ministry for the past several decades...guys whose books I've read and seminars I've attended that have been instrumental in helping to develop me and my ministry philosophy over the past 20+ years.

It is awesome to be a part of a movement that is opening amazing doors in the world for students to come to Christ. It is amazing to think what YMI is doing around the world. The bottom line right now is that we have 185 students studying in our Bachelors of Youth Ministry degree program in 8 Centers for Youth Ministry (CYM's) in 5 countries and that's just the tip of the ice berg...We've gotten invitations from other countries (Nepal, India, China, Ecuador) to name a few who would love to have us come and train their youth leaders to reach their students for Christ! So please keep praying with us as the YMI mission keeps expanding.

I'd also like to thank all of you have been praying for Bonnie and I as we continue our transition, and seek to sell our house. As of this writing we are still praying for a quick sale so we can move in to the mission house opportunity at North Baptist.

I'm also finishing up my staff position at Lakeshore, and will be officially done on December 27th. At that point we'll be completely relying on whatever comes in for support from our donors, so please keep praying for that with us, and let me know if you would like more info on joining our support team.

The reality is that we are currently still at about 40% of what we need each month and at the end of December we'll be responsible to provide our salary and health benefits from the monies that come in from our donor base (churches, individuals, groups, etc.). We know God will provide, but I must be honest, the reality is starting to set in.

In a few weeks I'll be heading to Kenya to speak at a youth camp, do some youth leader training, speak at a local church, speak in chapel at Kenya Baptist College, and go on a safari! I'll be busy but I'm really looking forward to serving God on this trip.

I'd also appreciate your prayers for the trip to Ukraine in January as I'll be teaching YM 102 - Youth Culture to a group of Freshman from all over Ukraine at Kiev Theological Seminary.

Well, that's about it for now. I really appreciate your prayers and support of our ministry, ya'll (remember I'm writing this from Louisville so I need to be culturally relevant right - ha ha) are such a blessing to us.

God bless you guys.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Prayer Needed

Just a quick note to let you know that we could use your prayer in a few areas...

1. Tomorrow from 2-4pm we'll be holding an open house at our home in Rochester. We have an opportunity to move into a mission house here locally while we continue to raise support, but need to sell our house ASAP.

- If you could pray with us for a fast sale at what we're asking that would be awesome. We really don't have much room to go down in price and still be able to pay our realtor and pay off the bank, so we'd appreciate your prayers for that.

- Here's a link to our house so you can get a visual - just click on the link and type in 91 Clardale in the search box

2. My time on staff at Lakeshore is coming to an end, I'll be on staff until the end of the year.

- Our current support level is at about 40% so having the additional money from Lakeshore has been very helpful, but in a few weeks we'll be relying totally on support (another reason why a speedy sale of our house is really important, as the mission house opportunity is a rent free opportunity!)

- Please pray for God to continue to work in the hearts of individuals and churches to join our regular monthly support team!

3. In about 3 weeks I leave for Kenya to speak at a Youth Camp north of Nairobi, (I'll be speaking 8 times to the students "Be The Change" is the theme)... I'll also preach in a local church, and teach at a 4 day youth leader gathering (I'll be doing a seminar entitled "Effective Leadership")...and take part in the KBTS graduation of their Youth Pastor majors! It's going to be a very busy 3 weeks that will be capped off by a 3 day safari from Kenya into Tanzania and back!

- Please pray for safety and open hearts as I share God's word with the people in Kenya.

- I also found out that the seminary has need of a video projector for use with teaching the students...if the Lord lays it on someone's heart to help provide this tool for the students in Kenya, I could take it with me when I go and what a huge blessing that will be. Let me know if this is something you want to be a part of.