My good friend Dan moved from Tigard to Albany Oregon to work with Dana, another mutual friend. Unfortunately, Dana’s business experienced a downturn and he had to let Dan go. In 2012 Dan felt led to stay in Albany and serve as an Associate Pastor in a Calvary Chapel.
“Charles Clark cleans toilets at Trinity High School in Euless, Texas. But he also helps kids turn their lives around — not because it was his job, but because it needed to be done . . .” You can watch him in action at http://omeleto.com/215307/. Charles is committed to excellence. This janitor takes pride in sweeping away dirt, mopping floors and sanitizing rooms because he takes his job seriously. When he is not cleaning or repairing, he pours his life into mentoring teenagers who need guidance and the reassurance that someone loves and cares about them. Mr. Clark understands that the students who populate Trinity High School are the greater investment. So in the natural flow of work, he makes time to listen, to encourage and to touch the hearts of students.
Matthew 14:13—When Jesus heard about it, He withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone. When the crowds heard this, they followed Him on foot from the towns.
Sandra, the leader of Jennifer’s home Bible Study, informed the women of her job promotion with Key Bank. As a result, she would be moving to another state. While the women cheered her good fortune, immediately they wondered what would happen to their group when she left. At first, there was quite a bit of discouragement. Jennifer was personally going through a rough time in her life as a parent and Sandra’s advice was often invaluable and encouraging.
Recently I had the opportunity to speak to a group of Army officers and noncommissioned officers. I asked the question, “How many of you grew up with a mom and a dad?” Almost all of them raised their hands. I then asked, “How many of your cadets (college students) come from homes with a mom and a dad?” The crowd guesstimated that about 50% came from two-parent homes. They underscored a point I hoped to make which is that today there is a huge need for mentors. Too many of those exiting high schools across our land have had insufficient parenting and manifest a great craving for meaningful relationships.
Ephesians 4:11-13—And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God's Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ's fullness.
We’ve tried hard to sell our house in Tigard but to no avail. For over a year it sat vacant. Have you ever had times when a nagging notion persistently sits in your heart? I’ve had that notion—I believe God wants our house to be used for ministry. So, with hesitant concurrence from my wife, we decided to deepen our risk factor. 12350 SW Tiedeman became a spiritual oasis, a shelter for the homeless and refuge for the hurting.
In Chimpembelle Village, Zambia, Onedy Kalimina’s uncle died. When the Head Man dies, one of his relatives on the mother’s side is chosen to replace him. As it happened, the 22 year-old Kalimina was chosen. He was taken to the village witch doctor who prepared a charm called Chitumya. Then he was asked to kneel down and pray “Chitumya come into me and I come into you.” After praying this, Kalimina took a ceremonial bath and put on an arm band for protection that no one else was ever to see. This occurred in 1990.
While ministering in the town of Kitale, Kenya it became evident that our team was larger than was needed for the church we were serving. Sensing an opportunity, I asked Ombima, our host, if it would be possible for us to travel to Uganda. He agreed that it was doable and so we rented a taxi and five of us traveled the windy, bumpy, one-hour drive. With us was Pastor Charles, who was born in the town of Suam, Uganda, the small border village next to the Suam River that separates the two countries. We asked God to lead us to a key contact in order that we might sow the seeds for future disciple making in Uganda.
The idea came to life on a mountain in northern Idaho. Dad’s high blood pressure meant he either took prescribed drugs or exercised. He chose the latter. So, five days a week he hikes trails and roads that at points are ridiculously steep but altogether invigorating! One day while walking the Lord whispered that instead of just walking he might also pray!
Matthew 18:19,20—Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.
Recently while flying back to Portland, I sat next to a man who worked for KLOVE, a Christian-owned corporation of radio stations that play Christian music. Because of my passion for worship and experience listening to the local KLOVE station, I queried him about how they chose the songs they aired. He told me that songs were selected according to the interests of the listeners. I challenged him on the accuracy of that statement. In essence, big labels sign artists and promote their music. While the public as a purchasing body has a say in what is popular, in fact companies sign artists based on what their market analysis determines will be well received by “young listeners.”
My son, Bryan and I were driving down a steep road when we encountered a peculiar sign. It said, “Caution—Hill Obscures View”. Well duh! We laughed at the great wisdom displayed! Maybe it’s the way my brain works, but that set me to thinking about signs and miracles. Does it seem like people are unimpressed with the obvious and bore easily today in an age where technology renders the sufficient obsolete?
We walked into a large meeting hall at a nursing technological university in Huancayo at about 3:30 p.m. on March 28th. I was asked to give a concert. Mentally I questioned the value of singing songs in English to a group of Spanish-speaking students. Yet this was our last day of ministry in Peru and clearly some effort and expense had gone into making arrangements for me to sing.
Our taxi leaves paved highway for a potholed dusty road. We meander across the brown desert surface towards the San Francisco barrio nestled among one of the treeless hills that ring the city of Lima. Patricia directs Carlos to the large blue gates that open to a compound owned by Segadores. Here for the next three days I will speak to men and women from the jungle, Peruvian cities, and distant nations whose hearts all beat with the desire to reach 16 unreached Peruvian tribes with the life-changing news of Jesus Christ.
Felipe dresses up as a clown. Each Sunday he and his team of fellow youth workers from Iglesia Misionera Evangelica (I.M.E.), go to the poorest sections of Cerro de Pasco to minister to the children. As many as 40-60 kids come out to watch the antics of Bomba the clown, to sing and dance to Christian music and hear Bible stories. Wonderful boys and girls glow with expectant smiles. Their lungs produce hearty cheers and sweet melodies. They held on to us with forever-loving grips. In truth, they ministered to our team more than we did to them.
In 1725, Franciscan monks established the Convent of Ocopa to evangelize and civilize the tribes of the Peruvian jungle. Located about 45 minutes from the city of Huancayo in the central Andes, this monastery contains a library with over 25,000 volumes of antique literature. Adorning many of the walls of the splendid building are paintings that date 200-300 years in age. It is a most impressive place where the walls literally seem to breathe with stories.
Cerro de Pasco sits over 14,000 feet in elevation in the central Andes of Peru. It is a bleak place. Besides the lack of trees and barren terrain, the atmosphere around this mining town is oppressive. In the community where the engineers reside, a blue signboard welcomes the spirit recognized as lord of the mines. Pastor Marco, Felipe and two other young men of the church we visited, walked us around the central plaza one evening. They pointed out the many bars and discussed the rampant problems of alcoholism, adultery, prostitution, incest, animal sacrifices and demon-worship. They discussed the pride among the inhabitants—a “machoism” that scorns outsiders and keeps the many different churches from coming together as a united body.
In 1937, Pastor Rubio Beltazar challenged young men in his church to take missions seriously. The Holy Spirit used his words particularly to inspire Juan Cueva with the task of taking the gospel to the world.
Acts 20:28--Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock that the Holy Spirit has appointed you to as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.
Professor Howard Hendricks once related a story of how as a student he often walked by the home of one of his college professors. It seemed at all hours day or night the light would be on in the man’s study. One day he had the opportunity to ask him what kept him studying so much. The teacher replied, “Son, I would rather have my students drink from a running stream than a stagnant pool.”