Thursday, December 30, 2010

I am an Addict

So there I was an eager and naive college student in my second year at Oral Roberts University. I saw a sign advertising a week long, short term missions trip to Mexico. Having never been on missions before, I knew it was time to take my first trip. So I went, and that week changed my life.

God told me when I was twelve years old that I was going to be a missionary. Sitting in church one night, I heard, very clearly, God call me to full time missions. So there I was eight years later about to take my first ever missions trip.

The weeks before the trip our team spent several Saturdays learning our evangelism dramas. We were doing "Toymaker" by Impact Productions. My character was the soldier. So in my backpack, along with my toilet paper, pepto tablets, flashlight and Bible, I packed some camo paint, a set of BDUs (battle dress uniforms) and a toy machine gun.

Our ministry was the "street gang" method of street evangelism, made popular by Teen Mania Ministries. We would set up in a public place, attract a crowd through funny skits, and then "bring the hammer down" with our main evangelism drama, Toymaker. After the drama we would canvas the crowd, sharing the plan of salvation.

This scared me to death. I had never EVER witnessed to someone before.

We were at our first evangelism event. We did all our funny skits, then we did the Toymaker drama, then it was time to hit the crowd. The moment I had feared the most had come. At first I thought I would just stay back and do prayer support, and just wait and see if anyone needed help.

Then I saw him.

What struck me most were his eyes. I will never forget the look of his eyes, I can still picture them over twenty years later. His eyes betrayed many emotions. He was angry, he was confused, he was hurt, and he was crying. He needed Jesus, and he knew he needed Jesus. I asked him in Spanish, "Do you want to receive Jesus?" and he broke down. And through tears he prayed the Sinner's Prayer.

So in that mountain village in Northern Mexico, he found Christ. Using me with my broken Spanish, Jesus Christ, Creator of the universe, King of all the kings, reached down from Heaven and knocked on the door of this guy's heart, and this Mexican invited Christ in.

That moment changed my life. I will never forget how I felt, and I became addicted to that feeling. I became addicted to the feeling of being used. That somehow a weak and imperfect life could be used by God Almighty Himself to reach down from Heaven and touch a life.

I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life feeling that way. I wanted to spend the rest of my life being used.

I am still addicted.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Moon

From Wired.com:

1968: The crew of Apollo 8 delivers a live, televised Christmas Eve broadcast after becoming the first humans to orbit another space body.

Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders made their now-celebrated broadcast after entering lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, which might help explain the heavy religious content of the message. After announcing the arrival of lunar sunrise, each astronaut read from the Book of Genesis.

How this went down at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Soviet Union is unknown, but it stands in stark contrast to the alleged message sent back to Earth several years earlier by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.

“I don’t see any God up here,” Gagarin reportedly said from his vantage point aboard Vostok I, although the accuracy of that statement has been challenged over the years.

The crew of Apollo 8 didn’t claim to see God, either, but they were clearly impressed by His handiwork.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Star Wars Lego Christmas Story

This was put together by Eric and Faith, enjoy.

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In those days, the Emperor made a decree that a census of the whole Empire should be taken.


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So Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.


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The city was so full of people there was no room for them in the inn.


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So they had to spend the night in a stable.


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While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger.


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And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.


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An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them,


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and they were terrified.


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But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”


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When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”


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So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.


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When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.


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Later wisemen from the East came to Jerusalem.


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They asked “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”


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King Herod was greatly troubled by this. He told them, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”


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After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.


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On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts.


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And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.


Merry Christmas from the Anasco kids.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It is More Blessed to Give . . .

Today was spent getting things ready for Christmas celebrations at the Sonshine Center. The kids helped Chris and the rest of the Sonshine Learning Center staff get ready for a Christmas party, decorating, preparing gifts, etc. We then spent the evening going around Iloilo passing out meals to the poor on the street.

Danny and Chris at work

Eric and Danny filling bags of gifts

One of the most amazing things about missionary life is watching my children do ministry. We always say they are not "future" missionaries, they are missionaries now.

Faithy helping to bless a street family with a simple meal.

I miss watching my children play in organized sports. Eric was able to play t-ball and flag football in our life before missions. I really miss that. However, while scoring touchdowns or hitting home runs might one day get their picture in the day's newspaper, what they are doing here in Iloilo--spreading God's love, advancing His kindgom on this earth--has a more eternal impact.

More pictures from this day:


It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Am I a Cool Christian?

Lately I have been trolling around other Christian blogs, and I am noticing a trend, the "edgy" or "hip" Christian bloggers are getting a large portion of the Internet, Christian blogging traffic. Cutting edge topics and arresting titles are the rule of the day. And this can be seen as a corresponding trend mimicking how the church is evolving, moving from the traditional to the more "today" or "hip." Instead of services, we have "gatherings." Instead of calling yourself a born-again Christian, you are a "Christ-follower."

Who doesn't want to be cool? Who doesn't want to be considered very "now?" I find myself a little envious of the cool kid Christians, with the high traffic blogs, who are considered "real" because they have controversial blog posts and are unafraid to use profanity. But rather than confirm to this, so I too can be considered cool, I feel a check in my spirit (I know that's an old-school Christianese phrase--see how outdated I am). I don't want to pepper my blog posts with d-bombs and f-bombs, and I don't want to start questioning all my long held beliefs just so I can be one of the hip Christians on the Internet.

I recently ran across this from the Wall Street Journal, the author talks about the perils of "wanna be" cool Christianity. The article addresses the very real problem of how the church is increasingly becoming more and more irrelevant in the Western society of 2010, how especially the young are leaving the church.

From the article:

"Recent statistics have shown an increasing exodus of young people from churches, especially after they leave home and live on their own. In a 2007 study, Lifeway Research determined that 70% of young Protestant adults between 18-22 stop attending church regularly."

The author goes on to detail how the church has reacted to this exodus:

"Efforts [were] made to rebrand Christianity as hip, countercultural, relevant. As a result, in the early 2000s, we got something called "the emerging church"—a sort of postmodern stab at an evangelical reform movement. Perhaps because it was too "let's rethink everything" radical, it fizzled quickly. But the impulse behind it—to rehabilitate Christianity's image and make it "cool"—remains."

And these attempts to be cool:

"There are various ways that churches attempt to be cool. For some, it means trying to seem more culturally savvy. The pastor quotes Stephen Colbert or references Lady Gaga during his sermon. For others, the emphasis is on looking cool, perhaps by giving the pastor a metrosexual makeover, with skinny jeans and an $80 haircut. Then there is the option of holding a worship service in a bar or nightclub. But one of the most popular—and arguably most unseemly—methods of making Christianity hip is to make it shocking. What better way to appeal to younger generations than to push the envelope and go where no fundamentalist has gone before?"

Here is what the author sees as the problem with all this coolness (and honestly I totally agree):

"But are these gimmicks really going to bring young people back to church? Is this what people really come to church for? Maybe sex sermons and indie-rock worship music do help in getting people in the door, and maybe even in winning new converts. But what sort of Christianity are they being converted to?"

His argument is that people want real Christianity, not a gimmick or something trendy.

"If we are interested in Christianity in any sort of serious way, it is not because it's easy or trendy or popular. It's because Jesus himself is appealing, and what he says rings true. It's because the world we inhabit is utterly phony, ephemeral, narcissistic, image-obsessed and sex-drenched—and we want an alternative. It's not because we want more of the same."

Christ offers something real, a true relationship with a loving God. He doesn't need the help of GQ magazine and Madison Avenue to reach the lost. In our efforts to evolve and modernize the Gospel, we must ensure that we are not diluting Christ's message of sin and redemption.

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." Romans 12:2 NLT

Thursday, December 02, 2010

What is Poverty (Repost and Update)

This is a repost of an amazing story from a few years ago:

What is poverty? The gentleman in the picture (wearing the blue tank top) lives in Calajunan, the city trash dump area. In the picture behind him you can see the mountains of trash. He works in the trash collecting things like pieces of metal and plastics in order to sell to recyclers. He lives in one of the most awful places I have ever been. Even though I have been to Calajunan many times, I always nearly toss my cookies whenever I go. On the surface he would be considered among the very poor--that he is living in extreme poverty. Actually he is a very good father with a blessed family. Through his work at the trash dump he has been able to send his kids to college. His oldest son graduates this year while another son is just starting. He walks to work, it probably takes him about five minutes. He probably thinks that anyone who commutes ninety minutes to work each way is living in poverty.

Through the satisfaction he has gained from his hard work, being able to put his sons through college and offering them a brighter future, he is probably richer than most.

Update: Go To Nations missionaries Nate and Abegail Shuck have started a new project in the Calajunan dump area. They are building a church in Calajunan with the goal of reaching that area with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through discipleship, a feeding program, children's ministry, and livelihood projects. This is an exciting new chapter in ministry here in Iloilo.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Missionary Style

I am a firm believer in immersing yourself as a missionary into your host country. I believe you should learn the language, learn and adapt to local customs, etc. I don't believe in forming and living within an American "bubble" here in the Philippines.

However, there are times when you need a little taste of your home country. Our Thanksgiving party this year was more than just a little taste, it was a feast of Americana. Inviting missionary friends and family, we had the traditional dinner complete with turkey and all the trimmings. We watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas, and we also watched some football. We all ate too much. We also kicked off the Christmas season with a white elephant gift exchange. We even enjoyed the glow of a "fire."

I truly love living here in the Philippines. Iloilo is my home. America is also my home, so when I can feast on American culture for one evening, it is a blessing.



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

President George Washington

October 3, 1789

Friday, November 12, 2010

On the Way to Church . . .

a repost of something I wrote about five years ago:

"On the way to church there was a funeral procession. The person who passed away was not very rich since there was no car or hearse carrying the coffin. The simple wooden coffin was being carried by the mourners, being followed by some carrying flowers. What is striking about this is that the coffin was very small. A child had passed away. The most striking thing about this funeral procession, however, was that children were carrying the coffin. Children were carrying the flowers. The mourners were all children, no adults. No mother or father to grieve this child's passing. Not even an uncle or auntie to assist in the burial. Just children.

In a country were over half of the population is under the age of 18, there are so many who are fatherless and motherless. One such child was buried last Sunday."

Friday, November 05, 2010

Shhhhh, She's Sleeping

This is a repost of something I posted nearly five years ago when I first started this blog.

The other day I saw a little girl sleeping. She was curled up in a ball, sucking her thumb, fast asleep. She looked so calm and peaceful, the way kids do when they are sleeping, in spite of the fact that she was sleeping on the ground on a sidewalk on a corner of a busy intersection. What appeared to be her family was a few feet away. They were filthy and looked desperately poor. They had a younger child with them, happily playing in the dirt. he was naked as the day he was born.

My heart is broken for such as these. A part of me wanted to jump off the jeepney I was riding and offer some kind of help. A part of me still wants to scoop up the little girl and take her home.

The image of her still haunts my thoughts. I can still picture her family sitting on the sidewalk. I can still see her sleeping, her face like an angel. This motivates me to strive and work even harder for the kids at the Sonshine Center. I may not be able to help every street kid in Iloilo, but at least I can brighten the lives of some. I may not be able to take them all home with me, but I can least be a part of something larger than myself that blesses and enriches the lives of these kinds of kids. I may not be able affect where they spend their days on earth, but I can somehow influence where they will spend eternity.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

World Changers All . . .

This is what a group of world changers and history makers look like:


These are the missionaries of Go To Nations here in the Philippines. Recently we gathered for our Philippine team Annual Meeting in Roxas City, Philippines, known as the "seafood capital of the Philippines." (Trust me, we enjoyed several dinners confirming this fact.)

We had an amazing and inspiring time of fellowship and impartation. Most of you are aware that Chris and I are now serving Go To Nations as Philippine Team Coordinators. It is our privilege to serve this amazing team.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

What Ever Happened to the Anascos?

What ever happened to these guys?

The Anasco Family in 2004

Plenty . . .

Six years ago we left our American home for the Philippines and we began a new chapter in our family's life. These six years have been amazing. We have since had two more children (and remember they are not "future" missionaries); we have have done camps, camps, and more camps; we have hosted teams, teams, and more teams; we have taken Bible school teaching trips to Cambodia and also to "Nevada" working with the persecuted church; we have trained and continue to train future full-time missionaries--it has been an amazing journey.

One of the many things we have learned in the last six years is faithfulness. God is faithful. As we have taken this step of faith, leaving jobs, family, and things familiar, we have NEVER lacked. God has been more than faithful.

Another thing we have learned is purpose. God does indeed have a purpose for every person. When we find our purpose, we find true fulfillment.

God's purpose is like a river. Once you get into the river, it will take you. Once you immerse yourself into the water, fully surrendering to the flow of the water, the river will take you to where you need to go. God's purposes will carry you, it will take you to the place of provision, wisdom, grace--whatever you need to fulfill that purpose. All we have to do is get into the river and surrender.

We are so thankful for these past six years. We are also thankful for those of you who have been taking this journey with us, laboring right along side with us with your prayers, your encouragement, your coming on trips, and your partnership.

What we can say without a doubt, with every assurance: this is our destiny, we are living our purpose. This is what we were born to do.

. . . and we are just getting started.





Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Remember Meggie . . .

I remember Renz "Meggie."

He was one of our very first preschoolers at the Sonshine Learning Center. Here he is many years ago on the first day of classes:

In fact he was the first student to show up for classes, he was so excited.



Sadly Meggie has passed away. Dengue fever is a big problem here in Iloilo, it is a very deadly disease when untreated. Sadly this disease took Meggie when he was just eleven years old.

Meggie was fun. He was always smiling, and he was also pretty responsible. One of his jobs was to help monitor the kids on the jeepney as they traveled from their squatter village to the Sonshine Center, I guess you could say he was like a "bouncer," keeping things in order. Those of you who knew him know that he was well suited for this job, he was a pretty big kid, the other kids did not mess around with him.

Meggie spent his life living in a very poor squatter village in Iloilo. He was also a faithful Sonshine Center kid, in fact I remember seeing him at Saturday Kids Club just two weeks ago. This is why the work of the Sonshine Center is so important. We may not be able to change where these street kids spend their days on earth, but we can have an impact on where they will spend eternity.

From a song we often sing at the Center:

Come and go with me to the Father's house
Come and go with me to the Father's house
It's a big, big house, with lots and lots of rooms
There's a big, big table, with lots and lots of food
With a big, big yard, where we can play football
It's a big, big house, it's my Father's house

Meggie is no longer just singing about the Father's house, he is now experiencing it first hand.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ways to Spot a Missionary

I can't stop reading, and laughing at, the posts at Jon Acuff's site Stuff Christians Like. Here are some excerpts from a recent post entitled "Ways to Spot a Missionary." This was a guest post written by a missionary.

"Missionaries wear funny clothing.

I never intended to where bright-striped Kikoi shirts with tassels. I don’t think my wife Sara imagined herself in Kanga dresses with large shoulder pads. But I’m telling you as my shirts begin to look like I was worked over in a rugby game. And as all of Sara’s dresses have strangely faded to the same shade of gray, those Kikoi shirts and Kanga dresses become really tempting. So at your next church mission conference if you see a missionary dressed like a banana, cut them a little fashion slack."

From Dave: Is this true, those of you who know us, do we dress funny?

"Missionaries throw car safety rules out the window.

My first week at Kijabe I see 8 missionary kids hanging off the roof rack of a Toyota Land Cruiser bumping down the road. The next day I see a baby girl in mommy’s lap cupping the steering wheel rounding the corner Britney Spears style. (I think the baby honked at me too?) Last week I see four teenagers perched on the doors of a Landrover like they are windsurfing. I don’t pretend to understand this recklessness, but on the other hand I think the car seat Nazis back in America have gone too far (8 years old and/or 80 pounds)? By this standard, once my small daughter Amelia reaches 16 years of age she may have to take her drivers test sitting in a Graco Snug Ride."

From Dave: This is definitely true, I let my kids ride on top of jeepneys, here's proof.

"Missionaries are longwinded.

I know when I meet someone and they start talking about their trip to China and all the cultures, towns, language, and people they met. Well, if the story is longer than a few seconds my eyes glaze over as all I can think of is, “But did you get to walk on The Great Wall?” So if I start talking about the Meru tribe, on the NE slope of Mt. Kenya, in Eastern Africa and their Bantu origin and your eyes glaze over…I’ll understand. You just want to know if I saw a lion on safari?"

From Dave: Guilty!

What makes this site so hilarious is that so many of his posts are so VERY true.

Read the full post here.

Monday, August 02, 2010

First Day of School

Chris has been homeschooling our children even before we left for the mission field. However, we felt that Daniel would benefit from attending the Sonshine Learning Center for his first schooling. This way he could make some Filipino friends and learn some Ilonggo. Here are some pictures of his first day of preschool. The day started off a little weepy, but it got better. He now loves going to school everyday.



Monday, July 26, 2010

Iloilo is Home

We are all safely back home in Iloilo. We are starting to get settled back into our Filipino routine. It is always bittersweet to leave one home for another. It is, however, good to be back in our home in Iloilo. We are almost over jet lag, but this always takes time, having to endure some pretty rough days.

Also some of you may not be aware of this, Chris and the kids flew on a different flight than I. I flew on air miles, my tickets was very cheap. Because of this, they had a completely different flight plan. So that means Chris flew with all FOUR of our kids on the way back to the Philippines. Most of you know already that my wife is absolutely amazing. Praise God that all things worked out. We met in Hong Kong, then we were to fly to Manila together. Her flight was delayed so we had to overnight in Hong Kong instead of Manila, but this was a blessing in disguise for several reasons, not to mention that the airline paid for the hotel. Chris and the kids also got bulkhead seating on the long haul flight so they had more room and even a bassinet for Gabriella. God's favor continued to go before us when we landed in Manila. We all received a free one year visa, usually we get tourist visas that we have to renew every two months. Getting this one year visa will save us nearly $3,000!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for our travels. Thank to you to all who are continuing to hold us tightly in prayer as we adjust back to Filipino life.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Guilty of This?

Number 815 from the Stuff that Christians Like:

Becoming an expert on Africa (or whatever country you recently visited) after a 6-day missions trip.

“Please tell everyone that our streets are not chock full of lions.”

That’s the sentiment a reader in South Africa wanted me to share. Apparently, he felt like Christians in America sometimes believe Africa is very similar to the Disney movie, “Swiss Family Robinson.”

Remember that one? They lived in a tree house and ate coconuts and zebra. They had monkey butlers and were constantly worried about wild animals and/or pirates.

Although the pirate phenomenon is making a spirited comeback, I’m almost positive some of us have some backwards opinions of Africa. But you know what’s even worse?

People who become experts on Africa after a 6-day mission trip.

This is the time of year when they start coming back from trips and regaling us with their tales of massive missionary magnitude. Soon they will return from a short hop overseas. How do you spot them in your church? How do you see them coming? Here’s how:

6 ways to tell your friend has become an “overnight missionary expert.”

1. They temporarily wear some wicked awesome sandals.

Mission trip sandals, something I’ve chronicled before, come in two varieties: woven and rubber. The woven ones appear to made of some sort of rope and actually look painful. My wife and I saw a guy with bloody feet wearing these the other night. He was limping. The rubber ones are more comfortable but only come in two colors: rainbow and bright rainbow.

2. They use the phrase, “So American.”

This might be the worst one on the list because it attempts to shame you for something you’ve done. Sometimes you’ll see it in the comments on SCL. I’ll write about money and then someone will immediately say, “That is so American to think that way.” Or they might use the variation, “Well, in the West …” What they usually don’t tell you is that they spent all 32 years of their life, minus the six days they were on a mission trip, living in Ohio. Which is in America.

3. They pretend there’s a household need for a machete.

87% of all men who go on mission trips buy machetes. Like how I felt when I saw two Lamborghinis racing on the highway the other night, something about a machete makes you feel like an 8-year old little boy again. You get giddy with the possibility of actually owning a sword. But if your friend starts using it to whack away at yard work, they might be taking it a little too far.

4. They convert everything into foreign currency.

Never go to a Starbucks with a mission trip expert. They will inevitably look at your four dollar coffee and mumble, “Hope that week’s worth of wages is delicious.” To be kind, respond with a simple, “I’ll pray for you.” To be a jerk say, “I’ll stop drinking coffee when your wife stops wearing that blood diamond.” (That’s a horrible thing to say, because ultimately both issues need to be addressed.)

5. They use the phrase, “used to live.”

I spent about 25 days or so in Costa Rica. Once at a dinner party, I told someone I used to “live in Costa Rica.” My wife, who was unfortunately within hearing distance, burst into laughter. I hadn’t lived there. I had visited there. Briefly. If your friend uses weird math to pretend they were on the trip for a long time, like when the ex-coach of Tennessee said he really enjoyed “the 13 months at Tennessee,” you know someone is faking it. (As if saying “13 months” makes folks feel less like you were jumping ship after a year. Might as well convert it into weeks and say “I was a great coach here for 56 weeks.”)

6. They are constantly dragging you out to restaurants.

My wife and I once lived in a fancy neighborhood outside of Boston. On our first day there, our neighbor, a professor, came over and said, “Do you guys like Southern Cambodian cuisine.” Now clearly, if you know me, you know I prefer Southeastern Cambodian. I actually just order by longitude and latitude, I am that cultured. Not really, but if your friend suddenly refuses to go to Applebee’s because “they don’t have good breadfruit,” be worried.

I write this list not because I hate missionary experts, but because I’ve been this guy. I went to Dominica once, probably one of my top three favorite Lesser Antilles, and that entire list happened except for number 6. I had rainbow sandals. I found three machetes in my garage yesterday. And I once said, “Our Western culture doesn’t have a mourning process that leads to real healing.” I wrote this list because I am this list.

But it’s incomplete. Honestly, what self-respecting Christian blogger ends a list with six items?

How about you? Got the seventh idea?

Have you ever known a missionary expert?

Have you ever been one?

I find this hilarious because this is so true, and I am guilty of several of these and more.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

There is a Cost

In the Fall of 2003, about six months before we left for the mission field, I was driving with my then four year old son, Eric. Our family had already made the decision to make the leap to full time missions, departure date was June of 2004.

He was asking me about this next big thing in our family's life. He asked about his friends. Eric has been blessed with several lifelong friends--they are all still really close. He asked, "So when will they (his friends) be moving to the Philippines?"

Of course I told him that we were the only ones moving, that his friends and their families will remain in the Untied States. This was a cold dose of reality for him, realizing that his life-long, best friends would not be with him in the Philippines. With that realization, he began to cry . . . and cry . . . and cry. He did not want to leave his best friends.

Here we are again, getting ready to return to the Philippines, and the goodbyes are starting. Tonight Faithy started to get sad, faced with the fact that yet again she was going to have to leave her friends. She said she was looking forward to seeing her dog, Sam, but she did not want to leave her friends. She kept asking if there was some way we could have Sam sent here, and then we could remain in America, so she would not have to say goodbye again to her friends.

This breaks my heart.

This is part of the cost.

God give us all the grace and strength to count the cost.

(Thankfully our kids have some good friends in Iloilo.)

Friday, July 02, 2010

Happy Independence Day

From a letter of John Adams to his wife:
"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.- I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by Solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfire and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."

Happy 2nd of July, on this day in 1776 the unanimous vote for the declaration of independence from the empire of Great Britain was voted and agreed upon. On that day, according to John Adams:

"the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony 'that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, and as such, they have, and of Right ought to have full Power to make War, conclude Peace, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things, which other States may rightfully do.' "

In memory and in honor of John Adams, Happy Second of July.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Top Ten Ways to Know You are "Really" a Missionary

10. You can't answer the question, "Where are you from?"

9. You speak two languages, but can't spell either.

8. You have a time zone map next to your telephone.

7. You can cut grass with a machete, but can't start a lawn mower.

6. You sort your friends by continent.

5. You read National Geographic and recognize someone.

4. You don't think two hours is a long sermon.

3. You haggle with the checkout girl for a lower price.

2. Fitting 15 or more people into a car seems normal to you.

1. You watch nature documentaries, and think about how good that animal would taste if it was fried.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Travels

Our Stateside sojourn continues with some travels. We spent three days in Myrtle Beach, SC, enjoying some beach time, then we enjoyed more beach time at Daytona Beach. There we joined other Go To Nations missionaries at our missionary reunion. Now we are at my Mom's house in Ocala, FL, and tomorrow she takes us to Orlando for some theme park fun.

In Daytona Beach we went to a unique restaurant on the water, with GTN missionaries Glenn and Rebekah Hickey and their kids. It was like Sea World in that we were entertained by dolphins. They swam near our table our entire meal, even jumping out of the water to catch fish.






Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The First Day of the Rest of Her Life

After seven nights in NICU, Gabriella is finally with us. Today is the first day of the rest of her life. To all who held us so tightly in prayer during this very difficult time, we want to express our extreme gratitude and appreciation. Thank you for standing with us in prayer, seeking God for health and healing for our newest child. Your prayers are powerful and effective, so don't stop.

If you happen to be in the Maryland area, please feel free to contact us if you want to come see the newest missionary in the family.