I preached this message March 1st. It was the last time our church gathered in person. The next week, life took a hard left turn for all of us. I hope you find the message inspiring and encouraging during this challenging time we are living in.
Over the past 2 years I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities I have had to travel and speak all around the country. It has been a true honor and privilege. I was really torn about getting off the road and settling back into a role in the local church, but we felt it was the best decision for our family. With our recent move to the San Francisco Bay Area for me to become a family pastor, many people have asked what this will mean for my speaking engagements. Our new church was gracious enough to allow me to fulfill the commitments I had already made through this summer, so I am happy to announce I will be speaking for the new Merge Conferences being hosted by Group Mission Trips in Cincinnati, OH, Roanoke, VA, and Chicago, IL this summer. Other than that I will be speaking occasionally at Bay Hills Church, and speaking locally (I preached last Sunday at the church, and spoke this past week at a local school), and I am really looking forward to networking and building relationships here in California. I will continue to field requests to speak at camps, retreats, and do leadership training as my schedule allows once I have had the opportunity to get established in my new role. So, please continue to keep me in mind toward the end of 2020 and into 2021. Complete a speaking request form here.
Last week I had the great joy and privilege of speaking at a Group Mission Trips Workcamp in Pocahontas, Virginia. It was a blast being able to share and see students out serving. There were 216 campers from 14 churches and 8 different states. They served on 37 different work crews at 25 different homes and completed all of their projects. They served a total of 6,480 hours and also donated 2,050 cans of food to bless the community. So proud of them!
Here is the video I used in my message today. Enjoy!
This morning we had devotions at 7:30am and breakfast at 8am. We then set up for something of a “VBS”. We had 2 groups of children bussed in from the community – one group at 9am and another at 2pm. We played soccer, did facepainting, made balloon animals, then had a time of singing and dancing followed by a gospel message. We are super proud of Claudia who preached in the morning, and Timmy who preached in the afternoon. About 5 children prayed to receive Christ following each message! Never underestimate the significance of a child praying to receive the Lord. I was one of those children! Let’s pray for these 10 or so kids. Pray that the seed of the Word of God has landed on good soil, and that it will bear good fruit in their lives. This evening we had rhe 7 year anniversary celebration of Villa Esperanza. We led worship, some of the girls from the Villa did some dances, we ate dinner, had cake, watched a slide show, and shared notes and took pictures with the girls. It was a very fun night. Tomorrow we are loading the bus at 4am to head to the airport.
This morning we had team devotions at 7am followed by breakfast and worship and devotions with the Villa staff and some of the girls. We then got into a couple of groups and did work around the Villa. One group did yard work and another group worked on the road into the Villa, shoveling dirt out of the drainage ditch and using it to patch up another area of the road which had been washed out. We also enjoyed some time hanging out and playing with the girls. After dinner we had a service with the girls. Ady and Mike led worship, we did the “Everything” drama, and I preached. Following the message I gave an altar call and probably 30 people came up including both people from Nicaragua as well as our team. We had a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit and the ministry time lasted over an hour as people were praying for one another. It was an in incredible time as the Spirit of God moved. Following the service we had our debriefing meeting as a team and it was marked by expressed feelings of being overwhelmed by the grace if God. We also heard reports of two girls giving their lives to Christ tonight! God is good! Thank you for continuing to pray for us.