It was 9:30PM when we kissed mom goodnight. She seemed at peace, albeit her breathing was more shallow than the day before. We all felt like we were ready for some rest and we left for my sister’s home not too far up the mountain. It felt good to stretch out and lie down in our beds for the night. It was 3:00AM when I heard my sister’s voice call my name a couple of times. I opened my eyes and learned that the hospice nurse called to tell us that mom passed away peacefully in her sleep. We gathered ourselves, and my brother, sister, and I headed down to begin the process of caring for my mom’s body. When we arrived and stood over my mom, it was sweet to think that she left here peacefully. It was clear that only a body remained and now mom was with Jesus, my dad, her parents, family, and friends, and on and on we could go. She is home. We will miss her presence and now look forward to our reunion in heaven. Thank you, Lord, for Your promise and hope.
You’ve heard the saying “If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, but when you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime!” This is exactly what you and I are doing by
The challenge, however, is that Francophone Africa is one of the most economically challenged areas of the world with a lack of infrastructure and poor governance. Located primarily on the Western coast of Africa, these 16 French-speaking countries include the Ivory Coast, Mali, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, just to name a few. The goal
This past fall, Cru's
Staff support hasrisen from an average of 30% of the total need in September to 50% in December!
The capacity of the ministry team has risen from being able to fund 10% of their country budget locally, to now funding 25%.
The staff in Chad is rejoicing at this impact of local fundraising. The Area Fund Development Leaders say, “This is a direct result from the training the National Leaders received while at the Fund Development Summit.” Because the leaders have fully embraced the need for fund development, the staff are feeling supported with the freedom to act as fundraisers themselves, without relying on the area office or the global office for funding. Now that they have seen the fruit of their labor, the staff is very excited to continue making fund development a priority and see where it leads. This is just one of the 15 countries of Francophone making great strides to becoming self-sustainable. What could happen if every country gained this training?
This is one part of what YOU and I are doing as a part of our response to the Great Commission. Thank you for helping to make disciples in all nations!
We celebrated my mom's 80th birthday this year. This will be the year she joins my dad as she enters God's heavenly kingdom, finally free of the Parkinson's disease that has marked her journey throughout her golden years. She will be with the Lord
Right now, I am in Colorado Springs with my brother and sister, and there is a strong sense among us that mom's time with us here is coming to a close. Her systems are slowing down and her awareness of life around her is difficult for us to detect. It looks and feels like she is making a transition. For all of us, it is difficult to let her go; still, we share a faith in Jesus Christ, and through His resurrection, mom too will be resurrected to a new, eternal life with God. We want her to receive that wonderful life. This farewell is both bitter and sweet.
God's kindness toward us is beyond measure. Of course, we can't name the time or hour mom will take her first breath of celestial air, but our sense is that it will be soon. I am grateful to linger with her, hold her hand, pray with her, and simply be with her. Madison, our oldest daughter, is with me as well, and I am grateful that we can walk together through this farewell. The rest of my family is
For three days, it was my privilege to be in a room with leaders from all around the world. We opened our time by standing around a room facing each other stating our names, our roles, and where we are from — Indonesia, Mali, Cameroon, Francophone, Kazakhstan, China, Costa Rica, and several other countries. We were gathered leaders who will be helping our staff learn to find all the funds required to carry out their God-given dreams. That is part of what you and I are doing as you and I respond to God's command to "go out and make disciples."
You helped me answer the question "Do you have the leadership skills required to solve problems?" by ensuring me the opportunity to attend a training last week. I’ve always hesitated to respond to this question before, but no more. I know that I can help discover solutions following the coaching model from this training — it was one of the best trainings I have ever participated in. The teaching methods used were varied and purposeful in helping me and the other trainees understand and apply what we were learning.
Keith Webb was our trainer and he put a twist on leading. Instead of leading by telling, he taught us that we can lead by asking questions. He showed us how to make coaching a learning experience and how we can bring clarity to problems which also brings hope.
Do you have the leadership skills required to solve problems? Consider getting Keith's book and see if this approach opens greater ways to help tackle important problems. I am looking for the places where I can use it to help make disciples through finding resources required to carry out God given plans to expand His kingdom. Thank you for helping to make disciples with Lisa and me.
I have fond memories of my dad. At times he could make me laugh so hard I would literally pee my pants. He was generous, kind and patient. He loved my mom, brother and sister really well. I have a wonderful father-in-law who is a great dad, too. He continually initiatates and engages with five families of his own and pursues us corporately and individually. Father's Day is a great opportunity to celebrate these great men in my life.
It is now 20 years that I have had the honor of being a father. I am so proud of my five. They shared with me life-giving words that I will treasure. I shared with them that I love watching them grow and celebrating all of their human doings with them. They're doings are worthy of much praise. However, it is that they are growing as human beings, as image bearers reflecting God to those around them, that is especially exciting to me. It is a profound privilege to share in this part of their lives as their father.
My prayer for myself and my children is that we will follow in the footsteps of Jesus as it was recorded in Luke 2:52, "And Jesus kept on growing—in wisdom, in physical stature, in favor with God, and in favor with others."
You and I are so blessed to be engaged in introducing our Heavenly Father to a world in need of a loving Father.
She sat down on the couch, a few feet away from me. Dinner and evening chores were behind us. I purposely sat on the family room couch rather than dragging my tired body upstairs to prep for bed, in hopes of connecting with either of my daughters. And one of them came. After the relational challenges of this past winter and spring, it was no small thing that she came.
"Want to listen to the Witch of Blackbird Pond?" I asked.
"Yes!" She exclaimed.
Audible books seem to be reaching across the relational abyss for short moments.
I pressed play.
Over the next ten minutes, she slowly inched her way in my direction. With my biological children, couch time was our normal. In fact they clamored during those early homeschool years for my lap. My lap might have been the one thing I allowed them to fight for. Sometimes two piled high on me. The other snuggled up to my side. One big snuggle fest. There wasn't inching. There was no reserve.
With my youngest daughters, I'm strikingly aware of the slightest movement in my direction.
An inch toward me can take my breath away. She kept inching closer and closer. Then in one final move, she was shoulder-to-shoulder, leg-to-leg beside me. And it took my breath away.
The unexpected does that sometimes.
When movement toward me is so labored, terrifying, challenging...inches feel like they span miles.
And I'm more grateful for the rare "inching" than I ever imagined I could be.
He did it! Four years of high school completed, and with academic style. We are proud of his accomplishments. His bravery in trying new things and varied activities has impressed me. From cross country and track to debate, to swing dancing, to the high school ministry of Cru, to mission trips in the Dominican Republic and Amsterdam—Keegan has been an active guy. To cap off his years of study, he was honored to speak as a valedictorian in his class of 2016 commencement. He has made awesome memories.
Included in those memories is a growing relationship with Joyce, a beautiful young woman who also joined Keegan on the stage as a valedictorian. Together they have a growing friendship that is honoring of each other and to God.
It is so easy to gush about this guy. His mom and I are proud of him. The greatest thing is that we love him and he loves us. We could not be more grateful. However, even greater is that He loves Jesus Christ and, without a doubt, Jesus loves Keegan. We give thanks.
Keegan is a great disciple of Christ. We look forward to walking with him through the next adventures of his life.
It was so fun to travel to Fair Oaks, California about a month ago. It is a rare thing to be able to say thank you for 40 years of generous, faithful, and faith-filled giving through Cru which has totaled to more than a million dollars! That is what the community of believers at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church (FOPC) has done.
Extending their reach through numbers of staff (Lisa and I included), students, and ministry projects, this community of believers has literally circled the globe with their impact. Such intentionality, generosity, and commitment to being about our Father's business is worth celebrating. Well done, Church family.
While visiting friends in Fair Oaks, one friend mentioned that she wished more people at FOPC could be trained to share their faith. That is particularly distinctive of what we do in Cru. Our distance from FOPC—living in Orlando—makes it challenging for us to personally respond to that need.
However, we can help any willing people receive great training via Cru.org. In conjunction with our Global Outreach Day that took place this past Saturday, May 21st, Cru has created videos to equip a person to share their faith. Each video is no more than 90 seconds long. If anyone wants to learn how to talk to a neighbor, a family member, a co-worker, or a friend, it is easier than you think.
Check out these great tools and tell a friend, too: click here for the Cru website, and download God Tools on your phone or tablet for an interactive, spiritual growth-enhancing app that you can use with yourself or a friend.
"Do you have any video", asked Paulette, the Missions Coordinator when I called on Thursday afternoon after flying for six hours from Orlando. I kicked myself for not thinking to do that, but I was not trying to make this trip about me or Cru. This visit was an opportunity to acknowledge the couragous, faith-full, and generous community of faith known as Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church (FOPC). This family of faith has given more than a million dollars partnering with Cru to make disciples and help fulfill the Great Commission. Amazing. So, the thought was that we would play a video about Cru and then turn our attention on FOPC. I scrambled to create a video, but a mistake on my part did not enable it to be shown. Oh well, we made do, but let me share it with you. Let me know what you think.
I type words onto my screen. A few sentences form. Then I find myself once again stuck. Wondering how to share our journey of adoption in a way that honors everyone in the family. I backspace until the words disappear faster than they came. Usually I stop writing. Because this journey is so long, so raw, still so ache-filled after four years. Then I share with a trusted friend, which I've found are few and far between. Most, we've experienced, haven't enough grace in their well to walk this road beside us. This too, makes it hard to keep words on my screen.
The friend will tell me, "People need to hear these stories. They need to hear the hard reality of adoption."
I think, ours isn't everybody's story. Just yesterday I visited a Facebook page created by our adoption agent that includes over 180 families who've adopted from Ethiopia through them. I read a post by a doting father, "She's the light of our lives..." A picture of a beautiful family with their beautiful Ethiopian daughter. Everybody looking so happy. And I believe that father's post. I don't doubt it for a minute. And I am genuinely glad for them. This is mostly the adoption story I read on the Internet as I desperately search some days for a thread to keep the tapestry from unraveling.
At the same time, as I read his post I was aware of shame creeping around my soul, hungry for an invitation to re-enter the place it occupied for so many years following our adoption. The shame of felt failure as a mom which consumed me. Thinking if I was different, I would bond with my daughters. Connect. Attach. Believing for too long that the gaping space between our hearts would have closed were it not for me. The battle is still fierce.
Though our story isn't everybody's story, it is some people's story. I have files on my computer titled The Stuff I Can't Blog About. Some need to stay locked away and then deleted before my death. Others, however, could have been good posts which might have brought a thread of hope to another in my shoes. So, today I am going head to head with the silence. Digging deep to write of our struggles in a way that honors all the players. This is part of what's stopped me in the past...when the ache is so guttural, the energy it takes to honor everyone in the story has been consumed by survival.
My daughters lived a lifetime before we met. They watched their young mother of 20 years old die of disease. They were then relinquished by their polygamous father to the orphanage in their village, an all boy's orphanage in which they were unable to reside. So they remained with their father and three step-moms in their village. We've learned from Ethiopian friends and strangers, that polygamous children who lose their moms are considered unloved, and often treated like slaves by the step-moms. From the way Mez spoke and related to her younger sister, Kamise when they arrived, we could see imprints of this reality on them, in them. After five years on the waiting children (older orphaned children waiting for families to choose them) adoption page, we chose them.
Perplexed by how we'd choose a child, a few adopted mom's had told me, "You'll know when you see them."
Know they're who God has chosen for our family. And that's how it was. A mystical knowing.
We have progressed in melding together in the past four years. Some of us experience more progression than others. It feels like we've been on the front lines, warring for beauty to win so fiercely that it has taken, and is taking, everything. Everything.
And there is so far to go. I can only hope this to be true. That there's still more for us. Because the relational reality of detachment between my heart and my daughter's hearts feels palpable to me. I watch them excitedly greet and run into the arms of
We are told this is
When wrestling with God over the decision to adopt, I pretty much heard Him yell from the roof tops, "I want your life to be marked by something only I can pull off."
Bingo. This is definitely only something that He can pull off. I believed that going in and I know that to the core of my being still. I am powerless to pull off much of anything in my relationship with them. I've heard people say that adoption helps you better understand the adoptive heart of God.
Not for this adoptive mom. If anything, it helps me understand how completely I cannot understand the adoptive heart of God. My reality of love is on a completely other plane than His, I'm convinced. His heart of love is more mysterious to me now that it's ever been. As I battle to continue to love, to move toward
This morning I ran to Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience, grasping for a thread. Grateful to find this one wrapping itself around my soul,
"Lent. It's the preparing the heart for Easter. Like going with Jesus into the wilderness for forty days, that we might come face to ugly face with our enemy. Our sacrificing that we might become more like Christ in His sacrifice...
"We renounce to be reborn; we let go to become 'little Christs'. It's about this: We break away to become."
I think I'm in my fourth year of lent. A very loooooooong preparation for Easter. For the day when I will fall into the arms of my Jesus, with His nail-scarred hands and feet, all in His stunning glory, and it will have all been worth it. Worth the cost because I really do want to be formed into a little Christ. I really do ache for the parts of me, which hunger for anything but God to satisfy my deepest parts, to be put in their rightful place. Renouncing control, comfort, and freedom with the hope of formation. Perhaps I am being reborn in a deeper way. Perhaps in my ache I am becoming. A thread of hope.
“Madison, maybe you could study abroad or go on a mission trip to a Spanish speaking country sometime to help you become more fluent in Spanish,” I suggested as we moved Madison into her dorm at Palm Beach Atlantic University 18 months ago. She was a Spanish minor at the time.
“I don’t do mission trips, mom. I’m not a mission trip kind of girl.” She replied emphatically.
If you have young adult children, you know you can’t tell them what to do and making suggestions is risky business. I hadn’t expected Madison to readily embrace the idea, but I hadn’t envisioned her response either. I was fine with it. She takes after her momma with her will of steel.
Six weeks later we vacationed in Palm Beach so we could be near her.
During dinner one night she shared, “I think I’m going on a mission trip to Bolivia over Spring Break.”
Inside, I smiled big. Like really big. I wondered if she remembered the declaration she’d made to me six weeks earlier. I wasn’t about to bring it up at the time. She told us some detail about the trip, the orphans she’d be loving on, the sidewalk Sunday School outreaches they’d be doing in the community. And I was delighted.
I asked her how it had all come about. She said that PBA offered a week-long event introducing their mission opportunities for Spring Break. She had no interest in participating. Didn’t attend any sessions. The following week her friends were talking about places they were hoping to go. When one of them talked about Bolivia, something in her moved. Gave birth to desire. She knew that she wanted to go to Bolivia.
When Madison returned home for Thanksgiving break, excitedly anticipating the Bolivia trip, I asked her if she’d remembered the pronouncement she’d made when we dropped her off in August. She was a blank slate. No memory of that conversation. Sometimes fear is like that. I smiled. She smiled.
She needed $1500 and believed God would provide for her so she could join the Bolivia team. Provide He did. Abundantly. Watching God build your child’s faith in His provision and care is one of the most deeply stirring moments of my parenting journey. Faith flowing out of her which I've battled fiercely for 24 years to access in myself.
Off she went to the mountainous beauty of Bolivia. She played, she held little ones, she shared The love of Jesus to kids through a play on the sidewalk, she grew ill, and she connected. She returned to Palm Beach changed through soccer and games. She told me that she might want to be a missionary in Bolivia. She couldn’t wait to return. So much love spilled forth for the boys in this orphanage of love. The Father captured her heart for many of the boys. But one in particular tugged continuously. Simón was 14 years old.
Over the next months, Madison talked about how she wanted to sponsor Simón. It would cost her $75/month. I explored how the funds would be used with her for this was one of the highest sponsorships I’d encountered. After some conversation I found it to be legit. More than anything, I was awed by the generosity bubbling up in my nineteen year-old daughter. Stunned.
Even though her salary was only $400/month while at school, Madison’s intention to sponsor Simón strengthened with each day. She began to save and by the end of last July, she asked me whether or not I thought she should take the leap and commit.
A small part of me thought to say, "$75 is a big chunk of your salary...are you sure you can handle that?" After all, you're saving for a car, for books, for....
Thankfully, the part of me hungry to know the God of the universe spoke louder, "if God is leading you to begin, then listen and leap."
Welcome to my internal world. These are the conversations warring inside my soul all day, every day. My 19 year-old daughter was leaping into financial generosity in a way I've never leapt. Believing God will continue to provide so she can keep giving away. Grace touching the next generation, releasing something so good. Challenging me to hold looser.
So with a little money in her bank account....she leapt.
We had taught her about God’s heart for us to hold loosely to things of this world so we could cling tightly to Him. How tithing is one way we love God and keep a loosened grip on His provision. But we’d taught her to give 10%. Not 20% or more. Not that she couldn’t give more. We just taught her about the bare minimum. Even when we teach our kids principles of loving well, there’s no guarantee they will choose that path.
How many college students, or people for that matter, choose to give at all? And then choose to give more? According to Relevant Magazine, only five percent of the US tithes. 80% of Americans are only given at 2.5 percent per capita.
My point isn’t to condemn, because I know well the battle to hold loosely to God’s provision. My point is that my daughter is blowing my mind. And that’s not an exaggeration. God’s deposited within her a compassion and love for orphans which has moved her to action. Love always does. Madison would never want me to pedestalize her. In fact, she hates the spotlight. But I couldn’t keep silent about the way our God is moving her to sacrifice on behalf of one who is father and motherless. How beautiful is a heart which reflects His. How beautiful it is when a mother is challenged by her steel-will daughter's generosity.
In March, Madison will return to Bolivia for nine days to love on the boys who live at Bolivia Life Center. I'm thinking it will pretty amazing to have the opportunity to hang out and play with Simón and the other boys as she's sacrificed much for them. I love how God so tenderly moves into the soul, through the steel will. And how powerfully those steel wills impact this world when released from fear to life.
“So what is your secret to be living through 80 years?" I asked my mom at our little dinner party with my sister and brother-in-law. She glanced my way, found her words and said, "Well, you know, my faith." That was that. Simple and firm.
My mom is in a unique place mixing the past with the present, and sometimes adding a little fantasy to keep us on our toes, but she has never wavered in her trust that God knows her and she knows Him enough to enjoy His peace and presence. I am grateful for the chance to celebrate this day with her, and more grateful that she modeled enough of that simple and firm faith that it was easy for me to place my trust in God in the same way.
I love my momma.
She turned 20 on January 8th.
He turned 15 on January 15th.
For 11 years they were our bookends.
She calls him her cuddle buddy.
He pursues her with intentionality.
They both love Dr. Who and a good sci-fi flick.
Celebrating your two incredible lives, Madison and Cole.
December 23 was an ordinary day for you and me, perhaps, but for Vonette Bright, Cru's co-founder, she awoke in the presence of the Lord whom she had loved and served. Tomorrow we will formally celebrate her life in a service, which, if you would like, can be watched online. It will be recorded as well, so if you are unable to watch it live, you may watch it later. Click here if you would like to watch the service live, or later follow this same link to see a recording of the service.
Lisa and I love and appreciate you,
Dennis and Lisa
We sat around our large dining room table, feasting on terriyaki while anticipating our family Christmas celebration. It was December 19th. The week had been full with a catering job, kids finishing school for the holiday break, Christmas shopping, and our intent to celebrate Christmas and my birthday before boarding a plane at the crack of dawn on the 21st.
Kamise and Mez had enjoyed the fare of three Christmas parties that day so were up in their rooms wrapping their gifts to the family and preparing for bed. As the rest of us were finishing our meal, Kamise bounced down the stairs. A few of us caught a glimpse of her and were surprised by her hairdo. Mez had pulled her two-inch long hair into little Pom poms all over her head. There must have been 14 of them. It was a look we'd encountered every Saturday for the first six months after Mez and Kamise arrived from Ethiopia, but not since then.
Hair was an integral part of their culture. They would spend three to four hours working on each other's one to two-inch long hair on Saturdays. But their hair doesn't grow longer than a short afro because of genetics. So it was difficult to produce a becoming hairstyle after all of their labor. We loved their afros and encouraged them to embrace that style over pom poms and such. Pom poms on eleven and nine year-old girls was a bit out of place.
So we were caught off guard when Kamise bounded down the stairs, head covered in pom poms, ready to celebrate Christmas and all of its photographic opportunities. Much to my shame, I voiced my disapproving surprise with a sarcastic comment. Another followed suit. There were sounds of surprise. Some restrained themselves. But I didn't. I was the fool who spoke without thinking first.
And I am her mother.
She stood inside Dennis's arm and took our banter. Then she turned and ran up the stairs. I was covered in my ugliness. The one who's supposed to protect and deposit life in her did just the opposite. I followed her upstairs and when I entered her room, she was removing the bands which bundled her hair. Her new counselor's voice streamed through my mind,
"She is full of fear and anger and doesn't know how to let it out. It's all bound up in her."
She was skilled at blocking the flow of tears of sadness. Skilled at clamping down on them to not risk vulnerability. I looked her in her dark brown eyes as she tore at the bands with her comb.
"Kamise, I was so ugly to you. My words brought death. I am supposed to be a life-giver to you and instead I was unkind and unloving. I feel terrible about what I spoke into you. Please forgive me."
Still tearing at bands, she forgave me. But the battle to forgive myself loomed over me. I walked out of her room and asked Cole to take his turn with his sister. All 6'1" of him humbled before her and sought her forgiveness. When he exited the room, he told me she was crying. Tears were breaking through the tough and I entered back into her room.
She was a heap under her covers, crying. I sat beside her, hovering over her with my body, and apologized over and over for hurting her. As I did so, her whimpers turned to heaves. She wept and wept and cleansed the pain. Fear beginning to give way to trust. She began to form words in her weeping, expressing her fear that her brothers aren't going to like her Christmas gifts for them because she didn't have much money to spend and they're not good. Her shame poured forth and her fear that she would ruin their Christmas. It was deep and guttural. I asked her if she would be willing to share this with them before we open our gifts. To my surprise, she agreed.
Her vulnerability was stunning. It was beautiful. It was so very brave. To forge a path into an established family system is a monumental journey. To be outsiders in a well-oiled family machine must be such a lonely reality. And to be small. And to feel powerless to become an insider. She is fierce and she is a fighter. And our fierce fighter grew even fiercer as she opened her soul to us that night. Even after some of us had shot arrows at her.
Keegan came to her and wrapped her in his arms as she wept out her shame and fear.
"Kamise, I love you whether you buy me a gift or not. I love you. I'm so glad your my sister." He continued to reassure her as she heaved in his arms. She then threw off the covers saying she was hot and leapt into his arms, wrapping herself tight around him. She held onto her 18 year-old brother with all that was in her, sobbing in his embrace.
I was witnessing a miracle. Redemption rising out of the ashes of darkness. My words had crucified, and I was watching the God of the universe bring beauty from ashes, resurrect life from death.
After Keegan left her room, I asked Cole to return. Kamise leapt out of her bed and threw her body around him, holding him as if life depended on it. Her invitational soul surprised him. He wrapped himself around her and listened attentively as she offered her shame and fear once again. Tears filled his eyes then spilt forth. How stunning is the power of a vulnerable soul. Through his tears he expressed his love for her despite her gift; that he's so thankful she bought him a gift at all.
"I love you. I'm so glad you're my sister."
"I love you and I'm so glad you're my brother," Kamise wept.
And there I was, sitting on her bed, witnessing the supernatural movement of souls. And weeping with my children. Tears of ache. Tears of wonder. Tears of gratitude.
When we sensed God leading us to adopt, He whispered the following to my heart,
"I'm calling you into deep waters. I am marking your life with something only I can pull off. You can't pull this off. Nobody can pull this off but me. I alone will receive the glory."
I wanted my life to be marked by Him. To be marked by Him doing the impossible. Yet I waded into the deep waters trembling with fear, knowing I was in way above my head. And we were, and we are.
Yet this Christmas, as we celebrate how Hope broke through Heaven into the arms of an unwed virgin, to offer us resurrection out of His crucifixion....
The stream of his Hope is bursting forth life in the Brockman family. Without a doubt, only He could pull this off.
She celebrated Christmas in the presence of God, alongside her lifelong best friend Bill Bright and many other friends and family. On December 23, Vonette Bright inhaled her first breath of celestial atmosphere and was home. On December 9, I attended a Christmas gathering with some of the leaders at Lake Hart, Cru's world headquarters. Our president, Steve Douglass, spoke with Vonette on the phone and their voices filled our room. We heard Vonette say how happy she was and how she was not in any pain. She was thrilled to enjoy several weeks of many of her earth friends coming by for a visit and maybe a last goodbye this side of heaven. She said she was ready to go. Steve asked her how we could pray for her.
She said, "Well, I don't think you should pray that I would be healed [of acute leukemia]. That would be sort of a downer at this point."
We all laughed. She shared that she remains excited and believes that we are very close to fulfilling the Great Commission.
She concluded, "I think I will watch it unfold from heaven.".
Our founders have gone before us and leave us with continuing the task of going and making disciples in all nations. We are committed to doing so with faithful friends like you.
We were blown away by the talent of the musicians and singers at the Timber Creek High School Christmas concert. We loved seeing our Cole up there singing and sounding like a Straight No Chaser rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas. The students obviously worked hard to produce the sounds we enjoyed. It makes me smile big to know that so many of these special events at this time of the year are inspired by the specific and incomparable gift that God gave us in the unique birth of His son, Jesus. We hope we play a part in enabling many more to revel in this good news through our lives and ministry. Thankfully, we are not alone in this hope.
God bless you and I hope you enjoy all the celebrations inspired by the birth of our King.
Happy Thanksgiving! Lisa and I are so grateful to be engaged in a ministry focused on introducing others to Jesus Christ and that we do it with a community of believers who believe that this is our unique role and that it is our privilege to respond to God's Great Commission to "Go...". I was reflecting on Genesis 12:2-3 where God had promised to Abraham that he would bless him and cause his reputation to grow so that he would become a blessing and an example to others. God is still blessing and I am grateful we can be a blessing to others as well.
With the love of Jesus Christ, I hope you each have a wonderful day reflecting on God's grace and mercy and that you share in a partnership of introducing others to this grace every day.
We love that you are helping to fulfill the Great Commission. This quarterly report is evidence God is moving in many far away places. As we partner and link arms with our brother and sisters literally around the world we are a part of our prayer, "thy kingdom come". This post is much longer than our regular posting, but I wanted you to see our whole report, because as you partner with us YOU are making a difference.
Perhaps you've read Stephen Covey's book 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. It is a best seller and has circulated for years. One of the seven habits is called "Sharpening the Saw." Stephen noted that successful people have a habit of developing themselves in order to keep themselves fit for their tasks. We took two days as a team to sharpen our saw by working our way through a training we call Building Powerful Ministry Teams (BPMT). For me this was the best team training I have ever participated in. It addresses the foundational areas that must function well if you are to be a powerful team. And we want that. You have heard me say this before, and I know you believe this too, because of your partnership with us.
Every day the Cru family (that includes you) awakes knowing that billions of people are deeply loved by their creator, but their sin separates them from knowing Him. We know that we are uniquely positioned to lead them to Jesus, under which there is no other name in which they can be saved. We can introduce them to Jesus, show them how to live with Jesus and train them to make disciples just like Jesus did. Win. Build. Send. If everybody did this we would see the Great Commission fulfilled. For us there is no other option.
We must work well as a team for our task is so great. Thank you for being on our team and helping to fulfill the Great Commission.