Tuesday, May 29, 2007


So on Thursday morning I will be heading down to Navarre Beach in Florida for some R&R. I am so ready to get out of town…I got my
SPF 50, all the books I am trying to read before I move to Bolivia and my new digital camera in tow.

I promise to post the obligatory sunset photos when I get back early next week.

I can’t believe it is June already.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Opt In

So you might have noticed the "Join My Email List" box to the right.

I can't help it.

I do marketing all day long.

So naturally I am trying to incorporate as many marketing and communication tools as possible as I launch this whole missionary thing. Thus the website, blog, myspace page, picassa web album and now...an email management tool.

I needed a way to manage email addresses and contacts more effectively so I decided to try out a free trial of this email tool called Constant Contact. I must say. It is pretty cool. And actually pretty inexpensive.

My plan is to send out periodic emails to my list letting everyone know what is going on with me and letting everyone know what I see God up to in this world. I will also be emailing out various prayer requests.

The next big thing in this whole process is my upcoming placement trip to Bolivia in June. My goal on this trip is to determine the exact city in Bolvivia that I will be living in and the exact ministry that I will be partnering with.

So...call this post a plug for my email list. If you did not receive my email blast earlier in May and if you would like to receive periodic updates from me sent directly to your inbox, please feel free to sign up for my email list.

The more the merrier.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Saying Goodbye well

One of the tips that I received at the missions conference I attended in early April was that I need to learn “how to say goodbye well.”
Call it the first of many lessons…

Since I am going to move away from my family and friends for the first time later this year, saying goodbye well is crucial. And since I have never really had to say goodbye before, I have no idea how to do this. But apparently being able to do this well will really help my transition to my new culture in Bolivia.

And with about six months left here in the states this process begins now. I wrote in an earlier post about my transition away from Buckhead Church to Holy Cross Anglican Church in Loganville. I mentioned in the post that I was bummed that I would not have the opportunity to say goodbye to my second graders at Buckhead who I have worked with this past year.

I was all set to miss my first real opportunity to say goodbye but my leader at Buckhead told me that it would be really great if I could stop by at least one more time before the summer to say goodbye to my kids. Now why didn't I think of that?

I would have totally missed this opportunity if God had not worked through Miss Peggy to suggest that I stop by one more time. I was just going to move on with my life and NOT say goodbye.

Well, today was the last day at church for the kids before the summer break and it turned out that I was able to stop by and say goodbye. And I am so glad that I did.

My bro Jonathan from my men’s small group is also a leader with the kids at church and we combined our groups today so I could show them some pictures from my mission trip and talk to them about me moving to Bolivia and working with kids just like them there. Jonathan also did an amazing job sharing about what I am going to do and sharing how it actually tied in to all the virtues we studied with the kids this past year. He was great. And Jonathan also led the kids in a prayer for me and for the kids in Bolivia that I will be working with. (Thanks man. That was a true blessing.)

And, to my surprise, a few kids knew exactly where Bolivia was. A few kids’ parents had been there on mission trips. And ALL the kids shared my frustration that there is no Chick-fil-A in Bolivia…

I just thank God for giving me the opportunity to say goodbye to these kids that I spent an hour with every Sunday over the last year. He taught me the importance of saying goodbye well today. I pray I don’t miss the next opportunity to say goodbye.

I pray He blesses each of these kids and I pray that they continue to grow closer to Him daily.

Here are a few photos to mark the occasion:

A few kids from my group...

All our kiddos...

And of course we have to do a crazy photo...

“Goodbye Chelsee, Frank, Brooks, Britton, Will, Damon, Grace, Matthew, Miles, Tucker, Brady, Alex and Margaret…I will miss you.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Blessed to be a blessing

So every morning when I wake up one of my consistent prayers is, “God, please bless me a lot.” Seriously, someone taught me to ask God everyday to open up the floodgates of Heaven and pour out blessings on my life. When I first thought about this I considered this a pretty selfish thing. I mean…who wakes up every day and includes in their prayers…c’mon God….just bless ME!

But I soon realized that the reason for this prayer was NOT so I could keep that blessing for myself but so that I could be a blessing to others.

I believe we are all blessed so we can a blessing to others.

And I have seen it both ways. I have seen God bless me so I could be a blessing to others and I have definitely seen God bless others in order to bless me.

And I just have to be honest…lately my blessings just seem overwhelming. I have found myself recently wanting to tell God that it is too much…I keep wondering if I should just tell him to redirect his blessings elsewhere because I feel TOO blessed. It’s a weird thought. Although I still have a good ways to go to raise the funds I need to move to Bolivia, the prayers and support that I have already received have been amazing. There is no way that I could have predicted the numerous ways in which God would choose to bless me during this process. I guess that’s the point.

I am really only two months into this and I am already telling God that it is too much. Wow. It is so exciting to think that God is just waiting to bless us…all we have to do is ask.

He has continued to open doors for me. And I feel like this Bolivia thing is a wide open door right now. I keep waiting for the brick wall. I keep waiting for the ground to fall out from under my feet.

God has blessed me with the exact people that I need in my life to make this move a reality. And he also continues to bless me by giving me the opportunity to leave my job at the Alliance Theatre on a high note. Today we found out that we are the recipient of the 2007 Tony Award for outstanding regional theatre. Check out the AJC story here. It is a tremendous honor nationally and is a great testament to all of the artists and staff who have spent a tremendous amount of effort bringing shows to the Alliance stage over the last 40 years.

So as if the Bolivia stuff wasn’t blessing enough, God goes and lets me work hard and grow for five years in my job at the Alliance and lets me leave knowing that I had a hand in contributing to the Alliance’s recognition as outstanding regional theatre in the country.

It’s like He’s saying, “Curt, I have great plans for you as we move forward and walk together in this next season of your life…but hey, nice job at the Alliance.”

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Welcome to the Planet

So one of the foundations in Bolivia that has really captured my heart is Niños Con Valor which means “Children with Value”.

This foundation is, how do you say, right up my alley and is the one group that I am most looking forward to spending time with on my upcoming placement trip to Bolivia. I was tremendously impacted by my time spent with them last summer and when I read about the vision they have for the future something just stirs in my heart.

They currently have a home for abandoned and orphaned girls (Corazón del Pastor) currently home to 18 girls. And their next project is a home for older girls who are currently living with HIV on the streets of Cochabamba. They want to provide a safe residence for them to act not only as a rehabilitation center but as a training center to help these girls find decent work and become peer educators for other girls living on the streets. They have the vision, they just need the funding. It is sad to think that they have this great vision to start a home for street girls living with HIV that they simply can’t make a reality until they receive an additional $3200 a month in funding.

I received an email from Tyson, their Executive Director, a few days ago describing the process of going out at night and trying to find girls on the street to help. I can’t do it justice with a paraphrase so here are his own words…

“Recently, the visits Jackie, Barbara and I have been making to the downtown streets at night have broken our hearts. Many of the girls we have met have backgrounds similar enough to the girls of CdP in that they have been victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment. That said, while our girls have from a young age found refuge in a loving home, these girls ended up on the streets where the abuse has only increased. Instead, girls as young as 6 are living in corrugated tin roofed huts or under bridges and are already addicted to glue. Girls 9 and 10 years old are drawn into child prostitution robbing them of what little childhood they have left after finding themselves on the streets. We have been moved by the overwhelming oppression that hangs over these girls’ lives. Personally, I cannot convey in words the sorrow of spending an evening chatting with these girls, laughing with them, then being able to return home to all my comforts knowing that they would spend the rest of the night high in the arms of some stranger distancing themselves even further from God’s desire for their lives.”

The words that really just break my heart are “the girls as young as 6 living on the streets and under bridges are already addicted to glue.” I immediately had a point of reference because my niece Carolyn is 6. It is mind-blowing to imagine a little girl like my niece living under a bridge addicted to glue. And sniffing glue is one of the most common addictions for street kids. Because of a lack of food they fall into a cycle of sniffing the glue to dull their hunger pains. I really can’t accurately express the sinking feeling that I feel in my stomach when I think about this.

This is the world outside my safe little bubble. In many ways I feel like I am actually seeing our world for what it truly is. I kinda feel like I’m Neo and I just decided to swallow the red pill to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

And it’s not just in Bolivia, it’s in Atlanta. I found out recently that Atlanta is believed to be one of the top cities in the U.S. for child sex trafficking. Wow. Right here in the Atlanta. Not 3700 miles away. 3 miles away.

Welcome to the planet, Curt.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Have you seen my giant afro pick?

So sometimes promotions can be pretty funny.

I have to give credit to my ad agency, BBDO, for this one. Our last play of the season is a play called Cuttin’ Up and it takes place in a barbershop. The play is not exactly the easiest show to sell so we needed a creative way to build some buzz around the show.

Enter the creative minds of BBDO…

Pretty funny, huh? As expected, the giant afro picks were stolen very quickly so we decided to use that to our advantage. We sent out media releases to all the local TV networks to make them aware of our missing six foot afro picks. Four TV stations actually ran stories on the missing picks.

You gotta love a slow news night…