Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Don't think twice

Never miss a chance to give testimony.
Never miss a chance to talk about what God has done in your life.
If someone gives you an opportunity to preach...take it.
If someone gives you the opportunity to lead a bible it.

Don't ever fall into the "I'm not prepared/I can't do it" trap.

And don't worry about numbers. If one person shows up that is sufficient. There is nothing like being used in the lives of others for Christ.

My friend Erlan is a pastor at a local church here in La Paz and he called me to invite me to come to their youth meeting tomorrow night and share my testimony.

"Of course," I replied without even thinking twice about it.

And I praise God that I didn't "think twice."
I used to think twice before saying "yes" to speaking opportunities.
Not anymore. If God gives me an opportunity to share what He has done in my life there is no need to think more than once.

So when God gives YOU an opportunity to share, speak or lead this week...Don't think twice.

Monday, July 20, 2009

IT'S OFFICIAL...I'm going to be a daddy!!!

Paola and I are expecting a baby!!!
Praise God!!!

And here is our first baby picture...

Please pray for us (especially Paola and the baby) during this time.

I am trying to make the rounds to talk to everyone over the phone.
But all I can say is "Wow." We are in awe of how great God is.
We are so excited to welcome a new "little" missionary to the family next March! All life is a gift and blessing from God.

I can't wait to talk to everyone on the phone about this wonderful news!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009


For the past few days Paola and I have been hosting a guy from my church back home. Doug Cunnington is a retired firefighter and paramedic and is here in La Paz teaching CPR and first aid to people who work with children.

Tomorrow he heads to Cochabamba to work with a hospital there called Hospital of Hope. He will be training the staff there for two weeks and will also be instructing 200 police officers in the Cochabamba area.

This is the sixth time that Doug has made the trip to Bolivia. I told him yesterday, "Wow. I have only made three major trips to Bolivia...the third one has just lasted a little longer than the first two."


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mrs. Whitekeys

So here is Pao with her new YAMAHA digital keyboard.

This was her birthday present. We were traveling last month during her actual birthday so we were just able to get it a few days ago. Thank God for a little extra tax refund. She has wanted one of these all her life but never had one.

And I thought this girl played a mean guitar...that is until I heard her play the piano. God has really annointed her with a talent for music and for worship. She is a natural worship leader.

It is one of the best purchases that we have made because the praises and songs that are being lifted up in our home now for God are truly inspirational. We don't have to leave home to have church anymore.

Friday, July 10, 2009


“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16

The time for being lukewarm is over.

I have been guilty of being lukewarm. Maybe you too. And I don’t know what it would feel like to be spit out of the mouth of God…but I think I’ll pass.

We all know lukewarm Christians. Christians that are neither hot nor cold. They have a tendency to keep God reserved to just Sundays. Or they carry around what we call “backpack God.” They carry God where they want, when they think they need His help and leave Him in the backpack when they think that they can handle the situation or when they “don’t want Him to see.” They try to get God to “Sit. Stay. Heal.” God is not our pet and He is a little too big for a backpack. I am constantly amazed at how we try to get the God of the universe to do our bidding. Myself included.

I have been so guilty of being lukewarm in my past and I think that I have been guilty today too. But God has been sending both Pao and I this message lately…the time for being lukewarm is over. No more being a good Christian one day and acting like the world the next. Too many people live like the world and use the excuse that they are “being salt and light” when all they are really doing is living like the world. True Christians are not of this world and we shouldn’t feel like we belong. The world shouldn’t like us if we are on the right path. Yes, we have to reach out to this dying world with the life-saving message of Christ but we shouldn’t feel comfortable talking like they do and doing some of the things they do.

If you have one foot in each world I want to encourage you to move one of your feet…choose hot or cold because the time for being lukewarm is over.

The time for adjusting both the hot and cold knob to get the water just right in your world is over. Let’s get burned, scalded and on fire for this Savior that we say we love.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Never Say Never Again

I think that is the title of a James Bond film actually. Not sure.
But that’s not what I am referring to here.

I am referring to what you can do for God.

All I am saying is that you should never say that you will never do ___________ (fill in the blank) for God. You and I have no idea. We have the problem of saying things like “I could never do that.” I am doing things right now that I never thought possible for me. Several years ago if you told me that I would be a missionary in Bolivia, married and doing the things that God is allowing me to do I would have said that you were crazy. I know we hear it all the time but it’s true…nothing is impossible for God.

I guess not only do we put God in a box sometimes but I think we put ourselves in a box sometimes too. The truth is we don’t really know our potential until we are stretched and challenged. If we don’t ever take risks and try new things how will we ever know.

I am not bragging and saying “wow, look at what I am doing.” I am just saying “take a risk” and give God the chance to do something new and different in your life. I am also not saying that “becoming a missionary like me” is the answer either. I am just saying don’t limit yourself, wherever you are and whatever you do.

NEVER say never again.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Project Helping Hands trip recap

The two-week mission trip that Paola and I experienced was truly amazing. We praise God that we were able to leave our comfort zone and serve for two weeks. And out of our comfort zone it was. I was thinking that for some people coming to La Paz, Bolivia would probably be considered outside their comfort zone. Coming to La Paz used to be outside of my comfort zone. Not anymore. After living here in the city for a year and a half I have become….guess what…comfortable. Paola and I have to leave the city these days to feel uncomfortable.

Thank God for this mission trip. God gave us the opportunity to leave our comfort zone and feel dependence on Him. What happens is that I think most of us are too comfortable in our lives. In fact, I think most people try to get to the end of life in the safest and most comfortable way possible. Sometimes we are just too comfortable and too prepared for the things that are placed in our path. And some of the best experiences of my life have been when I have been uncomfortable and unprepared. In my experience when I am uncomfortable and unprepared I NEED God more. I need His help more. And in those moments we experience God’s faithfulness in ways like never before.

That was my experience on this mission trip. I was never much of what you might call a “camper.” I am not really someone who hears the letters "REI" and I was just never really an “outdoors person.” And this trip challenged me in new and different ways. We camped. We hiked carrying backpacks and medical supplies in the jungle. We traveled down rivers in rafts and boats. We got out of the boat in the river to push sometimes because we were stuck. One of the rafts flipped over in the river. One of the doctors almost died from an ant bite because she was allergic. I ate whatever was on my plate without thinking twice. I received insect bites all over my legs and arms. The list goes on and on…it was basically the closest that my life has gotten to the show SURVIVOR I think.

We first traveled six hours in Land Cruisers to a small town called Charazani. There we sorted all of the meds that the doctors/nurses brought for the trip. Then we traveled a day and a half down the river in rafts to reach a village called Mapiri. (And when I say raft it is not what you think. It was wood with rubber tires underneath.) In Mapiri the team held a seminar for the healthcare workers in the area and I translated for the team for some of the breakout sessions.

After Mapiri the team of 30 split into two medical teams and we began traveling down the river again…this time in longboats with motors. Each team began visiting different villages to hold medical clinics. Paola worked with the kids in each village. Sometimes she had 10 kids and sometimes 80 kids. A huge job. She educated them on a wide variety of healthcare issues. I translated for the doctors/nurses at the clinics in each village. I saw a wide variety of health problems up close and personal like never before. All the way from cutting open and pulling a worm out of the scalp of a little boy to a 40 year old man with almost complete Cataracts in his eyes. I saw some other cases that are actually to graphic to describe here. I have much greater respect for doctors and nurses now that’s for sure. I think all in all we gave medical care to about 1,200 people.

After visiting all of the villages down the river we traveled to Caranavi to visit the “House of Hope” orphanage before finally heading back to La Paz. Bottom line…God changed our perspective again. We got to experience God’s love in new ways. We got to serve Him in new ways. We got to see poverty to a new level and we thank God for the blessings that He has given us.

We are on this earth to bless others. It’s not about accumulating stuff. It’s not about building a safe, comfortable castle to hole ourselves up in. It’s not about safety. It’s about leaving our comfort zones. It’s about serving others and telling them that the reason that you are serving them is because 2,000 years ago a man named Jesus came to this earth to serve ALL OF US like never before.

The last year and a half has been the most exciting experience of my life. Now I am married and I have a wife who shares the same calling and passion that I do. Paola and I have no idea where God is going to take us on this road. All we know is that we want more than anything to be on this road.

Thank you for supporting us.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Photos from mission trip

I uploaded the photo album from our two-week medical mission trip.

Check it out.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

We're Back

Just wanted to break our blog radio silence to let you know that Paola and I arrived safely back into La Paz after our two-week medical mission trip. What a blessing it was to visit some remote villages in Bolivia and see the needs there.

I am working on uploading the photo album and very soon I hope to share that album with you and give you a recap of our trip.

Also, I just wanted to thank you for your prayers. Not only prayers for our trip but prayers for me this past Sunday. I feel like my sermon went well at the church and I thank God that He gave me the opportunity to share His word. I thank Him for speaking through me.

Stay tuned for more updates.