Category Archives: World Missions

And We're Off

We have to be at the airport at 5 am tomorrow morning for an early morning flight to LA. If I find a hot spot, I will post some comments. Otherwise, this is your reminder to please pray for us as we journey to South America.

God bless.

Head Spinning Details – Getting Ready To Leave

As I write, my head is spinning and my eyes hurt – but I don’t think it’s the coffee (especially since I’m drinking Vanilla Moon Tea today!).  

Time is running out and I’m trying my hardest not to stress out on all the things that still need to be done. While last night was a bear, today, my mindset is one of “I’m leaving in 30 hours – who cares is my inbox is still full. Or if I didn’t get that project done. I’ll deal with the fall out when I get back.”.   

Granted, I’m not sure if that’s the best attitude to have – but it’s the one winning the fight at the moment. Undecided

In other news – my credit card got frozen yesterday. Yelp – the company locked me out.

For some reason they thought a $1,000 Best Buy purchase coupled with a $700 Guitar World purchase wasn’t in line with my “normal” credit card use. =P  As such, I had to call them and confirm the purchases and basically, unlock my card. It was good though as I need to tell them that I was going overseas and may use the card in South America. Smile

Your still wondering about the 2K I dropped yesterday? I would too, if I hadn’t been the one dropping the dough! Money mouth

One of the churches in Chile asked us if we could bring some audio and visual equipment with us as its cheaper them buying the supplies in country. We agreed to a few things – however, I did draw the line at taking a full electrical drum set on the plane!

Paraguay Trip Information

Paraguay ChileIn just one short week we will be heading off to South America! We had originally planned to be there in June, but moved our trip to July because Pastor P. in Paraguay had finals in June. Our new trip dates and some prayer requests are below — your prayers are certainly needed for this to be a success! Our team will consist of D. & S., us and J. one of the pastors from Chile.

While we’re in Chile, we will be speaking at a number of churches and strengthening our relationship with the Chilean churches who are part of the Paraguay Partnership with us. When we head over to Paraguay, we will be taking one of the pastors from Chile with us to help translate. In Paraguay, we will take some time to just hang out with the pastor, his family, and other church members of the Vineyard church there. Some of the specific activities we’re planning include preaching in church, teaching about prayer and healing at a retreat, ministering to the married couples, putting on a children’s program, etc.
Updated Schedule:

  • July 3 – leave Boise
  • July 4 – arrive in Chile early Friday morning
  • July 11 – travel to Paraguay
  • July 24 – leave for home
  • July 25-26 – stay 2 nights with Emily’s sister in LA
  • July 27 – home again

Prayer Requests:

  • God’s protection as we travel
  • Health
  • Unity among our team of 5
  • Anointing as we teach about prayer, God’s Kingdom, and the Father Heart of God.
  • Sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading in the unscheduled times.

Thank you all for praying! We can never express how important a part that plays in trips like these. Already God has blessed us above and beyond our expectations by bringing in all the needed funds by all the appropriate deadlines. A big THANK YOU to everyone who was a part of that miracle! Keep an eye on this blog for updates during the trip – we don’t know how many, but hopefully we’ll get a chance to post a few. If you have always wanted to go for chile tours, then you should know how exquisite the country is, and that it is definitely worth going.

Abundant blessing to all of you.

Missions 101 – passing the torch

For the last few years, the Lord has been helping me develop a cross-cultural adaptation class for the short term mission trips in our church. It has been an awesome journey as I’ve worked with some talented people in developing the material and schedule.  At the same time, it has also been hard work – reserving the room, advertising the class, preparing for the class, getting everything just right, ect…

Then came the capstone

This Saturday I was able to attend the Missions 101 class as an attendee.

That’s right. For the first time in two years, I was able to attend the Missions 101 class as an attendee with no duties or responsibilities. God provided two awesome team mates who offered to teach this summer’s class for me so I could focus on getting ready to go to South America.

Let me tell you, it was amazing to watch these folks teach! I can’t describe it… you work hard for years, developing team mates and co-leaders.. and then, you turn it over (which is the hardest partas E could tell you…) and Lord behold, it goes smooth as silk.

Yeah… it worked. In fact, I think they might of done a better job at teaching the class them I did. Maybe it’s the whole the student shall stand on the shoulders of the teacher deal…  Laughing

God is great. Life is good.

Tarshish or Caesarea?

Last night I gave my second sermon at the Sweet Vineyard church. This time we had quite the crowd – around 40 or so people. (and none of them walked out during the sermon!!!!)

The Pastor had asked me to talk a bit about world missions while giving the church an update on our upcoming trip to South America. As I prayed about the message, God gave me an interesting Biblical world mission’s connection that I normally don’t talk about… (normally when I talk about world missions, I do the whole “top line, bottom line” deal from Genesis to Revelation) Undecided

This time, I went straight for Jonah.

Note: the last “real” sermon before this one was about Acts 10 where Peter visits Cornelius’ home. It is interesting that both Peter and Jonah went to Joppa before going to the Gentiles…

Yelp – that little bitty book between Obadiah and Micah. I posted most of my sermon’s outline below just because. It’s missing some pieces as it is only there to “jog” my memory (and keep me on track).

West or North? When God comes calling we have two choices:

  1. Head West towards Tarshish and away from God
  2. Go North to Caesarea following the direction He gave you.

The choice is your. But know that if you go to Tarshish, there may be a storm or two in your path to force you back on track.

As far as the sermon it self, it went really good. I did get off track a time or two – the really interesting thing was that the sermon turned into quite the ‘turn or burn’ message as that’s what Jonah told the Ninevites. Undecided[@more@]

If you’re not a believer, you too have two choices:

  1. Repent and follow Him
  2. Keep doing what your doing

Neither one is easy. But if you follow Him, He will be there with you to ends of the world. He delights in setting free the captive, comforting those who morn, healing those who are hurt, and loving the unlovable – and you get to hand with Him for a long time!

Ok – maybe not a “real” ‘turn or burn’ message as I didn’t thump my Bible or jump up and down yelling. But I did give a clear gospel presentation and told the folks they had a choice. It fit – even though it wasn’t in my notes – it fix perfectly. Go God!! Laughing

Tarshish or Caesarea?

  1. Peter and Cornelius: revisited

1. Acts 10

1. Cornelius receives a vision from God and sends some servants to find Peter at Joppa

2. At the same time, God gives Petter a vision

3. When Cornelius’ servants showed up, Peter had a choice

1. Reject God’s word and go back home to Jerusalem

2. Accept God’s word and go to Caesarea

4. We know that Peter went to Caesarea and God moved

2. Acts 11

1. Peter had to explain his actions to the believers in Jerusalem

2. He told them that the Holy Spirit came and there was nothing he could do

  1. World Missions

1. These two passages are recognized as the beginning of Christianities movement from a mostly Jewish sect to a faith full of all types and kinds of people

1. ie. the Gentiles

2. Another familiar “missions” passage is Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

3. For lot of folks, these are the only two ‘world missions’ passages in the Bible

1. or at least main ones…

  1. Jonah

1. Let me tell you a story about another man of God who went to Joppa

2. We don’t know a lot about Jonah except that he lived around 800 BC

3. What we do know is told in the book of Jonah

1. it’s a small book between Obadiah and Micah

2. Only 4 chapters long

4. Let me give you a quick overview of the book

1. Jonah hears God

2. Runs to Joppa and catches a ship to Tarshish

1. Tarshish was the furthest know city in the Mediterranean Sea at that time

3. Along the way, a storm comes up

1. They are almost drowned

2. The sailors throw Jonah overboard

4. God sends a big fish to shallow him

5. Jonah repents

6. The fish spits him up on the beach

7. Jonah goes to Nineveh

1. A several day journey inland

2. He had plenty of time to think about what he was doing…

8. Jonah tells the people of Nineveh to repent

9. They do and God forgives them

5. Ok – now that we have an overview, lets look a little closer

  1. Why going to Nineveh was dumb:

1. Nineveh was the most feared country at the time (the city walls were covered with human skin)

1. You will be killed!

2. There where no temples or synagogues in Nineveh

1. In fact, there were no Jews in the city

3. According to the Mosaic convent, you had to

1. be Jewish or a convert thereof

2. be circumcised

3. bring a sacrifice to The Temple

1. There was only one, and it was in Jerusalem

  1. According to all the rules and thoughts of the time, no one in Nineveh could be saved

1. Jonah even thought God would destroy the city

2. Jonah 4

  1. Why going to Caesarea was dumb?

1. Cornelius was a gentile

2. According to the Mosaic convent, you had to

1. be Jewish or a convert thereof

2. be circumcised

3. bring a sacrifice to The Temple

1. There was only one, and it was in Jerusalem

  1. Sound familiar?

1. God likes to break our pre-connived notions about what Him can or cannot do

2. He forgave the people of Nineveh because they turned to Him and repented

1. It was a heart change

2. Just like Abraham

3. Both Jonah and Peter went to Joppa

1. the difference is that one of them ran west towards Tarshish

2. The other obeyed God and went North towards Caesarea

3. Both heard words from God that sounded dumb and stupid

1. The question is not if we will hear similar words

2. The questions is what we will do when we hear them?

  1. Modern Missions

1. Why going to Paraguay is dumb?

1. Cost too much

1. $10K to send four people for 3 weeks?

2. You could support a local pastor for years on that amount!!!

2. Can’t do anything in three weeks

3. language barrier

4. Your sucking the Paraguaian church dry!

1. They have to spend all their time on you instead of ministry

5. No long term change

2. Why we should go?

1. God said too

1. This is not a ‘cop-out’

2. Both Jonah and Peter knew they heard from God – they had no doubts..

2. Jonah

1. He changed a nation in three days!

2. The change lasted for years

3. Brother Andrew

1. He smuggled Bibles behind the Iron Curtain

2. Said: the biggest gift I gave the people was not the Bibles I carried, but the simply fact that I, a brother in Christ, carried enough to come and visit them.

3. Just showing up

  1. Vineyard Missions

1. Local Church Based Missions (LCBM)

2. Partnerships as a Key Strategy

3. Establishment of Church Planting Movements

4. Development and Release of National Leadership

5. Contextualization of Vineyard Values in Each Culture

  1. The Sweet Vineyard

1. Part of the Paraguay Partnership

2. We are joining with

1. the Vineyard Boise

2. Chilean churches

3. to support and encourage the pastor in Paraguay

Shots and Immunizations

My arm hurts! Measles/Mumps/Rubella, Yellow Fever and Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (Tdap) will do that to you… (oh my!)

You read that correctly – I got a shot for the Measles/Mumps/Rubella. Apparently the medical minds of the world discovered and a single MMR shot while you’re a kid doesn’t work that good. As such, they are recommending that everyone get two shots of MMR immunizations. Some states are changing their laws to reflex this new recommendation.

The Yellow Fever shot was actually kind of cool. I am absolutely in favour of people searching doctor leichardt in order to find a medical professional local to them that can administer this vaccination. When you get it, you also get a really neat international health card that allows you into certain countries. Yelp – there are countries that will not let you in unless you have had a Yellow Fever shot. Paraguay is not one of those – but they do have Yellow Fever down there – so we decided to play it safe. (please forget the fact that we didn’t do this last time….) Innocent

[@more@]Then there is the Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (Tdap) booster shot. This is one you need every ten years – and our time was up.

In addition to the above shots, we will be taking Typhoid pills. Speaking of Typhoid pills – does anyone know how long the Typhoid “bugs” (they are ALIVE!!) last outside the fridge? We forgot to put them in the fridge last night… Frown

I guess this means a call to the Central District Health Department… Undecided

Paraguay Trip – Update

This week marks the first of two funding deadlines for our summer trip to Paraguay. The really, really, really, really cool part is that we met our goal!!!!!

I know I shouldn't be surprised – after all, we do serve a HUGE God – but this is one of the few times where all the funds come in without us having to pitch in some…. wow… I'm still reeling from the glory of God!!!


 More Information

I can't remember what all I've shared so I'll give an update on everything that has happened over the last month. Laughing

First off, we have a team!! This is a HUGE answer to prayer as we really wanted someone to come with us on the trip. The first couple we asked thought they would be able to come, but things changed and they had to drop out.  

God led us to another couple (who, amazingly enough, was the couple my bride thought of originally). This couple not only agreed to come – but has already received enough funds for their plane tickets!!!!

Secondly, we received an email from the pastor in Paraguay asking us if we could come in July instead of June. As such, we are in the middle of trying to re-schedule everything. Luckily, we receive this new information BEFORE we brought plane tickets. Smile[@more@]

Third, we have our Paraguay visasand they are good for the life of our passports!! This is another HUGE blessing!  (especially as it was total unexpected!)

When we submitted our visa, there was an option for a single entry or a multiple entry visa. Since we wanted to leave the country and visit Argentina while down there, we all picked the multiple entry visa – thinking it meant we could enter Paraguay multiple times within a 90 day period.

However, God knew we were going to have to move our trip – 'cause when we got our passports back, the visas were good for multiple entries into Paraguay for the life of the passport!  (i.e. you can enter multiple times for 90 days at a time)

Fourth – Wait…uh? oh yea – I don't have a fourth point… That's it folks – more to come as the Lord moves.Laughing


Back to Paraguay

Ever since we got back from South America in September 2006, we have been talking about going back again and the time is finally here.  During our last trip, we were able to make a connection with the Paraguay Vineyard’s pastor Pascual and his wife Patty and have been able to stay in contact with them electronically.  Since then Josh has also been asked to head up the United States side of the “Paraguay Partnership” (a collection of Vineyard churches – including several from Chile – united in support of the Paraguay Vineyard.)  We are headed back again in a few months to renew relationships in both Paraguay and Chile.

We will be leading a small team from the U.S. and Chile to spend two weeks in Paraguay teaching a prayer/healing seminar as well as just spending time with Pascual, Patty, and the church family there.  We’ll then head over to Chile for a week to strengthen our partnership with the Vineyard churches there. Only God knows the exact details of what He will do with us during the trip, but we look forward to the adventure.  [@more@]

We pray that our presence there will communicate His incredible love and that our marriage and ministry together will be an example in a country even more devoid of positive marital role models than ours is!  Please be praying with us as we prepare to go – especially that God will provide the nearly $5,000 that it will take to get both of us there.  The tentative schedule looks like this:

  • April 13 – $4000 needed to purchase airline tickets
  • June 1 – due date for the remainder of the funds needed for the trip
  • June 13 – leave Boise for the 30+ hour trip to Paraguay
  • June 27 – head over to Chile from Paraguay
  • July 4 – return to Boise from Chile

We cannot ever completely express how much your prayers and support mean to us during trips like these.  God has blessed us so much through all of you and we pray that you also would experience the overflowing blessings of the Lord as a result of your part of His work.

Any financial contributions can be made out to “Vineyard Boise” with “Paraguay Partnership” in the memo line.  So that we can make sure they get to the right place at the church, just send them directly to us. If you need our address, please leave a comment and I'll send it to you.


J & E 

Animism or Traditional Religions

Last night as part of the DIA class I talked a bit about Animism – since I had the notes typed out, I figured I would share them with you all. Enjoy. Laughing
or Traditional Religions


“The term ‘animism’ comes from the Latin world anima, which means ‘soul’ or ‘breath’. As such it refers to that which empowers or gives life to something. It follows, then, that animism is the religion that sees the physical world as interpenetrated by spiritual forces – both personal and impersonal – to the extent that objects carry spiritual significance and events have spiritual causes”. – Dean C. Halverson, The Compact Guide to World Religions

Why understand animism? It is….

  • the form of religion to which people gravitate
  • popular because it infuses the sacred into a reality that has been emptied of anything spiritual by the scientific / evolutionary perspective
  • offers a way for people to deal with everyday problems

[@more@]The Ultimate / Immediate Division

  • Ultimate – who is God, what is humanity’s problem, what happens after death
  • Immediate – everyday issues such as illness, loss of job, find a mate, restore relationships

Different parts of Animism

  • Necrolatry (the worship of the dead)
    • reverence for a departed ancestor
    • fear that the departed with harm or haunt the living
  • Spirit Worship
    • The existence of personal spirits/demons as well as impersonal spiritual forces in nature (commonly called mana)
    • Shamanism
      • a shaman, priest or witch doctor who knows all the proper sacrifices and rituals designed to calm the spirits
    • Magic
      • rituals designed to control an impersonal spirit for good or bad
    • Fetishism
      • charms, amulets, or fetishes
  • Naturism
    • The personifications and worship of the forces of nature
    • Rituals tend to focus on fertility (both in agriculture and human reproduction
    • Totemism
      • the unity of the clan or people with a sacred plant or animal

Four characteristics as suggested by William Paton:

  1. The whole of life is pervaded with fear
  2. The absence of love and consolation from his religion
  3. There are no absolutes of morality
  4. The lack of relationship with God causes a fatalistic attitude since all the events of life are predetermined and controlled by nature or demons

Suggestions for Evangelism

  1. Be sensitive to the animist perspective
  2. Be aware of the influence of Secularistic thinking in our lives
  3. Find common ground
  4. Highlight the differences
  5. Model trust in God alone
  6. Be ready for God to work in mighty ways
  7. Turn their heart towards desiring a relationship with God
  8. Address their fears
  9. Be clear about who Christ is and who we are in Him
  10. Point out the deceptive nature of the spirits


Halverson, Dean C. The Compact Guide to World Religions. Bethany House Publishers; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. 1996. pages 35-53

Olson, C. Gordon. What In The World Is God Doing? The Essentials of Global Missions: An Introductory Guide. Global Gospel Publishers; Ceder Knolls, NJ, USA. 2003. pages 183-186

Additional Resources:

Corduan, Winfried. Neighboring Faiths: A Christian Introduction to World Religions. InterVarsity Press; Downers Grove, Illinois, USA. 1998. pages 135-188

Urbana: Christian Environmental Stewardship?

A lot of Christians are worried about the rise of Creation Care or Christian Environmental Stewardship. To them it seems that the Church is getting away from it's primary message of preaching the Gospel. And to be honest, that is something that the Church needs to guard against. However, it does not mean that the Church needs to sit on the side lines of one of the most important issue in modern times.

We, the Church, need to awake to the reality that God cares for the environmental, the animals, and all those who will be affected by climate change. Some of us may disagree with the science behind climate change – but the fact remains that we, the Bride of Christ, need to be actively engaged in helping those with no clean water to drink or food to eat; those who are destroying their landscape via deforestation because they need the wood to cook and keep warm; those in danger of those both their lives and livelihood due to raising sea levels; those too poor or broken to help themselves.

We need to be living Isaiah 61 – both locally  here in our towns as well as international.

What brought on this post? Mainly two recent articles published by (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship). The first article looks at how missions and environmental stewardship goes together link peanut butter and jelly.

Called to serve an organization that promotes Christian environmental stewardship, I thought – at first – that I was being asked to abandon the great call to missions that had directed my entire career to that point. But I learned, and now believe fully, that I wasn’t leaving my call to missions at all. Instead, I was adding a new and important dimension to my understanding of what missions really is. God was bringing two great themes together in my mind and in my heart. – by Ed Brown, Director of Brackenhurst Center for the Care of Creation

The second article is a response to a book written by a secular biologist to the Church entitled "The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth". It is an amazing article that promotes Christ as the solution to every crisis:

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Christ], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:20). Christ offers a holistic solution to the physical, emotional, environmental, and spiritual needs of humanity. That Christianity doesn’t do a better job of addressing these needs is to our disgrace. The fault lies with some Christians’ woeful practice of Christ’s message, not with the message itself. Jill Feldkamp, Administrative Coordinator for InterVarsity's Global Projects

I pray that you all will enjoy these articles – and hopefully, take another look at the Churchs involvement with environmental stewardship.