The Latest

Last week I was so excited about the young man who had returned.  I took him to Alice to see family and he returned to Corpus Christi with me that afternoon, because he knew it was in his best interest.   Unfortunately, I learned a day later that he had already been kicked out of the mission and was back on the streets.   I continue to pray for the Lord’s powerful touch on the lives of the people here.

Saturday, while we were at the bus transfer station, the Lord allowed us to have another great conversation with someone there.   Mike was able to speak at length with a woman who had attended church with he and Kim several years back.   This woman was no longer in church, but hungry to have fellowship once again.   We were blessed on Sunday to have her with us.  We also had another man with us on Sunday whom we had met a few weeks ago as he was seeking shelter.   We are thankful that the people of the area are beginning to search us out.   This was reaffirmed today as a woman who had attended our opening Sunday asked if we were still meeting and indicated her desire to come again with her grandson.

On the job front I have had 2 interviews already this week and have another scheduled tomorrow.  The positions require a number of interviews and testing, but I am starting to get a considerable ways into the process with each one.  The Lord has also helped me rule out the things that have not been a good fit.   I will be glad to see this process finish out so I can get focused on firming up our financial foundation.

Tom Blackaby and I have been working on our travel plans for October and I am so excited about our time together in India.  I look forward to seeing Pastor Paul once again and finally spending face to face time with Pastor Santhosh.

Yesterday was my talk radio interview on Embracing God’s Best.  I did not receive a call in number before the broadcast, so we were scrambling to get connected on the front end.  The interview went so quickly, that we didn’t even get into the ministry of Simplicity; however, it was exactly what God wanted spoken.

Challenges, victories and other miscellaneous ramblings

This weekend was a wonderful weekend in our ministry.  Carol and Kim spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday at a women’s conference that was life changing for both of them in a number of ways.   From my observation, both of them came back with less baggage and greater freedom.

Saturday was our second week of passing out water at the bus transfer station.  Within an hour we had distributed over 200 bottles of cold water.  I had a conversation with Norberta, who wanted me to have some copies of her Watchtower and Awake magazines.  She explained to me that she didn’t understand the Bible, so she used those magazines for her Biblical teaching.   Several times she stated to me:  “I work as hard as I can in hopes that God will give me His Spirit.”  As much as she would allow me to, I spoke to her about God’s grace that is all sufficient.   In the end she allowed me to pray for her.   She then went and offered her magazines to another man, who simply said, “I would rather have a Bible.”  One of the things I need to quickly locate is a very inexpensive way to load up on some pocket sized Bibles.   My other notable encounter was with a woman, who said my son looked like Beelzebub.   She went on to tell me about the possessed rat that lived under the refrigerator.   She questioned Mike about the demonic spirit in the water we were offering, insisting that only Nestle was pure.   I asked the Lord to set her free.

During the weekend, Kim and Carol met Bernice and they both agreed that she and her husband may be the first of many people of peace we have been praying for.   Mark and Bernice were called by the Lord to come to Corpus Christi from Syracuse, NY last year.   Saturday night Mark called and asked where the church was and yesterday they spent the day with us.   This couple is amazingly gifted and their own personal stories of deliverance were powerful.   I am looking forward to watching how God uses them in this city.

Saturday afternoon, Carol had an hour long talk with our neighbor.  Next Sunday she, her family and a best friend are going to join us.   We have been praying for the Lord to give us this opportunity.

The highlight of my weekend was late yesterday afternoon.  We had set up a canopy in front of the church and cooked hot dogs.  As per usual we cooked more than enough for anyone who just happened to come by.  Yesterday, no one was coming by until a young man walked up…a young man we had last seen nearly 6 months ago.   His countenance had changed, there was humility in his words…God has used 6 months of wandering to soften his heart.   We all rejoiced and loved on him.  Tomorrow I will be taking him to Alice, TX to see his mother…she hasn’t seen him since he left home a few years ago.  We are praying for great healing to take place.

A new challenge (seems like an old challenge) has surfaced in our lives.  The landlord dropped by Saturday to inform us that she was going to put the house on the market beginning August 1st.   This has already happened to us 2 other times since arriving in Corpus Christi in January of 2007.    So here we are with only Carol’s part time income, struggling to make ends meet, possibly needing to move; however, through it all we have a confidence that God’s answer will be beyond our wildest dreams.

On the income front, I had two interviews last Thursday that may lead to more interviews in the coming weeks.  I find myself tired…I either want to enter into my new professional role and get on with it or see the Lord provide in a way that keeps me on the course He set me on.   This in between, not knowing, not able to pay the bills period is weighing on my spirit…I daily give it over to Him, but I get reminded very strongly of my circumstance quite regularly.   I know that He is molding and shaping me into the vessel He’s had in mind for all of eternity…so I trust even when I don’t want to.

Friday thoughts

I finally had two job interviews yesterday.  The process for both positions will take some time, so we’ll see where the Lord leads.   I continue to ask Him to clearly show me His direction for my life and the ministry of Simplicity.   Carol and I both believe that this time is more about the process of searching out the heart of God and less about the end result.   We both sense that the answer will once again be something that at this point is out of view and not on our radar screen.   Time will tell.

Carol and Kim attended a woman’s conference last night at Corpus Christi Christian Fellowship, so Mike and I had Organic Group with our kids.   The conversation was not as free flowing as it is when Kim and Carol are with us, but it was still good none the less.   We had studied Mark 13:14-23 on Sunday, so we were discussing these passages on the tribulation.   It was great getting to help my kids better understand a passage that is difficult for adults much less a 7 and 11 year old.

After Organic Group, we went back to Mike’s house and he played a documentary movie for me called The Heart of Texas.  This is one of the most powerful stories I have ever heard.   The movie profiles a community tragedy that displayed God’s love in a powerful way through the response of the family affected.   I don’t tend to get overly emotional, but this was a very emotional movie for me to watch, especially with my two youngest children near by.   To see God’s power moving in a circumstance that few of us could ever imagine.

This weekend we will be handing out water at the central bus terminal again and having our monthly cookout on the parking lot at Simplicity.

What’s whirling around my mind today

This past Saturday we started our joint ministry venture with Summit Church.   Each Saturday we are going to the central bus transfer station across from City Hall to hand out cold bottles of water.   Handing out cold water has become the simplest, yet single most powerful action we do.

This past Saturday was no exception.   A group of believers ranging in age from 4 months to over 40 handing out cold water with a smile and a simple word of love.   It was beautiful to watch the disbelieving smiles as hot hands grasped ice cold bottles of water.    My favorite was a blind man, who grinned from ear to ear as I touched the back of his hand with the cold bottle I was going to give him.

Kim got to put her ASL skills to use as she ministered to a woman she had met through the deaf center a few years ago.  This woman showed us her severely injured leg, and with Kim interpreting, we laid hands on her and prayed for her healing.

Mike got to speak with another man that he has built a relationship with through the years.  Speaking words of affirmation and encouragement.   It truly was joy for us…our minds filled with ideas for hot coffee in the winter and other ways to make this better.

I will be sending out a request for people to help us with the purchase of bottled water and I hope some will choose to come and join us.

Finances are still a great burden right now, but the Lord has also brought forth some unexpected provisions.   I’ve not been getting any calls for temp work and the Simplicity Solutions businesses are slow at the moment.  I have two interviews on Thursday for a F/T management position for an optical lab and retailer and a P/T position with a government contractor.   I have mixed emotions about both and wonder how these things will further/hinder the ministry in days to come if they come about at all.

I hope to have some clearer direction in the near future as I am getting to the place of needing to get my preparations in order for my upcoming trip to India.

I am simply asking the Lord to give me what I need to faithfully become the man I am called to be.

Pastor Adams gave me a report on the launching of the church in Moi’s Bridge.  I thought I would share it with you:

Greetings.Thank you for your prayers for our students.We had a very successful mission and church planting.Many got saved and gave their lives.We have officially planted the church in Moi’s bridge.I will send you the full report this week.
20 students came from Uganda and other church members from Uganda joined them.We saw the mighty hand of God.
God bless.Pass my regards to all.

Thank God for overseers

One of the most important things I did when starting Simplicity was enlisting three pastors I trust to be overseers of my ministry.  After God revealed who these men needed to be, I asked these men to watch me, my actions and my ministry for things that would harm the testimony of Christ or my work in His kingdom.    I have even given these three men permission to fire me from my own ministry if they ever deem it necessary, that is how much trust I place in these men.

Each month we gather together and I give them the ministry financial records, my personal finances and I discuss the joys, triumphs, defeats and struggles.   This month I found myself barraged by many doubts, worries and counsel from other sources that left a stain on my soul.   As I have shared these things with these men today and over the past few days, I found the Lord speaking words of life through them.   These men also helped me evaluate counsel and disgard that which was not of the Lord.  Clarity began emerging through the fog and the Lord helped me to see with a fresh set of eyes.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet Daniel.   Daniel came into the church while I was doing some work on our door lettering.   Daniel was weathered and worn, having been on the streets for some time.   Daniel shared with me that he had not eaten for a few days, and that he was having trouble sleeping at nights, because the mosquitoes were biting him.

I took Daniel to Dollar General to buy him some food and insect repellent.   Daniel immediately headed to the cooler, grabbed a quart of milk and drank it as he walked through the store.  Needless to say the employees were not real thrilled with that and asked him if he was going to pay.  I told them I would take care of it and we continued shopping.  I purchased a can of Off, 5 cans of Vienna Sausages, another quart of milk and a soft drink for Daniel.   In the parking lot, he allowed me to pray for him and then he sat down on a bus stop to enjoy his meal.

The Lord has allowed us to get names of each person we have assisted.  We continue to pray for them, that His love would penetrate the darkness in their lives and break their bondage to the streets.