Exciting update about our World Vision well project :)


Last week, World Vision informed us that they are nearly half-way finished with our well project in the city of Gemena in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Gemena has a population of approximately 170,000 people and sits near the exact center of the continent of Africa).

Our financial contributions from last year have gone toward a three-well project that will provide access to clean, safe drinking water for more than 36,000 people!

The finished project will include:

Improved sanitation facilities, with accommodations for people with disabilities.

Hand-washing facilities.

Hygiene and sanitation training.

Water point management committees for each new water system.

Estimate completion date is December 2014. Thank you, Grace Church, for supporting this awesome initiative!

“If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward” (Matthew 10:42).




The World Vision fiasco

World VisionSo…the World Vision fiasco. Certainly you’ve heard of it by now. A few days ago, World Vision executives made a public decision to amend their hiring practices to include married gay couples, but then reversed their decision after a vehement outcry arose against it.

Understandably, this decision and un-decision has drawn fire from constituents from all over the religious and political map. My intention in this posting is not to pick a side or defend a cause. Rather, I would like to address a heart-breaking dynamic that immediately sprouted in the aftermath of the decisions.

On the heels of the World Vision reversal, some angry Christians lit up the online discussion boards with vitriolic tirades against gay people. Yes, it was World Vision’s decision that instigated the reactions, but many of these replies went beyond a critique of World Vision to the castigating of the entire gay community (granted, these types of replies went both ways, but as a Christian, my concern in this post is with my fellow Christians).

I do not believe that those hostile replies are indicative of the hearts and souls of most Christians. I do not believe that the church looks like its mean, homophobic stereotype. I believe that Christians are caring, loving, and concerned, and that they are attempting to wrestle through complicated issues of faith and sexuality with a compassionate, biblical worldview.

When a Christian’s hostile posture turns a person off from listening to God’s message through Christ, we need to humbly evaluate that posture. Even strong, prophetic messages that call people to repentance and right living before God can be laced with compassion and love. Jeremiah was known as the “weeping prophet.” Isaiah interspersed his judgment prophecies with messages about the Messianic hope.

Yes, we can, and must, uphold whatever standards we believe to be the most biblical on a given subject. However, we should strive to do so in a winsome way that extends the Gospel’s reach rather than alienating the very people who need it most (and my name tops that list).

At the center of the Gospel is an invitation from God to all broken and hurting people. He is calling us home.

Susan Samanya

I can’t stop thinking about her, and I pray for her almost nightly.

I worry about her, and I feel a love for her that is quite a lot stronger than I have any right to feel.

You see I’ve never even met her.

I’ve never heard her voice, I’ve never held her hand, but I feel like she’s another daughter. Her name is Susan Samanya, and Jessica, Amber, Maddie, and I have been sponsoring her through World Vision for nearly four years.

She is nine years old and lives in a Ugandan village with an outrageously high percentage of HIV-infected residents. She is beautiful, and it’s crazy how much love our family feels for her after simply donating a few dollars, buying her some gifts, and remembering her in our prayers.

It’s almost like Jesus was onto something when He said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34).

In a world awash with financial pressure and preoccupation let’s make sure that our monetary investments give our hearts room to run. If my heart really does follow my treasure I want it to find something more substantial to land on than bills, fast food, and entertainment. I want it to land on something that will last forever.

Let’s give to our churches and let’s give to the needs in the world that most align with the burdens of our heart. Doing so will ensure that our money never owns us and that the synchronization of our treasure and our heart produces something beautiful.


The Hole in our Gospel Reading Program Chapter Nineteen: Two Percent of Two Percent