Things I Take for Granted

We just returned from 3 weeks in Uganda. It never ceases to amaze me how many things I take for granted living here in the USA. We have so many conveniences like:

Road side food some place between Paidha & Kampala, Uganda

1. Hot water on demand.
2. Water pressure above a fast trickle.
3. Gas ovens and stoves.
4. Cars that do not bellow high sulfur diesel smoke.
5. Interstate highways.
6. Roads with minimal pot holes.
7. People obeying traffic signs and not just regarding them as suggestions.
8. My Sleep Number Bed!
9. Electricity on demand that generally only goes out during a storm or someone knocks down a power pole.
10. Air that does not always smell like burning plastic.

It is so easy to complain about this country but when I leave and return after an extended time, I realize it is not all that bad!

America, bless God!

Off to the Congo

They have conquered the world

Boda-Boda taxi ride


Simple Obedience of Grace

And here is the little Angel!
Another Papi Adventure with the Beard kids!
The past 2 months were a total blessing, being with the Beard family in Honduras...planning & overseeing the construction of their home, building a pole barn, walking with grand-kids & just being another set of hands to do what ever is needed to live in the mountains of Honduras! Many people ask me if I enjoy going there & my response is always the same, “Yes, because my daughter & grand-babies live there.” Other than that, it is a very difficult country to live in. I know my “Kids” are called to live there so it is the best place to be … right in the middle of God’s will.  

Not actual picture of our tent but close!
I now also know what it means to be a tent dweller. Brooke and I lived in a tent for the month she was with me and then I bachelored it for a month. It was great! 14' x 10', queen size air mattress and chickens living next door. After the first night with 5 competing/crowing roosters the second night was much better ... 4 of the 5 ended up in the freezer ... if you know what I mean! ;-)

  A couple of things over the past couple months have caused me to once again asses my relationship with the Lord as it relates to ministry. One of the groups that came down to help was from our old church, CC Des Moines. One of the gals, Diana, blogged about her experience on her first short-term missions trip. She said she just wanted to be able to love on one person down there. This really struck a chord because that is what the Lord impressed upon me when I was preparing to go. He said, “Wayne, extend grace to everyone in every circumstance.” So I did & my son-in-law gave me a back-handed compliment the last week I was there. He said, “Thank you for being here to coordinate things the past couple of months. I really enjoy the new Wayne!”

  The “new Wayne”. What did he mean? Obviously I was not always the bearer of grace in the past. Pretty humbling but awesome at the same time. God told me to come to serve with grace & it is apparent that I was obedient in this simple but complex command. You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2Tim 2:1

  Another missionary friend from Peru blogged about our attitude in serving as missionaries. Many times it is easy to be doing stuff & justifying ourselves because we are “doing good stuff for God.” So why am I doing what I am doing? Is it out of grace & gratitude for all He has done, for giving His Son, His life? Any motivation other than Jesus is dung!

  I am also preparing to teach Jeremiah this coming month at CC Bible College in Ensenada, Mexico. As I have been studying it hit me that God told Jeremiah that if he thought it was tough now in his ministry, wait until it gets worse because He promised Jeremiah he was only at the tip of the iceberg. So the cushy, trouble free, everything is beautiful, kumbiah Christianity so many look for really does not exist if we are willing to put ourselves in the hands of the Almighty. 

  So the morale of the story is zip it, love the Lord and serve!

Running with grace,

Here is a brief presentation of the "birth" of an adobe house over about 5 weeks.


GAP Student Update

GAP Testimonials
We thought you all might be interested in hearing from the GAP Students; now that they have had time to process the past six months.

Madison Soy
“God surely has done a lot in my life due to my training in the GAP discipleship. Now I am much more confident in my faith, whereas before GAP I was questioning. Being confident in my belief in Jesus Christ helps me to stand on firm ground, allows my prayer life to have more meaning, and helps me to do ministry with a purpose for furthering the Gospel. I can say that  I have built my house on the rock (Luke 6:48)”
   Madison is preparing to serve in Uganda at an orphanage, Otino Waa. Please pray for her as she raises the support to serve for 5 months.

Andrea Boyce
"From the start, God has been showing me that when He says go, to actually go. At first when I heard about GAP God was telling me to go but I didn't hear it. Not until my pastor stood in church and talked about having faith in the Lord and to follow His will. It then hit me that God was calling me to go. I now continue that calling as I prepare to go to Honduras for 3 months. It is so great how God uses us for His purpose! Even if I don't see His calling I know that His will be done and He will use me either way! As they say in Lira, Uganda- 'Apacarote' which means 'Praise the Lord!'"
   Andrea is going to serve 3 months at RO4Y in Honduras, the ministry of our daughter and son-in-law, as a missionary nanny for our grand-babies. We are excited for her because we know she has her work cut out for her!

Eric Stephenson
“I'm excited to share what God has spoken to me about myself, and how it relates to His character. I've been so blessed to have been able to spend time with people in different places in the world. From meeting strangers, hanging with people in the Church, and ministering along with our team, I've been able to listen and share and be involved with people. When my motive was love centered in Jesus & His word, the Father was pleased.  Its about God and People. thanks again.  Love Eric”
   Eric is serving at his church, Calvary Chapel Sioux Falls, and a men’s shelter. We know the Lord will use him in this environment and grow him here!

Rebekkah Nelson
“God showed me what surrender truly means, what the Christian daily walk needs to look like. That it’s not about what I can do for Him in this life but what He has already done for me on the cross. He is sovereign in EVERY situation, and faithful to fulfill His promise to ..."work all things for our good.." All I have to do is wake up, and choose to love a God who loves me unconditionally and trust that He is guiding me even when I don't see it.”
   Rebekkah is serving along side of her mother in Des Moines, IA as a teachers assistant in an inner-city school. She has a great heart for kids and we know the Lord is at work in her life!

GAP 2014
We have two young women signed up for this coming year and several others praying for the Lord’s direction. Would you please pray with us? Would you pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into His harvest field? We know this is a huge commitment, but we also know there are great rewards for those willing to make the commitment.


2014 Begins

It is the first day of a new year! So many things to think about...what do I want to do different this year? What do I want to do better? What do I want to avoid? Then it occurs to me that I can't do anything, it is God who works in me to will and to do for His good pleasure. So, the thing I must do is surrender my mind, heart, soul and body over to Him and then my year will be what He wants it to be which will make it a great 2014 no matter what happens!! Whew...now I can stop fretting and start rejoicing that God is in control! Today is what I have so I will enjoy it! 

Thank you all for being part of my life! I pray that all of us will seek Him with all we are. Love and blessings to each of you in abundance!

In His Love!