Wednesday, January 30, 2008

MAYBE SHE'LL HUG ME AGAIN! (A tribute to my wife from an African child)

This would be a true story for hundreds of the 7,000 AIDS orphans and vulnerable children that Children's Cup takes care of in Africa.

I was scared.

Nobody has ever touched me except to hurt me, and she was coming toward me holding out her hand--maybe to grab me or hit me.

I shrunk back and wouldn't let her see my eyes.

She stopped and said something I didn't understand. Her words didn't sound mean but before I could react she reached over to the boy standing near me.

He seemed to know and trust her. He let her hug him and talk to him. They laughed and giggled like friends. What kind of lady is this?

I watched for several minutes as she went from child to child and was friendly to all of them. There were lots of smiles and soft words.

Who is she? I heard the man in the hat call her "Jean." Why did she come here from America, all the way to our poor slum in Africa?

Then I saw them unloading lots of food from the truck--enough food to feed everybody here for a week! I ran to get some. Last time I had food was two days ago.

After we ate they had us all get into a big circle and we played games. More giggles and happy laughter.

After we played a while the nice lady told us wonderful stories about Jesus and how He loves us and will help us if we give Him our hearts. One of the neighborhood ladies put her words into our language so we could understand.

I've never heard things like this before. Her kindness made me believe them.

Nobody has ever done anything like this for us before.

Then lady was looking at me--she was coming my way holding out her hand again. I was not afraid of her now so I let her hug me. I smelled her perfume--I know I didn't smell good.

But I could tell she really loved me.

As they drove away in the truck I cried a little bit. I didn't want them to go. I knew their coming changed things.

I had a feeling that maybe there was hope. They said, “Hope’s name is Jesus.”

Maybe they would come back with some more stories and food. Maybe she'll hug me again.

I sure hope they come back--they said they wanted to.

Oh, Jesus, make it possible for them to come again.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


“Hey you.”

The gang of boys in the African refugee camp challenged the newcomer.

“Where are you from? Your clothes and speech are different.”

“I’m from a land far away. I’ve been here in African refugee camps for a long time,”

His answer was gentle but not shy nor defensive. Time and again his fellow refugees had sensed that he was different and taunted him. The lad never reacted in anger—which then angered the hecklers.

They had no idea who he was or how important he would become in their lives.

The lad did get to return to his home country and even there everybody knew he was different. In his gentle manner he helped many people—and the empty-hearted pious leaders hated him for it.

They vowed to stop him.

It all came to a climax at a hill called Calvary. The hecklers crowded the cross he was nailed to.

“You saved others—come down from the cross and save yourself, ‘King of the Jews.’”

He did not come down from the cross but instead He came up out of the grave completing His agreement with The Father to be the one to bring salvation to a hurting world.

Refugee Jesus became Savior Jesus—King Jesus..

And still today—2000 years later—He is rescuing and saving people. Even the ones in Africa’s refugee camps.

Can you imagine the impact it has when we tell the hurting African refugees that this Jesus we want them to meet had also been a refugee in African camps? That He knows what it’s like to be there? And that He can change their lives?

Many of the 7,000 children Children's Cup takes care of in Africa are HIV positive. They have only weeks or months or at most a few years to live.

There is an unrelenting, compelling urgency in our hearts to have them all meet their fellow-refugee in Africa—Jesus.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Worth repeating:

Good is the enemy of better.
Better is the enemy of best.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows (Dave's paraphrase: attend to and provide for) in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dunkin' Grandkids

Last night at Healing Place Church two of our grandkids home for a short furlough from Africa were baptized in water by Pastor Dino Rizzo. He is one of their heroes. They got "dunked"--and the water was cold. And they both sensed the significance of the experience.

Did Jean and I get emotional? You don't even have to ask.

Can I brag some here? Even at their tender ages Kayla (10) and Levi (7) who have lived most of their lives in Africa are active in ministerng to the orphans by conducting puppet shows and playing games with them. They have even led some in the sinner's prayer.

Prayer request: After years of dealing with sore throats and strep infections, Levi has surgery this week to remove his tonsils and adenoids. We are asking God for a quick recovery so the family can return to Africa on schedule in a few days.

Their African insurance does not cover this so we are believing God for the resources to cover the cost.

(If you can't tell, Jean and I love being grandparents.)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Children's Cup African Director Ben Rodgers was counseling a teen-aged girl.

She asked, "Why shouldn't I be a prostitute? At least I'm getting paid for what has happened to me all my life."

How can any parent of a daughter not want to take the Gospel to every community and give each child the opportunity to know Jesus?

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Missionary to Peru Robert Barriger asked us, "What's next?" in the service at Healing Place Church this morning.

I've known this missionary hero from his earliest days as a missionary. He went to Peru without support determined to answer the burning call in his heart. I watched as he held steady while Maoists rebels tried nine times to kill him.

I also watched as missions leaders uncomfortable with his zeal and growing success in the face of their declining ministries also tried to destroy him and make him leave Peru.

Now this man is having massive impact through his ministry Camino de Vida in Peru. Even the President and First Lady of Peru have personally asked him to manage a large share of the efforts for Peru to recover from the recent 8.2 earthquake that is compared to the tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.

Today he spoke about what is next in God's plans for us--and how we must be preparing for God's great move.

I don't think there has ever been a more appropriate and stirring missions message.

If you are considering a career in missions I urge you to study this man's life.

You can watch the message at

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Today is the first page of a blank book titled 2008.

Our choices will determine a large part of what will be written on the days of pages.

And, Lord, for those writings that others will impose on the pages we ask for a divine hedge of your holiness to filter the input. Give us the mind of Christ on how to react to unwanted scripts.

Holy Spirit of God guide our decisions with clear signals to know your will.