Summer Virtue (Part 2)

There’s no denying that there is a certain rhythm and reliability that the schedule of the school year brings that seems difficult for us to find during the months of summer. I love the order and routine of the Fall days. We wake up early, get the chores done and jump into a day of learning and lessons that make me, as the mom, feel most productive in the work of rearing my children. Summer can be a struggle with its open-endedness, care-free days, sleepovers, late nights and lack of routine. We can fill it up with camps and VBS but there are still times of leissummer-ice-popsure and I want my children to learn how to manage those times as well. In the last post, we asked the question, “How does a virtuous man spend his leisure time well?”

Has your summer fallen into a rhythm yet? Is there a sort of summer schedule your family has established? When we asked our children at the beginning of summer the question “How does a virtuous man spend his leisure time?”  William and I shared our own answers first.  William led out by saying that the “free days” of summer should still be used constructively. Would you agree?

My answer was that the focus of our summer should mirror the school year in that we still pursue only what is true, good and beautiful. This mirrors the idea in Phillipians 4:8 where Paul exhorts us as a parent almost with the admonition to think on only what is true, noble, admirable and lovely, etc.  Combining these two ideas, we gave the kids 10 minutes to write out ideas for spending their summer days constructively  in the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty.  We gave them three categories- spiritual, physical and mental. Here were a few responses:

Spiritual- to create a worship cd of 15 favorite songs and listen to it regularly, go through daily devotional book with Daddy, increase my devotion time and make a worship cd

Physical- practice karate routine each day, go for a bike ride when I’m bored instead of TV, build a tree fort outside

Intellectual- learn a new Spanish word daily, practice piano book once a day, explore ocean animals and learn about new ones

These focuses, once written down, can easily be turned into daily habits to be pursued during the summer days. They challenge and grow us. They become our rituals and liturgies that help continue to develop us an individuals and believers even when school is not in session. The school of Life and Parenting never closes its doors! As a family, I set a few easily attainable summer lessons as well.

Here’s a few ideas that we are pursuing:

1.Memorize the 66 books of the Bible- There are roughly sixty six days to a summer so there is time to learn a book a day. We are using a neat tool published by Walk Thru the Bible that names the Bible book and gives a key word so that we learn a little of what the book is about.

2.14 days of dares- I saw this idea on Pinterest and tweaked it for my own kids. Over the summer you come up with 14 different dares. You can list them all at once or give them out every few days. Included in the dares are things you want your kids to do, learn/accomplish but you know that may not pursue them on their own. So….you “dare” them and the reward is whatever you choose. If they complete the dare we give out a glass bottled coke, a box of Poptarts, or a pack of sour patch gum (or any other treats we always seem to be saying “no” to in the grocery store!!) You can pick what works for your kids. The dares consist of things like:

Write a thank you note to someone

Clean out the dishwasher without being asked

Spend 30 minutes reading today

Copy down a scripture verse and illustrate it for your commonplace book, etc……..

I am sure you will come up with even better ideas than these and I would love to hear about them! Have your kids make a list of Summer Virtues for themselves. Ask the question: If a man’s character is shaped by how he spends his free time, what are activities we should do in our free time? Have them list their own so they may be more inclined to follow them. So…when they ask to watch The Lego Movie or play the Wii for the tenth time in the middle of the day, we have a plan and can say, “Have you checked your summer virtue list?” and we are directing them in a way to spend their time with a little more intentionality and thought. Sometimes we grab the Wii remote and join them or pile up and watch the movie anyway and the building of relationship and spending  time together makes summer feel pretty virtuous after all.

Summer Virtue- What’s on your Leisure List?

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A few days ago we had a family meeting to officially kick off summer. School is done and the long lazy days of summer are officially under way….but, wait a minute. Why does summer have to be so lazy? When we announced to our kids that we would be waking them up at 8 o clock each morning, something we saw as a luxury, it was met with groans and complaints that we were being unfair and summer was meant to do nothing. “Summer means no rules!” argued our youngest child. “Summer means sleeping in “ touted another. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad see summer as an opportunity for growth and preparation, much like the fabled ant and grasshopper story. So…. You can imagine that we had to meet and set the expectations for what summer would be looking like in our home.

We want our children to be virtuous. Virtue means they walk by a high moral standard. Its synonyms are righteousness, integrity, nobility and honor. Another definition tells us that a virtue is a quality that is desirable in a person the antonyms of which would be vice or failure. Yikes! Virtue is also defined as the “good or useful quality of a thing” such as its advantages, strengths, merits, benefits, usefulness and even strength. It literally comes from the Latin root vir which means man and virtus which means valor and merit. In other words, man was made to be virtuous. It is the essence of his nature yet we must cultivate it and draw it out.

Cultivating virtue yields a power that we need for living. This is our goal in parenting. Character traits and virtues are best formed by repeating something over and over again. Virtue can be developed through habits and our ultimate longings and loves are birthed out of our daily liturgies. With this thought in mind, I don’t want the three months of summer to pass by in a haze of sleeping in and morning movies , thereby  undoing all of the other habits I have diligently and deliberately emphasized throughout the school year. So….is summer a time to be lazy or is it a time to continue in our growing and changing and pursuit of God’s kingdom? The latter, I believe.  How we spend our leisure time determines our true character and shapes what we love.

“Rules for Self Discovery:
1. What we want most;
2. What we think about most;

3. How we use our money;

4. What we do with our leisure time;

5. The company we enjoy;
6. Who and what we admire;
7. What we laugh at.”
A.W. Tozer

Much as the Sabbath is meant for much more than physical rest but, rather, contemplation and celebration, the meaning of Summer can reach far deeper than late nights and lack of rhythms. My oldest son groaned when we began to talk about all of these things and his defense was, “Wait a minute! Summer means no schedule, right?” So if the word schedule seems too much like a “school-ish” word, we’ve decided to call our summer routine Summer Virtues. We had each child make a short list that answers the question:

“How does a virtuous man spend his leisure time?”

Next post I’ll share a few of their responses and offer some ideas you can implement starting this summer. In the meantime, what would your answer be?

When Compassion Moves You

 

compassion heart globeIn the Gospel of Mark 17:15-18 we are all familiar with The Great Commission, especially the part “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”.  Many lives are driven by this “great commission” and because of it people all over the world are hearing the gospel.  But, how many take ALL the verses of the great commission and do them?  Verses 17 and 18 are just as applicable as verses 15 and 16.

While in Guatemala during the months of March and April we had the opportunity, as a family, to lay hands on a young woman in her 20’s diagnosed with uterine cancer.  The doctor’s report was bleak, she would not live much longer and would be leaving behind 2 young children, a husband, and host of family members.

As we went to her house to pray for her my heart was overwhelmed with compassion as we heard her share her fears of dying and leaving her 2 young children and husband without a mother and wife.  My thoughts immediately went to Jessica and our children and I thought to myself, “What if this was happening to us?” This is when compassion will move you to do something. That “something” was to lay hands on the sick.  So, we laid hands on her and prayed according to The Great Co
mmission.

Fast forward to a couple of days ago when we received a text from our missionary friends Tim and Doris Spurrier telling us they had some great news!  They had received word from this young lady’s family that she had just returned from one of her doctor’s visit and her latest tissue biopsy had come back clear!  Upon examination by the doctors they could find no trace of cancer in her body or any evidence that there had been!  Her pain, Image result for the great commissionhemorrhaging, and bleeding had all stopped.

I share this to lift high the name of Jesus and to ask ourselves the question, “Are we living and experiencing the fullness of the great commission?”

 

A Gospel of Empowerment

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Our time in Guatemala is drawing to a close. We have been here for a month. That is one twelfth of our year. Looking back, I want to know that it is time well spent. I want to know that we have stewarded these days well and been a credit to those who are supporting us with finances, prayers and spiritual encouragement. A few nights ago we sat down as a family to make a list of the many things that have taken place just over the past twenty eight days and our hearts smiled. We recorded the beautiful Easter service that kicked off our time here and united five different churches and their pastors. In fact, a ministerial association for the Peten has been birthed out of that time and they have asked to keep an office here on the campus where we have been staying. We have preached and ministered four nights in special church services, offering salvation and healing prayers for those church members. We conducted an intimate time of instructing on praise and worship and what that looks like for our churches today, specifically focusing on psalms, hymns and spiritual songs woven in with the current christian top 40 that is now so popular. We visited a local village of Keche Indians for food delivery and shared Bible stories with the children and we are conducting a marriage seminar tonight as we bring our time to a close.

More than all of these, however, we have come to give encouragement and strength back to the missionaries who serve here, our good friends Tim and Doris Spurrier. They have committed 30 years of their lives to the people of Guatemala and are still tweaking their vision in order to be even more effective in the coming days. We have brainstormed with them and helped them restructure and re think their ministry methods. Missions is changing and we must all change with it. It is time to teach and equip the people of God to reach their own nations. We can come along side and bring Truth and support and even finances whenever necessary but above all we must teach them to go and make disciples of their own neighbors. They can accomplish this work much better than we ever could but they are looking for training and equipping. We are praying about how William Deagle Ministries can be a part in furthering that here in the Peten. Please pray with us as we travel home and meditate on our next steps.

Do our short term mission trips leave behind a lasting effect? Do we come away blessed for having served but having created an even greater dependency than before? We are asking ourselves these questions.

Is there a better way to do missions?

Recently during our trip to Africa our pastor friend shared with us a conference he had attended the year before that asked the question, “Do we even want North American missionaries in Africa?” They were asking themselves if we did more harm than good. They are not looking to be enabled but empowered. “Teach me first”,  he told us “It would take you years to accustom yourself to the climate, learn the language and then fully understand the culture and then you will be gone. Teach me. Help me teach the leaders I have and they can easily go and be received.”

The leaders we train can continue on there and raise up even more leaders under them. This model can work but it requires a shift in our thinking. It is not typically how the America church has viewed missions. We are looking at making disciples one at a time and releasing these disciples to go to their own instead of us doing it for them. They can learn to build, to paint, to do dentistry, to open bible schools and to plant churches and then operate them for themselves if we can come alongside and teach them how. They are well able and they do not need us to do it for them . What they do need, however, are the invaluable teaching tools we have . They are asking for training and knowledge. They are asking for mentoring and accountability. This is empowering to them. Moreover, it is empowerment for the Gospel and can cause it to go forward with even greater effectiveness. The numbers may not seem huge at first but one discipled life full of truth and strategically placed within their own country can mean thousands as the years go by. We can still build hospitals but train national teams to run them and work there. We can still plant churches but appoint local pastors to lead them and provide them with resources and training. We can still build houses but, as we do, train up local builders who can carry on the work long after we are gone. Helping can hurt or it can help.

We have been watching and observing the past three months of travel as we have met with and ministered to believers in both hemispheres. Please pray with us as we go home to rest and process all we have seen and heard. Please pray that we will clearly know the next steps God has for us. We desire to be effective, to be used and to answer the call God is showing us.

Show us your ways, Oh Lord. Teach us your paths.

What is Truth?

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Beautiful little girl of the Peten

The whole world is asking this question. In John 18:38 Pilate carried the discussion to a new level when he posed the question to Jesus himself. Even though Jesus has satisfied the answer once and for all, the world is still asking the question whether they realize it or not.

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

On a typical homeschooling day my goal is to use different but interactive subjects to introduce my children to Truth. We always begin with scripture, we bless one another (Peace be with you…and also with you), we read fun and beautiful poetry together and dive into great books in the mornings- everything from Frances Makes a Bargain (love it!) to Huckleberry Finn. Then we start on math, do language, we journal and write in our common place books and with each tool my aim is to open their eyes to what is True, Good and Beautiful as I shape their pursuits.

In Math I can show by use of manipulatives that 2 and 2 will always be four…in a very

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A glimpse from Shea’s commonplace book

tangible way. In our language lessons I can correct word usage so that verbs agree with nouns and all is spelled correctly. When we read and discuss “Charlotte’s Web”  we can analyze what true love looks like by comparing each character’s actions with how Jesus defines love in the scriptures (“Greater love has no man than this…..).

With each exercise I am seeking to give examples of Truth, to embody it for them and make it real. Truth is something the soul sees by looking at it…so I must embody it for them. The Greek word Alethea is the word for Truth and it literally means not hidden or revealed. It is Truth not merely spoken but Truth made realWhen Jesus says, “I am the Truth” He is saying “I reveal everything so that it is no longer hidden from you.”

Here in Guatemala, whether they realize it or not, the people of the Peten are asking, “What is Truth?”

Pastors are asking it, church members are seeking it and the inhabitants of the Peten are wondering it about the missionaries who are here. Individuals and churches are circling around a mixture of doctrines from ancient Mayan practices to Catholic rites to evangelical extremes. They are confused and many of them are lost. We have been here for a little over two weeks now and our days have been filled with opportunities to teach Truth. We believe that in bringing the Truth of God’s Word to these pastors and churches, they will receive clarity and that what has felt hidden will be revealed. We pray for old religious practices to be revealed, we pray for the Hope they are desperate for to be revealed and for God’s True ways to made known to them through His Word and the person of the Holy Spirit. This week we will continue as we teach at a new church on Sunday, conduct a marriage seminar and even join in on church services with a Mennonite settlement here praying for revival. To each place we seek to bring Truth. It is our prayer that this Truth will not only be spoken of by us but be made real. We sing about it, tell about it and attempt to embody it in our marriage and in our relationships with our children. Please pray that Guatemala would continue to hear Truth from us and see Truth embodied in our actions. As we enter into the last two weeks of our trip we ask for continued prayers for our kids and wisdom for ourselves. Thank you to everyone who prays for us and is giving to make this possible. We see in each of you hearts that are True, Good and Beautiful.

But first, Prayer

 

 

hot tea

When I wake up in the mornings I hear the Lord call me to get up and be with Him. The house is still and it is easy to hear His voice in the calm. His invitation is not one to get up and talk as much as it is to come and listen because He has things to say that I need to hear.

Sometimes I push this unction aside and roll over for “five for minutes”. Most days, however, I tumble out of bed and set myself apart to listen and let His words paint the priorities for my day, my week, my life.

Even though I crave God’s direction, inevitably, my mind begins to wander. My mind is in usually in motion from the moment I wake up. As I draw near for time with the Lord, other thoughts and distractions immediately begin to vie for my attention- sort of like all three of my children clamoring for help when it’s time for math during our school day!

There will always be things needing our attention and this is where we must choose.

Once I heard a well-meaning  teacher say that when you pray (or listen in prayer) and those thoughts of various to-dos begin to overcrowd your morning mind, you should stop and write them down so that  you don’t forget them and can return to your praying. Makes sense, right? But I can tell you from experience that it just……doesn’t……. work. Once I stop to jot down one item, another thought immediately follows and before I know it I have left the discipline of listening and am now busy with the things that task my day. These are all good, valid, necessary things.

Put in the laundry.

Buy fruit at the grocery store.

Run by the cleaners.

Call so-and-so.

Check email.

We are all familiar with these daily deeds and they do need our attention- but not just yet.

I recently read an interview with Wes Callahan teaching about prayer. He says,

“When we start praying, the distracting thoughts begin to buzz around our heads like flies, and then we have to decide how to deal with them.”

Learning to ignore these thoughts for the moment and focus on the “better thing” is the beginning of discipline.  As we gradually learn to prioritize this morning ritual of prayer and listening, we believe, in faith, that this simple but imperative discipline will affect the rest of our living. Sitting at the feet of Jesus enables me to face the day filled up and my to-do list is tackled and accomplished in double time. When I rise early to listen and pray, even before my daily list is written and my cup of teas is poured, my cup already runneth over from time spent in the presence of God.

Travelling Light? Take the Essentials

traveling light2

I’ve just about had enough of packing. All day I’ve been scurrying around laying out items I think we can’t live without over the next month. In the morning  we are leaving for a month long trip to Guatemala and when I think about packing I could be a bit overwhelmed….enter my husband, the packing Nazi. I actually use that term with appreciation and endearment. He is ruthless–in a good way. He is critical– in a discretionary way. Most of all, when it comes to travel, he keeps us all straight.

Basically the packing routine in our house is that I go around to everyone’s room and lay out all of their clothes, school books, toiletries, personal items, stuffed dogs, babies, blankets, Legos, journals, boxcar children books,  etc. etc. etc………and he comes behind me and tells me what is going to fit into the suitcase and what gets left.

”Do you really need that?”

Well, I obviously thought so- that is why I laid it out.

What is the standard for knowing if I need it or not? I’m sort of guessing here and throwing in some “just in case” items along with the necessities, like toothbrushes.Image result for travelling light

Only pack what is essential.

This is wisdom for someone like me who went to study abroad as a 19 year old student armed with 5 suitcases that WHO was supposed to carry? Well, I never thought that far. I just kept putting in everything I wanted to have with me during my time living in Spain and, as a high maintenance woman, it seems my needs were pretty weighty– too weighty, in fact, to carry. I had to pay for help in the airport, call upon the mercy of my taxi driver and finally lug things in stages the final few yards of my journey.

So, I am appreciative that my practical hubby keeps us all in check when it comes to packing. I have adapted and learned how to determine what is a priority to take on a trip but I wonder……… …………have we learned to pack our lives with only the things we really need to carry? Do we prioritize or are we just guessing as we rush headlong into another day, week, month, year? Some things are essential.

Time with the Lord. Sabbath rest. Giving out love and speaking kindness to those around you.

Reading great books, having great conversations. Eating well, entering into worship and getting in bed at a reasonable time.

How are you doing on packing your life with the essentials? How many items have you tossed into your life suitcase lately that need weeded out because they are taking up necessary space?

Challenge yourself and do a review this week. Some things may need to go so that there is more space for prayer, play and people.

As we leave for Guatemala please pray for our trip. This will be the longest our kids have been out of the country. I sure hope William lets them take their stuffed dogs and babies and legos. I think that, at least in their eyes, they are essential!

Do It Afraid

I’ve had a phrase running around in my mind for the past several weeks.do it afraid

Do it afraid.

I remember a time when I was living in Honduras and William and I got the crazy idea to take several of our students to a park where they could jump off of a 40 foot waterfall. We had found two Honduran boys, who had grown up around the falls, to act as our guides. We followed them up a steep and narrow path until it finally opened out onto a very small earthen platform. We could only go up about 1 to 2 people at a time. When you finally had your turn at the top there was only one option– to jump.

I was excited and caught up in the thrill of being on an adventure like this until I actually reached the top and my fate was upon me. I look down below me at rushing waters and rocks jutting out and realized there was only a very narrow whole of water that I needed to jump in. It looked like the tiniest of bull’s-eyes and I felt for sure I would be splattered on the rocks all around rather than make it into that hole—Not forgetting the fear I had of simply jumping from 40 feet in the air!! Now that I was at the top the whole thing appeared completely ridiculous to me.

What was I thinking?

I remember the little guide telling me, ”You have to jump! You can’t turn around!” He must have read my mind as my eyes darted longingly toward the path that lay behind. I felt just like the Israelites who wanted to be rescued from Egypt but when things got tough they wanted to go straight back to where they had been. At least it was predictable. Sometimes predictable is nice. It feels safe. But it is rarely challenging or life-giving.

Eventually (like, within a matter of minutes) I grasped the fact that I was stuck up there with only one option and that was to go for it and jump.

Have you ever been to that place in your life?do not fear

You’re excited about an idea or thought or plan a new venture or change coming up and you move ahead with high hopes and zeal in planning only to reach a decision point or a place of jumping off only to realize you’re afraid. This can look different for everyone. Maybe it’s a relationship maybe it’s a new job maybe it’s a new school maybe it’s a new tactic with your children or maybe it’s the new way of communicating in your marriage. Maybe it’s that project you been putting off or that phone call you been intending to make. It can be large or small but the fact is we all reach a point where we have to make a choice to stay where we are or to do something afraid.

If we wait for the fear to pass we are only kidding ourselves. Waiting for the fear to pass could take a lifetime. What have we not accomplished thus far because we were too afraid? Let’s challenge ourselves. Let’s not only enjoy the climb to the top but let’s get out there be afraid and jump anyway. The only other option is to remain stuck and miserable in the same place that you are. For me, being stuck with no option to go back but paralyzed to move ahead is the worst place to be. In fact, it may be the thing that I’m most afraid of overall. So go ahead and jump. Do it afraid.

To Produce or to Play-That is the question…or is it?

kids making mudpies

(For all of you parents out there I hope this post will bless you)

My daughter’s newest thing is watching Matlock. She loves it because she gets to watch it with her Papa Ron. Matlock loves hot dogs and, invariably, during one of the commercials, the urge for a hot dog will seize them and they run into the kitchen to raid the fridge for any hotdogs they can cook up. At first it drove me crazy. You know why? Because there is absolutely nothing productive about watching Matlock!!!!

In some ways I think I am controlled by productivity like a shift manager at assembly line plant. I have measured our homeschooling success often by my children’s output for the day. Number of math problems worked- check, handwriting a completed passage- check,reciting your poem for the week- check check!!  Our family motto a couple of years ago was “Producers not Consumers”. I’ve been so anxious about raising little consumers that I wanted to focus on creating producers instead.  We focused on all of the ways we could produce rather than have to buy which is a great quality, don’t get me wrong, but inevitably it breeds an almost guilt if something isn’t being produced and if we are not, as people, being productive.

I have often felt a personal guilt if I’m not productive enough. The opposite of productivity is idleness, wasted time, play……or is it really?

What if play is actually one of the most important skills our child can develop? What if Cal Tech said that their best engineers are the children whose lives have been filled with hours of …not math- PLAY!

Remember building forts under the kitchen table, draped with all of the sheets and blankets you could scavenger from the house? Remember turning trees into play houses and mud into pies. I hear myself more often admonishing, “Stay clean because we have to be somewhere in a few minutes!” when, deep down, I really want to be yelling, “Go make mud pies!!” Does this resonate with any of you?

We seem to regard PLAY as a “luxury that the contemporary child cannot afford”. Remember how I referenced Cal Tech earlier? They said their best engineers were kids who played lots. They are more innovative for starters, more creative and know how to think outside of the box. So this begs the question– Why can play and productivity not marry and produce a very happy child? Hmmmm…Maybe they can! Stay tuned for more….

Jessica

(By the way, I just want you know I feel very productive after writing this post!!)

People Need the Lord

Tanzania Trip

We have arrived safely home from our trip and give glory to God. I wanted to share a couple of entries from my journal this past week to give you some insight into our trip. How can we begin to say all that God has done in and through us? He protected our going and coming and gave much grace to our children. Hopefully these words will serve as a snapshot of the many experiences and emotions we came away with as well as the vision being birthed in us for how to strengthen and encourage the Church on the earth today.

January 23, 2016

I am sitting on a crusade platform here in Tanzania. There’s a little boy about nine or 10 playing the drums in front of me. It is hot and the music is screamingly loud. The people are dancing in the platform a swing under my chair… Oh and something that looks like a conga line just broke out. Yes here at the crusade… Only in Africa!

There is a young muslim girl here who received Jesus last night. She is still wearing her black head covering but she is back and my heart rejoices. We have not come in vain! I wish you could be here to listen to William preach and watch him wipe his forehead like a good southern baptist preacher. LOL!

There is a desperation in the people that draws out the passion in William’s preaching and in both of our teaching. Our days have been so full of ministry and we are being poured out but left satisfied. We finished a three day seminar this morning for pastors. They all want prayer for themselves and for their churches.We have strengthened and encouraged them just as the Lord told us to come and do. There are so many stories I could tell you that sound unbelievable to our western ears- Of the witch doctor who used to literally “walk the skies” (levitating) with evil spirits but now serves as a pastor here. Here shared his testimony tonight at the crusade! Or what about the man who had his leg badly bitten by a crocodile when he went down to the river to bathe. He survived but the wound became so infected he became desperate. He heard about Jesus on the radio and came to find Pastor Andrew’s church where he received the message of  Jesus and his leg healed! He returned to his home village and started a church there but comes into the main town to learn more and grow. He is one of so many that are asking for more teaching and more feeding in God’s Word.Tanzania Trip2

February 1, 2016

We are now on an airplane headed home from what has been a landmark trip for our family and ministry. We have been to Africa and then to Paris (as a stopover on the way home) and I have come away from both places with one thought pressing on my heart: People need the Lord.

We went to Africa as ministers and to Paris as tourists but in both places, as we reminded our children, we were first and foremost Believers who must represent the Kingdom of God well. These two worlds were places of extremes. In Africa we saw poverty and living standards that would shock most of us living in the US. In Paris we rode a large tourist bus down the Champs Elysee with the tour guide proudly proclaiming that this street was home to the most exclusive and expensive retailers in the world. The Parisians were busily popping in and out of stores or drinking cafe au lait in a sidewalk cafe but even in their wealth I could still hear the same cry we heard from those peddling bananas and mangos on the streets in Tanzania- People Need the Lord.

Passing through airports we saw people from every nation.There were Asians wearing their trademark surgical masks due to fear of germs spreading in public places. The Muslim women also had their faces covered- not by choice but by mandate of a religion that binds rather than frees.

My heart wondered with every face I saw (and didn’t see)- do they know there is a Savior? In college I sang with an a capella group and one of our favorite pieces was a song titled People Need the Lord. The words ring so true. The world is looking for love, communion and a feeling of deep satisfaction…from the woman shopping in Cartier to the one walking the African streets with a baby tied to her back. Rich or poor, black or white, whatever the language- People need the Lord.

We are home now and it has taken us 2 or three days to adjust. We have been physically tired but there is also a heaviness that comes with having seen so much of the world hurting and wondering what our part is to play in bringing help and hope.We are praying about our role, how to be strategic and when to return. But we are also encouraged! The church in Africa is alive and well and its numbers are being added to daily! It may look unorthodox to us but it is changing lives! Their cry is for more Bible teaching, Bible schools, and training for pastors. Please pray with us about our next step in this country of hungry souls. We are asking the Lord to show us how we can be the most effective and help to strengthen the church of Tanzania. This trip was a first step and now we have begun. As a family, we thank you for your many prayers and words of support. We also thank those of you who are sowing into this ministry financially. You have made it possible for us to go and these lives and their stories are now part of your story! The door to Africa stands wide open before us. The threshold has been crossed and now we wait for the next step. Meanwhile, we turn our hearts to Honduras and begin to prepare for that trip.We are so excited to return to the place where our story first began! Our departure date is February 15th so watch for more on that. God bless each one of you!

The Deagle Family