Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Father's Heart

Have you ever felt completely inadequate for the things you feel like God is placing before you? Do you feel like you are being called to things that are so far beyond you that they are impossible? Do you sometimes feel like an impostor in your Christian walk, like if others knew the real you, you would be finished? I think that all of us have faced these insecurities at one time or another, maybe it was not in the Church or ministry. Maybe it was on the job or in an area that you volunteered. There is a common theme that seems to run throughout our inner narrative. "Am I good enough? Do I have what it takes?" I think that this inner dialogue may be one of the most destructive things in our lives. After all, how we think about ourselves goes a long way in determining the limits we will self impose. I hear many people say that they are not called to missions but what most of them really mean is that they feel inadequate for that task. The truth is that all believers in Jesus are called to missions, for some it is in their neighborhood or workplace, for others it is in their local Church and for some, it is far from home, friends and family. The other truth is that none of us is capable of fulfilling the task, but the Jesus living in us is more than able.

I have been thinking about this a lot over the last few months. I have considered the different ways that a appraise my own value and usually I measure my worth in the ability to accomplish though I might never admit it to others. (until writing this) My pastor back in the States has been challenging me on this. He has been encouraging me to find my identity outside of work and achievement and to rest in the work of Jesus. Also he has been encouraging me to be in a place of receiving ministry rather than feeling like I need to work and give all of the time. Because of this, you may have noticed an absence of blog updates for the last 2 months. It seemed that while I was in the States, I spent much time looking for tasks to finish while there and he spent time reminding me of my need to receive.

The task that I see next on my plate is much bigger than me. God has continually been reminding me of the widow and the orphan. We are called to reach out to them with the love of Jesus and help them find identity and family in Him. As I have talked with friends and listened to their hearts, I am realizing that his task is much larger than I would have ever thought. While the number of actual orphans may or may not be accurate as the U.N. reports, the number of children and adults living as orphans is huge. There are millions of kids growing up without any real nurture from parents or a responsible adult. It is common in many places for children to be seen fending for themselves at 5 years old. Parents, dealing with the difficulties of a life of poverty often choose survival over nurturing. This is not to condemn the mothers. They often are doing all they can just to provide a little food and a place to sleep. This is the place that we, the Church are called to step in.

The task is huge. The number of latchkey and unattended kids is beyond our ability to comprehend. There are millions in the world, thousands in Guatemala and they are growing up, at least the ones that do not die in infancy, to at best work menial jobs for little money and repeat the same cycle of poverty. At worst they are becoming the gang members, drug dealers and prostitutes that are behind much of the crime and violence that have become common. People that have grown up with no sense of worth will look for significance wherever it can be found. Unfortunately they find it in sex, money, drugs, violence, extortion, intimidation and murder. The gangs are full of people that were recruited because they were easy targets. Nobody had told them that they had value and now someone is offering the money and respect on the street. All of a sudden they have significance and an identity.
Fortunately, God loves them and the message of salvation is for them. The best way to end gang recruitment and dry up membership is to introduce potential members to a loving Father before they join. I believe God is just looking for people that will say yes, we will carry His love to them and help them to find their true identity.

I have spent  much of the last month resting, reading and focusing on who I am in Jesus, the identity that He wants me to carry into the world so that He can be seen. I have now applied to Kaleo Iris School of Missions in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, on the Texas-Mexico border. It is my desire to learn to minister the heart of a Father to the orphans and the orphaned hearts of the world. I also realize that I cannot do that effectively without and close intimate relationship with God. Only as the perfect Father fathers us can we share His heart with others. Only as I learn to really walk in the identity of sonship will I have the confidence to be who He is calling me to be. This school lasts for 2+ months and then there is an 18 day outreach into Mexico. My intention is to return to Guatemala after this with a fresh view of Father's heart to minister here.

I applied to this school because I believe God is calling me there. I see the need to be prepared and to have my life so deeply rooted in the love of Jesus that I can be fearless wherever He may lead. My deposit has been sent in but now I have to send in another $3,600 by Dec 13 and I have to buy plane tickets, continue to pay my health insurance, rent and other bills in Guatemala and cover all of my personal expenses for the next 5 months. I am praying for $8,000 between now and the end of the year so that all of the expenses can be dealt with before I leave the U.S. This would be a huge miracle to me but I know God is fully able to provide every need. At the same time, I am praying for the provision needed for 2018 so that finances never burden the work that God desires to do. I am asking that you would pray with me and ask for God's provision and for His blessing on everything that He wants to accomplish in the coming year.

I am excited for the next chapter. I do not have a clue as to how God is going to move in my life but I know that He is looking for available vessels to reveal His glory through. He wants people to encounter His love and I want to have greater encounters with Jesus so that He can use me to show Himself to the wounded and broken, to the orphan and widow.  I want to be able to be fearless and even reckless  in my pursuit of God and then to be fearlessly and recklessly available to Him as He desires to make His love known.

If you would like to help support me and the plans I feel God is leading me into you can send checks to the address below.

Life Church Morris
P.O. Box 679
Morris, IL 60450
Write Mission San Lucas in the memo line, not my name

If you would like to know more, feel free to contact my by email, What'sApp or Facebook.
Thank you

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Who Are You?

Lately, I have been writing a lot about orphans and working with them. As you have seen, my heart is captivated by orphaned children and those that feel that way. Seeing them fall into the traps of the devil with gangs, drugs, illicit sex and violence tears at my heart. As I have watched kids grow up and become distant, for many abandon the Church and their families, I asked why. Why would they leave all of the things that they grow up with? Why would they abandon everything and everyone that ever loved them? I have come to a conclusion that startled me a little and wanted to share it with you.

People that grow up confident in the knowledge that they are loved rarely walk away from families, Church or any other place that they experienced that love. Often times, the message was repeated over and over but the person did not receive it. It is possible to grow up in a loving home with two caring parents, go to a living, dynamic Church, receive a good education and be surrounded with all of the trappings of success and still not feel loved. Because our responses to love do not start with reason but emotions, they can believe very easily deceived. It only takes a few events for children to get the message that they are not loved and that they are not important.

There are a few family dynamics that can give that message in the home. Naturally if two parents are not present it is easy for them to get they idea that they do not matter to at least one of their parents. This will often set up a situation where the other parent has to work many hours to provide and meet basic life needs. Now the child feels abandon by two parents. These days, even when two parents are in the home, they often work many hours and leave the kids in daycare, with sitters or in programs so they can work, run errands or get a little alone time. Though parents man have great intentions when they do all of these things, kids can easily get the idea that they are a secondary consideration and feel left out or unloved. Our absence speaks volumes to a child.

In this day and age, most people live regimented lives. They have work, meetings, kid's sports, their own leisure activities, Church and Church activities. It gets easy to crowd out the people we love and children are especially vulnerable as they are developing. It is important to spend time with them and talk to them. They need to be heard and feel that they matter to the family. They need older family members to spend time with them, play games and teach them to play sports. Children need to be pulled into our work, especially around the house when they are old enough to help, even if they hinder the work more than help at times. Most of all, they need to know that they are loved and that the adults in their family are not just looking to farm them out to others all of the time. They are a valuable part of the family and having them around is our privilege, not an inconvenience.

It is often said that it is important to give quality time and that is true. Unfortunately that is often said because a parent is trying to justify maintaining such a busy schedule that their children do not get much quantity. Kids will remember the things that you did with them in quality time but it will be filtered through the lens of the attitude that you showed them during the majority of your time with them. We need to show our children that they are worth our time and attention. We need to get them away from their computers, telephones and TVs. We need to put ours away and focus on the little person present with us.

The Church often has issues with Children also. They get the message that the best thing they can do is sit quietly and not disrupt the service. They do not get the message that Jesus gave. Bring them to me. Do not hinder them. The kingdom of God belongs to them. In the Church, we tend to treat them like an inconvenience. Why would they stay round once they are old enough to make their own choice? If they are an inconvenience when they are little, they will get the idea that we only want them for their work or money when they get older. They will not feel a connection to the Body of Christ because we did not respect the high place that Jesus placed them in. Attitudes and emotions that are formed early in life will carry forward for many years. We need to be careful of the message we send to children.

I wonder why we find it so easy to minimize the importance of children and why they feel it so deeply. I believe it is because the lie of worthlessness is one that almost everyone, even seasoned believers fall for themselves. It seems that there are few that really believe there is a place carved out for them in Father's heart. Like the child that grows up and leaves the Church, we have gotten the idea that the only value we have is in the work we do or the money we give. It only takes one slip up, sin, to completely undo all the equity we have built through our efforts. It is only in really understanding the place we occupy in Father's heart that we will overcome these feelings. Only when we walk in consciousness of our place in Father's love will we be able to help others find that place of belonging.

I was reading in Lk 3 and 4 this week and realized some things. Before Jesus ever started His ministry, He was affirmed by the Father. His identity was spoken over Him in front of others. His authority was authenticated by Holy Spirit in front of witnesses. After this, He was full of the Holy Spirit and was led into the wilderness to be tempted. Every temptation struck at His identity and the goodness of the Father. He withstood every one by proclaiming truth and standing in His identity as a Son of the Father. It concludes by saying that He came out of the wilderness full of the power of the Spirit. Knowledge of our identity, tested and tried, will lead us into strength and courage. We need these so we can pass them on. Our worth is eternally determined by the cross but our understanding of it will be determined by how we walk out the trials we encounter. Our power to live in the goodness and authority of Father comes by letting our identity be tested and not backing down or running away.

Have you had your identity revealed to you? Are you searching it out in Scripture? Do you have people in your life that can identify the truths of God's word as pertains to you and speaking these truths your your life? Do you have Godly leaders that are nurturing the things of God in you? Have you allowed your identity to be tested and tried so you can have confidence in it? I hope the answers to these questions are yes and they are leading you to stand confidently before Father. Secondly, I pray that as you and I know our identity, we become confident to aggressively proclaim these truths to the next generation. I pray that we can walk in a manner that allows them to feel confident in approaching their Heavenly Father because of the door that Jesus opened for them. My prayer is that each of us becomes overwhelmed by the new identity that Jesus has purchased for us at the cross. Lastly I pray that  the world begins to get a fresh glimpse of the Jesus of the Gospel because they see us living it out daily and consistently.

As I prepare for what is next for me, I am praying about a couple of options. I am asking God to lead me to the people and connections I am supposed to make for the next phase of life and ministry. I am asking Him about further education and networking. I am praying for an increase of finances because I will not have the resources of the teams and the Church that have provided so much of my support in the past. I am praying for people to join in with work, prayer, support and forming teams. Please pray about joining in. If you would like to contact me, my U.S. number is 779-227-3812. My e-mail is

As I do need to increase my financial support to go forward, I ask that you would pray about being involved in this way. My financial goal for the remainder of the year is $6,000. I am not quite half way there. For next year, I am praying and setting a goal of $18,000. This will allow me to begin working towards ministry to and for the orphans and street children as well as some of the schooling I am praying about. You can mail checks to:
Life Church Morris
P.O. Box 679
Morris, IL 60450
In Memo line: Mission San Lucas

You can also donate by following the link on this blog page.
Thank you all for the love and support. Without your joining the effort, nothing happens.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Identity and Overcoming

It has been a long time since I have written. As I have been in this  transition stage, many things have changed and are still changing. I rented a place just before I left but there were problems with the water and electric. Micah has been there working on it and as of yesterday, he was assured that things would be hooked up and turned on soon. It is exciting for me because it a little place on the back of the property that he is moving into with the boys. It was not always easy to schedule times to get together with them to have a Bible study or talk about life but that should be easier now, as least location wise. The downside is that I will now be living across town from much of the work with the Church.

Two girls from Membrillal at the clinic
I am hoping that there will still be plenty of opportunities to work with the Church. While I have not always like some of the jobs, I love the people that God has allowed me to work with over the last 4+ years and I love that many people have seen the love of Jesus demonstrated through that work. My favorite part of these last 4 years has been to spend time with the kids in the schools, build friendships with them and watch them grow. I am excited for what God is going to do with them and hope to be able to have a role in it for many more years.

The primary change is going to be in who I am hoping to serve. God has been reminding me of the call of the Church to minister to orphans and widows. [Jas 1:27 ESV] 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. In Guatemala, there are 300,000 kids that are orphaned, abandoned, neglected or abused by family members. For 95% of them there is no help in sight even though the Evangelical Church claims about to be about 40% of the total population. Not everyone can take in children and the adoption process in Guatemala is very difficult to navigate but we must act to rescue these kids. This has become my heart. God says that He is a Father to the fatherless but He has given us the task of making that known to them and of showing them His love in physical, tangible ways.
Two friends shared posts on facebook just yesterday that I believe will help you see the nature of this crisis and the role that the Body is called to play in ending it.

from Micah Leier:
Something very sad has happened in Guatemala, but I am also saddened by how many Christians reacted. Everywhere I look at people demanding the death of the attackers, or even torturing them and worse. I have had these thoughts too, and I get angry for what happened, but the God I serve is not a God of hate and death, but love and life.
Instead of looking for revenge, should we ask ourselves how we have failed as much as church?
Because there are so many people with no hope that they are looking for her in drugs and alcoholism, because there are so many without a family that is looking for her in the gangs, and so many without love to find her in the brothel
The solution will not be found in hatred, killing is not solved with more bloodshed. These young people often have not seen any alternatives, they do not have education or hope for the future or often food. They're looking for a way out where they find him.
Now I ask you, in a country where you are supposed to be between 10 % and 60 % Christian, how can you find a gang before you find Jesus and your church? How have we failed so much that although Christians are more than gang members, they " evangelize " more and " serve " more to the poor?
Then before we throw away our stones, let us know if we are truly loving as Jesus sent us. What are we doing to help these people, physically and spiritually? How can we give them hope? And how will we share the love and truth of Jesus?

From Greg Giagnocavo:
This Father tried to Kill his 6 Children with Poison.
This happened right near us.
Here is the TL;DR version.
Mother was sick, and thinking she was going to die, gave away her one-year-old daughter. Simply approached the neighbor lady and gave her the child.
Mother dies.
Father is drunk most of the time and decides he doesn't want the other 6 children so he puts rat poison in their food, with the intent to kill them . Oldest daughter age 11, (who is more less in charge of the children ) notices this and tells her siblings not to eat the food.
Father takes up with another woman, aka, stepmother.
Stepmother doesn't want the children , now ages 5 to 12, so she kicked them out of the house and won't let them back in.
Father allows them back in but tells the children he doesn't want to see them anymore and that he's going to find people to give them away to. He gives 5 of the 6 children away, one by one, to neighbors or friends of neighbors.
But he can't find a family to take the Marvin, age 5.
Stepmother refuses to feed Marvin and kicks him out of the house ; Marvin lives three days by himself on the street.
Neighbor lady notices Marvin and brings him into her house; but she already has five children and simply can't take another child into her one-room house. So she approaches her neighbors, a childless Guatemalan couple.
This childless couple are friends of ours, and have desperately desired children. That same day, Martin moves in with them. That couple came to visit me on the weekend. They brought Marvin along - very cute and very well-behaved.
They really want children and I have been working with them to help them with the paperwork to go through the Guatemala government agency to adopt a child ... but it will take at least 18 months
The couple came over to talk privately to me asking how to do they "take in", or "adopt", Marvin .... 'as legal as possible'.**
Marvin already calls them Mom and Dad and loves playing with his new cousins who live nearby. He coincidentally has the same name as the "new father" and looks similar.
After our talk, the couple decided to keep Marvin and raise him as their own.
So happy for them and for Marvin. And, happy that the other children in the family -- now have loving families to raise them. 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦

** You might wonder why we don't call social services.
First thing, there really isn't a proper social services department in GT, and people are not allowed to adopt anyone they have met before. Stupid and crazy rules.
So if the drunk biological father was reported, the government would take all the children and, you wouldn't be able to see them again. They would be separated and who knows where they would end up.
So there is a very large inter-family sort of informal "adoption system" in in which children are basically given to other people to raise as their own. Not a great solution, but after 40 children died in the government children's home six months ago, many people have a distrust of the government's handling of children.

Amalia's daughter in Zapote

I know that this is long but these stories illustrate the problems that we face. Without a sense of identity found in Jesus and without families, kids are growing up unattended, unloved and fearful. They turn to gangs, drugs, illicit sexual encounters and crime to give them a feeling of empowerment. They are destroying their nations because it is only in destruction that they feel they have a voice. Only when they are feared as much as they fear do they feel a sense of worth. God has been telling me that it is time to step in and break this cycle. I o not know exactly how it is all going to work out or what my role in all of this will be but He has given me a jumping off point for this next adventure. I am excited to see how it is all going to unfold and even more excited for how I will get to see God loving the broken. neglected and abandoned.

I have seen an increase in my expenses as a result of moving out of the Church property. I will now be responsible for my food and housing expenses. I also have an increased the need for a car because I am farther from many of the things that I am doing. Please pray about how you can help out. I know that you all have 30 people asking for money or other help so there is no pressure. Just ask God to direct who to help and how.

If God calls you to support financially, you can send checks to;
Life Church Morris
P.O. Box 679
Morris, IL 60450
In the memo of your check write:
Mission San Lucas

I am also grateful for all of your prayers and for those that maintain contact with me while I am away. Thank you and may you be blessed for your faithfulness wherever God directs you.

Saturday, June 3, 2017


For the last few months I have been on an adventure that is changing and transforming my thought process. I am still not sure of the final outcome but I know where it has brought me as of today. I have shared little bits and pieces of it before but would like to  share a little more today. This change is beginning to alter the course that I thought I was on and I believe, in the end, will alter it more.

A few months ago I changed my blog name to Papa Jorge. That name grew out of a conversation that I had with a leader in Life Church St  Charles. He was sharing what he saw as a God given identity for me. It took a while to use this as a name but a few months ago, my pastor in Morris, Jonathan Horsfall asked me what my identity  was. Those were not his exact words but that was his question. Who is it that God has called me to be? This reminded me of the words from the leader in St Charles and so I changed my blog name even though I did not have a clear answer at that time.

Over the last few months, I have prayed about this question and many other things. As I have begun to frequently pray the prayers I shared with you previously in Eph 1-3 God started speaking to me and giving clarity to the answer. I want to encourage you to reread that blog "A  Challenge" and start praying these things for yourself and your community of believers. I believe that it is life transforming and eye opening. God has been speaking to me almost daily about some aspect of these verses and as He does, it opens a new understanding of identity.

I shared that God spoke to me about the orphans but this week, he took me deeper into that. He spoke to me about my identity as an orphan and His desire for me to be a son. In Jesus, He has already made me a son but Rom 12:1+2 speaks of our transformation coming as our minds are renewed. There are a lot of wrong ways of thinking that I had incorporated into my life. I had believed a lot of lies and reacted at in a wrong manner to most authority figures in my life. I had adopted a general mistrust of authority and in many ways had lived as the orphan myself. I am so grateful  to Jonathan for walking me through some of these issues in prayer. Through confession and repentance, I started to long for intimacy with the Father that I had often run away from. I mistrusted His motives towards me and felt valued by Him only when I performed to a certain, artificial standard that existed only in my mind and moved frequently. I began to realize His desire for fellowship with me in new and exciting ways.

What I am starting to realize is that to be Papa Jorge is to stand in the place of Father to lost and hurting people. In order to do that, I have to have the identity of son. That does not come from my will or and act of choosing to become. It only comes from being lost in Father. Jesus came to bring us into family. Through the cross, He gave us identity. We had a wrong identity from birth, given us by a fallen world. When we are brought into the family of God, He changes our understanding of who we are but he also changes our relationship to authority. (John 17:20-21 ESV - 20 "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.) When we know our Father, we know that we can trust Him and that His plans are good. As a son, I no longer have to make my own way. I walk with the Father and His authority surrounds me. His provision is enough for me and His purposes are enough for me. I am not on my own. I am in a family and under the authority of a Father. I do not have to make things happen, only walk with Him and obey. All the rest is a result of His goodness. I get to enjoy the full benefits of sonship.

One of my favorite verses is Rom 8:19 ESV - 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. This verse has a now and not yet aspect to it. Creation suffers when we are not living out the relationship that we are created for. We were made to live as sons and creation is longing for that to be revealed. While we know that we do not see the fullness of the Kingdom of God here on the earth, we also know that we are being transformed from glory o glory. In this transformation process, God is revealing a little more of Himself to the world moment by moment and answering more of the longing of creation. The restoration of creation is happening little by little as sons are being revealed in the earth.

I believe that the crisis we see of orphaned, abused and neglected kids, along with the rampant use of abortion as birth control are things God wants to end because every child is created as an image bearer of His. To allow the destruction of these children, either in or out of the womb is to destroy what God has created with innate and immeasurable value. The Father has a plan for ending this destruction and restoring the dignity of all life. It starts with the Church learning their identity and to stop living as servant, slaves, sinners and orphans. It will happen when we realize the authority of the Father, vested in sons and daughters. When we know who we are, we gain our voice and speak to the injustice of the fallen world that we live in. We can begin to manifest the Kingdom, as Jesus prayer on earth as it is in Heaven. It is not our work that will do this but rather it is the Father revealing His identity through the body, His children.

I do want to begin to work more with the neglected, abused, abandoned and orphaned. Even more, I believe that the father is calling me to this work. I am planning and praying about how this is going to look. I will start where I am, in San Lucas and ask God to lead me where He wants me to be. I believe that He desires to end this pain and suffering through the Church. I do not know my role in it all yet but will be talking to some friends and people that work in these areas after I get back. I believe that He is saying aim high and trust. He does not want to help a few children but to change the way that we all deal with the need and to show us that His abundant provision is enough to meet the needs foe all.

I am asking that you would join me in praying for wisdom and direction. Talk to me if God gives you insight and wisdom. Consider partnering in the future to see children delivered into the arms of a loving Father, orphans set in families and the Church walking in the power and authority that God has for us.

Col 1:9-13 ESV - 9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Change of Direction

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you what I felt led to pray for my life and for the Church. It was mostly Paul's prayers for the believer in Ephesians 1-3. As I started praying these things consistently, God started speaking about some things more clearly to me. I should not be too surprised because one of the things I have been asking for is a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. I would like to share some of this with you and then encourage you to go back to that blog and begin praying these things for your life and for the Christian community that you are part of.

A few days after I started praying these things, I had a dream. I usually do not think much about dreams but his one was different. It was clear and concise. I wrote it down as soon as I got up and as I wrote it became even more clear. I was seeing things beyond the dream but I knew that it was God opening my eyes to His heart. As I wrote, I got more insight and direction but not a specific plan. As I prayed about what I was writing I saw that there would be a time to act on these things but first there was going to be a time of waiting for God to work some things out in me.

The dream was short. I was moving into a flop house with a friend. I could not tell you who the person was other than that I knew we were friends. As we approached our room, he told me to wait. He had to check on the kids next door. In the room there was a 3 year old girl and her little sibling. They were just waking up. My friend talked to the little girl for a minute then we prepared to leave. As we turned to go, she said "I am hungry". I asked my friend if we should go get them something to eat since they were obviously left alone. He said, no, they would find something and we did not need to worry about it. This was the whole dream.

As I prayed about it, I began to see that the reason I could not identify the friend is because he was the Church. The children were orphans and our response was the typical response we tend to have. We want to look at needs and we are good at seeming concerned but we often do not go deeper to intervene in people's lies. I think that we feel the situation is too big and our help would not matter so why bother. I know that I often feel overwhelmed by what I see and it hinders my ability to intervene. I suspect that I am not the only one.

Some examples are the things that I see in  Guatemala. It is hard to get good statistics because every source seems to report something different so I usually assume that the truth is in the middle. There are 300,000+  homeless, orphaned, abused and neglected kids in a country of 16,000,000. About 40% or 6,500,000 residents are part of the Evangelical Church. 1/2 of the population is under 21 years of age. 15% of the population is wealthy but over 3 times that number live in poverty, many of them in extreme poverty, less than $1.50 per day. The income of the poorest in the population has decreased in the last 15 years while their numbers have swollen. Violence, rape, molestation and murder dominate the headlines of the national newspapers. In the last week 3 bus drivers and 3 helpers have been murdered in San Lucas, a usually peaceful community.

I felt like God was telling me that this is the natural outcome of people growing up orphans. Not all that are orphans are parentless, Most have at least one parent. The orphan condition comes from living in a fallen world and believing the lies of the enemy that we have to figure life out for ourselves. It is a heart condition that keeps us from being able to receive love and manifests itself in these various destructive activities. People with an orphaned heart will try to destroy what they cannot control. People with orphaned hearts believe they are on their own and the only thing that they can count on is their own effort. Unfortunately that always comes up short, leaving them more empty and more broken, angry and frustrated.

I felt like God was saying that He was showing  me these things because I was going to start working with orphans, street kids, the neglected and abused. I believe that is possible as of now. I know that God hates the fact that there are so many people He created as an object of His love who are being hurt each day because of the corruption of the world and the lies of the enemy. I believe that His desire is to stir up the Church to step into these situations and see people set free. I believe I will be working in this ministry in the future but then he revealed something closer to home for me.

I have been seeing all of the areas of my life that respond from orphan thinking. What was easy for me to see in some was hard in me. God stared showing me the ways that I respond and react that are based on the lies of the enemy. I would like to share with you this limited list, some of which have been issues for me and others that are common for many people. This is not comprehensive but they are just a few checkpoints that I have started to see so that I could recognize areas of my life where I have not been living like a son of God but like an orphan and a slave.

  1. Self awareness: Orphans have an inclination to process every decision based on perceived personal expense.
    1. Selfish motives; If I give or share I might not have enough for me.
    2. Fear of loss; If I obey it is going to cost me something, money, family, home, respect.
    3. I will be taken advantage of: People will use me if I am too giving.
    4. Poverty and lack mindset; How am I going to meet my needs and obligations if I obey God in this?
  2. Self preservation; I could die or be injured.
    1. Fear of suffering; I could suffer or die if I do that.
    2. Fear of the future; If I do this I will not be provided for until my life ends.
  3. Anger; Orphans often respond by lashing out when they are fearful.
  4. Need to be right or agreed with; Being right becomes a measure of worth
  5. Need to succeed; Orphans often measure themselves by if others see them as successful.
  6. Checking out; If I am destined to fail, why try?
  7. Defensiveness; Orphans are often expecting rejection or chastisement so they are ready to defend themselves.
There are many more but this is enough to get people thinking. Are you living like a child of a good Father? Are you secure in the identity that you have been giving through Jesus. If we are crucified with Jesus, we have a new identity. We are sons, through creation first and then by adoption. God has given us a new identity. I am beginning to see how important it is to embrace this identity. If I do not know that I am a son, raised with Jesus and seated with Him, I cannot offer the world the one thing that it truly needs. The purpose of the Church is to make disciples that are sons of God. We are called to call others into their destiny as Holy Spirit leads us. We cannot do that while remnants of the orphan remain in us. God is in the process of removing that. It comes through the cross and embracing it for all of our old, orphaned self and then being raised as sons, fellow heirs with Jesus. This is where I am today, learning to see all of the areas in my life that I am living in and have been embracing this lie. God is teaching me to be a son.

Read the prayer of Jesus for the disciples and let it sink in as you realize it is for you also.
[John 17:18-26 ESV] 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. 20 "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."

God wants to heal us, teach us to live as sons, united with Him and as one in Him and then to transform the world. I am called to work with orphans but it might not be how I though of it. The world is full of people that do not know they are orphans and God wants to bring them, through the cross of Jesus to the place of adoption and sonship. He also wants to use you in this ministry. Are you ready?

Monday, May 8, 2017

An Unexpected Turn

For two weeks I had little to do but rest. There were a few small tasks but not much to keep me busy. The first week was Holy Week and we do not have any teams. The next week was the group from His Hands. They go to the school to get all of the sponsorship information for many of our students. I often dive them but it can be hard for the school when I come. Kids call out to get my attention at the most inappropriate times making it hard for the teachers to do their jobs. I stayed behind while Rene drove them out and dropped them off. It was all good because after the two weeks rest I was rested and excited to get out and work with my great friends from Hinton. It is always good to see Kelvin and his crew so I was excited to get back to work.

The team came in late on Wednesday night and we left at 7:30 Thursday morning to build a house in Zapote. I was feeling good and ready to get started. We carted all of the materials to the house and cut down about a dozen banana trees to make room for the house. About 2 hours in we had holes dug for the posts that would hold the house up and went to carry one from the gate to the house site, about 30 yards, through a narrow walkway. As I got to the clearing for the house I turned just slightly and felt a pop. I thought I was going to go down and pain shot through my knee. I had a slightly torn meniscus for about a year and a half but now something felt really wrong. Every step hurt. I was about to unexpectedly get a few more weeks off.

We has a doctor on the team and he narrowed it down to just a torn MCL or a bigger tear in the meniscus than I had previously. He checked at the sight and then again when we got home that night. I think he had narrowed it down to the meniscus that evening. Within a few minutes of this happening, I remembered that a friend, Joe Leier had a surgical team coming the next week. I messaged him and asked about the team and he told me that their was only one doctor doing surgeries that week and he was an orthopedic surgeon, the one that had repaired his son Micah's shoulder a few months before.

It is amazin whatthey can do through two small hole. $ days afte
It is amazing what they can do through 2 small holes. 4
 days after surgery
I went to have x-rays while the team went to work on Friday. On Monday Patrica, Micah and I made the trip an hour and twenty minutes north to see the doctor. He confirmed Dr Noel's diagnosis that it was a torn meniscus. I was scheduled for surgery the next day. Patricia and I got up early and at 5:30 Tuesday morning she again drove me to San Raymundo for surgery. After waiting for the complicated surgeries to finish, they took me to prep at about 12:45. They took me into surgery a couple of hours later and repaired the knee. It has been 6 days and I am feeling much better. I still have some bruising and a little difficult straightening my knee completely but I am almost back to normal.

When I look at all of the things that transpired, I have been amazed at how God orchestrated everything. The injury happened at the only time it could if I was going to get it repaired before I came back to the States. It happened while we had a team with a doctor and a nurse on the property to check up on me every once in a while and it happened when the best person to repair it would be available. God did not cause the injury but He allowed it to happen at the best possible time.

Many people would ask why He allowed it to happen in the first place. If God is good, why does He allow such injuries to attack His children? Why did He allow me  to have cancer 6 years ago> Why do so many face such bad circumstances? I do not have all of the answers but I have come to this conclusion; He is faithful and He loves us. These seemingly bad circumstances will cause growth in us that nothing else can. Through cancer I learned that I can trust God to lead in the middle of dire circumstances. Through the knee injury I learned something completely different.

The other day I woke up praying about some things and God spoke something profound and painful to me. He showed me how selfish I am. I have done lots of things that would look like that it not true but He showed me some of my motives in doing them. They usually made me feel good about myself but I often still grumbled and complained about the actual work required to accomplish them. Often I would complain on the inside even when I said little with my mouth. I wanted the gratification of helping people and I loved the acknowledgements but often hated the work. I am sure that was reflected in my attitudes at times.

Today, as I read 1st Cor 3 I was reminded that all of our work is to be built on the foundation of Jesus and it will have to withstand a test of fire. Whatever is build poorly, with a wrong attitude and not under the direction of Holy Spirit will burn and we will suffer the loss. I believe God has led me here. He has given me a supernatural love for the people here and a desire to see this country transformed by His love through the body of believers. Unfortunately, I had let my attitude be shaped by selfish thoughts and wrong thinking. I had forgotten to be thankful because Jesus has let me have a role in the work He is doing. I let work displace relationship and is was showing. Fortunately, He has been faithful to give me time to hear His voice and begin repenting of the wrong attitudes and to move Him back to the center of all I am doing. Without Him orchestrating the events with my knee, I may still be working from the same lies. Jesus is faithful to put us in a position to hear Him even when we resist. Thank you Jesus that having a right relationship with you is more important than finishing houses, playing with kids, building stoves or even building schools and \Churches. Thank you that you bring us to where we need to be to learn that lesson.

I will be back in the States for a couple of weeks starting May 15th. I would love to share more with you about what God is doing in my life and in Guatemala and also to catch up with you all. I want to say thank you for all that have been supporting me with your finances and prayers and also to all that have encouraged me. I cannot do what I am doing without your support and encouragement.

If you would consider supporting and praying for me, I would appreciate it. I still need to raise $5,000 approximately to finish this year. You can send support checks to:

Life Church Morris
P.O. Box 679
Morris, IL 60450
In the memo of your check write Mission San Lucas

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Challenge

This is not a usual post but rather a challenge foor me that I am asking others to join me in. I am going to pray the following verses from Ephesians for myself personally for the next 30 days and as they become more a reality in my life I am going to pray them over My family, both natural and Church family gor 30 more days. I am asking my friends and family to join this prayer. I am realizing how often I depend on self but want to be completely emptied of self so I can be fully filled with the Holy Spirit. The world needs the Church to walk in the power of God. The disciples turned the world upside down once. We need to see it happen today. Please join me in this prayer, first for yourself and then for all that Jesus wants to use to make himself know. Feel free to share this challenge with everyone and I will be writing a regular blog soon.