Thursday, October 30, 2008

Buckets of Blessings

Mark 6:38. “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five – and two fish.”

Wednesday of last week I got a phone call telling me that our tournament that we thought was scheduled for the next day was actually a week later. Instead of the 23rd, it was the 30th. Dang-it. We had all these teams coming, sponsors coming, people had taken vacation to come help… You get the picture. It was quite a mess. In the days that followed, most of our teams dropped-out. I mean, I really don’t blame them . Things looked bleak.

Typically, you wouldn’t want to host a golf tournament with less than a dozen teams. But this wasn’t typical. Two days ago, God asked me, “How many loaves do you have?” We had four teams. Four. Not FOURteen or FORty. Just.. four.

Can you guess what happened today? God took the giving hearts of our sponsors and staff of the course, mixed it in with the big hearts of the 16 loyal golfers we had… and He fed us in a way that we did not deserve. We made contacts today that we would have never made if we had cancelled the tournament. It made no sense to host a tournament with four teams. But what seems improbable in human terms is really an opportunity for God to show up. We collectively did all we could do to make this tournament a success. But God blessed all of us and chose to make the unlikely become a reality.

Six total sponsors. A handful of volunteers. Sixteen golfers. And one very compassionate, loving, real God. Tomorrow we will deposit $3,700 into the M25M account! He will have us invest in the Kingdom through feeding 300 people at Thanksgiving, by purchasing and distributing bibles in Swaziland, by assisting a discipleship team share the true and living Word of God. He will have us invest in the ministry of Kriek and Jumbo and in The Luke Commission (medical supplies and treatment). He will have us invest scholarships to help individuals offset mission campaign costs. He will help us build a block house for four little orphaned girls who currently live in a stick and mud hut. Praise God! Praise Him!

So, in a nutshell, we want to thank our golfers. We want to thank our sponsors. We want to thank those who donated to the silent auction. We want to thank Timberline golf course. We want to thank the volunteers. We want to thank those who prepared desserts. More importantly, we are thankful for prayer. I got three emails during the tournament today that told me they were praying for the tournament at that very moment. Powerful.

Today I witnessed a man pay $100 for a $25 gift card to O’Charleys. I saw a left-handed golfer give $100 for a right-handed golf club. My eyes watched as a woman emptied her wallet of gift-cards that she wanted us to sell at the silent auction. We watched as the first and second place teams gave their prize money right back to us. God takes what we give, if we give with a clean-heart, and He gives back.. over and over and over.

Luke 9:13. “You give them something to eat.”

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for feeding us today. Thank you for feeding others through us.

Please help me in giving praise to God Almighty!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Journal Entry

Basic (excerpt) journal entry on June 7th, 2008.

The Children of Thulwane – it is so difficult to comprehend the life of an orphan. We walked to three different homesteads to visit and take food – I was scared to death during the walk – and it was daylight. I imagine the nights are very lonely. No electricity. No streetlights. Heck, no streets. Other than at the carepoint, there is no place to provide very basic care. Not because they won’t – but because they can’t. A simple runny nose can turn into flu. Flu can turn to death. In Swaziland, it is about survival. The strong make it ~ the weak don’t. Orphans stand very little chance of making it to the age of 15. In America, we stand a better chance of dying in a plane-to-plane collision than to die of starvation or a runny nose. It’s like two different worlds. God help them. And please give us the heart to help them. But for Swaziland to heal, it must heal from the inside-out. Her people must experience revival. We must experience revival.