Come on people…..

Last week I posted about Matt and Tricia and their upcoming movie to Thailand. Like I said in the post, they need to raise about $5,000 for their travel expenses, and they’re leaving really soon.

In the comments, Tricia shared some great news that they scored a ‘buddy pass’, which reduced the cost of the trip by half, but here’s what she wrote on their blog a couple of days ago:

Unfortunately, the buddy passes that our friends gave us turned out not to be the best route. Because they only got us so far, only one time, it ended up actually being more economical to actually purchase two round trip tickets. We got a pretty good price for one: $1,571.67. So, that brings our support needs back up to about $4,500. So far, we’ve gotten about $500. 🙂

In the last blog post I noted that if everyone who reads this blog on a regular basis would give 20 bucks, we could get them there. So far, two people have responded, and I have $40 that I’m going to send to the Flaglers, but I know we can do so much better than that! Let’s take a cue from Anne Jackson and show what lots of people can do when they do what they can!

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Uzbekistan Photos (Pt. 2)

I posted another round of photos from my time in Uzbekistan (Read the original post here about where these are coming from). As I said before, I will gladly sell these to you in any format for any price, and all profits will go to supporting the Kingdom of Jesus in Central Asia.

See the rest of them on my flickr feed here.

Got a minute?

’cause if you do, I’d like to share a couple of neat opportunities with you…

When I went overseas, I had about 11 weeks to find enough folks to commit to giving about $1,200 a month for at least a year while I was gone. Once I had been gone for a couple of months, a good bit of my support dropped off. I ended up having to watch my finances very carefully, and I still spent a lot of my own money.

The day I got home, I pretty much had nothing in the bank, and I actually owed some money to cover travel expenses for getting home.

Missionaries shouldn’t have to deal with that.

Fast-forward to today: God is good and He takes care of me. Steph and I are ironing out some financial rinkles and God is teaching us in the process. But I want to introduce you to three friends who are now in the shoes I was in a couple of years ago:

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1) Meet Tricia and Matt. Tricia is my sister from another mother. She was with me in Uzbekistan, and is one of the awesome-est (yes, I just made that a word) people you’ll ever meet. Since we’ve been back, she and Matt got married and started a life together.

In a couple of weeks, they will be moving to Thailand to spread the Gospel. They will earn their place in the culture by teaching english to elementary school students at this school. Once they arrive in the country, their expenses will be paid as part of their teaching positions, but they are responsible to cover all of their travel expenses, which will be several thousand dollars.

Up until now, Tricia has been working at a church, and Matt has been working part-time while going to seminary. This is another way of saying, “These kids have been living on a string and a couple thousand dollars doesn’t come easy.” If everyone who looked at this blog yesterday gave 20 bucks, we could pay for their whole trip. Please pray about it and let me know if you wanna help!

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I wanna go back…

Me in the ruins of Alexander the Greats palace in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Me in the ruins of Alexander the Great's palace in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

I would give a lot to be waking up in Samarkand today. I would walk down the street to get break baked just a few minutes ago, and I would come home and eat it for breakfast with sweet milk and tea.

Or I would fast and walk around the city all day and pray against the demonic strongholds that make a miserable place to live.

Someday, Lord?

More trouble in Uzbekistan

A Protestant from north-west Uzbekistan, Jandos Kuandikov, was arrested on 14 June and is still in detention before facing criminal trial on terrorism charges, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. Uzbek police have also recently falsely accused a Protestant refugee in Kazakhstan of terrorism charges. Amongst other recent violations of freedom of thought, conscience and belief, four Baptists in Tashkent Region – Natalya Ogai, Filipp Kim, Dmitri Kim and Nurlan Tolebaev – have been fined and sentenced to ten days’ imprisonment, because of their peaceful religious activity. Fines continue to be imposed on other Protestants. However, in a highly unusual move, a court in the capital Tashkent found that charges against a Protestant had been fabricated and ordered police to be punished for this. But members of Tashkent’s Hare Krishna community have been banned from taking part in a music and environment festival.

Read the whole article here

12 Sins We Blame On Others

“12 Sins We Blame on Others” is a good, quick read over at Desiring God. Go have a look!

#5 in particular probably hits most of us between the eyes:

5) Spiritual Apathy

My spiritual life would be so much more vibrant and I would struggle with sin less if my small group were more encouraging, or if Sunday school were more engaging, or if the music in the worship service were more lively, or if the sermons were better.

“Uncle Sam Wants You To Shop!”

Saw this poster at Southpoint Mall in Durham

I saw this poster when Steph and I were walking around the mall the other day.

It made me kind of angry, and kind of ashamed of my country…