…juan pablo…

In a few weeks I’ll be heading back to Planet Wisdom with the students in our student ministry.  I am excited about that.  They came to Tulsa in 2009, took a year off in 2010, but are back again here in 2011.

Last time a lot of things were impactful for my students including Mark Matlock, Dutton and the Skit Guys.  While I enjoyed each and everyone of those guys, that wasn’t really what impacted me the most.

Juan Pablo impacted me the most.

During the conference Mark stood up and talked about how he had become a sponsor of a child through Compassion International and had used this as an opportunity to help his kids connect with those outside of Dallas.

He said that his kids had really gotten into writing the 1 or 2 kids – I can’t remember how many they sponsored.  It was cool for him to watch them minister to these students across the world.  He kind of got choked up talking about it even.

You know those times when the Spirit starts speaking to you in such a way that you feel like the room just got 50 degrees warmer, your ears tingle, your stomach turns, and you can only think about one thing?  That is EXACTLY what happened to me when Mark offered the challenge to sponsor a child.

I knew that this is what I was supposed to do.  I knew it!  But I didn’t know if my wife was wanting to do sponsor a kid or not.  Although she was sitting right next to me it wasn’t the best time to talk something like this over.  So I whispered a prayer much like Gideon did when he put stipulations on God.  I said “God, if You want me to sponsor a child then when they pass out the packets in a minute, then I need to be given the packet of a little boy from a Latino country.”

See I had gone to Mexico in college and loved the little boys in the orphanages.  So I had a heart for those little boys already.

When the people came by with the packets, I raised my hand signaling I was interested in sponsoring and they handed me a packet.  When I looked at the front there was a picture of Juan Pablo – a little 8 year old boy from Colombia.  He called my bluff and answered my prayer.

I looked at my wife and said “Are we gonna do this?” And she responded with “If God is calling you to then yeah.” So I signed up that day.  I’ve been sponsoring little Juan Pablo since February 2009 – almost two years.

Last April our church participated in Compassion Day at church and through that my wife felt called to pick out a child.  So she picked out little Herrietta from Ghana.  I was so proud of my wife for that.  And it turns out that Herrietta had been waiting over  months to get sponsored, and my wife did that for her!

It has been a blessing getting little pictures, and cards, and “art projects” in the mail from these two kids.

I’m thankful for the fact that we can help these two in Colombia, South America and Ghana, Africa from our little house in Tulsa, OK.

If you are interested in sponsoring, head on over to Compassion International now!


…a bike for Johnny…

After lunch on Sunday my wife and I walked out of The Brook Restaurant to find our friend Johnny sitting on the bench outside.

We met Johnny almost 2 years ago when we moved from our apartment to our house in Brookside.  Tiffany was the first one to meet him one day when she was running.  I first met him when he showed up to a block party that our church did.  I’ve ran into him all over Brookside.  I helped him pull closet doors out of a dumpster one night while running.  He took them the next day and went and sold them somewhere.

While on walks with Riley we have seen him at Sonic and Quik Trip and other places.  Every time we see him he is nothing but pleasant and gives us a good smile.

Well Sunday while talking to him we found out that someone had stolen his bike a few days before.  He told us that if someone really needed his old bike that bad than he was fine with it.  He was naively optimistic too.  He thought that whoever stole it would bring it back when they were done with it.  But I, on the other hand, just didn’t feel right about this man in his 60s who is living on the streets having to get around by foot until his bike is maybe one day brought back.

So, I made a phone call and got one.

I went out to Ken’s house and got his son’s bike.  I offered him $25 for it, but Ken is so nice that he told me to just keep it.  When I got home Tiffany, Riley and I went out looking for Johnny, found him and gave him his new bike.  It was great to watch him ride away a little more proud.

I love doing spontaneous ministry with my wife!

What is your favorite kind of ministry to do?