Monday, May 23, 2011

Not again! Tornadoes hit too close to home. ..

It's been another chaotic weather weekend with tornaodes hitting just west of  Olathe, as well as demolishing large portion of Joplin, Missouri to our south.  Over 89 are confirmed dead in Joplin and the death toll is expected to rise.  Things are bit unsettling, but we do not live as ones without hope. God is on our side and will enable to us to reach out to the hurting around us:

Please consider joining the relief effort:

  1) PRAY:  This DOES make a difference!  The Lord acts on behalf of those for whom we pray. "Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer." Psalm 4:1

2) CARE KITS:  Heart to Heart International is already on site in Joplin with the mobile medical unit and is requesting care kits. Please follow specific instructions below on preparing a Heart to Heart Care Kit.  You may drop these off at the ServiceCorps office over the next two weeks.
One new hand towel
One new washcloth
One wide-tooth comb
One 10-15 oz. bottle of shampoo
One new individually wrapped toothbrush
One 4-6 oz. tube of toothpaste
One individually wrapped bath-size bar of soap
Ten (10) adhesive bandages
Two (2) one-gallon-size, zipper-seal plastic bags

** Place all items in one zipper-seal bag, seal it, place the top of the filled bag into the bottom of the second bag and seal the second bag. Please include at least $1.00 donation/kit to cover cost of shipping.

3) VOLUNTEER: Our Kansas City District will be heavily involved in the relief efforts in Joplin. We will keep you posted on the efforts to partner with the Nazarene Disaster Response in mobilizing teams of volunteers to work with local pastors and leaders to distribute aid, offer comfort and begin clean-up.

4) GIVE: You may donate directly to either of these organizations on the web:

-- Nazarene Compassionate Ministries:
-- Heart to Heart International:

Thank you for reaching out to our neighbors in the name of Christ.

Go Global:
MNU ServiceCorps:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How many licks does it take . . . ?

You've heard this line from a classic commercial, "How many licks does it take to get the center of a 'Tootsie Pop'?"  Perhaps a better question is, "How many packets of paperwork does it take to get a permit to work in New Zealand?"

Getting long-term employment in another country is not for the faint of heart.  Paperwork, money, background checks, health assessments . . .and more paperwork and more money.   This seems to be my life right now as I seek to transfer my teaching license to New Zealand and get registered by the Teacher's Council.  I have a new appreciation for the expatriates and immigrants among us right here in Kansas City! 

The investment is worth it!  God has called me to love and serve him in whatever context I find myself, and He has recently opened the door to serve and learn in New Zealand.  If my obedience to His call means that a little boy or girl in New Zealand finds hope and wholeness in Christ, or that a friend or family member is inspired to love God with everything they've got . . it's all worth it!  If I feel love and accepted and find fulfillment in my work, it's worth it!  If I feel lonely and abandoned and wonder what I am doing 10,000 miles away. . .it's worth it even then.  I trust my Lord with this journey and because God has pointed me in this direction, IT'S ALL WORTH IT!