Krista and I had an amazing opportunity this past week to go to student camp with our youth group at church. We both have a small group of freshmen that we lead on a weekly basis, and it was exciting to spend a little more time with them. We had around 150 kids total!

The title for the whole week was “Transformed” and from the first night it was clear that all these kids were really looking for something and God was ready to move. I really don’t think that I have ever been a part of anything like this before. I saw kids being saved from day one and then over the next few days just building on all the decisions that they made the first night. It was cool to see kids who may not have even wanted to go to camp praising God and just wanting to take what they learned back home. I feel blessed just to be a part of what they are doing at Faith Promise.

For me it was a great opportunity to take a step back from life and not only focus on these kids but to focus on God and my relationship with him. This summer has been really busy for us and with both working at trying to raise support it has been really hard to have a lot of good quality time with God. Even though this week was hard at points, and I really didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, I really felt connected and refreshed.

I’m excited to see what God has in store for us here in the states over the next couple months. It’s easy to look ahead towards Jamaica but I think that he still has work for us to do while we’re still here.

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Hey all! Thanks for staying updated on what we are doing. Krista and I have been really busy the last couple weeks. We met with 4 different small groups from church and everyone of them has been so encouraging to us. We feel blessed to be a part of Faith Promise and the things that they are doing there. Since our last newsletter we have jumped just past the 75% mark! It’s good to know that we are 3/4 of the way there but we know that the last 25% might be the hardest.

Krista and I have the amazing privileged to be able to head down to Myrtle Beach with out youth group and help out at summer camp! We’re so excited to see what God will do there in the lives of our kids and us as well. It’s going to be a great few days to take a step back from the busyness of support raising.

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Busy! In a good way…

Hey all! I hope that you all had a wonderful fourth! We had Lindsy, Jordan, and Jude Griffis over (Krista’s sister, our brother-in-law and our nephew). It was really good to see them all! Babies change a lot when you don’t get a chance to see them for a few months. Also, with Krista not working for the summer we have been able to get a lot more commitments for support! We are currently at 71.5% of our monthly goal. Not all that is coming in yet, but that is what has been pledged and we’re excited to get those people signed up. We can’t thank everyone enough for all their encouragement. It so good to see people who are excited and catch the vision of what we’re doing. Even if you don’t have the means to partner with us financially your involvement is still vital to what we are doing and what we are hoping to do. Without your prayers and support we will not get there.

If you have any friends or family that you think might be interested in hearing about what Krista and I are doing please let us know! We still have a long way to go and we can’t make it there without you! If you ever have any questions to hesitate to ask. We want to keep everybody who is interested in what we are doing as informed as possible.

Thanks again

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Hey everybody! We just wanted to send out a quick update before the holiday weekend. We officially have over 2/3 of our total monthly support pledged! We are currently at 68% of our goal, and that does not include several others who have committed to partner with us who are still deciding on the amount. We also have approximately 50% of our outgoing costs covered. God is doing great things! Thanks so much to all of our partners. You help to make this possible! We still have a way to go before September, so please share this opportunity with friends and family who you think may be interested. Love you all!

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Philippians 4:4-7   “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

As I was reading in Philippians recently, this passage stood out to me. Rejoicing is so important that Paul had to say it twice with exclamation points! I realized that I probably don’t take rejoicing quite as seriously. It has been nice to use my time off this summer to work on raising our support…and we have come quite a way in the past month! That being said, it can be easy to go through the motions (as with any job) and forget to rejoice. It can also be easy to become anxious about our support after a tough week and forget that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard [my heart and my mind] in Christ Jesus” if I ask him for it. I think peace is something we could all use a little more of in our lives. This passage says that if we pray to God with thanksgiving, that his peace WILL guard our hearts and minds. It’s a promise.

So, I am learning and praying that God will help me to rejoice in the small things and trust him for the big ones. To “consider the lilies of the field” more often. When a friend isn’t able to support us, I still want to rejoice that the word is being spread and that we have another prayer warrior on our side. To everyone who reads this, thank you so much for following our updates. We still have a long way to go to get to Jamaica. We are around 65% of our total monthly support if we calculate in what our church will give (which is still not finalized). We also have many outgoing costs to cover. If you feel led to give and impact these children’s lives, please let us know! We would be thrilled to have you on our team! Remember to rejoice!

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“Here I am, send me!”

I was listening to a radio show this morning and there was an interview with a band called Downhere. They have a new song out called “Here I am.” It was written about Isaiah 6:8. Isaiah 6:8-13 was Isaiah’s commissioning by God. Isaiah heard God ask “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” and responded by saying “Here I am, Send me!” For Isaiah it was the start of something huge. I was thinking about how this could possibly relate in modern times and in every day life. Lots of people get called by God and do some amazing things but could you imagine how amazing it would be if everyday that you woke up, that I wake up, we tell God “Here I am, send me!” Those five words could change the world. We might not do something amazing or crazy everyday but we might do the little things that God asks that might make the difference. With the right attitude we could do that little things that we might have hesitated at before and could impact someones life more than we could imagine. So often it’s more like “uh, here I am, you don’t mean me, do you?”

I think I’m going to try and look at each day more like that. “Here I am, send me!”

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Audacious Faith

I have been reading an excellent book lately and I thought that I would share some thoughts on it. The book that I have been reading is “Sun Stand Still” by Steven Furtick. It is based off the story of Israel’s conquest of Canaan. Israel was in the middle of battle after they had wondered forty years in the desert and were finally at the door to Canaan. It was getting close to dark and the battle was not won. Joshua remembered what God told him. “Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” Joshua 10:8. At this point Joshua delivered and amazing prayer, “O sun, Stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon” Joshua 10:12. Joshua issued a prayer and asked for the impossible.

The God that stopped the sun for Joshua is the same God today. I love the thought of being able to pray a prayer like Joshua did and ask for something that seems impossible. I always hear people saying that with God all things are possible but in my life it seems like I’m never in a situation where I need God to do the impossible.

That was true until Krista and I were called into ministry.

I will say that I feel like things are going well, but there is a huge mountain to overcome. Not only financially but mentally and spiritually. I like the analogy that we are tools for God. For a tool to be effective that tool needs to be sharp. It so easy in everyday life to get caught up in business and not sharpen the tool. Looking ahead we need to focus more than ever on doing that. Preparing ourselves for what God has for us when we get to Jamaica (as well as here).

God has placed a calling on our lives. We have accepted that calling and have stepped out in faith. I’m so excited to see what he will do as he prepares us in the next few months. I’m glad we are relying on God for the “impossible.” Steven Furtick says “you and I are called not just to have faith but to regularly activate our faith by asking God for giant outcomes, taking giant steps. If we have the audacity to ask, God has the ability to perform.”

To activate our “audacious faith” regularly sounds pretty exciting… doesn’t it?

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1/3 of the way

Hope you all (y’all) had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! We had a great weekend. We have had an awesome week in support raising. It’s starting to feel like we are really getting somewhere. We are at roughly 34% of our monthly support goal. We want to thank everyone who has signed up so much for their support and their sacrifice.

Also, Krista is officially done with school this year so she will have more free time to devote to support raising. Lets hope we can keep this momentum up!

Thanks for caring and keeping up with what we’re doing!

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A Special Weekend

This past weekend was special for several reasons! First, Ben and I had the opportunity to do the music for my college friends’ (Mindy and Jon) wedding. Mindy just graduated with her doctorate in physical therapy and I was so happy to see them married after around 6 years of dating. What an awesome couple. And, they decided to give to our ministry in honor of all the guests that came! Mindy and Jon left a little story on our mission on each table…so neat. It was truly a blessing to be a part of their wedding and to receive this special gift.

Another reason this weekend was special was because we reached 25% of our monthly support goal!! This is a big milestone for us and is very encouraging. Thanks to all of you who have been so generous and excited for our vision for Jamaica.

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Sign Language class!

Well, it’s time! haha I obviously don’t know very much sign language. I have a great teacher at home (Krista) but we just haven’t found time to go over some sign language. Our church does a lot for deaf people around the area and they are having a sign language class on Saturdays. So, I’m going! I really need to start learning it now. It should be good.

We also had a pretty good support week! We sent some more letters out to family in Michigan and we are over 15% of our monthly goal! I think we are going to sign up officially for missionary training in September. We have to do that training within 6 months of when we leave for Jamaica so I think that we should be fine to sign up for the training. 🙂

For those interested in class in the Knoxville area. Faith Promise Church, 4:00, Room 222.

It’s free. 🙂

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