Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Father's Day Challenge

It's Father's Day here in Australia. For the past few days I've been thinking about orphans (who am I kidding? I think about orphans every day!) and ways we can care for them. I've especially been thinking of those orphans who aren't adoptable. Some are in countries where adoption just isn't an option, as there are no provisions for that in place or adoption has been banned. As disciples of Christ, not all of us are called to adopt~but each of us is commanded to care for the orphan. So on this Father's Day I'm issuing a challenge~that we would pray and ask our Heavenly Father how He is calling us as individuals (or families) to care for the fatherless.

Here are some possibilities:

1. Support someone else who is adopting. Get creative and do some fundraising for them!

2. Sponsor an orphan or a ministry who does orphan care, the monthly cost is usually less than a meal out for most families.

3. Seek out a single mom and her child(ren) in your church or community and come alongside them. Invite them over for meals, offer to babysit, help with car and other repairs, etc.

4. Become an advocate for the fatherless on Facebook and/or your blog. One beautiful example is Julia at Micah Six Eight .

If you have any other ideas, please comment!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Giveaway: Anything by Jennie Allen

Yes, a real copy of the real book! If you want to enter, go to my Facebook page (see link in sidebar) and follow the directions. If you don't have a Facebook, no worries~just leave a comment here. Drawing will be done August 31st!

Here's an excerpt:

“God we will do anything. Anything.”

Zac and I climbed into bed on a completely average night two years ago. We were pretty tired. We just laid there looking at the ceiling, with only small firework fantasies of what God might say. Zac took my hand and spoke the simple words we had been processing for the past few months but not yet been ready to say.

God had been opening our eyes to how precious our temporary lives were and how numbly we were moving through them.

We were over it. We were over building our lives. We were over houses and cars and cute Christmas cards. We wanted something; we couldn’t put our finger on it. It was burning in us. We had loved so many other things more than God.

We were ready to do anything.

So we prayed. As sincerely as I have ever prayed any other thing,
I prayed in my heart as Zac spoke:

“God we will do anything. Anything.”

It didn't feel fancy. It wasn’t even a big deal. But the prayer held in it a thousand little deaths. In saying anything, it meant we were handing him everything. My heart raced a little at the thought… and then we fell asleep.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Back to the beginning.

While we believe that God has been preparing us for this for many years, there have been some defining moments along the way~times that He has spoken to us and given us what I call "puzzle pieces"~that one day will all come together to form a beautiful picture~in His perfect timing.

As we seek God's guidance for the next step in this journey, we feel it's very important to go back to the beginning and remind ourselves of what He has shown us so that we don't lose the vision and call He's given us during our searching.

Sean and I will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary next month. All of our married lives, God has put a major soft spot in our hearts for the fatherless. Years ago, we dreamed of having an orphanage one day. One thing troubled me though~the fact that orphanages just weren't (and still aren't) all that common in the western world, namely America! Yet it never occurred to me that God might take us to another country where orphanages ARE common. Or that there could be a major pit-stop in Australia beforehand! His ways are so far above ours...He has totally changed the way we look at orphan care now~it's not really about institutionalized's about setting the solitary in FAMILIES (Psalm 68:6). But we'll elaborate on that later :)

At one point we were considering adoption through foster care, and we even went as far as to request the paperwork so that we could get the ball rolling. But we never even took a single class. We kept praying, but just never felt the green light for that.

In the meantime I've been having lots of dreams, involving lots of children. They all seem to have the same theme...orphan rescue and care. Children being rounded up, taken to safety and given the specialized nurturing they need for as long as it is needed. Some may go on to be reunited with family, some may be adopted out, and some may stay with us...but all will be given a true family to love and care for them by the grace of God our Father.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Sean arrived safely home yesterday morning. I think it's safe to say that he is pretty blown away by everything that happened on the trip. I kind of wish I would have been able to record him as he shared some of the highlights with us, but it was a pretty emotional time for us.

Obviously one of the best parts was being used to lead a young man named Dennis to Jesus.

And in turn seeing that man want to share the good news with absolutely everyone! We heard a praise report from Dennis yesterday~his cousin Boniface has been visiting the children's home every day and bringing food. He says he wants to build another children's home like it. Also, Dennis' wife Zaina is coming to church with him! Please continue to pray for her salvation.

Some of the men from the YWAM base are following up with Mohammed as well. He was upset that Sean wasn't able to come back and see him personally, but he is allowing the others to read the Bible to him. Please continue to pray for his salvation as well!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Sean visited a place called Camp Blessed~which is a place for lepers and their families. Sean wept as he shared how humbling it was to visit a man who had lost his fingers and toes and even part of one leg to the disease. His home is smaller than Sean's office, and he has to sit on a cold concrete floor. But this man was filled with such joy because God had not only provided lunch for him that day, He had also sent him a visitor! As Sean held his hand and prayed with him, he realized that he delivers more food in one day than this man will see in a year.

Some children at one of the houses in Camp Blessed. There are still houses that need refurbishing with concrete floors (rather than dirt) and new roofs.

Of course, the main questions for us now are "Lord, when can we go back?" and "What specifically are you calling us to get involved in?" We trust that He will answer these questions as we seek His face, and that He will provide all we need to do His will.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A great way to share Jesus with your loved ones (free Kindle)

Are you looking for a respectful way to share the gospel with a friend or family member? May I recommend that you give them a copy of a little book David Servant wrote some years ago just for that purpose titled, Forgive Me for Waiting so Long to Tell You This. Readers are provoked to think about themselves, Jesus Christ, and their eternal destiny.

You can now download the book for free here. You can read it on your computer or on a Kindle device. Once you have the book in your Amazon account, you can easily loan it to a friend by pressing the "Loan this book" link.

Forgive Me for Waiting So Long to Tell You This is frequently ranked #1 in Amazon's category of "Free Best Sellers in Evangelism." It is a great tool to share the gospel!

While you're at, check out David's other free book, "The Disciple Making Minister".

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

In Remembrance of Rev. Dr. Abel Thomas

Early this morning, I received the news that our friend Pastor Thomas has gone to be with the Lord. Sean was planning to spend the day with him on Saturday during his layover in Singapore on the way home from India, but now it looks as if he will be attending his funeral instead. Another reminder that we can't take this life for granted~we are never guaranteed our next breath.

Sean met Pastor Thomas during his mission trip to Sri Lanka/India last year. We believe it was a "divine appointment" that both of them were visiting Sri Lanka at the same time. Seven months later, Pastor Abel and his wife, Glory, felt led to come to Australia and visit our church. They stayed at our pastor's house for a week, preaching both services on Sunday and then held a special mid-week service. The following night we had them over for dinner at our house. Pastor Abel began to share some of his testimony with us of how God had called him to go to other nations and how He had faithfully provided during those trips.

At that time, we had already received the call to Kenya and were actively seeking God's confirmation and receiving it in many wonderful ways. Pastor Abel told us about how God had called him to England, and then he mentioned Mombasa! Obviously, at that point he had my full attention. After sharing some experiences of God's faithfulness while visiting Kenya, Pastor Abel asked why I had perked up so much when he started talking about Africa. I was happy to share with him that God had called us to that very city in Kenya and we had been praying for confirmation. Glory began to weep and shared that they had wondered why God had brought them from Singapore...they hadn't felt like anything special had come from this trip and it was almost over.

As you can imagine, it was very encouraging for all of us. God is so good and His ways are so wonderful. To know that he would bring Abel and Glory all the way from Singapore just to answer our prayers for confirmation is such a huge blessing.

I have a picture of all of us together, but it's on the camera which happens to be with Sean in India. I will add it later. For now I will add a short encouragement straight from Pastor Thomas' website. We got to hear all the details of this story and others first-hand! We are so thankful for that blessing and look forward to meeting again in heaven. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants. Psalm 116:15

"Throughout my ministry that covers over three decades, I have often been in situations where I have proved the absolutely trustworthiness of the words of Christ as found in the passage referred to: “Whatsoever things you ask in prayer, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

Of course it is always possible to pray and want for an answer, but I have had times when I needed an answer instantly and got it. There is one situation that comes to mind and in narrating it I am endeavoring to encourage you to believe God for your needs.

I was traveling from Mombasa to Kisumu in Kenya in order to fulfil a speaking engagement on my preaching in that country. The bus ride was tedious to say the least. Due to the language barrier I could not explain to the conductor where I needed to get off. As a result I was dropped off at a place about 50 kms from where I should have alighted. It did not take me long to realize I was in the wrong place. As it was nightfall I decided to walk on the road hoping to find a place where I could find a telephone. I found a Petrol Station, with attendants who looked at me crookedly and behold there was no phone. Unable to speak their language I, in desperation, cried out to God. In hardly 5 minutes, a taxi pulled in with these words painted on it - “Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shall be saved.” I knew he was a Christian and he helped me into town at his expense. If God could do that for a foreign preacher in a strange land, surely He can meet whatever needs you present to Him."

~Rev. Dr. Abel Thomas

Monday, August 12, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Monday

I know it should be Wordless Wednesday, but I'm down with the flu today so I'm making my own rules! Sean is getting ready to say "tuonane baadaye" (see you later) to our friends in Kenya for now and will be on his way to Bangalore tonight. Please continue to pray for his health, strength, protection and guidance as he visits our brothers and sisters in India. I wouldn't mind prayer for myself as well~the bug has hit me pretty hard.

Here is a picture of Dennis and his family~please continue to pray for this new believer who is so eager to see all his family and friends come to Jesus. We're believing God for these precious souls.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Baby Life Rescue Center

Sean visited Peter and Selpher Matua at Baby Life Rescue Center yesterday. As I mentioned in an earlier post, an estimated 300 babies are abandoned in Kenya alone each day. Baby Life Rescue center has been caring for abandoned babies for about 8 years now. Happily, most of the children in their care end up being adopted by Kenyans. We are so thankful for godly people like Peter and Selpher, who are willing to receive these precious children as the gifts that they are.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

From riches to rags~everyone needs Jesus

Dennis is still making appointments with Sean to share the gospel with people in Mombasa. Yesterday, he introduced Sean to Madame Akarim, a prominent Muslim woman who graciously invited him into her upscale home to talk about Jesus. She had heard "beautiful things" about Jesus, but was confused. If Jesus had died for the sins of the world, then why must people go to hell? Sean was happy to explain God's plan of salvation to her. She invited Sean to come back any time, and we pray that those seeds planted will come to fruition in her life.

After that, Sean visited a leper camp with Action Ministries. They are working with beautiful people who have been affected by this grotesque disease called leprosy. Just as we read in the Bible, these lepers have had to deal with the same stigma, rejection and neglect. The exclusion from society and years of being unloved has run so deep that it has had a severe affect on their children and grand children; who are not lepers, but still outcasts because their family members are.

Through the work of Action Ministry there is a beautiful restoration taking place. The camp was once known as "Tumbe" (meaning a place for rejected people), but they have renamed it "Blessed Camp". Through a feeding program, monthly medical outreaches, educational programs and the founding of a church, they are meeting physical and spiritual needs that have been untouched for years. The work that is being done is incredible… a work of hope and healing.

I've posted this video before, but in case anyone missed it~I'll post it again. These precious people, whom Jesus died for, are considered the outcasts of Kenyan society. But praise God, He has not left them comfortless. There are still many needs at Blessed Camp, many homes that need concrete floors (rather than dirt) and other repairs, food, education for the children, etc. We pray for God's provision for us to be able to help meet those needs.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Stuck in Kenya?

International traffic has obviously been suspended. Sean is supposed to fly out Monday night. We'll see what God does!

Mohammed confesses Jesus is God

Just received this from Sean:

"Shortly after some prayer and walking not far from the YWAM base, this man called out to us to come to his little 3 room house. We went in and talked to this Muslim man, Mohammed. He showed us his 2 hernias, shoulder and knee injuries and asked us for money to help him have hernia surgery. We told him we would pray in Jesus' name. We prayed but did not at the time see any healing.

After this we shared the gospel. Then he went into his room and brought out an old pocket Bible that he had hidden. It is written in English, so he doesn't know how to read it. We read John 10:10 to him. Then we organized to come back on Sunday afternoon as it was not favorable to go any further today. We had already spent over an hour with him and he was getting tired due to the fact that he is old and is fasting for Ramadan.

Praise God at the end he confessed Jesus and God are one after our sharing.

Please pray with Uly from Austria, Julius from Kenya, and myself for salvation to come to Mohammed's house and also for his healing."

Salvation Story continued...

After attending Bible study last night, Dennis the piki-piki driver asked Sean to go meet his brother and share Jesus with him. Of course, Sean was more than happy to oblige. On the way, Dennis informed Sean that his brother was at the pub, and asked if it would be a sin to go there. Sean assured him that it was fine as long as they weren't participating. Once they arrived, Sean found out that Dennis' brother is actually co-owner of the pub. Then Sean sat down with Dennis, his brother and a friend and spoke to them about God and life for an hour. At the end, they both agreed to attend church on Sunday and the business partner told Sean he could come share the gospel at the pub any time he wanted! Wild...

Please join us in praise to God for these opportunities and also prayer for more salvation stories!

Sean and his friend Julius were going door knocking today~can't wait to hear how that turns out!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mission Mombasa

Sean visited with Chris Moore at Mission Mombasa yesterday. He had a great time of fellowship and was happy to glean from Chris' experience and also discuss possibilities for the future, including aquaponics as a means of feeding the poor and being self-sustaining. We are so appreciative of the brothers and sisters in Kenya who have sowed their time and love into us as we seek God's plan for our family!

You can learn about Mission Mombasa and the work they do at

Monday, August 5, 2013

Free Kindle~Which None Can Shut: Remarkable True Stories of God's Miraculous Work in the Muslim World

This book is free on Amazon Kindle through August 6th. Grab it while you can! I'm reading it with keen interest since the majority of the Muslim population in Kenya are living on the coast, especially in Mombasa.

Salvation story!

The other day, Sean and his friend Julius hired a piki-piki to take them somewhere. When the driver heard that Sean was going to preach on Sunday, he asked Sean to come and preach to him one day. So Sean decided that instead of walking to the meeting place on Sunday, he would hire Dennis to drive him there instead~that way he would be able to stay for the service.

Dennis had recently heard the gospel from another customer, and after hearing the same words from Sean he decided that God must be speaking to him! So he repented of his sins and joined the family of God! Later on, Sean visited Dennis' home and shared the gospel with his wife, who is a Muslim. Please keep her in your prayers~we are believing for this whole house to be saved!

Please continue to pray for Sean, especially for his health and protection. We so appreciate your prayer support!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Day 3~Mikindani Slum

Sean visited a slum in Mikindani with a local pastor and met with some men who are trying to facilitate a water system in the slum. Water is being piped into the slum, but only about halfway through~and only 2 or 3 times a week. This means that many people have to travel a way to get water and carry it home.

Here is a picture of one of the slum alleys~you can see that the homes are made of mud and sticks. They are not very stable in the rainy seasons. As you can see, it was raining yesterday. They were surprised that Sean still wanted to go, but he wants to make the most of his time in Kenya. He said the rainwater comes into the homes, and the children walk in the mud with no shoes.

This is Yusef, elder of the Mikindani tribe. If I remember correctly, Sean said he is a believer. He asked when Sean was coming back. There is so much need! We can't make promises to anyone, all we can do is pray and see what God would have us do to help.

Today, after washing his muddy clothes the Kenyan way, Sean will be visiting Onesimus Boy's Centre (the rehabilitation center for boys that I blogged about a while back). Then on Sunday, he has been invited to preach at a local church that meets at the Happy Rock Children's Center.

Asante sana (thank you very much) for your continued prayers~they make a difference!

Happy children

I woke up to pictures in my inbox this morning! Such joy....

These little blessings live at Happy Rock Children's Center in Mombasa. Aren't they precious?

I'll update later after I've spoken to Sean!

Day 2

We had a good phone connection today, so I was able to get a pretty detailed report on how Sean's day went yesterday. If I had my way, I would have asked him a million more questions~but we don't want to use up all our minutes in one day!

First off, I found a pic of the YWAM base in Mombasa. This is where Sean is staying while he "spies out the land". Lots of people who feel called to missions come and stay there while they seek God's will and direction. Sean says the people there are great, and so helpful. By the way, if you have never heard about Youth With a Mission and how it all began, I highly recommend reading "Is That Really You, God?" by Loren Cunningham. It's so inspiring, I've read it twice.

And here are some modes of transport in Kenya~a matatu (not to be confused with a matutu, which is a brand of beer), and a piki-piki (motor bike). Sean says riding in a matatu is like "hell on wheels". He much prefers the piki-piki, but I think either way you're taking your life in your hands! We are very thankful that his new friend Julius went with him, as he says he surely would have gotten lost.

Sean visited two children's homes yesterday. He was able to have lunch and play with the children, while receiving valuable info on what it takes to be able to serve the fatherless in Kenya. He said the children were hanging all over him, and his words to me were "You'd be jealous!" Which I had to laugh at, because of course I do wish I could be there to experience it all first hand.

Today, after a breakfast of mandazi (East African doughnuts), he was planning on returning to one of the children's homes as he wasn't able to spend much time there yesterday. Hopefully I will get another good report tomorrow! I've also asked him to try and send me a picture or two to share, but I'm not holding my breath. He doesn't have a lot of time to try and deal with the internet there.

Kwaheri (goodbye) for now! Thanks for your continued prayer coverage!