Friday, April 25, 2008

And we're off . . .

Just a quick update to let you know that we'll be out of town for the next week.  Tonight we are heading over to Dublin to check out the Crusade ministry there.  We come home Wednesday night and 3 hours later we'll catch the bus to take us over to Czech for the Josiah Venture conference that begins on Thursday.  

We would love your prayers as we seek the Lord's next step for us in ministry.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Homeward Bound

We got our tickets to come home a few weeks ago.  We arrive on June 24th back in Portland.  Its crazy that our time in Lithuania has gone so quickly.  It is definitely hard to leave a ministry we have started and yet we can't wait to see family and friends.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Honda Havoc

Yesterday Sharon and I had a full day, the plan was to drive to Vilnius at 8:00 for a doctor appointment at 10:00 and then back to Kaunas to get ready for a evangelism training time at 2:00.
Everything went fairly well until we got in our little classic 84 Honda Civic we call "Rusty" to head back home. Sharon turned the key to start our dream ride and to our surprise nothing happened. Now you need to know a few things at this point, the first is that today was an important day in our ministry here in LT because we were going to train another Christian group in how to share their faith in a new way. We had been planning this for a long time and I Matt was leading the training. Secondly, though our car cost 275 dollars and has run a little rough it has been fairly reliable. Ok back to the story, as soon as we realized we had a problem I started doing the limited things I knew to do. I started to pray and told our team to pray. Then I began troubleshooting and realized since the car didn't have a dead battery it had to be a starter issue. So I went to pop the hood to start meddling around in the engine and found that the hood wouldn't open. For some odd reason the mechanism to release the hood wouldn't work and the crazy thing is that it worked before we left earlier that morning when I checked the oil. So, to make this story a little shorter, after some stress and more prayer the car started for no apparent physical reason. We got back home with 5 minutes to spare and headed to the training time which went really well. God is good.

Here are a few pictures of our training time...

And one of Rusty (which was formerly owned by Peter and Jen Hibbs)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Insecurity and me

On Wednesday it was Jason's turn to lead Agape night and he selected the topic of insecurity knowing it would make for some important discussion.

To start out you should know that usually there are anywhere from 10-18 people on a regular Agape night but on Wednesday we had 26 people packed into our living room. That by itself is enough to make anyone leading a bit insecure let alone the topic Jason was trying to breach. But, he did a great job. He asked great questions and facilitated some very sensitive discussion. He also poured out his heart to this group in relation to all the things he is insecure about and all the experiences from his childhood that made him this way.

One of his main assertions was that insecurity is ultimately a trust issue at its core. He concluded that since he has learned to really trust God, that relationship has given him the freedom to trust others and move forward in being more secure in who he is.

Then to top off an already moving evening, Jason decided to be even more vulnerable and do the unthinkable in regards to his own insecurity. He decided to perform deaf karaoke* for his first time ever in front of our agape night crowd. It was moving knowing how much it cost him to do something of that trust magnitude. In fact Kellie cried as she watched her cousin step out and face some insecurities head on.

*Deaf Karaoke is a game where you pick a song on your ipod and then turn it up as loud as it will go and start singing. Here's the catch, you can't hear yourself because it's so loud therefore you are way off key. You are also the only one who can hear the music and everyone else can only hear you as you massacre your favorite tune. It makes for some great laughs for everyone but it is hard to muster up the courage to perform.

Jason gettin after it

Kellie gettin misty

I got in on the deaf karaoke fun too!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

An Invitation to Theology in Community

Two months ago we started asking some friends and family back home what books have come out in the last two years that they would recommend. Sharon's sister Lynn recommended a book to us called "So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore" by Jake Colson

As usual, Sharon read it quickly and I took my time to start and finish it. We both enjoyed the read and feel it contains some great principles of what it looks like to really follow Jesus. It also has some provoking critiques of how we do church in general, and it challenges Christians to see God's church beyond the building and institution that we often mistake it for. Needless to say, it led to some very interesting and spirited discussions between us as we wrestled through the ideas in this book.

*As with any book, one must think and pray through the thoughts presented, instead of just blindly accepting them because they're written somewhat authoritatively in a book format. But, if you want an interesting read that will challenge you, make you quite uncomfortable at times, and yet fuel a passion to really know and follow our Father then give it a shot.

Go to

You can even download a free pdf version on this website!

So, back to the invitation mentioned above, if anyone has or chooses to read this book, we'd love to hear your thoughts! Please post in the comments below.