Wednesday, August 31, 2011

4-14 in the 10-40....What do all these numbers mean?

4-14? 10-40? Am I stuck in a bad trucker movie from the 1970's? (I actually loved all those cheesy movies) What are all these codes about? What do they mean? These numbers are sadly two windows that are very important, but often overlooked.

The 4-14 is a demographic window. It represents the 1.2 billion children between the ages of 4-14. Do you realize that here in the United States, 85% of conversions to Christ happen between the ages of 4-14? The 4-14'ers are the most ready and reachable "people group". Right now only 15% of global missions giving goes to the efforts of reaching children. 70% of children in the 4-14 age bracket (nearly a billion children) live in an area that is called the 10-40 Window.

The 10-40 window is not a demographic window, but a geographic window. This is an area found between the latitudes of 10 degree north to 40 degrees north spanning from North Africa, and covering much of Asia.

This window is where 2/3rds of the worlds population lives. This is the region that the worlds poorest live and where the three largest non-christian religions are most highly concentrated (Islam, Hindu, and Buddhism). This area is starving, both physically and spiritually. Millions are dying without ever hearing the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here is the part that shocked Amy and I. Less than 2% of missionaries sent out today are sent to the 10-40 window. Only 1% of missions giving goes to this area of the world. The need is great! The workers are few.

He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.     -Luke 10:2

Quick break down.....
We are going to a place where 2/3 of the worlds population lives in the most unreached area of the world, then realize that 2% of all missionaries are sent there with 1% of missions giving, and only 15% of that is usually spent on reaching the most receptive and "ready" demographic in the world. We have a God sized task! If the children of Burkina Faso are reached for Christ, then an entire nation can be reached in just one generation. Your prayers, your support, and your encouragement will directly impact the 4-14 in the 10-40!

God Bless You!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Desires of My Heart

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
I have come to understand the meaning of this verse. I believe that when you love God with all your heart and put Him before all other things that he gives you the desires of your heart. Not your own desires, but His desires. He places His desires in your heart so that your desires equal His.

I know this because of my desire to move with my family to another continent, another culture to serve God. If you were to have asked me two years ago what my desires were, I would not have even thought to say…to become a missionary in Burkina Faso. As I put aside my own desires and gave God sovereignty over my life He moved in and went to work. I now have certainty and peace that I never knew before.

It gives me tremendous joy to witness this happening in the lives of people around me. Imagine the smile on God’s face when He sees the love His children express to each other.

There is another child being adopted from the orphanage in Yako. What a blessing it is when a family decides to share their lives with a child who has no family. What a blessing when this child comes from another country where survival is a struggle. AND what a blessing when this child has special needs. The family adopting Samson is amazing. God placed this desire in their hearts. Please pray for them and the journey ahead of them.

Read more about Samson’s interaction with his new family in Ruth’s blog, Burkina Orphanage.

Love & Blessings!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011's not a dance!

Take a break if you will, from the daily stresses of this thing we call life. From the increasing economic challenges before us. It's a good time to focus on the positive. It's a good time to notice the miracles around us.

Today I want to share with you just how a loving God provides. How something so simple...a tree...can change peoples lives. You may not have heard of the Moringa tree, but it has been called a miracle tree. Once you hear about this miracle...I hope you will share it with others.

Moringa Trees at the orphanage in Yako, Burkina Faso
The Moringa Tree

This tree has enormous benefits. Every part is valuable. The wood can be used for fuel and it also yields a blue dye. Crushed leaves can be used for scrubbing pots or cleaning walls. The pulp is suitable for making paper. The seeds contain oil that can be used for cooking and when crushed and placed in water, these same seeds draw contaminants and harmful bacteria out of the water, purifying it. Most amazing is the nutritional value that comes from the leaves. The leaves can be ground into a powder and added to food. This powder is like a mega-vitamin. It has 7 times the Vitamin C of oranges, 4 times the Vitamin A of carrots, 4 times the Calcium of milk, 3 times the Potassium of bananas and 2 times the protien of yogurt. Truly miraculous? That's not even the most miraculous thing about this tree.

We live in a world where 925 million people are undernourished. Going hungry is lethal. To truly appreciate the "true miracle", I have a map to show you. The top of this map shows the areas of the world that suffer the most from malnutrition. The bottom half shows where the Moringa tree grows naturally.

When I first saw this my mouth dropped and my eyes teared up. This is God at work! This is His divine provision for His people!

This funny named tree is a miracle to the people who need it the most, but many of these people do not realize what they have available to them. This is why we need to pass on information.

Serving with Sheltering Wings in Burkina Faso, we will utilize the trees growing at the orphange as we care for children. We will share the information we know with others and we will give God the glory.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:19

Love and Blessings!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Mission Heart Beats Louder

The closer we get to the projection date of our launch (which is the quickly approaching month of November), we start to see the world we live in change. Going to the grocery store is.......... different, the daily routines of life in South Florida are different, even the conversations we have are different. The hearts of our family that broke for the country of Burkina Faso are now starting to beat differently.

Our new hearts, missionary hearts are starting to race. Like the drums of the orphanage boys during their Tuesday night bible study...pounding over the hot air of the courtyard. We become more excited as each day passes. We ask ourselves if God could truly be putting us on His front lines, using us for something as wonderful and showing the widows, the children, and the orphans of Africa the love of Christ. WOW!! Only He could pull something like that off!

In an area that I have lived in for over 40 years of my 41 years on earth, I start to feel like an outsider, a visitor. The things that used to excite me here, seem almost a task. Amazing is His path!

Proverbs 3:6

 Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.
God has given my family a new home, a new direction, and a new passion. We continue to prepare and plan, we continue to minimize and organize. He keeps putting each piece of the puzzle in its place. He is showing us that the opportunities of the ways we can reach Burkina Faso are ENDLESS!! The need is so great.

I want to say thanks to all those who have stepped up and joined the "Reach Burkina" Team! I'm praying that all others would consider partnering with us. Become a part of what God is doing in Burkina Faso with us.

Walking in Faith!