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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

I’ve gone on a few mission trips over the years. Here’s what I’ve learned and experienced by going on these Jesus centered humanitarian adventures.

1. I am the one who usually experiences the richest blessing and reward from the acts of service

2. I gain a whole new appreciation and respect for other cultures and gain a renewed a perspective on how incredibly blessed my life is.

3. God speaks to me in a clear, direct ways that I don’t often eperience in my normal routine.

4. The relationships that are formed with other team members are deep and long lasting.

5. I get inspired by those who are dedicating their whole life to missions work in very challenging environments. Experiencing their world allows me to find ways to encourage them and pray for them in very specific ways.

If you have not participated in a mission focused trip outside of your culture, you should. It’s eye opening and faith expanding. God calls us to get out of our “normal” life to partner with him in this great adventure.

About this trip and how you can help me make this happen. Jenni traveled to Moldova last year to see what Beginning of Life Moldova (partners of Children’s Hope Chest) is doing to rescue, rehabilitate and prevent human traficking. She got to experience what they do on a dailby basis and to spend time encouraging young women who have been through hell and are now trying to live a restored life. You can read more about her and last years team experiences here. (Scroll down to see several posts from last year’s trip.)

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This coming February Jenni and I will be taking this trip again along with a team for our Paseo Church family. Jenni has explained a lot about what we are going to be doing and the expenses of the trip that need to be covered here so I am not going to re-write but I’ll paste in the meat of her post.

will be working with Beginning of Life Moldova (HopeChest in country partner) to help bring awareness to their programs that assist trafficked, abused and exploited girls/women. BOL operates three programs that we will be visiting/working in:

  • A rehabilitation house – Girls live here after they have been rescued. The girls in the safe house are ages 8-16. They live at the safe house where they receive holistic spiritual and psychological treatment.
  • A reintegration and independent living program – Once the girls have completed treatment they move to this phase of the program where they continue to receive ongoing treatment and begin to learn life skills, receive job training, and prepare for independent living. We’ll also visit with girls who have successfully completed the program and are now in independent living.
  • Prevention program – BOL and HopeChest work in schools and offer training and support groups to educate vulnerable children and teens to connect them with services and prevent trafficking. We will be working in the schools and assisting with this program. There are pieces of the prevention program that deal with crisis pregnancy and abortion prevention that we may also be visiting.

We’ll also be meeting with staff, checking out the local area, learning about Moldovan culture, and participating in worship and just spending time with the girls. It’s EXTREMELY rare that outsiders are allowed in to work with actual victims of trafficking. This is humbling… a privilege… and I can’t wait for my team to experience all that I did last year.

Paseo (my home church) is strategically sending all of us on this trip to figure out how we can permanently partner with BOL/HopeChest in. Our ground costs are $1,000 and flight will be another $1,500 or so. Since Brian and I are both going, the total cost for both of us is $5,000. We humbly ask that you partner with us.

I’d like to ask you all to consider the following:

(1) Prayer: We need prayer. Moldova is far from “safe”. We actually had to sign a waiver in our application that stated we understood that there would be no efforts of negotiations if we were kidnapped. I highly doubt that will happen… but the fact that THAT needed to be signed warrant for SOME prayer. Please pray with us and FOR us. Please pray for our children. We aren’t taking them with us, though I really would love to one day… but for now, that they’d feel secure at home with the friends we are leaving them with.

(2) Financially: We need to raise $5,000. It sounds like a lot. It IS a lot if just ONE of us had to pay it. But if 50 people partnered with me for $100 or 100 people partnered with $50, that could be covered quickly. This letter is going out to 400+ friends/subscribers. Every little bit counts and is EXTREMELY appreciated.

If you feel called to help in this way, you can simply CLICK HERE (or on the Online Giving logo on the right column) and give your tax-deductible donation to Paseo. Just make sure you label it: “CLAYVILLE’S-MOLDOVA” in the “Description” section.

I have not stepped out to do something like this trip since 2007 so it’s time. I work on commission in my mortgage business so it is a sacrifice because when I’m not out interacting with people my business generally slows down. I am trusting that God will continue to provide new clients and my business will be in capable hands while I’m gone. I trust my kids will be protected and loved and not miss us too much while we are gone.

I look forward to sharing the ways we saw God working in Moldova, with our team and in our own hearts. Partner with me!

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So after a long summer and fall break from speaking at Churchatbethany, I told Matt Payne (my pastor) I would cover for him on December 6th because he was going a New Thing event somewhere in the East .  I accepted the responsibility before Thanksgiving and anticipated spending a decent amount of time over the Holiday to prepare.  Well, I also forgot that I was due for all my continuing education for maintain my Oregon Life Insurance License.

By Friday night after Thanksgiving I was texting Matt to see if I could get out of speaking because I was feeling way too overwhelmed.  He said he had no back up plan and that he was confident I could pull it off (inside he was probably freaking out just a bit).  Besides all that, I am in charge of our Christmas Tree Fundraiser and that kicked off on Thanksgiving weekend and goes through the 13th of December (come buy a tree we have tons still available).

So I decided to focus in one thing at a time and just get it all done.  By no0n on Sunday (Thanksgiving Weekend) I was totally done with my continuing education (so I thought).  We then had to drive from La Grande back to Portland which takes about 5 to 6 hours with kids and stops.  So I had all week between, work, kids and Christmas tree fundraiser to get my sermon ready to go.  I had it edited pretty well by Friday morning and finished it totally by Saturday evening.  Then I got to practice it a few times that evening and Sunday morning.  I felt like it went pretty well, even though my nerves still  mess me up when I get in front of people.  I felt like I did a better job with the delivery this time.   People seemed to be engaged and tracking with me.  The biggest improvement I think was because I personalized the message more.  It helped me to deliver it more from memory and do less reading from my notes.

The message was on Scripture and how we use it to grow in our own faith but also how to include family and small group in our spiritual growth.  The main point; the scriptures are all about Jesus, every story points to him.  The only way to really experience him is to fully immerse yourself in the scripture.

The podcast should be up soon here on the Church site.  Feel free to give me some constructive criticism if you are a seasoned speaker.  The main thing I really messed up was not having a transition for the worship team to know when to come up at the end but of course you can’t hear that on the podcast anyway.  It was totally awkward and kind of funny.  That’s how you learn though, Right?

Whats your most memorable or embarrassing moment as a public speaker?

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Today was an experience to be remembered.

I woke up early and angry.  Strange combination huh?  Anyway, I wanted to practice my sermon a few times before the kids got up and totally distracted me.  Of course, being angry it was really hard to get my mind wrapped around the sermon.  So, I spent a few minutes praying for freedom from the anger and the ability to focus.  My mind cleared up very quickly but then baby #1 looks down the stairs into my office with the question in his eyes, can I come down?  Of course, I invite him to come sit with me.

Recently Chance has been very whiney about everything so with in a few minutes he is whining about something and quickly getting on my nerves.  Then, Baby #2 wakes up and needs attention.  Long morning short, I didn’t get much practice in.  I read it one time out loud before we left the house.

At church, we were the second family to arrive for set up.  Matt Isborn was there with the trailer so we quickly jumped into getting church all set up.  We were short handed by 3 of our usual set up guys which could have made things very difficult.  What amazes me every week is how smoothly set up goes regardless of who is there and who is not.

Once the main things were handled I sneaked away to get one more crack at preparing my sermon.  I felt pretty good about it but certainly didn’t have it memorized.  The topic of our series is “Your Own Personal Jesus”.  It talks about all the different images people have of who Jesus is or was.  Mine was on “Middle Class Jesus” which is perfect for me.  It is so close to the image I have held through much of my adult life.  The point is that you can tell a lot about someones image of Jesus by what they pray about.  Middle Class Jesus followers pray for safety, take away my pain, make me successful and make me happy.  I was encouraging people to pray for Jesus to make them Dangerous, Deepened, Generous and Fully Alive in Him.

This was only my second time preaching to an adult audience.  I have to say, it was much more comfortable than the first time but I was still way too serious and tied to my notes.  Next time I will practice smiling and work to have it mostly memorized.  Any other preaching tips from you pros out there?

My hope for today is that someone was encouraged if they are in real pain right now. I also hope that people were challenged if they are too comfortable in their walk with God.  We can’t be comfortable and be on the front lines fighting against the evil forces that rule this earth.  If you are not engaged in the battle, I challenge you to take up your weapon and fight.

You can visit our website for Church! at Bethany and download a podcast for any of our messages.  Jenni had a great worship set and her team did a great job as usual.  Check out her recap of the day here.

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