I am primarily an evangelist and teacher who travels around the world in apostolic ministry as God leads and enables me. In addition to preaching and teaching the Bible, I mentor our key partners to be more strategic and impactful for the Gospel in their countries and cultures, just as they continue to mentor me. I am relationally focused rather than program or project focused in ministry relationships and partnerships.
Dear Ministry Partners,
Since I first published my book entitled The Passionate Christ, I have posted portions during the Lenten Period on my web site. It is my hope and prayer that they will become the basis for a daily devotional study for our friends and partners. But they are not brief and superficial. They are in depth Biblical expositions for the serious Christian who really wants to deepen his or her passion for the Lord Jesus! Since God is passionate in His love for us, we need to be more passionate in our love for Him! The passion of the cross burns out the dross of our luke-warm and half-hearted commitment to Christ!
So please make this series a daily part of your Lenten Studies, the links are below (use the (read more/less link if you do not see them). Also, please share them with your friends by forwarding this web site to them.
The Passion of Christ - Day 1
The Passion of Christ - Day 2
The Passion of Christ - Day 3
The Passion of Christ - Day 4
The Passion of Christ - Day 5
The Passion of Christ - Day 6
The Passion of Christ - Day 7
The Passion of Christ - Day 8
The Passion of Christ - Day 9
The Passion of Christ - Day 10
The Passion of Christ - Day 11
The Passion of Christ - Day 12
The Passion of Christ - Day 13
The Passion of Christ - Day 14
The Passion of Christ - Day 15
The Passion of Christ - Day 16
The Passion of Christ - Day 17
The Passion of Christ - Day 18
The Passion of Christ - Day 19
The Passion of Christ - Day 20
The Passion of Christ - Day 21
The Passion of Christ - Day 22
The Passion of Christ - Day 23
The Passion of Christ - Day 24
The Passion of Christ - Day 25
The Passion of Christ - Day 26
The Passion of Christ - Day 27
The Passion of Christ - Day 28
The Passion of Christ - Day 29
The Passion of Christ - Day 30
The Passion of Christ - Day 31
The Passion of Christ - Day 32
The Passion of Christ - Day 33
The Passion of Christ - Day 34
The Passion of Christ - Day 35
The Passion of Christ - Day 36
The Passion of Christ - Day 37
The Passion of Christ - Day 38
The Passion of Christ - Day 39
The Passion of Christ - Day 40
Finally, for those of you who will send in a special "Easter Offering" of $20 or more, I would like to send you a copy of my book. I will use your gift for my annual Easter Outreach. This year it will be to the Haitian Diaspora living in the Bahamas.
In His Passion, JL
Jesus said: “There will be great earthquakes…in various places, and fearful events…On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring of the sea.” (Luke 21:11, 25)
Dear Ministry Partner,
In this horrific earthquake and tsunami that has recently hit Japan, we are once again watching the literal fulfilment of these words of prophecy spoken by the Lord Jesus! He said that these kinds of natural disasters would come with greater frequency and intensity in the “Last Days” – like the pains of childbirth for a pregnant woman before birth (Matt. 24:8). But these disasters are not announcing the “end of the world” – but the birthing of God’s Kingdom here on earth.
PROPHECY OR PRACTICALITY?
But these recent natural disasters in Japan – just like earthquake and tsunami in Asia, the earthquakes in Haiti and New Zealand, are not the occasion for prophetic speculation. It is not a time to call a “prophecy conference” on the “signs of the times.” It is a mission mandate for God’s people to “redeem the time” (Eph. 5:16)! The aftermath of this disaster is a strategic opportunity for Christians to show practical expressions of Christian love and compassion.
Our “good works” are needed right now in Japan as never before!
Right after my graduation from college in 1964, I first went to Japan on a mission trip. At that time I was told that the Christian population was around ½ of 1% -- one of the smallest in the world. Today it is variously estimated at 2% - 3%. So this national disaster of epic proportion gives the global Body of Christ a strategic opportunity to share the love and compassion of the Lord Jesus through practical acts of assistance.
From the daily news, you already know some of the horrific and heart-rending statistics from this 8.9 earthquake and killer tsunami. It took place at approximately 2:46 PM on Friday, March llth – just as people were preparing for their usual weekend off from work. The 30 foot wall of water triggered by the huge underwater earthquake hit the shore at 50 miles an hour – devastating everything in its path! This is already being called the greatest crisis in Japan since World War II. Many of the coastal towns look like Hiroshima and Nagasaki after they were flattened by atomic bombs! To date…
NATURAL & NUCLEAR POWER
This earthquake was so strong, scientists are saying the earth literally shifted slightly on its axis! But this disaster was a triple-header. It was a tsunami triggered by an earthquake followed by a nuclear power plant melt-down that experienced 3 successive explosions! One BBC news commentator called it a “double apocalypse” created by mother nature and man. This on-going nuclear crisis in Fukushima reminds us of the similar ones at Three Mile Island in America in 1979 and in Chernobyl, Russia, in 1986.
It is interesting that I first saw the news about this Japanese disaster while I was in Nepal. When the earthquake and tsunami actually happened, I was in route to a remote village at the foothills of Mt. Everest (more about that in a later report). I was also in Nepal when I heard about the Haiti earthquake in 2010 – which I immediately rushed home to be involved in. Now I am in India where I did tsunami relief in the months and year after the 2004 disaster here.
In both of these Asian crisis – as well as the one in Haiti, I have worked through our key national partners on the ground to bring immediate help. It is usually too costly in both time and money for foreign workers to become strategically involved. And when they do arrive, most do not know the local language, culture and power structures. But these “sons of the soil” can often spring into action in a way that foreigners cannot. All they need is the resources in their hands to begin helping people.
Just as was the case in India, Sri Lanka, the Andman Islands and Haiti, we have some strategic partners in Japan who can make the difference – both missionaries and nationals. So I am writing you this URGENT APPEAL from India to ask you to send in a gift ASAP so we can equip our partners in Japan with food, water, blankets, clothing, fuel – whatever is needed to save lives and give hope in the Name of Christ!
To save time, you can give on line via your credit card by following these simple instructions. Go to the "Donate" page on my website and click on the PayPal button to make a donation via PayPal. Whatever you can give personally, please do so. Also, I lovingly urge you to be my “Disaster Partner” by sharing this need with your church, Sunday School Class, Civic Group, business associates who may be looking for a trustworthy ministry to give through.
While Japan is on the opposite economic spectrum from Haiti, they still need our help. Whether you are “First World” or “Third World”…poor or prosperous…industrialized or marginalized – death, sickness, hunger, thirst, cold and loss are the same. Tragedy is no respecter of persons! Neither are we. However, our primary focus will be to help needy Christians who have been impacted by this disaster.
Thanks for helping us touch as many hurting Japanese people as possible with His love and compassion…
PS: Our assistance will be through CRASH, Christian Relief Assistance Support & Hope. It is cohiliation of all of the major Christian churches and groups in Japan who have joined forces to bring relief.
Dear Partners & Friends,
As the old saying goes: "God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform!" Little could I have ever imagined that I would make a sovereign connection with the Joe Gibbs Racing Association (JGR) while I was in Haiti over a year ago doing earthquake disaster work! After all, what does NASCAR have to do with disaster work -- other than cleaning up after their wrecks on the track! Let me explain...
Immediately after the January 12th earthquake, there were no commercial flights going in or out of Port-au-Prince (PaP). Only the US Military and UN were flying large cargo planes in because of the damaged runway and devastated airport. So a number of private corporate jets and planes were made available to fly medical, disaster and relief teams in and out. Joe Gibbs Racing was one of those companies who donated their plane for daily flights in and out of PaP. Because their headquarters is located close to Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville, NC, there is a friendship between some of the Joe Gibbs family and staff and some of the VanWingerdens.
The JGR people were also aware to some degree of the agricultural work that the VanWingerden do through Double Harvest. So they sent their Chaplain, Bob Dyar, down on one of the flights to check into the disaster work that they were involved with through their plane. Since I was staying and working at the Double Harvest Hospital, I met Bob and gave him a quick orientation tour of the 150 acre farm, hospital and work. That began a friendship and new partnership that is still evolving in the Spirit.
After finding out about my book on Islam and DVD Series, Bob started using it at one of the several weekly Bible Studies at JGR. Later I was invited down for a Q & A session with some of the staff. As a result of those visits, JGR is hosting a special "Islam Seminar" at their Headquarters on Friday, April 15th. I have attached a flyer on that event that I hope many of you will attend where I will be teaching with my dear friend and partner Ahmed Aygei, who is a converted Muslim and scholar on Islam.
Another unique aspect of these seminars is that special "Guided Tours" of the JGR Facility will take place -- which is worth the trip! So I hope you will join me, Ahmed and Bob Dyar for this unique day. It will put you in the "fast lane" on learning about Islam -- the single BIGGEST challenging facing the world in general and the church in particular!
Hope to see you there in the "spiritual winner's circle" when it comes to learning about and loving Muslim people...
click here for more information on the seminar (free Acrobat Reader required)
A large Haitian community lived there and worked The Farm who, of course, became unemployed. As a result of my years of traveling and ministering in the Bahamas, this was one of the areas in which we had been working. So when I saw all of this land laying fallow -- with so many Haitians unemployed and living in dilapidated shacks -- I knew God wanted me to get involved. So I contacted my agricultural partners, the VanWingerden Family. With their generous help through Double Harvest, we have initiated a new spiritual and agricultural partnership with our Bahamian friends and the Haitian Diaspora living there. "Double Harvest Bahamas" was officially born last week!
I am standing in the first container that was loaded and shipped last July and just now released and opened. That's why it takes so much patience and perseverance to do mission work.
Meet Arie VanWingerden, from Colorado Springs, the Director of this new "Double Harvest Bahamas" project.
The two 40' containers filled with two Greenhouses and all supporting materials and supplies -- over an $80,000 Kingdom Investment.
Meet Johnny, our Bahamian brother who is now in charge of the containers and Greenhouse. Tools overseas prove the theory of evolution. Over time they all grow "legs" and "wings" and fly or walk away if not constantly guarded!
Arie examines the seed beds and small garden plots of two of our Bahamian brothers that will be improved a thousand-fold through the new Greenhouse for vegetable plug growing and transplanting.
Meet Pastor Stafford Symonette, President of the Bahamian Farmers' Co-op we are partnering with in the development of this Greenhouse and farm project. Until his retirement several years ago, he had planted and built one of the largest churches in Abaco.
We had to bring in over 20 loads of fill dirt to level the land for the first Greenhouse. All of this fill dirt and heavy equipment was donated free by a local Texas businessman who has come in to develop over 1,000 acres surrounding the 500 acres given to the local Bahamian Co-op.
We are thankful that God gave us favor with this Christian Texas entrepreneur who is investing so heavily to help develop the agriculture in the Bahamas where over $500 million dollars of vegetables are imported annually.
We had to drill many holes to set up the first Greenhouse -- a difficult job because of the limestone bedrock just below the surface.
I often had to "throw my weight around" to help the drill bit cut through the bed rock.
The joy of Pastor Sawyer, another of our Bahamian partners, is evident in the big smile on his face as this Greenhouse goes up.
Arie watches carefully as I help cement the polls for the Greenhouse -- a necessity due to the high winds that come during hurricane season
The brothers enjoyed helping Arie construct their first Greenhouse.
It was such a joy to work alongside these brothers in putting up the Greenhouse which we had all waited so long for.
Teamwork and partnership is what every mission project is about.
Here the Bahamian and Haitian brothers work side-by-side to construct the Greenhouse that will benefit them all.
The first 5 Greenhouse supports were put into place while we were there. The rest will be completed this week.
Arie and I got a bit sunburned in the heat of Abaco -- but it was well worth it to see the Greenhouse finally going up. I was wearing a T-Shirt from Metrolina Greenhouses, since the late founder, Tom VanWingerden, was the one who was originally going to start and direct this project. But the Lord took him to heaven before he could do so. As a result, his brother Arie stepped in and took over the project for him.
Before leaving Abaco, I visited this little "Pink Church" where a wonderful group of Haitians have been worshipping for years. I have visited and preached there several times on past visits.
Over the past several years, we have been helping build a new large church to replace the small pink one.
This church was originally initiated by the "Mud Dogs" from Winston-Salem who were organized and led by the late Wes Morgan, former President of the NDI Board.
Meet Jim Clagget, a dear friend and brother from Kentucky who now lives part of the year in Treasure Cay, Bahamas. He has been our local point man in building this church for our Haitian brothers and sisters.
Jim now hopes to see the money raised and teams come down in April to put on the roof and install the doors and windows to complete this project for God's glory and the benefit of the Haitian Diaspora.
Thanks for joining me on this quick Abaco trip! As always, I could not be in places like this without your prayers and financial support. Now pray and give as you can to help us raise the $35,000 that is needed to bring completion and closure to this large Haitian church that will seat over 1,000 people! When this church is completed we will all "...proclaim His praise in the islands!"
This was the banner that welcomed us as I stepped off the plane in Juba, Sudan -- the 193rd Country of the world.
As we drove through Juba, Capital of the new "South Sudan," this sign said it all about their "final walk to freedom" as a new nation.
The determination in this young Sudanese boy's face says it all! Life has been nothing but a struggle for survival for him. Pray that his future will be better than his past!
For the many months leading up to the Referendum vote, this large bill board marked off each day leading to the final vote for separation.
These signs were plastered all over Juba and South Sudan encouraging people to vote for Separation rather than for Unity with the North.
This is the new flag of South Sudan that is their "Symbol of Freedom."
My primary mission this trip was to visit the new land beside the Nile that Double Harvest is preparing to develop a large 250 acre commercial farm.
This picture was taken from the new DH Farm land looking across the historic Nile to the Capital City of Juba, where we will sell our fresh vegetables.
Meet Augusting Ladu, the director of Double Harvest Sudan, our new partner there.
This is a typical "tukul" that the people live in along the Nile.
Many of the people living along the Nile make their living from fishing -- just like this man who was mending his net.
The level of poverty is very high after nearly 30 years of war, as this little child reflects.
Here Len VanWingerden, Bert Lemkes and Augustine meet with the local village elders about the development of the farm we leased from them.
Augustine points out to Len the parimeters of the 250 acres along the Nile.
Bert Lemkes draws out for Augustine the location of the greenhouses and other buildings that will soon be constructed.
While in Juba, we visited one of the local vegetable markets where this little boy's mother was a vendor.
There were plenty of vegetables available -- but they are all trucked in from Uganda. So the cost is very high and the freshness is very low.
Len & Bert with Augustine shortly before we flew from Juba. They returned to Ethiopia and I returned to Kenya.
Pray for Augustine as he continues to give leadership to the development of this latest Double Harvest Farm in one of the most strategic countries in Africa.
After my time in Juba, Sudan, I flew back to Kenya for 10 days of work with Stakwell at the Sports Camp we began 5 years ago.
After my time in Juba, I returned to Kenya and to South Horr to be with Stakwell, Francesca and the team at the Sports Camp.
Francesca, Stakwell's wife, and their two daughters, Wendy (standing) and Maribell, after we attended church together.
One of the beautiful little Samburu girls after church.
The joy on the face of this Samburu Christian woman is evident! And I hope you will listen to the video to hear them sing!
One of the major break-through this trip was to finally be able to get another well drilled. This one will primarily service the garden so the other ones can provide for the Camp and local people.
Stakwell enjoys a cool drink from this new well water.
One of the joys each morning and evening is to see the women and children come to the Camp to get free water from the several wells we have drilled there.
It has been almost a full year since they have received any rain, so the drought is severe -- making this free water a great live-giving blessing.
While the Samburu living close to the Camp can walk and get free water each day, our burden is also to take it into remote areas with this trailer.
Once again on this trip, we did a water delivery several hours north to the Turkana Tribe, the historic enemies of the Samburu.
These women live a very hard life in this region of northern Kenya where it is extremely hot year round.
When we arrived, the effects of the drought was evident -- especially on the women and children.
Like the Samburu, the Turkana are a very colorful people.
Historically, the Turkana have been largely unreached by the Gospel in this area of Kenya.
Because of our supporters, Stakwell is now able to make weekly deliveries of water to the Turkana.
Turkana women, whether young or old, spend much of each day walking miles for water.
You can imagine the joy when our water trailer arrives with hundreds of gallons of fresh, clean water from our wells.
NDI has helped Stakwell in this project through the purchase of the trailer and drums to haul the water in.
The smile on this little girl's face says it all!
This Turkana mama immediately carried a pan of water back to her hut to make tea.
The appreciation was so evident in their faces as we filled all of their water jugs.
After my last visit in December, the Lord impressed upon me to take "solar digital players" to these people with the Scriptures in their Turkana language.
This Turkana mama is hearing God's Word in her own heart language for the first time in her life!
Here Stakwell shows several of the women how to operate the digital players.
Young and old alike were fascinated to hear God speak to them in their heart language.
On this first trip I was only able to take in 10 players for this village. Next trip I need to take dozens more.
Each of these solar-powered players cost $30. So I hope that many of you will sponsor 1, 5, 10, 20 players for Stakwell and me to put in their hands.
This is obviously the first electronic gadget they have ever seen or possessed.
Imagine the joy of hearing God's Word for the first time in your mother tongue!
This Turkana wife immediately took the player to her husband to listen to with her.
This old Turkana mama will now hear the Bible Stories each day as she goes about her hard life of survival in this hostile place.
I am especially excited that the children will be able to listen to the Bible and learn it early as they are growing up.
The speakers on each player is loud enough for small groups to hear it clearly, as these young women are doing by our Land Rover.
Pray for precious Turkana children like these who will now be able to regularly hear God's Word in this remote place where there is no church or regular Christian witness.
Another group we stretegically gave players to were the guards who are stationed in remote places, two-by-two. Stakwell supervises all of these guards who had come to the Camp for a day and night to have their weapons checked.
While the guards were at the Camp to have their weapons checked, we gave each of them the "sword of the Spirit" through these digital players.
Half of the players I took were in Turkana and half were in Samburu so each group could hear God speak to them in their own language.
Each guard is out a month at a time with nothing to do. No radio, TV, newspapers -- nothing.
Now they have God's Word to listen to 24/7!
This Turkana Guard was so thankful to have his own player. Please help me buy more for my next trip!
Each guard said they would also take their players back to their wives and children for the week break between their monthly deployments. So God's Word will spread to their villages.
One of my projects at the Camp this trip was to help Stakwell build a new Stone House. Since we started building these stone buildings, the local people have begun to earn money by gathering and selling stones for building.
While I was at the Camp, I started building a new stone house. These provide income for the Camp as tourists rent them.
We also started a new stone rondoval for an eathing place for tent campers.
These building projects also provide work and income for some of the local Christian builders. They earn about $3.00 a day.
The new Stone House will be similar to this first one I built a couple of years ago called the "Chief's House."
When you come stay at the Camp with a Team, you can enjoy the "bush luxury" of this stone house!
We also did some renovation and painting on our showers and flush toilets -- the only ones in the area.
A lovely view of the Camp Rondovals, each decorated inside with a different tribal emphasis.
A new series of 5 stone houses that Stakwell built so that more people can stay at the Camp.
These two Samburu masons built these houses as well as the new one I started this trip. The Camp can now comfortably sleep 30 people -- so plan to bring your church mission team to Kenya and South Horr this year!
We also restarted the garden since we were able to drill another well to replace one that had gone dry during this long drought.
Almost every day I was at the Camp tourist stopped in for a cold drink, a hot meal, an night's rest -- like this convoy of Land Rovers from the Lake Turkana Wind Project.
One of the income-generating projects that NDI helped Stakwell with was selling fuel since there are no petrol stations in the area. This helps generate funds for the Camp.
Hot and dusty safari travelers often stop by the camp now for a cold soft drink like this German couple who were cyclying across Africa.
It was a joy to also take in some new Camp T-Shirts and good used clothes for the staff who were so appreciative.
These 2 young boys have been adopted by Stakwell and were so happy with their new soccer shirts.
Meet Sampson Lempirias, who works with Stakwell at the Sports Camp as Manager. He graduated from high school in 2009 and hopes to go to College. But he cannot without a sponsor. So if you would like to invest in the future of a fine young Christian leader, sponsor him to college for $1,200 per year -- a great Kingdom investment!
Meet Clement Nkile, a Turkana young man who also works with Stakwell at the Camp in mechanics and water delivery. He would like to go for vocational training as a mechanic but needs a sponsor for $1,000 a year to attend a trade school in Kenya. Another practical mission investment.
My good friends, Larry & Mary Warren, flew up to meet me at the Sports Camp my last day. Larry had not been there in 15 years and was amazed at the progress. Elias Kagwime, of Mission Tours & Travel, also came up. As a Christian businessman, Elias is partnering with us in building another church for the Samburu in another village.