“The Heart of Man”

The Heart of Man is a phenomenal movie. My 15 year-old son and I went to see the one-night showing on September 17th. It sold out in theaters all across the country and has received great reviews including a 4.9 out of 5 stars on Rotten Tomatoes (as of 9/28/17).

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Since the movie was so well-received it is being shown again on Tuesday, October 17. If you’re a dude, young or old, this is a must-see! And bringing some of your friends. My wife spoke to a young woman who had seen it and also loved it. So I’ll be purchasing advanced tickets when they go on sale tomorrow (9/29) for the three of us. Hope to see you there!

Synopsis from The Heart of Man website:
The Heart of Man” is a story inviting the sons and daughters of God to leave behind our broken, moralistic and religious way of thinking and relating to God and to others. Once we begin to know who God is (and as a result who we are), we have something to invite the world into. Freedom from performance. Freedom from managing our behavior so we appear acceptable to God. Freedom from our addictions, compulsive behaviors, secrecy and double lives. This film tears the veil of confusion over the church’s current identity crisis and enables it to invite the rest of the world to the banquet God is throwing all of us.

The film features emotional interviews with real people going through their mess and subsequent healing, and includes expert witnesses of such men as William Paul Young, author of the NY Times best-selling novel “The Shack”, Dan Allender, Ph.D, author of “The Wounded Heart” and Spoken Word Artist Jackie Hill Perry. All of that is interwoven with a production-rich “prodigal son” narrative story shot in Hawaii.

Here’s the first trailer.

This is a longer featurette.

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let’s keep in touch!

We would love to keep you up-to-date on our journey to Kenya. The best way to do that would be to sign up for our periodic newsletter. This should ensure the emails don’t end up in your spam folder. If you’re interested click on the link below. As always, thank you for your prayers and support!

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I want to feel something

I love how different types of music speaks to me in different seasons of life. Last week I started listening to Nichole Nordeman’s album Every Mile Mattered. I have completely fallen in love with this album. Dear Me is my favorite cut, and one that I can finally (after hearing it 100 times) listen to without tearing up. But today, No Longer really spoke to me. These are a few of the lyrics that really got to me…

I don’t wanna live like I’m half alive
I don’t want to walk where the road is wide

I wanna run with my heart on my shirt
Straight into the wind maybe get hurt
I thought living safe meant living stronger
No longer

I’m an introvert and it takes forever for me to process things. If you’ve had a life-changing experience you know how difficult it can be to put all those emotions into words. I feel it takes me twice as long as the average human.

When I returned from my first trip to Kenya in 2014 it took weeks for me to share all my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I was continually working through everything I had experienced. A month or so later I realized I felt sort of numb. I had been feeling this for days and couldn’t figure out why.

I wanted to feel something again.

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I longed to be back in Kenya. Not only to see our friends, hug the kids and see their smiling faces and dirty feet, but to feel something. To have my heart pulled toward these people. To feel the joy they have. To see the true need and know that God is right there with them. I wanted to be challenged, stretched.

Those same thoughts have come rushing back again over the past week. And it’s due to Nichole Nordeman’s songs. I realized she has put into words the very things I’ve been feeling and not been able to express.

Not a day goes by when Lisa and I aren’t talking about the future in Kenya or laughing at a memory from our past trips. I deeply miss the country and people. (And the food!) God has unmistakably placed a calling in us to be there.

I want my life to matter. I want to make a difference. Have an impact. My life is a gift from God. The love and grace He poured out on me isn’t just for me to accept and hold onto with clenched fists. If I’m to live in a way that’s pleasing to Him, I must share that love and grace with others. As Lisa and I spend more and more time praying and listening, God is revealing things to us and changing our hearts. He’s showing us things we need to work on, as a couple and individually – those are the hard-but-necessary things. And, He’s reaffirming that He’s got us in His hands. Always has, always will. That is the part that brings inexplicable peace and joy in the midst of all the unknowns.

It feels like there’s this sleeping giant inside me. And it’s beginning to stir. I can’t wait to see what happens when it fully awakens. What God is going to do with us when we are fully surrendered to Him. I know that whatever it is, it will be to His glory, and because of Him, not us. We just said, “Yes.” He will do the rest.

A sending agency and a road trip

TMS Global

In June the three of us attended Candidate Assessment and Orientation with TMS Global. It was an amazing weekend of meeting the staff and hearing their heart and passion for cross cultural ministry. We participated in team-building exercises, and had some

Sojourn Adventures

great food. We felt the Holy Spirit washing over us with peace and guidance the whole time. This was the place for us. Several days and lots of prayer later, TMS extended an invitation to come on board with them. We accepted! So we now have a sending agency!And this isn’t just about checking that off our list of “things to do.” We know this is God’s hand placing this before us to prepare us for the future. This is about getting training and a support system that will help guide us as we continue to discern God’s calling on our lives. It’s about developing relationships that will be invested in us, and us in them. It’s about God connecting His people together in ways we could never have imagined, to accomplish things for His glory. And that’s exactly where we want to be!

New England road trip

My family and I love road trips, even if they are for one day. Our most ambitious road trip was last year when we went to Indian Springs State Park, Savannah, Tybee Island and Statesboro in one day. It was a blast.

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airbnb in Jersey City

This year we drove to visit my family in New England. On the way up we spent a few days in New York City. This was just a good time of experiencing new things together as a family. Lisa planned 95% of it and rocked it! She typically plans our getaways, partially because she enjoys planning trips, partially (mostly?) because I hate planning trips. But I’m trying to get better at not putting all the burden on her.

Lisa found an airbnb in Jersey City and we drove into NYC each day. We hit the typical tourist sites – Times Square, Central Park, etc. But we (Lisa) also found interesting places to eat. The best was a little Indian restaurant. Love me some Indian food!

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The next nine days were spent visiting family in New Hampshire and Maine. With all the future plans and changes coming next year we are realizing how important it is to pour into the people that matter most: family and good friends. This was the best trip we’ve had. It was full of laughter, fun, hugs, relaxation, and stories. I love getting together with family and sharing stories of growing up. I think we tell the same ones each time we are together, but they still bring on laughter and lots of memories.

 

Next steps

It’s been an adjustment, as it is every year, now that school is back in session. But this year is unique. Jaxon has his permit (he’s doing great!), and this could very well be his jax drives.jpeglast year of schooling in the States. The plan is that he will enroll with Liberty University’s online program while we are in Kenya.

Lisa will start her Perspectives On The World Christian Movement class in a few weeks. This is an intense, in-depth course that meets once a week for three hours and ends in December. I took this several years ago and loved it. It’s like drinking out of a firehose, but there is so much good information on how God worked through people in the past and continues to do so in the present.

We are excited to dive in with TMS as we meet with other staff members and begin absorbing everything. Lots of training is in store for us. Five days this November will consist of Foundations training at the TMS offices. We haven’t figured out the exact schedule for next summer but we’ll attend four weeks of training at Missionary Training International in Colorado and two weeks in India. This is a monumental amount of preparation and can feel overwhelming at times. But, we know it will set us up for success once we hit the ground in Kenya.

We want to say a huge “Thank you!” to our family and friends who have supported us along this journey. We’ve never done this before, and it can sometimes seem like we’re floundering and running in circles. It’s all part of the discernment process. Thanks for your patience!

Please be in prayer as we continue this process! We are learning and discerning as we go, and have a great support system to help us along the way.

Kwaheri!

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It’s been a while…

img_6433-all-sitting-jax-on-rockWow, it’s hard to believe how much time has passed since our last post here! A lot has happened since last May. Here’s a brief run-down:

  • We had another amazing family trip to Kenya at the end of June into July. For two weeks we traveled again from Nairobi to Molo, Nyahururu and Nanyuki. It was great to see familiar faces and places. One of the highlights was meeting the family of a great friend we made in Molo. So many great memories!
  • Prior to our trip we were all set to move into a town house at the end of July. The plan was to rent a smaller place, get out of debt and live with less ‘stuff.’ During our stay in Nanyuki we found out everything had fallen through and we’d have to find somewhere else to live within two weeks after returning. God provided! Some very

    gracious friends offered to rent out their basement for as long as we needed. We had a HUGE garage sale, took two trips with a 10′ U-haul and moved in. This has required some adjustments, patience and prayer. And it has been great preparation for the next major change in our lives…

  • January 2018 – we’re relocating to Kenya! We know for sure we’ll be shooting videos and telling stories, and working with one of the ministries we connected with on our trip in 2015. We are not sure for how long we will live there – maybe a year or two. More details to come!
  • Isaac, the watchman we met at our rental house during our 2015 trip to Kenya, is in Nyahururu and doing well. He is renting a place to stay, growing a garden and praising God. He has grown so much food in his garden that he is giving it away to others in need! In October he texted me from northwestern Kenya where he was attending a large summit/conference. The attendees brought food, clothes, etc to donate to a famine-stricken area near the border of South Sudan. He also gave food to a nearby children’s home. Isaac is really being a blessing to others! He was hired as a cook for a school in Nairobi. But, after working a short time he wasn’t getting paid. He did not know Nairobi well and he had some personal items stolen. So, he left and went back to Nyahururu and is happy once again.
  • Our holidays were very nice. We were able to see some family and friends. And spend some much-needed time together as a family.
  • So far, the plan of downsizing and getting out of debt is working. Our only debt is the car payment!

2017 will be a year of preparation and planning. The move to Kenya is becoming very real as we get closer to the time when we will say goodbyes to family and friends. Your prayers are appreciated and needed!

That’s all for now.

Glen, Lisa and Jax

fruits, of the earth and the Spirit

This past weekend we drove to Washington Farms to pick some fresh strawberries. We’ve done this a number of times over the years and it’s always fun time. Especially eating them out of the bucket on the way home. They are always so good! I was comparing pictures from 2012 and 2016 and was blown away by how much Jaxon has grown – inside and out.

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A lot can change in four years. For this young man, it’s the amount of anxiety, worry, peace and confidence he has. Many of you have heard us talk about this, and it still amazes us how far he has come. And we give all the glory to God for how much He has made a difference in Jaxon’s life.

Four years ago he was in the middle of counseling, having been diagnosed with severe anxiety. The amount of anxiety and worry he felt was overwhelming at times. These feelings were triggered by many things, including darkening skies signaling an approaching storm, testing at school or going into an event/environment that was unfamiliar. And his reactions ranged widely from simply being in a bad mood, to fits of rage where his actions and words were scary and hurtful. Lisa and I walked on eggshells every minute of the day hoping not to do or say anything that would cause an unwanted response. Many tears were shed during this roller coaster ride, but also many, many prayers were whispered and shouted. Of course we would never wish to have this happen to our precious child, or anyone else’s. But, because it did happen, the three of us have faith and trust we wouldn’t otherwise know. And for that I am truly thankful.

Next month we are going to Kenya for the second time as a family. And we couldn’t be more excited. This nearly 14 year-old who was completely stressed about us moving to a new home fifteen minutes north is now enthusiastically awaiting our 8,000-mile journey to another continent. The amount of peace and confidence Jaxon exudes is evident every day. His easy smile is a testament to me that the Spirit is at work in him.

Did our hugs and encouraging words help? Yes.

Were the hours upon hours of counseling beneficial? Absolutely.

But, only God could help Jaxon conquer his anxiety and overcome the dark thoughts that clouded his mind. He still has times when he gets worried and stressed. But, they are in the “normal” range now. And he knows the One he can turn to in times of need. Thank you, Jesus.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galations 5:22, 23

going back to Kenya!

We are returning to Kenya in July! 
We will be going back to Kenya for roughly two weeks this summer. God brought us together with so many wonderful people and truly gave us a passion and excitement for working and ministering there. We want to continue building those relationships as well as make new connections for potential future ministry and business partnerships. 

Partner with us!
God has placed a calling on our family to go to Kenya and get involved where He is already at work. We would love for you to partner with us in prayer and financially, and walk with us on this journey. We are seeking contributions to help cover the cost of airline tickets, visas and the last batch of vaccinations. For more information on how you can give please go to our GoFundMe campaign.

We are so excited to see what God has in store for us next!