He Cannot Deny Himself

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13

Honestly, when I first dipped
my toe in the water last fall, I was half expecting to fail. Fifteen thousand
dollars was a daunting goal and I was half expecting to have to write refund
checks and regretful letters to the folks who did give, explaining that things
just didn’t quite work out and thanks for trying. To be honest, part of me was
even half hoping for failure. At least then I would be able to tell God with an
air of plausibility that I had tried to go into the ministry but failed, and what
more did he really want from me?

He’s probably laughing
right now.

Just before Christmas,
a church in Canada picked me up for $3,600. In March, a man who barely knew me
laid his hands upon my head and prophesied that I was doing exactly what the
Lord wanted me to do, and that I should keep going. Later the same month, a
group of friends from Asbury Seminary, where I had gone to school, held a
fundraiser that wildly exceeded any of my expectations. Slowly but steadily, checks
kept coming. After speaking to my church about Haiti, they began to come more
steadily. Finally, last week, the church eldership itself wrote me a $3,600
check. As things currently stand, I have “raised” $13,200, only $1,800 shy of
my goal for the year.

I put “raised” in
quotation marks because as I’ve said before, I really haven’t done much of
anything to bring this money in. I’ve spoken exactly twice to groups of people about
Haiti. I’ve managed to blog about once a month. I started out with a support base
of virtually zero and now I have dozens of people committed and over $13,000. What
can I say? This doesn’t owe anything to my fundraising prowess. I just happen
to have great friends and a great church and, well, my Father loves me. He has
proven that, time and again.

With only $1,800 left
to go now, I’m excited to be heading back to Haiti. I’m humbled and honored to
be entrusted with teaching the Word of God to a generation of students who are hungry
for truth and committed to extending God’s Kingdom in a very dark place. I’m
thrilled to be a living testimony to the truth that as you step out in faith,
the road will rise to meet you as you go. And that sometimes, when you don’t
have faith, the Lord will provide for you anyway and laugh at the astonished
look on your face.



July 2013 Newsletter

God Gives the Growth

Well, after a couple months of inertia, things appear to be moving once again! After a lull of about a month without receiving anything, I have received $475 over the past couple of weeks. It’s funny, too, because it honestly isn’t due to anything I have done. Indeed, it often seems to happen in spite of what I do.

Last Sunday, for instance, I went to first service at church, and I was supposed to pick up some copies from commentaries afterwards from the pastor’s office, but I forgot. I decided to wait until the end of the second service to go pick them up. Second service usually ends at 12:30, so I showed up then and was surprised to find the service still going. I slipped into a pew and waited for the benediction, but my friend who was preaching noticed me and pointed me out and told everyone I was going to Haiti and raising support. After the service, a lady who happened to be in town from Florida came up and told me that she had been in the U.S. Army during the 1994 intervention and has had a heart for Haiti ever since. We talked for a while and I gave her the address for my website. She sent me $250 online before the end of the week.

Perhaps this is a common experience for missionaries. In reference to her own fundraising efforts (which have recently succeeded in unforeseen ways and through unintended means), my mom quipped recently“I wonder what else I CAN’T do for the sake of the ministry!” What the Apostle Paul said is true: “Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” (1 Cor. 3:7) God does things in his own time for his own glory.

Prayer Requests

That’s about all I have for this month. If you would join me in prayer for the following requests, I would be appreciative:

  • A smooth transition back to Haiti. Moving is going to be hectic. Pray that God would grease the wheels.
  • Adequate preparation for teaching a class. I’ve never taught a class before, and in some ways, I honestly don’t know what I’m doing. Pray for God’s wisdom, grace, and guidance.
  • A new roommate for the owner of the house I live in. He is going to need the money. Pray that the Lord would provide a solid Christian to move in soon.

I appreciate you reading this, and I appreciate your prayers and support. May grace & peace be with you.