"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

trip prayer requests

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

“O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name; for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.” Isaiah 25:1

-Brian is not a traveler, let alone a WORLD traveler, so pray for peace on the flights-knowing where to go, what to do, that ALL LUGGAGE WOULD ARRIVE ON TIME!
-Pray for travel mercies, health and safety
-Spiritual power for all team members-pray against fear
-Open hearts for students at schools- Pray for the team members and those they will come in contact with. You can remember all the groups going to Zambia (4 teams, each going for 2 weeks, starting the 3rd). We will evangelize 64 schools, start 4 churches, visit the hospitals, orphanages, etc.
-Wisdom for Gospelink staff
-Building projects-safety, speed & efficiency in doing
-Relationships among team members
-National preachers safety and health- Pray for the national preachers who will be traveling to the college (about 500) and their families in their absence. This is a major current prayer request

-Pray that God will specifically let Brian know if this is where our family is to serve Him. Brian is boldly praying that God is also revealing it to someone in Zambia right now; that when the two are introduced, he will know Brian is the one to go over there and work on this project.
-For an open heart to whatever/wherever God is leading (even if it means no)
-During the 3 full days Brian will have to himself at the campus, he plans to walk the full 300 acres praying and listening. He will check out the soil conditions, see what all the land is like. He will talk to some of the people who have been over there serving for the past few months, he will be talking to the national pastors about why this school is needed.
-Also, if he gets God’s confirmation, there may need to be some “business” to discuss with the Director of Gospelink (what the next step will be)
-Pray for wisdom, for discernment, for a listening heart, protection, guidance, to be filled with God’s presence and grace, for Brian not to miss us too much but to really seek God’s leading

-patience, PaTiEnCe, PATIENCE!!! We have swimming lessons, academy camp, etc to keep busy
-For the kids to be good listeners, for everything to work right (from vehicles to appliances to mom!), for kids as they miss dad, for everyone’s health. We don’t know what communication will be like; so don’t know if we will hear from Dad at all (Brian just does not do email J).

Thank you again for your willingness to lift our family up in prayer these next few weeks. It is a privilege to be a part of this family of believers.


-Sunday June 3rd
Leave MSP at noon to Wash DC
Leave at 5 pm for So. Africa (this is about a 16 hour flight)
-Monday the 4th
In flight
Arrive in So. Africa and fly to Zambia
Retire early in Lusaka
-Tuesday the 5th
Evangelize at Primary school in AM
During this week in Lusaka,Brian will be participating of course, but really trying to get a goodoverview/understanding of what the summer teams do withministry.
Middle/high School in afternoon
Orientation in evening
-Wednesday the 6th
Evangelize at Primary school in AM
Middle/high School in afternoon
Door-to-Door outreach and Jesus film in Evening
-Thursday the 7th
Evangelize at Primary school in AM
Middle/high School in afternoon
Door-to-Door outreach and Jesus film in Evening
-Friday the 8th
Evangelize at Primary school in AM
Middle/high School in afternoon
Some free time in evening
-Saturday the 9th
Hospital outreach in afternoon
Some free time
-Sunday the 10th
The groups will be going to various churches in Lusaka, having some free time and then preparing to switch locations
-Monday the 11th
Today they go out to the Bible school campus-they’ll get an overview of the project, do a prayer walk and begin work
-Tuesday the 12th, Wednesday the 13th, Thursday the 14th
The rest of the team will be working on the building projects full time for these next three days.
These are the main three days that Brian will have to himself at the college campus. He plans to do a lot of prayer walking, talking to national pastors, staff at the school, and God. More details on other page.
-Friday the 15th
Work on projects for the morning, then load up and head back to Lusaka. They will debrief, pack for the return trip home and prepare for orphanage trip in morning
-Saturday the 16th, Sunday the 17th
Orphanage ministry in AM
They leave for Airport at 11:30 am They will fly into So. Africa that afternoon, then depart for Wash DC.
Brian then connects to Chicago, then reaches MSP around 1 pm on Sunday afternoon

Thursday, May 24, 2007


“He who loves father & mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:37a-38

A couple of years ago I was deeply convicted of this verse, and I have wrestled with this verse several times since the Lord really got a hold of my life. I began to realize that I cared more what my dad thought then what God thought. My desire has pretty much always been to please my dad and make him proud, with absolutely no thought of my Heavenly Father. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to make your parents proud. But I had put my dad on a throne that he had no place being on. God shares His throne with no one. I had made my dad an idol, and that is sin. I was convicted of that idolatry and I repented of it. By God’s grace and His Spirit, I have not put my dad back on that pedestal. It has not been easy. I love my dad and I still want to make him proud. Now when something comes up and I have a decision to make, first I must ask will this make my Heavenly Father proud? Will this please Him and fulfill His desires? And in doing that I believe I do honor my dad and how he raised me to love the Lord and follow His word. Later on in Matthew Peter asks, “we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?” (Matt. 19:27) In Matthew 19:29 Jesus answers, “And everyone who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for my name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.” When reading one night Kel and I came across this verse while looking for something else. Neither she nor I had ever noticed the “farms” in the verse. I read it over and over. I felt God was speaking to me and my family. Sacrifices made for the sake of Christ will be rewarded. It doesn’t say where that reward will come; I pray it is in heaven. The smallest reward given in heaven will be greater than the largest reward that could be given on earth, and any reward given on earth will pass away, but a heavenly reward is for eternity.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Occasionally we will put a recommended book and review on the site here. This is a definite read. K.P. Yohannan is super hard on the Western Church in this book (maybe rightfully so). But Yohannan does recognize a need for Western missionaries having a part in the evangelism in foreign countries. It is just not in the way we Westerners view it. It is not as church planters, it is more in support roles, teaching roles, serving roles. Gospel For Asia (which Yohannan founded) is also an organization that sponsors national pastors (like Gospelink). This book will definitely change the way you look at missions. Every church mission board member should read it. Really, anyone with any kind of leadership role in the church should read it. He shines a light on how carnal and humanistic the church in America has become. He hits home on our call to evangelize, and to do it through the best means possible (not just the “American/Western” way; but the way that best connects with the people we try to evangelize-which is often best accomplished through national pastors).

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Is it a Muslim country?
No. And actually, their constitution states that they are a “Christian nation”- that doesn’t necessarily mean a lot though! I believe the current President’s wife is a Jehovah’s Witness, and the President himself doesn’t claim to be anything. (The previous president ran as a Christian, and then when elected, took the country to the mat and fleeced them.) And answered in a question below, Zambia is well “missionized”, so there are many Christians there. There may very well be more Muslims around our current location than where the bible school will be. If you click the link to the CIA Fact Book on Zambia link on the right side of the page, you will find TONS of info on Zambia, from government to religion to natural resources and everything else.
What about the kids?
They were excited and ready for us to go the first time we mentioned it. They of course don’t fully understand what life will be like. But Cybil and Mariah understand why we would be going over there-to serve others, to be obedient to God.
What about school?
We already home school, so nothing new there
What about doctors, hospitals, etc?
There are many mission organizations that have clinics in Zambia, plus the nationally run clinics and doctors. And yes, people in 3rd world countries are able and do go to school, some even go on to become professionals. Some nationals leave their home countries, then when they get older, go back to serve their people. There are also quite a few Asian doctors, dentists, and ophthalmologists in the capital as well. Not worried about it.
Is it safe there?
Well, I ask, is it even safe here?!! Yes, it is considered a “safe” country. There is no political upheavals or tensions right now. Part of the food shortage comes from the fact that refugees from other countries come there.
Will you have electricity?
When we build the house, I think we would try to add in solar panels. Otherwise we will rely on batteries and a generator until the power lines are connected to the campus. Let’s face it, it’s all about having money to do it. Gospelink is planning to have electricity, it’s just when they get enough money to do it.
Will you have running water? Is it safe to drink?
Yes, they just dug a new well and are in the process of getting it to the first student compound. We would be able to tap into the line for our house.
What is the weather like?
A friend’s nephew who is stationed there said it is “perfect, all the time.” It is elevated, so not as hot as the western side of Africa near Liberia, Ghana, etc. During their winter (our summer) it may very rarely reach 33 degrees at night but it is typically more like 40 degrees, and is easily 70 during the day as soon as the sun is up. The summers only get up into the 80’s. They have a dry season and a wet season (November to April or so) It is a tropical climate.
What about Joseph, you just brought him out of Africa?
We didn’t “save Joe from Africa”. It wasn’t about getting him out of Africa. It was about adding him to our family. He’ll be going with us; he’ll still be in our family.
Are there other mission organizations in Zambia?
Yes, quite a few. Zambia is considered a “well-missionized” country. YWAM, World Vision, Sons of Thunder, Grace Ministries are there, just to name a few. I already have one contact with a missionary north of Lusaka in Kabwe. He told me the mission community is very welcoming and like a family.
Where will you be located?
The bible campus is about 45 miles due east of Lusaka, the capital. Yes, it is bush country. There is a nearby village about a mile away, it even has internet! WOW! In Africa! J There has been talk of a copper mine a few miles from the campus-that would be awesome! They’d have to have electricity, and to get that may need to go straight through the school campus-that would lower Gospelink’s cost to get it!! Lusaka is a very modern city-movie theaters, stores, hotels, restrauntants, many Asian businesses.
What about malaria and other diseases?
We will use recommended measures to prevent malaria, but malaria is really a bigger deal to us than it is to an African. Yes, if you malnourished and not really healthy, it can be very dangerous. If you are healthy and get to the doctor right away, it is more like getting a bad case of the flu. Joe's already had malaria. As to other diseases, we will i am sure get our full immunizations before we go, but after that who knows. We may just end up being healthier there than we ever have here! No processed junk food, fresh fruits and veggies...
Will you need to raise support?
Yes, we will be raising monthly support, and also seeking donations specifically to cover some upfront costs (house, vehicle, travel).
So you’ve already decided your going?
We both feel this is where God is calling us. Unless there is some big neon flashing sign that says “STOP” or “WAIT” we plan to keep moving ahead. Not being willing to go, yet still exploring the possibilities, well, that wouldn’t make any sense. And anytime God decides to close this door, we will step away knowing we faithfully pursued this in obedience. But we don’t see that closed door yet, so we press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:14)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Why do it? Because when I get to eternity and stand before Jesus, I do not want to have to come up with an excuse for not using what God has given me, for not doing what God has commanded me. I don’t want Him to ask me why I didn’t do more with what He gave me. We will all stand before Christ and have to answer for every word and deed. I want to have no regrets that day. While as a child of God, my misdeeds are forgiven; I still am seeking to present myself a holy sacrifice to Him.
There are many Scripture passages that cover it-so take out your bible and look yourself on these ones!
Matthew 12:36-37
Romans 14:12
Matthew 16:27
Romans 2:6
1 Peter 4:5
Jesus tells us to store up for ourselves treasures in heaven, not on this earth (see Matt 6:19-21 below). While I don’t do this looking for a reward, I know I will be (rewarded). Maybe not on this earth, maybe (probably) not financially. My treasure is with Christ-I don’t need the “riches” of this world.
I want to hear Christ say to me, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:23
How amazing and sovereign God is. (Us) not having even an inkling about this mission thing, we studied countries and cultures this year in school. We read missionary biographies during read aloud time-even David Livingstone who was the first non-native to see Victoria Falls and mapped nearly the entire continent of Africa.
We were also reading through the book of Matthew and memorizing verses out of it. Here are a few that seem appropriate:

Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (We will be and have been seeking God’s word)

Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me, “ Jesus said, “ and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matt. 9:37b-38 “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest filed.” (Through this mission we are helping to teach those workers!)

Matt. 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Our heart is with Christ, that’s where we want our treasures to be-where things of this earth cannot destroy them. The treasures of this world really don’t mean a whole lot to us. What do they get us? Often heartache-but our treasures with Christ only bring us eternal joy.)

Matt. 6:24-25, 33 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (We will not worry, but we will trust in God, and we will seek Him. We are definitely not serving money here-never have. God has consistently provided for us all our needs, and very often all our wants too.)

Matt. 25:34-36, 40 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (May all we do be done as onto the Lord.)

Sunday, May 6, 2007


“Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not-to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:20-31

It hasn’t been fun to learn, but God is talking about me (Brian) here. I have struggled with this for a while, but finally accepted what God was trying to show me here. I am not the smartest, the most qualified, the most articulate, the most anything in THIS WORLD. But I do know that God called me. And I know that I am not smart enough to do this on my own. I believe that is one of the main reasons He did call me. Because I know that I cannot do this on my own. I do not have all the answers. If I could do it myself, I wouldn’t need God. So when I boast, I will boast in the Lord.

Some people seem to think I am just a dairy farmer from Minnesota and dairy is all I will ever be qualified to do, or should do. Pastor Brooke shared a story on Easter. The short-short of it is there was a pastor for 12 years who never really knew Christ, even after all those years of ministry. Poor 6th grade educated Farmer Bob was having a bible study/prayer meeting going on at his house. Pastor decides he is going to go out there and set these people straight. He gets to the door and pauses to listen for a moment and hears Farmer Bob read a passage and give a lesson. The Pastor turns to leave, crying out to God. God tells him-that 6th grade educated Farmer in there knows me on a dimension you never have. Pastor falls to his knees and finally accepts Christ as his Lord and Savior. This is definitely not meant to sound high and mighty or “I’m better than you”, but I do know Christ as my Lord and Savior, I do know him on another dimension. And I see God wanting to use me to confound the wise out there that say you have to be this or that to serve Him. You don’t-you need to be willing, you need to be obedient, and you will be approved by God for the work HE is calling you to do, and HE will be the one to equip you to do it..

Another interesting Scripture and quote I once read:

“On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have not need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” 1 Corinthians 12:22-25

“It is really interesting to watch how God does this work of using the “dishonorable” to bring Him honor. Often we see God raise up some insignificant, uneducated “failure” of a human being, someone that has seen devastation in his life, and use him as a great warrior for the kingdom of God. As this happens, a seminary graduate stands by doing very little for the kingdom, befuddled because God would use this unwashed “nothing” of a man for such a noble purpose. Such a person motivated by his God-given honor and strong in His love, will tear down Satan’s strongholds with supernatural power.
Never discount your value in and to the body of Christ. You are important!” (emphasis mine)
Mathias, Art, Biblical Foundations of Freedom. Pleasant Valley Publications, Thomaston, Georgia, 2000.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

So What is the Plan Now?

Right now we are in a holding pattern waiting for Brian’s trip to Zambia this June for 2 weeks. He will be getting the lay of the land, doing some planning and praying and seeking the “final confirmation” that this is where God is calling us. He will also see what the summer teams that go from the states do as far as evangelism each summer (the teams go and split-one week one does construction and the other evangelism, then they switch). Until then we continue to pray about it and keep on keeping on. In our hearts we know this is where we are going, it’s just a matter of the timing now.