Now is the Time

NowAs is the case with most people these days, it seems that there more things to do than hours in the day.  By the end of the day, I plop into my chair in total exhaustion with little or no energy left for anything other than sleep.

I am pulled in 50 different directions on a given work day in particular, with offices in two different cities each about 3 hours away. I spend a good portion of each week on the road traveling to these locations.  The thought of a 40 or even 50 hour week is so far removed from my consciousness that I would think something is wrong if it were that quiet.  It is equally busy for Renay and now Hannah as she enters high school and has spent 8 1/2 hours a day for the past two weeks in band practice getting ready for school to start.  The demands start early…

Eager to Begin

My father told me (more times than I care to remember), as I would talk to him about getting that part time job during high school.

“Son, what is your hurry?  You will have to work the rest of your life.”

My mind at the time could not grasp that concept…the rest of my life.  At 15 or 16 years old I could not see that far forward.  Forty years later, I fully understand what he meant by that and I find myself telling my kids the same thing.  I find myself telling Hannah those words and also reminding her that she will only get to be a teenager once, that adulthood brings on responsibilities that she can’t even see yet.

Being Part of the World

I feel that it all stems from the brokenness that is our world.  Consumerism is everywhere…we get bombarded by images of perceived need, expectation and desire all day long everyday.  On television, on radio, on the Internet, on any app that is on our phones…the message to do more, get more, look better and you will be happy!  It’s no wonder I spend as many hours (or more) away from home and family as I do with them.

The worldly expectations are HUGE.

5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

6 So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”

Hebrews 13:5-6

As I speak with my friends, this feeling is not unique.  We live in a high stress world and country and are conditioned, taught and encouraged to go make a name, provide security, be safe and do good.  While I do all these things, I have come to a new realization…one that I could not even perceive a year ago when the game changed this summer.

My first world worries are miniscule against the backdrop of shear daily survival of my forgotten kids half way around the world in a land that most people (myself included prior to this trip) write off as a lost cause and as a self induced problem.  Thing is,  those thoughts and opinions are not untrue but when God gives you His heart for these orphan kids suddenly all the worldly reasons for how the African continent and the country of Zambia ended up being scourged with AIDS, governmental corruption and exploitation of children makes no difference.

It is my OBLIGATION as a Christian, as a father, as a human… TO DO SOMETHING.  Even if it is only one child – we all can make a difference and a change in the world.  As Hannah pointed out the other day, we can’t change the world, only Jesus can do that but we can change the life of one person every time we interact, either for the good or bad.

Now is the Time

In two weeks, October 1st, 2014, the opportunity for our kids and 100’s of others that came to Camp LIFE will be closed for another year.   We are left with only 6 children remaining to have those that were entrusted to our care fully sponsored and on the way to new hope and no longer forgotten in Zambia.

Now is the time to consider how you can be blessed by a relationship with a child in Zambia
Now is the time to consider how spending $44 a month will change you lifestyle
Now is to time to consider what it is that is holding you back participating in the Great Commandment

Now is the time to TAKE ACTION.

Now is the time…

Links to sponsorship pages are below and in the side bar of this site.

Building the Next 50 Years of Zambia

Next 50 Years of ZambiaMy family spent 10 days this past June outside Lusaka, Zambia at the Family Legacy Missions International facilities there.  We were there to participate in Week 4 of Camp LIFE which is the primary engine that fuels the other facets of their ministry in that country.

The theme of camp this year was “Faith to move mountains” and a larger theme of “building the next 50 years of Zambia”.

Quick History Lesson

This year 2014 is the 50th anniversary of Zambia becoming a nation.  It just so happens that Greer turned 50 years old this year as well.   For those that don’t know, Greer Kendall was born in Zambia while his parents were missionaries there and remained in the country until about 6 years old when his parents returned to the states.

It wasn’t until about 13 years ago that he returned on a church mission trip to his home country that the gravity of the situation there and his calling to do something about it came over him.  He was a successful business owner in Dallas, TX at the time and basically gave that up to start the Family Legacy ministry in 2012.

So 2014 is a special year for Greer, for Family Legacy and for Zambia.

We are the Next 50 Years of Zambia

This was instilled in these kids all week and all 7 weeks of the summer during Camp LIFE.  These kids, like our own, believe they can make a difference in the future of their country just like ours believe that here.  Through American sponsorship and support these children have the opportunity to obtain a good education, discipleship and guidance from the Zambian and American staff of the Lifeway Christian Academies in their neighborhoods.

Second only to the Catholic Church, Family Legacy is the largest private educator of children in Zambia with 17 LCA’s spread across numerous slum compounds of Lusaka.  These schools are designed to provide Father’s Heart sponsored children with a Christian education.  These schools were opened in response to the critical need for quality education.

The LCA’s have a low student to teacher ratios and highly qualified teachers who provide the orphans with a solid academic base.  The teachers are well educated and specially trained in working with orphaned and vulnerable children.  They long to see these children exceed the expectations of the slums where they live.

We are Building the Next 50 Years of Zambia

As the American ambassadors for our 30 children from Camp LIFE, we are building the next 50 years of Zambia.  These children need sponsorship in the Father’s Heart program to be see the path of hope to the future.  But it is not just sponsorship, many of the children that come to camp will not be sponsored which truly breaks my heart.  There are stories of children breaking the cycle of despair and poverty just by being exposed to the hope of a better future while at Camp LIFE.

That we in the most abundant country on earth can’t find the extra $600 per year to change the course of a life and of a country is beyond me.

I never would have thought a year ago that I would feel so passionately or care so much for forgotten children half way around the world.  But now that I have seen them with my own eyes, touched them with my own hands…heard their pleas for help and hope, wiped the tears from their eyes…

These are my kids…and they need our help desperately…NOW.

Psalms 68:5 – 6
A father to the fatherless, a defender of the widows is God in his holy dwelling.  God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun scorched land.

Change is in Motion

There are over 7,000 children in the education system that Family Legacy has built and continues to expand!  Some of the first kids helped 12 years ago have graduated from university and have moved into the business world.  More are in university now and the ripple is turning into a wave that will soon flood the universities and the country with well educated and principled young adults that are the next 50 years of Zambia!

I pray that we find sponsors for the remaining 15 children that we are responsible for.  I urge you to find the way to help one of these children, it is the most rewarding and fulfilling thing the I personally and we as a family have ever done.

The deadline to have the sponsorships complete is closing in.  October 1st, 2014 is the last day to get them sponsored so the necessary fees, supplies and administration can take place for them to participate in school in 2015.

Remembering a Good Man

dadToday one year ago is the day that I grew up. It was at 1 AM in the morning that I got the call…

The years of failing health, loss of all recollection and a hard fought battle with Alzheimer’s had come to a close. Dad was gone on to a better place where the angels rejoiced at his arrival and danced in the streets for another soul that had a long, productive life in this world.

After sitting with him until late into the night that night, praying hard that I could fill the void of his passing, saying goodbye and thank you for a job well done, I went home knowing that was likely the last time I would be with him alive.

Three short hours later is when Hospice called to say he was gone.

For any who have had to bury a loved one you know the next hours and days become a blur.  In my case and likely others I become laser focused on the immediate plans ahead and seemed to block out all feeling.  I believe it is the survival instinct to not go curl up in a corner and just drown in the feelings that are flooding in all around…the memories of times that will never be again…the gnawing pain in your gut for the things that were never said and for things that may have.

He was a good man.  he provided for us well.  Tougher than nails in his day, a veteran of WW II and the Korean Conflict and didn’t take much off anyone!  He taught me to provide, to stick with it and take care of family.

I miss and love you Dad! Job well done. You are in my heart every day.

We will embrace again one day in glory.