Sunday, September 22, 2013


Whoever would have thought Horseshoes could be useful to minister to people and share Jesus with them?!  My family and I were part of a mission trip to Italy recently and T.Michael & I were assigned to "Western Games" which for us meant none other than horseshoes!
Yee Haw!
There were two Italian churches putting on the western-themed Festival, and our little family was part of a team of Americans sent to serve, encourage and support the Italians as they reached out to their community. There were all kinds of free entertainment at the festival: Crazy Dress-Up Photo Booths; American Cooking Booth; "Teenager Girl" Make-up & Nails Booth; Crafts; Health & Blood Pressure; Speak English; Line-Dancing, etc, etc.

We had some regulars who came to Horseshoes each night, and T.Michael & I used our very broken Italian to be kind and loving to those who came our way.  One night Cindy from the English-speaking booth said a young Italian man  asked her where she was from and she replied, "Portland."  Then he said, "Just like Jennifer!" Wow!  I couldn't believe that my little 'small talk' was really getting through to my new friends!

It was so affirming to know that even though I couldn't "witness" to them, I was a witness just by being available and consistent.  Then, at the end of each evening there was live music followed by a great speaker who DID share Jesus with people clearly and in their own language.  What a privilege to serve with my family in Italy!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Greater Than

In John 3:30, John said to his disciples:

"He must become greater; I must become less."

Ever since John was in the womb he knew Jesus as Lord.  (Luke 1)

Later, while baptizing people, he said he wasn't even worthy to untie Jesus' sandals. (Luke 3:26)

John's whole life he knew his job, his purpose.  He was sent ahead of the Christ.  (John 3:28)

Like John said, Jesus must become greater; I must become less! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

 This Mother's Day is particularly special to me because not only do I have the 2 most amazing kids ever, but also I am reunited this year with  several kids from an orphanage I served in 20 years ago in Honduras.   In fact I just received a text last night from one of "my orphans" (I hope that title is not offensive to them) saying:
Wow!  I experienced that jolt of love in my heart that you feel when one of your own loves you back! Relationship is what our time here on earth is all about!

Our Pastor challenged us to pray about sponsoring a child through Compassion International this Mother's Day...pray about it. Hmmmm....So I have been. I don't mean to over-simplify the challenge, but I wonder if I'm praying about sponsoring a child, or really praying about how to add something new to my monthly budget.  This may sound a bit crass, but I'm sharing from my heart that if we sponsor another child, it will be so much more than a money decision.

As usual, I came across an interesting part of my daily reading that pertains to this very question.  (As you can guess, I don't believe this is coincidence!)  In Luke 16 Jesus shares a parable about a shrewd manager.  At first I was puzzled by this seeming appreciation of a dishonest manager -- but then I read a commentary that I tend to agree with.  The author wrote:

"The Cash value of each reduction was about 500 denarii, what a laborer would earn in 500 days.  Jesus does not commend the man's dishonesty but commends his use of the money to prepare for his future.  Too often believers use money without considering eternal rewards."

I know through my friend Missy that sponsoring a child is a real blessing.  She sponsored a child many years ago and one time I ran into her just after she returned from visiting her sponsored child in Africa!  In addition to sending monthly support, she has faithfully prayed for her child over the years -- relationship that spans time and oceans!  (Through an organization that does what it THAT is impressive.)

Missy has seen her money used as promised, to help feed, house and educate a precious person.  She uses money while considering eternal rewards!