Training & Thieves | September 2011 Update

Dear Faithful Partners of CULTURELink,


I am sitting in a coffee shop catching up from the last two weekends of training. The seminars in Little Rock, AR, and Hanover, PA, went very well.  I am now preparing to leave for a class in Spokane, WA, this week. When these three weekends are complete, 110 people will have been trained to disciple short-term teams—and I still have two more classes in November! In the weeks to come, I will share seminar participants’ comments and let you know what nations will be impacted as a result of your faithfulness.. Thank you for your partnership. You are impacting these participants and the nations to which they will minister!


September brought many full days: administrative details had to be managed in order to prepare for the upcoming seminars; I also had to prepare to teach at two churches and to consult with two boards of non-profit organizations. One day during a very busy lunch hour, I met with the Board of Directors of Grace Ministries International at LongHorn Steakhouse in East Cobb. As I returned to my car after the meeting, I saw that my car window had been shattered and my computer bag and all its contents had been stolen.

The next few days were consumed with getting my window fixed, buying a new computer, and updating lost files. I am grateful that I had recently backed up my data, that all the CULTURELink curriculum files were safe, and that my Bible wasn’t in the stolen computer bag. Initially, I was angry and frustrated; then I remembered what had happened when the pastor of a Romanian Gypsy church was robbed many years ago when I was with him. He had stopped immediately and prayed that God would meet the need of the person that robbed him in such a powerful way that he would no longer need to steal. When I thought of that response, I felt convicted and honestly thought, “I’m not praying that stupid prayer. I not that spiritually mature!” A few minutes later, I prayed that exact thing…and peace came over me. I realized that when you are wronged, praying for those who wrong you brings healing and peace to YOU.

Two days after the robbery, between going to computer stores and the police department, I pulled into a gas station to get a Diet Coke. I hopped out of the car, ran in, and returned to find my car running and the keys locked inside! I went back in the station and found that they had a “kit” that I could buy for $50 that would give me the “tools” I needed to break into my car. I then asked for a coat hanger. No one had one. As I walked back outside, a very small Asian man stopped me and said, “If you will let me, I can get into your car in thirty seconds.”

“Okay,” I said.

In amazement, I watched this very small man run to his huge Mack Truck and return with a screwdriver, a wire, and a rag, Literally, in thirty seconds my door was open. As I stared at him, he said with a sly smile, “I have done this before, but now I only do it to help people! I am a changed man.” I smiled and thanked him, and then he was gone.

God then said to me, Pray that the person who robbed you will use his or her skills for good, too. Two thieves:  one changed and a blessing, one not. Sound familiar?

Each of us has skills that God has given us. Are we using them for good?

Thanks for your prayers and support,

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