State Capitol Tour Part 1

It started with a random afternoon free in Sacramento.  Ryan said, “Let’s go see the capitol building.”

And now we’ve toured a few capitols on the west coast and visited a few more on this trip.  We have another couple capitol buildings on the list during this road trip because if we’re in the area, we will at least stop for a capitol selfie.  Can you name these capitols?

Hiking and Visiting

This week we are on our way back to Sacramento but were taking advantage of the good weather.  It’s been fun to visit with friends, get outside, do some hiking and see parts of the country that are somewhat new for me and entirely new to Ryan.IMG_20160302_144301.jpgThis is taken near the top of Badger Mountain in the Tri-Cities area of Washington, which we hiked with a friend of mine who worked with me in Papua New Guinea.  We got to spend some time with her fun family, husband and new baby but we also really enjoyed getting out and hiking.  It’s amazing to think that the area this rock overlooks used to be filled with water before the water carved it’s way through the mountain range and made it’s own little canyon.  Ryan and I drove along the Columbia River through that little gorge on our way out of Washington into Oregon.  It was a beautiful hike and a beautiful drive.IMG_3088Then today we enjoyed Klamath Falls in southern Oregon.  It wasn’t sunny but it was warm enough for a hike and a picnic on Moore Mountain.  We had fun visiting with friends of mine from Santa Barbara and as I type everyone else is still visiting and playing Super Mario.  We had a great day outside and also visited the Klamath Falls museum which boasts an exhibit about the Japanese Balloon Bombs.  It’s worth reading about this interesting and sad part of our history.

Tomorrow we’re headed to our last stop in Grass Valley and then it’s back to Sacramento for us.  We’re super encouraged about the strides we’ve made on this trip, especially the relationships that we’ve built, strengthened and renewed.  Good food and a little hiking seem to go a long way.

A Visit to Yakama Nation

When I was support raising before, I visited a church on the Yakama reservation.  I was not sure what to expect from the visit but after having a meal with the team, getting a tour of the church building they were renovating and helping out with Kid’s Club (one of their local summer outreaches in the neighborhoods), I got a sense of the similarities between their ministry with Native Americans and what I had hoped would be my ministry with Aboriginals in Australia.IMG_20160301_152450~2.jpgFast forward to this week and one of the things we wanted to take advantage of while we were in Washington State was visiting this church again, catching up with the team and looking forward to what could be potential ministry connections for the future.

While we were chatting, this beautiful double rainbow crossed the sky outside the now complete church building.  We also got to attend youth group and see the building in action, about 70 young people from the surrounding community getting fed, playing games and hearing about forgiveness in Christ.

Our desire now is to remain in touch and potentially foster relationships between Native American and Aboriginal youth.  We believe that this could be potentially impactful for both our ministries.  Please pray for Sacred Road Ministries and their work reaching the Yakama people for Christ.

Let’s Do the Numbers- Seattle Support Update

After 14 days on the road, Ryan and I will be leaving Seattle tomorrow to start the last leg of our trip.  We have had some amazing times with friends and family along the way.  Thank you everyone who has hosted us and will be hosting us this next week.  This trip hasn’t been easy but we see God at work.P1030061Last support update we reported that we were at 36% of our 50% goal but now we are at 45%!  By mid-March Ryan and I need 50% of our monthly support pledged in order to buy tickets for our required July 2016 training which would keep us on schedule to leave by fall 2016.  If we don’t reach this goal, we will need to wait for the training in January 2017.

So what is still needed?  As of last night we need $550 a month in pledges to reach our mid-March deadline.  Ryan and I are both convinced that we will make this goal because of the way God has been working in the past couple of weeks.  Although the numbers break down to about 6 people giving $100 a month, we recognize that $100 is a lot of money for most people looking at their monthly budget.  Maybe for you a more realistic number is $20 a month and about 28 people at $20 a month can enable Ryan and I to attend the July training.  It’s easy to give by contacting MTW (Mission to the World) or using their online giving site: continue to spread the word.  Thank you to everyone who has been advocating for us.  We know it makes a difference.  Advocating is as easy as talking about Australia and encouraging others to find out about our ministry (Why Australia?) and give.

Please keep praying.  Please pray for God to enable churches and individuals to make room in their budgets for us.  Please pray for us to be bold and have wisdom when asking for support.  Please pray that we would above all else honor God and relationships during this process.  And finally please be praying how you can support us.  Thank you for helping us get to Australia!

Shorty and Slim

Ryan and Josh first met at Trinity Bible College.  Josh came up to Ryan in class and said “Hey Shorty” to which Ryan replied “Hey Slim”.  They’ve been fast friends ever since.  If you couldn’t tell these pictures are from their college days.SlimDog2I met Josh 2 1/2 years ago on my first Pacific Northwest road trip while Ryan and I were dating.  It was important for Ryan that I meet Josh and get his stamp of approval.  Needless to say I passed his rigorous testing process.  Josh and I met again when he stood next to Ryan as his best man at our wedding.  Although now many years removed from Trinity, Ryan and Josh remain close friends.  SlimDogTomorrow (Sunday the 28th) we will be there to witness Josh’s wedding to his fiancé Cathie.  Just as it was important for Ryan to have Josh with him at our wedding, it is important for Josh to have Ryan at his wedding.  We are thankful for the timing and that we are able to be a part of this special day.  Please cover Josh and Cathie in your prayers as they begin this new chapter in their lives as husband and wife.

Faithful in Prayer…

“Prayer becomes an exercise of highest love when you forget about your own needs and sins, take up the cares and sorrows of other people, and lay them on the heart of God.”      -Benjamin Palmer

We had the privilege of speaking at and attending a prayer meeting in Tacoma last night.  What an amazing encouragement to see multiple generations of a church gathered together, sharing their hearts and praying.  Not just a quick prayer at the beginning and the end but a good long amount of devoted time where requests were listed up to God in unity of spirit.  Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 9.49.45 AMRyan and I were well received and enjoyed hearing some of the ministry connections that we unknowingly shared with this congregation.  One of the connections is with David and Barbara Cross who worked with the same Brookton church in the 1970s.  It’s sweet to see how God is connecting us through the generations.

We believe that prayer is foundational for our ministry and it is also our covering going out.  Because of this, we were thankful to have an evening with fellow believers to be lifted up in prayer and also to join in praying for many others in the Seattle area, around our nation and around the world.

Book Review: Whiteman’s Gospel

Both the US and Australia have common histories when it comes to the native population.  Before these countries were primarily populated by people of European descent, they were inhabited by aboriginal populations.  The Native Americans and Australian Aboriginals lived connected to the land and in close communal societies that had unique languages and cultural practices.  Then these groups were pushed off their land, their community and family structure slowly dismantled and in many cases, the language and culture were watered down beyond recognition if not completely lost.  And, as much as I wish it wasn’t true, this was often done by the church in the name of Christ.  So what does this history mean for the church today?


Whiteman’s Gospel by Craig Stephen Smith is an insightful book written from the Native American perspective.  Although it is not about Australian Aboriginals, the parallels are profound and worth learning from.  Smith even talks about one of his trips to Australia where after he spoke “the Aboriginals rushed to the front and embraced [him], saying to [him], ‘Brother Smith, you were telling our story!’ In many ways the history of the Aboriginal Australians mirrors that of the Native American experience.  That one message gave [him] a level of acceptance with them that was incredible.”

I wish I had read this book years ago because it would have helped give me the words to better describe my philosophy of ministry in Papua New Guinea.  I especially appreciate how Smith presented the plight verses potential dichotomy.  Smith writes “As I see it, we basically define motivation for Native ministry in two distinct categories.  Workers among our people are out there doing ministry because of either a motivation that is based on the perception of our Plight or Problems, or they are there because of a motivation that is based on the perception of our Potential.”  This is a much needed reminder and I hope that more people will see the blessings in Potential motivated ministry.

There are many more things to learn and ponder while reading this book.  I would highly recommend it for any Christian, even if you don’t live near or feel personally influenced by the Native American community.  The implications can be broadly applied in many ways that have the potential to positively impact the church.

A Didgeridoo in Washington

Yesterday I hiked a mountain in eastern Washington and listened to the sound of the didgeridoo echoing across the hills outside of the tri-cities.  My friend definitely married a cool guy.  His didgeridoo playing attracted interested parties and brought us some fun conversations.  Today I am back in California after an overnight in Oregon.  The road trip may be over but the memories remain!


Shattered Expectations

This is a story of my car, my northwest roadtrip and the unexpected things that God uses in the process of sanctification.  I did use the word process so this means that it is still happening.  The end is yet to be determined but read on for the saga thus far.


On Wednesday I left my place in Sacramento at 5:50am.  By 7:30 I was well on the road, I-5 between Sacramento and Redding.  The road was wide open, the closest car to me about a 1/2 mile behind and I was using cruise control as well as listening to my book on CD.  There was no need for me to be in the fast lane so I moved over.  Then came the POP!  It sounded like a balloon bursting or a paper bag when you fill it with air and pop it.  I flinched and looked in my rear view mirror.  The back window had completely shattered.  I didn’t go under a bridge, there was nothing around me on the road, I wasn’t driving backwards but something hit the back window.


So I pulled over and called my dad.  Because, let’s face it, dads can help with almost anything.  After a short chat and determining that everything was ok (except of course the shattered window), I continued onto Redding with the broken window slowly falling in behind me.  Long story short, by 1 in the afternoon, I was back on the road with a new window ringed in blue tape.  I was happy to be on the road again but I was about 5 or so hours behind my intended schedule.

IMG_9734Because of the delay, I missed a couple meetings in Eugene but I made it safely to Oregon by 7 in the evening.  I was exhausted but a good nights sleep and some blueberry picking in the morning made things a bit better.  So where does the sanctification come in?

From the moment my window broke, I considered turning around and heading back to Sacramento.  The whole way to Redding, I talked to God.  I can’t even really explain what I was thinking but this was the beginning of God’s latest work in my heart.  I am a planner, I am an organizer.  When my window shattered, I felt in some ways that all my expectations for this roadtrip shattered as well.  Despite all the emails, phone calls and scheduling, I still can’t anticipate everything.  Meetings fall through, plans change, windows break, road construction and traffic happen.  Now I am 6 days into my trip and while I am thankful for the meetings and reunions I have had, I have to admit that I am very disappointed that it hasn’t been what I thought it would be.  And if I am honest, this isn’t all about the trip.  There are plenty of other things going on in my life and God is slowly working on my heart in many ways.

I believe in a sovereign, omnipotent God.  I may not be in control but God is.  However, the ways he chooses to work in us isn’t always pleasant.  Sometimes it’s like having a deep infected wound cleaned out.  You know it has to happen in order for the healing to start but the process is extremely painful.  The shattered window in and of itself was just a blip on the path but that blip was a catalyst  for change.  And it’s not over yet because this is a process.

I’m continuing to pray and listening to what God is telling me.  Sometimes things have to be broken before they can be fixed again.  Please pray with me.



Good Times with Good People

Let me begin by saying that this road trip has not really gone as planned.  Things have broken (more on that story later), plans have fallen through, things have been rearranged and are generally different than I had hoped.  But I’m doing my best to salvage what I can and make the most of this next week.  Please keep praying for the appointments I do have and for me to make the most of these opportunities.

But despite the hiccups and set backs, I have thoroughly enjoyed catching up with friends who I worked with in PNG and also friends who I haven’t seen in about 20 years.  There is something really special about having lunch with a pre-school friend.  Too bad we forgot to snap a picture but unlike friends who you haven’t seen since highschool, we’ve actually (thankfully) changed a bit in the last 20 years!  I’m so thankful for the people God has put in my path!

947252_10153052731600253_1057434816_nBrian and Susan were my support team in PNG.  Their oldest boy is in the foreground and their youngest one was sleeping.  We picked blueberries in the morning and enjoyed the Oregon day.

1069367_10151791168631202_2061122919_nPaul and Laura were in training camp with me (and also Brian and Susan) when we first got to PNG in 2008.  They are headed back hopefully at the beginning of next year.   But it was super fun to catch up with them here in the Seattle area!