Saturday, May 25, 2013


imagesLet us start with the ‘sweet’: The tree of Life ministry is going well and God is blessing and moving. From the beginning it has been my biblical hope to see and organic, spirit-led and sustainable ministry that will guide people to the Truth of the Gospel and also foster healing in their relationships to themselves, others and creation. I wish I could announce the thousands who have flocked to our classes, yet our numbers-driven culture needs a check-up, nor is it a fair assessment of God’s hand at work, and that is a sermon for another day. ;-) I was reminded by a friend of the prophet Jeremiah’s 25 year ministry: and the result was two believers that followed him. Many call him the “Weeping Prophet”. But I would like to call him the “Persevering Prophet”.

One who has followed his example is Pastor Emmanuel who is working with me as an instructor/church planter with Tree of Life. Despite obstacles, he is bent on serving God and pastoring the flock God gives him. He has now begun his 4th and 5th classes. The first class has 20 students who began this week. Please pray for them as they learn holistically what health really is: spirit, body and mind. His second class has been born out of a new convert we will call “A”. “A” lives in a village not far from pastor but is an area that is very staunch in other religious beliefs. He is meeting with three people at “A’s” house weekly. God has given him a vision that this will be the first church plant from the Tree of Life ministry. It is exciting and challenging at the same time. I ask you all to pray for pastor, the classes, and particularly “A” who has a growing hunger to know our Savior.

My class graduated a couple of weeks ago in Makeni, and I am praying now that a leader will emerge to continue the work here as Pastor Emmanuel is doing in Freetown. Please also pray for an unspoken request for me as I seek wisdom and guidance and several major decisions in the coming months.

There seems to be a universal law that couples opposites purposefully. James chapter 1 tells us to “Rejoice in your suffering…for it makes you mature and complete”. Often we are blinded to this truth and tend to look at our current circumstances and think, “What the heck is going on?” We fail to see from a Divine perspective and want answers and solutions now. ‘Lament’ is not a very nice word in Christendom, yet necessary in our faith to not only show our dependence upon a Sovereign God, but to reveal the honesty of a hurting soul. I confess I have been in a season of lament with the losses that have come into my life, the betrayals and just serving in a very difficult and dark place. Many of you have, through divine timing, sent so many encouraging emails that God has used. Thank you. Keep praying as I pray for you. Keep loving God and people.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

First Fruits

images Tree of Life Ministries launched in October of 2012 with our first official class graduating in January upon my return. Up until that point, the vision was transforming into a curriculum sharing about health prevention and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many still do not understand the ministry fully, or feel that it is just another para-NGO focused on health training. People have gotten glimpses and slivers of truth about our ministry, yet our purpose is ultimately to make the name of Jesus known among the unreached and to make disciples. Our foundation for this is relationships, just as Jesus modeled to us. Our medium is creative, holistic and truthful on all levels: spiritually, physically and emotionally.

I am happy to be writing today to tell you about a new disciple who I will call “A”. This new disciple emerged from a relationship Pastor Emmanuel (My co-teacher with TOL) has formed over the past weeks. I visited A’s community with Pastor Emmanuel and Mark this week. The area is predominately “M” with a very prominent “M” school in the community. As we walked the long road to A’s house, I must confess that my heart was distracted with other trials happening around me currently. Hope seemed distant and out of reach, yet when we reached A’s house God opened my eyes and turned my focus to a wonderful new work taking place in this small remote community.

Pastor has been discipling A and meeting with him weekly. Now A's friends and the community have asked for the Tree of Life class/Bible teaching in their area. Not only is there a physical need because of lack of safe water and an unclean environment, there is such a need for spiritual Truth. We sat for over an hour reading scriptures about salvation through Jesus Christ and the need of a blood sacrifice to atone the wrath and judgment of God against sin. After we prayer together, A offered a place for us to have the class behind his house. He even made the comment that we could have a church there.

As I walked that dusty road to A’s house, hope seemed out of reach, but after our time of church that Sunday, hope was restored. I realized that this is the first fruits of the work taking place here. All glory goes to God! Please pray for A, his family, neighbors, Pastor Emmanuel and the new class that will be starting in the Bessberry community. God will complete this new work he has begun!