Saturday, May 31, 2008

Missio Weekend~Carry 5

This weekend Missio Lux is participating in four ways to shine the light of Jesus with others. Today one of the opportunities was to do a walk with Water First called Carry 5.

The goal was to raise awareness of the need for wells all around the world, and to bring people together to walk with a 5k with 5 gallon jugs of water on their backs.

Missio Lux had several families participate, all with daughters, who if they lived in other places in the world would most likely be walking up to 16 miles a day to fetch water and carry it home on their backs or their heads. As I struggled with the very heavy water container on my back, I let my mind and my heart think about and pray for those young girls or pregnant women or elderly women who have very little to look forward to other than their daily trek to get water. Most often the water is dirty; with feces and carcuses of animals, sometimes the water is even where people relieve themselves.

I was proud of Missio Lux today. Two of the elementary age girls, Britta and Madison, saw the video on Water First and were so inspired that they went door to door and called friends and relatives to ask them to contribute. They developed a real sense of ownership with their missio. This will help develop lifetime hearts of compassion for people who don't even have access to the basic necessities of life.

Missio Lux hopes to raise enough to pay for one well: $5,000. One well will dramatically change a villages life, as well as the individual girls lives.

The reason that they named the walk Carry 5 is many. Girls often start carrying water at age 5, the usual container holds 5 gallons of water, the typical walk to get the water is 5 miles, the average cost to give a child water for life is $50, and the cost of a well for one village is $5,000.

Take out your wallet. Do you have $5, or $50 to give to change a young girls life? If so, email me at and let's add to our fund to dig a well!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Missio Weekend~Redmond Family Village

Last night Missio Lux took dinner to women and children who live at Redmond Family Village. It's a transitional housing facility that offers an apartment and childcare for up to 18 months so that the families can get stable and get back of their feet financially. RFV has a monthly training meeting and they ask volunteers to make a meal and then do childcare for the meeting.

I felt so much compassion for the women. They obviously had experienced many painful situations in their lives as I observed their downcast faces and lack of connection with other people. My heart went out to them as I realized that oftentimes it only takes one event in our lives to take us in places that we never dreamed we would find ourselves.

The children seemed happy and enjoyed playing together. As I sat with the babies, I began to think about how patterns seem to continue through generations. I felt an ache for these innocent children who may have a similar life as their parents in the years to come. I began to pray for them, asking God to dramtically intervene in their lives to bring hope and a change of their lifetime circumstances.

I can't say it was fun to go there. It was challenging; it would have been a whole lot easier to stay home and "get my work done!" But, I woke up today with the faces of the women and the children in front of me and I knew that I was given the opportunity to have a heart similar to God's heart. He has compassion for their lives and knows that the gift of Jesus to the earth brings hope for change: for their circumstances for sure, but even more, for their spirits to come alive and their emotions to awaken to experience joy, peace and love.

It takes effort to go beyond our normal routine. It is often not convenient. However, it is often the best way that we can gain perspective on our own lives and step into a greater level of God's heart.

What's your plan for this weekend?
How will you be experiencing and sharing the freedom and hope Jesus offers to everyone?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Missional Communities, Part 4

I was privileged to be with the Test Pilot Missional Community for Families with Young Children. I looked around at each family and I was grateful that they understand that one of the greatest joys in life is helping our children form spiritually. I was moved by their desire to make memories with their children, rather than just drive them from activity to activity.

I think that in many ways we have made spiritual formation of our children a mysterious event that it takes an expert to accomplish. This is a lie. We know our children better than anyone else and as we take time to listen to God for our children we have the awesome privilege to help move them towards his path for their lives. We get to help discover those dreams that God has planted within them and to begin to point them towards exposure, training and development of them.

Our daughter Bonnie has 3 passions: mothers and babies, the poor and disenfranchised, and other cultures. She is currently in Guatemala training with YWAM. Her next step will be to go to Austrailia to be trained as a midwife for 3rd world countries.

When she was a baby, I was rocking her to sleep and I heard the Lord ask me to give her back to him. I naively said "of course Lord" without understanding what that question really meant. To give Bonnie back to the Lord means to intentionally help her walk in her passions which means that 99.9% she won't live next door to Bill and I through out her life. This is a sacrifice for us, but it will also be a joy as we watch her thrive in living out her God-given dreams.

My prayer for each family that takes the step to join a Family Community is that they will have the privilege of watching their children step into their dreams and fly with them, rather than watching them struggle because they are on a different path than God ever intended for them to live.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Experiencing "The Shack"

I've been told by a couple of people to read "The Shack." I bought it and put it on my nightstand to start reading when I was done with my current book. I had little expectation that this book would be anything beyond some of the more cheesy Christian books I'd been directed to read in the past few years.

I was wrong.

This book drew me in and wouldn't let me come back out until it was finished. It's a story, but it's the story of God given in a post-modern day setting. I kept thinking while I was reading it that it is a powerful tool for the 21st century. In the midst of the book, almost every theological idea is presented, but it is done in such a disarming way that anyone can read it and experience the power of the story within it.

Last night our neighbors came over for dinner. I had spent the better part of the afternoon reading it so I started talking about what was happening to me as I read it. She enthusastically said, "I want to read it."

I seriously want to buy a 100 copies and pass it out. It's this good.

So, take time and order your copy, and a couple of others because you will want to pass it on too. It's "The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity" by William P. Young. Get it today!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Missio Lux Highlight

Becoming a Healing Prayer Minister with Missio Lux is a very big commitment. It involves 8 months of weekly training, along with 3 weekend trainings, weekly homework challenges and memorization of Scriptures, as well as weekly ongoing participation after the training is complete.

Yet, despite the challenge of the commitment, so many people want to be part of the Healing Prayer Team. They are drawn by a few things:

the community on the team
the specific mission to pray for people to become free
the amazing passion for the Lord that people on the HP team carry

Tuesday night we commissioned the second training class.

It was amazing. The existing team prayed over the new team, so everyone was prayed for 13 times!

I left that night feeling like a new Mom giving birth. The pain of the training (at times) was quickly forgotten by seeing the new baby: the Commissioned Healing Prayer Ministers.

When I was driving home, I sensed the Lord's celebration too. It seems he was saying, "We did it! Isn't it exciting to see what took place." I felt his smile of approval on me.

Now, we look ahead to see how God is going to use this team. We meet monthly on the 4th Tuesday of the month at Pine Lake Covenant at 7 p.m. We exist to serve our whole community; to be a community resource so that everyone on the Eastside of Seattle can experience the freedom and hope Jesus offers through being prayed for and receiving healing.

We are also ready to move out in anyway that we feel directed to go. I can't wait to see where we will be a year from today! Let's tell those stories along the way.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sunday Morning 9:00 a.m.

I've been having the best times on Sunday mornings. After so many years of spending Sunday mornings in a church building, I am discovering how worshipful it can be outside the building. This week I was spending time with Jesus outside on my deck and a young man from Korea that ended up staying with us came outside and asked me an innocent question: "Aren't you a pastor? Shouldn't you be at church now?"

I was able to tell him about Missio Lux, but even greater I told him the Gospel story! He said that he had never heard it before. His openness was palpable. I had the sense when I was talking to him that he had fertile soil in his spirit and the seeds were just dropping right in.

I didn't lead him to follow Jesus that morning, but I knew that my greatest act of worship that day was to give him the good news that Jesus loves him, that he came to earth to know him, that he was willing to die so that he could have a relationship with him, and that he was pursuing knowing him.

I wonder what will happen next Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m!

Friday, May 16, 2008


When I meet new people and tell them about Missio Lux, they always ask two questions. Can you guess what they are?
1. Where are you meeting?
2. How many people do you have?

These questions frustrate me because it seems that people want to put measurements on Missio Lux that don't fit. We consider Missio Lux a lifestyle: one that experiences and shares the freedom and hope of Jesus with everyone we meet. We choose to live by Jesus priorities.

Guess what? Jesus didn't have a place to meet. He met whereever people gathered and he lived in a way that made a huge impact whereever he was. He had compassion on people; he healed them, he taught them, he listened to them, he challenged them.

Jesus also didn't turn in number reports on Sunday mornings. He didn't count how people came to hear his teaching on the Sermon in the Mount. He didn't count how many turned up for the Palm Sunday parade into Jerusalem. The only thing he counted was his true followers; and that was because he was intentionally delegating Kingdom ministry to them.

Missio Lux will focus on this too. We will meet all over; in homes, parks, Starbucks, whereever we find a place of people gathered to know God, love each other and serve the world. We will meet in places of need so that we can offer hope. We will also look outward to the people in the world around us, rather than inward to count how many bodies walk through a door.

What matters, you see, is our lifestyle.
When we wake up, do we spend time with the one who created us to have a relationship with us?
When we move through our day, are we seeking to treat people with respect, honor and integrity?
When we come home to our families, do we look them in the eye and truly listen to them?

Let's tell stories of how God is teaching you to live the Missio Lux lifestyle. Because it's everywhere and growing as the fire catches on!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

9:00 a.m. Sunday morning

I always felt uncomfortable driving out of my neighborhood on Sunday morning as I saw all my neighbors outside doing yardwork, talking to one another and basically experiencing neighborhood friendship. I always felt like I was missing the most prime opportunity to "join in" in the friendship.

Recently that changed. I met a woman that I am befriending at Starbucks at 9 a.m. Sunday morning. Our missional communities meet on Sunday afternoon so this is now a free hour in my life.

When our conversation ended, I felt like I had worshipped like never before. I was able to be with someone that Jesus misses desperately, listening to her, encouraging her and opening up to her about how following Jesus has changed my life.

She's still very leary of church. She's leary of Christians. She's been hurt before and so she stands on the outside looking in. But, now I can stand outside with her, and as we do that, I realize what a privilege it is.

Jesus chose to stand outside too. The very first miracle recorded after the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew is when Jesus healed the leper. He knew when he reached out and touched the leper that he was choosing to be on the outside. Jesus became unclean when he made that intentional decision to touch him. He had a huge ministry awaiting him, but he chose the path of the individual and compassion, rather than the fame and the big crowds.

I am really moved by that action. It seems the epitomy of the Gospel to me. Jesus reaching out to touch us in all our messiness, our pain, our suffering, our ugliness. He chose to live with us there instead of living the life of the religious establishment.

Missio Lux has the dream to first experience and then offer freedom and hope to everyone. Who is the person that Jesus is showing you to start with today? May your touch feel just like Jesus' touch~may it heal those that receive it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Scot and Kim and the Apartment

Trying to find an apartment in Seattle has been a frustrating experience for Scot and Kim. They've been nomads for almsot 3 months now and Kim is really ready to get settled in one place.

So, after many false starts and lots of disappointments,Scot and Kim found an apartment they really liked but it it was expensive and didn't take pets (they have a 5 lb. dog that now plays with our 100 lb. Bernise Mtn. dog).

The woman that they applied to tried to get a hold of me as a reference but I didn't get the message so she googled me instead. When she googled me, the blog came up and guess what popped right up: Scot and Kim Come to Seattle!

She was able to read about them, research Missio Lux and find out more about their Aunt, me!

The amazing thing is the timing: I wrote that blog about Scot and Kim 30 minutes before she read it. Kim even came in and said, "Let's have dinner" and I replied, "I have one more thing to do first." It was to write the blog.

It turns out that the woman who had the apartment is a Christian, they do mission work in Africa, and she is very missional in her thinking.

God used this divine coincidence to reinforce to Scot and Kim that they are indeed meant to be in Seattle, that he has big plans for them with Missio Lux and that he is working all of it for his good and on their behalf.

This is a signpost that God put in their path. What sign posts do you have in your walk with Jesus? They can be the reminders when things get tough that all is well because Jesus has our backs covered.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Giving Teens a Voice

This week the Seattle Times had a big article that addressed how Slam Poetry is giving teens a voice where they felt they had no voice. It speaks of how much those that are writing and speaking the Poetry are being changed through the experience.

Eighteen year old Mikeya Jackson-Harper speaks: "It was hard dealing with family issues at home, and I didn't feel like I had a voice anywhere so I started writing to release tension. It helped for awhile so I have just kept doing it."

Ronnie Reynolds, 19 says that "Poetry helps me out, it helps me understand everything. When I write things down on a page, it is sort oflike mapping it out for myself, so I know where I am at."
His poetry has a hip-hop edge; his words rattle into beats, an expression of his need to be heard.

Chap Clark, a very respected voice for the Youth of America, says that our youth today is the most alienated generation in history. They are given everything, except our time, attention and respect.

Technology has definitely made the communication gap so much bigger. It is almost as if we are speaking two different languages, however, we must bridge this divide.

No generation has ever carried so much promise. If we are willing to try to walk the bridge, we will find amazing people with dreams, vision and energy to see the world transformed. If we are willing to believe in them and help walk alongside them to support them in their dreams, we are unleasing potential that is also bigger and more impacting than ever before.

Alex is one in this generation. A couple of months ago, Alex put together an art nite called "This Ain't Your Granny's Poetry." He invited gifted musicians to play, gifted photographers and artists to display their work, and he gave the gift of his Slam Poetry. Alex looks rebellious with his dreadlocks, but underneath he is a talented young man who has a great take on life. He addressed the issues of teens and 20 somethings, urging the girls to dress appropriately and the young men to stay away from pronography. He also had a word for the Church of America; start getting real, move away from the walls and be with the people that Jesus hung out with.

Missio Lux is hosting another Art Nite: This one is called "This Thing's Made of Sticks" on Friday, June 13th at Pine Lake Covenant Underground. If you are in the area, don't miss it, you will experience walking a bridge that will not only help you know the younger generation, but you will find out a lot about yourself as well.

See you June 13th.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Missio Lux on YouTube

Scot and Kim Come to Seattle

I have a 25 year old nephew named Scot. He married his wife, Kim, almost 4 years ago, after they graduated from college. They have always had an adventurous streak in them, so 2 1/2 years ago, they got on a plane to Asia because they heard that if you went to sit in a certain park, employers of schools would come and hire you to teach English.

So, they went to Taiwan withouth a job, a place to live, or a solid plan. They went to the park and got hired. Taiwan didn't work out the greatest, so they moved to Korea where they had 2 years of adventure: traveling all around Asia, meeting new people, exploring Korean culture, and even starting a new business called Adventure Teaching.

Adventure Teaching ( hires teachers from US and Canada to teach in Korea. Their first year, they placed around 40 teachers. Not a bad start for a couple of 20 something! It's now exploding and is Scot' full time pursuit,

However, they did one other thing that is most important to me. They started a missional community in their very small apartment. Every Sunday, up to 25 people would crowd in and stay for much of the day as they experienced knowing God, loving each other in authentic friendship, and serving the world. Scot and Kim got a taste of what can be when we go intentionally smaller in worship and community. They got excited about what was taking place, and all the while, God was impressing on them that they have an opportunity to do something ground breaking in Seattle~Missio Lux!

So, they are here! They packed up everything they owned in a U-Haul truck, drove against a fierce wind, snow, rain until they reached the Washington border where they encountered a huge sun welcoming them to this state.

I am grateful that God called Scot and Kim to Washington because it is a gift to have family in the area again, but even more, I know that their call to Missio Lux will make a major impact on their lives, but even more, on the Kingdom as God does his awesome thing through them!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cyclone in Myanmar

My day started by exercising with my next door neighbor. She had the news on when I came and we saw the footage of the cyclone damage in Myanmar. We heard the number, 22, 467 died, which we replayed to make sure that we had heard correctly.

It's true, in one big storm, tens of thousands of people died.
The destruction is massive, water everywhere, but suddenly water is unsafe to drink. Trees on top of houses, so hundreds of thousands of people are homeless. Roads are blocked by downed trees and overturned houses so rescuers are struggling to get to the crisis.

It's easy to think, "Where is Myanmar?" and pass of this suffering.

But, the opportunity to pray for God's presence to be increased in this very isolated country is very real. The ruling junta, an authoritative regime has cut Myanmar off from the international community for decades. Perhaps this storm will open the door to this country so healing comes forth and dramatic change takes place.

My dream for Missio Lux is for us to respond to these crisis' with compassion, prayer and action. My dream is that we can have a presence through our response of prayer and action in more crisis' than not. In order to do that, we must develop a global heart for the world and a local heart for the people that are in our lives. We must realize the jewel that lies within us, God's heartbeat, and intentionally experience and share the freedom and hope that Jesus offers with everyone...both next door and around the world. That includes Myanmar. How will God use us? Let's dream big and act big.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Challenges in Africa

I've been blogging about the Sudanese children going to school in Africa.
This is a story of what took place as one student tried to get to Nukuru to go to school.

Our Sudanese brother, John Kher, has a sister named Adhieu who lived in the IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp in Uganda. until she got her opportunity to go to school. John found a friend who agreed to escort her to Nukuru so she could go to school. He went to get her, they got on a bus headed for the city, and everything seemed fine.

That is, until the escort was arrested. They often throw people in jail without reason until they are given a bribe. Sometimes if no bribe comes, the jailers lose interest and let the prisoners go.

The escort told Adhieu to keep going on the bus. Think about this: Adhieu is 13 years old. She doesn't speak the langague. She's spent most of her life in an IDP camp, so her exposure to the bigger world was extremely limited. Now she's on a bus, alone, having just experienced the traumatic situation of seeing her protecter hauled off to jail.

How would you be affected? The only word that comes to my mind is terror. The injustice of a life like Adhieu' only makes me want to intensify our efforts to get these Sudanese children who have lived in so much terror all their lives into a safe, clean and healthy environment. It's worth the sacrifice of a few hundred dollars to make this happen.

What's the rest of the story? When Adhieu's mother went to the bus station to pick up her daughter, she wasn't on the bus. Now the whole family and those who care about them are all frightened. The image of the 13 year old on a bus in a country where she doesn't know the rules or the language is set permanently in my mind.

Fortunately, Adhieu knew enough not to leave the bus station. It turns out that her bus decided on a whim to go to Nyrobi instead of Nukuru. John tracked down the bus and found someone to go to Nyrobi to hopefully find her at the station. I can only imagine everyone's relief when Adhieu was safe and found!

Does this story touch you?
Do you have a 13 year old daughter, sister, niece, friend?
Imagine them in this story and see what emotion this leads you to feel. Then, consider what you are willing to do to make a difference in a land where basic necessities of life aren't considered "necessities but luxuries." Perhaps as we all do our part, we will one day see Adhieu's and others like hers different than what they have experienced to this part.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Seeds of Hope

Our African project for getting kids from Sudan to boarding school is moving forward.

We named it "Seeds of Hope" which is a great name because every one who is educated is helping seed hope in Sudan. Their only hope of a different life is through education. Because life in Sudan is basically unsafe, to be at a boarding school in another country where the students are fed, housed, and educated makes life bearable. This is in contrast to the overriding despair that has dominated Sudan since 1987 when the "Lost Boys of Sudan" became a reality.

Missio Lux has the unique privilege to help these kids go to school. We believe that by educating the children, they can return to their country and offer solutions to see a country transformed.

It's a big vision, our first global Missio~

May 1st, 11 students started school in Nukuru, Kenya. Some of their names are: Panther
David, Samual, Amour, Deng, Jacob, John, Isaiah and the only girl is Adhieu.

Many have asked us why so few girls go to school. We asked our Sudanese brother John the same thing. His answer: "Girls don't go to school in Sudan." We want to change that and open wide the door to opportunity for girls, as well as boys, to get educated so that they have seeds of hope for a different life.

Eleven lives are being transformed while we read this blog. We have dreams of 19 more to start**; and after that to open the door wide so that we see hundreds of children in Sudan educated so they will then seed hope into their devastated country.

**30 kids is the first goal because they are the identified children from our Sudanese brother John Kher's village.

Friday, May 2, 2008

We have a Temporary Website!

It's been tough waiting for a website~
Missio Lux doesn't have a central meeting place; a building, so we will need to have a central place of connection so that we don't become too disconnected from one another, especially now that we have started the Missional Community Test Pilot stage.

So, as we have been working towards picking a website developer and host, we've all felt a level of frustration in getting the word out!

The vision for the website is that it will feel like people are stepping into a place of great welcome; a beautiful home with people that hold their arms out in welcome and acceptance.
It's going to invite you in, rather than ask you to come to them.
This is where we can chat, we can inform, we can have indivudal pages for each missional community, we can resourse, we can pod cast, we can do the things that have typically been down in the narthex. I can't wait for all this to happen.

But, in the meantime, we have a temporary website at

Go to it and experience some news, our new 2 1/2 minute DVD showing Missio Lux in action, learn about Seeds of Hope, and view some pictures of experiences that we have already had. Then send it on to others so that we multiply the seeds of our Good News of Jesus!