A Collaboration, In the Spirit of Friendship.

Help Portrait 2015 last Christmas was by far the highlight of our year. We had planned to do this all year with our students, and at just the right time found the lovely community of Calle Naranjo super close to our International School here in Costa Rica.  Xiomarra with her husband, and Nadir and his wife, Ruby,  are amazing families working to bless families in their own neighborhood.  Working with them as a liaison between our International School, I fell in love with their mission and their hearts.  They have hearts that long to see hope and restoration and opportunity come to their neighbors. This was such a great way to begin a relationship together, give out of our passion and creativity, and get to know them over Christmas music, food, games, and generous donations from the community of MBS and local Young Life. As we started out, we visited a neighborhood church to meet them in person for the first time.  They were so welcoming to me, and invited me in where I listened to a talk, and sang songs with them for over an hour in a modest concrete floor room that they rent behind someone’s home in the barrio.  After calling me to the front of the congregation to explain what we were suggesting, I quickly switched my brain to Spanish, and did the best I could.  At the end, each person in the church gave me a hug and kiss and then we proceeded to scout locations together. Photo releases were translated to Spanish; clothes and gifts were collected for weeks prior by MBS National...
ACF-Northwest Launch

ACF-Northwest Launch

A beautiful first service for Austin Christian Fellowship (ACF) Northwest!   Small Groups have been gathering for months at the direction of Thom Fulmer, Pastor of ACF Northwest, growing relationships, community and preparing for this day.  So many have been working toward this day for a long time and it felt a lot like family watching so many families and kids from area schools walking in the door. God’s done great things through the Fulmers and the many families that show up to help set up on Sunday so others can come hear the Gospel.  ACF Northwest meets at Murchison Middle School at 10 a.m. on Sundays....
Costa Rica – Vidas Jovenas

Costa Rica – Vidas Jovenas

Last summer we were blessed to spend part of our summer with Young Life in Central America capturing a little bit of what they do.  I remembered that I sent this to some friends, but never actually posted online.  This video was for the special purpose of thanking donors and supporters across North America and locally. I loved being able to spend time with these people at club, in their homes, and seeing how this community comes together on behalf of the families they serve.  ...
Speak Life

Speak Life

Elementary School is again in session.  I’m reminded of how important our words are to our families and our kids as schedules and homework and “routine’ begin to threaten the freedom we felt over the summer.  In just two weeks we begin our 5th Grade girls bible study, and already, I am hearing stories of these girls reaching out to new kids, or kids having a bad day, and I see their friendships being rooted in something that matters. It reminded me of last Spring, when these girls all got together after school, and filled balloons with messages of hope, love and encouragement.  The excitement they had in releasing the balloons had everything to do with how much they loved being part of something that might speak life into someone that desperately needed it. After praying that the messages go directly to people that needed them, the girls rushed out, counted down from 3, and let them go!  I love how in a world of cynicism (especially now in an election year) they are learning early how to choose between speaking life or joining the masses in criticism and negativity. I’m so hopeful for the school year and how some amazing parents are getting it right. Working together in community, and raising thoughtful kids. Let’s really see our kids; see all they can be. Speak life into them and they’ll learn to speak life into...
Nica Orphanage

Nica Orphanage

Here’s a few shots of an orphanage in Managua, Nicaragua. I stopped in to see if I could help out, and snapped a few shots while there.  The Young Life Expedition team was there, and were doing a great job of loving on the babies and kids that live there.  It was beautiful watching babies being held,  fed and adored by each of these college...
Another Ordinary Family…

Another Ordinary Family…

This summer, while in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, we’ve met so many families living poured out lives for the sake of the Gospel.  One thing that keeps standing out as we meet each new person is that the one valuable thing they have isn’t within themselves, but rather a complete surrender to Someone they happen to know well.  Our Pastor back home wrote yesterday about the great purpose for each ordinary person, and as I read it I remembered how it seems a realization of our own brokenness happens oftentimes just before some of our biggest adventures in faith.  He shared how he ran into old friends that are walking away from everything they worked for, everything they thought they ever wanted to make their lives about something more valuable.  I feel blessed that God moves in the hearts of all of us. My prayer is that we’ll all learn to listen.  Following costs each of us something different b/c our expectations and ideas are different , but we all gain the same thing.   Hope in an eternal Truth that brings a freedom you can’t create, buy, or produce on your own.  To get it, you search, question, fall, and learn to get back up.  Then you learn to trust and to believe.  You learn to jump into the unknown, and the adventure builds and builds until you’ve built such a story with the One that guides you that you have to share it. Spending time with the Rodgers family was a high point in our journey while here.  Their story was one of longing to go, but...