Thank You, Outreach Magazine!

Every year, Outreach Magazinefiles celebrates some of the “best outreach oriented books and curricula by honoring them as Outreach Resources of the Year.”

What a great surprise and a wonderful honor to hear from my publisher today  that Sent was named to this list for 2014!

You can find their review of Sent here.

Thank you, Outreach Magazine!


Where Are They Now?

Since so many of you have asked..

In our beloved home in Southeast Asia, there are only two words representing only two ways to answer when someone asks about the status of something. One word will let you know if something has “already happened,” or “not yet happened.” One would never answer with just a “no.”  I love that because “not yet” is so hopeful; it never gives up! For example, when asked, Are you married?, your choices are “Already,” or “Not yet.” Even a single, never before married senior citizen would answer “Not yet” to that question. Isn’t that great?!

I frequently get asked about the spiritual status of the Southeast Asian friends I talk about in “Sent.” While I am thrilled to tell you that there is an incredible church planting movement happening right now in the vicinity of where we lived, when it comes to the friends that you met in “Sent,” their status as I know it today is “Not yet.” The key word there to me is …yet. As we wait, here is an update on where they all are today.

Natalie continues to live in our province where she works for another believing ex pat family. Her dream of someday owning her own home has come to fruition, though the last update I got indicated that her house was not yet complete (and may not be for many years which is typical in a place where work gets done as money is available). She didn’t move far, as her new home literally touches the home she had previously lived in (which belongs to her mother). Natalie’s two children both graduated from high school this past summer, a wonderful achievement considering she ended her formal education in middle school, and her husband, who is illiterate, never went past second grade. Natalie was hoping to send her kids to a local college, but corruption in the province interfered with the selection process, so only her son can attend right now. She has not yet had another child. Molly and I are hoping to go back to SE Asia this year to visit her. It’s time.

Lee finished medical school, moved back home to her parents’ city, married a man that she was arranged to by an imam, and now has a year old daughter. Following graduation, she briefly worked for an insurance company but quickly grew disillusioned when she saw all of the corruption around her. Her joy now is in being a mother and volunteering at a local hospital after having that modeled by so many teams from the States who came to help following the tsunami. Her leg has never improved.

Glen is now in the States after receiving a one year scholarship to attend a college on the west coast. He is loving his time here and has enjoyed experiencing his first American holidays, Super Bowl, and seeing snow for the first time in his 29 years. When he returns home this summer, he hopes to get serious with a young lady he is interested in marrying.

Usher left our city and returned to his home village where he is always looking for work. He is also seeking a wife.

Adele has been hard to get updates on. The last I heard she had moved out of the province to a major city. She still spends time with believing friends.

Many of you have also asked about my kids and if Molly is still dancing…

Jordan is now a senior at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA, graduating in May. A history major, he is now discerning where God will send him after graduation. He is considering a stateside internship with RUF, as well as positions in North Africa and the Middle East after joining Curt on trips to work alongside church planters over the last 4 years. He is a discipleship coordinator for his dorm, active in his church choir, and loving playing his trumpet again in a church ensemble and at Covenant basketball games. A deep thinker and a lover of good coffee, he reads Augustine, Martin Lloyd Jones, Calvin, Spurgeon, among others for fun.

Molly began training at the Ballet School of Chapel Hill following our return to the States under incredible teachers who nutured, challenged, and inspired her to continue pursuing her dream. She spent her senior year training at Duke University, followed by her first professional opportunity performing in Carolina Ballet’s Giselle. She is now a Ballet Trainee at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC, having been promoted to a second year student after her first semester. She is thrilled to be living in the West Village of NYC, and is actively involved at Redeemer Presbyterian Church and RUF City Campus Ministry.

One of the many reasons I love Spurgeon…

“Once more, he who really has this high estimate of Jesus will think much of him, and as the thoughts are sure to run over at the mouth, he will talk much of him. Do we so? If Jesus is precious to you, you will not be able to keep your good news to yourself; you will be whispering it into your child’s ear; you will be telling it to your husband; you will be earnestly imparting it to your friend; without the charms of eloquence you will be more than eloquent; your heart will speak, and your eyes will flash as you talk of his sweet love. Every Christian here is either a missionary or an impostor. Recollect that. You either try to spread abroad the kingdom of Christ, or else you do not love him at all. It cannot be that there is a high appreciation of Jesus and a totally silent tongue about him. Of course I do not mean by that, that those who use the pen are silent: they are not. And those who help others to use the tongue, or spread that which others have written, are doing their part well: but that man who says, “I believe in Jesus,” but does not think enough of Jesus ever to tell another about him, by mouth, or pen, or tract, is an impostor. You are either doing good, or you are not good yourself. If thou knowest Christ, thou art as one that has found honey; thou wilt call others to taste of it; thou art like the lepers who found the food which the Syrians had cast away: thou wilt go to Samaria and tell the hungry crowd that thou hast found Jesus, and art anxious that they should find him too. Be wise in your generation, and speak of him in fitting ways and at fitting times, and so in every place proclaim the fact that Jesus is most precious to your soul.”

-C.H. Spurgeon

From Southeast Asia to Ft. Wayne, IN

I like to say I got my start in radio in Southeast Asia. 🙂 One of the things that my family and I had fun with during our time overseas was appearing on live call-in radio shows that encouraged locals in their English language learning. We would speak about a certain topic, and then locals could call in with questions and comments to give them a chance to  practice their sometimes verrry newly acquired English skills with native speakers. Some of the topics we were asked to speak on included culture shock, cheating in school, dating and romance, differences between America and SE Asia, among others. Always the kidder, my handsome Curt likes to say he has “a great face for radio.”

Over the last several months, I have enjoyed doing live radio interviews again. This time though, I am in the States and telling my family’s story as I promote “Sent.” The first time I did one on this side of the world though was a little more intimidating than it was in SE Asia. To prepare myself, I prayed, and then imagined that I was talking to my good friend who hosted the radio program we appeared on back in Asia. 🙂 No worries 🙂

This morning I had the privilege and pleasure of speaking with Lynne Ford of WBCL in Ft. Wayne, IN. Through this process, I have learned that there are good interviewers, and then there are great interviewers like Lynne. She prayed for me before we went on the air and then drove a very fun conversation, even though she almost made me cry twice.

Here’s a link to the program from this morning…

Thank you so much for having me on the show Lynne!!

Who is the Lady in the Picture?

A few months ago MTL “More to Life” magazine asked me to write an article for them. They published it in February! But.. with a picture…that..just for the NOT me.

Whoever this woman is, she appears to be the proud recipient of a couple of awards! The only thing I can make out in the background is “Birmingham.” Sure hope they mean, England, and not the city in Alabama, because then maybe THIS Hilary Alan has a British accent 🙂