Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vanessa's prayer

Vanessa Ragozzine wrote this beautiful prayer that she shared with us as we traveled on our bus the other day.  It's been awesome getting to know the team intimately as they share from the depths of their hearts.

Vanessa's prayer

Thank you Lord that you use us
that you teach us and grow us
thank you that you have given us
the talents and skills that you have, 
And the opportunity to come here and use them to glorify You
and to help the children - they are so special and so smart.

Thank you for Asia's Hope and Crossroads.
I see so much talent and potential in these children 
that would go untapped and wasted if no one had found them.

They are the future 
they will do something great Lord to 
please you and glorify you!

We pray that you continue to guide us Lord and challenge us -
That you challenge us to be at our best for you Lord.
We pray that these opportunities to bless and love others
continue for us so we can continue to make a difference and
"do something" as you wish Lord.

In Jesus name amen!

Vanessa is serving for the first time on our Cambodia team from Crossroads  - she has blessed us all tremendously!!

Vanessa's prayer

Vanessa Ragozzine wrote this beautiful prayer that she shared with us as we traveled on our bus the other day.  It's been awesome getting to know the team intimately as they share from the depths of their hearts.

Vanessa's prayer

Thank you Lord that you use us
that you teach us and grow us
thank you that you have given us
the talents and skills that you have, 
And the opportunity to come here and use them to glorify You
and to help the children - they are so special and so smart.

Thank you for Asia's Hope and Crossroads.
I see so much talent and potential in these children 
that would go untapped and wasted if no one had found them.

They are the future 
they will do something great Lord to 
please you and glorify you!

We pray that you continue to guide us Lord and challenge us -
That you challenge us to be at our best for you Lord.
We pray that these opportunities to bless and love others
continue for us so we can continue to make a difference and
"do something" as you wish Lord.

In Jesus name amen!

Vanessa is serving for the first time on our Cambodia team from Crossroads  - she has blessed us all tremendously!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

An English lesson

We got to watch an English class on the Campus of Asia's Hope being taught by Jocelyn this morning.  The way the kids love learning is so rewarding to watch.  A simple sticker was all the reward needed to encourage them to work hard.  They are just amazing to watch!!



Time to think

We finally got all of our errands run today - just details we needed to take care of.  So I find myself back at the hotel with time to actually think before we eat yet again.

This trip is different from the other 3 because I'm super interested in spending time with my daughter Jocelyn and son-in-law Aaron while not wanting to miss anything else at the same time.  I LOVE our team - everyone has been a blessing to be with!  That has made it easy to enjoy our kids while leading at the same time.

I think what sticks out to me so far is how much I take those around me I desperately love - both friends and family for granted.  You never know when something will change or they no longer will be easily accessible.  

These rescued children I love in Cambodia are testimony to the fact that many people are alone or abandoned or helpless and I'm praising The Lord that I am surrounded by supportive, loving family and friends and know I have many brothers and sisters in Christ that care for me.

Today as we walked the trails that thousands of helpless people were marched on as the Khmer Rouge forced them toward the killing caves, we were reminded that entire families were killed together. People that lived a normal life one day were exterminated the next mostly by child soldiers.  It was a grim reminder of just how deprived we are without The Lord - capable of unimaginal things if not a child of God.  

The piles of skulls were all that remained of innocent people, an entire generation nearly wiped out only to satisfy the insane desires of a sinful ruler trying to gain control over an entire civilization.  How the heart of God must grieve over what His creation is capable of....

This trip has brought me perspective on what's truly important and makes me determined to remain in God's pace when I get back instead of the distractions that move me 100 mph past everything that really matters!  

Jocelyn encouraged us in our devotions today to release what we try to control - the image of a fist was used as the symbol for our selfish desire to control.  I want to live in His power only - releasing what only He should control and loving those He's blessed me with in my life.  Resting in Him...



The team down in the cave.

Precious innocent lives lost at the cruel hand of power hungry men.


Dave's thoughts

The following are the thoughts of Dave Huber from our Monday in Battambang...

Today was the first day we had an opportunity to spend much time with the Asia's Hope children.  It was amazing to see the personal growth of these children and young adults!

I am feeling so blessed that God has allowed me first hand to see the positive change and influence we are being used to make in their lives through God's love and provision.

The sense of family is prevelant in the homes and it's exciting to see how God's plan is unfolding in this country !  

Aaron started our day off with a devotional study of I John.  Showing God's love is synonymous with loving God.  Loving on these children is so easy because they are so open to it.  We as Christians must always try to convey His love to all.  

It's also amazing to see how the campus has grown since I was there last!  I have really been missing my good friend Don Kuenzli who I spent a lot of time with the last time I was here...

The afternoon was filled with a tour of the campus and with children during their lunch break from school. In the evening we had pizza with BB7 AND dinner with BB3.  We were stuffed!!!

At 7:00 p.m. We went to our children's first ever music recital in the worship center and they were pumped up to perform for us even though for many students it was their first time to perform on these instruments ever!  A testimony to the hard work going on over here in Cambodia!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A unique learning

Being taught

I John,taught by my kids,workers,Learning


You're never too old to learn- today was a unique learning experience in Cambodia.  As workers worked all around us - we studied together!  

I was taught by my kids.  

Aaron our son-in-law lead our team devotions from I John and it was amazing to watch and amazing to learn.

The thoughts that went through my mind ... I have prayed for this man since my daughter was born ...while I held her in my arms I prayed that God would protect her and choose the man He had created just for her and He did!

I am filled with thankfulness for my kids and their spouses - I learn from all of them every time I'm with them!  

It's such a role reversal, humbling and gratifying - to be taught by my kids.... God is good!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Our first day




The hard working Asia's Hope Country Directors and house parents of Prek Eng

Finally with my precious daughter!!


A darling little one peeking into the Prek Eng campus .  God has provided in amazing ways in Phnom Penh!! 

So blessed to be here !

Friday, February 21, 2014

The celebration begins...

We arrived at 10:30 Phnom Penh time after traveling 32 hours and they were waiting with flowers and hugs and much celebration!!!  

I personally almost didn't let go of Aaron and Jocelyn... Ever !!  Such a huge blessing to see them again!  (We should have gone straight to bed - we only get about 5 hours of sleep tonight - but we talked until 1:30 am)!

Anytime we go on a mission trip bad things happen - 

As many of you know by now I found out my 45 year old brother had a massive heart attack almost the exact same time we were leaving for Cambodia.  They are continuing to keep him on a ventilator - unconscious for another day - so devastating not to be home with him and my parents.

 My nephew and his fiancĂ© also had their baby while we were in the air... 

But when you have Godly parents they are not selfish- despite how devistated my mom was she said " you're where God wants you - go"!

And so we went - 

please keep our whole team in your prayers!  

On time

So good to be on the ground and on time in Korea!

As only us Crossroadians know how to do - we were too loud and asked to quiet down as we stood chatting in the back of the plane in the middle of the night!  (It was all Dave Huber's fault)!

We board very soon for the final leg of our journey and despite little sleep our excitement grows - prayers appreciated - we 'll talk soon !

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Taking off

We cleared security - they forgave some weight overages - (our scales must be about 2 lbs off back home), and we all got our carry-ons on the Delta flight that they told us all our bags wouldn't fit on ... So far so good!!

Your prayers are already felt and much appreciated! Thank you!

PS I just got a wind advisory warning on my phone - not what you want to see when boarding a plane !  Pray!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

preparing to go

To go on a trip to Cambodia requires so much more preparation then just packing to travel, you must be willing to give your heart away!

It's because of this that this trip forces you to consider if your life is focused on what's most important - and that is to give your life away.  Just as Jesus did.

I heard someone recently excitedly talking about how they are living and working just for retirement.  It occurred to me when I heard it that retirement has never entered my mind.  At least not the kind of retirement where you move somewhere warm and sit in a beautiful house.  Now don't get me wrong - I know the time to step down from my current position will come allowing the brilliant creative young adults preparing for ministry to step in.  But, what a life full of giving we can have long after our 'jobs' end... In fact if we live well within our means maybe we can be ready to go wherever God calls us!  That's what I pray for - to always be ready...

Please pray for us as we leave early Thursday morning
- we'll need it as we explore what God has waiting for us and as we wrap our arms around little ones who are waiting for us.  And as I grab my daughter and her husband and celebrate the amazing opportunities God has laid before them!



May God richly bless you Crossroads - we have no idea how many, many people God is using our ministry to touch for eternity!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

weekend report

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who poured their hearts into launching our Galion site!  It was important and has created some long-lasting connections and changed lives!  Anything that ends brings with it some sadness, but I now look forward to what God will do with our friends from Galion added to our Mansfield location!  Welcome friends and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your hard work!

Today's service was full of celebration, worship and just plain fun!  The weekend brought opportunities to welcome brand new people to Crossroads as well as a chance to catch up with old friends - this is how church was intended to be I believe, doing life together!

Dan got the fun started!

Our setlist:

Fifth of Beethoven
Announcements
Special Announcement:  Pastor Tim
God Is Able
Live Like That
Oceans (Where Feet May Fall)
Our God
Message:  JOHN Pt. 6  -Pastor Tim Armstrong
Exit Song:  Our God

To watch our services go to www.crossroadswired.com

To see what other ministries used in their services go to www.theworshipcommunity.com

Sunday, February 9, 2014

weekend report

Another great weekend at Crossroads!

The weather made it a little shaky until we knew whether we would have this morning's services or not.  But, I'm so glad we did!  Wendell taught us how to 'lean' and it was good!

Worship and baptism were very moving and strong!


Our setlist:

Opening Announcements and update from Jocelyn and Aaron in Cambodia !!
Live Like That
Here In Your Presence
Forever Yours
Our God Saves
Message:  Lean
Exit song: Live Like That

It was good to be in the House of the Lord!

To watch our services on line go to www.crossroadswired.com

To see what other ministries used in their services this weekend go to www.theworshipcommunity.com

Friday, February 7, 2014

the generations worship

One thing I love about Crossroads is it allows multiple generations to worship together all in one place.

Although we see the value in dividing people up on the weekend so that the very young can worship very simply and youth can worship with the styles they love and the main auditorium includes versions of old hymns with today's more contemporary praise songs, we all need to worship together some times.  That's why I loved Christmas with no children's ministries - families of all generations sat in our auditorium soaking in what Christmas really means and expressed themselves with singing or the very young jumping and clapping...it didn't matter it was the praise of all the generations.

Psalms 148:7 talks about ...Young men and women alike, Old and young together!

Can we not only 'tolerate' different styles of music but embrace them when we see 'different generations joining as one totally caught up in the ONE whose glory overwhelms us'?

I can't wait to worship corporately tonight at the orphans conference I will be attending, people leaving all differences behind them as they join together to do as God commanded - care for the orphans and widows...such a privilege!

Have a blessed day!



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

today's prayer

I enjoyed the privilege of being home all day yesterday!  Well, except for a quick trip to Walmart to get a couple of things for the 'big' storm!  And I did attend the Ken Ham live stream.  And now the 'big' storm is here providing another day at home much to my delight! 

Living next to a ski resort, the cars are steady and driving at almost a regular speed, so it's hard to judge why everything is closed down...but, I'm not asking any questions I LOVE being snowed in so much!

I began the morning by talking with our daughter and son-in-law in Cambodia.   Well, mostly my daughter, all I could see most of the time was my son-in-law's feet in a hammock- it's time for bed over there.

Now, if the Lord will open my mind to organized creativity I would LOVE to get Easter finished so the teams can begin to work on details while I'm in Cambodia.  I feel SO overwhelmed at times with the responsibility of planning quality services that the most difficult part is simply to begin.  The snow provides that opportunity today and I'm already in a mindset of worship looking at this magnificent snow fall across our property.

So I thought I'd write my prayer this morning so you could repeat it with me asking the Lord to fill our days with Him - whatever our responsibilities may be today!

Lord, PLEASE completely control my mind as I open it to your work.  May every moment of this precious day be filled with a surrendering of my own will to bring glory to you through everything I touch today.

Let your endless creativity so move me that the results of everything I work on clearly magnifies You and could not be created by man.

Thank you for the beautiful snow which brings rest, and a day away from rushing, and worry, and minimal accomplishment.  

I love you Lord.

Amen

Monday, February 3, 2014

what I don't do

Why is it I do what I don't want to do, and don't do what I want to do?

Tonight I made a beautiful spinach salad to complete our dinner.  I ate my dinner first and then as I reached to get my salad i found myself reaching right past it to the candy jar where I snagged a Snicker Bar.  A MINI Snicker Bar.











This is just a perfect example of the choices I struggle with every day.  I often choose wrong.

Despite clearly understanding the ramifications that bad eating habits have, I still chose wrong.

I promise myself and God over and over that I'll change, that I'll put Him first.  That I'll read His Word more and apply it's truths to my life.  I promise, and promise. 

And yet, I reach right past Him to the bad choice.  Something that seems more tasty, or important, or interesting at the time. 

It's time to stop reaching toward anything but Him.

What are you reaching for?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

weekend report

Another great weekend - even with Pastor Tim away and his teaching recorded, it was still powerful!

Everyone pitched in to get Crossroads ready on an icy day!
Go Wendell!

worship was powerful!



when the team asked the congregation to 'think
upon Matthew 5' as they sang, they did!  Another
form of worship!

Our setlist:
As We Pray
God Is Able
Mighty To Save
Responsive Reading:  taken from the Beatitudes
Unwavering
Indescribable
Message: JOHN   Pastor Tim Armstrong
Exit Song

To watch our service on line go to www.crossroadswired.com

To see what other ministries used in their worship service go to www.theworshipcommunity.com