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Laying Down More Rights (Part II) by David Campbell

Laying Down More Rights (Part II)Our Plans For This Summer

In one week we will be wrapping up our time of training. During this past season we have seen God do far more abundantly than we could ever ask or think. It has been an amazing time. We have seen Jesus going from a much discussed theological reality to becoming a very present, very alive, and so very powerful God to be worshiped and enjoyed. The stories of God’s miraculous and amazing intervention and provision have been steadily building up over these past five months.

But as this time begins to come to a close our thoughts have begun to turn to “what’s next.” Obviously being in training and living in various time zones with spotty internet access (to say the least) we have essentially not been able to do any support raising at all for the past five months. Even before our training began we planned to spend the month of June meeting with people and finishing our support raising before heading to Berlin. But that was our plan. That was what we thought was needed. I mean let’s face it, we still do not have what we need. It’s a great cause right? It is needed, right? This is a worthwhile plan, right? But we are learning that that is not necessarily God’s plan.

One common theme that we have been convicted of is that it is not about us. I know we have all heard that and it sounds good but when push comes to shove it is much harder to live than we ever thought. Many of us are familiar with popular Christian books that start out that way and then spend the entire rest of the book stating the opposite. If we are not careful support raising can become a case of “think about these other people in this terrible condition and give to us so we can go do something about it.” That just seems to be a clever way of saying it is about us.

Through this training we have encountered a God who is far more intimate, far more personal, far more super natural than we ever imagined. We have encountered a God who deeply loves us and meets us in the middle of our hurts and struggles. We have encountered a God who has given us authority, in His name, to help people find meaningful healing to physical wounds, emotional wounds, and even soul wounds. We have encountered a God who has exposed and removed lies that the enemy has whispered in our ears for decades. We encountered a God who said “I will lead you and guide you with my hand upon you” and did it! We encountered a God who said “call to me and I will answer you and show you great and unsearchable things that you do not know” and then did it! We encountered a God who is still speaking and began learning to recognize His voice in the midst absolute chaos. We encountered a God who answers us when we ask Him and does not rely on us making our best guess. This is the God we encountered and this was the God we brought to the people we ministered to during our outreach phase of training.

But we also encountered the enemy of our souls. We encountered the one whom Jesus defeated on the Cross. We encountered the one who seeks to keep people in darkness. The one who speaks lies because he speaks from his character of lies. And we saw the power of Jesus overcome him again and again.

We know that many of you need a renewed revelation of an ever present Jesus. We know that many of you need to be encouraged in your faith. We know that many of you are in the battle of your lives and need someone to pray for you and with you….not from across the Ocean but across the table.

So we still want to meet with as many of you as possible, but we purpose in the Holy Spirit to meet with you for the purpose of ministering by the power of Jesus with you and not soliciting you. We lay that right down and we entrust it to the One who has been so amazingly faithful to us. In essence we want to continue doing what we have been doing for the past two months and what we will continue to be doing in Berlin….praying for and seeing the Kingdom of God come into the world that you live in.

We would love to speak with you about how God is giving us freedom from fear and anxiety. How God is dealing with us in the area of taking responsibility for your family and still fulfill all that God has called you to do. Basically we would like to take what God has done for us and offer it to you and see if perhaps that is something that God would use to bless you.

You will also have a change to see us in the following venues:

June 1rst – Elder Led Prayer; the Village Church Flower Mound Campus June 7th & 8th – Celebration Weekend Lobby; the Village Church Flower Mound Campus June 8th – The Brookside Convention Center Hurst, TX 1244 Brookside Hurst, TX 76053. The festivities start at 6pm we would love to see any who can come out!

Just A Few Quick Reflections by David Campbell

So tomorrow evening we board a plane for phase two of this learning opportunity. There are so many things to say and words seem useless to convey all that is going on in our hearts. I thought I would try to put down a few observations with the hopes of expounding on these when we get to meet with you all in June. **caveat**These are just random thoughts and do not necessarily relate to one another. *Complaining and thankfulness are choices that we make. I can choose to see the positive side of a situation and I can choose to see the negative. Every situation has both.

*Words have tremendous power to shape where our hearts go. Just like with complaining vs. thankfulness if I speak the complaint out there is something that takes root. Conversely the more I speak of my gratitude (even if I may not feel like it) there is also something that takes root. I used to violently object to this line of thinking but I have seen it proven true too many times now to think it is not valid.

*Living and working so closely to people from every part of the world, language and every socioeconomic background is just awesome. Cross-cultural living can be studied but it can also be lived out while being shepherded through the process. I highly recommend it.

*God is so much bigger than I ever, ever, ever thought. The amazing thing is that He really likes me (and you). He is not angry at me but if far more committed to my growth than I am.

*Pray is both absolutely necessary for survival and such a delight.

*If you dread going to prayer meeting, then you have never been to a real prayer meeting. Prayer is anything but boring.

*Long Rice soaked in Chicken Broth does not "look" appetizing.

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Finally, one of the most encouraging stories I have ever heard was this past week when a young man told us his story about how God took him to Ashkabad, Turkmenistan. He did not know how he would get there and it was closed to him. But God took him through a series of seemingly unrelated events and directions, through many countries, meeting many different people only to get him exactly where he was supposed to go.... 9 years later. The results were far more phenomenal than if he would have tried to force the issue, or worse, assume that he had misunderstood the call because it seemed to be closed off to him. In short he learned the principle of living by dying, winning by losing, gaining the promise by letting go. You can read his story in the book, "Imprisoned in Iran" by Dan Baumann

Which Phase do People See? by Keri Campbell

Here I am in the stillness of the early morning. The sun has yet to rise, but I see it. I know it's there. I saw it at 3:00am and I still see it at 5:49am.

Before you think I am delusional, let me explain.

Right now I can see the sun when I look at the beauty of the moon. The moon is large right now. The moon cannot go unnoticed right now. The moon is beautiful at this moment. The moon is so bright this early morning in March.

In gazing up at the moon in the wee hours of this morning, the Lord spoke to me.

"Did you know that you are like the phases of the moon?"

Wait, what??

"Yes! You are a reflection. You are an image bearer. You are a light, because of Me the Light, to the whole world."

And I sit.

Because it's a holy moment.

What phase do others see when the look at me?

If I am a Light bearer, am I noticed as a Light bearer? Or am I like the moonless night where there is no reflection of light at all?  Utter darkness where a path cannot be seen. Hopeless. Oppressed. Confused. Disoriented.  Have you ever looked up the word "new moon" in the bible and noticed the things that happened on that day? I have not studied it in depth, but there is no denying that this is significant in biblical history.

Am I like the sliver of light that people see in the young moon? A haze of light that is slightly seen in the shape of a curve. Not fully exposing all that is there, not even allowing the true shape of that which it is reflecting to be known. Kind of shy-like in the demonstration of that which true. Not bold at all, holding back in hesitancy of that made to shine ever so brightly.

Hmmm, or do I reflect the Light in the way of a crescent or half moon? Am I a faithfully reflecting the One true Light in certain situations, but have areas of darkness looming in my life? Do others see the Light at times, but see more of an umbra at others? Am I lukewarm? Do I obey in certain areas fully, but lack in knowledge and maturity in others?

Am I growing in maturity in areas where I feel confident to reflect this brilliant Light such that others see me in the phase of a gibbous moon? Have I died enough to flesh that what others see in me is the brilliance of Jesus, or is there just a bit of flesh still left that doesn't allow for His fullness to shine forth from my life?

My prayer is to be like the full moon that is in the sky right now. A full reflection of the absolute brilliant, stunning Light that is my Savior. Nothing in the way, no shadows over my life. But pure radiance of the Light of the world glowing ablaze for all the world to see. A faithful witness of what I know to be truth and steadfast love.

May it be.

"Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies."Psalm 89:37

German Parliament by David Campbell

This week we had a man from the German parliament speak to our class. He is a wonderful man of God and a powerful preacher. This man is a GREAT GREAT blessing for Germany.

Please lift up all members of the German Parliament. They are under tremendous pressure and they have a most difficult job.

He Gives Me, Love, Love, Love, Love, CrAzY Love! by Keri Campbell

Our God is a good God Who loves us soooooo much! When I sit around and think of His great love for me, I am dumbfounded. Completely astonished that He would love someone like me the way that He does!

We are currently raising support for our upcoming outreach. We have a goal of 500 people giving $14 dollars by Valentine's Day, February 14th! Here is an opportunity for you to jump in to this CrAzY love!! I was recently reminded by a dear friend that giving a financial blessing isn't always "Fun" as I often put in my "FUNdraiser" posts. On the flip side, raising support isn't always fun either...

Want to know when it IS fun? When someone comes to us and says that they see what we are doing and they see the Lord's hand in it and they want in on what GOD is doing. That is FUN for us! Because it is fun for them, the joy in the giving blesses soooooo many people!!

We invite you in to this great work that the Lord is already doing. He has invited us, and we invite you. For two months, our family will move to one of the least reached countries inside the 10/40 window. We count this as joy and an honor! We are excited and eager to get there and learn of His great love for US through these people! Come along!!

This love that we have from the Father, the love that Jesus demonstrated by His sacrificial life, the love that says, "I know everything that you have thought, said, done, and I still love you! I died for YOU! I want to be with YOU forever!" He is so, so good to us!! We want to share His great Love with everyone that we meet!! It is what He made us to do!!

If you want in on sharing this amazing Love with the lost across the world, here is an opportunity for you to give to our outreach fees which are due this month!

Let's see how many people we can get to give $14 by the 14th! Share this post, share our story! Share HIS story and let's sit back and see what He does!

Have fun with this! Teach your children about what it means to live your life sharing this amazing Love with those who have never heard of it! When you go out on a date with the one you love, talk about this great Love and how your relationship mirrors His love! Thank the Father for His outpouring of Love in Jesus Christ!

To give, just click here and follow the instructions. Blessings on you and those you love! We are CrAzY thankful to have you along on this amazing journey!!

FUNdraiser...WooHoo! by Keri Campbell

Friends!! How are you?? You know we really want to know the answer to that! If you get a moment, shoot us a text or email...it truly makes our day! I am posting to make you guys aware of a need that our family has. As part of our amazing training, our family of five will be living in a different country for two months beginning at the end of March. We are absolutely thrilled about this and trust the LORD to do mighty things in hearts of the people we will be ministering to, as well as our own!

Okay, here is the need of the moment: We need money.

I don't know how else to say it, so I will just lay it out there! Ha! Y'all have been an amazing support for each one of us and have encouraged me to make all of our needs known, so here I am! :)

As most of you know, David quit his job in December and we have been living off of support since December 15, 2013. To be honest, I dreaded this time. But may I confess that the Lord has been faithful to provide and that His steadfast love for me and my family is known to me in new and beautiful ways?!

Because of the location and people that we will be ministering to we cannot speak of those things online for safety reasons. If you do not know where we are going or have questions about this time, please do not hesitate to give us a call!! If you don't have our numbers, leave a comment and we will be glad to give them to you.

Our plans are to return to Texas for a very short while after this training ends and then head out to the location and people whom the LORD has called us to for the next three years...while this is exciting and we are ready to just get there, this time of rest and soaking in of Jesus has been so very good for our souls. Thank you, each one of you, for helping us get to this point. Your financial and prayer blessings have meant the world to us and we are so very grateful!

If you would like to make a tax deductible financial blessing toward the work we will be doing WITH Jesus for two months, just head on over to this website and follow the instructions.

We humbly thank you for joining us in this great work!

Blessings,

The Campbell Crew

 

Jesus, I give up my rights... by Keri Campbell

So this past week was definitely challenging. In a good, stretching kind of way. We were taught, through the example of Loren and Darlene Cunningham, some practical ways to follow Jesus. Some of them stung.

Like, really stung.

One quote that Mrs. Cunningham said really hit home. This is what she said,

"There is no place, in the woman of God, for self pity. Allowing self pity is a sure way to allow your zeal for God to be demolished."

Then, as if that wasn't enough, she gave some examples of self pity. I am thinking of sparing you those examples...

Naw, I'll share them with you and add some of my own.

*Ever make a special dinner for your family only to have your husband come home too late to enjoy it while it is hot?

*Ever throw a party for your child, only to have them say they wish it were maybe a different theme?

*Ever order something online and have it arrive the wrong size or color...or late?

*Wish you had different flooring?

*The money for the new flooring?

*Ever wish you were born into a different family?

*Have you dreamed and prayed for a man who loves Jesus, only to not have that prayer seemingly answered?

*Have you ever wished that Jesus didn't call you to the place He has you?

*Did you pray for children, receive them, and now it's the hardest thing you have ever encountered and overwhelms you daily?

I'll stop here. There are so many more ways to feel self pity, but I think you get the idea.

Satan loves to whisper thoughts in your ear that make you think you deserve more, that you don't deserve what you have (if it is hard or challenging), and that you are justified in plopping your self down in a big ol' comfy chair and having a little pity party about it.

Yes, and when you do that, in your mind or by physically throwing a little fit...you are allowing your zeal for God to slip away.

Your mind, your heart, is set on yourself. Not the Kingdom of God.

It's a hard truth, but I am here to confess that I do this.

And I also want to confess, I want to stop.

I have sat around thinking about all of the things that I deserve. I have wished that my life was different, that my family situations were different. I have known that I know what is best for my life and I have been disappointed that it didn't turn out that way. I have wanted to stay home and build a "Keri Campbell" kingdom instead of following Jesus around the world to build His. I have wanted my comfort over the comfort of others. My example of loving comfort has spilled over into my children, and although I see that, I have still continued in that comfort quest. Where we currently are, I have complained that things are not the way that I want them. I don't get to eat the way I like, which is healthy, organic, and whole...and I sit in self pity. I don't get to feed my kids the way I want, and I sit in self pity. I am hot, and the enemy whispers I should feel the comfort of an AC when I want it. I am awakened in the mornings because I am cold and that snake tells me that I deserve a blanket and a heater if my body is uncomfortable due to cold. Although we have a ceiling fan, it squeaks like a those little Squeaker shoes that toddlers wear times 100. I have complained in my self pity that I should be able to stop that noise. I have wondered why my children can't obey 100% of the time and been beyond frustrated when disciplining them interrupts my own desires. Let's stop this madness because we all can see that my self pity list is too long to type.

And honestly, it's a bit embarrassing.

When I dwell on these things, guess what I am NOT dwelling on?

The goodness of God. The faithfulness of my Lord. The steadfast love of my Savior. The joy of my salvation. Delighting in His law. His perfect plans for me to prosper. His promises. Things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, things worthy of praise. This list ALSO could go on and on.

The second challenging topic of teaching this week is that of laying down our rights to follow Jesus completely.

Yep.

Lay them down.

Because when we are carrying around our rights, we surely have a hard time carrying our own cross and being a true disciple. Remember when you were baptized and what that symbolized in your life?

A death to self and a raising up to walk in newness of life.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

I am so thankful for the sweet grace my Jesus offers!

Thankful that His mercy is new every single morning. 'Cause if I remember correctly, I have heard these things before. But something awakened in me this week that has been asleep for a while.

Or maybe I was focusing too much on self-pity and my zeal was demolished.

This week's teaching was a reminder to my heart that I am a new creation. A reminder to daily die to myself and fix my eyes on Jesus. A beautiful reminder that He is for me and not against me. That His plans for my life are good and perfect and full of true life and love.

I lay down my right to a home that looks the way I think it should look. I lay down the right to a comfortable income. I lay down the right to comfort. I lay down the right to think I know what is best for me and my family. I lay down the right to seek after my own good. I lay down the right to live this life the way that I want to live it. I lay down my right to be thought of as the perfect wife. I lay down my right for the praise of man. I lay down my right to get angry. I lay down my right to a flawless family heritage. I lay down my right to having to pick up after others in my home.

I lay down whatever rights I am holding onto that I am currently blind to.

So, I press on. Dying just a little more to self, Keri Campbell, to look a little more like Jesus every day. Focusing my attention on His kingdom and not my own. Loving my neighbor as myself and not myself alone. Singing of His praises not only with my mouth, but in my heart as well. Cleansing my mind of all unrighteous things and filling it back up with His goodness and truth. No longer kicking and screaming at the call placed on my life, but grabbing hold of the Hand that leads me and walking right by His side in peace and joy.

My invitation to you is to call me out when I get off track. When I start to complain, remind me of His goodness and provision. When I start to veer offtrack, will you gently be the body and bring me back in?

I long to follow Him with my whole heart and I long to put my own desires and dreams aside.

I know that He has more for me than I could ever offer myself.

I want to trust Him more than I trust myself. I want to love Him more than I love myself .I want to serve Him more than I serve myself. I want to honor Him more than I want to be honored. I want to seek His kingdom first before ever considering the thought of my own. I want to praise His name instead of longing for the praise of man.

By His strength alone I can do this.

By the power of His Spirit,

I will.

(These are just two of the topics the LORD placed upon my heart this week. What is He showing YOU about Himself? I would love to know!)

This is my desire, to honour You Lord with all my heart I worship You all I have within me I give You praise all that I adore is in You

Chorus:

Lord I give You my heart I give You my soul I live for You alone Every breath that I take Every moment I'm awake Lord have Your way in me

This is my desire, to honour You Lord with all my heart I worship You all I have within me I give You praise all that I adore is in You

 

 

 

Word By Heart by David Campbell

We are part of a tribe who values the word of God. Last night you may have been able to tune into the Thursday Night Gathering in Ohana Court. Bruce Kuhn, an accomplished Broadway Actor did an awesome job of telling the story of Paul by quoting/re-enacting LARGE portions of the book of Acts, Galatians, Philippians, and the last chapter of Romans. It was so awesome! What was strange was the before story. On Wednesday we did local outreach. We had two encounters with two different couples. One from South Dakota and the other was a Buddhist couple from Tokyo, Japan. The encounters were friendly, lively, and engaging but just did not appear to yield any fruit. It has been my habit of taking my gospel encounters back to the Lord for constructive feedback. He promised that if I would follow Him He would make me a fisher of men. So I asked Him, "Lord what did you think about these? What did I do right? What did I do wrong?" He gently said, "stick with telling my stories, you will be ok." There is something that rises within you when you know you have heard from the Lord.

The next lady (at work in a local market) we spoke to quickly began to tell me of her niece who lives in Frisco, TX and hates it. She told me the stories of how judgmental and fake the people in Frisco are (we know we have readers in Frisco -- I am just retelling the story). I asked if there was anything I could do or if there was any way I could help. She seemed to be moved that I would even offer, but feeling as though these are my people, I felt I should offer. I then said I would be happy to pray for her. This unleashed a flurry of stories about how church leaders in the Dallas area have brought severe judgement to this young lady.

So I said, "can I tell you a story about another young woman whose activities ran her afoul of the religious leaders of her day?" She said YES!. So I told her the story from John 8. She was incredibly engaged in the story and was so eager to find out what Jesus did to this person. We did not get to really adequately finish the story but the lesson was well learned for me, stick with the stories of Jesus. Learn the art of story telling.

So I asked the Lord if He would teach me to tell stories like He did. Then, as you may have seen, on Thursday Bruce Kuhn presented to our assembly speaking of the need to 'stick to the stories.' So I asked the Lord again if He would teach me and I sent off an email asking for more information about the Word by Heart school here in Kona. THEN, we walk the kids to their class and run into Bruce. He invited us to his class this morning where we got to sit and watch 5 or 6 people retell a large portion of the Gospel of Luke in both English and German! It was an incredible experience and extremely powerful.

One thing I noticed is that even though I do not speak German very well, a good story teller, helps bridge the language gap. I knew pretty close what these ladies were saying in German!

It is fun to walk through this time. Walking with our Lord is an adventure unlike anything we can dream up on our own.

Psalm 127 by Keri Campbell

IMG_3695 As I sit and typing this post, there are many precious children here in our home.  When I consider the verse, “Children are a blessing from the LORD “,  I am almost in tears as I soak up this very present truth.

The children in my home are from across the globe.  That I know of, they are from the States, Australia, Norway and Korea.

They laugh. They cry. They get angry when they don’t get their way. They get hungry. They like sugar. They love to play. They are very silly.

They are all a bit sad to not be home.

A handful of them are NOT going back to the home they left. They are heading out to the place the LORD has called them.

All of these children love.

And, may I add, they love well.

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There is a bond with these children that has so easily formed.  With some of them the language barrier is thick and often funny. It amazes me the amount of time they can play together without fully understanding each other!

All of these kiddos have sat in “family meetings” and heard the phrase, “God is calling our family to (you fill in the blank)”. They have prayed with their families. They have dreamed with their families.  They have stepped out in faith with their families.

They have left the comfort of their home.  As an adult, can I confess…that’s a hard one?.?. ;)

And let’s face it, with about one month under their belts, it has hit home with a lot of them.

They miss their homes.

But God, He’s rich in mercy and rich in love.

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Here these kids have found other blessings from the LORD. Oh how thankful I am for all the little blessings running around this place!

Tonight it hit me that the blessings, the gifts described in this passage, they are not just for parents.

From the text, I gather that they are not to be dismissed by them either, but rather to be used.

As I read on in the verse, the writer goes on to say, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, are the children of one’s youth.”

He likens children to arrows in the hand of a warrior.

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Google tells me that a “warrior” is “a brave or experienced soldier or fighter.”

Huh.

It’s so interesting that God’s inspired word likens children to arrows to be used by a warrior.

Let’s think for a minute about what an arrow is used for.

They are used in battle or as a weapon in defense.

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In my previous post I shared some of our current opportunities to lean in closer to the LORD. Right now we are very aware of the spiritual battle that is always going on. There seem to be times and seasons when we are more aware of this battle, but if I am honest, a lot of times we kinda forget .

Reading this scripture tonight, with a room full of arrows from all over the world, I am reminded to use them. To bring them into the fight. Not to dismiss them or act as if we do not have some sort of defense. Because the bible tells me that the man that fills his quiver with them is blessed. That he shall not be put to shame when he speaks with or other translations say “subdue” his enemies in the gate.

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I am not sure how many arrows a quiver can hold, but reading on I see that it’s the MAN that fills his quiver with them.

Wait, what?

Did you catch that children are a blessing from the LORD, meaning the filling the womb is from the LORD. But in verse 5 there is some sort of change that authorizes MAN to fill his quiver with them? (ESV)

“Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them.”

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I’ve never seen that shift until tonight.

I may be some sort of chicken, but my confession to you is that if I am going into battle I want to have as many weapons as I can get…

I am in a battle.

So are you.

Here’s the deal; I don’t have a quiver.

The good thing is, I don’t think I physically need one.

God’s word tells me later on in the book of Ephesians that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

If that is the kind of battle we are in, and children are like arrows in a warriors hand…

I’m gonna make sure I fill our home with them.

Our downtime with them.

Our dinnertime with them.

Our life with them.

Y’all, children are a blessing from the LORD! A blessing in this great and mighty battle that we are ALL in!

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When I picture a warrior with his pouch full of arrows strapped securely upon his body, I imagine the arrows to be packed in tightly together. Don’t you?

Which brings me to current revelation…all of the children packed tightly in this small home tonight are somehow in different ways heading out to battle.

Although it is noisy, there is peace. There is joy that is filling this place from floor to ceiling. Stresses are gone. Cares are forgotten. Life is full and it is good. The anxiety, the sadness, the worried hearts and cares that filled this room just a couple days before are gone. It honestly feels like a fight has been won. Victory has been had here and in the hearts of my children.

“In His presence there is fullness of joy.”

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I want to fill our every place, our every “quiver”, with children because I know that the LORD sees fit to use them in this battle that is constantly going on around us.  We fully include our own children as part of our missions team and know the LORD will use them as He sees fit.  If they are our own children, great! If they are children with from other parents, great! I trust my God when He says that they are a blessing. I trust Him in this truth as I have felt it myself tonight!

By the way, do you realize how far an arrow can go?

Thank you, LORD, for children. For my own and for the ones that are in this battle all over the world. You are a good and perfect God and you give good and perfect gifts. May we constantly be reminded of these gifts and include them in the battle…not just push them to the wayside while we attempt to war without the weapons you have placed within our hands.

 

 

 

 

"Mom, I miss home..." by Keri Campbell

home
hōm/
noun
the place where one lives permanently, esp. as a member of a family or household.
It's been 25 days.
Twenty five days ago we left Texas. A couple of months before that, we left our cute,comfy home in Keller, Texas to live with my dear grandmother.
A little change is fun once in a while.
All five of us love my Granny so much, and living with her for about two months was really loads of fun. Especially since we were there around the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Her home is familiar to us all. In fact, it is the only home in our family now that I have known all of my life, and the same with our children.
When the LORD called us to follow Him across the globe, He called us to follow Him across the globe.
Funny how I kinda thought that we would just show up and start life like we had left it.
Change is sometimes sudden and abrupt.
Most mission organizations require or highly recommend cross cultural training before individuals or families head out into their new life.
I often sit and wonder what Sarai thought when Abram told her they were packing up and heading out.
Like, what she really thought.
We applied to the University of the Nations at Kona, Hawaii and were graciously accepted. This particular school was a desire for us because they provide outstanding training for our children as well. Our children have also been called to go to the Nations with us.
So, we packed up and headed out. David, sick with the flu. Our children, mostly clueless as to the depth of what was happening. Me, trapped in a surreal feeling that I just couldn't shake.
Were we really doing this?
It didn't seem real.
Did we really have all that we needed for five months (honestly, from here on out.) in our four suitcases and five carry-ons?
My husband quit his job.
Would we be provided for?
And I mean provided for in all ways.
Change can be really scary sometimes.
When we got off the bus from the airport, Emma immediately threw up.
Aloha.
When I touched her head, I found she was hot with fever. It seemed to hit her suddenly and I was shocked. Ben had been struggling with a cough and fever, but had seemed better...now HE was also having a hard time.
We unloaded our family, met some people, then headed to the clinic on campus.
Emma was on the exam table, dressed for January in Oregon and now in Hawaii. Fever of 104 and achy all over. She was crying because of the way she felt, and apologizing that she was keeping us from getting settled into our new place.
She is generous and thoughtful like that.
With my oldest crying and my youngest sobbing in my arms, I did what any calm, in control mom would do.
I broke down and cried too.
And the doctor just held my hand and right away prayed aloud for me.
Sometimes we just need someone to hold our hand and right away pray aloud for us.
This doctor said that both children needed an antibiotic for the junk taking over their lungs. She handed us some papers and we walked out. And I began to wonder, "How do we get to the pharmacy? Where IS the pharmacy?"
We don't have a vehicle.
A sweet new friend took David to the nearest Walmart. I took the kids in our room, our new home.
In this new room, Emma threw up from heat and fever.
I had no towels. I had no cleaning supplies.
So I did what any calm, in control mom would do.
I sat and held my daughter while she was crying and I cried too.
Change can bring some unexpected twists and turns.
As my new friend, Marcia, would say, it was time to "suck it up princess!"
(She spoke this of herself while giving a testimony in class one day.)
Towels and cleanser were delivered to my door and I began cleaning up the sickness. Sad that things weren't going the way I planned them, but not out of selfishness...I was sad for my girl. For my boys, who were just sitting on the plastic chairs in our new home. Ben, who couldn't stop coughing to catch a breath, and Jacob who was wondering if this was really our new home.
Sad and scared because I want my children to get a good taste of following Jesus. Not a taste of bitterness and difficulty.
Confession: I wanted that for myself too.
Doesn't sound too much like dying to self, does it?
That day grew more intense as Emma began hallucinating in the night and Ben could not breathe without having horrible coughing spasms.
For a moment in the night I began to panic. I had no clue where the hospital was or even how to get an ambulance if we needed one.
Change can seem overwhelming as time reveals more of what has really changed.
That next day we needed to go to the ER or urgent care for Ben. He wasn't better and his cough was getting worse. How would we get there? This school has shuttles on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for two hours from 6PM-8PM. Those shuttles would not start until the next week of school as they are driven by student volunteers. Oh, and they only go to two locations...the hospital not being one of them.
A dear new friend offered to take us. This sweet soul spent the whole day with us and our sick Ben.
So the children slowly got better and we began to settle in.
We homeschooled our children in Texas. Ben just turned five in December and technically would not start kindergarten until this coming Fall.
Things are different here.
The children go to school from 8:00am until about 2:45pm almost everyday of the week. Thankfully, Emma and Jacob are in the same class.
Ben is in a different class.
It is really hard on him. This life change is hard on him. It is a lot for a newly turned five-year-old to take in. His heart is crying out for stability and security. My momma heart is screaming that I am here for him, that he is safe and secure in our love and arms. He wants to be near us more during the day, and that is breaking my heart.
Change can be hard and make you question if you are doing the right thing.
There is a "friend" in class with the older two who is angry that his family is here. He is verbally and physically taking his anger out on my first son. Jacob's tender heart just wants acceptance from this child. It was revealed to us why the kid is acting this way, and thus we were given an opportunity to pray for him. To pray for Jacob in a new way. To teach Jacob how to pray for this boy who is hurting him.
It's hard.
Despite our address, we are not on vacation.
This is our new life.
I have heard the verses talking about dying to self and taking up my cross to follow Jesus.
But they didn't really seem to come alive like they do today.
I can't hop in my car and go where I want to go today.
We don't have the income we had two months ago. We have to be cautious and thoughtful about spending. Walking a fine line between fear and trust.
I know God's word to be true. Like, I know it deep in my soul. His word says that in His presence there is fullness of joy. I am constantly reminded that if I am not experiencing "fullness of joy" I should consider if I am in His presence.
And in this new way of dying to self, there really is fullness of joy. It doesn't look like I thought it would. But does death ever look like we thought it would?
Taking up my cross...somehow those words never struck me like they have now. Like, I think I thought I was actually doing that already.
Confession; I wasn't.
So here, I don't get to choose what I eat or what my family eats. I don't get to adjust the AC or Heat. We don't have that. Ants are everywhere in our home, so are spiders and geckos. If we want to go out to eat, it is a challenge and not a spontaneous type thing like we are used to. Outside the campus is a highway that does not have a sidewalk. Many have been killed or seriously injured walking on the side of that road. Drunk drivers and drug use is prevalent here.We share two washers and dryers with 20+ people and I have to sign up to use them. Sometimes I forget and lose my chance. David and I don't have a bedroom with four walls and a door that we can close. Neither do the children. All windows are open and that means we can hear all the things that go on outside, from goats and wild pigs to basketball games. This also means that everyone outside can hear all that is going on in our home. (Like Ben crying because he can't have his way.)
Last night it hit my girl that this way of life isn't ending soon. She came to my bed crying hysterically, "Mom, I miss home so much that I don't know what to do!"
So I did what any calm and in control mom would do...Yep, you guessed it. ;)
This world is not our home and we know that well. But this new home, this new life, makes us yearn for our eternal home much more. I tried to convey that to the one the LORD has entrusted to me and to David. Thinking, "Maybe saying it out loud will give life to the words that my own soul needs so badly to hear." There is a soul satisfaction that only eternity with Jesus can and will bring. I am praying that our children get that. That somehow in this time, the Spirit speaks to the deepest parts of their souls that He is enough. That things and circumstances may physically and emotionally satisfy for a moment, but that He is the only steadfast, unending soul satisfaction. I want them to know this.
I want to know this.
When our time here in Kona ends, we are not returning to our cute and comfy home in Keller, Texas. This training is like a bridge to the journey He has for us in Berlin, Germany. It feels much like we are training for a marathon...and if you know me, you know that running does not come easy for me. Especially, long distance. I am more of a sprinter.
But God is a marathoner, in it for the long haul...and I am created in His image...so that long distance running, that race, is within my ability, but only by His strength and power.
So, I'll  lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and I'll run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of my faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
There are many other areas of opportunities which challenge us to press into the LORD more and trust in His faithfulness and goodness. Areas like the support from our home church, financial provision for our outreach, physical and emotional care for our children, preparation for our life in Germany. When we take our eyes off of Jesus, we begin to feel a sinking feeling. Fear and anxiety attempt to take over and steal the joy the LORD has for us in His presence.
So we strive to remain in His presence.
Because we truly love joy.
True joy, that comes only from our Jesus.
Change can be a good thing when it strips away all that you think you need and places you in the safe embrace and care of the Savior.

Long Over Due Blog Post by David Campbell

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This blog post has been long overdue. Life here in Kona has been hectic and extremely restorative. It has been a great time to refocus as a family and find a rhythm of worship, life, and seeking The Lord. We want to be careful to paint an accurate picture of life here in Kona - because we encourage you to come do a Discipleship Training School, BUT also we want you to be prepared for what you will encounter.

We are learning numerous things.

1. Opportunities Versus Problems - there are different ways and grids through which we view the world. We can see things are problems or opportunities. Let's face it, we are on a large base with a LOT of people from all over the world who have to be fed on very little money. You can interpret that as indicative of terrible food, or an opportunity to learn to praise Jesus for provision of what we have. We choose the latter and are blessed to be surrounded by others from around the world who are reminding us of the same. We live in quite close quarters with lots of native wild life. You can look at this as quite inconvenient, or you can see this as quite the God honoring ecosystem going on in our apartment. We choose the latter.

2. Learning Different Cultures - We might have thought, previously, that we were more in tune with what God was doing globally. Prepping to be a missionary tends to focus your attention on books and speakers who speak often of our global God. We might have been able to go to a class and learn how to adapt to different cultures, but The Lord chose to allow us to live among other cultures for an extended period of time as a way to experience and get to know other them better. European, SE Asian, NE Asian, Central Asian, Australian, Indian, South American, and North American. All living and worshipping together...bonding for life. We have been blessed with some wonderful Norwegian friends who have shown us that God is doing amazing things in Norway. A country that was previously not on our radar before! This past week during our intercession training we were blessed by a young Korean husband and wife who were praying over Keri and me. The young man started in English and prayed for a short time, then stopped and said, "now I pray in my mother tongue." I have no idea what he was saying but the power of God was so thick in that place that we could do nothing but sit there and cry. It was loud and intense and one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard.

3. Learning To Hear Gods Voice - The bible says that all those led by the Spirit belong to God. Jesus said "my sheep hear my voice and they follow me." Obviously the pharisees knew scripture but were not led by the Spirit. We all know people who know LOTs of scripture but exhibit precious little love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (fruit of the Spirit). I used to think that God only spoke through the logos word but faith comes from hearing and hearing from the rhema word of God. The statement for us was "we will follow you anywhere God, as long as we know it is you leading us. We just finished this topic as the first week of lecture and it was an extremely powerful time. We are thankful The Lord intimately guides and directs His people and we are not left to read the bible and come up with our best guess as to direction.

4. Local Outreach - This is where we learn to be sensitive to the Spirit directing us as we engage people with the Gospel. We will put this into practice locally in preparation for our bigger outreach.

5. Outreach - This will be a time, at the end of lecture phase, in which we go out as teams to put into practice all that God has taught us. As of this writing this will be a two month outreach in either India or Isreal. Do we know where we are going yet? No. Do we know what we will be doing yet? No. Do we trust that The Lord will tell us and direct us if we will A) ask Him and B) wait for His answer? Absolutely! We are still in need of raising the necessary funds for the outreach but we trust that The Lord will provide.

6. Finances - This has been one of the most joyful things that we have been learning. We are so blessed to be part of an organization that believes in the living by the faith that they encourage us to have. It obviously takes money to run this place. When we first inquired about applying we told them that we did not have the money. We were told, "just get here, we are confident that if you are supposed to be here The Lord will provide." Somehow.....The Lord provided the lecture fees just before we left Texas. Then He replaced them just as we arrived. What an awesome God! We are still trusting Him for the fees for our outreach and do not know where they will come from, but we will move forward knowing He will provide. Do not think for a minute that this is not part of training! It is IMPERATIVE that we learn to trust God and move forward even when the provision does not look probable. So many agencies want to know you are fully funded before releasing you to the field. In the bible there seems to be very few time God directs His people to move only AFTER they know where there provision comes from. This is a discipline and a lesson for us and we are thankful. We get to know the heart of our Father and understand His ways and know were we are to look for provision. God certainly does a lot through other agencies who take different approaches, but this is the path God has chosen for us and we are grateful to walk it.

This is likely quite disjointed, but we wanted to get a little more thoughts down in writing. We are thankful for you all! You have all played such a wonderful part in our lives. If any of you are considering missions and feel like your faith is just too small to venture out...we encourage you to come here! If you are simply at a crossroads (side note, "Crossroads" is the name of our school!) in your life and want to see if God has more for you, then this is certainly the place for you! We have met many who do not know if they are called to international missions they are simply here to see how God may direct them.

We are praying for you all and so thankful for our team miles away! It is a blessing to us to have you all cheering us on!

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Taking a Risk by David Campbell

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photo Last night our family met a wonderful Armenian (I am not trying to say Arminian) man working to make ends meet by crafting aluminum Christmas ornaments. He served in the Russian army for a number of years and was wounded and lost the use of his legs. He has been in a wheel chair since he was 19 years old.

His name is Gagik and we told us how his pension from the Russian army is the equivalent of $70 per month and explained some of the atrocities that his people have been enduring at the hands of neighboring countries. He admitted that both he and his people live with a lot of bitterness and feel abandoned by those who should care.

Gagik made small heart-shaped ornaments for the kids and I asked his how I could pray for him. He was not opposed to me praying but was pretty convinced that there was nothing that would happen. I grabbed his hand and began to pray. There was an immediate war going on inside me to both pray for the healing of his legs and to not. I could hear loudly and clearly that I should not pray for his legs because if God did not come through on this that Gagik would be left thinking that God does not care. I was just getting blasted with the thoughts that I was going to do more damage by risking praying for his legs.

But one thing that The Lord has been teaching me is that I am NEVER EVER to allow fear to be a motivation for doing or not doing anything. Fear is not from God! So I rejected the fear and prayed for his legs and the full restoration of his legs. When I was done I asked if he would attempt to move them.

Nothing.

I shared with Gagik why I pray for people and what God has done in my life and that God loves him. I told him about the restoration of all things in Jesus, but I saw nothing change.

Yet I am convinced that God has not changed. I am convinced God does heal. I am convinced that sometimes He heals in natural ways (healing) and I am also convinced that He acts outside of the normal natural laws (miracles). I am ABSOLUTELY convinced that Jesus loves this man! My goal is not to fix my attention on what I see but to keep my attention on Jesus.

In Luke 10:9 Jesus was sending 70ish of his guys out and told them to 'heal the sick and to preach.' This was part of the command. He never took it back. These were not his Apostles, these were nameless, faceless guys that Jesus sent out. We do not get the option of picking and choosing what parts we will obey.

I have had the joy praying for people and seeing God heal them but this was a lot bigger than anything I have prayed for in the past. At least in my mind. But I will not stop. It was part of what we are told to do an we wish to be obedient. I believe Jesus wants to save and I believe that He is also in the business of healing and restoring people this side of heaven as well.

I want to encourage you, as you seek opportunities to share the gospel, to not get hung up on thinking you need to protect God. He really is quite good at protecting Himself. Who knows what God might do?

**The Lord has called us to raise 100% of our prayer and financial support. We still have a long way to go and would ask that you would ask The Lord how He would have you partner with us in this endeavor. Please Click Here To Join Our Monthly Support Team.

Starting Spiritual Conversations by David Campbell

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Yesterday we went to a service to honor the passing of the mother of a great friend of ours into the presence of our Lord Jesus. As we were getting ready, Keri's grandmother offered to buy take out, so that we would not be delayed and could still eat lunch together. When I was ordering the food at the take out counter I asked the young lady if there was a way that I could pray for her. She just looked at me in stunned silence for what seemed like an eternity. I am learning to not get antsy during these times but allow God to do whatever it is that God is doing. She finally said, "I just learned my whole family is moving out of state and I am in school and I having to stay here by myself and I am scared and stressed. Will you pray for me?" So I began praying over her there at the counter. It was not a long prayer but as I prayed I seemed to be carried along in terms of what to say and how to pray for her encouragement. When I was finished praying she thanked me quite profusely through tears. I have found that it is times like this I get to explain why I am eager to pray for people because of what God has done in my life through Jesus and what Jesus has done on their behalf.

Because we live currently live in the Bible Belt every person believes they know God. Every person considers themselves Christian. You will run into exceptions but not that often. So what do you do in a situation like this?

It is best to NOT ask a question like "are you a believer" or "do you know Jesus?" At least not in the Bible Belt. It has been most effective, in my opinion, to ask a question of relation. "Do you consider yourself near or far from God?" You will be surprised by the answers because most people, while professing see themselves as far from God. Then you can say something to the effect, "Jesus came to bring those who are far from God near to Him. Let me tell you how He did that for me and how Jesus made this possible."

The Lord has called us to make disciples and be based, for a time, in Berlin, Germany. While He has called us there we hear, often, that people say they are "confident" that God has called them to be "here." My intent is not to debate that confidence but rather to encourage you, if that is you, to be effective where you are. Seek these people out. Jesus said that He is working right now, your job is to find it. Ask Him and see who is open to hearing more. What might happen if every day you shared Jesus this way with at least one person?

**If you are interested in supporting us we invite you to be a part. We are currently in need of raising monthly and/or one-time gifts to support this ministry. If The Lord has placed this on your heart you may give your tax-deductible donation here. **

God of the Details by David Campbell

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Being iced in has given a much needed break from the hustle and bustle that has become our life. For the last 6-8 months we have worked diligently in ministry, raising kids, raising support, working full-time, and trying to keep all of the juggling balls in the air at the same time. Then The Lord graciously allows us a time of rest and relaxation. We cannot go anywhere, we can't meet with anyone, we don't have internet, we are just forced to unwind.

Yet even in this I see the days and hours ticking away. I feel the need to meet with more people because we have not raised our support yet. There is a part where I feel that old familiar anxiety knocking on the door of my heart.

Then this morning the Holy Spirit graciously whispered to us the He is a God of details. It is amazing how this word spoken in my heart caused my faith to grow. Faith truly does come for hearing and hearing from the rhema of God!

Formerly I was under the impression that I must pray and ask God for wisdom and then I could make the choice I wanted or the one that seemed best to me.

It is not in man who walks to direct his steps - so says Jeremiah. I can look to and trust that God will order my every step if I will be careful to stop and listen to Him.

Forms, Locations, and Structures by David Campbell

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Last night I started watching a show on Netflix called "Russia's Toughest Prisons" in which they detailed a prison near Kazakhstan called "Black Dolphin." I did not watch more than 10 minutes of the documentary but I began to meditate on something that I thought I would share. I began to wonder how I would walk with The Lord in a situation in which I am totally isolated from humanity or in a situation that I did not control. When we lived in our former house, I had a routine in which I would get up early and go into my office and commune deeply with The Lord. These became times that I deeply enjoyed and reveled in. I began to see how you can have hours alone with The Lord and still find yourself wanting more and more. This was a tremendous time of growth for me.

Yet this month has found me in a small house (for which I am incredibly thankful) and no places to withdraw to. Then we have been iced in for a couple of says in which driving to a Starbucks or some other place has been prohibited. So watching this documentary was something The Lord began to reveal to me how much "location" and "structure" has become what I have relied on for my walk with Him.

When I have my location and routine then I see that I have tremendous blessing but when that routine is interrupted I find I am struggling. Yet we see Jesus retiring to the wilderness to be with the Father only to see Peter interrupt him to tell Him people are looking for him. (oh, How He understands me!)

What God has called us to in Berlin and beyond requires that the forms and structures look different from what we are accustomed to. Yet I find that as much as I thought I embraced that concept I am still tied heavily to the old.

For a while now I have felt as though I could hear from The Lord while I am quiet and in prayer but I have struggled when in the hustle and bustle of day to day life. I would see how Jesus was walking with and in the Spirit while there was a TON of stuff going on around Him. This became my prayer that God would teach me this.

Now I see that this is exactly what He is teaching me. May the lesson not be lost on me.

How Can You Pray for Us by David Campbell

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take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness. Proverbs 25:5

Our goal is to see the Kingdom of God come in power on the earth, especially in Berlin, Turkey, and Central Asia. What prevents this now? The god of this world (satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelievers. When a person does not respond to God it is because they are listening to the voice of the enemy and not the voice of God.

Pray earnestly today that God would remove any wicked influences that would prevent the Gospel from spreading in Berlin and the United States. Pray that counselors to presidents and kings and chancellors and mayors will walk in righteousness and counsel in righteousness. If they will not walk in righteousness pray that God would physically remove them from the presence of authority. Also pray earnestly against and for the binding of all wicked spiritual influences that prevent the gospel from moving forward.

Sometimes it is necessary to ask God to remove the wicked counselors from the presence of those in authority. Even if we live in a pagan world may God raise up a generation of Daniels or Josephs who will counsel those in power according to righteousness.

Fabulous~Fun~Friday~Family~Focus by Keri Campbell

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It's Friday, y'all! Word on the street is that it is going to be a COOL Fall weekend! Yippeee! Bring on the Pumpkin Patch weather! (Anyone else take their children to the Pumpkin Patch for some sweet fall photos, only to snap the memories of sweaty, red-faced babes?!?)

Today, I wanted to spotlight another donor family, Kari and Shane Lewis! We met the Lewis family though our church. Below is a little information about who they are and how their family came to be. We LOVE adoption and the picture it paints of what the LORD has done to adopt US into HIS family forever! We are grateful for the Lewis Family, their donation toward our ministry in Germany, and their friendship along the way! We pray blessings over each one of you!

 

Enjoy as Kari tells about her precious family!

"We have four kids; Avery is 8, Judson and Cade are 6years old (4months apart), and Asher is 6months old. It is fun to tell people the boys are 4 months apart and watch them try to figure out how that is possible. No one would ever guess that Judson was adopted, and might even pick out Cade if they had to guess! We decided to foster when the boys were 3 years old and I have to admit it was nice to get my "twins" after the midnight feedings, diaper changes, and potty training were over! (Fun fact, I am a twin myself! There are FOUR sets of twins in my family. My dad was a twin, and I have two sets of nieces and nephews who are twins! Also, my husband and my twin sister's husband have the same birthday..even the same year!) We have no doubt Judson was made for our family and our family grew by more than one child when we adopted him. Even though it was through CPS, we decided to have an open adoption with Judson's biological family, giving all the kids one more set of grandparents to spoil them! We see Judson's mom, aunt, and grandparents every couple of months.

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I am homeschooling the three oldest for the first time this year because we felt called to do it...even though the decision seemed insane right after the birth of #4! Asher was our "surprise baby". We found out we were pregnant shortly after Shane's grandpa died from cancer, my dad died from pulmonary fibrosis, and my brother-in-law died suddenly from a massive heart attack in May and June of last year. We were still grieving and having a hard time accepting the pregnancy...until God gave us his name. He made it clear that we should name him Asher, and that's when we knew we were having a boy...months before the ultrasound confirmed it. His name means "happy, blessed". A great reminder that in the midst of pain and suffering, we are definitely blessed! AND, Asher is the happiest baby I know!"

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If you are interested in participating in this Puzzle FUNdraiser, please click here and designate "Puzzle Fundraiser"

Puzzle Piece Numero Uno!! by Keri Campbell

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Sullivan Family

Our very first puzzle piece donation was from Amanda Sullivan and her sweet family. We have been blessed to know Mrs. Sullivan through our time at Coram Deo Academy. Amanda taught 2nd grade there before receiving the sweet blessing of her daughter, Hadley! A fun fact about the Sullivan family is that Amanda's husband, James Sullivan, is co-owner of the car that won the Indianapolis 500 this year! Isn't that amazing! Amanda is beautiful on the outside and the inside. Her heart for others is so precious and an inspiration to watch. Even after becoming a stay at home mom, she couldn't resist meeting a group of us at a children's hospital in Fort Worth to pray for one of her former students. This was a blessing to my heart as well as the sweet child's who saw Mrs. Sullivan from her hospital window!

Sullivan Family, we are blessed by you and pray blessings from the LORD over your gorgeous family!

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To purchase a Piece of the Puzzle visit us here!