Saturday, June 30, 2012


Pressing On

Summer is always the craziest time of year. We have made it through three teams and sea container delivery and Tashi is wrapping up the end of the school year. Today was an unusual day where I logged maybe around 600km behind the wheel. After a 5:30 am departure for the airport to drop off the team, Tashi and I headed to Knockpatrick where I picked up their truck, drove it to JDV, collected mattresses and other sea container items, drove them to Kingston, dropped them off, then turned around and headed back to KP, switched out the truck for the bus and drove 8 staff and students from Knockpatrick down to Kingston for DTQ co-mission camp. The DTQ group arrives in 30 minutes and thus will begin a wild and exciting week. It will be draining in many ways, but filling in many ways as well. Honestly, it's sometimes hard to focus on the positives and the praises, because the stress and fatigue sometimes seem to outweigh everything else. But it doesn't have to be that way. When we are weak, then we are strong in Christ. We press on towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God which is in Christ Jesus. We are so blessed to have life and have it abundantly. Pray that we remain steadfast with our eyes looking up. We need not worry when we have the Spirit of God!

Monday, June 18, 2012


May Newsletter

May 2012 E-newsletter

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Another Testimony of Ruth Ann Lehman

This was shocking when I first heard it and want to share it all with you because it is true, and comforts and encourages us that God is who He says He is and that He does care about us very intimately and individually. Sometimes we struggle with the reality that we didn't live 2000 years ago and never saw Jesus or touched a disciple or knew if this was all real or not. I tell you the truth, if you met Ruth Ann then you knew a disciple of Christ. Here is just one piece of evidence.

Shared by John Lehman, husband of Ruth Ann:
To those of you who loved her, and knew how she deeply cared for everyone she touched, and of her desire for Heaven, let me share this story.
As I cleaned everything out of the car this morning, this picture was in the car (notice the verse at the bottom). I had not taken it out of the trunk of the car after using it last week at the Morton Vacation Bible School. They told me that when they arrived at the scene, they found this picture, not in the trunk, but laying face-up on the ground next to Ruth Ann. Fly home my beautiful bird - we will love you always.

Then Wendy Schwab, a close friend of Ruth Ann's, shared this correlation:
Ruth was an amazing and precious friend. She treasured and tended the things that mattered. On her window sill above her kitchen sink her daily calendar of bible verses had Matthew 25:21 (The servan'ts master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master)....she read this on the morning of the day she was taken home...we cling to the promises and weep at our loss. Ruth Loved with Abundance!

Wow. This is a miraculous revelation of the Father to us and to Ruth Ann's family. Not only did this picture end up out of the trunk and beside Ruth Ann, but at her home, on her daily calendar, the same scripture was displayed. And not just the same scripture, but two verses that specifically come from Jesus as He welcomes home to heaven a good and faithfuls servant. Ruth Ann was faithful with the tiny things of life, which I believe was the foundation for her being faithful with the big things of life, the souls and hearts of others. In Matthew 12 we hear a story of God's chosen servant, Jesus. In verse 20 it says "a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory"...this is how I would describe Ruth Ann. I am challenged by her life and inspired in her death. To God be the glory, great things He has done!!!

Feel free to share your thoughts here in the comments or go to and write in the guestbook or share a memory.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Remembering Ruth Ann Lehman

I don't yet know details, but I received news that Ruth Ann Lehman passed away this morning. She leaves behind her husband, John and son Randy and daughter Takira (spell?) and many friends and loved ones. Ruth Ann had battled cancer for a number of years, but the news is a shock as I saw her in March at my brother's wedding and she seemed to be in great health. She's so memorable that Tashi remembers our brief conversation in the foyer of the reception hall, and I'm thankful she does because I don't want to ever forget Ruth Ann and her impact on my life during my Wolcott SS days. Her gentle but firm demeanor commanded respect while conveying love. She had such a unique ability to be Jesus to so many and demonstrated a true and genuine listening ear and caring heart. Her enthusiasm for life was contagious and unmistakable! John and Ruth Ann were full of energy and passion and cared so deeply for all of us at Wolcott. The camping trips on weekends and the bonfires at their house and the games they'd organize to get us all together, the soap making and Pizza King pizza nights. Ruth Ann was instrumental in all of this and it made a difference in all of our lives. As I've thought more about it the last few hours, I realized that my post earlier today regarding my "salvation birthday" is due in part to John and Ruth Ann. They were a major reason our Wolcott SS class went on our mission trip to the Jamaica Deaf Village in March of 2002, where God would begin a process of shaping and directing my life. Without that trip, I would not be where I am today. And then as I shared some memories with Tashi I realized that there is more to that story. As our team in '02 was checking in for the flight from MoBay, the airline announced that they needed to bump a few passengers. In line it was John and Ruth Ann and their son Randy, followed by Chris and Renae Bahler and then myself. The Lehman's were interested in being bumped, but it seemed that they only needed to bump two passengers. Not wanting to split up their family, they decided to pass on the opportunity and allowed Chris and Renae to take the bump package, which included a night at a local hotel and a voucher to cover a round-trip return flight to Montego Bay. As I checked-in I asked about being bumped, but the lady stated that they only needed two, which is why the Lehman's were not bumped but the Bahlers were. I moved on and as we were waiting at the gate, the agent returned to our group and informed me that they needed to bump one more passenger if I was still interested. I said absolutely and so joined Chris and Renae on a one day adventure in Montego Bay. I didn't realize at that time, of course, how monumental this event was in my life. It was that voucher ticket that led me to look for a return trip to Jamaica, which happened in June of 2004 (eight years ago today, blogged about below), which is when I realized how desperately short I had fallen from the grace of God and turned to Christ for salvation in Montego Bay. I also carry a memory from that of John and Ruth Ann showing nothing but happiness for me that I got that third ticket instead of their family. It's just who they are, genuine lovers of people and they are the last people to think of themselves. Truly giving and sacrificing for the benefit of others. I can't imagine the pain in the offering up of Ruth Ann for John and their two children. Please join me in praying for the comfort of the Holy Spirit to be felt in mighty ways in their hearts and souls. Ruth Ann, you are loved, missed and remembered.

*update: It was not cancer, but rather a tragic car accident where she lost control of the car, flipped and was ejected. A sobering reminder that we may be called home at any time. I have to think, would I have even a portion of Ruth Ann's testimony if it were me. She was a truly amazing woman of God and very intentionally loved others. God help the Lehman family!


Eight years after "letting go"

On this day, June 11, 2004, a 19 year old college student struggling to find who he was and where he was going, turned to the One and Only God and by grace through faith, came to know and to have Jesus as his Savior and Redeemer. Now I'm 27, and at that time would never have guessed that eight years later I would be living in this land where Jesus broke down the walls of my heart. I think that's why we are encouraged in scripture to not think too much about tomorrow and plan too much of our future, because if things pan out as we hope and think, where is the creativity in that? Where is the surprise? Where is the awe and wonder of God's much better and higher ways? A few weeks after I returned from Jamaica back in '04 I was able to listen to Kent Heimer teach at Francesville VBS on "letting go and letting God" and it became a mantra in my life that welcomed me every morning when I turned on my cell phone. Praise God for the grace and direction He provides in our lives, not only in breaking down the hardness of our hearts but in the daily and intimate ways in which He speaks to us, moves us and shapes us and "goes for us". This is by far a much better route in life, and no way could I have seen this coming on that grace-filled Friday in 2004. Nothing but thanks, power, honor and praise to offer to the Only One who is worthy...after all, this is the reason we were created and the purpose for which our lives came to being.

 Working at JDV in June of '04 while the Holy Spirit worked much more inside my heart and mind.
Tashi and I reminiscing of God's faithfulness earlier this year.

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