December 08, 2006

December '06 Newsletter


This time of year always brings it’s share of hardship for me. It seems as though the second the temperature drops, so does my motivation. This doesn’t apply to everything, though. I still love doing the usual ministry type things at YouthFront—teen staff gatherings, recruiting for camp, downstairs worship nights to name a few—but this time of year is especially trying on me in the area of support.
I recently sent out a number of letters to people that, Casey Kapple, a good friend of mine, recommended to me. Casey was once the middle school youth pastor at my current church, and was also a YouthFront coworker of mine. After his recent departure, he blessed me by recommending that all of his supporters support me since he took a salary youth pastor position at a local Kansas City church. This was a huge thing since I had pretty much dwindled down my own list of possible supporters. The problem then became a matter of motivation. I would go into work with the intent of following up with those people I had sent those letters to, but would always get caught up in other work-related tasks and never got to it.
And the Casey Kapple story isn’t the only blessing I’ve received of late. This last month I had a huge amount of support come in, which is great as I am planning on going to India for a month. On top of that, I’ve had numerous letters of encouragement come in from supporters, random donations taken for me by people I hardly even knew, and I even had two supporters fly me out to California where they live in order to relax, read, and possibly gain some new supporters. I couldn’t ask for more confirmation that I am exactly where I should be. But still I struggle to find the motivation to actually follow through and get my support up to where it should be.
As I have thought and reflected on this ongoing struggle, I am reminded of just how broken I am. I am a man who definitely struggles with many different things, but I am also a man who is incredibly passionate and will dive head first into the work I so dearly love. The real struggle lies in trying to muster up the want to do the “not-so-glamorous” things in life and work. I mentioned in an earlier newsletter how I was excited to have finally achieved a more relaxing schedule. I had rid myself of many of my prior commitments in order to have more time to myself. Instead of staying true to that relaxed schedule, I ended up just as busy as I was before, only now with a new set of commitments. I have definitely come to more of an understanding of Paul’s struggles. Romans 7:18-19 says, “For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” I have the legitimate want to do these different things that I know would be very good and fruitful, but then end up just sitting around doing none of it.
I guess what I am driving at is that it is very easy for me to disengage from life, and there are different times and events that bring about these times in each of us. Would you guys please consider committing to pray for me as I am in the midst of one of these times? I have come understand the unbelievable power of a heartfelt prayer, and am convinced that God hears our cries and responds to them in his great mercy. Please pray for my life and work—that my work would be fruitful, and that I would not just have the want to do the more tedious things in life and work, but also the motivation to execute on those things. Thank you guys very much for your continued support of me, and know that I really appreciate all that you do to help me succeed in what I do. I will be praying for you and sincerely hope that this Christmas season will be a time filled with love, laughter and joy!

Just us crazy folk at the Teen Staff Christmas Party!!!


Kind of an odd title, I know, but these two things are connected…I promise. Over the past two years I have had some pretty incredible revelations from God. These types of encounters continue to happen on a regular basis with me, but with less of an impact as before. And so begins my journey to figure out why.
This year I decided to take on a new role at YouthFront. I am now the new teen staff supervisor at YouthFront Camp South. This last weekend we had a teen staff Christmas party, and it was really great to see all of these high school’ers interact with each other. They were laughing together, worshipping together, and praying together. It really motivated me for my new role coming up this next May.
Immediately after this party, however, I started to reflect on how I could lead these high school’ers in a very humble and authentic manner. I thought of all the really great things I’ve been learning about God over the past two years, and how I would love to share that with them. But then something happened inside of me. I became a little down and out. I had realized something. How on earth could I lead these people and teach them the things I would like to teach them if I haven’t first tried these things out in my own life? Over the past two years I’ve felt convicted about tons of things, some of the main themes being caring for the forgotten people in Kansas City, living a simpler life so I can give more, being more restful with my time, and acting more quickly on God’s callings without hesitation. Basically, the desire to be more like Christ had become more and more all-consuming to me, but I had essentially done nothing to act on these deep desires within me.
And so now I have decided to venture over to India. While I’m there, I will be working with an organization that helps out many orphans, AIDS victims, and lepers. The reason I even chose this place is because of the severity of the problems that exist over there. My hope is to not only serve the poorest of the poor in a very practical way, but to also let God use this experience to turn my life so upside down that by the time I come back, there will be no way I could possibly live the way I do now—knowing the kind of pain and injustice that exists out there.

(to learn more about the organization i'm going to work alongside, visit


  1. so when are you heading to India?

  2. hi. i'm nick and i use tiny tiny print to post my blogs so only people with superior vision can see what i'm saying.