Thursday, November 20, 2014

PRAY, GO, GIVE Part 3 - Wake Up!

This past week was a tough one!  Through the years we all have people who cross our paths who have a lasting impact.  Sometimes those people are only in our lives for a short period of time.  Some of the time they cross our paths in a more regular way.  And then, there are those who impact our lives because of the amount of time we spend with them as well as the magnitude of the influence they have on our world view and daily journey.

This past week one of those people in my life made his journey home to the Father, far earlier than I was prepared to experience.  The most fitting introduction I heard this week of him was, "There was a man sent from God...and his name was John!"  John Crisp entered my life more than a decade ago with a passion to serve the Native American people with the truth of the Gospel and a demonstration of God's love.  John and his wife Mary, became very important people in my life and my families' life as we walked through this journey of faith.  John and Mary stepped into our lives as parental figures as well as partners in ministry. They have been a blessing and a vital part of the journey of faith for all of us.

This past week John had a stroke on Monday and lingered with us for a few days before going home to be with the Lord.  I recall kneeling at the foot of the bed in the ICU and hearing more than one time, the desire to have him just open his eyes and say something.  John was a quiet man of few words, yet when he spoke everyone needed to pay attention.  So, sitting there in the quiet of the room I simply wanted to say to him, "wake up, Mr. John, I need to hear you share some truth with me one more time."  Several times the idea that if John could just wake up and tell us what to do one more time it would make things all better.

As I pondered this thought Thursday evening after John slipped out of this world and into the presence of the Almighty, I began to feel the Holy Spirit remind me of this unique truth.  In the midst of the sinful nature we all are born within, the Lord calls out to us often to wake up!  His word of truth calls out to us in our darkness to open our eyes and wake up to the eternal truth of the Gospel.  As I continued to think on this truth the Lord then pressed in hard on my heart concerning the other times in my life I heard those words from Him.  For you and I both can recall times when we were asleep at the wheel.  The times in our lives when we have, for some reason, closed our eyes as if to steel a quick nap in the middle of this journey of amazing grace!  In the quiet of the moment the voice of the Lord breaks through the silence and we are shaken awake from the sleep we have allowed our lives to slip in to so slowly and quietly.

Just as I knelt at the foot of that hospital bed and wanted so desperately for John to wake up, the Lord calls out to you and to me to wake up!  Wake up from the sleep of your comfort.  Wake up from the sleep of your weak faith.  Wake up from the sleep of the lazy obedience we all fall into from time to time.  Yes, wake up is the very thing I need to do!  If I believe that God has allowed me to wake this morning and live then there is a plan for my life that He has that is a significant part of His plan.  I am still are still here...reading this blog, because He has something for you to do!

WAKE UP!  For the Lord is calling you and me to Pray for those who are in the field.  The Father is calling each one of us to Go to join the eternal efforts to share and show the Gospel.  The King is calling each one of us to Give sacrificially to assist, send, support and reach the world with the truth of His Word.

Sometimes those people who cross our paths are there to help us walk this journey through tough or difficult days.  The Lord brings people into our lives to help shape our view of the world and our understanding of His ways and His purposes.  God allows our lives to be impacted by people who cross our paths for the purpose of challenging our status quo and shaking us loose from the stagnant life that so easily entangles.  This past week I was reminded that just as the Lord brings these people into our lives, He also takes them away at His calling and in His time.  My responsibility is to trust!  Trust His heart, even when I cannot trace His hand!  Trust His purposes, even when I do not understand the reasons for the events of this life.  Trust His ways, even when the direction of this path.  So how do we respond...PRAY, GO, GIVE!

In His Grip,

Monday, October 20, 2014


Recently while running in the early morning hours in New Mexico, this whole idea of Pray, Go, Give was on my mind and heart.  I realized the Lord was impressing upon my heart to continue this discussion.  I have been wrestling with Him over this for a week or so now, so finally I am going to follow His leading and share more about this...

I was crossing the bridge in Tohatchi, NM early one morning before the sun had risen when it hit me how I am to pray for missional living in the coming days.  The Lord used this morning time of running to speak to me about this whole idea of PRAY-GO-GIVE!  You see as I was crossing the bridge I had to pay close attention to my steps to avoid the huge cracks in the bridge and the holes that randomly appeared in some of the panels of the bridge.  While looking closely at the ground and listening to the sounds of the dark surrounding me it hit me.  This is exactly what the Lord is asking of me in relation to praying for missional living!

Dark all around me, unfamiliar surroundings, unusual sounds, dogs barking in the distance, cool crisp morning air and the anticipation of daybreak!  This is our prayer life, right?  In the middle of a dark land without hope or help, we beseech the Father on behalf of those stuck in the darkness.  They are living a life that is destined to send them off the cliff into the darkness of eternal separation from God and they have no hope, except for those of the Body who are willing to go and share the Gospel message!  The unfamiliar surroundings are so often overwhelming for us that we shy away from the task at hand.  We hear the sounds and wonder what is around the corner or what will we face next to wrestle with over our obedience, when just over the horizon is the light of day coming to chase the darkness away!

Our time in prayer must reflect our belief in the sovereignty of a Holy God who holds the moments of every life in His hands.  No matter how dark the current surrounding may be, no matter how unfamiliar the sounds, no matter how unknown the next corner is to us...the daylight is coming and we must press on in prayer for the Lord of the Harvest to send workers into the field!  While I was running I kept on running in hopes of daylight changing the whole experience.  We too must press on in our praying for the servants in the field and the hope of truth to be shared with great anticipation of the coming daylight!  Jesus is coming again!

I recall as the first light of day began to break over the hills in the distance, the whole time of running in this unfamiliar place changed.  I began to feel more relaxed and recognize all of my surroundings.  And, even though it was not home, it was familiar enough to press on with a renewed sense of finishing the run!  As you and I consider how we are to respond to the words we hear during our prayer times, we all must consider how we GO!  Each morning the darkness seems to be too dark, the road seems too unfamiliar, the sounds too unknown to get out and run.  Yet, when I found myself obeying the instructions of the day, I found a great peace and great comfort in the break of day!

Boldness does not come in the absence of fear...rather boldness comes in the presence of obedience!  I found the confidence to finish the run only when I got out there and pressed on through the darkness and found the light in the midst of my obedience.  This is exactly what the Lord is saying to us about our going.  I know I will find the strength and confidence I need to press on in the field when I commit to GO to the field and serve, show and share the Gospel.  The Lord is right now impressing upon many of you to commit to GO to the field.  You've been praying for the field for some time now.  Now, He is telling you to find the boldness in your obedience...committing to GO!

The field is ripe unto harvest and the workers are few, Pray and GO!  We need you to join us in the field with confident hearts in the power of the Gospel message and the belief that the Lord of the Harvest is going to complete the work He has begun in each of us.  The workers who have committed their lives to the field need you to join them for a short while to help press on and continue in the work of the harvest.  The Lord desires to shape and mold your life to be more like Him and He wants to use the field to do it!

As I would come to the end of the run, the sun was coming up in full force, the warmth of the day was building and the sights were becoming very clear.  The sky was opening up into a beautiful morning sky that was limited only by my ability to take it in from horizon to horizon.  The overwhelming goodness of the Lord would overcome the questions of the early part of the run and I would begin to forget how dark it was and how unfamiliar it felt.  In response to the Lord's faithfulness I would easily give Him my day and expect Him to guide my every step.  You see the early morning steps of obeying Him in prayer and going out the door, opened the door for me to GIVE everything up to Him.  I think this is the very path He is guiding each of us to take.  PRAY to the Lord of the harvest with full expectation of His light coming into the day and making it an awesome experience in Him.  GO with obedience that trusts His heart and follows His guidance with each step we take.  GIVE everything I have in response to His greatness and His goodness and His faithfulness to me!

Will you today... PRAY...GO...GIVE!

In His Grip,
JT Turner

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


All through our faith journey there are people the Lord brings across our path that are used to influence our journey.  These people come in our daily life, on special occasions and during intentional events planned to help us be challenged.  Short-term missions is one of those tools the Lord uses to help shape our world and direct our paths throughout this journey of faith.  As you and I consider how the Lord has and will use short term missional experiences to shape our world and impact our journey,  I would like to challenge you to think with me in a very specific way!

Take time to pray for the Lord to direct your heart and mind in the steps you need to take to engage people and encounter experiences that will have eternal impact on your life.  So many of us have in the past been involved in events or experiences that have been clearly directed by the Father to influence and impact our world!  We all need to take the time to pray for our view of these experiences.  We all need to pray for those we've met on this journey in those places of service and ministry.

If you've been out of your home context and served along side anyone on the mission field you know the impact that experience has had on your world.  The Lord uses those times outside of our comfort zone to shake us up and help us see beyond the immediate world right around us and see His hand at work all over the world.  Take time to pray for the workers in the field right now who are investing their lives for the sake of the Kingdom.  Pray for the lives of those children you met and played with.  Pray for the church in that local community that is struggling to be the light and salt to their neighbors.  Pray for the pastors and missionaries who are helping to guide the church in disciple-making and evangelism.  Pray for the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the field!

As you pray for those around the world in the places of need and harvest, consider how you can go and be a part of the Kingdom work.  If you've been you know the impact.  If you have not been, listen to those who have been and believe them when they say it is a life-changing experience!  Pray for the Lord to direct your path and your life in such a way that you are willing and eager to go to another context, outside of your home culture, and serve along side the church at work.

As you search for places to go, look for the work that is being done by organizations and churches to show and share the Gospel.  Every bit of our work as a short-term missionary should be done to support and encourage the local church in its efforts to reach their community and teach the Word to those in their community.  Look for those opportunities to invest your life in ministry that shows the Gospel and shares the Gospel intentionally.  Organize your life in such a way to be able to go.  Get your passport, plan your vacation time or time off from work and commit to going to the field to serve and share!

If you have been on the field you know, especially those of us who live in the US, that God has blessed us with resources that are needed all over the world.  In Psalm 67, we see clearly that the Lord will bless for the sake of His ways being made known and His salvation being shared!  After walking along side missionaries, pastors and church members in a missional environment, you cannot help but see the overwhelming need they face every day.  There is need for food, for shelter, for care to be given to children, medicine, teaching, and truth!  The needs are unending and the task of meeting those needs is overwhelming to those on the ground serving daily.  As you pray for those who are there serving and you go to visit them and serve along side them...come home and commit to give to support their work.  Be involved in their work for the Kingdom through supporting their daily efforts of going on a regular basis.  Get involved monthly, quarterly or annually with supporting the efforts of the local church, the pastor and the missionaries there to reach the world and teach His Word!

Take time today to consider how He wants you to PRAY, GO and GIVE so we can together Reach the world and Teach the Word!

In His Grip,

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

He Invited Me!

During the past few weeks I have been searching through the memories of the years I have spent in ministry for those significant spots to reflect on as I walk this journey.  Yes, at my age I begin to reflect a great deal on the past and wonder how much more time I will spend here on this journey.  The thoughts do not come with a sense of regret or disappointment.  In reality they come with great appreciation and amazement!

I recall many years ago sitting in a room full of teenagers and adults listening to a man share about how the Gospel is real and is shared through the Spirit of God to specific individuals at very specific times in history.  As I sat in the back of the sanctuary of Fayetteville First Baptist Church I could not help but really consider the work the Holy Spirit was doing in my life.  For a week I had been wrestling in my mind and my heart with the realities of this Gospel message.  I knew what the truth was, but was it really real in my life and could it change my life were the questions I was asking over and over again.

I remember vividly a Saturday night in May 1979, the Lord spoke to me as real as anyone has ever spoken to me and He invited me to be HIS!  This was a moment I will never forget and will always reflect on as the moment of conversion in my life.  That night I bowed on my knees and confessed Jesus as Lord of my life.  I realized that night He invited me to be one of His own disciples.  That night I began this incredible journey of faith that continues to this very moment!

Just a little more than one year later I found myself sitting on my knees in a quiet room in a mountain chapel.  Next door to the room was the evening youth service during our summer camp experience.  In that quiet room everything faded away and my focus was on this same Jesus speaking to me as clearly as I heard the previous year.  This time His words were very similar but unique.  I heard the voice of the Savior say once again, "I invite you to be mine!"  This time He was inviting me to join Him in this amazing work of ministry that has forever transformed my world!  That night I felt the Lord ask me to serve Him for the rest of my days in a unique way with all of my life.

This journey in ministry has been a bit more of a struggle than I thought it would be.  The days of wrestling with Him became much more frequent.  The times of deep pain in my soul over the lost and the broken hearted has often felt like more than I could bear.  The overwhelming sense of responsibility for communicating the truth of His Word has been a weight only He can give enough strength to carry!

In the midst of all the struggle and wrestling comes a sense of excitement and joy...because He invited me to join Him!  Yes, the Lord Jesus invited me to join Him in the work of Gospel spreading, disciple-making, sheep herding ministry He had begun 2000 years earlier.  This is an amazing thing that He does in us as we surrender to His will and follow His purposes.  The journey is not easy.  The Way is not smooth and without its potholes and bumps.  The path is the most challenging path to follow at times.  But with all of its tough times and struggles it is the most awesome journey anyone can be invited to join!

The most incredible aspect of this journey, apart from the grace that He pours out, is that He does not allow us to make this journey alone.  He invites others to join the journey!  Yep, YOU have been invited to join this amazing journey of faith!  You have been invited to make a difference with your life!  You have been invited by the King to serve the Kingdom with all of your gifts, abilities and talents for the purpose of making His Gospel known to al who will hear!

Will you join me in this amazing journey of faith and make His Gospel known?  I so want to experience His presence in my life as I serve the Kingdom.  I also  want to sense your presence beside me as I reach this world with His truth.  Will you join me?  Will you get involved beside me as we seek to share the Gospel and teach His Word to everyone we can?

Please take a few moments right now to consider how He has invited you to join Him.  Think through the times in your life when you know God was speaking to you and calling you to a great work for the Kingdom.  Remember His words to you and how excited you were to follow Him into this amazing journey.  Now, ask Him to renew within you the desire to serve Him with everything you have!  Look for ways you can get involved right where you are in His purposes and His ways of reaching the world with His truth.  Seek to join others in their journey and make an impact on the lives of those right around you.  Reach your world with His truth and teach His Word to all who will listen!

The Lord has invited us as a ministry to join His work in several locations.  This invitation has come with great anticipation.  Through the years of serving along side the churches in missions, we have seen God's hand at work in many places.  Each time He invites us to get involved it always comes with great struggle and sacrifice.  His invitation to get involved with Him in His work requires a growing of our faith and a stretching of our trust in Him.  He always challenges us to go with Him to a place that simply does not seem possible from our perspective.  Yet, He always comes through with resources and people to show us His plans and His purposes.  We face some of those days again today!

God has invited us to walk the journey of establishing a permanent presence of the church in Sajcavilla, Guatemala.  To see this happen we will need to gather resources far above what we have to accomplish His plans.  We trust His heart to guide us in this journey and know He will provide.  It is with great anticipation that we share this invitation with all who will join us!  God desires to establish a lighthouse of truth and a beacon of hope in this Guatemalan community.  We know He is at work in Sajcavilla as we see His hand stirring the community for His grace and His salvation.  Each trip we take to work along side the church there in Sajcavilla we meet new followers of Christ and we hear of His great work of healing, restoring and saving!

The Lord of the harvest has invited many of you to get involved in the harvest in Guatemala.  Will you today join us in this great adventure and partner with the church in Sajcavilla as they plant roots down in the community to build, grow and reach the precious people of that community?  We need many of you to commit to support with financial resources.  We need many of you to join us as we go and serve with the church.  We need many of you to pray for the Lord of the harvest to send the workers into the field and strengthen the workers as they go.  We need servants to go and teach His Word, make disciple-makers, and encourage the church as they reach their world!  Will you please join us right now as the door of opportunity for the church is open and the community is seeking the hope that comes in the Gospel message being shown and shared!

He has invited every one of us to join Him.  He desires each one of us to answer the call to get involved with Him in His work.  Will you say yes today to His invitation to get involved with Him in His work of ministry and mission to reach the world and teach His Word!!

In His Grip,

Monday, September 15, 2014

Where is My Faith?

As long as I can remember I have been involved in the church.  I mean as far back as my memory goes I have memories of being very involved in the church and around the church and impacted by the church.  As a young child I was at church for almost any occasion that was offered.  As a teenager I spent hours and hours hanging out at the church and involved in the activities of the church.  Even in my adult years I have found myself desiring to be around the church and involved in the church even when I did not have to be there.  My life has been immersed in the life of the church.

In 2001 when God began to guide my life outside the formal staff position to One Way Ministries as the primary avenue of ministry for me, I struggled to understand it all.  I struggled to see how this would be the same.  I struggled with how it fit within the context of the local church and God's priority of that body being His primary agent of change in the world.  However, through the years since that day God has taught me many lessons about this ministry He has called me to accomplish.

For years I wondered why I moved from church to church and had so many different people cross my path as mentors and leaders and influences.  Over the past few years I have come to a better understanding of His divine plan in my life.  I am so thankful for the amazing teachers, mentors and guides He has placed in my life through the years.  I have had the privilege of serving along side and under some great men and women of God!  I have developed friendships and relationships through the years that have taught me so much about His character, His ways and His purposes in my life and the life of the church.

All of this I am sharing with you today to come to this one main conclusion.  The only reason I do not see the hand of God more often in my daily life is the simple lack of faith on my part to trust Him more and give Him more of my life!  Where is my faith?  Where is my trust in Him? Where is my confidence in the One who made all things, controls all things and will bring all things to completion in His time?  The only thing standing between me and the mighty things He has planned for me is my faith!

Years ago I learned a simple way of understanding faith.  Many of you probably have heard this yourself...Forsaking All I Trust Him!  Now I know some folks will rip this apart theologically and take issue with especially the "I", but i can't help but lean on simple understanding to find the faith I need.  You see if I begin to forsake my own understanding and my own ways and my own agenda I begin to see His plans and His ways more clearly.  If I walk away from all the things that seem to distract me from Him and focus my energy and efforts on His ways and His purposes I meet Him more often in my daily life.  If I take responsibility for myself and recognize it is not due to the way I was raised, the environment in which I have been forced to live or some other person's oppressive dictatorship in my life that has caused me to be like I am.  It is because I have made the choices I have made and I have developed the world view I have developed that drives my decisions and my world.  When I forsake all I trust and I put all of my trust in Him i begin to experience a faith that is from Him.  The more I trust Him to guide my daily life the easier it is to trust Him to guide my weekly and monthly life.  The more I trust Him with small and medium sized decisions, the easier it becomes to trust Him with the big ones!

We all would agree that this is true, but we all would probably also agree that this is far easier to say than to actually do!  Yet, this is the very thing He is asking us to do!  The days ahead for One Way Ministries seem to be full of God-sized tasks.  These tasks seem to be more than we can possibly accomplish.  We are feeling the weight of what He is showing us He wants to do and it is too heavy to carry alone!  Today I need to have FAITH in His ability to accomplish all He has planned!

These years of learning from great men and women of faith have led me to this point.  I NEED YOUR HELP!  Yes, the future of One Way Ministries could be developed and worked out behind closed doors and with a few people and we would be able to move forward slowly and simply the way we have for the past thirteen years.  However, that is not what I need to do to be obedient to what the Lord wants us to do in the future.

In order for us to accomplish what the Lord is guiding us to do, we as a ministry need help.  We need help from people and churches, from teams and individuals.  We need help in our decision making as well as our field implementation.  It is time that many of you who have walked this road with us share some of your insight, wisdom and talents with us and lets take this to the next level where He seems to be guiding us.

In 2015 we will host two fund raising events.  We have never held an event in our ministries' history for the purpose of raising funds.  However, we are in a place where we need more funding for ministry work that we know He is calling us to accomplish.  We know that if He is calling us to accomplish these things He will provide all we need for them.  So, we need some help with these two fund raisers to make them as successful as they can be.  We need some folks who know races and how to organize a race to help us as we form a race leadership team to plan, organize and accomplish a great 5K/10K race in February 2015.  In addition we need to form a leadership team to help guide the fund raiser in August 2015.  The August time will be much more involved as it will be a great time of sharing about what the Lord is doing in the ministry as well as a time to rally the troops to raise awareness and funds for some major efforts around the globe.

If you will take time to pray right now for these two teams and how the Lord wants to build these teams.  I firmly believe that many of the people who have come across the path of our ministry have incredible gifts and abilities that will help make these events successful times in the life of our ministry.  I am very encouraged by the hope of the teams that will form and the wisdom that the Lord will bring to the table to showcase His work in Guatemala and New Mexico.  I look forward to the lives that will be impacted in the coming days as these two events come to a reality and the Gospel message is proclaimed with boldness through efforts funded and supported by so many!

If after praying about these two teams, you feel like the Father is directing you to get involved and join either one of these teams, please contact me directly at  I look forward to the ways we will partner together to reach the world and teach the Word to all nations!

Stay tuned as we begin the process of laying out the plans for these God-sized tasks He has placed before us.  In the coming days we will try to systematically lay out the tasks, the challenges and the goals to accomplish all that he has directed us to attempt for His name's sake!  Pray with us for discernment both here and on the ground in all the locations we are serving.  Pray with us for wisdom in how to support the local church through these efforts and assist the Gospel ministry that each pastor and group of leaders are actively pursuing within each community, region and the world!  Pray about joining us in the field as we go and walk along side brothers and sisters who are reaching their world and teaching the Word to all who will hear.  Pray with us as we follow His heart!

In His Grip,

Monday, September 8, 2014

God Sized Plans

In Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby, one of the concepts that is somewhat of a struggle to realize is that when God begins to show you His plan it often times appears to be so big that it seems impossible!  His plans are God-sized plans and they require His orchestration, involvement and power to accomplish.  Today we are entering into another season with One Way Ministries where we see God-sized plans and recognize there is no way we can accomplish them without Him!

The Father has been guiding us as a ministry to partner with local churches in various locations. Our goal is always to assist and encourage their work.  The primary avenue through which blessings from God are given is the local church.  His plan for reaching the world is through the local church.  God's Word supports the local church being the primary agent of change in the communities and cultures around the world.

This truth about the local church has driven One Way Ministries to be very intentional about partnerships.  The partnerships we seek to develop are what is called, "mutually beneficial partnerships."  This concept is based on the truth of the local church being the primary agent of blessing and change in the world.  This partnership is also based on both partners offering to provide for the other based on the gifts, abilities and ministry resources provided by the Father.  It is these truths that have formed the parameters of our relationships on the ground in every location the Lord has led us to connect.

Our partnership in Guatemala has been growing now for several years.  We have reached a very good place with the local church and hear from them concerning real needs and ways we can help.  They are doing the work of the ministry and recognize it is their responsibility to reach their world.  We are now walking through the joys of watching the Lord expand that vision beyond their own community to other communities and other parts of the world.

After the Lord led Iglesia Jerusalen to plant a work four years ago in a Mayan community about an hour outside the city, God has opened the door for the mission church in Sajcavilla to become a permanent, established church family with a home base and facilities.  Through the faithful giving of those He has directed, the church has secured a piece of land and begun the planning process for the development of that land into the ministry base He has in mind.  This is where the vision and plans become God-sized!

The church in Sajcavilla is active and growing.  The community is beginning to ask for the church to begin to meet on the property so they can join the gathering.  A tent is coming soon to help the church begin regular meetings and allow the growth to begin.  It is an exciting day in the partnership and in Guatemala.  It is an exciting time in our ministry as well.

We see the needs that are before us in our partnership and recognize it is far more than we can possibly do.  We are already pouring into many areas of ministry through the partnership and see that we have no extra funds or ways to support this new work.  Yet, the Father continues to carry us down this road!  So, here we go!

We are announcing today our 2015 / 2016 trip dates!


January     16-18     Birmingham, AL                    Local Missions Partnerships

February   27-28      Fund Raiser 5K/10K Race     Birmingham, AL

March       7-14       Guatemala                              31 Gifts Ladies' Trip

March 28-April 4    Spring Break Trip                   Location TBA 

April         4-11       New Mexico                           Navajo Nation

May          24-31     Guatemala                              Sajcavilla / New Jerusalen / Tabitha House

May 30 - June 6      Guatemala                              The Church at Brook Hills Family Mission Trip

June          13-20     New Mexico                           Tohatchi Baptist Church, Navajo Nation
                 20-27      New Mexico                           Tohatchi Baptist Church, Navajo Nation

July           5-12       Guatemala                               Mother/Daughter Trip with TC@BH
                 11-18      Guatemala                               Sajcavilla / New Jerusalen / Tabitha House
                 18-25      Guatemala                               Sajcavilla / New Jerusalen / Tabitha House

August      14-15      Fund Raiser Golf Tournament / Dinner / Auction Birmingham, AL

September 4-7         Birmingham, AL                      Local Missions Partners
                  5-12       Guatemala                                Joshua's Men from Atlanta Men's Ministry Trip

October      2-13      Nepal Discovery Trip              IMB Missionaries in Western Nepal
                   3-10      New Mexico                            Tohatchi Baptist Church, Navajo Nation

November  7-14      Guatemala                                Medical Clinic and Teaching in Sajcavilla

December   26-2      New Mexico                            Tohatchi Baptist Church, Navajo Nation
                   26-2       Uganda                                    Partner Ministries in Kampala and N. Uganda


January     15-17      Birmingham, AL                     Local Missions Partnerships

February   26-27      Fund Raiser 5K/10K Race      Birmingham, AL

March       5-12       Guatemala                               31 Gifts Ladies' Trip
                 19-26      Spring Break Trip                    Location TBA 

April         1-8         New Mexico                           Navajo Nation

May          21-28      Guatemala                               Sajcavilla / New Jerusalen / Tabitha House
           28-June 4      Guatemala                              

June          18-25      New Mexico                           Tohatchi Baptist Church, Navajo Nation
           25-July 2       New Mexico                            Tohatchi Baptist Church, Navajo Nation

July           9-16       Guatemala                               Sajcavilla / New Jerusalen / Tabitha House
                 16-23      Guatemala                               Sajcavilla / New Jerusalen / Tabitha House
           23-Aug 6      Uganda

August      12-13     Fund Raiser Golf Tournament / Dinner / Auction Birmingham, AL

September 2-4        Birmingham, AL                     Local Missions Partners

September 30-Oct. 15   Nepal Trip                         IMB Missionaries in Western Nepal

October      1-8       New Mexico                            Tohatchi Baptist Church, Navajo Nation

November  5-12     Guatemala                                Medical Clinic and Teaching in Sajcavilla

December   29-2     New Mexico                            Tohatchi Baptist Church, Navajo Nation
                   26-2      Uganda                                    Partner Ministries in Kampala and N. Uganda

These dates are the projected trips we have set for our partner locations.  Our desire is to fill these and build a framework with our regular partnerships on these dates and locations.  We would also like to fill dates in between these trips with custom trips for specific teams for some very specific work on the ground in our partner locations.  Please contact us at for more information, questions or more specific details.

Our hope is that with a two year plan many of the teams whom God will guide to partner with us will have plenty of time to help prepare and support the work being done in Guatemala and around the globe.  The needs for the US church to step up and support the work of the local church around the world is overwhelming.  Many places, like Guatemala, have a great deal of church presence and very little Gospel impact.  Many teams go and do ministry projects and encourage the church, yet little eternal impact is being seen throughout some of these areas.  We have been asking the question of why there is no lasting Gospel impact in these locations for the past several years.  As we approach 2015 we want to change some of that with what we have learned!

In 2015 we will begin to focus our efforts on supporting the local church in three primary ways.  We will support the local church in evangelistic efforts through home visits and intentional Gospel presentation.  The Gospel is what we know has transforming power.  It is this Gospel truth that must be shared in homes and classrooms around the world to have eternal impact.  So, every trip will have a very intentional evangelistic emphasis that will show and share the Gospel along side the local church.  We will also support the local church through teaching the Word.  It is the Word of God that has power to transform, change and grow the heart of every believer into a disciple maker.  Our commitment to the local church is to intentionally equip teams to assist the local church in its understanding and learning of the Word of God through Bible teaching elements in every trip designed to gather the body together and open the Word of God for spiritual nourishment and strength.  We will support the local church through financial sacrifice and support.  The instructions in the Word teach us to sacrificially give out of the excesses God gives us to make His ways known and His salvation known.  We will direct the attention of the teams and churches who partner with us to support the growth, ministries and outreaches of the local church with financial support.

In the coming weeks we will begin to communicate the picture of partnership that will move the local church forward in these areas we serve and will allow teams to assist in the reaching of the world and teaching of then Word.  Please join us in praying for the Lord to grant discernment and wisdom to all of us making decisions about the plans the Lord has for our partnerships and ministry efforts.  The needs are God-sized with every one of our partners.  The plans He is showing us are God-sized in every way.  Therefore we are going to stand in the hope of the response being God-sized!  Join us in praying for teams to commit to partner with the local church to see eternal impact of the Gospel.  Pray with us for His Word to grow in the hearts and minds of the local church as they learn His ways and His purposes.  Pray with us for the generous giving of the members of the body to assist the local church in accomplishing its purposes in the local communities in which they have been planted!  Pray with us for the future work to be done through the partnerships on the ground as the local church reaches its world and teaches the Word!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tabitha House


Several years ago we as a ministry were introduced to a ministry of our partner church in Guatemala City, Iglesia Jerusalen.  This ministry is a critical daycare ministry in the city dump of Guatemala City.  This community is home to over 40,000 people who survive on less than $2 a day.  The majority of the people living in this community are women and children.  Several years ago a ministry was begun called Tabitha House.  This ministry is a free daycare for women who are working in the dump community and 100+ children.  The daycare provides meals and classes for the children ranging from birth up to twelve years old or so.  Many of the women who are involved in this ministry have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus through the outreach and care of this ministry.  This is truly a ministry that embodies the Romans 2:4 concept of God's kindness drawing us to a place of repentance.

Through the years many churches and groups have been supporting this ministry.  Over the course of the past year many of these churches have concluded their commitment to this ministry to move on to other areas of ministry in other parts of the world.  In addition this area of the world seems to be forgotten often times in light of the urgent physical needs in "unreached" and "unengaged" regions in another hemisphere.  As a result Tabitha House is in a very difficult place in need of food resources to feed the children!

Today we are sending out the call to ask many of those who are familiar with Tabitha House and its eternal impact on so many lives, both in Guatemala and in the US, to HELP.  Our staff on the ground in Guatemala City along with our partner pastor are going to Tabitha House weekly to encourage and help provide what they can from their own pockets.  We as a ministry are asking for you to help meet this urgent need in two ways.

We need some immediate resources to stock their pantry for the next several weeks to feed the children.  They have 80-100 children daily and sometimes that number swells to over 120 when the resources are there and the staff is able to connect with the women in the dump.  Secondly we need commitments to provide ongoing support on a monthly basis.  These commitments can be individuals, groups, churches, or companies.  All monies are given through One Way Ministries and administered through Iglesia Jerusalen.  Our goal is to assist in getting them to a stable place and evaluate the best method for raising awareness and support.  This ministry is to the poorest people group in Guatemala and is often the most difficult to establish sustainable support.  Our goal is $2000/month to support the most number of children possible.

Please consider helping us meet an urgent need, assist in helping them reach a stable place and then help us establish a long-term solution for this ministry to continue.  The women and children in this community have much urgent physical and spiritual need.  Please pray for Tabitha House, the families living in the dump community and for the Gospel to be shown and shared daily through this critical ministry of the local church.

Please contact if you need more information, have questions about how to support this ministry or simply want to get involved in some way!

In His Grip,

Monday, August 18, 2014

Who Do You Say That I Am?

We are seeing incredible things on the internet and the news media stories today.  Some of the sights and stories are hard to even believe they are real.  It seems with each passing day more hatred is being poured out upon the followers of Christ around the world.  Every day a new story is emerging about those who want to see the Christians eliminated from the world.  Today will not be any different as we hear reports from around the world of just how much the world hates God and all that He represents in this world!

I am sure that some of the same feelings were felt among the early believers and followers of the Way!  Jesus was so not normal in His message and teachings that everyone felt threatened by His truth.  That is everyone but a few.  Do you recall reading about that in His Word?  Remember Matthew 16 when Jesus was sharing with his disciples about yeast being the in the bread and to watch out for that.  His words were strong words of warning about the religious teachers and leaders of the day.  His words were very unusual and different concerning the ones most people were listening to for truth.  He then follows this discussion with a very important question.

Jesus asked those closest to Him, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"  This question drew out many responses and some of them were significant.  Yet, Jesus took it all one step further to make it deeply personal.  Jesus asked, "But what about you?  Who do you say I am?"  This is the most important question we all must answer!

Who is this Jesus that you claim to follow?  Each one of us must determine who it is that we are following.  We must decide are we following the One who laid down His life as the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin.  We must decide are we following the One who said to lay down your life and take up His cross.  We must decide are we following the Jesus of the Bible, who said He is I AM and will provide all we need and all we could hope for if we will sacrificially follow Him in His Way.

You and I must also decide who do we SAY He is!  You see it is not enough for me to sit in my bedroom and read the Bible and talk to God about what amazing things I read.  It is not enough to stand in a room full of like-minded people and sing together in one accord the words of a good song and feel the emotions of the crowd stir us.  It is not enough to talk about how good God is and how much He has done for us and bask in the blessings of this life "He has granted" all the while working our fingers off to build our kingdom and control our future with the security of the things of this world!

No, the question is who do you SAY Jesus is to the world?  What are you saying to the people who live with you about Jesus?  What are you saying to those who walk in and out of your life on a daily basis about the One who died for the sin of the world?  What are you actively doing to communicate the truths of His Word to those who desperately need to hear real hard truth about a Savior who died for them and a Lord who can exchange their worldly zip code for eternal zip code!  You see, every single one of us who claim to follow Christ, no matter what our position or platform, have been instructed to declare the truth of who He is to the world!

When you and I declare with boldness, out of obedience, the whole truth of His Word about who He is to this world, then it is upon that truth that the church grows and expands and reaches the world.  It is such an amazing reality that the confession that Peter, the rock, made about Jesus is the same confession you and I are called to make.  And when you and I declare, just as Peter did, the whole truth about Jesus outwardly...Then the ROCK of our salvation is revealed in the midst of struggle and strife and the gates of Hell cannot overcome it!  It is such a wonderful reality that the truth of the Gospel is that truth that sets us all free to be bold and be vocal and be obedient!  Jesus said He would build His church upon the ROCK of truth, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!"  It is this truth that you and I stand in when we declare to the world who Jesus is.

So who do you say Jesus is?  Are you clear on the facts and the reality of who this Messiah is?  Are you in Him and He in you so much that everything about your life speaks of His greatness and His power?  Are you telling the world about His truth, He is the Messiah, the Savior, the One, the King, the Lord?  Who do you say that Jesus is?

I challenge you today to tell someone who Jesus is!  If you and I will take seriously the command of our Lord to make disciples in every phase of life in which we find ourselves walking, then we will see the Glory of God revealed in His church as it grows and reaches the world with truth and teaches His Word to all who seek Him!  Will you join me in going to those who don't know the truth and sharing with them the truth about Jesus and the glorious riches of His grace?  Will you reach your world and teach His Word?

In His Grip,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bricks and Mortar for Hearts and Lives

The unique relationship between the US faith family and the international faith family is such a joy to be a part of as we share, show and serve together.  The journey of One Way Ministries has been one full of hills and valleys with many memories along the way.  The blessings of the relationships we have encountered and developed along the way are fuel to the fire to reach the world and teach the Word!  It is these relationships that motivate late night prayer times and early morning study of the Word.  It is these relationships that stir our hearts early in the morning to prepare for long days of serving and allow us to make it through the day into the night with a team on the field.  It is these relationships that spur us on to greater works in Christ Jesus that matter for eternity.

Following the Lord's leadership through these relationships we have found ourselves in a partnership in Guatemala with a church and pastor who have a passion for the people.  Iglesia Jerusalen  in Los Pinos, just outside the city itself, has been a blessing to join with ministry and mission.  The heart of Pastor Jorge Morales is so gigantic for his people and the Mayan people of Guatemala.  He has faithfully led the local church to invest in the Kingdom through children's ministry, youth ministry, mission outreaches, and church planting.  All the while he leads the faith family to grow weekly and challenge one another through the study of the Word and through intentional prayer together and individually.  This amazing partnership for us, has taught us a great deal about cross-cultural ministry and how to assist the local church in ministry rather than do the ministry for the local church.

This past year, after many months of prayer, the Lord opened the door for the church to purchase property in Sajcavilla.  This Mayan community, some thirty to forty minutes drive up into the mountains from Iglesia Jerusalen, has become a point of ministry and mission since June of 2010.  Through Pastor Morales' leadership we have been able to assist the establishment of a local church in the community and now see the prospect of a permanent physical base of operations for the church in Sajcavilla.  The Lord has confirmed His desire for this work to sink down roots here in this location by clearly directing everyone to a single piece of land and then providing through obedience the funding for the purchase.  The continued growth of the church and the desire for more ministry and mission is motivating the newest steps of faithfulness in Sajcavilla.

The vision is being set for a ministry base in Sajcavilla to include a worship gathering space, feeding center home base and a facility to develop and train in disciple-making truths among a Mayan people group.  The excitement of this potential is already being felt throughout the community.  Many members of the community are asking when the church will begin to gather on the property so they can come join the gathering.  This is EXCITING!  The community asking for the church to meet!  How incredible is our God!

The vision for this property and the potential impact it will have for the Kingdom is becoming very clear as we discuss the plans and see the pieces of the plans come together.  In order to see hearts and lives impacted further we need to invest in some bricks and mortar!  It is time to sacrificially give of the excesses granted by the Father in our lives for the furthering of the Gospel and the teaching of His ways among people in a distant location.

The Lord has already established a leadership team in Sajcavilla who are meeting and leading currently under Pastor Morales' leadership.  There are members of the Jerusalen faith family investing their time and resources in the work of the ministry weekly in this growing faith family.  Our teams are continuing to teach the Word in every classroom we are given opportunity and share the Gospel through home visits and teaching of the Word.  What we are praying  for now is partners for the work ahead.

In the coming days construction will need to begin on the property.  We have a plan to begin with a perimeter fence to protect and secure the property as well as define the location as it is somewhat surrounded by open land.  We will then need to build two small houses on the property to provide for a family who will be the caretakers of the property and church as it is built.  In addition we need a second house for families in crisis to use as they wrestle through the difficulties of a life of faith in a poverty stricken region.  While these are being built a bathhouse needs to be built to provide bathrooms for gatherings as well as for those who live on the property.  The next phase of work will be to build a two story structure to house gathering space and feeding center facilities on the main level and children/youth ministry space on the second floor.  Currently the church has almost twice as many children who attend the Sunday gatherings as adults and mainly due to the lack of space!

We are awaiting formal proposals from engineers to determine specific costs involved on the major construction.  However, currently we are seeking the Lord for partners who will help us join the church in its efforts to begin the first stages of development.  Overall we anticipate needing close to $100,000.00 for the entire project.  To begin we are seeking those who will join us to raise $20,000.00 to begin as soon as possible with the wall, houses and bathhouse.  We know our costs will change as we help develop the property and face unknown things that come up with construction.  However, we are sure that by using local members of the community to do much of the work as well as the expertise of these in the community to be efficient and effective at the best possible work we could see,  and the highest level of stewardship as possible with the resources provided.

So, as you read this, will you ask the Lord to give you clarity and direction on how He wants you to be involved.  I firmly believe that sometimes we must invest in bricks and mortar to further the impact of the local church on hearts and lives.  This local church has committed to reaching its community.  This local mission effort has already seen amazing growth and the Lord is blessing their work with added members and strengthening the leadership.  Now, lets encourage them to press on in their obedience with our obedience to His call to support the church globally with our resources and our time.  Join us as a team member and help us build!  Join us as a prayer warrior and support the work with faithful prayer for leaders and workers as they serve.  Join us in contributing as the Lord leads to the financial needs to develop this property to reach the world and teach the Word!

In His Grip,
JT Turner

Friday, July 25, 2014

Somethings happening in Sajcavilla!

Today was a great day in Sajcavilla.  Many children were able to feel the love of a team who loved them through lots of playing and laughing and teaching.  I have watched smile after smile grow across children’s faces as our team has been the hands and feet of Jesus this week.  The responses of the children confirm the authentic love and compassion being shared each day!  For the second year, the Brandywine Grace Church team has been an awesome partner in the field serving alongside the local mission church and our ministry.  In addition this year we have had some dear friends join this team, the Abercrombie family from our church in Birmingham and Jerry Flummer, chairman of our board.  This team has served well and the impact will be felt for many years to come!

Because of the sacrificial serving of so many teams like this one, we are seeing something stirring in Sajcavilla.  After four years of walking faithfully with Iglesia Jeruslan and Pastor Morales, things are starting to happen in Sajcavilla!  At the beginning of the week we were welcomed at the sector three school with news of Marybelle’s healing.  Today we began to discuss the numerous surprise blessings that seem to be popping up in Sajcavilla.  

News of the principal, Gladys, of sector three school giving her heart to Christ was the first news that launched us into a wonderful week.  Then the news of Marybelle’s healing continued the blessings.  Today we were hearing from Pastor Morales that Marybelle shared with him she had prayed to invite Jesus into her heart as her Lord just this week!  And then before the morning was over Pastor Morales was able to share with another teacher, who asked for prayer, how to invite Jesus into her heart.  The news of these decisions in combination with the changes we see in the attitude of the entire school, coupled with the growth that is happening in the local mission church leads me to share with you that God is clearly at work in Sajcavilla!  The Holy Spirit seems to be moving in a way that is transforming lives and setting captives free.  

There are eight women who are leading Bible studies in homes all over the community being discipled by a precious couple from Iglesia Jerusalen, the Romeros.  There are two couples meeting with Pastor Morales on a weekly basis being discipled and mentored into strong faithful leaders in the mission church.  There are over sixty children gathering each week for church under the leadership of our friend Carla from Iglesia Jerusalen.  Plans are being drawn up for building a church / feeding center on newly acquired property for the mission church.  Construction materials are being priced and planning is under way for the first three structures to be built on the property this year if possible.

God is at work in this Mayan community.  He is showing some of you what He is about to do there, so that you can join Him in His work.  Now will you obey and join us as we equip and encourage the church in Guatemala to reach their world and teach the Word!  We are recruiting for the November trip to Guatemala now.  Our hope is that enough people will join us and help raise the necessary funds to begin construction with two small houses and a bathroom as well as a perimeter fence as soon as possible.  Our desire would be to work in Sajcavilla with a large team in November anchored by a medical team to serve the community through the clinic.  in addition it would be so amazing to have enough on the team to accomplish construction projects that week toward the completion of the perimeter fence, houses and bathroom on the property.  In addition we are looking for a ESL team to assist in equipping the teachers at sector three school to continue teaching small amounts of English to the students.  This is an idea that comes out of what they are already doing and is a way to assist in better equipping them to teach, while sharing with them further the love of Christ.  

These opportunities are only the beginning but are essential to the continued relationship in Sajcavilla.  Please take a moment right now and pray for the mission church, the teachers and the members of this community who are being touched by the grace of the Lord through the local church.  Pray for wisdom as we seek to support and encourage the work of the local church through helping build up a permanent base of ministry for the mission church in Sajcavilla.  Pray for the resources to be provided and the workers to go to the field and serve.  Pray for leadership on the ground to continue to grow and become stronger.  Pray God will show you how you can best be involved!  

In His Grip, 

JT Turner   

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Powerful Prayer and Victory In His Name

The day is long past gone and the night has settled in on us with a cool breeze from the mountains.  The heat of the day was a reminder of the warmth of the Son when He is at work all around us.  Today the Lord reminded me of His awesome power to transform and restore lives through prayer.  All of us who call ourselves Christians say we believe prayer works.  We all talk about prayer being the vital link between us and the God of heaven.  We all would recount stories, whether ours or others in our circle of friends, of God answering prayer with miraculous results.

Today I became a witness of the real authentic power of the prayer of a righteous man which brought about an awesome response of God!  In June of this year, just a short six weeks ago, I stood in Sajcavilla with a precious teacher form sector 3 school who was in need of surgery.  Marybelle shared with Pastor Morales, Greg Brown, Jason King and myself her struggles with a pain in her stomach that had been causing pain for quite some time.  The doctors had determined she needed surgery to correct a hernia that had developed high in her stomach and was affecting her breathing, and eating.  She was struggling with a great deal of pain.  She was also worried about the surgery and what would happen afterward.  The concerns of whether she could continue to teach or care for her own children was weighing heavy on her heart.

We gathered around Marybelle and lifted her up before the Lord all together.  Pastor Jason King from Grace Baptist Church in Oxford, AL was with us on this trip and prayed for Marybelle to be healed and the pain to go away whether through surgery or if the Lord wanted to simply remove it!  We all encouraged her and helped clean her classroom after we prayed over her.  She thanked us and went on to prepare for her class.

Pastor Morales visited the school last week, middle of July, to check on teachers and make arrangements for an upcoming visit by our team.  He saw Marybelle at a distance and spoke a greeting to her and she quickly responded with a warm hello and I'm doing fine and then went on quickly to her class.  Today, Marybelle came to Pastor Morales to share with him that she was sorry for not coming to speak with him last week but she had something wonderful to share with him.  She shared that following our visit in June she went to the doctor for the surgery and was sent home!  The doctor said you have no need for surgery, your hernia is completely gone!

As if this miraculous healing was not enough, Matybelle went on to share with Pastor Morales that today she was reading from James 5 and realized it was the prayer of a righteous pastor in June that had been used by God to bring healing in her body!  Amazingly she had been reading from James 5 because in June Pastor Jason King had brought Life Journals he had led his church to have printed in Spanish, which had been given to her by Pastor Morales earlier.  This Life Journal had been a resource she had been using to read the Bible and pray since God had healed her.  God used the passage for today's reading to show her that it was the power of prayer that He used to heal her!

It is sometimes the faithful acts of obedience that leads to the Lord answering prayers and healing lives in miraculous ways.  Yes, miracles still take place!  God is still healing people today!  Today we saw a healed healthy Marybelle full of life and light from the saving power of Jesus Name!  It is through the Name of Jesus that life transforming power impacts the desperate life seeking to trust and have faith.  Marybelle is a living example of His power of prayer and victory in His Name!  Rejoice with us today for the awesome power of the God of glory and His power over sin and sickness!  What an awesome God we serve.  God is good...all the time...all the time...God is good!  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Daily Life and the Daily Disciplines

Years ago I was able to sit and listen to an amazing man of God speak about his life and how difficult it was to learn the simple lessons of faith.  I recall thinking how crazy it was to hear him say these things, after all he was a great man of faith and his life was an example of that truth.  Many years later I read of his struggles early in his faith journey and I began to really relate.  God used those struggles in his life to teach me important lessons about the daily disciplines of life.

Growing up I had an incredible opportunity to me influenced by several older guys in my youth group.  For some reason these guys were willing to let me tag along on several events that later would change my life.  One of those events was a concert that several of my friends were going to and I went along thinking this would be cool.  I knew the artist well and knew it would be an incredible experience.  Little did I know how much his life would impact mine.

I will never forget sitting in the upper level of the Atlanta Civic Center and looking down on the stage to see a single piano with no top on it and a mic stand with a monitor.  That was it!  Nothing else on stage, no band, no big sound system, no special lighting.  Then while we all were still talking to one another in the room a man walked out sat down and began to play.  After a few minutes the room became hushed and the piano was all we heard.  The music coming from that piano was like nothing I had ever heard before.  His ability to play was so incredible that many in the room just stood to their feet in awe of the God-given talent we were all witnessing.  I will never forget being at that first Keith Green concert and truly experiencing God in the midst of the music.

Years later I read of his struggles with his faith journey and recall specifically his struggle at one point with daily time with the Lord.  I know as many of us who seek to follow Him closely find out along the journey it can be rocky at times.  Daily time with the Lord can become a difficult thing to remain focused on and keep consistent.  I recall Keith Green sharing that struggle with a close friend at one point.  It was like his prayers were bouncing off the ceiling, he shared.  Any one ever felt that way?  I know I have.  However, the question from his friend threw me off at first.  Keith's friend asked him about making his bed every day.  At first it seemed like a very silly question until the friend connected the dots.

The daily disciplines of life are the framework upon which we hang the daily disciplines of our faith journey.  These daily disciplines of life will be clear outward indicators of our level of discipline in our faith journey.  This truth has rocked my world more than once in the past thirty plus years of this journey.  You see, if you and I do not develop good daily habits of daily life, we will more than likely not develop good daily habits in our faith journey either.  As I sit here and write these words I am reflecting on the journey and recognizing the times I have struggled and the times I have felt like it was all working well.

Man I am so thankful for the patience of so many people in my life in the past.  I reflect on my journey and realize just how stubborn and arrogant I must have come across as I struggled through some of my years of faith journey and even ministry.  Throughout the past couple of years the daily disciplines of health and exercise have become much more important to us as a family.  Many of you have followed the journey.   I have learned through the mental battles to run and eat right, that the disciplines of faith are even more work and of even greater importance than I understood earlier in my journey.  In fact the journey of running has greatly helped me understand how much more effort I need to invest in the disciplines of this faith journey.

You see, if I do not make my bed every day, then I begin my day with a lazy, unorganized approach to the day the Lord has granted me.  This attitude will affect every other area of my life.  This laziness then spills over into the time I devote or do not devote to the Lord and His Word.  This lack of being in His Word then affects what I am able to hear from Him and how I am able to understand what He desires  for me to do with my time and resources He has gifted me with this day.  This then leads to a lack of organization and management of my time throughout the day which causes me to be wasteful and irresponsible.  The dominoes just keep falling throughout the day.  Eventually it becomes a pattern of behavior that is very hard to break without a swift and strong rebuke from the Lord!

How are your daily disciplines of daily life?  How are your daily disciplines of your faith journey?  Are you seeing the fruit of the Spirit growing in your daily life?  Are you becoming more like Jesus every day?  Do the things that weigh heavy on the heart of God seemed to be weighty subjects of your conversation with Him?

I will be the first to admit I struggle with the daily disciplines of life and faith.  Yet, God has granted me a helper in this journey and I am so thankful for the passion for discipline that my wife has.  I have learned so much from her about the daily journey we are walking together.  I long for the day when the daily disciplines of the faith journey are as natural as making my bed and brushing my teeth!  Today will you join me in seeking to be disciplined and lets all Make Our Beds!

In His Grip,

Monday, July 7, 2014

How Big Is Your Sky?

Every year I spend a few weeks in the southwestern part of the country among first nation people.  This year I was able to serve alongside our partners in Tohatchi, New Mexico for a little over two weeks.  I am overwhelmed frequently with many things in this part of the world as the creativity of the Father is seen daily.

As I watched the sunset a few weeks ago I was reminded of how big the sky is in New Mexico.  If you've ever been to the southwestern deserts you know what I'm talking about.  I could stand in the same spot of the yard of the church and watch the sunrise and the sunset.  The horizon is all that hindered my view of the sky.
Psalm 8 speaks of the glory of God being set in the heavens.  And Psalm 19 reads, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.  They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.  Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world..."

I realize too many times I limit the power of the Lord in my current situation.  My thoughts go directly to the lack of provisions or the things I do not have to accomplish what I think He wants me to do.  The whole time he is trying to get me to look up into the sky and see His work of glory and learn once again to trust His heart and lean on His understanding.

So I am writing a blog post now to confess my limited ability to trust in His plan.  He reminds me over and over again how faithful He is to His plans and His purposes.  I am in need of His wisdom and His understanding in a big way!  I see the needs of the people in Sajcavilla, Guatemala and try to figure out how it is going to work.  I reflect on the poverty of the Navajo people right here in our own country and try to figure out how to maximize the resources we have for the greatest good.  I walk through the rooms at Tabitha House in Guatemala near the dump and look for food and find none.  I then begin to plan ways to help provide food on a regular basis for these children and women in such tough situations.  Then as if it were the explosion of color that happens at sunrise, the Lord rocks my world with his reminder of His glory and His faithfulness.

God has used many people to provide for the work of One Way Ministries through the thirteen years we have been walking this road.  Never once, has He clearly shown us what He wants us to do and not provided.  There have been many times I have questioned how or where it would come from.  Yet, every time the need was great and the provision was more than we could have anticipated God has reminded me of His purposes and His ways are what really matter!

So in my confession of lack of faith I am also going to put it out there that the Lord is guiding us to deepen our commitments in Guatemala and in New Mexico.  This year we still have a big trip to Guatemala we are actively recruiting for in November.  The first week in November (Nov. 1-8) we are in need of doctors, dentists, nurses and many other non-medical team members to provide a four day clinic in Sajcavilla.  We will be doing many other ministry events during the week as well as several training opportunities for the community.  We need you to join us as we pray for the team God desires to be on the ground begins to form now.  We hope to put a team on the ground in New Mexico in October to help encourage teachers and administrators in a local school as well as prepare the church for ministry through the winter months.  Food is a critical aspect of the weekly ministry of the church in New Mexico.  We hope to help them stock their food pantry for the winter as well as prepare for the tough winter with some home repairs and projects around the community.  Join us as we pray for this team to form and begin to gather resources to best serve the church and the community on the Navajo Nation.

I know that many people out there are blessed with more than they need. As we read in Psalm 67, the reason we all have been blessed is for the ways of God and His salvation to be made known among all people and all nations.  Please join us as we seek to serve the local church and encourage our brothers and sisters in some tough areas of the world to make His ways known.  Help us provide for the church through supporting the work in ways that will equip and encourage the church to be the light and salt God has called them to be.  Pray with us for long-term partners who will help us support the ministries of the church in Sajcavilla as they reach their own community with the kindness of God that draws people to repentance.  Pray about how the Father wants to use you in the harvest field now to help the church bring in the harvest!  So, how big is your sky?  Is your sky as big as His?  Can you see His glory revealed before your eyes as you gaze into the heavens?  Is your view of His glory wide enough to be overwhelmed by His greatness and His goodness?  Come on look up into the sky and see His work and His glory all around you!  Join us as we reach the world and teach the Word!  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Snapshots from New Mexico

Being in New Mexico is a completely different experience than any other mission trip I've been on. The previous trips I've been on were in Guatemala and then local missions up in Pennsylvania. The main reason I would say New Mexico was so different was because they spoke English. I know that sounds funny, but the only other far off mission trip I've been on was in Guatemala and they speak Spanish there. The poverty and lack of food that lingers within the small town of Tohatchi will make you believe that you aren't even in the states anymore. The best way I could try and give you a visual for such a sad environment is by telling you about a few of my "snapshots". These snapshots are pictures I've taken with my mind and that lay heavy on my heart. So the first snapshot I am going to share with you is about Jennifer and her family. Jennifer is a woman that comes to Tohatchi Baptist Church and has five children that she raises with her boyfriend/husband. They live in a two room "home", if thats what you want to call it. When you walked into the home, you were in the living room/kitchen/dining room. The second room was the bedroom, where there was a queen size bed and a bunk bed. In the corner of the room there sat a bathtub and toilet. There was no wall around it, and they have no running water, so it was unusable. So you may ask, where did they go to the bathroom? Every time they had to go, they had to walk two houses down and use there neighbors outhouse. Could you imagine? Now you have a visual, but let me add to this visual. They had sheets and blankets hanging up all over the walls, why you ask? To keep the wind out because there were huge holes in the walls. If you know anything about New Mexico, you know its windy and when the wind kicks in the sand flies up. The whole living situation is completely ridiculous. Another reason that made their living situation so hard was the fact that Jennifer's daughter, Moriah, has spinabifida. Moriah can't feel her legs at all, so she lives the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Mariah is only 10. The icing on the cake is that Jennifer and her man don't have jobs. You put it all together and you have a very sad living situation. Seeing that home, you just want to tear it down and start from scratch; give them a brand new home and make Moriah's life a little easier. Unfortunately we can't do that, but our first team that came in from Waco, Texas came into Jennifer's home and gave her a fully functioning bathroom. These living situation seem to be fairly common in the area of Tohatchi.  

Another snapshot I have is a little boy that goes by the name of Turtle. Turtle is a little five year old boy who made my day. Our groups do VBS every night for the kids that live all around. They do a few events during VBS: Bible story, crafts, music,with dances to each song, recreation, and snack. During the dancing time, a lot of the kids don't want to participate. So I decided to get involved, I grabbed Turtle and we sat down on the floor together. I held onto his wrist and made him do the motions. Turtle started laughing and as time went on of me moving his arms around, he started to make the hand motions along with the arm movements. From then on Turtle was my friend and a good friend at that! The next day came around and all of the kids were doing there craft and were gradually transitioning to music. Once music started going, Turtle ran up to me and said "I want to dance with you!!!" So he grabs my hand and pulls me to where we had been sitting the day before. I looked at him and said, "I thought you wanted to dance." He looked at me with the biggest smile on his face and said, "I want to do it exactly like we did it yesterday." From then on, Turtle involved me with everything he was doing. 

The last snapshot I'm going to share is about the fire. The first few days of being in Tohatchi, we noticed over the mountain there was a deep black smoke rising up. A few days went by and the smoke seemed to be getting worse. There was no final word on what started this fire, but it was a wild fire. For almost a week the fire was 0% contained and they had over 100 workers on the fire, trying to stop it. A little into the week, we got a call from Aaron, the pastor of Tohatchi Baptist Church, saying that they were making the Navajo people evacuate and needed help. We sent a team of people from our group up the mountain to help as many people as they could. Since all of those people had to leave, they needed a place to stay. So they opened up a shelter in the high school up the street from the church. With shelters come tons of donations to help the people. Aaron asked if we would send a team over to help them organize the donations and make gift boxes for each family. I've heard so much about shelters and how they help people, but it's completely different to walk into one. You walk into the gym and there are lines of cots set up and boxes and boxes and boxes of donations. All the people that had to live there were just laying around and trying to keep themselves occupied. It was such a surreal experience, seeing these people that had just lost everything they have to a fire, having to start over, with nothing. That's an image that will forever remain in my mind and lay heavy on my heart. 

New Mexico impacted my life greatly and I thank God for allowing me to come on this trip and to experience New Mexico. God blessed me with new friendships and a growing passion for Christ. I am thankful for the work we did in New Mexico but also the work He did in all of our lives. I saw such a change in the groups between day one and departure day. Leaving New Mexico was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but I pray that God will have my path cross the friendly faces I met in Tohatchi again.  

Emma Blake
Summer Intern 2014