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Why Go to India?

indian-orphanage

 


Two weeks away from a departure to my third trip to Hyderabad, India. I am excited as ever to see the children, leper people, and experience new things that God has waiting for me. During this trip I am convicted to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible.

We will use 2 concerts reaching out to thousands and many Kid Jams (kind of like a VBS) around the orphanage. During these times of interacting with the local people, we will show them Love in a relevant and real way. In my experiences in India, I see with my own eyes the hurt and pain in the lives of so many people. We cannot meet every physical need of everyone. I would love to, but reality is that I cannot. I can focus on the heart and make a spiritual difference in helping them to gain a hope, a faith, and experience of Love that comes from a relationship with Jesus!

In preparation for this trip, our team has read ‘Revolution in World Missions’ by K P Yohannan. I came across this the other day, which is quite compelling to me:

We cannot even begin to make a dent in the kingdom of darkness until we lift up Christ with all authority, power & revelation from the bible.

During this trip, we are focusing on the heart of people. It will be so difficult to look past many of the physical needs of people that we cannot meet, but we can and will focus on Christ in their heart and lives. KP shares a story about entering into conversation with a poor begger on the streets of India. He did not have money to give him, but could give him and hope and future with Jesus. The poor man graciously accepted!

Here we are… ready to show God’s love to many! I think just fixing a physical need doesn’t complete the full mission. It is like only filling a glass half full. The heart of a person is a window to their soul. I’m concerned with allowing God to use me in anyway possible to impact the heart of a person.

In previous trips God has really showed me things. My first trip, God confirmed a direction for full time ministry in my professional life. My second trip, God confirmed my desire to get married to Elizabeth! My third trip… We will just wait and see the big things God will lay on my heart! I am eager to see what God has in store for me.

In preparation for this trip, I came across a journal entry before entering Iraq, while waiting in Kuwait. I wanted to post, as this is where I am at right now with this trip. Eager and Excited, while anticipating what God WILL do!

“God is great. here it is easy to think of the Lord. it is a time of reflecting what the Word says, with the stories. i can relate more to what it is saying, in a physical sense. i live some of the same hardships they endured. the physical sense helps you grasp things you may have never known. also, seeing the people and thinking about them in the same way jeremiah did, the weeping prophet. the people here need the Lord, just as much as everyone else does. the people here are lost. i was reading in ezekial, to continue on in a rebellious nation. they are rebellious, they may not listen, or they may; either way they have been told. but also, i read to not draw away to be rebellious yourself. i feel the Lord has put me here for a great purpose, in which He is continually unfolding why. how can these people come to know you Lord? Lord you are HOLY! your people are lost, how can they come to know you. how can i GO? there is a language barrier, and a simple factor that religion is not suppose to be talked about. so how can i communicate with the people here, to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ? these are my questions at this time. Lord, continue to prepare me for this mission.

dear Jesus, i pray for where i’m going. i pray you go before me to prepare the way, my living place, and the hearts of the people you want me to come in contact with. soften their heart to come to know you. Lord Jesus, protection around me, please. I pray for my brothers and sisters here on this same mission. i pray this prayer for them. go before us in protection. You are God! You are!!! THANK YOU GOD!! i love you! in Jesus name i pray…. amen” – Jay, 2005 – Kuwait, days before entering Iraq.

Shannon, Ireland Airport

shannon-ireland-airport


Recently, I was befriended by a man on facebook asking me to verify my presence in a picture with his son 6 years ago in Shannon Ireland Airport. This was a very Interesting Thing to happen…

On my way to Kuwait, June 2005 – I had a Long layover at Shannon, Ireland Airport. I thought it would be very interesting to share a journal entry about this experience:

“people in ireland airport. shane, he was a great kid. in the store, i hear a “hey sir…” as i looked in the direction, “are you going to iraq?” i replied with a yes both of pride and sadness. “AY-YI SIR…(while at attention and a demanding salute)” shane was so proud of me… me in the collective sense because i’m a soldier, however me also because i was the one to recieve the compliment. he told me good luck, as he scurried back to his parents. thinking to myself, i have my camera so i’m going to ask if i can take a picture with him. his parents were enthralled with the request. as the picture shows, me with shane. i guess you could say at that moment i felt like a hero. he yelled with excitement, “can i get a picture with our camera?” as a man quickly retireved a camera, he got a picture with me. i say it was yet another blessing from the Lord, continually showing me His glory. ”

You see, this boy who came up to me made me fill so proud to be a solider. It is times like these that spur a soldier to pursue on when times get tough. Many things were going through my mind at this time, but joy and feeling like a hero really jump forward as the deepest of feelings during that moment.

This past weekend, Shane’s dad (Chuck) sent me an email and facebook message asking if I was in “his” picture. It was a great reconnect from an amazing moment in my life. Shane didn’t know it, but he touched my heart and was a blessing sent by God to help encourage me during my deployment. WOW! I guess you could say it is the little things in life.

Just recently celebrating Memorial day, I think it is necessary to highlight a soldier that I have never met but He served proudly. During my encounter with Shane, he asked “Are you going to Iraq because of Mark Maida?” Mark was Shane’s older brother Ryan’s buddy and he was killed over there one month earlier (May 2005). Mark, sounds like many people loved you, and still do. My prayers are for your family, and for your legacy to live on!

 

Proud to Be a Veteran

veterans-day

Alarm sounding from my duffel bag, I woke to a day that I could never forget. My bags were mostly packed, a somber mood, a prayerful spirit, I woke to begin my time at war. For on that day in July 2005, I would fly to Iraq. We loaded up our bags by separating our small personal bags from our large gear loaded bags. We had all the supplies, all the gear, everything to start us off at war. I was prepared and ready… but I didn’t know what to expect. What will it be like? Will it be dangerous?

Mid morning, we headed over to the air strip. After packing the large cargo bins, we prepared for our flight. The temperature in Kuwait that day was 137F in the shade! Crazy Hot! Upon eating some lunch and resting, an announcement rang through our ears that we needed to grab our bags and head to the plane.

I knew this flight would change my life forever. There was no turning back. My prayer went something like this, ‘God… You got this? I pray for your strength, your comfort, your support through this time. Your word claims your angels will protect me and guide me in the paths that I need to travel. God… show up!’

The walk to the plane was exhausting and emotional. I was weighed down with all of my gear and the heat from the tarmac was overwhelming. As I enterend the plane, the engines spewed a hot exhaust that set me over the edge of heat straining. The plane soon took off… and I could think that I’m about to be there. Game time.

Upon landing and the rest of my first night at war, I prayed hard. My base was hit with some mortars that evening and the echoes of artillery and machine guns firing rang through my mind. I didn’t sleep much, but I knew God was going to take care of me.

Today was Veterans Day 2010, which I am always reminded of the men and women who served this great country with honor and dignity. My heart goes out to the people who have fought. The soldiers that have put themselves on the line for this country. I’m reminded by Lee Greenwoods song ‘God Bless the USA’. Which you can check out right here. It brings a tear to my eye every time that I hear this song.