Category: Leadership

Reflections from the East

  • beautiful little girl
  • China student retreat pic
    Student retreat that just ended in China
  • teachers at Lang Fang
    Josh, Jamie, and Christina (teachers) and Jim
  • guy at rib place 2
  • scorpion fest group pic
    This is us eating scorpions on a stick. When in Rome...
  • scorpion fest on a stick
    They also had seahorses but I thought they were endangered so we didn't eat them...
beautiful little girl

One of the most beautiful little girls in the world

















I’ve been home for about 5 days but I have only just begun to mine the treasures from my time in China. Here are some reflections and some pics from my trip.

1. I take freedom of faith for granted everyday of my life.  Being able to openly worship, read, gather, and talk about Jesus is something that not everyone is allowed to do openly.

2. Sometimes I value comfort and imagined security over people hearing the Great Love Story.  The teachers (YL staff) over in China have sacrificed so much so that college students could be introduced to the God who created them.

Josh, Jamie, and Christina (teachers) and Jim

Josh, Jamie, and Christina (teachers) and Jim

3. The Chinese are a precious people and their university students are like none other.

Student retreat that just ended in China

Student retreat that just ended in China

4. Jim Cunningham and Mike Gaffney are great men.  It was a blast to be with them and learn from them for 10 days.

guy at rib place 2

This is us eating scorpions on a stick.  When in Rome...

This is us eating scorpions on a stick. When in Rome…

They also had seahorses but I thought they were endangered so we didn't eat them...

They also had seahorses but I thought they were endangered so we didn’t eat them…

5. God is on the move and His Kingdom is bigger than I can fathom.  Thanks for praying for my trip over to China.






So many people!

Wow.  There are so many people.  And so many bikes.  And so many mopeds.  You have to keep your head on a swivel anytime you are outside.  Did I mention how many people are here?  On Wednesday we ate donkey for lunch.  That’s right, donkey.  It tasted OK but was a little fatty.  Then we went with some students and teachers and did KTV.  This is a phenomenon.  It is a Kareoke parlor with a bunch of private rooms with couches, big screen TV’s, and microphones.  You can pick from thousands of songs and it was a blast.  Shy and timid Chinese students became rock stars with a mic in their hand.  On Thursday we drove 4 hours one-way to visit the Great Wall of China.  It was phenomenal.  We got to lift up the whole nation of China while walking on the wall and one of the teachers Jimmy we were with said he has never done that and “his mind was blown.”

great wall pic















Today (Friday) we traveled from Baoding to Lang Fang (pronounced “Long Fong”) for our last stop.  We had lunch with a school official–the head of foreign affairs for the university and his favorite movie was Braveheart!  What are the chances?! This afternoon we toured the city and then had dinner with students Jane, Dandan, Mango (isn’t that the best?). Buddhist Eric, and teachers Josh, Christina, and Jamie. Please remember them, especially Eric. I hope you had a great week!



Wild and wooly!

Ni Hao, (pronounced “Knee-how)

That is “hello, how are you?” in chinese.  We are good.  We have had packed days full to the brim of great stuff.  We left Tianjin on Monday and traveled by van (3 hours) to Hebei University in Baoding.  We met with teachers and kids that evening and then yesterday went to Hebei Finance University across town and I got to see one of my favorite old JMU leaders Will McLaughlin teach a class.  He was phenomenal.  Will is married to Becky, an incredible young gal who also led at JMU.  Then we were part of my favorite thing of the trip so far.  ENGLISH NIGHT!  (club)  They do English night every 2 weeks and it consists of songs, games, skits, and then a talk at the end about something that provokes deep thinking about life, relationships, and Father.  Last night one of the other teachers spoke about hope:  What do you hope for?  Where does hope come from?  It was AWESOME!  Over 200 kids piled into a classroom for a crazy night of singing Rihanna, laughing and being loved.  I have a short video but it won’t download because the internet is slow.  Thank you for lifting us up.  Father is on the move.



Finally here in China!

Hey gang!

Yesterday I left Paul’s at 9am and was supposed to fly out of Hong Kong at 12:30pm to Beijing. My flight was delayed until 6:30pm and this without knowing what gate until 45 minutes before. After some baggage trouble I finally got to a hotel around midnight and we were up this morning at 7am. I rode on a bullet train that went 293 km/hr which is I think about 180 mph. Then we went on a subway and then a “jump jump” which is a red golf cart only smaller and more fragile, the wrong way down the highway and the wrong way on an exit ramp. It was an experience.

Once we arrived we met 5 or 6 of Jim’s student here in Tianjin. And then I got to be part of something I will never forget. We sang and did a study and then got to see a student named Chad be sprinkled.  He met the Father last semester after a long pursuit of the truth and is growing like crazy.  It was awesome!  Please lift him up and his brothers and sisters Victoria, Star, Kara, and John.  They are so vibrant and fun.

Chad being baptized by Jim

Chad and Jim going over the water ceremony
















This afternoon we went out and played soccer with some students and then went to dinner downtown with 3 of Jim’s teachers.  They are a courageous bunch.  Father is on the move.

More to come,



Onward to China!

Paul and I with a postcard view...

Dear Dearest ones,

This week has been one of the more exciting of my life. I arrived to Hong Kong last Tues. night after 22 hours of travel, and almost missing my first flight. It was delayed 2 hours on the United app and on the website but when I arrived 1 hour early to the airport, the flight was slated to leave. Fortunately I knew one of the airport employees and he held the flight for me. The passengers almost had a mutiny and turned on me. It was almost Lord of the Flies.
Wed. we took it easy and I hung out with the incredible family of 5 I’m visiting, Paul and Sara Olsen, with Kylie, Curran and Leah and we went into the city and walked around. Then Paul and I went to a rooftop restaurant and had a relaxing cigar.
Thurs., after me sleeping about 4 hours total we went to Macau for the day but didn’t play much blackjack as the table minimums were $75. I did do the highest bungee jump in the world at 764 feet. It was wild and I’m still wondering if I should have.
Friday we went to a little beach town called Stanley and then at night went to dinner in the city with Paul and Sara and their friends. It has been a blast. Many funny stories to relay but will save them for later.

Three quick observations:
1. God is on the move, even over here. He is moving mightily in Paul and Sara’s church, and also through Young Life that just started last year.
2. The buildings in Hong Kong are very, very high.
3. God’s Kingdom includes people from EVERY tongue and nation.

The tower I bungeed off of...















I leave for the airport in an hour to meet up with Jim and Mike and to begin our Young Life adventure in China. Thanks!