Sunday, December 14, 2008

Born of a Virgin

December 11, 12 and 13 we participated in a Christian Arts Ministries Christmas musical called Born of a Virgin. Ken Parker, who created Son of God: Son of Man passion play, wrote and directed this drama. We felt blessed to participate in this powerful Christmas story from Mary's perspective. Dustin played the adult Jesus and wrapped things up very inspirationally. He is pictured here with the child Jesus, named Zack. Katie played a friend of Mary's and sang and danced with a fun bunch of girls.

We are so thankful that Jesus was willing to go through all that birth business, take on human flesh, live on earth all in order to die on the cross for our sins because, "all He every wanted was our love."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

God at work in Egypt

We had the amazing privilege of participating in an outreach festival in Egypt December 5 - 7, 2008. Kasr El Dobara Church in Cairo has a conference center called Beit El Wadi where they host events year round. It is an amazing facility with various sport courts, zip line, high ropes course, lap pool, a huge stadium that seats over 7,000 and beautiful hotel. They also have the largest/most effective rehab treatment center in the Middle East on campus.

We joined performers and volunteers from around the world for this huge 3 day festival where 7,000 people attended daily and 60,000 people viewed the evening session by satellite in hundreds of churches across Egypt. Another 500,000 watched daily on SAT7 TV across the middle east. Thousands gave their lives to Christ each day! It was breathtaking.

Dustin tore it up on his unicycles in the UniShow, Team Xtreme broke bricks and flipped cars with their brute strength, Justin Flom wowed crowds with his illusionary artistry, Boarders for Christ jumped cars and 12 kids in a row with their skateboarding stunts, James Lee and Josh got crazy with marshal arts. Each of these talented performers had one message: "Jesus wants to change your life like He changed mine!" It was a truly unified team and message that God used to bring many to Himself!

We prayed with many people to receive Christ. In the picture Dustin is praying with Danny who said he will never be the same after hearing Dustin share about the need to forgive those who hurt you.

There was a wonderful group of volunteers who were super helpful making sure we always had water and meals and kids to ride on Dustin's shoulders. Basem was a huge blessing as Dustin's translator who took seriously Dustin's testimony and the gospel message and made sure it came across loud and clear.

We praise God for the work He is doing in Egypt and the privilege of being part of it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hear the Illinios

November 14 and 15 we had two great events in Illinois. We shared the gospel through a UniShow at The Mill skate park where they are beginning a skate church and have a great outreach to youth in the area. They were very receptive and many gave the uni a go after the show and did quite well very quickly. There are some very talented skaters and bikers who are excelling at The Mill. It is exciting to see these students investing their time and energy at the skate park rather than the many other negative options out there.

We also presented for a Christian Church Regional Youth Assembly in Springfield and challenged students to live their lives for Jesus and use the gifts He has given them. While we were there, we took a cultural break and visited President Abraham Lincoln's home and tomb and learned more about his life.

Note our remarkable gas fill up in Iowa. Just a few months ago we payed twice as much. We were getting used to a tank being over $100 yet can adapt easily to this new price and are hoping it holds out for our next cross country trip in a few weeks.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Duty

In light of the recent elections here in the United States please take a moment to read and consider this passage from 1 Timothy 2:1-8...
Clicky here to find the passage.

Our responsibility can not be made more clear, let us not neglect it.

Here's a couple other thoughts to consider...
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage." - Authorship is unverifiable, but often attributed to Sir Alex Fraser Tytler (1714-1778)

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." -- John Quincy Adams

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall Festivals

To help ring in the fall and use the blossoming feel of the holidays for outreach events, we did the UniShow at Grace Church in Racine, WI with Go Fish and at Alliance Church of the Valley in St. Croix Falls, WI.

Grace Church in Racine was a particularly neat place to have an event since Dustin has many family roots there. His great-grandmother went to this very Grace Church just after coming to America from Germany, way back when it was a German Baptist and services were in German. We found some landmarks around town where various grandparents had lived and worked and visited the cemetery where 8 of Dustin's family members are buried.

St. Croix Alliance was also a blast from the past event as the pastor who coordinated this event is the brother in law of Dustin's childhood best friend, Perry. He was able to come with his family and meetings and greetings rekindled the friendship.

We praise God for these events where 100 people came to Christ for the first time! Happy Falling into God's arms!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not flying solo...

I recently cashed in a gift certificate that I received in January from a bunch of friends and family. I'm sure they contributed with good intentions and wishes so I could fulfill a longtime quest to jump from a perfectly good airplane. Here's how it was done and some interesting parallels that made me think...

a. WARNING! We want to make sure you know how to
write your name so we've provided this 6 page worksheet for you to practice your signature 50 times. Oh, and we just want you to know that you have no rights and therefore cannot sue us if we kill you... and your second cousin's, uncle's best friend has no right to sue us either.

+ When I surrendered my life to serve Christ I gave up
my "rights" to do my own thing. The twist is that in signing my life over to Christ I am doing the very thing I most want to do!

b. After watching a training video I harnessed up and received a bit of instruction. The harness is an uncomfortable but necessary piece of equipment. It is specially designed to connect to the instructor's harness since I'm not qualified to do a solo jump.

+ Sometimes the things we must do to follow Christ are uncomfortable but if we don't do them the journey won't have a very good ending.

c. We checked over the parachute and reserve then I had to help my instructor put on the parachute pack that would carry us safely to the ground.
The parachute was quite heavy. Not something that you wear around if you don't need to.

+ This is where it really hit me. Realizing that I myself put the burden of my sin on Christ. He willingly carried that burden so that I would have life.

d. My instructor was very thorough and ran through every detail I needed to know. After reviewing the wind conditions we loaded up the little Cessna and made our way up over Lake Superior. Click here to see the view for yourself. At nearly 2 miles above the earth we opened the was 45 degrees F (it was 75F on the ground). The sky was quite clear with just a couple passing clouds. After my instructor made sure I was all connected to his harness we put a foot out on the landing gear step, took a look and then jumped.

I think we did a full 360 degree tumble and then leveled out. After a short time I realized that I didn't have to stare straight ahead at the ground so I started looking around and taking in view. I also had to remind myself to start breathing. Yep, it really did take my breath away in the sense that I had neglected to breathe normally since leaving the airplane.

+When we make the jump and surrender our entire lives to Christ he is with us and we can have the confidence that he is close close that he is in control and yet we have the freedom to take in his wonderful creation. He will guide us and give us instruction that brings us through the danger safely. We still have the freedom to do things our own way, but the guaranteed result is that we'll mess things up putting our lives in danger and throwing our descent off course.

e. Somewhere between 4,000-5,000 ft above the planet my instructor released the chute and it worked. We went from deafening wind rushing past us to a surreal kind of silence as you start to hear the sounds of the city wafting up from almost a mile below. My instructor told me to look up at our chute so I could see how part of it was folded under itself...not really a good thing. A couple yanks on some of the lines and the problem was taken care of. My instructor handed me the control straps and I guided us in. Instructor man took over for the landing.

The last few hundred feet the ground came rushing up quite fast...especially the last 50. On touchdown my feet got pulled under but I managed to get them up and run it out. It was fun. Not something I need to do again, but I'm very glad that I did it. I would highly recommend the experience to anyone looking for for something to call an experience. Gravity is a crazy thing.

Thank You! Thanky! 10Q! to all who contributed to make this experience possible.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Operation Mobilization OutBound

As part of our orientation with Operation Mobilization we gathered with about 30 other prospective OM missionaries at the OM USA Headquarters in Atlanta, GA for a week called OutBound. This week was anything but textbook and dry lectures like we had been anticipating. At the beginning of the week we were divided up into "tribes" and came up with a tribe name, flag and skit about our tribe origin. At the end of the week had an "Amazing Race" type hunt around Atlanta after being dropped off at the International Airport with a bag of quarters and a list of things and people to find. I'm proud to announce that Waka Waka Hiki Mundo tribe won and we got to sign a trophy with the world on top and a picture of George Verwer (OM's Founder) on the base.

During our adventures downtown Atlanta, we shared Christ with Bemga (from Nigeria whose name means "God lifts me up") and Kim (see photo). Please pray with us that they surrender their lives completely to Jesus! Another highlight was a surprise connection with fellow OutBounders, Sarah and Dax Bryant. Sarah was my sisters college roommate some 10 years ago! It was super neat to catch up and meet her family and hear how the Lord is leading them in missions

Throughout the week we heard from and prayed for many OM missionaries who had come from around the world to cast a vision for ministry in their field. We had practical sessions on support raising, expectations and transitions. Not only did we learn much more about OM as an organization and about its history, we experienced OM first hand and the love and care they have for their missionaries and their desire to thoroughly prepare people for serving the Lord for a lifetime. Even though we have been doing full time ministry for many years, this week was a refreshing reminder of the basics of missions and what it is all about, not to mention a whole lot of fun!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Alabar al Señor!

We participated in quite a week of ministry in Peru from July 26 – August 1. In seven days and seventeen events, we presented to around 40,000 people and saw over 5,000 people give their lives to Jesus. Nearly 300 Americans joined nearly 500 Peruvians to storm the gates of Hell and take the Gospel to city of Callao and surrounding areas.

We presented in parks, a school, church, prison, juvenile detention center and the coliseum. Each day we did at least 3 performances which made for some long, exhausting and wonderful days. Dustin’s unicycling was coupled with other elements for each event, such as drama, illusions, choir, dancing, a skate team, and bucket brigade (drumming on buckets) consisting of both Americans and Peruvians. Dustin’s was blessed with a great translator, Fernando, who made Dustin’s job of communicating the gospel cross-culturally much easier.

It was exciting to see so many people who were so ready to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We had the privilege of praying with a police officer and a taxi driver, to name a few, who committed their lives to Christ. We pray that they will grow in understanding of all that God has for them.

Our church’s sister church in Peru whom we partnered with, the Callao Church, will diligently follow up on each person who responded to Christ; they have their work cut out for them and they are thrilled to do it! They are such an example of humble service, love and generosity. They showered us with welcome and farewell celebrations and presented each of us with traditional Peruvian churros (hats).

Thanks for all your prayers that God answered, giving us health, safety, strength and fruitful ministry. To God be the glory! For a recap video click here

Monday, July 14, 2008

Your Storyline in God's hands at Camp Rivercrest

We had a great week with 5th and 6th graders at Camp Rivercrest in Fremont, Nebraska. It is amazing what fun can be created for campers in the middle of cornfields. In between great meals and chapels and observing disgusting camp games, we took in some of the fun camp activities of mini bikes, BMX bikes, the flying squirrel, zip line and look out tower. Dustin even rode his unicycle on a log 30 feet in the air on the high ropes course, to the amazement of all!

Dustin spoke all week on the theme of Storyline: your life in God’s hands. He challenged campers to follow God as their Producer and parents as their Directors; to think wisely about what friends they let influence them when Choosing the Cast; how to Rewrite the Script by surrendering their lives to Jesus; how to Ignore the Critics by listening to God’s voice; and On Location, how to live the best life God has for them. They all wrote their “garbage” on paper that was put into a box which Dustin threw into the campfire one night. The campers cheered and clapped as they watched their “sins” go up in flames and disappear as permanently as God’s forgiveness for the sins we confess. Many responded to the gospel invitation and asked Jesus into their lives. It was exciting to see and we pray they continue to live their lives in God’s hands.

A few of the counselors were unicyclists themselves and many others were inspired to master the art throughout the week. Please pray for Dan, one of the young camp workers who just found out that his dad has cancer and only a few weeks to live. God can use this sobering time to draw many closer to Him.

Ride the Lobster Baby!

Dustin, Josh and Scott comprised Team #33 for the first of it's kind Ride the Lobster, the "Tour de France of Unicycling." This epic 800 kilometer, 5 day stage race across Nova Scotia was not for the faint of heart. 35 three person teams competed, each riding around 200 kilometers per day. One day was individual time trials and a criterion. Dustin placed 27 out of 105 riders, Josh placed 30 and Scott placed 95. Scott was the oldest rider in RTL but not quite the slowest. Over all, Team placed 24.
Jody, Scott's wife, was the detail support for the team and Katie, Dustin's wife, was the team driver.

Over all it was an incredible experience and a blast to participate in. Nova Scotia is truly a beautiful province and their lobsters are plenty. We ate lobster once and declined many more offers...once was enough!

See for more details and the exact route taken. See the blog for more posts and photos.