Saturday, October 30, 2010

NGM Update 189 How Do You Explain This?

Charlie
October 29, 2010


BEFORE ...

  • dead in his trespasses and sins ... like every person born in this world
  • 6 car crashes
  • 4 arrests
  • fired from the Dunlop Tire Factory
  • failed marriage
  • an undesirable reputation
  • countless hours on a bar stool
  • lifestyle of deception
AFTER ...

  • born again and alive in Christ ... like every person who surrenders their life to Jesus
  • head of his church missions department
  • weekly discipleship ministry at the local jail
  • weekly discipleship ministry at the prison
  • active in evangelism and 12 Steps to Freedom program for drug & alcohol addition
  • mission trips to Mexico, Brazil, and Africa
  • devoted husband
  • ... "all by the grace of God!"  (direct quote from Charlie)

What is the explanation about how Charlie lived his life in the BEFORE environment and how he now lives in the AFTER environment?  Jesus

I'm writing this from the dining room table in Charlie's house.  We just returned from speaking at a morning pastor's meeting in Buffalo, New York. Charlie has been our host, chauffeur, comedian, friend, and brother.  One of the amazing privileges Pam and I are currently enjoying is the rare opportunity to connect and reconnect with people who are a part of the Next Generation Ministries family.  We can only shake our heads in disbelief as we reflect on the amazing people who the Lord has brought into this work.  Everyone has a story.  Too often we lack sufficient time to write about them.  Charlie is just one of them.  There is obviously more to the story, but I only have time for the headlines.

Pam and I met Charlie about a year ago, thousands of miles from his home, when he came to Uganda.  He was a part of a team from New Bethel Church here in Buffalo.  He told me Uganda awakened him to how "spoiled" he/America is.  People with little to nothing, materially speaking, were full of joy and faith.  Transformed people bring the hope of transformation to others.  Ugandans do that for Americans and Americans do that for Ugandans.  This motivates us in our effort to encourage teams from America to come to Uganda.  It explains this 9 week tour across our country and back home.  We have traveled more than 6,000 miles now.  We leave Buffalo for North Top Sail Beach on the Atlantic Ocean on Monday.  Thanks for your prayers and financial support.

What's the explanation for this life that Pam and I are privileged to live?  Jesus


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