Tuesday, July 19, 2022

 Respected... to Inspire What is Expected.

Down the years from a 1967 Detroit studio where Aretha Franklin belted out the song "respect", a hollow echo sounds off the empty skyscrapers of that city and the empty temples of our lives back into the reality of today. 

Respect is something that every man needs and desires more than almost anything else in this world, and yet it is the very thing that those lives that surround men, refuse to give away without great effort and coercion. People surrounding the men, hold tight to their offerings of respect, with an iron grip, demanding that, IT MUST BE EARNED! Respect is never given freely, because they believe it would be ineffective if given out to these men without payment. This premise that upon completion of some strange right of passage or level of honour, respect will be given out like a graduation certificate for exams completed and appropriate ribbons achieved, is... hogwash! 

Nothing could be further from the truth! 

Parents, look to circumstances, marks and social interactions to measure the respect that they give their sons. Be quiet, be gentle, be kind... why can't you be like your sister? And so these sons sensing their needs for respect, begin a life long search looking for the very thing that his parents had in abundance but measured out with a thimble, choosing rather to use the gift as a gizmo that can be used to manipulate and change the very character of their sons.

Wives too, look to their husband's provision, and forced passivity to qualify the offer to respect them. This thinking sadly places them where they find, at the end of the story, (usually long after their husbands have been laid to rest), that they have been carrying this vast supply of respect, given to them by God, for this very purpose, (to seed into the dirt of their unformed men),  to create in their husbands, sons, fathers and friends the very HERO they have been desiring from their very meeting.

Food I can go without for a week, maybe a month, and if I was an Old Testament prophet as long as forty days, but the need for respect is something that supersedes the need for food significantly. Admittedly, the need for food will keep your body pumping and jumping, but the need for respect will keep you breathing in the Holy Spirit, following the example of Christ, and obeying the light of God the Father. For without respect received, life simply does not matter. 

Now I know that seems heavy handed and over the top but bear with me for a second. 

What brings life meaning? I did not say, what brings life happiness, (the fleeting seconds of euphoria that occur through circumstances) but rather what brings life meaning? My answer is simple as it is offensive... it is RESPECT

  • Inside this simple little word is the seed that will grow into the life of purpose and honour that men so desperately want to live. 

  • Inside this little word is the seed of direction from God that provides us a map and a boat to navigate through the swampland of reality. Not because it gives us the direction, that is reserved for the Heavenly Father, but the fact that without respect men cannot hear the voice of God. Their ears are too full of the voice of the enemy.
  • Inside this little word is the seed of leadership that given enough encouragement and water, will grow into the oak that your family needs of you, and the oak that will provide shelter from all that this world will throw at you.

You see there are many men whose life is so filled with a desire to be respected that their empty regret of not finding it, corrupts their purpose, meaning and willingness to lay it all down for those they love, which is the core purpose of men. This emptiness leaves them with nothing. All their self awareness blocks are essentially gone, beaten down by the down-pouring of disrespect that this world and our enemy has dumped on them, and then watched as these self awareness blocks drained out of them because there was a lack of the essential element that can hold all the rest of these elements in place, respect.  

So, where does that leave us? Well, my hearts escapes, from the table where I am sitting, to a time years ago when hope flowed freely into my heart, when peace was the tranquil lake on which my boat floated, where the saplings of character were nursed from the dirt of reality into the brightness of the plan of God by the soft, consistent, directed voice of respect.

So where does this leave us?

Ah... I remember... it's time to release the unmerited respect that they need and damn the torpedos!

Damn the criticism that will come, all the while breaking the tape measures that will be brought out to rate the men, and dole out the drops of respect given to them as they struggle for acceptance. Pour, release, scatter and overwhelm them with respect that no one agrees they deserve... because they don't. 


I must pick up the voice of respect and declare it loud into the void, refusing to restrict the flow in anyway. "I must tell young men that they are respected to inspire what is expected."

I must speak the words of respect that will provide the young leaders around me with the frame work onto which they can build their lives. Their self awareness and belief will be hung from this framework and over time their lives will come into clearer focus, their expectations will come into clearer focus, because someone respected them.

I must speak the words of respect, that will protect and believe in their dreams, even when I know that most of these dreams will fall by the wayside. All the while, I must respect their chance to dream, in order to preserve the expectation that those dreams require.

I must violently defend the culture of respect, even when it refuses to respect me. Take the blows, the emotional beatings that will provide them a living example that they can see, of a man. That will respect them!

Then men of renown will rise from the dirt of this culture. 

Then men of renown will rise from the brokenness of yesterdays failures into the truth of today's calling. 

Then and only then will the men of renown begin to build on the foundational truth of the respect of today to guide them into the victories of tomorrow.

It's time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Fear vs FEAR

Today is a day when fear is raging. 

  • COVID 19 continues to consume lives across the world, 
  • Monkey pox, is the coming, 
  • Russia fighters are killing and fear is striking into the hearts of the west,
  • Oil and food prices skyrocketing 
  • and the economies of the west (in which many people have placed their trust) are beginning to crumble and fall.

Against this background of fear and terror the words of the bible ring true.

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble?
When evil people come to devour me,
    when my enemies and foes attack me,
    they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident.

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
    and the mountains crumble into the sea.

Against this background of fear and terror the truth of the words of the eternal God answer the fear that many feel.

And yet where is your God, many ask? Is He weak? Unable? Unwilling? And why are the Christians in this world dying once again for their faith in fields unknown, while many of the pulpits call out the prosperity Gospel in all its "glory"? Why doesn't God answer my wishes, we ask? Why doesn't he remove my fears?

The answer is too strange to be anything other than the voice of God. The answer is so foreign to this world's thinking that people perceive those repeating it to be disconnected from realty, mentally unstable and unable to reason.

The answer is simple, but it is not what we expect or want... 


Oh sure I have taught this but when I sit down in silence and I ask myself the simple question do I fear God, the question echoes in my heart. So do I?

Instead of the triumphant answer, "of course I do", coming from my lips... I instead answer this question with my own reasoning, my own decisions and my own direction... and I wonder.

And yet...

And yet...just as my heart and my mind remain self absorbed a small flame is lit in my spirit. I hear a call to walk the short distance into the Tabernacle of the Spirit of God. To answer the terror that this world presents with a walk that is far more fearful. I must no longer avoid the walk that each of us must follow, towards the presence of God. Just as my heart turns towards this walk, I hear his voice calling to me, "David, I am the way, I am the truth, I am the light." 

And to my surprise, each name reflects one of the three entrances towards the Holy of Holies, in the Tabernacle. 

Through the outer gate, I step from this world into the truth of salvation. Rabbinical tradition calls this entrance of the outer court, "THE WAY" Here the bronze altar is located, here I am judged. My past, present and future all laid bare, but it is through faith in Christ alone I enter into His Tabernacle. Through his blood I pass from outside of his will into his plan of salvation for me. 

But it does not end there, as I walk I hear the ringing of the bells attached to the robes I wear. the very robe of righteousness that Jesus gave me... "Why the bells?". No matter... I say... I love the new robes of righteousness that I have been given. I revel in His love. I am overjoyed to know the salvation of God.

But soon I am called to the second entrance, "THE TRUTH" I discover the need for the power of the Holy Spirit to purify, and sanctify. I have come into this in-between place where the love of God is overwhelming but so is the Power of God. God's Holy Spirit begins a process of preparing the sacrifice, the living sacrifice. The washing of the Word... washing clean... washing me clean. 

Wait, what's this? A rope? Why are you tying a rope unto my leg. The bells were one thing, but now a rope? Why? Why would a loving God insist on a rope tied to my ankle? 

Surely my loving God would not... 

Surely, his love for me is not asking me to...

...into the presence of the Father I am about to enter... alone... and you are tying a rope to drag me back out if I die? If I drop dead? All because of the presence of God? Okay... Now, I'm really afraid!

And yet, once again I'm called to come closer... but now closer means the Holy of Holies. I am called to come closer to the very thing that I fear the most. The manifest presence of the Father. 

Each step closer to the last entrance brings me closer to the power and presence of God. Each step closer to his glory. Each step closer to my death. My robes are washed in Jesus blood, yes... or course... my hands are clean... by the work of the Holy Spirit but as I step closer to his presence I, once again, hear the bells attached to the bottom of my robe, ringing the message... for all to hear...

...so far... David still lives.

There is hope here... (surrounding me, within me) yes I can feel that surrounding me, but there is also fear, because this is the realm of light, blinding light (too bright to even look at) there is a light that leaves nothing standing. Here I have come... from the land of the living into the land of the dead. Here, the entrance into the Holy of Holies is called "THE LIGHT" according to rabbinical tradition. 

I feel the drag of the rope as it unspools from the safety of the place I was... into this new place where I am now called to step... face to face with the father... I fall face down, for now I'm going to die. 

The presence of God the Father brings us to the apex of our fears. The bells stop ringing as our legs stop shaking in fear, the rope lies still as we humble ourselves before the wonder and majesty of God. And then, as I breathe out my last breath and breathe in his life into my life...the truth become clear... 

"God uses dead men."

Luke 12:4-5
 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
"Yes, I tell you, fear him"

To my fears, Jesus now speaks across the miles into my life...

Jesus speaks hope that is not found in thought or ideology, not philosophy nor religion, but only in the pathway of death that Christ himself walked ahead of us all and broke through to the other side. To me from the pathway to Golgotha, I hear his words... 

"David, pick up your cross, and follow me."

Why am I no longer afraid? Not afraid of life, or death, principalities or power, things above or below... why am I not afraid? because...

You can't kill a dead man!

Outside of God's presence you will find the chains that absorb your passions, distort your purpose and empower your pain... in answer to your fears this world gives you false hope, artificial choices, all the while insisting that you have the power, and it's your decisions that matter. 

But you see... Dead men have no choice! 

And more than anything else, 

Satan and this world fear  "Dead Men".

And now, standing in the presence of God, feeling my life drain from my body and the life of the Holy Spirit of God surge into every fibre of this dead man's spirit, the truth of this journey becomes so clear... 

... inside of the death of Christ, and our subsequent death... 

...there is the fear that sets you free.

The beginning of wisdom is found in the fear of the Lord... 

...Lord, you and you only do I fear!


Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Life and Death of Banana's

The Life and Death of Banana's

Starting from a small shoot, I began my reach to heaven. From small beginnings I sent out one tiny shoot, breaking through the dirt, through the mud and rocks where I found myself. 

From these humble beginnings, the place where the great gardener has placed me, I struggled. Rocks, of the past, push down on my small beginnings preventing my efforts from breaking through the barrier of dirt that has been placed over my head. These rocks believing that I will amount to nothing. But that is a lie, and is not in the heart of this banana shoot, I have a desire, given to me by the gardener, to reach to the sun. To the sun, where my life is found, and so I push past the dirt and rocks towards tomorrow.

Reach, reach past those other plants around me blocking the sunlight from touching my life. Reach to the sun. Reach to the source. Reach to Life.

Breakthrough! Sunshine, finally! The gardener has indeed chosen a wonderful place for me. From this place the reaching really starts, stretching, growing, growing, stretching... and soon dying. What? Dying, I just got here. I just broke through look at my single leaf. It's new, fresh, and alive. 

Yes, I send out my first magnificent leaf, dark green, full, and rich. My leaf seems so strong, so capable and yet after just a moment in time it begins to die. Yes as the banana plant sends out new leaves the first leaf of yesterday is discarded. Fading, the bright green turns slowly to brown, the vitality of yesterday fades into the empty shell of today and eventually this leaf will lie at my foot as I continue to reach towards the sun, towards my calling.

Time will pass, a lot of time. Leaves will come, leaves will go, successes will come and go. But I will show the world my strength. I will demonstrate, defend and define my existence as the leaves get larger, and larger, bigger and bigger, darker and darker. After seasons of growth and moments having turned into days, weeks and months, THE moment happens. A moment that I knew would happen, I wanted to happen, but I never could have guessed what this moment would mean when it happened.

A new shaft extends out from the heart of the plant, my heart. From the very centre of the plant...from my very heart... a new shoot  emerges and stretches out. But this shoot, unlike it's brothers does not reach up towards the sun, towards the son, the strength, the source, but rather this shoot stretches down. Yes down, towards the dirt that covered this plant only months before. Down towards the rocks that worked to prevent his beginnings. Down, closer to those what will come next. We must reach down to flower, to reproduce. 

How I just wanted to reach farther and farther upwards. But, just at the time when all seems healthy and rich, reaching to the sky, a new growth begins to manifest itself into my spirit and life of this now growing plant. Little did I realize that this new growth will trigger both new life and upcoming death. Yup, this "flower" which resembles a purple spear will reach down back to the very ground where this story started. 

Just, as I can reach higher and stronger then I have ever been able to reach before, I much reach down. NOW? When I know that the size of breadth of my leaves cover more people, ground, and animals then they have ever covered before. Now, I must give all my efforts to this spear pointing down? 

This new shaft will of course create the fruit of the plant, a large bunch of bananas made up of many hands. Multiple different brightly coloured bananas arranged neatly in rows, hands, and eventually a bunch. These two echo this time of my life, so much is right and good in this world at present. Fruit in the ministry, lives being born again, developing into disciples, each one sweet with the promise of new beginnings and new growth.

Now the gardener watches as my efforts must turn down to those who will follow. This is exciting too, I tell myself, but the main plant can already sense it. I can sense it. Leaves continue to darken and die but now at an accelerated pace. All around this new brightly coloured bunch of new birth, lies the ravaged leaves of days gone by. Moments of effort now fading into the dark rich soil at the foot of this plant. Memories of yesterdays, expressions of outreach and opportunities to share God's love now rot at the foot of this dying giant. 

Somehow the gardener knew. He knew that this was not all about my leaves, my deep dark green life but rather about that small spear, striking out from the heart of the plant to strike a final blow of death.

Oh, those around are appreciative of the fruit that now is so event to all who wish to see. Oh they are most grateful for the sweet taste of new life and new beginnings that this tree has been able to produce with God's grace. But wait...what is that sound.

A bush knife being sharpened, readied to cut off the fruit and ship it to the farthest reaches of this world to bring that new life to all who will receive them. The bunches broken into hands, the hands into individual fruits so that they can reproduce in location that was intended, before the beginning of time. The gardener with a single motion cuts away the very fruit that I have been putting all my effort into. Cut away, moved away, separated to grow somewhere else.

And now in this last moment of mercy, grace and love the gardener strikes me down too. Back to the dirt. Back to the beginning. Back to the Rocks and challenges to grow skyward once again. Allowing other new shoots to spring out of the ground, push past the rocks and reach for the son. For it is in this last moment that the remaining broken pieces of that once tall, proud banana tree now rotting in the ground give one last gift of life through death. 

There would be no new life, if the old did not die first. Die to self, to prominence, to being seen, being heard. The new life needs the old, to provide those things that they don't even realize that they need. Sadly they too will give up their place in days to come. They too will die to themselves, as the gardener will once again come for his fruit. But today, it's my day. Today I choose to push back my leaves to reveal the strong stock at the centre of it all. Reveal to the bush knife that we all know is coming.

As my present day is filled with fruit. As new leaves strike out towards the son, and the fruit is filled out and ripens, as lives are begin changed and touched by the son, remind me gardener that this too will pass, and only what's done for you... will last.

May my life, fill the ground around me with the building blocks and nutrients that will provide the next generation with the foundation that they need. May the next generations see in my words, actions and motives a plant who did as his gardener wanted, always, and may these words, actions and motives inspire them to reach towards the son, too. Especially in these days when it's raining and the son is difficult to see.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Reaching to the Heavens...

It has been two weeks since I heard that my good friend Brad Kennedy suddenly passed away. Shock... anger... grief... and a hundred other emotions have flooded through my heart and mind over this time. Questions about God's plan, His timing, and His heart has weighed my spirit down. As I sit here in Vanuatu, night after night thinking and remembering the man, my friend, a deep sorrow has overwhelmed me more than once.

Many people have spoken of his talents, and abilities. Buildings that have risen in Edmonton and elsewhere bear his handiwork. His passion for his craft is evident throughout the city. Yet, Brad's ability to reach to the heavens was not solely based in bricks and mortar, iron and steel but more importantly in the lives he touched with the heart of Christ.  

Brad, was a man who like all of us had his flaws, made mistakes, and suffered with the sin that so easily besets us all. Yet all the while, he was real, not artificial in any way that mattered. He lived life, open handed, cards face up. When it was time to be honest, I could count on Brad to level with me, reflecting both the truth, and tough love that was so often needed, while the entire time recognizing his support was all I hoped it to be. This was a unique combination of gifts.

I am fully aware that every man, suffers with their own challenges and each of us have difficulties and individual challenges that we must overcome, but with Brad my experience was nothing but clear, and true. 

It was a number of years ago now when the bottom fell out of my faith and life. Circumstances conspired to strike a blow against the very heart of me. Hope was extinguished, life seemed meaningless, and faith was resting on the end of a branch that was being sawed through, and I held the saw. It was clear to myself and to many around me that this could be a blow that could be irrecoverable. It would not be an exaggeration to say that my future, was in the balance... in a word...bleak.

In the midst of the storm, a voicemail, came through to my iphone. "Dave, Joey's Restaurant, tonight... Cya there!" It was Brad. Like many times before, I knew the time, I knew the place, and I knew who was calling.

Did he come with advice?                     Not really. 
Did he come with wisdom?                   Not that remember.

Then what did he bring that night?       Himself and Tomorrow

Brad gave me a gift that night that few were extending... themselves.  He shared some wings and a pop, some talk and some moments of silence, but more than that, he shared...Himself.

Somehow He knew the one thing I needed was Brad. Without saying a word to the issue he reminded me that "He had been and always would be my friend." Recognizing the circumstances, not making light of my heartache, nor undermining the significance of the moment, Brad was in a word... Brad.

How often, we stand on the sidelines, silent, watching as the life of a friend sinks slowly beneath the waves. 
How often we can't or won't meet with a person in crisis because we can't think of what to say, or what advice we would give.  
How often in silence we stand as sentinels, ever watching but at the same time never moving,  Brad too had little advice to give. He gave none, asked for none, but rather simply was...

His presence, that night, spoke more than any words could have possibly had conveyed. Brad listened, smiled, and looked to tomorrow. "One day David we will sit down and reflect on all that has happened and recognize God's hand in everything." 

"You really think so, Brad?" My aching heart asked.  

"Yes Dave I'm sure." And he was ...

One day we will sit down and reflect on the lives touched by God's grace, on the situations touched by God's love, and the changes in the population of heaven because of a night at Joey's.  Thank you my friend, for stepping down into the pit where I was and while I watched, reaching heaven. A truly magnificent sky-rise.

As Julie and I work for our Lord in this country of Vanuatu, I am saddened that I will no longer be able to show you our new home country, or the amazing things that God is doing here, but rest assured. Your influence is echoing in locations that you have never placed your feet. the South Pacific and specifically, the Island Nation of Vanuatu, will hear your story. 

Without me saying a word.

With all my love, Dave

Monday, February 26, 2018

“All men die but not all men truly live.”

Recently, I have been challenged at the sudden and tragic death of a daughter of dear friends of mine. This young life, a beautiful young woman of only 21 years old, was stuck down in moment. She went from a life full of hope and promise to a member of great crowd of witnesses. Life to death… this event is so tragic, heart breaking and devastating for her family and all those who knew her that it was almost more than most of us could bear. 

So many questions, so many walls, and so much pain.

Oh Lord, please, no…                                            Silence.
Oh Lord, why? ...                                                    Silence.
Oh Lord, where, is the balance? ...                         Silence
Oh Lord where is your plan? …                              Silence.
Oh Lord, please take me instead…                        Silence.
Oh Lord, where are you? …                                   Silence.

Oh Lord, please send your comfort…                 Ahh… There you are.

These and other questions have pulsated through my heart and mind as I have contemplated this tragedy. This moment has once again brought me back to the moment where we surrender to the Almighty. This moment has once again brought me back to the awareness that God has promised to never leave or forsake us regardless of whatever this broken and fallen world can thrown against us. Clearly, this world is broken and will do what it can do to try and break you, and yet... there is hope.

Jesus said it best when He said, “In this world you will have trouble but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.”

For this young woman, no truer statement could ever be said. Snatched out of the loving arms of her parents, family and friends into the loving arms of her Lord. Taken from this world into the world beyond, suddenly, painfully, and eternally.

Many people do live their lives focused on the here and now, but this young life, this young leader, lived her life focused on the someday and forever. Each time I interacted with her I was reminded of her love for her Lord, for others and even for this old Pastor. She would often take a moment to pause and ask me how I was doing and with each and every encounter I knew that she was living her life to honour her Lord first.

I am reminded of a moment when sitting at a restaurant where she worked that she noticed me sitting by myself at the table, waiting for those others to join me. Instead of just passing by with a quick, “Hello Pastor Dave” she stopped and took the time to ask me, “How are you and how my family was enjoying living in Vanuatu as missionaries? What was most challenging? What was the best and worst thing that has happened?”

After listening she then said, “Pastor Dave, that is amazing, you are doing such a great thing there…” and then the conversation, just as quickly as it had started, was over and she returned to her work.

Now this really does not seem like a lot, but I assure you that when you return from the mission field, you answer a great number of questions and very quickly you can perceive which of the people asking the questions really want to hear. She wanted to hear.

She wanted to hear! To hear stories of God’s love for the people from around the world who were coming to Jesus and coming to church. She wanted to hear stories of the challenges of missing family, and friends and the challenges that living in the South Pacific with its cyclones and Earthquakes. But more than all else, she wanted to hear stories of the wonderful transformation power of the Holy Spirit as He calls people surrender their entire lives to Jesus. She wanted to hear … she wanted to know … she wanted to give... and she did.

As she walked away from me, I smiled as I noticed her taking those extra few moments to serve a young family. Her welcoming smile and assistance with the many little details that this young mother had to deal with, was noticed by the family and this Pastor sitting on the other side of the room. Jesus with skin on... a servant of the most high God... a person who cared. A Christian (A Little Christ.) She held the youngest child and entertained her, as the mom did all she could to get her other child to sit down at the table.

There were many people who were much closer to her than I. There are many who are feeling her loss much deeper than I. Yet the every fact that one such as myself who just passed on the outskirts of her story, for a brief moment, was so impacted by her life, stands as a clear testimony of her life. Her young life was inspiration to me to live, my life, fully devoted to the Lord and for others.

I am reminded that there is a world, awaiting us that will take away the pain that life has given. I am reminded that there is world where a King, Saviour, and Lord await and He will take away ever tear, and restore every broken place. But in the mean time I am mostly reminded that there is a world awaiting us that has not heard the message of the love of God and his plan for each person and therefore we must go.

These truths and others were clearly in focus in this young life. Now with her questions in my ears, her encouragement in my heart, this "old" Pastor will once again, stand up from my place of rest, slip on my shoes to protect against the hard ground, dawn my ball cap to protect against the sauna like heat of the sun and head out into Port Vila, to make a difference and love each one that I encounter. Thank you CK, for living a life so crystal clear that it echoes across the Pacific and beyond into eternity with clarity.

We have heard the joyful sound:
  Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around:
  Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Bear the news to every land,
Climb the steeps and cross the waves;
Onward!—’tis our Lord’s command;
  Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

May God’s peace rest on each of those who loved her so deeply, and may God surround each one with the comfort that only he can give. Much love and Prayer... and tears. 

Monday, October 17, 2016


Tuesday September, 2016 5:00 pm

After once again jumping into the tender I arrived on the black sand beaches of Tanna.

It is mildly amusing to me that the area of Tanna that is called White Sands has black sand beaches…but I regress…

Once again I’m standing on the beach, among the hollowed out wooden canoes, ready for all that the Lord has in store. Little did I know that this day was set aside to meet the people of the crew who I needed to meet. 

Meet Mike, a man who is known as the director and yet is so much more. His awareness of the Spirit of God, voice of God, and direction of the Holy Spirit is very encouraging. Together with Christian, the guitar player from day one, we joined our hearts together on the grass to seek the Lord and pray people through to coming to the medical centre. Mike even prayed to the Lord that the crew would be allowed to travel to the top of the volcano for free…and guess what? As I was typing this message this news just in… everyone is going to the top for free! Praise the Lord.

Meet Christian, a young Maori (from New Zealand) man so filled with excitement and enthusiasm that he constantly goes spiritually into the place where you would think he should not go. He speaks the words that others would not have the courage to speak and pray in a way that others would find difficult to believe or agree with. With the guidance from Mike he has begun his walk in the spirit. Praying in tongues, moving in the spirit and seeing the hand of God move in his life.

Meet Layla an English YWAM member who is filled with life, and enthusiasm, ready to tackle all that the world is ready to offer. During this day it was Layla that sat with me and asked about what made men tick? What do they think like? What motivates them? Why are they the way they are?

Slowly as the conversation progressed, we two turned to three, then four, soon five and finally seven people talking and sharing all about communication and how relationships are to work according to the plan of God. In the midst of this discussion one father stood listening and finally in a moment of silence spoke up and confirmed all that was being discussed. This was reassuring to myself but shocking to his daughter who finally saw her father for all that he was. A man of God.

Lastly, we once again joined the glasses crew as the people were once again crowding around the table seeking help and appointments to see the optometry crew and receive their eyes check. So from prayer to parenting, from Spirit to sharing, from the gang to glasses God has been working through all of us today as we bring hope to a people who needed to have a hand up after cyclone Pam, La Niña and the volcano shower ash on everyone and everything here in Tanna.

Pray for rain, lives are counting on it.

Monday, October 03, 2016



Monday, 2016 9:00 pm

After a hearty breakfast it was off to Tanna, and the optometry clinic where we were going to help people see. The lines were large, but as the team noted not as large as in times past. But they are confident that many people are still walking from as far away as two days walk. 

Regardless of the distance to come,  we still served over 50 people today, people with cataracts, eye issues and many with simply short sightedness. 
So I tried to communicate to them using my broken, Bislama… Yu needem glasses lo eye blo yufala? I stumbled and fell through my Bislama and somehow with the grace of God and the patience of the people of Tanna we were able to communicate. 

The day was eventful in the way it began. Jumping into a small powerboat off the side of large ship is challenging at best, but with the additional eyes of the Captain and first mate watching the pressure not to slip or fall was all the more significant. But with a little dexterity and an agile step or two we were able to able to sit down in a place that I was quite sure would be the safest.

Safest, yes… Driest…not so much. The bow of small zodiac ships has a tendency to nose into the water in rough seas. Not so much to threaten the people aboard but more than enough to get all parties on board wet. Especially the person sitting in the safe seat in the bow of the boat centered on the floor.

So with a quick dive the safe seat became the wet seat and with that I started my trek onto the island of Tanna.

The crowd of patients was already waiting as we drove up. Children laughing parents watching and the elders sitting and talking through whatever community news needed to be discussed. We quickly unpacked and the Marine Reach team were excellent setting up the clinic with speed and precision. Soon, lines were forming and people began to file into the medical centre to see the doctors who were waiting to assist them.

What an incredible ministry Marine Reach is. This floating medical centre supplies the nation of Vanuatu with the one thing that they cannot supply for themselves. Good, inexpensive medical care on the remote islands of this Pacific Nation. 83 Island with little to no medical supplies, or facilities desperately need the kind of assistance that the Pacific Hope is only too happy to provide. So people lined up, filed in, and filed out with most receiving the medical care that the so desperately needed.

Meanwhile, back aboard the ship the first patients for the dental clinic were beginning to be shuttled over from the island to cue up on board and wait for the dentist. Over 40 people were cared for today, teeth were extracted, some were filled, while others were able to get more elaborate procedures that they would never have been able to afford had the Pacific Hope had not come. Julie, dressed in her scrubs and looking the part of a dental assistant was able to endure the morning, and by the afternoon was able to really get in there and help. I am so proud of her and her willingness to, “not let fear stop me from trying anything” as she said. She not only tried but succeeded to conquer her fears and tomorrow she has been invited back onto the dental team to once again, assist these wonderful people with their real pain and suffering. Well done Julie.

So now it is night and there is talk that they want my Mormon seminar to be presented to the pastors on the island. I have email Gary and Lori Ellison in the hope that they have a copy of the Bislama version. Once again as I settle into bed I bid you all a fine farewell and a hearty good night, for this Pastor is tired tumas.



Sunday, 2016 1:00 pm

Gather round everyone… we are building our teams. We sit in the meeting room and listen as our names are called. Julie, you’re on the Dental Team. Dave, you’re on the Optometry Team. Everyone’s name is called. Each team is filled and every plan is set.

So now our merry group of buccaneers are dividing into the teams that are preparing to help and minister to the people of Tanna. We have arrived on the backside of the Island, away from the limited facilities that exist in other sections of the island. We have arrived where the people have limited exposure to assistance from the outside world. There is some help but it would best be described as random.

The leadership team departed this morning to speak to the chiefs and the pastors confirming with them the plans and how best we can help. From general medical assistance to primary dental care, from ministry team to optometry many needs are about to be filled, many lives are about to be touched, for everything starts tomorrow.

The people here, who have limited medical availability and even more limited dental assistance, are very excited about the ship as they drop anchor. Many would never be able to afford any medical assistance and the ship comes as an answer to many prayers. So as the teams are preparing their supplies on board, the people on the island are also preparing. Today some will to plan to travel the many miles from their home to the location of the medical clinic.  Most, if not all, are on foot and some will come to overnight, as the distance will be too great for a single days venture.

Julie is nervous about the dental clinic, as she can be quite squeamish with the sight of blood, but I am praying that God will strengthen her, and give her divine courage to be able to do all that God has called her to. She is very strong woman, so I am quite sure she will be fine.

My job? Well I will be giving people glasses to assist them to read and see. The opportunity for hands on ministry is something that I really appreciate. Practical, straightforward assistance will give me a great opportunity just to be Jesus with skin on. No speaking, no leadership, just service. Thank you Lord. May my hands become your hands may my voice become your voice to share with these people the chance once again to see.

As I give out these glasses help me to once again really see you. Help me too, to see.
My photo
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I'm just someone who desires all that God has for me. - To follow God with integrity. - To relate to people honestly. - To live a life to it's totality.