Thursday, March 16, 2006

I am writing to you from Mexico, one of the hottest and dustiest places I have ever spent time. I cannot imagine being anywhere else right now. The Lord is here, and has directed my heart to these people. I have been given the unbelievable privilege of leading a team of teens from a couple different youth groups. I did not know any of them, save two before we all came. Oh how God is working!

Seeing the light of sharing the Savior come on in the lives of students is a passion I will never outlive. Young men and women who come, not really knowing what to expect, lay it all down for a short term trip. They do not know what to expect, they just know they need to go. They get trained in a drama, they go with their friends, and they expect the best. They just don´t know what the best is.

They are moved to an address far south of their comfort zone, and asked to stand up and testify, then go out into a crowd of people they do not know, and share in a language they do not speak, some with interpreters and some without. The result? People are getting saved in huge numbers. These students have even led a deaf mute man to Christ just today, by using pictures, etc. God is amazing!

The students are learning to think outside the box. When that light comes on, it is hard to snuff it out. They cannot wait to go and share Christ with the ones they see. Some will even take this home, and begin to evangelize their schools and neighborhoods.

This is the life BJ embraced and set an example for. Before he got sick he was trying to tell me I needed to go to Mexico with Awe Star. I did not know it, but he had shared this with some of his `05 Peru team. I was a little embarassed when I found out. I mean I kind of felt like I was out of God´s will because I wasn´t planning to go. I didn´t make the Christmas Break trip he wanted me on.

BJ, I made this one, and you were right. I will never be happy unless I have the opportunity to be teaching students how to lead others to Christ, and/or then getting to see them do so, or am doing so myself. This is what it is all about. This is what it means when Paul says "for me, to live is Christ, to die is gain." Phil 1:21

It is very emotional when I see the drama performed. I see the role of the Knightmare or Satan that BJ played, and I am moved as I can so easily see him in this place (every Awe Star Satan mask has a pink swatch on it in memory of BJ). Going out to share Christ was his element. He could not wait! He wanted lost people to know Jesus. So do I.

I am thankful I had the opportunity to fulfill what the Lord, and BJ both knew I needed to do. I am so appreciative of the chance to work with students to share the gospel in the dark places... even if they are hot and dusty!

¡Gloria a Dios!

dad


Whitney and Deanna I love what you have been writing... you are blessing the hearts of many!

13 Comments:

At 6:28 AM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Wow. God had already shown me much of this from the Awe Star updates, but reading it through your voice, and thinking/praying for my two who will go to the same place with the same ministry next week . . . speechless yet again!

I long for Andrew especially to see and know for the first time what you're describing, Brent. He is excited about going, and he knows God has called him--but he has no clue. I know that in a way I don't either, because my turn hasn't come yet. I'm thankful that Andrew and Kristen can go even when I cannot.

Thank you to those who, like me, are faithfully praying--KNOW that you are a part of God's awesome activity through these students this week. We also serve who stand (or sit, or wait) and PRAY--that His glory be made known among the nations!

Marti

 
At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so thrilled to hear that God is moving in the lives of the locals, the team, and yourself.
You are all being lifted up.

 
At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent,
It helps me in many ways to read your words. It is hard for me to put into words but reading about these young people and what they are doing seems to put things into perspective for me. It helps me to understand the passion that my daughter has to go and share and spurs me to see the world in the same way.

As always, you are in my prayers as well as your family. Thanks for sharing.

 
At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Brittany Di Salvo said...

Reading this gives me hope and an excitement I couldn't explain. dad, thank you for going. Thank you for obeying and writing, and worshiping God and being the example that you are. I have the hope that one day, whenever mom will allow it or when I'm an "adult," to go on a trip with you. Hopefully more than one, but if it's one or if it's one hundred, it will be amazing. Thank you for being so transparent, I love reading your (and Deanna's and Whit's) posts. Praying for you still.

love you all
Acts 20:24 & Philippians 1:20-21

 
At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

Prayers are being answered all over the world...even when all we hear about or read about is bad news. Praise be to God that there are people who are willing to listen to God's call on their heart to go and spread His love around the world! I love reading these daily posts.
Blessings and peace today. Tina

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger Tara Case said...

Hey Dad-
Just reading it makes me want to be back in Mexico. I went on Christmas break and it was hard for me in a lot of ways. Not having my Peru team, seeing another do the Satan, Jesus and God roles--For some reason I remember peoples manorisims (Sp?! who knows) very well. How they move--and after watching the drama 75 times i pretty much had down the movements of Beej, Mike and Logan. How they jumped, how they enticed one another, how they held there swords, how they got into it and would jump down off the stages and into the crowds to do the sword fight. Hmmm--so many thoughts yet I am craving to minister to someone today. I have forgotten that aspect of my job, new people all the time. So hopefully i will be able to be grace and share truth with someone today. You all are doing awesome in Mexico-keep going, keep loving them like Jesus. I pray its embedded into your very being and it becomes part of every single person on the team. Love you guys and am praying for you! Go and claim what is rightfully Gods, go tell those people whom he is calling back to himself!!!
-Tara Case

 
At 9:26 PM, Blogger Lattany said...

In about one month, I will travel with my dad and younger brother and about thirty-five other people from our church to Mexico and I couldn't be more excited. Absolutely, I have a burden for the lost, but I also have a strong desire to see others as enthused by the Gospel as God has led me to be and I have seen this happen so many times on these trips. It's thrilling to hear your passion come through in your writing.

The beginning of your post about youth willing to lay down their own selfish pleasures and comfort for the Calling to the "unknown" reminded me of a conversation I had with another young lady who would be traveling to Thailand with myself and the rest of the team.

It was an email and she wrote of her expectations for the trip. They were high and I was impressed with her faith. She closed asking if her expectations were too high? Would she be disappointed? "Am I asking for too much from such a small thing?" I was able to emphatically assure her not. Absolutely not. Nothing is asking too much, when you're asking it of God. Further, there is nothing "small" or "insignificant" when it's in the hands of God. It is ultimately God who brings about change in us -- not the event or the circumstances themselves.

Things such as these trips are simply instruments in the hands of our Almighty God that He uses to sanctify and bless us. To say that you were "asking too much of such a little trip" would be to say that God is somehow limited in His power to sanctify and bless us by the scope of man's efforts and abilities.

The truth of the matter is that we probably aren't asking enough, because we simply can't comprehend all that God has in store. Ephesians 3:20-21 says, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." His mercies and His grace know no limitations, and He answers before we ask (Isaiah 65:24).

Remember Exodus 6 and 7, where God sends Moses to Pharaoh? Moses responds with fear and disbelief, asking why Pharaoh would listen to him -- a simple man with poor speech. He essentially tells Moses, "Watch me! I am not limited by your speech or anything else -- expect the unexpected." Who could have imagined! So ask away! Follow boldly after your calling expecting mighty things, and then be amazed by the grace of God that far exceeds those expectations.

It is my continued privilege to watch God's glorious power manifested through your family in so many, many, MANY different ways.

Also serving the King beside you,

Lattany
Fairfax, VA, USA

 
At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alright, every one of you need to ask God to take you out of your comfort zones and into areas where you can minister for Him. If He sends you to Mexico, Russia, Europe, Africa . . . that is awesome. BUT, He can use you as a missionary in your neighborhood! People are dying without Christ right next door to you. Get to work while we yet have time!! Let's DO IT!!!!

 
At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN and AMEN!!

 
At 10:19 PM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

Mom and sisters--

I've enjoyed reading your guys writing again.. its good to hear from you all. Whitney.. thanks for being open w/what the Lord is teaching you w/all the craziness that we call life. Its encouraging. Mom--i hope you're doing ok at home all by your lonesome!

Dad.. i echo Tara's heart. Here's mine.. I was SO hesistant to commit to another 35day trip this summer.. thinking wow.. its gonna be SO different, my trip was exceptional. So i was almost relieved for the Lord to call me to go w/my youth group.. i hope that doesn't sound horrible to people. anyway.. But it would be so different..and so hard, and so weird in so many ways..spending time w/35 days w/people who weren't my FIRST family..those 19 people are SO special to me.
> i hope that wasn't too much blabber. try to make sense of it all.
but thats my heart..i know that every trip is different, and the Lord works differently in each one.. but i know that Peru 05 will be the rule by which all other trips are measured.

Sorry its been a few days since i've commented.. things have been crazy here.

Love you all
praying always--
~kristin

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger Barbara Ann said...

Oh it just makes me smile! How I wish that I could be there to serve with you guys. BJ told me that he wanted you to go on a Mexico trip and to pray for you about it...well here it is! Reading all that God is doing there stirs something so HUGE in my heart. I cant wait to go to Chile and serve God there, but more so I cant wait to serve God here tomorrow.
Ah, reading about the drama makes me miss BJ so much. He played the nightmare so good (is that even possible). He got into the part so much. Man, I miss him. Its going to be different this summer without him there with us, but its so great to see all that God has done here through him, especially through your family.

It excites my heart still so much to see how God is moving there in Mexico. I cant wait to hear more stories of what He did there.

Praying for divine encounters moved hearts...

Barbara Ann

 
At 7:57 AM, Blogger Christina said...

Dear Brent:

God has taken you to a place where He can use you! It is such an awesome experience when you trust and follow Him AND He provides for you! Keep serving and loving the Lord!

Christina

 
At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dad,
I saw your picture on the awestar website and I was moved to tears! I have been reading your words for MONTHS and was able to finally see the face that goes with these beautiful writings!! It makes me think about how I'll feel, (only mulitplied by thousands)when I finally see the face of Jesus who has been speaking to me for years!!!!

I have also stepped out into a different world...of witnessing. I am way out of my comfort zone, but am loving every single minute of it. I have gone to a womens prison and let a prisoner to Christ, and am now involved in a wonderful ministry here in Kentucky that has several outreaches I have been going to. It is crazy and I have never experienced such happiness in my whole life!!

BJ would be VERY proud of his family and how they have stepped out where he left off. You all keep up the good work, continue to write and inspire many of us out here that read your words every day!!! I know many here in my town that read these as devotionals. I am one of many.

Lots of blessing to you all!
Debbie Schmidt
Florence, KY

 

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