24 lives in 24 hours

How did you spend the last 24 hours? Did you go to work, drive through traffic, stop at Starbucks, eat some take out, play with your kids, take your wife on a date, call your Gramma, walk the dog, watch the news, read your bible, listen to music, rock a baby to sleep, pray, play on your iPhone, read a book, watch a movie, exercise or catch a little sleep?? Or maybe you went to school, skipped a class, shopped online, did some homework, fed the cat, rode a bike, stayed up late, fought with a friend/parent/spouse, spilled the milk, went on Facebook, read this blog, broke a nail & stubbed your toe… again!?

Whatever you did, was it important? Was it time well spent? Are you glad you did it? Did it make a difference?

24 hours seems like enough time to do a lot of things. Or not. You could be very effective or totally useless. You could be helpful, be a blessing to others… Or not.

Why does it matter? Well to me it makes a world of difference what I do with my time, because I happen to know what happens every 24 hours on an island far away where hope is lost & the people are forgotten. Someone is dying every hour, their time has run out. In the last 24 hours, 24 precious islanders have died. 24, every day. In the last 12 months, while we’ve been in the States, 9,500 have been laid to rest. Before we could get there, before we met them. Before they knew our story… His story… THEIR story…

What can we do with the next 24 hours? We could save a life or two… or 24.


One for every hour.

We need just 24 people to help us, so we can be WITH the 24 that die every 24 hours…

Please Contact us below & ask HOW you can help!  


standing Brave, it’s what she does

Singing in the midst of life’s engulfing fires, fighting back the treacherous storms of her heart & dancing through the unforgiving pain of failing strength… there she stands. She is brave. Braver than most. Fierce as lions. It’s just what she does. Simply because that is who her Creator made her to be. A mighty warrior, a celebrated princess & a light in the darkness of fear.

Who do you know that matches this description? I have been blessed to have so many strong women in my life. Some are family, some are friends & others I have scarcely met for moments. All of them encourage & inspire me with their talent for finding their moment. That moment of grace where Father steps into your situation & just takes over your response to it. When you face that which is meant to destroy you, without giving in or falling back. The day you finally stand tall, despite the attacks & the traps of the enemy. Bravery. It’s not the absence of fear or even the presence of courage or strength. It comes from something truer, deeper. A place of forgiveness & grace. A place of knowing, of been there/done that. It comes out of surviving & choosing to thrive. This, this is the difference that sets apart the lucky ones that made it out somehow from the BRAVE ONES that chose to never give up or give in or give out.. ever again.

I’d be writing for hours if I sat her listing all the people (guys too) I know that are the picture of bravery tonight. Instead I will tell you about the three I am praying for as I go to bed. Please, if you pray to our Father in Heaven, mention these dear ones to Him. He will know them, so I will leave out their names.

  1. A dear sister who has stood BRAVE in the Valley Fire that continues to rage here in CA. Her family evacuated from the area only moments before their home was completely destroyed. They have only the clothes on their backs with them. Every “thing” they ever owned is gone… She & her husband pastor a church, which was also overcome by the flames. The cement steps & metal railing are all that remains… Yet she is working tirelessly to put aside her own needs, in order to tirelessly care for those around her who are also facing the pain of loss & starting over. So very brave. Because she has spent time with her Father, she walks confident in KNOWING who holds her tomorrows & who restores all “things” in His time. He gives her beauty for the ashes she surrenders to Him. Beyond what she could ever even ask or imagine. She just KNOWS. The confidence of knowing makes her brave when everything around her is in ashes. There is a peace that she knows, beyond all human understanding. The soft voice of the Spirit, telling her He is never letting go of her. Surely she must BRAVE the winds that throw the flames, as she hears only the voice of peace that guides her ‘home’. A place she knows not where. But she casts aside all doubt, in exchange for bravery born out of past experience. He will DO what He said He will do.
  2. A friend who IS my sister. (If you don’t have one, I’m praying you will soon!) This week she BRAVELY walks into new things, a new job, which brings a new lifestyle of sorts. It stretches her. It strengthens her. It launches her out of her comfort zone fast & furiously. Yet she embraces the challenge & confronts her old thinking in order to make room for newly improved approaches. She takes time to evaluate the why & where of questions like ‘How did I get here?’ & ‘Where should I be going next?’. Instead of running from the change & newly found accountability, she took on even more by telling me about it all. Knowing full well that I will also ask her ‘So how’s that going?’ in the days & weeks to come. All this while raising her children in the fear of the Lord, & serving her husband & her mother in every way. She exemplifies a life of prayer & trust. Brave is the one that walks WITH the Lord, following His lead even into the high waters where her feet cannot stand. She has an understanding that others have not reached. One that comes only from being carried through the storm(s) once (or twice) before. The fear of the unknown is not a stranger to her, nor is it a crippling distraction. Rather, it is simply a reminder to refocus on the One who leads the way, remembering that His way is straight & narrow, & there will always be grace enough to travel it. And she REMINDS HERSELF that she will never walk alone. She is BRAVE, because He is WITH her always. She is His & He is hers.
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  4. My daughter. From the moment we first saw her face we knew, this one is BRAVER than most. Tiny, frail & weak. Yet full of such power & fight. She will not back down or give up on herself or her love. She survives. At all cost. Her world has been capsized more times than I care to count. Her heart has learned to fight love to protect her, & now it’s learning to let love in… to heal her. What whirlwinds have tossed them about, She & her heart. Often they have been bruised & battered by the very ones they thought would treat their wounds. But her Creator has placed a love in her, deeply knitted into her soul, that no evil or pain could remove. Buried in the rubble of breaking trusts & stolen dreams, that love is emerging & reaching for the light. Every day she finds new strength. She is tiny, but so very fierce in wanting only to love & be loved. She has felt the Father’s touch. I see it in her eyes. I saw it before I met her & it shines brighter each day. Surviving is her gift, it birthed in her a BRAVE SPIRIT that will not quit. What horrors & sorrows she has felt, we may never know. But the love that spills out of her we recognize. The Author of her soul has written her new song. She sings for me sometimes, a song of forgiveness, a song of renewal. She sings to Him too, praises & anthems of His glory & goodness. She bravely lifts her head & walks on broken legs, into the safety of His presence. Each day we see her overcome new obstacles that once stood between us, she is not waiting for ‘someday’, she walks on. One foot after the other, with a band of brothers following close behind. Her steps are not always sure, but she will not sit still while there are stairs to climb. Up & out of the sadness, she climbs higher than she could ever dream. Far beyond what her strength allows, she swims to the depths of grief in order to bring it all to the surface. The Spirit that dwells in her deepest parts is guiding her to wholeness & healing through His mercy & grace. Not every broken part of her can be casted like her legs, but she is LEARNING that she WILL BE MADE WHOLE one day. From the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. Ten she will dance in the freedom that come from understanding how He brought her out of bondage & pain, & into the freedom of His love!

Think of the ones that inspire you friends. Tell them. Encourage them. Then go out & find that strength to face some things that are meant to destroy you. Walk in the knowledge of He who made you. Tell the mountains to move & the giants to fall. Be strong & courageous, in the face of your fears friends… BE BRAVE…


do the Good you know you ought to

We all need Godly mentors in our lives. Some of ours live across the world from us, but they still manage to encourage, challenge & inspire us through their deeds & words… even if only in an email. These words did all of that & more tonight:

“Our primary motivation is not the needs of people; it’s obedience to Christ. And as we work out obedience, let us remember the tremendous need. Scripture says, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them” (James 4:17, NIV). We must actually do good, or we are in rebellion against God.” -GM

Earlier today we had a chance to do exactly what we’ve been trained & called to do, right here in this city that we call home. It was a big day! It was exciting to see what God can do with our willing obedience… Mark & Kam Gee, who run ICA Manna together, have worked for months to pull off today’s event. With about 40 volunteers, we took 300+ people (elderly & immigrant families) on a tour of some older/colonial areas of Hong Kong, then treated them all to a traditional Pun Choy banquet with a very special message. Many of the special elderly friends & young immigrant families that we serve/visit weekly were there. Please pray with us that lives have/will be eternally changed by the love of the Father they received today.

What a time we had! 300 people are a lot to keep track of on a tour & then feed, but we did it!! Seems so much bigger than last year’s Pun Choy event… PTL! I’m sure there will be good news coming from all the response cards we collected too. The boys & I enjoyed helping out today. I’m proud of everyone that helped out, but especially proud of my amazing husband & the entire ICA Manna team. A huge thank you goes out to our dear friend Nigel who bring such tremendous vision & passion to everything we do with Manna. What a pleasure it is to work towards Kingdom goals with a man after God’s heart like Nigel. He & Mark are two peas in a pod, for sure… they were cut from the same cloth & raised in opposite circumstances, only to be united in purpose at such a time as this!

When Mark got saved, it was the direct outcome of our Pastor challenging the church to read the Bible by going through one chapter a day for 30 days in a row… Now here we are, 9 years later & still being challenged by our mentors. Still reading the bible every day too – we just started doing a chronological reading for the first time this year. What’s more is that we’ve become mentors too & we love every minute we spend pouring God’s love into the lives of others, because we know how it continues to help us when our mentors do the same! If you don’t have a mentor who challenges, encourages & inspires you to fight for your faith & dig deeper into the things of God so that you can DO the good you know you should… WE challenge you to PRAY & ask God to bring you a mentor like that!


a typhoon, a Challenge & a testimony

Typhoon Vicente – July 23, 2012

Howling winds & thundering skies tonight, it feels a bit like standing in a wind tunnel or even like an MRI tunnel… Experiencing a CAT-1 Typhoon (Vicente) on the 51st floor of a highrise can only be described as an altogether NEW experience. However, to quote a song I used to love,  ‘I’m no stranger to the rain’ – in fact I’ve learned to love it. What else can cleanse our world, our life, our souls from all that has tainted it? Without the storms, how would we treasure the calming peace that only God can bring? Our stormy seas teach us as much as we let them, if we share what we learn – we sharpen one another…

It’s been just over 7 months that we’ve been here in Hong Kong… I was just thinking of putting together some thoughts on how God’s been working in our lives lately… & then, last week I was challenged by a reader with a simple but profound question, along the same lines- & now I’d like to challenge all of you to answer it as well! After you read my answer – will you pray about it?? Put your answer in the comments of this post – if you blog, add it to your blog & include your link in your comment here! Let’s Sharpen Up together – that’s why God gave us the amazing gift of fellowship!


The Challenge:

“Tell me – if you were to put into 20 words your primary revelation about God from the last 2 years, what would you write??” -Fellow Blogger: Graeme in Australia – mybroom


The Answer:

“Through His power – I stand firm, command the storms and make peace. His promises ARE fulfilled – HE does the impossible.”


The Scripture:

“23 Those who go down to the sea in ships,
Who do business on great waters,
24 They see the works of the Lord,
And His wonders in the deep.
25 For He commands and raises the stormy wind,
Which lifts up the waves of the sea.
26 They mount up to the heavens,
They go down again to the depths;
Their soul melts because of trouble.
27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man,
And are at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He brings them out of their distresses.
29 He calms the storm,
So that its waves are still.
30 Then they are glad because they are quiet;
So He guides them to their desired haven.
31 Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
32 Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people,
And praise Him in the company of the elders.”

-Psalm 107:23-32


I’m so glad I took a few days to pray this through. I went back to the beginning of this blog (October 2010). We weren’t yet half way through our fundraising for this big move. There was stress & health issues with our extended families. Our jobs were not in a good place. Our house was losing value (ok, so that one is still a problem). Our lives were turned upside down in a state of ‘unsettled’… The progress from then until today is really astounding. Many of these things were pieced together as we grew during the different storms. Our Father placed people & moments in the storm that helped us both physically & spiritually. What seemed to be delayed promises are all revealed & healed now. God has restored years & relationships that were stolen by the locusts… He has revived our family, even through our children’s prayers – & our finances. He raised all of our funds in HIS perfect timing & moved us to Hong Kong last December without a hitch! As if that weren’t enough, He’s even blessed us beyond measure with our new friendships & opportunities to serve our neighbors, while teaching us even more & showing us how to love like He loves – in creative new ways since we’ve arrived! What an amazing God we serve… What a loving Father we have! It’s my daily prayer to know Him more & serve Him well each day that I breathe… There are still more dreams in our hearts, still more storms brewing around us & yet… even more promises that God has made to us, we STAND on those & are secure in the knowledge that when we TRUST in the Creator, especially when the waiting is hardest, all creation will bow at His feet & His will is accomplished! So to this storm outside & to any within, we say – Be Still & Know that our Father is YAHWEH! We will not fear, instead, we will go into the field & gather the harvest – for it is ready & so are we!

We hope you are inspired by what God is teaching us, we hope you’ll ask the Holy Spirit to show you how He’s teaching you… Don’t forget to share your answers with us!!! You can even share this with your friends & see if they will answer too! We’re praying for you & we’re excited to see what God is doing in each of your lives!!!

“He who observes the wind and waits for all conditions to be favorable will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” -Ecclesiastes 11:4