Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Honduras, pt 2

----------------------------Nov. 4
I didn’t realize it was Sunday today until 8pm when someone mentioned it and I whispered to Jether “Is it really Sunday?” We got up around 6am and had quiet time, reading Bibles and praying and journalling. After a while we went to a nearby house and ate breakfast: pasta and beans. After breakfast we walked to the water source, around 2-3 km I believe. It was very fun walking and talking. We got to the source and it rained some while we were there. We prayed a blessing over it and started walking back. We stopped at a house and talked and ate some fruit; star fruit and tamarand. We got to the village and I, Jether and Braden started kicking a ball around with some of the kids. After a little while we started on the path back, loaded up with tools. On the way down we stopped at some wild coffee trees and ate a few berries, and I dipped with some coffee leaves. They contain a higher percentage of caffeine than the beans. 

We got back and Jether, myself and one of the teenagers, Olin started throwing water bottles around to each other. It was a fun game. After we finished the game we ate lunch, rise and beans. I am really enjoying the food here, albiet the saltless corn tortillas are a little bland on their won. After lunch we went down to a small soccer field and played soccer. I did surprisingly good as goaly. The game was really fun. After soccer we came up and did a childrens program. We colored plastic stainglass crosses with sharpies, and sang/taught them songs. For the final activity we got a parachute and had fun putting squeaky chickens in it, everyone at the edges of the parachute shook it up and down violently. A hilarious game. After the childrens game we did something for the adults, Brian gave a little sermon and we sang a song we knew. Jether played the guitar and I played the case for a drum. After the program we settled into little groups to talk or play. We talked a lot (me, Jether and Lynnea) with Olin, which was cool. We ate supper, which it was pretty dark at that point and hard to see much. We ate and then talked, shared a little about our highlights of the day. Then we meandered to the house where we were sleeping at. We talked with one mother who said her daughter had diarreah, and I mentioned I had charcoal, which is good for something like that. Her daughter is 3 months old and some people on the team weren’t sure it was good for her to have it. I’m not sure if it would be bad, it doesn’t really have any bad side affects, and I’d be more ready to give that than any drug. It’s hard not having access somewhere to instantly find the answer to, like on google. 


Just read the last part of Joel. It is so awesome! 

 “Eygpt shall become a desolation and Edom a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the people of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Juda shall be inhabited forever, and Jerusalem to all generations. I will avenge their blood, blood I have not avenged, for the Lord dwells in Zion.” 

Beautiful; the love that Jesus has for us, his people.


The bond that you feel between two people is amazing. Even though I don’t understand the language very well I’m still able to communicate fairly well, especially with Olin, the 16 yr old from here. He is pretty cool and is very fun to hang out with.


Noah’s Ark is a symbol of symbol of the final coming. When Jesus comes back the door will be shut, and only those who are inside and put their trust in Jesus, will be saved. Only those who were in Noah’s Ark were saved. All those outside died. 

This is to the least of these. This is serving the poor. This is living a life of serving to those who are in need. Helping them, serving them. This is the life that I want to live. One of satisfaction. Obedience to God’s word. Serving the least of these.

-----------------Nov 5
I slept very well last night. I slept in a hammock, I was surprised that I slept so well, because it’s been such a long time since I’ve slept in one. Yesterday we got up aorund 5:30am and got dressed, read our Bibles and made ready for the day. We got together with the locals and paired off with them as work partners. I’m getting a nice tan here. We all filed off to where the water tank will be and started trenching. We sectioned off around 30ft per section, and dug it out to around 20” deep. Once you were done a section you would move on to the next section. We ate breakfast around 9am and lunch around 1pm. Around 2:30pm we stopped digging and started backfilling over the newly layed pvc pipe. We had around 40-60 people working and we got a lot done. I’d say a good 1200ft of pipe done, which is quite impressive. 
After work we came back and hung out for a while, I played soccer, or more like kicked around the ball doing tricks with it. After that we went to the other house where we have meetings and had a met together. 

After the meeting and some songs played by Jether and I on the drums we ate supper. Rice and beans with some cheese! After supper I talked as best I could with some of the kids around my age. We wrote down each others names on our hands. While I was digging the trench I came across this huge taranchilla. It was at least four inches long and a couple wide. When we were first starting the day this 79 yr old chick came by to help out. She said she’d walked an hour from her village and she was working working just as hard as the next person. She said the kitchen was too boring. haha

I can’t get over how beautiful this place is! Surrounded by mountains, beautiful sunries and sunsets. Deep in the heart of Honduras, doing God’s work.

How blessed I am to be here on this trip. Definitely harder than other mission trips I’ve been on. If you want to experience third world povertty, get to know the people, and work hard, go on a water project. I had a good time hearing Jay and Brian talk.

Jay has done 18 water projects and has lived here for 2 years. He’s planning to eventually move down here.

Right now what I really want to do is learn spanish. More than anything else right now. I want to do what Londa is doing. I want to learn spanish so badly right now. I want to learn spanish and then come and live in Honduras for a few years doing ministry. I’d love to work with street boys, but also up in the mountains with the locals, farming. 

A rooster just crowed directly at me. 

English Vintner

Monday, 2 December 2013

Part 1, Honduras

So, here is the first part of my Honduras trip. I will do the best I can to keep it up, Lord willing I will have the rest of my journal from my trip up on here. Forgive any spelling or grammar, at this point I'm crunched for time and if it's up it's more than I can say. I'd love to hear feed back if you have it. To Him be the glory.

Honduras, like Peru, but greener. Is that a word? Anyway... The smell of diesel fuel fills the air when you’re driving around, the streets packed with busses, motorcycles, and odd vehicles carrying people everwhere. We started with 15 people in our group from the States, somehow we fit all our luggage and everyone into that one white pickup truck. Pile in the luggage and pile in the people, haha.
There is poverty here, but it surprised me how good some of the cars people were driving. I guess it’s like being in the slums of any city, you see the rich and the poor, both sides of society mashed into one city. Unlike Pere there are very few labeled taxis. There are a lot more busses and cars that are takis than actual taxis. Of course, maybe this is my limited experience in Peru, I don’t know. 
I’m praying for Christ to show me what He has for me on this trip. Why I’m here, seeing what I’m seeing, doing what I’m doing. This is a special opportunity, I want Him to show me more of Himself through this trip..

Would I be content to live here? Would I be content to trade places with someone here? Questions that we are asking our selves as a group. Do we trust Jesus enough? Speaking of Jesus, this group LOVES Jesus! It’s been neat to see it in them.

We ate lunch at Burger King in Tegucigalpa, the capitol where we flew in, getting in around 11:30am local time.

We read exerpts from the book Radical and heard a sermon on it tonight. 

Let’s risk it all. For the sake of our children, our lives, for the sake of 1 billion people, let’s risk it all! 

[Will we die in our religion, or die in our devotion?]

A fire will only last as long as the fuel is there. So is passion and zeal for Jesus. Don’t quench it, add more to it. Stir it up! 

You go to the need. Follow Jesus outside the camp. It means going to where the prostitues and drug dealers are. We’re made Jesus a clean and more respectable Jesus than the Jesus of the Bible. But that’s not who He is. Let’s look at Jesus for who he really is. The Jesus of the Bible is going to the dirty and poor. He is going to the outcast, those who society has thrown out. God’s plan for this world is through us! 

The only real thing of this world is Jesus! If he’s not our one and all than we have none at all!

Father, make me a bold witness for you! 
What does it mean to be followers of Christ, really? We have to be obedient.

Is Jesus enough for me?

We have to first be content with Him. What does He really want?
[Entire Abandonment and Absolute Faith]

We’ll have to put extra effort into showing the love of Jesus. These are hard people. Pray for unity, for compassion, for a miracle. be bold, be out there. They don’t have  hope, or are not putting trust in it.


[To love is better than comfort]

I feel so in love with this country and the people here. Right now all I want to do is ministry here. Work with street boys, learn the language and have relationships with people.

----------------------------- Nov. 2 
We woke up after a good nights sleep and ate breakfast. We woke up around 5:30am which felt like 7:30am. I slept with my mini sleeping bag on the concrete patio outside. Surprisingly it was pretty comfortable.
I am so in LOVE with this place! I can’t believe how much I already love everything. I love the community that you feel as a team doing this kind of thing. We all sleep in the same room, use the same two bathrooms for all 20 of us. I can’t wait to see what God has next for me this week! He is so good!

The team is 15 members from the States, 12 from a church in Minnesota, and my two cousins Lynnea and Jether and I. We met 5 more people from Honduras. Three of them are American missionaries. One of them is Larry Smoak’s niece, who’s family lives in Brazil. She’s around my age I believe, her name is Lillian. There is another girl who is around the same age, her name is Blair and she’s taken a semester off from college to come to Honduras, she lives in Norfolk, Virginia. Mary is from the church where the rest of the team is from, and she’s been in Honduras since January. Joel and Erick are two Hondurans who came down as well. Joel has some mental health problems but loves Jesus, and Erick is around 24 years old and speaks a bit of English. All five of them came down from a small village, Las Mangas outside La Cieba, where there is a campus for people to stay for periods of time. They help with an orphange, the school, and it’s what Larry Smoak started.

Last night I met someone who’s name is Steven. He is from Indiana, but is working with a mininstry called Micah Project 2.0 and they do a street boys project, taking in boys off the street. He’s pretty legit. He is really cool, speaks spanish seemlessly, and is just fun to hang out with.

John 12:23-26
“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternity. If anyone serves me he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”

When you plant a seed, you lose using that seed for bread. You chance that that seed will grow up and produce many more seed out of the plant, but it means thinking long term. In the short term the wisest thing would be to make flour and bread out of it and eat it. We focus on the gain.


I am absolutely in love with this country and the people here. I love being here. It is so awesome.

[We have to prepare for the miracle] 

[God’s ability, but my responsibility]

You have to believe. Take the nest step. Obedience to Him.

How do you know if God is talking to you? Try the door, see if it is locked.

The food here is delicious. I love experiencing culture through food. Rice and beans. Tons of carbs! We’re sitting around talking about Jesus and the far away sound of Honduran music plays in the background. I feel such a close bond with the people here on the team. I had a nice talk with Blair at lunch time, got to know her better, learned about her family and life. 

-------------------------------Nov. 3

It is Saturday, we’ve had our first night in the village. Last night it rained while we were sleeping. I was in the spot that had a hole in it, and had to move my head to get out from the drips. I was also hot because I slept in my sleeping bag the whole night. I sweated all night long. But I’m loving it. I really am. I’ve been using the word bonito, but they say I can’t use it quite the same way as I use it in English. I like to use the word beautiful for everything in English, I love the word. 
It took us a good 4 hours of driving on good paved roads and than rocky dirt roads with huge pot holes to get to the village where we parked our vehicles. The last 1/4 mile is so steep that almost no two wheel drive car can get up it. But the Honduran driver we had driving the other vehicle suprisingly made it up no problem. We unloaded and the village of La Vainilla came and took most of luggage and carried it for us. 
It was about a 20 minute walk down to La Vainilla. We got here and unpacked a little bit and than hung out with them. I played soccer, or real football with half a dozen of the Hondurans from the village. A good ice breaker kind of game. The girls on the team played with the real young children and wives. We ate lunch there, plan rice and beans. We gathered into a group and we all said something. The president and treasurer of the village and all the men and women said something, thanked us for being there. Then we took turns saying things to them from our group. After that we ate supper and talked as a group. We shared our thoughts and what we thought about everything so far, than we lay down tarps, get bedding and everything ready for sleeping which took a good hour or so.
I read the first two chapters of Philippians this morning and was struck again at Christ’s humility comind down to be one of us, not grasping equality with God a thing to be counted. In one sense we are a little picture of that. Coming to this village, eating what they’re eating, sleeping in their houses, seeking to break down every barrier as possible to show Christ’s love to them.

The sun rises high and bright and it’s hard to believe that I’m in the remote mountains of Honduras.

A poem that came to me this morning, pertaining out trip here.
Over gravel, dirt and dust, 
through the shadow, I will trust
Wild mountains, rugged trails
Before morning, the cock wails
Surrounded by beauty and by love
All good gifts come from above
We’ve come to dig, but first we’ll see
Make Christ evident in me

An observation. The people dress like in the States, often skinny jeans for the womena dn typical clothing for the guys. It’s not like because they live in mud huts they wear dirty clothes or old clothes. A lot of these people are wearing all the top American brand names. I don’t know where they get the clothing, but it’s the same style as America, with maybe a little Honduran flair. :) 

They have parasitic grass growing on the powerlines from the moisture of the air. Crazy!

I am always struck by how well you can still communicate with words. I realize how weak I am in Spanish, really next to nothing. I know greetings and some nouns. I feel so helpless at times. But it’s when I can’t use words that I smile. I find myself smiling at these beautiful people all the time. :) I can’t belive how much I love and will miss these people when I’m gone. It already feels like home here. It all fells so comfortable, and I’m so use to it all already.
Sitting on the dirt next to newly made friends. Playing football with them. Sleeping in their community, eating with them. Walking with them.

English Vintner

Friday, 22 November 2013


I'm still processing my trip.

Three weeks in a country is enough to learn the culture and lose your heart to it. That's what happened. I loved the people I met, the culture, the country...

I loved to see what God was doing there and it was amazing to see Jesus shinning through in so many moments of the trip.

I took a detailed account of the days, and my thoughts, and hope to put onto electronic form my journal for people to read what my trip was like. 

I'm not ready for America, and I'm not ready for the fast pace. I don't want to check my email or get sucked into facebook. I just want to live with the people I'm around and laugh and dance, and cook and love with them. That's what Honduras was, away from a phone, internet, any earphones, it was an amazing time of being away from all that, and certainly led me to more quiet time to think and write and process.

"This is true love, you think it happens everyday?" -Princess Bride

Much love to all, forgive me if words fail me when you ask about my trip. It's more than you could imagine, you "had to be there" in some sense to fully grasp it.

English Vintner

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


I'm reading through Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist. She talks about how essential food is to good hospitality and conversation. The center point of it all.

Food should not be just a 'fuel' we consume to stay alive, but it should be the place where families come together to eat together. Supper is more than a time to pack in some calories, it's a time to reunite with family members, talk about the day, enjoy fellowship over good food. Food should be delicious and should be enjoyed. Good food and drink will make a wonderful party, providing good atmosphere for conversation.

The job of a host is to make people feel at home. Be able to be at ease in your home. Good food, and making people feel comfortable is essential to put people at ease. Food makes memories happen, it's what makes those perfect nights with friends. Food is not the real reason for parties and hangouts, it's simply the medium for fellowship and conversation with friends. It should be good, it should have thought put into it, people should love it, but it's only the medium to make the wonderful memories with family and friends. Think back to wonderful gatherings with family and friends, they center around holiday meals and food for a reason. Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without the food, but the fellowship is what will change us and make us grow more and help eachother. Christmas is centered around food, but it's the time of being together that makes it so wonderful.

Food, as God made it should be nourishing to our bodies as well as pleasing to the eyes and mouth. We have to balance these and when we do we find the beauty in them. Food is an art, it's one of my favorite art forms because I'm so good at it. I find more delight in cooking than other forms of art like painting and music. I find myself in my element when I'm in the kitchen and things just come together and happen as I work. That is the joy of cooking and food.

So find the beauty in food. Make it, eat it, enjoy it. Find people to share the food with, food means fellowship, we're not meant to hoard it and eat alone, but with the people we love. So find someone, break a loaf of bread, and find the beauty of it.

English Vintner

Friday, 23 August 2013

Early Morning

The early morning offers protection, a shield from others. Cloaked in darkness and quietness and with the knowledge that most people are a sleep offers to hide what you do.
So slip off into the woods, say a prayer, speak out loud to the God above. Knowing it’s just you, and God. Read your Bible, make a cup of tea, or a pot of Joe to accompany yourself.
The early morning is the one time of day when most everyone is sleeping. The night owls have drunk themselves to sleep, or exhausted have passed out on their beds. 
But now, the world is offered a new start. Another chance to do good, make right what was wrong. To do the best to your ability. 

But who will take God up on this offer? Who will sacrifice a few hours of sleep to be one of the first to experience the morning. One of the first to see the light of day creep across the horizon. Will you take this opportunity to be alone and experience God?

This, my friend, is the early morning. The early morning is a quiet, thoughtful time of meditation and prayer. A time to recoup and clear your head. A time to plan the day ahead. To get a ‘head start’ to your day. A time to enjoy the sound of birdsong and the breeze whisper through the trees. To see the doe at the edge of the forest and the shadows creep back into their nooks and crannies.
A time to enjoy the creation and God without distraction and busyness of the day time. Without the noise and clamor. A quiet time filled with peace and tranquility. 
So when you hear me say “I’m a morning person” this is what I’m really saying. This is what I really mean.

English Vintner

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


I sat down at the table at Starbucks, plugged in my computer and listened to music as I read a couple of paragraphs of The Unsettling of America. A couple came to the table and asked if they could plug in their computer and sit down. I happily complied as I’m always looking for ways to interact and talk with people. I’m not always that good with starting, but if someone else initiates, I’m all in. 

She sat down and asked me a few questions, I said I was up here working at the Boardwalk Chapel. We told stuff about ourselves. They go to a more charismatic church in between Lancaster and Philadelphia. We got to talking about churches a little bit, and that went into adoption and missions. Several of her grandchildren are adopted and we talked about that for a while, I told her my parents were looking at adopting. I told her about my possible mission internship to Uganda and that I was going to Honduras in November. We had connections all over the place, people we knew going to Honduras, and just had that cool connection that Christians have when they interact. We talked for a good 15-20 minutes. I told her where I was in life, not really interested in school, more into agriculture and missions. At the end she asked me about the book I was reading and we talked about Monsanto and all the stuff about it. We agreed on how evil we believe Monsanto to be and how Godless they treat their customers. 

She let me get back to reading, which I complied to, but obviously was happy to talk with her. After she had checked stuff on her computer she gave me a hug and $20 and said how good it was to meet me. How Christians are everywhere and how encouraging it was to meet me and talk with me. She said she had a good feeling about me, and how God’s hand was upon me when she sat down. 

It was so cool to see God’s hand at work. I love interacting with people, meeting random people, especially Christians, and just talking about life and Jesus, and what he’s doing in our lives. It was definitely a great experience and I am overjoyed with how God put that in my life!

English Vintner

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Finish Line

Doug Clark was an amazing man. I didn’t have the privilege to get to know him very well, I just saw his interaction with others, and listened in on conversations. I still am having a hard time believing I won’t see his grinning face when I go back to my church. He ministered so well to many of the families in our church that were going through very hard times. It was so cool to see an elder with views so similar to my families on so many levels. He knew his doctrine, but he loved people. He loved people. You could see it in his face, in the way he interacted with everyone. One of those very comforting people to be around, a great laugh. He had three children who were all going to his church, all of them married, and with quite a few grandchildren running around. He could see leadership in someone and put people in places to make them grow. He was the elder who would often read the hard things that had come upon the congregation and also was moderator for many circumstances. He was so good at dealing with hard situations that would come up. 

He will be missed. There are many tears being shed for him around the world of people who know him. His family will miss him, his wife will miss him. But he’s found ultimate joy, peace, satisfaction. He’s already finished the race, we still have yet to run, but he’s been taken home. His medal of honor has been awarded to him. One day we to will fellowship again with him. For we live in a world without hope, except for that of Christ Jesus. When we put our trust and hope in Jesus we have a life worth living, and death is our reward. There is no fear in death, for Jesus will hold your hand, and hug you on the other side. So, weep, weep tears of grief, allow the sorrow to be, but know that on the third day, Jesus rose again from the dead. After the darkness there is light. Weep now, but remember that joy comes in the morning. It is right to cry, to be sad, but do not stay there forever. We serve a God who lives, and His love never fails. Christ is Risen! 

English Vintner

He will be missed

When the reality hits you so hard you don’t know what to do
it’s gut wrenching; it’s hard to do anything, let alone breathe,
breathe, it’s hard to do that

hot, wet tears flow down my cheeks as I write,
stumbling, trying my best to capture my emotions in the words,

I’m not sure how to think, or what to think

There’s a purpose, but why? for What?

There’s hope, but there was no good bye

These words ringing through my ears over and over:

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains
One thing remains

Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me 

On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains

In death and in life I'm confident and covered by the power of your great love
My debt is paid there's nothing that can separate my heart from your great love

“I will not say do not weep; for not all tears are an evil” 
And it’s true, through your tears you show your love for someone,
“Jesus wept.”

English Vintner

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

life here

I never feel adequate for the situation, not really.

I find myself in leadership positions, and I never feel like I actually should be here, but here I am, and I end up doing a good job of it. I find myself in evangelism teams, with people who are more quiet than I am, not as much energy, and I'm forced to be the leader in those situations, and so I end up being the leader. But, I don't crave that persa, I wouldn't automatically choose to be the leader of the group, because I like to see someone else do it, see how they do things, learn from them.

Jesus is showing me how to be interactive, how to strike up a conversation, and turn it to tough questions, asking things like "Where would you find yourself if you died, and why?". It's been fun to see myself grow in these areas, prolong conversations with people, connect with people, sit down, pray with people I met 3 minutes ago. God is doing amazing things in my life and I hope to continue them when I'm done serving here for the summer.

I'm already thinking of new opportunities to serve, and serve better in the ways I was already serving. I want to be more focussed on evangelism, reaching the ones that are lost. I want to be able to just go up and start talking with someone, make friends with strangers. I want to care less about myself and let my fear of man be lost. To not care what someone else things about what I'm doing, but to think about their eternal salvation. Someone has said before, the only thing we can't do in heaven is proclaim the Gospel to the lost, and so that's what his goal here on earth was; to reach the lost. And I think that's a pretty good perspective to live by. I want to throw my life at the feet of Jesus. I want to mirror God's love for me to the people around me. I want to be ready, spontaineous. When Jesus calls me to be a 'fisher of me' I want to follow. Not my will, but Your will be done.

I'm trying to learn more musical stuff here too. I'm learning to play the drums much better, and I'm trying to learn the guitar and ukelele, and maybe some piano. I want to make the most of the environment I'm surrounded by.

English Vintner

Thursday, 18 July 2013


I sit in silence from the world, surrounded by music from my ear buds. Watching a girl of 5 years old dance around in Starbucks without a second thought. From one tile to the next, without a care of who's watching or what they think. Innocence; bliss. What is the real world, is it the cage that we live in, surrounded by social norms, expected to act a certain way? To be a child again, to not know the things you know, the dangers, the cares of the world. To be a carefree child, with no curb to the creativity or the feelings inside.

English Vintner

Monday, 8 July 2013

July 4th

July fourth dawned, like any other day around here. I was asleep when the sun rose, which is typical, since I don’t go to bed until one o'clock most nights. My alarm was set for 8:30am, but after seven hours of sleep I figured I could hit the snooze for a few minutes. I got up at 8:50am, grabbed some clothes, keys, and headed to the car. I jumped in it, which by now was already simmering hot from the sun’s rays. I was driving to Wal-Mart, which I’d been to once before, I knew how to get there, but didn’t have directions, which I thought I might need. I ended up going past my first turn and getting a little bit lost, but ended up not losing much time. I got to Wal-Mart, stood inline at the return counter for about 15 minutes, which is when I realized that today was a holiday, July fourth. I felt bad for all the people working and tried to be as nice as possible to everyone. I got my item returned and weeded my way through the crowds. By now Wal-Mart was starting to get packed, tons of people showing up for last minute shopping. I got the items I needed and headed to the check-out. I greeted the cashier and payed for my items. I made it back to the house a few minutes late for prayer meeting, which ended up not happening, or I missed it all together, I’m still not sure. 

At 10:30am, after I grabbed a sip of joe we headed to our first party of the day. We arrived at the their house, a family who go the Calvary OPC where we attend on Sundays. I already knew the two youngest kids, Marissa who was 13, and Caleb who was a little older. We hung out for a while, chilling. Some people went in the pool, others played bad mitten. Around noon we came into the air conditioned house (an anomaly around here) and ate lunch.

We ate lunch outside, under the shade of outdoor umbrellas. After we finished eating we played a  round of mafia. It was surprisingly fun for the amount of people we had, almost a dozen; but we learned some fun new things to add to the game. It was a good time of bonding with everyone.

We came inside for a little while, Seth and Caleb jammed a little with the guitar and ukulele. Marissa got a group of us together to go play volley ball and later bad mitten. Both were quite fun. Around 4pm we headed back to the Dunn house to quickly change and get ready for the next party. We left to go to the Adleighs for dinner. We arrived at a somewhat run-down looking house, surrounded by several acres of woods, some turned into garden and other fenced into horse lot. It reminded me of my cousin’s house, which is down in the woods, but very country, projects kind of lying around, waiting to be finished. We hung out in a big oak tree, and for supper had hotdogs and hamburgers. Around 7:15pm some of us headed back to the Dunn house to quickly change and head to the evening program, totally put on by the Youth Group from Warrenton VA. The Youth Group did a wonderful job and it was so nice to sit back and enjoy the whole program without being in it. They were very thankful for our support. Afterwards we walked out on the Boardwalk to see the fireworks. There were so many people on the Boardwalk, more than I’ve ever seen. It was hard just to walk through. The fireworks display was good and lasted 20 minutes. Afterwards we went out to the beach and dabbled in the sea water, singing hymns. We came back to the chapel and hung out, talking with people who came by, and hanging out with the YG, singing hymns and talking.

When it was almost midnight we headed back to the house to get some sleep. That was my fourth of July, here at the Boardwalk Chapel.

English Vintner

Saturday, 22 June 2013


So, I'm here. It's been a good week here at the Boardwalk Chapel. This week I learned what it is like to be on staff here. It's been so much fun getting to know the Pilgrim Youth Group that just left this morning. We had fun playing soccer and ultimate frisbee with the first day, and go out evangelizing with them several of the nights. They were such a blessing to have around, doing several songs in the program each night and just having them around.

Life is certainly busy here. I'm still trying to figure out a personal schedule for devotions and quiet time. I've got our room kind of decked out, but I still don't like it. Maybe because it's so much like a dorm room, and I can't really stand dorm rooms. The lighting is not very good, and the air is always so damp. I'm working on a dehumidifier using rock salt and two containers, one to hold the salt and direct water into the other container. The salt draws moisture from the air and deposits it in the water below.

Right now the schedule kind of looks like this: Wake up between 8-10am, eat breakfast, have a time of prayer with everyone, chill out for a little bit. Go to the chapel at 12pm for an hour of skit practice and drama stuff. Come back at 1pm for lunch, head back to the chapel at 2:30pm. Work on music until 4:45pm, come back and eat supper. Head back to the chapel at 6:30pm to run through the program until 8pm when it starts. Run the program until 9:15-30pm when it ends. Listen to JZ give a lecture/sermon on evangilizem. Head out to evangelize at 11pm and come back a little before 12pm. Clean up, grab our stuff and drive back to the Dunn house where we're staying. Talk about our experiences with evangelizing and eat a little bit, maybe pray if we're not too tired. Talk. And head to bed between 12:30am and 1:30am.

So, it's a busy schedule. I haven't really gone anywhere much, and that's bugging me a little bit....I feel too closed in, too tightly sealed. Like a dorm room. I miss the 'homeyness' of a real house, the fact that you can come into a living room and sit on a couch and have conversation around the living room. We don't have that here. We have a front porch, and we have a kitchen table that we eat at.

Life is good though. Getting to know the people on the staff, singing each night, doing skits. I can't believe I'm here at times, than I remember the awesome people I met and think, oh yes! God has a purpose and I'm glad I'm here! I certainly miss some things from home, but that's to be expected when you have a garden, and landscape that you've been putting work into for the last 3 months. I miss the projects I started. But it makes it all worth it when you see the joy on someones face when you present the Gospel and see that person's face light up. God is awesome!

English Vintner

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Connect and Relate

I am realizing more the reason behind some of the things I do and I am doing. The drive is, connection and relatability. I want to relate to people. I want to make connections. I want to relate to people. 

For this reason I do listen to rap. I dress the way I do. I listen to the pop music on the radio. I am obsessed with the things I’m obsessed with. I do the things I do. I want to be able to connect. I want to relate. And not just to any body, but especially those who are ‘outcast’ of the circles I’m in. Ones that people would judge in my circles. I want to be able to connect and have something to talk about. I want to have a point to start out. And so I started this life style of going out into the world in a sense. I am getting down into the dirt. I am getting a little dirt on myself for the sake or relationship. For this reason I do these things. 

Like Paul says, I become as one under the law to those under the law. Paul relates to the greeks in ways, but also being a Jew relates to the Jews and calls them brothers. Paul goes to great lengths to connect and relate to people to bring people to Jesus. This was an inspiration to me, and I seek to do this. Jesus ate with the tax collectors and prostitutes, and ate among sinners. We surround ourselves with godly people to be edified, but must go to the ungodly to edify them. We need strength so that we have strength to give to others.

English Vintner

Monday, 22 April 2013

Thoughts from a Coffee Drinker

Like every other morning he reached for the grinder and pushed the  on button, spooning in several tablespoons of beans into the hopper, the grinding sound of the burrs chopping the beans was something he was used to. After a minute he scooped the grounds into a cloth filter and reached for the hot water, carefully pouring the hot liquid over the grounds. The two are married and what happens next is the most magical thing that can happen in any coffee house, the brown liquid we call ‘coffee’ is produced. From these two simple ingredients, coffee, and water. Who would have thought that such a good taste could come from so few ingredients? He takes a sip as usual, the steaming liquid swirling just a little as he brings it to his lips. He tastes it, takes a drink, and swallows. 

But something happened. It started when the coffee was roasted a little too dark. No, it wasn’t charcoal, but Starbucks would have been happy to brew the coffee I’d roasted. Sure, it was coffee, it was fresh, but it was missing what makes good coffee rounded and full. Instead of 3D it was 2D at best. Just two dimensions instead of the three which I was used to in a well roasted coffee. I drank it for several reasons, I’d brewed it and didn’t want to waste it, and I knew that given enough time I would have a headache knocking on my skull asking me why I hadn’t drunk any caffeine earlier. I didn’t enjoy it though, not like I enjoy good coffee. I was also solo drinking it, which never helps anything, as much as I’m not a social drinker (I will not drink at my church ‘cause they use Maxswill) social gatherings, usually involving extended family entices one to drink. So when I do drink it alone it has to be good, I mean really good, like me looking forward to it when I get out of bed, imagining the smell of the coffee as I open my ceramic jar, and then as I grind my beans, and then as I brew them and drink the wonderful beverage. I have to enjoy it. The following morning I had some other beans I’d roasted, which were lighter, but it didn’t taste all that great, everything but the brewed liquid was good. This happened the following day as well and I was beginning to think it was the coffee not me.

So what happened? I don’t know. I do know that I went off it for two days, switching my usual caffeine from coffee to yerba mate. Breaks are essential I think, at some point, even if you drink it everyday, three times a day, at some point you need a break. It’s human to have to take a break and just stop for a little while, even if it’s just a day or two. Next, instead of the electric grinder, this time I used my hand crank grinder, which resulted in a small arm workout, and a little extra time from whole bean to pouring water over the grounds. But it involved more of me and my time, making it mean more to me. Just like when you grow your own food, grind your own wheat, when you are more involved you enjoy it more, or you should. Instead of the typical cloth filters, which are reusable I used a paper filter, which resulted in a cleaner cup. The cloth filters add more body because they hold the coffee for just a little bit longer in contact with the grounds. Thirdly I roasted lighter. Just like if I have a weak cup of coffee it makes me want a strong cup, so having a dark roasted coffee a lot makes me want a lighter roast. 

What have I learned? Learn to take breaks, even if it’s not a break from caffeine, take a break from the same liquid. It helps you appreciate it that much more, like a three day fast from food, the food tastes better. Grind by hand if I have the extra minute on my side. Change up your roasting style, go for acidic every once in a while because that makes you appreciate the better roasts even more. And of course, use a good method for brewing, paper is my preferred method if I’m brewing into a carafe for more than 6 people, but otherwise I often use a filter. But I’ve learned to even change up that, I have about 5 brewing methods to choose from, and varying them helps keep things fresh. 

English Vintner

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

From ONE7

Here is a blog post written by someone at ONE7 and I thought I would reblog it.

My struggle in my walk with Christ is this; If the Bible is true and Jesus did all that it says he did, my complete devotion is required. Devotion that goes beyond Sundays and Wednesdays. More than the occasional planned outreach or mission trip. More than just trying to be a good person and checking behaviors off the list. More than lip service and the accumulation of Bible knowledge. It requires my complete devotion. My resources, my time, my family, my money, my relationships. All of it goes on the altar before God as an offering. I want my life to look like Isaiah 58:6-9.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry 
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter —
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, 
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
I want my life to reflect the one who paid it all. And if I lose it all, so what? If it costs me everything in this world I still have the promise that The Glory of the LORD will be my guard. 
Do I know what this kind of life looks like for other people? No. But I do know what it looks like for me and that’s why I’m at One7. Everyday I am presented with a choice to live his word to the fullest extent or to live it to the extent that I am comfortable with. I am stretched and forced to apply the principles and teachings that I have known my whole life. We cannot keep accumulating knowledge of God’s word without application of it. Its like looking at a set of weights and expecting to become huge without actually picking them up. It doesn’t do a darn bit of good to look at them. It also doesn’t do any good to just lift them a couple of times with whatever is comfortable. You have to feel the burn, you have to feel the tremble in your muscles as you push yourself. A deeper relationship with God doesn’t come from knowledge, it comes from application. I want to see my generation lose our entitled attitudes and put all of ourselves on the table. Lose the comfort and chase after God. Push ourselves farther than we think we can go. Do things that others say are crazy. In the words of David Platt, “Let’s risk it all”.
Just a quick update on life at One7. It’s coming up on 4 months at the ministry full time as a staff member and the summer has flown by. We have a lot on our plate for this fall though. David and I are coaching at Garinger High School this fall in addition to having our U11, U13, and U17 soccer teams. This is an awesome opportunity to take the Gospel into a dark place and be a light to a lost generation. Lots of tutoring will be going on this fall as well and if you are interested in tutoring please contact me. Follow One7 on facebook if you want more info and a post specifcally about One7 life is coming soon!
  • I have to start paying back student loans in November and I’m still looking for people to be members of my support team. If you want information on how to support me please email me at 
  • Vehicle- I still don’t have a vehicle of my own and I’m growing weary of driving 15 passenger vans. Nothing says stud like pulling up in a big white van by yourself. Please pray that I would be content with this situtation until God provides.
  • Pray for endurance. We work long hours to care for kids in all aspects of their lives. Pray that when my strength fades that Christ’s strength replaces it.
  • Pray for the kids. We seem to be having a youth movement coming through One7, a new generation that is still getting to know who Jesus is. Pray that they come to understand his sacrifice and start to desire to live for him.