One Year Ago Today…

Its hard to believe that so much time has flown by since June 10th, 2008. That day I stepped aboard a plane bound to the Laguardia airport. Little did I know what was about to happen.

I had 3 new friends with me. I had just recently met them at a short briefing in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

We got on board the Delta flight to LGA from Raleigh Durham. Little did we know what significance that flight would mean.

On board the plane there were two ladies sitting in the row behind us. They were very nicely dressed in outfits with plenty of pink touches to their wardrobe. I noticed one of the women had shorter hair. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, so I take notice anytime somebody is wearing pink attire or ribbons.

We were so focused on the adventure ahead of us we quickly began settling in. My main focus was capturing the moments before my new friend Sarah Sugg’s very first flight. I was thoroughly documenting the exciting occasion. I had just recently discovered the amazing world of twitter and wanted to have video blogs of the experience to keep my supporters updated at home.

During the flight the ladies struck up conversation with two of my friends Sarah and Katie. They were having polite conversation about the girls shoes… One of the ladies particularly liked the girl’s Chacos. (I have no clue about girls shoes… Chacos, Chicos, Amigos?)

During this conversation the four of us began to realize who the pair was…

It turned out that pair was no other then Kay Yow and her assistant on their way to New York City for media work with Comcast sports!

It was pretty exciting at the time. After we got off the plane Sarah (an attendee of NC States Campus Crusade for Christ) quickly got on the phone to tell her friends that she and the coach had been on the same flight to NYC!

But then the real adventure began…

I can simply not sum up in this blog post everything that encompasses living in New York City to work as laborers for Christ.

However in January of this year the experience on the plane quickly rushed back into my memory.

When Kay Yow passed away earlier the year my mind was really opened to the character of this fine lady. I knew she was a great person. Everybody on ESPN and every single network acknowledged her greatness.
However – Little did I know until I started watching You Tube videos and reading about her what a woman of God she was.

What is so amazing about her is how she recognized open door opportunities to share her faith. She never screamed her faith at people… she didn’t bang people over the heads with a bible… she didn’t abuse her place as a great leader that people would listen to… she just watched for open door opportunities to share her faith.

From her ESPY speech when she accepted the award “most of all to the glory of God, her Lord and savior” to the 25 minute video that was played at her funeral when she explained that “it’s been a wonderful journey, especially since the time I accepted Jesus as my lord and savior”

How appropriate… At the time that I boarded that plane for NYC I never would have guessed that God would have appropriately placed us on the plane with one of his faithful servants who also in her own special way shared Christ to people in places that the majority of people in the bible belt never would venture.

Yesterday several of my friends from ECU embarked on the same adventure that my crew did last year. Keep them in your prayers as they get out of their comfort zones and share Christ with one amazing city.

NYC Tribecca Pictures

Here are a select few of my favorite pics from Tribecca 2008. If you would like descriptions you can visit my facebook and comment!

The new facebook is funkey isn’t it?!

Back in Greenville!

Yes the rumors are true… I am finally back in good ole Greenville! I still haven’t gotten fully unpacked yet, but it has been good getting to see everybody.

I am trying to get use to this new invention yall have down here… AIR CONDITIONING! The place we lived at while we were in the city did not. However, the weather was amazing while we were up there. The first day temperatures hit way over 100, but after that most evening we enjoyed temps in the upper 70s. That is not normally the case in NYC, so we were very fortunate!

I also enjoyed returning to my bed and sheets. The foam mattress on the bunk bed in NYC was not the most comfortable thing in the world.

I do already miss this city though… I turned on Letterman last night, and all the memories started calling me back.

I am looking forward to DC on Sunday. I don’t think the folks at Discovery know how good they have it. We have some of the best music, preaching, and teaching out there!

Thats all for now… Tonight I get to reunite with some of my East Carolina people at the 12 am showing of The Dark Knight.

Letter from the field…

I have been updating a lot from the field here in NYC, but I thought I would share a little of what God has been doing with the ECU Crusade Lebanon team that was redirected to central asia one week before they were suppose to leave for Lebanon due to the fighting that broke out.

My friend, who I can not name due to where she is at (she has been to Discovery several times), is diabetic. This is part of a letter I received from her due to a situation she was in with insulin. I have edited the letter in order to not compromise her location and protect her and the team’s safety.

As many of you know and have been faithfully praying for, upon arrival in central asia, I realized my insulin had mysteriously disappeared, most likely while going through customs at the London airport. God provided for me in a miraculous way then, through means of some dedicated national believers here, the American embassy (the only one in Central Asia happened to be ten minutes from where we live!), the Minister of Health, and an Endocrinologist. However, the dosage needed didn’t translate correctly, and I only received enough to last two weeks.

The team and I, and all of you, were faithfully lifting this situation up in prayer, that God would glorify Himself through it. My diabetes has always been an area of my life where I have tried to maintain the most control by myself, rather than allowing God and the people He surrounds me with to help me. Very clearly, He has been using this to help me realize this and give the reigns to Him, where they belong.

As the situation became more dire, many doors that looked like openings began to shut, and we began to have to face the reality that I may have to head home sooner than expected. However, it has been so clear to me throughout my application and acceptance process that my journey here has been one designed to stretch and test my faith in newer, more dynamic ways, and God wanted to continue the story He was writing for me among the people. Our deadline was by noon that Tuesday; either we needed the Insulin in hand (enough to last the remainder of the trip), or I would be back in America within 48 hours. As a national friend we met here, the 17-year old son of a missionary family here in town, went with me to scan the city for insulin, our spirits continued to sink. After speaking with the American Embassy, seeing an American doctor, and visiting at least ten different pharmacies, we were to of no avail. Finally, we sat in a waiting room area of a higher-scale pharmacy, calling the trip leader and telling him of our position; basically, apart from a direct miracle from God, we weren’t going to find any insulin in the town. We began to pray, continuing to seek God’s face and mighty hand in this. The team said, via the phone, that they were all meeting and would lift us up in prayer as well.

When we looked up, there was a man with a gun standing a few feet from us. I found out later that he was a security guard, but his casual swinging of a pistol in my close vicinity while dressed like a pedestrian didn’t bode much confidence! As we looked at him, he began talking to my friend in Russian, asking what the problem was. He explained that I was a diabetic, that I needed fast-acting insulin, and that we couldn’t find any in the country. All of a sudden, the undercover-security-guard-with-a-gun whipped out his cell phone and started calling someone. When he was done, he looked at us and said, “My friend has this problem, too. He has extra insulin you can buy from him. He will be here in twenty minutes to bring it to you.”

When the man pulled up, it was the exact type of insulin I needed, and the exact amount to last me the rest of the time I would be overseas with some cushion. In the Old Testament, God made manna fall from heaven to feed His people. For me, He used a security guard in the town to give me the insulin I needed. He works in mighty and miraculous ways, and wants to rock our worlds in how He provides for us when we seek His will above our own.

I actually got word about her situation while I was in Discovery staff meeting earlier this month. We prayed for the situation less than 5 mins after I had got word about this from half way around the world. Never underestimate the power of prayer!