looking back..

understanding.. knowledge.. to be affected.. changed as a person.. to have a deep sense of community.. to be stretched in faith.. there are many reasons why i did trek.. why i went to bible college. there's also many reasons why i've stayed.

looking back at the past three years of my life, a lot has happened. a lot of maturity.. growth has taken place. there's been victory, there's been defeat. there have been times of stagnant complacency where my soul was found in the midst of the dead of winter.. coupled with times of phenomenal growth where life was renewed, where life was abundant, where the flowers of cherry blossoms burst forth into a brilliantly vivid display of springtime life.

over these next few days, my desire is to share these stories.. stories of encouragement.. of conviction.. of joy.. of sorrow. stories that ultimately point to and reflect the glory, mercy, faithfulness, love, compassion and grace that is given by and embodied in Jesus Christ.. to share with you the mighty works of God, in my own life and experience, up to this point.

but before we go there, i wish to take us here. this week i was convicted. i was reminded of this.. the centrality of Christ. how so often i get caught up in the movements of life.. in the work of studying the spoken word of God that i forget who it speaks of. Jesus! Colossians 1:15-23 is an amazing passage that i've been brought back to time and time again. Jesus is God. He is before all things.. sustainer of all things.. creator, ruler of all.. preeminent. yet He is the head of the church.. He is forgiver, sanctifier, redeemer. our God.. yet our redeemer. our Lord.. yet the healer. our King.. yet our Saviour. He is everything.

let's remember this throughout the daily struggles of life. while we seemingly waste away the day participating in the mundane things of life. when we get the opportunity to share in something exciting.. encouraging.. life giving. amidst the suffering and hard times. let us always be reminded that Christ is everything. that the gospel is key. let us never forget the gospel.. the good news of who Jesus is and what he is to us.

"For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him" Colossians 1:19-22

time for a change..

a period... a time... for everything in life there is a season. a season of joy followed by a season of sorrow. a season of trial followed by a season of ease... of victory coupled with defeat. of stagnant complacency after a time of great growth. our lives are characterized by these moments, by these seasons... and though we get caught up in the middle of life and often forget to reflect on the now... to reflect on where we're headed... on who we're becoming... i find it good to look back... to reflect on what was... so that we may with more clarity look to and see what is and is to come. i today find myself in a season of change... a time where i have no real clue as to where i'm headed or why... yes there's the plan... yes there's the vision... yes there's movement towards a goal but how that goal might change or how the path will twist and turn along the way is a mystery... a surprise... a treasure that i look forward to discovering one step at a time...

as the journey continues and goes on i ask that you take this moment to reflect... reflect upon where God has taken you this past year... how He has provided for you... how He has given and how He has taken away... take this moment to reflect on all that is and was your past so that in this season you may see with clarity the picture that is the present... to see how who you've been has shaped who you've become... that you may see with clarity the vision that is the future... to see how who you are is moving you towards who you are to be...

*more to come on my past year and the year to come...*

a city visit..

we recently took a trip into the downtown core of sao paulo where i was able to experience first hand the immensity of this city. after visiting the city like we did i now have a better understanding of the tremendous need for this camp i call home. we walked around town.. visiting a bunch of different places.. but the big stop was one of the large skyscrapers of the city which you could climb to see a panoramic view of the entire city. it was breathtaking to say the least.. it wasn’t beauty which i saw but yet.. it was amazing. building after building in every single direction.. as i stood up there i was able to see the desperation of this place.. where there’s millions upon millions of people who have not even heard about the love of Jesus Christ.. as i looked over this concrete forest of civilization gone awry i comprehended the need for a camp in the jungle.. the need for a camp to get people out of the city, into creation, to meet with their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.. to be equipped to enter back into the city, and share the love of their God with so many who can not even fathom something more than what their life entails.. so many who lead a lost life.. not really moving towards anything but not really moving backwards either.. just living.. a busy yet stagnant life. this is the reason for building a camp.. this is the reason why we’re here..

the beauty of simplicity..

as february settles down and i think back about all that's happened over this past month, i am overwhelmed at the simplicity of life.. at the simplicity of how God works. this month has been another busy month.. it seems as though the longer we stay in brasil the busier life gets. we worked hard.. construction hard.. building stuff for the camp from the begining of february straight through until Carnaval where we hosted a retreat for the youth of the city. an intense time.. but simple. wake up in the morning.. do your devotions.. eat breakfast.. get to work.. eat lunch.. finish work.. go to the river.. eat dinner.. watch a movie/read.. go to bed.. a very simple day that repeated itself for half a month. but it was worth it. the camp we were working towards hosting was amazing.. this past week we hosted a carnaval retreat for the youth of the city. the goal was to get them out of the city and into God's creation.. oh and how we did that! we had many things planned but many things just didn't work out.. not to our plan but to God's. as i look back at it it was for the best. for God used nothing more than creation itself to bring people closer to Him. we had cold showers, we laughed, we worshiped, and we shared with one another.. it was an incredible time. i was amazed that so many people connected in the way that they did.. and even on the last few days when we lost all power.. when we couldn't even pump up water for the dishes or showers the brasilians loved it.. and it's for this reason that i write about the simple life.. about going back to simplicity.. where life is simple.. God is simple.. love is simple.. it's us that complicates it.. it's us that make things stressful.. that make things seem so out of control.. for really God is in control.. and simply put life'll happen the way that He's designed it.. even when we're bathing in a river in the middle of the jungle we know that God is moving and our Lord Jesus Christ is guiding us.. we must simply follow Him.. it's truly the beauty of simplicity..


a month in the south of brasil with 70 or so brasilians.. january was a crazy month. it was an incredible time of evangelism, worship, hundreds of people coming to the Lord. a truly amazing experience down south.. although i didn't understand alot of what was going on or couldn't contribute as much as i'd have liked.. God worked in me and in those i was around. over that month i constantly asked God what He wanted me to do in the south.. alot of the time i felt useless and i was confident God had a reason for me being on this project but why? it was incredibly hard at times as i'd spend the entire day feeling as though i accomplished nothing.. and i'd wonder why i was around the world to be just a spectator.. couldn't i have been a prayer warrior back home? but no.. God had a plan. a purpose.. and as our team gathered together at the begining of the last week and encouraged one another to keep going strong.. we prayed a few specific prayers.. one being that we'd feel used by Him the One who listens to our prayers. and over the next week God showed Himself faithful by bringing us to english speaking people who had been disallusioned by the church.. God used us to bring restoration to them.. He also raised up people serving alongside us on the project who'd been crazily affected by our presence.. brasilians who longed to be missionaries and follow God's call.. who for the first time saw that it was possible for people our age to leave everything they know and follow Christ to the ends of the earth.. God had a purpose and i'm just glad He showed it to me..

the battle of a lifetime..

william wallace. this name alone is enough to bring a smile to the face of any man. the hero of the movie braveheart, he is a man among men. he embodies the fierceness, danger, and passion that men long to have. and as i’ve spent this past month pondering life in the midst of the jungle wild, i’ve just begun to fully grasp why. the God we serve.. our Saviour our King.. He has created us in His image and this image we as men carry is the image of our Commander.. our Chief in battle. He is strong and has been preparing me for a battle.. a great battle. the battle i speak of is not a battle against nations or people but against the spiritual.. against the demonic. it is a battle against the holds satan has in the lives of the people around us. it is a battle only the courageous will fight. it is a war that Christ has already won.. we are just the messengers. now why does all of this matter? because over this past month i’ve rediscovered so many of the passions God has put in my heart.. that for one reason or another have been suppressed during the length of my lifetime. yet God has used this time to reveal these to me once again. now what I do with them is up to me.. and i choose to keep them alive and growing. a passion for the wild.. to be in the heart of the jungle exploring areas away from civilization. a passion for adventure.. to be the hero. a passion for living.. to live life to the fullest, wherever God directs me. while i’m here in brasil i fight the good fight.. and i choose to use my passions and gifts for the glory of my Father.. to show not only the wildness of God to the brasilian people but the love of Christ as well. now as i head south on a month long missions trip to baje.. He prepares me for the battle of a lifetime.. the battle to free many souls from the bondage of satan.

in the words of william wallace, “sons of scotland.. you have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. and dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom.” couldn’t have said it better myself..

the most thundering time of year..

christmas has always been one of my most cherished times of year. it’s that time where school’s out.. the food’s incredible.. and the songs are just flowing. it’s that time of year where the entire family takes time from their busy schedules to come together and celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. i can not stress how different christmas was for me in brasil. aside from God, family is the single most important thing in my life. and every year around christmas time we have a week or two filled with family gatherings. christmas eve is spent with one side of the extended family while christmas day is spend with the other. this year.. we had neither. christmas day was spent with 38 new friends most of which i’d never met before. christmas eve was spent with my adopted family. although it was good it wasn’t the same. i was missing my family.. friends.. and the snow in vancouver when God reminded me that He was there.. and even though friends and family are important God is the only constant in my life. He’s always been there and this christmas eve He comforted me in the strangest of ways. He made it rain.. it’d been the most beautiful of days. would work in the sun for half an hour to an hour and need a break or be devastated. in the evening i was sitting on the veranda looking over the jungle when the clouds came in.. they covered the entire sky and within minutes one of the most spectacular things i’d ever seen occurred. heat lightning. for seconds at a time red lightning would light up the sky. it would fly in horizontal shapes thru the clouds and light up the entire property. following this the most spectacular thunderstorm i’d ever experienced materialized. bright lightning shot across the sky lighting up the entire property as though it was day time. the wind was howling and the rain was pouring down in buckets. as everybody went inside i had no choice but to worship. i grabbed the guitar and praised my God with a ferocity i’d been missing over that past week. it was an incredible time of refreshment and remembrance of who my Saviour is and what He did and does for me.. as i remember that night i’m filled with joy and amazement at who Jesus is.. among so much more.. the only constant in my life..