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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Odd near-Christmas request, but we have an individual who needs to borrow some crutches for the Christmas season.  Does anyone have any that they could loan out?  If so, please contact us at  Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Prayer Request

   We are working on an initiative to help feed the hungry with quality excess food from inspected/licensed caterers.  Several church leaders, individuals with restaurant experience, and a state food safety inspector are helping us with ideas and options.  Please pray that things come together as they should and that our landlord at The Gamers Guild is ok with us improving the place to allow for some of the safety requirements to be met.  Your prayers in this are appreciated!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October Updates

It is good to be sharing with you again! We have been up to a lot since this is our busy season in the ministry, so I'll update you here as much as I can.

For those who didn't follow our blog about the Mexico Mission Trip—it went extremely well. Those of us on the trip felt that we were very blessed to be a blessing, and it was a great chance to spread word about the Home, Unite, and opportunities with both as much of our trip was covered on the KPRD Christian radio station. For a more fully detailed account of our trip, you can go to this website ( to read our posts about it before, during, and after the trip. My closing post was put up to coincide with this newsletter's release, so it applies even today. :)

As always, the start of the university comes quickly after Mexico, and the first week is fairly busy letting people know about Unite and our game nights, small groups, and other opportunities as well as letting them know about Aikido of Northwest Kansas and opportunities that they have there and The Gamers Guild and the services it offers. Each of these elements has been expanding in good ways to serve the Kingdom.

Unite is getting back to networking—I'm slowly getting to know the pastors in town again as several churches that I previously worked with have new lead pastors and have been in times of transition (hence they were unable to meet about outside ministry projects since they were dealing with fairly large internal matters). I've also formally joined the Ellis County Ministerial Alliance and am working with their website and possibly on a couple of committees that may have good tie-ins with Unite and some of what we already do. Our Common Grounds Coffee House and free store inside of The Gamers Guild have expanded quite a bit. The coffee house itself is finally training some new volunteer barristas (though we need more if you are interested), and we have greatly expanded the free store. We now have more shelving and items on the shelves, a revolving food pantry that anyone can use, and a free-to-use laptop with WiFi and Internet access (so that people without can check their emails, facebook, and so on). We are hoping to expand the computer access that we provide (we use a Nex Tech Free Public Wifi Hotspot, so it has filters and is safe) so that people without computers can still do online work once the library closes. That will depend on us slowly getting more old (yet functional) computers that have Internet browsing capability. I would also be willing to consider running a free-to-use printer for job applications and such if we end up with a need for it (which we currently haven't yet).

Aikido of Northwest Kansas has been getting quite a few new students and has introduced seven areas of focus into its adult and youth curriculum. These include 'be compassionate, be respectful, be humble, center, relax completely, give positive energy, and keep weight underside'. Many of these concepts have been very fun to talk with youth about—we've even been able to challenge them to respect their parents or someone that they have difficulty respecting and then followed up on it the next week to see what they were able to do. We have also become a home for Professor Moser to instruct 3 in 1 martial arts when we are not using the dojo. He teaches 3 martial arts in 1, but he is also a Jew who became a believer (hence a Messianic Jew) who named his art 3 in 1 to also reflect the trinity; he uses it to teach and share Godly principles about life. It has been my distinct pleasure to get to know him and his wife more—they are a very Godly, wise couple who are out here to be closer to family and do what they feel God has led them to do. I am glad that the blessings He has given us are able to help them out here, as well.

Finally, The Gamers Guild has undergone several large transitions and continues to be a place for people to hang out at from 6:30pm-11:30pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday night our Unite Game Night happens there until about 2am. We are training several volunteers who do help out, and I have greatly enjoyed watching them come to know and love and care about the community who hangs out there. It's a very unique group that comes in each night—we have junior high students who don't have much of a home to go back to, high school students who want something different and fun to do, college-aged students who hang out and play games, and middle aged and older guys and gals who also come in to hang out and play games. We DO have a fair number of individuals come in to use Unite's Free Store for food or various useful items. We also have some people come in to donate to it. All in all, it's doing well.

Besides the usual small group and game night start up things, we also had our yearly 'Welcoming Event' to welcome students to campus in the name of Christ. A few churches came out and gave out food, care packages, and more. We also had a few college ministries show up and some other ministries. This year, we've done something new and reserved the quad for next year already. It is my sincere hope that with this much forewarning, we can get a better turnout from the churches and ministries and that they may serve the students in an even bigger way next year.

[alt], the alternative to Oktoberfest after-parties and excess, is also coming up Friday, October 10th. We are excited to run it again this year, and though we think it will be even bigger than last year, it will still likely be smaller than it was years ago. As such, we are presenting next month before the Ellis County Ministerial Alliance about the concept of coming together to do [alt] more heavily in hopes of making it bigger and more impactful next year—possibly even holding a concert like we once did. All of that, though, is up in the air for the future.

It has been a good time for one-on-one ministry with a few events, though I really can't share details on here due to confidentiality. Please keep young people in your prayers, though—especially their love-lives and their desire to know not just about God but to know God.

Over the next period of time I would request prayers that those with broken relationships turn to God and grow stronger together, that those who do not know God get a desire to, and that all of us with doubts and fears ask God for His help and hear His response. May we all walk closer to God in this upcoming fall season. Thank you again for your prayers, for your support, and for being a part of this ministry.



Monday, September 15, 2014

Eyes to See

I have been requested to meet with a young man today who has come to our ministry often seeking help.  His girlfriend is very concerned for him/his health, and some of her concerns seem very valid while others seem to be things that stress her out but that are more of the nature of personal differences between the two that don't really indicate anything directly dangerous about the gentleman in question.  I pray that God legitimately help me be a functional peacemaker and love both people involved.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Prayer Request for 8/17/14 and 8/18/14

Hello everyone!
   It's been far too long since I've been on here to request prayer.  Please pray for tomorrow for me--I'll be preaching in Spanish in a local Hispanic church, and I don't feel very confident in my ability to easily share without the Holy Spirit guiding me well.  I realize that I've interpreted before in Juarez and taught lengthy lessons in Mexico, but there is a difference in the level of language used with an adult verses youth audience.  Some of the higher-level ideas are harder to express in a secondary language.
   Also, Monday is a BIG day for us--it is Picnic in the Quad, and I'll be up there with Unite (we are giving out Ramen with flyers advertising our free store and free food shelf, game night, and small groups), Aikido of Northwest Kansas (we'll be demonstrating with the FHSU Aikido Club and sharing our regular lesson and prayer meditation program), and The Gamers Guild--we'll be advertising our games and alternative fun to the local bars.
   To successfully take all 3 entities up there takes a crazy amount of preparation work, time, and just logistics (I have 600 Ramen packs to put flyers on, games and mats to pack and take, martial arts equipment, and a tent!)
   Please keep my wife and I and the other volunteers who will help out in your prayers, and thank you for reading and praying!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May Newsletter 2014

The last couple of months have been so jam-packed with ministry and with life that I’m not quite sure where to start updating you all for prayer requests and just so that you know what all is going on!  I have noticed a definite rhythm in my life that is tied to the university semester cycle due to everything that I do with college students.  Towards the end of the semester and the beginning of the semester, my schedule becomes beyond overly full.  Mid-semester and mid-summer (not counting right before, during and after the mission trip), things are much calmer.

Right now we are approaching the end of the semester, so we are in transition with our small group Bible studies—picking different times and locations for the summer, figuring out who is going and who is staying, and at times figuring out how to help some of the students with moving, finding jobs, and other dilemmas that come up at this time of year.  It’s also the heavy time to be serving students at Unite Game Night.  This upcoming Friday, we will be offering a Risk tournament for those who wish to de-stress as well as a study hall area in which we will be serving free coffee and free orange soda for those who need caffeine to help keep them going.  We are also expanding Common Grounds coffee house in its location inside of The Gamers Guild.  Besides adding signage, we’ve added a couple of large storage racks for our ‘free store’, a ‘faith opportunities’ space on the wall (where we can post opportunities like our small group Bible studies, other ministries and their meeting times, national day of prayer, festival of faith, etc.), and we are re-organizing the coffee house for easier brewing methods since we have at least one community member who wants trained as a barista to serve those who come to Unite Game Night.

I do want to take a quick moment to update you about our ‘free store’ (part of Common Grounds Coffee House).  This is a new, small ministry initiative that I hope will become something great to serve the community as they become aware of it.  It is modeled after the ‘free store’ next to Joe’s Addiction Coffee House in Valley Brook, Oklahoma.  We have a sign up that says ‘you can’t steal anything in a free store’, and we have shelves loaded with quality items that individuals have given away for free to be used by anyone who has need of them.  It’s kind of like a Goodwill or thrift store EXCEPT that nothing costs any money and we don’t issue receipts to those who donate items.  We also occasionally receive non-perishable food donations, so it operates a bit as a food pantry.  Though this may sound surprising, there are families and individuals in Hays who don’t have enough expendable income to buy some basic things.  We could get into a long discussion about why that is—some of them spend their income on items like cigarettes and don’t end up with enough to eat, some spend money on TV but don’t have dishes, some are illegally in the US and can’t find jobs that pay enough for them to live on (this even includes some university students), and some have just fallen on hard times due to medical bankruptcy, job issues, or other reasons.  Whatever the cause, however, people do exist who have surprisingly basic needs in Hays, and it is my sincere hope that we as a Christian community can help provide for some of them through the free store here.  I know full well that many individuals in our community will not know that our small and almost hidden free store exists, but I am hoping that over time its reputation will grow among those in the community that need it.  I also know that other churches, ministries, and individuals also have programs to help those in need in our community, so my goal is not to be the ‘destination’ for all in need in Hays, anyway.  I only hope that our free store in Common Grounds can be an additional and unique opportunity for some of the needs in Hays that often fall through the cracks, and that we will be a visible part of the body of believers to be used as Christ wishes to reach the hearts of those He loves.

On a somewhat related note, I mentioned Common Grounds when I presented about our Mission Trip and The Welcoming Event to the Ellis County Ministerial Alliance a couple of months ago.  Afterwards, one of the ECMA officers mentioned that I don’t have to be a pastor to be part of the ECMA.  As such, I decided that I’d come to the next meeting and see if it felt right to come more often.  I was very surprised at how good it was to be there.  Several ministry topics were discussed that I found highly useful to know about, and I was also able to pass on some of the details we discussed to some pertinent ministries in Hays.  For instance, I learned that Festival of Faith is pulling in a speaker from Wichita who speaks on living a life with no regrets.  Off and on over the years, I’ve sat with a group of youth pastors who have brought speakers in to the school district and to the university in Hays and who have been looking to bring in another speaker.  Since this fellow is already coming in, I passed the info about it to the head of the youth pastor’s group, and I hope that it may work out that they can convince him to stick around and present in the school district, as well, and that we can promote his presence at the Festival of Faith on campus.

As for prayer requests—I’ve recently had two Aikido students of mine join one of our small group Bible studies.  They are excellent individuals and friends, and I pray that the community there is a good experience for them and for everyone involved.  I also hope that I can work up the energy (and the time) to figure out how to help incorporate Aikido principles that are also Christian principles more clearly into our youth program and, particularly, into our scholarship program at Aikido of Northwest Kansas.  It is an unfortunate truth, but it is a truth—at super-busy times like this month and last month, I barely have time to keep up with what is already running; it is much harder to spend additional planning time into coming up with high quality lessons that incorporate good moral teachings for the youth classes that I teach and to clearly present opportunities to our scholarship students that allow for growth.  I don’t know where the time will/can come from, yet it really should happen.  Please pray that I can better see how to more readily balance work time and rest in my life during these busy cycles, and just in general.  Though the work isn’t always ‘work’ in the strictest sense (I enjoy meeting one-on-one with college students and leading small group Bible studies), there are honestly weeks in my life right now that I will have between 55 and 90 hours per weeks of scheduled time—not including things that pop up in life.  Today I had to request not to meet with one of the individuals in my small group Bible study just to be able to get this newsletter printed, sealed in envelopes and mailed, and emailed out almost a week later than I intended to, and it is at the top of my backlogged priority list because I believe in the power of your prayers and believe that prayer is important to helping us out!  Though these times thankfully don’t last too long, it is very difficult to keep any type of balance at the beginning and end of each semester, and if I will continue to do ministry long-term in this community (which I intend to), then I need prayer for God to help me learn a better balance of it.  Your sincere prayers in this matter are greatly appreciated!

Finally, I would request prayers for those who are graduating and those who have graduated and are still working in an area outside of their degrees.  This has been a frequently recurring topic in our small groups and in my one-on-one meetings.  Many students are at a phase in life where they better want to find where they can fit in/belong.  Others are looking for a career or job that they can find fulfillment in.  Many are looking for both.  At times like these it is very important to pray and ask God to help us discern where to go, but at times like this we are often busy, hard-up for cash, and have trouble making time to ask.  Please pray that they hear His voice and take the time to listen to it.  Thank you!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hello everyone! This month’s newsletter is a newsletter of opportunities—for prayer and for your direct involvement with some of what we have going on! Please read about the various sections to pray for us as we grow, and feel free to contact us if you have time or energy to devote to something (or feel led to be part of one of our projects or just WANT to help with some of what we have going on!)

First, we are looking for a vehicle for a member of one of our small groups. He needs to have a car or truck to use to go out and find work. He is a fairly large man (over 6 feet and over 400 pounds), so it actually needs to be an older, larger car OR a truck/SUV to accommodate him. If you have such a vehicle or know anyone who does, please let us know!

Next, we are updating the Common Grounds Coffee House that we run during Unite Game nights a few ways. First, we are doing some physical work on the coffee house area to make it more visible and more obvious what it does. The coffee counter is an old metal desk that we use; we plan to build a new counter out of a donated office desktop about waist height with bar stools in front of it so that it looks more like a coffee house. We also plan to add signs and some sign-ups for small group Bible studies and other involvement opportunities. We feel that this will make it more open for individuals to get involved in something more if they wish without scaring those who aren’t away. We could use the help of anyone who has the time and skills in constructing two wooden cabinets to put the office desktop on; we could also use help re-upholstering some chairs that we plan to use for Unite Game Night and/or just putting some fabric over the existing fabric that is fraying.

The other big update for Unite Game Night is that I am working on putting opening and closing instructions into an old computer that I got for Unite Game Night. These instructions will allow anyone who wants to volunteer as a barista to more easily do it since it will have the instructions about how to open up, the spreadsheet for recording any donations for food and/or drinks that we receive, and closing instructions. We will also load in some simple instructions about how to brew the various coffee drinks that we brew. We still plan to pray with anyone considering volunteering to make sure that it’s a good fit and helping them out in person at first, but the presence of simple, backup instructions should help others feel confident in manning the counter even if one of our other more long-term volunteers isn’t present. We have MANY opportunities to open up Common Grounds now for more than just Unite Game Night hours. Since Common Grounds is in The Gamers Guild (the card and board game shop that I opened up), it could run during any Gamers Guild hours, and baristas would have great interaction opportunities with those present in the store (often quite a few people from junior high age to middle-aged). We even have CATT-G (the FHSU Collegiate Association of Tabletop Gamers) meeting in our store Thursday nights—I just don’t have the time to open up and run Common Grounds since I am at the university at that time! All we need to serve and interact with that group and the many individuals who come in are the volunteers and a way to make it easier to volunteer, so I am working on just that.

Finally (as far as Unite Game Night goes), I wanted to let you know that you don’t have to want to serve coffee to come and interact with a ton of junior high, high school, and college-aged individuals! Every Friday night we are there playing a variety of board and card games; if you like board and card games and want to stop in and have some fun while developing relationships, you should feel free to come by! You never know when one of those people whom you get to know may want to have serious conversations or when you could help them out (or when they could help you out!). I hope that you prayerfully consider coming in sometime to play some games and get to know the many people who are part of the Unite Game Night community!!

Finally, it’s that time of year again! We are preparing for our Spring trip to the NOMADS missionary conference and (hopefully this time) our summer mission trip to the Emmanuel Ministries Children’s Home in Juarez, Mexico. Both trips are open to anyone, and we would LOVE to have you pray about joining us (or even just praying for us when we go). Please keep these upcoming adventures/opportunities in mind!

As we close, I do want to address the elephant in the room—the recent lack of monthly updates! I sincerely apologize for not getting the newsletter out the last couple of months! Your prayers and financial support are critical to what we do, and I need to do my part to keep you informed of it so that you CAN pray Please accept my apologies and know that I plan to do better from here on out! Thanks again for being a part of what we are doing!