Friday, March 25, 2011

Thank you- from Ajay and All the Boys

Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart's desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him and he will help you.
Psalm 37:4

Thank you Lord for your help and support that you provide. We completely trust in you Lord and you fulfill our hearts' desire according to your word.

I really want to thank you all there in Hawaii, especially Wm. Paul Jarrett Middle School students for listening to God's call. Through your faithfulness and obedience we all are being blessed so much. Thanks for helping me to pay all my school fees and to cover a major portion of the St. Clare's Convent School where nine of our boys are studying.

Every time the team come here we all are so blessed. This time I really got to know about the passion and the gifts that God has given me to glorify His name in and through my life. Thank you for encouraging and investing in our lives. May Lord bless you all.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Next Generation of Nations

We've been back for almost 6 days now and already God has been doing mighty things in my own life and heart. Looking back at the last 2 weeks that I've spent traveling and being in India, I am amazed at how God works. I big moment for me was finally arriving at the Firs and walking along the sidewalk next to the house, seeing a beautiful sunset and getting an overwhelming feeling of me being home. It seems that each time I visit India, the Lord really breaks my heart a little more for where we are. I'm not sure how or why, but He just does.

The past 3 times I've traveled to India, God has really opened my eyes to what worship really is. He shows me new ways of what it means to both worship in my own heart as well as lead others in worship. With this being my fourth time to India, I was somewhat expectant on a new revelation in worship. I was ready to be "wow'd". The Lord had a little different plan in mind. What I received was definitely about worship, but it was masked in such a different way. I'm now 27 years old and married. I once envisioned this age of my life to be a typical family man. House, 2 cars, starting to have children; my vision for what God could do in me and through me was so small.

During my time in India, I saw the Lord show me the seeds that we have planted as a movement in the next generation of nations. For me, I remember being in high school and experiencing the same camp or "retreat" that we now lead. I can vividly describe the moments where I knew God was God. I can articulate the details of my experience as if it were yesterday. God has shown me a seed that will bare fruit 10-15 years from now, where once a 15 year old boy had no idea what God was up to and someday he was to be a leader of worship. The perspective and direction that I now have is completely different from when I left. I no longer am the next generation...they are.
 

The Cost...

Reflection on India... wow, what does that even look like. There is just so much. Words that immediately come to mind.  

Amazing. Breathtaking. Desperate. Broken. LOVE. Ministers. Gospel. HEART. Jesus! 



As I reflect back on the past two weeks I've have spent in India, it brought be straight back to a blog entry I had written on my own blog a few months ago. It says this...

"I was reading through Psalms 1 today and was reminded of the joy that I have in following Jesus especially when it costs a lot. I was first reminded of what "a lot" means... is "a lot" in my terms in anyway comparable to the cost that was paid for me? Immediately, my heart was refocused on the cross and the cost that was paid for me. I continued to reflect in this passage and am in awe of the words written by the Psalmists. That "blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers... For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous." How good it is to follow Him and to know that I am blessed! To know that in my weakness and uncertainties, the Lord is good and He will still use me to bear fruit and not let me wither away as I follow Him even when it feels like the costs are too high. That the things that come out of it will come to the fulfillment of Jesus in the end! So is the cost worth it... the answer is simply yes - it is worth it to follow Jesus with my all. So, in my love for songs and worship music, these are the words I end with tonight."

Here am I, all of me
Take my life, it's all for thee

I reread this and then reflected on my time in India and wow when I think of cost, there is nothing that can compare to the cost of what Jesus has done!!! It is by the blood of Jesus that I now have family in India and only through that, do I know that one day we will worship together forever because of the cost He has paid. I have come back praying that the Lord would continue to not only grow each and every person that we have encountered over those two weeks but also for my own heart and that I would live a life worthy of His calling. That I would reflect again on these words and in each of them see the same calling as I live here in Hawai'i or wherever the Lord sends me!

Amazing. Breathtaking. Desperate. Broken. LOVE. Ministers. Gospel. HEART. Jesus! 


Thank you for all your constant support and prayers!!! We love you!!! <3

Something so strange and beautiful

As I reflect on my time in India this last trip what has come to astound me is how ordinary it felt this time around. Don't get me wrong, India is an extraordinary place full of vibrant people, colors and smells, but for me it has truly began to feel as home. When I am at Firs I feel as I do right now writing from my room. God truly has done an incredible work in building a bridge for me from here to India. Originally I was born in Oregon and truth be told it feels more foreign to me than India does. I can only wonder at what the Lord will do in the future because of this. The picture I chose to post makes me laugh because when I first looked at it I did not see myself in it. I look like I belong there. I LOVE IT!!!

The trip itself was one of the most fruitful trips I have ever been on. We had an amazing design session with the boys and UTC students. They grasped the material quickly and applied it to their own lives with an even greater aptitude. They have big dreams. Whether those dreams consist of being doctors, worship leaders, businessmen, or scientists, the coolest part is that every single one of them realize that first and foremost they are a minister for Jesus Christ. Their vocation is simply a reflection of how they will minister in Hawaii. I pray the Lord brings fulfillment of these dreams in these young ones.

What is happening at Woodstock continues to amaze me. We had more students and favor than we have ever had before. This is our last year with the class that we started with, as people like Shirley and Nitisha will graduate this year. Although that saddens my heart a little bit, there is great promise in many of the younger classmen, and we can only pray that what the Lord does through them will make what has happened so far pale in comparison.

I think it is sure to say that India will forever be in my heart and God willing, in my future as well.

With much Aloha,
TJ

Missing My Family

It hasn't even been a week since we've been home, and I already want to go back to India! This trip was so incredible for me. Not only because I got to see our family at FIRS or the students at Woodstock, but because of the things that the Lord spoke to me during our time there. I was incredibly challenged by the Lord to really take an honest look at my own life.

Being able to worship with the boys, I was overwhelmed by how much they absolutely love and adore the Lord. The first morning that our team got to sit and worship with them, I couldn't help but cry as God gently put me in my place. Do I really give him everything? How in the world can I stand to make excuses about why I don't read or neglect to spend time with him?! The boys are such an example to me and I am grateful to have had the chance to spend time with them over the past week.

" Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." -Proverbs 22:6. (A verse the Lord put on my heart while we were there. Ashish...thank you for your obedience to the call that God has put on your heart.)

The next challenge came as we visited the Bible School. Again God quietly whispered to my heart. "What sacrifices are you making? Does it cost you anything to be with me? " As I sat and listened to the Lord, I came to the realization that comfort and convenience have been the disguises of my relationship with him.

God has awakened my heart and I am so thankful for it. I can't wait to come back! I am so grateful that the Lord has allowed me to be a part of what He is doing in India.
Linsey

Sunday, March 20, 2011



Wow I hope I'm not the only one that is still running on India time...

I don't even know where to start to recap this trip. I know how about when I thought that God was taking me half way around the world to do his good work, but little did I know that he was taking me half way across the world to do work in me. What God just did simply just blows my mind. I mean if you ask any of the kids from Woodstock or anyone from The Firs they would talk about the retreat and how it was so different from last year or how God shows his love when we come because the kids have so much fun playing with us and maybe even the pastors would say that they know how to steward their people a little better. I can't even begin to think what God did in me in each and everyone of the team and threw the team.
Maybe I can just share this

Philippians 2:1-4
Is there any encouragement in belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellow ship together in the spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interest, but take an interest in others too.

With the 38 hours it took us to get there, the hectic schedule, lack of sleep and scrambling around to tie up the loose ends but the only choice you have is to press threw but after a while you'll see your low planks start to show. This was a true test how many times could I fully remove myself from the picture and just look at the big picture? I'm sure we were all faced with this same challenge. But we did it and God was faithful!!!! Look at all the seeds that were planted and all the fruit we came to see. But the craziest thing for me was that I wasn't looking for anything to happen in me I took myself out of the picture. But what happened was that the lowest plank in my bucket grew a little taller and so did every other plank in y bucket. God was faithful to me....

Thank you father for this experience that I will never forget. Thank you for all the people who supported and prayed for us. But most of all God I thank you for always being faithful to us. Amen

Glad to be home, but missing my family in Mussoorie


Aloha!

This was my second time traveling to India with New Hope Diamond Head. What an awesome experience. I got to reconnect with friends and family and also get to know quite a few more people. I'm so thankful for the relationship that God has orchestrated between The Firs and NHDH. I feel right at home up in the beautiful Himalayas.

I was blessed to be a part of the Design classes we ran with the younger kids and young adults at The Firs. It was a time for us both to grow in our relationship with each other and Jesus. What was especially cool was the talent show we had the last night! I was so blown away by the dances, readings and songs performed by all! I had great time just being able to serve along my family in Mussoorie!

I miss all of you tremendously and I can't wait to see everyone once (or many times) again :)

Love you all!!!

Bruce