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What happens when you forgive

My gaze traveled across the weathered faces of the villagers. For a moment, my eyes connected with Pastor Nathan’s. All week, he had taken us from village to village across his home country of Papua New Guinea. He’d helped us spread this message of forgiveness. I wondered if he was weary of hearing it by now. “If you have someone …

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Hope Among the Lepers

The guide paused at a home with a white door. “Hello,” he called in the native dialect. “We’re here to pray for people. Can we pray for you?” he asked. An elderly man inside the house invited us to sit with him. He smiled as we knelt next to him on the dirt floor. Our prayers felt small in the …

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So Far From Home… but God Is With Us

We explored and attempted to become familiar and comfortable, but all the while the enemy was attacking us where we already bled; anxiety, worry, apathy, insecurity, anger, hopelessness. For two straight days, my hands quaked. The ever present internal strife seemed unbearable. And yet, in the midst of our anxiety, we found God’s presence. He gave us a verse from …

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Mandela Day: Make A Difference In The Lives Of Others

Tomorrow, the world celebrates Mandela Day. Nelson Mandela, a man who was imprisoned for 27 years for opposing the injustice of the Apartheid government in South Africa, emerged an ambassador of hope, reconciliation and utterly committed to giving his life for others: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we …

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Overcoming Discouragement

“Look, it’s a rainbow!” Marie said. I didn’t believe her at first — it hadn’t been raining. But I looked in the direction she pointed and saw she was right. A shimmery rainbow arched over the small French town of St Hippolyte-du Fort. It was like God had painted that rainbow just to encourage our team with the promise that …

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The Smile I Will Never Forget

We worked with a lot of kids on our DTS outreach to Costa Rica. I met some of these kids in orphanages and slums, others in churches and schools. But no matter where I met them, their precious faces linger in my mind long after we said our goodbyes. I still remember the first kids we met. A group of …

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The Gift Of A Listening Ear

It was a hot day in Constanța, Romania. Our DTS team was surrounded by protestors advocating for bike lanes in “Old Town.” But we weren’t interested in protesting. We wanted to share God’s love with people. “I have an idea,” my teammate, Summer said. “Why don’t we ask people to tell us what they love about their city?” “Great idea!” …

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Children’s Ministry Melts a Father’s Heart

Our kids’ Bible study was drawing to a close. My two teammates and I had thoroughly enjoyed teaching and interacting with the kids. Yet we did not expect what happened at the end. Our translator approached us with one of the student’s parents. “This man was sitting in the back while you taught,” the translator said. “He’s not a believer. …

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Putting Faith Into Action

Although I know I should be sleeping, I’m wide awake! It had been an exhausting 24 hours as I said goodbye to classmates who went on other outreaches and boarded this plane for Costa Rica. Still, my mind won’t shut down. It races through all the firsts for our team — first outreach from our base to Costa Rica, first flight …