Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I'd like to introduce you to a few of the boys that will be a part of my life in Zambia. I've only spent a week with them up 'til now so I"ll tell you what I know. Hopefully in the future I can tell you more about who they are and their life stories.

Meet Martin. He's a lot of fun, a little bit cocky and has a warm personality that shines through his twinkling eyes. Potential reverberates in his character and demeanor. Martin could do wonderful things. Martin is made in God's image and it's evident.

Martin's father died of AIDS. His mother is HIV positive. He lives with his mother and step-father in a Zambian slum. Martin's potential seems doomed in light of his situation. You can learn more about Martin's story by watching this video

This is Haggai. He is 15. Both of his parents have died leaving Haggai a double orphan. He has a quiet yet strong personality. He is the biggest boy at the Lifesong school and I think it goes to his head. I told him he needs someone bigger around to put him in his place. He smiled.

Haggai is good at math and art. I saw some of his handiwork and it exhibited natural talent. Isn't that incredible how someone from such a broken situation can create a beautiful piece of art? Haggai has talent and potential. I see it and wonder if he'll get to use the talents and live up to the potential.

Haggai's relationship with his guardians has not been the best. Actually abusive. You can learn more by watching this video

Meet Richard. Quiet, strong and illusive come to mind when I think of him. His mysterious persona makes me want to know him better. What does this boy know? What has he seen and heard? Who has shaped his life?

He likes to read, play soccer and go to church. He's a good student. Sounds normal enough but he comes from a broken situation. His school registration says that his father is dead and his mother works as a peasant farmer. Interesting because I thought peasant farmers went out with the 18th century. Apparently they still exist.

What hope exists for the child of a peasant woman? What future can there be for one fatherless boy? One boy who is almost a man.

I submit that the potential and talent that exist in Martin, Haggai and Richard will find power in Psalm 68:5. A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows is God in his holy habitation. Think of it, the God of all creation claims these three boys as his children.

By all human accounts, their fathers are dead. By all divine accounts, the father of Martin, Haggai and Richard is very much alive. Hallelujah.

Perhaps Martin, Haggai and Richard are three of the reasons I'm moving to Zambia. Perhaps God is sending a big brother to share life with some little brothers. Perhaps I'll get to tell these three a little bit more about our older brother. The one who died so that they could live. Perhaps God has introduced you to three boys so you can pray for them. Perhaps we've all been introduced to three young men who can teach us just a little more about their father.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Beginning

All of us are authors. Even if we hated English class, we all write. Our paper is time and the writing is our actions and choices. We are all authoring a story. A life story.

I've heard of amazing life stories that inspired me to live for the highest things. Other stories have torn my heart with their tales of cruelty and injustice. This library we call the world holds billions of stories of which I am writing one. One story. One life story.

This blog begins almost 25 years after my life story began. Its beginning is born out of a desire to communicate my story over the next year of my life. I'm moving to Zambia in September. I will be working with orphans at a school run by Lifesong for Orphans (www.lifesongfororphans.com). 209 orphans and vulnerable children attend this school. There are approximately 15 adolescent boys in that group. These boys will be one of my focuses for the next year as I come alongside them as a big brother and mentor. Here in the States I have 11 biological younger siblings, soon to be 12. In a real way, I'm about to add 15 more. 27 siblings seems like a lot.

Actually I have more than 27 because for the past year and a half I've been working with teenage boys in Peoria, IL. It's been a great opportunity to give, learn and teach. Without my knowledge, it's been training me to work with orphaned boys in Zambia.

Thanks to all of the boys, parents and co-laborers that have been a part of the ministry here. You've played a part in something that's about to stretch all the way to Africa. Isn't that great? Your life stories will touch people you've never met in your life.

So too will all of our stories. We will all touch people we've never met in our life. Through relationships, communication, choices and actions, we will touch more people than those we see and meet on a daily basis. A blog is no exception. My hope for this blog is that it will tell an inspiring story. A story of redemption authored by the Redeemer.

For my readers, may you look beyond the author of this blog and see the Author of life. The best life stories are those penned by this Author who names himself The Beginning and the End.