About Me

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Abingdon, Md, United States
Works as the Sponsorship Director for Remember the Children,serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for Compassion International in Md, Va and DC. Avid Disney lover (OK- I am a kid at heart!) but my focus is reaching out to the lost and least of these. My heart belongs to our sponsored children in Romania and Honduras.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Update from the Previous Post ( or see below)


As promised here is the official announcement regarding the Christmas Eve offering. As mention below this placed a joy in our hearts and is great news all around. We had hoped to build a church in the gypsy village and now this will be coming to fruition:

From Cole Willig (Worship Pastor at Fork Christian Church)

We love that, as a church, we get to send out 100% of what is brought in through the Christmas Eve Offering. This year we have an opportunity to partner with Remember the Children and Daniel Bagosi and Claudia Bagosi to help fund the construction of a church building for the Roma Gypsy people of Santandrei, Romania.


If you would like to partner with Fork Christian Church, but cannot give in person on Christmas Eve you may give online: https://forkchristianchurch

Monday, December 21, 2015

Finding Christmas

     I must admit to being in a funk for the past two weeks after returning from Romania. It gets harder each year coming back to the states. It is tough leaving behind friends and relationships when you know it will be a year before you can return. It is hard coming home to all that we have when you have seen those with so little. It smacks you in the face when you see the commercialism that Christmas has become in the states. Over there at least there seems to be a deeper meaning to Christ's birth. I certainly was not looking forward with a lot of excitement to the coming holiday. My attitude was "lets just get this over with". However I will declare that yesterday at church I found Christmas for this year. 


     I can't really go into a lot of specifics at this point until everything comes totally together and everyone is properly notified. ( I will post the update when everything is completed) However, I can tell you enough for you to understand my JOY. Part of the softening of my heart began Friday night as I attended a live nativity. That was cool and brought the story more alive. Next Karen and I spent two nights working with Remember the Children at a local church. They had built a replica of a gypsy home to allow people to walk through and learn more about the ministry. 
This just allowed me to reflect and relive my trip to Romania with them. Serving with RtC was softening my heart a bit more. 
Finally on Sunday morning my heart was fully opened. Each year our church, Fork Christian, gives 100% of the Christmas Eve offering to a ministry. Last year we were able to raise money for a camp in Romania. This year the plan was to give the offering to a group looking to establish a church in Frederick, Maryland. Of course we could not easily ask our congregation to again give to Romania. Ministry dollars should be spread around. Two years ago after our first mission trip to Romania we had a dream that God has put on hold. Now know that God has perfect timing and his own plan. Late last week the church leadership was notified that the Frederick project was going to be placed on hold. This creates a dilemma that must be quickly addressed. The church can't collect funds for something that will not be happening anytime soon. They prayed for God to bring something to the forefront and quickly. Enter our worship pastor who threw out an idea. This is where I cannot get too specific with details but the idea was prayed over and accepted. On Sunday it was announced to the congregation the problem that had occurred and the solution. Let me state that with the announcement many of us were overjoyed that dreams and prayers would be answered. 

     I found my Christmas in many ways. I know that on a personal level my joy is back because a dream is being answered. [Best gift ever] I also feel blessed that my church and its leadership truly have a heart for the least of these. Finally I know that the real meaning of Christmas is alive and will be lived out in many ways through this Christmas offering. I am always so blessed when I see God's hand in things. It is always about His timing and His will.  I hope you too will find your Christmas this year! Blessings <><
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

TIME FOR A REBOOT!

I must apologize to my blog here. It sits and waits for me to expound on my thoughts. It waits patiently for me to come back and breathe life into it. I have been neglectful and as result it has suffered. Honestly I have an index card filled with topics that I think about and wish to share. However the pace of life often stops me from really sitting down and just sharing. This blog started just prior to my second visit to Honduras. It's purpose at that time was to share my journey and ministry. Six years have passed and though my focus is the same my ministry has expanded. As I have grown the blog has diminished.

    I did refocus several years ago and changed the blog from Sharing Compassion to Sharing Compassion and Misc Stuffs as I felt that more described what was coming from my heart. It is time again to reboot. Compassion is and will always be my ministry. I believe in Compassion International and it's mission. Much of my focus and volunteer work is with them. However God has now called me to include another ministry. That is Remember the Children and their work in Romania. I have been to Romania now three times. We sponsor several children in Satu Mare through RtC. I feel that God is both growing me and calling me to more.

     As a teenager I wanted to be a minister, I wanted to preach. We are all called to be ministers in our field by God and this blog serves as my pulpit. I minister in many ways and as I grow this blog I hope to share more of my miscellaneous thoughts throughout the future. As my focus is growing I have change my twitter handle from Luvs_Honduras to Luvs_Compassion. I think that too describes me better. So read along and follow along. I believe that God has called me to a relational ministry and I hope to expound on that. Blessings <><

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Remembering Romania ~ Part 1: David and Geta Olcean

This is the first of several posts remembering our time in Romania (Impact Romania 2014) and my reflections. 

    On my first trip to Romania in 2013 one of my favorite memories was that of a church we visited around mid-week. It had been a very long day of visiting several churches and I remember we were tired and hungry. We were already running about two hours behind schedule when we pulled up to a church in Ciumeghiu. We got off of our van and walked into an amazing environment. As we entered around 200 kids started clapping and cheering us in. Talk about energizing! Any thoughts of how tired we were or hungry were gone. We were totally loved on. All I remember is the thought that these kids had been sitting here for over 2 hours waiting for us to show up and they were still energized to see us. Wow! 

     Fast forward to this year. In one of those God moments (as I mentioned in the prior post) we would not be handing out Boxes of Hope but one of our focuses would be partnering with this same church in a community outreach. This church is led by an amazing pastor named David Olcean. Three years ago this was basically a "dead" church in a gypsy village. The local Orthodox church shunned those that would dare to visit there. David started a discipleship group during the week in the community and encouraged people to attend the church on Sunday. Each week he would check back and ask if they had gone. It was then that he found out that often on Sundays the church was not even open. Called by God he started ministering there and the church has grown. He is now working there full time with the help of Remember the Children. One of the things that I found amazing was that several years ago when the children came there were only a few. Then there were 30 and then there were 100. In 2013 it was close to 200 hundred!!! I am not doing the story the justice it deserves but David with his wife Geta are pouring their heart into this community to make a difference. It is amazing. 


    
      It was David's idea to host a community concert as an outreach event. Their choir produced a CD. As part of the outreach our team walked the streets of Ciumeghiu knocking on doors, handing out the CD and inviting them to attend the concert. In jest I mentioned I now know how Jehovah's Witnesses must feel when they walk neighborhoods. We were ignored, had doors slammed on us but some took the time to listen and thank us Americans. I will mention that it was pouring rain that day but we went out with hope in our hearts. At 3 o'clock the event started and our role would be to hand out tea and cakes to those that came. Well wouldn't you know it- God showed up BIG TIME!. The sun did not come out but it stopped raining for those two hours. People showed up (more than David even dreamed I think) and listened to a concert and a message. The outreach was more than a success. 

    Both David and Geta have a heart for the Lord and the community. It is a dark community that the light is being brought into. As I write this they have purchased the home across from the church and are rebuilding it. They are not just ministering to the community but are now going to be a part of it. One of the amazing things is that our church is going to help partner with them. They have dreams of rebuilding a summer camp for the gypsy children and we are in prayer for that. Our Christmas offering is being devoted to this community through Remember the Children. I encourage you to keep David and Geta's ministry in prayer. Pray for their safety, the growth of the church and that God will be present in that community.
 

Friday, December 5, 2014

God's Plans ~ Not Ours



      I am writing this on the bus as we head to Budapest, Hungary having spent a week in Romania with an amazing team. This was my second trip back there for the Christmas season. Our church partners with Remember the Children to bring hope to those that have none. Our specific purpose is to give out shoe boxes (Boxes of Hope) to orphans that are packed with essentials and fun items. It is their Christmas gift. Last year was so encouraging that I had to do it again but this time with my wife.

     In my previous post I had mentioned how there were some issues with the container and getting it over to Romania. This has never happened before with RTC to this extent. As of the end of our week it had not yet shown up at the drop point. It has made it to port but has not yet been delivered. So we had no boxes. Our team was perhaps a little disappointed but regardless we had the opportunity to do something even more incredible.  We had the chance to experience what God had planned from the very beginning without any reservations. If we had any covenant as a team it was to be flexible and to do what God wanted us to do. Our work would be for Him and His glory.

     The most amazing thing we did was to serve in the community of Ciumeghiu with Pastor David and his wife Geta.  I will devote a specific post to that outreach story within the next few days. However for now it is enough to say that God showed up big time and what David had prayed for was exceeded. We truly were the hands and feet of Christ. I think we were more blessed than the church there.

     The second part of the week we moved to Satu Mare. There we worked and visited with orphans. To just be able to give a hug and play with them was more than enough. A Box of Hope would have been nice but I believe we poured more into the children by not having those boxes. I will again post more to that story in another post.

     As we head back home we do so with hearts filled to the brim. I am sure our hearts would have been filled either way but without those boxes we were blessed beyond our expectations. We got to experience more than originally planned and we got to do God’s work more than we thought we would. We certainly learned that when God is allowed to work His plan through us then we can make an awesome difference.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Impact Romania 2014 (GO-BE-LOVE)


     Today is the day! The day that I have been looking forward to most of this year. Actually since I returned from the trip last year. Today I begin the journey back to Romania to serve the "least of these". I am blessed to be able to go back. I had my trip fully funded by some amazing sponsors. I get to have my wife along this year and I am going with an awesome team of twelve others. We are going over to bring hope to children without hope, to encourage pastors and to be the hands and feet of Jesus. One of my Facebook friends had the bracelet above and I found it so appropriate to what we have been called to do.

     Last year we delivered Christmas shoe boxes to children and told the Christmas story. This year is turning out to be something different. I know that Satan has tried to derail us but at the same time I think God has an amazing plan that is just beginning to unfold. Let me give you some back story. Several months ago little hitches began to appear. Remember the Children ( the group our team is going with) was getting conflicting stories about what could be packed in the container ( and boxes) that would be shipped over to Romania. First no food in the shoe-boxes, then food was OK but no school supplies. Say what? Then Customs wanted every shoe-box inventoried. The red tape was ridiculous and clearly the work of the enemy. Next the container somehow missed the ship. Never has this happened before. Finally the container was on its way! It would get there later than usual but in time for our mission trip. This week we found out the container may not be there yet. No boxes or supplies. Again the work of the enemy. There are a total of three teams going over the next three weeks so eventually the children will get the boxes that have been made for them but they may not be delivered by us.

    However as I said God has something in mind. The Pastor that the next team would be visiting on Week 2 will be away. We have been asked to be flexible and head North to serve there for our week. This will be an emotional time as we will be seeing children in State run orphanages, children that truly have no hope. We will be stretching ourselves in order to be the "hands and feet". Truly I think this is something that we really were hoping to do and I think God has answered prayers. Perhaps the biggest think I am looking forward to is building a relationship in a community that we will be having a future partnership with. Last year we visited a church where there were over a hundred children cheering for us. Three years ago it was a dead church and now it is thriving and ministering to the gypsies. We will be worshiping there and doing ministry on both Sunday and Monday. We are going to be undertaking a major outreach to the village there.

     So things have changed. We are not sure how everything will unfold but I know it will be amazing. I encourage you to follow along on Facebook and check back here for updates. In the meantime I ask you to pray. Pray big time for our adventure as we "GO-BE-LOVE'! 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Puzzle Pieces (Impact Romania 2013~ Devotional 2)

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 This is the other devotional that I shared in Romania last year- just some food for thought!



1 Corinthians 12: 12-27
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
       I have heard many versions of this devotional and just wanted to share several thoughts with you here in Romania. Life in many ways is like a puzzle. We only look at the pieces individually and really cannot see the big picture. However, when everything is put together- each piece one at a time, interconnecting with others then at the end we have this magnificent picture created by an artist. Our lives are often like that- we have great moments, bad moments, God moments, moments of despair where we ask why, moments where we are overjoyed- we do not understand how they all fit together but they do and at the end God has created something wonderful out of our lives. I can think of specific times in my life that I have wondered what was going on. Case in point my divorce> it was not a great time but God took that period and made me a better father and in the long run I am now married to a wonderful Christian woman.  What looked like an ugly puzzle piece fit into another and made a great part of the picture. Of course the puzzle is not finished until that last piece is placed but then we can step back and look at the picture and then understand how it all came together. The completed picture is exactly what God intended.
     Going back to our bible verse we can see that just as the writer described us as being parts of the body we can also be compared to being pieces of a puzzle. Each puzzle piece has protrusions or indentations. The protrusions can represent our strengths (things like our gifts, talents and abilities). They stand out.  The indentations can represent our weaknesses (faults, limitations, shortcomings). The beautiful thing is that the pieces complement each other. Where my weaknesses are then another’s strengths will fit in. My talent may fit is where someone else has a limitation. Just as each piece of a puzzle is important then so is each one of us as members of the body of Christ. We can minister and aid other members when need be. They can lift us up when needed. In a nutshell when a piece of the puzzle is missing it is obvious that the picture is incomplete and broken. The same goes for us- each of us are part of the picture. We need to plug in, fit in – whatever as part of the body. We were created to be part of God’s picture/his plan.
   In closing let’s look at this team. We are 11 unique individuals that God called together for this time. It is no mistake who is on this team- each of us was called for a specific reason; each of us has special gifts that we are bringing to the team. Individually we could come here but our effectiveness would not be as great. Together we were sent to make an impact and to make a difference. Back home,  our church family is looking at a big picture of the Romania Team but it took eleven individual pieces to bring that picture together. We have the privilege of being a part of God’s big picture on this trip. A beautiful picture that he has put together.