Friday, January 29, 2010

rejoice in the unknown

Those of you who have been following this "song" for a while now know that Kimberly and I have felt God preparing our hearts to leave this place. This hasn't just been recent, nor is it a decision we've made, but instead is an overwhelming sense that we've felt for the past few years. 2009 was a season of deep prayer and discernment as we anxiously awaited for God to reveal more to us. 2010 will be much the same. I am excited to be traveling to Escondido, CA next week to listen for God's voice as to what His will might be for our lives there. I look forward to the fellowship I will share with the great men of God I will be traveling with, and am anticipating meeting a lot of new people and becoming acquainted with local culture. This visit to Escondido is something I've longed for for about seven months now, and I am so grateful for this blessed opportunity. Sharing about this venture usually leads to a list of questions I simply don't have any answers for, and so I've hesitated to speak of this trip publicly. As I've quoted Oswald Chambers a few posts back, these kinds of questions are so difficult to answer: What do you expect to do? All I know is that God knows what He is doing. Knowing this gives me great peace. And so, in a way that makes no worldly sense, I rejoice in the unknown. It humbles me and reminds me of my dependency on Him, which can so easily be forgotten with this stubborn, human mind of mine. My prayer regarding this trip is that it is an experience that will glorify God and bring me closer to serving Him and His Kingdom just as He wills. If you'd like to join me in this prayer, I would be appreciative. Thank you, and God bless! View Larger Map

Titus 3:3

"We once lived in malice and envy, hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Servant's Heart

Please pray for Toby Banks and her family. Toby and Her husband Tim are missionaries in Haiti, caring for 20 orphaned girls. Until they're able to bring the girls into the States while the orphanage is being rebuilt, or until further plans are determined, the Banks have made the difficult decision to send their own two teenage children to stay with family Stateside for security and stability in the meantime. Such an amazing sacrifice these servants have made! Please join me and lift them up in our prayers during this time!
*For further updates on the Bank's family, visit Toby's Facebook page HERE.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Song

Today I went to our storage unit to look for an old music theory and technique book. I never found exactly what I hoped to, but I did stumble across the hundreds of songs I had written over the past . . . oh, 12 or 13 years.
So, of course, I had to bring them home to look through.

And, of course, I quickly assessed that they were all pretty horrible.

Thankfully, I can say that this poorly written collection doesn't include anything I've written within the past 5 or 6 years.

I am pleased to determine that, if nothing else, my songwriting is better than what is once was.

But even more so, I am able to see just how much God's presence has shaped my life over the past few years. It jumps out at me in the lyrics of these songs; the Spirit is with me, changing the way I think and feel.

The fruit isn't quite ripened, but it's growing.

He is my song, and I praise Him for it!

*I wasn't doing so hot on my own ;o)

God Knows

"One of the most difficult questions to answer in Christian work is 'What do you expect to do?' You don't know what you are going to do. The only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing." -Oswald Chambers

Monday, January 25, 2010


Every second of this weekend was a blessing. Nate C. and I drove down to Mayfield, Kentucky and spent time with some wonderful people who offered us a lot of guidance and encouragement in our music ministry & songwriting. We were able to visit a great country church on Sunday morning and share our response to God as the great I Am, and our reverence to His almighty voice. To share this fellowship and serve the Lord in this way was a great experience!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

An Update of the HOPE Orphanage from Jon Clark

Dear Friends,

Please forgive the mass email. There have been way too many emails and calls to answer everyone individually.

Toby, Isaac, and Hanna have been at the US Embassy in PAP for more than 28 hours at the time. They were led to believe that the girls could come to the US on a refugee visa or a Humanitarian Parole. Once at the embassy, they were granted permission to leave the country by the US. On the way to the airport, however, that permission was revoked.

Although it is unclear exactly why the permission was revoked, it appears that the US was not willing to grant custody of 20 girls to Tim and Toby Banks, even though Tim and Toby, directors of the HOPE Orphanage and employees of CSI Ministries, are the ones in custody of the children now.

We are requesting that the US Department of State grant these girls Humanitarian Parole so they may come to the US to seek safety while the orphanage in Haiti is being rebuilt.

Please keep an eye on our website for up-to-date status about the HOPE Girls and our ministries in Haiti.

Thanks, Jon Clark

Monday, January 18, 2010

Psalm 94:19

In the multitude
of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts
delight my soul.

An Update From Jon Clark, CSI Director of Haiti:

The orphanage may or may not be salvageable, but there is room to build another brick building to hold the girls. The 20 girls, their Haitian nannies and the directors are all living in a three-bedroom apartment right now. Everything of importance is out of the guest house, and no one will be going back in - it's just too dangerous. The Benson's are losing their home of 14 years and CSI is losing a facility that has housed thousands of short-term teams that have all helped make CSI what it is today. We have no idea what the costs will be to rebuild because we have pre-earthquake estimates only, but we know with having to start from scratch on a guest house and most likely rebuilding an orphanage plus securing property to build on in addition to continuing the ministry. Once we have an accurate estimate, we will share with everyone as it is going to take many prayers. We built a "house" today for our chief mason. He is a 58-year old that runs the brick laying crews for CSI. Anytime something needs to be built, he does it. His home was at the epicenter, and lost one of his kids in the quake. His house now consists of a canvas roof, a blue tarp on one end for privacy, and a few cushions of a sofa that will no longer be used. You can not believe how grateful he and his family is for these accommodations! Cathie Benson made a birthday cake for me tonight which was very nice, and we all agreed that this would be a birthday I would never forget. The most positive thing that I can say about the entire experience is that it is amazing how happy the Haitians are. The ones that we see by our house - the ones that previously lived in the ravine - are used to next to nothing. Now that they still find themselves in that predicament, they are dealing with it very well. We will greet them, shake their hands, they smile and give us the one to two English words that they know, and I respond with the one to two words of Creole. Still, they smile, and that is a sign that some of them still have some hope. We will have an update later today regarding the progress of the short-term teams we evacuated from Port-au-Prince.
*Please pray for Jon to have wisdom and discernment during his time in Haiti as he prays how to procede in CSI's ministries there after the destruction. Also, please pray he and his family have strength and peace while Jon is away. Thank you, and God bless!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Diane Sawyer Reports on Haiti's Orphans

The link below is to an ABC report about orphans in Haiti, including our girls at the HOPE Orphanage. Haiti's Orphans in the Crisis

Friday, January 15, 2010

ABC's Online Story Featuring HOPE Orphanage and Jon Clark

When the shaking started, they ran -- 20 little girls, all orphans, out of the only home they knew. When the walls of their suburban Port-au-Prince orphanage came crashing down, their caregivers counted their blessings that no one had died. But then their attention turned to the harsh reality faced by the dozens of owners of the orphanages that dot Haiti's capital -- finding food and shelter for the poorest of the poor, the children nobody wanted. They also fear that the number of children they will need to care for will increase dramatically. "We are very scared for the orphans out there," Jon Clark, international director to Haiti for CSI Ministries, told today. "People are bad off to begin with. This is just going to make things worse." Port-au-Prince was home to a considerable orphan population before the earthquake hit Tuesday, turning Haiti's capital into a wasteland. While some children had been placed in orphanages because their parents had died, many others are brought to orphanages by their families because disease or poverty left them unable to care for their children. Now, orphanage owners and missionaries say the number of unwanted children is sure to skyrocket as thousands of Haitian parents come to grips with being stripped of the few resources they had.
*If you'd like information on how to help these orphans and more, please give us a call at (800) 286-5773 or (765) 748-9521. As always, prayers are appreciated!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Praises: Upcoming Evacuation

1.14.10 5:49 p.m. - Missionaries and teams are still fine.

We are evacuating both short-term teams to the Dominican Republic tomorrow morning. We will post more specific details on the evacuation later HERE. The full-time missionaries will remain in the country.

Below are pictures retrieved from FaceBook accounts of some of our missionaries, Greg Benson and Toby Munson Banks. The destruction in Port-au-Prince is vast, and many repairs will be required to make the CSI guesthouse and orphanage livable again, but the missionaries are dedicated to being a source of Christ's love to the people of Haiti during this time. Also, the middle picture below is of some of the team members who were in Haiti to do short-term work when the earthquake struck. I've heard that most of them are longing for home, but everyone is really being good troopers. God has truly provided them with strength and peace. Praise Him!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

His Kingdom

Today was a strange day. Emotional. And amazing. The calls were nonstop. Tearful calls; people desperately hoping to hear that their loved ones have survived the earthquake that devastated Haiti yesterday. Calls from families and friends of missionaries, of short-term team workers, supporters of ministries in Haiti. A son trying to find his mother and father. Parents praying to locate their daughter. Churches hoping to hear their pastors and members are alive and well. Call. After call. It was a blessing to inform most callers their loved ones are safe, and a burden to respond to the few to whom we had no news to report. And I saw a glimpse of the kingdom today. His Kingdom. And it was beautiful. Caller after caller asked, "How can I help?" "How can I give?" "What should I be praying for?" Builders who want to reconstruct. Surgeons who want to help the injured. Psychologists who want to help heal the wounds of those traumatized by this tragedy. One Love. One Purpose. One Kingdom. And it was beautiful.
*And it is a blessing to report that all of our CSI Ministries missionaries, staff, and team member are accounted for and safe. There is much destruction and many obstacles to overcome such as how to return our team members back home, etc. Prayers are appreciated. If you're interested, click HERE for the most updated information as we receive it. Thank you, and God bless!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Never Foresaken

The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.

He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 9:7-10

The Highlight of My Day?

Hanging out with this guy.
Oh, yeah. I was kinda jazzed to see these people, too ;o)

Sunday, January 10, 2010


You are the way. You are the truth. You are the life. You alone are worthy to live this life for. You are holy and glorious. A loving Father, who cares for and directs His children. You've beckoned, called me by name. You've asked me to step out of the boat. And I'm so frightened. I fail to have faith that You've equipped me with everything I need to become who you've called me to be. I neglect to see you as the Great Provider. I crave validation from others in this world. I long to have worth and value. These desires, along with fear, have become like idols in my life. False gods. Please forgive me for my doubt and lack of faith. Forgive my idolatry. Forgive my self-centered search for a place in this world. I am weak. I need more of You in me. Consume me completely. Be glorified. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

HOPE Happenings

A few weeks ago, Jon Clark from CSI Ministries came to visit our church and spoke about faith and hope. Jon also highlighted a great ministry called the HOPE Orphanage. I’ve had several people ask me for more information about HOPE and the orphaned girls who live there since Jon’s message and presentation in Farmland. This week at the CSI Headquarters, we’ve been preparing to mail a newsletter for the Banks family; missionaries in Haiti who run the HOPE Orphanage. I thought I would post it here for those who’ve wanted to know more. Each page is posted as a thumbnail below, so if you're interested, give 'em a click!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


So, I've had a great weekend to roll-in the new year, including a movie with the Teshuva, two game nights, a visit with my family, lots of time with friends, working on a new song with Nate, a great worship session Sunday morning and an awesome sermon, as well as another great time of worship with the youth band Blackened White between the jr. and sr. high youth groups.

Life is good.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

2009 was a good year: a trip to Jamaica and Ireland, a drastic change in career, some awesome youth events, new memories made with my wife, family, and friends, etc. In late 2008 I began feeling like the next year would somehow be different, that new things would be set into motion. God, of course, didn't disappoint. He allowed me to be a part of some pretty cool things and has started unveiling to me His will for my life at this time. Bit by bit, of course, but still such a blessing! To follow up last year's wrap-up video, I now present "My 2009." ;o) Blessings in your New Year!


2009 from Nathan Harris on Vimeo.
Oh! And its a bonus that my "New Year's post" is my 500th! Yay!