Archive for January 2014

West Africa Trip Update

West Africa Trip Update

Walking in the Village

Walking in the Village

Carson and I are back from our trip to Mali, West Africa this past couple of weeks.  Although we were a bit wary of going where we were, we felt relatively safe.  Mali is in the Top 10 Countries for Christian Persecution.  We have to be very careful while we are there and follow the advice of our translators and hosts perfectly and I won’t say much about where we go and what we do on here.  I do not want to endanger anyone but at the same time, I want to tell you about our trip and let you know what happened while we were there.

As I said, we never felt endangered while we were there and the people there were as friendly as ever.  We do know that terrorism is still very much alive and well in this part of the world.  We also know there are supposedly sleeper cells in downtown Bamako but that the majority of the unrest/terrorism is confined to the North.  The terrorists were trying to get to Bamako but were held off in the town of Mopti by the Malian Army and French Army before they reached the capital city.  There is still violence and a lot of unrest, especially in the North as this New York Times Article talks about.  I said all that to say this.  We know we were not perfectly safe doing what we were doing, but we kept a low profile and didn’t draw attention to ourselves.  We followed the advice of the State Department and our friends in the Country.

So we arrived in the Country and spent the night in the Capital City of Bamako.  Then, we went out to the bush to meet with the villagers.  The purpose of the trip was to help encourage the believers in the village where we have made 26 trips and to also teach the gospel and Bible Stories.  Every time we go, I get more encouragement than they do.  But, on this trip, it had been 2 years since we’ve gone since the Miliary Coup d’Etat in March of 2012.

West Africa Trip Update – Discouragement

African Bush Road

African Bush Road

When we got to the village, we found out that the believers had not been meeting together on a regular basis.  Some of them had gone to the gold mines to search for gold.  Some of the believers were in the village and we did get to spend a lot of time with them.  It took awhile for us to figure out what was going on with the believers.  Finally we were able to get to the bottom of some of the issues they had been having.  Food is scarce because of the rainfall they experienced and there is still alienation of believers from the other villagers.  There are two mosques in our village and they do the calls to prayer on a loud speaker which is very surreal cutting through the animal noises.  The people we tell the Bible Stories and teach the Gospel to say things like “I know what you are telling me is truth but I’m not ready to follow the Jesus Road yet.  If I did, I would be shunned from my family”.  We have several of the children that hang around us that have told us they want to be believers in Jesus but their parents have told them they would beat them if they did.  Some of them have even told their children to stay away from us.  In the villages, they have taken African Traditionalism and wrapped it in Islam so there is a mixture of what they believe.  They put festishes on trees and around the children’s waists and wrists to ward off evil spirits and then, sometimes, they pray the Islam prayers in Arabic that they do not even understand.  It’s a hard community with people working hard in the fields and having a community of pride and honor.  They do not want to do anything that brings shame on them or their family.  We had one man tell us that he wouldn’t care if his children were believers in America or Bamako, but in the village, it would bring shame on him and his family.

West Africa Trip Update – Encouragement

After several days of teaching the believers in the village and encouraging them and going to some of the surrounding villages and telling stories and making our greetings, we felt as though we were not making any headway into the people’s hearts.  Then, on the last night, our former Pastor, Brad Bessent, told a story and then preached a bit because, in his words, this may be his last trip to Mali into our village.  So, the man who said his son could not be a believer came with his wife and sat in and listened.  After we finished the teaching time that night, the young boy’s parents came up to us and gave permission for their son to be a believer and said they also wanted to know more.  You can see Brad’s website at www.churchunleashedglobal.com.  He is now working to help churches and other belivers do what we’ve done with reaching an unreached people group somewhere in the world.  He can hook you up on a mission trip if you want to go.

West Africa Trip Update – Just Go Spread the Gospel

Dirty Feet

Dirty Feet

I’ll end by saying that this was my sixth trip to Mali over the last 6 years.  I want badly to go back.  I was very concerned on my first trip that I wasn’t qualified or able to share the Gospel with these people.  But, I realized when I got there, that these people don’t know anything.  They can’t read or write.  As the Bible says

Romans 10:14-15

New Living Translation (NLT)

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

If you want to know more or potentially go with us in the future, please Contact Me.  I would love to talk to you about what we are doing and share with you how you can help.  If you can’t go, but would like to help, you can give.  Contact Me and I will tell you how.  We are still paying off a credit card we put the plane tickets on for this trip so anything you can do will be a big help.  Pray about going, but if you can’t, pray about giving.

Two Workouts – Super Saturday – 1/14

Two Workouts – Super Saturday

We just had one of our best Super Saturday‘s yet.  We met up at our church at our normal meeting location.  We then had a meet and greet as Melanie had some Shakeology tastings and Recovery Drink tastings for people as they came in.  Then, we got started with some success stories from people who had lost some weight as well as people who had achieved new levels of leadership by becoming brand new Beachbody Diamonds.  It was an amazing time for me and others as we shared our stories of how we found Beachbody and how we had reached the levels we have.

We then watched a video from Beachbody Corporate about upcoming programs and incentive trips as well as motivation to keep moving forward to reach more people with our mission to end the trend of obesity.  I shudder to think where I would be were it not for Beachbody and finding P90X and then becoming a Coach to help others.  Then, to be able to turn this into a business is just absolutely AMAZING.  I love it.

P90X3

P90X3

After a quick question and answer session, we moved the chairs to the side and had a workout.  I had planned to do just one workout from P90X3.  The workout I had planned was Isometrix.  Most people who were there did the workout with us.  It was absolutely amazing.  It was basically the static moves from Yoga without the flow of the vinyasas.  The workout was 30 minutes long and all of us were sweating like crazy in less than 10 minutes.  I would challenge anyone to do that workout and say it is easy.  Everything is done in a very small place but the moves will make you know you worked out in a hurry.

When that workout ended, a few people had to leave, but we decided we would do another workout from P90X3.  On the same disk with Isometrix is a workout called Dynamix.  It is still very doable and very modifiable but instead of just getting into poses and holding them, you actually move.  There is stretching and moving along with some ab work in the routine that I absolutely love.  I loved doing two workouts at one Super Saturday.  Too much fun.

Neopolitan Shakeology Packets

Neopolitan Shakeology Packets

The other thing I’m excited about is Strawberry Shakeology coming in.  It will be available Monday the 13th of January.  They will also have packets of Shakeology that include Vanilla, Chocolate and Stawberry.  It’s like Neopolitan Ice Cream but healthy.  I can’t wait to order mine.  There is nothing like being able to mix and match chocolate, vanilla and strawberry and if you want, you can come up with your own recipes.  I can imagine a banana split shakeology, can’t you?

Anyway, we will be having another Super Saturday in April of this year.  I want you to be there.  Just come out, get some good information and hang out with other people who have a mission to go and change the lives of people all over the world.  I’m absolutely loving what we are doing with Beachbody and the fact that I get to be a part of it just blows my mind.

Are you up to the Challenge?  Do you want to change your life?  Come hang out with us.  Help others while you help yourself!!  Contact me for more information!!

P90X3 Challenge Pack – http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/BCPX3205?referringRepId=2620

Focus T25 Challene Pack – http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/BCPT25205?referringRepId=2620