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Bigger

On the smallest missions budget of all time I’ve been to 30+ countries on 6 continents. With each step I’m making a difference.

Almost two years ago I had a wild and rare dream. I gathered friends, raised a little support, and went to a school for missions. I came home put my dreams to paper and headed for the Andes Mountains in South America. I said I would pioneer treks to remote villages to give love and friendship, physical help as needs are discovered, and share everything I know about Jesus. It’s amazing how perfectly this plan is unfolding.

Everything’s Ready In Peru

In the fall of 2015 I pioneered a new trek where I discovered untouched highland villages in Peru. It was an experience I’ll never forget as I stood there with my backpack imagining the ways I would bless these people. Then, I traveled to Chile and Argentina where I received commitments from YWAM bases to send their teams on my treks to reach the villagers!

Starting The World’s Highest Prayer Meeting

While I was in Argentina I brainstormed about starting the world’s highest altitude corporate prayer meeting. Everyone backed me on this idea, and the planning began. Now it looks like this is going to happen in fall 2016.

Big Impact In Uganda

On top of everything else I went to Uganda in December and January. I worked with orphans and I spoke in the villages inspiring youth to follow God and reach for their potential. One day we actually fed an entire village! On New Years Eve, my dad spoke to a record crowd in the Mandela Stadium. It was unbelievable looking into that sea of 120,000 faces and meeting the President of Uganda.

Backpacked The Middle East and Europe

After Uganda I traveled through the Middle East and Europe. I was threatened by a cab driver to convert to Islam in Egypt. In Turkey I was 300 yards away from a major terrorist bombing where people were killed and injured. During that time, I sought to develop a heart for Islamic people. I wanted to see life through their eyes so I can find ways to show them love.

What’s Ahead For 2016?

If you’ve read my original vision from the website and my first blogs, you will see that this mission is building momentum. It all started as bold ideas turned into experiments. I’ve done the research. I’ve climbed in extreme conditions and I’ve opened the treks. I’ve met the people and I know exactly how I can help them. I have teams of people ready to go with me. All the effort has come to this climax. This next year is going to be a season of massive reward!

I can’t believe it’s already time to leave again. It’s so hard to leave my family and friends as well as first world comforts. But, I can’t stay here long when I am called to the wild.

Peru April-June

I’m traveling to Peru on April 12. As soon as I get there, I’ll be finishing my new trek into the mountains. Some parts of this trek require more than hiking and climbing. So I’ll be working with locals to create horseback riding sections and a white water rafting section. These additions will spark interest in the villagers and give us a creative path to connect with them.

While I’m working on the trek and preparing to receive YWAM teams, I will also be taking advanced Spanish language classes in Peru. Then when everything is ready to go I will finish this time in Peru with a two-week mountaineering trip. This will increase my skills for the technical mountain we’ll climb for the high altitude prayer meeting later in the year.

USA And Nepal July-August

I’ll return to the USA at the end of June until the middle of July. Then I’ll head to Nepal where I will work with the organization that inspired nearly everything I’m doing today.

Peru September-December

In the fall I will return to Peru and welcome my first few YWAM teams on the trek. We will go into villages full with God’s love and make a difference! I can’t even imagine what’s going to happen on these treks!

Argentina December

In December I will return to Argentina and lead a team up Mt. Aconcagua for the world’s highest altitude prayer meeting. I will give you more details about this event as it comes together.

Africa December-January

I will end the year in Africa again. This year we hope to build on what we did last year. We plan to feed more villages, visit more orphanages, and share hope with more people. If it works out, I want to submerge myself into a remote village there so I can know African tribal life from personal experience. Courageous experiments like this show me how people can be helped.

These are my goals for the year. I realize it could sound impossible. But, with God’s help I will do it all.

Become A 2016 Partner

I want to thank everyone who has supported me based on nothing but a vision. You believed in me when all I had to give you was a promise. You felt like my heart was genuine and you invested your finances and your time. You encouraged me to focus on the people I wanted to reach, and because of you I never had to worry about anything.

Though I have impacted people along the way, I am about to reach lots and lots of people. I am going to do exactly what I set out to do nearly two years ago plus SO much more. Every month I get new ideas, but coming home to help earn money for these really slows me down and lowers my rate of impact.

To be perfectly effective for the next 12 months, I need lots of prayers and I need to raise $1500 per month in financial support. Will you support me for one year or longer?

  • $25 per month ($300 yearly)
  • $50 per month ($600 yearly)
  • $75 per month ($900 yearly)
  • $100 per month ($1200 yearly)



Join The Farewell Gathering

Finally, I want to invite you to a last minute farewell gathering. It will be at my house on Thursday, April 7 at 6:30pm. We will be serving refreshments and I’ll be giving a brief talk about the next year. It will mean so much to me to have you there.

Thanks for reading this update!

Himalayan Adventure

The Himalayas

When I last wrote, Katmandu, Nepal was home. I had joined with the greatest human trafficking prevention team in the world and I was headed into the Himalayas. For safety purposes I can’t mention the name of that organization. Let’s call them Two40. Their unique vision is a great example of how weird missions can look, but how effective it can be when your heart is in it.

Two40 began with one purpose: To stop sex slave trafficking in Nepal.

First they built a breakfast style hotel to fund their mission and host others who shared their vision. Then they picked a village and went to work.

Two40 didn’t start small. They chose the number one village for sex trafficking in Nepal. Let’s call this village Geapa. Conditions were so bad in Geapa the newspapers claimed they were selling every young girl in the village.

When Two40 first arrived they found it was worse then they had imagined. There were Indian kingpins set up with guns, drugs, and money. They even had a helicopter pad for moving the girls through Asia.

Two40 educated the parents about what happens to their daughters when they are sold. Together with the villagers they discovered new ways for generating income. For example, they now have thriving fish hatcheries in Geapa.

Things have changed since Two40 first arrived. The village has done a complete 180. Most of the leaders have come to Christ. In just a few years time and Geapa has vowed to never sell another girl!

Following this success Two40 aimed to reach another group of villages. That’s where we came in. Two40 sent my YWAM team to the front lines of this new effort.

They gave us two main goals.

Goal 1: Pioneer a new pass in Langtang National park through the Himalayas to these villages and scout a location for a new teahouse.

Achieving this goal would bring foreigners to their houses, generate revenues that didn’t exist, and reduce the pressure to sell their children.

We were the first foreigners to attempt this pass. Much less in the winter! On the 4th day we trekked 10 hours down frozen waterfalls and deep snow. At one point, the conditions were so bad, we reached a dead end.

The guide had to make a judgment call for our safety and take us around the mountain instead of straight through. After crossing the Gosaikunda pass and back to our projected course we began part two of the adventure.

My phone was stolen on the first day heading up the mountains. I’m glad I could rely on two amazing photographers on the team: Jacob Hopkins and Stacey Sipple.

Photos: The Trek

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Goal 2: Locate endangered red pandas, take photos with them to prove our findings, and give the photos to villagers for advertising.

After 4 days of camping high in Himalayas and searching through the snow-covered jungles, we saw nothing. We only had 2 days left and our hopes were sinking.

On day 5, we split up as usual and went searching again. This day felt different to me. I said a quick prayer. I just knew I would see one right away, but there was nothing.

Then not a full 3 minutes later I looked through the small clearing ahead, and a red panda walked perfectly into my view! He stopped and turned to look at me. I was completely shocked.

They gave us a procedure to follow. If we saw one, we were supposed to whisper quietly to the others and gently stalk the panda until it climbed into a tree.

Once it was treed, we were supposed to wait for the team to come take pictures. This was not the case for me. I was so full of excitement; I started to whistle loudly and I sprinted after the red panda! Sure enough I lost him and we didn’t get the picture. Haha.

I feared I blew it with our only opportunity for a photo. But the next day in a total God moment, our guide cornered two of them in a tree and signaled to us for the photo!

We now have a rare photo of two red pandas in one tree, in the wild.

The impact of our trek and that red panda photo is hard to imagine. The average annual salary for the people in this village is $500. Now with each red panda tour they will double or triple that salary! It’s amazing to know I helped make this happen.

On our way back down the mountain, we stayed in villager’s homes and payed the people well for letting us stay with them. We were intentional with our love, making a mark on each home we visited. This lowered the chance that they might sell their daughters and blessed them in many other ways.

Photo: Camped and waiting for the red pandas.

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Photo: Two Red Pandas

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Photo: Because of our efforts, these village girls have a good chance at never being sold into sex slavery.

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Tinzing’s Teahouse

The Himalayan Mountains were cool and so were the red pandas, but to me the highlight of that trek was meeting a man named Tinzing. He was one of our two guides and the most humble man I’ve ever met. Tinzing was like a character from an inspirational movie. He reminded me of my grandfather.

Tinzing wants to build a teahouse on the pass where we had to take a detour. With Tinzing’s teahouse hikers will travel straight through the pass to the red pandas and then on to the villages without having to go around the mountain like we did. The cost is only $6000. In the future I would love nothing more than to help him do this.

Photo: This is Tinzing

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Photo: This is where Tinzing wants to build his teahouse. Beside the frozen lake below.

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YWAM Graduation

After Nepal I returned to New Zealand for the DTS graduation. It’s official now. I’m a world missionary. I just graduated from one of the greatest missionary schools in the world!

I feel proud to be a permanent member of this wonderful community. I believe that YWAM is a big key to my future. I know I’ll be working with them again.

Everyone young and old should spend 6 months in a YWAM school. If you have any questions I would love to talk with you about it.

New Zealand

After graduation I spent another two weeks in New Zealand with a few of my YWAM friends. We hitchhiked the entire country south to north without spending a dollar on transportation (except for a ferry between islands), just trusting the right people to pick us up.

I made so many friends along the way. I met the coolest people and impacted them in many different ways. I also spoke to a group of teenagers and greatly encouraged them.

Photo: North Point, New Zealand.

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Photo: South Point, New Zealand.

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Indonesia

I could have come home right after this. But I had a wild thought and I wanted to test it out. “What if I put God to the test and see what would happen in two months of living intentional?” I wanted to live in the real world with the same mindset I’ve developed over the past 6 months. I wanted to show up in a completely random location and see how I could really make a difference.

So here I am now in Indonesia. I came here with no clue about where I would be staying or what I would do. My only goal was to make a difference for someone or some family before my time was up. I wanted to live with my heart set 100% on making a difference.

I’ll write more about this in my next blog, but for now let me say that my mind has been completely blown. You wont even believe my stories about the doors that have opened and the differences I’ve made! I can’t wait to tell you about it.

Vietnam

After Indonesia I’m taking some time for myself in Vietnam before I return to America. I’ll still look to make a difference, but I’ll be mostly focused on seeing sights and making friends.

USA

After Vietnam I’ll meet up with my Mom and Dad in Los Angeles, California. I’m so excited to see them! My dad is speaking there again at Angelus Temple for Pastor Matthew Barnett and The LA Dream Center. Can’t wait!

After Los Angeles I’m going home to see the people I’ve missed so much in Virginia. It’s crazy to think I will be writing my next blog from home.

Thank You

I want to say thank you to everyone who has been apart of my life and helped to make this a reality. You have literally changed me with your encouragement, prayers, and finances. You also changed so many other people—in several nations, in 8 months time.

I can’t wait to tell the stories and then focus on what comes next. See you soon!

I’m Going To India And Nepal!

In this update I’ll describe my last three weeks in New Zealand. Then, I’ll tell where I’m going next and what I’ll be doing there!

My Last 3 Weeks In NZ

1. I Summited Mount Ollivier

Sir Edwin Hillary began his career on Mount Ollivier. He was the first man to summit Mount Everest, so it was really cool getting a chance to climb the same mountain as one of my biggest heroes. Here in NZ they rate treks on three levels. The one we did was the highest-level. Not only that, we selected a more advanced rout, and summited in the middle of a storm with winds at 60+ mph. It was by far one of the wildest things I’ve done!

On the next morning, we descended to the Mount Cook Visitors Center. Once they realized we all made it back alive, they looked at us with respect. Towards the end of the conversation, they asked if we found it technical climbing with crampons and ice axes. When we told them we didn’t have crampons and ice axes, the respect doubled.

Photo: Due to weather conditions none of us got a lot of good photos from this trip. Out of the images we captured, this is the one I value the most. Just after making it to the mueller hut we were all trying to get warm and chatting about how fun the hike up was.

Mueller Hut Mount Ollivier NZ

2. I Helped A Community

YWAM separated our base into teams and sent us to serve in churches all over New Zealand’s South Island. My team was sent to a touristy town called Nelson. During our time in Nelson, we also served at a local school. That was nice because we made a big impact on the school staff and the church leaders we worked with.

The highlights of that trip came during the church services. The Nelson church gave our team their entire Sunday service, and the Wednesday night service when we spoke to the youth.

I guess what made it cool for me was having the first chance to see my transformation in action. I can’t believe the confidence I felt and the courage I had to speak out for God. It’s such a good feeling to leave a town knowing you made a lasting impact in at least one persons life.

Photo: Playing cricket on the beach with the wonderful family that hosted me for the week.

Playing Cricket In NZPhoto: On the way home we spent some time with the wild seals!

Seals In New Zealand

3. I Hitchhiked 800 Miles

The backpacker’s school isn’t for the light hearted. To train us for the extreme conditions we will face in the future, the school sent us on a faith adventure. They separated everyone into teams and dropped us on the side of the road with nothing but $10 and an emergency phone card. The only rule: Do not return to the base for 48 hours.

Before heading out we gathered together and prayed for the things we wanted to see happen on this trip. It was a lesson in faith. My team and I prayed for three things: joy, lasting relationships, and a hot tub!

To make a long story short, we hitchhiked 800 miles, had joy the entire time, had a nice place to stay both nights, started several lasting relationships, and got the hot tub! We did all of this with $10! I’m not exaggerating, if the three of us had to pay for that weekend it would of cost us about $1,300!

Photo: One of the many people who picked us up during that trip.

Hitchhiking New ZealandPhoto: Some guy came out of no where and bought us lunch. During the meal I had one of the greatest talks about God with a die hard atheist. Because of that meal, just by showing him love and answering his questions, he is now my friend and believes there is a God.

Hitchhikers Meal
Photo: A photo says a 1,000 words. This one tells a story of 2,000 words! This is the view I woke up to one morning because a random Asian man out of no where started talking to us. After no more than a minute of conversation he told us he had booked a house with three rooms and only needed two of those rooms. He gave us the extra room for free!

Free Room While Hitchhiking

My Next 3 Months In India And Nepal

It feels like I’ve been here for a lifetime, but I’ve only completed one half of my YWAM training. Now that the lectures are coming to an end it’s time for outreach!

When this message posts, I’ll be on a plane headed for INDIA! I’ll be there until late January. Then I’ll travel to NEPAL, and I’ll be there until the middle of March. After that I’m coming back to New Zealand for a debriefing, and then home to visit my family!

Over the next three months, I will put into practice the things I have learned at YWAM about making a difference in remote villages. Unfortunately, I can’t publicize our initiatives. All I can say is that we are doing something bigger than you can imagine. I can’t wait to tell you about it after we’re finished.

Photos: This is the village where I’ll begin the outreach: Hampi, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

hampi-old-and-newhampi-dec-10_053-postPhotos: In Nepal, my adventure will begin in Katmandu! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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A Special Note To My Partners

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for supporting me with your prayers and finances. It hasn’t been be easy for me to communicate as often I hoped to do.

You could have forgotten me. But I can tell that you are still there for me, because I can feel it in my heart. I have a strength that I can’t describe.

I’m still here for you too. I still pray for you multiple times each week. I’m homesick, especially during the holidays. I’m not saying this to throw a pity party. I’m saying it because my situation is changing as we enter this outreach phase. The dangers are real, and I need your continued partnership.

Most of the money has been raised for this trip. Now, my goal is to increase monthly support in preparation for what comes after YWAM. For more information, please visit my home page.

Would you like to become a monthly supporter? You can set this up here on my website or through my home church, Destiny Family Center.

Merry Christmas to you all, and a Happy New Year! Please leave a comment if you can.