Tag Archives: service

Pray For Paul, Teri, and Carrie

I can’t believe I forgot to mention this here, but if you think about my mom, dad, and sister in the next two weeks, you’ll be sending your thoughts, here, outside of Kampala, Uganda.  They’re participating in a two and a half week missions trip, partnering with a ministry called Embrace Uganda.  You can see them in the picture that I linked to, all huddled on the left hand side.   They departed last Saturday morning, and they return two weeks from today.  

Now, I know that for those of you unwashed heathens, the word “Missions,” or “Missionaries,” perhaps conjures perhaps images of that awful movie, “At Play in The Fields of The Lord,” which you know was fiction because Daryl Hannah was married to John Lithgow.  That movie also treated us to our very first Kathy Bates nude scene.  Hooray!

Missions also conjures images of forced conversion, tract-wielding hippies, and bike-riding Mormons.  It’s an unfortunate stereotype, unfortunate because like all stereotypes it’s somewhat earned.  

Let me offer you a different image.  Doctors Without Borders.  For these two weeks, my dad, Dr. Suburban Family Man, will be treating HIV patients in a small village in Uganda.  He will be The Man, supervising any and all medicine practiced in that village.  

Mission work in the 21st century is more about serving, and giving.  For weeks, my parent’s bedroom has become a clearing house of goods collected for this village.  They packed, and paid for, 12 suitcases full of shoes, medical supplies, and clothes.  My mom texted me and told me that the workers in the clinic openly wept as they went through and selected new shoes for themselves and their families.  

The cool thing about going on a service trip like this, and although I’ve never been to Africa, I’ve done a little of this type of thing here in California and Mexico, is that you are forced to surrender your agenda.  Even on a vacation, you’re in charge of your fun, and (at least for me) there’s always this lingering feeling of, “Are we having enough fun?!!?”  With a trip like this, that pressure is off.  There is no agenda, save whatever God places in front of you in the moment.  It’s a very liberating experience, surrendering your agenda.  

Now, for those of you who know my family in person, the idea of these three camped out in a Ugandan village is pretty awesome and hilarious.  Erica and I are seriously hoping that they get converted, rather then the other way around.  

Pray that they will be able to bless those with whom they come in contact.  

Pray that the goods and money that people in our community donated will make a lasting impact on those receiving the gifts.  

Pray that my family will get their heads spun around and put on again, unable to see life the same way ever again.  

Pray, above all things, that God will be honored, and Jesus’ kingdom of justice and mercy will be advanced in small but significant ways.

a little good press

Dear New Century Volkswagen in Glendale,

I had to come in to your dealership today to pick up my new Jetta from your repair department, where it was getting a little warranty repair done. My wife was in the hospital (one more stamp on her card and she gets a free surgery of her choice), and I was the frazzled solo dad with a toddler and a newborn in tow. I was too scattered to say it at the time, but I appreciated …

  1. When I called you on my way to ask about dropping off the rental car, I said I had two kids with me, and your service manager said, “Don’t worry about the rental, just drive here and we’ll take care of getting it back to the lot for you.”
  2. Your waiting area has a children’s play center with very nice wooden toys, and they are kept clean. You’d be amazed at how often this isn’t the case. I also appreciate that it is encased in glass, and visible from your service manager’s desk, cashier’s line, and outdoor waiting area. I could let my 2-year-old hang with the wood-piece puzzles while I took care of business, and she was never out of sight.
  3. Without asking, one of the guys on your garage crew transfered both car seats from the rental over into my car. I have no idea how I would have managed that.
  4. This same guy ran over and washed off my daughter’s binky that had fallen on the ground.
  5. Once I was finally packed into my car with my two kids strapped into their seats, the service manager came out to meet me at my car, to finish out the paperwork, rather than having me come to the service window.

All of these small things made what could have been a frazzled dad nightmare into a manageable situation. They weren’t small things to me.

Thank you.