Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Big Thank You

Thank you so much for supporting 3:18 Ministries' Christmas project.  Because of the faithful support of so many people, we were able to fulfill all aspects of the Christmas project.  As we shared the gifts we were able to tell the recipients that these gifts were not from us, but from people all across the United States who love God and as a result love each recipient.  We continued to be humbled by the overwhelming support.  Thank you for believing in us and 3:18 Ministries.  God continues to move.  Lives are being changed.  Eternity will be different!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Ways To Pray For Missionaries

The biggest thing missionaries around this world need is prayer.  Have you ever wondered how to pray for missionaries?  Here is an article by Elaine Helms published in On Mission Magazine in the Fall 2007 issue with 30 Ways to Pray for Missionaries.  What would happen to missionaries around this globe if the Church would pray through this list during the month of December?  You could take one item each day.  Prayer is powerful!  Would you commit to praying for the missionaries you know this December?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

3:18 Ministries' 2011 Christmas Project

The holidays are quickly coming upon us.  It is my favorite time of the year!  It is a time for blessing others, showing them they are loved, tangibly showing them how special they are to our Father and sharing the gift of Jesus.

This year 3:18 Ministries has three Christmas projects in mind.  We would like to again bless the kids and staff of the San Carlos Tribal Youth Home with a Christmas party complete with pizza and gifts.  Also, we would like to able to bless the young men who have been working with Tory doing construction.  We would like to give them their own tool belts and maybe some basic tools so they can have the equipment they need to continue to work.  Lastly, I would like to be able to help my young moms from the Parenting Classes I am teaching at the San Carlos Alternative High School.  I want to provide a gift for their children to encourage these young moms as they are parenting all by themselves.

We need you!  We cannot do these projects alone.  If you would like to help us with these Christmas projects please send donations (checks made payable to 3:18 Ministries, Walmart gift cards or Home Depot gift cards) to:
3:18 Ministries 
PO Box 349 
Globe, AZ  85502
Please send all donations by December 10th.  You can attach a note with your gift designating it for the Christmas project.

Please pray for the children and young adults who will receive these gifts!  Pray they would know the love of Christ and want to receive His incredible gift.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Dreamers and Survivors of the Pine Ridge Reservation

Did you catch Diane Sawyer's report on 20/20 on children on the Pine Ridge Reservation?  What did you think?  Leave a comment.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Real Life Conversations

Real Life Conversations

Tonight I was looking through newsletter articles from our seven and a half years on the mission field.  I came across these words from 2004.

“When you and Tory fight does he hit you?”

 “When Tory gets drunk does he hit you?”

“Is it scary at your house at night?”

“My mom has been gone for a month.  We don’t know where she is or where we are going to live.  I am scared.”

“Can you help us?  Our gas and electric have been turned off and we need food for our kids.”

“I don’t want to go home.  My dad has been drinking.  Can I stay with you?”

These are all parts of conversations Kara and I had with kids and families during our first two months of ministry on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.  What a different reality than the one I grew up in!  My parents will celebrate their 42nd anniversary next month.  I never went to bed afraid because I knew my dad would be there.  I never had to wonder from where my next meal was coming.  I never had to worry about our electricity being turned off.  This is the reality of too many kids on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.

Today as we were working at the new home we are building, a young family came to ask how they could get a home.  This couple was in their mid-twenties and had a toddler son.  Since this summer they have been living in a tent.  He has a job, but they can’t afford a home.  They are worried about being warm enough this winter.

At times this has discouraged and overwhelmed me.  What do you say to kids who just want someone to love them and provide them with a safe home?  What do you say to a hopeless father who just wants to provide for his family?  What do you say to the teenager who just wants their parents to be sober and care for their family?  What do you say when you have more questions than answers?  In the midst of questions I know I don’t have good enough answers and yet I am so glad I know a Father who cares so much that He gave His one and only Son for each one of us.

My favorite description of evangelism is “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” (D.T. Niles)  That is our goal and simply love God’s children so much that we can earn the privilege of sharing the Bread of Life we have found.  This Bread of Life can then bring peace, hope and joy!

Simply a beggar,

Boys Ministry: Work Hard

Check out an article about Boys Ministry by Mike Andrews, 3:18 Ministries Board Member.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Center of the Falls

Check out a blog from Liz Crews...future teammate at 3:18 Ministries.  Leave her a comment of encouragement as they are preparing to join us in Arizona!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Live Your Story

In July we were privileged to spend a week at Gasconade Christian Service Camp for High School Camp.  It was an amazing week and we had such a great time.  There was a camp team from Central Christian College of the Bible at the week as well.  The theme of their display was “Live Your Story.”  That thought has echoed through my head ever since the week of camp.  God is calling us…His children…to Live Your Story.

As I have wrestled with this simple phrase, three things have jumped out at me.  First, LIVE your story.  Sometimes we are better at talking about our story, dreaming about our story or just sitting by and letting the story go.  As a Church we talk about love.  We talk about action.  We talk about praying for each other, but are our words empty or filled with action?  1 John 3:18, the foundational verse for this ministry says, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”  God has called us to live our stories in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our schools.  God has placed us in a circle of influence.  He desperately needs His people, each and every one of us, to live our story.  Let God write your story while you live it out!

Live YOUR story.  How often do we look at other peoples’ stories and wish it was our story?  Maybe this one is just for me (maybe not), but I spend way too much time comparing myself, my ministry, my family to others.  God is dealing with me and my own personal insecurities.  As I have wrestled with living my story God keeps reminding me that He created a story specifically for me and my family.  He has created a storyline just for me.  He has a part in the story only I can fill.  I must stop looking around and just be willing to look within and live my story, the story He has laid out just for me.

Live your STORY.  God has been writing a story since the beginning of creation.  What amazes me is He has a part in His story He has created specifically for each and every one of us.  God wants us to be a part of His story.  God has written me into His story.  A story is written with words.  What words would you use to describe your story?  Grace?  Mercy?  Forgiveness?  Redemption?  All of the above?  If your story is full of grace, mercy, forgiveness and redemption then who should we be as a people?  God needs you to live your story, in your circle of influence, for His kingdom and for His glory.  There is a world all around us lost, dying and going to hell.  They are desperately waiting for us.  Live your story…


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

An Amazing Journey

August 1st, 2003

Kara and I were on an airplane with an incredible group of students from Fort Street Christian Church.  We had just taken off from Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska and were enroute to Globe, Arizona for our third short-term mission trip.  I had just finished our team devotional and began reading Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest. 

“He comes where He commands us to leave.  If you stayed home when God told you to go because you were so concerned about your own people there, then you actually robbed them of the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself.  When you obeyed and left all the consequences to God, the Lord went into your city to teach, but as long as you were disobedient, you blocked His way.  Watch where you begin to debate with Him and put what you call your duty into competition with His commands.  If you say, ‘I know that He told me to go, but my duty is here,’ it simply means that you do not believe that Jesus means what He says.”

I turned to Kara who was sitting next to me in the plane, handed her the book and said, “Read this.  I think we are in trouble.”

Kara and I had so many excuses about why we didn’t want to move to Globe, Arizona.  We were close to all our family.  We were a part of a great church body.  We had dear friends and a great small group.  We had just purchased our first home.  And yet the call of God was so be a light in a dark world.  The field was white for harvest and yet the workers were few.  We could no longer sit by and just pray for the Lord to send workers.  At the time it seemed like a scary journey full of sacrifices.  Over the past 7 1/2 years our journey has been full of God's blessings.  What an amazing journey it has been.  I am thankful for the moments when we can pause and reflect on the call of God!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Housing Conditions on the San Carlos Apache Reservation

Here are some picture taken with written permission and the understanding they would be placed on the internet to show people the current housing situation.  We are currently working on providing a 20' by 28' one bedroom home for an elderly lady who currently lives in the house in these pictures.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Native Family Attacked by Skinheads

Discrimination against Native Americans still happens today.  When will the church stand up for those whose voice has not been heard?

This article does contain some foul language.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Parkcrest Christian Church's Short-Term Ministry Team's Recap Video

Here is a video of Parkcrest Christian Church's High School Ministry's short-term ministry trip!
April 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Faith To Be Strong

The following is reprinted from our April 2004 newsletter:

“Faith To Be Strong” by Andrew Peterson

Give us faith to be strong, Father we are so weak,
Our bodies are fragile and weary
And as we stagger and stumble to walk where You lead,
Give us faith to be strong

Give us faith to be strong, give us strength to be faithful,
Cause life is not long, but its hard
Give us grace to go on, make us willing and able,
Lord, give us faith to be strong

Give us peace when we’re torn, mend us up when we break,
Cause flesh can be wounded and shaky
When there’s much too much trouble for one heart to take,
Give us peace when we’re torn

Give us hearts to find hope, Father we cannot see
How the sorrow we feel can bring freedom
And as hard as we try Lord its hard to believe
So give us hearts to find hope

This song “happened” to be playing this past November when we were in Globe wrestling with God’s plan for our lives.  It quickly became our battle cry as we staggered and stumbled to walk where God was leading.  As we left family behind in the Midwest and dropped my parents off at the Phoenix airport after they helped us move down, this song became our cry of surrender (through many tears) as we were torn between family and the call of God.  Now as we have spent two weeks on the reservation it has become our plea of intercession on behalf of a nation so hopeless.   We do not completely understand the sorrow we see in our brothers’ eyes, but we do know the only one who can mend their brokenness.  Lord, give us faith to be strong!

The following is reprinted from our April 2007 newsletter:

Three years later this song has continued to be our prayer as we strive for faithfulness.  Over the past three years we have experienced incredible victories and some heartbreaking defeats.  We have watched kids suffer from the choices their parents were making and we have watched kids suffer from choices they were making.  We have walked alongside our Apache brothers and sisters on the mountaintops and we have walked with them through the valleys.  We have really seen that life is not long, but it’s hard.  But through it all, God continues to lead us, give us peace and give us the strength to continue.  We pray He gives us the grace to go on until He returns.  Thank you for your vital partnership in this journey.

Thoughts from 2011:

Almost one year ago 3:18 Ministries was officially incorporated.  It has been an incredible journey as we have found our way through new territory.  Through this process our focus has been on relationships.  Our hearts remain broken for the lost and hurting on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.  Our hearts break for a 10 year old boy who is so lost, angry and confused that he was threatening suicide this past week.  Our hearts break for a 13 year old girl who was at the emergency room alone because there is no sober adult to take care of her.  Our hearts break for a 22 year old who had so much promise and was making a difference on his reservation and now his life is gone.  We are so weak.  We are staggering and stumbling to walk where He leads.  Our biggest prayer is for our hearts to find hope so we can share Hope with our dear brothers and sisters.  Please Lord, give us faith to be strong.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What Are Your Thoughts?

More interesting articles in the news regarding Native Americans.  Osama bin Laden was codenamed "Geronimo."  What are your thoughts?  After you read the articles come back to the blog and leave your comments!

Monday, April 25, 2011

When Did This Become OK? Thoughts from Liz Crews

After returning from a short visit to Arizona, my head spins as I try and catch up with what we experienced. I struggle with taking it from my head and heart and putting it into words...

After arriving at 2:00am we got up later that morning so Robert could go out to the Reservation with our good friend Tory and help prep a house for a ministry team coming next week. This house, maybe 20 x 30, has 2 rooms and a tiny bathroom. It is Mary’s house, an 84 year old Apache woman living in 2 small rooms and a bathroom. But she was not living alone, no the house was also occupied by roaches. More roaches than I think you can imagine (it was more than my brain could wrap around). They had literally taken over her house, walls, floors, ceiling, etc…. along with the scorpions. This 84 year old woman had nowhere else to go, because when this is your reality, it just seems normal. It was her home, so why would she leave? Instead she slept with cotton in her ears every night so they would not crawl in. While this is graphic for some, it was her certainty, her actuality every day. Where were her family, friends? I am not sure. When did this become ok?

She was finally forced to move into a tribal run Shelter care facility, where she is clean and fed and sleeping without cotton in her ears. However, she wants to go home, it is her home. It is in the middle of a gang infested street, shoes strung over power lines, 2 doors away from a house that sells alcohol and who knows what, but it is her home. Almost all of the income she has now goes to the shelter care to provide for her, leaving her not much every month; she wants to go home. So we tore down walls, dug up floor tiles amongst the thousands (literally) of dead roaches and various “substances” they and the scorpions left behind. The smell was appalling, the dust covered us (by the way it was not “normal” dust). Yet the 7 of us worked in conditions most would consider inhumane. We had masks on and work clothing and protective eyewear, in the same place she lived and ate and watched TV in. When did this become ok? It never did! I know I do not have the answers, and perhaps it is not for me to know. What I do know is what my response should, no will be. So 2 guys and 5 girls, did things we never thought we could. Some of us terrified of a small spider or tiny fly at home, worked among bugs I cannot begin to describe and conditions that were heart-wrenching, and did so without grumbling, whining or one complaint. We did what God enabled us to do, no doubt. We never could have done this on our own. Isaiah 41:10 says: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” So my response today was to do whatever God asked of me, and tomorrow will hopefully be the same. I asked God to break my heart for what breaks His…and He did.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

When Did This Become OK?

Please take three minutes and read this blogpost from a dear friend of 3:18 Ministries. Robert and Liz Crews came this past weekend to spend some time with us and we put them to work! In the midst of our work on Saturday Liz asked, "When did this become ok?"  Here are Liz's reflections on the weekend.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

God Is Doing Something Big!

“Attempt something so impossible that unless God is in it, it’s doomed to failure.” John Haggai

I love this quote. I have used this quote on several occasions (although I didn’t know who was responsible for this profound sentence until today). But now that I am walking this quote…it is scary and overwhelming. This journey God has us on is so big that when it plays out and we reach the other side, He WILL get all the glory and honor.

In January I received a phone call from a friend, Benny, who is one of the leaders of the San Carlos Housing Authority. Several elderly Tribal members had applied for grants through the United States Department of Agriculture to have repairs done to their homes (i.e. new roof, new windows, new doors, basic winterization, etc.). Benny thought if they could find volunteer labor it would help the grants go farther. This idea led to a meeting with the Tribal Chairman, the Director and the Finance Director of the Housing Authority, Benny and myself. We were able to talk about the needs of the elderly. This conversation had a heaviness and urgency to it as an elderly Tribal member froze to death in January. He had been living in substandard conditions. Everyone was in agreement to work together to do what we could to meet the needs of the elderly.

After another meeting with the Tribal Chairman and the Director of Housing, we found out the grants required licensed contractors to do the work. As we looked at the need and the Housing Authority looked at the finances, the San Carlos Housing Authority volunteered to provide funding for 3:18 Ministries to do seven projects for elderly Tribal members. I am still amazed at how God works and opens doors we weren’t even knocking on! These projects will be a combination of rehabbing some houses, but several will have to be new construction built from the ground up due to their current conditions. Our short-term ministry team last week from Vail Christian Church was able to build part of a house for one of the gentlemen on the list. His house was pretty rough. For pictures check out:

They were able to build a 10 foot by 12 foot room onto the existing structure. Next we hope to build on a 20 foot by 12 foot extension on to the home and maybe even give this gentleman a front porch. On Friday the Public Health Nurse stopped by. She had done a presentation last year to the San Carlos Housing Authority Board regarding several elderly Tribal members. She showed pictures of the living conditions and asked for someone to do something to help. Friday she said to me, “You guys made my week. I have been asking for someone to help and finally something is being done.” I received a copy of the PowerPoint presentation she did and am trying to figure out how to post it on this blog.

This past Monday Benny and I went to check out the living conditions of a couple of other people on the list. The first home we visited was rough. This elderly gentleman had pieced together various sizes of 2x4’s to build a structure. I can’t even find the words to describe it. No elderly person should have to live that way. This couple has medical problems and needs a stable, solid place out of the elements. Our next stop was at a house that had a fire less than a year ago. The walls were covered in soot. The ceiling was gone and the rafters were burned. Two elderly Tribe members live there along with a younger man who takes care of them. The lady is unable to get out of her wheelchair by herself. They have been living for several years without running water and their only electricity is an extension cord run from the neighbor’s house. I was heartbroken and overwhelmed.

God has called us to come alongside the San Carlos Apache Tribal Council and Housing Authority to do something about these situations. I feel like I am in over my head! I am in no way qualified to lead these builds. I have very little experience in this type of thing and yet God has opened the doors and shoved us through. Here is what I do know…we are attempting something so big that without God it is completely and totally bound for failure. However, I believe deeply that with God, He can and will accomplish what He wants to do for His glory. How is this going to work out? I don’t know, but God has His perfect plan all laid out. I feel once again we are on a rollercoaster and the cars are ticking as we are beginning the initial climb. We are getting closer and closer to the top when we will start this ride of our lives. We just have to hold on as He lead and guides!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

From Our Teammate: Melissa Brown

“Greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done here.” from Chris Tomlin's “God of This City”

Four years ago I was a college freshmen and came to Arizona with my campus ministry on a mission trip to San Carlos. My heart was immediately broken for this people group. The hopelessness, the longing to be loved and cared for pulled on my heart. Completely overwhelmed I went back home to North Carolina knowing I would be back. I came back for every spring after that and two summers, by myself. Each time God’s will and passion for my life became more and more evident. The spring break of my senior year I interviewed for a teaching job in the San Carlos Unified School District. I found out in May that I for sure had a job either at the Alternative or regular High School. I drove across the country in July to move out here still not knowing if I was at the Alternative or the traditional High School, I did not want to be at the Alternative at all. Well, God had other plans….a few days before teachers were to report to school I found out that I was at the Alternative School.

At the beginning I was unsure of why God put me at the Alternative…”I’m a first year teacher”…”I don’t have the experience”…”Why?”. After the first few weeks it became very clear why God chose the Alternative High School for me. This group of students that lack a couple or all of the following: credits, motivation, belief in themselves, purpose, love and hope. Though these can be found at the high school too, I have more option for one on one time and I see my students for more than 55 minutes a day.

“My eyes are small but they have seen enormous things…” Over half of the students enrolled at the alternative school are parents or are soon to be parents. So far this year we have had two students stabbed near the heart. Also we have had students threaten to kill themselves, though I’m 99% sure almost all have thought about it and some have tried. Some of the things the children in San Carlos have to go through in their lives I don’t know that I could deal with. For example, everyone in your family is an alcoholic yet you have the heart of a teddy bear and you aren’t loved. Being kicked out of the home you’re living in because your baby’s father is not liked and then having nowhere to go. Lying in bed listening to your dad and mom fight in the next room and then the fight ending with your dad killing your mom. Being blamed for every problem your alcoholic mother has. This is just a few of the lives my students have to live. Through all of this no one has shown them how to deal with the pain and hurt. Instead they think very low of themselves, cut themselves or other physical mutilation, drink, do drugs, try and fill their empty hearts with “love” from a gang or a lover. They are crying out to be loved, cared for, thought of and wanted.

From day one I have been transparent allowing my students to ask any question and I would give an honest answer. My students have asked me to pray for them, some have asked to come to church, some ask if Jesus is “cool”, others ask questions about my opinion on things they have seen or heard of the church . God is working on some many hearts.

Pray that God breaks their hearts even more and that more questions will come, a spark will ignite, He will be seen and felt, and that my lost students will be found and come into His kingdom of LOVE.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

An Article on Native American Youth Suicides

This is an interesting article.  Take 5 minutes and read the struggles facing the reservations in the United States.  One statement jumped out at me..."Spiritual leaders say the suicides are rooted in an identity crisis that goes to a cultural and spiritual bankruptcy among Native American youth."  Social programming won't help.  Education by itself won't cut it.  The reservations, our Native American brothers and sisters, need Jesus!  These spiritual bankrupt teenagers need Jesus!  Read the article and then please share your thoughts and comments under the comment section of this post.


Monday, March 7, 2011

The Revolve Tour 2011

Melissa, my friend and 3:18 Ministries’ teammate, and I took two Apache girls to Women of Faith’s teen conference, The Revolve Tour. We went with the youth ministry from our church and community. The conference had amazing drama, speakers and music. The teen girls were challenged to Dream On! They were challenged to hold on to the dreams God gave them regardless of whether or not they seem impossible. They were encouraged to have healthy relationships with guys and to make sure the guys' actions matched the words they were being told. They were also challenged that they could have the relationships they dream of.

Our girls soaked up every minute. On our way home we had a great conversation about what they learned. I was most impressed by the answer to one question I asked the girls. I asked them, “What do you wish they would have talked about at Revolve?” They both answered, “They should have talked more about sex and what God says about it, because God talks about everything in the Bible.” The thing is both of our girls are teen moms. They are doing a great job with their little ones and working hard to finish school and provide good lives for their children. I began to wonder if they would have known at the time what God says if it would have made a difference in their lives. I pray that we can show them who Jesus is everyday and let them know what God says about issues in their lives so that they can make Godly choices that will help them to fulfill His dreams for them.

One of the girls, Natalie, has been going to church and has gotten a glimpse of how great God is. Through this process she wants to get her life right with Him. She has asked that people pray for her, her baby girl, her boyfriend and her whole family that they would know the love of Christ and give their lives to Him. She specifically gave me permission to mention her by name so people would pray for her!

It was amazing and humbling that I was allowed to be part of their spiritual journey and will get to continue to walk alongside of them!

His Child - Kara

Friday, February 25, 2011

Parenting Class

On the third Thursday of each month I am privileged to co-teach a hands-on Parenting Class along with the San Carlos Tribal Youth Home Counselor.  I have been teaching it for about 7 months now and it has been so cool to see some parents grow from what they are learning and to see them become better parents.

This week was incredible!  There were about 14 parents and 7 children.  We talked about Family Dinner Nights and how important it is to sit down and talk to each other around the dinner table.  This is something we take for granted, but so many parents don't know how to interact and dialog with their children.  This week we had a couple taking notes and asking some great questions.  Tory and I have known their children for several years (see Tory's previous post:, but had never met the parents.  Currently their children are staying at the Youth Home while they get things together.  I was able to have a great conversation with them and encourage them to do their best for their children so they could all be together.

Also, for the first time we were seeing parents really engage their children as we talked to them about listening to their children and supporting their feelings and affirming them.  Some of the parents came in and you could see they were totally overwhelmed and defeated.  I noticed when they left they were lighter in spirit because they had learned another way to bond with their child.

I am so glad I get to be a little part of the puzzle and hopefully they saw the love of Christ through our time together.  I hope and pray that my time with them will open up more opportunities for us to talk at a deeper level next time we meet.

His Child-

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Book Review of Soulprint by Mark Batterson

I was first introduced to Mark Batterson’s work almost a year ago when I friend called me up and said, “You HAVE TO read this book called In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day!” That book changed my life, challenged my walk with God and gave me an inner God strength to face the challenges that lay ahead with a new found energy. I picked up Soulprint wondering if Mark Batterson could top his previous work. If In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day was written from a cheerleader’s perspective, Soulprint was written from a therapist’s perspective.

Mark Batterson dives into a challenge to help the reader discover how God has wired each and every one of us, but not for selfish reasons. He challenges the reader to explore the five defining moments in each of our lives that will help us see how we can be used by God. Mark says right from the very beginning, “I want you to experience the joy of discovering who you are and the freedom of discovering who you’re not.” (page 3). However this self-discovery is not about yourself…it is about God and how He can use you.

The one thought that impacted me the most was these words: “Every diving appointment is preceded by a season of preparation. And if we submit to the preparation, God will fulfill His promise. If we don’t, He won’t. Why? Because God never sets us up to fail.” (page 25). How many of us have watched someone else lead worship, speak at a conference, lead an organization, teach Sunday School, write a book and think, “Why can’t that be me?” We don’t just get the cart before the horse, we want the cart and the horse NOW! God is faithful and He knows what He is doing. Sometimes the seasons of preparation can be frustrating, but God is calling us to be faithful in the little things as He prepares our path.

If you are ready to look deep into your soul and look deep into King David’s soul, then I encourage to pick up this book and read it. Take a few minutes and discover how God wants to use you, your experiences and you life story to further His kingdom. I highly recommend Soulprint by Mark Batterson.

Rank my review and let me know what you think!

Click below for a sample chapter from Soulprint.

DISCLAIMER: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why We Go To The San Carlos Tribal Youth Home

Over the past few years I have had several people ask me why we go to the San Carlos Apache Youth Home. When we first starting going there on a weekly basis we didn’t teach Bible stories. We didn’t sing any songs. In fact, we didn’t have any “formal” programming. We just tried our best to be Jesus with skin on to the staff and kids. I was asked, “Is it really ministry if you don’t teach the Bible.” We were hesitant because the director was a traditionalist. We were intentional in service, but cautious and respectful at the same time. Kara had a meeting with the director about a year ago and the director, who is a traditionalist, asked us to teach the kids Bible stories! Who but God could orchestrate the open door? We have spent the past year teaching the kids Bible stories and the truth of His Word.

Over the past year we have had several occasions when the staff has asked us to pray over the kids’ rooms. This usually happens after a stressful week when the kids were afraid to go to sleep. While we don’t mind praying for the kids, we would rather encourage the kids to pray themselves. A couple of weeks ago Kara had prepared a lesson about how God will always listen to us when we pray to Him. For our craft time, Kara had prepared pillow cases to remind the kids God will listen when they talk to Him. She had written Jeremiah 29:13 on each pillow case “When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me.”

There were four kids at the Youth Home we have known for a couple of years. It was so incredible to share with them and encourage them. One of the girls wrote on her pillow case “God will take care of me” inside of a cross. I was taken aback by the depth of her statement. Here was this girl who for one reason or another was removed from the home she was in and brought with her brothers and sister to stay at the Youth Home. In the midst of her complete turmoil, she will put her head down each night on a pillow case that reminds her that God will take care of her. Why do we minister at the San Carlos Apache Youth Home? Because there are kids who need to be reminded of the truth in the midst of their storm. Was it worth several years of just serving to earn the right to share the Gospel? Eternity will answer that question.


Monday, February 14, 2011

So Much!

Day in and day out we look at the plight of the Apache people. Why are things so desperate on the Reservation? Why is unemployment so high? Why is there so much gang activity and violence? Why are children going hungry? What can we do?

I think the first thing we must do, OK the second thing, because the first thing is pray, and pray and pray some more. The second thing we must do is ask ourselves, why we are doing anything at all? Does what we do make any difference?

I mean, what is our ultimate goal? Are we trying to make sure everyone has a place to live? Are we trying to make sure that everyone eats? That everyone has a job? Because if that’s our goal, we are destined to fail. We will never build enough houses. We will never supply enough food or paint enough playgrounds. We will look at the task and just crumble, burn out, with no light at the end of the tunnel.

So what is the purpose? Our goal must be to declare the Glory of the LORD to all the nations. Our “job” is to share Jesus with every fiber of our being. Everything we do MUST be done to spread the Glory of the Lord. We can do that by building houses or feeding people. But that isn’t the goal.

Let me paraphrase P.T. Forsythe. We think the things we need to fix are greater than what Christ has already done. The greatest “need” on the reservation is less than Christ’s great victory.

Let’s work together so the Glory of the Lord will shine on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.

Robert Crews - Future 3:18 Ministries Team Member

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Lost Sheep...The One Percent

Have you ever read a passage in Scripture and had something jump out at you that you never noticed before? In 2008 I was preparing a lesson and was studying Luke 15 - the Parable of the Lost Sheep. Luke 15:4 says, “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?” (NLT)

For some reason I had always pictured the shepherd leaving the ninety-nine other sheep in the safety of a pen. I imagined him rounding up all the sheep. I imagined him making sure they were safe from all harm, making sure all of their needs were met, making sure they were fed and watered. And then, only after the ninety-nine other sheep were secure, he took out in search of the ONE lost sheep. I do not know where this mental picture came from because it is not even close to what we find in this parable.

This shepherd leaves the ninety-nine other sheep in the wilderness, in the open country (NIV) to go search for the one that is lost. It struck me as I was wrestling with this passage the shepherd’s decision defies logic. It does not make rational sense to leave ninety-nine percent of the animals left in your charge to go look for one percent. It seems you would be better off taking care of the ninety-nine sheep you have rather than abandoning them to search for one. This might make more sense rationally, but it is not the heart of a shepherd. The heart of a shepherd cares for every single sheep, even one lost sheep...and maybe even especially the one lost sheep. Does the Church today reflect this parable? What do you think?


Friday, January 21, 2011

God Is Moving!

Our calendar is starting to fill up with short-term ministry teams wanting to partner with 3:18 Ministries.  Part of their time each day will include a service project.  On Tuesday morning I sent an email to a youth pastor who is bringing a team in May.  I said in that email, "I have been in touch with several people about trying to line up the work projects, but don't have anything set yet."  I had talked to a couple of people to see about some possible projects, but things just weren't moving forward.  I love it when God begins moving and opening doors!

Tuesday afternoon I received a phone call from one of the directors of the San Carlos Housing Authority.  He had been talking with the Tribal Chairman about doing some basic home repairs for elderly members of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.  The Chairman is willing to contribute some money to help with the repairs.  The Housing director suggested they look into using volunteer mission teams to do the repairs so the money could be used to help more elderly people.  So one thing led to another and I have a meeting this coming Tuesday with the Tribal Chairman and some leaders of the Housing Authority.  We are going to figure out a plan as to how 3:18 Ministries' short-term ministry teams can partner with the Tribe.  I am excited to see what God has in store.

Please pray for our meeting on Tuesday.  Please pray for God to continue to open the doors He wants us to walk through.  Please also pray for God to send the right skilled workers at the right time to accomplish these home repairs.


Monday, January 10, 2011


In 2005 I read in one of our sister ministry’s newsletter of a Navajo lady who lived to be 105 years old. Living to be 105 years old in itself is an amazing feat but when the average life expectancy on the reservation today is about 54 years old, that is incredible. This one lady beat the statistics. She beat the odds.

Most days I get pretty overwhelmed by the hopelessness we encounter. I get frustrated with parents making bad choices that affect their kids. I am so tired of seeing people whose lives are consumed by alcohol and drugs. I will never forget the day I saw a 2 year old baby sitting outside on the sidewalk surrounded by broken alcohol bottles.  My heart breaks as I see Satan having his way day after day tearing down God's precious creations.

I find such comfort in the fact that God has not called us to save every person on every reservation across the United States. He has not called us to be in the spotlight drawing attention to ourselves. He has not even called us to be successful. God has called us to be faithful. He has called us to faithfully walk alongside a wonderful group of kids and their parents, share Jesus with them and look for the one kid who will beat the statistics.

A good friend of mine encouraged me a while back about the philosophy of synergy. So many times we view ministry as addition, but in reality ministry is synergy. In successful ministry, one does not become two and then three and so forth. Synergy is the concept of momentum where one becomes two, two becomes four, four becomes eight, etc. Some days are tough and ministry is slow, but God has called us to keep on and pour our lives into one child who will beat all statistics and all expectations. I long for the day when the one becomes two, and two becomes four, and the four becomes eight... I long for the day when kids fall in love with God, grow up knowing and loving Him, and in turn raise their families knowing and loving God. I long for the day when Satan no longer has his foothold in San Carlos! We continue on in faith knowing that day is coming!