Monday, January 25, 2010

A story of trust

I am fourteen, and I am nervous as I leave for my first ever mission trip, but I know that my parents are far more scared than I am. We are driving past a dump, only twenty minutes away from the resort area of the Dominican Republic. I see a family living in this dump, and a little boy with no clothes on. I am forever moved by the poverty I witness first hand, and God confirms my call to missions.

It is later in the week, and God is speaking to me about giving up something so that I can better be used for his kingdom. I feel God is leading me to give up German so that I can take a Spanish class. I reluctantly agree.

It is a year later, and I learn that I have the opportunity to spend six weeks in Mexico living with the missionaries there. I wonder how lost I would have been without having that one year of Spanish.

I am now sixteen, returning from my summer in Mexico, only to face the sickness of my Nana, my favorite person in the world. I wonder why God is letting this happen, but I have learned to trust in Him. She dies, but she tells me that her favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

I am seventeen, and God is changing my plans; I now feel led to attend Southern Nazarene University to study missions. I know it is the place for me.

I am a freshman, nineteen years old, and I begin sensing a call from God to go to Peru. I file it away into my plan for my life as something I would do after I graduate.

The following semester, these words echo through my mind: “No one has the right to hear the gospel twice until everyone has heard it once.” I know that I must once again surrender my plans to God, trusting Him completely. I must follow God’s call on my life to Peru. I must, for perhaps the first time in my life, allow my heart to defeat my mind.

It is three weeks before I am supposed to leave for Peru, and I am not even breaking $4000 raised for my two years in Peru, when I need $15,000 before I go. I begin to have doubts. I issue a cry for help to God’s people. And God’s people step up…one week later, I am fully-funded. God did amazing things, not only calling me to go, but also calling individuals to support me. I am humbled. I am confident. And I am trusting God completely as I head off into this next journey for my life, planting three churches in Peru.

I am twenty, and I am a real missionary. I am about to leave for my first assignment. I have fears, but God gives me overwhelming peace. And I once again know that my parents are far more scared than I am. But we are trusting God.

I am twenty, and God has given me a burning passion for the unreached people groups around the world. I pray that God would turn this passion into a holy anguish, so that the unreached who do not know the gospel, and have no hope of hearing it unless someone goes to them, will actually pain me to know about.

Looking into the future…I am twenty-three, and I have been back from Peru for a few months. Life is supposed to return to “normal.” I have people tell me that it is so good that I did this while I was young, and what a great experience this was for me. I think to myself, this was not an experience; this is the life that I have been called to.

“My life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God."

Friday, January 15, 2010

I Need Help

Three weeks from today, I will arrive in Peru.

Three weeks.

Twenty-one days.

In three short weeks, I will be arriving in Peru, UNLESS I do not raise all of my funds.

That's right, this dream of mine, this calling from God that I have been talking about for the last eight months, may not happen.

I need $15,000 for the two years I will be in Peru planting churches, and I don't have it yet. I don't even have it all pledged.

And if I don't raise all of my funding, not only will I not be going anywhere, but three fewer churches will be planted in Peru.

I need help.

I hate asking for help. I am one of the most independent people you will ever meet. To a fault. I don't like asking for help. I especially don't like asking for money. But here I am. Three communities in Cusco, Peru will not have churches and get to hear about the amazing grace of Jesus Christ if I do not get $15,000. I've said it before, and I am going to say it again: I hate money.

I hate that money, or a lack of it, could get in the way of my call from God.

I need help.

If you have thought about giving to support three churches in Peru, please do it now. Please do it before I have to cancel my flight and unpack my bags.

I need 14 people or families to give $30 a month. Or if your finances are tight, like my family, then I need 28 people to pledge $15 a month. Please give now.

The easiest way to give is to go to and click Donate. Even my Poppaw was able to do it this way, that's how easy it is.

I need help. I still hate saying it, but it is a fact. Be a part of the beginning of my missionary career. Be a part of planting three churches in Peru. Be a part of God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

I want to leave you with a quote from Steve Saint:
"I believe some of the heaviest crowns in heaven will be worn by hardworking men and women who denied themselves the benefits that society said they deserved, in order to help finance the Great Commission...Missionaries usually get more recognition than the faithful Christians who support them...We must not forget that to reach the world with God's Word, it will take a combination of going and sending. Both actions are vitally important, and people in both capacities can be heroes of the faith."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Vlog #1 and Other Thoughts

The writer of Ecclesiastes believes that everything is meaningless, and in light of this belief, he says that the only thing to do is to enjoy the present-- party it up, have a good time, and don't worry about things, because it's all meaningless. I kind of take issue with that conclusion. I don't refute that everything is meaningless; after all, I am going to one day die and be forgotten, and in light of that fact, what I do doesn't really matter. But I must draw a different conclusion: making my name known while on this earth is meaningless, therefore, the only way that what I do will have meaning is if I do not do it to make my name known. So if I do everything in an effort to make the name of Christ known, that is the only way it will have meaning! His name will not be forgotten, and he lives! So if I just focus on him--his name and his beauty-- I can actually forget about myself. And when I forget about myself, I can free other people to forget about me too, and that is a beautiful thing.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What will God do With 2010

A note from the Extreme Director:

Knowing that economic turmoil that has effected nearly everyone around the globe, we at Extreme give sincere thanks to all those who have supported and continue to support us. Take a minute with me to see how God used you and Extreme in 2009 and what He has in store for 2010.

While we did feel the effect of the ´great recession´ in 2009, we saw God rise above mere financial challenges and move mountains. In 2009, Extreme grew from 11 full time staff in January to 92 in December. We saw our first group of eight 40/40 church planters hit the ground and start 13 churches (even though only 12 were planned). We saw 155 short term volunteers from 44 churches come and serve for two weeks and reep a harvest of over 1,000 Peruvians. We saw our second group of twenty-four 40/40 missionaries start their training in the jungle. We saw our mobilization team grow from 4 in January to 11 in December. We saw our construction team finish our 3,000 sq ft 40/40 training center and our first 40/40 base camp. We saw God touch the hearts of people to collectively contribute over $500,000 to help us plant churches... in no particular order...

If God did all that in 2009, what´s in store for 2010?

We trust that God´s vision for Extreme in 2010 is to press on ahead with even more audacity and intensity than in 2009. Our third group of twenty-four 40/40´s are set to start training in May and our last group of twenty-four 40/40´s are set to start training in August. Our project team will host more than tripple the amount of short term volunteers over last year. Our 40/40´s will start... 108 more churches. Our construction team will build two more base camps, two churches and some housing. Over 10,000 locals will attend our final short term project, Love Extreme and we pray for a harvest of thousands. Our mobilization team will take a short breather after the year and a half long marathon promotion of Extreme Peru... then jump right back in the saddle to start promoting the next Extreme (come to Love Extreme in June 2010 in Arequipa, Peru to find out what the Next Extreme is The projected 140 Extreme staff will come together for our annual Extreme retreat. And that´s all before July...

We can´t wait to get started and invite you to come along with us!

Brian Tibbs
Extreme Director

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Things I Learned from Steve Saint

This past semester, I took a class called Missions Strategies. One of our textbooks was The Great Omission, by Steve Saint. You might recognize his name; his father was one of the five men who was killed by the Waodani Indians in Ecuador (the movie End of the Spear tells this story). I really enjoyed this book; each week, we had to write a reflection on the chapters we had read, and one of my reflections contains many important pieces of information or advice that will be helpful for me to remember while on the mission field, so I want to share it.

In the book, Saint told the story of the first of the Waodani to ride in a plane with his dad. Do you remember the scene in the movie End of the Spear? That man's son, Tementa, now flies a plane in order to meet the transportation needs for the Waodani. Tementa was asked if he understood that he could die because he flies the plane, and he said, "If I fly, I might die, but if I don't fly, others will die."

On that same page, Saint remarks, "Safety isn't the ultimate objective for us as Christians, nor is living a long life. Our objective is to obey God and to fulfill his plan for us." That is a reminder that I desperately need. When I talk to my parents about being a missionary, one of the first/main concerns they have is about my safety. I understand that because they are my parents, but God did not call me to be safe. God called me to take his gospel to all nations.

Similarly, I have been thinking lately about how I want to be a missionary who goes to the unreached places of the world. Then I think about how scary and dangerous that is. And I wonder if I should go to the 10/40 window, where I might not be safe. But I need to remember that my objective is not safety, it is to obey. And if God says, "Go, minister to people who may hate you. Go, work in a place ravaged by war. Go, take care of the people the world calls the least of these," then I will go. To the person who is given much, much is expected. I have been given much, so my response is to be a blessing to other people.

Other reminders:

•"A little genuine concern for people's felt needs usually goes a long way toward breaking down such barriers." Sometimes, I stress out about how to plant the gospel in a place that has never heard it before. The command Jesus gives us is to make disciples of all nations, but it is very difficult to make people understand how much God loves them and you love them too if you are unwilling to take care of their physical needs. Compassion, tangible compassion, helps to break down the barriers that tell people you are an outsider and are not to be trusted. When you show that you care about their needs, not just the spiritual ones, they might just be willing to hear what you have to say about their spiritual needs. Of course we want to give people the Bread of Life, but it is hard to tell them about the Bread of Life until they no longer need bread in their stomachs.

•"We cannot excuse how we live on the mission field by what we have given up at home." This quote helps to keep me in check about my lifestyle. There are numerous stories from missionaries about how their possessions and affluence have shattered any chance they had of connecting with the people they were there to minister to. My possessions—my affluent lifestyle—are not worth that much to me. So I don’t want to ever attempt to justify the way I live on the mission field by what I have given up.

•"They never really needed us in the first place; they needed Christ." What an awesome reminder! It is not about me! God can accomplish his plans perfectly well without me. But I get the privilege of being involved in the kingdom of God. However, if I ever have pride because of this, I know that they don’t for one second need me, they need Christ!

Have Any Questions?

Have Any Questions?
People ask me a lot of questions about Extreme Peru, and I love to answer them! So let me post a little Q & A session right here on my blog, and if you have any other questions, let me know!

What is Extreme Nazarene Ministries?
Extreme Nazarene Ministries is a freestanding 501c3 non-profit charitable organization and is governed by a board of directors. Extreme’s purpose is to seek and deploy people into an extreme expansion of God’s Kingdom. Extreme has partnered exclusively with the global Church of the Nazarene to seek out underserved needs within mission of the Church of the Nazarene. Extreme engineers solutions to those needs in conjunction with our field charters that are governed by Extreme and Nazarene field executives.

What is Extreme Peru?
Extreme Nazarene Ministries and the leadership of Peru and South America, together have formed the project, Extreme Peru. Extreme Peru exists to seek and deploy people into the darkest parts of Peru carrying the light of Jesus Christ so that minds, hearts and souls may be radically transformed in Him and to break the chains linking them to their dark Godless world.
Extreme Peru is a 4-year project commencing in 2008 and ending in February 2012. At the completion of the project, the goal is to have 120 new community centric mission churches planted in 7 geographical regions of Peru (Arequipa, Cusco, Iquitos, Puerto Maldonado, Pucallpa, Puno & Tacna).
The strategy to plant those churches is two-fold: the 40/40 strategy and short-term volunteer strategy.

What is the 40/40 strategy?
Extreme has developed a new missionary model that seeks to deploy 40 North American singles and 40 Peruvian singles into a 2-year church planting campaign. Each North American will be paired up with a Peruvian of the same gender. The pair will go through 6 months of job training, then 18 months planting 3 churches. 40 pairs, planting 3 churches each will result in 120 new churches planted.

So can I come down short-term?
We have opened up over 800 spots for volunteers to come to one of the 7 cities to assist the 40/40’s in their church planting work for 13 day periods. Short term volunteers are critical to the success of the project for many reasons. Mainly, short term volunteers provide highly skilled volunteer labor for construction, evangelism, discipleship, leadership training, compassionate outreach and mega-events coordination. 13 different events for short term volunteers are planned between July 2009 and June 2010. The energy and impact generated by these events will propel the 40/40’s forward further than they can reach alone.

Where are you going to be, Cailyn?
I will be in Cusco.
Let me tell you a little bit about Cusco:

At an altitude of 3,393 meters (11,203 feet) above sea level and a population of 320,152, Cusco is an anchor city of the high mountain plains (Altiplano) of Peru. The dozens of small villages dotting the mountains surrounding Cusco are fertile grounds for the Gospel. Many of these villages, filled with beautiful people who still speak their native Inca tongue have not yet been granted the opportunity to hear about their Savior Jesus Christ.
The famous Machu-Picchu ruins of the Inca Empire is just a short ride from Cusco making it the tourism capital of Peru by many respects. The influx of tourism spending affords Cusco nice streets and a developed and safe downtown life. While the high altitude takes some time to adjust to, it does not stop the thousands of visitors every day from coming.

In January 2008, the church of the Nazarene sent its first missionary, Herbert Barco, to Cusco. Pastor Barco arrived on scene with nothing more than his family, his well worn Bible and a prayer that God would pave the way. Barco entered Cusco and did just as God guided him to do; he set out to love his new neighbors. In the first three months, Pastor Barco exceeded original goals by initiating discipleship classes with 20 new Christian adults.

When Pastor Barco first arrived on the scene, he quickly identified a critical need that he wanted to help remedy. He has formed partnerships with two different after-school homes for elementary school kids who live in extreme poverty or broken homes. Pastor Barco and his congregation regularly staff the homes, prepare healthy meals for the kids and conduct Bible studies with the kids. Extreme Nazarene has agreed to assist the church with their outreach to these kids in need by funding additional meals (current budget only allows 1 meal per week) and a kitchen remodel of one of the homes.

What will you do on a day-to-day basis?
40/40’s primary job is to build relationships with the community. They will be meeting people, connecting with families, playing soccer, starting Bible studies, doing VBS camps, feeding the hungry, etc. The end goal is to develop a church congregation in a community sharing the love of Christ.

Where will you live?
40/40’s will be living in the Cluster housing provided by Extreme Nazarene. In the cluster housing they will be living with other sets of 40/40’s and a cluster support family that will be their primary host and support.

How can we support you?
1. Prayer! Sign up to be a prayer partner online. You have no idea how much I appreciate your prayers!
2. As a volunteer missionary, I have to raise all my own funds. This means I am responsible for raising more than $16,000. Now that sounds daunting, and no, I do not have it all yet. But you can help. I need 30 people to pledge to support me with $25 a month. Now that doesn’t sound too bad! You can make a one time donation, or sign up with a monthly pledge at Please partner with me to plant three churches in Peru, and be a part of expanding the kingdom of God, on earth as it is in heaven.

When do you leave?
I leave home on January 31, and fly to Los Angeles for orientation. Then we fly to Peru on February 5.

Thoughts on 2009 and Moving into 2010

It is not a secret to any of you that I am called to cross-cultural missions. That happened long before 2009. But in the year 2009, God did some amazing things in my life. He ignited a passion in me for unreached people groups. This probably first happened at a Christian concert in a stadium in Oklahoma City. There I was, hearing the gospel message presented to thousands of people, people who live in the Bible Belt with a Christian church on nearly every corner, and the words echoing through my mind were “No one has the right to hear the gospel twice until everyone has heard it once.” It struck me as so unfair that there I was hearing the gospel for the millionth time, surrounded by people who had access to the saving message of Jesus since they were born, while 2 billion people have never heard the Good News of Jesus. Completely unfair. And then I learned that 90% of missionaries today go to places already reached by the gospel. Some statistics I have found say more than that; 95% of missionaries go to places reached by the gospel. But here’s the thing, the purpose of missions is not the evangelization of the world. The purpose of the church is the evangelization of the world. So the purpose of missions is to plant the gospel in every people group so that the church can evangelize that people group. But more than 6,000 people groups exist in the world today who have never heard the gospel. This has just stirred up a passion in me for every tribe, nation, and race to be able to lift up the name of Jesus Christ. That is what God has done in my life in 2009.

So in 2010, I am going to Peru. I am going to plant churches where there are no Evangelical churches. I am going to be a part of expanding the kingdom of God where pastors there have described the social problems, including drugs, alcoholism, prostitution, and poverty. In a land flooded with darkness, Jesus Christ is the hope and the light. And when the light shines in the darkness, the darkness cannot overcome it.

I’ve done some research, and there are five unreached people groups in Peru. My heart is to see each of them penetrated by the gospel. And then the two in Columbia, and the four in Ecuador, across the globe, until every one of the 16,000 people groups in the world has access to the gospel. Because the gospel is only good news if it gets there in time. So in 2010, of course I want your prayers for myself and for what God is doing in Peru, but I want to challenge you to pray for unreached people groups.