Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July Newsletter

Hello, all!

I figured that since I don't really write that much on my blog (insert sarcastic pause), I would make a newsletter! This newsletter is all about what God has done, is doing, and what I believe He wants to do. I have uploaded it to the internet so you can all download it! Yay! (Click the word "download in the previous sentence.)

Please share this with as many people as you can, as I intend for this to encourage anyone and everyone who reads it. Love you guys! Thank you for your prayers and for keeping up with my long-winded blog posts ;-)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Back Problems

Last Wednesday, (July 13, 2011) I woke up at 6:45 AM to my alarm clock. I could barely move. For the next five days, I experienced the worst back pain I had ever had, near-constant migraines, and nausea (that didn't end well two nights in a row) for the first few days. Wednesday through Friday I stayed home from work for two reasons: first, I had no idea whether what I was experiencing was contagious (as there was the nausea and migraines) or not; second, the pain was excruciating and I had no energy for anything. I came to the conclusion (after research and consulting with family and co-workers) that the nausea was most likely caused by the migraines, and the migraines (as explained later) were a direct result of the back problem I am experiencing. So, I decided to make a chiropractic appointment for Monday night (July 18, 2011).

Dr. Frank Berzanskis is first and foremost a follower of Christ, and also a credible doctor in the field of chiropractic. He is part of the "Board of Wellness" for the USA Wrestling, Judo, and Weight-lifting Olympic teams in the 2012 Olympics in London. More information is available at his website:

On the first visit, I received X-Rays and an adjustment. I was then scheduled for a follow-up appointment on Thursday (July 21, 2011). So, last night I went to find out the results of the X-Rays and determine a course of action. From the X-Rays, it has been determined that I have a "loss of cervical lordosis." In other words, instead of the cervical arc (the neck area of the spine) curving at 43 degrees backward like such ")" the curvature measurement is -11 degrees, meaning it bends forward as such "(". This causes the rest of the spine to misalign itself. All this adds pressure to various nerves in the Nervous System. These disturbed nerves cause other problems all through the body. A misaligned spine also causes back pain, migraines and head aches, insomnia, inability to concentrate, and the inability to find a comfortable position (all of these symptoms I have had for a while.) It also causes many other things that I am not "experiencing" quite yet. An article describing this condition in more detail is found here: Also, searching "loss of cervical lordosis" on will provide you with medical journals on this condition.

All this to say that I am still in great pain (though each adjustment temporarily relieves some pain) and will need to continue at this rehabilitation center to correct my spine and "retrain" my muscles to keep proper posture and spine alignment. Unfortunately, this is not free. The entire process will take 12 months of in-office adjustments and physical therapy/spinal rehabilitation and prescribed at-home exercises/stretches. The first month will be frequent visits and ends with an x-ray to confirm progress. The next two months are either semi-frequent or frequent visits, depending on how far along the progress is, and ends with another x-ray. The next 9 months are 2-4 visits per month, again determined by current progress. The price of this from any Doctor would be nearly $8000. While this is a very large sum, the value is priceless. If this problem is not corrected, it will continue to reduce the quality of my life, my effectiveness in daily situations, and every aspect of my physical existence. This problem, left uncorrected, could easily inhibit any physically stressful missions work. Considering I plan on doing language survey in Nepal, hiking through the Himalaya mountain range, physical health is quite necessary. So, $8000 for a year of spinal rehabilitation to prevent all sorts of disease, sickness, and other problems for the rest of my life is a pretty good deal.

What's better, though, is that Dr. Frank does not charge this. Instead, he would charge around $2600. However, he is also giving me a discount for being in the ministry. So, my total cost would be $2200. That's nearly $6000 less than any other doctor would charge for the same process. Also, if I am able to pay the sum in one payment, the price would decrease to around $1900. This would come out to around $160/month.

I am telling you all of this because I need your support through prayer and financially. If you are able and willing, seek the Lord's will and consider supporting me financially. If not, please pray! Also pass this on to others, as there is no such thing as too many prayer partners!

I love you guys and I am so thankful for your support, both prayerfully and financially!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Money Belongs to God

I never doubt that the Lord will provide necessary funds at the necessary times. I never doubt that all money belongs to God. I never doubt that people are willing and interested in serving the Lord through supporting others in Missions. I have "Financial Faith." However, He still surprises me in the ways He provides.
I'm nearly finished raising support for the last month of my Summer Internship here at Wycliffe. I've been updating this blog and have sent a newsletter (working on sending another, by the way), and I have made known to many my need for support--financial and prayer. Yet, the funds have not been completely paid.

A few weeks ago, a lady and her husband in California--whose home group I attended and whom helped me to get this internship--sent out their newsletter. Jan Mayer had served with Wycliffe as a Literacy Expert in Peru for 17 years, helping with a translation in one of the various Quechua languages. She also served for 6 years in Bolivia. Bob met her on a short-term mission in Peru, and they fell in love. Now they continue to serve with Wycliffe, but through Skype, conference calls, and meetings, conferences, exhibits, etc. in California. In their newsletter at the beginning of this month, there was a section that shared my story! I was blessed and encouraged just to know that people I didn't know were now going to pray for me. I never thought that I would receive financial support from this, though!
Today, I received an e-mail from a couple in Texas. They have prayerfully decided to give a one time gift of $300 and have committed to sending $25/month for the next year! As you might suspect--as this is not unusual for me!--I was brought to tears when I read the e-mail. I've learned in a new way through this that all money belongs to the Lord and He chooses to disperse it as He pleases!
I now need only to raise $200. Praise God for His provision, and thank all of you for your prayers and your support!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Navigators: Moving Bible Translation Forward Through Prayer

This weekend, we hosted an informative event at the Wycliffe USA headquarters here in Orlando, Florida. The event began at 11:00 AM and ended around 4:00 PM on Saturday, July 16. Attending were 195 students and staff from the Navigators program ( The purpose of the event was to inform this group of students about the Bible translation visions, needs, and process and to provide them with opportunities to become involved. One of the most valuable things anyone can do to help is to pray.

When we presented the Navigators group with the opportunity and challenge to join the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project, they were enthused and eager to take part in furthering the Kingdom of God through Bible translation! Through this event, 100 students and staff have committed to praying for various Bibleless Peoples around the world--Praise the Lord!

Now there are 13,379 believers interceding on behalf of Bibleless people groups on a regular basis, presenting their petitions before our gracious and loving God!

So as you continue to pray, remember that you are not alone: there are 13,378 brothers and sisters praying along side of you for those who still need God's Word! Be encouraged--keep praying!

I love my job!

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." -- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


July 8, 2011: a sad day--the final Shuttle Launch in the current NASA Shuttle program, launch mission STS-135.

Just a random photo I found appropriate.
Having grown up on the Space Coast, I have seen more rockets and shuttles launch than I have seen mountains, snowfalls, tornados, waterfalls, etc. Every launch is spectacular. Even when the view is limited, hazy, or short-lived, something about sending things to space--a frontier only imagined by most and so inaccurately portrayed by television--really hits a nerve in the human spirit. Maybe it's the fact that space is so unknown that intrigues us. Perhaps that it gives a glimpse of the vastness of God's infinite glory and majesty and creativity. Perhaps that it gives a new perspective on life and the insignificance of our problems in comparison to the universe and the power of God to fix them. Perhaps space is so intriguing because God designed it to prove His love for us, to give us a masterpiece to view every night. He created galaxies that we can't see so that we could see them and stand in awe of God--His grace, His glory, His mercy, His loving-kindness, His patience, His goodness, His sovereignty, His Son.

I got to meet up with my family, too! 
Anyway, I helped plan an event to watch this last shuttle launch with the interns and staff and some guests. In total, seventeen people drove from Orlando on Thursday night (July 7, 2011) to First Baptist of Merritt Island to spend the night there and drive to KARS park at 3:00 AM Friday (July 8, 2011). Planning this event was one of the most stressful, stretching experiences I've been faced with so far! I grew in so many ways just in the planning--as a professional, as an individual, as a team leader, as a son of God.

Well, we waited on a dock at the park on the river for EIGHT HOURS to watch Atlantis lift off shortly after 11:26 AM on Friday, July 8, 2011. For many of the group that had come, this was the first launch they had ever seen. So, not only was this historic (being the last launch) but also monumental in their lives! Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

God blessed us with a cool morning (though, mosquitoes were hungry for breakfast blood) and a beautiful view of the lift-off.

Though I hope I never have to plan another event this big, we all had a wonderful time and were blessed by each others company. Who knew that God could use something so fun to grow His servants?

I love my job.

Campus Outreach pt. 3

Well, last Sunday (July 3, 2011), a friend and I went to the Campus Outreach rally at their hotel. The night was amazing! We arrived shortly after 7:00 and left around 11:30!

The first group (the first to tour Wycliffe as well) had their rally, which consisted of a skit, a teaching, and worship--it was great! At the end, the speaker announced that I was there to hand out the welcome letters to those who had signed up for BPPP. I spent the next 30-40 minutes talking to students and watching all 75 of them open their envelopes eagerly and read the letter with huge smiles on their faces. I was once again brought to tears at how God has allowed me to be part of something so great!

The second group was slightly (okay, vastly) different! They began to trickle into the room "prepared for war" with the most ridiculous costumes (you know, the kind only college students can make with stuff like tin foil, belts, bandanas, sharpies, etc.)! Loud rap and hip hop music played as they gathered. The program began with a dramatic introduction and a couple silly ice-breaker activities. Then came a teaching by a former Campus Outreach student--I was so encouraged! After that, the group leader unexpectedly asked me to go on stage and share about the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project with the 120+ who had gathered that night! After I gave my spiel, there was an allotted time for the students and staff to journal. During the ensuing fifteen minutes of journaling, 75 more students committed to praying for Bibleless People groups! Brought to tears twice in one night as people passed their sign-up cards to the end of their aisle and one-by-one I collected 75 commitments that will further the Kingdom of God through the Power of Prayer!!

The night ended for us with another time of worship. This particular session really touched my heart. Everyone was unashamedly worshipping their God and King and Savior and Friend and Father! The last song sung was "In Christ Alone," a personal favorite. Half way through the song, I stopped singing and listened to the group of 120+ students pour their heart out to the Lord and confess their need for Him, acknowledging that it is in Christ alone we live! Something must be wrong with my tear-ducts, because there is no way that this guy cried three times in one night. Seriously, though, God blessed me beyond explanation--gave me joy unspeakable!--that night.

I love my job.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Campus Outreach pt. 2

The 75 Letters I will be handing out!

Today we had our second group from Campus Outreach visit Wycliffe. This time was pretty different, actually. First off, I helped lead worship (I played piano and sang--video below). Secondly, we didn't put as much emphasis on the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project tonight as last week. The reason for this is that the particular group that came tonight will distribute sign-up cards to the students at a separate time already planned. But, I confirmed with the leaders that we interns are invited to their Sunday night celebration. I'll be handing out the letters to the initial group and continuing relationships with the students. I am so excited!

Tonight I met a guy named Alex. He was born in the States but grew up in Shanghai, China. His dad is from Singapore and his mother from China, and neither are saved; nor are his brother and sister. He's studying Food Science at Purdue University in Indiana. We had a great conversation about his testimony and his heart for reaching China! At the end of our conversation, I prayed for him. I looked up and saw his tear-filled eyes. He thanked me for taking the time to talk to him and gave me a hug. This is why I love my job!
I am so looking forward to hanging out with them all again on Sunday!

Here is a video of one of the songs we played for worship. It's called Hakuna Mungu Kama Wewe. That means There's No One Like Jesus. It's great to see all the students get into the African worship song and praise the Lord in another language! How awesome to be part of facilitating that :) It's really a great way to introduce the need for God's Word in every tongue.