Safeguard

25 11 2014

I can get emotionally wrecked quickly when I hear about or see children being damaged. The real question is, however, what accountability and protections are we putting in place to prevent it from happening on our watch?





Fun, Fun, Fun

12 11 2014

I often laugh when I’m around children. Like when my son tells a knock, knock joke that makes zero sense. Or when my daughter giggles continuously because of a new sound that she’s discovered. Or when a kid completely derails one of my very serious and important small group questions with a comment like, “broccoli and cheese!” …Or something random like that. We adults take things far too seriously. Let fun, laughter and celebration into your life this week!





Nicaragua Family Rhythm Conference Highlights

12 11 2014

My wife, Daphne, and I recently travelled to Nicaragua to train family ministry leaders. We were privileged to be invited as part of a pastoral training team working with Threefold Ministries. We taught two family ministry conferences while the remainder of the team organized details and collaboratively led the ministry couples conferences.

One conference group holding Jim Jackson’s Disciplina Que Conecta (Discipline that Connects) handbook.

One conference group holding Jim Jackson’s Disciplina Que Conecta (Discipline that Connects) handbook.

The people attending the conference were extremely receptive, teachable and enjoyable to be around. The fact that we were training ministry leaders is especially important as many of them will in turn train their churches. One participant, in his appreciation, shared a verse from Deuteronomy 1:11, where Moses expressed a desire that God’s family would multiply. Indeed, may the discipleship of children in families multiply in Canada, Nicaragua and all over the world.

We thank you for your prayers that helped us present this material cross culturally, share transformative experiences and equip ministry leaders with tools for family discipleship.

Photo booth!

Photo booth!

God provided us with Irvin and Davinia, a fantastic translation team. They were not there to simply parrot our words, but communicate our heart while working diligently to ensure understanding for the participants as well as our understanding of participant contributions.

Another prayer request answered in different ways, was that there would be personal blessing and true transformation. They were eager to learn, willing to apply lessons immediately and demonstrated true understanding and changed hearts. Parents learned new training approaches for child connection, discipline and development. Children’s ministry leaders learned unique ideas for teaching the Gospel. Our goofy photo booth helped participants laugh. Our team games energized and inspired them to unite as families. Our group work focused their attention to take ownership of their own family discipleship plan.

Team games! Engaging experiences and memorable moments.

Team games! Engaging experiences and memorable moments.

Alicia and Manuel are starting a church plant. Pray for ministry leaders like them who are seeking to be a blessing to hurting families.

Alicia and Manuel are starting a church plant. Pray for ministry leaders like them who are seeking to be a blessing to hurting families.

Daph and I were particularly touched with the outpouring of responses to one exercise where we asked participants to create something from two bandaids illustrating how God loves to fix what’s broken, mend what’s torn and restore what’s worn out. They shared their stories of family pain while also holding on to their hope in Christ.

May the Gospel multiply throughout the world as families embody Christ’s grace and truth. Thank you for your support!

The conferences team. From left: Steve, Daphne, Helen, Wayne, Janice, Bruce, Doug, Detra.

The conferences team. From left: Steve, Daphne, Helen, Wayne, Janice, Bruce, Doug, Detra.





We’re All Connected

5 11 2014

Appreciate the complexity of life and our own unique influence on it today!





Moments Matter

17 10 2014

Parents, children’s ministry volunteers…

Maximize the power of the moment!





Teaching Family Rhythm in Nicaragua

7 10 2014
1024px-Concepción_from_Maderas_(landscape)

Nicaragua is known as the land of lakes and volcanoes; pictured is Concepción volcano, as seen from Maderas volcano.

Families everywhere matter to God. Children everywhere do not have a choice where they are born or what family they are born into. Yet God not only loves each one a lot, but also has his hand on them for something special (1 Thessalonians 1:4, MSG). Jesus came to bring us back into right relationship with the Father, which leads us to desire all families around the globe to be brought back into right relationships with each other (2 Corinthians 5:18).

My wife, Daphne, and I are thrilled to travel to Nicaragua from October 21-31. We will be a part of a pastoral training team leading two simultaneous conferences to ministry leaders south of the city of Managua at the Skylark Centre. This centre is a part of Threefold Ministries. One conference is for marriage relationships, while the conference we will teach, called Family Rhythm, is for family relationships.

The Manzanarez family serving as the Skylark Operations Manager and Assistant.

The Manzanarez family serving as the Skylark Operations Manager and Assistant.

Please pray for us in these ways:

  • Clarity of presentation
  • Relevant content and personal connection
  • Transformed leadership and families
  • Personal burdens of attendees lightened
  • Revitalizing experiences for attendees

…there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained [by godly discipline].
-Hebrews 12:11, NLT

Daphne and I will explore the topic of restoring broken relationships (which we all daily have to deal with) through the motif of a rhythm of the heart. This rhythm keeps the hope of Christ-filled and deeply satisfying relationships in view in order to press on through the real difficulties that families face on a daily basis. (Use link below for more information).

The well-kept grounds of the Skylark Centre.

The well-kept grounds of the Skylark Centre.

Attendees will each receive Jim Jackson’s Discipline that Connects Handbook in Spanish, a powerful tool for helping families connect deeply with each other and with God. We are also giving away some copies of The Jesus Storybook Bible and The Beginner’s Bible in Spanish.

You may wish to donate. Please donate at the Threefold Ministries website (link above, click on the “Donate” tab) with the designation “October 2014 Conference Team.”

The philosophy of Threefold Ministries “has always had as its goal, sustainability. Threefold believes it is absolutely essential that if you are going to help people in a meaningful way you must commit to them for the ‘long haul’.”

May the peace and power of God extend throughout the world as we make disciples in and through our families!





Be Prepared

7 10 2014

Real life-change doesn’t happen by accident. Take some time this week to really prepare yourself for your interactions with children. Spend time alone praying “God search my heart and know my thoughts. Read Scripture and consider the age-appropriate words you can use to speak it to children. Get beyond the bare minimum or the accepted norm and really go for it! Our children are worth it.

Screenshot 2014-10-07 12.06.29








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