Back from Guam: Why Doors Can Be Dangerous Things

As I’ve said elsewhere, “It is a dangerous business going out your front door.” (J. R. R. Tolkien) My journey to Guam was no different. What I found was more doors. And doors are always uncontrollable things.

Especially when God opens them.

First the boring travel news. Thanks to a chronic cold that I’ve been unable to shake, I didn’t get any sleep the night before I left. Twenty-four hours and three sleepless flights later, I arrived in Guam having been awake for the last 48 hours. (I did watch four movies that I otherwise never would have watched. And, for the record, Avatar is way over-rated.)

My theory is that God was just making it easy for me to adjust to the new time by being able to go to sleep quickly. It took a day or two, but my internal clock did adjust to the 14-hour time difference.

Though I must confess it was strange to be in tomorrow while my family was still in today — or was it yesterday?

My first full day in Guam, I connected with Frank and Lynda Hester — a wonderful, God-ordained match to complete the Equip Leadership team in Guam. Their decades of Coast Guard instruction experience combined with current church leadership efforts brought a terrific perspective to the instruction. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them and hear of their own walk of faith into the unknown. Seems to be happening a lot these days. Or maybe I’m just noticing it more now.

We visited St. Paul’s church which hosted the Equip event on the night of their very busy Fall Festival. One thing is sure, kids are kids no matter where you go.

We got to meet Bishops John and Eva Pineda, professional faith walkers with a deep-rooted Kingdom legacy in Guam and beyond.

L-R: Myself, Bishop John Pineda, Lynda and Frank Hester

 

Bishop Eva Pineda -- a ball of energy for Christ -- teaching children the Gospel.

We met so many awesome people and began what promise to be many rewarding Kingdom friendships including with Pastors Paul and Albert and others. Pastor Lenny and Mario Josef looked out for us the whole time. Mario gave us a bonus tour of the island. We ate a lot of excellent food — I’m told that eating good food is normal on Guam.

The leadership training exceeded all expectations. At dinner the night before — another excellent dinner with more excellent new friends — it looked as if there might be 100 in attendance. By the time things began Friday, we had more than 220 in attendance for training. The next day went continued well as we really dived into  leadership specifics. Spent a session with pastors and church representatives from around the island and concluded with an encouraging Q & A with the small group leaders of St. Paul’s Church.

Empty seats inthe gym before the conference. They filled up fast.

A great start, but only a start. I’m already making plans to extend my ministry reach to Guam churches and schools next trip. We plan now to expand as doors have opened to other countries around the Pacific Rim as God leads to support Christian schools and other ministries there.  And my wife will be going next time so that we can continue to approach His work as a family as much as possible.

We need support to do it. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation through the Center for Cultural Leadership. Just click on the “Donate” button at the bottom of that page. If you can drop me a quick e-mial to let me know for record-keeping, that would be great. If not, God will work it out.

If you would have told me a year ago that I would be planning to spend a good chunk of time over the next many years on the other side of the world building God’s Kingdom, I would have politely smiled and concluded the conversation as quickly as possible. But it’s like Mark Batterson says in The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears, “You can’t never always sometimes tell.”

God’s like that. I wonder where He might be calling you. If you’ll let him. One thing is sure, if you keep your hand open, you never know where you might end up.

It seems to me that we often reject the good that God offers us because, at the moment, we expected some other good. ~ C.S. Lewis
Where do you sense God tugging at your heart to step out of your comfort zone? Have you had a missions experiences overseas? Share your story or thoughts with a comment. 
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