Tag Archives: missions

Leprosy, India and Awakening…

Videos of the Cornerstone Chandler Team hanging with the Lepers:

One of the most powerful things in this video is at the very end as one of our Pastors, Jeff Gokee, gets in front of a camera to try and talk about what he had just experienced. I was overwhelmed as I watched my very strong, manly, passionate and truth speaking friend get lost for any words to speak. I love the picture and the brokenness in the last scene of the video. Brokenness is what we need to awaken a generation to actually do something for those in need. God, ‘break our hearts for what breaks Yours’!

The next video is an interview that Jeff did with Suresh and a Leper from the colony they were in. Watch her face as they chit chat about Leprosy and then watch her light up about the last question. The UNBELIEVABLE joy and hope for Jesus in desperate people is electrifying. I wept as I saw her ooze of joy for her Jesus. What a saint!

To have the kind of capacity for joy as an outcast from society, a woman shunned from normalcy, the lowest of the caste, ‘the untouchable’ just absolutely blows my mind. I could just sense the Spirit in me leaping for His love for her as I watched the video. I could feel Gods love for this woman and for these people in my heart. POWERFUL stuff! In the same breath I could sense God moving in me saying, ‘You MUST love people like her like I love them’!

To GIVE to Harvest India click the icon below:

What grabbed your attention most in this what you saw in this post? Leave a comment!!

Advertisements

Prayer Won’t Be Enough…

This morning I watched a picture montage of the tragedy that is Haiti today. I watched as THOUSANDS of people stood in line in the HOT sun waiting, hoping and fighting over bags of beans, rice and oil. Many of them waited for hours just to be told that there wasn’t enough and the aid group had given out all the food they had. The already hungry people of Haiti are now even hungrier in the aftermath of the earthquake. I was struck with the reality that as Christ followers, when it comes to those in need, prayer alone will not be enough.

I had a couple interesting and diverse comments from people on a Twitter post I put out on the subject. Some agreed, some totally disagreed and said that prayer is sometimes all you can do. Personally, I could not disagree more with that statement. I would love to hear your thoughts on prayer and the needs of the poor. Do you think that it, alone, will be enough from what you know about what Jesus commands us to do?

Below is my response to the person that may disagree with me on this statement. I think Jesus sets the record straight on how we ought to engage those in need. I want to make clear that I am a FIRM advocate that prayer is an essential component to following Jesus, but, on it’s own it will not meet the needs of the poor. Here is my response:

Twitter: Watched a piece on @CNN about the lack of food in #Haiti. It’s not enough just to pray we must mobilize what we have for those in need!

I look at Matthew 25 where Jesus delivers his poignant and final sermon on ‘The Sheep and The Goats’. As you read that passage, NO WHERE, does Jesus mention that if we ‘pray’ for the least of these that it’s somehow serving their needs. Interesting, because I think Jesus (of all people) knew and understood prayer and the power of it. I find it interesting that these were His words in His final sermon:

Matthew 25:34
34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

When he says those things, the questions come:

44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

He makes this next BOLD statement regarding 34-36 to answer the question and it’s interesting that He never ONCE mentions prayer. He mentions physical, tangible ways in which we serve Him when we serve others. The outcome of ‘when’ we do these things comes in this next verse:

45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

He then talks about what happens to ‘the goats’ or those that did not live these things out:

46″Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

I’ve heard it said that Matthew 25 is not so much concerned about the ‘ROOT’ of salvation, but, about the ‘FRUIT’ of salvation. It’s almost as if Jesus is saying, you cannot LOVE me and NOT engage in the plight of the less fortunate.

Again, I observe, PRAYER alone will not be enough to meet the call of what Jesus asks of us to develop as the fruit of our salvation. I’m not saying dismiss prayer, but, I am saying we better do more than just pray according to Jesus. My prayer is that Jesus would give me the courage and heart to serve the way He wants me to serve. I hope it’s your prayer too.

I’d LOVE your thoughts on this post. What do you think?

Kenya – Day 1

We are at the airport, the team is assembled and we are so excited. There is an anticipation in our spirit and it’s going to be a great trip. We’ve been intentional with our desire to pray and we’ll continue to be prayerful as the journey continues. We’ll be praying at each gate, before we board and just asking God to empty us of expectations and our desires. The hope is that we would  be filled with Gods heart for us on this trip and not with our heart for this trip. Would you remember to pray for us? Would you put us in a reminder in your calendar? We’d love it. Here’s a photo of the team praying it up.

photo 2

Also, here’s my lovely…she’s in the story tellers seat, telling stories of the experience with getting shots for the trip. You should ask her where those shots ended up? HAHA. Next stop ATL then London then Nairobi!

photo 1

Justice | Talking and Doing…

flablog

It’s surprising that my previous post could be so silent! I can post a stupid video about us getting In Ear Monitors or smoking a turkey, point people to a free give away from my wife or friend and get a dozen comments in a day on meaningless things, but, when it comes to justice the blog goes COMPLETELY silent.

I’m just curious why we, as a generation/culture, are so good at fronting that we’re about justice, but, when it comes to people actually doing justice we play a different card.

Don’t worry, I’m just as guilty of doing this too. I’m really good at talking about justice and I’m finally giving of myself to actually go and do it. What I find is interesting is that justice is sexy right now. It’s sexy in pop culture, it’s sexy in church culture and in and of itself maybe that’s a God thing. After all the reality of engaging the less fortunate was most revolutionized by the sexiest man in the universe, Jesus. HA! I know that’s a bit provocative, but, I’m just sayin’.

Seriously though…we’re the generation that’s good at talking, blogging, iChatting, leaving churches because they’re not justice driven enough, etc… but I’m just curious how serious we are about bringing the Kingdom of God here and now. The Christian sub-culture has a lot to say on the subject, but, I’m ready to move past hearsay and start doing! I’m having a moment of checking my own heart on how serious I really am on engaging the less fortunate for the sake of the Kingdom. It’s definitely easier to talk about it then to actually do it.

I guess my encouragement for all of us is to engage this on a practical level. Whether it’s you getting mobile and going or it’s just simply supporting people like Promise and I (who are getting read to get mobile) through your resource of encouragement or money. If it’s not money, which is TOTALLY fine, how about just a word to say…go for it, do it, we love this, press on, I’m with you…ANYTHING. HAHAH! It was honestly just a little discouraging to have ZERO support in our comment cues today. I know some of you did give, financially, yesterday and for that Promise and I are super grateful. I think I was just hoping for a bit more encouragement from our blogging communities, but, maybe I set my expectations way to high and I just need to settle down, humble up and shut up. 🙂

I wanted to share a little word from Mama Zipporah. She was the FIRST comment on Promises blog today. Listen to what she writes:

Thanks promise and brian . I do not have enought words to express my gratitude. I did not know that l was beautiful. But now l know l must be beautiful. I look forward for your coming in august. This time my heart is healed and l will really sing and l am telling everyone you are coming. I love you and l care. Mama Zipporah

mama_zippy

Let’s keep lending out our lives to follow Jesus, radically, in these days. Let’s get behind people like Mama Zipporah and the orphans here and around the world.  I definitely want to hear from some of you, my friends, on where you’re at as it relates to engaging the less fortunate. Do you feel lost in your aim? Do you feel, like me, that you’re better at talking about it then doing it?

Two Scriptures to ponder and then leave a comment with your thoughts! Come on now and then don’t forget to go read my previous blog post about the journey Promise and I are about to take to Kenya. ENGAGE US, PRAY FOR US, SEND US!!!

Micah 6:8

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Isaiah 1:17

17learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed. [a]
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.

Kenya | August 2009 | Send Us…

hurumablog

Brian & Promise – Seeking Justice in Africa

To You, Our Friends…

Promise and I wanted to post a quick note to see if you’d be willing to help support us in fundraising and prayer as we get ready to go serve some people we love in Kenya, Africa.

A couple of years ago our church, Cornerstone, crossed paths with a brilliant and beautiful African woman named Mama Zipporah. Oddly enough, I was aware of the work Mama was doing in Kenya as she was the primary reason that the filmmakers from the revolutionary documentary called Invisible Children found their story.

kenyablog5

Mama Zipporah has an orphanage in Kenya called Huruma Childrens Home. She is in the business of living out the scripture in Isaiah:

Isaiah 1:17

learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed. [a]
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.

Right now Mama has 150+ children in her home. Most of the children come from a horrific background of abuse and abandonment. Mama and her team have made it their aim to not just be a transitional orphanage but rather to provide these children with love, dignity and family.

kenyablog3

Let me just say that Promise and I know Mama, personally, and spent a great deal of time with her here in Arizona last fall when she came, unexpectedly, as a broken widow to grieve the loss of her amazing husband Papa Isaac. We cried with her, prayed with her, laughed with her and dreamed with her about how God would continue to use her in the plight of the less fortunate.

As a church we are in the process of helping them fund and build a dormitory that would allow them to bring in 200 more children. It’s our privilege to have been invited to come, serve and help build this additional dormitory so that they can rescue more of these orphan children and give them a place to call home. Mama’s dream is to bring these children into the home, share her love with them, share the love of Christ with them, give them an education and, effectively, raise up the future leaders of Kenya. This is the dream, this is the hope and this is the heart of the Kingdom of God.

Promise and I will be leaving with our team on August 7th, 2009 and we will be in Kenya for 10 days doing a wide array of things with the Staff at the home and with the children. One of the things we’ll be doing is putting on a ‘summer camp’ for the older children (ages 12-18). I’ll be leading some worship, Promise will be teaching some Art & Photography and we’ll have some great time to build into some of these amazing kids. Additionally, we will be helping finish up their dormitory and chapel spaces.

Here’s the reality, WE NEED YOUR HELP funding us to get to Huruma! The cost of the trip is $3200 dollars, total, for both of us to get to Huruma. This is actually an AMAZING price for both of us to be in Africa serving for 10 days (flights, food & transportation for both of us are all included in that price). We are trusting God that we can raise all of that support in the next 6 weeks. We are just going to be bold enough to ask you if you would consider helping us get to Kenya. Honestly, any amount is a huge help at this point. If you have $10 dollars, $1000 dollars or anything in between IT WILL HELP US!!! Anything you give is completely tax-deductible and we would be forever grateful!

Here’s the two ways you can give financially:

1.    Give Online – Cornerstone has a website where you can give directly to our account for this trip.  When you click the link below you’ll have to click create an account, which only takes like 2 minutes, and you’re then able to use a debit or credit card to give to this mission. Creating the account allows our finance office to mail you a giving statement at year-end. Be sure to select one of our names (Promise or Brian) in the drop down menu so that you can give to us. Here is the link: http://is.gd/16yFI

2.    Mail Check – Make any checks out to “Cornerstone” and in the memo section put “Wurzell – Kenya Aug. 2009”. You can mail Checks to us at this address:

Cornerstone
c/o:Brian & Promise Wurzell
2211 E. Pecos Rd. Suite #2

Chandler, AZ 85286

For more information on Huruma Childrens Home – check out their website: http://www.hchngong.org/

You may also email Promise and I if you have any questions regarding this project. Please email us promiseandbrian@gmail.com

If you cannot give financially, seriously, would you pray for us and our team? Pray for Mama Zipporah and pray for these children that God would use Huruma to be a place where they’re built up to be the future leaders of their country. Mama is the widow serving the orphan and we want to do whatever we must to support this Kingdom mission. We believe it’s possible. Thanks for your support and your friendship!

Gratefully,

Brian & Promise Wurzell

P.S. – We would love to see some of your prayers for us and for Mama Zipporah and her team right here on this blog post. Just leave a comment and type out your prayer. We will be sure Mama and our team get to see these prayers too. That encouragement would mean a lot to more than just Promise and I. Thanks in advance!

flablog

What’s Wrong With This Picture?!

dogtime

My friend Travis Timmons took this photo on a work project they did in Mexico. HOLY what’s wrong with this picture?!?!