About Me

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New Orleans, LA, United States
Family from South Africa, Born in New Orleans, Lived in South Carolina. Married to Annabeth since May 2004. We have three boys (Bolt, Mack, and Birk). Currently living in Uptown NOLA and serving as Lead Pastor of Vintage Church and Camp Pastor of Student MissionLab.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Myanmar Blog (Day 10-Prep)

Day 10 (17 days till Myanmar)

Spiritual - It has taken me a couple of days to process what our church heard this past Sunday at Vintage. My Uncle Buzz took us through a foundational understanding of what a Spirit-filled life looks like in the Gospel of John. Trust me, you want to take some time and listen to this message. Click on this link: www.vintagenola.org/podcast. God is using my uncle in an amazing way in the Huntsville marketplace. Check out his website, www.murraywiltonministries.com. Here are a couple of challenges from Sunday:

  • Christianity is not about DUTY or THEORY...it is about LIFE.
  • God does not want slaves, he wants children.
  • Christ came to give vibrancy to dead souls!
  • If you follow the law, you are on a stair-stepper not a step-ladder. At the gym, a lot of people are doing a lot of work but getting nowhere.
  • Key to following the Spirit is understanding the heart of God.
  • Jesus humbled himself to find the height of human righteousness.
  • Where is Christ today? Seated at the right seat of the Father. Where is His body? We are His body filled with His Spirit.
  • Jesus said it was better if I go, the Helper is coming.
  • John 20:22 He breathed the Spirit on them.
  • The Christian Life is a DAILY EXPERIENCE.
  • Practical Advice: Praise the Lord, Surrender to the Lord, Invite the Lord.
  • The Holy Spirit is not a force, power, etc. The Holy Spirit is a person. Welcome Him daily into a Lordship over your life.
  • You can quench the Holy Spirit. It quenches someones Spirit when you reject them. The same applies to our lives in Christ.
  • Don't just worship the God out and up there, worship the God who is in here (within you).
After talking with my uncle, God has led me to continue this subject next week at Vintage. There are two aspects of being Spirit-led. One is all about your relationship with God. The second is all about your relationship with People. Hence, Love God, Love People. I am going to focus on the Spirit's work through His church. Can't wait.

Physical - I have certainly been working out really hard. But I am a little disappointed in my ability to eat right. I have very little self-control to Annabeth's goodies. Oh well. I am feeling good and healthy.

Myanmar Facts -
“Burma, a country of fifty million people, is ruled by fear. A military machine of 500,000 soldiers denies the whole nation its most basic rights.” (Burma Campaign UK)

With no known external enemies, the military government of Burma has been waging war against its own people for over50 years. Forced labour, confiscation of property, extra judicial killings, arbitrary arrests and absolute censorship in all forms of gatherings and media are just a few examples of the way things are where the citizens of an entire country are the casualties of war.

For those who are ethnic minorities in Burma, the ongoing war is an even harsher reality. Forced relocation and the systematic destruction of villages occurwith impunity. Rape is common and the Burma Army maliciously terrorizes its citizens with the strategy of placing thousands of land mines in and around villages in order to keep residents from returning. In 2006 alone, more than 25,000 men, women, and children joined hundreds of thousands of others who have been internally displaced in the last few decades. Most end up trying to survive in the jungle. Additionally, more than 200,000 have fled the country and are living in refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border.

For displaced persons who are hiding in the jungle the situation is desperate. With little food, water, shelter, medicine, and no sanitation they are extremely vulnerable to sickness, disease and malnutrition. Malaria is common, especially among children. For women the situation is particularly difficult, especially for those who are pregnant. Many give birth prematurely or miscarry. Amazingly, most who are displaced want to return to their homes, villages, and rice fields; they simply want their lives back. With breathtaking precision, Burma’s leaders have managed to take what was once the “Jewel of Southeast Asia” and reduced it to one of the poorest, least educated, most corrupt, and mismanaged countries in modern history.

1 comment:

  1. My friend Ricky is serving in India right now and sent me this info. Thanks brother. Praying for you.

    There is a pocket of Burmese Christians here in New Delhi, India who fled Burma because of the persecution of Christians. It's crazy to think our brother's and sister's in Christ are being killed. Anyway, the situation here is really bad because they are here illegally and can't get health care or jobs. I think about 30 - 35% have TB or other treatable diseases but can't get the help needed because of their situation. We are in the midst of trying to set-up an outreach for TB treatment in the next few months for them. Just wanted to make you aware of this as you are diving into Myanmar.

    Ricky Ruffino


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