India Outreach Newsletter No. 1

Posted in Life/Stories on April 30, 2010 by lspray

After a good amount of tinkering, I finally found out a way to (sort of) upload our outreach teams’ newsletter onto this blog!

My India outreach team is comprised of some amazing people. All of whom have different stories and different perspective on this journey. Luckily, some of these people are also really gifted with putting a newsletter together! So here is your chance to get a quick update, some pictures, and some highlights from the heart and through the words of the people who I’m lucky enough to share this experience with:

click here

and enjoy.

A quick update!

Posted in Life/Stories on April 27, 2010 by lspray

Man! I am really bad at updating this sucker huh?

Ok, so, I’ll give you a quick update now and hopefully a more detailed one later on this week. Also, we have a newsletter that we’ve been putting out for outreach, and I am trying to figure out a way to get it from my email to my blog.

Stay tuned.

Ok, so, the first two weeks that we were in India we worked at an orphanage in Pune. It was an amazing experience to just get to sit and play and hang out with the kids there.

Then we boarded a train, and took a 27 hour train ride (in a non-air conditioned car) to Delhi, India.

We spent about a week in the center of town living at a backpackers hotel. It was an amazing time to see the city and build relationships with some other people who were traveling the world.

Since then we have been staying in Faridabad, which is a suburb of Delhi. Through a random chain of events we met Joshua David, who is a televangelist for CBN, who’s show gets seen by 70 million people daily. And no that is not a typo. He is one of the most amazing people that I have ever met, as well as being incredibly humble. Sometimes its hard to believe that 70 million people see him by day when he sleeps on his roof with us by night.

Anyways, we are working in the schools and the slums here though contacts that Joshua has, and so far we’ve been enjoying that!

More to come!

-Luke

In India!

Posted in Life/Stories on April 11, 2010 by lspray

So we’re here! Finally!

Right now im sitting in a smelly internet cafe with a malfunctioning spacebar.

We’re currently being orientated and working at an orphanage here in Pune.

Soon we’ll be headed to Delhi where we’ll spend the majority of our time.

Thats all for now!

Updates Below!

Posted in Life/Stories on April 5, 2010 by lspray

So if you scroll down I’ve posted numerous updates! I hope you enjoy them and I’d love to hear your responses. Tomorrow morning we leave for India so who knows when I’ll be able to check this again!

A couple of things…

I’ve posted my India Support Letter under the Pages section on your right. The formatting isn’t working correctly, but I’d still love for you to check it out!

Prayer requests: I still am trying to raise funds, so I could definitely use prayer about that! I mentioned the “fog” I’m in below, and I could use prayer for that as well. Also below I wrote about internship and I could use prayer for that too! So thanks!

Lastly, I know I know I know that I have been talking about a photo album forever! And I REALLY want to be able to put one on here, but so far none of the internet connections I’ve had recently have allowed me the opportunity, but at some point….I will! I’m determined! In the meantime, feel free to check out the pictures that are uploaded to my Facebook, as well as checking out the journey’s of my friends who’s blogs I’ve liked on the right as well! So yeah, check it out!

See you in India!

Thailand Pt. 2

Posted in Life/Stories on April 5, 2010 by lspray

So! Tonight is our last night in Thailand, and technically I should probably already be in bed since our flight to India is early tomorrow morning.

I wanted to share alil bit about what has been going on this week.

Its been an amazing time to just relax and think through all that has happened over the past 3 months. Its been a good time to just be. To just process through things.

This last week we’ve been here in Thailand just waiting to get our visa’s for India. I’ve been getting REALLY antsy in preparation for India, but being here for a week has been really good. We’ve gotten a taste (and what a delicious taste it was!) of another culture, we’ve got to meet some rad YWAM teams from all over the world, and we’ve gotten to take part in some of the ministry that’s going on here in Thailand.

How I’m processing things is something that I can, and will be able to write more about later, but I’d love to share a couple of things that I’ve learned about the culture of Thailand!

1. Thailand is like one gigantic Costco. Everything is ridiculously cheap, so cheap that I continually have to tell myself “I don’t need that!” and more realistically “I don’t have the money for that!” over and over again because if not I would just buy a ton of stuff!

2. The food here is DELICIOUS. I’m surprised I’m not the fattest kid in Thailand yet. In San Francisco I lived a couple of blocks from what was considered the best, most authentic Thai place in town, and every place we’ve been to so far has put that place to shame! Plus, they serve delicious desserts here, I’ve taken mental notes and mental recipes from watching street vendors, and when I get back…I will be making delicious desserts. Count on it.

3. Animals! There are animals galore here. The dogs are the size and shape of small bears. They sell and serve everything from turtles to frogs to eels (all live I might add) for dinner in the market. They were selling owls in a market we went to earlier in the week, and just last night a lady had a “dog purse” with no dog, so we pointed to it and asked, and so she pulls, out of her fanny pack, now get this, she pulls out a baby flying squirrel. Hands down the coolest (and softest) pet I’ve ever seen.

Last but not least, I’ve never had any real desire to come to Thailand. When I got the chance to go to Africa a couple of years back I jumped at it, because I had ALWAYS wanted to go to Africa. With Thailand I never really had that desire. But now that I’m here its great! I love Thailand! And I would just like to thank all of you who (inadvertently) have made this possible. It has really been amazing!

That is all I’ll share for now, but be aware…I have a crazy Thailand riverboat story that I’ll be sure to share in the future!

12 Starfish

Posted in Life/Stories on April 5, 2010 by lspray

So there is an old story that pastors love to tell -and my dad is a pastor, so you can bet I’ve heard it many times- about starfish.

The story goes something like this…

Imagine a beautiful sandy beach that stretches as far as you can see, its about sunset and all along the beach there are thousands upon thousands of starfish that have washed up on shore. Soon they will all die, but there is one little boy walking the beach, and for every step he takes there is a starfish.

When he comes upon a starfish, he picks it up, and he chucks it back into the ocean, one after another.

He does this for some time, and it sparks the curiosity of a man passing by. The man watches the boy for a couple of minutes as he continues to throw the starfish in one after another, and eventually he approaches the boy. He says,

“kid, I’ve been watching you do this for a couple of minutes now, and while I admire you’re enthusiasm, I just want to know why. I hate to say it…”

…as he looks upon the thousands of starfish lining the beach…

“…but you’re not making much of a difference doncha think?”

The kid thinks for a minute, picks up another starfish, chucks it back into the ocean, points to the spot where it splashed and responds,

“maybe so, but to that one, it made all the difference in the world.”

_ _ _

Now pastors loooove telling that story. And its a good story. Heck, I still remember it. And you can draw all kinds of great analogies from it.

But it doesn’t really work for me…

Instead of making a huge difference for one starfish, one at a time, I’m the type of guy that asks questions like, “why are there thousands of starfish washed up on shore?” And, “how can we make it so the starfish don’t wash up on shore anymore?”

I’d like to start answering some of those questions . I’d like to start solving some of those questions so that way we don’t have to have 1000 little starfish problems. I’d like to solve the starfish problems at a macro level so that we don’t even have to deal with them at a micro level.

Thats the type of thing I want to do for my internship.

I know alot of you have been asking me about my internship, and so I figured I would answer it with the analogy that I approach it with. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do yet, and to be honest a couple of things have fallen through, but it looks like its going to depend alot on who I work with. I don’t have the answers and I could really use some prayer (and suggestions!) regarding the whole situation. So now you know where my heart is at with the whole thing. Hopefully we’ll find out soon enough how it turns out!

Recap. Refresh. Rewind.

Posted in Life/Stories on April 5, 2010 by lspray

Man, just expanding on those three words alone leaves me so much to write about. I’ll try to be detailed but brief, and If you’d like to know more, just ask! My email is Lukespray@gmail.com, and I’d love to hear from you.

Here goes…

Since my last full update we’ve had two more speakers, one being Tiffany Thompson. She talked alot about what God had for each of us. She also REALLY challenged our group with being real, open, and vulnerable. I think that’s a continual struggle for any group and any person, but its definitely necessary for growth…which is a big point of DTS, so it is a constant and necessary battle. Personally Tiffany challenged me with making the head to heart connection, which has been somewhat of a theme for me this whole DTS, and again, is suuuch a process.

Our next and final speaker was Dean Sherman. Dean has seemingly been speaking in YWAM since the time dinosaurs were roaming the earth, and is the most sought after speaker in YWAM, luckily, he is on the board for Destination Paradise so we were lucky enough to have him speak. He wrote the book on spiritual warfare, no, literally, he wrote the book. To be honest I wasn’t so amazed by his teaching per-say, but it was fascinating listening to him talk when people asked him questions. We also had the Belmopan DTS there with us, so it was cool to have three different DTS’s (Sailors, Divers, Belmopan) together to have fun and share experiences.

After Dean left we had a shortened weekend since we were leaving for India via Cancun on tuesday (Since our Belizian visa’s expired that tuesday) rather than friday. So we crammed lecture phase debrief and outreach prep into two days, along with having a nice goodbye dinner that the staff put on for us, and a dance party or two.

All in all it was a crazy whirlwind last couple of weeks heading toward India. Thailand has been a nice time to relax a little bit (More about that in the Thailand post above)

Personally, I have to say that living on a sailboat for three months was an amazing experience that I have only begun to process. I am so grateful for the opportunity that God and my supporters have allowed me to have.

The last couple of weeks of DTS I kind of felt like I was in a fog. Maybe it was an information overload or something, but I felt like I was second guessing and over-analyzing everything I did. It was just very out of character for me. I still feel like I’m in that phase a little bit, and its not comfortable, but I’ve learned that that times when we’re most uncomfortable is usually when God can grow us the most. Its one of those things that is frustrating and I’m grateful for all at the same time. The role  that I play here on the outreach team is different then the role I played on the boat, and I can see that God is kind of using that to bring me out of the fog. I could DEFINITELY  use prayer though, just that my eyes will be open to whatever God has for me during this time now, and in the future in India!

So our India team is a combination of the sailors DTS and the divers DTS. Destination Paradise does two outreaches each school, a local and an international. The local outreach comes within the cost of lecture phase tuition, and the international outreach costs $2,500. Midway through the school they presented us with both options and asked us to go pray about it. The two options were India (international) and Nicaragua (local). I would really love to go see Nicaragua, but it was very clear that India was the place for me to be. So two of our girls (sailors) and two of the girls from the divers DTS are now in Nicaragua, while the rest of us are on the India team! So it is me, tree other sailor girls, a girl from the divers, a married couple from divers school from Holland, two Belizian nationals from the divers, and our leader (who was the leader of the sailors DTS) who is from England. So thats our team! There will be plenty more to share about them in the future, and we’ll even be producing a weekly newsletter which I’ll be sure to upload onto this blog. So stay tuned!