Dear friends, family, saints:
This has been a roller coaster year. I have had some tremendous victories and a number of painful defeats. But through it all God is faithful. I pray you are all well and enjoying the end of the year with your loved ones.
Heartbreak, Healing, Hope:
This year I have had a number of relational setbacks. For anyone who is a parent or mentor, you know the pain and disappointment when someone you have invested into either goes astray or gets offended thus severing the relationship. This happened to me this year with a spiritual son whom I had mentored for over two years. Additionally, my brother whom I have been close with my whole life has married a woman and while I am happy he got married, our relationship isn’t the same and he is now much more distant and unavailable. I even had a romantic heartbreak this year too! All that to say, this has been a year for me to process all these things in prayer and through the godly counsel of others as I seek to heal from all of this.
After returning in June from Africa, I clearly sensed the need for an extended time of rest. I decided to press into a sabbatical year and focus on being refueled, mentored, and to simply rest. I haven’t taken a step back in nine years and I felt the weariness in my soul. Amen that God is a God of rest! Practically, I have gone on some retreats, pulled back from any one on one discipleship of others, and been very guarded with ministry commitments. My focus has been to seek the Lord, get rest, get healed, process and go deeper in my walk with God. This has infused me with an unshakable hope that the best is still ahead. God is in control and he is working all things together for good to those who love him and who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) Often, until we rest and reflect, we don’t realize how far we have come, what still needs work, and what wisdom we can learn from both our successes and failures. I will continue this sabbatical season until the summer of 2018.
Kenya / Uganda:
After waiting for over ten years, I finally made it to Africa! I had wanted to go back in the mid 2000s and then again in 2013 but neither trip materialized. God is good and faithful. Working with Bishop Imoite Papa of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, we put on three evangelistic crusades in Nairobi and the surrounding regions. The Kenyans received us warmly and their passion in worship was contagious. During the course of the three week campaign, we documented just under one hundred new salvations. We also saw numerous miraculous healings including: a man on crutches get up and walk after being in a severe accident, a blind eye restored, numerous bodily pains and emotional and psychological traumas healed. They have invited me back in 2018. In addition to Kenya, I was able to spend a week in Uganda while in Africa. Leaders, pastors and the host of Spirit FM radio all became new friends during my time there. I can’t wait to see what God will do when I return again!
This past year I have spent another two semesters on the UC Berkeley campus. We have seen a number of growth areas that are worthy of celebration. First, what began as a once a week endeavor has multiplied to two days per week. Another young student by the name of Joseph has taken it upon himself to add Friday prayer, worship, and evangelism to the roster. So now we are on campus on Tuesdays and Fridays each week. Additionally we have seen a number of new people join the ranks including people from out of the Bay Area. One group of women commute all the way from Manteca to join us for prayer, worship and evangelism each week. They are powerful intercessors and have enhanced the group tremendously. We also continue to see greater levels of favor in working with local churches and other ministries on campus. We have students joining us from Living Water Church, NAOS house of prayer, Gracepoint, the Ark and occasionally Campus Crusade. It has always been our vision to have an interfellowship movement around the three Ps: prayer, praise, and preaching. Next semester will make five years that I have been laboring on campus. Follow at: http://openairmov.com
Looking Ahead to 2018:
The Lord spoke to me in 2013 when I launched Overflow Ministries about having ten nations. What this means is making a sizable, quantifiable, long term impact in these nations. Over the past four years, I have had the privilege to build significant relationships in Nicaragua, Kenya and Uganda. Moreover, I have been receiving invitations to Pakistan and India on a regular basis. My good friend Evangelist Andrew Mutana from Kenya has also invited me to come with him to Indonesia this coming summer. Pray for the guidance and resources to go to the nations this coming year as well as the further development of the ten nation vision.
In addition to the international work I am engaged in, I have a heart for the USA and college campuses of California. As many of you are aware, I have been preaching and discipling students on the UC Berkeley campus for four years now. This coming year, I am going to be passing the baton of leadership at the UC Berkeley campus over to the other students who have been raised up in ministry. I will stay as a spiritual father and mentor to see that the work continues but will turn my attention to other campuses such as San Jose State, San Francisco State, and the University of Southern California. God has been opening up relationships in Los Angeles with pastors and ministries. I feel clearly led of God to begin investing much more heavily into Los Angeles this coming year. Finally, I will continue expanding relationships with churches throughout the Bay Area and other parts of the country.
May the Lord bless you and your family as you continue in the faith. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and generosity.