Do You Read?

I can remember that day when I was a sophomore in high school and Mrs. Musgrove called me into the hallway.  She was my English teacher and somehow had a hunch that I didn’t read the classic novel she assigned. It could have possibly been my quiz grade that gave it away. I guess the “Cliff Notes” didn’t help much that time. There was another person out there with me, who shall remain nameless, as my partner in crime.  Love ya DW!!  She looked me dead in the eye and asked,

“Chris, do you even like to read?”

I looked her back dead in the eyes and revealed information that didn’t seem to be front page news,

“No ma’am.”

I also remember one of my best friends coming back from his first semester of college at Southwestern University and revealing to me his theory on being smart.  He was and still is one of the smartest guys I’ve ever known.  CB simply said,

“I am around smart people all the time.  I know how to get smarter.  If you want to be smarter…….read.”

At that point, I pretty much committed to be dumb the rest of my life.  The price to pay according to CB’s theory, was just too much for me take on.  Back then, and up until about 6 months ago, reading was just not my cup of tea.  I gave it a try a few times, but found myself daydreaming 2 pages into it or falling asleep after 2 paragraphs. If the book had a movie, whip out the popcorn, and count me in.  But, anything over 10 pages was going to sit on the shelf and collect some dust.  I even tried reading some cool sports books and biographies about coaches I admired….no dice.  Then I was reading a blog from a guy that I really admire (his posts are only a couple of paragraphs each) and saw this. It completely changed my theory and motivation for reading.  I have now become an avid reader and have seen some big benefits.  Here are a few:

1. My relationship with Jesus has grown dramatically. Reading has shown me so much about being a committed follower and continues to stretch my faith.

2. My relationship with my wife has grown dramatically.  One of the first books I read was on marriage.  I learned so much about God’s design for marriage and how Satan will attack it in every way possible.  As I read that and shared bit and pieces with Tracy, I immediately began to see improvements in our marriage.  As I keep reading, I can see Tracy admiring me and my leadership more and more.  Not that I don’t have a LONG way to go, but I do see improvement.

3.  Reading has opened numerous opportunities for conversation with other people. Tracy and I have been able to minister to many people in many different situations with the conversation starter being something about a recent book that I had read.  I don’t know if it has made me smarter, but it has made me more diverse in my ability to relate to people.

Thanks Kevin for your wisdom and insight!

Here are a couple of my reads that have had impact.

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Life in the Mission Field…

Very soon, our lives as we have known them for about 10 years, are coming to an end.  The excitement of giving our lives to full time ministry is really kicking in.  We are blessed to be a part of an organization that loves the Lord, loves people, loves us, loves orphans, and loves Haiti!  As we begin our new journey, there are so many things that we are thinking and praying about.  One of the biggest differences that we will experience as a family is financially.  As we have mentioned before, our  position with myLIFE speaks is self funded.  That means that we are responsible for raising the money needed to fulfill the opportunities that God has placed before us.  Many generous people have donated already, and we are incredibly grateful.  We are excited about partnering with people and giving them the opportunity to be involved in something beautiful…something God ordained and amazing!  If you feel led, please click the picture/link below and it will take you to the myLIFEspeaks website where you will be able to make a donation toward the work that we will be doing here in the states and in Haiti.  Thank you so much, especially for your prayers and for your encouraging words.  Remember, all donations are tax deductible and 100% of the donation goes directly to our family as we embark on this incredible adventure.  Love you all!

Word of God Speak

I often times wondered how people like Moses, Abraham, Daniel, and Noah heard the voice of God.  As I was reading one day, I realized that in the Old Testament, God was with His people. In the New Testament, after Jesus’s resurrection, those that choose to follow Jesus, have the Holy Spirit in us.  Wow!! These words struck me.  They forced me to look at how the Holy Spirit speaks to me.

I am not a good singer at all (unless I’m by myself).  I don’t play an instrument (I’ve taken a shot a few….it ain’t happening). Needless to say, music is not one of my spiritual gifts.  However, I love listening to music, and more importantly, I love listening to the words.  God has a way of leading me, teaching me, lifting me, reassuring me, revealing to me, and even convicting me through the avenue of a song.  Times of great joy, great indecision, great tragedy, and great triumph have often times been heightened with a great tune.

Below you will find a the words of a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that have recently been used to reassure me.  It’s an oldy but a goody!!!

For The Sake of The Call
Empty nets lying there at the waters edge
Told a story that few could believe or none could explain
How some crazy fishermen agreed to go where Jesus lead
With no thought for what they would gain
For Jesus had called them by name and they answered

We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die

Not for the sake of a creed or a cause
Not for a dream or a promise
Simply because it is Jesus who calls
And if we believe we’ll obey
And we’ll answer

Oh we will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die for the sake of the call, yeah
For the sake of the call, yeah oh

SO, I’m interested….what are some things that God uses to “speak” to you?

A Trip to Remember…

I went to Haiti last week. This trip might have been the most remarkable one that I have experienced to this day.  I desperately missed my sweet husband and darling kids, but my time in Haiti was treasured.  I have never felt so torn between two worlds in my life…my heart is split in two.  I was able to spend some much needed, quality time with our three sweet orphans living at the My LIFE Speaks house.  Malachi, J, and Stephen spoke to my heart in incredible ways while I was there.  They have a past…they have a story…and it is impacting me.  It is impacting who I am, who I want to be, and where God is leading me.  I cannot talk about these boys without feeling joy, without hearing their sweet voices, and seeing their sweet smiles.  Their eyes shine with the love of Christ even though they understand a certain pain and tragedy that I am unfamiliar with.  I cannot talk about them without telling you that each of them has been abandoned by their earthly parents…one found in a ditch by a fireman, one found wandering the streets after the earthquake by an elderly woman, and one found in a garden as a newborn by a young woman.  They each have come separately to the My LIFE Speaks house, yet God has woven their lives together so intricately already.  They are brothers.  They share completely different pasts, but a strong bond of love and understanding.  J was always the first one to divide his snack up so that each of the children would have food.  Malachi could light up the whole village with his adorable smile and fancy dance moves.  And Stephen….well, all you have to do is meet him once, and you will be head over heels in love.  I have so much to learn from these young boys…in so many ways, they ‘get it’. I want to be like them…I want God to use them to teach me lessons that I have never learned.  Lessons of selflessness, joy, generosity, faith, kindness, and so many more.  My week with them is forever etched on my heart.

My time with them came to an end and I came back to the States.  It felt amazing to feel my husband’s arms around me and five kids hanging all over me. But I’m just struggling with one thing…

If home is where the heart is…then where is home?

Changed…

We were asked to speak to a group in West Texas last week.  I sat down to map out my thoughts…and my heart just spilled out onto paper.  Here is what Haiti has done for me.  My words do no justice to the impact that this amazing place has had on my life.

I can’t talk about the staggering statistics and desperate need in Haiti without first telling you how Haiti has changed me. It has redefined my faith. Honestly it has shown me what faith really is. We live in a world of comfortable Christianity…I found myself seeking the comforts of what the world has to offer with as much or more determination as I did my Sovereign God. But my eyes have been opened…. Ive watched people in Haiti truly depend on the Lord for their next bite of food or search for Him in their last breath of life. I was shaken to my core when God showed me what faith really looks like. I began to ask God…what can i give? God began to shape His will for our family through our love for orphans so long ago, but this past year has been the most powerful. His still small voice would remind me of verses in the Bible where He speaks of caring for the orphans and the needy. “whatever you do for the least of these, you have also done for me.” or what about the opposite…”whatever you did NOT do for the least of these, you did not do for me.” and what about “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” and how about in James when he speaks of true religion as an act of caring for orphans and widows in their distress? But i have to tell you that I have been wrestling with God about these two commands that He clearly states in the Bible….”love the Lord your God….and love your neighbor as yourself.” Folks, my neighbor is in Haiti….and just after loving my Father who provides for me, He says that i am to love my neighbor….as myself? God has asked our family to deny ourselves and take up His cross and follow Him. Love my neighbor. Go out among the nations. So we will go to a beautiful place with tremendous need, where tragedy abounds and devastation is dreadful….but where we see a true picture of joy, hope and intimate worship for our God! We will love the nation where over 80% of its people are unemployed, over 50% are illiterate, and around 500,000 orphans are left without families. We will serve the area where 1 in 5 children die of starvation or an easily cured illness and provide meals and shelter to the needy. We will think of something bigger than ourselves, and with God….we will love our neighbors as ourselves.

You’ve Got Questions…We’ve Got Answers!

With God as our guide, our family has answered a calling as missionaries in Haiti, a country that is very close to our hearts.  We are so excited to share with all of you what this journey looks like for our family.  We have listened to so many wonderful stories of friends and family talk about their love for orphans and Haiti, and we have answered many questions regarding our mission work.  In order to better answer all of the questions that are floating around, we have designed a Frequently Asked Questions format of information for you to enjoy!  Thank you for praying alongside us and encouraging us through this incredible time in our lives!

 

Will you be working with a particular organization while in Haiti?

Yes, the mission organization that we are working with is called myLIFEspeaks.  Check them out at www.myLIFEspeaks.com, and read all about the vision that we share a passion for.

 

As part of the myLIFEspeaks team, will you be paid a salary by the organization?

No…we will have to raise all of the funds for the first year on staff with myLIFEspeaks.  We will have to raise around $50,000 as well as collect some tangible items (not included in the estimated fundraising), including homeschooling curriculum, electronics for homeschooling and correspondence with family and friends, etc.  Feel free to ask specific questions on how this works and how you can help! We have more information to come very soon on this topic!

 

What is your role with myLIFEspeaks?

As of now, we are the Mission Teams Coordinators.  We are responsible for preparing teams for going to Haiti, coordinating flights, insurance, supplies, and all other trip related tasks.  We will also be leading mission trips to Haiti.  We are thrilled to work with such an amazing ministry, and look forward to the roles that God would have in store for us in the future!

 

Where is the myLIFEspeaks campus located?

The campus sits in a small village called Neply, northeast of the town, Leogane.  It is approximately 25 miles southwest from Haiti’s capital, Port au Prince.

 

What language do Haitians speak? 

Creole…we are very excited to learn their language and watch our kiddos acquire a new language as well!

 

Can friends and family travel to Haiti with you?

YES!!   We would LOVE for all of our friends and family to come visit us in Neply….join a mission team or just come over to visit.  Either way, your heart will be changed forever!

 

We are so thankful for the role that each of you has played in our lives thus far, and we are incredibly grateful for your support in the journey that is ahead.  God has incredible plans for the beautiful country of Haiti, and we feel honored to be a part of His work there.  Please keep our family and the whole myLIFEspeaks organization in your thoughts and prayers as we work together to make a difference in a place where so much help is needed.

 

We would love for you to join us on this journey and keep up with the latest information on our family.  Feel free to contact us by email at kingctc@sbcglobal.net as well.

 

Blessings,

 

Chris and Tracy King

James 1:27

 

And the Journey Begins…

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  Matthew 25:40

God has called us to missions.  He has called us to disciple.  He has called us to a place that He loves as much as He loves the town that we live in.  He has called us to a place where there is pain, illness, sorrow, tragedy, poverty, hopelessness, hunger, and fear.  He has called us to a place where there is joy, hope, beauty, love, spirit, and faith.  He has called us to Haiti.

Our hearts and minds are still wrapping around the idea of what all God has in store for us.  We serve an amazing God and we are honored to go out among the nations for Him.  We know that He will equip us for the job that He has given us…

…Mission Team Coordinators for an organization called My LIFE Speaks.  We are blessed to be a part of a group of people that love God first, family second, and Haiti missions third…we are so thankful for this amazing opportunity!  For now, we will be in charge of organizing, communicating with, and planning for the mission teams that will travel to Haiti. We will have the opportunity to lead some of the teams over to the My LIFE Speaks campus in a village called Neply, as well.

So, join us as we begin this amazing journey. Learn more about My LIFE Speaks at http://www.mylifespeaks.com . We are so excited to serve alongside some amazing people both here and in a country that we love so much…God is good and has opened an incredible door for us to be His hands and feet.  Blessings abound!!!