The Gas Light is Orange

37553576_10155771635900914_6721755325843636224_n

My Daughter Danielle and I in Manitoba – Such a Good Time

Last week I was driving from the mid-west USA back into Canada. I had been with my daughter in Manitoba and then down to visit family in Minnesota and then saw a few sights on my way back westward. It was a good, blessed, restful time. I am so grateful to the Lord for the opportunity to take some weeks for a road trip and time to spend with family in numerous places.

My final day back into Canada was a long days drive. Because I have been recuperating from a deep exhaustion I had been taking my driving days slowly, only clocking four or five hours a day. My last day though was nearly an eight hour day of driving.

IMG_1243

A Beautiful Vista in Wyoming Where I Walked and Camped

Nearing the Canadian border I passed a gas station and wondered if I should top-up my fuel. But I thought, “Nah, I will fill up at the gas station on the other side once I am back into Canada.” I still had a good 1/4 of a tank of gas.

Once through the border and back onto home soil I headed for the campsite where I would spend the night — about 1/2 hour north of the border. I have been enjoying my tent and sleeping bag and cook-stove. I even bought at a garage sale in Minnesota a beautiful luxurious folding chair for $5; oh the sweet bliss of this.

Morning came and I began heading north into the city of Regina. I got about fifteen minutes down the highway and my gas light came on.

Now, I do not know how long I can drive with that gas light glaring at me before I run out of gas. Every turn in the road, every hillock with even a few trees or buildings I hoped and wished and prayed and begged that there would be a gas station. There was not.

For 40 minutes I careened down the highway at 120 Km/hr expecting to run out of gas at any moment. I paid close attention to the sides of the road, continuously calculating if the road edge was safe to pull off and onto if need be. I remained vigilant to the fact that should my car completely run out of gas that my power steering would not be available to me and that I would need some good effort to steer my car where it would need to be in order to be off of the highway and safe.

It is an interesting thing to know one is nearly empty and to carry on at high speed toward what might be imminent upset and inconvenience and trouble, really. 

But carry on I did. All the while talking myself out of any need for panic or dismay or worry. After all, None of these responses would change what was going to happen. I could in a panic run out of gas on the highway in the middle of the prairies or I could serenely run out of gas on the highway in the middle of the prairies.

I drove, like this, for 40 minutes, at 120 Km/hr knowing I could stall at any moment.

Long story short and with great relief, Regina appeared all of a sudden out of the distance and within moments I drove into the first gas station with much gratitude and praise to the Lord that I arrived well and fine and could fill up my car, none the worse for wear. But what an experience.

IMG_1218

Indian Princess on the banks of the Missouri River – So Stunning

At Capturing Courage Int’l Ministries, this is exactly how it feels at this moment. We are standing in the tension of establishing, faithfully attending to what we believe God is leading us to do without seeing very far in advance at all.

It feels that we are heading down the highway at top speed with a gas light flashing orange, not knowing if we are going to stall or find our way Okay.  

So, today, I am asking you, if you have been encouraged or inspired or helped in any way from the work of Capturing Courage, would you further participate with a financial gift to us.

Translation work of our CCIM Course is now happening in three countries with a possible fourth in the next months. And of course, we pay for translation work. The multiplied impact of our materials into other languages is incalculable actually. See already all that God is doing. And we are so excited to be part of this thing of the Lord.

So, today, I am asking if you would give a generous one-time gift or become a monthly partner with us here at Capturing Courage International Ministries. 

P1920318

Partnering Together

If you simply cannot contribute financially, please, please, please, keep us in your prayers that all monies designated for CCIM, that we then allocate out, would be fully present to us.

Thank you for your hearts and prayers and great presence with us at Capturing Courage. We give the Lord all the glory for the great and amazing things of him through us. Bless you mightily today.

Cyndy Lavoie,

Executive Director at Capturing Courage International Ministries

 

GIVE NOW BUTTON

 

 

 

The River of Life

Kingdom life requires that we enter into life as the King has decreed. God in his personhood holds a space and declares a way that life is to be and comes about, and it is as we enter into this way that we begin to experience kingdom living.

Too many times though, we mistake the Kingdom way for nice platitudes or rules and regulations. It is very easy to miss the heart of the kingdom and when we do this, we miss out on the legacy of the kingdom in our own lives.

The best way that I can describe it is that the kingdom of God is like a might river. The waters are clean and cool, refreshing and energizing. These waters run through many lands, past many peoples, nourishing the nations. These living waters clean us, restore us, heal us. These waters wash away the grit and grime of our lives. In these waters shame and guilt are removed.

Continue reading

Capturing God’s Heart – Volume 26 – A Glad Heart

2 Corinthians 9:7 reads, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

It is the cheerful heart that intrigues me.

While this verse speaks about money and our tithes and offerings, I wonder how might the ‘glad heart’ principle apply to the rest of our life?

Continue reading

Capturing Courage Stories & Prayer from around the World

You are Invited - April 21st

Capturing God’s Heart – Scandalous Love – Volume 21

God’s ways are not our ways.

It takes many years to really come to understand the heart of God.

Even though we have been given the Bible (God’s love letter to mankind), we tend to read the Bible through our own cultures, the lies and hurts that have been laid on us through the years as well as our own developmental process.

So our understanding of God’s ways are often inaccurate. We grow and move in understanding God in the same way we grow and understand ourselves and life.

When Jesus was on earth he met and spoke to people within their current understanding of life. God is still doing this today in and through and for all of us.

Continue reading

Capturing Courage @ Love Global

love globalWe are glad to announce that Capturing Courage is now in collaboration with Love Global.

What this means is that all donations (from within Canada) put through Love Global will receive a charitable receipt that you can claim on your taxes.

It also makes donating easier than ever. With one time gifts or as routine monthly gifts, via credit or check, your donating is streamlined.

This collaboration also partners with Love Global towards their (and our) main priority of supporting Indigenous Pastors and Missionaries around the world with fundraising support and coaching as well as story-telling tools such as cameras and computers and such.

We are simply glad and thankful for Love Global!

You can find us at Love Global HERE

Take the time to look around. Notice that you can become a Champion for us, helping to fundraise and support the work of Capturing Courage by passing on what we do to your friends and family.

Just this week we have received yet another new invitation, this time to Ghana.

We are not rushing to go anywhere, but are simply waiting on the Lord and the right timing and direction for where we are going next.

And a big part of those plans is of course the funds necessary. Your donation makes a difference.

Moving from Conviction to Action

the art of convictionThe key difference between people who are making a difference in this world and those who are struggling through their every day can be summed up in this one admonition:

Pay Attention to Conviction.

Consider this passage from Isaiah 59:10-12,

“We grope like the blind along a wall, feeling our way like people without eyes. Even at brightest noontime, we stumble as though it were dark. Among the living, we are like the dead. We growl like hungry bears; we moan like mournful doves. We look for justice, but it never comes, we look for rescue, but it is far away from us. For our sins are piled up before God and they testify against us.”

Have you ever ignored the thought of a good thing you could have done for another?

This is what Isaiah is describing.

I’ve experienced this. Where thoughts of the good I could do for another, once ignored, become a wall between me and that person and simultaneously between me and God.

Where good actions denied become reason for justification and defense and cover-up.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at this verse spoken three different ways,

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17 English Standard Translation

“In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil.” James 4:17 The Message

“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” James 4:17 New Living Translation

James was a pretty wise man.

The book Leadership & Self Deception by the Arbinger Institute spells out this exact same thing but without any of the scripture (I love it how much of current wisdom is mirroring so exactly the word of God).

They simply explain it this way. When we have a compulsion and compelling towards a good something, be it word or deed, and we ignore that compelling we then put ourselves in a box.

In the box we then make the other bad and wrong in some way, thereby justifying our lack of action.

For instance. Consider you are walking down an inner-city street and you have the thought to give $20 to the homeless person sitting on the sidewalk.

Now imagine that you ignore this thought. What immediately happens is that you will make all sorts of reasons why you couldn’t or shouldn’t give the money,

“Well he would have probably just used it for drugs or something.”

“She just needs to get her act together, I’m not going to reward her poor choices.”

The transition from the compelling thought to give $20 to the justification of why you are not, happens so fast (in the blink of an eye) that we hardly understand the dynamic.

But once we see it, so much of our stuck lives begin to make sense.

As Isaiah put it, “our sins are piled up before God and testify against us.” (59:12)

Remember, sin is, “knowing what you ought to do and not doing it.” (james 4:17)

Those stuck are those ignoring the thoughts that compel us to action. When we ignore what we can do for others we enter into a space of hiding and cover-up. We are not in integrity with ourselves and therefore not in integrity with anyone else.

In regards to sin it is as we read farther into the Word of God that we come to see that God moves us from ought and should, and from the letter of the law which was, ‘designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised’ (galatians 3:19) to this inner core integrity from which we can all live.

Sin is so much more than the letter of the law. In fact, sins that pile between us and God are much more about the good ideas that we are ignoring, the conviction and compulsions and compelling of our hearts towards others that we are not doing.

If we want to live a free life, if we want to live an increasingly satisfying and substantially fulfilling life it is imperative that we stop ignoring conviction.

Getting out of the box is all about doing the things and speaking the words that we know are ours to do and say.

In this we have nothing to hide. Nothing is piled up against us. We simply go from strength to strength.

And our world, one compelling act at a time is transformed.

Lives are touched. None of us are the same.

Appalled

P1320123 compressedThe Ugandan Shilling is down in value. Now I know very little about economics or how world money fluctuates in relationship to each other. I’ve never had a course about world market or how a country grows or diminishes its net worth or its currency.

Yet a few things strike me about this CAD (canadian dollar) versus UGX (ugandan shilling) thing.

One, I realize that their lowered money is bad for them. It decreases their ability to compete on the world market and it lowers an individuals ability to access western goods and resources.

Two, I realize that this is good for us. Specifically, as we at Capturing Courage are sponsoring Bible School in January in Uganda, what we had budgeted as a $600 price tag is now just over a $400 price tag.

Good for us, Bad for them. I think this means bad for all of us.

When one party loses we all lose.

Where this currency reality really hits home is in the sponsorship of children.

Billions is spent every year on sponsoring children all over the world.

Myself, I am sponsoring one boy in Madudu, Uganda. A young man who along with his Grandma hosts me in their home whenever I am in town.

This young man’s schooling is integral to his future, and has been a constant worry to them in regards to school fees, and can they make the payments. He himself, though seventeen has carried the weight of the cost in his heart and mind.

So when I agreed to cover his school fees each term he and his Grandma were ecstatic.

Those school fees are 25,000 UGX for a three-month term of school.

When I was there in August I therefore left that 25,000 UGX for them.

It was about $12.00 CAD…. For three months of schooling.

As I look ahead to January when I need to be sending another three-months worth of school fees, because of the weakened Ugandan Shilling, it now amounts to $9.13 CAD.

Imagine, I am going to go to a Western Union to send money and I will be sending $10. There is something ridiculous about that.

So while I am saving $2 on my commitment, imagine the Sponsorship Organizations and the money they are saving and/or making any time a country’s currency drops in value.

Imagine my $2 saving multiplied by millions of children.

It would be pretty hard as an organization not to somewhat rejoice in the substandard currency.

Especially when it is amounting to millions of dollars.

Somehow this is all not okay.

I don’t know what the answer is. I’m not even sure what the real question is. But I do know that I am appalled.

I am appalled that most sponsorship programs are running on donations of $35-40 per month.

My school sponsorship of Pascal is $3.03 per month. For 9 months of the year. The other three months there is no school, after all.

Now Pascal has a home and clothes and food. My sponsorship of his schooling doesn’t cover any of that, simply the school supplies he needs so that he can attend school.

Many sponsorship programs are covering so much more.

But there is still something really off here. And when the currency of a country lowers to the point that the excess is benefiting us, something even greater is wrong.

Their weakness should not be our strength.

And like all business do we really want it to get better for them? Do cancer researchers really want to do away with cancer? Imagine the untold lost jobs and revenue if cancer were healed.

Do we really want arthritis to be healed? Imagine the untold lost jobs and revenue if arthritis were healed.

Do we really want society to be well and emotionally healthy? Imagine the untold lost jobs and revenue if there were no physical illness, no mental illness, no compromises health? Imagine.

And do we really want developing nations to be taking care of their own? Do we really want them self-sufficient and strong, caring for their own poor and schooling their own children?

Imagine the untold lost jobs and revenue if that were to happen.

Imagine.

Taking care of all that is wrong is big business. VERY BIG Business.

What if we were to make things right. What then?

Making things right has got to be the goal.

I’m not settling for anything less.

Volunteer

P1080581 compressedThe Capturing Courage Team @ Home has many opportunities for your gifts to bless the greater work. As the work grows, we have need of many specifically gifted and passionate hands and hearts.

Located in the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada, we are a fledgling organization on a shoe-string budget at this time, and are therefore dependent on the people that come alongside us.

If you have a desire to be a volunteer in the work of CCI here is a summary of what we are currently looking for:

  • Website Help: There are a number of things we want to do with our website, and blog plus more, that we are not equipped to do at this time. If you are needing a showcase project or simply wanting to tithe your time and talents to a non-profit organization, we want to connect with you.
  • Editing Ability: We are looking for book editors who either have a heart to donate partially or in total towards the books we are working on. With both volunteer and paid opportunities we need an editor with expertise and heart and a desire to be part of something bigger than themselves.
  • Project Managers:At CCI we have a number of projects under way on the home front, and we need a few individuals who are interested in becoming a part of our Action Teams towards strengthening our home base.
  • Event Managers: We are looking for action oriented individuals to take on any one or all of our annual and regular events. From women’s events to yearly fund-raisers, if you are pumped about making things happen, and happen well, we’ve got a spot for you.
  • Errand Support: There are multiple and numerous little things that must be done from week to week. And much of this job is simply about driving here, picking that up there, running for this or that. If you have a vehicle and love to run errands, we’ve got a few things you could do.
  • Overseeing Support Materials: When we speak and present the work from place to place, we like to have our support materials ready to go and well maintained. Things like prayer cards, books to sell, photos and story boards, and more, need a keen eye and good taste to manage and implement. If this sounds like you, we would love to have you part of the team.


For further information CONTACT US

A Better Way

questions about educationOn my last trip to Uganda, I left money for the sponsorship of a young man as he finishes his schooling.

Living with his Grandma who is a widow, and without a Father to provide for him, I am glad to relieve his worry about funds for school, so that he might simply focus on his studies.

I have seen and understood that the opportunity to spend very little money ensures an education and best advantage going forward for many in developing nations. But I’ve also seen the backside of sponsoring.

While kid needs education, food and clothes, school supplies and maybe a pair of shoes, sponsorship has also crippled the people. And so, though I am personally sponsoring a young man as he finishes his eduction, I am also riddled with mixed emotions as to the long-term effects overall.

I find the tell-tale signs in many of the adults. Those who are used to western money being spent on an entire countries welfare, used to western money being the solution and the way. The only way.

In many ways, the biggest work in Africa that I have encountered, is this tunnel vision that cannot see its way past the need for western money. An idolatry of sorts, the vision of the people has been foreshortened and nearsighted.

“Sponsorship is the only answer” is the mantra of the many.

Yet, this simply isn’t so. As a coach I know that there are always solutions outside of our line of vision. Always.

That just behind the blinders are answers that, until the blinders are removed, we cannot see or imagine.

Do we want the blinders, or the solutions? We can have one or the other, but not both.

I certainly don’t know what the answer is. But I am pretty sure it is time to change the way we are doing things.

The conversations that I have been following from Africa are telling as well. They themselves are seeing that in light of 50 years of western aid and literally billions and billions of dollars, that they, the people and nations are little further ahead than before, “It is time to get our stuff together” they say.

‘How might we assist in building of a sense of sufficiency within a people?’ is most likely the question to be asking. And certainly what we at Capturing Courage International are intent on discovering.

Capturing God’s Heart – Women – Volume 12

It is pressing upon me to today take a look at what the Bible says about women. There is much assumed and categorized when it comes to women. Much that is not in line with the heart of God, and while there is not time or space to look at everything we might discuss about women, we will look at a just a couple of thoughts today.

The Bible begins with the creation of the world, (and as John and Stasi Eldredge brought to our attention in their book, Captivating), we see that creation begins with wide swaths. Like a giant brush painting a large picture, a grand work of art, the first strokes lay out the background and the vistas of creation; light and dark, land and sea and sky.

Continue reading