Alongside You

When Jesus Christ came to earth the Jews were under Roman rule. This rule over their lives was heavy- handed and in many cases without justice. The people were suffering. Not unlike many of our own lives today.

The Jews therefore believed that when the Messiah came he would do away with the oppression from their land and lives. They thought he would fix all that was wrong in their worlds.

But of course, Jesus did not do that. Instead, Jesus came with a different plan.

Instead of focussing on the external difficulties and problems Christ directed our attention to our internal heart difficulties. He addressed the problems within our own souls.

But because of this difference in priorities from what the people wanted to what Christ brought, many of the people at that time missed out on Jesus.

They couldn’t see what Jesus was offering due to their preoccupation with their own idea of a savior; they simply wanted their lives fixed.

While we at CCI are certainly not the Christ, we find ourselves running into a similar thinking as we travel and minister in various areas. Often it is assumed that we are bringing money to help with various projects and tangible needs within communities.

We understand this assumption for it has been the way of many missions organizations over the years to, for instance, build buildings and feed orphans and clothe widows. And while there is nothing wrong with this kind of work it is not the work we are called to.

Rather, Capturing Courage International is called to spiritual transformations, heart healing, church renewal, and leadership development. CCI is focussed on the internal state of our hearts before God.

We therefore sometimes feel like Christ might have felt when the people kept expecting him to fix their lives when in actuality he had something much bigger in mind.

We at Capturing Courage believe that God’s priority is not about fixing our lives, rather God’s priority is about entering into our lives with us, growing us stronger in the face of difficulty, and developing us into people of integrity, character, and holiness.

This is the particular work of Capturing Courage Int’l. We come alongside encouraging and equipping, growing and developing your inner core as a person, a leadership team, and a congregation.

If this is something that would be of value to you then let’s continue in relationship and communication and the Lord will indeed meet us mightily as we wait on him together.

because of Jesus,
Cyndy Lavoie and the Team @ Capturing Courage International

A Three-Fold Ministry

At Capturing Courage International we bring a three-fold braid of ministry. These following three dynamics strengthen and create a work that is not easily undone. These three focuses create a strong bond in the Lord and with each other.

These three priorities mirror God’s position toward us:

  • God the Father continually initiates RELATIONSHIP with us
  • Jesus Christ his Son, through salvation, makes TRANSFORMATION possible
  • Our Holy Spirit DISCIPLES us, helps us, guides us

Strand #One: Authentic Relationships (Coming on the Inside)

This is marked by three simple processes: 

  • let’s get to know each other
  • let’s wait on the Lord together
  • let’s enter into the Lord’s work together

This begins through email, Facebook, and phone calls. First we get to know one another. What are your callings and visions from the Lord? How is the Lord leading you? Together we begin to pray about what the Lord might have us do in person alongside each other.

And God-willing, and as the Lord leads, we come to where you are. Even on the ground we enter into fellowship first and foremost. We then minister as you invite. On the ground alongside the work God has given you we bring:

  • inner healing and deliverance, heart healing for you and your people
  • intimacy with God through prayer, humility, and leading
  • heart conversations, preaching and teaching, about life, love, and ministry

“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of my salvation.” Psalm 51:10-12 NLT

Strand #Two: Spiritual Transformation (Authentic Conversations)

Through dialogue, preaching, teaching, and healing prayer we tackle heart issues such as:

  • how much does God love us?
  • what do we do with sin and failure?
  • how might our churches reflect the heart of God?

Once we are on the ground, living alongside you for a time, eating what you offer us, travelling as you travel, we have opportunity to discuss the many difficult and tangible questions facing leaders and churches today.

There is a fresh movement of the Lord throughout the global church and as we pay attention to this, learning from it, we are positioned to bring perspective outside your own area. We are continually learning and becoming bigger thinkers ourselves and this we offer to you towards your own success. We therefore dialogue and seek the Lord together for wisdom’s and clarity for you and the ministry you are uniquely called to. We might discuss issues such as:

  • law, legalism and rules, versus freedom in Christ
  • men and women in marriage, the church, and leadership
  • leadership basics, integrity, holiness, humility and more

“Make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous portion of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”  2 Peter 1:5-7 NLT

Strand #Three: Ongoing Discipleship (Spiritual Teaching)

Through CCI Materials we are challenged: 

  • to align our lives with the heart of God
  • to become personally intimate with our God
  • to be bold in our love for each other

A big part of the work of Capturing Courage is the continuing development of relevant materials to encourage and equip both leaders and their congregations. We bring the heart of God to our lives. We bring forth issues of compassion, mercy, gratefulness, faithfulness and more.

While Bible Schools around the world are doing a great job of bringing the hard skills of expository training, Biblical studies, historical Christianity and more, we at CCI are bringing the soft skills of hearts made right with Christ. Out of this flows wise and compassionate ministry that changes lives. We do this through:

  • Capturing God’s Heart – a monthly topical Bible Study sent direct to your email
  • Walking in Spiritual Authority – A Discipleship Training Course set to equip you to carry the heart of God
  • Other Specific resources and answers to dilemma’s and questions found on the field as we travel from place to place.

“Preserve the teaching of God; entrust his instructions to those who follow me.” Isaiah 8:16 NLT

This Three-Fold Ministry:

  • Relationship
  • Transformation
  • Discipleship

Serves the hearts, minds, and lives of the body of Christ. 

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

To get this and more about what to expect from us at Capturing Courage Int’l  CLICK HERE for a PDF you can download and print for your reference.

It’s Not Our Work

“I was somewhere with you, a place I did not know…..there was people around  big ugly people that were chasing people and when they caught them …they would throw them in this muddy river…

You Cyndy  were standing on the shore and I was  standing beside you watching …..Then Cyndy you bent down and reached and caught one of people in the river and pulled him/her up. I could not tell if men or women or child was being pulled up with only one hand, so strong you looked, so strong you were.

I was afraid for you Cyndy you just kept pulling and pulling crying out “I can’t let go” over and over. and when you pulled we saw that the people were all attached to each other so that that there was a long line of them  coming up …how many we did not know .? It seems like never ending….

Then we heard a loud noise coming from where the ugly big people were, and then everything got quiet, and they had disappeared….we saw the water become clearer and all the people you had pulled out started to walk away from you and I. they were singing….loud singing and walking away.

You turn to me and said, “You must go home now” and then I woke up.

The depths of work done on this last ministry trip to Mozambique are slowly coming out of the depths of myself. The entire time I was away I kept thinking, “How am I going to share this trip? How do I summarize this in words?!”

Slowly, bit by bit, I’m finding words for it all. This prophetic dream (just above) was given to one of our prayer partners and it summarizes perfectly the work in the spirit realm and the impact in people’s lives.

I am glad for a dream that helps to explain the work, for I’m finding it difficult to put words to what was deep and under the surface. The trip, on the surface, carried no drama and held little spectacle.

There was merely four of us (and one little one) traipsing across many kilometres by train and bus, truck and motorbike, and by foot, to visit ten churches, their pastors, and congregations, and then these profound conversations.

It began in Chupanga. Our first real stop. We had arrived in the morning and the first service was that evening. I cannot even remember what I spoke on but at the end of the service I was asked to pray for the people.

Now I have a bit of a rebellious streak to me, and over the course of the trips I’ve taken I’ve become really tired of being brought out as the circus performer who will now work wonders on you through her prayers. blah…

So that night I refused. I said, “No, I won’t be praying for you. Rather, I am going to teach you to pray for each other.”

And so this is what I, and my translator Whisky, tried to do. Once I was done teaching Whisky went on with much encouragement’s. All to no avail. It was a bit of a dismal failure from what I could tell.

But the evening concluded and back we all went to the house we were staying in. Upon our arrival we found the Pastor and his right hand man already there. How they got there so fast I’ve no idea!

And I realized that I just might need to explain why I had refused to pray for their people. So I shared what I had been learning the last few months.

I shared the bigger thinking the Lord had been giving me, the conviction to teach the people to do the work of the Kingdom (it doesn’t just belong to a few), how churches grow when people are empowered, what I’ve been learning from the house-church movement in India, and I also shared a prophetic word from one of our pastors in Kenya.

It was a bit of a long explanation, really a laying out of my heart and how the Lord was leading us at Capturing Courage, and once I’d finished their immediate question was, “You mean people can pray for each other?”

I was stunned. Struck. Saddened. In disbelief.

“Yes, people can pray for each other.”

And there began hours of conversation, late into the night, about life in Christ, about prophecy, about prayer, about leadership, about marriage, about men and women in the church, about so much.

Question after question was directed at me accompanied by a hunger for wisdom and clarity. Long past bedtime we finally broke up our gathering. And then picked it up the next day.

That next evening I didn’t preach, we simply held a forum. With Pastor Daniel, Whisky, and myself on chairs at the front of the church Daniel presented question after question, Whisky translated, I answered the question, Whisky translated, and on we went.

Life changing conversation that will not fade away.

And I still don’t have words for it all. But I’ll keep sharing it a layer at a time. So many dimensions.

The Lord is simply at work. This I know. My bag had been packed for Mozambique for an entire year. Literally. Packed and ready to go. For a year’s time.

The timing of the work of God is critical to any ministry. It is why we move in sync with the exact leading and timing of the Holy Spirit. Not before, not after.

For these works are not of us. In any way. We are simply conduits of God’s heart over people and areas. There are so many things that must align in realms that we do not see, that it is best to simply trust and wait, and then when we hear the ‘go’ we go. Quickly, efficiently, simply.

This is God’s work, not ours.

 

What We Know

light of the worldWhat if each of us was to speak what we know. Not what we think we know. Not what we might like to know. But what we really know.

You know, those convictions and conclusions that have been tried and tested over the years and still ring true deep in our spirits.

For one thing, I suspect we wouldn’t speak as much.

But I also suspect that our words would be so much deeper, so much more real, and in the speaking of them we would be so much more invested and engaged.

If nothing else, try this out as an exercise. Here is what I know:

  • God loves me passionately and intimately
  • God loves you passionately and intimately
  • Christ came to give us new life and in him we have life like we’ve never dreamed
  • I must live out of my authentic core bringing my entire range of experience and emotion to God and in this I find intimacy
  • I do not know everything about God

What do you know?

Are you articulating it?

Are you living it?

How is it changing your life?

Thank-You Pastor Ravi in India

Pastor Ravi sends many thanks from India for the Capturing God’s Heart Material – We are so touched and simply glad at how such a simple thing as this material is touching so many lives. We give God the glory – thank you Lord.

thanks cyndy 6thanks Cyndy 5thanks Cyndy 4thanks Cyndy 3thanks Cyndy 1

Ministry in Mozambique

The summer is flying by, and with it we are thick into preparations for our fall ministry trip to Mozambique.

Pastor Daniel and nine churches have been waiting for over a year and a half for us to be there, and we are deeply glad that the time has come for fellowship in company of each other.

The plan is that I (Cyndy) will head there on October 16th for 15 days on the ground. We have received donations enough to cover about two-thirds of the ticket price, and half of the total cost of the trip.

Thank-you to all those who have donated so far – The work of Capturing Courage is dependent on the donations and prayers of ordinary folks like yourselves.

A few specific things to keep in prayer about:

– Clarity in our final communications as we near our travel time.

– Full funding so that we stay on budget for this trip.

– Heart preparation for a work of the Lord, for both Cyndy and the people in Mozambique.

– All details coming together.

art auctionThere are also five evangelists and pastors from Kenya and Uganda who would like to travel and join us in Mozambique – please pray for clarity, direction, and funding to work for them as the Lord leads.

The work of Capturing Courage continues to solidify and expand. As we are faithful with the depth the Lord continues to increase the breadth.

Please be in prayer for us beyond this trip to Mozambique. The question of ‘which country next?’ is playing in the back of our minds and we wait on the Lord’s specific direction.

The choices forefront in our minds at this time are India, Kenya, Myanmar, & Uganda.

Your prayers for clarity and wisdom and guidance on our behalf are very appreciated.

If you live in the Vancouver area mark your calendars for our Open House & Art Auction Fundraiser coming in late September.

If you are new to the work of Capturing Courage Click HERE.

“Make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous portion of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”  2 Peter 1:5-7 NLT

To support this work around the world Donate HERE

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More Favor in India

093More favor in India. This comes from Pastor Ravi,

“Dear sister till now, I and church members distributed Capturing God’s Heart studies,1456 to church Reverends and Presidents, c.s.i.Deans, Chairmen, Evangelists, Roman Catholic Catechist’s Pastor’s and many people.

They are reading and understanding the love of God and many local and non-local persons and non-local churches Director’s are asking me to distribute the God’s Heart studies.

We are using and understanding, very gracious and very comforted with holy ghost. Thank you dear lord Jesus.”

We simply give God the glory for the impact of the Holy Spirit via these simple Capturing God’s Heart studies.

Making an Impact

Pastor Timothy in India

This is Pastor Timothy from his most recent crusade on July 3, 2013

Some years ago there was a prophecy spoken over Capturing Courage International that the Holy Spirit was going to go out from CCI all around the world; like colorful ribbons of joy and healing and comfort extending from our home base to many in many other places all over the globe.

We made note of this prophecy, and yet wondered at the vastness of the content, ‘How might this be?’ we asked.

As you may know we have been making available a small Bible study called Capturing God’s Heart on a monthly basis to indigenous pastors around the world. And we thought it was time to take a survey and to see how many people are being impacted so far.

While we do not have all replies yet, the first response from Pastor Timothy in India tells us this,

“I am going to many public crusades and pastors conferences and more churches for preach the word of god to the pastors and Christian leaders and many people as a main speaker in Andhra Pradesh in India.

Already we distributed Capturing God’s Heart studies to a minimum of 1000 church pastors and evangelists Christian leaders and bishops. 100’s of  people they are reading and understanding and they are asking me for some more Capturing God’s Heart studies for distribution to many people; it is very needful to every church and everyone.

Many people are benefiting from the Capturing God’s Heart studies I am hearing from them some words they are telling with me, “We are healing and understanding, comforting, filled with holy spirit, Praise the Lord!”

 My sister, your Capturing God’s Heart studies are really touching to the hearts of pastors and evangelists and every one in India.”

Pastor Timothy finishes off his email by requesting more God’s Heart Studies so that he can distribute them further.

One of the things we have learned at Capturing Courage is that when we show up and do our part, God shows up and does the rest. It is the pleasure of our Lord to take our simple offerings and make them into something that could have never been on our own.

While we have been regularly communicating with Pastor Timothy we had no idea that he was distributing Capturing God’s Heart to this extent. We know, that for every leader that receives one volume of God’s Heart that they in turn pass it on to anywhere from 10 – 500 other people themselves.

I’m not sure we are really going to be able to add up these numbers once they all start coming in.

We simply claim this work for the glory of God and God alone and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

To find out more about Pastor Timothy’s ministry, go HERE

To Donate a one-time gift or to commit to a monthly support of Capturing Courage and the work we are doing go HERE

NOTE that our next trip is to Mozambique where there are 9 churches and then area pastors, evangelists, prophets and bishops waiting to fellowship with us. We are accepting donations specifically towards this trip. Make your donation HERE

“And then they were on the road. They preached with joyful urgency that life could be radically different; right and left they sent the demons packing; they brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies, healing their spirits.” Mark 6:12-13 Message

Capturing Courage Stories & Prayer from around the World

You are Invited - April 21st

What’s The Fight About?

the body of ChristAre we fighting with people. Are we fighting against people.

What if there was another completely different vantage point. What if we might fight for people.

Fighting with people has us choosing sides, using either/or language and sometimes blindly acquiescing in ways that are not beneficial to anyone.

Fighting against people also polarizes and separates, creating divides and a conquer and a take all kind of thinking. No one wins.

And often, with each of these options on opposing ends of a continuum we bounce back and forth between fight with and fighting against.

Sometimes we are fighting with and sometimes we are fighting against. Bi-polar in our positions we are not stable people, our life manner cannot be counted on, we swing from one way to the other depending on who we are with, depending on what buttons they are pushing in us, and depending on our frame of mind on any given day.

Might I suggest this is a crazy way to be in the world. And yet, how else might we do this?

Well, in contrast to either of these two ends of a continuum the servant-leader (and anyone can be one of these) brings those two opposite ends of the continuum up and around joining the two polarities, creating something brand new.

Instead of with or against, we have for. Fighting for others is a much different entity.

It is a place whereby we are in fact for people. We hold ourselves in honor to others, we give benefit of the doubt while simultaneously giving push back.

Fighting for others requires that we bring a lot more of us to the table, than fighting with or against ever does.

Fighting for requires that we have the best interest of those we are serving at heart. It requires a bigger picture kind of thinking, a life that seeks to be part of the solution and not part of the problem, and that quite simply breathes life instead of death.

It doesn’t mean we won’t disagree; we will.

Yet fighting for is a strong place. It does not require acquiescence, it does not create false fronts, and because of this only in fighting for can we engage true unity.

Fighting with or against are both passive states that masquerade as action, they look alive and meaningful, but its all a ruse.

It is so much easier after all to take a polarized position than to truly enter into the dirty messes of reality and invest in listening, and humility, and seeing things differently than we have ever seen them before.

Only in fighting for do we really engage all the difficulties and the uncountable realities, only in fighting for are we part of the solution, and only in fighting for are we able to truly serve those around us.

The Heart of Our Work

P1230297 compressedThere are a lot of missions organizations out there. I just discovered a site that has some dozen different trips to choose to be part of this year.

When I look at these sites and these missions organizations I know that Capturing Courage is not the same, is quite unique, yet I’ve had a hard time articulating the difference.

Released into the international aspect of our ministry 1 1/2 years ago it only took a couple of months to know that we were not going to be taking ‘teams’ overseas in any way.

Let me try to explain why.

For starters, we stay with the people. Jesus told his disciples to enter the towns, stay with whom will keep you and eat what they feed you. This is what we do. In each place where we go we stay with a family. We are not looking for nice per se, need no hotels, just simple and safe.

Doing this enters us into immediate interdependence. Sure I may be there to pray over and train and to facilitate an intimate encounter with the Lord, but I am dependent on those who keep me. In this we are mutually coming under each others leading and guiding.

Fellowship doesn’t stay at the surface. It goes much deeper.

Because I’ve gone by myself on all of my trips thus far, I’ve entered into relationship with those I’ve been privileged to be with. There is no other Canadian nearby, the easy comforts of a persons familiarity are not right at hand, and this forces real dynamics between myself and those I am with.

Our primary goal is building relationships. In fact, our entire ministry is dependent on the relationships we build. No relationships, no ministry.

Investing in each other has us looking ahead together in each other. I’m not sure how that can completely be done in a team setting. Can you imagine moving six or more people through a crowded city street, or onto a taxi, or via boda-boda’s into the villages and to sit with the elderly. I can’t.

Which brings me to the other thing that is different. We move as they move. Capturing Courage uses the same transit that our hosts use. In fact, our hosts are the ones arranging all the transportation.

We are entering into their worlds. We are not bringing ours with us, rather we do life and our time there in the same way they do. This is our goal.

The world over we have this prevailing idea that more is better. But I am convinced that less gets the job done far more. With less of us we connect more. With less of us we fit in better. With less of us the conversations are richer.

It is similar to years back when I would take my kids to Science World. Here in Vancouver we have a science playground of sorts where an entire day can easily be had. And there was a marked difference in the ways we could spend a day at Science World.

When I and just my five kids went, we found that we took our time. We went from area to area at our own speed and pace. We delved deep into the areas that struck us that day. My interactions were with my children, each one in turn and as we conversed together.

Every so often we had this ‘great idea’ to go with another family. Another mom and her kids would join us, and it was never as good a day. For all of a sudden I’m talking with this other mom more than with my own children. The conversation that did happen with my children was brought down to the level of giving instructions, issuing warnings, calling and commanding.

Sure I loved visiting with my friend, but all in all, these were far less superior days. The quality cannot even be compared.

Instead of moving at our own pace and entering into deep discussion and learning that was not rushed, we instead gave way to being in sync, organizing the children’s needs (who needed to go to the bathroom now?) with our conversation about planning and strategy and other such sundry details.

As much as I loved the idea of going with another family it was just never what we imagined it to be.

And I am pretty sure that moving a team through a foreign land would amount to the same. All the shuttling, strategizing, planning, organizing, timing, checking in, double checking, and more and more, certainly is not what we at CCI are called to do.

We must think very carefully about what the actual goal and the job is that we are taking on.

For instance, get a job in women’s fashion at a local department store as a ‘customer relationship manager’ and you will be folding and hanging clothing all day long. Is that really the job you wanted?

If a missions organization wants to pay thousands of dollars (actually charge you thousands of dollars) to move a team through airports, and in vans and through villages, care-taking the team, managing the team, providing for the team, solving problems within the team, ensuring the team has something to do, maintaining equilibrium within the team, and so on, then go for it.

But maybe we don’t want to call it missions so much as a grand team experience. Lets get real.

My niece recently said to me that when she did a missions trip to Mexico a few years back, that she never once interacted with a local Mexican person. So, I may be new to this scene, but there is something about this that is not okay. In fact, there is something about this that is very bad.

Having said all that, there is an organization based out of South Africa and they explicitly say, we do missions trips so that western youth might see other world realities. This is great. They are sure of their mandate and are stating it explicitly. Way to go for them. Because here the goal is to manage a team, grow a team, develop individuals to work within that team. This is honest. This is clarity.

It is hard to find clarity in anything we do in life. Even more so the rather nebulous arena of ‘helping’. What exactly might that be anyway! Well at CCI we enter into relationships and into life, into interdependency and mutual blessings.

There is nothing so grand as walking out of an international airport completely dependent on one person to be there to receive you. Nothing so amazing as to put one’s safety and care into another’s hands and guiding, “You lead the way, I’ll follow.” Little else compares to humbly receiving and sinking into the one family bed that has been prepared for you as your recover from your flight.

Nothing like receiving the jug of water that has been warmed for you that you might bathe. Nothing like falling asleep to the low sounds of the family conversing from bed to bed as they settle for the night. Nothing like your host following to the toilet (a pit toilet/outhouse) to stand guard since it is now dark outside.

It is these intimate adventures through life that bond us to each other. And it is out of these types of dependent interactions whereby we settle into each other, acknowledge each other and can then turn together looking forward committing to the future together.

At CCI it will never be about ‘here let us come help you’. Rather it is all about ‘we see the amazing strength and passion of your life, we see the work you are doing day in and day out, unceasingly and with great faithfulness, how might we encourage you?’

It’s as simple and profound as that.

At Capturing Courage we are simply finding friends we never knew, family we hadn’t yet met, and colleagues we are simply privileged to enter into the work alongside.

If you want to support this work head over to Love Global