Jesus Fully

I’ve preached once, twice, or three times every single day for more than four weeks now. Along with this preaching I pray for the heart healing, the restoration, and the refreshment of those in each congregation. It is good work.

The power of our healing lies in the work and name of our Lord Jesus Christ. This work was accomplished more than two-thousand years ago. When Jesus went to the cross, died, descended into Hades, and rose again, He entered into our personal hell with his life.

This means that our troubles and traumas are already touched by the healing power of our Lord. The very thing we may be afraid to look at and to enter into, is where He is and already has been.

This means that we must turn from our denial regarding the difficulties that each one of us has personally faced. Jesus died to free you from the smallest hurt in your life. He also died to free you from the biggest harm in your life.

Last night we had chicken for dinner. And as I was picking the meat off of the bones I was reminded (as I often am when I eat chicken in Africa) of Jesus Christ.

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Three of Us to Uganda

We are two and one-half weeks away from journeying to Uganda. Myself, Crystal, and Nelson will be arriving in Uganda on September 18th, and will be in the country until we begin our flights home on December 16th. 

When I go to a country and to those I will be with, I am hosted, fed and given a place to sleep, by those I’m ministering alongside, while the money that I bring into a country is for the internal travel of our on-the-ground-team (which includes the pastor/s we are travelling with once there).  

Now, with three of us going, Nelson having just decided 9 days ago, I’ve been communicating that we are now three coming and asking if this is okay on their end in terms of the hosting of us. 

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The Real Work Belongs to the Lord

The international launch of CCIM was in the fall of 2011. It was at that time that I took my first ministry trip to Africa. I had been invited, persistently invited, by a gentleman in Uganda and after prayer and discernment realized that it was time to begin what the Lord had been telling me about for some time.

In the year 2000 the Holy Spirit had begun showing me these rolling hills as far as I could see, covered by trees more than I could count. And with this vision came his words, “Each tree represents a life that your words will touch.” Initially I thought I was imagining all of this. Yet as time went by and as the Lord continued to impress this vision upon my spirit and mind I began to take this as God telling me something.

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Praise at Work

P1270214Pastor Praise in Uganda is Youth Director over 405 churches. He has been using the Capturing God’s Heart material as discipleship material and is finding good favour and changed lives as a result.

His desire is to give out certificates as those he is teaching learn and experience the heart of God through this material.

At Capturing Courage we are committed to whatever it may be that will help him do the best job he can do, with the specific calling on his life.

Within Uganda 49% of the population is under the age of 15. This is staggering and when we look ahead at the opportunity to parent and raise up the next generation, we are simply glad to be working alongside those like Praise who are committed to equipping and encouraging an entire generation.

Please keep Praise in your prayers and all of us as we work out the details regarding certificates and how to facilitate this as simply as possible yet with integrity and transparency.

Praise also has a school, a few of his students pictured above, and has been trained in organic gardening. He appreciates all prayers for both the school and the garden they have there, the training of the children in methods that produce great crops.

Tangibly right now, pray that he can find the materials and resources to make a fence around his garden so that the cows don’t get into it.

And as he teaches and trains the youth from the 405 churches he is responsible to, cover him in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

CCI School of Discipleship

P1320433 compressedI’m near the finishing line. For over a week I’ve been in my cave writing and editing and praying over our Course One – The King’s Heart. I’ve a deadline to send it off to Madudu, Uganda later this week.

While I’ve written the course for us western folks previously, it needed quite a bit of re-crafting to ensure it is in fact useful for our overseas pastors.

There is a lot of my heart in Madudu. And it is here that I so felt the thick presence of God, and have been so compelled to pour into the pastors and lay-leaders there.

All of our activity in Madudu is overseen by Geoffrey, our lead hand in Uganda, and Pastor Kakuba, the lead guy on the ground in Madudu.

The picture accompanying this post is from our School of Discipleship that met in August of last year.

And as they meet again in a weeks time we ask your prayers for their good success.

We also ask that you consider donating to the gathering – for help with food, transportation, and printing costs.

You can see more about that HERE



P1220931 compressedIt was my first trip to Uganda. I was part of a three-days Pastor’s Conference and was bringing the morning and afternoon training. And each day the same Ugandan Pastor would finish off the day with what we call in the west, a holy-rolling spiritual encounter.

It wasn’t really my style. I didn’t even understand it all the way. There were mixed messages, parts that did make sense to me but then parts that made no sense to me whatsoever. Yet I was determined to learn and simply waited on the Lord to explain the elements of which I was unsure.

In addition to this, I wasn’t even so sure of the gentleman himself for there were mixed messages simply in the way he greeted and communicated with me, and I am pretty sure he was not too certain about me as well.

But with three days to hear, see, and witness each others hearts we came to a tentative agreement of sorts between us, (all of this of course in the unspoken realm of body language and spiritual authority).

If nothing else I had seen and experienced through a simple handshake that this man had a profound anointing of the Holy Spirit (I had nearly gone down when he shook my hand, the Spirit was so strong on him). So even though all the parts didn’t make complete sense to me, I was quite aware that I was in a completely different country and culture and knew that God would look different there. I was eager to learn.

My second trip to Uganda had this gentleman and myself in ministry alongside each other for another number of days. I became more used to his very loud and exuberant demonstrations about the Lord, and he seemed to get used to my slightly quieter yet strong way of doing things. Our rapport and respect began to grow.

Keep in mind that we could not communicate. He spoke virtually no English and I of course spoke no Ugandan. And yet, despite this the Holy Spirit began to grow us in sync with one another. When I was preaching and drawing near to praying freedoms and healing he would get to his feet bouncing in anticipation as the Spirit would fall heavily amongst us. I began to really enjoy him.

One of my last days of that trip I was at this gentleman’s church. I’d spent two days at each church I visited and it was no different here. He introduced me to his congregation with respect and a simple, “This is a powerful woman.” And I recognized in him a growing understanding that authority does not have so much to do with volume but with something much deeper. He was learning from me as much as I was learning from him.

Near the end of our first day he made the announcement that the next day he would be anointing and praying over people in regards to their problems. I thought to myself, “Gosh I have some problems! I am going to have to make sure that he prays for me.” All the while calculating the risk of ‘going down’ in the Spirit (on that dirt floor) and who knows what other potential oddities. But it didn’t matter. For I’d seen that this man was anointed of God and I could definitely use some of that blessing over me. Simply put, I could use more of God. No matter how it came, I simply needed more of God.

The next day arrived. I spoke in the first session, and as we came to his afternoon prayer time I was ready and excited about being prayed over. As with most times we had olive oil for anointing during prayer, and his church was no different. Into a bowl he poured olive oil, ready for anointing all those who wanted prayer. Yet before I could catch my breath, all of a sudden he had placed the bowl of olive oil in my hands and was on his knees in front of me, waiting for me to pray and bless and anoint him.

I was surprised to say the least. Turns out we had both been thinking the same thing. Each of us wanted to make sure the other prayed for us. I prayed over him, and then the other leaders as they came and also made sure I prayed over them. And it took some intention, to say the least, to make my point of, “Please pray for me too” as I got on my knees.

All this is but one story of mutual recognition of spiritual authority that took place on my journey’s in Uganda. What these experiences feel to me are the essence of what the Bible is speaking of when it says ‘submit yourselves to one another’.

Submission is a little understood word. We use it all the time to justify keeping others low. I am pretty sure in fact that much of our understanding of submission in no way accurately represents the heart of God. Rather than having anything to do with position or title, these mutual submissions were moments when we recognized the authority each carried and we mutually came under each others anointing for blessing.

Simply moments of equipping and bounty poured out from the Lord through and over each other. Moments holding for me tangible lessons in the essence of submission that speak of and accurately reflect the generous nature of God’s heart. It is a place of settling into the anointing of each other. Where we say, “I recognize God in you. Please pour what you have of God over me.”

Theses mutual submissions mark an intimacy with the Lord. In them we are marked by a pouring down of our Holy Spirit. By them we mark each other with respect and honor.

We are all strengthened and touched to the core of our beings. And that is a grand understatement.

Profoundly beautiful moments and spaces. Just one of the things I’ve experienced in Uganda.


P1260995 compressedI was staying at Edith’s home for some three weeks. With a lovely home on the outskirts of Jinja, Uganda, there were many of us there. I had stayed there before, but this time Edith’s daughter was there with her little boy.

Victor was not quite two years old. A sweet little guy, but like a few of the littlest children, afraid of me and my strange white appearance.

Yet I was determined to make friends with him (longed to make friends with him), and he seemed to have the same notion. Every day, numerous times a day, he would skitter past my room, peering in through the open door-way, catch my glance and skitter away.

And every day he would come a couple of inches closer than the day before.

For the first week he would simply stand afar off in the hallway, looking and taking me in. And when I looked up to smile at him, off he would go. The second week he would come a touch closer, and stay a touch longer.

Now I wasn’t there all day every day, but at the start and ends of my days, and on my days off, Victor and I slowly developed a tentative rapport.

Generally speaking he was a bit of a fussy boy. And so there were tears and cries as he was put down for a nap, or when he wanted his Mama’s comfort or feeding, or when he was simply frustrated and feeling left out.

A lot of the time he wore only a small beaded belt around his waist, and in his beautiful baby body he toddled around the home, comfortable and free in his own skin, and as the weeks passed he finally got as close as the doorway to my room.

And then came my last Saturday in Edith’s home. Both Edith and her daughter were at the garden. I was home that day as were a few of the teen girls and a number of the children, Victor being one of them.

About mid-morning he became very sad with many tears. The other kids weren’t letting him play with them, the girls were preparing and cooking food, and his Mama was not there. What was a little boy to do?

I saw that maybe my time had come. Slowly I approached and scooped down to take him in my arms. I cannot express the delight as he let me pick him up and take him on my lap.

We simply sat. He calmed down. I was thrilled.

We hadn’t gotten closer than four feet prior to this, and to think that he was letting me hold him was a grand breakthrough. From that point on we were true friends, with an easy snuggling on my lap each day till I left.

I wonder how much this story represents us and God. We are afraid and unsure, startled by who God is, and certainly not sure how close we want to be.

But when life gets hard, when our common comforts are not at hand, and when we are at our wits end, we say okay, I’ll come closer to you now. “Yes I’ll let you in.”

Thing is, this takes some time. It took Victor three full weeks to allow me to touch him, but we were in the same house all along. I was simply there, and he was curious but fearful.

Isn’t it the same with God and us? God is simply here, in the house, present and eager, simply waiting to extend love and care. We hold back. It is us who are afraid.

We are the unsure ones.

Notice the picture of Victor (above) taken near the end of my trip and after we had become friends.

Can you see the affection coming out of his clear eyes, his frank companionship and gladness of being as I took his picture?

He wasn’t afraid any longer.

And this is how we can be with God. Come near to God and God will come near to us.

Fear of the unknown, insecurity about the present, and all that holds us back, will fall away. For in God’s presence we are validated, and encouraged, and strengthened.

We are comforted, supported, empowered.

How much time will we allow to pass swallowed in our own uncertainty?

“God, I have no idea how to come near to you, but I ask that you show me how. You scare me, I am afraid of you, but I want to know you, I want companionship and rapport with you.”

We don’t need to bring anything other than ourselves to God.

Like Victor’s naked little body, we simply come, and stand, risking to be seen and to be held, and to be changed forever.

With Space for Strength

strength in people“We are glad to seem weak if it helps show that you are actually strong.”

This is a Bible verse found in 2 Corinthians 13:9 and is really the theme of my last trip to Uganda.

I’d come across this verse a week-plus before the trip, and I knew it was to be the theme, I just never knew how hard it would be.

Being weak is not easy.

Thing is, standing in strength that appears weak, is in fact part of the space that we are determined to hold at Capturing Courage. For the express purpose that the people we are standing alongside, might know they are strong.

The plan for this trip was to bring a Conference and Crusade to the people in Madudu, Uganda. Then following up on that with a couple of weeks of Pastor Training.

The first ‘weakness’ became apparent before I left – we were not taking enough money to cover the Conference and Crusade; we contributed only 22% of the necessary funds.

I was excited about this, as I knew in my gut that God was up to something, and that we were going to see some mighty work. I just didn’t realize how very brutal it would be in the middle of it.

There may not be many things worse than watching the last of the food being dished out, and with some still needing to eat; the disappointment and disbelief and frustration and anger spreading across faces, with frantic digging through pots to find those stray sweet potatoes hidden amongst the banana leaves. With the lead guy exclaiming, “I followed your advice and now we don’t have enough!”

– We will appear weak so that you might know yourself strong –

Nothing worse than figuring we must cut the conference short a day, disappointing about 300 attendees, and swallowing our pride, and more in the process.

Nothing worse than maintaining that space of ‘God will do something’ and therefore I myself or Capturing Courage, refuse to do anything, “We will not fix this.. ”

– We will appear weak so that you might know yourself strong –

And strength came through. After hours (days) of crushing pressure and disillusionment in the unknown, refusing to lift a finger to ‘make anything better’ other than to pray and pray, that strength came.

It was presented to the people the state of things. That yes I was there to help sponsor, but not all the way. That yes we had food yesterday (barely), and yes we have food enough for today’s lunch, but after that, we are done and everyone will have to go home.

BUT – “If you as the people want to contribute, the conference can go on another day as planned.”

And into a basket went donation after donation, with the people raising over 400K Ugandan shillings, some $200 Canadian. Enough for the rest of the Conference.


A knowing for them that they are strong, they can do this, it doesn’t all depend on money from the west.

Amen and amen.

This was the work, the real work. Sure I spoke a few times, prayed over a few folk, blessed on the young and old alike, took some medicines to the sick, encouraged the leaders and visited with many, but the real work this time, was holding this space.

– We will appear weak so that you might know yourself strong –

I didn’t call any shots, simply held the space.

From deep within my person living out my rock-solid belief that the people themselves are strong and sufficient and capable of making things happen.

That Sponsors are not the answer. Strength from outside themselves is not the answer. They carry strength and sufficiency deep within. I was determined to prove this, by doing next to nothing, to fix anything.

It was oh so painful, and oh so amazing.

The deepest works of our lives are like this I’m thinking. Where there is not much to show in the midst, but much to look back at and see.

Holding spaces is something we all do. With some spaces such that we wouldn’t want to enter them, and other spaces such that we are ever-after never the same. Some spaces are destructive, others build us.

What kind of spaces are you holding for others?

Without Wifi

when things don't go as plannedWell, so much for ‘follow my trip on my blog idea. No Wifi for an entire two weeks ensured that there would be no blogs; there would be no emails, no updated ADVANCE, and no connections with family other than scattered and very short phone calls.

But I’m home now, and catching up. Phew!

It’s the middle of the night in Vancouver, Canada, but my body is still on Uganda time, so here I write – as it is really the middle of the day – wink, wink.
There was a strange feeling of entering another land once I truly realized I would be without Wifi. For starters, time slid by oh so slowly. And while I did manage to add another 30k words to the rough start of a book I’ve been working on, it truly took me a few days to settle into the fact that I was not going to be online for some time (and to stop even trying).

A friend awhile back had mentioned that nothing works in Africa. This trip, I got to experience this full-on.

I had made all the necessary preparations. I’d budgeted for the wifi modem for my computer, budgeted for the generator necessary to keep my ‘machines’ charged and topped-up ready. And I had my Ugandan phone with airtime all set to head off to the village.

But things didn’t go as planned. I’ve lost track of the exact rhythm of mislaid plans, but it goes something like this.

First day in, the computer runs out of power.

We wait on the generator to arrive.

I have the generator, but it needs petrol (gas in Ugandan English).

We wait on the petrol to be fetched.

We have petrol and the generator runs for a tiny bit, and then dies.

Oh, we need oil.

We wait on the oil to be fetched.

The oil arrives, we can charge one thing at a time (I only have one adapter, note for next time: bring three adapters on a trip) and it takes 5 hours and $5 of petrol to charge my computer.

The day is now gone, my computer is charged but the phone is not, and we wait for another day.

Another day arrives, but the boys are at the garden. We wait for them to come home later in the day so they can begin the generator.

The generator won’t start today – send for the technician.

Meanwhile, I work on my writing, and get a lot done, but the computer is now out of power once more.

– Repeat in alternating and various order for every day of my stay –

With my phone it was much the same:

I have airtime, but there is no network in the village half of the time, due to storms and cloud cover.

Oh the network is on, and I make a few short calls home just to say I am alive and well.

I run out of airtime.

Next day we go searching for airtime, but cannot find the kind I have in the village.

A few days later, we switch networks, and get new airtime.

But now my phone is not charged any longer.

I wait on the generator, (see the story about the computer), and a few days goes by.

My phone is now charged, but no one knows my new number.

And now the network is down.

Another day or two or three passes… with about 12 hours in-between each of these things… truly I tell no lie.

There is no way to exaggerate these delays and difficulties.

The point of all this: I don’t know.

What I do know though, is that for me, it was a gift. A tedious gift, but a gift nonetheless. And though my blog readership is down for this month (nothing to read after all), and though I must catch up on emails (that I am still afraid to open and process), two weeks offline did its work in my heart and life.

Though this trip was a bit of a blurr and it will take me some time to process it all, I know there was some deep work done. Both in my life, my kids lives, and in the life of Capturing Courage International, and for the work and people there in Madudu.

Somehow, the time spent in hours of heart depths and inner thoughts rendered well, with prayers and pleas for many, I am pretty sure that the hours and hours without, will prove to in fact be, hours and hours invested; a turning point that I will look back on and be forever grateful.

I can feel it, I just can’t all the way explain it.

But I do know, that when things don’t go as planned (despite our best planning), that there is usually something better in the mix.

So in (best that I could manage) casual African style I settled in and rolled with the punches, and despite my driver personality, (or maybe because of my driver personality) still managed to come out of the slowest whirlwind of my existence, with something to show for it.

(I feel like I’m babbling, and most likely am, lets just blame it on the jet-lag, and trust that you just might get something from this post for yourself.)

If nothing else, remember, that when things don’t go well, there are still gifts to be gleaned in the mix. Dig for gold baby, it’ll be there!

Constraint Right On Time

using limitations for greater thingsThere is always a natural sense of restraint or limitation, perhaps better described as constraint, before any great work.

Imagine for instance a figure skater. Before that figure skater makes that triple twisting leap in the air, she will cease all necessary movement in order to reserve and garner the energy and focus necessary to successfully complete the spin.

While this is but one example the principle holds true across a spectrum of applications. Consider a light. In order to bring that light into a truly powerful application, stricture, restraint, limitation, constraint must be placed upon the light. And when that is done light goes from common to great. Light under constraint is a laser, a tool of great power.

The successful entrepreneur or businessman for instance, is one who has limited the scope of their work. So that even within the business the particulars of that business are narrowed down and the focus is just one area of what could be many. Those who want to be successful in business must choose against the many, and go for the one great thing they can do and be about.

A woman about to have a baby, enters into what we call the nesting phase. That period of time just prior to birth, often a few weeks to a months time, when she gathers into herself so to speak, quiets down in her own core, all in  preparation for that great work of birthing new life into the world. Constraint preparing for a great work.

Time and again, we can see that constraints are powerful forces that take ordinary and make them into extraordinary. And this is true as well of our inner persons.

Constraints take our normal emotions and create powerful places of will coming from deep within. For instance, constraint that refuses to spew anger everywhere but rather, gathers that anger up into an energy best described as willpower, creates a catalyst for change within our being and lives.

The constraint of one’s words and tongue, as another example, reveals the power of the individual in and over their own life. Spew everything that comes to mind at whomever is nearest, and you will have a life that is devoid of personal power. It is like the energy has gone everywhere in random fashion, and it all comes to no good end.

Professionalism, that place where we become a canvas so to speak, presenting the work that is ours to present, refuses to mar the message with our own stuff getting in the way. Professionalism, ie: constraint, does not demand everything have voice, in fact it is just the opposite. Professionalism is constraint chosen and used well and toward great works.

For you see, we can fight against constraint, we can ignore constraint and pretend that it doesn’t exist, or we can use this principle of constraint to better serve ourselves and others.

What great work do you want to be about? Make no mistake about it, to succeed at that work, constraint will need to be chosen. Less is more.

We tend to believe and live the lie that more is better. But what if it isn’t true? What if that quest towards more of this or that, more time for this or that, more options towards this or that, is all a figment of our corporate imaginations?

What if less truly is more. What would you be choosing. And why. And how.

As an artist, the constraint of a canvas, the focus of a theme, the limitation of a time deadline, can and often works for us.

Give a person unending time and canvas and focus and we end up with a work that was perfect some days ago, but not now.

Writing a blog post, how many words are we limiting ourselves to? Giving a speech how many minutes are you limited to? Having an important meeting, will it come to a better conclusion if you give unlimited time or if you create a time constraint?

We could go on and on, as the truth of constraint as the powerful force that it is, could be discussed for quite some length. But the point is this, embrace constraint.

Make up some constraints. Use constraint and limitation to harness your best efforts into something great.


Aligned Just Right

P1260728 flipped compressedI’ve had time today to reassess all the opportunities, invitations and open doors before us, knowing full-well that the most important job that a leader does is think.

Leaders are responsible for the steering of the ship, and whether that ship stays on due course or not.

I’ve spent my day thinking. Making sure that the ship I am steering will stay on due course.

And into the conversation with myself and the Lord has been this issue of doing the work or preparing the work.

Let me give you an example of what I mean:

I worked in the hospitality industry for a time. We served a lot of weddings and other such large banquets.

And when setting tables for say 300 people there are two styles of doing the job.

The First Style:

Count out eight plates and carry those plates to the table. Count out eight glasses and carry those glasses to the table. Count out eight forks, knives, spoons, spoon again, and carry those to the table. Count out eight napkins and carry those to the table.

Do this 37 times.

Make note that the tables are not yet set. In order to set the table, one must move the piles around and back and forth as the setting is finally made complete.

The Second Style:

Take a stack of plates in one arm, walk around the tables putting each plate in its proper place, continuing from table to table until the stack is gone. Go get another stack and repeat. Take a large handful of (in turn) knives, forks, spoons and spoons again, and walk around the tables placing the silverware at each place setting. Repeat until all tables have cutlery.

Take a bin of glasses on your hip and walk around…

You get the point.

Let me ask you, which style is preparing the work, and which style is doing the work?

I’ve got to say, in case you can’t tell, that the first style is merely preparing the work. The work is not to get piles of stuff to each table, the work is to set the table.

(Reminds me of a conversation with my daughter a few weeks back. She was mopping but left some spots on the kitchen floor to which I called her back saying, “The job is not to mash the mop over the floor, the job is to clean the floor” She could only chuckle in response as she went over the floor again.)

But getting back to setting the tables:

Which way of setting the tables takes more time?

I actually walked off a shift that insisted we do it the first way. There was no way $11 an hour was worth that much insanity and frustration. Actually, you couldn’t pay me $50 an hour to do a job that way.

And I’ve never lost the lesson.

Thank goodness. Just this evening I was asked by a gentleman what my strategy was for moving forward. I told him the strategy. It is simple and elegant, but not unwieldy nor over-planned. It is sustainable, but I must admit, it doesn’t look like much on paper.

But I am determined to do the work, and not over-plan the work, for only then am I am freed to be doing more work.

There has been suggestions of showcasing individuals on the website. A great idea at first glance. Why not? Well, I or someone else would be spending all their time at the computer. And we are not called to computer work.

Thoughts of planning curriculum (which I could do, wrote a book about how to do that for homeschoolers), but again, that is not the work I am to be doing. I could plan ad-nauseum and never actually get to what was planned. Don’t we do that all the time?!

We could build a building for training, or build a home base in Africa.

There has been talk of both these things from a few different folks.

The problem is, while we could say, “We have a base in Uganda” or “We have a school in Uganda” and sound very important and official and grand… I wouldn’t be actually doing the work I am called to do.

And all of a sudden we would be maintaining that building, caring for the building, improving the building, administrating the building… it wouldn’t end.

Caring for the school, administrating the school… you get the picture. The school is not the point, education is the point. And that we can accomplish much simpler through routes already established.

The same holds true of so many things, so many types of jobs. Where we spend our time planning and preparing and ensuring everything is set to go, and then planning and preparing and ensuring everything is set to go.

Meanwhile, the actual work is not done,

but boy do we ever feel great! (busy-work is a false placebo)

It can be quite a lot of balderdash.

All that to say, we must be about the work, the real work, the actual thing that is the job.

We do not shrink back from the real work, rather we engage, pour ourselves into the real work, risk for the work, fail and get back up again for the work…

There is no risk putting piles of dishes and cutlery on the table,

But setting that table, perfectly and aligned just right,

Now that take some guts and some willingness to engage