Thanksgiving--Your Opportunity to Start a PSE Tradition

Hello everyone! 

As I get the car all gassed up for a trip to see family and friends, I am thinking about how the best Thanksgiving celebrations go hand in hand with our Play. Story. Eat. process. I don't know about your family, but we Reeds have some favorite games we play, we LOVE telling stories, and we sure enjoy a bounty of great food.

To spice up your celebration this year, I'd invite you to use the first two questions of our PSE discipleship process in the next few days, and you don't even have to tell anybody where you got this! 

"What are you grateful for?"

"What are you concerned about?" 

These two questions are great for getting to the heart of our joys and sorrows. Then follow that up with question #3, "Can I pray with you about that?" Try it and let me know if something interesting pops out from it. 

Speaking of gratitude and prayer, last week I mentioned how grateful I was that Nola survived a car accident. This week I am grateful for friends like you who have continued to pray for us and our ministry friends.

Thank you for your prayers...

Thanks for your prayers for Bill and me last week as we retreated to Carthage, Missouri, to pray and plan for 2018. Special thanks go to Lance and Nancy Green for hosting us. Incidentally, while we were there, Lance's father went into the hospital with chest pains, and Sunday evening he passed away. So be in prayer for the Green family. 

Opportunities in 2018 

During our planning time, we listed many of the opportunities before us and the tasks needed to follow through to respond to these. Though the tasks seem daunting, we feel a profound sense that God is doing something new with us this coming year. While our mission trips and international ministries continue to abound, we believe that our connections in helping folks like you and me back home is becoming more and more strategic, both in preparing teams for mission projects abroad and in preparing all us for our missionary endeavors wherever we happen to call home.  

How will God use you in 2018 to make a difference in your world? 

Though many aspects of our future can never be fully known, one thing is for certain. God wants to use YOUR gifts, talents, and abilities to initiate and develop spiritual friendships with people who need someone like you and me in their life. We are convinced that the simple methodologies of Play. Story. Eat. could help you become the life-giving friend that God created you to be.

Pastor Lance Green (in green), wife Nancy (3rd from left, back row) and some of our Avilla Baptist Church PSE Friends

Pastor Lance Green (in green), wife Nancy (3rd from left, back row) and some of our Avilla Baptist Church PSE Friends

10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)

Pray for the Green family.

Pray for Cesar as he travels to the jungle today for the first time since his surgery.

Continue to pray for Leonel Gonzalez, Cesar and Elba Gonzalez' grandson. He is still in the hospital with a brain tumor that doesn't look good.

Also pray for our friend, Frank Slaughter, pastor of Open Range Fellowship. He left Sunday for Mexico for a 5-week treatment program for his cancer.   

Learn How You Can Invest

ENGAGE

Be alert to see how Thanksgiving and PSE can go hand-in-hand to help you connect in meaningful ways with those you love!   

Love y'all!   

Steve

INVESTING INFORMATION

 

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Grateful Nola is alive...

Hello everyone! 

"I've been in a wreck." Those were the first words I heard from Nola Thursday morning when she called me at 6:10 am. My mind reeled. Before I could say anything, she blurted out, "I'm okay, and the other person in the wreck is okay." 

Miraculously, Nola walked away without injury or even a bruise. But our van, after more than 311,000 miles of faithful service, took it on the chin.    

Miraculously, Nola walked away without injury or even a bruise. But our van, after more than 311,000 miles of faithful service, took it on the chin.    

Even though the rest of the day I handled logistical details I would rather not deal with, I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

I Am Grateful:

  • that Nola was not hurt,
  • that she was in the van with more protection around her than our car,
  • that I had cleared all my tools and painting stuff out of the van just last week (so none of that was flying around),
  • that the guy Nola ran into was such a caring person that he checked on Nola immediately after the wreck,
  • that the officers who attended us did so with skill and compassion for all involved. 
A few hours later, Nola got to spoil Bridget, our granddaughter. 

A few hours later, Nola got to spoil Bridget, our granddaughter. 

10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)

Our lives are certainly a gift from God. This week, Bill Burrows and I retreat to Carthage, Missouri, to pray, prioritize, and plan for next year's ministry. I go with a renewed perspective of thankfulness that God has brought us this far. So today, we would appreciate your prayers for us as we go.

Please continue to pray for Sue Turner. Lawrence is hopeful she will be released from the hospital to a temporary rehab facility in a few days. 

In addition, we ask for fervent prayer for Leonel Gonzalez, one of Cesar and Elba Gonzalez' grandsons. He went into the hospital last week with a brain tumor, and as of this writing, doctors are trying to determine if the tumor is cancerous. 

The Gonzalez family would appreciate your prayers for Leonel. He is on the far left, his mother, Myrna, his sister Dulce, Cesar, Elba, and Leonel's cousin Josue. This picture was taken several years ago, before Dulce herself died of complications related to an apendectomy. 

The Gonzalez family would appreciate your prayers for Leonel. He is on the far left, his mother, Myrna, his sister Dulce, Cesar, Elba, and Leonel's cousin Josue. This picture was taken several years ago, before Dulce herself died of complications related to an apendectomy. 

ENGAGE

Already 3 of our Nebraska friends have started to use the Play. Story. Eat. format just since our retreat a little over a week ago! If YOU have a story to tell of using any of our PSE methodologies, please write us a quick note! After all, we hope and pray that this can help us see that every person in the Americas has a friend (like you!) who loves Jesus!  

Love y'all!   

Steve

INVESTING INFORMATION

 

A Grass Roots discipleship Movement in Nebraska!

Good morning everyone! 

We just got home from a busy weekend with many of our Nebraska friends. Wow! What a great time! The primary purpose for the trip was to share our Play. Story. Eat. Experience at Camp Witness in Long Pine, Nebraska.  

NebraskA Friends Eager to Make a difference with the PSE Discipleship Process.

We couldn't have asked for a more receptive group, and several shared how they were planning to take the training and use it with their friends and family.

"Words can't describe how thankful I am you came to Nebraska to present your (PSE) method," one participant wrote us. "Just a year ago I was at rock bottom and had no hope..."  She concluded her note by saying, "I can't wait to start using this...and see how He can use the broken and unqualified...It was such a joy meeting you guys!!"

Joel Wentworth, Coordinator for the Sand Hills Baptist Association and the primary organizer for the training, gave his feedback. "I see this as a grass roots way of reaching the people of the Sand Hills for Christ."

Thanks, Burwell! 

On Sunday, we had the privilege of spending time at Burwell Baptist to share the latest of what is going on in our work and to thank them for their faithful support of our partner, Cesar Gonzalez. Special thanks go to Tom Huffman and Dave Gideon for hosting us and paving the way for us to be there. Stay tuned, Burwell, because it looks like we will be back soon!  

Pray for Sue Turner...

Marianne Henley(Daughter), Sue Turner, Steve and Sonja Beavers(Daughter).

Marianne Henley(Daughter), Sue Turner, Steve and Sonja Beavers(Daughter).

As we headed for Nebraska, our longtime rancher friend, Lawrence Turner, called to say that he couldn't make it to the retreat because his wife, Sue, had been life-flighted unconscious from Valentine to Omaha and was in critical condition. Since we would be passing close by the hospital on the way up, we stopped in to see her. Thankfully she has beaten some of the medical odds and is recovering. Please pray that her kidneys kick back in completely and that they can find a temporary nursing facility in Omaha or Lincoln that will be able to help her rehabilitate and go home to Valentine. 

Getting Ready for a Harvest... 

Paul Embick arranged a corn harvest ride along for honorary farmers Steve & Bill!

Paul Embick arranged a corn harvest ride along for honorary farmers Steve & Bill!

One of the personal benefits of having friends and family all over Nebraska was the chance to stop in and catch up a bit at several points on the way up and back. Special thanks go to Rex and Deb Kelley, Paul Embick, and my son Josh and his wife, Kristin, for making each stop a treat for us. We especially enjoyed hearing of the ministry ideas each one had and getting a chance to share how PSE might help them in reaching out to their friends. There's nothing like getting in on a harvest! 

10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)

Please be in prayer for Joel Wentworth and the other PSE friends from the retreat as they consider how to implement some things they learned this weekend. And pray for Sue Turner's speedy recovery.

Also, Cesar Gonzalez, our partner in Guatemala, wants me to pass on his gratitude to you for your continued prayers and support. He is back to making rounds in Guatemala after recovering from his emergency prostate surgery. His strength is coming back, and next week he will be in the jungle with our Kekchi friends. Please pray for him and our friends! 

Thanks to those in Nebraska who hosted us and put us up. We are grateful for your partnership in both time and financial resources. Stay tuned for some strategic, end-of-the-year opportunities for us to make a difference together in some new mission partnerships.          

From now till the end of the year, we need to recruit many for the upcoming mission trips beginning in January of 2018. Please share these opportunities with your friends. If you need more info, let us know!  

Love y'all!   

Steve

 

 

 

Hey Cesar, What's up?

Good morning everyone! 

Many of you have been asking about Cesar Gonzalez, our ministry partner in Guatemala, and how he has been since his emergency prostate surgery. During his recuperation, Cesar has spent a lot of time on the phone, calling our friends to check in with them and calling me to keep me posted.

Cesar Gonzalez in our first years of working with cowboys in Guatemala. 

Cesar Gonzalez in our first years of working with cowboys in Guatemala. 

So yesterday I broached the idea of asking Cesar to do this week's update by sharing with me how he's doing and what is going on in the ministry. Without missing a beat, Cesar dove in. 

"First off, please tell everyone, 'Muchas gracias for the prayers you prayed and for the economic help you sent. It was a huge help and it relieved a big burden on us," Cesar began. "Thanks to God I am recovering slowly but steadily from my surgery. I pray that at the beginning of November I can begin to visit the groups again and start making preparations for the January teams that are coming to Guatemala and to Honduras." 

"I know you have been making a lot of calls," I said. "What is happening with our friends in the various places?"

Sepoc Church Celebrates!

"Well, October 15th, our amigos from Sepoc, in the jungle, marked the anniversary of their church with a big celebration," he began. "They can't remember if it's been 14 or 15 years since they started." 

"I know they were asking me the last time if I knew how long it's been," I added. "I've been meaning to look back at my pictures and see if I can figure it out." 

"No worries! They are happy!" Cesar offered jovially to relieve my guilt. "I was supposed to be there with them, but the surgery kind of blew that out of the water." 

One of my treasured pictures from the beginning days of work in the jungle. This is the first baptism in Sepoc. Justin Hoskins and Jim Bogle are in the picture to the left. Jose, the leader of the village and future pastor, speaks to the group after the baptism. All those behind him who had been baptized, were about to be prayed over by the Christians present. 

One of my treasured pictures from the beginning days of work in the jungle. This is the first baptism in Sepoc. Justin Hoskins and Jim Bogle are in the picture to the left. Jose, the leader of the village and future pastor, speaks to the group after the baptism. All those behind him who had been baptized, were about to be prayed over by the Christians present. 

Expansion and Multiplication Opportunities in Honduras! 

In 2011, Cesar discusses with Kenny Najera (seated behind the desk) of what it would entail for us to have a connection with the National University of Agriculture in Catacamas Honduras. 

In 2011, Cesar discusses with Kenny Najera (seated behind the desk) of what it would entail for us to have a connection with the National University of Agriculture in Catacamas Honduras. 

"By the way, a lot has happened at the University in Honduras," he continued, jumping to thoughts about our connection with the National University of Agriculture. "The Escuelas del Campo Program that was shut down last year is opened up and running again. They have changed the ownership of it from the University to being a partnership with the mayors of each region that they are working in. When I was talking with our friend, Rober Rubi, he asked if we were available to meet some of these new connections with the mayors in January. The leaders of the University commissioned him to ask us to bring North American friends with various levels of expertise to come teach and interact with them. I told him I would pass the word to our North American friends." 

"So when we go to Honduras in January, what would that mean?" I asked. 

One of the groups meeting in Poncaya, Honduras. 

One of the groups meeting in Poncaya, Honduras. 

"I don't know yet. But it sounds like the University is getting their act together, and maybe in January you and I could explore that with them," he responded. "But what is surer in Honduras is the connection we have with the cattlemen's association on the Atlantic coast. They, by the way, are a part of the new program with the mayors, and are asking if we can bring a group of North American cowboys and ranchers to come be with them. This is probably the second largest cattlemen's group in the country, and it would be a whole new region we have not touched yet." 

Continuing on, Cesar mentioned other groups in Honduras, "The group in Catacamas is meeting and becoming stronger from what I hear. Poncaya is doing good. And the guys from the University that went to Choluteca, near Nicaragua, have started to meet and have asked us to come see them sometime." 

Progress on Potential Brazil Connection!

Then, changing the focus, "I have been speaking with Renato, our Brazilian friend," Cesar continued, "and thanks to you guys helping him, he has his plane ticket to come visit us here in Guatemala during the rodeo time in January."

"I know the house we painted to pay for that!" I interjected, remembering a spot on a house that had a big hidden area of wood rot that bogged us down, and I winced remembering the new window I accidentally broke while installing it.

Cesar laughed and continued unfazed. "But Esteban, you love to paint! Your sons call you the paint Nazi right?"

"I'm in a program to get over that! Remember?" I said defensively.

"Gracias Esteban for your blood, sweat, and tears. I can't help but hope that this visit will be the beginning of something God wants to do in Brazil. Tell everyone to pray about that."

Guatemalan Women's Ministry Thriving!

A picture from a couple summers ago of my wife Nola and Joyce Huffman with a group of Guatemalan ladies we are working with who visited Burwell, Nebraska. This particular day they were admiring Joyce's quilting operation in her barn loft. 

A picture from a couple summers ago of my wife Nola and Joyce Huffman with a group of Guatemalan ladies we are working with who visited Burwell, Nebraska. This particular day they were admiring Joyce's quilting operation in her barn loft. 

"What about our friends in Guatemala?" I asked. "Like the women's groups and the folks near Quesada." 

"The women's groups are doing well and continue to meet together. They keep asking when I am going to go see them. I think I will visit them in November. But they are doing really well."

"Speaking of Quesada, remember Raul, the guy who works with the USDA for Mango inspection?"

"Sure."

"He is leading a work in Cuilapa, but he told me that in that region there is a program for youth that he has gotten involved in. He feels we could help them with the Play. Story. Eat. process. That's another place I need to visit when I get to driving."

Rain Storms Make Travel Treacherous in Guatemala. 

"Speaking of driving, are you driving yet?" I asked.

"I can drive short distances right now close by. I have been working my way up slowly to driving like I was before. When I start getting out, my goal is to drive slow and make frequent stops over several days and wind up in the jungle. I also want to connect with the pastors in Rio Hondo. They are open to helping us with cowboys in that region."

"How's the weather been holding out? And any earthquakes lately?" I asked.

"Just a few tremors. But nothing big on the earthquake front. However, with all the hurricanes in the Carribean, we have gotten lots of rain as the storms have let up in the ocean but meandered our direction. Our roads are in terrible shape. Even in areas that are normally good, the pot holes can almost swallow your car. We have to be alert for hazards and mudslides in the road. And with all the problems with our government, and the lack of money, we don't expect the roads to be fixed very quickly."

POLITICAL Unrest in Guatemala

Cesar continued, "Esteban, the political situation here in Guatemala is serious. I don't know if in North America you hear much about us, but the president here is being thwarted on every side to get anything done. Many are calling for him to step down. I don't think it's his fault, but the truth is, our whole political system is in chaos. The mayor in Guatemala City, a former president of ours, is probably the one holding us together, but we need lots of prayer for our leaders."

"We will certainly pass this on," I responded.

"Before we go," Cesar said, "I know that next week you are in Nebraska. Please tell all our Nebraska friends 'Hola' for me and tell them thanks for their prayers and partnership. It means a lot." 

"Will do. Talk to you soon, Cesar. Adios amigo." 

10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)

Please be in prayer for Cesar as he continues to get his strength back, and pray for traveling mercy as he begins to get out. Pray too for some of the opportunities he mentioned in Guatemala, Honduras, and in Brazil. Pray that the seeds planted today would lead to a celebration we couldn't imagine in 14 or 15 years--like our brothers in the jungles of Guatemala have had the privilege of doing in the past few days.  

INVEST

Begin praying now about the investment God might be calling on you to contribute as we approach the end of the year. For the first time ever, we are asking for this kind of significant, end-of-the-year giving. In coming days we expect to share more stories with you and more opportunities to make a difference financially as we respond to some places where the spiritual harvest is plentiful.         

ENGAGE

This weekend we are in Nebraska for the Play. Story. Eat. Experience at Camp Witness November 3-4. If you are curious about what it would take to bring this to your neck of the woods, let us know!   

Love y'all!   

Steve

Taken to the Woodshed By God

Good morning! 

As I write this morning, I am in a state of deep gratitude over what God has been doing inside of me these past few weeks, and it comes out of an experience of being taken to the woodshed by God (and a faithful friend) over something near and dear to my heart. Painting. "Painting?" you say. Yep. Painting!

"I Was a Broken-Down Pastor."

I have begun to notice through the years that when God is about to do something in my life, I'm painting. Eighteen years ago, I was a broken-down pastor sitting on the sidelines after getting kicked out of a church I started. Shortly after that, mom and dad called me and mentioned that they were going to Costa Rica on a mission trip and wondered if I would like to go with them. "Sure!" I said. "But I don't have the money at the moment to go."

"We thought you might say that," Dad answered. "So what if you paint our house, and then we will pay for your trip?"

Cesar (Crocodile Dundee voice) to Bill..."Now that's a knife!"

Cesar (Crocodile Dundee voice) to Bill..."Now that's a knife!"

"Sounds good to me," I said. And I painted their house, went to Costa Rica, and met this crazy Guatemalan named Cesar Gonzalez. Cesar invited me to Guatemala to drive around the country with him and dream of ministries for people who don't like to go to church. Eighteen years later, we have friends in more than 75 different places in three countries starting groups and doing ministry. I didn't know what life after that paint job would entail, but for me, it started something that has become a pattern. I'm seeing that painting and I have this thing going on!

"Does God Want Me to Be a Painter or a Missionary?"

When I started going to Guatemala more often, I needed more traveling money. So whenever I needed a little extra cash, and I didn't want to bother anyone else to ask for it, I would paint something and go. When Bill Burrows and I started teaming up, he also painted, so when we haven't been raising funds with Royals Bobbleheads or selling tickets, we have painted something for the funds and kept going as well.   

But this summer, I think it got out of hand, and I know the person to blame. It's my dad!  Again! Some time in the spring, Dad mentioned that his house needed to be painted, and he wondered if Bill and I might want to paint it to earn extra money for our ministry. After consulting with Bill, we agreed. Before we started the job, Dad mentioned in passing to Mike, his neighbor, that we were painting his house. "Can they bid mine?" Mike asked. "I'm needing my house painted too."

Mike's house next door to my Dad's house..

Mike's house next door to my Dad's house..

Fast forward several months later, and since agreeing to paint Dad's house and Mike's house, we have now painted on 4 other houses. On every job we have done, people have noticed us working and then asked us to bid their house. In front of Mike's house one day, a man walking his dog stopped to ask me, "Can you bid my house?" 

"We're not professional painters," I answered, "we are doing this to raise mission money for work we are doing in Guatemala."

"Really?" he answered. "You're exactly the kind of painters I want." Then looking at Mike's gingerbread construction of his house and all the intricate trim we had painted, he said, "And I can tell that you guys are doing a good job." 

A month or so later, when I was painting on my son Ryan's house as a baby gift to him and his wife Bobbi before the birth of our newest grand-daughter Bridgett, Frank, a neighbor of his from across the street, came over and asked if I would bid his house. I gave him the same line of not being a professional painter and that I do mission work in Guatemala. He laughed. "That's why God told me to talk with you!" Frank went on to say that a few minutes before that God had prompted him to walk across the street and talk to that man painting that house. In minutes it was like we were long lost friends, and a couple weeks later, Bill and I painted Frank's house, and Frank is now becoming a part of our ministry. 

Steve the missionary...

Steve the missionary...

All this painting has been fine and good, but about two weeks ago, I realized that in painting so much, I had neglected several important ministry goals for the summer and was getting haphazard in communicating with ministry friends. But every week it seemed I was getting another call from someone wanting a paint job. I knew I needed to quit painting, but these were good leads! Should we start a painting business on the side and just be contractors of paint jobs? I started to daydream of names for the business. "Painters on Mission" ... "helping you love your house and make a difference in the world"...

One day in talking to Bill about this, he snapped at me. "Dude! We are not painters! We have tons of Play. Story. Eat. work to be done. We have got to quit painting and get focused on what we are called to do."

"You're right," I ceded. "What am I thinking?"

Reconciliation, "What a Beautiful Thing!"

As I pondered all this, John, a professional painter friend came to mind. Nearly 20 years ago, John had helped me finish painting my house when I was in a busy season of starting the church that John attended. I hadn't seen him since we left that church under less than ideal circumstances. In fact, it was shortly before that first paint job of Dad's when I would have last seen John. I had heard that he and his wife had stayed and continued to be faithful members. 

"Find John, and call him." I heard whispered in my mind.

"Okay Lord!" I said out loud to the ceiling. Jumping on my computer, I looked up John's wife Debbie on Facebook and sent her a message about needing to call John. Within minutes, I had his number.

"Is this John Gutierrez?" I asked expectantly over the phone.

"Yes," he answered tentatively.

"This is Steve Reed. I don't know if you remember me, but we did church together a long time ago."

"Sure! Steve Reed, how are you doing?"

"I've got a painting problem, and I'm wondering if you are still in the business and if you can help me out?"

"Absolutely!" John chirped enthusiastically.

Within minutes, it seemed that John and I had picked up where we left off. In our conversation I discovered that John has been in a holding pattern trying to figure out what God wanted him to do. It just so happens that he has been wondering how he could make his business more intentional for ministry. When I outlined some of my crazy "Painters on Mission" thoughts, John slapped the table. 

"Steve, this is exactly what I want to do! I've been needing someone to help me figure it out, and here you are! This is incredible." 

More incredible for me came a couple days later when in a moment at the end of our first face-to-face meeting, I felt prompted to say one more thing. "John, before we go today, I need to ask for your forgiveness for my role in the whole church fiasco." 

"Steve, no apology is necessary. You didn't do anything wrong, and God has done amazing things since." 

"No, John," I interrupted. "I don't believe I was as Christ-like as I should have been, and I don't believe that I didn't do anything wrong. However," I continued, "I am more convinced than ever that God works all things out for our good, and He has certainly done that for me. All the ministry things that have happened in our mission work have come out of that crazy time, and for that I am grateful. But I still believe that I was not all that God wanted me to be." 

"Okay," John said. "I appreciate that. I'm just thrilled that we have reconnected." 

As I enter into my new recovery program for painters anonymous, I am grateful that God has brought me full circle again to a friend who I need now more than ever, and I am grateful for solid friends like Bill to remind me that we have much work to be done that requires me to do a lot less painting and a lot more communicating with you and other friends about the growing financial and ministry needs before us.

Will you join me in fervent prayer and faith to follow through on what God is laying before us? I can't help but believe that God is up to something good, and He is inviting us to join Him. Let's stay tuned in to Him and be ready for our next assignment!

10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)

Thank God for how He can bring us together in unity--even in spite of long separations of time and less than ideal history. Let's pray Jesus' prayer from John 17 that we would be one with Him and each other and that the world would know that we are His followers because of the way we love one another. 

INVEST

Last call to help with Cesar Gonzalez' medical bills. If God has nudged you to help carry Cesar's financial burden, please give ASAP. We will pass those funds on to him as soon as we get them.        

ENGAGE

Next week we will be doing the Nebraska Play. Story. Eat. Experience at Camp Witness November 3-4. Let us know if you have any Nebraskans we need to invite at the last minute.  

Love y'all!   

Steve

PS... Investing Information

You can mail checks to:

Daybreak International, 11628 Oakmont St., Overland Park, KS 66210

On PayPal, you can give using the email daybreak.international@gmail.com.

On our websites, you can give at www.PlayStoryEat.com or www.DaybreakInternational.org.

The #1 Reason Your Engagement is Needed In PSE Mission Trips

Good morning!

Just a quick update to talk about you, our upcoming mission trips, and one underlying reason we believe our mission trips are different from most.  

Today, I'd like to lift the hood on Play. Story. Eat. and talk about the main thing that propels us in the directions we have gone in the past few years.  

What Drives Play. Story. Eat. Mission Projects? 

"We seek to initiate and develop friendships with marginalized and forgotten people." 

This quote is from our mission statement. It came to us several years ago when we noticed a recurring theme on our trips. When people asked about what we did as a mission group, we said something like, "We go where no one else wants to go and work with people no one else wants to work with."  

It is really easy for mission groups like us to focus on projects in beautiful places or in places that give us bragging rights. For example, in Guatemala, there is a gorgeous lake area that has many indigenous peoples in that region. Almost every mission group and denomination have teams going there, because it is such an attractive destination. While there is still much to be done there, strong churches already exist, and there is no shortage of folks who want to go help. So for us, even though we have great friends there and have an open invitation to join in their work, we believe we need to go where the need is greater.

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

In another case, we have friends doing ministry in the garbage dumps in Guatemala City. It is a tremendous ministry, and they do heroic things. Interestingly, many mission teams love the idea of going to work in such a terrible place. They can stay in a hotel nearby, go to the dumps for their project, but never connect with the people. One of our friends who leads a church and a ministry there tells us that they often feel used or ignored by groups who come in and out without getting to know them or be of any real help.  

For us, we look for marginalized or forgotten people who no one is currently paying attention to. And we want to be humble and apt to serve in ways that make a long-term difference, whether anyone knows about it or not. So when you see or hear of us working with cowboys, Kekchi Indians, women, prisoners, soccer players, motorcycle enthusiasts, or senior citizens, they all have one common denominator. In one way or another, the people we serve often feel marginalized or forgotten by the church.  

Everyone Needs a Friend Who Loves Jesus.

The other part of this defining equation is how friendship is key. We initiate and develop friendships. Regardless of who we work with, we don't want to hit and run. To do this, we have found that when we play, tell stories, and eat together, we naturally make great friends. And once you are on the road to friendship, faith is easy to talk about. Through the years we have honed our skills at being able to connect our stories with God's story and get people on the road to growing in their relationships with God. We don't presume that we have arrived or are at full effectiveness, but we believe that we are truly beginning to help our friends find Jesus and then gather others in groups that invite more and more to follow Jesus as well. 

In putting friendship first on our agendas, we have seen how it offers us a chance to understand the realities of our new friends before jumping into a do-good project we might be itching to do but is not of first importance to them. We believe that whatever we do must be a collaborative project. And at the end of the day, we hope that our friends are as much a part of the solution as we are, and that they would have a sense that they and other locals had a bigger part in solving the problem and leading out for the benefit of their own people. 

The #1 Reason Your Prayers and Engagement are Needed:

We can't do this alone.

There are so many opportunities before us, and there is no way a handful of us can do it all. We need friends who will make friends. We need the participation of many to join us.

AND...

We need God's help and guidance in all of it. So many of the things we are attempting are way above our heads. We know we are inadequate in and of ourselves. So your continued prayers for us are greatly needed and are of great strategic importance.  

Upcoming Trips That are Open to You and Others

Here's a list of trips that we see coming in the next few months. Almost every trip has an anchor church or group, a leader of that group, and a focus for the trip. While these trips are being spearheaded by at least one group, all of these trips are open to others to join them from outside their group. If you have interest in any of these, contact us, and we can get you hooked up with others who are also preparing to go. Please note that these dates can change as we proceed, so be alert to that reality. Our aim is to have our teams ready and prepared to make each trip effective in mission and a blast for everyone involved!  

January 3-9...Guatemala Rodeo Team...

This group will focus on a rodeo in Agua Blanca, Guatemala. Anchor church is Open Range Fellowship of Lone Jack, Missouri. Sam Anderson and Michael Macias are team leaders. 

January 10-16...Guatemala Rodeo and Women's Team...

This group will follow up with rodeo events but also have a few days of working with women's groups in the region. Anchor church is Open Range Fellowship of Lone Jack, Missouri. Sam Anderson and Michael Macias are team leaders. 

January 20-27...Honduras Cowboys and University of Agriculture Relations...

This group will be working with the Escuelas del Campo Program related to the University of Agriculture in Catacamas, Honduras, and visit both new and existing Christian rancher groups across the country. 

March 12-16...Guatemala Women's Trip... 

This group will be working with women's groups in the region of Quesada, Guatemala.

March 19-26...Brazil Exploratory Team...

This group will be an exploratory team that will meet key leaders who are interested in opening up Brazil to the establishment of Christian rancher groups and ministries for cowboys and ranchers of Brazil. Steve Reed is team leader. 

10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)

Please pray that we will be wise and responsive to what God wants for each of these trips. Pray that God would continue to send laborers into His harvest fields.   

INVEST

We are still collecting money for Cesar's surgery. By the time you read this, we will have sent $1250 to help.       

ENGAGE

Keep helping us spread the word for the Nebraska Play. Story. Eat. Experience at Camp Witness November 3-4.  And pass the word for any of the above mission trips we have slated.    

Love y'all!   

Steve

PS... Investing Information

You can mail checks to:

Daybreak International, 11628 Oakmont St., Overland Park, KS 66210

On PayPal, you can give using the email daybreak.international@gmail.com.

On our websites, you can give at www.PlayStoryEat.com or www.DaybreakInternational.org.

Ready or not Nebraska, Here We Come!

Good morning everyone! 

Today we want to highlight a Play. Story. Eat. Experience in Nebraska, but before we do, I want to update you on the latest on Cesar's health and tell you about other friends who need prayer. 

In the last update, I shared that Cesar Gonzalez, our leader in Guatemala, had emergency prostate surgery. I have talked to him almost every day since, and he is doing really well in his recuperation process. While he is at home, he is being confined to his room and taking it easy. But he is feeling good enough to burn up his cell phone minutes with me and is making calls to many of our friends and leaders--including our new Brazilian friends.

In other news, Rick Watson, our friend and dedicated cowboy church leader from Roanoke, Texas, informed me this week that his wife Peggy passed away after her long battle with Huntington's disease. By the time you read this, we will have gathered to celebrate her life and be reminded of the enduring hope we have because of Jesus. Please be in prayer for Rick and his family.  

As a sidenote, I see God's wisdom and grace in directing our goings and comings that is related to both Rick and Cesar. A couple of months ago, our plan for the first week in October was that Cesar and Rick and several others, would be in Honduras together. Because of hurricane Harvey and other calendar challenges, Rick and his Texas friends felt a need to postpone the Honduras trip and focus on helping folks in Houston and take care of other commitments at home. Today, I see God's grace; knowing that we all could have been in Honduras when Cesar had his emergency and Rick would have been far from home. Apparently, even when we are unaware of what is coming, God is working to put us where we need to be in His timing and in His gracious care for us.   

Grieving in Honduras

Speaking of Honduras, when I called one of our leaders there to inform them about Cesar and Rick's wife, he added, "Esteban, you must know that we have had a tragedy here this past week." 

"Que Paso'? What happened?" 

"One of the University students who has been coming to the Christian Rancher group was murdered this past week," he informed. "He was going somewhere to meet his girlfriend, and some men ambushed him and shot him." 

"What's his name?" I asked, believing that I would know him. 

"He is new to the group," my friend said. "You wouldn't know him. But please pray for us and for his family, and I will get people praying for Cesar and Ricardo and his family."

As we pray for our friends in Honduras, may all of these happenings remind us that life is short, and what we do to share God's message of salvation has eternal ramifications.  

NEW DATE: NEBRASKA PLAY. STORY. EAT. EXPERIENCE, NOVEMBER 3-4

Nebraska, I don't know how you did it, but you have me burning up the road between you and me, and it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to stop! Well, I kind of know how it happened. Fifteen years ago, there was a group of cowboys from Burwell, Nebraska, that took a chance with me and started making friends with cowboys in Guatemala. Then my eldest son decided to go to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. There he fell in love and married an Omaha girl. Then they set up shop for her to start an optometry business in said Omaha. And now, our first grandson resides there. Need I say more!

Diehard Nebraskans, Josh and Kristin Reed rooting for the Huskers along with son (and Steve and Nola Reed's grandson) Brayden. 

Diehard Nebraskans, Josh and Kristin Reed rooting for the Huskers along with son (and Steve and Nola Reed's grandson) Brayden. 

Ever since we started doing the Play. Story. Eat. Experience, I have been itching to bring it to our friends in Nebraska. Now, thanks to Joel Wentworth, it's getting ready to happen! Joel has arranged for us to be together at Camp Witness near Long Pine, Nebraska. It will take place Friday evening, November 3rd, and Saturday, November 4th. Cost is $45 per person and includes food, and lodging at the camp and materials. Here is a flyer with all the information. Please print and pass this on to anyone and everyone in Nebraska. Contact Joel Wentworth (see flyer) if you have questions. 

Joel and Linda Wentworth (holding sign) with fellow Nebraskans Gene and Vicki Rahn and their son Seth (kneeling on the left) and daughter Christa (standing to the right of Linda), share a laugh with a ladies group in Jalpatagua, Guatemala.

Joel and Linda Wentworth (holding sign) with fellow Nebraskans Gene and Vicki Rahn and their son Seth (kneeling on the left) and daughter Christa (standing to the right of Linda), share a laugh with a ladies group in Jalpatagua, Guatemala.

10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)

Please continue to pray for Cesar in his recuperation process, for Rick Watson and his family, and for our friends in Honduras ministering in the context of the senseless death of a young man in one of our groups.  

INVEST

We are still collecting money for Cesar's surgery. I will be sending the first bit of that this week. I will keep you posted on how much comes in.

Also, we are collecting Brazil money as well this week. See last week's update. This past week we wired money to help Renato obtain his plane ticket for meeting us in Guatemala in January. So if you have a desire to invest in the beginnings of this, please let us know.      

ENGAGE

Let's meet in Nebraska! And help us spread the word about the upcoming Play. Story. Eat. Experience at Camp Witness, November 3-4.      

Love y'all!   

Steve

PS... Investing Information

You can mail checks to:

Daybreak International, 11628 Oakmont St., Overland Park, KS 66210

On PayPal, you can give using the email daybreak.international@gmail.com.

On our websites, you can give at www.PlayStoryEat.com or www.DaybreakInternational.org.

Cesar's Hospital Trip and Brazil Connection

Good morning everybody! 

I have an update for you on the developing connection in Brazil, but before I do that I need to inform you that Cesar Gonzalez, our leader and primary mover and shaker in Guatemala, had emergency prostate surgery last Friday. He called me Saturday from the hospital in Nueva, Santa Rosa, to share the news, and in typical Cesar fashion, was joking around about all the blood and guts part of his procedure. He was scheduled to get out of the hospital later that day. According to the doctors, there is no cancer and he should recover just fine. Right now, his instructions are to lay low for a couple of weeks, which means Elba will have to put up with him more at home. Pray for her!

Cesar and his daughter Mirna at the hospital.

Cesar and his daughter Mirna at the hospital.

I found out that the cost for the surgery was about $6000, and Cesar said he had about half of it. So I am passing the hat here to see if we could get about $3000 in the next week or so to help out. If you send money for that, be sure to earmark it for Cesar's surgery. 

 

 

Brazil Story Continued

In our last update I shared how the connection had been made with a rodeo guy from Brazil named Renato, and how we needed prayers for wisdom in responding to him and his desire to reach fellow Brazilian cowboys and ranchers for Christ. We are continuing to pray and gather information, and considering our vision that every person in the Americas has a friend who loves Jesus, we are seeking God's direction on how we are to respond. But there was a hitch in our process in figuring it out. 

A little over a week ago, Renato wanted to see if we could come to Brazil in late October for some big evangelistic events he would be participating in and for him to introduce us to rodeo and ranching leaders in his region. To pull that off, it would mean a short turnaround of getting a Brazilian travel visa for me ($240) and then come up with about $3000 extra to fund plane tickets and expenses for Cesar and me. I was gung-ho, and Cesar was too, but Bill Burrows, our Play. Story. Eat. coach, thought we were moving way too fast. He reminded me that it would mean that our behind-the-scenes planning for organizing our advisory board and following through on some fundraising tasks that a coach was helping us with would be put on ice, and he couldn't see when we could reschedule before December. 

So I slowed down and asked Cesar for a week to figure it out. After due diligence, it made more sense to me that the most strategic first step would be for Renato to meet us in Guatemala in January when we are doing our big rodeo stuff, and he could see some of our Christian Rancher groups in action. Then in March, Cesar and I would "pencil in" a trip to Brazil when I could go straight to Brazil directly from Guatemala and avoid complicated plane schedules. Also, during this year, if we can get Renato a U.S. visa, he could come visit some of our cowboy friends here. From an economic standpoint, it would streamline our travel dollars and give us a few months to raise the extra funds. Once I suggested that plan, both Bill and Cesar liked it and felt more relief that we weren't having to jump too quickly. Cesar passed the word on to Renato, and we are waiting now to see if that works for him. 

When I was talking with Cesar in the hospital, we both realized that his prostate would have dictated a delay in any of our projects in October. We just didn't know it yet! As has been the case so many times, God is taking care of us. Thanks for your prayers on this, and keep praying as we proceed. 

Decisions When Folks Disagree

For us, we work hard at a specific method of making decisions. You can find an outline of the method by scrolling down to Value #5 Oneness here. Our vision that every person in the Americas has a friend who loves Jesus also has implications on the way we organize and do business. If I had wanted to a couple of weeks ago, I could have disregarded Bill and made a decision to proceed on the October trip. But because we value friendship and unity, I slowed down. In the end, I think we made a wise move, even without all the information at hand, and more importantly, we all proceeded together and with stronger bonds of friendship. I know that not all organizations can operate this way, but I am grateful that we can. And I pray that our unity is never taken for granted. 

New Date: Nebraska Play. Story. Eat. Experience, November 3-4

Look for details in next week's update.

 

10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)

Please pray for Cesar in his recuperation process, and pray for us as we continue to do behind-the-scenes planning. And keep up the prayers for wisdom and resources to respond to this ongoing Brazilian request. 

INVEST

Let's take care of Cesar this week. By the end of next week I'd like to send money to cover what he lacks on that surgery.    

ENGAGE

Note that our next Play. Story. Eat. Experience in Nebraska has been rescheduled from November 10-11 to November 3-4. Stay tuned for those details and pass the word to all your Nebraska friends.     

Love y'all!   

Steve

PS... Investing Information

You can mail checks to:

Daybreak International, 11628 Oakmont St., Overland Park, KS 66210

On PayPal, you can give using the email daybreak.international@gmail.com.

On our websites, you can give at www.PlayStoryEat.com or www.DaybreakInternational.org.

Prayer Team Alert! Yes, We are Alive and Well!

Good morning everyone! 

Family Updates

Justin & Paige Jacobson

Justin & Paige Jacobson

I know that it has been about a month since I last communicated to you, and a lot has been going on! On the family front, both Bill Burrows and I have taken some family time off for vacations, big events, and painting jobs. Bill and Joyce celebrated their daughter Paige's wedding in August.

 

 

 

Nola's and my second grand-baby was born this past Sunday (a beautiful baby girl named Bridget!), and I have been in construction-worker mode on the home front, helping family members paint and roof and fix stuff.

Steve and Nola welcome little Bridget into the world! Proud parents not pictured are Ryan and Bobbi Reed! 

Steve and Nola welcome little Bridget into the world! Proud parents not pictured are Ryan and Bobbi Reed! 

Friends on Mission

Before I go much further, I would like to welcome about 20 veterinarians from the Christian Veterinary Missions group to the update. Welcome! In August I had the privilege of sharing a testimony with that group at their annual meeting that happened to be here in Kansas City this year. Special thanks go to long-time friend, Dr. Natalie Beck, for setting that up. 

The last time I communicated with you in this format, a team of ours was in Guatemala helping Cesar Gonzalez finish the construction of a medical clinic. As of yesterday, Cesar told me that they just lack a little painting, then it will be completely ready. We hope to show you finished pics soon. Special thanks goes to the teams from Second Baptist in Springfield, Missouri, and First Baptist of Avilla, Missouri. 

Speaking of First Baptist of Avilla, Bill and I went down there this past weekend to train them in our Play. Story. Eat. process. What a great time! Special thanks go to their pastor, Lance Green and Melfin Buchanan for helping our time go smoothly. Also, thank you to the food crew for making the "Eat" part of the Play. Story. Eat. weekend a delicious highlight for all of us who attended. 

New Play. Story. Eat. Missionaries! First Baptist Church of Avilla 

New Play. Story. Eat. Missionaries! First Baptist Church of Avilla 

 

Disaster news...During the past month there has been a lot going on with Harvey, Irma, and a big earthquake in southern Mexico that rocked Guatemala, too. Cesar informed me right after it happened that even though it shook them pretty good, those in their area withstood it okay. More of an ongoing issue has been the torrential rains that have created many mudslides. Electricity has been off and on a few times, but according to Cesar, there has been little to no loss of life. On the U.S. front, some of our friends are gearing up to help in Texas and in Florida, so there are ongoing needs to continue to pray about and help with.

Possible Expansion of PSE in Brazil

Brazil opportunity...as I write this update, I need prayer for wisdom on an opportunity we have for Cesar and I to travel to Brazil. In July, when we did our Play. Story. Eat. training in Guatemala, a pastor of one of the churches attended. His name is Junior, and he also happens to be Brazilian. Junior came to Guatemala with his family as a missionary several years ago and has been networking with other pastors to do evangelism together. After the training, he remembered hearing the story of a noted rodeo announcer in Brazil who had come to Christ. In the training, as we told of how this process came largely out of our work with cowboys, he felt compelled to find this guy on Facebook and contact him. This past week he got in touch with him and was informed that the rodeo announcer had been praying about this very thing and had been given a word from the Lord that someone would contact him within three weeks to help him know what to do next! 

After speaking with Cesar yesterday, it looks like the initial plan is for our Brazilian announcer to come to both the U.S. and Guatemala to meet us in these two contexts. In addition, he would like for us to come to Barretto, Brazil, as soon as possible to meet key leaders there. I expect to get more information today and would appreciate your prayers about this. Communication could get interesting since Brazilians speak Portuguese, and though we Spanish speakers can kind of understand it, there is a greater challenge. If you have Brazilian connections and expertise, please contact me. As soon as I know something more, I will let you know. 

10:02 PRAYER (Luke 10:2)

Please pray for the wisdom and resources to respond to this Brazilian request. 

Pray for our friends dealing with the latest string of natural disasters.

INVEST

Thanks to FBC of Avilla, Missouri, for your generosity this weekend! We look forward to partnering more in your mission endeavors as we work together to see that every person in the Americas has a friend who loves Jesus.   

ENGAGE

Note that our next Play. Story. Eat. Experience will be November 10-11 in the Sandhills of Nebraska. Stay tuned about those details and pass the word to all your Nebraska friends.     

Love y'all!   

Steve

PS... Investing Information

You can mail checks to:

Daybreak International, 11628 Oakmont St., Overland Park, KS 66210

On PayPal, you can give using the email daybreak.international@gmail.com.

On our websites, you can give at www.PlayStoryEat.com or www.DaybreakInternational.org.

 

Baby Bridget sleeping after a hard first day of work!  

Baby Bridget sleeping after a hard first day of work!  

Construction Almost Complete on Our Medical Clinic!

Hi Everybody! 

Just a quick note to let you know that we have friends from Second Baptist of Springfield, Missouri, and First Baptist of Avilla, Missouri, teaming up this week to complete the construction of a medical clinic on Cesar Gonzalez' property in Amberes, Guatemala. The clinic will serve the poor in the Santa Rosa region at an economical price. 

Pictured around the table with Cesar and Elba Gonzalez is the construction team from Second Baptist Springfield and First Baptist Avilla, Missouri. 

Pictured around the table with Cesar and Elba Gonzalez is the construction team from Second Baptist Springfield and First Baptist Avilla, Missouri. 

Even in spite of arriving a day late due to a canceled flight, the team has quickly made up the lost time and is scheduled to complete the job before the end of this week. As of Tuesday night, they have nearly completed the electrical and tile work. Wednesday and Thursday they hope to build out the bathrooms and add the finishing touches, making it ready to open. 

Mark Green finishes installing a ceiling fan while brother Lance fiddles with a ladder and friend Bill Buchanan looks out the second story window to admire the view. 

Mark Green finishes installing a ceiling fan while brother Lance fiddles with a ladder and friend Bill Buchanan looks out the second story window to admire the view. 

Thanks to donations that came in last month from the churches and friends of this team, the funding for this project is done! Stay tuned for us to announce the grand opening. Plans are to have a team of medical folks involved in that phase of the project. So if you have any interest in that, let us know! 

Dean Kucharski lays tile while a Guatemalan team member looks on.   

Dean Kucharski lays tile while a Guatemalan team member looks on.   

 

10:02 PRAYER

Pray for the safety of the construction team this week, and pray for opportunities for them to share a testimony or two as they work. 

After finishing up their work on Tuesday, they met with a pastors' group that is working with us to start Play. Story. Eat. groups in the region.  Pray for these pastors as well as the construction team, that together we see more and more people come to know the Lord through every avenue possible.   

INVEST

Thanks to Second Baptist Springfield and FBC of Avilla for making this project a reality! I can't wait to see the faces of the people who are going to get the medical care they need because of your generosity.  

ENGAGE

Note that our next Play. Story. Eat. training will be in Avilla, Missouri, September 9 and 10. If you know anyone in Southwest Missouri that might want to join us, let us know!    

Love y'all!   

Steve

PS... Investing Information

You can mail checks to:

Daybreak International, 11628 Oakmont St., Overland Park, KS 66210

On PayPal, you can give using the email daybreak.international@gmail.com.

On our websites, you can give at www.PlayStoryEat.com or www.DaybreakInternational.org.