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1560-1 Newbury Rd #313
Newbury Park, CA 91320
Phone: (805) 498-7774
Fax: (805) 499-5975
“One act of love speaks more than millions of words…” You’ll find that in Michael’s report below as he shares just how much the people in North Pokot have opened to the Gospel because of the outpouring of generosity there by so many of you. Those are great words for anything that has to to with touching our world with the life of Jesus. Here are some pictures and the latest report from our friends in Kenya. Whenever I travel, people ask me what is going on there and I’m so amazed and blessed that so many of you carry these people on your heart. Since March your generosity has placed over $400,000.00 into the needs of Kenya, most of that to rescue 120,000 people dying from starvation and poor sanitation in North Pokot. You literally saved thousands of lives and their gratitude is overwhelming. We drilled four wells there, built a dispensary and a school, as well as launched a grain enterprise that will provide the necessary income for those ongoing needs beginning this spring.
It has been on our heart not only to help them with immediate needs, but also to create the economic opportunity that will allow them to have the resources to maintain them going forward. We never wanted to breed their dependency on the west, but to give them tools to watch God’s provision for them. I am pleased at how all this has worked out.
Someone handed me a check a few weeks ago for $50,000 to help get the medicine and supplies for the new hospital. Others of you give $100 either one time or some even monthly. All of that has caused my heart to be overwhelmed with gratefulness for those who have given, and for those who have spent it in Kenya with great care and with amazing fruitfulness as you can see in the report from Michael and the pictures below.
The needs, however, continue on a monthly basis for more months to come. If you can help, you can direct your gifts through Lifestream. Contributions are tax-deductible in the US. As always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya. We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or transfer fees. You can use the donation link on our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1 • Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.
Here are some new pictures, and Michael’s report below…
Grateful people in North Pokot
People hear about a God who loves
The first drugs arrive at the dispensary
Drilling the fourth well
Meanwhile, back at the orphanage… a celebration of prayer
And now, here is Michael's most recent report:
Everything is working on well in North Pokot. Concerning the hospital is now set-up with drugs, equipment and facilities. The number of patients is increasing daily. We have now two doctors and two nurses two cooks, two guards, caretaker and two interpreters from the communities who interpret for our doctors from mother language to Swahili. They volunteer for almost two months and if there is a way of helping with their salary they would appreciate it. We don’t push you for this because they are flexible and they love their work and all of them they have the family who may need their service.
All is going well with the grain enterprise. Sometimes we go out with the truck and due to our poor muddy roads we stuck for sometimes for whole day in rural while collecting grains, we love to do it. The work of winnowing, selecting and drying maize is going on, I believe repacking will be in the storage in December.
On behalf of the entire team, friends, and the people of Lifestream we would like to send gratitude first to the most high God who has make all these to come into reality. I am not praising any human being here but to the Father of our Lord Christ who had done all this through brother Wayne. Let me state how I came across Wayne 15 years ago. I had a passion to find the truth since I was born in the middle of indigenous and traditional churches from early 80s where I got salvation. I took more than 5 years crying and finding the truth, because I had not experience any change. After this long cry, five years later I encountered my life with Jesus Christ. That is the early 90s where the Spirit of God changed my life totally, but still I didn’t realize the truth but I was continuing with institutions and hierarchy structures till 1996 where I founded IGEM ministries. I thought that I will help our brothers and sisters to reveal the truth but all of us, we were like the lost sheep who had comfort one another without the true direction
I pray to God and I went to search this word Living under the care of heavenly father, through an Internet search when I came across Lifestream. It was the end of my search. The following day I called over 60 leaders to share with them about the love of God. I downloaded Lifestream materials especially He Loves Me, this touched me and certified my heart. I shared this materials without even the permission from the Author, but after the conference everybody was touched and they wanted to know how I came across this material, because in Africa we live in the gospel of criticism and hate. The preachers teach that God holds the sword of wrath punishing those who are not observing His rules. So many Christians live with the great fear trying to practice ten commandments without the hope of heavenly Father. After I got Living Loved material through Lifestream my life was totally affected with spiritual affection towards God and since that time I have seen the great transformation and spiritual perspective and through the people I work the Spirit of God has affected the entire region.
The barriers of deception about institutional hierarchy and human structure has now been broken. We have faced obstacles, criticism and hate but this has not hold us back to declare the truth about the love of God. Some of the criticism comes from rich denominations that have used millions of shillings setting up the structures and institution which they called it churches and headquarters while failing to care for those who are needy—widows, orphans and our brothers and sister who may need our mercy ministry.
We would like to acknowledge you before the throne of our heavenly father for the mercy ministry you have done for his name towards our brothers and sisters here this will remain as a good fragrance before the throne of God. I cannot express my love beyond this but just to thank God for your work and for the ministry you have shown and ministered for our brothers and sisters here. In this soil of North Pokot where they have never ever experienced that there is a living God who exist in the hearts of people. They have lived in hate and believing in shrines and gods of mountain to ask them even to sacrifice their animals that maybe through their sacrifices they may be heard by their god and he would grant them water. But all this time their gods remained silent. In the shortest time our living God has answered and touched their lives. Thousands now according to what we hear have burned the charms of sorcery and they have broken the shrines even without a preacher. One act of love speaks more than millions of words, because our God has answered and they saw the provision of food, clothes, hospital, drilling wells and the school. If this could be the way of expressing our love to the world, I believe it will take shortest time for the gospel to be heard.
We want to express our sincerity of heart, that reaching where we are now takes the prayer of saints, commitment, it has also cost faithfulness and dedication, because it is not easy without God’s divine purpose. You have poured so much trust through sending huge funds towards Kenyan project, including buying land, setting up the home as well as drilling wells, building hospital and school, as well as sending the donation of food, medication camping which cannot take it for granted. It has taken the grace of God to build this relationship and trust. In all of this we have not looked to our personal needs or our ministry needs, but rather all the money we have received has gone directly to the proposed need. We have remained faithful to handle God’s resources. May the Lord bless you for standing with us.
What a whirlwind the last few weeks have been! Let me take a moment to update you on some of what's been going on around here. I had a great swing through south Texas over the last couple of weeks and found myself with people who were at incredible points of joy, struggle, or temptation in their lives. If you want to hear a bit more about that, I share a bit in the latest God Journey podcast. I love the people God allows me to meet and encourage on this journey of sorting out what it is to live in the Father’s love and then learn to share it freely with others. Trips in the new year may take me to Atlanta and New Zealand. Stay tuned to our Travel Page for updates.
For those who want a taste of what that’s like who live in the Southern California area, Sara and I are hosting a gathering next Saturday, November 22 at our home in Newbury Park. You’ve got to RSVP for details and directions. If you’re nearby and want to join us you’d be most welcome.
For my friends in Russia and the Ukraine friends, an audio version of He Loves Me is now available in Russian. I am so grateful for the people there who have recorded it and make it available free of charge for those who want to listen to it. But, you have to understand Russian. You can always check for other translations on our International Page.
We've also had some new developments on the movie of The Shack. You can read more here. Having read the most recent screenplay I’m getting very excited about this adaptation and praying that all the pieces will come together to retell that story to a new audience who’ve never read the book. Brad’s been working hard to accomplish that and hopefully it will be out sometime next winter.
Finally, there are a lot of developments on the Finding Church front. We are just finishing up the audio version that will hopefully be out in the first part of December. There are a lot of pieces to that puzzle and we hope to get them all done as soon as we can. Also, Finding Church has risen to as high as #4 on Amazon’s list of books about Church Structures and Institutions. Now, that’s fascinating. Thanks to all of you who have been writing reviews on Amazon and sharing youro thoughts about the book on Facebook and other social media. It certainly helps get the word out for others.
And I love the mail I’m getting from the new book. Here’s an example from Jack in South Carolina:
“I am finding difficulty reading it. The coffee stains are already bad enough that I won't be able to give my copy away and the fluorescent orange highlights would indicate stops and starts that indeed added to the aforementioned coffee stains. My difficulty is a good one, you have some one-liners that literally make me put the book down, look out the window and hold my breath. Almost as if I am letting something go that has held me back. I am so encouraged to read what I have felt in my gut and the "letting go" has nothing to do with the system but in my hope that a system, any system, would or could incubate or sustain LIFE.
So, page 68 you wrote, "I was caught between two worlds—the self-effort of performance based religion and the new creation growing inside of me. I didn't know it at the time, but the two are incompatible." How gut wrenchingly true that is! How hard it is to come to that reality if your hope has been in a Sunday system or for that matter, a teacher, preacher or anything man-made. It is still something that is sorting out in my heart. Best put by you, “learning to live alongside Jesus in the new creation.” Thank you for writing this book. I see the years of your sweat and tears that have gone into ‘finding church”. I believe, in another sense, we are finding Jesus, our life. Thank you for helping peel back the curtain of the Father's love.
I loved reading this email from someone I only met a few weeks ago while in Ohio. I could hardly contain my joy too! The email I've received over the last week has assured me that this book is touching the places in people's hearts I hoped it would. I'll be sharing more fo them here and at FindingChurch.com.
I just finished reading Fnding Church. I think you have out done yourself on this one! And you were right the last line was the best!!!! That is the very conclusion I have been pondering of late in my own journey. He was finally inviting me into a space spacious enough that interactions with more of His family would not be harmful to them or me. I love how His truths become clearer over time as we simply walk with Him in what we do understand. This is New space and I am treading softly in it but enjoying it immensely!!!!
Your book has resonated so deeply with me and the iourney I am on I can hardly believe we just met and I have only heard about you for about a year now. You have written of things I have seen in visions and dreams and heard from The Father in private and yet it is being broadcast all over the world!!! My heart can hardly contain the Joy this brings to me!!!! There is no doubt His Kingdom has expanded because of this book.
The amount of confirmation in this book goes far beyond any amount of questions I could have thought up to ask you in person!!!! The aroma of the Father I am coming to know wafts from the pages!!! It was like taking all the best from all of your books and putting it into a story that unveils His bride in a way I have never seen done with words! Thank you for the great work of Love it took to complete and publish it!
I am looking forward to a second read to glean what I overlooked this time around!
I'm appreciating all the feedback I'm getting on Finding Church. I had an interesting conversation just this morning with someone who stopped by that I will tell you about down the road. Copies continue to fly off the shelves and interest remains strong at Amazon, which is our only outlet for the print version, though the e-book is available everywhere. Hopefully by the end of November we will also have the audio book available for download as well as CD packages.
For those who come to the Lifestrearm Blog frequently I want to remind you that I am also posting blog content on Finding Church at our companion website, FindingChurch.com. I told you for awhile I'd post about them here too in case people want to keep up on all my blogging. Yes, sorry. I'm now doing it at three places: Here at Lifestream, TheGodJourney, and now FindingChurch.com. All of them have a different emphasis and at times engage a different audience. I find all of them very helpful to invite people into a dialog about the things that matter, through comments and sharing emails that I know others will have an interest in. You can subscribe to any of my blogs so that you can receive them as emails rather than checking in at the website constantly. You can also "like" their pages on Facebook to get notices in your news feed: Wayne Jacobsen (author) for Lifestream, The God Journey, or Finding Church. I hope that helps.
Today at FindingChurch.com, I help someone wrestle with the content of Chapter 14, Gatherings without Meetings. Many people who are used to meeting every week for some kind of "fellowship" with others, often feel the need to replace that in their life with a new group, be it a house church, organic church, or some other kind of fellowship meeting. One young man asked me whether I thought all scheduled get-togethers suffer. I answer his question here.
Good news for those of you waiting for Finding Church overseas! Finding Church is now available everywhere, at least by e-book. I'm sorry the expenses of International shipping are so exorbitant. But if you want hard copies of the book sent to overseas destinations, please write our office for a quote rather than trusting the shipping calculator on the website. It does not work well, which is why it's best to write us first. Please keep in mind that in most cases we can send four books to the same destination overseas that we can send one book. If you do order through the site and the shipping cost is too high, Sara refunds the difference but there are some merchant fees that get attached to that as well.
In other news, I was invited on the Untangled Podcast with two good friends of mine, David Fredrickson and Loren Rosser to discuss Finding Church. I enjoyed their enthusiasm for the book. It is a Skype interview so the audio is a bit rough in places, but you can still enjoy the conversation with us.
We've added a new page to Order the Book page at FindingChurch.com so that you can easily order it from Lifestream, Amazon, or the e-books from Kindle, iBook, or Nook. Happy reading, everyone! The way this book is touching people so far is way beyond anything we would have hoped for.
If you'd like to stay up with the growing conversation, you can subscribe to email updates at FindingChurch.com or "like" our new Facebook Page to get regular updates on the conversation there. There's a new blog posting today I think you'll enjoy about The Day Finding Church Went to Seminary.
I love the way his church grows in the world. On a recent trip to Kentucky and upstate Ohio, someone from Cincinnati figured out I was probably passing through Cincinnati as I made my way up from Lexington. He wrote to say there were some people in Cincinnati that would be interested in meeting with me if I had time for lunch passing through, or even an evening if I could stay. Over a few days I began to feel that this might be something in Father's heart about that and contacted the people who had invited me to Ohio to see if they had anything planned my first evening there. They didn't and said they'd be happy to share one of their nights if it looked like something was happening in Cincinnati.
So, instead of passing through, I spent an unplanned night in Cincinnati. What's more that time allowed me to connect with someone I've known but never met south of Cincinnati, to meet a businessman in Cincinnati that I worked with years ago from a group in Las Vegas, NV, and to have an evening with those who wanted me to stay over. They also encouraged me to invite any other folks who have read or listened to my things in the area. So on very short notice I sent an email to those on my Travel Notification list for that area. My hosts planned an evening meal around a campfire and perhaps 12-15 people showed up. From the first connections it was obvious that this was a special night for people to connect with each other. I was surprised at the depth and honestly that people shared some of their struggles on this journey with complete strangers, but one said later that the environment felt so safe she plunged right in. Others obviously felt the same, and the connections that were made that night still reverberate on Facebook. I love that. When people discover they are not alone in their hunger, with people who live near them, some amazing things can happen.
I went to bed that evening grateful for what those people got to experience that evening and overwhelmed by the generosity of a family that would let me and strangers from the Internet gather in their home that evening, and for a brother in Ohio who was anxious for me to get up there but was willing to delay that a bit to bless others. On the verge of sleep I felt nudged to share with the host home the next morning that their generosity had expanded Jesus church in the world. It didn't take much, just a willingness to ask and provide a place for others to gather. I love that. I also got to tell the man who picked me up the next morning that his generosity to give up one of the nights I was going to be with them also expanded his church in the world. Later we found out that there's a couple I've long corresponded with living 22 minutes from them out in the Amish country of Millersburg, OH.
I am convinced that one of the most important reasons Jesus asks me to travel around a bit is to help people who otherwise wouldn't know each other, begin friendships that help knit his famly together. Often the most important thing someone takes away from a gathering I'm in is a relationship that soon grows into a friendsip. I get that email from people all the time and I watch those connections grow on Facebook from places I've been in the past.
I love the simplicity of how relationships can grow if people will be true to the nudgings in their heart and live with a hospitable heart toward others. That's really all that's needed for people to connect, for hearts growing in Jesus to be knitted to other hearts. And his church grows in the world. It is really that simple.
Early in November I'm headed for South Texas. Though I'd announced it earlier, we just shifted the schedule to add a night in Austin. Some people there wanted to know if I could stop by and my host in San Antonio was willing to give up an evening to bless them. So on Monday, November 3, I'm going to be in Austin with any who would like to join us.
The reason I don't publishing times of meetings and locations is because my visits are not about attending meetings whre I speak, but hanging out together and seeing what God does. This means that our times are somewhat flexible, and we leave open times for the connections and relationships that God might want us to explore. So while anyone is invited to come, it's important to check with the host about the arrangements and be flexible enough to see what God has in mind while I'm there. Often the biggest blessing in my coming somewhere is that people get to meet others on this journey from their own area, whom they may not already know.
So, now my Texas schedule looks like this:
- Houston, TX - November 1-2
- Austin, TX - November 3
- San Antonio, TX - November 4-6
- Corpus Christi, TX - November 7-9
Please see out Travel Page for contact information.
I'll also be bringing some copies of Finding Church for those that want some copies and haven't ordered them yet.
I continue to be blessed and amazed by the early feedback from many reading Finding Church. Thanks for letting me know how this book has impacted you. Today we have revamped our FindingChurch.com website to help support this growing conversation, both for those inside out and outside of congregational settings. I'll be blogging over there from time to time, as well as blogging here. If you want to keep up with that conversation, you might bookmark that page, or subscribe to the email updates from there. I want to get back to blogging here about people who are on a journey learning to live inside the reality of Father's affection and share that freely with others.
Since we are publishing this book ourselves, the only place you can order the hard copy right now is through Lifestream.org and Amazon.com. However, over the last couple of days the e-book is now available from Kindle, iBooks, Nook, and most other e-book outlets. We do have books here available at bulk discount in quantities of 12 or a carton of 46. And, please, if you are ordering from overseas, email our office for a shipping quote. The calculator on the website adds exorbitant pricing.
FindingChurch.com provides tools, links and encouragement to help expand the conversation on the web. There are ideas and images there you can post on your website as well as ideas about sharing the book in your circle of friendships if you want to do so. We also have a new Facebook page to help facilitate that conversatio and you can "like it" if you want to follow the conversation there. I'm not sure how long we'll host these additional resources. It will depend on how well they work and how much time I have for it, but I am excited.
This is today's post at FindingChurch.com. I will include some posts in both places while people are still getting used to following this conversation in both locations:
When a friend of mine was reading an advance copy of Finding Church, he told me the phrase that kept coming to his mind was “an exhilaration of the heart.” With every turn of the page he would find his own hopes for a church more real than he had yet known could be in the world. That’s one of the best comments I’d had on this book. We’ve let our human institutions co-opt the word “church” for so long, that we define it based on how well they are doing, instead of looking for the church whose builder is Jesus and transcends all the institutions we know. She is all he promised she would be and as we begin to see her, I hope it exhilarates all our hearts.
Then, last week while I was in Ohio, I got this email from someone who had just started reading it:
Oh Wayne, the words fail. Great doesn’t even come close. Even while I am reading your new book I am thinking the thrill is very hard to communicate—the thrill and the freedom. Sometimes its just too much and I think my heart will literally explode.
I hope that’s a good thing! His church is that amazing, “a bride without spot or wrinkle”, “the fullness of him who fills everything in every way”,”the temple in which God dwells by his Spirit”.
What could be more exhilarating than that?
Yes, I know I'm just back from Kentucky and Ohio, but in a couple of weeks I'll be off again to South Texas on October 31 and staying in the area until November 9. I spend the first weekend in the Houston area, the week in San Antonio, and the second weekend in Corpus Christi. If you're nearby and want to join us, please contact my host at any of those locations and they can give you all the details for our get-togethers. See my Travel Page for more information.
I continue to find that the best part of these trips is not the meetings themselves, though I realize they are very helpful to talk about issues on this journey in broad strokes and give people an opportunity to meet others in their area who are crazy enough to attend one of these things. What I love is the personal connections and conversations that open up just because we're together.
Here are just a few of those meaningful conversations from my last trip:
An old friend with a conscience strong enough to walk away from an incredible offer to be the senior pastor of a group, because he couldn't live with what the job would turn him into.
- A couple learning to separate approval from affection when as they just discovered her daughter was moving in with her boyfriend.
- A former worship leader feeling her destiny might have been lost when her marriage blew apart, when she really was just beginnning to live it out in an awesomely new way.
- Encouraged a passionate business man as we got together to record an interview about Finding Church on Encouraging Others in Christ Podcast.
- A man with a passion to help others experience the life of his church, just opening to the idea that it isn't something we can achieve by a set structure, but something we recognize God building by the way we live alongside others.
- A young mother undone by the revelation that God wanted to build a relationship with her much more than she wanted to with him.
- A seminary class discovering that his church is a whole lot bigger than the institutions to which we've consigned it.
- A group of people in Southern Ohio, who found each other one evening around a campfire and an environment safe enough to share their hurts and struggles.
- Too many people coming out of abusive environments when headship is placed in a human being other than Jesus.
- And many people disovering how to put the "play" back into their life with God and not take everyhing so seriously. Why wouldn't he enjoy that aspect of our relationship as much as we enjoy the playful moments in ours?
Those are just the ones I can name off the top of my jet-lagged head this afternoon. More than the meetings I go to, I enjoy being in life with people and see how God makes himself known. Now I'm excited to experience some of that at home before heading out again and see what we can find in Texas!
I awake this morning to finish my time in Lexington, KY and head to Cincinnati, OH, for an all-too-brief one day visit. But this was a late add-on. I'd intended to go straight to Millersburg, OH today, but God opened some doors in Cincinnati and the people in Millersburg were generous enough to give up one of their days so I could hang out in Cincinnati. I am very much looking forward to the connections there.
This is my second time in Lexington and what I appreciate is how much deeper the conversations go with those I met the first time around about a year ago. It seems when I arrive somewhere for the first time the conversations seem to revolve around issues about theology, church, and Scriptural understandings. Only later do the conversations turn to life—how people are sorting out their own journey and how they are engaging God in doing so. Yes, I've been with lots of new people this trip, too, but the conversations that have come with those I met previous are a delight. I enjoy seeing growth in people's lives as well as fleshing out their story more.
These four days have been a whirlwind. We started out with day-long open event for whomever wanted to join us and we used the building of a local congregation and some of their people joined in. Over the days that followed I have been with old friends from my college days, shared for a few hours about marriage with a group of young marrieds at an Alliance fellowship, shared with a seminary class about Finding Church and The Shack, helped a good friend with a novel he's writing about the civil war, spent some time with an Army Ranger who has just returned from Afghanistan, a young wife whose thirteen-year old sister just passed away in a tragic accident, and three other gatherings with people as well as numerous other lunches and dinners with various people who've wanted to hang out together. I've been in so many different conversations the past few days that have enriched my life, and hopefully theirs.
Yesterday afternoon I met with a judge and some of the young men he meets with weekly at the local Panera. It started a few months ago as he had lunch with a man in his twenties and shared with him how at 30 he everything about his life looked successful on the outside, but he was dying inside. An older man somehow recognized it, connected with him, and helped him find a better journey. The young man he was with obviously wanted the same engagement. So the judge sent an email to half a dozen young men, explaining where he'd been at at 30 and offered to get together to start a group if others would find the same time to be helpful to them. Well, they jumped on it. Too many of us live in isolation, either needing encouragement or having encouragement to offer and not finding space to do it in. These have found that space. They just get together after work on Tuesdays at Panera to talk about their journeys and to encourage each other. I love those times.
But now it is on to Cincinnati. Recording a podcast this mornign for a friend, having lunch with someone I met years ago in Las Vegas, and then heading to an evening of fellowship and sharing with people I've never met, but who have been reading some of my things. I am amazed at the life I get to live and the people God lets me know. It is really worth crawling out of our comfort zones and connecting with people who are on a marvelous journey of learning to live in the Father's affection. Ask God to connect you, too to people around you that you can either encourage or be encouraged by. Hopefully you'll discover both, even with the same people. Befriend them and let the relationship take its course. That's how his church grows in the world.