This is an exciting time for our city in Asia, because construction is happening non-stop.  All around us, buildings are being torn down and glistening new skyscrapers are being built in their place.  Just a little while ago, my new team and I headed out to one of the brand new campuses to do a “walk-and-talk,” a time to pray for the school.  The campus is beautiful – actually, it’s the nicest I’ve ever seen anywhere, including in America!  Everything is new and clean, with modern, graceful, and visually striking architecture and wide open spaces dominating the campus.  I was wowed, until Indy, one of my new teammates for this year, called out to me from one of the beautiful new buildings.

“Hey, Ben,” he said.  “All of this brick is fake – it’s all just a thin slice of brick, plastered on the side of the building.”

It’s sad, isn’t it?  For all of the beautiful-looking brick all over campus, none of it actually imparts any strength to the buildings.  When I think about this, I find it a fitting metaphor for the inner lives of many people here: on the outside they appear smart, successful, and confident, but the reality is on the inside they’re not as strong as they appear to be.  The things on which they have built their lives – working hard, believing in themselves, chasing financial “security” – will let them down.  Just as a brick veneer will eventually chip off and expose the rough interior of the building, so our friends’ lives will become strained and breakdown with time, unless they are built on the truth of following Jesus.  It is my honor and privilege this year to work with five other fantastic men and women of God to help tell our school about this truth.

We’ve been here almost a month – sorry for not blogging sooner!  It’s crazy here, but we’ve already met some cool friends and had some great conversations.  Will you please lift us up in a few areas?

  • Peace and a fresh touch from God for each of us on the team.  I know that the message of questioning “What do I trust in?” is hitting me too, and I want to hear clearly everything He wants to say to me this year.
  • People who are ready!  We want to meet the men and women of peace that the Bible talks about.  These are influencers, leaders, and well connected people on campus to can open the door to other friends, and eventually great multiplication on campus.

Thanks so much for standing with me and the team this year – we’re believing for great things!  Please drop me a line to let me know how you’re doing, and I’ll talk to you again soon!