I have a little secret: I’m rhythmically challenged.  Maybe you already knew this, but I like to think I hide it pretty well.  So imagine my chagrin when, during the last song of our commissioning service worship tonight, the worship leader (and my good friend) Jay-Z* pulled out a cowbell and looked right at me:

“Ben, come on up here and play this thing.”

I really hoped I heard him wrong, but there was no fighting it.  In seconds I was up on stage in front of 600 of my co-workers, friends, and family members of CT’ers clanging away on the cowbell.  It was all I could do to keep the beat while inwardly thinking “Don’t look like this is hard, don’t be a distraction, don’t concentrate too much on the cowbell, don’t look like an idiot.”

I think I succeeded, but it was definitely a challenging experience.  I guess that’s what I get for being on the front row during worship. I’m now getting plenty of “nice cowbell” comments from friends, and from at least one complete stranger.  Thanks Jay-z.

Now it’s currently 5am, and I’m five hours from boarding the bus that will take us to the airport and start us on our journey.  People ask me how I feel about leaving, and mostly I want to answer “tired!”  It’s been a pretty amazing 48 hours, in which I’ve:

  • Launched v2.0 of the Campus Target website.  It’s totally sweet – go check it out at: www.campustarget.org
  • Totally packed and loaded my apartment in my parents’ trailer (thanks for taking my stuff, Mom & Dad).
  • Packed for 9 months in Asia
  • Signed and mailed 90 letters
  • Did about two hours of last minute shopping
  • Attended two church services
  • Ate two family dinners

Not bad, eh?  But more than feeling tired, I’m excited about leaving to go serve God in the nations for a year.  I’m full of life and enthusiasm from the last four weeks of training, and now I just want to go do the actual work.

I’d like to leave you with a few final thoughts before I leave:

  • Please keep in touch throughout the year.  You can email me at this address and I’ll do my best to get back to you.  Please be careful about the Christian-y words you use, but don’t worry too much about that, as my wonderful and amazing sister will be checking my messages, making them safe, and sending them on their way to me.
  • Please keep me in your prayers in the next week or so.  Transitions are always challenging, and I want to be available for everything God wants of me.

Thank you so much for your prayers and expectation on my behalf.  I want to see great things happen this year, and I know you do too.  Please pray for me, the other 60 workers that we might always experience the love of God in even greater ways this year.  We want Him more than anything.

I’m pulling an all nighter tonight right now, so I really apologize if this update is terrible.  I’m not very experienced at writing at 5am.  Thank so much for your love and prayers – I’ll talk to you from the other side!

In Him,


*Names changed for security reasons