Giving Back Archive

Cost Rica Mission Trip {December 2013}

IMG_7729 As I write this post today, it is the beginning of the 1st Global Impact Celebration (GIC) at our church, First Baptist Church of Troy, Alabama. It’s a big deal, a really big deal and I am so thankful it is happening!  Over the past few years, Acts 1:8 has been the focus of our church  – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” – and our pastor, Luke Lane, has been amazing as he has lead us with God’s direction to this point.  Brother Luke’s heart is full of compassion for the lost and he has a huge desire to see his church family be a part of God’s army.  My heart has certainly been impacted as a result of Acts 1:8 and as a result I have gone on 3 international mission trips in the past 3 years – Nicaragua, Mexico and most recently, my family and I went to Costa Rica.

It was such a blessing to serve alongside the people in the above picture – their hearts are amazing and I am encouraged by each and every one of them!  It’s hard to put a mission trip into words… it’s one of those things, you just have to experience for yourself… to see the reality of poverty and the brokenness of this world, you just have to put yourself in the midst of it; and also to see missionaries serving sacrificially, is a humbling experience & I am so thankful to come alongside the amazing missionaries I have met thus far and serve with them!

There is always a way to serve, even if you don’t get on the plane and go!! You can begin by serving in your city, in your community, in your state, in your country and also to the ends of the earth! See those bracelets below?  As a result of the Rainbow Loom and the overflow of bracelets at my house, I thought it would be great to take them to Costa Rica! Many kids (and parents) gave bracelets for us to hand out to the kids in Costa Rica! That opportunity, to just make Rainbow Loom bracelets,  gave many families the chance to talk about missions, to pray for the poor, to pray for the hearts that would receive the bracelets and it allowed them to serve and to be a part of this mission trip!  Thank you to everyone who sent bracelets – they were a big hit!!


The focus of this mission trip began with a vision God had given to Mrs. Leda (one of our Costa Rica Missionaries).  Her desire was for us to blitz the community of Esparza in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, invite them to a “Christmas party,” and lay the groundwork for her local church to evangelize this community in the days, weeks, months & years to come.  We sent boxes and boxes of gifts and supplies ahead of us, as well as packed in our luggage, to help make this Christmas party a hit!  It is a blessing to see the joy and surprise of so many kids as they receive some of the simplest of gifts.  However, our desire wasn’t for them to receive temporary contentment and joy over clothes, food, or toys…..our desire was to give them the greatest gift they could ever receive, the everlasting joy and contentment that only Christ Himself can give!  Sure they had physical needs in the community of Esparza, and we used these physical needs to open the door to share with them about their overwhelming spiritual need.  Esparza is a community where darkness reins, where drugs, alcohol, and prostitution are prevalent, where poverty beats you down from birth.  Praise God He has defeated death, and this hope was what we went to share, to shine a light in a community that so desperately needed it.  May God radically change the hearts and souls of the children and families of Esparza, may His light shine bright through the efforts of Jose and Leda and thier local church as they evangelize in this community!


In LOVE with the eyelashes on this little girl!!!costarica3

Below are 3 of 4 sisters who lived with the family where our party was hosted! They have had a difficult journey, but God has graciously placed them with a loving family who insisted on keeping them all together!  This also brought Jose & Leda into their lives to love and care and pray for these girls!  Our kids played with them for hours… forget the language barrier, just let a kid play!!! It was really cute hearing them try to say Drew’s name… we do not exactly roll the “R” the way they do, so it was a good laugh!costarica2IMG_7304IMG_7588

We served over 500 people ice cream (they got dessert first because it was melting!!), a warm meal and drink! They were so thankful and it is a humbling experience to see families and kids enjoy something as simple as a warm plate of chicken and rice!costarica10costarica8I had the best time photographing the beautiful faces of the kids that came to the party! Beautiful smiles and so much joy in each and every face!costarica9At the end of the party, each and every kid received a gift bag full of goodies along with some fruit and even some clothes and shoes!  Such a simple act of love, brought so much joy to the hearts of these kids!costarica6costarica13costarica12costarica11costarica7costarica14IMG_7721Please pray with us as Jose and Leda and their local church continue to evangelize and minister to the community of Esparza.

In closing, I’d like to say again, it was a blessing to serve alongside those that were a part of the mission trip!  Serving alongside church members and friends creates a bond like no other!  It was also such a sweet time with my family!  I pray that missions will continue to be in the heart of our kids and they will shine Jesus’ light wherever God may lead them!

As always, I love to end with a video…Click HERE to enjoy a recap of our mission trip!  If God tugs at your heart to “go”, I encourage you to do it… be a part of His plan!!  “Seize the opportunity and be a part of God’s dream….God’s plan is going to be carried out with or without us.” – Dr. Luke Lane

WOD for Water 2013 {Troy, AL}


I am SO thankful for all of the people that prayed for and/or contributed to this year’s WOD for Water {Troy, AL}!!!  It was a great event, full of fun and competition!  However, the prize was much bigger than a 1st place trophy, the prize was being part of something much, much bigger!  Through the generosity of everyone who participated, sponsored and volunteered for this year’s WOD for Water, we blew the lid off of our goal and raised $35,000!!!  This will allow for 14 clean water wells to be built in India in 2014!!!

The population of India is 1,238,361,000, that’s billion with a “b”!!!  According to Joshua Project, 91.1% is unreached, meaning no community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group.  That’s 1,128,146,871 people (again, that’s billion with a “b”) that do not have access to the gospel, the true LIVING WATER!!!

As Jesus was speaking to the Samaritan woman in John 4:13-14, in regards to the water she was getting from the well, He answers her saying, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

According to NeverThirst, over 130 million of the people in India are without access to clean water.  Something as simple as clean water, a luxury we take advantage of on a daily basis.  The implications of drinking unclean water are not something to be ignored.  Many people in India and around the world die each day from a lack of simple…clean…water.  What a great idea it is to meet the physical needs of millions of people around the world by giving them clean water, so that we may gain the privilege and opportunity to share with them their greater need…eternal life available through Living Water!


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I am humbled and blessed to be a part of this amazing event!  May God be glorified through our efforts!  Thank you all for being a part of God’s plan for believers to be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)  You are part of changing someone’s life forever; giving someone across the world, living among poverty, access to clean water…more importantly, access to the true Living Water that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ!  Thank you to Jason, Derek and Troy for organizing this event! Thank you to all of the participants and volunteers – get ready for WOD for Water 2014!!! And thank you to Neverthirst for allowing us to partner with your efforts to provide clean and Living Water to the poor through the local church!

WOD for Water 2012 {Troy, Al}

Everyone who drinks of the water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water I give them, will never thirst. John 4:13-14


It’s almost time for the 2nd annual WOD for Water {Troy, Al}!  Last year, was a big success and this year’s event is well on its way to being even bigger!  What is WOD for Water?  It is an event to raise money and awareness for NeverThirst and their efforts to build clean water wells in third world countries and also providing opportunities to spread the gospel.  Neverthirst partnera with local churches in Central African Republic, Indi and Sudan.  The villages in these countries are among the poorest in the world, leaving millions of God’s children living in poverty, with disease, hunger and thirst. Clean water is necessary to live a healthy life and while supplying clean water to these poverty stricken villages across the world, it allows the local churches and missionaries to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the true living water!IMG_9820 108

I’m sure you would agree that it is easy to take clean water for granted!  It’s not something we have to even think about.  Last year I went on my first mission trip to Nicaragua and was able to see, first hand, people living their lives among unclean water.  While there, we were advised not to drink the water…we should keep our mouth closed while showering and would use bottled water when bruising our teeth. While we live our lives among clean, purified, distilled water in our homes, schools, restaurants, and elsewhere; I feel it is an awesome opportunity for us to have a heart like Jesus, showing we care and giving sacrificially and then being able to see families receive clean water and most importantly receiving the word of Jesus Christ!

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. Proverbs 19:1767Why the jerry can?  These are used daily in third world countries to get water, often walking miles to just get dirty water. Women and children are usually responsible for this, as the men are working.  While in Nicaragua, I remember one of the first “real moments” that touched my heart was seeing these little girls walking by the rancho swinging their empty buckets, then an hour or so later they would come back by with full buckets, carrying them on their head or sharing the weight of a bigger bucket by two girls holding it.  If those girls can do it, with a smile on their face, I know you can too and I’ll be there to take a picture of you doing it!115 4 2 1

You don’t have to be a fitness maniac to participate in this event! WOD for Water is available for anyone who can do the lighteset amount of physical movement to the strongest person in town. And if that’s not your thing, new this year is a Walk for Water, anyone can participate!!  And if you can’t participate, you can still give!!! Please consider being a part of this event in some shape form or fashion…help make a difference, it will leave your heart happy!  The event takes place this Saturday, November 2, at 9:00am Bibb Graves Quad on the campus of Troy University (registration starts at 8:00).  Feel free to email me for more information or Jason Jones at  I want to leave with you these verses and I hope they tug at your heart to give…..

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of LIVING WATER.’” John 7:38