Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Guest Speaker - Dan Miller

Dan Miller, Senior Pastor at Back Harvest church spoke with us this week. Right away it was obvious that Dan had a special anointing of the Holy Spirit on his life. One of my favorite things about Dan was how transparent he was in speaking to us. Something that I was encouraged by was when Dan spoke of the outpouring of church funds he put into The Rock Recreation Center, which was founded by him. Often times churches will use their money to buy newer equipment, better pews, and a lot of other secondary things. The Rock Recreation Center is an awesome program similar to the YMCA, which allows children and adults to have a safe Christ centered environment to grow in every way possible.
When I looked at Dan Miller I recognized him as a very well balanced individual, in many aspects, including his marriage. His tips on marriage were solid and well received, such as: never yell at your partner, compliment your wife daily, and most importantly do not bring up issues of the past. I think any marriage could benefit from these three ideas. Since I am called to Pastoral Ministries, to hear encouraging words from Dan and then being prayed over was extremely special. The Holy Spirit was evident in class yesterday and I am very grateful to have met Dan Miller.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Community Compassion Organization – Convoy of Hope

I contacted Jeff Nene, Senior director of public relations for Convoy of Hope. He was very quick in his response and was obviously passionate about his organization. Convoy of Hope in Northern California; its founder’s names were Hal Donaldson and his two brothers Dave and Steve. At age twelve Hal and his siblings suffered the loss of their father due to a collision with a drunk driver. Their mother was also severely injured and hospitalized, but during this time the Church extended its hands, in love, out towards the family. This is what drove Hal and his brothers to begin Convoy of Hope. Prior to Launching Convoy of Hope Hal and his brothers founded Church of America, of which Convoy of Hope was branched out of. Church care America specialized in meeting needs of small churches and one particular church asked for help feeding the hungry within their neighborhood. What started out of the back of a pickup truck grew into an extremely potent ministry, that is, Convoy of Hope.
Convoy of Hope has helped people all over the world, especially in the midst of natural disasters. The four major areas that Convoy of Hope has helped people in are: children’s feeding, community outreach events, disaster response, and partner resourcing. Primarily through orphanages and schools, over 100,000 hungry children are fed. According to Jeff Nene, “We hold about 50 events every year where communities, churches, and local agencies come together to touch the poor and suffering in their community.” The needy also have the opportunity to come in to the events free of charge and leave with free groceries. Convoy of Hope is one of the first organizations to respond to a natural disaster. They helped in both Haiti and Japan, along with many other countries hit by catastrophic disasters. Partner resourcing is an amazing thing where Convoy of Hope finds like-minded organizations and then supplies them, as it’s necessary.
Convoy of hope is almost entirely funded by donations from churches, businesses, and even individual people. As far as employment, Convoy of Hope like most companies looks for people that share the same point of view and passions, abilities that meet the basic job requirements and references, and most importantly a Christian character.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Guest Speaker – Dave Dallenbach

Dave Dallenbach, our guest speaker was truly inspirational in his display of originality in front of a small class of college students. His passion for seeing people reached all over the world really resonated with me. When Dave began speaking I prejudged him as the salesman type who was not really interested in expanding the kingdom of God, but instead, expanding the amount money in his bank account. What humbled me is when he said he could have been working for a lot more money than he is working for now, but chose to devote his life full time to the ministry. Dave Dallenbach is the creator of CellFunds and it is an amazing concept that I certainly see God using for His good. To think that we can instantly transfer up to five thousand dollars through texting simply by using our cellphones is absolutely bizarre to me. But bizarre or not it is becoming a reality and not only nation wide, but internationally. I believe this creativity is necessary in the day and age we live in, because of all the amount control people have over us opposed to allowing God to dictate our lives. The urgency of Dave’s heart regarding The LORD’s return is what had the greatest impact on me. The presence of God was evident in our couple of hours of conversation; and I am incredibly grateful that Dave shared with us his time and heart.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Richard Curtis Interview

Yesterday in class we watched a video of Richard Curtis being interviewed by Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. It greatly impacted me in a positive way. Richard Curtis is a movie director who is very passionate about two things: the power of love and a concern for the poor. These passions were born when Richard Curtis spent four years in the Philippines and learned to recognize the reality of poverty at a young age. This stuck with him throughout his entire life. Here we have a man who is very connected to the secular, big name, TV and movie personal and yet is unashamed of making movies that don't make a lot of money in comparison to the big name titles out there. In fact, he mentioned that he had rejected some big time actors in order to allow his movies to have the greatest impact that it could. As Pastor Bill Hybels said at the end of the video before a congregation, this man hasn’t even got his relationship with God figured out and yet he is doing more to impact the world than we have ever done.
Our culture is extremely desensitized to the world around us. We are all about individualism. It is found in what we wear, watch, and listen to. It is wired in our culture to think of ourselves before others, to pray for our needs before others, to feed ourselves before others. This cannot be so. If a man who is not a devout Christian can make movies to open the public’s eyes, how much more can be done through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


My name is Jonathan and I am currently majoring in Pastoral Ministries with a minor in Urban Ministries. My hometown is Boston, MA. I was born in the United States, but both of my parents were born in foreign countries: my father was born in Portugal and my mother was born in Brazil. I have a heart for missions, both world missions and local missions. I believe that we as believers are all called to missions: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:18-20). I believe God prepared my heart for the cities of the world at a young age through the gifts He planted in me and through my attraction to the hip-hop and multiethnic culture found in urban environments. Growing up, I got along well with people of all races and ethnicities. God has also blessed me with a passion for dancing (specifically popping) and rapping. Music is one of the most powerful tools we have to reach a lost and dying world and I believe dance is a way of properly interpreting that music.