Friends - Another trip is upon us. Here's the quick rundown on the plan and the cast for the latest adventure. We hope you enjoy following with us!
THE CREW: STEVE PROCTOR, DENIS KEITH (MY DAD), and ME!
Let's meet them.... PLENTY OF PICTURES TO COME ALONG THE JOURNEY!
Meet Steve Proctor - Chair, Board of Directors. He's a husband, dad, grandfather, and all around stellar person. He's a rock on our Board, full of compassion and poise, all at the same time. Steve has been one of the greatest mentors to me -- and an incredible friend. He's married to an amazing woman named Rhonda, who is like my 2nd mom now. Just yesterday she was wisely reminding me to make sure to look after her husband and to make sure we don't get sick. (Rhonda - I'll do my best, though I hope I can keep up with these guys!). Steve has never been to Africa before, but has served in Honduras and other places. About 5 years ago, Steve & Rhonda were listening to me talk with their Sunday School class about this crazy dream my friends and I had to support local pastors in Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS. They both contacted me THAT DAY and said, "How can we help?!!?"
Today, Steve is not only the Chair of our Board and Rhonda one of our biggest fans....but more importantly, Steve has helped model to me what it means to love, serve, and lead. I'm absolutely delighted to take Steve with me to Africa and pray that God grants us favor (No sickness, Rhonda!), joy, and the opportunity to see and extend care with the love of Christ. Welcome aboard, Steve!
Q for Steve: Why do you invest in Forgotten Voices?
A from Steve: Those of us who have been given so many blessings bear a special responsibility to reach out to those in need, in this country and around the world. There are very few, if any, places in the world where the need is more pressing or the opportunity to make a difference is greater than where the ministry of Forgotten Voices is working. The voice of God is calling us to serve these precious children to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and to give them a chance to live a better life.
Meet My dad - Denis Keith. What do you say about your dad? Husband to my beautiful mom, Valerie and dad to my 2 sisters and brother in law. Grandfather to 1 child, with 2 grandkids on the way. My dad is the guy I grew up trying to walk like. Talk like. The guy I get all my good jokes from. I love him.
When I was born in Dallas, TX, my dad was using flash cards to study for a Greek exam at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) while in the delivery room. So you can say I've been around him, pastors, and the Christian church MY ENTIRE life. Growing up as a pastor's kid, I literally got a front row seat to the life and walk of a pastor. Today, as I lead Forgotten Voices and we help equip over 160 churches to care for children orphaned by AIDS, I am CONSTANTLY drawing up lessons I learned from simply watching my dad live his life as God called him to live. This will be my dad's 3rd trip to Africa with me, but first to Zambia. Dad - glad you can come. Please don't tell either of my moms (mom & Rhonda - Steve's wife) or my mother in law if I do anything crazy on this trip! :) Thanks! (NOTE - mostly for Rhonda -- those that know me know I don't really do crazy! :))
Then, of course, there's me, their guide. You know me. If you don't, feel free to read more about why I do what I do...and why I'm thankful you all (including Steve & my dad) let me! Thanks for investing in us and making all of this possible. Rock on!
So - here's the skinny on the journey -- does anyone say that anymore? It's late. Let's move on.
Jan 1 - Steve, my dad and I all go to NYC's JFK airport to stay in a hotel nearby. Steve by car from PA, my dad & I by flight from Boston. Pray I get a new printer through customs ALL THE WAY TILL THE LAST DAY OF THE TRIP! It's important!
Jan 2 - 10:30am from JFK to Johannesburg, South Africa. I'll hit you all up with some Tweets and video from the airport.
Jan 3 - Land in South Africa, then up to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. We'll be visiting The Rock Church to see Pastor James, his wife, their new baby, and about 30 kids that we help the church care for.
Jan 4 - Back to the Rock Church, then off to the Free Methodist Church
Jan 5 - Abandoned children's project - which I blogged about here. Then back to Free Methodist Church for an evening prayer service, where my dad will preach.
Jan 6 - Mtshabezi Mission & AIDS Clinic - Off to see Neatness, the star of this video
Jan 7 - Mtshabezi in the AM, then Farming God's Way/Foundations for Farming, Matopos Schools, and stay at Shumba Shaba, the greatest place on earth.
Jan 8 - CLRC, meetings in town, some shopping
Jan 9 - Drive to Hwange National Park to see some animals. Great place to talk about the future and what God has for Forgotten Voices.
Jan 10 - Vic Falls and some work, some meetings, and EATING!
Jan 11 - Steve departs for South Africa, then on to USA; My dad and I go to South Africa, but stay the night.
Jan 12 - Steve arrives home; My dad and I head up to Zambia. Visit projects in Zambia.
Jan 13 - More project visits in Zambia. Pray for meetings today about microfinance.
Jan 14 - More project visits in Zambia.
Jan 15 - My dad and I head to South Africa, then on to the USA
Jan 16 - All home. My dad up to Boston and me to Central PA, where I'll be speaking at WSEFC on Jan 17 if you are around --- will be in 2 sunday school classes at 9 and 10:45.
Enjoy the journey! More later today. Are you following us on Twitter? If not, join today at www.twitter.com/forgottenvoices.