Monthly Archives: April 2016

Have you done your FOD walk today?

Ok, I’ve been here for 5 hours, sorry. And these three pix are from George, not Mossel Bay…

This is the view out the window as we flew along the Indian coast…

  I was in the aisle seat and took this with my new SE. I’m very impressed by this new iPhone camera: will benefit!

Next shot is one I Kakao’ed the family upon arrival in George. Kulula is an airline that works very hard at being hip. Note the paint job on this “chamo-plane” as was painted on the #1 engine nacelle…


Yes, we walk across the tarmac to the terminal here in the Western Cape. As I looked around,  this brought back memories of 40 years ago… The FOD barrel.

Foreign Object Damage is damage to a jet engine from junk on the tarmac (airplane parking lot). We used to do a FOD walk every morning before the first F-4d was started up. Looking for little bits of junk like screws and such that had fallen out of a truck, toolbox or, gasp, off an aircraft. We began each day checking for foreign objects that would do damage.

Huh, that’s just what each of us should begin our day with, Scripture, prayer and a FOD walk of the heart. Look for loose stuff and call out to God to fix. 

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Love this sign…


I assume it’s for hunters arriving from wherever to check their weapons onto their next flight into South Africa since its next to domestic security.

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a view that never gets old


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the pope speaks and acts

My Twitter feed just gave me a link to this nicely done video

… Click here. It seems the pope, apparently as head of the Vatican state – for those of you who were not aware, the pope, in addition to being the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, is the head of sovereign state, the Vatican (there is a government with ambassadors, etc. – has taken some Syrian families back to the Vatican to live and … well, be Vaticanites I guess. It’s a good thing I think. 

However, the trip to Lesbos was more PR and preaching than anything else. The US press has stated that he is trying to get Europe to take more refugees in. 

When in Cuba, in a meeting with some leaders of the same religious persuasion, their comment was that their beloved pontif was not addressing the exact needs of those people. Is he out of touch in this matter as well?

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School’s OUT!!!

The building is now as quiet as it was when I arrived on Saturday night. The 36 students who arrived Sunday and Monday for classes have written their exams, cleaned the dorm rooms and departed for their homes all over Ukraine and Belarus too.

From 9am to 1pm we studied leadership in the context of disciple-making. They also studied Christian History from 2-6 making a very full day.

Our objective was to focus on servant leadership as taught by Jesus in Matthew 20. 

We did that by examining leadership teachings of the last 50 years including White, Maxwell, Peter Drucker and others. Part of our focus was on team building instead of heirarchical supervision. We invested a half a day on why and how we should know our team, I taught MBTI as a tool for understanding.

But of course, I began by discussing the leader being connected to God in an ever deepening manner. They learned about the sailboat metaphor and meeting with fellow-disciples regularly, honestly and vulnerably.

I’m gratified as God blessed: in class, in conversations, and on the exams! 

So I’m almost packed. I promised Anna I’d rest the rest of today so I’m catching up here, to my email prayer team and the trip prayer update. 

Tomorrow morning I’ll be on a train to Kyiv, I’ve in the blue dot all week (Google still uses Russian spelling)…

…to spend the afternoon with a ministry partner. Then at 7am Sunday I fly to Budapest…

to preach and visit with partners and friends for 3 days before heading WAY down south.

There may be some more pics along the way.

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Reflections from first days in Ukraine

On nice mornings I’ve gone out for  a walk and at 6 am the streets sweeps are out in force. 

and folks are lined up to go somewhere… 


I’m just passing the half-way mark on the Ukraine leg of the trip. Having completed 3 of my 4 days of teaching, it looks like I’ll make it.
I’d forgotten about the energy you expend teaching 4 periods in a row. Then there’s the desk work: writing quizzes and grading them (I can’t seem to find the Scantron machine).

The students are awesome, there are 30-something of them packed into a decent sized classroom. Being translated adds a complete additional layer of attention needed to presentation.

Having a different translator each day has made me appreciate more than ever when you have a translator that you know is “with you.”

Jet-lag has been tougher than usual and the lack of sleep has added to my fatigue. But, thanks be to God, I’ve made it through and got a full night’s sleep last night. Man, it was great to wake up fully rested!

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Room with a view

On this warm spring Sunday the nearby playgrounds are full of the sounds of children playing. I’m in a residential neighborhood of (what we affectionately call) ‘commie condos.’ I’m staying in a room that is provided by Trinity Church and is actually in the building. The room includes everything I need: a bed (good and firm), my own bath, a place to stow my gear, and a desk for work. The desk faces the window. I have a room with a view.


a school to the right and apartment building left

I’m in Vinnytsia, Ukraine for a week teaching a course in a ministry school on leadership and disciple-making. The school is part of a local network of churches who are seeking to provide training for leaders and leaders to be. I’m told that tomorrow I’ll have a class of up to 40 whose ages will be from 22-50.

Our lessons (this part of the world doesn’t call them classes) will run straight through from 9-1. This will be the first time in 6 1/2 years that I’ve done this much teaching. 

Trust me they’ll get plenty of breaks.

Perhaps a classroom pic tomorrow.

BTW: My updated trip-prayer list is HERE, click, read, and pray!

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