Sunday, December 12, 2010

"The game is afoot..."

So said Sherlock Holmes when things began to get interesting on a case he was working on. And that's how I'm feeling these days...things are starting to get interesting.

I have made a presentation to the missions board at my church, Summerland Baptist, asking if they would consider sponsoring my mission proposal called Mercy Tech Mission. For those who don't know, I'm creating a non-profit organization that will enable me to take out teams of professionals and tradespeople to work on various projects around the world, wherever there is a need. I expect to hear back from them sometime in mid-January.

But it appears that God isn't interested in waiting. Already I have people interested in making a trip to Mozambique, perhaps in July/August of 2011. So I've begun to work on plans toward that end, trusting that the Lord will provide the resources needed for such an endeavor. Our work will probably be in the areas of mechanics and building, and we would be going for at least one month. There is room for a few hardy souls to join us, so if you would like to know more about this possible service opportunity, then feel free to contact me at .

And yes, that will be our new website as we get up and running: . This is where you will find more information about Mercy Tech Mission, and about how you can be involved, either by supporting our work financially and in prayer, or by going along on one of our trips yourself.

So stay tuned...I really mean it when I say that things are starting to get interesting!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Moving Ahead

Many thoughts going on in my head over the past few months, all leading toward the possibility of returning to Africa to find new (and old) places to go where I can get my shoes dirty one more time.

I find it interesting how God uses the small steps we make to speak into the lives of others. Consider the words of this fellow mechanic who came across my blog just last month...

"I was pleasantly surprised to find out you are a Christian, and after reading your Dusty shoes blog, I can say you are both an encouragement and inspiration to me (read, kick in the pants, get goin' and find something to do for the Lord with the skills He has blessed me with).
It's my own lack of faith talking here, but I don't think I would be able to afford to go on a trip like that,...I do know God can do it, but at the same time I am too scared to just put everything on the line like that... now what was James saying about a double minded man.....?

Nevertheless, you have stirred my sleeping Christianity by the quote from Jeremiah. Goodonyamate (yes, that really is one word) as us Aussies say."

I love the honesty...moving out on faith is not the easiest thing to do, but it's the life we Christ-followers are called into.

So I'm putting the finishing touches on the mission statement and policies of a possible new organization, code name Mercy Tech Mission.
I'll be presenting this to the mission board at my local church shortly to get their input.

Nothing like stepping out on those thin branches...

Interesting in going along? Here's a sample of what can be done (thanks to Lynn Lagore for the following photos).

Building a local health clinic

This is Tome putting on the roof...he was my helper during my recent visit to Mozambique

The finished product, ready to serve the community

The staff house for Mercy Air was only a foundation when I saw it back in March...

Now the roof is going on.

Projects like these (along with many others) can be something you could take part in.

Interested? Got a trade or a profession you can share with a needy world?

Mercy Tech Mission: Opportunities soon available.

Monday, August 30, 2010

And the beat goes on...

Well, I'm back again.

I thought this blog would die out once I returned home from Mozambique (for which it was created) but my stats counter is telling me that the numbers of viewers is climbing...

But high numbers is not the only reason to post something here. You really should have something to say, right?

So, first of all an update.

Remember that veranda foundation that I helped lay out before I left Moz? Here all you can see are the holes for the pillar foundations.

Well, the guys over there have raised the pillars and put on the roof, so here is the finished product:

What's that saying from the movie "The A Team"? "I love it when a plan comes together!"

But that's not the only thing that's been building...

Ever since I returned home I've had guys coming up to me and saying, "I'd like to do something like what you did. Would you ever take out a group? If you do, count me in..."

So here's the deal...I'm thinking of making another trip.
Maybe even a few of them.

I might even start an organization that takes out trained technical people (mechanics, builders, doctors, computer techs...whatever) for short term projects. That would be anything from 1 week to 1 month, depending on how far we're travelling.

How about you? Got game?

You'll have to pay your own way.

It will not always be the best living conditions.

It will stretch you in ways you've never been stretched before.

But it will change your life.

To get an idea of what these mission trips could look like, go back to the beginning of this blog and read the postings of my last trip. Then drop me a line if you're interested in hearing more. The e-mail address is

Monday, March 22, 2010


Already it begins...the fading of the memory.

As the effects of malaria slowly leave my body (feeling stronger every day), so does the sense of what I experienced begin to leave my conscious thoughts. I find it a struggle to remember what I was doing and living through just over one week before.
Matthew, ASAM Farm Administrator and my translator for the day.
Francois Rauch, my missionary friend from South Africa.
Peter the bricklayer and his assistant, getting steel ready for the campground veranda that I helped lay out the foundations for...

The truth is, life in these remote places goes on even when we go home.
(Thanks to Lynn, Barb, and others for many of these photos)

But one thing does remain, and it appears to be increasing...a growing disquiet, a subtle resentment at the need to fit back into the "routines" of our hectic North American culture.

And I ask myself, "Do I really have to?"

What matters is that we don't forget.

Though we don't see them and greet them each morning, faithful people are still getting up all over the world, having their breakfast, and then stepping out to serve in whatever way they can, with whatever the day and the Lord brings their way.
The entire staff of the ASAM Farm in Mozambique.
Please remember them in prayer.

But here is my question...who will be next?

This blog is just waiting for the next dusty traveller to take us along on their journey towards serving others in Jesus' name.
Any takers?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One Flight Leads to Another...

If there is one part of this "Dust On My Shoes" process that I really don't care for, it's the travel times involved...

By the time Laura and I arrived back home in Summerland, BC Canada, we had spent over 25 hours in the air on 5 different aircraft (including a helicopter!), and over 20 hours sitting in airports awaiting flights. Plus there was the 7-hour drive home from Seattle.

Saying goodbye to family is hard. Word is, Keren once again came down with malaria just hours after this photo was taken...please continue to pray for her and other missionaries who literally dedicate their lives, health, and comfort for the work of God's kingdom here on earth.

Dwight Lagore checking a few gauges as the pilots refuel the Mercy Air helicopter
Not your typical airport refueling truck...
The family photo (thanks, Barb!)
Some questionable cargo...
Leaving our new friends...not an easy thing to do
The ASAM Farm in Mozambique: an ambitious project with unlimited potential. It's a great place to put some dust on your shoes...and some memories in your heart.

Will God bring us back here one day? Who knows.
But for now it's goodbye.

Stay tuned for more...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Magic of Medicine

Since contrcting malaria, I've had the dubious honor of experiencing its many additional features. If I thought the first night of fever, aches, and shakes was all there was, I was sadly mistaken. Most mornings I've felt pretty good, only to have some different new symptom arrive by the afternoon - diarrhea one day, upset stomach the next, and so on.
Yesterday afternoon I suddenly found it increasingly painful to breathe, a form of pleurisy I suppose. By early evening, I was very uncomfortable indeed. Fortunately for me, I'm living amongst a team of nurses armed with medical journals, the internet, and lots of medications. Plus, they all seem to want to help me get better, which is a good thing.

But as I lay in bed last night, heavily drugged up, I began to think about all the people living here in Africa who don't have access to these same things. They suffer too, and many of them with no hope of relief.

It was humbling.

Today I accompanied Lynn Lagore as she visited the home of Bero, a young man who was badly burned as a child during the civil war.

Large flaps of skin had joined Bero's lower left arm to his upper arm, making it impossible for him to extend it. But after coming to the attention of SAM Ministries, travel funds were raised by donors, and a plasitc surgeon in South Africa donated his time to try and correct Bero's conditon as best he could.

Lynn's job today was to change the dressings and assess the healing process.

The whole family turns out to watch.

The medical work out of the way, it's now time for a quick math lesson to help Bero with his studies...

Bero is very active in his local church, and also very industrious, even with his disablilties. He makes and then plays these musical shakers in his church choir.

Pray for people like Bero and his family. And find a way to give to good causes like this if you can.
Even from our side of the world, we can make a difference.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Initiated Part 2

Here are a few more photos for your enjoyment...

Mushrooms (or is it toadstools?) that pop out of the ground whenever it rains...

The 2 kilometre driveway leading in from the main road
The local shops on the main road
Tiny anthills that appear after every rain
The kitchen in the campground where the short-termers stay

Nurse Keren's tent
The woodworking shop

The foundation for the future training centre

The primary school located behind the shops on the road

That's all for now...time to hit the sack and sleep off this illness. Cheers!

Fully Initiated...

I'm all for experiencing local culture, but last night I received more than I wanted...I came down with malaria!

There has been a lot of it going around here these days, so I'm not alone. But I can tell you that it's not an experience I'd recommend to anyone. But with the proper medication I should be recovered in a few days.

So today I'll just post a few hotos to show everyone what things look like here on the ASAM farm. Enjoy!

Dwight and Lynn Lagore's house, where I've had the priviledge of occupying the spare bedroom.

Mercy Air's garage, where I've been doing most of my work.

The foundation for the future Mercy Air living quarters. Mercy Air is a partnering mission with ASAM here on the farm.

Bricks to build the house.

The 4 ton Hino truck that we haul sand and stone and bricks with.

Lychee trees

Mango trees.

Pineapple plants.

(come back soon and I'll add more...)