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Full Circle

My parents always spent time talking with my teachers when I was growing up — all the way through high school. Often times I wasn’t allowed back until my parents had met with the teacher.

Today, I had my first meeting with a teacher as the parent.

The difference, of course, being that Mary Joy’s teacher loves her to death. Either way, it still has a kind of funny life coming “full circle” feel to it!!


Posted in: Family, journal


I’ve been thinking alot about community lately…

Community is what always excited me most about being a church planter and moving to Bend. I told Tamara when we got married that I wanted to put down roots and find some people worth growing old together with.

So I guess thinking about community means that I’m thinking about who’s worth knowing when they’re old and I’m old. It’s not always easy figuring out who’s going to still be fun at age 80 :)

I’m also putting a lot more time into thinking about community at Antioch. Churches are really nothing more than a group of people or a “community.” What we do at the staff and office level will either help facilitate the development of relationships or it won’t. We’ll either be good at building community or we won’t. My prayer is that Antioch will only continue to grow as a safe and warm place to fellowship.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to a lot of cool connecting things coming down the pike… new community groups, marriage retreat, summer bbq’s and, of course, family camp 2008!!

Moody / Summer Intern Program

Below is the cover of the intern brochure for our summer intern program at Antioch.

The name is taken from Numbers chapters 13-14 where the nation of Israel sends out spies into the land of Canaan. Some came back excited about what God had for them… and some didn’t.

The Negev Circuit Internship Program is really unique in that it doesn’t view interns as cheap labor. Rather, the program is designed to help college age students discern God’s calling in their lives and to help them leave “excited about what God has for them.”

We’re pretty excited about the partnership with Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where we will be able to present the program and leave booklets with the various department heads. Linda Janney, our Middle School Director, is heading out the weekend of April 11-13 to Chicago to meet with students at Moody.

If you would like to receive more information about the program, are interested in being an intern for the summer or know of someone who might want to come “play with us” in Bend… e-mail and we’d be glad to help you out!!


Posted in: Antioch, interns

Rwanda Video

Ben Edwards put this video together of the day he spent in Rwanda on the recent Africa trip.

It shows an orphanage run by a woman named Naomi… who seems to be one of God’s amazing people in this world.

Ben made the presentation for the national convention of wedding and portrait photographers in Las Vegas this month. It is being shown by a renowned photographer based in Bend to thousands of photographers as a motivational piece about how they can use their craft to make a difference in the world.

It’s amazing to watch how God is using Ben and his experiences in Africa to touch the lives of others…

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Posted in: africa, videos

New Look

Gary just hooked the blog up with a little facelift (thanks to Ben Edwards for his pics).

I was given the advice to remove the family picture to protect them since there are a lot of crazies out there on the internet.

I’m starting to feel the writing itch more and more lately (it comes in spurts for me)… so it’ll be fun to start throwing some energy into writing on the new “Garyized” layout!!


Posted in: blogging

Rick McKinley Video

The sermon video for Rick McKinley’s message at Antioch in January evidently wasn’t working on the iTunes video podcast.

It’s now up and working.

Either search “Antioch Church” in the iTunes store or click here to get to the video podcast.

Parking Job

Kim Hunt is our Director of Arts at Antioch.

This was Kim’s parking job today.

Just in case you can’t figure it out… that white line directly underneath the middle of Kim’s car is supposed to mark the parking spot.

I guess what they say about artists is true (I figured I’d leave off the blonde joke)!!


Posted in: journal


When I get tired my favorite place to go is to the movies. Something about the dark atmosphere being easy on my eyes and getting lost in a storyline that is better than sleep for me.

So… the question. What does a guy do when there are no movies out worth seeing??

I know, really deep thoughts…


Posted in: journal

Vision Sunday

Sunday we’re giving a kind of “State of the Union” talk with reports on Africa, the partnership with World Relief, the partnership with Moody Bible Institute (more on that later) and everything else but the kitchen sink!!

There’s been so much happening lately that I can’t wait to be able to catch everyone up to speed.

More than anything else, I love talking about vision and dreaming big dreams. This time, it will be especially fun because of all the things that God is already doing!!

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Posted in: Antioch, vision

Children’s Booklet

I’m pretty excited about the new Children’s Ministry booklet that Gary worked up with the help of all the gals.

It is so important for people to have good information at their fingertips. We might value children more than any other church, but if we don’t communicate it then people won’t know.

Anyway, make sure to stop by the kids ministry area to pick one up or e-mail us at if you’d like us to mail you a copy!!

"The News"

We went public this morning with our “news.”

We’re expecting baby #4.

It was a little bit of a surprise and we found out 30 minutes before Tamara had to drop me off at the airport to leave for Africa a couple of weeks back (not the best way to process the information :)

Anyway, call me pessimistic, but I’m pretty sure this means our 4th girl!!!

P.S. Is anyone putting together a March Madness pool… I feel strangely drawn to sports right now!


Posted in: Family, journal

King Leopold’s Ghost

Here is an amazing book that I just finished reading through.

King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa.

It not only tells the dark story of King Leopold’s Congo, but the beginning of the modern human rights movement, which developed in the face of it.

It is a fascinating read if you are interested in either African History or the history of Human Rights movements.

Ben’s Blog

Ben Edwards is one of the best photographers I’ve ever seen (and one of the neatest people I’ve had the privilege to know).

We were lucky to have Ben with us in Africa.

Click here to visit Ben’s blog. He has posted a lot of pictures and stories from the trip.

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Posted in: africa

Long way home…

Bujumbura to Nairobi, Nairobi to Entebbe (spent the night and had a crazy experience with “The Russians”… ask me later), Entebbe to London, London to Seattle, Seattle to Redmond.

Glad to be home.

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Posted in: africa

Danny Boy

Danny is a little orphan boy who lives where we stayed in Burundi.

He was found as an infant in the garbage. He has HIV/Aids.

The center found a home to take him in for a small stipend. After a long period of time a visit was made to the home and they found that Danny Boy was being neglected… that’s what poverty does. The family was using Danny for the money and figured what was the point in trying to keep him alive.

Danny was brought back in worse shape than he left. He now has Tuberculosis in addition to HIV/Aids. You can hear the fluid in his lungs when he tries to laugh…

It took 3 months for Danny to engage people or smile after being rescued from the foster home. He had retreated somewhere far inside himself.

Kim played with Danny for hours on end throughout the 5 days that we were in Burundi. Danny loved Kim… loved her hair… loved the games she played with him… loved her necklaces… and brightened every time he saw her or heard her.

I found my joy in watching Kim love Danny.

I’m pretty sure that God thinks that Danny and others like him belong in loving arms rather than trash dumps.

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Posted in: africa, AIDS, burundi

Not since before ’93

Yesterday we drove all day to get to the National Reserve forest of Burundi.

Dan Brose, who was a missionary in the area for 8 years hadn’t even ventured to the park… which was my first clue that we were on to an adventure.
We were the first ever to make it in a Matatu (cheap little van with bald tires).
The park was breathtaking… untouched land of hills, trees, fields and rivers.
We didn’t see the hippos or crocodiles, but Dan, Seth (a WR videographer), Beth and I did get off on a wrong trail (we learned later that it is a trail used by poachers).  The grass was over 10 feet tall and so dense that we had to walk with our hands pushing it away in front of ourselves.
On the way home we stopped to eat at the home of Duncan (a missionary from the UK that helps with agriculture in that region).  Duncan, who has the coolest British accent, told us the reason that the whole village was swarming outside the buildings where we were eating is because, “this is the largest number of Muzungu’s (white people) in this region since before ’93 (when the war in Burundi broke out).”  He went on to say that our presence there was the event of the decade.
I asked if there are other visitors or tourists who make it to the National Forest Reserve and Duncan smiled and said, “No.”  Dan then added that our trip then officially declares that “the park is open again.”
We made it back after dark (not good because of rebels and carjackings), and had a sound sleep in Gitega after our full day of Dan Brose led adventures.
This morning I went with the Brose’s to visit a compound with a medical facility and watched an entire intestinal surgery… I mean one foot away!!  It was a crazy experience, taught me a lot about 3rd world medicine and was much more realistic than Grey’s Anatomy!!
We’re back in Bujumbura (the capital) now and Kim is complaining about drinking too much water and helping me figure out how to spell “Bujumbura”.  (She’s also intermittently sarcastic which means that she is doing great :)
John & Lori are on the front porch dancing around (they’ve only been married for 6 months so that should explain it…)  Ben just left for the airport for his flight to Kigali, Rwanda.  He was supposed to leave yesterday evening, but the flight got cancelled.
Beth has found her match in Seth the WR videographer and is having a blast getting video footage and talking about video projects.
The Brose’s and I spent the drive back this morning figuring out how to sell the “Amani Ya Juu” clothing at Antioch that the women she used to work with make.  We also brainstormed the future of Antioch missions, goals for the joint project between WR and Antioch, plans for the upcoming school of missions at Antioch (big thing happening that I’ll be sharing a lot about real soon), the art coffee house idea (we can get Burundi coffee and sell the clothing as part of it!!) and how we can network with other churches in Oregon around common vision.  Our theme quote is what Reagan said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit!”
There are some amazing things happening and I can’t wait to start talking about it!!

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Posted in: africa

Congolese Mountains

I’m sitting on the porch of the Brose’s old home in Burundi looking out over Lake Tanganyika at the Congolese Mountains.

Burundi, which is the 3rd poorest country in Africa, is one of the most beautiful places that I’ve ever been.  Like Rwanda, it is a nation of hills and beautiful trees.
We have had nonstop meetings with the World Relief staff and I have met some of the most capable people that I have ever met.  World Relief has an amazing vision as well as quality people.
The internet is very slow… so I will save all the tidbits for some other time.
Everyone is doing good!!


Posted in: Uganda

Quick Pics

Some quick pictures that Ben shot… The first is a lady in her home outside of Kapchorwa and the second is a tribal elder in the cave where he was born and where they lived during the reign of Idi Amin.

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Posted in: Uganda

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