New Website

Posted in Uncategorized on June 8, 2011 by jlankford1

To all:

Thank you so much for following my journey through this blog-site.  This blog has provided a place for me to be transparent in what God was doing in my life and the life of my family.

Starting today, you can follow our journey at http://www.lankfordlife.com.  I must stop here and give a big shout out to my wonderful wife who worked many long, hard hours to get this site up and going.  As I looked at the site last night, God reminded me once again how much he blessed me by allowing me to journey with such a super-talented and beautiful woman!

This site gives you access to thoughts from both Courtney and I as well as provide more specific information in certain areas.  Please take a look and sign up for the blog and the newsletter which will be emailed out monthly.

Thanks for journeying with us.  We love you all!

Same Plan for True Change…

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2011 by jlankford1

As I have journeyed along this road, there have been times when I have asked myself “what am I really doing here?”  God has, without a doubt, called me into this journey and now I often wonder am I really carrying out the mission.  Am I so focused and driven to cultivate that entrepreneurial spirit in those I journey with that I miss opportunities to give them the only thing that brings real change?  Am I passing out tricks, gadgets, and self-help advice to fix problems that can only be fixed through a relationship with Jesus?

In John 6, the crowd who was following Jesus pressed Him to give them more signs and miracles so that they might believe in Him.  Maybe he could give them manna from heaven like Moses gave to their fathers…our even something remotely similar would suffice.  Jesus replied, “I assure you:  Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (v.33)  Jesus goes on to tell them, “I am the bread of life.” (v.35)

Does my walk reflect to those I journey with that I whole-heartedly believe that Jesus is the only thing that gives life?  This question has stirred in me for some weeks now and one night about a month ago, God impressed upon me that I needed to hang some verses in the tunnels and bakery so that the truth from His word could be visible to those working in and viewing our projects.  So…Courtney , the kids, and I made up some signs, laminated them, and hung them in the tunnels.

This past Friday, Pammzy (our baker), showed up in my office with a black trash bag under his arm.  He had walked from his house in the rain and when he entered the office he said, “Joey, can I ask you something?”  I said, “Sure Pammzy, what do you need?  He began to open the rain soaked bag and pull out paper after paper with verses on them.  He said, “I noticed the verses you put up in the tunnels and I was wondering if you would put these verses up as well.  These verses have become very important to me and I wanted to add them to yours.”  I was literally blown away!!!  This impacted me more than the selling of 10,000 cucumbers or 10,000 tomatoes because it answered so many of the questions I had been wrestling with on my journey.

God’s plan is still the same.  Introduce people to Jesus and His Word and lives will be changed!

Pammzy's Verses

Thank You

Posted in Uncategorized on May 30, 2011 by jlankford1

On this Memorial Day, I find myself 25(+) flight hours from the country that I love.  I am so grateful for the men and women who have sacrificed so much to ensure our freedom.  Thank You from the bottom of my heart.  My recent journey has brought with it a whole new level of appreciation and respect. Not a day goes by that I don’t reflect on the cherished memories I have of my wonderful homeland.  None of which would have been possible if not for the sacrifices of our soldiers and their families.

May God bless the United States of America.  I look forward to putting my feet back on her soil soon.

Thank You....

Awe-inspiring King

Posted in Uncategorized on May 24, 2011 by jlankford1

Tomatoes on 5/16/2011

First 3 picked......Taste test performed! Great!!!

15 Kilos of tomatoes to market.....1st delivery on 5/24/2011

Exciting times around the tomato tunnel!  After weeks of waiting, praying, and nurturing we are finally harvesting these little beauties.  Itai and I prayed over the tunnel and the tomatoes on Friday.  The guys refused to pick the first tomato until I walked through the tunnel and covered it in prayer.  I must admit, I was a little intimidated by how seriously they took this part of the process.  Itai said, “We watched you walk through the cucumber tunnel and pray over it before we picked and we have witnessed God’s blessing on it.  We will wait until you do the same for the tomato tunnel.”  Wow!!! Have I mentioned that I am learning so much from this guy!

God has been so faithful to us in this endeavor.  Today…We are awe-inspired by our King!

“Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with a jubilant cry.  For the Lord Most High is awe-inspiring, a great King over all the earth…” ~ Psalm 47:1-2

Front Row Seat….

Posted in Uncategorized on May 21, 2011 by jlankford1

Itai....Maning his Exhibit

Wayne.....Promoting his cookies

Today, I watched as the guys I have been journeying with worked their respective exhibits at the Living Hope Open Day held on the main campus.  They beamed with pride as they told their stories and posed for pictures for the many who came to tour the campus.  As I sat back and watched, I reflected on just how far they have come.  Hope has replaced fear, dreams have replaced despair, and smiles are now more frequently appearing on their faces.  I love these guys and thank God for giving me this amazing opportunity.  I have been given a “Front Row Seat”, watching as His hand saves and His ear hears!

“Indeed, the Lord’s hand is not to short to save, and His ear is not too deaf to hear.” ~ Isaiah 59:1

Be wise…

Posted in Uncategorized on May 20, 2011 by jlankford1

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”  ~ Colossians 4:2-6

I have been reading Colossians these last few days.  In the above verses, I was struck by Paul’s advice to “be wise in the way you act toward outsiders.”  Paul was especially concerned about the negative effect immature believers have on the lost. I personally believe that when outsiders look at our lives and see that salvation and grace have not changed us much, they conclude that its not worth the trouble of changing to essentially be the same.   We declare the peace that comes through Christ but yet we have no peace in our lives.  We talk about the horrific effects of infidelity to our spouses and yet we play with that fire as much as anyone else.  We talk about remembering the poor but we do very little to engage them. We want to forgive but given the chance, we would love to hammer that guy who wronged us!  We proclaim that there is power in prayer but we don’t pray!  Our lives simply don’t reflect that grace and salvation make a difference.  If we remain in vice and despair, without any indication that God’s grace makes a difference, who but the fool will believe the claims of the gospel?

Church and Soccer….African Style

Posted in Uncategorized on May 16, 2011 by jlankford1

Church...African Style

Playing Soccer

I chose these pictures for today’s post because they reflect what I have come to love and admire most about these people I now journey with.

CHURCH:

The top one is of a church service we passed a few weeks ago.  These people didn’t get up, have 2 cups of coffee and a muffin, jump into their air conditioned cars, and ease into church 15-20 minutes late only to doze as the preacher preached!  They literally started working on their attire Friday.  Nothing but the best would do and not a spot could be on them which I can imagine is difficult when your house has a dirt floor.  On Sunday morning, they get up early, tie the little ones to their backs, and walk miles to this field in the middle of the mountains. What they believe anchors everything they do!  It drives the very essence of their existence.  Even if what they believe is wrong, they stake everything on it!  

SOCCER:

The second picture shows the creativity and energy of these people.  Obviously, when we came upon these boys playing soccer I used it as a teaching moment for my kids.  I said, “Kids look, their stuff is ordinary and plain but it works!  Their not complaining that they need more, they are simply using what they have.”  I love these people for the energy and creativity that exist within them.  

This journey has taught me more than anybody!  These people have taught me more than I could have ever dreamed of teaching them.  May God bless these people and may He heal this land!


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