Cheryl Rocks.

Andy Lashley - Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Care to be simultaneously inspired and challenged today? Consider this: tomorrow (Jan. 17), Cheryl Bode is up and moving to Africa to be a full-time missionary. Also consider that Cheryl has a great American life here.  Wonderful family, great nursing career, lots of friends, you know…the works. But three or so years ago, Cheryl decided that the tug she felt pulling on her heart was too great to ignore. She dropped everything and went to Ghana, where she worked for about a year, helping to start a medical clinic and doing immeasurable good in the name of Jesus. Now, she’s at it again, this time headed for Tanzania’s Chimala mission.

As for the specifics of what Cheryl will be doing and to hear her stories from the field, you’ll want to check out her blog at 

Cheryl’s is the kind of a story that does more than just prompt us to be praying for her and the work in Chimala, although she very much covets those prayers. For her to leave the comforts of here in the prime of life is the kind of eye-opening decision that forces me to think unsettling thoughts about what I’m doing with my time and talents to serve God. Maybe you experience the same reaction. That’s a good thing.

Thank you, Cheryl, for what you’re doing. You will bless people and grow God’s kingdom directly – that’s for certain. But your example will also provoke action from others who may have needed that extra push to walk through a door that God has opened. We love you!

Prayers For Ruby

Andy Lashley - Friday, January 04, 2013

Photo by Jeri Howell

Ruby Stahl is one of those people.  One of those people who just can’t stop giving.  One of those people who make you shake your head in wonder.  Specifically, you wonder what on earth you’re doing with your life because she is making the very most of hers.  And if you don’t wonder that at first, you will because she’ll straight up ask you what you’re doing and tell you to get in the game.  You’d better listen.  She’s one of those people who doesn’t just talk about it.  She does it.  She has made her life a reflection of Jesus’ “I didn’t come to be served but to serve” philosophy.  She is one of those people who has bettered the lives of thousands and thousands because she just won’t stop.  She is the Luther Service Center in so many ways, although she is unfailingly humble and would hate to know she had been described that way.  She is also one of those people who has been diagnosed with cancer.

When that news was announced this last Sunday at church, there was a loud, collective gasp from the crowd.  I anticipated that.  In part, that kind of reaction happens because it’s hard to imagine an indomitable person like Ruby actually being vulnerable to such a thing.  But it also happens, I think, because it’s especially frustrating when we hear about a uniquely selfless person like Ruby receiving a diagnosis like this.  Why her?  Why someone who is doing so much good?  It doesn’t seem at all fair and it makes you mad. 

Your prayers are needed for Ruby.  Prayers for healing and for her physicians.  And also prayers for the work in Luther that has her blood, sweat, and tears in its DNA.  Many people are helped through its daily distributions of food and clothing and we are so proud to be a longtime partner with Ruby in that effort.

We love you, Ruby, and we’re praying hard.

Great Things Happening in Brazil

Andy Lashley - Tuesday, September 18, 2012

This past Sunday we got to visit with Brent & Jill Nichols, members of a great young team of missionaries doing work in Niteroi, Brazil. When you think about the kind of people you want out there in the world representing Christ and his church, you think about people like Brent & Jill. Smart. Fun.Magnetic. You visit with them and you have no doubt that people will be drawn to them to hear what they have to say. It's so vital that the world sees joy in the message of the gospel. If they can't readily see that from the people who are delivering the news, why respond? What is the draw? The Nichols  and their team radiate the joy that comes from the confidence of salvation.

Then, after church on Sunday, I got an e-mail from Allen Dutton in Campinas, Brazil that just reinforced the notion that God is really moving powerfully in South America. Here's an excerpt:

"...we began another group of theology classes.  We decided to have two groups this semester. One meets at the Guanabara building on Mondays from 7-10pm and the other meets at the Campo Grande building on Tuesdays from 7-10pm. I am teaching the Monday night class and have 50 students and Christian (a brother at Campo Grande) is teaching the Tuesday night class and has 40 students. I find it so encouraging to see people we taught a few years ago having the courage and the responsibility to teach themselves. What a great example for all of us! Because of the theology class we have had already three more baptisms. Thais was baptized the middle of August and Benedito and Helena were baptized in September. Please keep these new Christian in your prayers."

And that was just a small sample of what's happening in that work. That church is baptizing people, going on mission trips, planting their own new churches. God is multiplying his kingdom and it's wonderful to watch.