Apr 28 2010

Creative Backdrops for Sharing Jesus

With less than two weeks into the Great Circle Mission USA 2010 we have already experienced some very interesting backdrops to minister Jesus Christ. Check out the pictures below-

Chain link cage topped with razor wire

Chain link cage topped with razor wire: Memphis, TN

Lakeside Mediation Center

A Mediation Center: Austin, TX

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Apr 18 2010

Unity and Diversity: Orange Mound’s 5hr. Concert

Saturday we had a wonderful opportunity to play an outreach concert on Orange Mound in Memphis, TN. I have read that Orange Mound was a neighborhood formed in the late 1800s to provide refuge for the black community. Strangely enough it was just over the tracks from the KKK stronghold. For years it was billed as the largest black community in the USA. And though that may no longer be true, I would safely say that most all of its residents are still of African American decent.

These days Orange Mound is dotted with boarded up windows, gangsters. Drugsters and hookers with all that lifestyle brings. Among all of this you find children. Many, many children. But the Lord is using Rev. Reggie Tucker and his wife, Mary to make an impact in this part of Memphis inner city. Forming the Orange Mound Outreach Center, their slogan is “Lord, do what you do” with the vision of “taking our children back”.

Rev. Reggie & Mary Tucker

Rev. Reggie & Mary Tucker

We arrived at Orange Mound at 11AM to set up in the lot next to the outreach center. With a backdrop of a chain linked fence topped with razor wire, Howie and I set up the sound system. Howie had planned ahead of time to have a keyboardist, drummer and guitar player join us, as we often assemble pick up bands for events like this, but as the day arrived each one was unable to join us. The Lord knew our plans, but He had other plans.

As the final microphone was in place and the guitar was coming out I noticed two vans pulled up really close to where we were. Actually, I wondered why they didn’t park on the street like everyone else. Then these guys get out, say “Hi” and start pulling out drums and a keyboard stand. The funny part was we didn’t know who they were, or how they knew we could use a band….

The band setting up

Setting up

Taurus, Henry, Andrew and Tye were from the “Praise is What We Do” ministry located in the next hood over. They had heard about the event the night before and decided to come down, support the Tuckers work and were eager to sit in. I love it when God knits his family together for the common cause! Quickly we set up 4 extra mics and soon we were ready to roll.

A Diverse Band

A Diverse Band of Christians

Unity and Diversity: Memphis has long been known for its racial tensions and hatred. This was probably most clearly displayed when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4th, 1968. In fact, when we first moved to Memphis from New York State in ”93 I was shocked by this tension, on both sides, how obvious it was and how folks seemed to view it as the norm, even within the church at times.


Happy Girls

A lot of kids were there. It was really cool that the kids got to see a mixed racial band playing together. Actually, as Howie said, we are brothers and sisters. We have the same spiritual Father! This is a powerful message to the children today. Jesus unites across all differences!
Reggie had his cooker out and was barbequing up chicken, burgers and hot dogs. It was so tasty and the smell brought in folks from all directions.
Happy kids

Happy Children

For a moment of time, in this space on Orange Mound, color did not matter. Together we celebrated the day, uplifted the name of Jesus, enjoyed food and good music.
A moment of joy

A Moment of Joy

The name of Jesus was strongly proclaimed and the forces of darkness were pushed back. We continued to pray that God will “do what he does” and that the children will be spared from a life of addiction and hatred. May the Lord turn the city right side up, one heart at a time.

Apr 3 2010

Kayla and the Salvation Band Project

Salvation Beads

Salvation Beads

When we returned from our Great Circle 09 Mission Tour, Kayla heard our presentation at her church. We told the story about Joshua’s Piggy Bank for God and how that one project impacted 300 children across the United States. This story about a 7 year old really made an impression on Kayla.  She began to think of what she can do to reach children this year.

Having taken three mission trips in the past, Kayla, now 16 years old, remembered how the “salvation bands” worked so well to teach Romanian children the salvation message.

Kids Working on beads

Kayla had the kids working in the kitchen

This ambitious young lady wasted not a minute. She got busy gathering donations of pony beads, leather, and key rings to make bands for us to take this year.  Then, the appointed day came for her parents to invite a couple families over for a Sunday luncheon.  Actually, it was more than a Sunday luncheon, it was an important ministry that took place around the table.

Kayla seized the moment and provided bowls of colorful beads and instructions for all to follow. Everyone was involved, young and old. Within an hour the bags were full.

Adults working

Kayla had the adults busy in the dining room

Thank you Kayla and helpers. 685 children will not only hear the message of redemption but will have something to take home with them to remember Gods plan of salvation.

Finished product

658 Total

The Message

Black – Sin – Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

Red – Blood – 1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Blue – Baptism – Romans 6:4 – Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

White – Purity Psalm 51:7 – Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow

Green – Eternal life – 2Peter 3:18 –  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen

Gold – Heaven  – John 14:2 – In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.