Tag Archives: Philippines

Praying for Josh in the Philippines

On a family trip to Devil's Lake last week

On a family trip to Devil’s Lake last week

Our eldest Josh is flying out of O’Hare Wednesday bound for a six month internship with an organization that does relational ministry among the urban poor in the Philippines. Anyway, for my part, I would like to recruit some folks to pray for what will surely be an extremely challenging half year. Would you consider being a part? He wrote a Facebook post today (below) and gave me permission to share it with you, complete with a way to stay updated. I know the prayers of God’s people will make all the difference in the life of my son. Thanks!

In just a few days I will be embarking on a 6 month service and learning experience in the Philippines. There, I will be interning with an organization which focuses on relational ministry among the urban poor in Manila. I’m so excited to see what God is doing in this particular community, and will hopefully be able to be a small part of that as he continues to work there.

During this time, I will have very limited internet access. For this reason and a few others, I will not be updating my Facebook profile while I’m on my internship (although I will still check occasionally if you send me a message!)

Instead of simply “disconnecting” however, I want to keep in touch with some of you on a deeper and more meaningful level. During my internship in the Philippines, I will be sending out monthly updates via email to those of you who want to know what is going on with me and my community. These will not be overly intimate or revealing. Nor will I have the time to make it personal to each of you. Yet, they should be interesting, including quick updates and descriptive vignettes, while still remaining short (hopefully with some photos too!).

They will by no means come close to being exhaustive. But they will be more meaningful and representative of my experience than a few photos and status updates. You can feel free to respond, and, due to my internet constraints, I may or may not get the chance to write back. Or you can simply read or skim it as you would a Facebook page.

HOWEVER. In order for this to work, I need you to let me know if you want to be on the list! I will be on Facebook for the next few days Before that time, please send me an email at or Facebook message me your email address if you want to receive the emails.

Don’t feel like you have to be my best friend or something to get these emails. Even if we’ve had just one good conversation I’d love to keep in touch. And honestly, it would be a honor to share some of my life with you. Please let me know!

As always, your prayers for me are greatly appreciated.


Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Uncategorized


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How to Find Restoration in the Midst of a Broken Life

“Rog, we’ve decided not to send you to the Philippines. We wanted to send someone who was actually…walking with God.” The words of my Navigator leader Dave Ostendorf stung pretty deeply. Had it really come to this?

My good friend Carl Bergstrom and I had been slated to be summer missionaries to the Philippines in the summer of 1986. I had sent out support letters and was financially pretty much ready to go. But other areas of my life didn’t evidence the same readiness. Carl would make the trip on his own that summer.

My troubles had started the previous summer (’85) with panic attacks, which morphed into a horrific bout with OCD during the ’85 – ’86 school year. At the end of the first semester, heading home for Christmas, I was placed on academic probation. I had always been a good student, and my shame was palpable.

And so when that conversation early in 1986 with Dave O came about, I guess I should not have been surprised. He wasn’t speaking of gross sin in my life…just plain old sin, which I guess is gross enough. Skipping class, blowing off responsibilities, pretty much caught up in myself, I wasn’t a good candidate for a summer mission trip in Illinois, let alone the Philippines.

“So Rog, here’s what we’d like you to do,” Dave continued. “We don’t want you burdened with any responsibilities like leading Bible studies or prayer meetings. We just want you to go to class, study, read your Bible and pray. That’s all. We want you to walk with God.”

And somehow, some way, I began to do what he said. I began to read my Bible, and I started in Jeremiah. I don’t know why this particular book exactly, but looking back thirty years, I remember those days in Jeremiah as especially sweet. Soon God would bring another godly leader into my life who would issue a different and important challenge, and through it all my year of Hell would eventually come to an end. I needed a C average that spring semester to escape academic expulsion, and my grade point for that semester was exactly a C.

And so it was that I was reading God’s word just yesterday, reading through Jeremiah’s other book, Lamentations, and another word from that beleaguered prophet brought me back to my experiences 30 years before…

Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old—

Lamentations 5:21 (ESV)

The principle from this verse is clear – when life is falling apart, when we are in desperate need of personal restoration and renewal, we should always seek first to be restored to Him. Jeremiah says, “Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may…”

How foolish we are when we, the people of God, try to put the pieces of a broken life back together on our own. Our restoration, our renewal always begins with Him.


Posted by on October 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


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