Thursday, December 26, 2013


The Ark
Do you remember Jason Russel.... 
Kony 2012 filmmaker Jason Russell was moving at a frenetic pace, crisscrossing the country doing interviews and making appearances, trying to keep up with the viral success of his campaign.
And then came the naked public meltdown on a San Diego street that was captured on video.
He addressed the bizarre incident in a new video he hopes will bring interest and action back to Kony 2012, a campaign that calls for the arrest of alleged Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.
"My mind betrayed me and I was hospitalized," Russell said in the new video. "If you're put in the position to give answers to every question a dozen times over, your mind starts to lose track of where you are, if you've slept, who's for you, who's against you."

Since then I’ve heard him speak and talk about what he went through. It blows my mind. It puts fear in my heart. It makes me question, “Lord am I the right guy for this job? Am I ready for the national stage, for national scrutiny?” I don’t know. It’s scary to think about. You know after hearing his story I got on my knees and I prayed to God and I wept over this. Lord protect me. Protect this project. Protect what we’re trying to do here. I don’t know…

 I’m easily distracted. My heart is fickle. Beyond that, so many times I want the glory. I want the glory. I want people to look at me and think "Look at what Steve has done". I was on Skype with Fred the other day, Fred from Uzima. And he said this, he like, “I’m excited to get done with 60 years of ministry together and to look back at what God has done. To be able stand together and look back at what God has done over the last 60 years.” And I gotta tell ya man that was so humbling. It was so exciting.

I guess my fear is like am I ready for the national stage? Is this project ready for national scrutiny? Can I handle it? And I don’t know. I’m scared of it. For the first time in this project I’m actually scared and it’s not because of a wild beast eating me or getting hit by a car or getting attacked by somebody or whatever. This is like a legitimate fear of failure. Or not meeting some standard…or I don’t know…but I’ve been questioning God if I’m the right man for the job.

This whole last year  the theme was never say no. Never say no to any request on this project. And I learned a lot and I got to do a lot. But something I realized was I wasn’t being the capitan of the ship. I was letting outside influences determine the course of my project. I wasn’t staying focused on my task. And I need to put boundaries in place to protect this, to protect the project, to protect myself, to protect Uzima. Maybe its cynical to think that there are people or that there are forces working against this project at some level, but I’m a Christian, I am doing this for the Lord, and I absolutely believe that the enemy wants to stop what I’m doing and what we’re doing.

And I think looking at this Jason Russell, Invisible Children and Joseph Kony thing it hit me. Hard. It put it into perspective. The reality of what is going on here. If last year was about never say no, this year is about being a better steward of the project. This year is about being a better leader. This is about being a better manager of what God has given me and what’s in front of me.

You know, I’ve always wanted to be a leader. I think on some level I’ve always wanted to be leading and the Captain of the ship, I guess. Soy capit├ín! But I think now that I’m here, I realize the cost of it. I realize that it’s just not about being the one in charge. It’s about being the one that is responsible for it all. Now I know, listen I’ve heard it all, I have heard all the, ya know, “with great power comes great responsibility” or ya know…whatever leadership you can think of, I’ve heard them. But I’ve never understood it until I was here where there is actual, legitimate cost. People, the children, the rehab, my best friend, there is a lot on the line here. Not that I didn’t take it seriously, but I just... Maybe I didn’t see how fragile it is, I guess. With that said though, with the fear of being in leadership, with the fear of the national stage, I guess, I am very, very, very hopeful. Needle2Square is going through some big changes. We’ve had to grow as the need has grown in Africa. We’re having to change focus a little bit. Change the focus of the message because things are different now. As the leaders, as ST and I have talked about it, as my board has talked about it, and his board, and Fred and I… Ya know, we’re having to make some big changes because things are changing. The need is changing there over in Africa. The need has gotten bigger and broader. Ya know, the involvement of everybody else has opened more possibilities. I’ve needed to create a better infrastructure for my project  a better way of doing things and that’s really exciting. And I’m very hopeful. And I honestly feel like this is the year. This is the year that... God’s going to do something and that’s scary. I’m gonna quickly read something…

 I’m going to try to apply how I feel to a story in the Bible. It’s Noah’s Ark. So God tells Noah he’s gonna to flood the earth and he says I need you to build an ark. And I’m going to read to you what God tells him to build.

First of all, this is the very first boat in the history of mankind. This is the first ark. And God is giving the plans to Noah. So, God who knows everything, knows it all, gives the blueprints of building this ark to Noah. I’m gonna read it and I’m gonna explain how I feel and what I’m thinking.

So it’s Genesis Chapter 6, and verse 14 is where I’m going to pick up:
So make yourself an ark of cypress[c] wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.[d] 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit[e] high all around.[f] Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 

 What I find so interesting about this boat. The very boat that God told him to build, doesn’t have a rudder and it doesn’t have a compass or even a sail. The very boat, first boat in history doesn’t have a way to steer, and doesn’t have a way to navigate where you are going. Doesn’t have a compass. And honestly, that’s how I feel like this project is sometimes. I honestly feel like sometimes Im drifting in flood waters “I’m out here, God. I’ve done what you’ve asked me to do. You didn’t give me the tools I needed to succeed, God. All I got is this goat. And now I’ve got the Bell’s Palsy. I have to talk; to be able to communicate CLEARLY. And not look like a crazy person or like I’m handicapped. My project is already weird enough. I’m walking across America with a goat and now I got a handicap, now I got this droopy face. God, do you hear me? I’m doing what you told me to do!" 

And you start thinking, “Did I miss a step? Did I forget something in the blueprints? Did I not hear God right? There’s not the proper tools here! I can’t steer this thing! There’s no wind, there’s no sail. How we gonna get anywhere? There’s no compass! I don’t know where I’m going!”

Have you ever felt like that? I  think about being on the boat; Im Noah and my son Ham comes up and says, “Okay, what’s next? How do we get there?” You start looking for the steering wheel and everybody is looking to you for leadership. “How do we steer this thing? How we gonna make this work? How we gonna get anywhere?”

right now this is the words that are constantly in the back playing in my head “I’m not raising the money. It’s not working. How ya gonna do this, Steve?”

lets go back to the story of the ark.

What’s the bird that Noah sends out? It’s the dove. And what is the branch that it brings back? It is the olive branch. And throughout history what do those represent? In the bible, the dove represents the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, the olive branch in peace.

here it is... heres my hope... here is the answer to how Im going to do it...

All I have is the GOD. Ill I have his the Holy Spirit bringing me peace. It’s gonna get done. I have no other assurances that is gonna happen. All I have is the Holy Spirit bringing me peace and that’s it. We’re not raising a lot of money right now and it can be discouraging. It can be very discouraging. All I have is the Holy Spirit. All I have is God right now. That’s it.

My prayer is that the Lord makes me ready. If the Lord is going to make this thing a national story, if this is going to make it, make it big, then Lord make me ready.