Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Am Second

Hello, I hope everybody is having a blessed week! I have recently come across an awesome website that helps to make sharing the gospel with others easier. it is called  I Am Second. The site has videos about people from every walk of life saying that they are second because they have made Jesus Christ first in their lives. They have videos from pro athletes, pastors, actors, authors, musicians, NASCAR drivers, charity founders, pro fishermen, army captains, skateboarders, terminal cancer patients, beauty pageant winners, and even a presidential candidate among others.

I have a challenge for everyone this week. Find a video from this site that speaks to you, and share it with others. Whether this means simply posting it to facebook or actually specifically sending a link to the video to specific people is up to you. I haven't watched all the videos on the site yet, but here are my three favorite so far...

Colt McCoy, former UT longhorn and current Cleveland Browns quarterback

Chris Plenkenpol, Army Captain, Iraq war veteran

Tamara Jolee, Journalist and terminal cancer patient

I pray that everyone accepts this challenge and shares a great testimony with some people that really need to hear it. Thanks so much for reading and considering this, but thank you even more for being my friend. God bless!!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Faith is more important than immediate results

I want to illustrate a Biblical point through the example of one extraordinary but short life. Here is the principal: a life lived by faith doesn’t always produce positive results in human terms. Outward appearances of success don’t always indicate faith, and outward appearances of failure don’t always reflect a lack of faith. A faithful servant is someone who does exactly what their master tells them, whatever the outcome may be. We all see examples of televangelists and mega church preachers who appear successful but are probably doing more harm than good with their prosperity message and watered down version of the gospel. Also, there are plenty of examples of faithful people who had rough lives or were martyred early in their ministry. Here is the story of one of my heroes, William Borden.

William Borden was born in 1887 into wealth and luxury as the heir to the Borden dairy. When he was young, he committed his life to Christ after hearing famous evangelist D.L. Moody speak. His parents gave the young millionaire a trip around the world as a high school graduation present. It was during this trip that he committed to forsake his inheritance and dedicate his life to full time missions in China after seeing how many people in the world were struggling and how many people needed Jesus. When he got home and told his family about his decision, they were confused and distressed. His father told him to at least sell his share of the company and save the money to live off of when times get tough. Borden refused and wrote two words on the inside cover of his Bible, “NO RESERVE.”

Borden eventually finished college and seminary after setting up a very successful student ministry at both schools. Shortly before leaving, Borden’s father told him that he would always have a job opening at the company if he decided to come home. Borden declined and wrote another two words in his Bible, “NO RETREAT.”

Less than a month after landing in Egypt for mission training, William Borden contracted spinal meningitis and died. As he lay on his deathbed, he wrote a final two words in his Bible, “NO REGRETS.”

News of his death soon spread throughout the world. Most people scoffed at the seemingly worthlessness of his life. “He gave up all his fortune to help people, but didn’t even get the chance to start.” “How sad!” “How pathetic!” “Where was his God when this happened?”

However, many Christians viewed it differently. If he was willing to give up so much and still have no regrets, maybe I can give up the little I have to do the same. Thousands of people committed to enter the mission field as a direct result of the life and death of William Borden. It is impossible to know the number of millions of people that came to know Christ indirectly through Borden. At the time of his death, it seemed like William Borden was a life tragically cut short before he could fulfill his purpose, but his example radically changed the mission field forever.

His six words he wrote in his Bible still serve as guiding principles for those in the mission field.

No reserve- Luke 14:33,  “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” We can’t hold anything back, we must give it all to the LORD if we are truly going to serve Him.

No retreat- hold true to what you are called to do. If you know you are doing what God wants you to do, don’t let anything any human does or says change what you are doing. See Philippians 3, especially 12-14.

No regrets- Borden couldn’t have possibly known the effect his life would have, so why did he have no regrets at the time of his death? Because he knew he had done everything possible to serve God. Whether it makes sense to us at the time or not, being in the center of God’s will is always the best place to be.

This principle has been a tough lesson, but has also given me tremendous comfort the last two and a half years. From a worldly perspective, I haven’t really done much since graduating from college in May 2008. But words can’t adequately describe how much I have grown spiritually since then. I’ve also been blessed to go on three foreign mission trips where I’ve had the opportunity to share the gospel with over 40,000 people. Waiting on God’s timing is usually the most difficult thing in life to do. It is much easier for me to follow God telling me to go do something that seems crazy than to follow when He says to be still and wait. I sure hope God doesn’t have me waiting around for much longer! But I know that following Him wherever that leads is the most important thing in life.

Thanks for reading, I hope everybody had a wonderful thanksgiving and has a blessed rest of the week!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

Hello everybody, Happy Thanksgiving! I thought it would be appropriate to share my favorite Bible passage about giving thanks, Psalm 118. There are also a few nerdy reasons why I love this passage so much. There are exactly 1188 chapters in the Bible. Psalm 118 is the “central” chapter of the Bible. In fact, the “central” verse is Psalm 118:8. Does this “central” verse and chapter have special meaning? I’ll let you decide for yourself!


Psalm 118

 1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
   his love endures forever.
 2 Let Israel say:
   “His love endures forever.”
3 Let the house of Aaron say:
   “His love endures forever.”
4 Let those who fear the LORD say:
   “His love endures forever.”
 5 When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD;
   he brought me into a spacious place.
6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
   What can mere mortals do to me?
7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
   I look in triumph on my enemies.
 8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
   than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
   than to trust in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me,
   but in the name of the LORD I cut them down.
11 They surrounded me on every side,
   but in the name of the LORD I cut them down.
12 They swarmed around me like bees,
   but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns;
   in the name of the LORD I cut them down.
13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
   but the LORD helped me.
14 The LORD is my strength and my defense;
   he has become my salvation.
 15 Shouts of joy and victory
   resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!
 16 The LORD’s right hand is lifted high;
   the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!”
17 I will not die but live,
   and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
18 The LORD has chastened me severely,
   but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;
   I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD
   through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
   you have become my salvation.
 22 The stone the builders rejected
   has become the cornerstone;
23 the LORD has done this,
   and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The LORD has done it this very day;
   let us rejoice today and be glad.
 25 LORD, save us!
   LORD, grant us success!
 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
   From the house of the LORD we bless you.
27 The LORD is God,
   and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
   up to the horns of the altar.
 28 You are my God, and I will praise you;
   you are my God, and I will exalt you.
 29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
   his love endures forever.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Godly Perspective on Struggles

The Christian life is full of trials and struggles. It’s how we face these struggles that will determine the fruits of our life. Today I want to talk about trying to view life from God’s perspective. This is much easier said than done, and of course truly seeing God’s perspective is only possible if He chooses to reveal it to you! But I firmly believe that looking at problems this way helps even if you can’t see the full picture.

Virtually everybody on earth is naturally myopic, or nearsighted, when it comes to looking at their life. We focus on the short-term rather than looking at the big picture and getting a better perspective on things. I believe people have problems for only two reasons, the natural consequences of poor decisions, and God is trying to teach something.

Consequences for poor decisions fall into two categories, results for your bad choices, and results of the bad choices people around you make. Cause and effect in individual lives is easy. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight and become unhealthy. If you choose to look at everything pessimistically, you will probably be a negative unhappy person, etc… The effects of others’ poor choices are more difficult to understand. Somebody destroying their life through drugs or any other perversion hurts everybody that cares about them, their choices don’t just effect themselves. The actions of criminals frequently hurt innocent victims, etc... This is a natural consequence of the free will that God gave all of us. We aren’t puppets. We have the power to make decisions that can either do harm or good. When people choose to do wrong, others get hurt. I absolutely believe that God has the power to intervene in any situation. And I believe he does intervene sometimes. This is why it is so hard to deal with bad things when they happen for seemingly no reason. “Why did God allow this to happen?” Is probably the most difficult question we will ever face because the answer isn’t always the same and isn’t usually what we want to hear. I’ll share what I believe is a better way to view this a little bit later, but now I want to talk about the second reason for trials.

Sometimes God purposefully puts us in difficult situations in order to teach us and strengthen us. If life were easy, we wouldn’t have to lean on God for strength. We wouldn’t appreciate blessings if we didn’t first understand troubles. I believe this is why so few “Christians” in America are truly following Christ. Whether Americans realize it or not, we have it good. We are blessed with an abundance of food, shelter, and security. Most Americans look at their life and don’t see a daily need for God’s provision. They believe they have plenty to survive on their own. In many other countries, daily survival is bordering on miraculous. You don’t know where your next meal is coming from, but you trust God will provide it. On average, the Christians I’ve met in Africa and the Philippines have a much higher level of joy than Americans because they truly appreciate the “little things” we take for granted such as food, shelter, and family that loves us. They appreciate these things because they know what it is like to not have them. I believe the best way to be able to praise God in the good times involves having our faith strengthened during the bad times. We must lean on God during struggles before we can dance with Him in celebration!

Once again, this is much easier said than done, and everything looks better in hindsight. There has been countless times in my life where I have prayed for specific things and then thanked God looking back that He didn’t give me what I thought I wanted because what He had planned was much better than what I wanted even though I was upset and didn’t see the bigger picture at the time. I love the analogy of mountains as struggles. We humans look at mountains and how huge they are and can’t imagine how much work would be required to get through them. If you have ever been on a plane, you understand how a little change in perspective can change things. When flying over mountains at 30,000 feet, it all looks like flat ground, and this is still looking at things from a human perspective. How much more of a difference could it make if we truly looked at life from God’s eyes?! The problems that seem huge to us are nothing to Him.

My ultimate view on earthly struggles is this: I know that I am just a worthless sinner, and I deserve nothing more than to burn in Hell forever. Anything other than that is better than I deserve. But God loves ME so much that He sent His son to die on the cross in MY place. And I know that I have been forgiven because I have Jesus in my heart and I know that I will spend eternity in heaven. No bad thing that happens on earth should affect the joy of knowing Jesus and His love for us.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, I pray that everyone is having a truly blessed week 

In Christ,
Steven Stockwell

I want to leave with one of my favorite verses and the best advise anybody could ever give. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Disproving Darwin Scientifically

Please feel free to forward this!!!

No matter what some people might say, Darwin was a good scientist and his theory of evolution is a sound scientific theory. This doesn’t mean that it is true, it simply means that it can be tested and shown to either be true or false.

Darwin’s theory in short: life spontaneously coalesced through a series of random chemical reactions. Through countless small mutations over millions of years and natural selection, life evolved from simplicity to the complex world we see today.

Darwin himself showed two ways to test whether or not his theory is accurate. Let’s look at the first.

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”

There are countless examples of this. In Darwin’s time, microscope technology was very primitive. The cell appeared to be a randomly functioning blob. The advances in understanding of cellular machinery in the last 50 years have caused Darwin’s theory to “completely break down.” Molecular biochemist, Dr Michael Behe coined the term “irreducible complexity,” which describes a complex system that couldn’t possibly function if any individual part of it was removed. This implies that any system with irreducible complexity could not have evolved naturally because anything simpler or with less components would not be able to function or survive on its own.

A simple example of irreducible complexity is a mousetrap. The very simplest mousetrap has at least 6 pieces. If any of these pieces are removed, it is completely useless for catching mice.

Virtually any system known in life can be broken down to something that is irreducibly complex. Famous examples include the eye, blood clotting, flagellum, cell function, and the bombardier beetle among endless examples. I don’t have time to go into detail about each one. Please google them if you want to learn more. I want to focus on the most important example, the origin of life.

Life changes over time. This is a simple fact. People are bigger, faster, and stronger than they were in the past. Corn ears used to be less than an inch long. It is easy to see why evolution seems logical. The main problem with evolution is the start, how did life form naturally? Basically, it couldn’t have!

One of the simplest forms of self-sustaining life is the single celled organism called the amoeba. The information contained in the DNA structure of the amoeba is enough to fill 1000 sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica! The thought that this amount of data could spontaneously come together in the proper order on accident is completely absurd. There is absolutely no legitimate scientific explanation for how life could have naturally formed and there is a reason why other planets show no signs of life despite having evidence of water and near optimal conditions. Many prominent scientists believe that life couldn’t have formed on earth.

Francis Crick, famous molecular biologist and co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us could now state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it wrong.” So did Crick decide to believe in intelligent design? Nope, he came up with another idea called “directed panspermia,” which theorizes that life originated somewhere else and was somehow transported to earth. How ridiculous is that!? And it still fails to explain how life could form wherever it originated from.

Nobel Prize winning scientist George Wald, “Most modern biologists, having reviewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis, yet unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation, are left with nothing. I think a scientist has no choice but to approach the origin of life through a hypothesis of spontaneous generation… One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are, as a result, I believe in spontaneous generation.” Basically, Wald is saying, there is no evidence for spontaneous generation of life, everything points to creation, but because I am a scientist, I reject God and believe in evolution! Many scientists have this view, but at least Wald is willing to admit it! The excuse Wald gives is not science, but rather time itself, “Time is in fact the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of the order of two billion years. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human experience is meaningless here. Given so much time, the "impossible" becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles.”

Now lets get to the second way Darwin said his theory could be disproved:

“The geological record is extremely imperfect and this fact will to a large extent explain why we do not find intermediate varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps. He who rejects these views on the nature of the geological record will rightly reject my whole theory. The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graded organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.”

Darwin said that if his theory is true as time progresses and more fossils are found, the evolutionary gaps should be narrowed and filled in to reveal a smooth slow change from species to species going all the way back to the beginning. This is obviously not what we have seen since Darwin’s time. We have found fossils for nearly 250,000 different species and the gaps remain virtually identical to what they were 120 years ago. There are actually fewer plausible examples of transitional species now than there were then.

Mathematician and philosopher David Berlinski, “The question to be raised, and it should be raised whenever an evolutionary sequence is mentioned…what are exactly the predicted properties one would expect to find as one passes from a land dwelling creature to a sea dwelling creature? Specifically, how many changes are required to go from a creature such as _______, which seems to have been land dwelling creature to some, to a creature that spends the entire portion of its life in the ocean? Curiously enough, this is not a question that evolutionary biologists ask a whole lot. I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations myself and the most modest estimate I could come up with is that an organism requires roughly 50,000 morphological changes to adapt itself to the open ocean. And as soon as we introduce a quantitative estimate, however weak, however flabby, however spontaneous, then a great deal of puzzlement starts to intrude into an otherwise sunny picture. 50,000 changes and we’ve got two members of the sequence? Where are the other 49,998 members of that sequence if Darwinian changes are incremental and are small? We are not talking about changes that are arbitrary. A creature must have these changes if it is going to survive in the open ocean. And any attempt to put a quantitative number should induce a profound sense of perplexity because of the number of changes are so much greater than anything we see in the transitional record. Now, what is the proper explanation for this? Please understand, I don’t have it…but neither do the other guys. And in my opinion, they refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the question…that is a fundamental question in paleontology…how many changes are required? Can those changes be compared to the fossil record? And if they are compared to the fossil record, why do we see such deficiencies in the record as compared to the necessary changes? A very important issue.”

The fossil record easily shows that Darwin’s theory of steady slow mutation of species is not true. Stephen Jay Gould, anthropologist and evolutionary biologist agrees, “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of the fossils.” So does Gould accept creation? Nope, he comes up with a new theory called “punctuated equilibrium.”  This theory says that evolution is highly unsteady. Large changes will occur, then the species will remain the same for an extended period of time until another large change occurs. This theory is not logical scientifically, but is actually supported by the lack of fossil evidence for steady evolution.

Conclusion: Darwin’s theory for how life began has been broken down as indescribably impossible, and the slow change of species has been completely debunked by the fossil records. We have two choices: we can believe in creation, or we can believe the modernized theories of evolution: That time mysteriously and unexplainably over several billion years caused life to form and come to earth and that millions of years of illogical herky-jerky large-step changes of species caused what we have today. I’ve said this all my life, it requires more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in creation!

Why is all this important? Evolution implies that God doesn’t exist and that Jesus didn’t matter. The other side understands this!

Richard Bozarth, famous atheist, “Evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the Son of God…and if Jesus was not the redeemer who dies for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Give to Caesar what is Caesar's

Hello, today I want to share something I originally heard from Ravi Zacharias. He is a brilliant apologist and I highly recommend looking up some of his work if you don’t know him very well. I want to talk about Jesus’ response in Luke 20 where the priests tried to trick Him by asking about taxes.

“Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, "Show me a Denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?" They said, "Caesar’s." He said to them, "Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

I think this passage brings up a question, and shows you how to find the answer to that question. Jesus says, “give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” The coin is Caesar’s because it has his image on it, but what is God’s? Logically, what is God’s must be something that has God’s image on it. I believe this is what Jesus would have said if somebody had asked Him “what is God’s?”

Genesis 1:26,27 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” So God created man in his own image.

We are God’s own possession and He proved this by “branding” us and stamping His own image and likeness on us. Therefore, we are to give to God what is God’s. We are to give up ourselves and follow God. This is summed up by my life verse, Galatians 2;20. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this. I pray that everyone has a blessed week!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paul's prayer for the Ephesians

Hello everyone, sorry i didn't send anything last week. I didn't have access to a computer where I was. Anyway, my father is safely home after having a great trip to Brazil. He had the opportunity to share the gospel with around 2000 people, most of whom had never heard the gospel before. Many of them made the commitment to follow Jesus so please continue to pray for them and their continued walk with Christ... Today I want to share the prayer Paul had for the church at Ephesus. It is the same prayer I have for my friends, family, and for every person on earth.

Ephesians 3:14-21 "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

P.S. I need some prayer right now. I might have the opportunity to help begin a ministry with some pretty lofty goals. I need lots of discernment to determine if this is something that God wants me to be a part of. Please ask me if you want more specific details

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Prayer Request

Hey everybody, i just wanted to ask everybody for some prayer this week. my father is leaving today for a mission trip to Brazil. he is leading a team to the cities of Sao Luis and Maranhao. this is an area dominated by the Quilombo people. the Quilombo people are the descendants of runaway slaves who escaped the Portuguese slave-traders and continued living a tribal lifestyle in the Amazon. there is a great need for these people to hear the gospel and my father will have the opportunity to speak with several thousand of them. he will be there until the 26th of october. if you want more info about this trip or the ministry in general, please check out the website i've linked to below. thanks so much for the prayers, i pray that everyone is having a blessed week.

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Narrow Path

One of the most well known passages in scripture is Matthew 7:13-14,

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

This is a great scripture, I think most people understand its meaning. There are two possible paths that people can take with the belief that God, Heaven, and eternal life lie at the end. The first is the logical, well-paved, and well-traveled highway of good works and religion. Many people will take this path because it makes sense and looks good from the human perspective, but the Bible is abundantly clear that this path leads to destruction and eternity in Hell. The second option is the winding, rocky, narrow path through the woods that is salvation by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ as LORD and savior. This path doesn’t look good. It is counterintuitive and doesn’t make sense from the human perspective, but the Bible promises us that this path is the only way we can get to Heaven.

Its not the understanding of this scripture I’ve struggled with, its the application of this scripture to everyday life. This is something God really convicted me of and showed me the truth a few years ago. **Many Christians are so focused on not stepping off the path that they forget to move forward on it.** We often focus more on not sinning than we focus on actually following God. One of Satan’s most effective lies is that we are unable to be used by God due to our sins. We will never be completely free from sin while we are on earth. We will all continue to have lustful desires, and tell lies, and be proud and selfish, etc… If humans must be perfect to be used by God, nobody on earth could ever be used. This is a lie from the enemy designed to take away our effectiveness. If Satan can’t get us to reject Jesus completely, the next best thing he can do is to take away our effectiveness to tell others about Jesus and guide them in their relationship with Him. If we keep our faith to ourselves, the Devil wins. We are called to be fishers of men. If we aren’t helping others grow closer to Christ, what is our purpose for being on earth?

I’m in no way condoning sin. We are commanded to hate evil and to hate sin. If there is sin in your life, if you are stepping off the good path, you must confess, repent, get the sin out of your life and get back on the right path. I’m simply saying that you shouldn’t dwell on your sins and allow them to cause unnecessary separation between you and God.

1 John 1:7-9 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 cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Romans 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death”

Once God has forgiven us, we are completely free. Why would we continue to withhold forgiveness from ourselves after we have already been completely forgiven by God? Victory over sin doesn’t mean that you will never sin again. It means that we are no longer slaves to sin and that we have victory over the judgment and punishment for sin. Any time I am about to go witnessing, the Devil always tries to remind me of sins from the past and tries to convince me that I am not good enough to tell people the gospel. I always tell him, “You’re right. I’m not good, I’m just forgiven. Now get out of the way while I tell them how they can be forgiven too!” This has also happened each of the last few weeks right before I start writing the Wednesday email! I can always determine how close I am following God by how much the Devil is trying to attack me. If I’m not being attacked, I know I’m not doing something right!

Summary: I know I’m going to screw up and sin, but I’m not going to let that stop me from following Jesus and achieving the purpose He has planned for my life. I’m going to run along the narrow path. If I stumble or even if I fall, I will get up and start running along the path again as soon as possible.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I pray that you will be blessed as you travel along the narrow path. 

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sin Defeated Three Ways

Justification, Sanctification, Glorification:

These are three words that are said frequently in church that I feel don’t get explained nearly well enough or often enough. I don’t think I truly understood what these words mean or their relationship with each other until I read “all of grace” by my hero Charles Spurgeon. That is the base for everything I say here today.

Our Lord Jesus came to take away sin in three ways; He came to remove the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and the presence of sin.

First is Justification, the removal of the penalty of sin. We all have sinned, and we all deserve to go to Hell for our sins. But when we turn from our sins and accept Jesus into our hearts as LORD and savior, the guilt of our sins is washed away by the blood Jesus shed for us on the cross. The moment we are born again we are completely 100% justified. You are exactly as justified one millisecond after giving your life to Christ as you will be after being in Heaven for 10,000 years. If you are saved, you and I are just as justified as Paul, Peter, Moses, Spurgeon or any other person in history. There is nothing we can do to become more justified because it is 100% the gift and work of God which we can only receive by grace through faith.

Next is sanctification, the removal of the power of sin. Human nature is to be selfish, evil, and an enemy of God. Romans 3:10-12 “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." We are naturally slaves to sin. Sanctification is the process in which we are freed from our sins. This is a constant battle with our flesh that will last as long as we are alive on earth. The goal is to be pure and holy and Christlike in all the parts of our life. This is not something we can do on our own because it is not in our nature. We must rely on God in order to be transformed and sanctified. Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh.” Sin binds us and takes away our joy and purpose in life. It is only through sanctification and breaking away from the yoke of sin that we are free to live for Christ. Jesus said in John 10:10 “The devil comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly.”

Last is glorification, the removal of the presence of sin. This is what will happen when the devil is permanently destroyed and we are all taken up into heaven. I don’t think anybody knows exactly how this will happen, but the Bible tells us it will so I don’t worry about it!

This is the Christian life:
  1. We were lost and deserving to go to Hell.
  2. We turn from our sins, give our lives to Christ and are instantly justified.
  3. The rest of our time on earth is spent in a battle with our flesh called sanctification
  4. Sin is permanently destroyed and we are in a state of glorification for eternity.

The Bible is abundantly clear that salvation doesn’t come by works or by any level of sanctification. But it is also clear that if there is no evidence of transformation, then justification probably has never happened and that person is probably not saved.

Thanks everyone for reading (-: hope everyone has a blessed week!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

P.S. Today through Sunday is the comal county fair. I’m looking for people who are willing to go witnessing with me there. It seems to be much more effective in small groups than when someone goes alone. I already have a few people going with me on Friday, but I’d love more and I’m looking for people who will go on Thursday and/or Saturday. Please let me know if you are interested.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Biblical meaning of "hope"

Before I start the note for this week, I want to make something completely clear. I do not consider myself a great theologian, a biblical scholar, or even a particularly important person. I am just a kid who loves Jesus and wants to tell as many people as possible everything I know about having a relationship with Him. This is basically a personal journal of things I am learning and struggling with in my life. It is incredibly humbling that so many people who I respect and could learn a lot from want to hear what I have to say. My number one goal in this is to share whatever God has laid on my heart for the week. My prayer is that if something has helped me with my walk with God, maybe it can help someone else also. That is why I’m committing to write this every week. As my friend I was with in Tanzania would say, I’m just a nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody who can save anybody…

Today, I want to talk about hope. Until recently, I’ve always struggled with the word hope and how it is used in the Bible. There are many passages that speak about “putting our hope of salvation in Jesus” or something very similar. See 1 Peter 1:13, Titus 1:2, 2:13, or 1 Timothy 4:10 if you want specific examples. My problem was this; salvation for eternity is the most important thing conceivable and I desire certainty about it. In common English usage, hope is an incredibly weak word. When someone says, “I hope this works,” how often does it work? “I hope you change your mind,” “I hope our team wins,” etc... the word hope normally implies a lack of confidence and an almost foolhardy blind faith that wants something to happen despite the odds against it. I don’t know about everyone else, but the English word hope doesn’t seem to fit the confidence and assurance that I have in God that He will do everything promised to us in the Bible. I was reading a commentary on Romans 5 when everything I thought about hope was changed.

The Greek words we translate as “hope” are the noun elpis, and the verb elpizo. Unlike the English word “hope,” these words contain absolutely NO uncertainty. The meaning of these words is something that 100% undoubtedly will happen, but simply hasn’t occurred yet. The way the Greeks would use these words might go like this; “I elpizo that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow,” or “I have elpis that this rock will eventually come back down to earth after I throw it.” Biblical hope has no doubts or uncertainties. We should have comfort and peace in knowing that every promise God gives us in the Bible is true.

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Revelation 3:20 Jesus said, “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” Joshua 1:5 “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 6:18-19 “God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”

We are still forced to use the word “hope” because there is no better word in the English language. However, learning that the biblical meaning of “hope” is solid, unshakeable, and inevitable has given me a new level of peace in my relationship with Christ.

I elpizo that this note has been an encouragement and I pray that you have a blessed week (-:

In Christ,
Steven Stockwell

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fruit of a Life Walking by the Spirit

While I was in Africa this summer, God connected a few passages of scripture that my mind has never connected previously which are obviously tied together.  I want to share it with you. The first scripture is Matthew 7:15-20

 15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”

I often ask myself, “What does my life look like to others?” “What fruit does my life produce?” “What should the fruit of my life look like?” And “How can my life bear good fruit?” Luke 18:19 says, “No one is good except God alone.” And Psalm 53:3 says, “They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” The Bible clearly tells us that we aren’t capable of doing good within our own flesh. So I believe the correct answer is found in Galatians 5:16-25

“16Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit”

Jesus says in Matthew 7 that in the same way you can recognize an apple tree by the fruit it produces, everybody should be able to recognize that you are a follower of Jesus by the fruits of your life. We should not be conformed to this world. We should be so filled with the Spirit that the fruit of the Spirit spill out onto others constantly. We should be so full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that anyone who looks at our life can’t help but to notice that there is something different about us. Jesus says in Matthew 5:16 "You are the light of the world… Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Is this what our lives look like? Because Jesus said in Matthew 7:19 ”Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” And James 2:26 says, “Faith without deeds is dead.” We know from many places in the Bible that we aren’t saved by any good deeds we can do, but that good deeds are the fruit of our salvation. So how are we saved? Let’s look at the next passage, Matthew 7:21-27

 21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.24 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."

Verse 21 states its not what you SAY, its actually DOING the will of the Father. And in verse 23 Jesus says, “Depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” This shows that salvation requires repentance. Jesus says in Luke 13:3 “Unless you repent, you will all perish.” We must turn from our sin, give up our selfish desires, we must die to our flesh, and we must trust and follow Jesus. He also says in verse 23, “ I never knew you.” This shows that we must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus says in Revelation 3:20 ”I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” This is the entire message of salvation from the Bible: we’ve all sinned, we all deserve to go to Hell, but Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and the only way to get to heaven is to turn from our sins and to trust and follow Jesus.

I was saved (born again, decided to follow Jesus) when I was 11 years old. That was when my life was changed and when Jesus came into my heart. I prayed something similar to this:

“Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I know that I deserve to go to Hell. But you love me so much that you were willing to take my place. You died for me on the cross to wash away my sins. And on the third day, you rose again to conquer death. I accept your gift of salvation. I could never earn it on my own. Jesus, come into my heart. I turn from my sins and I will follow you for the rest of my life. Amen!”

Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (master, in control of your life) and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

This is my challenge for everyone this week (Including myself). If you are saved, show it by being so full of the Spirit that everyone around you can’t help but to see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control exuding from you. BE HAPPY!!! (-: Thanks, hope to speak to everyone each Wednesday.

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Thursday, August 26, 2010

100 Days in Africa

It’s been the most amazing summer ever! There is nothing in the world I would rather have done than spend 14 weeks and 100 days telling people in Kenya and Tanzania the Good News of Jesus Christ.  After all was said and done, I ended up sharing the Gospel in 117 schools, 17 churches, and several days in markets and such. The teams I worked with were also able to distribute about 40,000 Gospel tracts and over 1000 Bibles.  Overall, I was blessed with the opportunity to present the Gospel to over 33,000 people and over 18,000 made first-time commitments to turn from their sin and trust, follow, and give their lives to Christ as LORD and Savior. These numbers are staggering and hard to believe, but I assure you the last number is rounded DOWN in all cases. My father has written a detailed essay about “numbers,” which is posted on his website and which I encourage everyone to read, entitled “Overwhelming Response To The Gospel:”

While in Africa, I was in urban areas along with completely undeveloped rural or bush areas. I was in areas that were majority Christian, majority tribal, and even several areas that were completely dominated by another religion that I’m not going to mention by name. I went to some areas where people warmly welcomed the Gospel and begged me to stay and speak to the students for hours, and we went to some areas where we faced heavy opposition to the Gospel. I even had the privilege of being arrested for preaching the Gospel for the first time! Anyway, I could write for hours about all that I’ve seen and done during this trip. If you want details about specific events during the trip, ask me in person or go back and read one of the many previously written notes.

I’ve met dozens of indigenous evangelists and pastors that our ministry has been able to train, equip, and partner with, who are continuing the work now that we are back at home. And I would love the opportunity to return and preach the Gospel to even more people; if God has it in His will for me to do so.

Friends, thanks again so much for all the prayers and support throughout this whirlwind unexpected spectacular summer!

Please join us in prayer for the continued discipleship of the thousands who committed to follow Jesus, for provision in the lives of the local evangelists and pastors, and for God to provide the approximately $5,000 still needed to cover my expenses for this mission.

In Christ,
Steven Stockwell
Galatians 2:20

PS:  For more information and photos from our missions in Kenya and Tanzania, visit

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Plan

well, the last time i wrote, we were planning to go to Nairobi. that didn't work out. even though the voting went smoothly, it turns out most schools in Kenya are closed for the entire month of august for normal holiday. we have now "confirmed" that Dan and i are traveling friday to a town in tanzania a 10 hour bus ride away called singida to do a week of ministry before heading back to the states. i don't know anything about this town, but i'm willing to bet that there are some people there that need to hear about Jesus :-) after this period of rest, i am very eager to get into some schools and churches to share the gospel. we don't know much about the specific plans, but we are trusting in God and the local evangelists we are working with for the details. please pray for open doors and open hearts in this town as Dan and i begin the lext leg of this wild trip.

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Prayers For Kenya

all right, the plan for now is to travel to Nairobi this weekend... if the elections today go smoothly. Kenya is voting today for a proposed new constitution for the country. last time elections happened in Kenya, there was much rioting and lots of blood shed. as long as there is no major problems this time around, Dan and i should leave saturday for Nairobi and begin school ministry on monday. but we need some serious prayer for these elections to be smooth, honest, and fair. we also need prayer for discernment and direction to see if this is actually where we are supposed to go. Dan and i will be teaching a bible study tonight and friday we are scheduled to speak in 2 high schools. we have been trying to keep ourselves busy praying and reading and witnessing to everybody we come into contact with. but this isn't easy here because very few people can speak fluent english. if there is violence in Kenya about the elections we will probably end up just having to come home, so we are definitely leaning on God to put his hand of peace and provision on Kenya during this vote. Thanks everyone!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Monday, July 26, 2010

My First Exorcism!

sunday was a great day, spoke in a church early and then drove a few hours into Masai land where a church had recently been planted to preach and attend a baptism service. that was awesome! today was great too, dan and i did three schools. the first was pretty normal, but the second was particularly memorable. we shared the gospel to around 300 students and about 150 committed to give their lives to Christ. however, after we spoke two girls were brought out who were screaming and writhing around and we were told they had been possessed by demons. it was pretty much exactly as the bible described, they would scream a shrill disturbing cry that got continuously louder until we told the demon, " LEAVE THIS GIRL IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST!!!" then both girls almost went to sleep and then awoke with a calm spirit just like nothing had happened! isn't God soooo good? she spoke swahili, so i don't know everything that was said, but both girls prayed to receive Christ and both seemed at great peace. one was a "christian" and one was from the specific group i'm not supposed to mention by name... the last school was awesome because it was so large. it is a boarding school with a christian headmaster, so he invited us to come after school hours and to speak as long as we wanted. we gave an extended program to the 1500 students and over 900 committed to give their lives to Christ not counting the 400 that said they were already born again before today!

don't know exactly what is happening in the future, but dan and i are fairly certain we are done in Tanzania. please pray for double portions of discernment for us about where we are supposed to be next.

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mlandizi and Chalinze, best week yet!

BWANA ASIFIWE!!! (praise the lord in Swahili) this was probably the most epic week of ministry i have ever been a part of. dan and i went into an area that is over 98% traditional tribal religions, witchcraft, and mostly a specific group that i'm not supposed to mention specifically... at least it WAS 98% before this week! we spoke in 34 elementary, middle, and high schools. i spoke in 19 schools to about 6500 students and saw about 4250 students commit to give their lives to Jesus Christ as LORD and savior!!! we even planted 2 churches on accident lol. we faced some heavy opposition from that specific group in the area but God is so good and kept the doors open for us all the way! i have never seen an area that was so ready for an awakening and so in need of the good news of Jesus Christ. i think the Holy Spirit is about to sweep the entire region and a multitude of people are about to give their lives to Christ... most of the schools we spoke in said that we were the first Christians to visit their area, we were definitely the first western evangelists to visit there in most of their lifetimes. most of the students in the schools had never even seen someone with white skin in person! God is so good! we are back in Dar for the week and hopefully will be able to visit many schools.

please continue to pray for us as we seek God's will for where and when we are supposed to share the gospel! thanks so much!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Main Week in Dar Es Salaam

This is the first major project that we have attempted in Tanzania, so we didn't know exactly what to expect, but i personally was praying for more than this. the 7 americans spoke in 24 schools this week, 6 less than i did the week before last by myself lol. we were able to do some very productive ministry though. we were still able to reach several thousand people with the message of Christ. also, the tanzanian church leaders seemed to start to get what our ministry was all about by the end of the week and seemed excited to continue going into schools after we leave. also, my father had an opportunity to spend several hours with the archbishop of the entire anglican church for all of eastern africa. so we might be able to do great things with him in the future. we also just finished the conference today which went very well. dan and i are preparing for our upcoming month of ministry. next week we will be in a town about 1 hour north of Dar, but we still don't know any plans for the weeks after that. the rest of the american team is heading home tomorrow so please pray that they have a safe flight home and pray that we will have great ministry opportunities in the weeks ahead. i don't have a clue when the next time i'll be able to find a computer with internet access, so i'll try to keep everybody up to date but it just might not be possible :-( love everybody and miss home, but love telling people the good news about Jesus!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Monday, July 12, 2010

Whole New Country

arrived in Dar late saturday night after over 24 hours on a bus. woke up after 4 hours of sleep and preached two services at church starting at 7:00 AM :-) resting today and preparing to start school ministry tuesday. internet here is pretty good but costs money per minute you are on it so i don't know how often i will be getting on. and i will probably not have time to tag anyone in any future notes, so if you want to keep up with me just check my profile every few days to see if i have added anything. please pray for all of us as we minister to many thousands of people here in Tanzania.

P.S. i just found out the date of my return ticket to the states... AUGUST 23rd!!! hahaha i will be here for another month :-) i'm not even sure which country i will be in next but i know that God is good and all i want to do in life is follow him!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Last Day in Kisumu

well, its time to begin the next leg of this whirlwind adventure. tomorrow i will be leaving on a 6 hour bus ride to Nairobi, and then saturday i will be on a 12ish hour bus ride to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. i will be riding with 5 other Kenyan DSEA NEST members and joining the rest of the American and Tanzanian team who should already be there on the ground. i believe but am not 100% sure that i will be there sharing the gospel for three weeks and then flying back to Texas. compared to Kenya, Tanzania should be a step back in time and several steps down in standard of living so i'm not sure how much i will be able to get on the internet and i will be shocked if there is a phone that i can call home from. this country is dark spiritually as well, only 30% of the country calls themselves Christian with 35% mzlum and 35% tribal religions. and of course few of the people who call themselves Christians are really born-again and have Jesus as their lord and savior.

so i'm calling all my prayer warriors back into action for Tanzania. pray that there will be wide open doors and open broken hearts ready to receive the gospel, pray for divine appointments for us to speak to people, pray that we can get our flesh 100% out of the way so that the Holy Spirit can freely speak through us directly to the students hearts, and pray for protection and strength for our team as we travel into this dark area... amen!

thanks everyone for all the prayer and support, i love each and every one of y'all dearly, and i look forward to seeing everyone soon :-)

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Sunday, July 4, 2010


i've survived a week on my own in the middle of nowhere, i have almost no voice left but i spent it well. i shared the gospel in 7 schools monday, 5 on thursday, and 6 on tuesday, wednesday and friday. thats right, 30 schools in one week! i spoke to over 7000 students and about 3000 made the committment to give their lives to Christ for the first time! i really was out in the middle of nowhere, and it was pretty rough sometimes, but it was absolutely worth it to share the gospel with that many people, plus, the LORD always gives us more strength than we need when we truly rely on Him for everything. i could spend hours talking about everything i saw and did this week, but i will just leave it simple and say that God is good and so is living 100% inside his will :-) i'm completely exhausted and probably smell terrible because i haven't had running water or electricity for the past few days. so i am about to relax and take a shower and celebrate this 4th of july by doing absolutely nothing lol. this week looks like i will be recovering and preparing for next week and the beginning of the major project in Dar es Salam in Tanzania. it looks like i will be taking the 24 hour bus ride from Kisumu to Dar rather than flying :-( so i definitely need to spend this week recovering.

please pray for perseverance for the thousands of students and teachers that said they would give their lives to Christ this week. that they would really seek God and trust in Him as their LORD and savior. also pray for the thousands of people we will be speaking to in Dar in the upcoming weeks to have open and broken hearts prepared to receive the gospel. and finally pray for myself and the rest of the american team as we prepare and travel to tanzania. pray that we will remove all impurities from our lives and that we will be filled with the Holy Spirit so that He can speak through us directly to the students. thanks so much~Stocky

Friday, June 25, 2010

Great Time in Kisumu, About to go Into the Bush!

sorry i haven't updated in a few days, the internet has been shifty and i've been kinda tired and low on time. anyway, we had a very good week in the schools. i presented the gospel to 15 schools, including 6 secondary with over 1500 students and 9 middle schools with about 3000 students, about 900 high schoolers and 1900 middle schoolers committed to give their lives to Christ! i could take at least 15 minutes talking about each school, but that would just take too long. the highlight of the week was a high school in the mountains called Agai secondary school, they have over 800 students and have never really been reached by the gospel before, after the presentation at least 80% of them committed to give their lives to Christ for the first time. words can't describe how awesome it was to be there for this... plus, i finally got the opportunity to upload some of the pics from here in Kisumu, those can be found on my profile.

i am about to go off the grid for a week because i will be waking up at 5:45AM tomorrow and traveling about 4 hours to a village called migori which is located about 10 miles past the middle of nowhere lol. a pastor has over 20 schools set up so i will hopefully be very busy and be able to speak to several thousand students about what Jesus Christ did for them on the cross. so please keep pastor alfred, myself, and all the students and teachers that we will be speaking to in your prayers. hopefully i will be back in town by next saturday with excellent reports :-) love you guys and i will hope to hear from everyone in a week.

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Good Weekend

saturday was interesting, i preached the gospel in the Rojo church and they seemed to really respond well and take everything to heart. i don't know how the church usually acts, but they certainly didn't seem like a cult to me. just very charasmatic. then a few friends came into town and we went to see prince of persia because it was the only english movie playing. it was alright, worth 200 schillings :-) this morning went very well, i preached in three different churches and they all seemed to respond very well. i had a very Kenyan experience on the way to the third church. it rained last night and the car we were in got badly stuck in the mud about a half mile away from the church. the entire path was under water, so i just took off my shoes and walked through the mud to the church. I even preached without shoes on! pictures coming, actually, i have taken many pics but this computer doesn't have a sd port so i will have to wait to upload any of them :-( anyway, all the members of the church were very surprised and excited to see that i was willing to wade through the mud to speak to them :-)

i am going to be speaking in schools again this week, so please continue to pray for open doors and even more for open hearts and that i can get my flesh completely out of the way and let God speak through me directly to the students. thanks!

in Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Friday, June 18, 2010

Third Day in Schools

today was another great day of ministry in schools. i spoke to three middle schools and one high school including about 900 students. they all seemed to respond well. i am pretty close to worn out and i still have many days of ministry in a row to go. but i know God will give me strength if i lean on Him. tomorrow will undoubtedly be an interesting day as i am going to be preaching and giving the gospel in a church that most people in Africa consider to be a cult. i need a lot of prayer for strength and power and clarity as i prepare to speak in this Church. thanks!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Epic Second Day in Schools!

today was great, i spoke in SIX schools to about 1700 students, both personal bests lol. this includes two high schools. about 800 committed to give their lives to Christ. the highlight was definitely the first school. they had about 500 students from grade 4-8 and about 350 gave their lives to Christ. after i spoke the principal invited the students to say something if they wanted. this led very unexpectedly to several students coming in front of the group to confess their sins and say that they are publicly giving their lives to Christ today, this isn't supposed happen anywhere, much less in Africa where it is a huge shame to confess your sins, i was astonished. then one of the students who was born again before today came up and really encouraged her classmates to stay true to the committment that they made today. this was an awesome school!

anyway, i am scheduled to speak in three schools tomorrow, so please continue to pray for me and all the students and teachers who will be listening!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Great first Day of Schools in Kisumu

today was awesome! this was the first day that i have worked in schools with this group of pastors and they really seem to get it about evangelism and seem very excited to see what God is going to do here in Kisumu. i spoke to 4 schools with about 1250 middle school students and over 900 committed to give their lives to Christ! 900 is a much rounded down number because i am a realist. i shared the gospel of repentance and salvation by grace through faith in the blood of Jesus as clearly as i possibly could and led them in the sinners prayer. then asked them to raise their hands if they have never given their lives to Christ before but want to today for the first time, around 95% of the students raised their hands. i told them to put their hands down and to not raise them again if they had given their lives to Christ before, i told them to put their hands down if they didn't want to make a life long commitment to give their lives to Christ no matter how many struggles they might face... maybe 5% put their hands down lol. so once again, it is not up to us to determine who is saved or not, we must share the gospel clearly and strongly to as many people as possible, pray for them, and let them and God sort the rest out. after the day, pastor Robert, the interpreter i was with, said, "you must teach me how to share this message with people so that i can continue this after you leave." EPIC, this is exactly what we want to hear and the exact kind of people we are looking for to be members of the DSEA team. i actually already wrote a document teaching people how to effectively share the gospel because so many of the pastors i have worked with asked me to, that will be my next note along with a video of me presenting the gospel to a high school...

anyway, i have another four schools scheduled tomorrow. so please continue to pray for me and for the Students that will be hearing the gospel.

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Busy Schedule Ahead

as most of y'all know sunday ended up being a crazy day, i experienced my first earthquake, and a big bomb went off at a place in Nairobi where i drove by at least 10 times while we were there. but God is good, and the mission must go on. i've been trying to write often, but i haven't been tagging people in most of my notes due to lack of time. if you want to get cought up, all my notes are on my profile... anyway, i met with a group of pastors today and we set up a schedule for the next week and a half. tomorrow i am going out to give the gospel to 3 schools, and 4 on thursday. friday is looking like a day off but saturday is going to be very interesting. i am scheduled to preach at a large Rojo denomination church. most people in Africa consider them to be a cult, but i don't know enough to say anything for sure. it seems like they are somewhere between charismatic and jehovah's witness. i'm not sure what exactly this means, but i know i will need a lot of prayers as i share the gospel with this group so that whatever misunderstandings of scripture they might have will be made clear and that they can believe the true message of repentance and salvation by grace alone that is so clear in the Bible. then on sunday i will be preaching at two churches in this area.

please pray for me and the people i will be speaking to these next few days. pray that i will get my flesh out of the way and allow God to speak exactly what he wants directly to their hearts. thanks so much for all the prayers and support!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saturday in Kenya... EARTHQUAKE!!!

saturday was a very good day. i spent the morning at AGAPE again and led the saturday morning weekly bible study. i spoke on my usual luke 7 message about the sinful woman and the parable of the two debtors and gave a call to evangelism. the kids seemed to really like it. what really touched me came after the bible study. one of the kids who i spoke to wednesday who gave his life to Christ was there saturday as well. he came up to me and said, "thank you so much for sharing with me, i gave my life to Christ wednesday and i can already feel myself changing!" WOW!!! that is exactly what we want to hear! usually with the ministry we do we speak to hundreds or thousands of kids per day and never see them again, so it is hard to gauge how effective it is, we just have to pray for the kids and hold strong in the faith that it is working. but this was an awesome confirmation that the LORD is really moving and working through our speech.

then saturday night, a few people that work in an orphanage outside town came in and we went to see the new robin hood opening night in Kenya lol. today, i preached a message on a call to evangelism in a church with about 40 people. they seemed to respond well...HAHAHAHAHA THAT WAS AWESOME!!! i just felt the first earthquake of my life as i was writing this note! It felt like a huge tractor or earthmover or something like that drove right by the house but there was absolutely no sound. haha, now i've experienced everything... anyway, i'm supposed to speak to a few schools this wednesday, so that should be good. please continue to pray for me and for open doors and devine appointments to share the gospel!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Friday, June 11, 2010

AGAPE and Dunga

today was a really good day of ministry despite not being able to sleep til 3:00AM and waking up at 7:30! in the morning i went back to AGAPE to speak to the older street boys. it was a very surreal experience because one of the boys who goes to AGAPE often was just killed tuesday by a mob of citizens for attempting to sell a fake phone to someone. there were about 35 that i shared the gospel with and probably 15 decided to give their lives to Christ. this afternoon i went back to Dunga beach where the fishermen dock to sell and the women come to buy. i shared the gospel with 4 groups of people with 10-20 people in each group. some responded very well and some said they were already saved and others walked off while i was talking. there were even a few schools having field trips there and some of the students joined in and listened with the other groups. if i had to guess i'd say i spoke to 70 people and 20 committed to give their lives to Christ for the first time. i'm supposed to go back to AGAPE tomorrow to speak to their weekly bible study, and i'm going to be giving the sermon in 2-3 churches on sunday. so please continue to pray for me as i share God's word.

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


today was a really good day. i went out with an organization called Agape that ministers to homeless street boys. i hung out and played with them for about an hour then it was time to minister. they sung a few songs and a few people said a few things then i gave the gospel to them. about 40 of the 60 prayed the sinners prayer and raised their hands after the presentation. but many of them were young and didn't really understand everything that was going on. one of the people that works with them frequently went around during lunch after this and really talked to the kids and it sounds like 20 of them really committed to Christ today. after this we went to the Kisumu Juvenile Remand Center for young kids who have committed violent crimes... crazy, right? they were so kind and nice and innocent looking it is hard to believe some of the things these kids have done and seen. we sung a few songs with them and then i gave a very clear presentation of the gospel to them. i was expecting a few hands to be raised, but every single kid in the room raised their hands to receive Christ! i'm not stupid and i know that not even close to every kid in that room really gave their life to Christ today, but all i can do is give a clear presentation and pray and hope that as many follow through as possible. but could you imagine doing that in america? most criminal kids wouldn't listen to single word you said. anyway, i don't have a clue what i'm doing next, but the people at Agape were begging me to come back as often as possible :-)

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Restful Start in Kisumu

i've been here in Kisumu, Kenya for a week now and it looks like ministry is about to really get started. the project in Nairobi took months of preparation and went very well. this is on the fly and has been slow starting. ive basically had 6 days of networking and getting the feel of the place and only one day of real ministry so far. last friday i went with another guy to the lake where the fishermen sell their catch. the fishermen are the lowest rung of society here, they drink and do drugs while fishing and then even worse when they get to shore! but they need to hear about Jesus just like everbody else. we went and shared the gospel with them through personal evangelism for a couple hours. this was the first time in my life that i had the feeling of doing exactly what Jesus did! i was fishing for fishermen lol. then that night the couple i'm with drove me to a church out in the country. they gave some brief teaching, i shared a quick presentation of the gospel and about 35 of the 50 people there committed to give their lives to Christ! then we showed the Jesus film in their tribal language of luo. it was a pretty good day...the pastors that went with us to Nairobi seem worn out and have really been dragging their feet so far. but today i met with an awesome group of pastors that seem very excited to get me into their schools and churches to speak. this group is a very diverse organization of pastors from different denominations who all have churches in the same part of town (don't you wish americans were open enough to do this!) but they say they want me to start doing churches this sunday and schools on monday! i'm supposed to go out with a group called agape that ministers to boys who roam the streets and are in gangs, they are a really rough group, but once again, they are the ones who need to hear about Jesus the most. i think i have a few schools lined up this thursday as well, so it looks like vacation time is over and its time to get back to work :-)

please pray that i will have devine appointments everywhere that i go, and please pray that these local pastors will be dilligent and efficient in getting me where i need to be to share the message of Christ with as many people as possible. thanks for the continued prayer and support!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Monday, May 31, 2010

Perfect Ending in Nairobi

today was the perfect end to my mission in Nairobi. we woke up and were ready to leave for a game drive at 5:30 AM but multiple delays and one exploded van engine made it to where we didn't start our safari til after 8:00. we were annoyed but we knew we were in God's hands and we knew we still would have several hours in the park. we began to pray that God would reveal the wonders of His creation to us and show us the best animals possible. God is amazing and wants us to be happy and He showed me this in a big way today! i prayed to see lions, within five minutes we drove up on two adult females just walking down the road! they weren't hiding in the bushes like normal several hundred feet from the road, we followed them for a few minutes within a few yards of them until they went back into the tall grass where we couldn't see them. i then prayed that God would send an adult male lion, He sent three! when we drove up and saw them about 50 feet away from the road in the grass, they actually got up and began walking toward the road. we followed them for about 10 minutes and right when we thought they were going to walk off the road and hide in the tall grass, two of them decided to lay down and rest on the road in the shade of a tree!! we took some epic pics and they will be posted later. we watched them rest for about another 10 minutes and were able to inch up within 10 feet of them. they were watching us very intently and noticed almost every move we made in the open top vehicle we were in. this shouldn't have happened, to see two separate lion prides walking ON THE ROAD right in front of you in one game drive is one in a billion. and if we would have began our drive as planned at 6:00 in the morning we would have driven right past these lions and never seen them at all. but God knew when the lions were going to show up, and he put us right where we needed to be to see them... after the lions, i began to pray that God would bring out the only major animal in Africa that i have yet to see, the rhino. so of course he let us see three! they were pretty far away and we couldn't see them very well, but you don't want to be very close to those guys anyway! finally i prayed that God would let us see a giraffe close up, because they are probably the most beautiful animal in the world to experience up close. and of course God did, we saw a giraffe in the distance and were happy, but then we realized there was a side road that could take us right up to where he was eating. we spent about 10 minutes just taking pictures and watching him eat right in front of us., we also saw cape buffalo, most of the deer types, and many interesting birds, but that experience with the lions was hands down the best part of the drive. after this, we went to an orphanage founded by a couple who live in san antonio called the "Jesus. hobbs house of hope." the kids were great and we spent a couple hours playing and talking to them. then it was time for all the americans to head to the airport but me. hopefully they are on their way to amsterdam and then to Texas. i will be leaving tomorrow morning on a 6 hour bus ride to another part of Kenya called Kisumu, where i will be spending a month doing lots of different types of missions and staying with an american missionary couple named the mclemores.

so please pray that the other 5 americans get home safely, and that my 6 hour bus ride doesn't turn into a 24 hour bus ride like it sometimes does in Africa. also please pray that i can hit the ground running in Kisumu and stay strong and healthy. thanks so much for all the prayers. i love you guys!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Saturday, May 29, 2010


so yeah, remember when i was praying that God could find a way to keep me ministering in Kenya for an extra week... well he has... plus another 6 weeks!! thats right, i won't be coming home with the rest of the team tuesday. i will be riding a bus to kisumu and spending a month with a missionary couple i met for the first time on this trip! isn't God soooooo amazing. kisumu is a large rural area/city where 4 of the DSEA NEST team members live and do most of their evangelism. we came into contact with the mclemores through a mutual acquaintance a few months and DSEA evangelists scott and dan stayed with them in kisumu for a few weeks while doing a project. we met up with them here in Nairobi for a few days and they invited me to stay with them for a month and reach many schools and thousands of students for Christ. this is a good idea because the DSEA is doing another major project in Tanzania in early July, so i will stay in Kisumu until i leave straight for Tanzania and begin this other major three week project. so it looks like i will end up spending 9 weeks in africa this summer! i am very excited and know God is going to continue doing wonderful things... i of course love and will miss all my amazing friends and family back home, but God has me here for a reason and i will now have even more amazing stories to tell everybody about when i get back :-) please pray that it doesn't cost too much to completely change my flight plans and that God will work out everything for his glory when it comes to getting my where i need to be and when i need to be there. thanks so much!

in Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Friday, May 28, 2010

My First Crusade

today was great! i only did one school today because i was leading a crusade tonight. the school was awesome, they had about 200 high school students including a small christan union and a principal who seemed like a Christian but who was not very good at expressing his thoughts and beliefs. anyway, they were incredibly attentive and VERY responsive. about 125 raised their hands that they prayed the sinners prayer for the first time and want to turn from their sins and give their life to Jesus! i spoke to the student who was in charge of their christian union after the assembly and he had this amazingly glazed over look like he had been hit by a semi-truck. i've seen this look several times before because it is the look of someone who has been praying for years to see his classmates and friends come to know Chirst and then just watched 125 of them do it in one day! he said the CU usually has about 20-25 students at its bible studies, but he said he now expects at least 100 each coming week. i pray that God will give him and the local pastors strength and diligence to handle all these new believers.

so i lead my first major crusade tonight and it went very well. it was right in the middle of a large slum in a "clearing," which basically means there was just a smaller pile of trash there than anywhere else. there were probably 200-250 people that stopped to listen including about 75 kids under 10 that came to sing and dance when they heard the African music a local church was helping us provide. we had to use an interpreter because the young kids and the uneducated only speak swahili. my stepmom then took the stage and sang a couple songs and my friend margaret gave a 5 minute testimony. amy sung one more song and then it was my turn to speak. it was amazing to look out at the crowd and notice the diversity. there were the 75 kids i mentioned earlier, but there were drunks half passed out in the alley, people selling things at the market, a few parents watching the children go crazy, and old and broken people listening intently to what was going on. the kids right in front of the stage grew progressively more rowdy as i gave the gospel and the people in the background simply continued to go about their business selling and buying so i was beginning to wonder if anybody was really listening to what i had to say. but i began to notice the people scattered in the middle of this place that were really listening. i gave the full gospel and then did the sinners prayer and quite a few raised their hands along with every kid in the front lol. i wasn't sure how to do an alter call because all the kids piled up in front of the stage, but thankfully the interpreter took charge and got a few of the people there from his church to shove the kids out of the way and make room for the 25-30 people who received Christ. he then went over everything i said again in swahili and sent these people to the counselors he brought from his church. many of them were crying tears of joy and truly looking like i know i felt the day God saved me!

i am now pretty much done for the trip. however, i will be speaking in one deaf school tomorrow which should be an awesome experience. i will also be preaching at a church on sunday and probably giving a short testimony at the crusade my dad is leading the next two days. we also found out that because our fkight out on monday is at 10:00PM, we will be able to do a game drive and visit our friends at the hobbs house orphanage that day. GOD IS GOOD!!! please pray that we can finish strong this trip and continue to lean on God for everything that we need. thanks!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell