God Stories

Standing Alone in Iowa

Posted by on 9:08 pm in National Touring | 0 comments

Standing Alone in Iowa

“So here’s the deal, friends…” The crowded gym was oddly hushed, waiting for my next words. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t sure what exactly my next words would be. It was a surprisingly familiar struggle for me — we were in Rock Valley, Iowa performing at a Valentine’s Banquet for a Christian High School.  Despite the challenges of performing in  a cement walled echo-chamber, the stage, lights, and sound-system were top-quality, and the production crew was highly professional. The food was delicious and the crowd was attentive and seemed to...

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How To Cause a Kenyan Traffic Jam

Posted by on 10:12 pm in International Campaigns | 0 comments

How To Cause a Kenyan Traffic Jam

It was rush hour in Nairobi. And we were making the most of it. Across the street from our makeshift stage, a dense throng of brightly dressed shoppers was haggling loudly over vegetables, chickens, hubcaps, purses, and cellphone accessories under the shade of an enormous acacia tree. A group of several hundred had gathered in front us, drawn by the loud music and the sight of our friend John Andrus jumping and spinning over the red dirt on his BMX bike. As I watched my mentor, evangelist Keith Cook, step forward to speak, I glanced around...

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Oppression in India

Posted by on 1:37 am in International Campaigns | 0 comments

Oppression in India

“Hey Zach, can I get your help over here?” “Sure man,” I looked up from the brightly colored throng of people in front of me and tried to wipe the sweat out of my eyes with the back of my hand, probably leaving a dirty smudge across my forehead, “What’s up? We had just finished a performance in Latur, India, one of the most unreached cities in one of the most unreached provinces in the country, and a sizable knot of people pressed closely in on us, eagerly waiting for prayer.  A makeshift ceiling of brilliant fabrics was shielding us from the...

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Happy New Year! 2017 By The Numbers

Posted by on 9:44 pm in Vision for the Nations | 0 comments

Happy New Year!  2017 By The Numbers

“It’s been awesome – people are saying yes to JESUS out here!” I was on the phone, talking excitedly to one of my closest friends back home in Iowa – I had been traveling through Los Angeles with the band, breathing in the humid sea air, braving brutal interstate traffic with a trailer in tow, and watching God impact lives as we moved from one small venue to the next. “That’s great to hear – I’m so glad God is doing such great things…” my friend drew in a long breath and paused...

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When Shepherds Saw the Christmas Star from Nashville

Posted by on 2:44 am in National Touring | 0 comments

When Shepherds Saw the Christmas Star from Nashville

For a split-second, it felt as if an entire parking lot full of people had stopped breathing. Like maybe the several hundred men, women, and children who had converged on this patch of frozen inner-city blacktop had spontaneously chosen this exact moment to perform a mannequin challenge. They hadn’t of course, but it was the one moment of every event that almost always felt this way to me. Evangelist Keith Cook Sr. had been clearly and lovingly presenting the message of Jesus to the Nashville crowd stretched out in front of us, and he had...

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Overwhelmed in India, a Party in Iowa, and a Stalking Santa…

Posted by on 11:56 pm in International Campaigns | 0 comments

Overwhelmed in India, a Party in Iowa, and a Stalking Santa…

I standing in front of a makeshift stage in India in front of a crowd of people outfitted in a dizzying array of colors and fabrics, and I was truly overwhelmed. And not in a positive, “Wow, this is great” kind of way, but more of a, “How on earth can we possibly help meet all of these needs?” kind of way…     I had left Greece the day before, flown overnight through Bahrain, and then driven all day from Hyderabad to Latur, a small city in the most unreached state in India.  I had done my best to grab a few hours of sleep where I...

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Happy Thanksgiving! From Heartache to Healing

Posted by on 7:24 pm in International Campaigns | 0 comments

Happy Thanksgiving!  From Heartache to Healing

“I didn’t understand what he was saying…” my new Afghani friend shook his head,” I couldn’t understand why he kept asking me if I was okay…” We were leaning against a dusty wrought iron railing on the second-story roof of a building on the island of Lesvos, Greece, soaking in five minutes of sun between discipleship training sessions at a Youth With a Mission refugee base.  There were several taller buildings blocking our view, and a tangle of olive trees and tall palms, but I knew that the Aegean Sea was just beyond them, and I could smell...

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How to Change the World… Really

Posted by on 3:03 pm in International Campaigns | 0 comments

How to Change the World… Really

Something was wrong with our waitress. Sitting under the shade of a canopy in Cotê d’Ivoire, Africa, I could already feel myself beginning to sweat in the humid morning heat. Our team had been eating breakfast at this same outdoor table every day for the past week – with many of us leaving at different times to minister throughout the city, it had been easiest for us to meet at this hotel restaurant each morning before rushing out to share Jesus in the streets, churches, and conference centers of San Pedro. And throughout the week, we...

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Beautiful Failure

Posted by on 9:58 pm in Vision for the Nations | 0 comments

Beautiful Failure

I am writing this while hunched over my laptop, squinting at the screen in the passenger seat of a moving car. White Ribbon Day is heading to Côte d’Ivoire (or “Ivory Coast” for all of us non-French speakers out there.) The last few days have been a blur of last-minute scrambling, culminating in a frantic morning spent trying to replace a lost immunization card before our 11 AM departure deadline. My eyes are aching from lack of sleep, my caffeine-fueled mind is spinning with an ever-expanding list of last-minute “to-do’s,” and I know that I...

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Coming Up Short in the American Heartland

Posted by on 8:59 pm in National Touring, Vision for the Nations | 0 comments

Coming Up Short in the American Heartland

“In just a minute I’m going to give you a chance to take a stand and say yes to Jesus.” The metal handle of the microphone felt cold in my hands as I squinted into the stadium lights – I had been pacing back-and-forth at the limits of the mic cord in front of a football field full of young people for the last 15 minutes, and usually at this point I would be feeling a strong surge of excitement but tonight, honestly, I just felt a little “off.” I had been feeling it all day, and moments before stepping on to the...

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