- This is exactly why we feel so passionately about our ministry in Ukraine. We try to provide education for guys like Andrey so that they are less likely to put themselves into situations like this one. We try to make connections within our community so that when problems come, we are asked to help - and in this case we were able to do something. Most importantly, we present the gospel so that when life gets tough - and it does get tough for people in Ukraine - they will have something to fall back on.
- I have been excited to go back to Ukraine but this further solidifies that desire. We love being part of the Hope Center team and today made me remember that we are still part of it, even here in Colorado.
- In this Christmas season where we've seen people die over seasonal sales, it reminds us that life goes on in the rest of the world - completely independently of our doorbuster sales. Let's take a moment to contemplate what we do with our time and money this holiday season. I'm not saying not to buy gifts, but perspective is vital.
I also want to mention that my buddy Timmy is a great man. Hunting is his passion and yet season after season he sacrificially gives me the best spots and all the opportunities to take an animal that I'd be proud of. He helps us know where to hunt and even gives us access to areas he has personal permission to hunt. He knew that this buck was in that river bottom, set up the situation that would give us a shot and then let me take the most likely shooting spot to take him.
This Sunday Nov. 23 at 2:00 pm PST
We’re pre-recording some shows to air while I’m away for Thanksgiving and while I recoup from having eye surgery (removing scar tissue). Instead of recording off air we decided to let you all listen and watch live while we record. You can watch and listen (click on the photo where it says “Listen Live”), call in (888-321-RADIO), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and send in Instant Messages (screen name “KORKAST”). Hope to see you there and tell your friends.
Don’t forget that when you watch online you can send us messages in the viewing screen!!
See you on Sunday Nov. 23rd at 2:00 PM PST
A few Saturdays ago, Stacey and I swung by the Wendy’s drive through to pick up some lunch. I was in a very contemplative and philosophical state that day, so I was pondering many of life’s biggest questions. As we sat in line, I turned to Stacey and asked her about the one in particular that had been weighing heavy on my mind:
Whatever happened to catsup?
Seriously, haven’t you ever wondered what happened to catsup and why everything now is called ketchup? What was so bad about catsup? Why did it disappear from the shelves? Did ketchup go better with Haterade? As far as I can remember, catsup and ketchup looked the same and tasted the same. Obviously, there had to be answers out there and someone had a lot of explaining to do.
Surprisingly, there wasn’t a whole lot of information out there on this topic. Seems to me that there has been a lot of covering up by the “ketchupers” and of course, it involves the federal government. Just like Area 51, the JFK assassination, and many other examples, the fate of catsup seems to be part of a huge government conspiracy.
It all started shortly after World War 2. As America entered the 1950's, it appeared as if only 3 major brands remained to steal the spotlight...Heinz Ketchup, Del Monte Catsup, and Hunts, who could not decide on a spelling and bottled under the names Hunts Catsup (east of the Mississippi), Hunts Ketchup (west of the Mississippi), and Hunts Tomato Cornchops (in Iowa only). At some point in the 1980s, the federal government stepped in and ketchup was declared a vegetable on the government's standards for school lunch menus. Suddenly catsup, because of its spelling, was not on the approved list. Heartbroken “catsupers” could see the end in sight. It wasn't long afterwards that Del Monte changed the product's name to Del Monte ketchup and Hunt’s remedied its schizophrenic position on the subject.
So then the question then becomes, why did the federal government feel the need to step in and end this ongoing debate? And why did they have to bring children into this mess? Proposing that the “ketchupers” had better lobbyists is too easy of an answer, as is the failure of Hunts to “earmark” their right to call it Hunts Tomato Cornchops. There is a better explanation. From my extensive research, I believe that ketchup was responsible for the fall of the Berlin Wall, and hence, the end of the Cold War and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union and communism. Top secret U.S. government documents reveal that in the 1980s, the Heinz company still had strong ties to its founder’s home country, Germany. Billions and billions of dollars worth of tomatoes and ingredients that went into making Heinz ketchup were actually manufactured in East Germany and were being smuggled into the United States by the U.S. military. Many people don’t realize this, but the U.S. government used U.S. military aircraft and warships as commercial shipping vessels during this time. In the end, our ketchup habit was supporting communist East Germany with cold hard cash. At first, the U.S. threatened to call the product catsup, thereby dooming East Germany’s economy to utter ruin. However, this would have also exposed the huge cover-up operation between the United States and East Germany. In an attempt to pacify the East Germans and avoid a huge ketchup scandal, the U.S. government negotiated the agreement to name the condiment ketchup on school lunches as fair trade to bringing down the Berlin Wall. The East Germans accepted the overthrow of their government for the economic right to now legally supply us with their yummy ingredients while the U.S. government avoided certain disaster and the exposing of their continued backing of East German communism to support our eating habits.
Hence, ketchup.posted by aaron at 10:49
- write a letter or email of encouragement to your pastor
- forego your regular coffee today and use or donate that money to a better cause
- contact the manager of your retirement funds (or other funds with which you're associated) and ensure that you are not invested in funds that promote or ignore human rights abuses
- contact a missions agency and learn more about a short-term trip
- buy an umbrella or rain poncho and keep it in your car until you can give it to someone who needs it
Last week we were excited to host a reunion of former IVA (International Vocational School) students at the Hope Center which was attended by graduates from our first class in 2005. They came together to have tea, play games, reminisce, look at pictures from their time at Hope Center and watch a movie together. We were glad to hear about the progress that these students have made since we last saw them. Here are some of the success stories from our IVA programs over the past years.
Sveta (2005 graduate)
Sveta grew up in a home with no father, an alcoholic mother and she ran away at only 14 years old. Her mother went to jail for several years and she lived with friends for several years. When Sveta was 16 she entered the IVA program in an effort to improve her difficult life. In our program she studied computer skills and economics but she also received the saving knowledge of Christ. Today Sveta is married and has a young daughter. She and her mother now both attend a local church. She says that the most important thing that she learned at IVA was that she is loved by God and she wants to extend that love and provide the best for her child.
Roman (2007 graduate)
Roman came to us as a young man without many prospects but interested in the opportunity to earn a driver’s license through our technical training. He also received instruction in drafting, woodworking, welding, economics, English, computers and Bible lessons.
Today Roman works for the city medical department in Kerch where they have made good use of the skills he learned at Hope Center. He drives a burley 4-wheel drive to transport necessary medical materials and personnel between hospitals and to the homes of those in need.
Artur (2007 graduate)
Artur studied along side Roman and also took full advantage of the opportunity to learn a variety of skills. After graduation he stayed at Hope Center through the summer as a volunteer, cleaning the grounds and helping with camp activities. His attitude, sense of humor and improving English skills made him a popular character with both local staff and internationals. In the fall of 2007 he went to Moscow for work and did very well. When he returned at the beginning of last summer he was brimming with confidence, ready to take on any challenge. He worked at Hope Center again in 2008, this time as security.
Today he is the personal driver for a local businessman and is a frequent visitor to the camp that gave him the opportunity and knowledge which he is using to succeed.
Roman (2008 graduate)
Roman is only 6 months out of our most recent IVA program but already he has taken advantage of the education he acquired at the Hope Center. We were always impressed by the Roman’s intelligence and work ethic and knew that he would be able to use his new-found skills well. He quickly received a job with bread company which is owned by the city of Kerch. When he got the job, he was pleasantly surprised at the good wages that his skills garnered. He is now responsible for delivering bread to hospitals, businesses and maybe sometimes even to us at camp. He and his girlfriend Yula (also an IVA graduate) visit frequently to keep us updated and for friendly conversation.
Dima (2007 graduate)
Dima is from a village just north of Kerch. He came to IVA as a means to escape his troubled childhood and self-destructive lifestyle. He took to driving quickly and after his IVA graduation was hired on full-time at the Hope Center. He worked with us for 18 months helping with facilities, programs and in the kitchen. This fall he accepted a job offer from an tool and appliance store in downtown Kerch. He is using his driving skills now in delivering large items to customers all over the Kerch area.
Vlad (2008 graduate)
Vlad is from the city of Armyansk in northern Crimea. When he arrived at the Hope Center he instantly became a leader within the class. His English skills, age and maturity made him an integral part of camp life. After graduation he returned home to work with his step-father’s construction business temporarily but soon found a promising position as a truck driver. He now works with his city’s electrical department driving the lift truck used for power line repair.
If you are inspired by these stories of our ministry in Ukraine, please consider donating to another of our programs - Christian children's camps - by the link on the top of the sidebar at right.
- "Christian radio found to be on continuous loop for past 20 years"
- "Denominations reach non-compete agreement"
- "Youth pastor drops F-bomb at board meeting"
- Bono Fatigue: It could happen to U2 (a support group for Christians who love Bono too much)
- Nursary FastPass (like a pass you would use for a toll road, but for nursery)
- 34 total voters (in my poll) of which 31 plan to actually vote for president in the upcoming election.
- From that number, 23 are going McCain and 4 for Obama.... This is about the breakdown I expected.
- 4 are either undecided or voting 3rd party.
- Our local Christian station refusing to play a secular song unless it is recorded - completely unchanged - by a Christian artist.
- T-shirts like Lord's Gym which take a known phrase or brand and give it a clever (?) twist.
- Church signs like this one:
When I was thirteen years old, I was not a Christian. I had heard about Him from a little Baptist Church in the upper peninsula of Michigan. But I didn’t get it. True, i raised my hand five weeks in a row, and went into some back room where I prayed a prayer I don’t remember and didn’t understand. Maybe God heard that scared little boy cry for help....
...well, fast forward, and that prayer didn’t hold. I went to that little church five times, and then was asked to never come back because I got in some kind of fight. I think I fought the pastor’s kid. I guess some things never change. As I grew, going to school, surviving divorces and new schools and more bullies, I stayed afraid. That fear turned into anger, and I became a bully. I was mean and dumb, and “swore alot.” Eighth grade for me was like it is for most boys. Akward, scary, painful, full of changes and growth. And I was a punk. I was a wounded punk who so wanted to be liked by anyone.
Well, one of the kids I picked on was named Ken Morgan. In eighth grade, he was smaller than small. He was an easy target for this fake predator. I picked on this kid something fierce. And he never took an easy shot back at me. When I was taken to task, he wasn’t there to gloat over my great fall. I thought he was just afraid of me, but soon I noticed it was something more. He was genuinely kind to me. He repaid my evil with good. I didn’t get it. So I began to walk home with him from school. I followed him to church. I studied his family. I wanted to know where his kindness and contentment came from. And every road led to Jesus. He wore the silly shirts and carried his Bible. And over time, I started wondering if it was true. If Jesus would love Ken and give him the strength to love, maybe I could learn too. Maybe I could be loved enough to get pass all my wounds and selfishness and pride and lust and hate and hurt and anger and fear and loneliness. So, i ended up following Ken into the kingdom. During my freshman year, I finally was lost enough to be found. I cried out to God a simple prayer. I said, “God, if you are there, and if you will love me, I will follow you forever.” I prayed out of desperation. And God showed up....
Well, here it is, more than fifteen years later, and I showed up on Ken’s doorstep to say hello. Ken married his high school sweetheart, Erin, he works a great job doing super smart stuff, and has a brand new baby named Finnegan. He lives up in Seattle, and Angie and I decided to drop in on my old friend. And it was good....so good.
Ken is part of an awesome small group up there in Seattle. He and his wife are good parents, showering their little boy with all the love a baby can withstand. God has blessed their life, and they are making a home for themselves. Together, we laughed, prayed, studied, cleaned, remembered, counseled, shared, and dreamed. it was good.
Ken brought us to his small group, and these brothers and sisters we had never met before welcomed us in with open arms. They loved us, and listened to our silly vision, and asked real questions out of a heart of compassion. Some of those people even jumped on and became a part of our support network.
God gave me a memorial stone, and gave us more partners on this crazy vision he put in our hearts. It was awesome.
For those of you who are praying for us....thank you. God is keeping us safe, giving us favor, and helping us rest. We love you all, and look forward to the day when we will meet again.
What I used to think
- ► 2009 (151)
- Hope Center Christmas
- Nothing good to say...
- Livin' life in MI
- Goodnight and good luck
- KOR Kast today!!!
- Risks are flowing
- LotD - James Lileks
- This year's deer update
- A Risk A Day site is set, risks coming soon!
- Boredom leads to inovation
- Exchange rate
- To the footy haters
- Shame on all of you!
- Coming back from Arizona
- More bad news from Kerch
- We've come full circle
- Andrey update
- I've got Ukraine on my mind
- New games
- How do you misspell an acronym?
- I am seriously professional
- Thoughts about Andrey, my job, Ukraine and Christm...
- Update on Andrey
- Urgent prayer request
- Confessions of a serial gift forgetter
- Not nearly so creepy
- New Ukraine Summer Camps link
- Gas price reminder
- My first whitetail
- Missionary or backwoods lunatic?
- Just in time... KOR Kast reminder
- All the KOR, different day
- There are no words
- KOR Kast is up
- Hold your breath
- The great American novel
- KOR Kast today!!!
- Awesome webbiness @ A Risk a Day
- LotD - Jason Tesar
- News from the Hope Center - November edition (upda...
- I love the 80's....
- Campbell update
- KOR Kast today!!!
- Hope Center video
- Friday relief
- Post ratings
- Thursday 13: Topics that don't involve the electio...
- LotD - Jonah Goldberg
- One down, two to go..
- Election Day...
- Kids to Camp funding update
- KOR Kast Walk of Shame... Sorry Ryan
- Liverpool update
- ► October (27)
- ▼ December (22)