Easter Weekend God inspired me, so I wrote...

Easter represents the most profound days in world history. You've heard: "It's Friday, BUT Sunday's coming!" Friday's crucifixion of Jesus was the most horrific day in history. BUT GOD raised Him from the dead on Sunday--the happiest day in history.

Everything in the "Friday...Sunday" scenario turns on the words "BUT GOD"! The Apostle Paul writes: "...they
took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. BUT GOD raised him from the dead..." Since the BUT GOD factor changed human history, why do I tend to forget and leave the BUT GOD factor out of the equation? After all He promised: "...I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." (Isaiah 46:4) Just as He did at Easter, the Lord factors BUT GOD into every difficult and delightful circumstance of our lives!

This Easter the Lord awed me with reminders of a long list of recent Reach Out BUT GOD encounters. Hopefully my "Top 5" will spur you on with awe-inspired reminders of your own BUT GOD experiences.
Hector Garcia

Joyfully our team participated in one of Hector's three soccer clubs in the poorest section of Havana, Cuba. Hector, one of our best Cuban leaders, grew up and still lives in this poor neighborhood; BUT GOD put the burden in Hector's heart to bloom where he was planted for the sake of these kids. For years Hector has used these weekly clubs to reach and disciple teens.
Todd Slocum 

My friend from Denver and Reach Out's videographer, Todd and I spent four delightful days together in Texas this month. We filmed 27 hours of video testimony about the impact of Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry in the lives of teens and leaders. BUT GOD set up a "divine appointment" fifteen years ago when Todd and I met casually in Atlanta, because He knew we would partner in ministry some day.
Kim Bearden, Bangladesh and Nepal 

As you read this Kim is in Bangladesh leading Reach Out's first Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry training with Reach Out's leader-in-training, Palash. Then Kim goes to Nepal to lead Reach Out's third training there with our leader, Jay. BUT GOD connected Kim with Reach Out in the 70's, put Nepal on his heart three years ago, and asked if Reach Out would join him to train youth leaders in Nepal. And then, through some amazing connections, Bangladesh was added. With resources translated and 200 teens being discipled already, we envision 1,000 will engage in discipleship and evangelism by summer.
Our Cuba Team  

Last month, Elio Martiz said "yes" to expanding his leadership role with Reach Out in Cuba. Elio will join Pino Hernandez*, plus our newly appointed East, West, and Central regional leaders--Jose, Lesky, and Carlos. In a dramatic BUT GOD series of events, He changed Elio's, Jose's, Lesky's, and Carlos' ministry plans, so that we will significantly expand our training capacity in Cuba.
*Elio--far left, Pino--far right 
Pasha & Tanya Koryakin in Siberia/Russia 

Pasha, a converted drug addict, met and married Tanya, who had attended  Reach Out's Moscow training in 1993. Together they led the youth ministry in their church, and for the last several years have trained youth leaders in JFYM throughout Siberia; BUT GOD has much larger plans in store for this ministry couple. After months of prayer, and then a month long journey through Russia, Pasha has been invited to equip the 1,800 Church of Russia churches in Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry. Soon his family, by faith and with few resources, will move 1000's of miles across Russia to begin this new adventure. 
Even as I recount these relational encounters, so many more BUT GOD experiences come to mind. Just writing about these five caused a burst of enthusiasm in me about what God is doing through Reach Out.
BUT GOD connected you to Reach Out, too. Without your gifts, prayers, and involvement, these BUT GOD encounters would not have happened! For you, I am very grateful!

Jesus is Lord,     
 Donate Now