Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vote for my Excel Kids, Tom and Sam of The Silver Fox Project!

The above photo: I'm the resident leader at Laidlaw Bible College and these are all the Excel music students (aged 17-19) that I lead/pastorally care for. The students come from diverse backgrounds and are a fantastic bunch! Both Sam and Tom are in this photo.
Click on the above link to vote for these tremendously talented Excel Students here at Laidlaw. The Silver Fox Project is awesome. Tom and Sam lived with me at Laidlaw until they graduated from the Excel program and are now on a massive 5 month NZ tour. They are featured on the biggest Christian radio station in NZ. Be sure to vote for the Foxes!

SUNDAY 5/29 EDIT. THE BOYS WON! They have now received $13,000 of equipment!! This is huge! Thanks to those who voted!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Where I'm at financially.

 At the semester end (next month) I will be halfway through my Btheol degree at Laidlaw with a double major in Biblical and Pastoral studies.Without the direct monetary involvement of the communities I have been apart of, I will not be able to study next semester. $6,100 USD is required for next semesters fees, fees which I can't afford to pay on my own. Over the last 3 semesters I have paid for almost 2/3 of my education(set aside a scholarship I won and various contributions, thank you!) , with my parents contributing to the other 1/3. I would ask you to pray about supporting my education in this next season at Laidlaw in Auckland New Zealand. To my understanding, I have just over 6 weeks to secure funding.

This last summer (November-February in NZ) as I was looking for work to pay for the current semester I'm in, I received a fantastic job opportunity to work at Kathmandu which is New Zealands answer to REI. Because of my commitment to another temporary job I was unable to secure work for the entirety of Summer at this store. The man who wanted to hire me apologized to me as I was the person fit for the job, but just barely missed company cut off dates for hiring. I told him in the store after following up on my application, “everything in my life has always worked out, without fail.” I still believe that with all my heart. God has confirmed to me that I'm exactly where I need to be right now in this season in NZ. A few weeks later that December, I secured a fantastic full time job on New Zealands south island working in a vineyard. If I had got the job at Kathmandu, I wouldn't have come close to the amount of money needed as I was able to work 45+ hours a week at the vineyard opposed to the meager 32 the store was offering. Next semester whether I study or not, I have peace that everything will work out just fine.

If you feel moved to contribute to my education and my future (as well as current) involvement in the Kingdom of God, please contact my parents at 360.681.5154 (Mike and Deanna Piper). If you feel compelled to help and your broke, feel free to pass this blog along to a friend.

My hearts cry is to participate in Gods desire of redemption for the world on a local and global scale. I
have big dreams, but a content heart for whatever God wants for me, fulfilling the risen Christ's commission in Matthew 28.

Thank you, as the body for reading and
potentially reposting this on Facebook/Twitter : )



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A week to remember.

It had come to my attention earlier last week that there were two bisexuals sharing a room together at Laidlaw (Excel Students) that could have been a potential couple. I began to seek guidance from my superiors and close friends that are here as to how to go about handling this in a way that would be glorifying to God first and for their best. That was the start of the week, I tried to organize a time to talk with the two of them but setting the meeting time proved elusive. This bore heavily on my mind.

I started the week on a very frustrated note, coming from a two week Easter “Break,” that left me weary from study- and not refreshed like I should have been. I had to excuse myself from a council meeting-then I sat down and laid my heart before God. I wrote a psalm of lament then read Ecclesiastes which always cheers me up. By Tuesday I was mostly sorted out, but then began to deal with the above issue. On Thursday night I came home from Youth Group at 10:30 pm, parked, then began to walk in the direction of what I thought would be this meeting I had been praying for since Tuesday....

Instead of that meeting occuring though after I parked, I was quickly greeted by a Excel student that didn't live on campus but was visiting his Excel friends that live with me here at Laidlaw. The backdrop to this man greeting me the way he did, was the fact that he had broken the curfew rule at Laidlaw on a weekly basis, then recently broke it 3 times in a week (that I was aware of... there was probably more). Long story short, I had to ask him on Sunday afternoon not to come back again to Laidlaw campus/dorms. So here he was coming up to me, past the 10pm guest curfew not understanding why he couldn't stay. I told him that he would need to leave the campus at that very moment, to which he became increasingly more and more beligerent. At first he through out the standard “your not a christian,” to which I responded to him with a mini sermon on biblical obedience, asking him again to leave. At this point he started screaming at me, (at 6 foot 3, 220 lbs – it could have been fairly intimidating) swearing, then began threatening me with violence which proceeded to death threats. He threatened my life 5 times, to which I reinforced my original comment that he needed to leave campus now. What was crazy, was during the nearly nose to nose contact and the threatening to level me, I had a total sense of unreal peace. I never flinched, blinked or backed down when he was in my face. The Holy Spirit had allowed me to see around the entire situation, while it was occurring. I felt like Peter Parker in Spiderman who had just discovered his new powers when in the face of a larger bully that through a punch at him, time slowed down, and he was able to see the punch in total slow motion. That is the only way I can explain it. I was fully in the moment, with a clear head, able to deal with the man calmly and non-violently. At this point the whole East Wing part of Campus was awake and outside. As the man left, I called the other RL and we had a emergency meeting with the schools principle. At first there was serious tension with all the students, as some hadn't seen the back drop to this altercation, they had only seen me “not wanting to hear the man out.” At this point I was emotionally fragile as I was leading this impromptu meeting with Laidlaws principle. From there the other RL took questions and answers amazingly (thank God for the team!!) and a former convict now student (late 40's) talked about rage, (what the young man was unleashing) and about how deadly it is. He shared a touching life story and was able to diffuse almost the whole situation. Principle Rod Thompson and I went down to the Police station, where I decided not to press any charges, but under Rods guidance to follow up with a trespassing issue.

Coming back to Laidlaw, I received all sorts of love from the Excel students that lived there and I stayed up with one of the young men that was previously frustrated with me from the situation, for hours. We shared a beautiful moment in time together, God was glorified and tremendous healing came. The next day I had a meeting with the Excel Principle and the man who had threatened me. It proved quite fruitful as the young man apologized profusely and now we begin to walk with him through the consequences of rage, even though his and mine relationship is fine. We talked about forgiveness and the cross. It was a beautiful moment in time, if somewhat not good for my sleep.

Later that day I sorted out some of the issues that had been pressing on my heart so heavily with the potential couple. It went well to my understanding but I won't say more here.

On the logistical side of things, I had to ask for my first project extension ever at Laidlaw as I would be unable to finish a project within the time given. It was graciously granted, but I'm still navigating from a state of exhaustion. This Monday my Children (they call me dad at Excel) headed off to camp for a week were some of them will most likely accept Jesus into their heart for the first time. As I helped pack up there vehicles and send them off, I had to fight off some tears. It is now dead quiet on my side of campus and I'm using some of this quiet to update you all on the goings on in NZ. Life is good.

Please Pray for my: children at camp/health/grades/leadership/ministry


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tornado, New Life and Prayer Requests.

There was a tornado yesterday in Auckland that claimed the life of one man and injured 15 others. This morning I found out that it had come within about 6 miles from Laidlaw just before it died out. What a day.



I would like to take a moment to welcome in baby Logan French to the world: Logan French: born May 2nd, 2011, 9:33pm.  4 lbs. 12.8oz, 17.5 in.  (7.5 wks early)

Tiff Manning is now an Auntie, but please remember baby Logan in your prayers today as he will be in the NICU until his actual due date (most likely).

Above: My scholarly pose?

...and if you could please pray for two new ventures at Excel and Laidlaw. The 'Intentional Eating' team is being formed, seeking to engage Henderson with Christ. Pray for opportunities for the teams to share/experience Christ. This launches next week, pray that God would guide myself and give me the imagination and vision to stir the team.

With Excel,  today was the first day of a new weekly prayer group called (semi-officially) Pajama Prayer Party with Piper, at 7am on Wednesdays. I can't think of any time like this outside of Firwood (camp) where I live in such a close proximity with others. Pray that God uses me and transforms this group as we journey in community life together.