Levi Velasco, Author
In 1999 I had the privilege to serve at Promise Keepers based out of Denver, Colorado where I was introduced to the song, Knowing You, by Graham Kendrick. Singing it again at church recently, I quickly realized that this song embodies who I was, who I am and who I will be. Here’s a powerful rendition of Knowing You sung by Bishop Joseph Garlington at a Promise Keepers event. May this song touch your life deeply as it did mine.
All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres, and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now, compared to this.
Knowing you, Jesus, knowing you,
There is no greater thing;
You’re my all, you’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love you, Lord.
Now my heart’s desire is to know you more,
To be found in you and known as yours;
To possess by faith what I could not earn,
All-surpassing gift of righteousness.
Oh, to know the power of your risen life,
And to know You in Your sufferings;
To become like you in your death, my Lord,
So with you to live and never die.
Sean Klamm, Author
Greetings, friends. I want to make you aware of an excellent opportunity to help a growing church plant in Carigara, Leyte, Philippines. In November 2013, Thyphoon Haiyan (Yolanda) hit the island-province of Leyte. February 2014, I had the privilege of serving communities in Leyte by documenting through media, the Filipino Evangelical response to the disaster. I worked under the banner of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches and the Philippine Relief and Development Services (both GLINTS ministry partners). The documentation, both pictures and videos, were used to acquire additional funding for disaster relief.
This assignment allowed me to meet some very special servants of God, one of which is Pastor Jimmy Libut. Pastor Jimmy continues to serve the people of Leyte, and he embarked on planting a church there with the help of the locals. They have a thriving children’s ministry and built temporary fellowship center .
Pastor Jimmy and his growing congregation need 100 chairs at ($15.00/chair) for the fellowship center. Currently, the church ministers to at least 40 children each week and baptisms number 16 since church planting in Carigara began. Your support will help this church plant get established in this town. I plan to make the trip to Leyte in the near future to purchase the chairs locally, encourage Pastor Jimmy and his church family, as well as document their joy and thankfulness via photos and video. Your financial partnership and prayer support for this trip would make it all the more special!
In a spirit of generosity, will you give? Thank you for your consideration. Here’s how you can send your gifts. I will personally carry the funds, God-willing, sometime in January.
By Check. Make checks payable to GLINTS and write Chairs for Carigara on the memo line. Please send your check to:
PO Box 962
Wheaton IL 60187
By Credit Card and PayPal. Click here , click donate and follow instructions. Please insert Chairs for Carigara in the comment box.
Levi Velasco, Author
Today this Scripture has been fulfilled, Jesus taught as he quoted from Isaiah 61 in the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:17-21). And so have hundreds of prophecies regarding our Lord from the Tanakh (Old Testament).
Let me present to you what he quoted and stated as fulfilled:
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (ESV)
As He sat down and began to teach he was rudely interrupted by men who listened to Him read the Scriptures. First, there were platitudes, but Jesus exposed their real heart condition: you will not believe in me even if I perform miracles before your eyes. And those you consider unworthy of being ministered to by God will be blessed by His visitation. The reaction of the crowd? Scripture says with wrath! Truly, Jesus was right in saying that no prophet is acceptable in his own hometown. (v. 24, ESV)
And so we live in the present day in an ever-increasing cynical, angry world, raising its collective fist to the One who sovereignly came to set at liberty those who are oppressed, first among the Jews and ultimately the whole world!
This Gospel is what we proclaim at GLINTS through our global staff and ministry partners. May the God of Christmas fill your hearts with gratitude and continued generosity. We are humbled by your continued support.
Help us minister to more people in 2017
2016 is coming to a close. And we rejoice for the great things God has done through GLINTS. Together with joy is our hope that we close this year without a deficit in our account. We are depending on God and His people as conduits of financial blessing. Please prayerfully consider a sizeable one-time gift towards our ministry. As a token of our gratitude for any amount donated, we will send you a mounted canvass picture from one of our ministry trips.
If the Lord moves you to give, you may send a check payable to GLINTS, write Velasco Global Ministry on the memo and send to:
P.O. Box 962
Wheaton IL 60187
Online donation is easy. Click here to access our online donation system.
Levi Velasco, Author
What are you thankful for? Is it your job, family, friends, things you’ve accumulated or your status in life? Are you also grateful for tragedies in your life like sickness, financial meltdown, divorce, fractured relationships or a wayward child?
God is the basis of my thanksgiving. I am grateful for Him who created me, saved me through His Son and gave me meaning and purpose in life to do His will. Because I have totally placed my life into God’s hands and He is able to sustain it no matter what, I have the capacity to give thanks in the good times and the bad. I am confident that in all seasons of life, God continues to work His plan. So whether I am up or down, successful or failing, strong or weak, loved or unloved – in all things I will give thanks . . . to God.
Levi Velasco, Author
On Sunday, November 20th, as we were getting ready for worship service, I heard a song on WMBI (Chicago) entitled The Basics of Life sung by 4Him. Memories of family concerts in the Pacific Northwest came cascading back like a flood. I thought, as I reminisced, it was apropos 25 years ago, but moreso today. Read the lyrics while listening to the song.
We’ve turned the page, for a new day has dawned
We’ve re-arranged what is right and what’s wrong
Somehow we’ve drifted so far from the truth
That we can’t get back home
Where are the virtues that once gave us light
Where are the morals that governed our lives
Someday we all will awake and look back just to find what we’ve lost
We need to get back to the basics of life
A heart that is pure, and a love that is blind
A faith that is fervently grounded in Christ
The hope that endures for all times
These are the basics, we need to get back
To the basics of life
The newest rage is to reason it out
Just meditate And you can overcome every doubt
After all man is a God, they say God is no longer alive
But I still believe in the old rugged cross
And I still believe there is hope for the lost
And I know the rock of all ages will stand through changes of time (to chorus)
We’ve let the darkness invade us too long
We’ve got to turn the tide, oh
And we need the passion that burned long ago
To come and open our eyes
There’s no room for compromise (chorus)
Levi Velasco, Author
As newly-landed immigrants in the US we settled in the land of Lincoln in 1984. Being a new Chicagoan I immediately was drawn to rooting for the Cubs, Bulls and Bears (no offense Sox fans). I remained loyal to these teams even though we had moved away from the area and lived in other cities that had their share of professional sports teams. Our return to Chicago in 2003 rekindled my passion in cheering for these, my sports teams.
I’m sure most of you know by now that the Cubs, after a 108-year wait, finally won another World Series Championship. There a few spiritual illustrations I wanted to point out concerning the Cubs’ feat:
Redemption. There were several times when the Cubs were on the verge of losing Game 7 of the World Series. The team was dogged by defensive miscues, most egregious were two by Javier Baez (one of the youngest) and two by Dave Ross (“Grandpa Ross” to his teammates). Feeling they both let their team down, both Baez and Ross redeemed themselves and each hit the ball out of the park soon after their errors.
Brotherhood. They were their brothers’ keeper. It was evident all throughout the season that the Cubs team cared for each other. There were no prima donna tantrums or evidences of the blame game. This was true in Game 7 of the World Series as well – team members encouraged each other when the going got tough. “We picked each other up,” Javier Baez shared.
Perseverance. Down 3-1 in the World Series, this Cubs team never gave up. Winning three straight games, with two in enemy territory, was a tall order for this very young team. But each rose to the occasion, buckled down, and the Cubbies were able to grind-out back-to-back-to-back wins.
Long-Suffering. The fans, that is. I’ve seen Cubs games on TV and at Wrigley Field (especially in the 80s) when the Cubs weren’t that good. These Chicago Cubs fans never booed them. It’s as if to say, we enjoy watching you play more than “the W” (the win). And so it went for 108 long years, suffering but never wavering in their loyalty to the Cubs.
Trusting God’s Timing. Many fans and Cubs players themselves were unsure of the outcome of the game. There were several times when the Cubs felt assured they’d end their 108-year championship drought, only to be discouraged as the Cleveland Indians fought their way back to contend for the win. Then the rain came, and a 15-minute delay ensued. What now? Jason Heyward, right outfielder, gathered the team and gave an inspirational talk ending it with: “I don’t know how it’s going to happen, how we’re going to do it, but let’s go out and try to get a W.” And win they did! Heyward said that “it was the best rain delay of all time.” The rain ended the drought . . . as it should. The answer? It was in the rain.
I’m sure you can come up with a few more of these parallels, but what is certain is that real life is rife with the manifestations of theology and the stories of characters from the Bible.
On October 20, 2016, Typhoon Lawin (Haima) hit the Philippines and made landfall on the northeastern province of Cagayan with sustained winds of 140 mph (225 kph). It was the strongest typhoon to visit the country since Haiyan (Yolanda) in 2013. Hardest hit provinces include Cagayan, Isabela, Apayao, Abra and Ilocos Norte (northwest).
PhilRADS, a GLINTS global partner, is in the thick of providing disaster relief in the areas struck by this latest typhoon. Staff and volunteers are presently distributing relief supplies of nutritious food to 1,000 families in the provinces of Cagayan and Ilocos Norte.
Your financial gifts will help PhilRADS to help many more families who have been displaced by this super-typhoon. Click here to donate.
Survivors waiting their turn to receive food supplies
Volunteers distribute disaster relief goods
Happy recipients of relief food supplies
Levi Velasco, Author
A Normal Day
. . . was what commuters felt as they began their day as a normal routine. And then BAM! The commuter train they were riding didn’t slow down as it approached the Hoboken, New Jersey station. The NJ Transit No. 1614 hit the bumper guard rail at the end of the line and smashed through the terminal. Some on board the train described the ensuing moments in what seemed to be a very bumpy ride. As of this writing there have already been over a 100 injuries and one death reported.
This illustrates the uncertainties we face on a daily basis. A normal day can turn tragic in a matter of seconds. Hundreds of people, those who were in the commuter train and those who were in the station, will forever be impacted by this one single event. At this juncture, questions about mortality are entertained . . . but only for a brief moment.
But now that your attention is on mortality even for a brief moment, think about where you will spend eternity if this was the day your life was taken. Don’t let this not-so-normal-day turn tragic by denying the free gift of eternal life. The Lord Jesus Christ offers this to those who desire to spend eternity with Him. Don’t let it be a normal day again until you settle once and for all your eternal destination.
Call 1-800-NEEDHIM or click here.
In August, I hosted Pastor Tom Shedd, from the Global Training Network. Their mission: “To train Majority World church planters, pastors and Christian leaders so that they can more effectively equip their congregations to evangelize and disciple their communities for Christ.”
We had one training in Mae Sai, Thailand and one in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Basically, what I did was:
1) Make the connections between the trainer and the trainees (making connections may be turning out to be one of my roles).
2) Plan and book most of Pastor Tom’s accommodations and local/domestic flights.
3) Set up the training schedule and deal with many of the details.
4) Help finance bus tickets and food for the trainees.
5) Attend the training as both a teaching assistant and trainee.
Pastor Tom and translator Pastor Ed
After I was finished in Laos, I visited Breakthrough Thailand ministry in Khon Kaen Province. We did an art workshop there in July, which you may remember from my last newsletter. These two pictures are actually from that visit (this last visit the only pictures that I took are of manual rice transplanting – see a future blog).
Thank you for your prayers and financial partnership.
Please help me continue to serve. To donate, click here.
Levi Velasco, Author
When it rains it pours. We tend to equate this saying in the negative. Experiencing a string of three to four mishaps within a relatively short amount of time, we say, when it rains it pours. Such was my feeling in recent days. Within a period of two weeks we had to replace a microwave, our air conditioning (AC) unit quit and the garage door broke and wouldn’t open.
But as a child of God, born of His Spirit through His Son (John 1:12 [read the whole chapter for context]), I know He knows what I am going through at all times. I completely trust that my Father is able to provide for my every need, so I need not be perplexed with the daily travails of life I encounter as His son (but He understands when I get anxious from time to time).
Rain 1 – The Microwave
We live in a small townhouse having limited space in our kitchen/dining area. The decision to replace the microwave was more out of practicality, but it needed to be done. We gave away our huge microwave (circa 2003) and replaced it with a smaller one that could really fit on our kitchen counter.
Rain 2- The AC Unit
I did a good thing by having our furnace and AC compressor tuned up. It was a good deal or so I thought. A technician from HVAC Services (not its real name) came and did his thing, cleaned both units and recommended some parts be changed to which he included a quote. Hmm . . . I thought, wow, this is high.
Being the good shopper that I am, I immediately called a friend from Integrity Heating and Cooling (its real name) and asked for a pricing quote which definitely came out lower. I had done my homework and scheduled a tech from Integrity to do the job on September 6th. However, the AC unit all of a sudden quit a couple of days before the scheduled appointment – two of the hottest days this summer in Chicago!
Rafael (tech) came on the 6th, and it didn’t take a whole lot of time for him to replace the parts on the AC and furnace units, but the AC still wouldn’t work. His assessment? The fan motor on the compressor failed. I had a decision to make but being that it was one of the hottest days of summer, it was a no-brainer and had Rafael replace the motor. After finishing, Rafael, with sweat pouring down his face, said it was done. Ah, cool air once again came through the vents. (Rafael commented later that the reason why the fan motor failed was the tech who earlier tuned up the AC unit either made a mistake or intentionally reversed the polarity of the fan motor wiring. Only the Lord knows.)
Rain 3 – The Garage Door
Now, the garage door. It wouldn’t even budge as I tried to lift it Saturday night (09/10). I asked our neighbor, Craig, if he wouldn’t mind helping me figure out what was wrong. He came over, checked out the garage door, and then came back with rope. What on earth was he thinking? 🙂 Anyway, he looped the rope on the handle of the garage door and said, lift! It was heavy but it did open. Craig looked up and declared, “Your torsion spring is broken.” I looked, and it was easy to see it had split in half.
I prayed, “What do I do now?” The Lord reminded me of Miguel, so I called him and said, I have an emergency and need your help. He is REALLY a busy man. But he replied, the earliest he could come was Tuesday (09/13). Upon arriving, Miguel took one look at the door, and he lifted it with one hand. Amazing.
The challenge now was to find a store nearby that had the specific torsion spring for our garage door. Smartphones and Google to the rescue. Menards had it, so off we went, bought the spring, and Miguel replaced it. While he was on the ladder he commented, “Oh, you have an electric garage door opener.” I said, yeah, but it doesn’t work. I had attached the opener a few years back but the screw that was supposed to lift the door wouldn’t turn. Miguel says, “I’ll take a look at it after I’m done with this.”
It took awhile to adjust the spring until the tension was just right. After Miguel made the final adjustments, he asked me where the switch to the door opener was. I pressed it, and I heard a whirring sound. I asked, is it working? Miguel said, “Yeah, it’s working.” He attached the arm to the door and tried it again. Hallelujah, it worked. We programmed the remotes and we were done for the day.
Let it Rain!
When it rains it pours, but God’s provision is ever-present even before the rain stops. A couple of weeks ago we were surprised to receive a check from our mortgage bank. It was an overpayment to our escrow account. The amount from the bank covered the repairs on the AC, garage door, and even the purchase of our small microwave.
Not only did He provide the funds to cover all three needs but also allowed quality time with friends who showed love through their acts of kindness. Expressions of love are great but deeds borne out of love are powerful! Trust Him fully, even through the rain.