Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Word of Encouragement

Dave and Bonnie Lambert
"Her words frustrated me.  It seemed as if she really did not understand what she was saying.  I wanted to scream, to pout, (OK to be honest I probably did pout a bit), to demand that my wishes come true.  The year was 1995 and I was in the Base Exchange on Yokosuka Navy base in Japan, the store where you find everything from electronics to clothes to jewelry.  My wife had sent me out with very clear directions, find our first grade son new jeans.  Seemed simple enough, as the only store on base they had to have 6 year old boy’s pants.  But try as I might I could not find a single pair.  Not jeans, not slacks, not anything.  I finally got a salesperson to help and that is when they informed me that they were all out of stock on any pants that would fit a 6 year old boy.  Their solution, drive the 2 hours and pay the $40.00 in tolls to make the trip to the next nearest base and see if they had any pants in stock.  I could not believe it.  I asked to see the manager who as politely as possible affirmed her sales clerk position.  There were no pants to be found and they were not sure when any new stock would arrive.  Her rational response to my frustration is still is a vivid memory to this day.  'Sir, the school year is just starting and you know there are many 6 year old boys on this base.'  I did know that.  My boy was one of them.  The elementary school was just down the road from my office.  The assistant principal was a friend.  It was then that the realization of the need for ministry to this demographic hit home.  On our one small base that was way too overcrowded there were over 1800 elementary students. Those numbers did not include the satellite bases close by or the other bases in the Tokyo area or spread throughout Asia.  There were 1800 kids whose parents were active duty Navy all down the street from me.  All were growing up with parents who would deploy up to 9 months of each and every year and there was no ministry focused on them.  

Age Distribution of Military Children. The largest group is birth-5, then 6-11, then 12-18, last 19-23.Friends, that is why we are so excited to have Matthew and Sarah Annanie join the Cadence family.  They have huge hearts for not just kids but military kids.  The need is incredible, they have been called to go, now they need people who are willing to catch their vision and send them, to stand shoulder to shoulder with them to reach the thousands of children growing up with parents in our military.  Would you consider partnering with them as they minister to these kids?  As far as the jean expedition went, as I was walking out of the store another sales clerk ran up and informed me that she had found a single pair of 6 year old boy jeans in the storage area.  Mission success!"
                                                                                      With expectation,

                                                                                               Dave Lambert
                                                                                               Director of Mobilization and Training

Military Bases on Okinawa

The need for children's ministry is tremendous! The DoDDs (Department of Defense Dependent Schools) serve over 24,000 students in 45 schools across Japan, South Korea, Okinawa, and Guam! That includes all Kindergarten through 12th graders! Okinawa alone, currently has 4,288 K-5th graders! That is just Kindergarten through 5th grade, which is roughly 18% of all the U.S. military students currently living in the Pacific region. We want need, to be there now to reach these kids for Christ!! Will you help us reach those kids for Christ? Are YOU with us??