Mission Report

Almost a decade ago while researching the topic of codependency, I came upon the book Dead Aid by macroeconomist, Dr. Dambisa Moyo from Zambia. She contended that prolonged aid to African countries was hurting their development.  

“I wish we questioned the aid model as much as we are questioning the capitalism model. Sometimes the most generous thing you can do is just say no.” - Dr. Dambisa Moyo

I heard this same idea again recently while listening to His Excellency, Paul G. Altidor, Ambassador from Haiti. He expressed appreciation for the charitable donations, siting much of it as Christian aid. After the devastating earthquake of 2010, over two million Haitians were displaced and 300,000+ died.

Ambassador Altidor went on to say, “we are now moving into the rebuilding stage as a nation... Too much of the Haitian economy has been based on international assistance. We are taking ownership of our destiny.” He appealed for partnering rather than dead aid. Christian charity, like mercy, is a starting point, but thereafter prolonged dependency stunts the growth of a nation or an individual. Click here to see the full video with Ambassador Altidor.

This is precisely the perspective Discovery Family Ministries has regarding the Opioid Crisis talking point. If churches and parents and loved ones are to make a lasting difference, we must approach the problem not just with prolonged charity, but with a vision that focuses on partnering and rebuilding.

Indiscriminate charity may make us feel better about ourselves, but that is not the aim. Start with compassion, but move on to rebuilding. Demonstrate faith in the truth enough to step back when the time is right. Otherwise two things happen: first we perpetuate an unhealthy dependency upon the source and secondly, we send a message that “you cannot make it without ME!”

Remember, Jesus was not codependent!

New Covenant Bible Fellowship

Gary and Linda with the Reverend Dr. Charles Jones and his wife, Jacqueline.

Gary and Linda with the Reverend Dr. Charles Jones and his wife, Jacqueline.

Linda and I were honored to minister in Orlando, FL March 2-3 at the invitation of Reverend Dr. Charles Jones and his wife, Jacqueline. Their predominantly Haitian congregation, NCBF, was filled with radiant servants of God! We were impressed by their exuberant worship and noted the young men and women strong in faith. Thank you, Pastor Jones and congregation, for your hospitality and generosity! 

This experience broadened our vision for DFM. We found ourselves thankful for the arrival of this people to our nation. The thought surfaced, “could God be using them to invite spiritual renewal in America?”

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Beyond the Easter Story

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. (In other words, no matter what you have believed or felt until now, here is the truth!) It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. John 16:7

Jesus knew how much the disciples depended on Him. He loved them enough to physically leave the earth. Jesus’ Ascension was as important to God’s eternal purpose as was His Incarnation!

Understandably, the original disciples loved Jesus’ flesh. Dare we say they were addicted to it? The working of miracles, the answers He gave the Pharisees; Jesus always knew what to do and what to say in every situation. He was, well, just perfect! The perfect embodiment of truth!

Numerous times Jesus had alluded to His suffering and soon coming death, but the disciples were oblivious to the obvious. They were so interested in what Jesus could do for them that they missed what God was preparing to do through them.

Talk about a “paradigm shift!” Everything in them and perhaps in us is averse to change once we get settled and comfortable. We get “fixed” in our institutionalized thinking. Disciples then and now like to keep Jesus in our lives right where we want Him!

In their thinking it was to their advantage that Jesus stay put! His departure was not part of their plans. It is embarrassing to say, but Jesus was useful to them. During the original Easter season big changes were transpiring.

In a very direct conversation between Peter and Jesus, missions and motives were exposed. It is recorded in Matthew 16:21-26 NASB. 

From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 

Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! Nothing like this must happen to You.” (PHILLIPS translation)

But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

I submit that Peter and the others did not want “death-talk” to interrupt their plans for Jesus. What are God’s interests? We can be confident they are beyond our limited perspective. While celebrating the memory of His death, burial and resurrection this year, may we accept the truth that He has prepared us to be His body in the earth to fulfill God’s mission. Easter is beyond commemorating the historical events of days of yore!

Thank you for supporting DFM each month. His mission through us continues…

The Closing of an Era and the Beginning of a New Season!

At the beginning of 2018, it seemed good to the Board of Directors that we should cease operating Discovery Market Place & Thrift to invest more time in ministry. While DMP&T provided a portion of the ministry’s financial support, the greater portion came from individuals we served in various roles like pastoring, mentoring and teaching, none of which were salaried positions.

Maintaining Victory, Avoiding Trouble

God’s ideal for Israel was to move from victory to victory as they conquered their Promise Land. By God’s supernatural intervention, they had defeated Jericho.

Their next challenge was Ai. According to preliminary reports, this would be an easy victory. But to their utter surprise and because of their presumption, little Ai ran them down and killed 36 of their men. Suddenly, Israel became paralyzed with fear and their courage melted like water. Verses 2-5

MOTIVATED to MOVE ON

Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die? 2 Kings 7:3

Israel was in a difficult place. Ben-Hadad, the King of Syria, was threatening from without and the land was devastated with severe famine.

ANNUAL DISCOVERY EVENT

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Hear the dynamic testimony of Brandon Sanders! 

  • Lives in Katy, TX with his wife Cary serving as an Associate Pastor at PowerHouse Church
  • Served on Staff under Pastor Chris Patrick at the Wings of Life in Mobile
  • Launched the FatherHood initiative in cooperation with Mobile County Health Department
  • Launched Urban Missionariez, an evangelistic outreach using “Rap” music to connect with the emerging generation
  • Served as a Pastor on Staff at The Cave Ministries in West Mobile

Brandon personifies the mission of Discovery Family Ministries. Since being miraculously delivered from a lifestyle of addiction and family brokenness, Brandon strongly emphasizes men taking responsibility and represents Godly leadership! 

Date: Thursday, October 5, 2017

Location: The Original Oyster House, 3733 Battleship Parkway, Spanish Fort, AL 36527

Time: Awesome Dinner at 6:30 PM (for various palates)

Theme: Taking Action, Changing Minds, Removing Dependencies

Speaker: Brandon Sanders & Testimonies

Cost: $50 per person

RSVP by September 29th, Limited Seating Available

Special Music: Brett Gambino

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Christ Anglican NEXT STEP Report

At our most recent NEXT STEP Seminar at Christ Anglican Church, Linda and I received many encouraging words. We thank those who participated and many others who have shared with us during these days when the playing field of recovery is changing.

Here are a few edited responses from NEXT STEP:

Personal motivation is a key to recovery. Over-familiarity with the system/structure destroys individual initiative to change permanently.

 God is bringing us back to foundations: Before Addiction/Addiction & Recovery/Calling.

 We own our responsibility for the problem, and we refuse to allow the problem to own us. Ex. I am an addict.

We embrace the Father’s grace and serve others as an expression of gratitude. Our allegiance is to truth, not what is popular!

 Giving back creates personal empowerment. We continually visualize the steps to success and develop positive life-skills. The church once again becomes the prophetic voice of God.