12 January 2010

New Website and New Blog

We have finally created our own website. Check it out at http://www.daveterpstra.com

Also, the new website contains new blogs, so if you subscribe to our feed, you will need to add/change it. There is an RSS button on my new blog page which is: http://www.daveterpstra.com/daveterpstra.com/Daves_Blog/Daves_Blog.html

Thanks for staying up to speed on what we are doing.

14 December 2009


I have been listening to the New Testament on CD as I drive to and from appointments around town (upon the recommendation of Ed Dobson). As I listened to the entire book of Matthew on a trip to and from the airport a couple of weeks ago, I noticed how often Matthew records that God spoke to people through dreams. Even Christmas would have been different had God not spoken to Joseph about the true Father of Jesus in a dream, or if the "wise men" had not been warned to head a different direction in a dream.

However, I have been in dozens of conversations over the years with individuals who are interested in hearing from God or who believe they have heard from God, but I can count on one hand the number of time someone told me that God spoke to them in a dream.


Certainly God still speaks through dreams. When the Holy Spirit first came at Pentecost Peter quoted a passage from Amos that indicated that in the present age "Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams." Dreams should be a normal way to hear from God for those filled with the Spirit.

Yet I can't recall a single dream from God.

Perhaps we have lost the art of paying attention to dreams. Perhaps we haven't disciplined ourselves to record the contents of our dreams after they happen. But if we truly desire to hear from God, and wish for Him to speak to us, perhaps we should pay more attention to our dreams.

12 December 2009

The Car Accident

I thought I would write the full story of the car accident for those who are interested. My car is at the body shop for an estimate so pictures will need to be forthcoming.

I was going to WorldVenture to drop off some checks, travelling northbound on Broadway. As I approached the intersection of Broadway and Grant (with Wendy's and Midas), a car began to creep into the intersection to make a left in front of me. He couldn't see me initially because there was a box truck in my left-hand turn lane.

When I saw him continue to creep along, I hit my horn, at which point he hit his accelerator. I swerved so we wouldn't hit head on, but instead took him down the left-hand side of the car. He hit at the driver's side wheel well and side-swiped me all the way to my back left bumper.

After hitting me, he stayed on his accelerator, jumped the curb, climbed a grass berm and dropped down a 6 foot wall into the Midas parking lot. I watched out of my rear view mirror. It was like something out of Dukes of Hazzard.

I hit my shoulder and head during the impact and still have the lingering effects of whiplash three days later. The elderly gentleman who hit me (and who should not have been allowed the wheel of a motor vehicle) is still at Littleton Hospital. I'm not sure what is wrong with him.

He claimed he didn't have insurance but he wasn't very lucid after the accident. I didn't carry comprehensive on my car since it was pretty old and I am moving out of the country in a couple of months. Oh well. Fortunately I carried Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury.

03 November 2009

language learning

"If your children learn the language faster than you, there is something wrong with your language program!"

Our trainer said this line in our first day of language acquisition training and it stuck with me. Most of us have the assumption that kids learn language faster than adults. But it shouldn't be true. And if it is, then there is something wrong with the time and attention you are devoting to the language.

Adults can learn a language just as fast as kids do, but they need to be willing to work at it. That is why Amy and I are so grateful to our new boss at WorldVenture for challenging us to take a whole year to devote to language study. Part of us thinks it is so painful to have to delay our arrival in Mozambique for a whole year. But the other part of us knows that we will be far better off in the long run to apply concentrated study to language for a whole year.

So in the mean time, while we continue to raise support, we are going to be using Rosetta Stone and working with a language helper. I'll let you know how it goes.

26 October 2009

Arguing with God

I have been thinking a lot about prayer recently as I have been praying more fervently about our needs (and also the needs of many of our friends). I picked up a little book that I read years ago by Charles Spurgeon called "The Power in Prayer". The book is a collection of sermons Spurgeon preached and a favorite of mine is called "Order and Argument in Prayer"

Spurgeon suggests a number of arguments which we should use when petitioning God:
God's attributes
God's promises
The Great Name of God
The Sorrows of His People
The Past
The Only True God
The Sufferings of Jesus

Some of these require some explanation, which is why you should get the book. But I am curious what arguments you might use when you knock upon the door or Heaven and cry out to the Almighty.

18 October 2009

Eradication of Poverty

Yesterday was the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. What a sad commentary on our world that we need a whole day to remind us in the West that much of the world is suffering in unimaginable levels of destitution. But why haven't we alleviated poverty yet? Have we failed to give enough?

The answer is NO. In short, we have given more than "enough" over the past 50 years. In fact, the West (North America and Europe) have given trillions (with a "T") in the last 50 years. That is more than enough money to completely pull every poor person on the planet out of destitution, and yet it hasn't. Why?

In short, there are two reasons: corruption and planning.

In case you didn't know, most of the world lives under a government that is corrupt. In other words, when their country is given aid by the West, most of it goes to line the pockets of those at the top of the food chain all the way down to those just above the bottom of the food chain. Why deliver mosquito nets to a village when you can sell them yourself and use the profit to buy better building materials for your house? Why ensure that medicine gets delivered if your boss doesn't really care and you will get paid either way? Why not give cushy jobs to family members instead of people who will actually perform an assignment? Corruption kills the best laid plans.

And that leads us to the second reason that poverty has yet to be eradicated. Plans. You see, capitalism actually works. And capitalism isn't a plan. That's socialism. Socialism attempts to lock smart people into a room and have them decide what is best for the rest of us. Capitalism says that you should decide what is best for you and if you want something, you should be responsible to get it for yourself.

So take for example the release of the most recent Harry Potter book. Millions of copies were delivered in multiple languages to children (and nerdy adults like me) all over the world ON THE SAME DAY! And yet we can't get mosquito nets to children who will die without them this month. If you and I can get a book, why can't we get nets to kids?

And in the question lies the problem. In order to eradicate poverty we need to move from the attitude that WE need to get mosquito nets to THEM, and instead realize that WE need to do everything we can to make the nets attainable by ANYONE who would GO LOOKING for them.

Poverty is not something you and I can plan away. It must be climbed out of by those who are finally given the chance. But you and I can work to give more people that chance.

For more thoughts on this subject read the excellent book "White Man's Burden" by William Easterly. For more on how you can help give people a chance to get out of poverty, email me.

11 October 2009


**** WARNING *****

Please do not read this post if you are planning on one day attending training at MTI or if you might ever go to training down here. If you read the rest of this post, it will ruin a significant piece of your experience.


So now with that said, I can continue. As I have popped up into Denver from training a couple of times over the last few weeks, several people have asked me how training has been going. My answer is usually: intense. Why is it so intense? Simply put, the first 3 weeks of training have been the most emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually exhausting experience I have ever volunteered for. Allow me to explain the capstone of the intensity.

I was locked in a 6' x 6' x 8' plywood box with 21 other people for over 2 hours in a simulated hostage experience at the end of which I was one of 5 men who were dragged from the box, pushed to the floor, and executed by a gunshot (they shot blanks) to the back of my skull.

I'm not sure I can type out the whole story with the necessary drama, but it was real enough that half of the people in the box with me were crying by the end, and I was praying with my forehead on the cold concrete because it felt so real.

Amy had a much different and worse experience than me in her box (what's worse than being executed you say? You will have to ask...). I will let her tell the story if she wants to.

The kids were off playing and had no idea what happened to us. But for us, it brought home the reality of some of the more extreme dangers of life overseas.

Although Mozambique has been at peace for over a decade, as Kenya demonstrated to the world just a couple of years ago, even the most peaceful African country can erupt into flames with one bad election.

For me, one of the most profound elements of impact was recognizing I was in the box with people going to Morocco, China, and other places where security is a real risk. It was a sobering experience to say the least.