CE World Convention 2018 registration website is live!

The registration website for the C.E. World Convention 2018 in San Diego is live now! Raptim Humanitarian Travel is honored to assist you with your preparations to attend the C.E. Convention. Please take time to read through each section of the website before registering. Informational tabs are across the top of the site. Click HERE for info and to register. We hope you can join us this July!

• (Region 1: Europe, Australia and Pacific, Korea, Japan, USA, Canada, Mexico)
• (Region 2: South America, India and any other countries from Asia)
• (Region 3: Africa)

Do You Trust Me Now?

Last month I wrote about living in a society that is devoid of trust. Trust has significantly eroded in America. Think about what has happened to labels. I used to be able to read labels such as Democrat/Republican, Conservative/Liberal, Lutheran/Presbyterian/Methodist/Mennonite and actually have an idea what they meant. Recently I read how the Food and Drug Administration in the USA requires all ingredients to be listed on the labels. However, if something is sprayed upon the bag that holds the “food” then this does not need to be listed. What!?! That is correct.

Trying to avoid BHA, BHT, and other harmful chemicals? They may be present even if the label doesn’t say so. Who is labeling the packaged food you eat? Who sponsored the advertisement you just read or heard? Who made the clothing you wear? Who endorsed the curriculum children are being taught in local schools? What did that news station just say? Who owns them again?

I think we can agree that the American Trust environment has taken a negative turn. However, buckle your seat belts ladies and gentlemen- it could be much worse! I am writing you from a hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. It is almost four in the afternoon and one of my hosts has been in line since early this morning in the attempt to buy gasoline so he could drive me around the city after several days of intense teaching and training. Nigeria, one of the globe’s greatest oil producers, bows at the mercy of corrupt politicians. One was recently caught stealing four billion dollars! It now takes two hours to drive less than forty miles. Bus sized potholes wait to wreck your vehicle and line it up with those abandoned as roadside ornaments. I was instructed to ride in the center of our van so criminals would not be attracted to attack me or those in our van because of my white skin. Each night, my host pleaded that I lock my hotel room door and bolt it promising not to leave and not to open the door for anyone until they returned in the morning. The trust situation may not be good in the USA, but it can get much worse!

We may not know who or what to trust as we traverse the cultural landscape. There will ultimately always be some situation that is more bleak and dire than our own. So in the midst of this uncertainty, let’s begin by defining Trust. At some point I’ll provide Webster’s definition but limited WiFi and rolling blackouts here in Lagos have eliminated this modern convenience.

For now we will say that trust is a person’s ability to put absolute faith and belief in an object, person or statement. I trust a chair will hold me because I believe and have faith that it will do so. I trust my wife to support and love me because she has done this consistently for more than 23 years. This is Trust. Sure, people sit on chairs that break. People have spouses that leave. The action of the one receiving trust does not in the moment diminish the attitude of the one who is trusting. For instance, I trust fully in the chair up to and including the final moment that it decides to collapse.

This brings us to the inevitable question- How can I trust God? I have an answer for you. Many will find it surprising, even infuriating, but you’ll have to wait until next time. Fortunately, because of extended time in my Nigerian hotel room, that message is already written!

Do You Trust Me?

Twenty-five years ago I sat in the movie theater amazed by an animated film with flying carpets, a blue genie and an exciting plot line. Disney’s Aladdin captured the attention of a generation with its encouragement to consider life differently through the song “A Whole New World.” So many teachable moments exist in Aladdin but two brief scenes combine to create a prophetic question haunting school halls, church children’s wings, public play grounds, shopping malls, and all electronic media devices. Twice in the movie young Aladdin reaches his hand down to Princess Jasmine and echoes this prophetic question, “Do you trust me?”

We live in a culture devoid of trust. Think about what we have seen unfold before our eyes. Things began to unravel for me when Jerry Sandusky, previous defensive coordinator for Penn State’s football team during the Joe Paterno (winningest coach at Division 1A of all time) era, was found guilty of molesting children in 2012 through the non-profit organization he started. The unraveling continued when Bill Cosby, 1980’s TV icon and comedian, was tried for his own list of inappropriate actions with women. Other situations came into public view, but nothing has compared to the last few months. Hollywood power brokers have been exposed, news anchors have fallen, and athletes are facing suspensions and litigation. While this has taken place, the second largest US terrorist event took place in Nevada when five hundred people were injured and fifty-nine killed by a shooting spree at an October Las Vegas concert. One month later twenty-six people were killed by a shooter at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. Walk into almost any public school today and you are likely to find metal detectors, full time police officers and drug dogs. Enter most modern churches and find security systems with pictures on name badges for staff and printable name tags to make sure children are being picked up by the proper adult.

The answer to Aladdin’s prophetic question from a quarter century ago? ARE YOU KIDDING!! NO!!!!! We now live in a society without trust. This is how bad it has gotten. Each year our family at Thanksgiving enjoys watching the Macy’s parade. The very last parade moment is when Santa comes on a sleigh waving to the thousands of people lining the parade route and the millions watching on TV. This year, “perfectly” framed behind Santa as he appeared on the screen was the Victoria’s Secret billboard. I CANNOT EVEN TRUST THE HOLIDAY PARADE!! My spiritual life did not need to see this billboard and my boys certainly did not need it either. Do you Trust me? asks the media. No way! Do you trust me? asks the politicians that publicly call each other names. Do you trust me as a mentor and a hero? say the athletes. Do you trust me? says the North Carolina school teacher who graduated from a Christian University and then is fired two months after being hired because of a sex romp with a seventeen year old boy. Do you trust me? says the church that invests so much time building its bunkers to prove and protect its theology that little teaches their people that the true church is bigger than just them! Should it bring us great surprise when many children, teens and adults say “NO” when someone talks to them about God and says, “Do you trust Him?”

What does Trust even mean to the average person in 2017? How do we live in a culture devoid of trust? How can we share about Christ with people and invite them to trust Him when trust is not available for view in the public eye? Tune in for my next several posts and I’ll let you know how, but one question first . . . Do you trust me?

Somebody is Watching

Walking alone through your neighborhood at night and suddenly you get that feeling. Strolling from store to store on a shopping trip with some friends and you feel it again. Jogging as the sun rises in the wooded park near your house and once more the hair stands up on your neck. Many times when you experience this sensation there is no one around. Other times, somebody is watching you! This is not a blog to cause worry as Halloween approaches and people scurry to buy pumpkins to carve and candy to distribute. Our media does a fine job in the worry creation department. My purpose is to reflect on a trend I have witnessed in many teenagers and young adults today. Increasingly, there seems to be an attitude that says, “I will do what I want and if others don’t like it . . . IT DOESN’T MATTER TO ME!”

I have heard variations of this phrase such as:

  • I don’t care what they think
  • I can do whatever I want
  • Why should I care what they think?

Contrary to popular opinion, IT DOES MATTER WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK!!!!!

Paul writes a letter to mentor Titus as he guides a church. The second chapter of the book that bears Titus’ name specifically begins explaining how people should be taught in order to lead godly lives. Paul addresses older men and women, younger men and women, and finally slaves.  “Slaves” is a word most people tend to avoid. However, slaves were a normal part of New Testament times. Slaves were owned by a master and were subject to this person’s authority. To slaves, Paul gives Titus these words in Titus 2:9-10, “be subject to your masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.”

Somebody’s watching!! The principle Paul unveils here connects attitude and actions with a believer’s ability to influence others with an “attractive” gospel. Let me interpret- God is our master and we are all subject to His authority. When people say it doesn’t matter what other people think, they are normally trying to justify their right to do whatever they want to do. The world loves us to have this idea because it moves us toward worshiping ourselves instead of honoring God as our master. People make choices about what to say, eat, wear and do based on whether it feels good to them. Those looking to follow God will humble themselves and consider what people who do not know Christ are thinking. Will those people see something “attractive”? Live your life well and remember . . . Somebody’s Watching!

I’m Leaving Without You!!!!

Once a month I dedicate a day to praying and planning. As part of that routine, when the weather cooperates, I walk and pray. Recently I was walking and praying near a beautiful park down the road from our house. I overheard a mother calling to her two-year old son, Tucker, as I meandered along the park trail. The gist of the conversation went like this. The mother called for Tucker and threatened to drive away if he did not come right away. Quoting her statement, “I’m leaving without you!!!!” Tucker, feeling no immediate threat, called the mother’s bluff and crawled up the amazing climbing apparatus. The mother, undaunted in the battle of wills she had created, started the car. Tucker continued his pursuit of happiness as he felt much more excitement from the climb-nasium than he did from the thought of going home. Mother, feeling as if she could not abandon her plan, backed the car up and began to drive away. Tucker, seeing the exodus of his mother, begins to wail at the top of his little lungs. Slamming on the brakes, Mother leaves the car in the middle of the parking lot and hustles over to console her despondent son. Tucker wins!

There are no perfect parents. I made more than my fair share of bone-headed decisions in my two parenting decades. The situation I observed provides a strong analogy for our relationship with God. God provides a path that requires us to surrender. We have to lay down any authority we think we have, humble ourselves, and follow God’s path. How often does God say, “Hey, I’m heading this way!” Then we turn and invest our time with useless pursuits that will not matter in eternity. God’s will is being done. His plan will carry on with or without you. God wants you to walk with Him so that when you play, you play with Him in His way. When it is time to go, you are willing to leave. Taking God’s path requires us to remember God’s words in James 4:10, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” The next time you witness a battle of wills, consider your own will. Pause for a moment and listen to hear if God is calling, “I’m leaving without you!!!!”

Do Not Miss This Powerful and Timely Workshop!

You’re Invited to

Learn the C.E. process with this Simple, Biblical, Relevant training event

Sept 23, 2017  *  9 AM – 12 PM
     Lancaster Bible College, Sebastian Academic Center (SAC101)
901 Eden Rd, Lancaster PA 17601

Sept 28, 2017  *  6-9 PM
     Honey Brook Presbyterian Church
4331 Horseshoe Pike, Honey Brook PA 19344

Sept 30, 2017  *  9 AM – 12 PM
     Central Schwenkfelder’s Community Center
2067 Steelman Rd, Lansdale PA 19446

(This is one identical session being held in three different locations for your convenience)

CLICK HERE to register. Use the comments box with location date and names of those attending.

Only $20 if you register in advance
If a group of 4 signs up, 5th person is FREE
Cost at the door:  $25
(covers training booklet & event expenses) 

Meet workshop presenter Josh Good
Josh Good
has been serving as Youth Pastor at Trinity E.C. Church in Terre Hill since 2008. He has a deep passion for unleashing teens to pursue, live and work for Jesus. He holds a B.A. in history and secondary education from Lycoming College and is in the midst of Masters of Divinity studies. Since 2011, Josh has been using Christian Endeavor as the framework for the youth ministry at his church and has seen it yield powerful results for the Kingdom & God’s glory. Because of the way C.E. unleashes teens to live out their faith, he has a heart for sharing C.E. with other churches. Josh is very excited to equip churches to utilize Christian Endeavor in their local settings.
In addition to his ministry role, Josh enjoys spending time with his wife, Justine, and four small kids (dinosaur and princess reenactments are a daily occurrence), drinking coffee and smiling like crazy.

Incredible 4th and final Missions Week of 2017!

The fourth and final Missions Week of 2017 was incredible! This week, we were joined in NC by four churches: Central Schwenkfelder Church Lansdale, West Lawn UMC, St. Mark’s UMC Mount Joy, and Honey Brook Presbyterian Church. We had about 94 individuals total, including those who worked in the kitchen, our speaker, and other staff members who worked behind the scenes.

The Worksites

Throughout the week, the four churches worked on twelve different projects across Brunswick County, both in individual homes and in community centers. Significant progress was made on all of the sites, and a few projects were even completed by the end of the week.

Central Schwenkfelder Church worked on three different sites throughout the week, with projects that included finishing work on a back deck that had been begun the previous week by Ephrata COB and building a new railing for someone’s back steps. They also worked at a local community center/food bank, which involved cleaning the bathrooms, giving the walls a fresh coat of paint, and also repainting the floor.

West Lawn UMC was also on a number of sites throughout the week, many of which involved simple, one-day jobs. Their projects included repairing a front deck and steps at two different homes, applying wood stain to a wheelchair ramp at someone’s home, and also replacing a storm door. In addition, a few members of the team spent a day power-washing the exterior of a local church and cleaning/organizing their storage shed.

St. Mark’s UMC was given three different projects for the week. These projects included bathroom work at multiple homes in order to get the bathrooms up and running. The church also continued work that First Baptist Church had begun the week before and finished up the front porch railing at one of their sites. Finally, they painted at a site that was being converted into a community center, and cleaned up the site as well.

Honey Brook Presbyterian had two sites, both of which were continuations of projects that had been begun the previous week. They completed a bathroom remodel at both sites, including installing a shower stall, a new vanity, and other amenities. They were also involved in painting one of the houses they worked at.

Other Acts of Service

In addition to their service on the worksites, a number of students were also involved in the evening sessions, both on stage and behind the scenes. It was incredible to see them using their gifts and talents to worship God!


Throughout the summer, we’ve been holding week-long competitions between the boys and girls in order to raise money for Christian Endeavor Worldwide, which serves over 30 countries globally. Over the course of the week, the teens raised $198.33 altogether, which brought our month-long total to $732.85! We’re very grateful for all of the people who chose to support the mission of Christian Endeavor, both this past week and throughout the month!

As C.E. Mission Weeks 2017 comes to a close, there are a few things we’d like to ask you to remember in prayer regarding the last four weeks.

  • Pray for the students who made commitments throughout the summer that they will be able to follow through, and that their youth leaders would be able to guide them.
  • Pray for those who were involved in our Share Your Faith Openly (SYFO) training each week, that they would continue to remember what they’ve learned and apply it to their daily lives.
  • Pray for our staff as they wrap up the summer and readjust to life at home. We ask that you pray especially for those who will beginning their first year of college this fall as they adjust to another big change in their lives.
  • Finally, we ask that you pray for C.E. as we plan and prepare for the future, including Mission Weeks 2018 and other events.

Thank you for your incredible support throughout the summer! God has certainly done great things in the past month, and we’re thankful for the encouragement we’ve received.

C.E. Mission Weeks: Week 3 was another great success!

All teams arrived safely in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina with only a few delays, and they had an amazing week working at the various sites. We were joined by five churches this week: Ephrata COB, Faith E.C. Temple, First Baptist Church of Allentown, Millersville Bible Church, and St. Peter’s UMC Emerald. Altogether, we had about 93 volunteers, including our site coordinators, speaker, and other staff members.

The Worksites

Ephrata COB worked on three different sites this week. Their projects included replacing floors in a home, repairing a front porch and building a new deck, remodeling a bathroom, painting the exterior of a house, and replacing the skirting on a home. Though they were split between multiple sites, the church made significant progress on all of their projects, and were able to complete a couple of them before returning home.

Faith E.C. worked on numerous repairs at a house, including beginning a kitchen remodel, putting up a new fence on a front porch, and replacing the flooring and drywall in various parts of the house, including the bathroom. Despite the hard work, their team always had smiles on their faces and were a great blessing to the homeowners.

First Baptist also had a handful of projects at their site. One of the major projects was yardwork, which involved mowing the lawn and weedwhacking around the site. The church also built a new fence for the front porch, installed new flooring trim in the kitchen, among many other things. The team members persevered in the heat, and made a lot of improvements to the home and property.

Millersville Bible Church installed new flooring and drywall in their home, and they also cleaned and stained the front and back porches. Both jobs were heavily involved, but the church was able to complete both of them by the end of the week and make a difference in the lives of the people living there.

St. Peter’s UMC completed various repairs to a front porch at their worksite, including new screens, a new light, and painting the outside frame. They also worked on remodeling the bathroom, and despite numerous setbacks, they made a significant amount of progress and had a great impact on the homeowner.

Other Acts of Service

In addition to their hard work on their many projects, many of our volunteers found more ways to assist with the various tasks back at our home base. Many volunteers helped in the kitchen throughout the week, which was a huge blessing since we did not have a kitchen staff.

Some students and leaders also assisted with worship throughout the week. Some played instruments like the ukulele, piano, and guitar, while others lent their voices to the worship. Students also helped behind the scenes by running the soundboard and other tech involved in the service, and by taking photos and videos during the gatherings. We are so thankful for the selflessness of those who chose to give their time towards helping our staff!

Spiritual Growth

This week, our teams dove into the book of Philippians during their daily devotions on the worksites. Our camp gatherings were led by speaker Chuck Jewell, who used various Biblical accounts to illustrate the theme of Standing Out. His topics included the examples of Lot and Ruth, as well as the event of Pentecost, among many others. At the end of the week, students were offered the chance to make some type of commitment, and many of them followed that invitation and committed themselves to making a greater effort to living their lives fully for Christ!


As with previous weeks, we held a competition between the boys and the girls to see which team could raise the most money for Christian Endeavor-World. The winning team, the boys, got to pie our speaker in the face. Altogether, the churches raised $154.85! Thank you so much to everyone for your generosity and support of Christian Endeavor!

As we close out this week and look forward to what Week 4 has in store for us, we ask that you remember a few things in prayer:

  • Pray that the students who made commitments last week will follow up on the decisions that they made, and that their youth leaders will have the wisdom to know how to guide them.
  • Pray for those involved in our “Share Your Faith Openly” training, that they would have the courage to stand out and share their faith with the people they come into contact with.
  • Pray that our Week 4 teams would have safety on the worksites this week and be able to make an impact on their homeowners and the community.
  • Pray that our Week 4 students would be reached by our speaker and be encouraged to take the next step in their Christian walk.
  • Pray for health and safety for our staff as we go through this week.
  • Pray that our teams would have safe travels home at the end of this week, both our staff and the four churches.

Thank you for your prayers and support! We look forward to what God has in store for Week 4!

If you would like to see more highlights from this week, check out our daily videos below:

Sunday: https://youtu.be/dMJN-rjS6iQ
Monday: https://youtu.be/78eY4OqUU-w
Tuesday: https://youtu.be/3cOUK7G7FnA

In addition, if you’d like to see highlights of what our team did in Mexico during Week 2, check out this video: https://youtu.be/zAGhlvyBKJc

Our Week 2 teams did some fantastic work in West Virginia and Mexico this past week!

The Mexico team had a wonderful week working in the community! The volunteers worked on various service projects and also helped run a Vacation Bible School program in the evenings. Although there were a few bumps in the road, all of the volunteers and C.E. staff made it back home safely!

In West Virginia, the teams also made significant progress on their projects in Fayette County. Sanctuary UMC was able to complete a lot of the bathroom remodeling project, and they also made progress in replacing the drywall at their other worksite.

Akron Grace painted both the interior and exterior of the house at one of their worksites, and the homeowners were also able to join our volunteers for dinner on Thursday. They were met with a few issues at their other worksite where the wheelchair ramp was being built, but in spite of that, they completed a lot of tasks.

When not working, the West Virginia teams enjoyed going bowling, hanging out at Wendy’s with some discounted Frostys, and playing sports in the gym. There was a great sense of community among our two churches this week, and we’re thankful for all those who were able to be a part of it.

As with the first week, we once again collected an offering for World C.E. This week our volunteers raised $135.01! Thank you to all who were willing to support the mission of Christian Endeavor!

As we begin Week 3 in North Carolina, we ask that you keep a few specific things in prayer:

  • Pray for the students who made commitments last week that they would stick by them and also receive encouragement from their youth leaders or other mentors.
  • Pray for those who joined us for our “Share Your Faith Openly” (SYFO) training that they would have the courage to spread the gospel to the people they meet in their daily lives.
  • Pray for our staff, especially those returning from Mexico as they readjust to their roles in North Carolina
  • Pray that our Week 3 volunteers would have an impact for Christ on the community they are serving in NC

Thank you for your support and your prayers! We greatly appreciate it. Stay tuned for Week 3 Updates!

Mission Weeks: Week 2 is in full swing in West Virginia!

Our teams are hard at work in the community, and we’re excited to share what they’re doing.

For Week 2, we’re joined by two churches: Sanctuary UMC North Wales and Akron Grace E.C. Church. Altogether, we have about 44 volunteers, including those overseeing the worksites and taking care of other tasks back at our “home base” in Oak Hill.

The Projects

There are four projects being worked on this week, three of which are continuations of Week 1 projects. Both churches are split between two sites each, and so far, they’ve made a lot of progress!

Akron Grace’s first worksite is a continuation of the drywall project from the previous week. Now that the drywall is up, spackled, and sanded, they’ve been hard at work painting the walls and ceilings. They’ve also been painting the exterior of the house yellow. When those projects are completed, they plan to put down vinyl flooring and work on some other projects around the site. At Akron Grace’s other worksite, they are continuing to work on the trailer. Now that the wheelchair ramp and back steps have been built, they are working on building more permanent supports for the trailer.

Sanctuary UMC is continuing the project that Millport Mennonite began last week. For the most part, they’re working on the bathroom in the house, which will involve them replacing what was removed by last week’s group. Sanctuary has taken charge of a new worksite, which involves removing old drywall and replacing it, but there are a few other projects as well, such as painting the exterior of the house.

Prayer Requests

As our teams reach the halfway point in their workweek, we ask that you continue to pray for them, especially that they would have safety on the worksites and that they would have opportunities to witness to the homeowners and the other people they come into contact with. We also ask that you pray for our summer staff as they prepare to travel to North Carolina on Saturday for Weeks 3 and 4.

Thank you for your support and prayers, and stay tuned for our full Week 2 summary in a few days!