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Monday, July 14, 2008

The Longest Letter I've Ever Written

Summer means amazing days and, as in the case of last week, teenagers. Lots and lots of teenagers! But one student who did not make it to the conference I was speaking for in Daytona Beach sent this letter, instead. Granted, it's long, so if you don't think you're up for it just wait and another post will appear soon. But if you have a minute, or several, here goes. And thank you J. in advance for letting me post this for all to see!

Mr. Giglio, [love it!]

Every other summer the kids in my youth group go on missions trips. This summer the Lord opened up three opportunities. One to Brazil for two weeks, one to England for two weeks and one to China for five weeks. I tried going on the one to Brazil...but by the time I signed up it was already full. I was pretty bummed. I thought about the other two trips, but the trip to England didn't really appeal to me and China seemed too long. I wanted to do missions over the summer, but it seemed like nothing was coming into play and I kinda pushed it to the side hoping something would come up. Something definitely came up.

The first time I heard you speak live was when my awesome youth pastor took all the seniors to Passion D.C.. That weekend was way awesome. On Friday night after you spoke you asked the crowd to be still and quiet and to simply seek out the Lord's voice. So there we were, all 3,000 of us seeking out the Lord's voice in that huge arena. As I was sitting there I was praying, "Lord speak to me." After a few moments, He spoke. That still, small voice in my head said one thing, "J., you are going to China." I didn't really like this so I just tried to forget about it. The next day was awesome. I got to hear you speak along with Francis Chan the funny Asian man. He was cool and we got to worship the Lord with Chris Tomlin leading us. During the last session God did something crazy. A young lady from China came up and shared her testimony with all of us. I don't remember everything she said, but at the end she prayed. She prayed that God would speak to some of us in the crowd and send us to her country to do the Lord's work. I could hardly believe what I was hearing. Then God did another crazy thing. You came back up and said, "Ya know if maybe you've been sensing the Lord calling you to China but needed some verbal confirmation, I think that was it right there." Then you asked everyone who had sensed the Lord calling them to go to raise their hands. I raised my hand cuz at that point I was definitely being called. So I told my youth pastor and he was all excited for me and he contacted the organization and let them know I was going. Then I had to bring in the money which was almost $5,000 and I was thinking, " I dunno God, that's a lot of money and I only have like a month and a half left." But God is always bigger than I think He is and He had the first check I received be from a lady I didn't even know for $2000. So it was like Him confirming to me again that I was going.

So anyways, as you read this I'm in China witnessing to high school students and although I was super bummer that I'd be missing out on this camp that you're at, I know I am where the Lord wants me. ...Anyways, I write all this to simply thank you because the Lord used you in my life in a big way to communicate to me where He wanted me this summer.

[a few paragraphs that are personal]

...Well, Mr Giglio, this is definitely the longest letter I've ever written. ...Keep it up and know He'll keep using you in awesome ways. Also, if Chris is there with you tell him that even though everyone makes fun of his height, he really doesn't look that short, especially on stage.

Well, I know you're a super busy man but if you'd remember to pray for me that'd be cool. I'm here in China for five weeks, so even if you forget for two weeks and then you remember, you're still good. Hopefully, I'll see you again in the future. God bless,
J.

PS- I broke my ankle last week when me and a buddy were free running, so I'll be on crutches or in a wheel chair pretty much the whole time so that's one thing you can pray for, thanks.

________
Thank you Jesus...the ripples continue.
Thank you Sam Lu.
Daytona ROCKED!!
J., God is doing huge things in and through you in China! So glad you're there.
Free running = excitement and broken bones!

LG

39 Comments:

  • wow. fantastic testimony. god is good to us! thanks Louie...

    By Blogger Jeramy Sossaman, at 7/14/2008 6:32 PM  

  • Beautiful! I love it!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/14/2008 7:48 PM  

  • wow. God is amazing! (that phrase can never ever be over-used!)

    :)

    By Blogger Susan, at 7/14/2008 8:11 PM  

  • Louie,

    Thanks for sharing the story.

    Totally Awesome!! talk about ripple effects continue !!- COOL- PASSION DC SO LONG AGO... BUT STILL ....WOW (something special)..Yeah SAM LU for allowing God to use you (such an encouragemnt and inspriation to others!! Off to see Asia very soon myself God is moving !!!!!

    By Blogger Angela, at 7/14/2008 9:47 PM  

  • That is beautiful, thanks for sharing and will pray for J.!

    and am pray for you all, keep up the great work you are doing in Jesus name!

    By Blogger Liz, at 7/14/2008 11:11 PM  

  • Wow!!! Again Wow! Praise God. He is doing some great thing all over the world. Thank you for posting it, mr Giglio! I will be praying for you all. Huge hugs from Brazil. =)

    By Anonymous Liza, at 7/14/2008 11:19 PM  

  • whoa. that is really awesome - only God can pull that off.
    He has done it countless times even to so many Americans that have volunteered to serve in Malaysia!

    By Blogger tim, at 7/15/2008 12:09 AM  

  • Oh what a sweet, sweet Jesus thing!!! So glad for you J. Keep up the good work for our great Lord and keep walking with HIM, or in your case, hobbling at the moment :) Bless your sweet heart.

    Will pray for you dear.

    P.S. And you are right, Chris really isn't as short as everyone says he is ;) That's so funny. Poor Chris.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/15/2008 1:07 AM  

  • Awesome story! Ill be praying for the team!! I cant wait for the next leg of the world tour to begin!

    PS: lol at Chris Tomlin being short...who says short isnt bad?

    By Blogger Jeffrey, at 7/15/2008 1:11 AM  

  • awesome!

    By Blogger Mayra, at 7/15/2008 8:59 AM  

  • Praying for J! and yep Daytona ROCKED!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/15/2008 9:07 AM  

  • That's awesome!
    (I was cracking up at how he called Francis a "funny Asian man"!)

    Brittany

    By Blogger Brittany, at 7/15/2008 10:07 AM  

  • That is flippin' awesome. I knew some amazing things were happening in DC!!

    By Blogger higgie08, at 7/15/2008 11:46 AM  

  • AIN'T GOD GOOD?! Love this blog and the inspiration I draw from it.

    By Blogger Pastor's Perspective, at 7/15/2008 12:31 PM  

  • Funny, I have an oddly similar story on how God called me to China. I went there for 2 months.

    I feel the need to warn J. though...China is addictive and God has since called me to go there full-time. I will be going soon to visit the missionaries I hope to work with!

    By Blogger Stacy, at 7/15/2008 2:23 PM  

  • Wow! That gave me chills!!!
    God is Sooooooooo Good, I just love the way He works!

    Thanks for posting it Louie, and thanks to J for writing it!

    God Bless...:^)

    By Blogger Karahly, at 7/15/2008 2:25 PM  

  • praying for you J!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/15/2008 5:26 PM  

  • that's amazing.
    i love: "But God is always bigger than I think He is..." so true! I love these amazing stories! People are getting it, they are heeding the call and actually changing the world. There is alot of sour news and weird occurences these days, but GOD is always moving. He's always speaking and leading His followers!!
    so exciting! i'm so happy to be in this generation.

    By Blogger Anna, at 7/15/2008 9:23 PM  

  • Awesome!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/15/2008 9:57 PM  

  • J. ~ Way to go! What a faith-filled step you have taken to set a pattern for your life. You'll plant many seeds in the name of Christ and may not know the fruit by the time you come home...but God will continue to work in abundant ways. Seven years ago I left China from a five week teaching opp. This summer, after seven years of prayer, one of my students is coming to Texas to visit! Dream big, friend!!!! God is the source of creativity and He loves to use it alongside us.

    By Blogger Kendra, at 7/15/2008 10:11 PM  

  • Well to hear of God's favour from different parts of the world is totally uplifting. 'J' may you lift the name of Jesus to many many faces there even from a 'low' point in a wheelchair. Praise the Lord for His presence in our hearts and all the tiny laminin that glues all together.
    Is Chris short ?? did wonder but then again will have a chance to see when you are all in Johannesburg...I look forward to this blog more than my emails...God bless you all xxx

    By Anonymous Deidre, at 7/16/2008 1:47 AM  

  • Umm.... what the heck is 'free running'? :0)

    Thanks for the story Louie!

    By OpenID zackriesland, at 7/16/2008 6:45 AM  

  • Cool testimony!

    And just so you know: London is still thinking about and praying for Manila!

    By Anonymous Judith, at 7/16/2008 11:26 AM  

  • Amazing!
    "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58

    By Blogger Andrea, at 7/16/2008 6:12 PM  

  • Awesome! Lord, please minister powerfully through J. while he is in China, and work incredible things within his heart and life, too!

    By Blogger Marcia B, at 7/16/2008 8:50 PM  

  • Wow, what an incredible letter! What a cool testimony!
    Thanks! God is The Best!

    J.,
    China is incredible! I've had the opportunity to go to China on some mission trips and they have each been so incredible...I hope that your trip continues to be wonderful. And if you don't mind I'd love to pray for your trip and for you as well.I'm actually a senior in high school and I live in Florida and it's a long trip over to China but it's so cool when you finally arrive and see the people. Anyway...hope you have a great trip and that you leg doesn't hurt to much!

    P.S. I just saw Chris Tomlin in concert recently and he didn't look all that short at all.And Mr. Giglio the passion trip sounds incredible!

    By Anonymous Rachel Carmichael, at 7/16/2008 11:53 PM  

  • that's pretty stinking cool. im continually blown away on how the story of God connects us all.

    By Blogger Courtney, at 7/17/2008 1:42 PM  

  • this is J's sister here - we have recently heard from him and he is so trusting the Lord. I so hope he reads all of these comments because it will truly encourage him. He is getting around well enough with his foot but its still pretty difficult. Coming from someone who admires and loves J so much, you have no idea what it means to have people praying all over the world for him while he serves our sweet Savior. Praise Jesus for the body of Christ!

    By Anonymous Anna, at 7/17/2008 2:11 PM  

  • That is an amazing story. A story that is not novel to this ministry. My prayer is for that to continue and more. My prayer is for J and his generation. I pray they learn to develop something our fathers’(at least not enough) don’t have, can’t teach them: sustainable vision pursued with endurance. The present world is the proof, let God be the teacher now.

    Our world needs God’s people, but does not need any more 9 day wonders, celebrities, or people who do Godly some things that benefit themselves (see: Church-like Enron, etal.) And the way God prevents that, once He gets the commitment, is trial. No matter how great or small the person believes they are. It is the requirement; one that we bring upon ourselves. And after the initial shock and emotional exuberance fade, too many fall into communities of comfort where they lose direction.

    It is easy to get saved, but it is brutally rare to die for Christ. It is the difference between reigning and wall-flowering in heaven. To let go of what we thought was God, move in faith, to inhabit a new territory with strange fire. It was not for the past generation or this world. But J, it really could be for you! Kiss the sideline good-bye, welcome to the field, Christianity is a contact faith. Talk in the seats is the enemies’ favorite Christian pastime.

    Consider your time hobbled here as proof that God is challenging you to finish the game with honors. Don’t worry about “winning,” that is running the wrong way… just keep moving, play hurt like Jesus and I’ll see you at the after-party. I hear the Lord saying He will never turn away such players from the book of life; here is the more, He promises to acknowledge those saints before our Father and his angels.

    Your friend

    Ps 37:28, Ps 138:8, Lk 9:62, John 10:28-29, John 15:4-7, Rm 2:6-7, Rm 8:35-39, Ga 6:9, Cl 1:21-23, 2tm 1:12, 2tm 2:12-13, 2tm 4:18, Hb 3:14, Jm 1:12, Rv 2:7, Rv21:7.

    By Anonymous Stephen, at 7/17/2008 2:45 PM  

  • That is so awesome! Im get so happy and excited when I hear about God working in peoples' lives!!! Good luck J!!!

    By Anonymous Brittany E, at 7/17/2008 6:27 PM  

  • The ways of the Lord still amazes me. Will keep J in my prayer for sure. Just to let you know - we are looking forward to Passon JHB on 9 August! Bug God is preparing the ground in an amazing way. We had the Mighty Men Conference hosted in April 08. Since then, God has been so busy with South Africa. We have a gathering of 64,000 people at one of SA's biggest football stadiums, Loftus, tomorrow (19 July 08). And yes, you guessed right - the day is called "Loftus for Jesus". This stadium normally hosts about 50,000 football fans. Tomorrow we will be worshipping in this stadium!! Please pray for Angus Buchan (from the movie Faith like Potatoes) and the Worship Team. They are preparing the way for the Passion Conference in a BIG way! Jesus rocks! RinaM

    By Blogger Rina, at 7/18/2008 5:48 AM  

  • I love that more and more people are flocking to China. If any China goers want to hang out in or around Beijing just let me know!

    By Anonymous Biscuet, at 7/20/2008 4:07 PM  

  • wow that is amazing!! i always love to hear of God working in people's lives.
    oh, and about chris lol. "he's not short, he's fun-sized" lol. but it's soooo true! it seems that the shorter men i know are the most energetic. i have a calculus teacher who is 5'3(his wife is 5'10 haha) and he has the energy of a 4 year old boy. so it's nothing to be ashamed of! God bless you both!

    By Blogger Ashley A, at 7/20/2008 10:15 PM  

  • We are praying for people like J and others whom God has raised up and mobilized to be Kingdom Builders... We are thankful that God is making himself known in this generation in a mighty way! J, dude.. if you somehow are reading these comments on this blog (i doubt you are, but if...) just know that what are you doing is significant... and, every day after this man, God is gonna use you to do something MOST significant in the lives of your peers in China and stateside... There is nothing magic about what Louie does, but he's got one heck of an anointing to speak to college students, and to prompt them to live the reality that IS Jesus Christ!!!

    Facebook me!

    By Anonymous Dylan Martin, at 7/22/2008 5:01 AM  

  • When will you come to Indonesia?

    By Blogger Kitty, at 7/22/2008 1:31 PM  

  • hey guys, its J. here. just wanted to say that its crazy encouraging to read all your comments. i never thought that Mr. Giglio would post the letter online and that you all would encourage me so so much. i definitely need it. ive been in "east asia" now doing "dads" work for about 3 weeks and will continue for a couple more. its a crazy time and "dad" is doing crazy things and you all dont know just how much your comments have encouraged me. im so thankful for all of you!
    -J.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/24/2008 2:28 AM  

  • wow amazing testimony. I think it is so awesome the way that God calls us. My testimony is a lot like J's except for the fact that i havent been sent to china I'm still at home. there is a lot of work that i have to do here before God sends me off to help others out there. I also want to thank you louie you have opened my eyes and my heart to see how truely amazing our Lord and Savior is.

    I'll be praying for you J, I hope that you will return the favor and pray for me as well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/24/2008 1:37 PM  

  • michelle
    jwoest@netactive.co.za | 196.2.124.254

    Hi there I am just trying to get this to Mr Louie anyway I can

    Dear Mr. Louie,

    Hi

    My name is Michelle Woest and I’m a Gr.11 student at high school Randburg in Gauteng,South Africa.I just recently heard that you will be here at Gallagher Estate on the 9th of August and I am so excited I’m beside myself.I would just like to share with you a piece of my story so that you can understand my request.

    I am the CSV leader at my school.The CSV is like the Christian ministry within schools in S.A. I became a leader last year and I was so excited for I knew this is where God wants me and I know how desperately God wants Randburg back and the kids to turn to Him. The kids at my school are so hungry for God,they want to know Him personally and long for that intimate relationship. But these kids don’t know how because they don’t see it at home or even at church.I am so lucky for I grew up in a house where my dad was the head of the house and truly serves God. My parents are fulltime in a ministry called CBMC- Called in Business to Minister Christ so I guess you could say my brother and I are to Since I was little my parents have lived what they preached and taught me how to have a personal relationship wit God. I have been so blessed for now I stand independently in a day-to-day relationship with my Father Jesus Christ.I too have received confirmation about my calling for the ministry of youth. a Ministry of compassion and love. I want to be a youthcampfacilitator as well as the worship leader where high school kids as well as college students come to my camp for a week where they will also receive training on how to do outreaches.Then I want to take these teens on outreaches in to Africa to not only bring people to Christ and serve them with basic necessities, but to take them further…I want to give people the “tools” to build a personal relationship with God for I feel that being saved just isn’t enough. I don’t want to do good work but “Godly” work. I live to be Gods hands and feet and to practise servant leadership. I want people to see by my actions that I serve Christ not by extensive knowledge of the word. I just wanted to share where I am coming from.

    Since last year I have been praying for my school and the headmaster and we’ve been trying to establish the CSV within the school. We’ve hit bump after bump and things just didn’t happen.I grew weary and demotivated for I felt that who am I? I am only a Gr.11 student who doesn’t really matter in the school…but at that moment God came and freed me from the expectation of seeing results, I realized that it doesn’t matter who I am for it isn’t me who is going to do the work. I need to trust God and know that all I have to do is be patient and obedient. That is all God is asking for. He isn’t asking me to move the mountain,He’s just asking me to believe that He can.That’s when God gave me the scripture of Matt. 5 where God says: ” you are blessed when you are at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule.”

    I realised that I am at the end of my rope but now God will work trough me and use me as a tool.I saw it as I was a pipe full of myself….but now that I have been unblocked the living water of Christ can flow straight through me onto the people.

    Finally when I totally surrendered God made a breakthrough.I’ve been asking forever to be able to show your Indescribable DVD to the kids in the hall.The headmaster finally agreed and we showed it to the whole school last Tuesday. Mr Louie I cant even describe what happened that morning.When you showed that image of the cross in the whirlpool galaxy there was a silence in that hall like we have never heard. I felt Gods hand on the hall and afterwards God gave me the right words.Since that morning so many kids have come to tell me how much it meant to them and the “troublemaking” kids have been asking me allot of questions like how to talk to God and when;what certain bible verses mean etc. I am soooooooo amazed.We are now going to show How great is our God next week and I cant wait to see what God is going to do.

    So here I am taking a risk…and I know this is a big favour but my God is big enough(huge understatement). I really feel strongly about this and it is heavy on my heart.Mr Louie I want to know whether you would be willing to come talk at my school while you are here in S.A. I watched your Hope DVD last night and felt that,that is the message Randburg needs.I feel that this is something I have to do.Would you please consider it and then pray about it. I will continue praying that if this is in Gods plan that it will happen….if not then hey I gave it a shot and feel I am being obedient.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I pray that God will bless you and your family for what you do and how you have touched my life.

    Blessings and love in Christ
    Michelle c”,)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/29/2008 12:09 PM  

  • Dear Mr. Louie,

    Hi:)

    My name is Michelle Woest and I'm a Gr.11 student at high school Randburg in Gauteng,South Africa.I just recently heard that you will be here at Gallagher Estate on the 9th of August and I am so excited I'm beside myself.I would just like to share with you a piece of my story so that you can understand my request.

    I am the CSV leader at my school.The CSV is like the Christian ministry within schools in S.A. I became a leader last year and I was so excited for I knew this is where God wants me and I know how desperately God wants Randburg back and the kids to turn to Him. The kids at my school are so hungry for God,they want to know Him personally and long for that intimate relationship. But these kids don't know how because they don't see it at home or even at church.I am so lucky for I grew up in a house where my dad was the head of the house and truly serves God. My parents are fulltime in a ministry called CBMC- Called in Business to Minister Christ so I guess you could say my brother and I are to :) Since I was little my parents have lived what they preached and taught me how to have a personal relationship wit God. I have been so blessed for now I stand independently in a day-to-day relationship with my Father Jesus Christ.I too have received confirmation about my calling for the ministry of youth. a Ministry of compassion and love. I want to be a youthcampfacilitator as well as the worship leader where high school kids as well as college students come to my camp for a week where they will also receive training on how to do outreaches.Then I want to take these teens on outreaches in to Africa to not only bring people to Christ and serve them with basic necessities, but to take them further...I want to give people the "tools" to build a personal relationship with God for I feel that being saved just isn't enough. I don't want to do good work but "Godly" work. I live to be Gods hands and feet and to practise servant leadership. I want people to see by my actions that I serve Christ not by extensive knowledge of the word. I just wanted to share where I am coming from.

    Since last year I have been praying for my school and the headmaster and we've been trying to establish the CSV within the school. We've hit bump after bump and things just didn't happen.I grew weary and demotivated for I felt that who am I? I am only a Gr.11 student who doesn't really matter in the school...but at that moment God came and freed me from the expectation of seeing results, I realized that it doesn't matter who I am for it isn't me who is going to do the work. I need to trust God and know that all I have to do is be patient and obedient. That is all God is asking for. He isn't asking me to move the mountain,He's just asking me to believe that He can.That's when God gave me the scripture of Matt. 5 where God says: " you are blessed when you are at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule."

    I realised that I am at the end of my rope but now God will work trough me and use me as a tool.I saw it as I was a pipe full of myself....but now that I have been unblocked the living water of Christ can flow straight through me onto the people.

    Finally when I totally surrendered God made a breakthrough.I've been asking forever to be able to show your Indescribable DVD to the kids in the hall.The headmaster finally agreed and we showed it to the whole school last Tuesday. Mr Louie I cant even describe what happened that morning.When you showed that image of the cross in the whirlpool galaxy there was a silence in that hall like we have never heard. I felt Gods hand on the hall and afterwards God gave me the right words.Since that morning so many kids have come to tell me how much it meant to them and the "troublemaking" kids have been asking me allot of questions like how to talk to God and when;what certain bible verses mean etc. I am soooooooo amazed.We are now going to show How great is our God next week and I cant wait to see what God is going to do.

    So here I am taking a risk...and I know this is a big favour but my God is big enough(huge understatement). I really feel strongly about this and it is heavy on my heart.Mr Louie I want to know whether you would be willing to come talk at my school while you are here in S.A. I watched your Hope DVD last night and felt that,that is the message Randburg needs.I feel that this is something I have to do.Would you please consider it and then pray about it. I will continue praying that if this is in Gods plan that it will happen....if not then hey :) I gave it a shot and feel I am being obedient.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I pray that God will bless you and your family for what you do and how you have touched my life.

    Blessings and love in Christ
    Michelle c",)

    By Blogger MichelleW, at 7/30/2008 1:05 PM  

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