31 December 2007

"Market Place" Train Ministry

Ministry comes in many forms but we also know that it comes when we are willing to be sensitive and available to the Holy Spirit.

On Tuesday morning, 11 December 2007, I boarded a train in Basel, Switzerland to return home. The train was not full. So when I arrived at my cabin and reserved seat, I noticed three of the six seats were already filled. I would have made the fourth.

Not really wanting to cram in since the train so empty, I moved down aisle to the next cabin which only had one man seated in it.

The man asked me something but because he was speaking a little too fast and with a Swiss German accent, it was hard for me to understand him. So I apologized for my German and asked him if he spoke English. He did and very well. He introduced himself and in nearly perfect English explained that he spent 3rd and 4th grades living in Raleigh, North Carolina.

96% Unsaved in Europe…
When he found out I was a missionary, he was surprised. Most Europeans wonder why I am here in Europe instead of some Third World country. I told him I ministered in both.

Then I politely gave him some statistics from EMRG Strategic Research, ( http://emrg.friderich.net/ ) that only 4.12 % of Europeans follow Jesus and are actively concerned about their neighbors doing the same. Only 3.84% of Europeans would accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and join a fellowship if presented the Gospel.

Like other Europeans, this fact surprised him. He felt Europe was Christian because of its heritage. We discussed the facts further and he began to realize what he thought might not be true.

He mentioned that he was raised Methodist but his parents forced it on him. He had no desire to go to church and would not make his two young sons go either. I apologized for this situation and explained that God was interested in a voluntary relationship not a forced one.

We continued to talk and exchange ideas about everything. Eventually it got to the question every American gets in Europe, “What do you think about Bush?” I told him what I thought and we discussed that for awhile.

When we were done “solving” the world's political problems, I narrowed the focus and asked him about his relationship with God. Did he know how much God loved him? Did he know that God wanted to have a personal relationship with him?

He politely offered the standard response that everyone has their own beliefs and answers. He continued to say that there were many good people in the world and they would go to heaven because they were good. He too would go to heaven because he was a good person and tried to do good things.

There was no doubt that he was a good guy, loving husband and father. But I stressed that God still wanted to have a personal relationship with him.

Earlier he mentioned he had two young sons. I used an example of when he comes home from work and his little five year old boy jumps up on his lap and starts loving him for no ulterior reason or motive. How did he feel when that happens? I suggested that this is exactly how our Heavenly Father feels when we have time for Him.

The Holy Spirit Moving…
You could see and sense that the Holy Spirit was beginning to work on him.
I then gave him a shortened version of my testimony.

Years ago, God used my oldest son Shawn, when he was just a little over three years old to tell me, at a crucial time in my life, how much Jesus loved me. I explained to him that this life changing event happened when I was “completely unsaved” and pretty much uninterested in God.

The Holy Spirit was really working on him now. The conversation went on like this for about an hour more. He could have ended it at anytime but — he didn’t and I didn’t.

During the last few minutes before our train arrived, I challenged him to let God show him how much God loved him. I asked if he had a Bible or a New Testament. He replied that he still had his childhood Bible. So I asked him when he got back home, to get it out and read the Book of John. But before reading it, ask God to show Himself to him and how much God loved him.

We exchanged business cards and I told him that if he had any questions or needed prayer, I was available to him. Since I would probably be coming back to Switzerland sometime, maybe we could even get a cup of coffee together.

We arrived at the Mannheim, Germany train station. He had business there and I had a connecting train to catch. As we stepped off the train and onto station platform, I turned around, shook his hand and found myself without thinking, giving him a hug, as I told him that God really does love him. Shaking hands is normal. Hugging a complete stranger is pretty much culturally out of the question in Germany. Then I went one way. He went another.

Personally, I know God will jump at the chance to show him how much He loves this man and his family, as He loves you and me.

You could be…
Sometimes — we meet people that have a life-long impact on our lives. They may not be in our lives very long. But it’s not the length of time that governs the impact. It is more of allowing the Holy Spirit to use you. In fact, YOU could be the answer to someone else's prayer for that person.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to have our own personal relationship with Him and to be led by His Holy Spirit. You don’t have to be an overseas missionary or in “full-time” ministry to have more adventures and opportunities in your life than you can possibly imagine. Just be available.

Thank you for reading my Blog. I hope it ministers and challenges you in some way.

Happy New Year – 2008 will be great!

All of God’s blessings on you and those you love. Never take them for granted.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe & Asia

19 December 2007

A Child Is Born / Bradley Scott Blakeslee

Well this is NOT about the Christmas story we know but one that is just as close to my heart.

My youngest son William and his wife, Stephanie gave birth to their first child 5 December 2007 at 5:55 p.m..

Bradley Scott Blakeslee entered this world at 8 pounds 10 ounces and 22 inches long. The birth went well; William’s older brother Shawn called me at 2:00 a.m. my time to let me know that I was again a grandpa. I think William was still in shock or exhausted. A few minutes later I was able to get through on his cell phone to congratulate them.

I will see all of the “Blakeslee Boys” (including the newest member of the team, Bradley) and girls, in early March during my annual fund raising trip to the States.

Personally, I absolutely love Bradley’s name, it already sounds like a famous author or pastor doesn’t it. Well, why not! Our Heavenly Father has a plan for this little boy too. And there are plenty of scriptural importance and references to the names we give our children.

Welcome to the world Bradley. God has great things planned for you to do.


14 December 2007

Faithful Men Comissioning / Zurich, Switzerland

(Above) Jack King challenging the men to protect the women and children in the church.

(Pic Above, Lft to Rt) Pastors Joaquin Molina, Michael Tenpenny, Desmond Frey and Jack King

(Above)Newly Commissioned Men and the guests from the U.S.

Hello Everyone,
This past weekend was an incredible blessing in a variety ways. All of my time was spent helping Pastor Desmond Frey of Power House Church, Zurich, host a weekend men’s conference.

The conference was the “commissioning” of eight men who completed the requirements of Dr. Edwin Cole’s "Christian Men’s Network" and Faithful Men Ministries. Jack King did the commissioning and is expanding the vision of the late Dr. Edwin Cole who was considered the "Father of Men's Ministry".

Jack King's ministry, Faithful Men Ministry, was founded in February of 2003.

Faithful Men Ministries teaches men to:
* Become the man of God that He has called them to be
* Fulfill the great commission
* To make disciples in all nations

One of the most memorable moments happened when during the Sunday service, Jack King asked all the men attending to stand up, to take a hand of another man and make a circle around all the women and children in the church. He then charged the men with the responsibility of protecting all the women and children in the church. Every one's heart was touched by this symbolic action of the men.

Nine people flew to Switzerland from the Lamb of God Bible Church in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A.. Pastor Mike Tenpenny and his group came specifically to support the new commissioned men in Zurich.

Also attending this event only was Pastor Joaquin Molina and Mr. Jurgen Ziemer from Spring of Life Church, Miami, Florida. Clearly all the Swiss people were touched by the commitment of these men and their wives to fly half-way around the world only to attend this event. It spoke volumes to the Swiss that the Americans would spend the money and time to do this.

It was a long and exhausting weekend but worth every bit of the effort to see the results.

On my return train trip, I had an incredible opportunity to minister to a fellow passenger. I will share this experience and blessing in a later posting.

Thanks for checking out my Blog. Hope you are blessed this Christmas and have a terrific 2008. I will.

Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe

05 December 2007

Leipzig Public School Ministry

First Some Technical Business
Let me apologize for the way some of the pictures I use get displayed in your web browser.

For some technical reason, when I post pictures and captions, I never really know what final position they will be in after I save and post the article. Even when I preview the posting ahead of time, the final result is completely out of my control.

Simple is better in this case, so not much creativity is being applied to the pictures. I think getting them up is better than not having any pictures at all. Thanks for being patient about this.

Now To My Posting…

Leipzig Public School Ministry
This past Sunday I returned from a five day ministry trip to Leipzig, Germany. Leipzig is located in the “old” East Germany about two hours drive south of Berlin, the capital of Germany. Since “The Wall” fell in October, 1989, the East is still in the rebuilding process and you can still see remnants of the Communist era everywhere.

A few weeks ago I was invited by a Leipzig public school teacher to be a guest speaker at her German elementary school. The fourth grade students are learning English. My speaking to them would give them a chance to meet an American and to hear real American English without an accent, something that does not happen very often in Leipzig.

Technology… humm….
I tried to show them some pictures of Arizona on a classroom video projector but as it worked out, it didn’t. The projector was fine but the slide show would not work. So instead I talked about our American Thanksgiving and its origins. As always, the kids were great. They were flexible and we had a good time in each of the classes. One little girl, Susanne, gave me a gift of a little colored beaded thing, she made. I was touched and blessed.

After talking about Thanksgiving, the combined classes of about thirty-plus students took turns asking me various questions about what are my favorite things about Germany and America. It gave me an opportunity to speak about being a missionary and what I was doing in Europe.

Resurrection Power Church / Halle, Germany
At this church, I attended their Wednesday Night Bible Study, the Friday Champions Meeting and Pastor Sammy Egboh’s Saturday afternoon birthday celebration. It was a surprise and an honor to be invited to sit at the head table with Pastor Sammy. The Nigerian’s really know how to celebrate birthdays. He has a heart for the lost, the Faith message and seeing God’s healing power manifested in our daily lives.

TOS Church - Leipzig
After the birthday celebration at the church in Halle, I went to the TOS - Leipzig Church in the City of Leipzig to hear evangelist, Carlos Jimenez. He is originally from Colombia but currently lives in Houston, Texas. In October, this church sponsored Missionary Evangelist David Hogan which I attended. [Ed. Note: Scroll down to read the details of that meeting.]

At this time, I met with Pastor Stefan Haas and was invited to return and do the Kid’s Prayer program for his church there. We are currently working out the dates that this can happen. This church and their affiliates have a tremendous heart for evangelism and outreach to children worldwide. Pastor Hass told me that they have a number of children’s facilities and outreaches they support in South America. I look forward to going back to Leipzig and ministering at his church in the spring of 2008.

Next Up!
Thursday, I am traveling to help at an Ed Cole weekend men’s conference at Power House Church in Zurich, Switzerland. I’ll update you when I get return to Bonn.

Thank you for reading my Blog.

Jesus IS the reason for the Season. Enjoy it with those you love.

All of God’s blessings to all of you,
Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe

27 November 2007

This Thanksgiving

(Above), Alexa, 15, (Rt), "The Crew", (Lower Rt), Brittney 10, Curtis Jr. 11)

“What comes around, goes around.” This is truer than we sometimes want to admit. In this case, its more of the world really is very small.

Many of you know that before becoming a missionary, I worked for DHL Worldwide Express in Tempe, Arizona for nearly ten years. Ironically this year, I spent Thanksgiving with some old and new friends from DHL here in Bonn.

While at Tempe, I worked with Lyle Fawcett and Curtis Meyer. Lyle transferred to England in 2000 and just recently moved to Bonn via Brussels. Curtis and his family recently transferred to Bonn in July.

Curtis’ wife Kim, hosted this “Bachelor’s Thanksgiving” which included meeting a couple more DHL people, Brian Phillips and Rick Singer also from DHL Bonn.

The Meyer’s kids, Alexa, 15, Curtis Jr., 11, and Brittney, 10, provided the “entertainment” for the evening along with a lot of willing help from the adults. It didn’t take much motivation to get into an endless night of laughter. It was great fun to see old friends and share this special American holiday with them.

Thanks Kim for putting up with all these rowdy guys and kids. I hope everyone had half the fun I did this year.


12 November 2007

Are You Running Your Race?

Our Heavenly Father has crafted gifts and callings in all of us to be used in a dynamic way. According to God’s Word in:

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Psalms 139:13 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb.

God knew us, formed us and pre-designed us with a variety of abilities that will help us reach our destiny. If we are not “running the race” our Heavenly Father designed us to do, we will never find true satisfaction. This is tantamount to a race horse that is always in training.

Going Through the Motions
It is like a thoroughbred that goes through the process but never gets a chance to prove himself, because he has never run a real race!

• Been practiced but not raced.
• Been pushed but not competed.
• Never found out what he is really made of.
• Never sensed the adrenaline rush when the starting gate bell clangs loudly and the steel gates bang open.
• Never heard the thundering hooves or felt the crowding of other horses around him.
• Never heard the deep, labored breathing and snorting of other horses around him.
• Never felt his heart nearly explode from the stress.
• Never been in the middle of flying dirt and mud as they gallop with every thing they have towards the finish line.
• Never experienced a jockey using the sting of a whip or riding bat to push him, with love, beyond his limits.

Fulfilled Design
Both horse and rider have the same goal; get to the finish line first. But the horse has a secondary desire bred into him by God which is to run. They might win the race but the fulfilled design is that he can race and does.

The prize money means nothing to a thoroughbred race horse. Wearing the winner’s wreath means nothing to him. What is important is that he was given the opportunity to fulfill what God designed in him. He might run many races, maybe even win some, either way, racing fulfills him. Even the last horse in a race is technically a winner because he did what he was created to do. He too is fulfilled.

The scriptures say it this way:
1Cor 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us...,

You can not win or even run a race that you have not entered.

What About You?
• Have you identified the gifts and callings God designed in you?
• Have you taken the time to rekindle them if they have gone dormant?
• Have you worked to enhance those gifts?
• Have you got a jockey or a “monkey” on your back?
• Have you been denied the opportunity to race?
• Have you been in training so long you have forgotten the real goal?
• Have you found and entered your race?

It Is Time!
You’ve trained long enough! Get on a track! Enter a race, any race! The Holy Spirit will direct your path if you ask, especially if you ask. Find that God inspired level of satisfaction and success that comes with being fulfilled doing God’s will for your life. Our Heavenly Father guarantees that there is nothing like it!

All of God's Thanksgiving blessings to you and your family.

Missionary to Europe,
Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee

27 October 2007

Grenoble Wrap-Up

Back Home in Bonn
It was a very long ten hour drive from Grenoble, France to Bonn, Germany which included an unscheduled delay in Basel. The bright spot was it gave us an "unscheduled" caffeine stop at Starbucks for Desmond and then later dinner at Burger King somewhere on the German autobahn. Once home, I happily collapsed in my own bed just shortly after midnight. Decidedly unpacking anything waited until morning.

This concluded a three week long, very productive ministry trip. It was virtually non-stop beginning with my flight out from Bonn to Leipzig on 2 October, to my return last Sunday, 22 October.

Doors Opening
This was my first visit to Grenoble, France and it was terrific. The week before, when Desmond and I were both at the conference in Leysin, Desmond invited me to go along with him to Grenoble. He was scheduled to teach a class in a local bible school. While there, Desmond introduced me to local French pastors, Pastor Michele, Pastor Joshua from the Grenoble area and Pastor Patrick from St Laurent du Pont.

Pastor Joshua was trying to figure out the logistics of having me speak at his church's Sunday service while Desmond was speaking at Pastor Michele’s church. But as it turned out, we could not work out the transportation and time issues, since the churches were not located close to each other.

Pastor Michele did give me an opportunity to share about the Kids Prayer program before Desmond started his Sunday service message. I was very pleased with the response from the congregation, to my program. After the service, I took the opportunity to pray for some of the children.

Both Grenoble pastors invited me back to do the kid’s program anytime in the future. I am excited that our Heavenly Father opened these new doors for me. Promise to keep you posted when that all happens.

Catch Up Time
Like everyone else, travel creates a lot of catch up work and emails when you finally get back home. This trip was no exception. During this trip, I realized that there were some adjustments to make and additional teachings to create for the kid’s program. Time refines all programs, doesn’t it.

Cultural Differences
One of the side benefits of this trip was being able to tailor my message to the French speaking audiences in Geneva and Grenoble. You may wonder what this means.

It means that once you live in Europe long enough, you really begin to recognize the cultural differences each European country represents. It also means how as an American missionary, you need to present the teaching material to them. Sometimes we can unknowingly offend someone by our ignorance or perceived arrogance. If we are fortunate, someone who cares for us will "call us" on it so that we can make the proper corrections in the future.

Right now I am a little touchy about this and for good reason. Within the last ninety days, I have seen a seasoned missionary make a very unkind remark about the people in the very country he is called to serve, while some of them were present. He didn't even notice the subtle negative reaction by them to his comment.

And on the opposite side, I saw an American minister who wants to preach in Europe, blunder in his actions and statements with uncalled for "smart remarks" and idioms Europeans do not understand. In both of these cases, "their mouths was operating before their brains were in gear".

An American Perspective
From an American perspective, we generally see all Europeans pretty much alike and pretty much like us. This could not be farther from the truth. Despite the fact that the Europeans have joined together to form the European Union, each country still has its own cultural personality and pride.

At best, the faster an American missionary understands this and customizes their message to the culture, the more success and acceptance they and their message will receive. At worst, think or at least ask before making an "off the cuff" remark you think is cute.

I am blessed to have very close friends that are nationals in the countries that I minister in. They are invaluable to me in many areas but in particular with this. They know that I welcome their input and insights into how to present my material in their specific countries.

They have seen others "come & go" and fail because they lacked an in depth understanding of the local culture. In my case, it helps prevent me from making some painful or costly faux pas when I preach that will ultimately be a distraction to the message I am trying to give.

It is a blessing to have people care enough about you that they will speak into your life and provide this kind of insight, while I work and represent our Heavenly Father’s love in their countries.

Have a terrific and blessed week. Will talk to you soon.


18 October 2007

German & Swiss Trip Pics

Here are some random pictures taken during my current ministry trip in Germany and Switzerland.

Left: In Leipzig, The War of All Nations Memorial, also known as the Napoleonic War Memorial 1799-1815.

Right: In Leipzig, St. Thomas Church you can see the burial site of Johann Sebastian Bach in the lower right corner of the pic.

Left: Lawrence next to a plaque commemorating Martin Luther preaching in 1539

Right: At this very spot, Martin Luther preached on the Protestant Reformation on Pentecost Sunday, 1539 in St. Thomas Church.

Left: Leipzig, The TOS Conference with David Hogan

Above & Left: In Geneva, Lawrence praying for some of the children at church.

Hope you have enjoyed these pics. I will post some additional pictures in the near future.

God bless you,

16 October 2007

Swiss Events

Zurich Church Wrap Up
Monday night we wrapped up the Tim Redmond seminar at Power House Church. His teaching included tips on finances and leadership. Seminars are a lot of work for everyone but it was all worthwhile to hear him teach.

That afternoon, we attended a small pastor's luncheon and went with Tim and Desmond to a bible school class in Brugg, Switzerland, where Tim was the guest speaker. Tim spoke on self-esteem and everyone was blessed.
Photo Above: Tim Redmond (left) Desmond Frey (right)
Prayer for Healing
One of the pastors attending the luncheon, told me about a woman in her congregation, that after a very hard life, had gotten saved about five years ago and was walking with The Lord. Just recently she was attacked with a fast growing cancer that has racked her entire body. The doctors only give her a few days to live.

After hearing about the lady's situation, I felt compelled to pray for her and asked the pastor if it would be possible to go to the hospice for a visit. God can and does heal cancer even in the very late stages. The pastor agreed and arranged for me to be taken to the hospital to pray for her. I am believing that God will heal her and as a result she will have a tremendous testimony of our Heavenly Father's love for all of us.

Catch Up Day
The last few days have had a tremendous amount of travel all across Switzerland. Today and tomorrow are email, laundry and catch up days before Desmond and I head to Grenoble, France.

Grenoble, France
I will be extending my current trip a few more days to travel with Pastor Desmond to a local church in Grenoble. He will be teaching a class there on "The Character of Leadership". It will be attended by regional associate pastors being trained to plant new churches. This will be great for me to make some great future connections for the Children's Prayer Program.

"Coming Soon" Trip Pics
I will be uploading some trip pics in today or tomorrow so "stay tuned" to see some new images of my trip.


13 October 2007

Power House Church / Zurich, Switzerland

Yesterday, we finished up the Time of Refreshing Conference and it was incredible to the end. I already look forward to next year's conference if there is one. The decision to have them is done year by year.

Moving forward, I traveled down from Leysin to Zurich with my pastor friend, Desmond Frey and will be at his church in Zurich for the next few days.

Tim Redmond will be putting on a financial seminar, Sunday and Monday at Pastor Desmond's Power House church. We all had lunch together today along with Pastor John Sagoe from New International Church in Biel, Switzerland. This is my first time meeting both Tim and Pastor John.

Ministry in Ghana
Pastor John Sagoe came from Ghana in 1992 and is establishing orphanages and various childrens programs there now. It looks like he and I will be meeting in the future some time. He was very interested in my Kids Prayer Program and said he would be interested in having me go to Ghana to minister there in the future. After hearing all that he is doing there, I am excited about the possibilities of going. We will all see how this works out in the future and keep you posted as it develops.

It looks like I may extend my trip a few more days before returning to Bonn. Pastor Frey has invited me to go with him to Grenoble, France. He is going to minister there next weekend. There is a possibility I might be able to share about the Kids Prayer program. I am really believing God to open more and more doors to minister both the Kids Prayer program and preaching on God's divine healing.

I may not have much time to post during the upcoming week, since there will be a lot of travel and long days. Promise to catch you up as soon as possible.

Thanks for checking in and catching up.

Be blessed,

11 October 2007

TOR Time of Refreshing Conference

Tonight is the last night of the TOR “Time of Refreshing” Conference in Leysin, Switzerland. Just like last year, the gathering has been a tremendous blessing to everyone. It is attended by about one hundred American missionaries working in all parts of Old and New Europe. The purpose is to give all of us a break from the day to day and be blessed by many Americans that sponsor the three day event.

Whether you are a “first timer” or “many timer” we all become family quickly as part of the Body of Christ serving here in Europe. It is a tremendous blessing to all of to hear the testimonies of young and old missionaries’ alike serving God here. The other blessing is that it is a cross denominational meeting, truly meaning we represent all parts of the Body of Christ.

We wrap up tonight with the last evening session and our final departure breakfast and short testimony time before returning to our assigned locations. The time literally flies over the short time we are here but everyone is excited about seeing each other again next year to share more stories about what our Heavenly Father has done in their lives.

I’m off to Zurich with a pastor friend to attend his church in Zurich during the weekend and also another short conference on building the kingdom of God. It will be interesting.

God bless you all. We’ll stay in touch as soon as possible.

God’s blessings,
Lawrence Blakeslee

10 October 2007

Preaching in Geneva

This past Sunday I was able to preach at a church in downtown Geneva, Switzerland. My topic was to help adults and specifically parents to recognize the gifts and callings their children have already been endowed with in their mother’s womb.

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Yes, the Bible is speaking about Jeremiah in this verse but the application applies to all of us. And according to Romans 11:29, no matter what the age of the “child” those gifts and callings are without repentance, which just means they never get taken away. They just may not be utilized to the fullest extent or used at all but they are never taken back by God.

Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

My sermon reminded us that as we raise our children, God has a plan for their lives. That children are precious jewels, i.e. diamonds. And that we are all “diamonds in the rough” and as facets are “cut in us” the gem becomes more valuable.

We all know this but my “twist” on this topic is that children can start to operate in those gifts long before they become teenagers or young adults. In fact, it is much better for everyone to help develop those anointings as early as possible. If this is done early it will help children avoid the pitfalls the enemy has planned to divert them from serving our Heavenly Father.

The extension of this thought applies to all His “children” since from our Heavenly Father’s perspective we are all children.

So, child, teen, or adult can seek, find and develop the special unique qualities God put in them from their mother’s womb. They can find incredible blessings by walking in those blessings to the best of their ability.

Because of the innocence in small children, they sometimes have a better link to the spirit realm than we adults. They can pray with power and anointing for their peers and adults alike and our Heavenly Father will answer their prayers. Matthew talks about Jesus telling his disciples not to keep the little children away from him.

Mat 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus didn’t mean just not to prevent them from being in His presence but they, like us can give Him their prayer requests too.

Blessings from Geneva,

08 October 2007

David Hogan / TOS Conference / Leipzig, Germany

How Blessed? Real Blessed!
How blessed can you be when the Holy Spirit shows up at a conference and blesses you and everyone else, the answer would be incredibly blessed.

As I mentioned in an early posting, I am on the road for the few weeks. My first stop was a conference in Leipzig. The TOS Conference was just two days long but intense. There was about five hundred in attendance which is a nice crowd by German standards.

David Hogan, his wife, son Jody and his wife came and ministered to all of us. It is always nice to hear preaching in my own mother tongue. Each session during the day and evenings went long but no one cared. Everyone stayed well after the end of each meeting to fellowship. Everyone came to hear about the dynamic miracles God has been doing in the southern part of Mexico among the indigenous people there. The miracles David told us about were almost hard to believe except when you understand the power and love of God that we all can access through the Blood Covenant.

My first impression of the Believers in Leipzig is the Body of Christ is alive, well and growing. The people are hungry for God and truly see Him as the answer to many of their problems. Especially the problems the government can not fix.

With the Wall Down...
This was my first time to travel to the old East Germany. We can all remember that day in October, 1989 when the Wall came down.

You can see redevelopment taking place everywhere. But despite the huge amount of money being poured into the east by the German government, you can still see much more will need to be invested. Unemployment in the east has dropped from 25% to 19%. It is still not as prosperous as the old West Germany.

I traveled from Leipzig to Berlin by train to catch a cheap flight to Geneva, Switzerland. From Leipzig to Berlin, the countryside showed the remains of the communist influence. Again in Berlin the mix of new and old was obvious. As the German capital, Berlin was alive with activity. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to see anything beyond my train ride to the airport, maybe it will happen next time.

Depending on my Internet access, I'll try to post again later about ministering yesterday in church at Geneva.


01 October 2007

On The Road Again

Tomorrow morning, at the crack of dawn, I leave for a three week trip to Leipzig, Germany, Geneva, Leysin, and Zurich, Switzerland.

During this trip I will be:

  • Attending a conference held by American missionary to Mexico David Hogan in Leipzig.
  • Ministering at a church in Geneva about the Kids Prayer program.
  • Attending an American missionary conference in Leysin, Switzerland.
  • Attending a Kingdom Building Conference in Zurich, Switzerland.

This will be my first time to minister in Geneva and I am really looking forward to it. My second time in Leysin attending a "Time of Refreshing Conference" put on by Rev. Bill and Emogene Kaiser. The conference is sponsored by some terrific people worldwide to bless American missionaries serving in Europe. Last year was my first time to be invited and it was a real blessing to attend. I am looking with great expectation again this year.

I'm not sure of my Internet connections while I am traveling but promise to update you when I can but promise to give a "full report" upon my return home around 18 October.

Be blessed,
Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe

21 September 2007

Unrest in Myanmar

God's timing is incredible. It was only nine months ago that I was able to visit Myanmar. Today the news reports more demonstrations in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon. It is the reported fourth day in a row that there have been limited protests against the military junta running the government.

Pray for the safety of the Believer's in that country. Pray for courage to spread the Gospel and that it will go unhindered. They can reach parts of the country and in their own local area that foreigners would never be able to go.

Thank God for the missionaries that have gone before who provided a foundation of Christianity to work from now.

Pray God's blessings on the Burmese people and the numerous other tribes located throughout the country. Pray for the Hill Tribes people that technically are not recognized by any country even if they are residents living in Myanmar or Thailand.


20 September 2007

Dollar vs. Euro

Today, the dollar continues to fall for the second day in a row to a new all time low against the Euro. Currently, $1.00 is equal to .71 Euro cents.

What’s this mean?
If you live in America really nothing unless you are going to purchase a European manufactured product.

If you’re going on vacation in Europe, plan on spending 29% more money for your European based expenses. On the other hand, if you are a European going to the U.S. on vacation, going is even a greater bargain then ever before.

European Missionaries
For overseas missionaries living in Europe, it simply means that we loose .29 cents on every dollar of support we get from the America. Our buying power gets less and less as the dollar continues to fall. Our cost of living does not go down, only the power to purchase.

When I came here in 2002, the dollar was nearly equal to the Euro or at least worth .98 cents. As with the rest of the world, Europe’s cost of living slightly increased over time just like the rest of the world.

Thank You
If you are sponsoring a missionary living anywhere, God bless you. If you are supporting a missionary living in Europe, consider an increase in your giving to compensate for the sliding dollar. I and my fellow missionaries here would really, really appreciate it.

If you haven’t supported a missionary, then prayerfully consider it. You have no idea how even the smallest donation can have an impact on our finances. Combinations of small consistent contributions have a powerful positive end result on our budgets.

Besides all of this “natural financial stuff”, our Heavenly Father WILL bless you back for your joyful giving to the spreading of His Gospel. He will and does take care of our every need, if we live on His economy instead of the world’s economy.

Thank you to my faithful supporters. I can not do it without you.

God bless you in every way,


12 September 2007

Welcome First Step Ministries Prayer Team

Thank you for visiting my new blog.

It's Live!
As you can see there are already some earlier postings below. They are the results of my "beta testing" this concept to see if this was really going to work for me. Now that this is up and running, I am really excited about the possibilities this blog and my "coming soon" ministry blog will provide to me.

Also, thank you for your prayer support all these years. You are invaluable to the Body of Christ in spreading the Gospel. I really do appreciate you.

Feel free to use the "Comment" button located below to leave me any comments you would like to make. Your comments will show up on the blog as soon as I "approve" them. Since it is a public blog I need to have "some control" over what might get posted before it goes public.

Be blessed the rest of this week.

Serving Him in Europe,

11 September 2007

911 - My Story

Today all of us remember the precise place we were at and what we were doing when we heard about the attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

My parents often recalled the attack of Pearl Harbor with vivid detail. I can recall the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and now like many others, 9-11.

For me, the event six years and a few minutes ago, found me in the middle of a second day of teaching business strategy and organization at a ministry called Christian Adventures International in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Most of the small C.A.I. staff were gathered in the conference room, when I think, the bookkeeper ran in and interrupted the meeting to tell us that a plane had hit the WTC. Some how in my heart I knew this was not an aircraft accident.

We quickly found a small black & white television, pulled up the rabbit ears antenna, plugged it in and set it up to see if we could get more info. While watching, we saw the second plane hit the second tower and I then really knew that this was no accident but a terrorist attack.

The entire staff of C.A.I. gathered around the conference room and we began to pray and intercede for the victims. Lesley McNulty, the co-founder of the ministry, shared with us a story that had happened a few weeks earlier. She and her husband Kevin were returning on an overseas flight to land at Atlanta Hartsfield airport. Just before reaching the coastline of America, she had a vision of a dark cloud covering the eastern seaboard of the U.S.. It now seems that we were seeing, in real time, the prophetic vision The Lord had given her. It all made sense now.

At that time I was still working for DHL Worldwide Express and knew we had a facility in the WTC. I wanted to check on a very close work friend Debbie Sweeney who worked right across the Hudson River at one of the DHL facilities located in New Jersey.

Later in the day, I called her and found out she was okay. I will never forget the fear and terror I heard in her voice, as she described what she had seen from the New Jersey side of the Hudson river.

Debbie related to watching the fire and smoke rise across the Hudson River and ultimately seeing the buildings fall. Dealing with the masses of people that were evacuating the New York City on foot across any bridge or tunnel that would get take them.

She also mentioned that the DHL office at WTC was okay with no loss of life since the office was located in a side building on the WTC complex, not in the twin towers.

Being caught on the other side of the country from my home in Arizona, I didn't know what to really do. Flights were all cancelled for days. The westbound train was already booked for the next two weeks. They were not selling tickets even on a "standing room only" basis. Rental cars were not available to drive from Florida to Arizona without and incredible drop-off penalty. Or they not allowed to leave the Florida entirely. I was to sit still.

That night at the McNulty's home we watched the replay of the planes crashing into to buildings, them falling and the people fleeing from the falling debris. It felt like a never ending nightmare. We were all just numb.

By Saturday, Southwest Airlines announced they would have limited flights available. I decided it was time to try to get a flight back to Phoenix. One of my problems was that I had flown out to Florida on an Interline ticket from DHL. This was like a "Buddy Pass" but for airline employees. I would be the last one to be able to get on the flight after all the paying passengers had been accommodated.

To be honest, it was with some in trepidation that I wanted to fly anywhere. But it was time to return home and I believed the Holy Spirit would guide my steps. If I wasn't to be on that particular flight, I wouldn't board it.

The only way to explain the atmosphere in Orlando International airport was tense or nervous. Absolutely everyone was looking at everyone else with fear and suspicion. The ticket agents and the boarding personnel watched the waiting passengers for anything out of the ordinary. We watched each other.

Since this was one of the first flights of Southwest Airlines moving from the east coast to the west, no one really knew when it was actually going to arrive. It had only been earlier in the morning that SWA knew that they were going to be able to have any limited repositioning flights.

We all waited patiently in the boarding area for what would end up being about four hours. We had no choice. No one was going to say complain about anything. The atmosphere was much to tense to want to cause someone to "notice" you.

The plane arrived from it's point of origin about ninety minutes late but no one complained. Everyone just wanted to get home. The SWA ticket agents began the process of finally handing out our plastic colored and numbered boarding passes. They had withheld them until they were absolutely sure we had flight was going out.

Amazingly, I was able to board nearly at the beginning of the loading process. I'll never forget the looks of concern from the flight attendants at the jet's door. Since I was one of the first, the plane was virtually empty when I started down the aisle to pick my seat.

I went about a third of the way down the aisle and picked a row of seats on the plane's left side. I sat down in the aisle seat and immediately jumped back up. It seemed as soon as I my butt hit the seat, I knew I was not to sit there. My reaction was so quick and startling to me, that I noticed even the flight attendant become startled at my action. Remember, everyone was nervous and on edge for anything unusual. What I did was clearly unusual and hard to explain.

Yet, I grabbed my bag from the overhead locker and slowly moved down the aisle. When I got to the back third of the plane, I took a seat on the plane's right side and the aisle seat again.

The plane loaded uneventfully. The plane was nearly full but no one had joined me in my row. I had two empty seats next to me. A married couple were nearly the last to enter the plane an naturally, they wanted to sit together on this flight. Their hope of sitting together wained as they walked down the aisle. Strangely, every seat was taken, except for the two next to me. They couldn't believe their eyes when they saw these two open seats together.

The plane was eerily quiet even fully loaded. No one was speaking. If they did it was in muted tones or whispers. My guess was that everyone thought there was a possibility that they might die on this flight.

I got up from my seat to allow the couple to enter the row and we all settled down, buckled up and waited for the push back and engine start. It was very still on the plane. No babies crying, no restless children, no noise.

As we taxied to the active runway, we were cleared for take-off immediately. After all, there was very little traffic on the airport or in the air. We were only one of a handful of flights in the area.

As the pilot ran up the engines to full power for take-off, I noticed the woman next to me tightly holding her husband's hand. I also "knew" or sensed that she was praying even though you couldn't hear her. Probably many people were praying even if they had never done so before.

We were airborne and the flight attendants started to pass out snacks and drinks. Still, the normal humor and easy going style of the SWA flight attendants was missing. The passengers also were still subdued.

As we made progress across the country, I noticed that the lady sitting next to me was reading a Dr. Dobson newsletter. Yes, she was obviously a Christian. Yes, she was praying during take-off. I mentioned the newsletter and she engaged me in conversation. We established that we were all Christians. She mentioned that it was amazing to find two seats together for her and her husband.

I told her my side of the story on how it came to be. We agreed that God had a plan for us. This row of seats were "reserved" for us.

The couple departed the flight at Austin, Texas, our only stop on the way to Phoenix. During the flight we talked about things Christians all talk about. Just before they left, we exchanged business cards with the promise to keep in touch. And although it has been a little more time in between contacts, we still stay in touch and they receive my First Step Ministry newsletter. In fact she is part of the First Step Ministries prayer team.

Over time, everyone on the flight seemed to loosen up a bit and relax. My continued flight and arrival in Phoenix was uneventful. It was good to be home and back to normal. But it seemed to me that fear and sadness from this event, hit everyone on the east coast much more than the west coast.

For me this event will be one of those times in my life that I will never forget.

And today, as in every year since I have been in Germany, on the anniversary of 9-11, my American flag flies from my balcony here in Germany. In a way, it is an act of defiance against those that would try to take our freedoms away from us.

10 September 2007

Terrorist In Germany

On a tip from the British, the German SGS, their special terrorist unit, broke up a ring of three Islamic terrorists last week. You may have read about this in the world press. It was a big deal. The terrorists were located in a small village about 100 miles, northeast of me. What caught every one's interest here in Germany was that two men were of German decent and a Turkish man who was born and raised in Germany.

It was reported that they had some 1,500 pounds of chemicals that they planned on turning into explosives to use against U.S. military facilities and places frequented by Americans. With one million American Expats living in Germany that would not be hard to do.

Two weeks ago the Danish broke up a group of terrorists located in their country. The Europeans seem to finally be recognizing that this problem is more than just a U.S. or U.K. issue. Or maybe it is more fair to say that it is now more visible in the press than ever before.

Last Year
Last year a couple of terrorist tried to blow up a regional train with two propane gas cylinders. Thank God, literally, the bombs failed to trigger and were removed from the train without harming anyone. That specific commuter train is one that runs through my village.

Every overseas missionary runs risks now that were never foreseen two generations ago. It doesn't matter where in the world we serve, we are exposed to hazards no one would have considered years ago.

Yes, our missionary forefathers faced their hazards and in some cases gave their lives for the furthering of The Gospel. They needed prayer support and so do we.

Pray For Us
No matter where God calls us to serve we all know, whether it is spoken or unspoken, before we take that flight from the U.S. to our mission posts, we know the risk and God's protection, grace, and strength.

It is still hard to explain to our families, friends, and fellow home church members in the U.S. why we take the risks or expose our families to the risk.

Ironically, to the nationals we serve overseas, they don't understand why we would leave America to live in their country. This is even true in Europe.

No matter what denomination or independent church you represent, all overseas missionaries, know that God's Calling on their lives is not satisfied until you are where The Lord has sent you.

In fact, once you've been serving overseas for awhile, it is hard to see yourself anywhere else, especially back in America until He sends you back or your finances just run out. (That's another topic for another day.)

"Go or Send"
There is an old axiom that has floated around the church world for a gazillion years. "If you can't go yourself, then send someone." "They" can't go unless "someone" supports them.

Psa 37:23 "The steps of the righteous man/woman are ordered by The Lord." In these days, everyone must stand on that scripture and know, believe and have faith, that your steps will be ordered out of harms way. You just can't get "them" saved if you're in heaven.

All of God's protection on you and your families,


Holland Trip Update

Dutch Rhema Day
All of you would agree that there is not enough time in a day. With the days quickly passing, I realized my need to update my blog with a couple of pictures from the pastor's meeting in Utrecht before it really becomes "old news".

We had about 30 in attendance which is less than last year but it also gave everyone a chance to "meet & greet" everyone, an advantage over last year. My presentation was "short & sweet". In hind sight I wished that I had brought a Power Point presentation along but didn't know that there was going to be a video projector and screen available for the meeting. My mistake in not asking enough questions.

It did make me realize that I need to believe God for these media tools for my own presentations in the future.

Hilversum International Christian Center
The day after the pastor's meeting my friends took me to an international church in Hilversum. It was a blessings to attend and be able to meet the pastor and some of the church's staff. The praise & worship was incredible and Holy Spirit inspired. After the service I complimented the worship leader, Rachel on her sensitivity to lead the congregation into God's Throne room to worship Him. It was wonderful.

In making a follow-up call the next day to Pastor Sebastiaan, I found out the receptionist, Katie, was originally from the Phoenix Metro area. I was sorry I missed meeting her the day before. But I am sure that I'll be back sometime in the near future and we'll meet face to face.

The trip was a success in many ways. Thank You Lord.

05 September 2007

Back In Rolandseck

Hi Everyone,
Well Labor Day is over in the U.S.. The holiday doesn't mean anything outside of America so it was a regular work day here but it does mark the "end of summer" in any northern hemisphere country.

[Editor's Note: Guess this posting is going to be more personal than work and ministry stuff.]

Got back home last Wednesday. The train ride was uneventful which is always nice. In fact, I took the very last seat at the end of the train and had the whole little area to myself to think and contemplate about the trip. The balance of my time in Holland was great.

First Flight
My close friend Bernard not only celebrated his birthday while I was there but his very first flying lesson.

Photo Rt: Bernard is, not surprisingly, grinning from ear to ear as he readies for the start of his big adventure.

This was a momentous occasion for both of us. He had his first lesson and I celebrated my umpteenth anniversary of my first solo flight in a small plane when I was 15 years old. Phoenix International Airport aka Sky Harbor, has never been the same since.

Photo Rt: Larry posing for a newpaper article about high school kids that are pilots. Unfortunately I'm not next the plane that I soloed in.

Like every other pilot, you never forget the day your instructor opens the door of the plane and steps out. He then tells you to do what you've been trained to do. Procedures, the essence of safe flying, kicks in and you do it by the numbers.

You go back to the "run up" area, do an engine check, contact the tower, wait for your clearance to take off, catch a big breath of air and push the throttle forward, rotate and all by yourself with the help of the laws of physics you are off the ground by yourself. Unbelievable.

You go around the traffic pattern, per your instructor's instructions, usually a couple of times making "touch & goes" then bring it back and tie it down. The adrenalin really hits you when you are taxing back and realize you really did it.

I soloed in a little Cessna 150, registered as N1135Y. Strangely after all these years, that little 150 is still flying in the Phoenix area. If that little plane could talk you wonder what tales it could "post" to its "blog". Stranger yet is that you remember the call sign. It's sort of like your first kiss.

Closer to God
Flying for me has always been a way to relate to my Heavenly Father. How is that? I don't really know except from the first time I was in small plane and "broke the surely bonds of earth" I felt close to God. As I looked down on humanity, it was like how it looked to Him.

That some how He actually knew how exciting it was see things from His perspective. It was looking down seeing kids playing ball, people mowing lawns, people stuck in traffic and them being given an "opportunity" to pray for their fellow commuters. This all happened at a time when I really didn't know Him, certainly not like I know Him now. Amazing huh....

Flying "back in the day" was much different than now. But actually, it isn't. Yes, much has changed in technology, no doubt, just look around us. But taking the "high road" and looking down and seeing more of God's creation at altitude is still breath taking. Granted the limited view of a Boeing 737 at 35,000 feet is not the same 360 degree panorama a Beechcraft or Cessna provides at 5,000 feet of the world outside.

The only thing that brings you closer to the elements in a power plane is a flying a sail plane. Now that is FLYING! I regret never getting my endorsement when it was so close at hand but at least soloing was just a "plane" kick in the butt. Some time I'll tell you the story about flying in formation with a hawk over the Sierra Estrella Mountains south of Phoenix. It was amazing and also a part of God's creation.

The Next Generation
Younger son William, now serving as part of a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flight crew is creating his own aviation memories as he serves all of us. It will be exciting to hear about them as they occur. Helicopters, the one thing I am envious about him being able to do. They have got to be a real kick in the butt to fly. Maybe God will give me a chance to do that some time in the future. It's not impossible for those who believe. I do.

Flying vs Motorcycles, Not Really "Versus"
The only thing that comes close to flying is riding motorcycles. Yes, I've done that too. Are you surprised? Bikers relate to their environment like pilots. Plus the sense of speed, of windy turns with "G" forces, etc.

My cousin Blake and his wife are on an annual motorcycle adventure called "The Three Flags Rally". For the last seven years, Blake has ridden from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. Well you say, a lot of people can and do do that. Well yes.... but try doing it over Labor Day weekend. Yes, border to border in three days. NOT a lot of people do that...

Why? It's hard to explain actually. But if you'd like to read Blake and Giovanna's blog while they are en route, check it out on my link to the right under "Friends Blogs" You'll enjoy it. Giovanna does a terrific job at documenting the events. Yes, I'll admit it. I am also envious of him.

God bless you,

26 August 2007

Greetings From Holland

Greetings from Utrecht, The Netherlands.
It is always such a blessing to be in Holland. I love these people and this country.

The Pastor's Meeting
Praise The Lord, yesterdays pastor's luncheon and meeting went very well. I met a number of new people and pastors and renewed some past friendships. The response to my presentation on the Kid's Prayer program was very well received. Now it is time to follow-up with the churches that expressed and interest in the program. I'll do a little of that while I am still in Holland and when I get back to Germany late Wednesday night. Thanks for your prayers, they are always appreciated.

When I get home I'll post some pics from the meeting and give you a few more details.

This morning I am visiting an International church Hilversum. They do the entire service in English. This will be my first time at this church, so I'm looking forward seeing how they do church.

Got to go for now and finish getting ready before my friends Bernard and Claudia pick me up.

God Bless you and thank you for checking in on my blog. The numbers are growing and 99% of my friends don't know about the blog yet as I "test drive" it a bit to get the bugs worked out. Guess it's our little secret but hopefully not for long.

Jesus loves you and so do I.

22 August 2007

Good Morning
This Saturday, August 24, I will be attending a small luncheon conference of Dutch pastors in Utrecht, The Netherlands. During that time I will be able to present the Kid's Prayer program and be available to set future appointments to preach and teach it in their local churches.

For me the Dutch have always been a favorite group of people to be with. I am looking forward to this opportunity. Please pray and be in agreement with me that new doors will be opened to me to present this important message. I will keep you posted on how it goes when I return in a few days.

Our Heavenly Father's Blessings to you.

17 August 2007

Something New to Learn: Blogging

Just when you don't want to learn one more piece of software or "techie" thing along comes a new communications tool that you realize you must learn. For me it is now learning the world of "Blogosphere", if that is a word.

This adventure began by reading the blog of some very close friends of mine who are soon heading off as new missionaries to serve in South Asia. Before this I had never considered doing a blog even though I knew about them.

After studying their blog and the blogs of some other friends, I have decided to take the plunge. Even though it provides some real communication advantages for me, it is just one more thing to learn to do correctly.

You can check out my friend's blog here by clicking on the link at the right titled: "Crucified With Christ".

Silly Victories
Today, I found out about how to put a weather bug and a counter on this blog. I have to admit it is really very cool! Now my you can see what the real-time weather is in my area of Germany. Technology don't ya just love it.

This is about it for now. I'm going to try to keep them short, sweet and up to date. If you really know me, you know "short" is always an issue when I write.

God bless you. Jesus loves you a lot more than you can even believe.

In His Service,