Wednesday, April 28, 2010


(In case you were wondering, that is the Portuguese way to spell Brazil. Portuguese is the language they speak in Brazil, it was founded by Portugal, unlike other South American countries).

I do not know how many of you know that I am going to be going on a mission trip. But as part of the Second Year curriculum at WOLBI, is a mandatory missions trip, also known as Missions Reality.

There are 7 different trips. Quebec, Canada; Hungary; Argentina; Ukraine; LCM (Local Church Ministry, different churches on the south east coast of the states); Brazil; And OAE (Open Air Evangelism) to New York City.

We leave tomorrow.

To say that I am excited is a vast understatement.

As a way for the first years to get involved, we hold a Missions Reality Chapel for the whole school to go to. In today's chapel the Brazil trip presented one of the songs that we will be performing while in Brazil. The song is "Above All," but sung in Portuguese, with Sign Language to go along to it.

At first I thought that I would just tolerate Signing, but I soon became fond of it. It is even kind of fun! (You knew all along Adele!)

(I was going to upload the video here, but it is not working, I will try when I get back, or maybe a new one from down in Brazil!)
Acima de Tudo (Above All)

The trip costs just over $2000, I didn't know how I was going to be able to raise all that money. But luckily I didn't have to worry, because God had it all under control! (Matt. 6.31-34)

Among the ministry opportunities that I will have while in Brazil, I will be going to a local landfill (where many children unfortunately have to live), going down stream with a riverboat ministry, and be teaching local school children about the Bible.
The more I write about this, the more I cannot wait to see what God is going to do, not only in the lives of the children and adults we minister to, but also in the lives of my teammates and I!

I honestly started pursuing Brazil, because I wanted to go, see lots of cool things, and travel more. But now, thinking about the children that go to bed hungry and dirty, lonely and desperately, cold and ashamed. I want only to help them. I am not that fond of children. But those kids that have nothing, I have a heart for.

We Americans have SO much. We HONESTLY take it for granted EVERYDAY! Sure some of us don't have as nice of things compared to some friends, maybe wanting a new I-pod, or the newest cell phone. But these kids don't even have enough clothes to keep themselves covered. They lack enough money to buy bread... some don't even have parents.

I am not trying to hate on those around me, I include me in this listing. I so often want new shirts, cause my other ones are "old." I save up to buy a new camera, so I can have memories. I look forward to my next trip, cause I love to travel. But these kids have next to nothing, and yet we sit around. They are not that far away, and we may even know someone who knows someone that we could send money to to help them, even $20 is better than nothing.

Did you know, that 85% of the world survives on $5000 or under- a year!
That is poverty here in the states! Yet most of the world does it. If we sent even a small amount, on a regular basis, how much good could come of it?

I am not just talking momentary, daily needs, I am talking about eternity.

Do we really understand that? Eternity. We all spend it somewhere. Either in Heaven or Hell. Americans have become callous to that fact. But there is a world out there that needs Jesus just as much as you and I! One payment of $20 could help fund a box of Bibles making its way to Ecuador, that ultimately makes its way into a poor home, that leads the father to Christ, that later witnesses to his friends and family.

I am not just making this up, these are real accounts, with real people all over the world. There was a story that I heard that hasn't left me since.

A group was going through the Gospel presentation in a tribe in Africa, and at the end, told anyone that wanted to that they could receive the free gift of salvation. Many raised there hands. After leading them in prayer he told the group that whoever wanted to could come forward and get a Bible. the only thing was they had to agree to read it. People gave their word, and took the Bibles. Sometime later, a man came back to the group and asked for another Bible. Being in short demand, the missionary questioned him and asked him why. The man replied "I went forward to get a Bible so that I could use it to roll up and smoke with it. But just like I agreed, before I would roll a page I would read it. I smoked my way through Matthew, Mark, Luke. And John smoked me."

Did you see that? The man may never have had any previous knowledge of Jesus Christ, but the Bible is so impactful, so self-edifying, so powerful, that all the man had to do was read it!

I have many more things that I want to say, unfortunately time is short, and I leave soon with many things left to do.

But I want to leave you with this.

We look at history, there used to be so many GREAT missionaries. William Carey, Hudson Taylor, Cameron Townsend. But we don't see things like that anymore.

Why not?

Because no one goes.

Students graduate from seminary and go to a prospering community, with a "safe" job.

I don't want that.

A popular song lyrics goes "I will go Lord, send me."

How many of us see that, sing it, and are never moved by it. I challenge you, if you do not really mean the words that are on the projector during a Sunday service, do God a favor, and DON'T sing them. God wants people that are committed to Him. He wants people that are willing to go. Wherever that may be. Maybe even your neighbor. I want to write about it later, but what is your mission field? It is right where you are. Go across the street to that disturbing neighbor, and share Christ.

Remember we are all dirty, rotten, sinners. But one thing we have that a majority of the world doesn't have, is grace. We are SAVED by GRACE! (Eph. 2.8-9)

If we were all willing to go, even to the neighbor we hold a grudge against, think about how the world would be different. There are many out there looking, praying to SOMETHING to just to know there is more. There is more, and we have it, so go preach it (Rom. 10.17)!

I have no idea what God has planned for this trip, I do not know what is going to happen, other than GREAT and MIGHTY things. And that is okay, God is all knowing, I do not need to know.

I could die.

But one thing I am okay with, is dying a martyr.
"The blood of the martyr is the seed of the church"
Better in my book to die a martyr, than to die in a bed of old age.

I often reflect on what God is going to say to me in heaven, and the six words I want to hear are:
"Well done good and faithful servant."

What are you going to hear when you get to heaven?

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Goose

It all started a year ago. Who knew one silly goose could cause so many problems.

Origin of the Goose: Coming back to school January 2009 I got three new roommates. It was one of these said roommates that, when out with friends, stole the Goose from his original home. As to where it actually started, I do not know.

Once stolen, the Goose sat on the dooryard of my dorm, Portugal, right next to a "To the dumps" sign, pointing at my dorm. Some one from another cabin soon placed the Goose at the top of Portugal roof. From there the Chalets stole it! The chalets are a rival dorm. However, Kenya, an ally dorm, quickly stole it back.

That only fueled the chalets. The promptly stole it from us again. Hungary, also a rival dorm, stole it from the chalets. Together, they formed a team, Kenya hill (dorms on Kenya hill) also formed an alliance.

War ensued.

And Kenya was victorious, last years owners even holding onto it and passing it onto this years Kenyans.

Until I arrived.

Together, with two girls and another guy, we got into Kenya (don't ask how), and retrieved the Goose.

We were so effective at getting the Goose, it took Kenya a couple days to even realize the Goose was gone.

Now you might say, weren't you part of Kenya Hill last year? And you would be correct. Last year. This year I am in Hungary, and all the rules changed. No longer would Kenya be able to be the sole owner, or owner at all. The Goose has freedom too, thus, The Goose Liberation Squad was formed.

Things went well.

But the Goose Squad was unhappy.

This motley crew actually thought, that once Andrew Hoagland had hidden the Goose, they could find it. Of course they were not alone in the hunt. It seemed once the knowledge of the Goose's escape became public, everyone wanted it for themselves. Dissention became a common trait among old friends.

All for the Goose.

IDP (International Discipleship Program, also last years previous owners), Kenya, and others all tried to break into my room. Luckily Hungary upper responded promptly, and we always took care of them. Goose: protected.

After about a week, things got boring, to up the ante, and make things adventurous I talked to Morgan Garber and Naomi Elliot. Together they set up a Wild Goose Hunt, ironic, right?

Goose Hunt: It started well, Morgan and Naomi had everything set up, all the clues in place, a royal scavenger hunt was sure to take place. And boy, did one take place. What Morgan thought would take a couple days, was quickly cut down into a day and a half.

Not including the last clue. That one stumped everyone, including me. It took days to figure out. The clue was to the song "Sadis Hawkins Dance" by Relient K, but was rewritten in a very clever manner. A challenging manner.

But it only lasted for so long, together, with some friends, I was able to piece everything together, and the clue was solved. Before IDP and Kenya (who were working together)!

Everything was in place to get the Goose, the last clue was solved, and the person detaining the Goose was acquired.

But that wasn't it, the man, Jeff Lewis, assistant dean of men here at WOLBI (Word Of Life Bible Institute), hid the Goose. So no one, NO ONE, could find him.

Goose: On hiatus.

The Goose may not be possessed by any "side," but one day he will emerge, and until that day, I say to the Goose "Fly Free, you always were a wild one!"

Saturday, April 24, 2010

3 years old

Three years old? Now that may seem weird for a twenty year old (I really am that old?!!!) to say, but it isn't at all unnatural for a born again believer. For no one can be as old spiritually as the are physically, we are all born wicked and depraved!

A Testimonial about my conversion into Christ's kingdom:
an incomplete, but short, review of my life, and what it took for me to put my complete and true trust in my, now, Lord and Savior.

I was born into a large family, I am the middle of seven children. Now I understand that is hard for most people to grasp, but I utterly cannot imagine what it would have been like to grow up with LESS!

We attended church every week, but looking back, I honestly can't remember ever hearing the gospel preached. I was baptized there as an infant; and I grew up believing that religion was 1)Believing God existed 2)Not taking God's name in vain 3)Going to church on Sunday 4)The God created everything 5)Praying before meals.
And that was it, that is what I believed.

And then it happened.

One, my grandfather, my hero, had a stroke and almost died.
Two, my parents moved in with my grandfather and I (It had been just my grandfather and me for two years)
Three, we switched churches (due to heresy)
Four, I went from public school, to home school (with ONLY one class at public school, Spanish)
Five, puberty (I was just going into ninth grade.

Now that may not seem like that much, but it was. Defiant by nature, and genes, it became a very trying time, for both my parents and I. It was a defining period of my life, and I was going about it the wrong way!

In June of 2005, I was re baptized. After attending the new church, the one of which I am currently a member, Living Water Community Church, I heard the True Gospel for the first time.
I know that Pastor explained to me what it took to be saved, I know that I acknowledged it, but looking back, I don't remember seeing fruit, live change, or really, repentance.
However, not knowing better at the time, I was baptized. And life went on.

My freshman year was tough, getting used to life having to visit my grandfather in the hospital, and then having to care for him everyday after school. Getting used to homeschooling, only seeing my friends one forty minute section of the day. And most of all, getting used to being under my parents rule again.

Sophomore year was a little better, at first. I got to go to school for Spanish, Math, and Science. I was happier, and more used to the whole "home school thing." But caught up in the American culture I believed that as a teenager, I had certain "rights." But I was wrong, and it lead to lots of bitter fights with my parents, rebelling, and arguments. Friends came and went, but pain was always there. And then it happened, my hero, my inspiration, my Grandfather died.

We knew it was coming, he was loosing his memory, and at 96, we knew it wouldn't be long. But there is something about getting that final call sitting in the library, studying with my Taiwanese friend, and knowing that your grandfather is gone forever.

Moving on was hard. Life without a loved one is never easy, and a lot of mistakes were made. For about a year, I lived a rebellious, secretive, wicked life style. And it was at the end of that year, April 24th, 2007, when I just couldn't go on anymore, I thought about taking my life. But by God's grace I didn't. God sent a godly man into my life, Mike Lowry, and he helped me to see things clearly. That day, with many tears, heartache, and pain, I came clean to my parents. It was the hardest thing I had to do up to that time, but, I felt relieved.

And it is in that moment that I count my true conversion. I was at the end of myself, no joy of the Lord like the collection of Psalms talks about. I had "believed in God." But, being a very headstrong individual, I did it all in my own strength. Never in the Lord's might. But in that moment, on that day, I was completely broken, sweetly broken, by the Lord.

Since that time I have been slowly being put back together, but in the right way, by my Father in Heaven.

Some instrumental verses for my life have been:

1 Tim. 1.12-15 "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, 13even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. 15It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all."

1 Corinthians 6.9-11 "9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."

It has been a very tough, challenging, and yes, painful experience. But I would not trade these last three years for anything.

One thing I have decided is, is that baptism is important. It is a public profession of faith. And if the first two times I didn't get it, "third times the charm." So Amazon River baptism, here I come!

Here's to three more, six more, a life more of good years.


My birthday is April First. Coincidence? I think not. Ironic, quite. As you can imagine this has been a very appealing (and ROUGH) day to have a birthday. My mom has made it a habit to always make me the weirdest, and sometimes gross, cakes. One year she made me a "brain cake." It was made out of jello, in the shape of a brain. When all was said and done, the thing looked exactly like what a Brain would. When I was in second grade, my mom brought that cake in to my class. We all thought that it was so cool. Once we all dug in and had a piece, my friend asked what it was, my mom (who is the one I get all my sarcasm from) replied (stoic, but believably) that is was horse brain. My friend promptly ran to the trash can and threw up. 'Nough said.

So this year I went home for my birthday (as it also happened to be Easter weekend), and I brought some of the coolest kids with me (All international Asian Students, the only way I do things). The list included Gunmo Kim, Jin-Seok Kim (unrelated), Mana Daitsu, and Shion Mitsuhashi. we all had a blast!As you can see from our faces, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

But the point of the story follows after this weekend. The day 4/10/2010. By this point the Hunt For The Goose (more to follow) was raging. To try and get ahead, or just scare the other team, I planned on kidnapping a member of the opposing team. I planned it all out; got my friends together (and might I add, if it weren't for me, half the things we did wouldn't be accomplished), got rope, found a car, got a good bag to cover the face of the victim, and everything.

We all went our own ways, to make things follow through correctly. And that was when I got a message on Facebook to arrive early. I thought (ignorantly) that the victim was arriving earlier than planned, if only I knew. I got there, waited around, and just like in a movie, Ifound out the guy we were suppose to kidnap knew what we had planned, and that is when it happened. Darkness. A bag, MY bag, descended on my head, a classmate tackled me, and my arms were pulled behind me.

But if you think that is the end of the story, think again.

Andrew Hoagland doesn't go down without a fight.

Mind you, you cannot see the time lapse, but it took a good 3-6 minutes to get me on the ground, bound and gagged. Not only that, but you can see the amount of people that were involved. All I knew was was that I was being kidnapped, some how the guy we were suppose to get knew, and now I was the one in the bag. Anyone would fight. Even if it was "friends."

But once they got me, there was still more of a battle for them to have. They tried to put me in the car, but I wouldn't allow that. I used all my force, all my calf muscles had to offer, all my Secret agent knowledge to use. And that was effective for about two minutes. But once in the car, and this is my shinning moment, I waited until the person (Owen Walsh) sat down in the seat across from me, and when he did, I used all the power I had to donkey kick him out of the car. A note, this guy was a miniture truck, but I was still able to send him rolling out of the car. Only to be tackled by him two seconds later.

They finally were able to get the car closed, and start off. But I was not done yet! As we drove, I slowly worked on the knots that held my hands. When Owen was getting to nosy (he noticed that I was unshackled) I karate chopped him in the neck. Not the smartest move, but that is when the fun really began. With Owen next to me, Adam Davenport behind me, Jessica Pezzente cackling in the back, and Jamie Griffiths and Gaby Gonzalez driving, I fought with everything I had. They kept trying to calm me down, but you do NOT kidnap someone, even a friend, and expect them to be calm.
Especailly Andrew Hoagland.
One, I am from Maine,
Two, Andrew is the one to initiate anything,
Three, I'm Andrew.
'Nough Said.

So after 10 minutes of kidnapping, 7 minutes of driving, and many gashes and brusies later, we arrived at Stuarts (One of the best Ice cream places EVER. It also sells gas...).

They claim it was a birthday present.
One, I planned it,
Two, it was a week late, and wouldn't have happened had I not planned it ALL,
Three, come on...

Am I saying I didn't have a good time?

but now I have Owen's blood forever on my favorite flannel.

And just a hint, next time someone tries to kidnap me, they better be ready.


Why hello:

I have often been asked what is going on in my life. The truth? I have no idea. It is especially hard to keep in touch with those back home, in Oklahoma, and in Korea.

For those who haven't been updated in a while. I am currently at Second Year here at Word Of Life Bible Institute in Northern New York. The school is located in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. There are 46 high peaks (over 4,000 ft), and plenty more to do in the great outdoors.

My first year was a challenging year, one spent immersed in God's word for the first time in my life. I made lots of great friends, great memories, and I learned a lot about myself, but more importantly about God.

This second year, by far, has been more challenging, more intense, more involved, but more rewarding. I got to spend this past year with most of my best friends from this past year, and I got to make lots of great new ones!
During my time here at the BI (Bible Institute), I have discovered my God giving calling to Korea (more to come), my love for international students, and my desire to see the world. I often tell my friends that I don't get jealous of normal things (money, cars, clothes), but of three things: Traveling, Languages (the fact that others know them and I don't), and cameras (I love photography!).
I don't know what God is calling me to do next, but I know that whatever it is, challenging or not (which it always is) it will be well worth the cost!