Do you remember this?

Thus was the text of a Facebook message I got last week from my now colleague Rev. Stephen Oliver, who has been serving as an LCMS missionary in Taiwan since 2000. He attached the below photo. 

I couldn't NOT share, so this #tbt (Throwback Thursday), we're going way back. The "National Youth Gathering in Orlando, FL" that I reference would have been the one I went to as a 17 yr. old rising high school senior, in 2004. 

Sadly, the answer to the title question is no, I do not, nor have I, consequently, been faithful in praying for Stephen & family all these years. To be fair, he didn't write back ;) When I asked WHY on earth he still had my postcard, he told me that in packing for an in-country move, he had run across a long-forgotten box of around 350 (!). It sounds like a weird thing to keep for 18 years, but from the flip side, I can relate. On reading through the stack, Stephen reports "Wow! It's been tremendous encouragement!" 

I love so many things about this vignette, including that my clearly defined career aspirations were fulfilled. It's my great privilege to serve alongside the Olivers and so many others, helping bring "good news of great joy" (Luke 2:10) to those around the world who don't yet know the "Savior, who is Christ the Lord," (2:11) born for them. This is not our work, but the Holy Spirit's in and through us. To echo the angels, "Glory to God in the highest," (2:14). 

Until next time, blessings in Christ!

P.S. If you're interesting in sending a snail mail card or letter of encouragement to an LCMS missionary serving overseas, write to