Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—
light! sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation,
you expanded its joy.
Oh, they're so glad in your presence!
Festival joy!
The joy of a great celebration,
sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—
all their whips and cudgels and curses—
Is gone, done away with, a deliverance
as surprising and sudden as Gideon's old victory over Midian.
The boots of all those invading troops,
along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
Will be piled in a heap and burned,
a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
He'll take over
the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Strong God,
Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
and there'll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He'll rule from the historic David throne
over that promised kingdom.
He'll put that kingdom on a firm footing
and keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
will do all this.

Monday, December 24, 2007

On This Night so long ago

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed. Luke 2:8-18 The Message

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of this season, it is our hope and prayer that you find great joy as you praise, great hunger as you seek and great wonder as you behold the Lamb!

We would like to invite you to read our Christmas Newsletter for 2007.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Joe, Erica, Cody and Alissa Burgan

Homeschoolers in the News

It is right , appropriate and necessary to balance the scale of press coverage of two young men recently in the news who were both homeschooled.

One-of-a-kind Tebow Becomes First Sophomore to Win Heisman

Dec 8, 11:05 PM (ET)


NEW YORK (AP) - Tim Tebow took a few deep breaths, steadied himself, then plowed through his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech much the same way he takes on tacklers - fast and furious.

In rapid fire, Florida's sophomore quarterback thanked everyone he could think of, some of them twice. When it came time to take hold of the 25-pound bronze statue, he looked as if he wasn't sure whether he should run with the prize or throw it. He does both so well.

Florida's folk-hero quarterback with the rugged running style and magnetic personality became the first sophomore to win the Heisman on Saturday night.

"I am fortunate, fortunate for a lot of things," Tebow said. "God truly blessed me and this just adds on. It's an honor. I'm so happy to be here."

Since 1935, when Jay Berwanger of Chicago won the first Heisman, every winner had been a junior or senior - until Tebow, who picked up quite a souvenir on his first trip to New York.

"It's surreal a little bit," he said. "It's just overwhelming."

Homeschooled by missionary parents who run an orphanage in the Philippines, Tebow took advantage of a Florida state law to play for Nease, about 90 miles from the University of Florida campus.

Tebow has worked and preached at his parents' orphanage since he was 15. He regularly speaks at schools and delivered his message of faith at a prison in Florida earlier this year.

"Tim Tebow is the real American hero," said Tebow's high school football coach, Craig Howard. "He's the real deal."

And then the other -

Colorado Church Gunman Had Grudge Against Christian Group, Cops Say

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The gunman believed to have killed four people in a pair of shooting sprees at a megachurch in Colorado Springs and a missionary training school near Denver had been thrown out of the missionary school a few years ago and had been sending it hate mail, police said in court papers Monday.

The gunman was identified as Matthew Murray, 24, who was home-schooled in what a friend said was a deeply religious Christian household. Murray's father is a neurologist and a leading multiple-sclerosis researcher.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cody and Football Fall '07

Cody played Pop Warner Football this fall.

He did a great job for his first time ever playing team sports.

He was the first string defensive nose tackle.

We are very proud of him!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Great New Book Series for Kids

Terrestria Chronicles Allegory Series

Travel back in time to the kingdom of Terrestria, a land where knights and their ladies live in castles and where dragons still roam (occasionally).

The Terrestria Chronicles allegory series was written with a three-fold purpose: to honor Jesus Christ as King, to challenge young readers to love and serve Him, and to teach them to guard their hearts for Him. The focus of the series is always on the King.

This is not Narnia; this is not Lord of the Rings. The Terrestria Chronicles were written to honor Christ and be as true to Scripture as possible. Some readers have compared the Terrestria books to The Pilgrim’s Progress, though this series is much more readable, relevant, and action-packed than Bunyan’s classic work.

Written for ages ten and up, the Terrestria series is ideal for family devotions, classroom use, or individual enjoyment.

It’s tough raising godly kids in a godless society. These life-changing books can help. It is our prayer that the Terrestria series will transform the hearts of young people and adults alike.

Enter to win the complete set of
Terrestria Chronicles
on the HSB Company Porch!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Road Trip 2007

Good morning!

We are making final preparations for our road trip starting later this week.

We will be leaving Mexico this Thursday and staying in Yuma for a couple of days. It’s blackberry season here, so Friday morning we will be picking berries before Erica and the kids head off for the last Homeschool Park Day of the season. Friday evening is Recognition Night for our homeschool group – Home Educators of Yuma (HEY). For those of you not involved in homeschooling, it’s a combination of Awards Day and Graduation for homeschool families – a time to recognize our children’s accomplishments for the year, hand out family and group awards and honor those who have completed their course of study in the home.

Saturday morning, Erica is teaching at a ladies’ tea at Legacy Church in Yuma. The theme for the morning is “We are God’s Masterpiece.”

Later that day, we head to Phoenix to visit with the Bennetts and the folks at Freedom Gate Church where we will be dropping off Dave who has been interning with us these last three months. Then we are off to Flagstaff, AZ and a day or two at the Grand Canyon on the way to Memphis.

We will be traveling through New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas before arriving in Tennessee. We hope to break up the trip with stops at the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest as well as the Will Roger’s Cowboy Museum. Our plan is to arrive in Southaven, MS a week from this Friday for a conference at CityGate Church on Saturday morning.

We would ask you to pray for God’s protection all along the way and for clear direction and clear weather. Also, be praying for openings and opportunities to demonstrate His love along the way.

Thanks to all of you for your faithfulness in prayer. And to those of you in the Memphis area, we would love to have the chance to chat with you while we are in town so give us a call or drop us an email.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Update from the Burgans 4-18-2007

Greetings one and all!

I wanted to fill you in on the goodness of our God.

As you know, we have now been over six weeks without our van. We have had some friends who have graciously loaned us vehicles to use – Rich and Lori Barcelona as well as the Harvest Vision Ministry. Thanks to you all so much.

We have been faced with many decisions. Should we fix the van? If so, do we buy a rebuilt motor ($1600 or better)? Or do we try to find a used motor ($250-$1200)? Some used motors only come with a 20 day warranty. Should we scrap the van and just buy a smaller car with better gas mileage that we can pull behind the RV (called a dinghy or TOAD)? But then how do we haul all the people and stuff?

Anyway, we wrestled with all this, praying and asking you all to join us in prayer.

The bottom line was that we needed to wait until the way was clear and we had the peace that we needed. So we waited.

About two weeks ago, a friend from here in Yuma told us about a ministry at a local church that helped folks find cars. Well, I called over and chatted with the pastor whose name was John. He said that they didn’t have any vehicles at the moment but wanted to know more about the van motor. He said he wanted to check a few things and he would call me back.

He did call me back and said that he had found a used 1998 motor with 80,000 miles (half what we had on the van) with a 1 year warranty for $950 and asked if I was interested. I said that I was but could I call him the next day with a decision. That was a Wednesday! Thursday, Erica had planned a board meeting and we had arranged to borrow a truck to go to Yuma. The truck only held 4 but there are 5 of us at the moment. I tossed and turned most of the night trying to figure out the best arrangement for traveling the next day.

Should Erica and I just go by ourselves, leaving the kids with Dave, our intern from Memphis? But then the kids would miss out on the Yuma County Fair – the one chance they have to ride some amusement type rides. But if we do take the kids, that leaves Dave in Mexico all day, by himself. I didn’t want to do that to him, either. Adding to that, we wanted to stop by the food bank for food for the family as well as Ricardo and the guys at Eliacim, the rehab center we are supporting.

Just before morning, it dawned on me that we should just take the RV. Though it uses a lot of gas it allows for everything – everyone can go; we can get food and have a place to store it. We can take the kids and Dave to the fair and Erica gets to her meeting. Now, we don’t know if it was the enemy hassling or God guiding but when we went to get in the truck, it wouldn’t start. The fuel pump had died over night! So we ended up setting sail in the motorhome for Yuma!

All that to say this, after dropping Erica off at her meeting, we went to our mailbox and discovered checks that totaled exactly $950!!!! Taking that as confirmation, I ordered the motor and it should be finished in the next few days. Through the kindness of two pastors, the money also came in to cover the mechanics fees for changing the motors out!

God is faithful and kind. If we will just rest and wait, He will take care!

Thanks to all of you for praying and investing in us!

Another testimony of gratitude, when I was an infant, my parents bought me a $1000 life insurance policy. A couple of years ago, they discovered the policy had not been cashed in. Mom sent me the info and we received about $2000 which we were grateful for while we were here in Mexico. Well, we had been praying, even before the van troubles for that dinghy I mentioned earlier not only to have when we traveled but it would give Erica a little more freedom as well. For instance, on Fridays when I go up to the food bank, she and the kids could leave at a leisurely 8:00am for Park Day with the homeschoolers rather than the 5:30am that I do.

Anyhow, we were looking and praying. The other day, I get a call from my parents saying that they were notified that some of the money from that $1000 insurance policy had been converted to stock in the Prudential company and that I was a shareholder in Prudential. Imagine that!?! I called and discovered that I indeed owned stock – 34 shares to be exact at the current price of over $91 per share for a total of over $3000!!!! Which just happened to be the amount we were thinking we needed to try to find a nice used car. So now we are in the market for that dinghy and would appreciate your standing with us. We know the Father has precisely what we need out there, we just need to be diligent and patient!

Thanks again to you all.

Take the adventure that Aslan sends you!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

He rose as He said!

"We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again." - Jesus
Luke 18:31-33 NIV

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Look Back at 2006

Our adventures and travels of 2006 were the seeds planted for what it is that the Lord has planned for our 2007 – a litany of the miraculous and examples of God's grace.
  • We established a non-profit corporation in Arizona called “Hope House International.”

  • God supplied the funds through the quick sale of some land by Erica's great aunt Rachel McKinney and her generosity for the purchase of a 34 ft motor home.

  • Memphis, TN - 22 meetings in 14 days – renew friendships, relationships with pastors and churches.

  • Pittsburgh, PA from mid-June to end of September – much grace is evidenced as we work with Joe's Dad and Mom to send them out from the church they've been pastoring for 20 years. We had a chance to renew old friendships, establish some new ones and visit with family. Two trips to Bedford, PA and the family of God at Acts Community church, sharing and encouraging.

  • Myrtle Beach, SC – thanking God for the on going work with the Latino community and sharing with more old friends!

  • Orlando, FL – meeting up with Erica's Uncle John and Aunt Marty at Disney World where they present us with 4 2-day passes to all the Disney Parks. Thanks Nikki for your help with the camp site!

  • Memphis, TN - Four more weeks and the gracious hospitality of the Richard family – churches visited, communing with friends.

  • Back in Mexico by mid-November after 6 months on the road, 18 states visited and 8,000 miles traveled.

We cannot say thank you enough to the pastors and churches who opened their doors and hearts to us allowing us to share about Hope House and the challenge for the bride to be prepared! Also, a big thank you to friends and family who took us in or simply fellowshipped with us over a meal! Thanks to all for your kindness and generosity.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Famous Homeschoolers

From The Link Homeschool Newspaper:

PEARL S. BUCK (1892 – 1973)


Pearl S. Buck was born in Hillsboro, NC on June 26, 1892 to Presbyterian missionaries who moved to China when she was 3 years old. Buck learned the Chinese language and customs from a Chinese teacher and was homeschooled in English as a second language and other subjects by her mother and tutor until she began formal school at the age of 17. Buck’s mother understood her daughter’s need for a creative outlet and focused on her writing skills, encouraging her to write something every week. Buck began writing for missionary magazines at the age of 6 and, as a young adult, decided to become a novelist. Her works primarily displayed a sympathetic focus on life in China and in 1932 she won the Pulitzer Price for widely acclaimed novel “The Good Earth”, the story of the farmer Wang Lung's life. In her lifetime, Buck wrote more than 65 books in addition to hundreds of short stories and essays.

ANDREW CARNEGIE (1835 – 1919)

Steel Manufacturer/Philanthropist

Andrew Carnegie was born on November 25, 1835 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland in an impoverished, yet cultured, political home. Many of Carnegie’s closest relatives were self-educated trademen and class activists. At the age of 5, Carnegie refused to go to school so his parents kept him home where an uncle read to him out loud. Three years later, he started school but quit at the age of 13. Carnegie’s “education” was enhanced by Colonel James Anderson who opened his personal library to working boys. Carnegie was a “self-made man” intellectually, culturally and economically. He was the founder of the Carnegie Steel Company, one of the most powerful and influential corporations in the United States. Carnegie was also a widely respected philanthropist who, later in his life, gave away most of his riches to fund the establishment of many libraries, schools and universities in Scotland, America and worldwide.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

It is our sincere hope and prayer for a blessed and glorious New Year for you and yours!

May you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers