Politics will not save us!

I was going to write a long post about the presidential election and my feelings about the candidates.

But, I got tired of it.

These people are both morally corrupt in their thinking and policy making.

There is no savior on the ballot.

Focus on the reign of the King. Spend your energy advancing that.

That's what I'll be doing.

Scattered and Gathered: A Global Compendium of Diaspora Missiology

It was a tremendous honor to be a part of a truly landmark text on missiology that has just recently been released from Regnum Books and the Global Diaspora Network.  Scattered and Gathered: A Global Compendium of Diaspora Missiology is a monumental work of some 600 pages that seeks to provide a broad treatment of a subject that is absolutely critical for 21st mission thinkers and leaders.

In my section, I was able to work with a number of authors from around the world to treat the subject of "The Mission of the Church in Global Diaspora."  My co-editor was Grant McClung and joining me as authors were Lachi Adhikari, P. Rajendran, Sam George, Carol Mack-Lacey, Chandler Im, John Oh, Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, Ken Baker, T.V. Thomas, and Lawrence Ko.

As a contributor, I am certainly not unbiased in my commendation of this book, but I am very proud of it.  There is no question that I will be referring people to it for years to come.  I'm even beginning to plan some follow up book projects that I think will be very exciting.

You can order it online through  

My Mentoring Pattern: Ebenezer, Yahweh Yireh, Kingom Advance

I have become convinced that one of the greatest needs for world mission today is for faithful mentoring of leaders.  Actually, I don't think the big thing is for me to teach others from my vast stores of wisdom.  No.  The stores aren't all that vast.  Rather, I believe that the best way for me to mentor is just to walk alongside someone a
s they pursue the calling of God on their lives.
More and more, I'm finding the fulfillment of my own vision and calling as I stand behind and with other sisters and brothers who are passionate about the Kingdom.

But let me move right into sharing my mentoring pattern.  

The Basic Idea

Essentially, this is all about letting a conversation unfold between myself and the leader I am mentoring.  I really just need to know what God is saying to them and what God is doing in and through them.  Then, I just get involved in that and help amplify that voice.  This literally is accomplished through regular conversations -- about monthly.  During the conversation, we talk and hang out as normal people, pray and may talk about Scripture.  However, the primary focus is on three words:

1. Ebenezer (1 Sam. 7) - I want to know where they are right now.  How far has the Lord brought them?  What can we give thanks for?  And based on all of that, what does immediate obedience look like.  Here is the specific question I ask: 
Based on what you sense the Lord calling you to do and what it will take for you to be obedient to his calling right now, what should you do and what should be accomplished during the next 3-4 months?  (List several specific goals.)
2. Yahweh Yireh (Gen. 22) - I want to know what we should be praying for.  Based on that present sense of calling and what obedience entails, there are definitely some things for which we must pray. Specifcally, I am asking:
As you walk in obedience right now, you are praying for specific fruit to result.  What specific manifestations of the reign of Christ do you expect and hope to see in the next 6 months? 
3. Kingdom Advance (Matthew 11) - Finally, since we are Kingdom people and the Kingdom is advancing always, we can expect tangible expressions of the Kingdom.  So, I want to know what that vision is.  If God answers all our prayers and makes our dreams come true, what would that look like? Here is the question: 
God is developing a vision in your heart as you obey his calling and pray for his Kingdom to come.  What does that vision look like? From where you stand right now, if that vision becomes a reality, what will it look like?
I hope it is obvious that the real power in this pattern is consistency and relationship.  I have attempted something like this before but failed on those two fronts.  But, I believe this can be very adaptable for many kinds of Kingdom workers.  Right now, I am using the pattern for church planters, coffee shop managers, and agricultural workers.

Also, I think knowing your capacity is important.  I'm focusing on the number 12 as a key for me.  I think I can meet monthly with 12 leaders face-to-face.  I think I can add another 12 leaders to meet with remotely (like via WhatsApp or Skype).  

Finally, it is extremely important to me that this is memorable and easy to learn.  I want those I mentor to mentor others who will mentor others.  It's about the Kingdom, so it must be comprehensive.

Getting Ready for Kampala Restaurant Week

Some of you know that a big chunk of my time nowadays is spent working with Endiro Coffee, based in Uganda.  One of my roles is as the Corporate Executive Chef.  It's funny that I find myself cooking again after many years.  I still remember praying at Waffle House that God would allow me to be in full time ministry.  I was convinced that my time as a cook there was being wasted.  But, no ... with the Lord, nothing is wasted.

Anyway, we are getting ready for a big event in Kamapla, Uganda called the Kampala Restaurant Week.  This is a little different than the Kamapala Restaurant Awards that we competed in (and won!) last fall.  The biggest difference is that instead of competing in our own little category ("cafe") we must go head to head against restaurants of many different types.  Also, we are being judged on a three-course meal that we design especially for the event.

So, it fell to me to design the menu.  I'll be heading to Uganda soon to train our chefs to execute the meal perfectly.  Our entry this year embraces two culinary themes that are important to who we are as a company.  The first is, of course, coffee.  Coffee is a powerful symbol of the diversity and beauty of people and cultures throughout the nation and the world.  Also, coffee connects to simple and amazing people in farming villages.  We believe that “with enough coffee, we can change the world” – literally.  So, we are utilizing coffee heavily in this meal through beverage pairings and as an ingredient in cooking.  The second theme is the concept of “glocal food” (global and local).  We believe that Ugandan food is world-class and should interact with world flavors and forms.  This particular meal is an intermingling of Ugandan and Latin cuisine throughout.  The idea of “glocal food” is an invitation and challenge for us to enter into the world of the “other” and to discover the richness of coming together to brew a better world

Here are the courses:

Starter - Carne Asada Crostinis. Served with a Pourover of Bududa Bukalasi Coffee.
“Carne asada” is a marinated, grilled and sliced skirt steak popular in Mexican cuisine.  It is often served as a taco. A “crostini” is an Italian appetizer consisting of toasted bread and any number of toppings.  For our purpose, we are bringing together these two Latin concepts with the subtle Ugandan flavors of mango and pineapple.  The result is a bright, tangy and sweet appetizer that is visually stunning, texturally intriguing and simply delicious.  We are pairing this dish with our Single Origin Bududa Bukalasi prepared as a pourover.  The coffee’s balance of earthiness and acidity complement the smoky steak and fruity flavors of the crostini in a heavenly way.

Entree - Coffee-rubbed Pork Chop Sandwich with Coffee-candied Bacon and Grilled Pineapple. Served with Cold-Brewed Iced Kisoro Coffee.
Here we are taking the concept of a Mexican molé sauce, deconstructing it and rebuilding it as a dry rub.  Anchoring the dry rub is our own single-origin Ugandan coffee from Kisoro. We then take real Ugandan honey and more of that coffee to candy some thick cut bacon.  A generous slice of grilled pineapple brings the bright fruitiness to the party.  Served with hand-cut seasoned fries and a glass of ultra-refreshing cold brewed, iced coffee.  It is a glocal homage to two of our favorite Ugandan tastes – coffee and the Pork Joint!

Dessert - The Aztec Frozen Mocha
I am an amatuer barista at best, so I developed
the basic concept and threw it over to our Head of Coffee for the final development.  Basically, it is a twist on Mexican Hot Chocolate decked out with ice cream, spices and espresso to create the pefect "kiss goodnight" dessert - sweet with a kick.

I have grown to love cooking and how it gives me the opportunity to be creative, to learn, to serve people and to grow in my understanding of people and cultures.  If you are in Kamapala for restaurant week, stop by and try the meal.  If not, maybe I'll cook for you some time.  If you are still wondering how God is going to use you to change the world, hear the Lord say, "What's that in your hand?" (Exodus 4:2)


Key evangelical educators, business leaders, and mission agency directors from around the world gathered last month in Singapore to discuss diaspora training for the global church and to prepare for the forthcoming Scattered and Gathered: A Global Compendium of Diaspora Missiology from Regnum Books. Deliberations focused on setting priorities and developing strategies for effective institutional and informal training in diaspora missiology and culminated in the crafting of the Singapore Resolution which reflects several areas of consensus about the way forward in equipping the next generation of researchers and practitioners of diaspora mission. Dr. Tetsunao Yamamori, President Emeritus of Food for the Hungry and former International Director of the Lausanne Movement, was among those at the consultation. He concluded:
“Those gathered in Singapore affirmed the importance of advancing diaspora missiology to grapple with the issues facing the church today. In the coming decade, churches will experience the fruit of God’s blessing among the peoples on the move beyond belief.”
The consultation of some 40 participants were convened by the Global Diaspora Network (GDN), an international body of leaders originally commissioned by the Lausanne Movement at the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010 to lead the global Church in fulfilling God’s missional purposes among diaspora peoples. Participants characterized the gathering as a strategic follow-up to the Manila 2015: Global Diaspora Forum which brought together hundreds of leaders from around the world. Dr. Miyon Chung, theologian and professor at Morling College (Australia), was among those who left Singapore with a clearer sense of vision and strategy:
I found the consultation in Singapore and the upcoming compendium, Scattered and Gathered, to be powerfully relevant and significant. The greatness of the Church can no longer be assessed by the magnificence and opulence of cathedrals but in the effective utilization of God’s people on the move. In Singapore, I gained valuable insights and tools on how to nurture and equip the Church for missions in the 21st century.
Dr. Joanna Felciano-Soberano, Academic Dean of Asian Theological Seminary (Philippines) echoed this sentiment:
The first thing that I have done upon my return from Singapore is to reflect on the conversations and action plans within my own seminary context. I have been more conscious to include diaspora conversations in my own classes and now must work on the diaspora missiology curriculum template for our missions department. I am now more aware of the critical role of the Church and the seminary in orienting and informing the community of faith on the compelling challenge of reaching the diasporas with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Hosting the consultation was the Singapore Centre for Global Mission and its National Director, Lawrence Ko. Ko said that churches must embrace the “new thinking” known as diaspora missiology and begin to understand and engage “the people on the move in our borderless world.”

The official meetings of the consultation were held from 2-5 March 2016 in Singapore and moderated by Dr. Sadiri Joy Tira, Lausanne Movement Catalyst for Diasporas. Dr. Tira often referred participants to the Seoul Declaration on Diaspora Missiology and the Cape Town Commitment call to action on diaspora, explaining that the Singapore Resolution is following up on the mandates of those statements.

In addition to crafting the Singapore Resolution, participants reviewed the forthcoming Scattered and Gathered: A Global Compendium of Diaspora Missiology, considered sample syllabi from diaspora mission courses being taught around the world, provided feedback on the Lausanne Global Classroom curriculum on diaspora mission, and developed a basic curriculum framework for training in diaspora missiology.

[In addition to my official report above, let me add a word of thanks to those who supported me and Borderless in our participation in this event.  I was able to personally attend as well as help three other participants from the majority world to come as well thanks to your generosity.  While in Sinapore, I used down time to have a number of very fruitful meetings with other partners.  Thanks so much for standing with us! -- Cody]


From Helpmate to Global Leader: My Wife is a Shining Star

December 29, 2001
I remember a conversation I had with Katherine back when we were dating (or whatever it was that we were doing).  I was explaining to her then about how I really wanted a "helpmate" in a wife -- someone to stand behind me and support me in my vision and calling.  We talked about Bible verses on wives submitting to husbands and how God created Eve for Adam.  It was all fine and reasonably accurate theologically and rather incomplete.

We will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary at the end of this year.  She has graciously been serving in the background as I have taken the lead.  I don't really regret that arrangement and neither does she.  It has been good and God has used us in ways beyond what we could have expected.

But ... a few years ago, something began to happen that immediately excited me.  Katherine began to turn a corner in her personal ministry of prayer mobilization and some world class leaders took notice.  She became our ministry's prayer coordinator and then also took the mantle of prayer leadership for the Global Diaspora Network.  Her monthly prayer newsletters began to slowly and quietly circulate around the world and by December 2014, captured the attention of even the Billy Graham Center for World Evangelization.

In March 2015, she directed the entire prayer ministry surrounding the Global Dispora Forum in Manila and was personally able to minister to the hundreds of leaders from around the world who had assembled there.  In the year that has followed, the monthly prayer newletters have increased in circulation and are being translated in at least one other language (Korean -- a very strategic one for prayer).  During my recent trip to Singapore for the Diaspore Educators Consultation, plenty of the leaders were already familiar with her work and testified that they were praying in response to the newsletters.  Moreover, some major evangelical leaders have offered their endorsement for a book project that we are working on and plan to release in the Fall.  The goal will be major mobilization of prayer for diasporas.

Now, in just a week, my lovely wife will be getting on a plane bound for South Africa to join Global Prayer Summit.  A few dozen leaders are gathering for the sake of prayer and global prayer strategy development.  I'm thinking of the quote, "Prayer is the greater work" that has often influenced us throughout the years.
an invitation only event called the

If the Kingdom is going to advance in the next 30 years -- and it is -- then it will surely advance through prayer.  Prayer is simply a means by which God has chosen to do things.  Wesley was adamant that "God does nothing except through believing prayer".  

So, I'm very excited that God is repositioning my wife to have a greater and greater leadership role in global prayer ministry and mobilization.  I've been pondering how it is very possible that people will come to know her more than they know me - that I will, at least in some circles, come to be known as the husband of Katherine Lorance.  Definitely the me of 15 years ago would not have been very happy with that.  But, the me of now?  I think I'm ready for it.  It feels so good to hear someone praise my wife and her ministry.  I get excited when I think about how her "star is rising".

As a husband of nearly 15 years, I can say that few things have been more satisfying to me in our marriage than to see her sort of "coming into her own" in ministry.  I always knew I had married a very special girl.  I am humbled and grateful for her faithful and loving work in the shadows for this long time.
When the spotlight shines on a great woman ... that is a magnificent thing! 
If you have made it to the end of this post, thanks!  I'll remind you that we are still raising money for the South Africa trip.  If you can contribute, please do so now.  

The Uncomplicated First Step of Entering the Other's World

Suresh the Tamil Taxi Driver

Tonight I was treated to a lovely dinner at at a local Korean restaurant by a Korean friend of mine.  Our dinner party also included three Filipinos, a Japanese and one Canadian.

We split up and took a cab home. I sat in front next to the driver, Suresh.  

I said, "Good evening, how are you?"

He said, "I am good, sir, and you?"

I said, looking at his driver ID, "I am good. Is your name Suresh?" 

He said, "Yes," with a smile.

I said, "Oh, your name means 'God is good'." He smiled wider because he hadn't ever known the proper meaning and had only heard that it was a name associated with a Hindu deity. 

I asked, "What kind of last name do you have?" And I tried to pronounce "Arokiam" correctly.

He said, "Tamil."

We then spoke about his life, his children, his parents, and how he was a third generation Singaporean who had never actually been to India.  We talked of cricket and Hindu peoples in Chicago, and that my favorite Tamil breakfast was idli and podi.

Suresh said, "You need to find a very old cook to give you proper idli.  Young people now don't know real Tamil food."

He also said that my accent was just like an Indian -- that if we spoke on the phone he would think I was Indian.  I told him that I felt that was a great compliment and thanked him.  We reached our destination and he was clearly sad to see me go.

Aliza the Malay Cashier

Several hours later, I gave in to jet lag and wandered onto Bukit Tima Road and over to the 24 hour supermarket.  I man-shopped and ended up staggering up to the check out at 3:30 AM with arms fully loaded with various food items and many bags of dried mangos to take home to my wife.

The cashier was a tiny, hijabbed Muslim lady and she smiled when I approached.  She quietly laughed and said, "You didn't want a cart, sir?"

I said, "You know how men shop, yes? We don't even know what we are shopping for until we see it. And then suddenly we have spent all our money." 

Laughing, she asked, "You don't sleep, sir?" 

"I'm jetlagged and decided to go for a walk.  I'm visiting Singapore from Chicago."

Then I asked, "Are you originally from Singapore?" She said she came from Malaysia and explained that she took a bus daily into Singapore about one hour to work the night shift at the supermarket.  We talked about her family and mine and my work with coffee and how  God is good to give us many blessings that we never expected.  

She said her name was Aliza.  I said mine was Cody.  And the tiny hijabbed Malay woman extended a soft, timid hand for me to shake.  We wished one another a good evening and both thought we would likely meet again.

Let's not over complicate this

There is much that is and will be complicated as we attempt to live a borderless life by entering the world of the other. There is much that is complicated about changing the world. But one thing that is entirely uncomplicated, is beginning the journey.  I don't live in Singapore, but if I did, I could easily have asked Suresh to take me to a place for good idli.  I also can easily go back to that supermarket a few times a week and slowly get to know Aliza.  And the three of us have already agreed that (1) God is good and (2) that our ethno-religio-cultural differences are not barriers big enough to keep us out of one another's worlds.

Entering the other's world is just as simple as beginning the conversation.  No advanced missiological or cross-cultural training is necessary.  There are little things that you can learn to help you, but you cannot really be taught to actually do it.  You eventually just have to do it.

And all our hopes to change the world begin there -- with  a simple, first conversation with Suresh and Aliza.


Altars: God's Preferred Place of Provision

Simple reflection this morning from my hotel room in Dubai.

Have been praying for God's provision and thinking much about his identity as Yahweh Yireh (popularly mispronounced as "Jehovah Jireh"), the God who Provides.

It occured to me as I recently worshipped at Joy Ministries International in Chicagoland (new church plant in our family led by Davies Lombe of Zambia), that Abraham didn't recognize God as Provider until he had abandoned all of his various "Plan Bs".

And then this morning I realized further that actually Isaac wasn't a Plan B. He was Plan A.  So, Abraham had to abandon all his back up plans and also put the divinely revealed plan -- Plan A -- on the altar.  And then ... God provided.

Perhaps you haven't read the story. It's Genesis 22 in the Bible.  Here's the point that is sitting on my chest today as I await my flight.

God provides on altars.

We get all our stuff on the altar -- that means surrender and sacrifice and really abandoning all contingency plans.  And then God lays his provision on the altar.

Sorry, I don't claim to understand this yet.  But, something tells me that I'm going to before too long.


Another Light [Featuring Guest Blogger, Hannah Lorance]

(The following was just sent to me in an email from my daughter, Hannah. It's lovely. I'm biased. Oh ... and she doesn't drive, she's 10.)

Purple and pink clouds bruise the blue sky at sunset. I am driving through the dark street. All at once it is lit up! Lights are everywhere. That's because the city I'm in is never completly dark. I know this is true beacause I'm in Aurora. Aurora is the city of lights. But there is another light in the sky, bigger and brighter than any other. But few people see it. This is because few people believe. God is that light.


Hee-hee, love you.


A Long-learned Lesson

I've been steeped in busyness since Christmas and haven't had time to blog.

Spending a lot of my time these days in fundraising and grant writing as well as trying to make business deals that will result in increased revenue for the work to which God has called us.  Mission is not what I once dreamed it would be.  It's better and it's worse.

It has been now 18 years since I first took a position as Youth and Music Director at tiny Northside Baptist Church in Blanchard, Oklahoma. For the longest time, I did ministry on fumes -- financially speaking.  It was always "for the Lord" and most of the Church seemed very eager for me to contribute my service for pennies or less.

I guess it was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn that if mission and ministry is going to make a long-term impact, it must be sustainable.  It is right for Kingdom workers to expect to be compensated for their labor.  It is wrong for Christians to withhold that payment -- it's actually a kind of theft.

So, I find myself now working out this new paradigm.  I have little choice.  Having recently resigned from denominational work (and it's small but steady paycheck), this new adventure really has to work.

If it does, of course, it will literally change the world.  And that's all I want.

Thy Kingdom come, Lord!