Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pacificministries THIS SUDAY and Kenya Update

Dear Friends,

There are moments when life snaps into focus. If we think about it, we'll capture and reflect on them. (Think...our first moments of life in the delivery room, school graduations, weddings, and anniversaries)  Those are momentous milestones that should be acknowledged.  But other times these moments happen almost by accident and take us by surprise.

Last week, we traveled to Camp Pendleton California to bless our son Matthew, a Marine now deployed to Iraq.  Carlene put it this way:

The rain stopped long enough for us to snap this picture. One comment from a fellow
soldier brought some humor to the tearful moment. "Dahlman! Did you bring the whole family tree
here to send you off?" Click. The contrasting weather went along with the roller coaster emotions.
God in His gracious way hand brushed a rainbow in front of us as we drove down the hills of Camp Pendleton.
My heart is full of joy for the wonderful way the weekend unfolded.

Later that evening, suddenly for me that "life snap moment" happened.  When we were about to take our final picture before Matthew boarded the bus, I remembered he insisted we all stand behind him. Just as the Lord stands behind us.....and we stand behind each other.

Scripture is filled with encouragement that we are not alone.  There are references to great clouds of witnesses, angelic visitation and support, and the intercession of saints partnering with God to affect time and eternity.  Jesus surrounds us with songs of deliverance and promises to never leave or forsake us....and the rainbow, God's note to Self:

Genesis 9:16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.

On Monday, February 23rd, Carlene, our daughter Danielle, and myself will leave for Nairobi and Eldorat Kenya.  We'll work with various mission groups, churches, and medical clinics where my cousin Bruce and his wife Kate have served for 15 years. 

We'd like to invite you to surround us, and send us on this venture.  We'll meet for Worship at the River THIS SUNDAY, February 22 at 6PM  at our customary Troutdale Community Center location. (Yesssss....after nearly 3 months of not meeting!)

Let's celebrate the sometimes obscure but momentous moments of life, and remember the many who have gone before us, and those who now, stand behind us.


Darrell and Carlene

Friday, February 06, 2009

February Worship at the River CHANGED TO 6PM SUNDAY February 22


A reminder we will NOT gather this second Sunday, February 8, instead, we'll meet at 6pm Sunday February 22 for this month's Worship at the River. We look forward to seeing many of you the 22nd. The following day, Carlene, our daughter Danielle, and myself will leave for Kenya. 

  • This weekend, all of our children (including Calvin, our grandson) will be in California to bless our son Matt before he is deploys February 9 (Destination Iraq)
  •  February Worship at the River CHANGED TO 6PM SUNDAY February 22
  • See our Cascadia Gathering below
  • March, we will be in Kenya for nearly 3 weeks.  Our Worship at the River for March is CANCELED, but we'll send an email regarding a Passover gathering in April.

Thanks for supporting and praying for us!

Darrell and Carlene

If you'd like to give to Pacificministries, you may use any major credit card (or Paypal) for a tax deductable donation HERE.

PO Box 1351
Fairview, OR 97024


A Rendezvous of Prophetic Intercessors who are hearing from God about what he is doing and planning to do in the Cascadia region.
Saturday February 21, 2009
Castle Rock, Washington
Date:  2/21/09
Time: 11:00 A.M.
Location: Castle Rock, WA
525 3rd Avenue SW
Castle Rock, WA 98611

(at the Castle Rock Full Gospel Church)

Many of you reading this purpose statement have some history and relationships with key cities in the Northwest. May of us have been praying and contending for the Northwest for decades. In the last decade many of us have been meeting those who have the same heart. Your hosts, Darrell (Gresham), Dave (Southwest Washington) and Mark (Astoria) feel it's time we "rendezvoused" ...much as the pioneer explorers did early in our territories' history. is the Anglicization of the French word Rendez-vous meaning "appointment".  "Rendezvous" was the name used for the annual meeting of mountain men and fur buyers during the fur trade era, where trappers would exchange beaver skins for supplies and goods they wanted. These events occurred between the early 1820s and the 1840s.
We believe God is calling us to a divine appointment....where we freely exchange and encourage one another. We are looking forward being able to gather with you as we seek the Lord!

Cascadia Rendezvous of Prophetic Intercessors
The gathering would focus on three simple elements:
What do we HEAR God Saying?
What do we SEE God Doing?

This is not meant to be a "Y'all come" event.  It is primarily for prophetic intercessors who are hearing from God about what he is doing and planning to do in our region.
There is no cost, but a collection will be taken to defray the costs of the facility rental.  No child care provided.
Your rendezvous hosts are:
Darrell Dahlman (Pacificministries)
Bodine (Next Reformation Network)
Mark Acuna (Antiochhouse)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God

As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God

By Matthew Parris, from The Times Online

Before Christmas I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a
boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it's Malawi, and The Times Christmas
Appeal includes a small British charity working there. Pump Aid helps
rural communities to install a simple pump, letting people keep their
village wells sealed and clean. I went to see this work.

It inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities.
But travelling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I've been
trying to banish all my life, but an observation I've been unable to
avoid since my African childhood. It confounds my ideological beliefs,
stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing
belief that there is no God.

Now a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous
contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply
distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and
international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and
training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's
hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The
change is good.

I used to avoid this truth by applauding - as you can - the practical
work of mission churches in Africa. It's a pity, I would say, that
salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white,
working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write;
and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital
or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow
that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine:
but what counted was the help, not the faith.

But this doesn't fit the facts. Faith does more than support the
missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect
that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing.

First, then, the observation. We had friends who were missionaries, and
as a child I stayed often with them; I also stayed, alone with my
little brother, in a traditional rural African village. In the city we
had working for us Africans who had converted and were strong
believers. The Christians were always different. Far from having cowed
or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and
relaxed them. There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with
the world - a directness in their dealings with others - that seemed to
be missing in traditional African life. They stood tall.

At 24, travelling by land across the continent reinforced this
impression. From Algiers to Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and the Central
African Republic, then right through the Congo to Rwanda, Tanzania and
Kenya, four student friends and I drove our old Land Rover to Nairobi.

We slept under the stars, so it was important as we reached the more
populated and lawless parts of the sub-Sahara that every day we find
somewhere safe by nightfall. Often near a mission.

Whenever we entered a territory worked by missionaries, we had to
acknowledge that something changed in the faces of the people we passed
and spoke to: something in their eyes, the way they approached you
direct, man-to-man, without looking down or away. They had not become
more deferential towards strangers - in some ways less so - but more

This time in Malawi it was the same. I met no missionaries. You do not
encounter missionaries in the lobbies of expensive hotels discussing
development strategy documents, as you do with the big NGOs. But
instead I noticed that a handful of the most impressive African members
of the Pump Aid team (largely from Zimbabwe) were, privately, strong
Christians. “Privately” because the charity is entirely secular and I
never heard any of its team so much as mention religion while working
in the villages. But I picked up the Christian references in our
conversations. One, I saw, was studying a devotional textbook in the
car. One, on Sunday, went off to church at dawn for a two-hour service.

It would suit me to believe that their honesty, diligence and optimism
in their work was unconnected with personal faith. Their work was
secular, but surely affected by what they were. What they were was, in
turn, influenced by a conception of man's place in the Universe that
Christianity had taught.

There's long been a fashion among Western academic sociologists for
placing tribal value systems within a ring fence, beyond critiques
founded in our own culture: “theirs” and therefore best for “them”;
authentic and of intrinsically equal worth to ours.

I don't follow this. I observe that tribal belief is no more peaceable
than ours; and that it suppresses individuality. People think
collectively; first in terms of the community, extended family and
tribe. This rural-traditional mindset feeds into the “big man” and
gangster politics of the African city: the exaggerated respect for a
swaggering leader, and the (literal) inability to understand the whole
idea of loyal opposition.

Anxiety - fear of evil spirits, of ancestors, of nature and the wild,
of a tribal hierarchy, of quite everyday things - strikes deep into the
whole structure of rural African thought. Every man has his place and,
call it fear or respect, a great weight grinds down the individual
spirit, stunting curiosity. People won't take the initiative, won't
take things into their own hands or on their own shoulders.

How can I, as someone with a foot in both camps, explain? When the
philosophical tourist moves from one world view to another he finds -
at the very moment of passing into the new - that he loses the language
to describe the landscape to the old. But let me try an example: the
answer given by Sir Edmund Hillary to the question: Why climb the
mountain? “Because it's there,” he said.

To the rural African mind, this is an explanation of why one would not
climb the mountain. It's... well, there. Just there. Why interfere?
Nothing to be done about it, or with it. Hillary's further explanation
- that nobody else had climbed it - would stand as a second reason for

Christianity, post-Reformation and post-Luther, with its teaching of a
direct, personal, two-way link between the individual and God,
unmediated by the collective, and unsubordinate to any other human
being, smashes straight through the philosphical/spiritual framework
I've just described. It offers something to hold on to to those anxious
to cast off a crushing tribal groupthink. That is why and how it

Those who want Africa to walk tall amid 21st-century global competition
must not kid themselves that providing the material means or even the
knowhow that accompanies what we call development will make the change.
A whole belief system must first be supplanted.

And I'm afraid it has to be supplanted by another. Removing Christian
evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the
mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone
and the machete.