• Tamra Andress

Joining In On A Jesus Mission with Andy Ziesemer and Pierce Westfall

Jesus is on a mission, and I mean that literally and figuratively. Today's guests, Pierce and Andy, are just such amazing humans. They are rock stars for the Lord, and they are in a season of serving as missionaries and supporters to missionaries worldwide, most recently in Ukraine, delivering over 400,000 pounds of food to families, pastors, and people on the front lines of the war.

I know for me personally, missions is a massive part of my heart and our call. We talk about this, understanding and unpacking what your role looks like as a mission-driven leader, entrepreneur, and somebody who might be a missionary.

Whatever your title, it is important that you show up to serve. I hope that it activates you into the call on your own life because we all have an intentional role as the body of Christ. I pray that you get in touch and you get in tune with what it is that they're doing and that you, too, might consider becoming a missionary in your own way, shape, or form.

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About A Jesus Mission:

A Jesus Mission is a Christian Missionary sending organization serving over 120 missionaries across 17 countries. When the war in Ukraine broke out, they immediately responded. To date, they’ve delivered over 400,000lbs of food to people starving on the frontlines of the war.

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Show Notes: Joining in on A Jesus Mission

Whoa. Jesus is on a mission, and I mean that literally and figuratively. Obviously Old Testament all the way to New Testament, and even with today's guest peers and Andy are, ugh, just such amazing humans. They started as rock stars. Yes, for the Lord, and they are in a season of. Serving as missionaries and supporters to missionaries worldwide, specifically most recently in Ukraine, delivering over 400,000 pounds of food to families, pastors, and people on the front lines of the war.

And they have seen a lot and they've supported over 120 missionaries and they're current. Activated as not only, well I won't use the words that I use cuz it put them a bit into a friction bubble, , but in all the right ways, knowing that they are literally showing up and showing out to serve in such a unique way.

I know for me personally, missions is a massive part of our, you know, heart and our call ultimately, no matter who you. And we talk about this in the episode, understanding and unpacking what your role looks like as a mission driven leader, as an entrepreneur, as somebody who might be a missionary.

Whatever your title, however it is that you show up to serve your dollar to your life. All of them are important to the Lord when they are showing up in a space of surrender and a space of servant leadership towards others. And so I honor these two men. I honor the work that they're doing. So much so.

Against self sacrificing even their own flesh and their own lives in order to do what the Lord has called them to do. And so I hope that it prompts you into your own dream. I hope that it activates you into the call on your own life because we all have an intentional role as the body of Christ. I pray that you get in touch and you get in tune with what it is that they're doing and that you too might consider, uh, becoming a missionary in your own way, shape, or form.

You can go to a Jesus, a jesus, and you can check them out on all social platforms to get connected and to know that there are people out there doing work like this that are not political, but are doing it. Place of passion and are doing it from a place of purpose to see God manifested here on earth and to bring souls to salvation.

Oh, so much, so much goodness in this show. Please like, follow, subscribe, share this episode out that otherwise wouldn't be shared. They, we need more people to know about missions like this, people like this, and the heartbeat behind the Fit and Faith podcast. So thanks for tuning in as always. You guys are treasures to me.

As listeners, as a community, and as a movement, let's get into the show.

Welcome to the Fit and Faith podcast. FIT is an acronym representing founders, innovators, and trailblazers who are looking to live a life holy, fully, authentically, and truly fit a space for us to connect on the raw, real stories of mind, body, and soul alignment of entrepreneurs and kingdom leaders. I'm your host, Tamara Andre, and this podcast isn't like the cookie cutter interview experience.

I've been coined the entrepreneurial rabbi, and so we do go there unscripted no matter how far, wide, deep, or high the there is. My desire is to see people rise from the inside out into their greatest calling by sharing their truest stories. And tips as a purpose activator and brand builder, I believe our successes and failures are derived from who and whose we are, not what we do, but strategy and vision are equally as important to the mission.

So let's cut to the chase together and get fit in faith.

Yo. Yo yo. Welcome to the podcast. Thank you. Good morning. Hello. Yo, we're here with Andy and Pierce of a Jesus Mission, and I think a lot of people who are listening are, are like, Yes, more of this, because this is really what the show is about, I believe. As founders, innovators, and trailblazers, we all are on mission, but this is taking it to a whole nother level.

It's becoming the hands and feet of Jesus as we're called to do. It's across territories, it's across countries, It's across continents. Y'all and Andy and Pierce are doing it in a massive way, and I'm excited to get into the heart behind this missionary development, This organization that is serving over 120 missionaries across 17 countries, and specifically most recently we're all familiar.

Transpiring in Ukraine, they've had an opportunity to send over 400,000 pounds of food to people starving in the front lines of this war. And so first off, just thank you and what an honor to have you on the show. Thanks, Tamara. It's an honor to be here with you and it's been awesome to watch what God's been doing.

Seriously. Yeah, that's the, that's the most wild thing. I was just processing that this morning, um, with a, a mentor of mine and how much he's doing simultaneously in so many people's lives in the kingdom. And we don't speak loud enough about it, even the little things that transpire. And so I'm excited to hear some of these stories and to inspire and hopefully equip other people to do the same.

Yeah, so good. So let's hear, let's hear the mission. Let's hear like where did it start? How did it get started? And then we can get into like Ukraine stories. The mission itself, how we got started living on a Jesus mission. Yes. Yeah. The, the backstory is, and Pierce might have a different, uh, story for you, but the one we're gonna go with this morning is Pierce and I both were in touring rock bands.

We were both in rock bands that were traveling the world doing evangelism, sharing the gospel with people. Pierce's band was really focused on coming alongside and serving the local church, so they would use. Anything, any opportunity they could, they would go and facilitate what God was doing. They would go help push that forward.

And so their band, uh, for example, went to Panama, their band as a bunch of 20 year olds, raised enough money to go to Panama and build a children's center and turned it over to the local church to, to, to keep running. And then, um, meanwhile my band was off doing more event based outreach type stuff in different countries.

And, um, over those years we. We look back and pear and I were both staying in missionaries homes a lot. Yeah. We were staying in homes. We were listening to their stories late into the night and hearing the ways that, that the enemy was coming at them and trying to take them out of the missions field. And, and quite commonly, those were things that the local church, or the church as a whole could have helped prevent.

That attrition that was happening could have been prevented by simple things. Would push those people forward to, to do what God's called them to do. And so we said, we can be that part of the church. We know how to do that. We know how to get on a plane, how to come visit people, how to be alongside them and push forward what they're doing.

And we said, , anything that that we do, if it's equipping found people or finding lost people, that then let's do it. Yes. That's the, I love that. That's the answer. Yes. We're gonna do that. Take that again. Equipping found people and finding lost people. Come on it. It's really that simple. Tamara, In Luke 19, Jesus says he came to seek and save the.

We really just practically decided his mission has to become ours and we're just gonna do that. And so we don't care what it is we're doing, whether we were throwing guitars or building a children's home or, or pouring latte art, like if it's something we can do that, that pushes people forward and shares the gospel, then we need to say yes to that.

And so, That's how Jesus mission started. Fast forward this, I don't know, nine years since we first launched that. I think, um, now we have those 120 people, and that's not because of anything we've done, but it's simply because people need the church around them, pushing them forward. Bruce says to not give up meeting together.

That's essentially what we're doing. We're just being intentional to put people together to push forward what they're doing. And by doing that now, We've assembled all of our friends, essentially and a bunch of new friends we've made to continue living out the mission of Jesus. I don't know, Pierce might have some, some fill in the gap stuff there, but that's kinda how we got started.

Yeah, no, I think it was that simple that's like that we say in Jesus mission, like our motto is just equipped the found final lost. And that's exactly what Andy was pointing out and. It really is that simple. And so when it's just the lens you look through, you know, and so it makes it so easy, you know, we don't have to debate whether or not like sending a missionary barista is a good idea or something.

We need to like. The, the, we always say the method, you know, it, it can vary, but the mission is static. Like, it, it doesn't change till the return of Christ. So, um, I don't care what the method is. If it's feeding people on the front lines of Ukraine, that's what we're gonna do. But if it's a barista that feels led to go poor latte art in Mexico, well we'll send her too.

You know, And it's all really important to the mission of Christ. I think it's part of being a, a wider body of believers. So, We're all about it. That's so powerful and I think gives people such affirmation, and I, I'll say validation, but not in a prideful way to hear that there are so many different ways, right?

Mm-hmm. , there's so many different ways that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus and people discredit and. That their role isn't big enough or their role isn't, uh, famous enough, or it's not successful, or it's just, it's muddied by, I think the church sometimes, which is really sad, right? They, they almost give clouts to certain people.

And I find this even when it comes to like things like tithing, right? Like the business leaders or the entrepreneurs get this recognition within the church, but really just cuz they want their money and they're treated better than the person who isn't capable of doing that. And it's really sad. So when you think about the front lines or you think about the barista, or you think about someone who's.

Things that are going over there. From a food perspective, their role is just as critical as the person opening the door or the person flying the plane. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I think of first Corinthians. Paul says it comes to mind right when you say that, As Paul says, even the weakest of these is indispensable to the kingdom of God.

And like, man, when you really live that out, everybody has a significant role, you know? Yeah. Yeah, I just think it's beautiful and, and needed at just that mission alone. I think even of like team development for these people who are listening from a founder, innovator, trailblazer perspective mm-hmm. , you know, the, the person who's in the front, maybe as the face of the company or whatever you wanna call it, their role is not more important than the people who are doing all of the work behind the scenes.

Absolutely. That I need my behind the scenes or I wouldn't be here in this. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So let's talk about the church being in the church. Yeah. . Yeah. Yeah. Right, right. Effectively talk to bottom effectively. I wanna hear, cuz it sounds like to me, I'm looking at everything through this entrepreneurial lens, but also this gathering of biblical lens.

It reminds me of, um, the disciples coming together and how they each would come together and then they would go out and then they would come together and then they would go out. So is there like a mastermind element to you stewarding these missionaries? When you say like that, that, that's kind a stressful way to think about it.

Okay. Dun dun. Make it sound like an uh, like a Despicable Me movie or something. Be you're fighting and you're fighting the war off you are. Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think. There's a, there is an extreme intentionality to what is happening. Um, whether it be at the, the person, like you said, packaging food in a small church in Ukraine, all the way back to the strategist working on whiteboards here in the states to figure out how do we raise enough support, How do we go, uh, visit the people?

How do we organize these things? There's maybe there is a bit more masterminding than we think, but if we, if it is, it's. We believe the Lord has called us to be the church effectively and not, we didn't get into this to fail. We didn't get into this to, to sit on the sidelines while stuff passed us by. We need to be intentional whether we're leading a business or leading a ministry.

We need to be hyper intentional to, to be strategic with what God's given us and the people that we have around us to, to pull off those things God's called us to do. So, yeah, probably there is more strategy than we, than we normally talk. Well, and I, This is where I geek out though, because I think it's necessary for people to realize the intentionality behind that strategy.

Mm-hmm. the intentionality behind the plan behind it, because otherwise people will get stuck in the, like, I could never do anything that big. I could never, never do something that grandiose. They're even thinking personally, like I could never travel and go to another country for a couple of months and I wanna take away.

Side of what that looks like from a highlight real perspective. Yeah. And like, let's get down to like, how do you, how do you fund this? How does a project like this get funded? And how are sponsors and partners coming alongside you? Because I know there are people listening right now who have the ability from a financial lens to be able to support this, but they've never even considered sending missionaries as a part of their strategy of, of tithing or serving.

That's good. Pierce Gabe. Absolutely. I'm sure you've got thoughts there. Well, I mean, at the end of the day, Like there, there are plenty of missions organizations that exist and send missionaries out and they just take an admin fee out of that and they don't have any touchpoint with their missionaries.

And so from a, from a standpoint of just talking like business, it can be done strictly from that aspect if you wanted to do it. Mm-hmm. , which is not what drives me or Andy. We would be, we've left years ago if that was what a G's mission was about. Um, but it really is like believ. This core, core truth that like at the center of man's relationship with God is like this redemption of relationship like that that is front and center, that God is like made a way for us to have right relationship with him.

So at the very center of like God's heart is this return to like an Eden like state of the world. I mean, that was how it was created. And like even at the in revelation, you see like trees of life on each side of the river and this picture of Eden that exists. And so. Relationship is just the heartbeat, you know?

So like we just gathered 70 of our missionaries in Asberg, Germany, and we do it yearly, and we just had like essentially a family barbecue, you know, for a week and like, but that's the thing that makes, you know, you have the people on the front lines of Ukraine that are now interacting with the missionary baristas or the missionaries that are in rock bands, you know?

And. The people on the front lines of Ukraine aren't scoffing at like, you know, the people like, Oh, they pour a latte art. Sure. They, the highlight does go latte art. Yeah. That first world life. Try real missions. You know, no one's doing that. Like, that's, everybody's like genuinely ecstatic to see each other.

and like, I think a lot of that is just from that hyper intentionality, being strategic on the back end of going like, how do we cultivate relationship? Which for us, part of that's like a missionary gathering once a year. Part of that's really intentional, like just reaching out to people throughout the year and bridging relationships.

So missionaries are caring for missionaries cuz mm-hmm. , That's a heck of a lot easier. Um. But then from like a practical standpoint, you're sitting here wondering, Okay, that's cool, but how do I be the person that actually like goes and I, how do I become the barista or become the person on the front lines of Ukraine?

The reality is you just do it. I know that sounds like crazy. Yeah. But like we're talking about very small things. Like if, if we put into perspective like God literally gave you life. You woke up this morning because God decided you should have breath. And he said, Yeah, live another day. You know, like if you put into perspective like God actually put the solar system in place, like you need couple thousand dollars a month to live in Mexico, you think the Lord can't provide it.

You know, it's really like, So small and so, you know, a lot of it is coaching like our missionaries to actually believe that God is creator and sustainer of all. It's actually teaching them just things that are in scripture. Most of our financial like fundraising training is literally just Bible studies,

Cause you're not gonna get confidence from like testimony of what worked for me because God might do something else. But we'll always gain confidence from the word of God. And, and he has said time and time again that if I, Hey, if I cloth the lilies in the field, if I feed the sparrows, why not feed you?

So if the Lord's leading you, I think you just go, you just do it. It doesn't mean if you have to drop school. It doesn't matter if, if you have to, if you have family members that maybe disagree, if the Lord's speaking to you and he's confirming that in ways God's gonna. So I think maybe it sounds a little crazy, but

Yeah. I love crazy tag onto that. I think I love crazy. One of our key strategies in getting people engaged in, in kingdom work like this has just been saying yes, like affirming the call of God on their life. Like not unwisely or just in just flippantly. But taking the time to go, Yeah, we can see that. We can see you have a heart for that and God's equipped you for that.

You should go. Then you'd be shocked, Tamara, how many people are sitting on the sidelines of Mission ? Just waiting for someone to give them the permission or the freedom or to affirm what they may already know, but the enemy's telling them the opposite of is that you are capable of that. So yeah, you should go and.

I would, I would imagine half to 80% of the people that are a part of a Jesus mission are there because someone came alongside them and just said, Yes, that's a good idea, . Or maybe that's a terrible idea, but you should do it anyways. That that's, that's most of the Kingdom workers I know. So good. Well, and then, and that's a huge element of it is because societally, especially if you're on like the track of like, you go to high school and then you go to college, and then after college you get married, and after you have to married, like the day you're married, they're like, When are you having a baby?

And then now you have a family, and now you have a career. And all of these things happen where you get in the cyclone of, I'm gonna say the American dream without avoiding, Like, I, I love our country. I'm grateful for our freedoms. Yeah. But s that we. So stagnant in our dreaming ability because what is being exampled as success or the normal life is, is so different than the Bible tells us to live.

Yeah. Yeah. I think that's the key to what you just said because it's really ironic that we live in, we all come from like the land of the freedom, you know? Like you hit it, but yeah, without the land of the freedom. Freedom is, it's the freedom that enslaves us literally. And, and the thing is, Jesus really calls us.

Into like a true freedom. There's like this false freedom that we have. That's what we, It's just like a false fry. It's not actually real. We think like, you know, get, get married, have a certain amount of kids, have the white picket fence, own a home, own a 401k. That's great. If the Lord tells you to do any of that, no one should just go own a home and invest in a 401k and do all this stuff just flippantly, like student loans are our 30 year.

Decision, you know? Yeah. Like a home is a 30 year commitment, you know? And I just think like God's calling us into like a true freedom where we actually like trust him with everything. And if you want you to own a home, you're gonna own a home. Trust me. You know? Right, right. And what makes me so excited as you're talking about this, because my family is actually in this.

Really cool leap of faith element right now is we're gonna take 30 days and go to Nicaragua in December. And so I wanna wanna, I definitely wanna have a conversation with you all about like we want to give back when we're there. We wanna serve, we want to be missionaries in the field while we're also nurturing and cultivating this special time with our family.

Our kiddos are little and we want them to have exposure to the things that I know God. Them to see at this age rather than, I know people who are in their thirties and forties who have never left the country. And my husband being Mexican, he had the opportunity his whole life to go down to Mexico and like see the streets and see the tigi.

Yeah. And see how people are utilizing their hands every single day to make money and make just enough to have food for that day. Mm-hmm. and so, Exposure element is such a huge part of the missionary element because when they come back to places like home, they come back to the land of the free. They're looking with a brand new lens of empathy and opportunity in a way that I was never nurtured in public school or in college.

Yeah. That's so good. I think. Increased perspective brings such high value to not only just us individually, whether you're business people or, or church people or any, any end of that spectrum. Having that increased perspective changes the way you live. I don't know a single one of our drivers, meaning the drivers into Ukraine, who's coming back and going.

About their life the same way they did before for, because that that understanding of what unity actually looks like when missiles are falling around you. And, and in the film that we release you, there's one of the lines where one of our drivers, Tyler, he says, You think any pastor gets together now and is discussing theology in eastern Ukraine?

No. They just get together. You love Jesus. I love Jesus. There's hungry people. Let's go. Yeah. Like that. Unity is an expression to the world that we actually believe what we say we believe. And so, but, but that oftentimes comes with that increased perspective. So whether you're a business person or a, uh, like you taking your family to Nicaragua for the month, doing that with intentionality that you're coming back.

With an increased perspective that your kids are gonna see the world differently. And if you're especially a person going and preaching the gospel to your kids, the entirety of the time you're there and going, How does the gospel change the way we look at these guys? If the church was more intentional with their vacations, like that, uh, or, or intentional with their missions trips are intentional.

Going down the street I live in right outside Portland, Oregon, where there is, uh, we've been really leaning into this thought that there's a crisis five minutes from our home, anywhere you live. We don't have to go to Ukraine to find that crisis. I live in Portland area where I, you cannot walk down the street without having to step over homeless people, period.

Almost any street you go to, you think. I can't see the same exact gospel needs here in my city as I can see in the other side of the world, But that increased perspective changes the way we live. Yeah, I think there's a lot of beauty to that, and it's a constant space of conviction that I think. We as the church need to stay humbled by and cuz there's streets over, it's the same.

I was just in New Orleans on a women's retreat this past week and we were there for writing our testimonies and I was teaching them how to write a book and share their story and be vulnerable and all of these things. And I'm like, You guys have been writing for 48 hours. I don't want you to come to another city and not be able to go out and like enjoy the city.

So we go into New Orleans. Personally has a very, like, dark vibe about it. There's just spirits of, of mm-hmm. poverty. There's spirits of depression and anxiety and suicide, and there's needle needles on the ground and homeless people like you're saying. And there's voodoo dolls and I mean, it's creepy. I, I, I'm, I've done it.

I'm a one and done kind of person, unless Katrina or something like that transpires. Yeah. I'll stay outta that field. . Meanwhile, I was delivering to homeless people like lasagna and garlic bread as we were down in the. Because we could have easily gone down and shopped and got been yays and been bougie like we all could have easily been.

But the first time that I went down there, which was just days before my heart just broke, cuz I'm like, these people are stuck. They literally feel like they're entrapped by the darkness. That is the city. And there's opportunity and there's light. And so just to hear if people are listening right now, Missionaries are in your city.

Be a mission. Yeah. Missionary in the mission field that God has planted you. And don't let the limiting belief that you have to go to another country be what inhibits you from activating today. Yeah. As the hands and feet of the Lord. Come on. Yeah, I think it's intrinsic to the gospel that we respond in that way and let people understand truly that like transformed life equals transformed life.

Like it doesn't mean, you know, like we were once on mission for ourselves and now we're on mission for Christ. Missionary can sometimes get elevated to this thing where it puts people in a different league and that that completely miss. Misses it and it's live. The enemy that like, Oh, well now these people go do the work.

No, they might like, some of them might go live abroad, but some of them might be in your city, and really any person with a transformed life should be a missionary to some capacity. Whether you're doing a podcast like this to reach people and speak to a wider audience, or you're taking lasagna to people in the streets, it doesn't really matter, but how is your life being transformed?

Yeah, it's so good. So you mentioned briefly, Andy, the film that you guys put together for Ukraine and I, I also mentioned the 400,000 pounds of food that have been delivered. Talk to us about like what you guys are seeing. Cause I know there's a lot of curiosity. I personally do not turn on the news and so even as I was preparing for this podcast, my team.

Don't say anything stupid. Tamara . Cause they know I'm not political at all. I know what's happening. My daughter, who is seven, has ran a, a children's Ukrainian, um, oh, uh, fundraiser for through singing. Cool. And so they're, we're definitely doing the work, but I don't, I don't put myself in the space of, of mm I won't say vulnerability cuz that's not.

but I wanna see the light and the truth rather than mm-hmm. , the heartache, the heartbreak, and the heaviness of it. Yeah. That's really good. I think as we, so pears and I just finished up eight weeks on the road where we were in a different city every single day around America. We went to Europe once in the middle of that, into Canada.

Um, and we were going to churches primarily, or to people's homes, and we were showing this film and we were talking about what is happening in Ukraine, um, not just. How we got started, but what's currently going on. And, and so many of the rooms we'd go to, people would literally, their first question would be, So it's still going on , like, like the war Ukraine is still happening, or is this, is, are you just doing, are you helping now that it's over?

Right, Right. Like so you're, you're, that's, that's a super common question that we were encountering. Uh, and because of our perspective, because we're looking at. In the eye every single day. Um, of course that brings us a different side of that, and I don't think that's anyone's fault. I think our job as people who have perspective on that and have an awareness and the Lord's convicted us to be a part of it, part of our job and being the church is going around and sharing that and being a part of bringing that understanding to people.

And so that's essentially what the film is. Uh, at the end of the day, the film is not about how a Jesus. Ran in and did something cool. We got to do something cool. We were honored to get to be a part of what God's doing. Uh, and there's a line in that. Where, uh, one of our interviewees, the pastor we work with in Ukraine, he, he says, uh, we've been praying for revival, so get with it

That's, that's just the simplicity of his line. And so I think that's the thing that we wanna highlight is as we're traveling around is God is stirring his people to action, uh, and the war in Ukraine. You talked about like not knowing the politics we're pretty abst absent, absent from the politics as well.

Because at the end of the day, we we're not in this because of political divisions or country lines that were drawn. Uh, if, if Russia was the ones being invaded, we'd probably be sending people to support there because our heart is. The people who have no hope of eternity, who are sitting there in suffering, and we have the capacity to come alongside them.

And so, um, yeah, that it, it's very apolitical for us. We honestly, we know very little about the politics other than as we're watching and. Paying attention to the intelligence so we know where to safely send teams, right? Or when to pull teams back from certain areas. So

grow your business for God's sake. No, really, I mean it. Grow your business for God's sake. That's right. Business is ministry, and ministry is business, and it's time we take action in this belief and show up at our anointing with fresh fire. This is a cultivation conference. This is an activation conference.

I wanna see you reap the harvest, the promise that was predestined for you in your purpose and your calling, but you've gotta go back to the root. In order to do that, come and let us water you so you can come. Alive and fully free every single day to make the impact you were born to make. So others can also reap the legacy of your harvest forever more.

Let's do this in Nashville, Tennessee, November 3rd through the fifth. You do not wanna miss it. Get your tickets That's right and that's easy. Grow for I can't wait to see you there. Hug your neck and grow together. Um, yeah. Pierce, maybe you could give her a little bit of an insight on what's going on over there.

Right now. You're probably a little more, um, communicative with that team. Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, we just have. We're mostly at this point, we did had our hands a little bit everywhere. At one point we were doing, like, we kind of called it an eternal VBS and Romania for Ukrainian refugee kids.

Oh, that's awesome. Yeah. Um, and it was, it was such a great season, you know, it was like six months of vbs . Yeah. And we had teams helping lead with that. At one point we had 50 people out there actively, like on the ground, just constantly doing something in Romano or on the front lines in Ukraine. Wow. But I think we just, over time it, we've realized, you know, there.

We want to be where the area of most need is. Mm-hmm. . And that's just gonna be within 10 miles of Russian occupation. That's, that's the reality. And so, no, no one's gonna want to go there. You know, like, and so people ask us all the time, Well, why, why don't you let someone else do that? Well, we're the somebody else.

That's the thing. You know, like, we're the people willing to do it, So why, why not just go do it? And so, , Um, yeah. Today, that's where that food's gone, that 400,000 pounds plus of food, you know, which is more than that even now. It's, it's right there. It's, it's villages that have no water, no electricity. I mean, you show up and you're talking to a pastor or people who haven't eaten in a couple days and you know it, that stuff will just change.

You, you, it's easy to like live a life, even like as a missionary without perspective of that, to like live a life kind of. With an absence of just understanding of what people are actually going through. But when you show up and you see like grown men that have been pastors in this area for. You know, 30 years and they're just in tears praying, thinking they're gonna starve to death and that their kids are gonna die there.

You know that Russia's gonna invade their town and they won't. They're just praying, begging the Lord for mercy. And you show up with the van of food and they tell you this was the miracle they've been praying for. Like, that'll change you, you'll devote the rest of your life. And that those are very real scenarios that if you're watching this, like I challenge you to be aware.

To just be aware. Just know that those are the people we say are our brothers and sisters. They're starving there. And so to us it's like this can't be a three month response. It can't be a three week response. Like a lot of organizations show up at the border and they move on. You know, the reality is like this.

This is gonna have a decade of consequence. Yeah. You know? Yeah. Like if not more where we have to be prepared for the long run. And so we've kind of boiled what we do now down to just the front lines ministry. Our team actually lives in Ukraine now. Um, and we still bring. Select people out from the states that are really fit for the task at hand.

And we have seven vans that continue to just bring food. We're partnering now with Samaritan's Purse. They're helping source food, which is a huge relief because we raise, you know, a half a million dollars or more for just, most of it was going to food, food, food. But having that solved now solves 90% of our cost problem.

That's amazing. Um, so huge thank you to Samaritans first. Yeah. Um, and so. That, that's our heart though. At the end of the day. It's like feed people. People deserve to eat. Jesus, love us to do it. Let's do it. . Yeah, and thinking through like the multiplication of that, right? Like Samaritan House came in as the like multiplier to what you guys are starting, but mm-hmm.

there's an element of need to the original initial five fish and two loaves, right? Yeah. Because Oh yeah. Otherwise, There can be no multiplication. And I talk to people about this, not in this context, and so I'm glad that it's kind of brought to life in this moment, but so good. I tell people, you're the only one who has this dream, and if you don't activate it, it can never be multiplied.

And it drives me nutty when people sit on that because it's blocking blessings for people who are starving. It's blocking blessings. I, I have a lot of people who, you know, have, are childhood trauma coaches or people who are sexual trauma survivors, or people who are doing gut health repair or, um, identity work or freedom work and mm-hmm mean it doesn't matter what it is that you have laid on your heart.

Ultimately it is changing the life and the eternity of somebody's soul, which could be, and this is the part that I always tell people, cuz people think they have to affect millions, right? Because influencers are such a thing now that yeah, if you're not touching the masses and you only have a hundred followers, You're less than, you're not, you're not doing the Lord's work.

Well, that is complete bogus. What if that was the story for Abraham? What if that was the story for Sarah? She was too old so she didn't get the baby. Like all of these elements in the Bible, God is literally telling you there's no such thing as too late. There's no such thing as too early. There's no such thing as, I don't have enough money.

There's no such thing as I don't have enough time is like for such a time as this. Talk to Esther. Yeah, . Yeah. Yeah. That's so good. Cameron. You can look all the way. So we, we now have, now that we're six months into this and we're, we're, we've built relationship and trust and we're staying there to serve in Ukraine.

We have stories coming to light. Now thousands of people coming to know Jesus. Mm. Because of food that our drivers got to come and bring to local pastors who speak the language, who know the villages that we should go to. You think any of our, I mean some of our drivers do speak Ukrainian, but 99% of our drivers.

Don't speak a word of the local language, but they are willing and they've counted the cost and they said, I'll put on body armor and drive right towards the, where the missiles are falling so that I can give a box of food to a local pastor who's gonna give that to someone who's gonna preach the hope of the gospel to them.

And then you go back even further. You've got our admin team, people sitting around behind desks back here in the States or that, that nobody knows their name, but they're doing the spreadsheets that keep this thing moving. Yeah. And then you go back all the way there. In the very first weeks of when the war started and we were running around, um, they kind, we kinda make the joke that like, I'm, I work the front desk cuz I'm actually not going into Ukraine.

I'm staying back here, running around and looking for the support and, and communicating what's going on. And so there was a day in Santa Rosa, California where I was, I was sharing. About this in the very start at a, at a local church, um, it's kind of like Napa Valley Wine country area. And there was a lady who came up to me after church and she handed me $1 bill and she was like, I am so, so, so sorry.

This isn't more, but this is all I have right now. And she handed me that dollar and to. To watch the chain from a $1 bill that cost a lady, everything she had that week, all the way to our drivers putting on body armor to go to the front lines, that there is no insignificance to any part of that because if our drivers put on body armor and run to the local pastors in seven vans, but there's not somebody giving a dollar or a $20,000 check mm-hmm.

then our drivers are sitting in Van. Wondering how to get to the front lines because there's no gas. Cuz we go through $2,000 a week in diesel alone. And, and it's, it's all of those pieces coming together that's allowing the work to happen. It's not, And that, yeah. And because of that chain of events of the church sacrificially giving or counting the cost, if that cost is a dollar or if that cost is, this might be my life.

They've counted the cost all the way down the line. And because of that, we're seeing. Response to the gospel. That, that's, that's the picture of this. And you kind of coming back to that thought earlier, what you're saying in, you know, giving, like someone has this unique dream or this calling to something specific, or this dream or vision, or whatever you wanna call it.

That what you were saying about kind of awakening that and going, You're the only one with that. So start . Yes. Go. That's, that's what we get to be as the church when we're calling people to action. Whether that's you're the only one with a $20,000 giving capacity. Yes. Go , or you're the only one with that dollar in your wallet, or you're the only one who can, who can drive a stick shift at a hundred miles an hour in a, in a war zone.

Go like we have to. Enabling people to go be part whatever piece of the chain they're in. Yeah, I remember that. Reminds me of a conversation I had to Andy where one of my friends had been saving and he, he gave $400 to like the Ukraine response. I remember him calling me feeling the same like, Man, I've been saving for a few months and this is what I have.

It's just $400. I feels like it's so insignificant. I just said literally just save four to 600 people's lives. So, I mean like literally like we've done the math on this, you know, with what it takes Yeah. To bring people food and to feed 'em and to hold 'em over for a few more days and like that dollar.

What you're mentioning, any like it saved someone's life. It bought 'em a few more days. Yeah. We're able to bring a central flour, rice, beans, whatever, to people. Yeah. Because of that. And so literally don't discredit that. Like it doesn't matter who you are. Like if you have a dollar in your bank account, like you have the potential to save someone's life on the other side of the world right now.

Yeah. And I just go back to like, not just even the multiplication of this moment and what is transpiring in those people's salvations, but the generations thereafter, because those people are gonna be moved into action. That I couldn't go up and shake a stranger right now into, Yeah. Mm-hmm. , right? Because they're being shook by the world.

They're being shook by the darkness, they're literally facing right face to face with the devil. Yeah. And. There is when Jesus shows up and the light overcomes that moment for them as this is doing, they'll be forever changed. Yeah. And ever motivated. Yeah. And likely not get a lot of sleep in the process because they're on mission.

Right. Yeah. I think it'd be so. Super hard after seeing things like that. I have such an empathetic lens and I carry that even with clients that I see weeping, um, who are in the comfort of their own home and, you know, have all of these amenities. I have a hard time resting knowing that they may not activate tomorrow.

Yeah. Where you all you guys are, I mean, you're creating activators. You are literally birthing them into life based on what God has done in your. Yeah. So I wanna a little bit pivot because I think it's important to know like, where did this seed get planned individually to say yes. Who was your motivator?

Who was your activator? What childhood memory or trauma perhaps led you to say yes to something outside of the norm? Hmm. That's really good. Pierce, you got a starting point for that or, Uh, yeah, and it's not gonna be what anyone probably thinks. So good. Favorite . I, I didn't really have a sending church when I went.

Um, I didn't have a church that was like, yes go, or that I was even really a part of. Um, I, my missionary process, my starting point was out of ultimately like, literally just feeling like the Lord was leading me and going and telling close friends and family. And that was that. Um, but it was always like the belief from a, from a little kid, like seeing the impact of Martin Luther King Jr.

Actually, and seeing the belief of like, one person could lead that type of movement. The this, these insane marches, you know? And seeing people stand for that, that always like illuminated and brought to life what I was even like reading in scripture. Cuz essentially that's the movement that started like that very similar movement where Peter's at Pentecost and all of a sudden there's thousands of people, you know, where Jesus, like you mentioned, feeding the 5,000.

All of a sudden people are just showing up and you're like, what in the world? You know? But in like a modern history sense, seeing people like activated through someone like Martin Luther King Jr. Was just like a very. Something can happen if you just step out, like and, and being content with what it is, right?

Because it, it could be 10 people and that like 12 people was enough for Jesus. He never needed to have 5,000 people. He had 12 people. That was really his church. Jesus Church was smaller than pretty much any other church in America, . So that's the reality. And so like, the problem that I think like is that we're kind of a discontent culture because it is so based on like social media numbers or like how many people are listening to this podcast, you know, and, and we have certain like, Statistics that we've been told were failures if, if we don't hit certain measures and you're never gonna measure up to whatever media or whatever social influencer tells you, you know, is a good number.

Like the reality is like a really good gauge for your life is to look, be inspired by the Martin Luther King Jrs. Be inspired by Pentecost by. She with 5,000 people, but shoot for like, who do you know in your life? Is it three people? Is it 12? And like, take confidence in the fact that Jesus literally had 12 people.

So if I lived the rest of my life and, and I have a serious impact on 12 people, one of who was gonna betray him anyways, you know, , like, and then like how good was that that he, I think he would've got an F on his report card for that. You know, like Yeah. But that's the type of. Way we should live our lives.

And so it was just for me, a belief really, you know, a decade ago going like, So what if I go broke doing this? If it, like what? What's my worst case scenario? Yeah. And it's really important to understand like in America our worst case scenario is half the world's best case scenario. I really believe that.

And so it's like your worst case, case scenario. If you step out and you go into the missions field, you come. You get a job, go, you'll get medical, you know, go , right? Like, it's not the, we're really actually taken care of pretty well here. And so, um, I, I just, I want to really, really encourage anyone out there listening.

Like if you're going okay, that's cool, but like, what kind of connections did you have to start this thing? I had. I had nothing, you know, like, Yeah. So, but the Lord provided miracle after miracle after miracle, and, and I'm nothing special. And so just, just go for it. That's so good. Pierce. Very similarly, I grew up, I grew up in a pretty poor family.

I didn't realize it looking back now, , until I look back now and I go, Oh, we had to go pick the carrots from the garden in order to eat dinner. Like my family was very resourceful and, and shielded us from that understanding of how little we had. But it wasn't that that motivated us as we kept going. Kept doing the thing I knew how to do.

And in the beginning it was just play guitar, right? Like I just knew how to play guitar and I only knew how to play guitar because my mom one day said, Uh, hey, there's nobody leading worship at Youth Group next week you are. And I was like, But I don't play guitar. And she hands me this crappy old guitar that was like my grandpa's nylon string classical guitar or something.

And she goes, You will next week. And like, That's awesome. Your mom . Yeah, you will next. Well, I took that thing I knew how to do and I just kept. Working on it and developing it, and I just knew how to sing and play guitar. And I, my little brothers started playing with me and we started going and doing these events.

Well, the, that kind of turning point that maybe said, No, this is what I need to be doing. Happened in 2010, I remember specifically we were invited to go do not even anything fancy. We were going to the Canada Winter Olympics and our band was gonna just play on the streets, just busing, just setting up and playing.

Uh, and that's not a very, Epic concert. You know, you're like, Yeah. What'd you do in Canada? We played on the streets. Uh, well, it actually was pretty epic because as we'd start setting up the, the stuff, because of just, you know, the Olympics are going on, there's millions of people in town. We'd start setting up and sometimes by the time we'd have the, the, the mics set up on the streets, there'd be a thousand people waiting to see what we were gonna do.

Like just watching, waiting to see what we were gonna play. And we'd play and we'd preach the gospel. We'd play, we'd preach the gospel. Well, There was this one moment where this guy comes up to me after we played on the street and he goes, Uh, I won't use the French accent, but he goes, Hey, I'm, I'm in charge of hospitality for the French Olympic team.

What are you doing after the Olympics are over? And we said, Well, we're gonna pack up our gear and drive back to America. And he goes, Well, Would you come to our party and play for, uh, the Olympians? And we're like, Okay. Sure. Thinking he was just like some weirdo, right? . Well, he calls me later. He is like, Come to this address.

2:00 PM on Sunday or whatever. We arrive and it's at the Olympic Village in Canada where all the Ians stay and we, we pull in and Gwen Piera is his name, Gwen. I was like, What do you do? He goes, I world champion eye dancer, and you know, you like, we Google them and he's won every eye dancing competition in Olympics for like 30 years running.

Oh God. Uh, well we get to this event and. We, we go into the mansion that the French team had rented, and we eat food with the Olympians, and we're just sitting there kind of going, we're like, I don't know, young 20 somethings just wearing our holy jeans and deep V like t-shirts yourself. Is this real Look, every person we'd sit with or would talk to us is like, I am world champion snowboarder.

You know, like, like watching this play out, going, okay, this is weird. They wanted us to play and we played this concert, and Gwen, the ice dancer, translated for us and we got to preach the gospel to the entire room. It was every French Olympian. Every dignitary, the president of the, or the chief of the French Secret Service, like all of these people were in this room and we preached the gospel and they.

Intently and earnestly listened. Not one person looked at us and went, Oh, those stupid American Christians, whatever. They were earnestly listening to every word of the gospel as we, as we shared. Well, we got to. We, I, I, I, Like, we, we did that event. We packed up at the end of the night and we just hung out with the French Olympians and they just wanted to have a dance party until like five in the morning.

So we couldn't even get our gear out until that all happened. Well, I think what was happening in that day was our perspective on the world was increasing, kind of like coming back again to an earlier part. What happened that night was we saw the necessity of even those omp. Hearing the gospel, they were at the top of their game, literally the very top of their game, and yet they earnestly leaned in and listened when we preached the hope of eternity to them.

Well, that was kind of a turning point in which later on we got invited to go to Europe and we started going. As frequently as we could. And then we got invited to Japan and South Africa and Mexico and we started going to all these places. I think I can pin it back to that night, watch preaching the gospel, the French Olympians, where God really showed us like there's a necessity for you in your lane to go do what you're doing, just be doing what you know how to do.

But with that intentionality, and I think that might be that turning point. The 2010 Winter Olympics. , a friend once told me, um, he, he was just like, you know, the Lord says like, Man plans his path, but the Lord directs his steps. And I was like, wondering how to get to like the next place. And he, he asked me, just said, So Pierce, how do you take steps?

And I was like, Uh, And he said, one at a time. You know, and I just like to encourage anybody listening right now like, it is that simple because you go, Okay, but the Olympics, is that gonna happen? The front lines of you cra you know, doesn't matter if your mom's teaching, you play guitar, sing a song, take that step.

That's, that's your step. You know, literally just do it. Just take the next step. You don't even need to sometimes think about, It's great to vision cast, but don't get overwhelmed by your vision, you know, because that can happen quickly. But just take the next. Wow, you guys are ministering to me in this moment,

So thank you. I got emotional listening to that because, you know, I think especially for me, my, my lane is ministers in the marketplace. Mm-hmm. . And so similar to that story, Andy, I'm thinking about the fact that some of these people are at the top of their game. Yeah. And I was at the top of my game, or so I thought when God took the rug out from underneath me and showed up in my living.

And because we are in this space of success and accolades and titles and Yep. All of this stuff of, of, of enoughness or lack thereof, um, I sometimes will see people like missionaries, and when I go to Mexico often and I see the least of these, if you will, it's, I think that that's also us. That's also those Olympians.

Yeah, that's There's no ranking system in heaven. Yeah. Come on. And. So the people that need us are the people that we're called to, and it doesn't make you any more, uh, more precious to the Lord if you're ministering to pastors or if you're ministering to multi-millionaires, or if you're ministering to someone who can't scrape food off the floor enough to, to not be able to starve themselves, right?

Mm-hmm. is, we are all called to humanity. , and that is the power of the gospel. And so that is the yes that you are giving to the lane that you are meant to lead. It's necessary. Yeah. And don't discredit the dream or the vision that God has given you associated to where you're intended to go, based on comparison of where somebody else is meant to go.

Because ultimately every path. Doesn't matter where you are. Every path collides. And I hope that that path, collision of collision is in heaven. Yeah. And that's the goal, right? Because they can only go two places, heaven or hell. And it's up to us to help them walk that path and get through the narrow door.

And so just so powerful. So powerful. And thank you guys for sharing that starting point and the encouragement of the process thereafter. Yeah. Yeah, it, it's cool to watch how those lanes intersect because like you said, they're gonna intersect somewhere. Like, I wouldn't have thought as a 14 year old learning guitar that that would lead me to encountering Pierce, You know?

It was only be because our bands met on the road, and then that would lead us to be sitting on my couch the night the war started and going, What are we gonna do? And all of a sudden, This is what we're doing. It, it is just that continual intersection and God's sovereignty at work. I don't know, Tamara, if, if I've ever seen God's sovereignty as much on display as we have with this situation, because you look back now and you go, Whoa, you actually were.

In full control. When I thought my life was spiraling outta control and you were bringing us over to this random city because everything was falling apart, it was actually to meet that one person that 20 years later was gonna be a partner in ministry on the other side of the world. Like that's that paths intersecting thought.

I think we've never seen it like we have now. Then I really honestly think we're just. A starting glimpse of how God does that. Oh, it's so powerful. And I think the biggest element that I see in that is the less of self and the more of him. Right? Yep. And like really allowing him to take the reins, because I'm, I'll admit to a recovering control freak, right?

Like I, I like to have a plan. I like to know A to Z I wanna know. I wanna know. And so when I've shifted that knowing and that control, Come back to surrender in the feet of Jesus. Yep. I realize so much more powerfully in every given second of my day how control he actually is, and I don't have to feel out of control because he's figured out every detail that I never even considered.

That's so good that there's one thought from, uh, Ole who's the pastor that we work alongside in, in Melia, Ukraine. He, he, one of our drivers asked him, Your thought about control made me think of this. One of our drivers asked him, Hey, are you afraid living in Melia, where there's only been to our knowledge 14 nights since the war started where missiles didn't fall on their seat?

Sure. That's what we've been told. So, They're literally living in the, in the movie. He says, We're living under the shadow of death, and yet we live in God's presence. Well, our driver asked him, Are you afraid? And he goes, Why would I be afraid? Uh, this is the safest city in the world because I'm right where God wants me to be.

Uh, like that idea of. Having any control at all. If God's called you to be somewhere, then just be there and just rejoice in the fact that he's got you there doing that thing. And if that's a small startup somewhere in a, in a garage where you're screen printing shirts, hoping to build a business, or you're learning guitar like me at 15 years old, or you're, uh, you know, just trying to figure out.

State website so you can launch a business. Like all of those degrees of starting point, like that's the safest place you can be if you're living out what God's called you to do. No matter what step you are in the process, that's the safest spot you can be. So good. That's so good. Gentlemen. Guys are just treasures to the world, to the earth, to the kingdom.

I want to make sure that anybody who is listening has a way of connecting with you, supporting you, uh, getting, whether invested with their time and energy or dreams. Uh, how can we help? That's awesome. Pierce, you wanna, you wanna give the, I mean, if you're filling called to missions, like you, feel free to go right on Jesus apply.

Like would love to help you in that journey. Um, if you're looking for ways to give, go on to and give, you know, like, really it's that simple. Um, we, we really exist to equip the found and find the loss, like we said at the beginning. So if you feel like you're in a season where I could use.

Please get in touch, like, yeah, our time is yours. So yeah, thanks for taking the time, ta. Absolutely such a treasure. Thank you so much, and I'm so excited to see what God continues to do through your missions, through your ministry, and just through your lives individually. Thanks for saying yes to him and stewarding every single step, little by little, even on the times that you've.

This is good and sovereign and uses it all for good in the long run. So you guys are incredible. I appreciate it and so grateful to get to know you. Yeah, thanks Cameron. Thanks for having this on today. So much. Y'all take care.

Hey y'all. It's me again. Before you go, let's solidify the flame that was ignited within you today by sharing the spark with your own community. Whether it's mentally, physically, emotionally, relationally, or spiritually. I would love for you to take the step right now by declaring your takeaway, Snap APIC of the episode, and share it on your stories or.

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