October 27, 2022 6:00 am
On this broadcast, Skip's son, Nate Heitzig, joins Chip Lusko for a conversation about growing up at Calvary Church, his own personal call to ministry, the recent challenges he's faced as a pastor, and his vision for future ministry.
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God has been so good in the relationships He's allowed us to develop that we've had such good friends Greg, Lori, Raul, Reese, Dave Eubank, Franklin Graham that God has given us friendships in the ministry and I believe we're stronger together and we go further you know that if one can do so much but two together they can get a whole lot done. It's a special day on Connect with Skip Heitzig as Lenya Heitzig takes us on an amazing journey in a fascinating conversation with Chip Lusko. We will resume our hunting giant series on Monday but today Lenya will give you her point of view on the start of Calvary Albuquerque and her growing involvement in the international work of Reload Love. Here's Lenya and Chip Lusko. Today the special program we're taking the week off to do a look around with Skip and Nathan and today with Lenya Heitzig.
Lenya welcome to the studio. So great to be here Chip we've been down this road for a long time together. We've been doing it and it's more road ahead. That's right best is yet to come. We do want to glance back it has we are looking at 40 years since you pulled up stakes in Southern California and headed it seems like you headed west but you headed east. Yeah it was the opposite of the Beverly hillbillies. Oh listen to a story about a man named Skip.
Right. Poor surfer boy. So you were on an adventure it was a journey you hadn't really been to New Mexico. No that's really good you know what I was in Hawaii. Skip was in California. I was with Youth at the Mission. We had dated weren't dating and my dad called Skip and said gosh you know that chick Lenya Heitzig she really still loves you and he's like what what and so he sent me a bouquet of roses and two months later after I finished my commitment with YWAM I came to California and Skip was in New Mexico when I arrived and I came home from his scouting journey with Kent Bagdasar and asked me to marry him and to move to New Mexico so I came here sight unseen. Never been to the land of enchantment.
Can you believe it? Well you look you're a very organized person but you're also an adventurous person you you don't mind a little bit of of pizzazz right? Well I think no risk no reward and if you look at the people in the Bible you know Esther made a huge risk going into you know the king of her time or Ruth going from Moab back to Bethlehem and Abraham leaving Ur the Chaldees to go to the Promised Land. If you look at the people of God they have these ventures of faith and it really is all faith that you're going to take a high-risk opportunity because you have faith that God has a reward and then he's calling you to it and so that really was the case from the time I was born again at Calvary Costa Mesa I really had this odd calling that God wanted me to be a pastor's wife and Chip you've been around the block you had met pastor's wife I'd never met one so this was such an unusual desire for me to have and I didn't know any pastors then I joined Youth with a Mission which I love mission work as we'll get to with reload love but I kept being invited on a mission to Indonesia to Thailand I'd pray and I feel like God would say no finally the mission director came and said so what's the deal you do know you're in a mission organization and I said I really feel like I'm called to be a pastor's wife I feel like my gifts and callings are more toward discipleship than evangelism I don't think we can ever divorce evangelism from our call we're to go in all the world but it seemed like everyone I ministered to on the mission venue were Christians in crisis and so God would just use me in that way so the reason Skip called is this my mentor in Youth with a Mission said you know that's a fantasy and so you need to confront that fantasy so I wrote this letter to Skip this is what God's calling me to this is what I want to do in my life Skip said when he received the letter it was like reading something he'd written himself and so he was just gobsmacked that all the things I wanted to do in a community were what he was feeling called to do so after the letter was the flowers I came home and a week after I came home he asked me to marry him and there you go I know you know speaking of mentors I'm always curious to find out who were examples for people who are now in leadership and besides the obvious impact of Skip world-class Bible teacher who was really an example to you and for you of course Chuck Smith that's where I was saved so I was saved at Calvary but then when I joined Youth with a Mission I worked with Dave and Debbie Gustavuson and they were a fabulous couple I was able to watch them side by side in the ministry and see how it worked as a couple so they had a high influence in my life believe it or not I was good friends with Mel Tari like a mighty wind who had come from Indonesia and had quite charismatic things happen in his life I read the book by Howard Snyder the problem with wineskins and recognizing that we just needed to be multipliers you know go to the next place so there were so many people that influenced my life and I think just Youth with a Mission in general was an organization that was like we wanted to see the world preached to before Christ came was you know kind of to know God and make him known as their whole banner so those were some of the influences and then you stepped into the Calvary Chapel movement when that wave was cresting in southern California that's right and now we're seeing you know movies memorializing that and I have a concern about it becoming a monument and looking for a redo of that and God could but he typically moves in a fresh fashion don't you think absolutely um Chuck I think himself would never have wanted memorialized in a way he was so um entrepreneurial if you will in the spirit and he liked guys that moved in the spirit so he was always what you know that where God guides God provides and talking about that God would anoint where he appoints and so Chuck watched men who were anointed moved to appointed places and when he saw God's hand he would say yeah I ratify what the spirit is doing so I enjoy much more watching the spirit move and saying there's the spirit let's follow that than I am to try and make a formula and recreate something um and that's a hard thing in our lives we have the the word of God and it shows us how God moves but we also have the spirit of God and so that's where risk reward kind of comes into you have to be willing to move with the spirit and those things aren't always concrete we walk by faith and not by sight and so so much of my life has continued to be walking by faith and not by sight and so there needs to be a little discomfort you know when you're moving in the spirit because it's not always a done deal signed sealed and delivered I love uh Franklin Graham has this idea that he got from Bob Pierce was the God room principle he said you need to be so far out in the lip on the limb that you're giving God room and so then you can have God meet you so I think that the magic happens outside the comfort zone if we get outside our comfort zone and give the Holy Spirit opportunity it's where you see the high hanging fruit not the low hanging fruit you know you're looking for the stuff up at the very tippy top of the tree um where maybe other people may not reach the Snyder book is powerful in the principle that wineskins tend to fossilize that's hardened into systems and techniques and look we are forgetful people Lenny so it's good to understand what happened in the Jesus movement but just not try to emulate it yes we do want to see Jesus move so however he chooses to move yes well and he may move in a whole different organization it doesn't have to be the calvary movement I just want to watch him move right and I don't care where he moves how he moves I want to watch it applaud it and you know be involved in whatever ever way he would choose yeah I know we both love and appreciate the calvary movement what what God did I mean we could have ended up being some denomination somewhere what happened through Calvary Chapel was fantastic it still continues but it has um changed and metamorphized right yeah and I think some of the principles are still too it was power to the laity Chuck took away that whole structure of you know having a reverend a father this person above you and that the people of God you know he empowered the people and let the Holy Spirit go you know in that way and uh so there were a lot of things that Chuck did so right that he was willing to let new expressions of faith come in whether that was marinatha music and that you know music jumped to rock and roll from an organ so there are traits that you can see that God uses um and so absolutely I am so blessed that that is the um ministry I was saved under and I still I'm a child of it I want to do a natural segue now to reload love because Lenya the next great move may not happen in America it may not be USA centric it easily happened in Asia or Africa or elsewhere absolutely so reload love for me was an absolute another venture of faith a high risk endeavor uh it was around 2014 so I'm coming almost 10 years to reload love and Isis was coming across Syria into Iraq and there was a genocide of Yazidi people and of Christians and I was watching the TV and seeing these children you know that were shoved up Mount Sinjar and helicopters and trying to get these kids on helicopters and I just thought Lord what could what could I do and I got this non sequitur thought maybe I could take spent bullet casings turn them into beautiful brass charms and help babies impacted by terror what a um counterintuitive thought in every single way that was I am not a GI Jane I am a Malibu Barbie all the way um I'd never really shot a gun so why am I going to look for bullets to somebody who's really not uh you know and so pretty quickly I got out of the shower I found bullets within the first week you know thousands of bullets we had collected them and then we found a jeweler that was starting to make things uh Franklin is a good friend of ours he came to town I said Franklin I need to impact kids with terror where would I find them and he said you should go to Burma I'm like Burma Chip I am not a geographic political I didn't even know where Burma was so I had to go home and google you know me and Mar that night and I found out that what was curious to me is so much of terrorism tends to be uh Arab or Muslim and so this was there was a Buddhist priest there that was persecuting Muslims and he wanted to be the Osama bin Laden of Buddhism and that just struck me so sideways of curiosity and in Burma it's been a 73 year uh conflict between the tribal people and the government so within a month I was traveling to Burma and again there's just irony in God because I am going on back roads boats hiding under a tarp hiking for two days into the jungle again counterintuitive to who I am this is not Lenya Heitsig camping out in the middle of nowhere and the places I almost want to cry the places I visited are being pummeled right now and this uh tribal people the Karen people have been persecuted for so so long and to be able to walk into that tribe and minister to children with Free Burma Rangers and Dave Eubank who I would consider a mentor to this day he's a singular human being he and his wife and children that man prays over every detail non-stop when you're with him it's like stop let's pray stop let's pray stop let's pray and what God has done you know he has an organization that is ethnic people that he has trained through a boot camp they run to the bullets they carry bodies out of places where the Burmese army has raped burned pillaged literally when he was here he's telling me a woman came to him and said I want you to go get the bodies of my brother brothers she said the village they were in the Burmese hacked up their bodies and threw them down a well and she said will you get the bodies of my and he tried to talk her out of it three times you know I'm gonna have to go through the gauntlet of the Burmese army to get back to this village that is highly watched and go down a well and he goes what if we just blow up the well and bury it and put across on top no so he and his team do this backwards into this place and he is hanging on a rope and a wench from his vehicle in a well that has had a dead bodies for five months and he found the skulls carried them out of the well and said to this woman is this enough and he she said yes she was a Christian she looked at the skulls and she goes I love you my brothers this is the best burial I can give you but one day I'll see you again in heaven and so to work alongside people like this is the most humbling thing and and that's just in Burma you know we've worked alongside people in Iraq and Jordan Syria the the world's not worthy of these people you know they are really Hebrews 11 people that to walk and for some reason God's let me meet them I feel it's my job to talk about them tell the world about them come alongside them and help them do what they're doing and so with specifically Dave Eubank we've built 22 playgrounds one of them on top of Mount Sinjar where those kids were and so Dave you know here he is like a David in the Bible you know a mighty man and when I told him I wanted to do playgrounds half of his organization said this is crazy he goes Lenya we are like the people now they love what happens is people tell other villages about their playground and they'll be invited to villages that are really hard to reach because the elders will come and say will you build us a playground and then they develop a relationship they do a children's program that's part of what they do they teach them about Christ people get saved and so it's this goodwill ambassador that you know it's like when David feigned insanity so that he wouldn't be harmed well when you're the missionaries that walk into these areas and say hey I'd like to build you a playground everybody's like oh you're those nuts but they love you and so you keep getting invited to the next place the next place and then these playgrounds turn into so much more they start out for children but in a lot of the Muslim countries women cannot leave oh this story will kill you women can't leave their house but if your kids are in a playground you can go and one of the playgrounds Dave built for us was in Raqqa which was the capital in Syria of Isis and so one of the playgrounds went up there and now we've built a church in Raqqa can you imagine to build a church where Isis was next door to the playground and this woman came out and she was in her head job very very covered you'd seen these women's with me you know ship how covered up they are and how traumatized they are and she's on the swing and she's swinging and this this woman can be out of the house is a miracle that she doesn't have to have a male accompany her that that she's on a playground she takes off her head job in front of foreigners this is just mind boggling and she goes look at my face I'm smiling I'm smiling and so just I get shivers just thinking of this woman who's oppressed who has been under so much conflict in Syria to get to a playground and she gets to go on the swing and come out from underneath her head job so it's incredible we've built playgrounds schools school buses we've provided food shoes orphanages furniture so we try and remain open to what the needs are in the world right now we just sent fifty thousand dollars to Ukraine we have a guy in the ground there that will drive in Zelensky had told some people a few weeks ago to to depart there were two hundred thousand refugees and he was going in to try and get those kids out and we're so excited now we're putting food packaging together because the food deprivation in Ukraine also in Uganda so we are putting meal dense meals together that will feed over five thousand kids for a year well Lenny here's what I've observed in your life I'd like like your thoughts on this once you're exposed to those kinds of unimaginable horrors either up close or even even from remote it changes you and I've watched reload love take up more and more of your bandwidth and it missions can't be a hobby anyhow but it becomes more and more of your life yes um there's a passage that says we have these treasures and earthen vessels and in the west these earthen vessels have become far too important we yoga them we spin them we dress them up we put Gucci on their feet we you know put shag hairdos on whatever it is these vessels are way way way too important and again I'm a Malibu Barbie I'm judging myself with these comments so but Jesus never meant the earthen vessel to be portent it says that we have this treasure in earthen vessels guess what you're going to have to take your earthen vessel somewhere where it might get hurt who says that we're supposed to protect these vessels what's important it's what's inside the vessels and these vessels need to go places in greater love has no man than this to lay down his life for his friends and so more and more for me and I would say Chip probably this was post cancer it was right after I had cancer that this kind of came my way and there's no denying that that influenced me if you you have a brush with death you're like meh you know and I'm going to die we're all going to die and maybe the older we get I'm going to be 65 this year so what I'm going to die but I want to be all in I want to be running the race I want to do whatever I can for the gospel well I can do it for the gospel because we lay up our treasures and heaven not on earth and so this earthen vessel might get marred or hurt or shot at or whatever it is and I think I think more of us could live that way in the time we have left Lenya let's do a kind of a 360 looking back on the 40 years what are the a couple of the mountain peaks you see just that God was always ahead of us I love kind of with Moses you know the cloud and by day and the fire by night that led them I feel like he was always ahead of Skip and I so anytime we'd get to a new building the building would fill up and we'd have to go to the next building and I do remember when we were on the snow heights building it was the third building we'd been in I was like finally maybe we can rest and no it was full that first weekend and I remember I pulled up and started crying and I said God stop I can't do this and that is true I can't it didn't stop it didn't stop and you know what he needed to do it I just needed to recognize it was him and I it wasn't so much about me it was what he wanted to do and if I could get out of the way he could keep doing it I didn't have to quantify it qualify it canonize it whatever it is you know so I think that he was always ahead of us I believe that God has been so good in the relationships he's allowed us to develop that we've had such good friends Greg Laurie Raul Reese Dave Eubank Franklin Graham that God has given us friendships in the ministry and I believe we're stronger together and we go further you know that if one can do so much but two together they can get a whole lot done so he has provided amazing relationships also just the staff and team at Calvary we have been given favor with such amazing people that multiply our efforts I mean here we are on the radio chip you've always been you know the Karl Rove of radio and TV and communication and you can't take for granted the other people that are helping spread the word you know we we aren't multiplying it others are helping multiply with us I'm so grateful for Levi you know he's our godson and Levi's influence into Nathan's life and seeing Nathan now and watching Nathan preach I'm just gobsmacked that God sometimes uses families in the ministry you're one of them your children are being used in the ministry our children are being used in the ministry and sometimes he calls out a whole family so that Skip and I and Nathan and Janae all get to serve together you know Seth and Katie my grandchildren just went through lifetrack Seth is volunteering in the audio video he says to me on Sunday he goes Mimi you know when Papa says something and they put the words on the screen I go yeah and he goes that's me and I was like look at that he's 12 and he's already seeking to be in the ministry Katie's working in the children's ministry she loves babies so she goes in and holds babies so I would just say it's a family affair I agree totally so looking around then Lenny it appears to me that you and Skip run a very very sweet season kind of a golden time in my view I love what Skip said that he he'll never retire but he will restructure so looking forward how does that the road look to you yeah I guess Skip's always been my partner I've always paralleled him so I'm sure wherever he decides to move and go I'll go with him where you go I will go that was on our wedding invitation where you you know your god will be my god your people will be my people I feel so symbiotic and connected and the two are one that I'll be right by his side whatever that is and I think you know me well enough that whole fluid part of the spirit and wine skins I don't want anything to turn into a wine skin and now the spirit can't move so I I think Skip and I and Nate have open hands you know Moses said at one point don't be tight-fisted be open-handed and I think about that with my money with my talents with anything in my life you know I'm not tight-fisted if he wants my house I'll move you know if he wants whatever it is I can't be tight-handed with anything that he's blessed in my life that includes the women's ministry reload love whatever that is I'm not tight-fisted I'm open-handed so that the spirit can take this to wherever he wants it to go you've been listening to Skip's wife Lenya Heitzig giving her experiences in moving from California to start a church in New Mexico on tomorrow's broadcast Nate Heitzig will join Chip Lusko for the final day of vision week be sure to join us as Nate and Chip look to the future now are you or someone close to you going through a life-changing transition perhaps a marriage a new child or a change of location this can be a time of real spiritual receptivity so you will want to listen to this here's our October offer of pivot point messages by Skip our lives are punctuated by defining moments pivot points that shape who we are now and who will become such as choice of marriage partner or where we choose to work as Skip Heitzig observes there's predictable events that happens like in your life but every now and then life sort of hits you by surprise it comes crashing down on you you are going a direction your day is planned out but you get a phone call from a doctor or a friend the news is not good the prognosis is not good and you didn't see it coming god's word has the direction to get you through the planned and unplanned pivot points in your life the pivot point package speaks to marriage death depression recovery fear of the future and moving to a new location or job get these teachings that include written personal direction from Skip on each of these topics you'll receive this package when you give $50 or more today to this bible teaching ministry we'll send you pastor skip's pivot points collection of six messages plus an encouraging letter from pastor Skip so you can strengthen your faith in defining moments a faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted get these critical pivot point messages today when you give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800 922 1888 when you take advantage of the resource offers on connect with Skip you help us take these messages to new national and international audiences your donation of $50 or more right now will help make our vision come true to have more people hear these teachings when you vote for this expansion with your gift we will send you the special pivot point messages along with study notes on each message from Skip call now 1 800 922 1888 or click in at connectwithskip.com and join us next time on vision when we will hear from the next generation of heights six when nade heights is our special guest is connect with Skip Heitzigen is a presentation of connection communications connecting you to god's never-changing truth in ever-changing times
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-05 21:18:00 / 2022-11-05 21:23:46 / 6