We are a team of Christians, calling ourselves the Lazarus Project. We started this blog because we yearn to see Jesus “love one another” mandate resurrected in churches in our Western world.
About Me: Hi, I’m Wade, the leader of this team. I grew up with a Presbyterian dad and Catholic mom who compromised. They didn’t go to any church, but my dad got us kids off to Sunday school when he could. As a teen I joined a Presbyterian church for social reasons.
In high school I got mediocre grades in Latin, loved English and History. When I joined the Air Force, they tested me and found linguistic ability, which floored my Latin teacher. I was sent to Yale to learn Chinese, which I enjoyed, maybe because it’s not a dead language.
By the time I got to Yale, I had become angry with God and had a fling with atheism. But loneliness drove me to try to find a church. I was looking for reality and found it at an InterVarsity weekend among young Christians. Their love for me and their Lord was infectious. My first night there, while alone in my bunk, I met and fell in love with Jesus Christ.
The Air Force sent me to Taiwan and tried to make a spy out of me for the NSA, but I lived for my off duty hours. An elderly missionary couple had found me on a tour bus and had me praying, teaching English Bible at the university and preaching in English and Chinese.
After the Air Force, came Cornell, where I studied journalism and Greek. At Princeton Seminary I learned KOINE Greek and was hooked when able to read Jesus’ words in his own tongue.
After Princeton, I served a Presbyterian Church, kept up with the Greek and still do. My career has covered the waterfront. I’ve been a social worker, pastor, chaplain, missionary, and family counselor, all in many arenas including the inner city, suburbia, among the rich, the poor and all in between. The year 2000 was momentous. I was diagnosed with ADHD, which explained so many things A few months later I survived open heart surgery with six coronary by passes.
I often write using “we,” because I stand on the shoulders of giants, having rubbed shoulders with David Wilkerson, Billy Graham, Bill Bright, Demos Shakarian, Howard Hendricks, Jamie Buckingham, Bruce Larson, and Leonard Evans, who inspired me with Christ’s agape mandate. He wrote and preached it, but sadly, it fell on deaf ears. I believe Leonard died of a broken heart.
Along the way God surprised me by using me to plant two cross-cultural churches: one while in the Air Force among poor Taiwanese; the other with American Gypsies in Los Angeles, which movement has spread to dozens of other U.S. cities.
P.S. My oldest son married a Gypsy woman, and continues that work, laboring to keep the Spirit of Christ alive among these old-world people. His current dream is to start a school for Gypsy children. My other son coordinates the planting of churches in Muslim lands and ministers to persecuted Christians there. Am I proud of my boys? Of course, but also a bit perplexed. Their mother and I failed to make our marriage work, so how did they turn out so well?
About me: Hello, I’m Charlene, Wade’s wife. Our backgrounds are very different. I grew up in a rigid, legalistic church that proclaimed they were right and all other groups were wrong. It took years for the Holy Spirit to turn my life right side up, with God’s message of grace and love.
We attend a growing Methodist church and are involved with small group ministries. One of the highlights of my Christian life occurred when I joined a successful new church plant in the Tampa area. There I learned many creative ways to reach unbelievers with the good news of Christ. I will share some of them in our Nuts and Bolts feature.
I’ve worked as a secondary teacher in Christian schools, and then made a big shift, working for both the state of Florida’s Child Protective and Elder Protective Investigations. It was a high stress, fast paced field, where I faced all kinds of situations and personalities. I was in the homes of the poorest to the richest, interacting with a variety of ethnic cultures. I felt led by God in this work, able to offer hope to many who had given up hope. Once I had a case where a somewhat confused elderly client was being exploited at a local bar by “friends.” Sadly, the very day his son was traveling from out-of-state to find him a better environment, my client was murdered in his home by a bar patron.
For several years I helped develop and produce a live Christian radio call-in program. This gave me many opportunities to learn of the spiritual hunger and emotional pain in so many lives, even the staunchest Christians.
My hobbies include reading, quilting for charity and loving my cat Annabelle. My life is busy heading up the technical side of this blog, a field I’ve enjoyed learning. Of course I love my family, friends and especially Wade. I have encouraged him to share the things God has revealed to him about the “love one another” church, a dimension often neglected by local congregations and the church at large.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.