Invitation to Israel

Invitation to Israel

“I’m here to feel the scars of Jesus.”

I spoke those words as a young man in 1987 during a devotional on “doubting Thomas” from John 20:24–29. Joyce and I had joined the K-Town and Baumholder hospitality houses on an amazing trip to the Holy Land of Israel.

In those days, we were on our first full-time Cadence ministry assignment as newlyweds leading the Youth of the Chapel in the military community of Baumholder, Germany. We loved those years of ministry together, yet in my heart I was wrestling with a fresh wave of questions and doubts about my faith. Something was stirring, and I felt unsettled and challenged in trusting God.

The leaders of the trip asked me to share from the Word the first morning in Israel.

I took them right to Thomas and his doubts. He didn’t believe until the resurrected Jesus appeared to Him and said, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas did as told, and he immediately believed.

I shared with those military people that I was in the Holy Land to walk where Jesus walked and to “feel the scars” in a yearning to believe and love Him deeper. And that’s exactly what happened. A few weeks after the trip I told Joyce with tears, “I believe!” Those unexpected, unsettling doubts had dissipated right into the grace-filled hands of my Jesus.

Friends, I don’t know what reason you might have to join Joyce and me on a trip to the Holy Land, but I want to invite you! Cadence Alumni Director Angie Sprague and her husband Duncan, Alumni Pastor, are hosting an Alumni and Friends journey with Jesus in Israel, January 4–13, 2024. Joyce and I will be teaching, along with our guide Omer Eshel, at many of the significant biblical landmarks in the Holy Land such as the Mount of Olives, Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Temple Mount, Pool of Siloam, and more.

We will be learning and growing together during this special journey. Find out more or register today at We would love to have you join us!

No matter how each person attending might begin this upcoming trip, our prayer will be that by the end the Bible will be alive in fresh ways and we will all proclaim anew as Thomas did, “My Lord and my God!”

Whether you are able to join us or not, may the nail-scarred hands of our Savior remind you today of God’s extravagant and powerful love for you.

David Schroeder

A Prelude to the Great Commission

A Prelude to the Great Commission

“. . . but some doubted.”

Three simple words tucked away in the grand narrative of Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and commissioning.

The disciples had likely just experienced a full range of emotions as they journeyed with Jesus through Passion Week. Matthew records their reactions to the resurrection of our Savior in chapter 28 verse 9, “Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him.” Awe and adoration were the only possible responses to the risen Christ!

Yet, perhaps only a few days later as they gathered with Jesus for His commissioning of them to their ministry, Matthew 28:17 says, “When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.”

The addition of doubt. Three simple words.

But—have you noticed how quickly our spirits can move from worship to worry? Life has a way of disrupting and interrupting our experience of His presence and peace. Doubt is an intrusive invader lurking at our heart’s door. It was for the disciples, and it can often be for us as well.

Some—not all, and not always. We know the disciples were more completely convinced when the Holy Spirit came upon them and others at Pentecost. From then on they were marked by boldness, not reservation.

Doubted—I feel compassion for the disciples. Jesus completely upended their expectations of the Messiah. One moment He was dead and buried, along with their hopes and dreams, and then the next . . . He was very much risen and alive! Whew, what a ride! No wonder some of them were uncertain and confused.

Honestly, I take great comfort from these three words. We forget that “but some doubted” is part of the prelude to the Great Commission. We don’t have to be doubt-free to be called, set apart, and given authority by Jesus for our mission. Uncertainty is only a short blip in the narrative. It is not the primary story, nor its ending.

Doubt is a part of this pilgrimage with God. It intrudes into all our lives at times. This has been true at some point in my life in every season. Often triggered by hardship, doubt is actually a window that opens our souls to the potential for deeper faith and belief. Ultimately, Jesus’ presence and power overcomes our doubts as we journey with Him.

Friends, I pray that whatever you are currently facing in your lives right now will be used by God to forge a more resilient faith in Him. Whether you are living in the “but some doubted” stage or in a season of peaceful trust in God, may our Risen Savior meet you wherever you are in this pilgrimage.

This is His promise: “And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b

Blessings and love to each of you, our dear partners in ministry.

David Schroeder

Life-Changing Community

Life-Changing Community

Fort Polk is located in the Vernon Parish of Louisiana. The fort is under the command of the Joint Readiness Training Center of the 4th Brigade and is the only training center in the Army which both trains and deploys units for combat missions. Approximately 9,000 active-duty military call Fort Polk their home.

This past year Cadence staff Brian and Cathy Hutchens established the Fort Polk Hospitality House which ministers to this unique and somewhat isolated military community. God began to form a vision for this ministry many years ago in Brian’s heart when he trained there for a deployment to Iraq.

Joyce and I recently had the privilege of participating in the dedication for this new ministry. We were joined by one of Cadence’s founders CP Tarkington, his daughter Jo, and son-in-law Todd. Brian and Cathy were mentored and discipled by this family for many years.

What a joy to be with approximately 50 military people and their families, including four U.S. Army Chaplains, to celebrate and dedicate this ministry, the people, and the hospitality house to the Lord. Brian beautifully wove the theme of worship throughout the evening—a community who gathers in prayer, in fellowship, in God’s Word, and in worship.

Fort Polk can sometimes be a challenging assignment for Soldiers and their families. The hospitality house offers a place of connection and joy in the middle of potential isolation and loneliness. One Soldier’s wife spoke of how she had been looking forward to retiring and leaving Polk, but is now sad to be moving because they have finally found community.

This is the heart of Cadence—offering life-changing communities where single and married military people and their families can discover a place of connection, growth, and life in Jesus.

I think Chaplain Jameson William’s prayer of dedication at the end of the night sums it up well:

“Father God, who fashioned the first sounds from silence, who thought up every star we can see and not see. The same God who knows words before they are voiced and numbers of days before they are lived. May you fill these walls with worship. Let every heart and tongue that enters this house lift praises to your mighty name. Let every moment in this place be lifted to you as an offering of true worship. Let it not be noisy clamor but loving harmony. Let it not be dissonant selves but united expressions of your body, the church—not just singing, but hearts alive in your Spirit.”

As this prayer is answered in the coming years at Fort Polk and military installations around the world, may you take joy in knowing your prayers and financial gifts are a significant support to an ever-growing worshipping community of believers.

We Send

We Send

The Cadence Way lists five priorities that describe the unique ways Cadence ministers to and impacts military communities and the world for Christ. You can find them on the front page of They are:

We Stay: In a transient and mobile military community, Cadence offers stability, strength, and consistency over the long haul to each installation we serve.

We Serve: Cadence enjoys favor with the military community and has a proven reputation of serving military personnel and families in general, and chaplains in particular.

We Shape: Cadence staff are experts in creating and sustaining biblical, life-changing fellowships within the military community.

We Send: Cadence ministries are constantly releasing military people transformed by Christ to live for Him wherever He sends them.

We Strive: Military ministry is all Cadence does. It is our one focus, passion, and joy. Cadence gives its all to the global military communities we serve.

I believe Cadence is ministering to one of the most receptive, responsive, and strategic “people groups” in the United States. Here is a recent quote from one of our hospitality house staff:

“We are energized by the multiplication of ministry we see in our hospitality house folks who gather around our table to build relationships, then turn their eyes outward to invite others in, and also welcome newcomers around their own tables and into their lives. We are watching our people go out from us as the Lord, through the Army, takes them on to their next place of service like gospel seed being scattered.”

We send—“like gospel seed being scattered.” This is how the Kingdom of God grows and advances, and thanks to the military’s high rate of rotation, our Cadence staff “send out” up to 30% of their people every year. These transformed Cadence Alumni are scattered to various military communities all around the world. When they complete their active duty or retire from military service, the Holy Spirit sends them into all corners of the U.S. and to many global communities. They then catalyze and continue this fruitful multiplication as they “live for Him wherever He sends them.”

Not only are your financial gifts to Cadence a significant strategic investment in the Kingdom of God, but they are also the Spirit-fueled source and sustainment of this worldwide ministry.

Thank you for being vital partners in the Cadence Way!

David Schroeder

To Live is Christ

To Live is Christ

I recently attended the memorial service for a Wycliffe missionary who went to heaven after a battle with cancer. She and her husband share the same sending church with Joyce and me here in Littleton, Colorado. Two of their daughters were active in the young adult church group which we led and taught for nine years.

Brad and Toni gave 30 years of their lives to translating significant portions of the Bible into the language of the Koluwawa people in Papua New Guinea.

At the service, Brad read Philippians 1:21, first in English and then in Koluwawa. As he read it in their language, he was moved to tears. These words from the Word in the language of this people represent much of his and Toni’s life work and ministry.

This passage states, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Brad and Toni lived their lives for Christ. And for Toni to transition to heaven through death has become her great gain indeed.

Friends as we all begin this new year, we would do well to remember that because of the great hope we possess in Christ, our highest priority, greatest effort, and deepest honor in 2023 is to live for Christ.

Only a few are called to translate the Bible in and for cultures around the world, but we are all called to depict and describe Jesus to people in our worlds. Wherever we are, there we are on mission.

Thank you for the portion of your calling that is faithfully employed through your financial gifts to Cadence and our staff. God has always used believing military people to be a witness for Him in cultures around the world wherever the military sends them.

May God bless you as you live for Him in your location.

David Schroeder