The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!


It’s that “most wonderful time of the year” again! We just put the Thanksgiving leftovers in the refrigerator and now I am procrastinating on my duties to pull out the Christmas decorations. (Didn’t I just put those away last week?) It’s also time for the annual update on the ministry and it has been a “most wonderful” year indeed. Here are just a few of the highlights:

• A very busy year— In spite of the fact that churches seem to be doing less inviting of outside guest speakers and artists, we have managed to keep busy. And God has blessed our efforts, as our performances continue to challenge, encourage and inspire others in their life and faith.

• Ministry growth— In addition to my performances, we now have three other artists that are a part of Master’s Image.

Steve Wilent continues to impact audiences with his dramatic presentations.

Marcia Whitehead has made the transition to make her performing a “full-time job.” Her performances are having a profound impact. She is now in the midst of raising funds to record her much anticipated first album. If you would like to know how you can support this project visit: Marcia Whitehead’s Album.

Brian Bopp, an actor and storyteller from Iowa, is now a part of the team and will be filling a niche we have been missing—ministry to children and families. He has a special gift and passion for younger audiences and we are happy to have him on board!

• New show— I have added a new presentation to my “life stories” series. In this one I tackle fatherhood with my own personal stories I call “Go Ask Your Mother…A Father’s Story.” I have had the opportunity to perform it 5 times and the response has been encouraging!

World Vision— We are blessed to continue our partnership with World Vision in helping the poorest of the poor through child sponsorship. In 2013 we acquired over 400 new sponsors!

We fully realize that it is the prayer and financial support of people like you that make this work possible. We so appreciate your partnership in the work we do. As we look forward to 2014, we would be honored and blessed if you would consider a gift to Master’s Image Productions. We would be especially grateful if you could support us on a regular basis with a monthly pledge (and if you are already doing that, thank you!). You may also designate your gift to support a specific artist. Just include a note telling us who you would like to support! You can mail tax deductible gifts to: Master’s Image Productions, P.O. Box 903, Salem, OR or just click the button to donate online:

May God bless you and yours this Christmas and in 2014!

Chuck & Lorie Neighbors

Sometimes They Cry

I love observing people.  It’s part of the job of being an actor.  You become a student of human behavior.


Mari Luz and her Great Grandmother in The Dominican Republic. Mari is one of the children we sponsor through World Vision.

I enjoy working in partnership with World Vision, and have discovered the table where I display all of the children who need a sponsor is a great place to observe people.  I try to figure out ahead of time who will be the ones to sponsor a child. You learn to read the signs. Some people avoid eye contact. Some pass by with only a glance. Sometimes they linger and pick up the folders and read more. Sometimes they ask questions. And sometimes they cry.

There was a young woman at a recent event who desperately wanted to sponsor a World Vision child. She lingered, picked up a picture of a child and cried.

I asked if everything was okay.

She told me that this child’s birth date was the same as her anniversary. She wanted to sponsor, but was uncertain because she is in a job transition and not sure she could afford it. She took the folder and went off to speak to her husband. The program was about to begin so I left to go backstage.

After the program I am back at the table. I noticed the picture folder has been returned and the young woman is nowhere in sight.  I figured the husband said no.

Then a most beautiful thing happened.  A man approached me and asked if he could sponsor a child for someone else. He said there is a young woman in tears because she wants to do this but can’t afford it. I happily explained that,  yes, there is a gift sponsorship option that would allow for that. The man agreed to pay for the sponsorship until the young couple was able to take it over for themselves.

I observed the reveal as the man shared what he was doing, the look of shock on the young woman’s face, the hugs,  and yes, the tears.

Sometimes they cry… and sometimes I do too.

If you’d like to sponsor a child for yourself or as a gift sponsor for someone else I’d be happy to help you do that.  Send me an email:

The Measure of Success

For the corporate executive it is a corner office and the big salary.

For the doctor it is the right diagnosis time after time… and the big salary.

For the actor it is the starring role and an Academy Award … and the big salary.

For the minister it is….. probably not the big salary.

SuccessI have found myself often contemplating just what is the measure of success when it comes to ministry. The measuring stick can look very different from the one used by the rest of society. There are those who seem to find a way to do it. Some count the size of the congregation, the successful building program, and fundraising. A few actually have the big salary. In my raised-in-the-church background, I was well aware of the ministers and evangelists who measured success by “notching their Bibles.” They could tell you exactly how many people were “saved” by their sermons (I thought it was God who did the saving!).

While many in ministry cringe at talking about money, we mostly live in a paradigm that depends on the generosity of others to make a living. Those donors want evidence that what they are donating to is a good investment. And who can blame them… I am the same way. I want to be sure that if I am giving my money to a ministry, it is getting results. So again we are forced to try to quantify ministry by counting something to make it look valid…to make it appear “successful.” It is easier to quantify if your ministry is feeding the hungry or distributing Bibles…not so easy when your ministry is speaking or performing… it is an intangible thing that doesn’t translate well into numbers.

I get caught in the trap… I find myself measuring my ministry week after week by how many people were in the audience, how big the offering was, or how many sponsors I was able to obtain for World Vision. It can put me on an emotional roller coaster, feeling successful one weekend and ready to throw in the towel the next. It can be especially challenging for the itinerant minister/performer. We do our thing and leave. Often the real “fruits of our labor” are not known to us.

So I was contemplating success… again… when I got this email:

“Today, I met with a man…. He really needed to talk to someone because he was grieving over his brother’s suicide… He told me he’d been struggling for days over feeling guilty, wondering what more he could have done or what he’d overlooked… But then he heard your story (Truth Be Told)… He said you helped him to see that it was wrong for him to take on the responsibility for his brother’s death. He said your words helped to put it all into perspective. It helped him to find peace and remember that God has not deserted him in this terrible time. Well done, good and faithful servant!”

At once I was reminded that THIS is why I do it. Every once in a while a guy like me needs a reminder… something tangible that helps me to see that what I am doing… or better yet, what God is doing through me, matters. Success like that? I’ll take it!

Have you struggled with trying to measure success in ministry? If so, what has helped you?  

The Child Who Wouldn’t Accept “No”

“Daddy, can I have some ice cream?”ID-10010052


“Daddy, can I have some ice cream?”

“I said NO!”

“Please, Daddy, can I have some ice cream?!”

Can you relate?  We have all been there…probably on both sides.  I’ve been that kid who wears down the parent, and the parent who is worn down by the kid.  Sometimes it’s easier to give in than fight the battle.  But if you’re saying “no” for the child’s good, for health, or discipline,  or just not wanting to deal with a child on a sugar high…those reasons…you give in but feel guilty.  Show of hands?

But what if the child was persisting not for selfish reasons, but for the good of another? What if the child was “nagging” you from a heart of love and compassion?

I saw just that recently.  As you may know, I partner with the Christian relief and development organization, World Vision. After my performances I offer an opportunity for people to make a difference by sponsoring a child. Those who are interested meet me at a table afterwards where they can select a child to sponsor. It was at the table that I met Maria.

Maria made it to the table before I did and was holding a picture of a little girl from El Salvador.  “I want her,” Maria says.

“That’s great!” I say to Maria, who looked to be about 7 or 8 years old. “Is your Mom or Dad here?  You will have to ask them.”

“We’re from there,” Maria says.

“You’re from El Salvador? That’s awesome!”

Maria takes the picture folder and disappears into the crowd of people mingling in the foyer after the service. I visit with others at the table but also keep one eye tracking Maria. I spot her talking to what appears to be her mother. A few minutes later, her mother is escorted to the table by Maria.  She watches as her mother asks me questions about sponsorship, how much it costs, and what the sponsorship does.

“We’ll have to ask your father,” she says and then lays the picture folder on the table and goes back into the crowd.

Maria snatches the folder back up and ducks away again. A child on a mission.

A few seconds later I spot her showing the folder to her dad.  Dad is shaking his head “no.” Maria turns away. I am visiting again with more people but watch as her dad approaches the table and firmly sets the folder on the table and walks away… very much a “that settles that” sort of feeling.  I continue to visit with others at the table.

Children in El Salvador show me their art work - World Vision Trip 2006

Children in El Salvador show me their art work – World Vision Trip 2006

I turn back to see that the picture folder from El Salvador is once again missing from the table. Across the room I spy Maria showing the folder to an older couple and a few minutes later she has dragged them over to the table.  The couple is Maria’s grandparents.  Delightful people who share with me a bit about how they moved here from El Salvador and also share that they already sponsor a child with World Vision.  They would love to see this child sponsored but can’t do it themselves and confirm that Dad has said no.

I look down at Maria, “I’m sorry Maria, maybe next time.”

“But I want her!” she says.  With that she once again grabs the folder and disappears into the crowd.  I go back to helping others at the table who are signing up to sponsor children.

A few minutes later I look down to see Maria once again at the table beaming a big smile back at me.  Mom is beside her filling out the information to sponsor the child.  Dad is nowhere in sight.

Maria’s persistence won! I don’t know if dad agreed or if mom just decided to do it anyway, and deal with the consequences later.

You could debate that the parents caved and gave in to the child. Or that the parents were being stubborn and should have said yes sooner. Maybe they could plead guilty on both counts.

I like to think that love won. I am pretty sure that at least two children will be better for it… and have a sneaking suspicion that probably mom and dad will too!

Would you like to say “yes” to a child in need?  You can easily do so here by clicking here!

One In A Million with World Vision!

This year marks a pretty significant milestone for the Christian relief and development organization World Vision.  Through the efforts of numerous singers, speakers, comedians, visual artists and yes, even actors, nearly ONE MILLION children have been sponsored.  I am blessed to be among those who are making a difference, using our voice to help the poor.

If you are one of the nearly one million who have sponsored a child THANK YOU! If you haven’t yet made that decision I encourage you to do so.  You will make a better story for you, the child and the community in which they live!  Click the link to be ONE IN A MILLION!

Thanks a Million


Meet Mari Luz

We just returned from a wonderful visit to the Dominican Republic.  Part of our purpose in going to this island nation was to visit our World Vision sponsored child, Mari Luz.  She is a beautiful child and we are privileged to be a part of her life. Take a moment to view this video montage of our visit.

Working through an interpreter we were able to have a conversation with Mari, though she is quite shy. Her favorite color is pink. Her favorite subject in school is math. We found out that one of her favorite things to do is attend Bible Club (provided through World Vision). Though only 7 years old, Mari has a dreams.  When we asked her what she wants to be when she grows up she said she wanted to be a doctor!  Sometimes people wonder if their sponsorship really is tied to a specific child… I hope this video answers that question!

If you would like to make a difference in the life of a child, and quite possibly have your life changed too, I invite you to sponsor a child like Mari Luz. Click this link and get started in making a difference! Sponsor a Child!

The Gift of a Child

It’s the season of Christmas and we are busy with the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the big day.  But if you are like me, you need to be reminded that Christmas is first and foremost a birthday celebration. We busily search for just the right gift for Mom and Dad, Billy, Suzy and Uncle Joe, that we can often overlook giving a gift to the one whose birth we are celebrating.

Last weekend I saw a beautiful example of a gift given to Jesus.

After my performance at a church in Elk Grove, California, where I had shared about the work of World Vision and their sponsorship program, there was a young girl who really wanted to sponsor a specific child. She waited around clutching a the picture folder, waiting to talk to her parents. Her father finally came over to the table, but told the girl they would not be able to sponsor the child and placed the folder back on the table among the other pictures of children needing sponsors. The little girl walked away, heart-broken.

Another lady from the church observed this scene.  She pulled the father aside and there was a brief conversation.  With the father’s blessing this lady sponsored the child as a gift to the little girl. That picture folder was going to be under the tree waiting for that little girl on Christmas morning.

What a great example of the true meaning of Christmas!

How do you give a gift to Jesus on his birthday?  This girl, and this dear lady know the answer to that question.  Jesus gives us his very own Christmas “wish list.”  He is very explicit in how we can give him a gift. It is found in the parable of the sheep and the goats.  It goes like this:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

   “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25: 34-40 (NIV)

If you would like to give a gift to Jesus this Christmas, sponsoring a child with World Vision is one excellent way you can do that. You can even do it as a gift to another person—you pay the sponsorship and let the gift recipient participate in the relationship with the sponsored child.  What a great gift for a parent or grandparent to give to their children and grandchildren!

Merry Christmas!

What would you do if…

What would you do if you had to make the decision between feeding yourself or feeding your children? That’s the reality of life in the Horn of Africa for millions of families right now.

Here are the facts:

  • 12.4 million are affected in the region, and some 30,000 children have already lost their lives
  • More than 35% of all children in the region are now facing emergency levels of malnutrition
  • Starvation is a real threat in famine-declared areas of Somalia
  • Worst drought in 60 years
  • World Vision has assisted communities in the Horn of Africa for 3 decades.
  • Even now, our teams in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are responding to this crisis with food, water, blankets and other critical needs for families

I am proud to be a partner in ministry with World Vision.  It is one way I know I am making a difference!  I invite you to do something! Make a better story for you and for people in need!

Text “FAMINE” to “20222” to give $10.


World Vision and the Gospel


Occasionally people ask me if World Vision is really a “Christian organization.” For some feeding the poor and caring for orphans and widows isn”t enough… they want to be sure the Gospel is being preached as well. I understand the concern. While World Vision”s primary mission is to address the root causes of poverty, as a Christian organization, it might encourage you to know they are also pro-active in spreading the Gospel in other ways as well.

This email came in from one of World Vision”s church relations team members traveling in Ethiopia, and I thought you”d really enjoy hearing it, too:

We visited a community that over 10 years ago was holding a 40-day prayer vigil. On day 37, they received a “word from the Lord” that an organization was coming to their area to help them preach the Gospel and save lives. Within a few months, World Vision began work in a village near where they prayed. When WV arrived in the village there were three Christians meeting underground because of persecution. They had been beaten and even jailed for their faith. World Vision began its work with the poor in the name of Jesus living out the Gospel and pointing people to Christ. Today, there are four churches in this village with over 1,000 in attendance. The surrounding community where the church met to pray has grown from four churches to over 70 and there are 30,000 Believers. The lead pastor over these churches told me it was WV that was responsible for teaching them how to spread the Gospel. He said that it”s easy to preach the Gospel, but it”s hard to live it and that”s what World Vision does. Last year, World Vision partnered with the local churches to hold an evangelistic outreach to the entire community. They trained hundreds of volunteers to go from house to house sharing the Gospel and 850 people accepted Christ. World Vision provided funding and leadership for this campaign – it”s a modern day revival.”

I think this is pretty cool! You can be a part of this great work by sponsoring a child!


Chuck Neighbors

Uganda Part 2 – A Chicken Story

I think we Americans take chickens for granted. We eat their eggs, make a pillow out of their feathers and eat them deep fried, baked and stewed. We don’t get to know our chickens and very few of us have held one and even fewer have actually raised a chicken.

In Uganda a chicken is not only food, but is lifeline, not taken for granted. A bird of great value that is given as gifts and used as currency. This the story of one such chicken.

We visited a grandmother who is caring for her four orphaned grandsons. A grandmother raising four young boys would be tremendous task in our own country and for this grandmother it is monumental and amazing that she is able to do it, because this grandmother is in poor heath herself and nearly blind. In our own country we would be caring for her, but in Uganda she must push on for the sake of her grandsons. The family lives on one meal a day. The boys spend a good portion of that day walking to find water and carry it back to the village for their daily use.

World Vision has just recently discovered this family and is scrambling to their aid. Soon the boys will  have each of their faces on one of those picture folders. An opportunity for one of us to be Jesus to one of “the least of these.”

After visiting the grandmother we journeyed on to meet Olivia, the sponsored child of one of our team members, Mark Anzelon, who was unable to make this trip at the last minute. While this family is poor by anyone’s standards the contrast between this family and the grandmother’s is striking. They have a home with more than one hut (once a boy reaches age 15-17 they usually build their own hut). This family has 8 kids, 5 girls and 3 boys. And extended families often cluster together so we are in a spot in the bush what has about 4 or 5 huts. The children are dressed up in beautiful dresses, some shirt and ties are seen on the older boys and men. They have more stuff in contrast to the grandmother’s stark living conditions…and they have chickens, several in fact.

A beautiful visit. The girls sing for us. Olivia is given gifts sent by Mark, and not only gifts for her but gifts for everyone in the family as well. There was love all around. There was pride on the part of the father and smiles and hope exuded from each family member. Then Olivia tracks down a chicken, a good size one. The feet are bound with duct tape and the chicken is presented to Matthew Paul Turner on our team who is acting on behalf of Mark. On the practical side of things I think we are all thinking: “What in the world are we gonna do with a chicken… don’t think we can clear customs with that!.” But yet we know we have no choice but to accept the chicken to refuse it would be an insult. So we say our goodbyes and leave with live chicken in hand.

A decision is made.

We journey back to the grandmother. We find her napping alone in the shade outside her hut. She seems a bit confused that we have returned. Sam, the 13 year-old son of team member, David Konstantopoulos, is elected to present her with the gift. At first she doesn’t understand. Takes the chicken from us and possibly thinking we just wanted to show-off the gift we received tries to give it back. Then she understands that we are giving her the chicken… a smile… a big smile. She is so very happy.

I think the boys will be too… that chicken stew will be one of the healthiest meals they have had in a long time!

“I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’
“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.” The Message, Eugene Peterson

Sponsor a Child in Uganda

© Copyright - Theme by Pexeto