Tag Archives: Evangelism

Ministry Update – November 2012

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In South Sudan, the first devotion shared was on being stretched as we pursue God and seek His Kingdom. November has definitely been a stretching experience in both my life and ministry.

The first part of the month was spent in Southern Sudan watching God throw the doors wide open for people to meet Christ as Savior. Though there were many challenges, such as having to wade across the river at the Kenya/S. Sudan border, it was well worth it. In a matter of days, we saw around 100 people saved – from the highest tribal chiefs to the lowest prisoners. God even confirmed our message with some divine acts of power as we saw a handful of people healed during times of prayer.

After S. Sudan I had 22 hours in Washington D.C., and spent a full, jet-lagged afternoon walking around visiting all the monuments and memorials. It was a great reminder of the wonderful history we have as a nation, and an encouragement that we must continue to be a people who seeks God on behalf of our nation and government.

Then, on the 10th, the return to Haiti was a weird experience for me as this place has become a second home. While in the U.S. and S. Sudan I even found myself craving some Haitian foods and definitely missing our kids like crazy.

Most ofHaiti doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but it was also my 28th birthday, so on that Saturday I took a big cake and celebrated with the kids. It was a very special day for me.

Though I am looking forward with much excitement to what God has in store for my ministry in the next year, leaving Haiti in February will definitely be a hard goodbye for me

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I know it’s always nice for kids to get a break from school, see all the family, and gorge ourselves.

Growing up, I never really thought too much about Thanksgiving. The majority of my family always lived close together, so it wasn’t unusual to see them all in one place. The main marker of the holiday was the food (that would usually continue well past Thursday.)

This year, though, being here away from it all was harder than I expected. As I saw all the pictures and status updates on social media, it hit me how much we really do have to be thankful for when we can gather with family and friends and think on God’s goodness to us. Fortunately for the modern missionary, there is Skype, and I was able to see all my family for about an hour that afternoon.

“But certainly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.” ~Psalm 66:19

  • Pray for God to send revival; that salvation and healing will come to this nation.
  • Pray for Erin, the new HGIM missionary, as she prepares to move to Haiti in 2013.
  • Pray for me as I begin making speaking appointments for my time home next year.
  • Pray for the HGIM Board of Directors as they meet in Dec. to make some vital    decision for the future of the ministry.

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South Sudan Mission Recap

The team all met up from different parts of the country at the Washington D.C. airport and made our way to Nairobi, Kenya via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We spent one night in Nairobi, then headed for the small airport which would fly us to the northern town of Lokichoggio, from which we would drive into South Sudan. This morning we were met by our Ugandan team members, Saphan and Isaac, we made it to the Loki airport without issue, then waited for a few hours on our vehicles to pick us up there.

The rain had hit throughout the night, so the roads were bad. It took us about three hours of driving to make it to the South Sudan border about 45km away. We had a few issues getting stuck in the mud, but the major issue came when we reached the border and discovered the riverbed to be full of flowing rainwater. We sent our facilitator across the river to see if the immigration office would remain open for us a bit, and believing they would, we abandoned our vehicles and the team waded across the river. Our bags came behind us in the hands of some very helpful young guys, for a price of course.

Once across it was discovered that the immigration office was not going to be as helpful as we thought, and Heart of God Africa Director, Denise Matthews had a fight on her hands to get us accepted into the country that night. After our luggage was across and Denise had won her battle, we hired new cars to take us the last hour drive to Narus, South Sudan; our home for the week.

Throughout this first night and the next morning much of the team was very discouraged, as things did not seem to be coming together according to plans and expectations. But through an intimate and powerful time of prayer, everyone’s spirit was rejuvenated and ready to reach the Taposa people with the Gospel of Christ.

Believing that the book of Joshua was setting the theme for the trip as we travelled into the unknown, and having very little idea what we were getting ourselves into – pioneer missions at it’s finest – we decided the first day we should send only a small group of people out of the compound to ‘spy out the land’.

When those of us who went to spy returned, it was only with strong confirmation that God was at work. The team greeted many of the Taposa who we had been told do not greet visitors well, and especially do not like their photos taken, yet we were greeted with smiles and waves, allowed to take many photos of and with the warriors, and one lady even threw down her pile of firewood to invite us for a drink of water. As we entered a small hut, we instead told her about the living water and she, along with a couple of other women, gave their lives to Christ.

The next day, the whole team ventured out into the village with the same results. We were greeted very warmly, as we went around telling anyone we met about the love of Christ and praying for blessings on them.

The third day we decided it would be good for us to visit the homes of the 15 members of the church, pastored by Joseph, our trip facilitator. Joseph is a Ugandan missionary to South Sudan, trained by Youth Ablaze, and has been in the country now for around a year, I believe.

As we walked past the tree under which the church meets, there was a blind man sitting in the shade. The team prayed for the man who said he could only see shadows passing him, but nothing more, and as we prayed he began to be able to see distinct shapes and colors, identifying skin color of team members and saying he could see the color of the dirt and leaves of the trees. Though there was not a complete healing in our time with him, the report came later from one of Joseph’s assistant pastors that the man was up and walking by himself around the village. The team also prayed for blessings on the homes of most of the church members, and prayed particularly for many women to be able to bear children. We are believing that next year we will see many toddlers around, confirming that God heard our prayers.

On Saturday we drove a little over an hour to another, much smaller village, called Korjip. The village elders had heard that our team was in Narus and that God was moving among us, and inviting us to come, had already determined amongst themselves to donate land for us to build a church on, as well as any other project the Lord leads us into.

We sat in a circle under a shade tree and exchanged formalities with about 40-45 people there, then I was given the opportunity to preach the Gospel. I began by asking the people, “when I say the name Jesus Christ, how many of you have heard of Him and know what I am talking about?” Out of the whole crowd, only one person raised their hand. Relating the message as best as I could in a way they would understand, there were obviously a few who walked away not wanting to hear what I was saying, but by the end of the message, between 30-35 of them accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I also told them that God was not just a God of words, but also of power, and told them how we had already seen God improve the sight of a blind man and prayed for barren women, and that we would like to pray for them as well.

The men moved to one side to pray for men and the women stayed under the tree, as it is offensive in their culture for women to touch or pray for the men. The very first man who had greeted us in the village, an elderly warrior who had walked in with use of a walking stick, was the first to come up for prayer. He told us that his knees were bad and that he wanted us to ask His new Savior to heal him. I and another team member, Paul, placed our hands on the old man’s knees and prayed. When we had finished praying I asked him, hoping-ly, to test it out. He said there was no improvement. As little discouraged at what I had got us into, I told him we should pray again (see Mark 8:22-26 where Jesus prayed twice for a healing). We put our hands back on his knees and began to pray, begging God to prove Himself with power, that these people would know we weren’t just coming with some new teaching. After a few minutes, I asked the man to try walking again. He took two steps, took of running, the leaped high in the air; completely free of knee pain. I may have been even more excited than this man was, and now we were rolling.

The next man came up with the same exact problem, and he was healed the same exact way. Prayed once, and nothing; prayed again, running and jumping.

There were so many that we all split up and I ended up praying mostly with just an interpreter  at my side. We prayed for a third man with excruciating pain in his side and lower back. Once we had prayed he was able to bend and move pain-free. Another old warrior with bad knees was in line behind this man. I prayed for him once and asked him to test it. Out of excitement at seeing his friends leaping around, he followed suit, and took of running and jumping. The problem was that he hadn’t been healed. He came limping back toward us barely able to walk, causing Denise, upon seeing his limp, to tell another lady that if this man walked out healed, she’d kiss the tree. Well…

While we were still praying for people, the village Chief arrived from a meeting he had been attending, and so we regrouped under the tree. He made a formal presentation giving us the land and asking us for help with water. As you know, we have been fundraising to drill a water well in relation to this trip, and Denise told him yes, and that we would be sending someone to test the water before we drill.

The team returned home overjoyed with what God was doing in us.

On Sunday we attended Joseph’s church under the tree. There were many new faces in attendance, and a small handful of them received Christ as their Savior in this service, after hearing the Gospel of Hope and the testimony of our team.

Then in the evening we met the church members in the central marketplace for an open-air outreach meeting. We sang and danced. Most of the team members shared their personal testimonies with all who gathered to listen, then I was again given the opportunity to preach the Gospel to them. Although we could not get a formal count, in looking around I saw a group of around 30 people praying to receive Christ. It was an awesome day for the Kingdom of God.

On Monday the team again divided, some staying at the compound to pray, while others went to visit the two small hospitals in Narus. We were shown the conditions people are treated in and told of the needs they have, and had the opportunity to pray for all the patients there that day: 4-6 suspected cases of measles, one epileptic boy, one girl with malaria, and a man badly damaged in a motorcycle accident. We also prayed with the hospital staff for God’s provision and blessing on their work.

On Tuesday, our last full day in Narus, we went into the local prison – something, as we were told, that no other missionary group has ever done for them. We were met by every police officer and security guard on the force, in full uniform, and the 14 prisoners currently residing there. There were cases of theft, adultery, and one murder in the crowd. Saphan, the Heart of God Africa Prison Ministry Director from Uganda, preached the Gospel to these 13 men and 1 woman, and all of them accepted Jesus as Savior. I then had the opportunity to share my testimony of how God changed my life, and Isaac shared a word of encouragement to them on the power of God now at work in them.

The prison director confessed to us the difficulty of his job in being honest and kind while trying to rehabilitate the prisoners, and the temptation to beat or even kill some of them. I laid my hand on his shoulder (apparently something you should not do when praying for someone in uniform, but love covers a multitude of sins) and I prayed for him and all the police standing around us. As we left, many of them took a group picture with our team, though I do not have a copy at this time.

Sadly, the next day our time in South Sudan was over. We prayed one last time as a team, then loaded the cars. After a short stop in the local Commissioner’s office to tell them goodbye and pray for them, we made our way back to the Kenyan border, and on to Lokichoggio where we would spend some time in a nice little hotel to debrief as a team before the long flight home.

I can honestly say that I am overjoyed by the fruit born on this trip and am hopeful for the future there through Joseph and his church. I cannot wait to return and see how things have progressed, and how all the people saved – roughly 100 for the week – have held to the new truth they have been shown and carried it forward.

This was only our first push into the 10-40 Window, but as God continues to open doors to the unreached, we will be there to step through them. If you would like to support my evangelistic works through Heart of God, like this one and others, you can click the ‘Donate’ tab, or you can learn more about Heart of God and how you can get involved through any of our various ministries at http:www.heartofgodinternational.org.

Ministry Update – September 2012

CLick Here to Download and print this update letter

It is really hard for me to believe I’ve already been in Haiti for a full seven months. It has gone by so fast. I am also quickly getting hit with the reality that my time here is growing shorter every day.

This month I have been preaching in multiple churches and we are continually making progress on the work projects as God gives us the ability. Today I delivered the money to buy the wood and nails to build the new rafters on the orphanage roof reconstruction. The retaining wall for the eroding church foundation is also almost complete, and plans are in the works to build an addition onto the orphanage so that my replacement on the ground full-time next year, Erin, can stay at the center and begin investing in the kids more hands-on every day than I have had the ability to do.

Another aspect of my personal ministry has been to begin planning out the next missions God has put before me. All my flights are booked to go with Heart of God Africa on the first-ever trip to South Sudan later in October. We are working on a possible trip with Heart of God India in March of next year, and I have personally been communicating with a ministry connection in the 10-40 window to plan an evangelistic outreach in April. (For security reasons, the location cannot be disclosed at this time.)

Among next month’s travels, I will also be making a quick stop in west Texas to get a new driver’s license. Mine was stolen with my phone and camera last month, and with the cops in Haiti cracking down on everything from seat belts to only allowing non-drivers to drink in the car, I must get this ASAP.

As many of you know, the missionary life carries with it a lot of responsibility to not only God and to the people on the mission field, but also to all of the churches and individuals who so graciously support the work in both prayer and finances.

Firstly, I don’t think I can tell you “thank you,” enough for your support. I can’t do this without you.

Secondly, I also want to let you know that this long-term stay in Haiti will be finishing up in February, and I will be back in the U.S. for a while to catch up with donors and do some much needed support raising.

Whether you are a current supporter or not, if you would like to schedule a visit to your church to give report and share my ministry, I would love to work that out with you. You can check for open dates on my itinerary.

No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil; not that he practices it, but he suffers from it. ~Guy H. King

  • Pray for God to send revival; that salvation and healing will come to this nation.
  • Pray for my travel in October and November (17 flights in all).
  • Pray for Erin as she is beginning her own preparation to move to Haiti in 2013.
  • Pray for me as the move to the higher altitude is causing daily headaches and frequent allergies.

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Ministry Update – July 2012

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THIS UPDATE LETTER

God is so good to us, all the time. I just want to begin this update by telling you how thankful I am that God’s goodness comes to me through you; through your prayers and support of my ministry.

It has been a busy month here in Haiti. God has provided the funds to buy a used car, mobilizing me to get more done on my own timetable. Before, my abilities were dictated by the price of motorcycle taxis and the availability of guest house car rentals. Now I can determine my own schedule for getting things done.

The ’91 Toyota Land Cruiser spent the first week with mechanics giving it a good tune up, and while it still has a couple of bugs to work out, I have driven it to the center 5 times already, and many times around Port-au-Prince. The major need now is new tires., which, because everything is imported into Haiti, are going to cost $200 each. If you would like to help with these costs, as always, you can click on the ‘donate’ tab above.

July also included a medical team with Dr. Joey and his staff from Port-au-Prince and a volunteer team with Life Paths Global Alliance from Ontario, Canada. It took two attempts to make it up the mountain, due to weather, but they made it and gave all of our kids a thorough check-up, and managed to see another 20 kids who came in from the village.

Also this past Sunday, having the car, I finally had the opportunity to preach my first service at the church tied to the center. The people there gave me a very warm welcome, and we had a wonderful worship time together.

House sitting has given me a lot of time in private to really spend quality time reading and in prayer. What always amazes me is that in the times we quiet ourselves and seek Him, He is already in that place, waiting to spend time with us.

After much time in prayer, I really believe God is about to do some great things in Haiti. His promise is that knowledge of His glory will cover the whole earth as the waters cover the sea (Is. 11:9; Hab. 2:14). Despite the spiritual darkness that currently covers this nation, this promise still includes Haiti.

I beg for your continued prayers over my work here. God is moving. Those random “divine encounters” are become more and more frequent. I just can’t wait to see what it is that God is doing behind the scenes here.

“But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.” –Psalm 69:13

  • Pray for God to send revival; that salvation and healing will come to this nation.
  • Jesus said that He only did those things He saw His Father doing. Pray for my discernment, that I can have this same mindset in ministry here.
  • Pray for the ones God is bringing into my life here as He develops a ministry support team.

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Here are a couple of videos of the kids in the orphanage singing.

Here are some pics from the medical clinic:

July Mid-Month Ministry Update

Already the month of July has been a crazy one. I just wanted to throw in a quick update to say that stuff is moving along quickly right now.

God has blessed us with the ability to buy a car for the work here. It isn’t new, but after spending some time with mechanics getting a full tune-up, our 1991 Land Cruiser is ready to serve. I have already driven it to the center in Kenscoff twice, which is saving the money we had been spending to rent vehicles to carry food supplies, and is giving me much more safety getting around Port-au-Prince than using the motorcycle taxis.

Our “New” Car

The one immediate need with the vehicle is new tires. The current ones have very little tread left and the roads in Haiti are very bad. This is especially true of the last stretch of road to our center. After looking a few different places, it seems we are looking at about $200 each for new tires. If you would like to help with this need you can click the ‘Donate’ tab above; be sure to specify “Tires” in the comment box or on the memo line of your check. Thank you.

Also this week, we were blessed to be joined by a volunteer team from Life Paths Global Alliance based in Ontario, Canada, who came to do a medical clinic with our children on Monday. Unfortunately on the way up the mountain we were met with an overheating engine, and then a major storm that blew in knocking down trees and power lines. The decision had to be made to return to Port-au-Prince and not risk the drive up to the center.

The ride back down the mountain in the back of the truck with freezing rain was not fun. This was then followed by a motorcycle ride home for me and my translator, Junior, during which we found the rain waters all over again, as you can see in the video:

The team is trying to work their schedule to be able to come do the medical clinic on Friday, but if they are unable, the doctor in charge of the project had promised to come with some of his own staff next week.

The plan is that this working relationship will lead to regular check-ups with our kids, and will give us a doctor in the city who already has medical records on our children that we can bring them to in case of sickness or emergency.

Please keep me in your prayers as my t0-do list is growing quickly while the number of hours in a day are not. With a new means of transportation, I hope to be able to report some successfully completed projects in the near future, so stay tuned.

Ministry Update – April 2012

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THIS UPDATE LETTER

Two months in and my mission to Haiti is completely different than what I expected. Yet, God has sovereignly used this assignment to lead me into a deeper awareness of the needs in this country while preparing me for what lies ahead.

One thing I’ve learned these past weeks has been the meaning of the word “flexibility.”  I had a plan to come here to achieve certain goals, yet God had another plan, and I’m learning to be okay with that.  While there is much work to be done, the direction God led me has been different yet a powerful experience on the mission field.

Next month, HG-Haiti Director, Dave Young and HGIM President, Jan Ross, will be making a short trip down here to handle some administrative matters and together we will be looking at more ways Heart of God Haiti can continue to spread the good news of God’s Kingdom across this land.

In preparation, I have spent the last few weeks doing a survey of Port-au-Prince ministries, meeting with missionaries, nationals and other NGO’s who are working here. I will be introducing some of them to Jan and Dave and it will be at that time that we decide what my responsibilities will look like in the near future

It’s never easy to put yourself in the hands of God and trust Him totally for direction. Yet, I can tell you that resting in the sovereignty of Christ during this mission will prove to be a blessing for those here as well as those of you who have been praying for me and my work here.

Last month I asked for prayer in learning the Creole language. As an update, I can now say that I am having small conversations beyond, “Hello. How are you?” I still have a long way to go, though. It takes daily effort to review what I already learned and continue in study.

Despite difficulty, my efforts in study have not gone unnoticed by the Haitians I have met. They are very encouraging to me in practicing, and make it a point to offer new vocabulary words in every conversation.

I have been told that “to learn Creole is to become a Haitian.” Now, although becoming a Haitian is not my goal, learning the language is definitely endearing me to the locals. And it is giving me the opportunity to meet and talk to more of them every day.

“Prayer is where the action is.” – John Wesley

  • Pray for God to send revival; that salvation and healing will come to this Haiti.
  • Please continue to pray for the staff and children at Victory Center Orphanage as God continues to give direction concerning their well-being.
  • Pray for God’s direction for Heart of God-Haiti as our mission here continues.

Salvation Leads to Salvation

The other day, I started reading the book of Matthew, and as I typically do while reading, I had some thoughts come to mind that I wrote down to come back to and think on later. And it didn’t take long in Matthew for one of these thoughts to come to me.

The book of Matthew starts with the genealogy of Christ, and the situation surrounding His birth. Upon finding out that his fiancé, Mary, was pregnant before marriage, a man named Joseph, is trying to decide how to handle the situation.

“But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).”  — Matthew 1:20-23

To Israel, long before the time of Joseph and Mary, the prophecy had been given that a Messiah would come who would be both a King in the line of David and a Prophet like Moses. And even in Isaiah 7:14 we find the passage the angel quoted about His name being ‘Immanuel’ signifying that this Messiah would somehow be God in the flesh. The Jews knew all of that, and it is why they had many expectations of what Jesus was supposed to be like and how He would live. But the thing that sticks out to me here, though, is that the angel doesn’t come and tell Joseph that this Son would be the King of the Jews or a great prophet.

Instead, the angel tells Joseph to name the child Jesus, which translates as “Jehovah is Salvation,” because the life mission of this child is that “He will save His people from their sins.”

Now, of course anyone familiar with the Christian story knows that Jesus came to be the Savior of the world. Even those who barely know anything about Christianity have probably heard John 3:16 at some point. Have you ever considered this, though, that even Jesus name – His born identity – is wrapped up in this one mission.

What interests me about this, however, is not that Jesus identity is wrapped up in the mission of saving people from their sins. It is that as believers, our identity is wrapped up in His identity, which was wrapped up in the mission. Meaning that our identity, too, is wrapped up in the salvation of the world.

What I mean by this is that when we are born again by grace through faith in Christ, the Bible makes it clear that we are being transformed into the image of Christ – the image of the Savior. This means that since Christ’s mission in life, above all else, was to save people from sin, then our new-found mission now that we are in Christ is the same as His. We are, above all, to be heralds of the Gospel — the ‘Good News’ that Jesus made a way for humanity to be saved.

Another way to say this is that our own salvation cannot be separated from the salvation of the world. They are inextricably linked. Let me give you some biblical evidence of this:

  • “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” –1 John 2:2
  • “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”    –Ephesians 2:10
  • “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” –2 Corinthians 5:18

In each one of these scriptures, the writers jump straight from our salvation to the salvation of others. We are saved and then we help others find salvation. That is the biblical pattern.

Here’s what that means: your job, school, hobbies, friends, family, etc., etc., are given to you by God to be stewarded for the salvation of the lost world. Your God-given identity is found in Christ and because of that your life is to be “the aroma of Christ” to the world, and it is now a part of who we are that, “as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:15-17) That means in word and deed, it’s our mission.

We live Christ in the world, and we speak Christ to the world. Salvation leads to salvation, and the mission that Christ set in motion continues on.

So let me ask you this. When was the last time you let someone else know that God has come (“Immanuel”) to save His people from their sins (“Jesus”), and that they too can find freedom in Him?