Tag Archives: challenges

No Preconceived Ideas

No Preconceived Ideas

The people were all smiling as they came out to greet the missionaries driving into their cactus lined village. The national partner arriving with the missionaries made introductions as they all sat down on the woven mats laid over the dirt. The nationals and missionaries exchanged proper greetings. The missionaries asked, “Do you want to hear about Jesus Christ and sing a song to God?”
“Yes!” the villagers responded.
“What song do you know?”
“We don’t know any songs to sing to God. Teach us.”
The missionaries proceeded to teach them a song along with the gospel. A few people showed interest in following Jesus.
Within a few months, as the national partner continued visiting and sharing with the people, many came to Christ. They were hungry for more stories from the Scriptures and insights into how to follow Jesus.
The missionaries were able to visit every once in a while, but the national partner was key in meeting with the villagers regularly. The time came for the new converts to follow in baptism. In the deserts of South Madagascar water is scarce. Finding a water hole deep enough to baptize is a huge challenge. On this day, the villagers and missionaries walked 10 miles to get to the ocean and back. The lead missionary, along with a few volunteers from Louisiana, stood on the shore surrounded by the new converts and modeled how to baptize. After a little more teaching and verification that the people understood what this step in their faith meant, the leaders of the village took each new convert one by one and baptized them! The people from the village sang praises to God and celebrated with a meal on the beach; rejoicing in this step of obedience in their new found faith.

Teachings continued and the new converts gained more and more understanding of the Scriptures. After some time the missionaries were asked to come back and teach about taking the Lord’s Supper. The people were all smiling again as they came out to greet the missionaries driving into their village. The missionaries had permission to set up a tent and stay for the night. They got the tent up and began fellowshipping with the people. Some women missionaries were cooking with the women in the cooking house. The missionary kids were teaching the village children how to play hop scotch and the men were sitting and beginning to discuss the steps to take the Lord’s Supper, described by the Scriptures. It was an incredible experience to be a part of these milestones in the lives of new Christians who had no preconceived ideas of what these actions should look like. From the time they confessed Christ as their Lord and Savior and learned songs to sing to praise him, to following him in baptism and then learning what it means to remember the Lord through taking the Lord’s Supper, the missionaries were determined to teach them to do everything based upon what the Scriptures say.

Pray the people in the village of Amby will grow in their faith according to the Scriptures. Pray they will weigh every action in light of the Scriptures and that they will be able to stand firm in the midst of persecution and temptation. Pray for the people in the church to grow stronger in their faith and be diligent in sharing the gospel with their neighbors.

Satan Trembles When We Pray!

Satan Trembles When We Pray!


“Satan dreads nothing but prayer. His one concern is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.” (Samuel Chadwick)

This is the month that a brand new discipleship group begins in a Pretoria home! This group will be training men and women on how to be a disciple who makes disciples! Already much spiritual warfare has been experienced by those preparing for this training. Ephesians 6 tells us clearly that we “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”. Therefore, we are commanded to put on our spiritual armor each and every day, and to “pray always” (Ephesians 6:18) for each other.

Will you do this now? Satan is working overtime to stop this teaching from beginning. Pray now for this group, that God would strengthen them and establish them for His glory. Pray for their protection from the schemes of Satan. Ask God to use this group to bring much fruit for God’s kingdom.

Bouncing Brain

Bouncing Brain

Every rut, every rock, every turn made my brain feel like it was bouncing inside my skull. At the end of the longest day, my whole body felt out of sorts and I wasn’t sure if my head would stop hurting. I never felt like I was in such bad condition that I needed medical attention, but a few times I wondered, “What in the world are we doing!” You see, a few weeks ago our family spent two weeks traveling around the Southern part of Madagascar visiting national partners, new churches, teammates and taking care of a few errands. We we’re on the road anywhere from 4-11 hours in a single day with some days interspersed of little to no travel. The saying rang true for us that the people are “unreached for a reason.” The roads are terrible! There are a few nice stretches but others were nearly impassable. As you pray for the people of South Madagascar today, ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers from the fields. Pray more nationals would continue to evangelize and make disciples. We’re seeing the beginnings of a movement, but it won’t come without resistance from the enemy. Pray these national believers will be able to stand firm as each and their respective families are persecuted and face spiritual warfare like never before.

Ramadan and a Muslim lady called Sarah*

Ramadan and a Muslim lady called Sarah*


Sarah* is a 31 year old Muslim lady! She loves life, loves family, but longs to be a mother. She has tried over and over to have a child, but every time miscarries and has lost hope. An IMB missionary woman met her in 2012 and they soon became good friends. Since then many have heard about Sarah* and have prayed for her to know the true God, Jesus Christ, and for her to conceive and have a child. Sarah* has been given an Urdu Bible (Urdu is her heart language), and has begun to read it for herself.

This is the month of Ramadan and Sarah* is devoted to seeking Allah for his blessing and favor on her. Will you join others in praying that Sarah* would have an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ during this time? Many Muslims have dreams or visions during this season. Will you join in and pray for her to have a dream or encounter with the ‘Man in white’, and for her to realize that Jesus is the one true God. Pray also for the miracle of conception; that if God chooses to bless Sarah* with a child that she would then turn to Him for salvation.

We Are the Fragrance of Christ

We Are the Fragrance of Christ

You may remember my previous stories of my sweet Muslim friend “S”?  (From now on I’m going to call her Sarah*).  You may remember that I have known Sarah for almost 5 years now, and we have only grown closer and closer as friends.  Just recently I met her again for our regular coffee date.  She seems to love these appointments as it gives her some freedom from being in her house, and allows her some independent time away from her normal Muslim culture.

You see, I am her only Christian friend.  I sometimes marvel at that fact, and just wonder what it’s going to take to bring this devout Muslim lady over into the Kingdom of Christ?  Each time before I meet with her, my husband and I pray that God would work in our conversation somehow, allowing me an opportunity to share Jesus with her.  She talks openly and freely about being a Muslim, and she allows me the freedom to talk about my faith, but for the most part we mostly just talk about “life”.  We have so much in common as ladies, and both of us enjoy talking about our homes, health, husbands, travels, female issues, and really the list is endless.  She trusts me implicitly with her life stories, and it’s really amazing that she has such trust in me at all.

When I haven’t seen her in a while, due to travel or meetings, she’ll write me and say “I miss u!”.  Yes, that’s exactly how she writes it!  For some reason, and it must only be the Lord, she just loves being in my presence.

On my most recent  visit with Sarah this week she gave me a gorgeous bottle of perfume.  This is now the second time she has given me perfume as a gift!  She is extremely generous, and I feel guilty most times as I so rarely give her anything as a gift.  I’m good at baking cakes etc., so I have found that this is one way I can give her something from my heart.  But, back to the perfume.  I now have two bottles of perfume from Sarah!  Could it be that  I am “the fragrance of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:15) to her?  Now each morning when I spray her beautiful scent on my body, the Lord reminds me to pray for Sarah, and for her to be drawn into His kingdom.  God’s Word is true.  I AM the fragrance of Christ to her, and God will draw her unto Himself at His perfect time.  But we must pray!

Will you join me in this prayer?  Yes…”we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.” 2 Corinthians 2:15-16

A GARDEN-WORKER FINDS JESUS (Part 2)

A GARDEN-WORKER FINDS JESUS (Part 2)

Remember the story of our Vincent*, and how God saved him from a life of Hinduism to one of freedom in Christ? Well we wanted to briefly update you on Vincent’s walk with the Lord since becoming a follower of Christ, and how you can continue to pray for him.

These past 2 months have not been easy for Vincent*. No one in his family is happy about his new commitment to Christ. He is daily studying God’s Word, praying, meeting with Fred, obeying what God shows him, but he’s also experiencing rejection and difficulties.

However, this past week we were incredibly proud of Vincent* as he obeyed the Lord in the waters of baptism. He had every reason NOT to be baptized on this particular day. He had woken-up earlier that morning with very high fever, headaches, achy joints, chronic coughing, and just feeling terrible. But he also knew that this was the day that he had committed himself to take the next step of obedience and be baptized. So here he came to our house as planned, and knocked on our door saying he was ready to go to the ocean and be baptized. Fred and I took one look at him and questioned him if he was sure he wanted to do it today? We didn’t want to discourage him, but he looked terrible. His eyes were swollen and red, his face puffy, his coughing relentless, and we just knew he felt awful. But he said: “Yes…I must do it today!”

Fred sat together with Vincent* in our living room, and walked him through all the examples in the book of Acts of all those who immediately followed the Lord in baptism. Fred reminded and encouraged Vincent that his job was only to obey God’s Word. We then sat together with Vincent* and taught him the song: “I have decided to follow Jesus”, and sang it together and then prayed with him. One of the verses in the song says: “If none go with me, I still will follow, No turning back, No turning back”, and we encouraged Vincent* that his job was to follow and obey God even when none go with him.

Will you pray for Vincent*, and for those Hindu followers of Christ who live with us on our island? Pray that the Lord would use them mightily to reach their households, and villages for God’s kingdom. Pray for them as they suffer persecution and rejection. Please pray that much fruit would come from their obedience to God.
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*Pseudonym

Hearing From The Father

Hearing From The Father

The Father’s Heart

Christ loves the church so much and gave Himself up for her. As we obey His command to go and make disciples, we want churches to be planted all across the countries of the Ocean2Ocean Cluster, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean. Several of our personnel from different countries will be attending a church planting training to learn effective ways to multiple disciples and churches. In addition, several of our personnel will be going to teach at this same training. “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 64:4 Pray that as we come together for training God will speak through the trainers, that all those learning will hear from the Father and know His Heart, that each of us will be challenged daily be obedient disciples.

Almost Persuaded?

Almost Persuaded?

Toma has heard the good news. He must now decide whether he will walk the Jesus Road. His parents and grandparents think that Jesus is just a prophet. His sisters and their husbands believe He is Messiah. Please pray for Toma as he considers the cost his decision will make. Will Toma be almost persuaded or will he give his life to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

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Vanilla at Christmas

Vanilla at Christmas

If you use real vanilla this Christmas season, chances are that it was grown in the SAVA region of Madagascar, hand-pollinated by the Betsimisaraka people group. Will you pray for them? They primarily practice Ethnic religion,

Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth. Psalms 57:5

Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth. Psalms 57:5

which is deeply rooted in a their ethnic identity and conversion essentially equates to cultural assimilation. They live in northeastern Madagascar, an area known to produce the majority of the world’s vanilla. Other important crops to these subsistence farmers are coconuts and rice.

1) Please pray for a small group of believers that continues to meet in the town of Sambava. These men continue to meet to encourage each other and share in God’s Word. Pray that God would continue to work through this small group to reach the Betsimisaraka peoples.

2) Pray for the Betsimisaraka people to be willing and able to turn away from the chains of their ethnic religion even as they may face opposition from their community.

3) Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the SAVA region to live among and minister to the Betsimisaraka peoples.

Hair, Nails, and Jesus (Part 2)

Hair, Nails, and Jesus (Part 2)

Remember the story of Brenda, my Hindu friend, which I shared on October 8th?  She is the lady at my hair salon in which I have been building a relationship with, and for whom I pray daily that she’d become a follower of Christ.  I went back to see her a few days ago, hoping to share God’s story, the good news of the gospel with her.  I had shared in my previous post that I felt she was “softening” spiritually, and that maybe this visit she would be ready to hear about Jesus

One of the things we have learned from our T4T teachings is that the Gospel (God’s story) is the “hook”, and our testimony, or “Amazing Story” is the the “bait on the hook”.  So just like when a fisherman goes to fish, he uses the bait on the hook to catch fish, so we, too, as “fisherman” use our testimony and the Gospel to catch hungry “fish”.

So back to Brenda.  On this day Brenda was not a hungry fish.  I entered the salon with expectancy and with the readiness to share more with Brenda, but it was not to be on this day.  She was agitated and not in a right frame of mind due to some over-bookings in the salon.  She was frustrated and angry that her coworkers had double booked her, and that I had come at a busy time.  I could sense that to push Jesus on her at this time would only hinder her from ever wanting to hear more.  I chose to overlook her agitation towards me on this day, and instead chose to show love and grace.  Even though she was pretty rude in her behavior, I showed kindness and love, and told her I would pray for her in her difficulties at work.  She then softened towards me, and thanked me for not being upset that she couldn’t give me the time that she normally would have given me.

It’s a reminder to me that we must be sensitive to God’s timing with individuals.  God is not a God of haste, and He will prepare Brenda’s heart for His story as we pray for her and those like her.  Also, Satan hates it when we pray, and hates it when we visit our ‘lost’ friends, so he will try to disrupt these appointments.  We should not be surprised when Satan messes with our plans.  Please continue to pray for Brenda, and for all the Hindus on the island, that the Lord would draw them unto Himself.