Tag Archives: Missionary

Change of Plans

Change of Plans

How often do plans get changed?
Why are we surprised?
Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Yet when it comes to plans any change can be so hard to accept. Recently, there was a bush trip planned. Brett and Katelyn were so excited to follow up with a village they had shared at previously. About two and a half hours into the trip, their car broke down. They wanted to press on but were advised to turn back so the car could be repaired and they could be safe. They obliged. But it wasn’t until they arrived in town after being towed in and got the news that the issue with the car was serious that they accepted the change and were thankful they’d turned back. The next day they got word that the national partner they were going to work with had a baby that morning. We don’t always know why plans change, but we can rest assured that God is not surprised. His ways are higher than our ways. May we trust him at all times in all ways!

What Next

What Next

Making disciples is a journey. It takes each believer along a learning curve that is continually ebbing, flowing and growing. The vastness of strategies, ideas, trainings and books that offer suggestions for what’s best can be overwhelming. In the midst of all these amazing ideas and tools, one truth remains, the plumb line, the best strategy, the Word of God. As missionaries and national partners go out proclaiming the gospel and seeking to make disciples it’s important to take many things into consideration including context, reproducibility, longevity and end goal. It’s also just as important to know “what’s next”. Each time a new relationship is formed or a group meets, the missionary or national partner, every believer, should ask themselves, “what’s next?”
In Fort Dauphin and the surrounding bush villages much thought, discussion and planning has gone into this process of making disciples. There is continuing discussion on best practices and consideration for what needs to change. Two years ago a group consisting of the six leaders over Antandroy and Antanosy work met together. Recently, another group of leaders over these same two regions met. This time there were 30 leaders. The gospel is spreading. Disciples are making disciples. Workers and leaders alike are rising up. As you pray for this work to continue, don’t forget to ask yourself, “What’s Next?”

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.

Dream to See

Dream to See

A missionary couple had a dream to bring physical and spiritual sight to the lost. Over 20 years ago this dream was laid on their hearts and now the Lord is bringing it to fruition. For years now, John and Laurie have continued to wait on the Lord to show them where to go, what to do, and how to make His name known among the nations, particularly among the Antanosy people group in Madagascar.
Laurie eye exam1 The dream came true as Laurie followed the leading of the Lord to visit the eye clinic. She had been there before but the Lord told her to go back. The doctor wasn’t there this time but she visited with the director. The director showed her around and Laurie was amazed at the equipment and prescription glasses available, but none of these resources were being used! After a few visits to the eye clinic and conversations with the doctor an arrangement was made. Laurie would work for free. The clinic would offer their equipment for her to use for free. The patients would pay as they could to help support the costs of running the eye clinic. And the exciting part is John would come, tell stories from the Bible, share the love of Jesus and help the patients to know how to have spiritual sight along with their new found physical sight!
Laurie eye exam2
This new found sight is bringing smiles to the patients. Not only can they see and read, but they are being filled with love, peace and hope as this missionary couple fulfills the call God placed on their lives.

Pray this missionary couple and new believers from the eye clinic would be “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)

How Beautiful are the Feet

How Beautiful are the Feet

I love Namibians!  I wish that I could write that statement in such a way that you could truly see all of the emotions that these words evoke in me. Because I immensely love Namibians, I long for all to personally understand and experience Romans 10:9 which says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  We are thrilled to see Namibian believers being trained and going out to share the good news of Jesus with others, but many people die every day without ever being told about Jesus.

We read in Romans that there is an urgent need for sending people with the good news of Jesus to those who do not yet know Him.  “Sending” involves prayer, funding, and those willing to go.  I love Namibians! Please ask God to show you your part in getting the good news of Jesus to each one of them.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they havBe not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:14-15

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they havBe not heard? And how can they hear withouč someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15

 

Persecuted…

Persecuted…

Nik and Ruth Ripken, veteran missionaries of more than 30 years, have been challenged by the realities of persecution which millions of Christian suffer daily.  They will be visiting South Africa in October to share their ministry experience in some of the most persecuted areas of the world.  Please pray as they speak in several different churches around the country.  The Strandfontein Baptist  Church in Cape Town will host them on 18 October.  Ask the Father to stir the hearts of those who attend to have their hearts broken over persecuted Christians and learn to reach out to those who don’t know Him.

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Call to Missions

Call to Missions

A friend of mine recently told me that she couldn’t separate her call to Christ from her call to missions. She was only five years old when she made that personal decision to follow Christ and it transformed her life forever. Now she has served as a missionary more than half of her life. She’s such an example of obedience to Christ. The status quo support of missions isn’t enough to reach all who are crying out to hear about Jesus. The status quo way of doing missions isn’t enough to reach all who are crying out to hear about Jesus. The status quo method of sending isn’t enough to reach all who are crying out to hear about Jesus. Programs, special events, methods, and just sending people isn’t enough to reach all who are crying to hear about Jesus. Words aren’t enough and it is time for action. Would you pray and ask God to revolutionize your life and my life in how we can be used right where we are and where He desires for us to be tomorrow? Let’s seek His will, His ways, and His power to complete a seemingly impossible task. Many are still dying without knowledge or hope of their future. Although the Lord is moving in miraculous ways among the Antandroy and Antanosy people there are still so many who have not heard the truth of Christ. Pray for national workers to put their plows to the field and catch the vision of multiplying themselves as they testify of what God has done in their lives and as they train trainers.
tandroyvillagepeople

Embrace

Embrace

CPM Training Prayer Prompt #13

13. – Lord, prepare my heart to hear from You about what You want to do in my life and in my ministry. Prepare me not to cling to traditions of the past and present. Instead prepare me to have an open heart which accepts and embraces any changes You want for my life and ministry.

Prepare me to embrace!

Prepare me to embrace!

12. -God, we pray for health! This training is long – a jam-packed two weeks – we can’t lag behind, physically or spiritually. Pray against spiritual oppression!

11. “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” 2 Chron. 16:9  Pray for the hearts of those coming to the training to be fully committed. Pray for safety for those that are traveling, and safety for the those that are remaining at home.

10. – Oh Sovereign and Holy Lord, cleanse us from anything that is keeping us from abiding in You. We want to walk forth in the fear of the Lord. Pray 2 Corinthians 7:1 “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God that this spirit may be found in you.”

9. – Heavenly Father, we cry out for Your salvation to be boldly proclaimed! We pray that You will use this training to save many! We pray for an abundant and reckless God-glorifying sharing of the Gospel across the Ocean2Ocean Cluster.

8. – Lord, let the hearts of the Ocean2Ocean personnel be fully Yours, honest and humble. Pray 1 Kings 8:58,60 “that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances, which He commanded our fathers… so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no one else.”

7. –  Oh God, we pray that each of us would so abide in Christ and His Word, that we are totally dependent on Him in faith to carry out our ministry.

6. –  Sovereign Lord, we pray that each of us would live in the anticipation of You raising up among our people groups persons who will multiply the gospel thirty, sixty, and even one hundred times.

5. -Heavenly Father, we pray that application of the material will be a priority for all of us as we seek to apply it and agree with your process for church planting.  Help us as life and daily schedules will have to be adjusted and priorities will have to change. Enable national partners to contextualize the material so that it will be applied effectively and widely.

4. –  Almighty God, we pray that You would open our eyes and hearts to prepare us to implement ways of reaching those to whom you called us to witness and disciple.

3. Lord, we pray that each of us will live in anticipation of an Acts type movement within our cluster.  A unified, spirit empowered and emboldened walk and ministry, which ultimately brings glory to You and the salvation of many souls.

2. Father, prepare our heart and mind for the material we will be learning.  We desire to be spiritually prepared so that we will be full of faith and of the Spirit.  Pray that we will be sponges ready to absorb ALL that God has for us.

1. Heavenly Father, we pray that our hearts will mirror your heart for the lost.  We pray that we will truly be broken for the lost as we seek ways to reach out to them.

Fully Yours

Fully Yours

DSCN5153CPM Training Prayer Prompt #8

8. – Lord, let the hearts of the Ocean2Ocean personnel be fully Yours, honest and humble. Pray 1 Kings 8:58,60 “that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances, which He commanded our fathers… so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no one else.”

7. –  Oh God, we pray that each of us would so abide in Christ and His Word, that we are totally dependent on Him in faith to carry out our ministry.

6. –  Sovereign Lord, we pray that each of us would live in the anticipation of You raising up among our people groups persons who will multiply the gospel thirty, sixty, and even one hundred times.

5. -Heavenly Father, we pray that application of the material will be a priority for all of us as we seek to apply it and agree with your process for church planting.  Help us as life and daily schedules will have to be adjusted and priorities will have to change. Enable national partners to contextualize the material so that it will be applied effectively and widely.

4. –  Almighty God, we pray that You would open our eyes and hearts to prepare us to implement ways of reaching those to whom you called us to witness and disciple.

3. Lord, we pray that each of us will live in anticipation of an Acts type movement within our cluster.  A unified, spirit empowered and emboldened walk and ministry, which ultimately brings glory to You and the salvation of many souls.

2. Father, prepare our heart and mind for the material we will be learning.  We desire to be spiritually prepared so that we will be full of faith and of the Spirit.  Pray that we will be sponges ready to absorb ALL that God has for us.

1. Heavenly Father, we pray that our hearts will mirror your heart for the lost.  We pray that we will truly be broken for the lost as we seek ways to reach out to them.

Raise Up

Raise Up

CPM Training Prayer Prompt #6

Please join us in praying strategically for two upcoming church planting movement trainings and for those who will be attending them.

6. –  Sovereign Lord, we pray that each of us would live in the anticipation of You raising up among our people groups persons who will multiply the gospel thirty, sixty, and even one hundred times.

"Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!" Mark 4:8

“Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Mark 4:8

5. -Heavenly Father, we pray that application of the material will be a priority for all of us as we seek to apply it and agree with your process for church planting.  Help us as life and daily schedules will have to be adjusted and priorities will have to change. Enable national partners to contextualize the material so that it will be applied effectively and widely.

4. –  Almighty God, we pray that You would open our eyes and hearts to prepare us to implement ways of reaching those to whom you called us to witness and disciple.

3. Lord, we pray that each of us will live in anticipation of an Acts type movement within our cluster.  A unified, spirit empowered and emboldened walk and ministry, which ultimately brings glory to You and the salvation of many souls.

2. Father, prepare our heart and mind for the material we will be learning.  We desire to be spiritually prepared so that we will be full of faith and of the Spirit.  Pray that we will be sponges ready to absorb ALL that God has for us.

1. Heavenly Father, we pray that our hearts will mirror your heart for the lost.  We pray that we will truly be broken for the lost as we seek ways to reach out to them.