Thursday, July 28, 2016

Don't Waste Your Accidents

Last week as I was pulling into a parking spot I turned too sharply, and my back tire cover broke the plastic on a pickup truck in the space next to me. Face palm. Due to various complications it cost not only the money for the tail light replacement, but multiple hours and meetings with the other party and the traffic police to figure out the solution.  I found myself frustrated and thinking that the problem could have been easily fixed in 15-20 minutes if I had my way.

While sitting with the other driver and the traffic officer in the station I told them that I was a missionary in the area. They asked the normal questions like how long have you been here and where have you gone. However, when we were almost done the officer asked me, “Since you are a missionary, do you have any words of wisdom from God to share with us?” I replied that I did and proceeded to share the gospel with them, which led to the officer asking 3 questions related to salvation that he had clearly been wondering about before. The next day we gave him a gospel tract and he sent me a friend request on Facebook.

1 Peter 3:15 says “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” God continues to teach me about this. I was frustrated over some lost time and money, which in the grand scheme mean nothing. He has greater and eternal purposes He wants to use us for.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ministry in the Past Months

It is God who saves, not us. It is God who leads us to the people who are ready to hear and accept.

Recently, we were able to spend some time with the different teams that we are supervising and join them in their ministry. In one barangay (village), I joined some of the team going house to house to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and inviting the people to accept the free gift of salvation that God offers to all people. At one house in particular, I was reminded about how God brings us to the right people who are ready to hear and accept the good news. We approached an older lady gardening outside of her house and she invited us in. She sat and listened for a short time while her husband came in from the back. Eventually, the older woman left and we ended up just talking with the old man. As our translator was continuing to share with him, he had tears in his eyes and by the end of the conversation, he wanted to put his faith and trust in Jesus to be his Savior. He prayed to confess his sin to the Lord and tell Jesus that he was putting his trust in Him for his salvation. At the end of our time with him, the old man had only one prayer request: that his family would also know Jesus as their Savior. I left that house encouraged. It is God who saves, not us. It is God who leads us to people who are ready to hear and accept.

Later that evening, we had Bible study with a woman and her daughter who are Christians. We studied about the parable of the sower in Mark 4. God reminded me through that passage that we need to continue to share with everyone because we do not know what kind of soil the seed in falling on when we share. Like with the old man earlier in the day, he seemed not interested at first, but eventually came to accept Jesus with tears in his eyes. It is not up to me to find good soil but to share with all people.

Our salvation in Jesus Christ is sure.

Joining another team in ministry, I shared with a younger woman in the national language, Tagalog. Thankfully, I had a translator with me to help with anything I could not express clearly. After sharing, I asked if she knew where she would go after she died – would she be in Heaven with Jesus or in Hell apart from God? She began to reply but stopped speaking as she began to cry. Her response was that she did not know where she would go because of her sin. She wanted to go to Heaven but was unsure if she could. I explained to her again that Jesus paid for all of her sin on the cross and by returning to life 3 days later, Jesus conquered death and gives eternal life for all who confess their sin to Him and trust in Him alone as their Savior. Our salvation in Jesus Christ is sure. Jesus says in John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” The genuine response from this woman gave me the desire to continue to share this. There are people who need to know that Jesus brings salvation and once they believe in Him, they have eternal life that cannot be taken from them. They can know they will be Heaven with Him.

Thank you for praying alongside of us as we and the teams have shared the Good News of Jesus. Continue to pray that the seeds that were sown will grow and those people who have accepted Jesus will continue to grow in their faith.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Sheep Without a Shepherd

We recently visited one of the Riverboat teams and were able to join them in ministry. One particular Bible study had multiple participants. We were meeting outside and by the time everyone was gathered and ready to begin, it was 2 hours past the scheduled starting time and it was starting to get dark outside.

The people listened intently and used flashlights to read their Bibles. We read the parable of the sower and explained the Gospel. The people shared their questions and we responded through a translator as best we could. The only known believer in the village shared passionately in their own language and many understood for the first time and others were assured in their salvation. 

As I sat there, God brought a verse to my mind. Mark 6:34 says "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things."

That night I was reminded that this is what anyone who is going to the unreached and hard to reach  is doing, just showing the way. God had already been working and the people were hungry and ready for the truth found in God's Word. They just needed someone to point them to it. His sheep know His voice and God will do the rest.


What have we been up to lately?

It's been some time since we've added pictures to our what have we been doing lately?

We have been traveling a lot! These past months have taken us to new islands in the Philippines as well as to new countries! American Nehemiah Teams is happening now and we have been busy traveling to visit the 4 teams to encourage them and join them in ministry. We have made new friends, both American and Filipino, and have had a good time getting to know them and hearing all that God is doing through them. Here are some random pictures...enjoy!

Visiting Elizabeth's parents (and pandas!) on mainland Asia

Monkeys love orange slices...who knew?!

Great photobomb Vincent...

Enjoying God's creation with NT 2016! Thankful for the short break before sending them back out for ministry.