Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Progress

Well, the last two weeks have been busy ones. I was in Latham, Illinois on Sunday, October 20th. I visited this church soon after I started deputation, so it was a blessing to return and see people that I already knew. Then this past weekend, I spent Saturday and Sunday in North Liberty, Indiana. I spoke for a kids' harvest rally on Saturday evening. The Lord worked and three kids went out to talk to someone about salvation. Then I had a part in both services on Sunday.

My support continues to climb. With the addition of another church and another individual (actually a couple), I am at 94%. The increase is encouraging as it helps confirm to me the Lord's direction and blessing.

Things are falling into place in other areas as well. Friday will be my last day at work. My church has scheduled my commissioning service for 2pm on Saturday, December 6th. I will then leave for South Carolina on the following Monday and Tuesday to spend the remaining weeks with my dad. I have tickets to fly out of Atlanta on the evening of Saturday, January 3rd.

Please continue to pray that I will stay focused and accomplish everything I need to in the weeks ahead.

Monday, October 13, 2008

On the Way!

A lot has happened in the last week or so. First, I added another church to bring me up to 89%. Then, Dad suggested I speak with the deputation director at my mission board to see what I should be doing when as my support level climbs. When I told him where I was at (that I am expecting another church to begin supporting me this month and at least two other churches are considering support), he said I should go ahead and begin making plans to leave! Yippee!

It is incredibly exciting and incredibly terrifying all at once. When I think of all that needs to be done in the next three months, it is a bit overwhelming. I gave my boss notice that I will be quitting work effective the end of this month. (My job has been incredibly flexible, allowing me to continue working while being gone for days and weeks at a stretch.) That will give me November to pack and get rid of things. My church will have a commissioning service for me in mid December. Then I will go to South Carolina to spend Christmas with my dad. Lord willing, I will fly out of Atlanta on Saturday, January 3rd and arrive in Papua New Guinea on Monday, January 5th.

Please pray that the Lord will superintend in all the details of the next several weeks, and also that He will bring in the remainder of my support. I still can't believe that the goal is actually in sight!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Victory Won

A lot has happened over the last couple of weeks, but I haven't managed to take time to write it all down. I have had several deputation meetings in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin that all seemed to go well. Once again the Lord gave safe journeys and kind people to help out along the way. My support has gone up a bit again. I am now at 87.5%. Just another step closer to the goal! Tomorrow I will head to Pekin, IL for a missions conference at Faith Baptist Church. They are already supporters, so I am looking forward to being with them again.

On a bit more personal note though, the Lord has been doing some amazing things in my life. I had been rather discouraged/frustrated regarding my effectiveness as a soulwinner. I have witnessed faithfully for years, but had never led anyone to the Lord outside of dealing with those that came forward at a church service. I had been told that the results didn't really matter, leave that to the Lord, He just wants you to be faithful. But I couldn't reconcile that advice with clear statements in God's Word such as "the harvest truly is plenteous" and "I have chosen you and ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit." Here I was preparing to leave for the mission field, but I wasn't seeing God use me to see souls saved here.

I made plans to attend a soulwinning seminar in Wisconsin in mid-September, sort of as a last ditch effort to get some insight on all this. The week before the seminar, the Lord really dealt with me about some areas in my life that I had been excusing/pushing under the carpet. They were nothing major (hence the excuses), but they were displeasing the Lord and hindering His blessing. I got those things cleared up and allowed the Lord to "clean house" so to speak. That was Saturday night. The next morning I was at my home church and a lady came forward for salvation. I dealt with her using the Romans Road method. In the course of our discussion, I showed her Romans 10:13 "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." I told her that she could plug her name into that verse, and that if she called upon the Lord, she would be saved. I fully believed that the verse meant what it said and expected her to as well. Later that week, I realized that just as I took that verse at face value and depended on it for my eternal security, I could depend on the other statements of the Word as well. That meant that the fields arewhite to harvest, whether they look that way to me or not.

All this enabled me to head to the soulwinning seminar with an air of anticipation, really expecting God to do something special. The seminar was Netcasters, taught by John Van Gelderen and hosted at Falls Baptist Church in Wisconsin. That week I learned a good method for giving the gospel, but more importantly I learned that I could depend on the power of the Holy Spirit (not anything in me) and expect Him to work through me in the hearts of those I spoke to. The Lord used me to lead two girls to the Lord that week and allowed me to have other conversations where He was clearly working. It wasn't a matter of trying to push people into getting saved or just having them pray a prayer, but clearly explaining the gospel and allowing the Holy Spirit to convict them and bring them to a point of decision.

I came home excited about the work God wants to do and will do through anyone who is surrendered to and depending on Him. I have been out witnessing in parks and neighborhoods several times in the weeks since and have continued to see God at work. Today I got to lead a teenage girl to the Lord, the daughter of that lady who came forward in the church service. I am starting to see the people around me in a whole new light -- as souls in need of a Savior.

I know this has been a lengthy post, but I just wanted to share the incredible work that God is doing. I am so thankful for the promise of Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."