Friday, May 22, 2009

Safely Home

Well, I am safely home after a very challenging mission trip. It was only 72
hours (leaving 8:30 am Wednesday and returning 9pm Friday), but it was
packed full. We were able to hold 3 Bible clubs and 5 preaching services. We
weren't able to go to all the places that we had hoped, but we were able to
give the gospel to numbers of people both through preaching and tracts. 3 of
the services were outside in the center of a village and 2 were in house
mans (sort of a community center/guest house). There were anywhere from 20
to 75 people present at anyone service. The Bible clubs ranged from around
20 to around 50 kids. It took about 7 hours to get there and about 9 to hike
back. (I think I was more tired on the way back:) It is basically 3500 feet
down to the river, than another 3500-4000 feet back up the other side. All
the villages here are built on top of mountain ridges. The nationals can
make the whole trip there and back in one day. (Yet another reason to train
the nationals to reach their own people:-)

It is an interesting thing. Somehow I think that we Americans have a mental
picture of third world countries that they are all pagans and that the
gospel will be completely new to them. But I am finding that is really not
the case. In most cases, they are just like people you try to witness to in
America. They go to church and believe in God, so they think that they are
all right. A good case in point is a lady named Rose that I spoke to on
Thursday morning. It was after one of the preaching services, so I asked her
if she was familiar with what had been preached and what she thought about
what she had heard. She said something like, Oh yes, I go to church. I asked
where she went to church and she said the Seventh Day Adventist church (a
group that believes you need to keep the Old Testament law, worships on
Saturday, doesn't eat pork, etc.). Knowing all this, I asked her what she
thought a person had to do to have eternal life. She said that they needed
to believe in Jesus as their Savior. I then asked if a person did that but
didn't worship on Saturday and live a good life would they still have
eternal life. She said definitely not. I then tried to explain to her that
she wasn't really trusting in Jesus to save her. She was trusting in Jesus
plus her good works, and that wasn't really trust at all. We were
interrupted then, but I walked away thinking how typical she is of the
people here. They are very appreciative of us and of our efforts to give
them gospel, they will listen attentively to preaching, but only the
illumination of the Holy Spirit will show them their true needs. Otherwise
they will continue to complacently think that they are doing okay because
they live a pretty good life. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will continue
to use the Word given in spoken and written form to bear fruit in the hearts
of the people of Elimbari.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mission Trip

I don't have too much to report from the past week. We have been busy
preparing for the upcoming mission trip, so I thought I'd give you a few
more details about that. There are 3 men going and 3-4 ladies, including me.
Basically, it breaks down to two preachers, a song leader, two-three
children's teachers, and one children's song leader. We plan to leave
Wednesday morning and hike to Elimbari, reaching the first area around
2-3pm. The ladies will then hold a children's Bible club. That evening we
will hold a service in the haus man (sort of the neighborhood community
center). We will sing a special as a group, one of us will give a testimony,
and one of the guys will preach. We will sleep in the haus man that night,
then leave around 8am for the next area. We will hold a service there with
the children being dismissed to a Bible club midway through the song
service. Then, we will hold a service/Bible club in the market of another
area over the noon hour and another in the afternoon. That evening
(Thursday) we are hoping to hold a service at a high school. Many of the
students live at the school and so will be there in the evening. We may also
hold a simultaneous or later service at another haus man. We will sleep at
the haus man on Thursday night, then go to another area early Friday morning
and hold a service/Bible club. Then we hope head to head home and get back
sometime Friday evening. If all goes as planned, we will have six preaching
services and five Bible clubs during the trip. We are praying that the Lord
would bless with a harvest of souls for His glory. If we do see a number of
people come to the Lord, we hope to send one of our preacher boys back every
week or two to disciple them. Please pray with us that the Lord will be at
work in the hearts of the people, bringing them to the services, giving them
a clear understanding of the gospel, and bringing them to the point of
convincement of the truth.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I have a definite praise to report this week. I think I mentioned that I
have been telling a missionary story to the students at our Christian school
every Tuesday. Last Tuesday was the last week of the particular story, so I
presented the Gospel very clearly. Then I invited anyone that had not yet
made that decision to talk to me or Tiffany (the other teacher) at break or
after school. I had really been praying that the Lord would work in hearts,
so I was thrilled but not surprised when one of the school girls came to me
later that day. They are all rather shy with us, so that took a lot of
courage for her to come talk to me about it. What a joy to go through the
gospel again with her in Pidgin. (I had spoken in English earlier as that is
supposed to be the national language and therefore used for education.) She
prayed a sweet prayer, giving herself to the Lord for whatever He would have
her to do. Please pray for Sanange's continued growth in the Lord.

It looks like a group from the church here will be taking a mission trip
next week to another village in our province, called Elimbari. Lord willing,
we will leave Wednesday morning (May 20th), hike to the village (about 7-8
hours), then hold preaching services and children's Bible clubs in 6
different neighborhoods starting Wednesdsay evening and continuing through
Friday. Then we hope to return home Friday afternoon/evening. Please pray
that the Lord will be working now in the hearts of the people in that
village and also that He will be preparing the hearts of our people who will
be ministering during the trip.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Heart Medicine

It's been a fairly uneventful week. Interestingly, I had a fairly large
group for clinic on Monday and Friday, but no one at all on Wednesday. We
were joking that I had cured the whole village, so there wasn't anyone to
come:-) Seriously though, some of the national believers say that everyone
is talking about the good medicine at the clinic. We are praying that when
they come for medicine for their bodies, the Lord will do a work in their
souls as well.

In recent days, we have several people acknowledge their need for salvation,
but they are unwilling to make a decision for one reason or another. Please
pray for Kelly, a middle-aged man in charge of the local government school,
and July, a teenage girl who cannot read or write. They are opposites in
many ways, but they both need to turn to the Lord in saving faith. Only the
Holy Spirit can accomplish in that their hearts. Please ask Him to do that
work which He came into the world to do (John 16:8).