Friday, 30 October 2009

Thanks Dad and Mom...

Mom and Dad forwarded this by email's a great picture!

A father wanted to read a magazine but was being bothered by his little girl, Shelby.. She wanted to know what the United States looked like. Finally, he tore a sheet out of his new magazine on which was printed the map of the country. Tearing it into small pieces, he gave it to Shelby and said, 'Go into the other room and see if you can put this together. This will show you our whole country today..'

After a few minutes, Shelby returned and handed him the map, correctly fitted and taped together. The father was surprised and asked how she had finished so quickly. 'Oh,' she said, 'on the other side of the paper is a picture of Jesus. When I got all of Jesus back where He belonged, then our country just came together..'

Friday, 23 October 2009

How Many Do You Know?

Almost every day we meet people who have never met even one Christian.  What if everyone in the world could know just one true follower of Jesus Christ?

Last year we met a man in Cambodia who had a profound impact on my thinking! (God does that when I'm listening. I am so glad.) A survivor of the rampage of Pol Pot's cadres, he is probably one of the few Christian workers to emerge from those 4 bloody years of Cambodia's recent insane past. We sought him out---partially in awe of how the Lord had orchestrated his escape—but mostly because of the way the LORD seems to be using him to spread the good news throughout even the most unreached parts and peoples of Cambodia. He has teams in 40 villages, their Sunday services in Phnom Penh are packed and they are reaching some in the whole strata of society—rich and poor, royalty and peasant alike. Frankly, it's amazing.

We all wanted to know what his vision was for reaching Cambodia and his strategy for seeing it realized. I wanted to know. I wanted to hear it from his own lips. So, PM asked. The words flowed effortlessly from his heart, having so obviously been spoken countless times at the throne before the LORD. "Oh, that every Cambodian could know just one Christian." That was it.

As he continued, he talked about the strategy.  He mentioned the fact that previously Christianity had been known to Cambodians as the "poor man's religion". Not for the educated. Not for those with other alternatives… with other options. The pre-Khmer Rouge missionaries had indeed reached the children… the widows… generally the poor.

After the fall of Pol Pot and the reconstruction of the nation, Pastor Vek had returned to Cambodia with confidence and resolve that the message of the Gospel was for all mankind, not just select pockets of society. He took steps to get it to them where they were. He sent it to them by entering into their lives—right where they were. Into all the board rooms, schools, restaurants, homes, hospitals, garment factories, and campuses within his reach they went. His vision he said was simple—to make a way, "That every Cambodian could know a Christian."

"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"   (Romans 10:14-15)

That was it? Yes, that was it! Expectations were not being met here--I was anciticipating something, well... more! bigger! expensive?… Khmer Rouge miracle survivor, leader of one of the largest and most successful missions movements in the post-Pol Pot era, highly respected throughout many nations, biography translated into many languages and a even a Christian bestseller in the U.S.A. And that was it. "Oh, that every Cambodian could know just one Christian." Then the Spirit began to work and I thought… of course… that's it …

So tell me, how many do you know? How many know you?

Let's think about it.

"Oh that every living person on planet earth could know just one Christian… know one possessor of the living truth. "

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

J Team

We are having some VISA problems. Please pray with us that the LORD will make the way clear.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

"that all the people might know..."

"That all the people of the world might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty..."
Joshua 4:24a

Been a lot of earthquakes lately.  Natural disasters.  Shocking tragedies.  I have stopped wondering "if" there will be another big tsunami and started to wonder "when."  It's not despair of the times at all though--it's understanding them.  Christ's return is imminent--the Scripture says the time of His coming is drawing near, any moment according the PM's new book, Ready For His Return.  And there are things that are to accompany His return--signs. We've got those too--undeniably.  Seeing them, I can't help but ask,

"More time LORD, please, just a little more time.  We've only just arrived in Java.  The work has barely begun.  I know others have been here sowing and reaping for many years, but the harvest field you've given to us is barely touched!  Please LORD< give us labourers and time... time to bring in the harvest.

"Might all the people of the world know the hand of the LORD.  I felt your hand this morning in my time alone with you.  You removed my fear, unforgiveness, and guilt.  Your mighty hand gave strength, hope and companionship.  Oh LORD, might all the people of the world know the hand of the LORD, this it is mighty?"

Friday, 2 October 2009

Same Message, New Shoes

I've thought a lot about that first great missionary movement. You know them. We usually refer to them simply as "the Moravians." They loved the LORD Jesus extravagantly and they had a consuming passion for lost souls. Bourne out of a move of the Spirit, over a period of 100 years the Moravians sent out many, many missionaries, one in eight members went to the far corners of the world. What really has me fascinated and humbled is the fact that the first two of them sold themselves into slavery to reach a certain people group which was otherwise beyond the reach of the Gospel message. This people group had no right of legal process—in fact, no personal rights at all! Nothing belonged to them—not their time, not their choices, not even their own bodies. Every day was a horror, not knowing if the caprices of their lords would lead finally to death today. You could say, they were in an "extremely restricted access nation."

Those were the two young men, Moravians, who sold themselves into slavery to go to the island of St. Thomas to win the slaves to the Lord Jesus Christ. As their boat moved away, the last words the two young men cried out to their fellow believers who were staying at home were beautiful words: "May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!" It was the foundation of their mission that they were crying out of their hearts as they waved good-bye to people they never saw again-on earth! (See Revelation 5:5-10, 7:9,10.) Wow!

Have you noticed we "talk" a lot about what other people did in the past? Read and write books about them, celebrate anniversaries, use them as illustrations for life? We talk about how we admire them. How we look up to them for their ingenuity, creativity, resolve. I do! It's easy. They're dead. (It's the living ingenious, creative and resolved ones we have trouble accepting! :) Seriously, I love to read biographies and learn hard bought, real life lessons from those who have gone before me! I believe it would be foolish not to! In doing so though, I fear we don't' always learn the right lessons!

For instance… some might say, "Yeah that's a great story, but Stan Dale was reckless, that's why he was martyred!" Or, "Just look at Adonirom Judson! Great work but he wore out 3 wives doing it! " I've even heard it said, "What was Rosalind Goforth thinking? How many miscarriages was it all together?" What about the thousands martyred in China in the summer of 1906. They had followed the call of Hudson Taylor or were Chinese converts. Singles and marrieds of all ages—they ran orphan homes, were roving evangelists, preachers, pastors, Bible women. They taught English, discipled, translated for government officials—mixed into the world in which they lived and impacted every strata of society. But then, as you know, the hand of violence swiftly fell and today we read the stories. Some say, "What were their parents thinking allowing their daughters to go to such a place and such a fate?" But aren't these the wrong questions?

If we believe we are left on earth for God's eternal purposes-slaves bought with a price...
If we believe He has a plan...
If we believe God never wastes anything in His purpose and plan then…

Shouldn't the questions be…     

"LORD, won't you show me your purpose,
show me and my family your plan for our lives too?"

"And even if I don't understand it LORD or see the end from here, will you give me and my family—all those who love me and love You-- the grace to see it through to your purpose?"

The church of China, more than a million strong, was borne out of the blood of the martyrs. Those daughters will stand with Stephen. They'll stand with Peter, with Paul. Stan Dale was a "hard to get along with, determined, pioneer" who God made that way specially so that he stood alone with Christ on the day of his reckoning. Thousands will stand with him one day-drawn to Christ by his undeniable resolve and ultimate sacrifice.

Today if you are remembering those from the past, may I suggest we think of the Moravians? Who, knowing already that they were slaves bought with a price, without any rights of their own-even over their own bodies, allowed themselves to be sold again for the cause of Christ—one after another—year after year. Faith walking, I want to remember that.

An uncertain future for the Christian
 just doesn't exist.

Some Stuff To Read Regarding "Same Message, New Shoes"

Some Stuff to Read:

China's Book of Martyrs: Fire & Blood, By Paul Hattaway

Lords of the Earth, By Don Richardson
(Read about Stan Dale)

A Brief Article on the Moravians and Count Von Zinzendorf