Tuesday, November 29, 2011

You must do it! You cannot hold back. You have enjoyed yourself in Christianity long enough. You have had pleasant feelings, pleasant songs, pleasant meetings, pleasant prospects. There has been much of human happiness, much clapping of hands and shouting of praises -- very much of heaven on earth. 

Now then, go to God and tell Him you are prepared as much as necessary to turn your back upon it all, and that you are willing to spend the rest of your days struggling in the midst of these perishing multitudes, whatever it may cost you.

- William Booth -

Monday, November 28, 2011

"He never ceases to go after ONE."

Meet Leah, a dear sister who loves the Lord and is passionate about making Him known among the nations. She has just returned from a short-term trip to Zambia. She has been sending out email updates over the course of her time there. Below you will find the final email she sent out about  what the Lord has revealed to her about Himself in a deeper way while there. I was so blessed by it, the richness of His love was so potent, and the truth He was pleased to reveal was so beautiful that I asked Leah if I could share it here.
Lord, I pray that those who will read this tonight and those who will stumble upon this post in the days and years to come will be overwhelmed with the truth you have revealed about Yourself through Leah's heart and words. I love You, Lord -- a proof that You loved me first. Be glorified! Amen.

Hello all my wonderful friends and family!
                     I think it's interesting that in my last post I wrote to you, "He never ceases to go after ONE". It seems that God would put this claim to the test, "Yes, this is My heart, and are you willing to forsake all even if it means you only reach ONE?"
         Our AMT team got dropped off in the bush with hearts full of expectation. It was our final expedition concluding our AMT time in Zambia. I think it’s almost comical, because the heart of man is so quick to look for numbers. I know that it’s easy for me to want to see the LORD do huge works in multitudes of people.  But God truly worked in me to give me His heart on this expedition.
         The location that we were ministering in was quite remote. We were in a central location to several villages and households surrounding us.  However, the places where the people lived were some distance away from where we were camping. We would have to walk for miles just to get to a couple of people. We tried holding a few larger meetings, and only two adults came. We even showed the Jesus film, and there were mostly children there and a few women came after the movie had already ended.
To the natural mind, this would almost seem like it wasn’t worth it. To the eye that looks at the things of the flesh, and the human understanding of success, it may have even looked like failure. However, this is not the heart of our God.
         My God loves so fiercely that He calls people from the other end of the world to walk in extreme heat (110 degrees F or higher) for miles (literally miles) to a little home tucked away in the middle of nowhere just so that ONE person can know that He loves them.
This trip was so profound because in a lot of ways it was so opposite of my human expectations. Yet it was so completely God’s perfect will. The individuals that we did have the privilege of reaching were such key instruments in God’s plan for that village. The times that we spent with the people were so rich and heavenly. When we talked with them, barriers fell to the ground and their hearts were open and bare before God.
         What I witnessed on this expedition was genuine Kingdom work. We didn’t just go into a place with a big show and then leave. There was lasting, eternal fruit harvested on this trip. There was Stanley and his wife Janet, who are so hungry to be strong in faith and desire to be used by God in their village. There was Martin and his grandfather who want to take a stand in their village for truth, righteousness, and wholehearted devotion to God. There was Gideon who was refreshed and encouraged to go even deeper with God, and to walk forward in boldness and power. Even our translators with us went so deep with God this week, and lasting changes were made in them. I saw steadfast, humble leaders raised up on this trip. These are the ones that are going to shake the nation of Zambia.
         You see, God compels us to go after just one person. He calls us to go to the ends of the earth even so that one can hear of His love. My heart can barely fathom this Love that He has. And it is this Love that changes the world.
         What's even more beautiful is that He loves each of us this way. No matter how we may try to run away, ignore, or take advantage of God's love... He still pursues us relentlessly! It's not a love based on circumstances, nor a love that's measured by physical blessings. It's a love that proved itself long ago, when Jesus Christ willingly gave His life that any who call upon Him might have Life... life everlasting and life abundant. It's a love that declares that no matter what you are going through, God wants to hold your heart, take your hand, and walk through it with you. It's a love that came down and tasted of the same suffering (and even greater suffering) as you may find yourself in even now. Because God, who so loved YOU did not choose to abide far off, but gave His very own life so that we could draw near to Him, and drink of His love freely. So that we can draw near to Him and find greater comfort than we've ever known by His love and presence.
         Emmanuel- it means God with us. He came once as a baby, He suffered once as a man, and He rose again the conquerer of death, the giver of Life and Love to ALL. And His heart is for YOU.
Merry Christmas!
Much Love,

To get to know Leah and read more words written from a heart full of the Lord, visit her blog!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Cement. It's usually not at the top of a Christmas list, but in sub-Saharan Africa, it's a generous gift. Cement is the main component of most of our water and sanitation projects. In many of our communities, it's also one of the most expensive pieces of these projects. Although not glamorous, this gift will help transform lives for our neighbors in Africa."

On "World Toilet Day" Blood:Water Mission posted on Facebook, "Billions lack one & everyone deserves a safe place to go! In fact no invention has saved more lives. Proper sanitation is crucial for preventing water-related diseases, the very ones that cost the life of a child every 20 Seconds!"

"As we give thanks this week, 
let's remember those around the world with little food 
but much potential."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Christmas Gifts for Dalits

Did you know that when you buy a gift through the GFA Christmas Catalog that you are buying it for a Dalit (also known as an Untouchable) in India? These gifts mean more than you can imagine. They show worth, give hope, and share Christ's love with people who are treated as subhuman by everyone around them. In the words of TobyMac, "This year, reach out and love someday, y'all!"

Buy gifts in honor of your loved ones and give them a card that tells them all about it!

Decide as a family to spend less on gifts and shop in the GFA Christmas Catalog together!

There are gifts in every price range and 100% of your purchase goes to the mission field!

To order a free Gift Catalog click here. To look through the online one click here. To download a PDF catalog click here and scroll down. 
[All images seen above are from the PDF Christmas Catalog]

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Do you remember Rachel Joy Scott?

Do you remember Columbine?

Do you know the story behind it all? Do you know how the Lord was not only present that day but was at work preparing the lives of the martyrs long before the day arrived? If you have a Netflix account I highly recommend watching "the Untold Stories of Columbine" -- it is an instant view. Here's the link.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Be Aware: Statistics are not as daunting as they appear

New York City Population is 8,008,278

"UNICEF estimates that one in ten Ethiopian children, about 4.6 million, are orphans."  Okay, so picture half the population of New York City as orphans. A little overwhelming, but it seems like we could pull together and help all of them, after all there would be one person for every orphan.

Now try this one on for size: "there are currently an estimated 35 million orphans and 40 million street children in India." So, multiply the entire population of New York City by about nine and you have the number of orphaned or vulnerable children in India alone. 

That is a little more overwhelming... and what about the 50million orphans in China?

307,006,550. The estimated population of America, 76% of which identify themselves as Christians, mostly within Protestant and Catholic denominations. 230,254,913 people in our country alone that claim to know the Lord. 

   75million India
   50million China
   4.5million Ethiopia
   2.3million Kenya
   2million Udanga
   1million Gahna
   1million Rwanda
   36,000 Costa Rica
   150,000 ElSalvador
   180,000 Honduras
   100,000 Ukraine
   210,000 Ecuador
   490,000 Haiti
  136,966,000 orphans and vulnerable children
[Divide that total by the estimated number of Christians in the U.S. and you get 1.68]

If ALL of us just cared for ONE or TWO... that's all it would take. 
That's not so overwhelming now, is it? :)
Adopt ONE [abandoned, orphaned, alone, overlooked, unwanted] child into your prayers, into your love, into your family.

Adopt ONE poor family -- whose children will increase the orphan statistic if the parents can't find work, can't provide food, are killed or die from a preventable disease, lack of water, lack of food or AIDS -- into your prayers, into your love, into your family. 

We have Christian brothers and sisters the world over that we ought to be coming alongside of, sharing what we have in abundance to provide for their needs and vice versa. There are orphans and widows around the world whose husbands and fathers were pastors, missionaries or evangelists until they were martyred. We are the auntie's and uncle's of those children, the brothers and sisters of those men and women. 

Just start with the ONE God shows you to start with.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All I really want for Christmas...

All I really want for Christmas is...

* For every boy to grow into a man of God and to lay down his life daily for those around him, in his family, the Church, those in need and those who have never heard of his King. That he would die to himself, follow the narrow way and not the pattern of this world in his work and relationships and in the winning and treasuring of his future wife's heart.
* For every Daddy in the world to be the spiritual head of his home, loveeee his children and train them up in the fear of the Lord, and set an example for his children in his marriage to their Mommy of how to serve, honor, treasure and love as Christ does His Bride.
* For every girl to know intimately the One who calls her His beloved, to get totally wrapped up in Him during singleness, to set herself apart for her future husband before she ever meets him and make the pursuit of her Lord and not the pursuit of a earthly lover her heart's desire. To pour her life out for her King through serving and loving her family, the Church, her husband -- one day, those in need, and those who have never heard of her King.
* For every Mommy to be a picture of surrender, joyful service, steady trust and undying love for the Lord... that she would be a worthy example to her little ones and a heavenly blessing to her spouse all the days of his life, and that she would die daily to herself to love and raise all the children the Lord gives her.
* For every child alone, abandoned, forgotten, unwanted, discarded, orphaned, sold, enslaved, abused, and harassed by the Enemy to know the freedom that comes through the One who is with them wherever they go, will never leave or forsake them, knows everything about them and hears every little prayer they utter, died to pay the price of atonement for their filthy souls that they might draw near to the Father, will go to whatever length (no matter how great) to find and gather them under His wing, is ready and willing to adopt them as His own, purchases them from slavery to set them free, jealously guards and lovingly chastises His own, and is far greater and more powerful than the prince of the earth.
* For truth, love and hope to shine far and wide, piercing the deepest, blackest corners of the world -- for the glory of the Worthy One.
* For His kingdom to come in my life (redemption), in the Church (revival), in the world.
* For it to be evident in my life and countenance Who my soul loves.
* For the King to return.

But if just ONE boy grows into a man of God and goes on to live for Him...
if just ONE daddy rises up and is all that the Lord intended a husband and father to be to his wife and children...
if just ONE girl becomes her Beloved's and her life bears much fruit...
if just ONE mommy sets a heavenly example of what a wife and mother was designed by God to be...
if just ONE child is scooped up into the loving embrace of his Father for the first time in his life...
if the light penetrates just ONE little life in one little corner of this dark world...
if just ONE is moved to love Him Whom my soul loves by encountering Him in me...
I would rejoice with all of heaven!

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Luke 15:4-7 

And like a child who asks for the things they desire, I will ask my Father for these, reminding Him of my wishes at every opportunity, until I receive them. Whatever I ask for in Jesus name [in accordance with His character and nature], believing, I will receive. And just as your neighbor, though tucked snug in bed for the night, will get up and give you what you need if you persist in asking, much more will my Father answer the wishes of my heart that are in alignment with the wishes of His heart. 

There are millions of children who just want love for Christmas, just want a Dad, a Mom, a big brother or sister...
So, here is to getting everything on your Christmas list from your Father who delights to give good and perfect gifts to His children! The Father of the fatherless is with them this Christmas and everyday of their lives.
Who will tell them this Good News?
Who will love them?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

One of His favorites

Katie's recent post is beautiful.

Its a really encouraging post in general...

if you've been following Katie's story its breathtaking.

Read it here.

Operation Christmas Child

Set-Apart Sisters

Ervina and Claudia,

You two inspire me -- not like heroes, more like kindred spirits. You cheer me on, by example, deeper into the Lord. You bless me by being living proof that lives are still beautifully renewed and indwelt by the Spirit of the Living God. Your love for the Father is evident in the way that you love each other and the love with which you speak of your family, it is evident in the way that you choose to take the opportunities given each day to lay your lives down in your hometown, it is evident in the way that you pour into the lives of the children around you -- at home and abroad. I thank my God for you both. I pray He will work the same humility in my heart and life that I so respect in yours.

Love and blessings from a sister-in-Him (the God of Justice),

{to read the blog Ervina and Claudia kept while in Cambo click here
Its so good it could be made into a book -- no joke.}