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PO Box 178
Waleska, GA 30183
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Encouragement

Dominican Republic and New Mexico Missions Update

God truly blessed us during our mission trips to New Mexico and the Dominican Republic! Students were encouraged by witnessing God’s works and learned about ways the can be used by God in serving others.

Dominican Republic

We sent three young men – Micah, Munda and Yolian, – to the Dominican Republic to serve with a team from Georgia.  One of the young men on the Dominican Republic trip said, “Being in the Dominican Republic was an amazing experience, we worked on a house for a pastor while we were there.  Even though we worked in the heat all day it felt good to be able to contribute to the people of the Dominican Republic and spread God’s love.”   All men came back encouraged by the trip and are stepping into other opportunities to serve.

   

New Mexico

We took 7 youth to serve on an Indian Reservation in New Mexico.  Our team helped build a porch on the house where mission teams stay while serving on the Indian Reservation.  The team also assisted the kids camp for Native American children and helped feed the homeless.  Homelessness is widespread on and around the reservation.   Scott had the privileged of sharing in both a Navajo church and at the feeding of the homeless.   This was a growing experience for our team.  They said they loved serving others and enjoyed serving God by bringing smiles to peoples faces.  They look forward to next opportunity to serve.

 

     

Thanks for all your prayers and support!  See more photos on Facebook! (Facebook button on the left)

The Kingdom – Blessed are those…

Thoughts on The Kingdom in Matthew 5:3-11.

We at times have brokenness and hardship and mourning in our lives, but God does not keep us there.

When we are broken, we will belong to the Kingdom (5:3)

When we mourn, we will be comforted ((5:4)

When we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we will be filled (5:6)

When we have pure hearts, we will see God.  (5:8)

We can live in His Kingdom, be comforted and filled, and see Him.  And when we are broken, mourning and feeling spiritually bankrupt, God will again fill, comfort and heal.  We can live in fullness and comfort and healing.   That is what Jesus wanted – John 10:10.

When I mess up, I get broken.  When I have loss, I mourn.  When I am distant from God and don’t have a pure heart, I eventually get hungry enough to turn back to Him.  And I see Him.

Then there are ongoing qualities we can have – humbleness, mercy and peacemaking.    Micah 6:8 says that the Lord requires us to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

The humble will inherit the earth.  (5:5)

The merciful will be shown mercy (5:7)

The peace makers will see God (5:9)

We can be sure that when we are humble, merciful and peacemaking, God will fulfill His promises of giving us an inheritance and showing us mercy.  And we will see Him.

And when we are the children of God, regardless of how good we are, people won’t like us for our faith.  But we are blessed to be His children.  (5:11-12).

You are blessed…

May the Lord bless you and keep you and make is face shine upon you and be gracious to you.  May He turn His face toward you.  And give you His peace (Numbers 6:24-26)

Jesus First

Many years ago, when we were raising support to church plant in Kazakhstan, we were doing a presentation for a local church when one of the members asked, “Why?  Why go to Kazakhstan?  Why not just stay here and minister here?  There is plenty to do here.”  My response was simply, “Acts 4:12.”

Act 4:12 states, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

I still believe that.  Now more than ever…because His love and grace has been so life changing for me.

I believe Jesus is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Jesus.  Anyone who knows Jesus, knows the Father (John 14:6-7).  Since this is true, then we should share about Jesus has much as we can.

We are commanded to love God and love our neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39).  We are taught that pure religion is caring for those in distress (James 1:27).  Jesus taught and modeled love, compassion, grace, kindness.  We should follow His teaching and example.  But loving only through acts of kindness is not enough.  At some point, we need to share Jesus.

Now in our 22nd year of cross-cultural ministry, I am more convinced….

  • Good deeds are not the Redeemer.
  • Jobs are not the Healer.
  • Food banks are not the Creator.
  • Government is not the Prince of Peace.
  • English classes are not the Messiah.
  • Schools are not the Answer.
  • Kids programs are not the Friend.
  • Church is not the Rock.
  • America, as great as our nation is, is not the Resurrection and Life.

I am not the Savior.

Jesus Is.  And anything we do should point to Him.

Yes, we need to be kind to the needy, serve the vulnerable, and work towards redeeming our culture.  But doing good is not enough.  Our compassionate ministry should point to Jesus.

Refugees need Jesus.  And if bringing them to America gets them closer to the message and reality that Jesus loves them, a lot, then bring them on.  But if bringing them here means we put them in the worst communities in America, which the resettlement process does, and then do some really nice things for them here and there, then refugees will not be entirely better off.  They will be better off, but not entirely.  A lost person with some nicer things than what they had overseas is still lost.

Refugee resettlement and what is best for our nation is complicated.

But God keeps it simple for us.  If people pursue the Father through Jesus…they will have life (John 10:10).  If they seek first His Kingdom and Righteousness…all these things (His care) will be added unto them (Matthew 6:33).  If they trust the Father, He will direct and provide (Proverbs 3:5-6).

The best thing we can do for a refugee?  Acts 4:12.  Jesus.  There is no other name where refugees can be saved.

So here is your action item:  Share Jesus.  Share with invitations and meals and help and compassion.  But also share with words.  Someone around you needs to hear that Jesus loves them, a lot.  And it might even be a Muslim refugee.

2016 Highlights

  • 501c3 acquired!
  • Spring Break Youth Retreat – April 2016
  • Tanzania Mission Trip – June 2016
  • Wild at Heart Young Man’s Camp – July 2016
  • Washington DC / Virginia Youth Trip – July 2016
  • We become guardians of a beautiful young lady – August 2016
  • Youth Weekend – October 2016
  • Ladies Retreat – December 2016
  • Ministry to refugee families
  • God graciously continues to provide needed resources confirming calling and leading to glorify Jesus among refugees.

We are Grateful.

Tanzania Report

We are back from Africa!  The two weeks we were in Tanzania went by fast.  We were in one remote village for one week and then moved to another remote village for the next week.  Every day brought God stories.  Every day God did something to bless, encourage, love or heal.  It was awesome to see Him work.

Our team had 26 Americans and approximately the same number of Africans.  Our team of Americans ran a clinic and pastor’s conference and helped the Africans with the Jesus Film ministry and the kids ministry.   The Americans included 4 doctors and an American nurse.  The Africans included one doctor, many translators, and a few national pastors.   Several other Africans helped with camp logistics and security.   One praise was that our team worked very well together.   Everyone got along in a spirit of love and grace and communicated well.  As a result, much was accomplished for God’s glory!

Abby and Sunny

This was a great experience for Abby and Sunny.  Abby and Sunny helped in the clinic every day in both villages.  The doctors took the time to carefully explain and show Abby and Sunny how they were treating the patients.  On one occasion, the doctor was stitching up a patient with a machete wound on his arm.   It got to be too much for Sunny and she passed out.  The doctor was very gracious and said that she has seen many in training for their medical career pass out, including herself.  Both girls were very helpful in processing and treating patients.   They prayed over many patients as well as they interacted with them.  As a result, over 1,500 patients were treated! The girls will be sending out their own updates soon.

God Saves and Heals

I spoke in the pastor’s conference in each village, shared about Jesus and the assurance of salvation at the Jesus Film showings, prayed for villagers, and shared the Gospel several times to groups of people waiting to see the doctor.   These opportunities were tremendous privileges that produced positive responses.  But a highlight of my time in African was when people were healed of their sickness, including deafness!  During my many years in ministry, I have seen many people healed over time and many lives changed over time, but I had never personally witnessed an instantaneous, miraculous healing.  But it has never stopped me from praying for people and seeing God work.  But on this trip, God worked quickly.  For many of our days in Africa, an African and I prayed over those waiting in line for the clinic.   (While I had only one prayer partner at a time, over the two weeks, four different Africans were prayer partners, two from our team and one from each village.  God’s provision of those prayer partners are God stories for another time).

The prayer partner and I would go down the line at the clinic and individually pray for people and their concern.  Over the two weeks, I had the privilege of praying for about 300 people.   One day, the African prayer partner that God provided for that day and I prayed over a 12 year old girl who was partially deaf.   And she was healed!!  After testifying to her healing, she ran off without going into the clinic.  I asked the translator where she was going.  The translator said she was so excited she ran to tell someone.

The next day, a different African prayer partner and I started talking to a woman who did not respond.  Those sitting next to her said she was deaf.  My prayer partner tested it and went right up to her ear and said something loudly.  I thought it was rude, but it confirmed she was deaf.  So we prayed over the woman and she began to hear!  We started to celebrate when I asked my partner to ask her, “Can you hear a little or a lot?”  She said she could hear a little.  So I said, “Let’s pray again.”  We prayed over the woman again and God opened her ears even more!  My partner was just as shocked and excited as I was.  Just as he tested her deafness, he tested her hearing.  He would say something, confirmed she heard and backed away.  He repeated this process several times until he had backed away about five or six feet and confirmed she could hear him!  It was amazing!  We testified to God’s goodness.  At other times, we saw people get healed of other sicknesses.

Healing did not happen absent of His Word.  The Gospel was shared with everyone who came to the clinic, including those who were healed.   God’s healing was a testimony of His love and grace and power in the lives of those He touched.  Many placed their faith in Jesus; local pastors will continue to reach out to them.     Healing also did not happen absent of prayer.  Much prayer was put into this mission both before and during the trip.  We appreciate all those who prayed with us and for us!

My faith was bolstered by this trip.  Seeing God heal and change lives was a tremendous encouragement to me.  The girl’s lives too were changed by this trip.  They had new experiences that taught them much about loving and serving others.

We greatly appreciate all the love, prayers and support of this trip.  It was a trip that brought glory to God.

Love in Christ,

Scott

In the interest of preventing an even longer update, I’ll try to send or post shorter updates.  You can see post and photos on my Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009318010182.  The girls will be sending out their own updates soon.