Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
On one of our last days of DTS Outreach, my Ministry Partners Manuel, Ryan and I were doing some university evangelism. We were waiting under a lychee tree, where we met a guy named Edward. Edward was very open to talking about Jesus, and after getting to know him over a couple of days, he came to accept Jesus! After Edward made his salvation decision, Manuel, Ryan and I suddenly found ourselves very busy and it wasn’t until the very last day of Outreach that we were able to meet with him again and do some discipling with him. When we met him for lunch that day, he came packed with questions about the Bible, about God and about Jesus, all of which we were more than happy to answer. We also taught him about the importance of thanking the Father for the food he provides for us, how to hear God’s voice, and spent as much time as we could just encouraging him and pushing him to press into God as much as possible. Edward felt the desire to bless us that day as well, so he paid for the four of us to go bowling together, and we had an amazing time together, and I recognized during that time that it was actually a way of worshiping Jesus with Edward, by rejoicing with each other in a Godly fellowship. At the end of the day, we sat together in a park and prayed for Edward, getting a few Scriptures and encouragements for him. And then he floored us! As we were about to leave, Edward started praying for Manuel, Ryan and I, and it was one of the most touching prayers I’ve ever heard! Edward truly did receive the blessings of God, and was only too happy to start sharing them!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
God’s Smuggler follows Brother Andrew from his time as a rebellious child in Nazi occupied Holland, to his time as a soldier in the Dutch Army fighting in the Indonesian War of Independence, to reading his own Bible, to hearing God’s voice, to becoming a missionary behind the Communist Iron Curtain. Brother Andrew’s testimony of how his mother desperately wanted him to read his Bible and how it took her death to actually get him to do it was heartbreaking and raw. His adventures and friendship with his pet monkey in Indonesia was a touching display of how this bitter young man truly had a love for all of God’s creation even though he himself did not realize it. And perhaps most poignantly, God’s Smuggler reminded me of how God can take a man who has literally fallen as far away from God as possible, not entirely unlike me, and can him into a powerful worker for the expansion of God’s Kingdom.
There were many atrocities in the War of Independence in Indonesia. There was massacre upon massacre, Dutch soldiers were getting killed off left, right and center and Indonesian civilians were taking the brunt of it. Brother Andrew writes of a time where he saw a village-dwelling mother and child, drenched in blood, killed by the same bullet. The break in his heart was so strong that it cracked his mind, and for his remaining time on the Indonesian front, Brother Andrew wore a bright yellow, straw hat instead of his regulation camouflage armoured helmet. This man was desperate for death, having seen and caused so much of it himself. He turned to booze, to women, to anything. And of course, nothing filled the hole caused by the hurt. The damage was done. And in God’s special way, instead of being killed as he had desired, Brother Andrew was shot in the foot, and transported home as a rejected soldier of a defeated army coming home from an inglorious war.
I was floored and heartbroken after that. The reason this pastor didn’t have a Bible of his own was because it was illegal for him to have one in the Communist Soviet Union. Fortunately Brother Andrew had one to give to this man, but the telling of this story did not fail to open my eyes to the importance of the Bible and the equal importance of not taking for granted how blessed we are for having such easy access to this amazing Book. It has stirred in me the desire to bring Bibles as gifts to people in all nations who are either in short supply or have none whatsoever, whether because of the government or because of poverty or because of whatever reason. The reason behind someone not having a Bible is much less important than the need it is for anybody who wants to have a Bible to read to have one. My eyes have truly been opened to this, and it is in my prayers and on my heart to become a Bible transporter like that of Brother Andrew and so many others. I just want to see God’s people have an easy access to God’s Words.
The thing that makes sin so terrible is when we realize how much we’ve actually sinned. It is so easy to believe that we’re completely unredeemable, that we’re too dirty, that our lives are worth nothing because we’ve fallen so far away from the Lord and now even He can’t reach us. But of course, this is one hundred percent untrue.
The first four chapters of God’s Smuggler tell the tale of Brother Andrew’s time as a rebellious youth pulling pranks on Nazi’s and as a twenty-something soldier fighting in Indonesia’s War of Independence. Through out the entirety of these four chapters, Andrew confesses his denial of the Lord, seeing how his faithful mother suffered with illness her entire life, and how he had become bitter towards God after the death of his already suffering, mentally unwell older brother. Upon witnessing the atrocities of war, Brother Andrew became obsessed with death, and with survival of skirmish after skirmish after skirmish, he would turn to anything that could distract him temporarily, i.e. alcohol, women, drugs, you name it. It took an injury and the divine will of the Lord for Andrew to lie in bed and read his Bible and upon doing so, after a marvellous revelation of what was actually done on the cross, received the grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
In his early years as a Christian, Andrew was called to the mission field, experienced miraculous physical healings and even lead others to the Lord. He was accepted into missionary training, graduated from WEC and immediately began work behind the Iron Curtain, countries pressed down by the Communist Regime. Over the course of the rest of his life, Andrew experienced God’s hand and God’s love for His people, and literally did whatever he could to bless them and help them. Brother Andrew’s testimony is a shining light for all Christians and for me personally, a person who, in no way as extreme as Andrew’s, experienced bitterness and anger and sadness towards God. But if God can take someone who fell as far as Andrew did and turn him into a missionary truly living the adventure of Jesus, then surely He can do the same, if not even more, with someone like me. And that rule applies to all.God’s Smuggler, in all of its excitement, its heartbreaking or touching moments, or its amazing miracles, is truly just a story of a simple man living an extraordinary life because he gave it all to the extraordinary One. There is nothing ordinary about God; He’s a supernatural Creator, with a heart for all of His people. If we’ll just give it all to God like Brother Andrew did, then amazing things can happen through us, for us, to us. If we just wait on the Lord, listen to His voice, trust in Him and do as He says, then maybe one day we too will write a book as exciting, hard-hitting and effective as Brother Andrew’s God’s Smuggler.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Then, the next morning, I played on the worship team and felt the Spirit of the Lord fall upon me in such a powerful way that I actually played with an intensity I didn't know I had. It was amazing! The Power of God was working in me!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
My Outreach Team
Saturday, April 11, 2009
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-
10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."