Saturday, December 20, 2008

Preaching at the Market

The market here is the center of commerce. The villagers come from their different locations to sell their garden food to earn some money. The average person earns around 7 dollars at the market. 2 dollars of which will be needed to pay for the transportation used to get to the market. The market does business six days a week. On Saturdays, the market is very busy and is the best time to purchase food. It is also a good time for evangelism. Open air preaching at the market can be effective leading to fruit. In America, the culture is very different and for the most part hard against the gospel. Open air preaching in PNG is culturally acceptable and draws a crowd. The people will come and gather around you to hear what you have to say.

A few weeks ago, the family and I went to the market where I would preach. I preached a message about a religious lost man named Nicodemous from John 3. The people here are very religious. A large crowd gathered and listened intently even though a slight rain began to fall. After I preached, the family and I handed out tracts and talked with the people. No one put their faith in Christ that day, but the Lord is still working on hearts from it. Today, some three weeks after I preached at the market, a man came to talk with me. He said people were still talking about the message and he wanted to talk. He said he personally had several discussions with others about the message. We did not talk for long, but he said he would come by my house so we could talk some more. This man is a religious man in need of Christ. I was thrilled to see the Lord still working on hearts. We never know who it is the Lord will put before us, but we must be ready and willing to preach, leaving the results to God. A farmer does not reap in the same season he plants. Keep in mind though, if the farmer does not sow, he will not reap. Do not stop sowing just because you have yet to reap. Nor should you stop sowing because others have sowed the seed with carelessness. Do not be ashamed of our Lord. We have been given a command of utmost importance: ”preach the Gospel to every creature.”

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I thought I would post a few pics from this past month.

This picture is one of the boats Daniel and I used for a supply run. The boat was very weighted down. The Lord blessed and we made to New Ireland with no problems.


Th volcano is about 36 miles from where we live. It is on the island south of us called New Britian


One very large Cockroach!

This rat I shot and killed with a pellet gun in our house. We had a lot of clean up to do on our house becasue of damage to it from rats.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Good to be Back

We are back in country now, and it is good to be back. We have seen the Lord do many good things for us since we have arrived. Our house was a complete mess from the rats when we arrived. I could not believe all the damage the rats did. Daniel and I first came over to New Ireland while the rest of the family stayed back on the island of New Britain. Daniel and I worked to get the house in order. Many of the people from the village came and helped us. We managed to get it livable and then last Wednesday I brought the whole family over. I have all the walls back up and painted as well as the cabinets. My office still needs a lot of work. Basically I have to redo the entire office. We are still waiting for our container to arrive, but it should be here by the first week of November. Please pray to that end.

We had to replace many items when we arrived, such as the stove, refrigerator, generator, kitchen table and chairs and washer. None of these items are the things in the container. The items in the container are mainly furniture items that needed replaced, such as boys beds, couch, living room chairs etc. The rats actually ate through the gas lines going to the burners on our stove! I traveled back to New Britain to get these needed items. When I enquired about a 6 or 7kva generator, I was informed there was not one in the country unless I was willing to spend K43,000 or about $18,000. While I was discussing this with a salesman, another salesman walked up heard our conversation. He then said there was a6 kva generator in country, even on New Britain! He said he sold it to a trade store, but they did not pick it up and payment had not been made. He said it has been sitting in a warehouse for weeks wrapped up and ready to go. He then called to make sure it was still there and it was! The Lord knew we would need that generator and He had it set aside for my family and me! We serve a great God! Almost the exact same thing happened with the stove we needed to purchase. It too was in a warehouse and unaccounted for! The Lord had it ready for us.

The boat ride over with these supplies was pretty exciting. Keep in mind I purchased theses items on the island of New Britain. I still had to get them to New Ireland. The means of transportation is a banana boat! The picture shows one of the two boats I used. It took us around 2 ½ hours for the boat ride. We made pretty good time all things considered. The Lord blessed! When I brought the family over on the boat, we had a chance to see several whales. When we were coming close to New Ireland, Levi asked, “Is this the wild?” I told him yes and this was his home. His eyes then grew big and with an excited voice he exclaimed, “I live in the wild?!”

We do have an important prayer request. We are in a drought, and our island has been dry since June. My family and I have to go the river for washing the clothes and bathing. The lack of rain is also hurting the gardens the people survive on. Please pray the Lord will send the needed rain.

Also, I already have a tire story but I will save that for the next blog.

Monday, September 29, 2008

September Prayer Letter

Leaving For The Field!

After a little more than a 90 day delay, we have finally received our visas! By the time many of you read this, we will already be on the field. We will be departing the United States on the 30th of September. We have a full schedule once we arrive. We are going to fly into the island of New Britain first before going to New Ireland. We will be staying at a fellow missionary’s house who is on medical furlough. After we arrive there, Daniel and I will then fly over to New Ireland and began the repairs on our house. From reports we have received our house is not livable right now. Daniel and I are hoping that by mid October we can have the house in a place where we can bring the rest of the family over. We hope to have the house completed by the end of October at which time I will dive back into the ministry. Please pray for us as we transition back to PNG. We are all very excited about returning to the field and getting back to the work the Lord has called us to! I would like to thank the churches which have sent funds to help with $13,109 it is costing us to send our shipping container. So far $4,500 has been sent and we appreciate the giving very much. Please do pray for the more than $8,000 left. The container is on the way to PNG, and is due to arrive in the capitol on the 10th of October. We also ask prayer that the container will clear customs quickly without any custom charges. The container should arrive on our island around the first of November.

Highlights from the Past 90 Days

During our delay we have traveled little with only three trips out for meetings. We have spent much our time at Southside Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida. This church has been a huge blessing to my family and I. I would like to say thank you to Pastor Nance and the church. Berean Baptist church in Ogden, Utah flew my wife and I out for a meeting in September. I already reported back there last January, but they asked us to come since we had this delay. We enjoyed the fellowship very much. We stayed with Pastor Mallinak and he has a great family. He is one of those fellows who inspires you to serve God better by being around him. This past Saturday I led a lady to the Lord and it was one of those divine appointments. I knocked on her door and after she answered she said she had just been praying to the Lord. Her husband left her that week, and she was scheduled to have heart surgery in three weeks. She listened intently to the gospel message and with joy put her faith in Jesus Christ!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Update on visas/leaving for the field

Our children’s visas have arrived! I just finished making arrangements for our flight out. We leave for the field on the 30th of this month! Please pray as we have a lot of work to do on our house. Rats and termites have reeked havoc while we have been gone. Fellow missionaries, the Crotts, who are located on the island south of ours, informed us of the damage after checking on our house. I will copy below an email from Joyce Crotts to my wife informing us of the damage to our house. What the rats did is truly amazing. It gives great "missionary insights!"

Here is the email:

Dear Mariann,
Just got home from Namatanai today. Busy ever since we got home, and it's
9:30 now. I finally got my WARM (-: shower and am propped up in bed ready
to type to you.

Where to start. . . .We started trying to go on Wednesday, hoping to get to
work on your house, but finally got good weather and all the arrangements
made and arrived on Friday about noon. When we got to your house we found
all our previous work to sweep up the rat poo was for naught in that they
had done it all over again. It was so thick on your kitchen table (poo and
pee) that if you had seen it you'd probably never want to eat on it again.
(I'd love to strip it or sand it and refinish it.) I wiped it and wiped it
again with disinfectant, but. . . . )-:

Well, my hubby's objective this time was to seal the house off from the rats
if we could. SO he put in new window louvers where they were missing or
broken or wouldn't stay in the frames. He had measured and thought he had
all he needed - bought some new ones at Steamies, but when he got there
found out he had made a couple mistakes so he was two short but he cut some
masonite for the two missing ones. We took Bro. Donald and Bro. Melky with
us and they helped Bro. Crotts hang masonite, etc. They also oiled all the
window louvres so they would shut all the way. . . .Some wouldn't before.
The only way we saw for sure that the rats are going in and out are through
the windows, so we tried to make sure the windows were all secured. I guess
we'll see if this works. We swept up and wiped up a gallon of rat poo I'm
sure. I cleaned out two big rats' nests in Daniel's room. It still stinks
awful as they have been all over the bed and the car seat and everything in
the room. The rats had gotten in to a couple boxes of tracts. They pulled
tracts all over the place and they made a nest of some of them in a toy box
(a plastic tub that didn't have a lid on it) I donned some work gloves and
pulled all the toys out (at least what wasn't all chewed up) and we burned
the rest. We found a nearly empty plastic tub and transferred the tracts
into it. I am sorry that we have shifted your stuff all around. When you
walk into your house you will feel like nothing is as you left it and that
is because we tried to purge it of rats. After my hubby was fairly sure he
got all the rats out of the hall closet he secured the doors shut with a
nail at the top of each door. These are the MOST AMBITIOUS RATS I have
ever seen! Daniel's room is not habitable by humans as it is. We swept the
worst of it up, but I just didn't have time to clean it good. Hate to feel
like we are invading your privacy too. I suggest a new bed for Daniel!
It's so yuchy! All flat surfaces have been poo'd on and pee'd on.
Upholstery MIGHT be cleanable and a strong disinfectant would be in order if
you have to continue using. BUT HAVING SEEN what was on all the upholstered
furniture before we brushed/swept it off, makes me loathe the thought of
sitting on them. I DIDN'T sit on them. (-: Your dining room chairs have
been totally fouled. I know how to re-pad and recover chairs like that if
you plan to continue using them. . .I would help you if possible.
Stop in Kokopo on your way through. . . We could get some fabric to repad
the chairs with. (-:

The rats have chewed up some of the curtains in the living room so they
wouldn't hang on the sticks anymore, but we did manage to cover the windows
with what was left. Some of the furniture has holes chewed in it and some
of it has the foam UNDER the chair torn up, etc. I COULD NOT BELIEVE what
the rats had chewed up! They have knawed on your little knickknack shelf
that you had in the kitchen. THEY EVEN chewed up the little lavender and
green lamp . . .knawed away most of the little ceramic shade. I was sad
because I LIKED that little lamp. I took the liberty to throw away some
things that were destroyed, but my hubby wouldn't let me throw away some
things. Kept reminding me they weren't mine to throw away. I promise I
didn't throw away anything was wasn't rendered totally corrupted or useless.
Some of the bags of clothes that Bro. Crotts told me the rats had gotten
into. . . The bags were ruined, but a lot of the clothes are okay. I just
relocated them for you to deal with if the rats don't get back in and carry
them away. I HAD to burn the green rugs you had in the living room. They
were soooooo stinky and chewed. You told me you have a new rug, so I didn't
think it would be a great disappointment. I just HAD to get some of that
stink out of there. (Oh yes, I burned some of your baskets that were chewed
to bits.)

Before I go any further, let me inject a bit of good news. The stuff in
your bedroom and the girls' room still looks like it escaped the rats. We
were very careful to keep those doors shut since they have so far escaped.
They only showed some signs of gecko activity. And I'm sorry that the
things in the girls' room are probably a bit more stacked than when you left
because we stashed some stuff in there to get it away from the rats. Don't
know why they haven't done so much in there and it doesn't stink like the
rest of the house. Some of the window louvers in there don't like to stay
in the windows. But your room seems still tight and my hubby put the
masonite up right away to keep it that way when he took the termite wall
out. It still smells fine in your room. Sure hope no rat snuck in there in
our going in and out. We didn't see it happen if it did. Other good news
is that we didn't see any fresh sign of termite activity, SO they put some
more masonite up, BUT they didn't hang the kitchen cupboards. Partly a time
factor and partly because it would be good to paint first, and the cabinets
need some work and might be easier to do it with them off the wall.

More bad news. . . .Your kitchen is basically un-usable. The doors on the
lower cupboards (sink-side) don't close well, and the rats have had a
heyday. In fact one practically jumped on me. . . Huge thing. .. . And I did
the cartoon-woman thing . . .screaming. . .running away. . . jumping up on a
chair. . . . But I didn't have time to clean them out. I also wanted to
know that the rats won't just undo any cleaning I did. Anyway EVERYTHING in
your kitchen has been fouled by the rats. It will probably make you feel
like puking. I will go help you clean if you want me to. I just feel sooo
bad for you having to go home to that. WE wiped down some things. . .the
things which the guys had to set out of your cabinets that were on the
termite wall which had to be taken out; small appliances and water filters,
etc. (ALSO! The termites took the walls down and gave the rats free acess to
those cupboards.) Those items are sitting on your table. We wiped them
down, but they are NOT disinfected. By the time we had wiped a few things,
I felt like the rags we were using were filthy. (I wore rubber gloves the
whole time.) Wiping things down just got them ready for a good washing in
hot water and disinfectant. The other thing that made it "fun" was that the
power had been out in Nam all week and was still out so we were carrying
water. . .
Your stove and fridge. . . .we swept up a lot of insulation that had been
pulled out of them and chased one rat out of the stove. Of course the stove
is sitting in the middle of the room cause the guys had to move it to tear
out termite walls and replaced the masonite on that wall this time. A big
blessing was that the weather was relatively cool when we were working.

The floor linoleums are totally fouled. There is rat poo and pee under them
and holding the stink. . . The guys had already pulled the ones out of the
bathrooms when doing the termite thing. I really wanted to take up the one
in the kitchen, but my hubby said to ask you first, so I didn't. (-:

We could have done more, but just ran out of time. They did get the walling
up on the shared living/kitchen wall, and another wall in the kitchen is
mostly done. No trim work is up.

My husband said to tell you that we would be happy to do what we can to help
you get back to a livable state. We can go over and help you carpenter and
clean, or I can babysit and my hubby can at least go help you trim out,
paint, hang cupboards etc. He's a quite handy fellow and does good work.
We are thankful that we had a key and went over and found the mess before
you got back because it would have been totally disheartening and ruined
your lovely furlough to have walked in to a termite and rat surprise that
you would have faced. We have swept up gallons of poo in the last three
times we've been there. I had no idea how filthy and destructive rats are.
The sheets you had over your living room furniture are fouled and some of
them chewed.

I am hoping that you are kind of planning on starting over with regard to
setting up housekeeping. Some things are salvagable of course. And I hope
you find a way to manage while waiting for your new things.
( I STRONGLY recommend some new muffin tins. You cannot imagine the state I
found your old ones in!!!!! I wanted to pitch them out, but hubby forbade.

I feel really badly about what has happened to your house. I didn't even
talk about your husband's office. It is almost too awful to talk about. It
isn't possible to seal it off from the rats without a lot of work. Of
course now it is without interior walling because of the termites.

I remember you asking me what I did to leave our house in preparation for
furlough, and I feel like now my advice was very inadequate. I just didn't
figure rats into the equation.

I know you are eager to get back to the work and life God has called you to,
and I'm praying He gives you to grace to know that you will just have to
devote whatever time is necessary to getting set up again. I would love to
make it nicer for you, but feel so limited. We are serious about the offer
to help anyway.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Update on Visas and New Prayer Request

We have yet to receive our visas, but there has been progress. I received an email on July 26th that the visas were finished. I then contacted the Papua New Guinea Embassy to get the visas actually issued. The Embassy informed me they have not received the needed paperwork to issue the visa. (This paperwork is sent via fax from immigration in Papua New Guinea.) I then contacted my agent in PNG handling this, and immigration told him they did fax the paperwork! That was last Monday the 28th of July, and we still are waiting for them to fax/refax the paperwork. Please continue to pray this issue will be resolved quickly. We are confident the issue will be resolved shortly. Once we have the visa issue resolved, I will be purchasing the plane tickets. We should be able to be back in PNG four weeks after receiving our visas.

Another Prayer Request
We are shipping a 20ft Container back to PNG. As most of you know from previous prayer letters, many of our household items have been destroyed by rats and termites. Our couch chairs, one bed, decorative items, kitchen table, and many other items have been either been destroyed or rendered useless. We have been able to replace many of these items while on furlough so we are shipping a container back to PNG. The cost of shipping the container is $13,109.00!
Please pray about this need. The cost to get our household goods from Fort Myers, Florida to Port Moresby, (Port Moresby is the capitol of Papua New Guinea.), is $7080. The cost to go from Port Moresby to Kavieng, New Ireland province is $6039. Even if I was to purchase these items over there I would still incur the $6039 expense and then have to purchase all the items over there. Household goods would be much more expensive over there, so I would still be spending around $10,000 altogether, yet I would not have the quality of goods I have from the United States. I did contact several different shipping companies, and I am going with Missionary Expeditors. They had the best overall price to PNG. I have no choice in the shipping company when it comes to Port Moresby to New Ireland though; only one shipping company. Please do pray much about our container situation.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

April through June Prayer Letter

Here is our latest prayer letter for April through June.

Urgent Prayer Request
We have an urgent prayer need and that is our visa situation. While on this furlough our children’s passports expired, and we renewed them back in December. Since the passports were renewed, we also have to complete visas again for the children. We sent the paperwork out for that in January and after a delay on the PNG side, everything needed was submitted to immigration in PNG in May. The first part of June, we received an email informing us PNG immigration is backed up and taking up to six months to process visas. Here is an excerpt from that email: “You might need to pray for a miracle with regard to your kids' visas. …….. the immigration office is thousands of visas behind and grossly understaffed. It is so bad that everyone is howling about it. It has been the subject of newspaper articles and we know personally of several horror stories. Our own passports have been in their possession waiting for our visas for about 6 months.” Under normal circumstances our visas should have been completed by the 25th of June, which is the day I am writing this. I have called the PNG embassy in D.C. and the visas are not ready. They would not even give me a time frame for when they would be completed! I was informed to just check back week after week.
My last meeting on this furlough is tonight (June 25th) and then we are ready to return. We were hoping to be back in PNG by mid July. We know the Lord is in control and has a reason for this. Please pray the Lord will intervene and allow our visas to come through. The situation leaves us sort of in a limbo. We will probably make arrangements to head back to Alaska to wait this out. I am also considering scheduling some other meetings as well. We need the Lord’s wisdom and direction. We truly desire to return to PNG ASAP!

Other news
The last three months have been filled with meetings. We truly enjoyed reporting back to our supporting churches on furlough. I have also held meetings in several new churches since mid May. Also please pray about our house in PNG. We received more news that the rats are still wreaking havoc in the house. We have much work to do on the house when we finally do arrive. Missionary Richard Crotts has been a blessing to us by working on our home in PNG. He has even opened his home to my family and I when we do return, until our home is livable. (He is located on the island just south of ours, New Britain.)
The family and I are currently staying at the D and D Missionary Homes in St. Petersburg, Florida. We arrived here on the 5th of May.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Seeking Those Things Which Are Above

(Col 3:1,2) If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Seeking those things which are above!

In the busy world Christians live in today, there are many things seeking our affection. From advertisers, careers, education, relationships, religion and many other things. If we are not spiritual minded we will end up seeking the wrong things as a result. We need to make a concentrated effort to seek those things which are above, to set are affections on things above. I believe the majority of Christians today are struggling with carnality. Many Christians are even convincing themselves that their carnality is just fine, and God is okay with it. One reason for this is Christians seeking those things which are below, and setting their affection on things below.

The key, to seeking those things which are above, is understanding our new life in Christ in which we are “risen with Christ.” There may be multitudes of things on this earth seeking our affection and as we give in, we begin seeking those things. We then become carnal minded, and struggle greatly with our Christian life. We become obsessed with this life on the earth. We seek our joy from this world, and seek our fulfillment from this world. In reality we are seeking vanity as Psalm 4 puts it. We miss the fact that we have a new life in Christ, which IS contrary to this world. The new life seeks those things which are above. The person seeking those things which are above is not defined by a career, but by their God. He/she is not seeking things of the world. As Christians we have a new life in Christ: a new life that should be greatly different than the old life, a new life that strives to please God more than men, a new life that seeks after holiness, a new life that seeks to fulfill the gospel/great commission, a new life which is heavenly minded and not earthly minded.

What have you been seeking today? Where do your affections lie? Who are you trying to impress? Life is all about Jesus Christ, seek Him!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Close to Returning

The family and I are now at D and D Missionary homes in Florida. We are nearing the end of furlough, and I have about 8 meetings left. We are awaiting to hear concerning our childern's Visa situation. We had to renew their Passports and thus Visas. As soon as I hear the Visas are finished, I will be purchasing our return tickets to PNG. Please pray we will hear quickly that the visas are finsihed. We have been waiting for several months right now.

The meetings have been going well. I have finished reporting back to my supporting churches. The rest of the meetings (8)I have are all new churches. We still have about $400 month more needed before returning. We are also sending a 20ft container back as as well. There is much going on as we prepare to return. We are all anxious to get back.

Friday, March 14, 2008

From Utah to Asia

I have been very busy with meetings this year. As a matter of fact, I will be leaving Fort Myers in just a few minutes for West Virginia. I have been in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Florida, Louisiana, Japan, and Korea, reporting back to churches. The meetings have all been going great. The family and I are anxious to get back on the field. We still have some more support to raise, but we are confident we will be back in Papua New Guinea by the end of June or first week of July. My last meeting is the second Sunday of June.

Here are some pics from my previous meetings.

This photo is taken from the Haven Baptist church in Kunsan Korea. I am sitting between Bill and Linda Stewart, missionaries in Kunsan for over 30 years. The work there is geared to the U.S. Military. The Air Force base there is a remote assignment so the military can not bring their families. The airmen are assigned for one year at this base. This work has a new congregation every year! I was assigned there from 1994 to 1995. The Lord used the Haven in a great way in my life.

This photo is of Adam Wyrick, a missionary in Korea. He has a Korean work and is doing a great job.

This photo is from Kunsan AB. I was having lunch with Bro Stewart and some of the men who attend the Haven.

This photo is taken from Berean Baptist church in Ogden Utah. Pastor Mallinak is to the far left. Every year, this church does a theme from a missionary in the past for their conference. This year the theme was David Brainard. When they pick the theme, they also pick the garb out from that time frame and all the missionaries, as well as Pastor Mallinak, wear it. It is a good conference and alot of fun.

This is my former pastor and his wife, Willie and Patricia Byrd. He is pastor of Berean Independent Baptist Church in Alamogordo NM. I was a member there from 1991 to 1994. I enjoyed preaching and reporting back there and seeing old friends.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Why I like our deputation system

The following is a post I made on another forum (jackhammer), concerning the deputation side of missions. I have edited the post so it flows here.

When I was preparing for deputation, I was not at all for it. I felt this way even before the Lord called me to the mission field. However, shortly after deputation began, my mind was changed. I am all for deputation now, and I do believe it is much more scriptural that the cooperative program the SBC uses. Even though I can not stand the calling part, the calling part does have some benefits. It is very humbling. My family and I truly enjoyed deputation.

Let me give some reasons why I am for our current system, and what changes I would like to see.

Why I like the current system.
1) I believe it is scriptural. I do believe the Apostle Paul was supported by several churches, from his sending church in Antioch, to his most faithful supporting church in Philippi. (Acts 13:3, II Cor 8,9, Philippians 4:17) (The apostle Paul might not have had monthly support, but the local churches were the source of support for the Apostle Paul. He also used his tent making as well.)

2) The missionary gains much needed PRAYER support by virtue of all the people he is meeting. I can not tell you how often I received an email or letter from a church member from a supporting church letting me they have been praying for me and my family. Many times I would receive their correspondence during very difficult times and it really helped. How many times did the Apostle Paul say, “Brethren pray for us”?

3) Helps keep missions on the mind in the local churches. I believe the Lord can use the missionary to help assist the local churches in stirring their people about the importance of missions. Many companions of the Apostle Paul were from a variety of churches not just Antioch, and were stirred when they met the Apostle Paul and thus traveled with him. Consider Silas, (Acts 15:40) I believe Silas’s home church was Jerusalem.

4) The missionary’s eggs are not all in one basket. If only one church was supporting and they have trouble, it is very likely the missionary will be off the field for at least for at least one year.

5) It allows for churches to accomplish the great commission and gives fruit to their account. (Philippians 4:14-18)

6) The local church being able to give unto missions is well pleasing unto God. (Phil 4:18) Keep in mind the church at Philippi was not the Apostle Paul’s sending church, Antioch was.

What I would like to see changed or more common. (These are just ideas I believe would assist in the deputation stage of the missionary's life.)

1) I would like to see sending churches try to support for 1/6 to 1/5 of the total support needed. This would help greatly in the beginning stages, and cut down on the length of time of deputation. Of course, this would only be if the Lord enabled the sending church and it did not put them in a financial strain. (Many sending churches could not do this. I speak only of churches that are in a position to do something like this.)

2) I would like to see an average of $100 monthly and $70 at the very least. I still have several churches that support for $25 a month. Could you imagine if all churches supported for $25 of month! Deputation would take seven years! (I appreciate all of my supporting churches regardless of how much they support.) If churches took on fewer missionaries at greater amounts, it would cut down on deputation time.

3) I would like for all church secretaries to resign immediately. (Just kidding.)

4) If a pastor had a missionary in and the church really liked him and was behind what the Lord called him to, for the pastor to call other pastor friends and recommend him. This would assist the missionary getting meetings. The pastor getting the call would be less nervous about having a missionary in, if a fellow pastor recommended him.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Goal of Missions

I thought i would post some comments I made about missions from Jackhammer. The topic this month is missions and the discussion was over the goal of missions.

As a missionary, my goal is to obey the Great Commission in reagrds to the work the Lord has called me to do. I am to follow Matthew 28:19.20, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8 etc… (These verses, and other similar verses, are the Biblical authority behind missions.) I am therefore to preach the gospel and disciple those who trust Christ. As a result a church will be established. This is God’s design. Church planting is the ultimate goal.
Here is the Biblical pattern for Biblical mission work as I follow it in PNG:I am to go into new villages preaching the gospel. If there are converts as a result of the preaching, my next step is discipling, with the end goal a self supporting local church. If a local church is established, I have accomplished my goal for that village. A goal that I believe is Biblically mandated by verses like Matthew 28:19, 20. (The only way to fully accomplish Matthew 28:19 20 is by establishing a local church. These verses are the directive for missions.) Granted, I can not accomplish it backwards. I do not start teaching Bible doctrine to lost people. This is absurd. It has to start with the gospel followed by conversion.

Bro Kent made a very true statement today, “We’ve made “church building” so complex.” The fact is church planting on our end follows a simple pattern, and yet when I read books on the subject they usually have one chapter on Bible methodology and then dive into 14 other chapters of man made efforts. By the time your finished reading you have list of 98 things you need to do to plant/build a church.
We need to be Biblically driven instead of numbers driven in our efforts to accomplish the great commission. Please do not think that I do not desire to see multitudes saved. I truly dream and day dream of entire villages coming to the Lord with only one true church in the village. However, we must stay focused on how the Lord has directed us and leave the results to him. I will not be judged based on numbers, but on my obedience to the Lord. Let’s remember, many of the churches in the New Testament were house churches. We have come to the place in America, that unless you meet certain worldly requirements such has a separate church building, pews, choir loft, baptistery etc… you do not have a “real” church.
Now, I am a realist. I understand it will be difficult to build a church in the American culture with a house church. However, as I already stated, we need to leave the results to God. Jesus said, “I will build my church.” He did not say “he would build your church”, nor did he say “you will build my church.” God knows how for provide for his work. We simply need to follow the Lord and trust him to provide. Matthew 6:33 is very true! I would whether have a house church with true converts who love the Lord, then a church of 500 who are sheep in wolves clothing or carnal. (My point is not that big churches are wrong. A church that does not follow God’s design is wrong regardless of size. A church that does follow God’s design is right regardless of size.)