Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, Ephesians 6:19
"Those who turn back know only the ordeal, but they who persevere remember the adventure." -Milo L. Arnold.
A Personal Note:
At the beginning of this year I told you that I wanted our motto to be "God answers our prayers!" Here it is the beginning of 2017 and Wow! You guys have been incredible, because Father is answering prayers in ways that we have never seen before. Each week you pray with us and for us and it is turning our lives inside out. Father is answering prayers every single week. Sandy and I have seen more prayers answered in our lives this past year than ever before!. Thank you so much for praying.
I believe that this year will be the most significant year of ministry in our whole lives. It will only happen as Father responds to the prayers of his children. Thank you so much for being a part of our lives and this work. Your role cannot be understated! It simply can NOT be understated! Your prayers each week are vital to our survival and to the successful completion of this work that we, you and us, have been given to complete. We are asking Father to allow an additional 100 new prayer partners to join us in 2018. If you know of someone who might be interested in changing the world with us...please invite them to join us. Just let me know and I will send them a personal invitation and link. Thank you so much.
A couple of reminders:
Please remember to click the link on your text message on your phone or the URL at the bottom of your email each week. This helps me to know if we are indeed getting the prayer coverage for which we hope. It seems like a small thing, but I am seeking to build a 24/7 payer coverage for our lives and work. This will help me gage how we are getting there.
The situation in Syria has progressed beyond what anybody could possibly imagine. The human cost has been extraordinary. Over 9 million Syrians have been left homeless. Think of half of New York City all of a sudden being left on the streets. Three million have had to flee Syria all together to countries such as Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. 100's of thousands are streaming into Europe this year and they are expecting two or three times as many to come next year. In Frankfurt we are seeing huge numbers arriving.
Apart from prayer what can we do? Clearly we need to do something...but what? I am joining with brothers and sisters to mobilize the prayers of Christians from all around the world...to pray. Come pray with us. I will be providing more on this in the next week or so. For today see...The Syrian Circle
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My new friend
I spoke with my new friend this week. He began to tell me how he is being hunted by his past even here in Germany. One afternoon he arrived back to his refugee center. A man speaking his native language approached him and asked him who he was. He told him his name and asked him why he wanted to know. The man said never mind and left. Thinking nothing of it, my friend went out that evening as he always did for a walk. When he was returning he got within about 150 yards from his center when a car pulled up and two men jumped out and grabbed him and threw him into their car. He tried to speak, but there were two men in the back seat who began to hit him in the head with a short blunt pipe. Very quickly he lost consciousness. He woke up two days later in a hospital with a fractured skull, two broken arms, a broken leg and three knife wounds.
My friend is a brave young man, but he still bears the emotional scars of that night. He is an active sharer of the Good News, but he confided in me that he still has much trouble sleeping at night and that often he fears for his life. Please pray for this dear brother. He has suffered much for his faith in Jesus Christ. He has been prohibited from seeing his wife for 3 years. He walked to Europe from his homeland taking 15 months to get here. He spent three months in jail in Iran, 4 months in jail in Turkey and almost died several times during his trek. With all the memories, one thing stands out about him. He exudes a thankfulness that I rarely see. Pray for my friend and our brother. He is a gracious witness to us all of God's incredible goodness.
A Note from a Friend....
As an American, I am tempted to see the crisis here in the Middle East as a political battle to be won by bombing the ISIS troops. But what will happen if we kill all 20,000 ISIS soldiers? I think there is a good chance they will be replaced by another 30,000 fanatics. And if we kill them, others will join ISIS and Al-Queda, and fight back with even more extreme tactics. I am not against using military force to oppose evil, but I believe there is a higher way, if I can call it that.
The higher way is more extreme than the extremists! It is the way of Jesus followers going to dangerous places, putting our lives at risk, and sacrificing all we have and hold dear to bring the message of God's love in Christ. It is the way of caring for war widows and healing suffering soldiers, of taking the gospel into the strongholds of ISIS.
Did you know that Jesus is leading the battle for ISIS? Reports are coming out now of ISIS leaders turning to Jesus. I have no verification of those reports, but I believe it is like Jesus to do that. He is on the front lines, fighting valiantly for the hearts and lives of people. Right now... He is there, among ISIS leaders in Iraq and Syria. He is appearing to them like He did to Paul on the road to Damascus, on his way to kill and imprison believers.
Jesus' weapons are the cross, forgiveness, and the sacrificial service of His followers laying down their lives to share the good news.
Have you ever seen or heard things happen that are just really difficult to process, because the framework you are working under leaves little room for interpretation? These kinds of things have happened to Sandy and me over the years in the work we are involved in. We believe that both their frequency and magnitude are increasing.
This past week for instance, during our outreach, one of our teams were out and were on a bridge. They came upon a man who was walking with a cane. They were inclined to ask him why he was walking with a cane. He told them an interesting story about how every year at Ramadan he got this really unusual pain in his body which caused him to experience severe back and abdominal pain. He carried a cane because he knew that it was going to happen again. Our team asked him if they could pray for him and being a rather devout Mslm man, he kindly agreed.
As they prayed for this man, his body began to convulse and he began to writhe and twist and make deep dark sounds with his voice. They continued to pray and call out to Jesus as they realized that something dark and demonic was happening in this manís body. After some time, the man went limp and after a moment or two he sat up. He said that the pain in his body was completely gone. He got up and began to rejoice, by jumping up and down!
He all of a sudden realized that this healing had come as they prayed and that they were praying in the name of Jesus. He pressured my teammates, asking them to tell him about this Jesus who heals and forgives. They bowed with that man right there near the bridge and he invited Jesus into his life after receiving a deliverance from the demon that was inside him. He was so filled with joy that he continued jumping up and down proclaiming that Jesus had delivered him and rescued him from his oppression.
Bless the Lord with us as we praise him for this deliverance and salvation for this new dear brother in Christ.
If you haven't checked out our blog yet at www.lighttravellers.org you might want to. I will be posting more regularly on it as we move forward. It is a great way for us to recollect How Father is working in our lives and through us.
If you are not signed up with us yet...please do immediately. We need you. I know it takes a couple of minutes, but the impact you will make will be incredible!
Thanks for taking a few minutes to help us launch this great new prayer tool. My hope is that Praelude 20/20 will do two key things: 1. Provide such a convenient way for people to pray for us and our work that we end up with prayer going on around the clock throughout the week! Think how cool that will be. And 2. Provide a simple, doable way for people to undergird that work financially.
Then, if this flies, I hope that ten's of thousands of other cross-cultural workers will use it to quickly raise the prayer and financial resources they need. Along with the developers of Praelude, who are my friends, I pray that God will use this resource to speed the redemptive work he's doing on our planet. And you are such an important part of its launch!
To get started, click the link to "Pick a Prayer window" at the left. The sign-up process is quite simple and should only take a couple of minutes. Please report any confusing steps, hurdles or roadblocks. Let me know what works well too. Email your thoughts to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are seeing many people join us in this initiative. Won't you join us as well? Prayer does change things...and how we need God to work for us!
Should God lead you, you will be one of the first to link up with us in Praelude 20/20. For more information go to the main Praelude 20/20 site at: Click Here
Sandy and I would like to pray for you as well. Please send any personal prayer requests you may have so we can pray for you.
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