I have begun a road trip, going to different states and meeting with individuals putting me closer to reaching my monthly support goal. I am trusting that God will provide. I am still making progress. This trip I am going on, I am really believing that God will provide a tremendous amount. I ask that all of you who read this also contend in this for me. Your support is what makes a difference in the Kingdom of God. You guys as supporters, both in prayer and in finances, are the backbone of the Body of Christ. Where could the feet go if there was no spine? I have always pictured missionaries as the feet of the Body of Christ because they are the ones that pioneer into new places and carry the Word to where it needs to be. The feet can’t move if they have no spine, the Body of Christ would be paralyzed without its spinal column. Partners, supporters, teammates, whatever you call them, without them, a church could not stand. What if there was no one that came to the church, no one to encourage and give? The church would die. Any person that has a ministry should build it in the Body of Christ. Think about it, if the eye stood alone, it could not see, it must be a part of the Body. If any part of a body was separate from the body, it would not work. What happens if you cut off an arm? It doesn’t work.
The Body of Christ is a mass of people that hearkened to the Voice of God in their life to develop the most effective way to spread the Gospel. The idea of the Body of Christ encourages us to infect the world. We are to be in the world and not of it. You can bring ministry into any part of your life. At your job, your home, your town, anywhere and everywhere. Sure, you do not need a financial support basis if your ministry is at your work. Now, if we look at it this way, those in your church support you in encouragement and prayers in that you will revolutionize your workplace, that your coworkers will ask questions, and you can bring them the Gospel. You can show them the Power of God, because you are well equipped and know that Gospel is spread through Spirit and through Power. Showing the Power of God to people is what really convinces people. If our God could not show power, then we would be just like all the other religions in that our God is dead, but our God shows life in our days. Supernatural provision and freedom from past chains. Things that actually change people’s lives physically, spiritually, and emotionally. You have the fullness of God in you Ephesians 3:19, Galatians 2:20, and 1 John 4:12, 16. The Body of Christ is the Body of Christ because it is believers that have Christ in them, so it is essentially a reconstruction of Christ through the followers. We show how Christ lives in all of our ways of life. Your part in the Body of Christ is not small, no matter what you do. I like to say, “imagine a church without the hospitality.” We need the scientists, the preachers, the missionaries, the debaters, the workers, the cleaners, and many many more. Everybody belongs in the Body of Christ and never has to pursue in any endeavor alone. Do not be afraid of reaching out to your fellow believers for encouragement or support, in anything.
I was planning on doing my newsletter on one or two of the pictures on my website, but looks like I got a bit sidetracked. I wanted to shed some light on them. So you know what I am going to do? I am going to write about one. This photo was taken on a Sunday.
We were on the third and final expedition of Advanced Missions Training (AMT). We went into a chiefdom called Nyawa, in a village called Nansongwe. I believe we arrived on a Saturday after a grueling ride in a big truck for many hours. We settled into our campsite alongside a soccer field and school. We set up our tents and had a warm welcoming from the villagers. Maybe close to fifty came to our campsite and greeted us, unfortunately, we were cooking our food and, culturally, if we were to start eating then we would be obligated to share with the others. We didn’t have that much food, so our food was resting on the fire while we were waiting for the villagers to finish greeting us. It was only a little overcooked, so it wasn’t so bad. Sunday, we begin ministry…
We broke up into three teams, each containing about four to five people. We decided we would visit the churches in the area. Despite the name of the church or their proclaimed denomination, it does not mean much. Most of the churches there teach doctrine which is far off any teaching remotely close to the Gospel. It is because missionaries had come into the village or nearby and brought the Gospel and essentially started revival, but nobody stayed to actually make sure the villagers know the Gospel, so in the end, they teach wrong doctrine, sometimes knowingly, and sometimes unknowingly. Continuing on, one group went to a New Apostolic church, another group went to a Roman Catholic church, and my group went to the Church of Christ. It was really good, I had a profound revelation. The pastor, Pastor Oliver had been taught fairly well the Gospel, because one of the Zambian missionaries had been teaching him. One of my fellow missionary friends asked me if I wanted to speak, because Pastor Oliver gave us the opportunity. I said, “I don’t know.” I said that because the natural feelings arose, what you feel before you speak in front of a crowd, anxiety, you’re nervous, fear, then it hit me. I was sitting inside of the poorly built church, we had logs for seats. I was thinking how it is my job to bring these people the Gospel. I have the greatest job in the world, the dream job, the one that leads people to salvation. I asked myself, why don’t I jump at the chance to bring these people the greatest message in the world? I remembered a quote from the guy that asked me if I wanted to speak, he said, “an hour of discomfort can literally save someone’s life.” -Branden Bender. You can guarantee I spoke that day. Most of that story actually doesn’t pertain to the photo.
That photo was taken that Sunday, but that man was at the Roman Catholic church with a different group, where there were demon-possessed people in the congregation, but I never saw this man, until… Thursday. We were doing hut-to-hut ministry. We had walked maybe around an hour give-or-take a few minutes. We were looking for a hut to visit. We came to this man’s house not knowing he had been at the Roman Catholic Church. Me a few others, him, and his wife all sat under a thatched building thingamajig. We started up a simple conversation with them, their names were Anna and Trusting. We were just getting to know them. He brought out some chairs for us to sit on. The nicest chairs I have ever seen in the bush. They were essentially a hard-cushioned couch and recliner. As we were speaking to them, Anna, the man’s wife, suddenly began telling us all this personal stuff about their lives. She told us that he was an alcoholic, that he would abuse her, and get in fights with people at the bar, he would have bad dreams that he was fighting, and they had tried witchcraft to end the bad dreams, they were just troubled people. We were surprised because normally the women would not open about things like that. Our interpreter or multi-lingual co-laborer asked Trusting if that was true. He said yes. At the time, he withheld some information from us undenounced to us. We basically told them the Gospel, and gave them marriage counseling for almost two hours. Both Trusting and Anna were saved that day. It was a really precious moment to see them praying together. They both moved onto their knees and held hands. After all of this he decides to tell us about how some of our team had went to his church on Sunday. He said that after they had finished speaking, he asked the for a Bible. They told him that they do not have any, but that we believe God provides, so if you pray and believe, God will give you one. Wednesday, he sold a chicken of his and bought a Bible for the church. We were happy for him. We asked if they had prayed for his bad dreams to go away. He said they did, so naturally we ask, have you had any since then? He said no. Praise God again!
After this beautiful moment, and heading back to the campsite, we were having our little testimony night around the fire. Someone was telling this story, I don’t recall who. One of the people that had went to the Roman Catholic church remembered him and said he was the pastor. We were blown away. This man, a pastor of this Roman Catholic church, that had demon-possessed people there, so he got to see the Power of God working to cast those demons out, he prayed for a Bible and received one, he had bad dreams that are gone now, him and his wife are saved, and now there is a good grace Bible study in his area, so now he can truthfully teach his people the Gospel. So much happened in his life in such a short amount of time. It was amazing. His life was basically turned around.
That’s the context behind that photo. This is a longer newsletter than usual, but it was necessary. Thank you for reading! Thank you all for your support! And may your days be blessed from this point on and forevermore!