Saturday, July 28, 2018

Look What God Can Do.... through Alex too!

3 summers ago, I embarked on a journey to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe for my first summer missions trip where I was given this little book to read for the first time. Who knew something so small could make such a difference in my life?! 

It is crazy to think how vastly different my life is now. I have gone through a lot these past 3 years: moving states twice, transferring universities, 2 summer missions terms, a summer youth internship, losing my grandmother, moving countries for a season, meeting so many new and beautiful people, making amazing friends, losing some friends along the way, traveling to my 6th continent, and following Jesus to the best of my ability. Each of these hold both good and bad memories. Through all the change, the loss, the gain, the failures, and the triumphs, I did not always know how to handle it all, nor did I always execute it all gracefully. But through reading this book and the constant scripture referenced throughout it, I was able to read about God’s Word coming to life in the lives of past and present warriors of my faith. 

I read about ordinary people like William Carey, a shoe cobbler, being unsettled about the reality of lostness and dedicated to his part in doing something about it. 

I read about Lottie Moon, a very small, seemingly insignificant woman, creating a new definition for the word “servanthood” and who Southern Baptist name our annual Lottie Moon Christmas Offering after. 

I read about Jim Elliot, a young man with a young family, who’s bravery and faith let to martyrdom and influenced hundreds, maybe even thousands, to follow Jesus’ command to complete the great commission. 

I’ve read this tiny book too many times to count. Each time I read it, it becomes more and more evident that this book was written about people who were ordinary, simply human, and sinful- much like myself! And yet, look what God can do! They had complete faith to trust God and follow Him to wherever He may lead. They had weaknesses just like the rest of us. As the Bible says, His power is made perfect in weakness. To me, this is life-changing! This is such good news! 

He knows we are going to fail sometimes. He knows our deepest hurts, thoughts, desires, sorrows, joys, and failures and He uses all of it for His glory and for the nations to be drawn to Himself. Right now for me, as much as I want to succeed at everything, I’m sure I will fail many, many more times. But, His power is made perfect in my weaknesses. The craziest thing is, more change is coming! I literally have no clue what the next chapter of my life will hold, and that’s okay. God knows. And if there’s anything I learned from reading about all those amazing Missionaries, it’s that when we follow Christ, life will be worth while. God used a William, a Lottie, and a Jim. He can use an Alex too.

Look What God Can Do is available through Amazon

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Taytay sa kaayohan (Bridge to Healing)

After our early morning boat ride from the island to the mainland we arrived at the port city where we would board the large ship that would take us to our next island destination. The city looked different from before even though we had been in this same spot just a week earlier. The sun was starting to light the sky and neither of us had a clear idea of what day it was. 

Our Journeyman term has been filled with different seasons of mobilizing Filipinos to be World Christians and to lead this generation to finish the Great Commission, but this summer we have served as traveling supervisors for several American Nehemiah Teams here in the Philippines. As Traveling Supervisors, our main purpose is to visit the teams and make sure that they are doing their discipleship materials as well as functioning well as a team; however as we travel around to teams our favorite part is joining them in ministry for the few days we are there. We have been exposed to the deep darkness and lostness that penetrates this country from the muddy mountains to the small island fishing communities that the teams are serving in. This last week, our traveling took us to an island that is known to be the birthplace of the Catholic stronghold that so deeply entangles people and leads them away from the true gospel of grace. 
After our overnight boat ride, we then had a three hour bus ride, and an hour motorcycle ride through the mountains ahead of us before reaching the team. Once we finally arrived we were excited to see that they were in an area that no team has ever been to before and we learned that the people were eager to hear the gospel. We did a film showing in a neighboring village that was a modern day “5 loaves and 2 fish” scenario. The waiting shed we planned to show the movie in was not big enough to support the crowd that had gathered so someone suggested that we could move to the local catholic chapel and then suddenly a man offered to bring his TV so we could play the movie on it instead of the projector. Our group quickly set out and as the men and women walked up the hill, umbrellas lined the road and we grew excited to see how eager the people were to watch the film about Jesus. The showing went well and the guys on the team followed up with a very clear presentation of the gospel and an invitation to learn more about how we can receive the gift of salvation. 

Later that evening, we visited a house in the area to do Bible Study. The father had asked that we come after dinner so that he could invite the rest of his family and friends. When we arrived we were shocked to see how many men and women had gathered to study the word of God. We began with the story of Lazarus and the rich man and talked about the urgency of eternity and how all people will spend eternity in either heaven or hell and cannot switch back and forth. 

We continued with the passage from Ephesians 2 and talked about being spiritually dead or spiritually alive in Christ. All of the men and women there were very attentive and asked lots of questions about how someone who was dead could be made alive! Throughout the study we took turns reading the passages and quite unexpectedly one of the daughters said that that was the first time anyone had come to read the Bible with them. Before we left, the guys asked if we could pray for the family and Tatay (the father of the family) mentioned the family’s health and work. But then he simply added not knowing the truth in his statement, “tingali taytay sa kaayohan kamo” which translates to “maybe you all are the bridge to healing”. Although he was referring to physical healing our prayer was that the team would truly be a bridge to spiritual healing for this community. 

For some reason the Lord has sovereignly chosen to use us to be the messengers of the gospel. We must be the bridge for people to hear the only message that can bring true healing. If not us, who will?


Encouraging the family

Had a great time in F-town! We had the opportunity to do
street evangelism, prayer walking and trained some of the church members in Two Paths, the evangelism method we use here. It was great to get to visit with pastor Chris again and work alongside him to spread the gospel!

-Bush Boys

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Team of the Day: Southeast Asia Tourist

Location: Southeast Asia
Team size: 3

Job description: Visit the Spice Islands via small planes & old boats. Seeing places many have not, off the beaten path, rustic, sharing your faith with those you meet. Camping & roughing it is part of the task of reaching the uttermost. Survey multiple islands in the central & southern provinces of the Maluku Islands, sharing the Gospel while exploring multiple islands. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Team of the Day: Hide & Seek

Location: Southeast Asia
Team size: 1

Job description: You will "hide" in this closed country as a tourist. Daily you will explore your target city, going to where people hang out, "seeking" those who are looking for God. Boldly but wisely share the Gospel to see who is ready to follow.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Team of the Day: Kids Lovin' & Learnin'

Location: Philippines
Team size: 4

Job description:Come, impact orphaned children for eternity. Love them, play with them, teach them, & model Christian life to them. A local ministry is in need of volunteers who are willing & equipped physically, emotionally & spiritually to work with children who are in need of special protection, particularly those who have been abandoned, neglected, orphaned or surrendered.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Team of the Day: Edge Explorer

Location: Southeast Asia
Team size: 2

Job description: Help survey & sow seed among the unreached peoples of Southeast Asia. The people are scattered among remote islands, deep jungles & breakthtaking mountain ranges. These are the places you'll be traveling to take the Gospel where the Truth has yet to be shared. You will partner with a young national believer who will serve as your translator & co-laborer in the work. Push to the edge this summer!