Weekly Photo Challenge – Culture

Culture from Yunnan Province, China

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Highlights Around the Word – #7 China

We have been working in China since 2005. During that time we have seen villages, who never before had a witness for Christ, not only receive the message but establish churches. From out of their own peoples, they have raised up leaders, sending them to study theology in places far away and seeing them come home and raise up still more leaders. The gospel is spreading rapidly but the need is still great. Simply put, the sheer number of people in China make it a daunting task to give everyone a witness.

We have been privileged to work with some amazing national workers who are both fearless and faithful. One of our highlights has been holding ordination services for 2 church pastors who have started churches in rural villages. Another highlight was an unplanned meeting with a group of believers who were meeting together. We literally stumbled upon them and realized that the song they were singing was Amazing Grace. We joined in, surprising them as they didn’t realize we were in the building. What a joyous time we had praising God together, English and Chinese voices lifted together. Contacts were made and friendships formed.

We have done more work in China than any other country but cannot reveal where or what for their safety. Suffice it to say that we are so grateful for the awesome privilege of working with the amazing believers in this great country.

On the Road to Share the Gospel

Crossing Barriers to Share the Gospel

Helping to build schools and garner goodwill

Highlights Around the World – #6 Rocky Boy’s Reservation, Montana

The Rocky Boy’s reservation in NorthCentral Montana is a wonderfully wild place. Beautiful mountain vistas, sweeping plains, herds of pronghorns and deer – Rocky Boy is truly a beautiful place to visit and photograph. Rocky Boy is also a place where we have a mission church. Our mission pastor for the last 12 years, who has done an amazing job, has retired. With sadness, I helped load his moving truck today as they headed off to the next adventure God has in store for them. We are now in the process of seeking another mission pastor to serve with us.

The people of Rocky Boy are Chippewa Cree, although one can find Flathead, Cherokee, Sioux, Kiowa, Crow and any number of other nationalities represented. The work here is hard, and it takes a person called by God to work with Native Americans. We have been so blessed for the last dozen years that the task of finding a new pastor for the work is daunting. Would you pray for us as we seek God’s will in finding who He wants to partner with us in the beautiful, spiritually needy place?

Highlights Around The World – #5 Uganda

Some years ago, when I was teaching at Yellowstone Baptist College, I had the privilege of having Grace Halland in my class. Grace was an exceptional student, with a passion for sharing the gospel and God’s Word. How pleased I was to learn of her plans to follow up Bible school by working with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Grace is now in Entebbe, Uganda, working with the translation teams.

This work is critical. The ability to get God’s Word into the hands of those who need to hear its life-changing message, in their own language, is priceless. I enjoy receiving Grace’s newsletter, as she not only keeps us informed of her work, but also of her life. It is rewarding to see her growth in the Lord, the maturing of her spirituality as she labors for the Kingdom. It is humbling to know that she has given her life to the people of Uganda – not just in translation work, but by adopting children and making a home there. It is satisfying to know that in a very, very small way, I was able to be part of her life, in the time God was speaking to her, calling her to this life of service.

We never know what impact we have on others. We never know how we will influence a person – not just for good or bad, but also in a large way or a small way. God takes all of those influences and works His work in the lives of His children. I am proud of Grace and the work of all Wycliffe translators. I am proud that God enabled me to meet her and spend time with her during her senior year. I do not for a minute take even the smallest part of credit for anything God has done or will do through Grace. It is I that have been influenced by her and her faithfulness.

Lift her up in prayer alongside me. Write to her through wycliffe.org and get to know this amazing person. Look around, God may place you in the path of one of His servants and the relationship you make will be eternal.

Highlights Around the World – #4 Philippines

One ministry we have had the privilege of corresponding with is that of Berean Bible Baptist Church in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, Philippines. From youth camps to world missions conferences, this ministry reaches out constantly to people who need to hear the gospel. Under the leadership of Pastor Janel Nemeno, they have grown to be shining example of faithfulness. Last year we cried with them as their building burned to the ground. The photos can be seen here: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/207486_210905172268735_7362425_n.jpg

We rejoiced with them this year, seeing a new building rising from the ashes, due in part to generous donations from fellow believers all across the globe. Pictures of their new building can be seen here: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/c100.0.403.403/p403x403/560415_414485561910694_2010413349_n.jpg

This ministry never lost a beat during the loss. Services and ministries continued to grow and God has blessed them greatly. A Christian academy and a bible college are just 2 of their many ministries. They have sent out missionaries to start many churches throughout the region from the very beginnings of their church. You can read more about this church here: Janel Nemeno – Info – Overview  Would you continue to pray for this ministry? Lift up this pastor and his family and pray the Lord’s blessings on their commitment to not only sharing the gospel, but also on their commitment to training Christian leaders and the sending out of missionaries.

Highlights Around the World – #3 Canada

Vast stretches of farmland roll into the horizon, broken by silos and the occasional herd of mule deer. Welcome to the southern edge of Alberta and Saskatchewan. From Lethbridge to Swift Current, we have been able to  meet with people starting churches in cities both large and small. As one travels along the highways, one realizes that there are many smaller towns without an evangelical witness, some without a witness at all, evangelical or otherwise. Southern Canada is far from the Bible belt and a different culture from America altogether. Although very similar in lifestyle to Montana, where we are based at, there are enough differences for one to realize very quickly that approaches to starting churches in Canada must be different than they are in the States.

The believers in Canada are doing a wonderful job – they just are small in number compared to the overall population. There are a large number of immigrants arriving annually, a great number from Asia. These immigrants are seeking a better life filled with opportunity. How wonderful it would be if mature Asian Christians were in place to meet them and introduce them not only to Canadian life, but to Jesus Christ?

Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to raise up workers to go into the fields of Western Canada and establish churches that will reach those coming to seek a new life with a new life in Christ. Pray for us, that as invitations come, we will be faithful to encourage, uplift, and resource the believers there with what they need to continue spreading the good news of the Kingdom of God.

Highlights Around the World – #2 Malaysia

Perhaps the most rewarding of all our overseas trips was to the wonderful country of Malaysia. Fantastic hospitality, great food and dedicated disciples made for a successful trip. We went, at the request of churches there, to hold discipleship training events and interactive question and answer sessions on any topic they picked. We met in three different cities (Penang, Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur) over 6 days. Presbyterians, Baptists, Assembly of God, Lutheran, Independents, and others all gathered together and shared with us and each other. Kudos to Canaanland Christian Book Store over there who made sure our teaching materials were in place and who provided us with a guide/translator who became a close friend with each of our teammates. Lifelong friendships, nay, eternal friendships were made as lives were shared with each other.

We learned so much that week – more, I’m sure, than we imparted to them. How inspiring it was to receive VCD’s of churches taking our training and showing us the ministries they came up with based on the training. Many ideas we have shared with churches in the states. I firmly believe that by working together and gaining insights from each other, churches around the globe can strengthen and edify each other. We have things we can teach, we have things we can be taught.

Please, pray for the Malaysian church. Great people ministering in a Muslim country, many facing increased persecution. They are strong in the faith, eager to share their witness, great examples for the worldwide church of God. Visit there, get to know the people, worship in a church with them. We did, and gained so much from it. How joyful it was to find such exuberant Christianity among the believers. God willing, we will be invited back to share with them once again.