Blessed greetings in the name of our Father, Almighty God and in the name of His precious son, our savior and Redeemer, our Lord, Christ Jesus.
I pray this letter finds you in the best of health and peace and in the perfect graces of Him who is able to perfect you into the image of His Firstborn Son.
This past month has been absolutely amazing. We have faced challenges from every side. But the God of Grace and the Grace of God has not only sustained us with physical provision but strengthened us in our faith, our resolve and our mission.
However, this left us with a large deficit and an ongoing shortage of support including the rent for our house and office on the Islamic Republic.
We prayed and thought we might need to shut down the operation and move it to the mainland, but God has made it abundantly clear that is not his plan.
As Joannie and I prayed we struggled to hear a clear word from the Lord. One morning I felt like the Lord was prompting me to read the story of Shammah as the Philistines were attacking and destroying the food plots of the children of Israel and Shammah decided not to flee but to plant his feet in a patch of beans and fight the Philistines. I told Joannie that we needed to plant our feet and this was our "patch of beans".
For the next three days we received messages from several friends both here and the States that have confirmed we are to stay in the Islamic Republic and the Lord has miraculously provided ALL the rent for this coming year through the gifts of His people!
We are greatly encouraged and strengthened in because of the answer from God and His provision. We still need to make up the difference in the regular support we lost but we have the next years rent paid for and we are very sure that God has given us clear direction to finish the task that He has called us to. Just like when Jesus prayed and the blind man began to see men walking as "trees" and Jesus prayed again and the miracle was complete!
We have remained faithfully busy during this time and spent two weeks training the Indigenous Team on the Island from the Level 3 training.
The Lord is giving us great favor among the nationals both in and out of the Kingdom.
We have undertaken several projects that are very significant in the community for our NGO as well as team training.
We have just takenon one of the largest projects on the Island that has presold 200 houses. We will be helping to hire the 200 tradesmen that will be working on the project over the next 10 years.
We will also be screening more than 200 women who will work in a factory that will make the finish products which will go into the houses.
Liaison International will be hiring two locals who will assist me in this project completely paid for by the construction company. This is so important because one of the big complaints on the Island is that there are no jobs for locals. As we work together with this company it will give us access to many people. What a great contact point and good way to engage with the people.
On the training end of things, we have one brother on our team that I will refer to as brother T. Brother T has been a champion and is one of the leaders of the team.
He himself has three small groups he has planted and is discipling. For the past two weeks we have been training the team how to "story" in context. This is a huge job. We have been studying eight stories that fit together in context using bridge building language so the story can be heard and understood without being resisted by our friends.
Brother T immediately went out into the community and took another brother with him and sat with a Qur'an "teacher" from the local mosque.
He began to share the story of Moses with the teacher and the teacher became very happy and even offered to teach these brothers Arabic. The teacher and his students wanted to hear more from the story and have invited them back to share later. One of the Muslim men sitting with the teacher asked to hear the story of Jesus!!! PTL!!!
All of this is happening in the wake of the Team Leader from the expat team (who also happened to be the German Consulate Officer) leaving. I can see the pain in his eyes as he is heading back to Germany because he labored for so long with very little fruit and in his last six months God is now opening the floodgates and we are seeing real progress.
We thank God for opening the door here for us through him. He has labored diligently and plowed the ground and now is the season for the next phase of building to take place.
The ground is turned and the rocks have been mostly removed and now I am pouring the foundation of the building. It always takes time to pour the foundation, but the excavator that digs the foundation is different from the cement company that puts in the form and pours the cement. I feel like we are the foundation company laying foundation and after we move on the next phase of building will be done by the one equipped for that job.
Our brother dug a deep hole so we are pouring a deep foundation on which a large building can stand. We thank God for his work and bless him as he leaves the country.
This week I have been on the mainland to teach in a Mission School for two weeks. I have had two brothers in my class that have been the main apologists fighting the Muslims in public debate. I somewhat expected some difficulty because of the position they have taken and their history. These brothers have been arrested by local authorities for "illegal preaching" and even detained for as long as 62 days and later acquitted. On one occasion the police took them into their protection for 17 days due to death threats.
However, by the grace of God, He has given us favor with them and they have seen the merit of our methodology.
They have written many books and have a very high position among the churches here. It was extremely important that we find common ground or the body would be divided here. The last day of class of the first week, one of these brothers came to me and told me, the bishops from the different denominations here on the mainland have invited them to teach them regarding Islam and how to best reach Muslims.
After hearing my teaching he has said I would be better suited to teach this subject to the Bishops and asked me to take this responsibility. He said he would set up the entire meeting, MC the meeting and co-teach with me but he wanted me to handle the main body of the meeting as my experience is far more extensive than his at actually reaching Muslims.
His notoriety will bring the Bishops and my teaching will open the doors to the churches to gather workers for the Kingdom. We are planning this event for November. I would have never guessed that the Lord would have brought us together to work like this. God is so amazing!
We will be returning to the US directly after the teams leave and remain in the US until October.
If you would like to have us come and share at your church or get together to find out more about the work please contact us. We are praying to bring more teams, both short and long term workers starting this December.
I would like to say a very special "thank you" to all of you who stepped up during our time of need to pray and support us. We feel like we have an awesome team behind us and without you all that is happening here would be impossible. May the Lord richly bless you for your obedience. Together we ARE making a difference!