Pree-vyet!” is our Russian “Hi” to you this month and we say “spa-see-ba” (thank you) for joining us for this little chat . . . A chat isn’t a one-sided thing, so tell us how you feel about what follows . . .
1. Sheep2Sheep ~ Two Heroes
2. Profound & Pithy ~ Mixed Plate
3. Boutique ~ Something Old,
4. Donna’s Corner ~ The Fear . . .
. . . of the Lord
5. Gatherings ~ Oh Boy!
A Pair of Lollapaloozas
1. Sheep2Sheep ~ An Amazing Testimony
This month I’d like you to read about a very brave couple of former YWAMers, Tom and Libby Little who attended a DTS in Heidebeek, Holland, back in the late 70s. Since then they spent 32 years in war-torn Afghanistan working in medical programs, staying through the Russian invasion and a civil war.
Shortly after Libby Little wrote this article on suffering, in early August she received news that her husband had been brutally murdered while returning from leading a medical mission of ten workers into a rural area of Afghanistan. Tom was an opthamologist and he and Libby had reared three daughters in Afghanistan.
Suffering: 'A Door of Opportunity' by Libby Little
For most Westerners, the opportunity to embrace suffering in service has become rare. Stringent security and evacuation protocols, government advisories, threats of litigation, and pressures from relatives and supporters make it difficult for mission people working in conflict zones to stay near to those who suffer. "To stay, or not to stay?" is a relevant question for today's mission personnel working in dangerous places.
In today's world of instant access to news, mission agencies may feel compelled to "do something" when danger arises. Although the Bible gives examples of varying responses to danger, the mission agencies' "something," more often than not, may be to encourage or order an evacuation. What might have been a God-appointed time to embrace suffering and those who suffer may be prematurely aborted.
According to a United Nations study, The World at War, increasing areas of the world are involved in "intrastate wars" where 75 percent of the victims are noncombatants. That figure represents a staggering story of human suffering and enormous needs.
I can remember two occasions when we and others stayed "in the same boat," as it were, with people caught in conflict and suffering. On one occasion we had to stay; it soon became too late to leave. On the other occasion we had a choice, and we chose to stay.
The first occasion happened in the late '70s in a city where a dozen foreigners were living. My husband and I and our two daughters had been sent to complete the construction and opening of an eye hospital.
One March morning, rumours circulated that a citizens' uprising was brewing against the foreign political advisers who were sent there to prepare for an invasion. We woke to the deafening blasts of government tanks firing on the crowds forming in the bustling open market, and jets strafing streets lined with mud-brick houses.
During a brief lull in fighting, a military convoy was organized to take foreign advisers and government sympathizers to a safe place. We were offered a place in the convoy. Our neighbours, however, assured us the worst was over, so the convoy came and left without us. As the fighting worsened, and streets were abandoned, our neighbours fed us fresh bread and sweet milk. Some took turns guarding our gate, motioning angry mobs to "pass by" our home. When the fighting ended, they referred to us as "the people who stayed."
Months later the hospital opened and we began preparing for Christmas. Not wanting to miss any chance for a party, our daughter invited her friends and their female relatives to a birthday event for Jesus. They packed themselves into our home to hear the Christmas story of Immanuel, God with us. God blessed the painful times we had experienced in that city.
The second occasion happened in the country's capital during the mid-'90s. For months, opposing rebel forces fired rockets, sometimes a hundred a morning, into the streets. We were less than 20 foreigners, mostly medical personnel, and one child, our 10-year-old daughter. We lived in dark, sandbagged, first-floor rooms. Each morning we saw mounds of dirt piled outside our neighbours' houses, revealing their attempts to dig makeshift underground shelters. We spread the word that we had a basement, and our neighbours were welcome. Whenever rocketing began, they filed quickly through the gate and down the basement steps. With each incoming round of rockets, they moaned prayers and cried. In my own fearful state, all I could do was whisper the name of Jesus.
One of those women returned recently and told me that during those basement times, whenever she heard the name of Jesus she felt a warm sensation in her body. Later, when she left for a neighbouring country, she sought out Christians who could tell her more about the One who warmed her heart. God blessed those days in the basement.
God blessed those occasions and visited us with his power. His amateur followers, stricken with stage fright, forgetting their lines, were acting out in miniature something of his own Grand Narrative—Immanuel, God with us—in the miserable mess. The scenes set the stage for the Holy Spirit to work in a mighty way.
NEWS FLASH! Just in: Dateline, Afghanistan Aug 27th
A family of some of our first local Y-workers, who set out after their SOFM to start fellowships among their people, has been arrested. He and his wife and two little girls have been detained for the past two weeks. There have been several threats against them. The governor of the province could not release them. He is in jail along with another brother and 200 prisoners, who are all trying to kill them there for what they believe in. We have been praying since we heard, but allow me ask you to gather with us in praying and fasting for their lives and for them to be released. This Sunday Aug 29th we want to invite you in YWAM to fast, pray and lead prayer times on behalf of our local staff who are in prison. They need a miracle and let's stand with them as a family.
This article first appeared in the August issue of Christianity Today. Used by permission of Christianity Today International, Carol Stream, IL 60188.
This article is also to be found in the Aug 23rd edition of ‘Weekly Word’ by Jeff Fountain, former YWAM Europe Director. You can receive Weekly Word, by sending an email to:email@example.com with the subject: ‘subscribe’
2. Profound & Pithy ~ Mixed Plate*
Psychologist, pastors, and doctors agree—the family meal is one the most important things you can do to raise physically and emotionally healthy kids. In fact, children who eat dinner at home with their families have lower rates of substance abuse and obesity, do better in school, and feel more connected...
Loyalty must not be demanded; true loyalty is given freely.
The early bird gets the worm; the second mouse gets the cheese.
Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian. Dennis Wholey
Everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was. Richard L Evans
* Hawaiian Mixed plate (sometimes just ‘mix plate’), is a variety of onolicious local ethnic foods all on one plate.
2. Boutique ~ Something Old, Something New
In this Golden Year of YWAM's 50th Anniversary, who is a] the longest serving full-time YWAMer? (apart from Loren & Darlene Cunningham); and b] who is the oldest living full-time YWAMer?
Here’s a really good report on France’s Renewal Camp held in early August:
4. Donna’s Corner ~ The Fear of the Lord
Like Moses, I have been crying out to God, “If you're pleased with me, teach me your ways, so I may know you and continue to find favour with you"; not just acceptance, but favour (Ex 33:13). I'm tired of man's ways, I want to know God's ways. So much of what we do in the body of Christ, is what man has said, not what God has said.
I'm realizing that ‘the fear of the Lord’ is one of the most important of God's ways. David said, "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." (Ps 86:11)
Through Jeremiah, God says, "I will give them singleness of heart and action (unity), so they will always fear me for their good and the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear Me, so that they will never turn away from Me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul." (Jeremiah 32:39-41)
The fear of the Lord leads us to close friendship with God because He confides in those who fear Him, He instructs those in the way chosen for them (read Psalm 25:9-15). Having friendship with God is our greatest treasure.
Through the fear of the Lord we avoid evil (Proverbs 16:6) and God is faithful so that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. He'll always provide a way out (1 Cor 10:13). The fear of the Lord keeps us from sinning (Ex 20:20).
We cannot have a University of the Nations led by the Holy Spirit without the fear of the Lord, because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Prov 1:7); and it's, “the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Prov 9:10)
If we have the fear of the Lord we will prosper (Psalm 25:12-14, Prov 22:4 & Deut 6:24), and our children and children's children will be blessed. It's not just about you and me; it’s about the next generation to follow (whether it's a spiritual or physical generation).
The fear of the Lord is evidenced by our obedience to God. He said, “If you love Me, you’ll obey Me.”
I love the part of Abraham’s story when he learned obedience. The angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” . . . Do not lay a hand on the boy, do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son." (Genesis 22:12)
I'm still learning, but I believe we’re living in days that we must have the fear of God. I encourage you to do a study on this. I ask God for the fear of the Lord daily, and you can too. We’ll begin to hate what He hates and love what He loves. There is no other way.
Love and Blessings,
5. Two Gatherings in Paradise (well, Hawaii is close)
Here are the two great events covering the two great weeks - before and after American Thanksgiving! Plan on coming for both! (For overseas visitors, Thanksgiving is a traditional family holiday time in the U.S.)
*WEEK 1 ~ Nov 21-25: YWAM Associates International Gathering at the Royal Kona Resort, with Bob Fitts for one morning and other speakers you'll know, yet to be confirmed. JoEllyn Wright and others will be our ‘In House’ worship leaders. Hosted by Peter & Donna.
In addition to a Thanksgiving Luau Feast, we are planning a Sunset Beach Picnic, both events included in the Gathering cost. Click here to register. After registering for the Gathering, you may then register directly with the hotel; or, you can search for accommodations of your own in Kona.
NOTE: When registering for our YWAM Associates Gathering Nov 21-25, the same low hotel rates apply if you come a few days early, as well as for the 'resting' days of Nov 26-28. These special low rates also apply for the 50th Anniversary Celebration week – see Week 2 following . . .
*WEEK 2 ~ Nov 29-Dec 4: YWAM's 50th Anniversary in Kona, a Celebration with everybody you can imagine expected to be there! For registration click on www.ywam50.com/kona Weeks 1 & 2 must be registered for separately.?
And finally . . . Would you like to know my Replacement Theology? Replace me; I’ve got new vision.
Till next time,
Peter Jordan (Editor)
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