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We returned from the mission field last week, and now are back to the everyday routine, except with a whole new outlook on the work. Knowing what we've been a part of and what is being accomplish on the field is one thing, seeing it with your own eyes is another. I always knew that behind the power points, pictures and stories, there were real people but now I know what kind of people are behind them. People with tears, laughter, hopes and dreams and faces with lines on them that tell stories. It's been a real eye opener.

Yes, I'd been overseas before but I did not see the work of God in action like I did this time. We saw many things, heard lots of honking from unorganized traffic and experienced a whole new world in comparison to North American life. Through the heat of each day, from one destination to another we had much time sitting in a vehicle and time to think about all we were seeing. It begged the question, what on earth am I here for? Am I going to build my kingdom here in the sand or live for the one True God and His Kingdom? Creation groans for the redemption of Jesus Christ. Am I willing to yield myself to God and be used by Him to impact the world with His love? Yes, because Jesus paid for my freedom with His blood, I owe Him my life.

 One of the things that impacted me most was seeing the Widow’s ministry. A group of widows were gathered under tarps when we arrived. They all sat on the ground but they had put chairs out for us to sit on. They greeted us with flowers and much affection. Then, a few of the widows shared their testimonies. As one as one was finished sharing her testimony another would stand up, then another. It was touching because all they wanted was a voice and someone to hear them. I can’t imagine myself in their place. I hadn't thought much of the deep scars on their lives and what it would be like for them to lose their husband. But as they shared they had to fight tears because they recalled the memories as though they were yesterday when their husband didn't return home again. Now left to fend and provide for the family, forced to earn a living by daily labour for other villagers, life itself became a burden. 

But that wasn't how things remained. Our dear Sisters of Compassion and brothers were sent to share the hope of Christ with these precious women and to care for them. To help them with domestic work and make a way for them to have a community together with one another and with God at the centre. It wouldn't have happened this way had someone not been sent to share the Good News with them. God's love stooped down and met these precious widows and their children where they were at and met all their needs. He cares for widows deeply and tells us in His word to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction (James 1:27). What’s on my Father’s heart ought to be on my heart, not out of duty but because He loves, I also love. What a boundless joy to be a part of touching the lives of the people in Asia with the love of Jesus now, and seeing love in action. The harvest is still plentiful, and the workers are still few (Luke 10:2), there's much work to be done. 

—Disciple in GFA Discipleship Program




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Greatest of These is Love

Recently I was blessed to go on a vision tour to Asia as part of the Discipleship Program.

Being able to go on this trip and see the work that God is doing on the mission field and that my life has been a part during my time in the Discipleship Program was an amazing privilege and a very impactful experience for me.

God used my time there to give me a greater understanding of the difference that the hope of Christ can make in the lives of those who are without hope and in desperate need. As we travelled to different areas of the mission field I saw much hopelessness and suffering and was reminded that Jesus is the only true Hope.

 I was challenged by the example of the missionaries I met there whose joy was to serve and be the hands and feet of Jesus to those around them, whose love for Jesus shines on their faces and whose unity and oneness enables them to effectively serve as a team. Men like one of the brothers we met who is serving in a slum ministry. This pastor has given his life to living amongst and serving the hurting and needy people in the slum. When we met *Pastor David during our visit there, I was struck by his love for the Lord and his dedication to reaching the people around Him with Jesus’ love. He and his wife live with just the bare necessities of life in the same condition as those they are ministering to in the slum.

Pastor David is the only Christian in his family. He shared with us how as a young person he got into the wrong crowd and his friends were a bad influence on his life. He was involved in lots of parties and drinking. A pastor came to his area looking for young men to mentor and to send to Bible School. He met David and some of his friends and began sharing about God’s love with them. The pastor asked them why they were destroying their lives and told them that God loved them and had something better for them to do. God used that conversation to speak to David’s heart and he made the decision to commit his life to Christ.

Now Pastor David is able to minister to other people who are living in the same hopeless condition that he was. We had the opportunity to attend a house church that he is leading in the slum and meet some of the believers who are there.  It was a blessing to worship alongside them and know that even though our cultures are worlds apart and we don't speak the same language, we can still worship the same God together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

*For security reasons name has been changed.

 



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