Our ministries around the world are making progress every day. The national pastors we support apply hard work, faithful obedience, and diligent perseverance in their ministries. When combined with the prayers of our partners, then by the grace of God, people come to faith in Jesus Christ. Each step in the process builds upon the last step until total transformation takes place. Villages are turned upside down and people walk in a newness of life.
The trip to Uganda by our short term team resulted in tremendous fruit. We have reports of over forty professions of faith as they visited homes and proclaimed Christ in open air crusades. The sacrificial nature of our team was greatly appreciated by everyone.
- They paid for their trip (Funds did not come from our support for church planters).
- They spent hours traveling by plane and van to reach the people in the rural villages. They delivered both food and the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gifts they brought to the homes helped communicate the love of Jesus Christ.
This generosity towards the poor has been the pattern of the church from the beginning. The Apostle Paul shared his travel plans to the Church at Rome, “At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem.” [Romans 15:26, ESV]
The crisis in Kikarara, located about three hours drive on treacherous dirt roads, opens a new mission venture for the churches we support in the Rukungiri township. They have donated from their resources, and we have combined their collections with gifts from our partners. The food was delivered. The immediate crisis of starvation is being solved. But more than that, people are coming to faith in Jesus Christ. The first step was to sustain the people with physical nourishment. To accomplish that on this trip, over seventy volunteers from God’s Embassy Ministries dedicated their time and energy to serve 1,000+ meals to the starving people. As a result, many people received the Word with gladness. This was the second mission trip. On the first trip, containers of maize and beans were provided. On this second trip, a hot meal was provided. Now the second step is taking place. Pastor Onesimus is arranging bible study leaders to follow-up and disciple the new believers.
Now the second step is taking place. Pastor Onesimus is arranging bible study leaders to follow-up and disciple the new believers. Once or twice a month two future pastors will travel to Kikarara to provide bible studies and visit the people in their homes. Continued help will be provided to supply their food until they can regain the ability to provide for themselves. Training in new farming techniques and providing improved water sources will help too. But the bible studies will transform the lives of the new believers.
Something exciting is taking place in Myanmar
Our ministry has supported church planters proclaiming the gospel in this predominantly non-Christian country since 1998. Pastor Thawng has been coordinating our ministry and providing oversight to our churches. As the Lord has provided, I have visited our churches to oversee the work and experience first hand the testimonies of believers in the new churches. Often our pastors have experienced being forced to depart from a village because of persecution. However, they always respond with kindness and bold courage to defend the truth of the gospel as they proclaim the good news.
This week we have received word from Pastor Thawng that he will be joining some other Christian pastors for a special dinner with one hundred members of parliament including the Vice President of Myanmar to arrange a regular Sunday worship service and bible study for Christian members of the government. This new level of influence will allow expansion of the gospel message being delivered to the rural villages. Pray for the growing influence of the Christians in government.
One of the reasons the Christians become more influential in government is because of the practical work of ministry being done by the churches. When Christians help the poor and deliver aid to the needy, people commend the actions as good and are willing to give them greater freedom to serve.
One way that our churches have served their community in Myanmar has been through our water project. We recently helped Pastor Ruat extend the boring of his well to a depth of 300′ so that the well would not run dry in the summer hot season. This month we are adding a final piece to that project–a diesel powered pump so that the well can fill a large container that will make water available to all the neighbors. Other households cannot afford to have a well. When the church provides water for free to the neighbors it opens a door for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Projects like these, that provide a basic need for a community through the service of the local church, in the name of Jesus is a step by step process opening new doors for the gospel. Your partnership helps us expand the projects to transform communities.
Short-term mission trips allow our partners here to participate in delivering the aid like the Apostle Paul did. Sometimes the national pastor, our Field Director, and members of their church deliver the aid directly. The key principle in every event is that the name of Jesus is exalted and lifted up and the people receiving the food and water know that we do this because of obedience and love for our Savior and Lord.