Tuesday, March 31, 2015

In This Issue: APR/MAY/JUN 2015

Keys—those jangly things—have a specific purpose, don’t they? Their purpose is greater than holding your newest key ring from your last travel destination. While your new souvenir may look cool, it won’t by itself help the key with its purpose. No matter the shape, size, or age, keys are meant to unlock something worth protecting. Only the holder of the keys can introduce you to what lies on the other side of the protective barrier.

With over 100 years of experience, World Gospel Mission has a few “keys” we know to be true when it comes to being successful in ministry. Guess what? We are not keeping them a secret.

This issue of The Call will unlock several of those imperative facets. The stories are coming from the key holders themselves, and I think that is what makes this issue so important. As you turn the pages of the magazine, I hope you can see clearly that missions is for everyone. The Great Commission takes all of us to be successful.

What “keys” are you holding?

Your missions key ring may hold only one key right now, and that’s perfect because you know what it unlocks and I trust you are using it regularly. Others may have collected several missions keys over the years. Have you taken them out lately? Some of your keys may be rusty and need to be polished and put back into practice.

It doesn’t matter what the size of your collection is; what’s important is that you are using your keys. Please take time to reflect on this issue in prayer, asking God what keys you hold. Be prepared to walk in obedience as He takes you on a journey, showing you what lies on the other side of the barriers you unlock.

Thank you, key holders,

Kingdom Praying, Kingdom Answers

An excerpt from...

Kingdom Praying, Kingdom Answers

By Hubert Harriman, President
January-March 2015

Kingdom Praying, Kingdom AnswersOne of the great blessings of The Lord’s Prayer is its reference to our daily care: “Give us this day our daily bread.” God never disparages or demeans prayer requests for real personal needs. It’s interesting that this comes on the heels of the grandest prayer request: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” There is not a large chasm in God’s mind between the two. Like a general making vital strategic plans and moves, He also gives attention to keeping His soldiers well supplied. That’s a given in God’s kingdom. The chasm is usually in our minds—or hearts.

All too often, while concentrating on our daily care, we build a huge chasm between our needs and God’s kingdom. If prayer is relegated to the place of “give us this day our daily bread” alone, we effectively make prayer a consumer activity rather than a kingdom activity. Like Peter, we are guilty of not being mindful of the things of God, but the things of men (Mark 8:33).

Prayer, first and foremost, puts one in the presence of the Director of the universe. If prayer is honored as the place of presence in His presence, we become kingdom minded rather than just bread minded. Here we see the bigger picture and enter into being a player in God’s purpose rather than a consumer of God’s blessings.

The emphasis of The Call during the Concert of Prayer was on kingdom praying. The emphasis in this Call issue is on kingdom answers. This has a long-standing history and practice with WGM. From the beginning, kingdom praying was at the center of its focus. In fact, it was the very catapult that launched WGM from China to the ends of the earth. In 1927, Robert Smith approached the Board of Directors to begin ministry in Africa. He wasn’t into consumer thinking. He was into kingdom thinking and asked for this territory. As the board wrestled with the financial implications, they made it a matter of prayer. The very next day, they learned that God had already supplied through the death of an unknown donor who, totally unaware of these proceedings, had willed $5,000 seed money for expansion into Africa, “if and when you open work in Africa.” That seed has grown into incredible outreach in Kenya and beyond.

Prayer is not God’s response to our own personal whims or wishes, but our response to God’s will. I ask you to join with us in kingdom praying for kingdom answers. “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone’” (Matthew 4:4 NIV).

Make a difference on your knees.
PRAY: Spend this quarter with your sphere of influence practicing The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Prayer Calendar: March 29-31, 2015

As this month and this issue comes to a close there is one last prayer point inspired by the Answers to Prayer issue:

Take time today to pray “kingdom prayers,” asking for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

This prayer request is inspired by President Hubert Harriman's article Kingdom Praying, Kingdom Answers. Read it here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Prayer, Praises, and Dancing

An excerpt from...

Prayer, Praises, and Dancing

By John and Beth Muehleisen, Missionaries, Uganda
January-March 2015

Prayer, Praises, and Dancing
Did you pray?
On August 12, 2014, World Gospel Mission’s Prayer Lifeline sent out this pertinent request for WGM Uganda:

Uganda: John and Beth Muehleisen, Tiana Duncan, and Jennipher Wasirimba (Community Health Empowerment coordinator) are holding a Training of Trainers on August 14–18. Pray for good health, safe travels, and good discussions.
On August 26, we sent this praise report: We’ve just returned from seven days in Petete, a village in eastern Uganda. We trained a group of 30 pastors and church leaders to train others in their church and village to do village evangelism and health education. This was our second week-long training with this group, and they brought some amazing stories of what happened since our first training a few months ago.

Planting Seeds in Their Communities
One of their assignments after their first week of training in May was for each team to do a seed project in their community. A seed project is a great way to practice concrete ways of demonstrating God’s love to everyone around—not just those in their family or church.

From the report-back session on the first day, it was evident to us that God used them to touch the lives of others in a very positive way.
Pastor Samuel described how they had approached the local village elder for permission to fix the community well, which had a broken cover.

The village elder’s response was better than they had hoped for. He offered to buy the cement they needed to fix the well cover and gave them his blessing.

The group not only made a new cover for the well, but they also cleaned the area around it and gathered the community together to teach lessons on good sanitation. Even though Pastor Samuel and his group did these things without expecting anything in return, the results were amazing!

The Next Sunday…
The following Sunday, Samuel was surprised at how many people came to church. The small church building could not hold all of the people who came, and they sat outside on mats to hear God’s Word from a pastor who cared enough about the community to take the time to fix their well cover and to make sure their water source was clean.

Pray that the people from Pastor Samuel’s village will also recognize their need to drink from the pure, clean Living Water so they can live forever.

Please join us in praying for the seven training teams currently involved in Community Health Evangelism training.

Thanks for being a part of a big, big thing.

And yes, you can start dancing with us now.

Your missionaries in East Africa,
John and Beth

Could you have even imagined these results as you prayed? God takes our offerings, no matter how small, and uses them for the glory of His kingdom.

GO: God is challenging Ugandan Christians and missionaries to train more people to proclaim His truth and life-saving love. The harvest is ready, but the need for workers is greater than ever. Discover how you can join the team and serve in Uganda by visiting www.wgm.org/uganda.

MoreMORE: The gentlemen in the first picture were demonstrating the River Crossing story, a core story we tell in our CHE training. If you are not familiar with this story, here are a few videos made by David Phipps of Gingamsburg UMC: http://youtu.be/mhZqS9dLebc.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Prayer Calendar: March 22-28, 2015

It's time for a new mission prayer point inspired by The Call magazine. Concentrate on this praise throughout this week:

PRAISE God for working through the Community Health Evangelism team in Uganda, sharing the message of the whole-person, whole-community transformation through Jesus Christ.

Why are John and Beth Muehleisen dancing? This praise is a reflection of the story they here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Timely Prayer

An excerpt from...

Timely Prayer

By Nathan Vitatoe, Missionary DiscipleSpain
January-March 2015

Timely Prayer
We often have the best of intentions when someone shares a difficult situation or need with us and we reply, “I’ll pray for you.” I can think of countless times when I had a brief conversation with someone at church or outside of the post office or a shop in which I told the person that I would pray for them. Unfortunately, many times, I would forget later to actually pray for them, even though I had fully intended to. I would even justify myself by praying retroactively days or even weeks later, thinking that with God’s infinite perspective, my belated prayer was heard in time or outside of time, thus being credited to the applicable situation.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I began to change not only my perspective but, more importantly, my practice of praying for others. It occurred to me that, yes, we pray to a God who listens and hears us, but another great thing about prayer is how it affects those for whom we’re praying. I realized that if I said, “I’ll pray for you,” there normally isn’t any reason why I can’t take the time to pray for them right then when they are sharing their burden with me. In this manner, we encourage one another and carry our burdens together. After putting this into practice, I have seen how oftentimes others who are nearby are positively affected by overhearing our time of prayer. When I prayed for a lady in need in a packed train car in Spain, I noted the unspoken words of compassion and grace on the faces of those who were in the vicinity.

I pray that we will be a people dedicated to praising the Lord, lifting others up to the throne room of our King and encouraging their hearts by praying together in moments of need. There are precious few other ways to so tangibly feel the encouragement and love from another than to hear or read their sincere prayer to our heavenly Father on your behalf.

Act!ACT: You can be an answer to prayer to missionary families serving around the world. Through the prayer calendar, you can commit to praying daily for those serving with WGM. Print this calendar at www.wgm.org/praycal.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Prayer Calendar: March 15-21, 2015

Your missions prayer point for March 15-21 requires you to be active in missions. Pray this prayer with other Call readers:

PRAY that God will give you opportunities to pray in-person with people in need of encouragement and prayer.

Pray this prayer and then be ready. Look for the opportunities around you at school, at work, etc. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Celebrating 50 Years of Ministry

An excerpt from...

Celebrating 50 Years of Ministry

Christian Union Church of Papua New Guinea
By Benji Jenkins, Missionary, Papua New Guinea
January-March 2015

Celebrating 50 Years of Ministry: Christian Union Church of PNG
In January 2014, the Christian Union Church of Papua New Guinea celebrated its 50th anniversary. The first missionaries arrived in 1964 and started planting churches in the Southern Highlands Province. To celebrate this, World Gospel Mission and the Christian Union Church planned a five-day revival. This revival took place in an area called Embi, one of the places the early missionaries had gone into.

Although the country has progressed in the last 50 years, Embi is still a very remote location with no electricity, running water, and very few permanent houses. Housing and feeding the couple thousand people who would travel in, as well as the former missionaries who visited, and the guest speaker, Hubert Harriman, required several months of planning.

Knowing that this was a huge undertaking with lots of room for problems to arise, the missionaries in PNG decided to start a prayer campaign leading up to the revival. The 50 Days of Prayer for PNG Facebook page was created. Each day for 50 days, a different missionary, church leader, ministry, or visitor was highlighted with prayer requests. Many people responded to those daily requests by saying they had prayed or even by reposting the requests on their own Facebook pages. There were days when over 1,000 people saw those prayer requests and prayed for the different needs that were listed.

As a result of those prayers, the 50th anniversary celebration went on without any major problems. In a developing country, there are always issues with vehicles, trouble getting supplies, and many other things. When the day came to start, Embi was flooded with people from four different provinces. Everyone found a place to sleep and food to eat. Hubert Harriman preached many of the services, and his sermons were translated into two different languages so everyone could understand. Many people came to the altar during each service to seek the Lord. Some of them told how they had gotten saved and some told of being sanctified. At one service, the pastors were challenged to grow deeper, and the altar was lined with pastors seeking God’s touch.

None of this could have happened without the enormous prayer support that lasted for 50 days and on through the five days of revival.

Make a difference on your knees.
PRAY: Take your cues from the WGM PNG Field by creating your own 50 Days of Prayer. Make a list of 50 items you will pray for over the next 50 days. Feel free to add those serving in PNG to your list.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Prayer Calendar: March 8-14, 2015

This week's praise is a direct result of God's praying people. Let's offer praise for those who supported WGM missionaries and ministries through the important partnership of prayer!

PRAISE God for raising up an army of praying warriors who covered the events of the 50th anniversary celebration in Papua New Guinea in prayer. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

His Plans are Perfect

An excerpt from...

His Plans Are Perfect

By Kelly SolheimMissionary DiscipleHonduras
January-March 2015

His Plans Are Perfect
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

We’d been trying to raise support for our term as missionary disciples to Honduras for over two years, and we hadn’t even reached the halfway point to our goal. Over time, my prayers had changed. What had begun as: “Lord, when you’re ready…” had started to sound like the missionary equivalent of the whiney kid in the backseat on a long car ride: “Are we there yet, Dad?” By the time we gathered with my in-laws to celebrate all the February birthdays in the family, I was frustrated and heartbroken, and I had begun to question God’s call.

Most of my husband’s family live in the far northwest corner of Minnesota—a good six hours from where we made our home in the Twin Cities. Although close, we didn’t get together as much as we would have liked, and we talked on the telephone even less. That’s why it was a little strange to get a phone call from Steve’s parents just a few days after our gathering. Steve’s oldest brother, Dean, had suffered from a ruptured appendix on his way home and was recovering from surgery in the hospital. This would turn out to be the beginning of a year-long battle with carcinoid syndrome that eventually took his life.

We made several trips north that spring and summer to visit Dean and the rest of the family. We saw him beam with pride as he talked about becoming a grandpa for the first time and again when his daughter announced her engagement. At one particular visit, we were utterly shocked by the thin, exhausted, weak man who met us at the door. But he was still Steve’s big brother. When he heard about our car trouble, he instantly diagnosed the problem from his recliner and gave instructions that solved the issue.

We were in Minnesota with the entire family at Christmas when Dean made the decision to stop taking intravenous nutrition and begin hospice care. I was amazed at how he found enough energy and smiles to joke and play with his nieces and nephews between naps in his recliner. One evening, when Dean was at one his weakest points, the town gathered at the American Legion for a benefit dinner in his honor. We really shouldn’t have been so shocked when he rolled his wheelchair into the dining hall to loud cheers with his arms raised in victory.

When our son was little, he’d beg to get a new toy or to go to a friend’s house, and nearly always I would eventually give in. Thank goodness our Father in heaven is not so easy to sway when He hears our pitiful whining. His plans are perfect and His blessings are all-too-often not giving us what we ask for.

Dean went home to be with the Lord just two weeks before we left for our ministry in Honduras. God’s perfect timing allowed us to spend our last few days in the United States mourning together with our family.

Make a difference on your knees.
PRAY: Are you trusting in God’s plan for your life? Take time to study Jeremiah 29:11 this week in your prayer time and ask God to give you faith to take the first steps in obedience.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Prayer Calendar: March 1-7, 2015

Welcome to March! I trust you are being blessed by your prayer focus on missions this year. Your new prayer point inspired by The Call magazine is:

PRAY that God will give you eyes to see His plan, even when it’s hard to understand. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)