Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Travel To The Mission Field Of Your Choice Today!

© Orlando Florin Rosu | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I know that there are many Christians all around the world who pray for their missionaries, and I know that many of those prayer warriors are senior citizens.  I could tell you about an 85 year-old man in Southern California who prays for us all the time.  I could tell you about a grandmother in Northern California who for many years prayed and fasted specifically for our ministry on the first Wednesday of every month.  I could tell you about another grandmother in Mississippi who prays for us and writes us emails to tell us that she is praying.  I could tell of another man in his 80's who lives in Colorado and prays for us every day.  I'm so thankful for these praying friends.  

I got an email today from my mom, and she shared something with me that made me cry.  We have a senior citizen lady in our home church who is one of these faithful prayer partners like the ones mentioned above.  My mom prints off our email updates for her, and she gets very excited to receive them.  Today my mom told me that this dear lady keeps a list of all the names of the people for whom I request prayer, and then she crosses them off when she hears that they got saved!  She told my mom recently that as a result of reading the updates and praying for the requests, she feels like she has been to Cambodia!

That got me thinking...I wonder how many Christians will never have the privilege of visiting a foreign mission field in person.  Perhaps you are tied down with work or other commitments.  Perhaps you cannot financially afford it.  Perhaps you, like some of these seniors above, are in poor health and are physically unable to make such a long trip.  Some may even be confined to a bed or a wheelchair.  And yet, just because you cannot take a trip to the mission field in person doesn't mean you can't go there in prayer.  This precious senior saint in our church said that because of her deep interest and her daily intercession, she feels like she has been here.  And I suppose in a sense...she has.

Find a place to get alone with God and travel to the mission field of your choice today!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Choices Of Life

I'm very excited about a new series we have just begun in our Sunday School hour.  The series is called The Choices of Life, and is a chapter by chapter study of the book of Proverbs.  As depicted by our  poster above, life is about choices.  Choices about friends, relationships, money, bitterness, alcohol, greed, forgiveness, anger, lust, obedience, child rearing, marriage, and many other topics must be made every day.  Every day, another choice.  Every choice, another consequence.  Often people want a certain destination, but fail to make the right turns in life to reach that destination.  

With God's help, we want to teach our people to live their lives by the wisdom that comes from God and His Word.  Last Sunday we handed out a small picture like the one above to each person to remind them of three things: to come to Sunday School each week, to read their Bible each day, and to make wise choices every day.

We had a great start to the series last Sunday, and plan to stay in this series for 8 - 9 months.  In addition to the weekly outlines of each chapter, we will also be periodically distributing bonus handouts on such topics as:
      -the four main characters in the book of Proverbs
      -the marks of a wise man
      -the marks of a foolish man
      -the battle for the simple man
      -the three calls of wisdom
      -a list of things that are said to be "better"
      -lists of God's wisdom for various situations
      -a list of Biblical proverbs that have a Khmer equivalent
      -and other practical handouts

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Philosophy of Gospel Tracts – Part 7

This is part seven of a series.  The previous articles may be read here:  Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.

Our world is rapidly changing.  With each product upgrade or advance in technology, some other product or technology breaths its last breathe.  As bigger and better hits the market, people naturally reject the old and outdated.  It is only natural then to consider the question:  What level of print quality is suitable and necessary for the Gospel message?  Can we run tracts on a copy machine or print them in one color on cheap paper?  Or does everything have to be high quality, full color, and glossy?  I have heard arguments for both views. 

I know some missionaries who hold to the view that basically anything is fine for a third-world country, and it is a waste of money to print nice tracts.  I do see their point, but we should always remember that even people in a poor country like to look at pretty things.  In fact, the majority of houses I have observed in Cambodia have pages from magazines and catalogs glued or stapled to the entire inside of their house!  It’s a poor man’s way of decorating the house, because they dislike dreary and drab as much as anybody.  On the other hand, it would put most printing projects outside of the parameters of the average missionary’s budget to try to print every piece of literature at a quality level which would impress Americans.  Obviously this is a very subjective topic, but here are three questions to consider.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Eating in Cambodia

We get asked this question all the time:  "What do you guys eat over there?"  I suppose every missionary probably gets that question.  Since we just had a church potluck, I decided to take this occasion to talk about what we eat in Cambodia.

In case you hadn't figured it out yet, those are chicken heads in the above picture.  Last summer when my parents and cousin came over for a visit, the church all worked together to put on a wonderful welcome meal for them.  I took this picture while the ladies were preparing the meal.  They made chicken curry, which is one of our favorites.  Now, I really don't care for the way they do some things (like letting pots simmer for hours under a bird-filled tree or cutting up all the meat and vegetables while sitting outside on the ground), but the finished product is usually really good.  There are numerous Khmer foods that are absolutely delicious!  

But I know when someone asks, "So, what do you guys eat over there?" they are not really asking about the delicious foods.  They are usually asking about the bizarre and strange stuff.  There are plenty of those things here!  There are deep-fried tarantulas, duck embryos, crickets, grasshoppers, blood soup, fried sparrows, and a host of other lovely choices:)  In the past I have had some people not believe me about some of these things.  

Well, it just so happens that the Travel Channel did a 45 minute program recently about the bizarre foods of Cambodia.  If you have the time, I encourage you to watch this program.  I think many of you would really enjoy it.  Besides seeing the foods, this is also one of the best portrayals of Cambodia I have ever seen with regards to the people, the traffic, the religion, the markets, etc.  It is really well done.  Click here for part 1.  On this part you will see the tarantulas being caught, cooked, and eaten.