Stop Running from His Call

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

We’ve all heard the story of Jonah and how he tried to run away from God. Of course, we know that didn’t work out too well for him. He had to sit in the belly of a giant fish until he decided that he would listen to God. We all have our Nineveh. It’s that one thing in the back of your mind that you know you need to do but it’s the last thing you want to do. Jonah ran away because he was scared and often we do the same thing. 

 

For a while, my Nineveh was mission work. I heard God speaking to me through the people at my church calling me to get involved but that scared me. I haven’t even graduated high school yet God was calling me to leave the country and do His work. That seemed much bigger than I thought I was able to do. So I just ignored the nagging in the back of my mind for as long as I could. Obviously, I didn’t end up sitting in the literal stomach of a huge fish. However, I always felt drained and never quite right. Eventually, I got the hint and I talked to someone from my church who had decided to sell all her stuff and move to Guatemala for mission work. By the end of the conversation, we were making plans for me to come down and do missions with her for a week. After that God had opened my heart and I felt joy for the first time in a while. This then led to the opportunity to join the LHI team in going to Peru. Both opportunities have been nothing short of a blessing. 

 

The amazing thing is that if God calls you to do something He’s not going to send you into the situation unprepared and empty-handed. I felt unqualified for what God was calling me to do, but all I had to do was open up my heart to what God was trying to show me. So today as you think about what God is calling you to do, whether it be a huge project or just a random act of kindness, let God guide you, without trying to run from Him. 

 

-Maggie Gallagher 

Your Ministry to Others

2 timothy 4 5

Hey this is Chris Mattison, you might remember that I’ve done a couple of these FUEL devotions in the past, and I was fortunate enough to be able to go on the Peru trip this year.  I’ve traveled a bit before so I kind of knew what to expect in terms of culture shock, food weirdness, and accommodations, but one thing that I was not prepared for was the diversity of issues that they deal with in Peruvian society and churches.  Some of the things that surprised me shouldn’t have, such as certain words in the Spanish translations of the Bible being translated imperfectly, and therefore causing confusion on some things that we think of as being obvious here in the States. Another thing that I’m not as used to seeing in my Church is the reliance of the people on the pastor to tell them what to believe.  Now many of the people in Peru have come to their faith as a consequence of long studies, but there are others who are mostly there because they are following a certain pastor or leader who they trust and they do not have a lot of ownership of their beliefs, and this is more common in their culture due to the prevalence of Catholicism.

 

I had prepared some messages to give in Peru, and I was able to share some of those things, and I think they appreciated it, but I think that it was these other topics that Edwin and others were speaking on that had the most effect on the people in the Churches we visited in Peru. Edwin knew what they were dealing with and where they needed more biblical truth in their lives because he founded these Churches and knows the people very well.  This was very eye opening to me because I realized that there really is quite a diversity of perspectives and struggles in the Church in different parts of the world.

 

 We see this a lot in the New Testament when Paul was writing to different Churches that he had worked with he would talk about very different things because that is what they were dealing with.  Paul only knew these things because he got to know the people while he lived in their cities, and because he made the effort to keep up with the people. In the same way we will not be very effective if we just preach at people and tell them what we think they need to hear, we first need to invest in their lives and get to know them so that we can meet them where they are, and have a greater effect on their lives.

 

I’m so glad that I took this first step to get to know the people in Peru, and I hope that I can continue to minister to them in the future in whatever way I can.  I strongly encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone to get to know somebody intentionally so that you can minister to them.

-Chris Mattison

Alien

John 15 19 (1)

As a bearded, green-eyed, 6’ 2” white male, it was hard to lose me in a crowd when I was doing mission work in Peru.  I dare say it was apparent to everyone that I was not a local.  Now we could spend a lot of time being politically correct, especially with the hotbed of controversy that currently exists around race, ethnicity, and nationality –  I PROMISE I understand more than most how tall you are, what color your hair, eyes, or skin are, or even how bearded you are doesn’t necessarily make you a foreigner. You’re right. I very well could have grown up in the streets of Huanchaco, in fact, my Memaw (that’s a grandma in the South) who looks a lot like me, spent the majority of her childhood in Peru’s capital, Lima – HOWEVER, shocking as it may be, I didn’t run across anyone that remotely looked like me.  This left most people with the right conclusion –  I was obviously a foreigner.  In fact, Mackenzie, another girl on the mission team who happens to be pretty tall too, and I posed for more than one set of pictures with complete strangers while we were out and about because we were in fact so strange ourselves (if only they really knew).  I can only imagine the conversations that took place later – “You will never believe what we saw today” – as a phone is being pulled out to show the photo – “They were so TALL.  And WHITE.  And HAIRY.” Well maybe more true of me, but Mackenzie does have pretty long hair.  What is true of me in Peru is true for me in Michigan, and Ireland, and even North Carolina (which is the state above my own that defiles their barbecue with vinegar) – as much as I try to conform to the people and surroundings, there is still a part of home that shows.

As Christians, we rightfully spend a great deal of time being inclusive. According to Paul, in one of my favorite passages, any identity we bring to the table – nationality, status, or gender – is superseded by belonging to Christ (Gal 3:28). This is consistent with the message of Jesus – “Who is my neighbor?” – anyone. Jesus drives home the point that love crosses cultures as he tells the familiar parable of “The Good Samaritan.”  Make a note: this story is NOT simply called “The Good Child of God.”  This is not a politically or socially correct tale.  However, the moral of this tale from Jesus is not “See – Samaritans can be nice too,” but lies in the emphatic removing of the barriers of race, class, and status to place the sole importance of your identity coming from following the will of God alone – all that other crap: doesn’t matter.

This means that the lines we draw are simple.  We don’t have to use family trees, tax brackets, brown bags, diets, or circumcision to prove that we are followers of Christ.  Our status comes from following the example of Christ as we live out our faith. In so doing this, you are part of the promises of God, or you’re not.  You’re in his will or you’re not.  You’re a sheep, or you’re a goat (Matt 25:31-45).  This is divisive.  Some would have you believe there are many paths to salvation.  No, there is only one (John 14:6).  Some would have you believe that other religions worship the same God.  No, they don’t (Deuteronomy 6:4).  Some would have you believe that since God is love, everyone will be in His kingdom.  No, see the aforementioned sheep and goats.  At this point, you might be shaking your head. Is it moving left to right? Or it is moving up and down?  I get it.  I can feel the reflexive wince kick in from the “you do you” age we live in, but if you submit to today’s wisdom and not the teachings of Jesus, your home is here and now.

We are called to be aliens of this world which means we must, we HAVE TO! be different.  When so many are clamoring that truth and identity are relative, Christians must stand-out like a 6’ 2”, greened-eyed, bearded white man in small-town Peru or more so like a 33 year-old radical priest flipping over tables in the tabernacle, and say, “This isn’t so! Children of God, don’t give up your inheritance!”  We have to say IT IS NOT OKAY to sling mud or resort to physical violence just because someone has wronged you.  IT IS NOT OKAY to steal from someone even if you think you are deserving of what they have. IT IS NOT OKAY to live with someone before you’re married or divorce them simply because you decided not to be with them.  IT IS NOT OKAY to fail to actively teach your children the Word of God.  IT IS NOT OKAY that multiple sexuality and gender fluidity are glorified and thought of as superior to God’s design.  AND MOST OF ALL, IT IS NOT OKAY TO WITHHOLD THE LOVE OF CHRIST FROM ANYONE WHO STRUGGLES WITH ANY OF THESE THINGS OR MORE, NO MATTER WHAT TITLE IS PLACED UPON THEM OR THEY PLACE UPON THEMSELVES.  The Good Samaritan is the The Excellent Jihadist is The Great Transexual is the The Awesome Deadbeat Dad.  “That is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:11)”’ This is the transition that is the definition of our hope.

The time of exclusion on this earth is temporary because our awaited time is soon coming; I don’t say this with triumph as much as I do with a sense of urgency.  It is worth the persecution, the name-calling, or moments of being looked upon as a fool or insensitive in order to lead someone to the true knowledge and the fullness of knowing their identity as a stranger of this world but more importantly, a child of God.  He has foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified us, not even withholding His own Son for us all.  It is time to make some waves because of your faith.  Maybe become the object of ridicule because you speak and act so differently.  But most importantly, it is time to stand as an example of how God changes the hearts of His children in this world, and moves them into the precious citizenship of His Kingdom.

“They are so JOYFUL. And LOVING. And GIVING.”…”Why?”

Aaron Winner

How Remote are You Willing to Go?

acts 1_8 earth

“…you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”  Acts 1:8

 

Going to the remotest part of the earth can sound overwhelming and scary.  But with the new Roman road that God prepared for us, it doesn’t have to be.  When you reach out to people online you have time to think about what you want to say.  You can look up verses and you can consult with others before replying.  You don’t even have to get out of your pajamas!

Are you up for the challenge?  Are you willing to give a little of your video watching and game playing time to God?  Imagine sharing Jesus’ gospel in Muslim countries without the risk of getting put in prison!  I was thrilled the other day to connect on a 3-way Skype call with a man in Russia (Pastor Maksim) and an Indian in Oman (Majo).  It was awesome hearing their joy as they met one another and heard each other’s stories (with me translating) and how they both love the One True God and His kingdom hope, even though they have no other Christians in the cities where they live.  They were both so encouraged in their faith and in their kingdom work and evangelistic outreach!

Read Matthew 25:14-30.  Which servant will you be?  In America we have been given many “talents” or things we can invest – time, money, opportunities and freedom.  It would be quite arrogant to think that we deserve more than our brethren in third world countries or those who live their faith out in Muslim countries.

As the verse says, much is expected when much is given.  How will you use what has been given to you?

-Tracy Zhykhovich

What’s Your “Jerusalem”?

Acts 1 8

“…you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”  Acts 1:8

Today we are going to consider what is your Jerusalem and how do you witness there.  The disciples were told to be Jesus’ witnesses first in Jerusalem.  Jerusalem was where they were at, their home town, their local churches.

What is your Jerusalem?  That is where you should start doing the Great Commission.  The mission conference I mentioned yesterday will help, but what can you do today to prepare?

To get started it is necessary that you know and are passionate for the message Jesus gave us to preach.  You should know this message so well that it just rolls off your tongue without hardly thinking.  But how does one get to that point?  It is just like any other area of study or favorite hobby.  You must read about it, talk about and talk more about it.  We do this naturally with things that we are interested in.  How many of you know all about your favorite musician or sports team and can recite trivia any time the topic comes up?

I have found that the more we talk about things, the more we know and internalize them.  What we put in will come out. What we invest our time and energy in, shows what we love.

What did the early church do to prepare for the kingdom work they were given?  “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42)

Read Acts 2:37-47 to get a taste of the excitement and results of God’s spirit at work in the people after they heard a great sermon!  Be encouraged and dialog with other believers about what you read in the Scriptures.  This will put you on the right path to doing your part of the Great Commission in your Jerusalem and onward.

-Tracy Zhykovich

The Exciting World of Missions!

Matt 28_ 19-20a

What is missions?  To better understand what missions is, we need to understand what it is not.  Although humanitarian aid is good and needed, it is not missions.  Acts of service are kind and necessary, but they are not missions.  Although we must keep in mind that when Paul was on his missionary journeys and saw brethren in need, he let the churches back home know so that they could help their brothers and sisters.  And this we should be doing locally and globally, but it is not missions.

We must remember that the Great Commission did not send people to feed and clothe the nations; it sent people to preach the good news of the coming kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus, His chosen Messiah.  The Great Commission commissioned believers to go into all the world and to preach, teach and baptize.  (Matthew 28:16-20)

And what a blessing!  We are given power to do this. The purpose of the power given by the holy spirit is to be Jesus’ witnesses in your home town and to all the ends of the earth.  “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The disciples had asked Jesus if now was the time that he would establish the kingdom, God’s righteous government, on the earth.  Jesus basically told them not to worry about the “when”, but that they had a job to do.  Read Acts 1:1-11 and see what that job is.  Make note of what Jesus had spent his time talking about and emphasizing his last 40 days with them and what he was preparing them for.  Notice the end promise.  Meditate on what this means for you!

-Tracy Zhykhovich

 

A Lesson from Peru: Faith

peru children

Missions Spotlight: Peru

Within the past five years, ministry in Peru has boomed!  After studying Miguel Cervetes, Pastor Edwin Mauricio came to know the beliefs we hold dear, leaving behind a life of preaching to congregations of thousands. Pastor Edwin mentors several other pastors throughout Peru; we are learning of new pastors and congregations with each visit!  Pictured is a group of youth Yesenia Ruiz Castillo teaches each week in the northern-region of Peru.  

 

The “faith chapter” of the Bible is called the “faith chapter” for good reason.  Did you know, the word “faith” is mentioned 23 times in Hebrews 11? Starting with the first chapter, we are told that “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”.  People have faith in many different things.  We put our faith in our parents, teachers, doctors, and the government.  I have faith that when I flick the light switch, it will send electricity through the lightbulb and give us light. We as Christians know that faith is important because it is the vehicle of our salvation.  John 14:6 reminds us that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the father but through [him].”  Paul tells us, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).  This is nothing new, right?

 

Although you have most likely memorized the definition of faith in your 6th grade Sunday School class, I want to take a moment to reflect on the truly RADICAL things leaders have done in FAITH.  If they didn’t have faith, they surely would not jump out on a limb like this.  As you read through this list, try to put yourself in their shoes, imagine how they must have felt and thought.  I know these are stories we have likely heard before, but take a moment to capture how boldly these Christians stepped out in faith.

  • Noah – The whole world thought he was crazy for building a boat for the rains that no one had ever seen
  • Joseph – The man who stayed true to God even when he was betrayed by his family and sent to a strange land where he was a slave.
  • Moses – The man who returned to a country that hated him to command that Pharaoh set the Israelites free.  This same man had the faith to walk into the sea of reeds and watch as the sea parted before him and the entire Israelite nation walked on dry ground.
  • Daniel – The man who stood in the face of hungry lions with confidence knowing that God could deliver him from even the mightiest beasts.
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – The men who put their faith in God and told Nebuchadnezzar that God can deliver us from the fire, but even if he doesn’t we will not serve your gods because we know YHWH is the one true God.
  • David – The man who went up against a mighty giant with only a sling knowing that if God is behind him, then no one could stand against him.
  • Peter – The man who stepped out onto the water to meet Jesus, defining the natural laws of the world.
  • Paul – The man who despite his imprisonments, beatings, and shipwrecks kept preaching the gospel to whoever would listen to him.

 

Now I want to share with you several others who have stepped out in faith and inspired me on a personal level.  These are believers that live in Peru, and believe as we do.

  • Maria Poma – The woman who continues to serve her community and church after the tragic death of her husband, the former pastor.
  • Edwin Mauricio – The man who left pastoring a congregation of thousands to shepherd a small group, knowing he held the truth.
  • Marco Gutierrez – The man who spends hours travelling long distances to come to church each week to preach and lead Bible studies.
  • Yesenia Castillo – The woman who leads large groups of youth, even after the flooding and destruction of the church building.

 

God never promises us that we won’t have hardship in this life, but he does promise to be with us in the hard time. He will protect us from the hungry lions of this world, but even if he doesn’t, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we will still serve him. And because of that, we will spend eternity in God’s kingdom.

 

If you would like to support our family in Peru with money for transportation for Pastor Marco to travel to church, along with buying materials for a renovation of the Lima church kitchen, please follow this link. Thank you! https://www.givelify.com/givenow/1.0/MjM0MDg=/selection

 

Love,

Josiah & Amber Cain

 

 

 

A Lesson from Russia: Restoration

 

maxsim

Missions Spotlight: Russia

Maksim works tirelessly to spread the Gospel throughout Eurasia. While trials and tribulations hit Maksim, he stands firm in the power and grace God gives him freely each day.  The evangelistic website he runs has been hacked twice and Brother Uli, a dear friend, is undergoing intensive chemo for a brain tumor. Nonetheless, Maksim keeps traveling, preaching and baptizing.

Whenever something is going poorly in my life or when times seem really hard, I think of the restoration that is to come on this earth. In December, my grandfather passed away.  Looking back on it now, the only way that my family and I made it through that hard time so well is because we had hope of a future where everything will be made right again. Isaiah 35 gives me hope for the future and I encourage you to read it all on your own sometime, but for now I am going to select a few verses here that stand out to me.

3Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.
4Say to those with anxious heart,
“Take courage, fear not.
Behold, your God will come with vengeance;
The recompense of God will come,
But He will save you.”
5Then the eyes of the blind will be opened
And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.

10And the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
With everlasting joy upon their heads.
They will find gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

It is no surprise to any of us that bad things happen to good people and I am convinced that sometimes Satan messes with our lives to try and make us lose sight of our hope and our future. He tries to get us to betray our hope and give up on God. Recently Maksim, our Christian brother in Russia, has gone through some trying events and deals with the sin of the world every day. He has had to deal with people hacking his website and undoing all of the hard work he has put in. His close friend has been diagnosed with cancer, which is trying on any Christian. He also sees the sin of the world in a unique way as he ministers to a young orphan through a big brother program. How can Maksim and others put up with the burdens that this sinful world brings? It is through our undying hope of restoration! We are looking forward to the time that God brings healing to all families, healing to all people, and puts a stop to all of the kinds of sin. Not only that, but we live with the current knowledge that God takes care of us through all things right now.

There is not a thing that we go through that God is not aware of.  That statement alone is comforting. This doesn’t mean that if you live a holy life, all things are always going to be perfect. It does, however, mean that in one way or another, in the end it will work out to your advantage, whether it be in this age or in the age to come. I know this because of Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” God works and it should be sobering to us that God works for us. He wants to make sure that we are taken care of but more importantly He wants to make sure that we never have to deal with sin again. This is why God is putting into place a kingdom age where things will be made perfect – where everything wrong with the world will be made right. The, “lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness” (Isa. 35:6). Let’s look forward to that day and let’s praise God for this amazing plan that He has set into motion for us! Hallelujah, praise God, amen!

It is also part of our Christian duty to support those in ministry through our money, through our gifts, and through our prayer. The order I put those in was no accident because I think of those three things money is the least important and prayer is the most important. If you would like to help support Maksim and his ministry in Russia, please pray and follow this link below. May the kingdom age come soon!

If you would like to support Maksim and his ministry in Russia, please follow this link. https://www.givelify.com/givenow/1.0/MjM0MDg=/selection Thank you!

Love,

Josiah & Amber Cain

A Lesson From Mexico: Peace

lupe

Missions Spotlight: Mexico

In 1961, After working as a migrant working in the USA, Lupe’s husband, Roberto, returned to Mexico with the only Bible in their village in hand.  Today, Lupe is a widow who has faithfully served our God and community for many years.  Lupe has served as a mother figure to countless children around her.  Unfortunately, the region of Mexico where she resides has become increasingly dangerous over the recent years, and has thus limited our ability to visit with Lupe from the United States. 

Peace is an interesting thing isn’t it? Peace is something that contradicts the way the world operates. When you are poor, the world says to steal and to cut corners to get ahead. When you are afraid, the world says to attack or run away. When you are angry, the world says to get revenge. But peace, humble old peace, throws that all back into the face of the world. A great passage to look at when talking about peace is Ephesians 2:13-18.

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

Jesus came to preach peace. Peace is where, despite your circumstances, you are okay with who and where you are because of your greater belief in something. In our case as Christians, that is God and His son Jesus, who very obviously came to bring us peace – perhaps even a “peace…which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). When we are founded on the truths of the Bible and our redemption from sin, we can be be filled with divine peace in any situation. Our sister Lupe carries on in faith. She understands that Jesus came as the, “Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). I encourage you next time you feel overwhelmed or that you might soon be overcome by your circumstance, to take some time to remember who has your back. The creator of all the things around you has your back. Look around you, literally stop reading this for a couple of seconds and look around you and then come back to this post. How intricate and wonderful is this world that we live in? The creator of all of that has your back.  God has established a future that is better than anything you can imagine.  Breathe deeply knowing that the Prince of Peace shed his blood, so that we can live each moment with a peace that only comes from knowing our LORD.  Our hope in God, His son, and the coming kingdom fuels our peace.

Please take some time and pray for our sister Lupe.  Please pray that she might feel an everlasting peace from God and the strength to continue in faith, even as the world around her is different from anything she has ever known. If God so leads you, I encourage you to follow the link below and support her financially. Thank you for reading and God bless!

If you would like to support Lupe in Mexico, please follow this link. https://www.givelify.com/givenow/1.0/MjM0MDg=/selection Thank you!

-Josiah and Amber Cain

 

 

A Lesson from Pakistan: Preparation

pakistan inside group

Missions Spotlight: Pakistan

Did you know that less than 3% of people living in Pakistan are Christians?  Pakistan is mainly a Muslim country.  Because of religious persecution and the law, our Christian brethren meet in homes.  Currently, we support seven home-congregations that believe as we do.

 

Why do you believe in God?  Have you ever been asked this question?  After being asked this question, I would often flounder around saying things like “Ummm because I was raised in it” or “because the Bible says it’s true” or “God and Jesus changed my life” (meanwhile I didn’t really know how they changed it).  When it came right down to it, I didn’t really know why I believed in God.  If we take our faith seriously, we are not allowed to stay in ignorance; we have to be ready.  There has probably been a time and place when we all had to give an account for our faith to someone, or at least when we have questioned our own beliefs.  Let’s take a look at 1 Peter 3:13 – 18 to see what a very wise man had to say about this subject.

 

“13 Who is [c]there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you [d]are blessed. And do not fear their [e]intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but [f]sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a [g]defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and [h]reverence; 16 [i]and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 17 For it is better, if [j]God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the [k]spirit”

 

Verse 15 blankly states to always be ready to share your defense, or your testimony of the hope that lives in you!  So let’s get practical and dive into the nitty gritty of what a “defense meant to convince” might look like.  Here are several starters to get you thinking about what elements of your personal faith story are powerful to your testimony.

 

  1. Align your actions with Christ’s.

It’s not enough to just be different from the world.  Buddhists, Muslims, even moral atheists live differently from the world.  If you aren’t living like Christ than anything you say after that can as easily be dismissed as saying the word ‘hypocrite’.

 

  1. Highlight your personal change

Show how you lived before and how your life is different now, only through the power of God’s grace and strength; you couldn’t do this alone!

 

  1. Highlight your hope for the future

The kingdom of God resides here on the Earth now and in the future!!! This belief has given you purpose.  HOPEfully your peers will be able to perceive this from the way you have been living.  Our actions and mindset produce joy!

 

  1. Highlight the coming judgement

There is a judgement day approaching; it is sooner now than it has ever been.  This aspect is meant to help others perceive the urgency of believing

 

  1. Historical/ontological/teleological arguments for trusting the Bible

If you feel like you can articulate these aspects well, go for it! These are very valuable reasons for believing.  However, you do run the risk of appearing uninformed if the person you are talking to is studied up on these subjects.  You wouldn’t want someone to tear apart your arguments and thus misinterpret your testimony.

 

  1. Highlight the changes in others

Express stories of growth and change that you have witnessed in others.  This is a great time to offer a friend the chance to believe!

 

I encourage you to take some time and write out your testimony on paper.  That way, when the time comes you will have a “defense meant to convince” ready to go.

 

In Pakistan, people are not Christians because it is casual, it is the exact opposite.  With only 3% of the country practicing Christianity, our brothers and sisters are not doing it because of the trendy churches, or latest fad.  These people believe in God and Jesus because they have experienced it; they have a powerful testimony to share.  They have done the preparation and know that this is the best way of life.  Although it is not the popular belief, they are prepared disciples.  I am inspired by our brothers and sisters in Pakistan to testify boldly, and to stand ready to share my defense.

 

If you would like to support our family in Pakistan with Bibles and money for meeting grounds, please follow this link. Thank you! https://www.givelify.com/givenow/1.0/MjM0MDg=/selection

Love,

Josiah & Amber Cain