Friday, August 18, 2006

The two photos above are from our trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico, this past July.

This summer's mission trips were very atypical for me: in both cases, I received word of good things which happened after we left. Usually you only hope that good resulted and trust you'll hear about it in Heaven one day.

This week we have friends from the U.K. visiting, itineration for Elam Ministries (, an organization dedicated to taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Persian-speaking people (translation: Iranians) and training them to become leaders in the Church. I've posted their website on the right-hand bar.

Tom and Mojdeh were delighted to report of the positive changes they've seen in a girl we befriended in Istanbul. She isn't a Christian yet, but I have no doubt she will be. I received an email from our friend who teaches Bible students in Turkey today. As always, he is enthusiastic, and asked "for wisdom & Revelation & Knowledge of God speaking & Preaching & pastoring & Leading in Power & Authority Faith & Love & Hope, Destroyed satanic plans & purposes, Establish all plans of God in my life & Ministry for Glory of God..."

I tried to leave it exactly as he wrote. Obviously he's not hesitant to ask God for much! I love it. I try to be like that, too. So much is happening in Turkey and Iran!! It's amazing. We at WIM all sat and watched video footage of Iranian Christians witnessing to people on the streets in Turkey; we saw students at their Bible School in the U.K. cheering and crying as a huge semi-truck delivered thousands of newly-printed New Testaments in Persian. When the lights came on, I saw everyone was crying, including myself.

This image was taken in an Iranian church, back in June. My trips to Turkey and China have impacted me more than any others, I think because Christians are so persecuted for their faith. They are so desperate for God's Word and will do anything to follow Him. That idea of passionate pursuit is so utterly foreign here in the States. It's like we have too much freedom, so we don't cherish what we are free to have and Who we are free to worship.

What does it take to show Americans their total and unavoidable need for Christ? What does it take for them to realize how much He loves them, and how much He satisfies that gaping hole of need in each of us? I've told Hannah before, "We have God-sized holes in us that only God can fill." New clothes, action-packed movies, a good book, friends and spouses can't fill it.

It's been a good summer. A fruitful summer. Several key people we reached out to with the Gospel in Cuernavaca accepted Christ after we left. The neighborhoods where we painted a mural over graffiti and held a huge block party (complete with pinatas) have changed dramatically. Isn't it amazing? Isn't it delightful? I can't wait to go again!

Mostly, I want to know how to make a difference like that here.

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