Thursday, April 29, 2010

Evangelism Challenge

I have been burdened to do this post for a while now so here goes.

How purposeful are you in sharing the Gospel with people around you? I am not talking about inviting someone to church. Nor am I talking about a general statement regarding the goodness of God. Rather, a clear presentation of man's sin problem and Christ as the ONLY way to eternal life with the Father in heaven.

I believe that one reason we don't witness like we should is we don't have a plan. So I am going to challenge you this week to purpose to share your God with someone else. Here's the PLAN!

1. This week, pick up a tract from your church. READ IT. Make sure it really gives a clear presentation of the Gospel. We mainly use 2 tracts. The Bridge to Eternal Life and 2 Ways to Live We like these tracts because you can actually use them to present the Gospel. They both have wonderful visuals to help people understand what you are sharing. Make sure the tract uses SCRIPTURE, for it is the Word of God that is powerful and sharp and pierces our souls.

2. Give this tract to someone you see on a daily or weekly basis. You can say something like this: "I was reading this booklet this week and wondered what you would think of it." Or, more boldly, you could say, "Do you have confidence that your sins are forgiven? This booklet shares that today you can find forgiveness. Can I leave this with you?" If you have a "religious" friend that you talk with but have never actually talked about the specifics of Biblical salvation, offer them the booklet which summarizes what you believe.

NEXT WEEK - You will follow up with that person, asking them if they have had a chance to read the booklet you gave them. (I will post some ideas for this encounter next week.)

You may think my questions are dumb or won't work for you. The important thing is just to get the tract into their hands. Let the Word of God speak to their hearts. It doesn't matter how you feel as you hand it to them, it matters that they are getting a chance to hear the TRUTH.

Consider yourself CHALLENGED to obey God!


From the BRIDGE tract

Key things we are learning:

1. Salvation is of GOD and it is by His power that anyone is saved. If we remember this, hopefully we will be more on our knees in prayer before we implement any evangelistic plan.
2. Don't forget that you are just as horrible of a sinner as the person you are witnessing to. This helps keep us humble in witnessing.
3. Paul prayed for Clarity, Boldness, and Faithfulness in witnessing. This would be wise for us as well.
4. Every time you share the gospel is a victory. A seed has been planted. Praise the Lord you are worthy to serve Him in this way.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Praying & Planning for a Church

We are praying about this land, check it out as well as the proposed layout of our church here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

One Year in Floripa!


W
e can hardly believe we have been here a year! Time has certainly flown by and it is neat to look back and see all that God has done.

As soon as we arrived we began our first outreach, which was to go door to door and invite people to our homes to do a Bible Study on Christianity Explained. As a team we had some success with this. Just recently David heard that the people in the neighborhood are talking about how we are "confusing" the minds of the young people here. This is largely due to that first outreach. There were several teens that participated in more than 6 studies on the Gospel. Several of these teens were back to watch the Passion movie in April.

Last winter, we held 2 weeks of kids clubs where we were able to share Gospel effectively with many children. This led to many wonderful opportunities to do in-home Bible studies with many of the parents. Some did just one study while several are still welcoming us to their homes on a weekly basis to share the Word of God with them.


This is one of the kids from our first week of club. James and David continue to go her home weekly and fight for her father's soul.

Her father with James & David

In January we held a mens' outreach and were able to share the Gospel as well as continue to build bridges with acquaintances and neighbors.

In February, we held our food baskets outreach.

James and I are still visiting these families. We have had many good opportunities to share the Gospel and are going back twice weekly to follow up and make new visits there.
In March we made several new contacts as we purchased 100 copies of 50 Reasons Why Christ had to Die, and passed them out to old and new contacts.

We started April with our Easter outreach, the showing of the movie, The Passion of Christ.

We are so excited about one contact in specific from this outreach. He has done 2 excellent Bible studies with David and seems to be so close to salvation. He even joined us for our Sunday Morning study last week.

Looking back, we see that God has really worked in helping us to make contacts. When we arrived it was overwhelming knowing no one. Now, as we are currently planning our May Mother's Day outreach, it is so exciting to have such a long list of women we can invite.

Looking toward the future, we are excited to see what God will do. David has recently launched our church website. He and James upload blogs each week, we post 10 minute video clips of our Sunday Studies, the Gospel is clearly presented as well as the vision of our church.

We have been looking at property. Buying property early on in the work here is so essential as land prices are climbing so quickly. In the past 3 years, land here has tripled in price. This lot you see here is selling for around $70,000. We all have loved this area since we moved here. It is right in the middle of our neighborhood, homes and apartments are all around. We are praying right now for God's provision in providing funds to buy this property.


Thank you for all your prayers and support over the past year. God is working through you and His Word has been sown in countless hearts. Thanks for partnering with us here in Greater Florianopolis!

We are looking at buying 2 or 3 of these lots, near the center
of the field. 2 lots would be approximately 7,750 square feet























































Monday, April 19, 2010

Thoughts on Prayer

James and I have been reading a book on prayer that has been so challenging. I just thought I would share some encouraging things I have been challenged with recently.

1. I DON'T PRAY...When I am confident that I can handle a situation. I live as if I don't need God for that. I know how to parent, to cook meals, to home school, to fight sin, to discipline my 3 year old during a temper tantrum, etc... How often do I give into sin and my flesh as I tackle all these day to day items in my own strength because I don't stop to pray? All too often.

2. I DON'T PRAY...When I feel like my prayers won't make a difference anyway. God is going to do His will so why should I bother praying about my desires? Because God tells me too. Remember the parables about the persistent neighbor who asks for bread at midnight, and the persistent widow who bugs the judge until he gives her justice. These are example of the kinds of prayers God wants. In the book, the author sights Jesus' prayer in the garden, He asks for what he wants, "Abba, Father, remove this cup from me." This was Jesus' gut wrenching cry, His hearts desire. But he couples it with submission, "Yet not what I will, but what You will." (Mark 14:36) I can and should pray in childlike faith for everything, big and small but with a spirit of submission. Why? Because my Abba Father is trust worthy, full of steadfast love and mercy.

Somehow it is easier for me to pray for things over which I have no control, like someone's salvation than it is for everyday things. As I was reading this book, I began praying, "Lord, please let the book Laura sent to Hannah for her birthday (in January) arrive (currently was March). You know that is the book we are going to use for family devotions and we are almost finished with our old one." At noon, there was a beeping of the post man at the gate and I thought, "Could God REALLY be answering my prayer that quickly?" (Oh ME of little faith!) It was the book. Now, in the past I wouldn't have prayed for the book to arrive. I would have wanted it to arrive and hoped for it arrive but I most likely would not have prayed for it to arrive because, if God wanted it to arrive, it would, right? Sure it would, but this time, I SAW GOD, I was a part of His working. It is an amazing feeling.

This book has...

1. Challenged me in my parenting to rely more on prayer than on my reasoning. (Pray more than I talk. :)
2. Realize that I am much less self-sufficient that I realize.
3. To be hopeful in Christ and hopeless in myself.
4. To see that even in No answers, Christ's Kingdom is coming in me as I submit to His teaching and ways.
5. To pray for great things, miracles, but surrender the outcome to Him.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Karate


This year we found a free Karate class at a gym in our area. Daniel has been going for about a month now and has really started to catch on. Yesterday his kimono arrived! This has been a long awaited moment for Daniel. Doesn't he look so sharp?!?


Everyone in the house is learning right along with Daniel!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Ear to hear

Today James and I were out doing more follow-up visits on our February contacts. We were able to talk with two ladies. Mrs. M and her daughter-in-law. Here are some excerpts of our conversation:

Are you religious?: We're Catholic but we don't go to church. We are with Christ in our home.

How was your Resurrection day?: The same as every other day.

Do you know why Jesus died on the Cross?: No

Do you have confidence that when you die you will spend eternity with Christ in Heaven?: No

Does this concern you?: No

Why not?: We just don't think about it

They both admitted that they are sinners and basically think it possible they will go to hell upon death. They agreed that if they stopped to think about the future it would be very concerning.

The daughter-in-law left and as we talked more with Mrs. M she said,

"I just don't know, I just don't understand. But, I have two ears and if someone will teach me and help me to understand I could learn."

But how are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed?
And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching?" Romans 10:14


Mrs. M is probably over 70. As you can see in the above picture, she is without hope in regards to eternity. We left in tears, in awe that we have the privilege of teaching her the truth. We have already scheduled to go back next week and do a Bible Study on the Gospel with her.

Pray with us for her Salvation.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

March & April Outreaches


Really, our March and April outreaches were very connected. We have spent the last month passing out invitations to watch the Passion movie as well as passing out books on why Christ had to die.
Over the past month we have had some great reception to the books, met several new people, and been able to present the Gospel to many. We have had some hard visits where people were not interested in what we had to say.

Last night we held our April outreach.

We had rented out a building for Good Friday and had prayed earnestly that God would bring out a good group out to see and hear the Gospel.

We had 18 adults and a group of kids. The movie is pretty serious for kids so they were in and out. I played games with them in the parking lot and was excited to be able to talk to them about why Christ died. They all knew he had died but weren't sure why.


About half way through the movie James stopped the film and clearly presented why Christ died, using Scripture after Scripture to show them the truth.

At the end of the movie David gave an invitation for them to really stop and consider their lives. Have they accepted by faith that Jesus died in their place for their sins? We are praying that as we follow up with these people in the next few weeks that the ground will be fertile.

I think each of us was disappointed that there was not a bigger turn out for the movie but we have to count it as a success. Why?

1. The Gospel was clearly presented
2. New contacts were made
3. We are sowing and ready for God to reap.