Just, WOW! So glad you spoke on this. May our spiritual eyes be opened in a world where all we seem to focus on is the disaster and destruction it causes. May we focus our hearts, efforts and eyes on what Jesus is up too. That is what will keep our faith flame going.
The latest election results are all over the news. Should we be concerned or elated? WWJD? Well, Jesus didn’t set up a political campaign and repeatedly described a Kingdom that was “not of this world.”
Where do you go for news about that Kingdom? Where do you find out what’s really going on – what God is doing in the world?”
When I want that kind of news, I talk to Steven Loots. He notes that in Mozambique and Malawi the news that the media broadcasts is grim: Fighting in Mozambique Prompts Refugee Flight to Malawi.
But Loots report is the opposite: Revival Breaking out and 20,000 Churches Planted!
Now, whose report do you believe? I don’t know about you, but I’m going to believe the report of the Lord!
Or look at the reports that came in this week from SE Asia:
Kenny reports: 3 girls showed up at our door unexpectedly (they have done that sometimes to maybe catch us off guard and not prepared for the them coming). They were in tears after chatting with them. One moved in and begged us to let her 16 year old sister to come. We’ve never said “no”.
While chatting with them, I kept talking with the Lord, “Oh God, you know our needs… you love them so much… please continue to show up… you know what it costs to take care of them…”.
So we leased this run-down B&B on the outskirts of Siem Reap, just ten minutes from Angkor Wat. The reviews on Trip Advisor were terrible, but we felt that with Scott Kwak at the helm, we could turn it around and develop it into a Business as Mission (BAM) project.
After a couple of months, the first reviews have come in – all 5 stars! Here’s one:
Natural Angkor Villa
“Amazing Place and Amazing Staff”
I stayed here with friends…and I loved it! They have nice, clean rooms, good family style dinners that are a great way to meet the other guests, good wifi, a beautiful pool, and an amazing staff.
There were obvious improvements to be made at the beginning, but the transformation that happened over each week was amazing to see. By my last time staying there it was restored into a beautiful, clean, relaxing place. I would highly recommend this guesthouse.
Logan’s report: The morning I left my apartment to fly to Myanmar, I heard God say he wants to plant a church during debrief. I didn’t know what that looks like, but I took it and kept my ears open.
– On the plane, Clint, the squad coach, asked me what I thought God wanted to do during debrief. I told him somewhat hesitantly that I thought God wanted to plant a church in Myanmar. We counted up that we would only have 5 full days in country. We shared a laugh that said ‘What are we about to witness?!’.
– We get to Yangon, Myanmar and the first couple days it’s barely talked about. There is mention of being open to finding a man of peace, a local we could work along side and empower to lead the church.
– On day 2 of debrief we had an hour of contemplative prayer. I was sitting in the park and all of a sudden God dropped this word in my lap that the park is where the church will meet. I began to walk around the park claiming the ground when I stumble upon this tree. The tree our church would be under. I walked up to it and almost began to weep as I envisioned this church.
– From this day until the last day of debrief there wasn’t any movement. I have to admit my spirit was full of expectation, but my mind was full of uncertainty of a church being planted.
– The last day of debrief rolls in…at 9:30 am Josie, a girl on the squad, was in the park reading her Bible when this lady walked up, and asks if she is reading the Bible.
– At 11am our squad was meeting in the park. This lady walked up and shared with us about how she ran into Josie this morning. She began to share with us how she was a Christian and how she came to the park to kill time.
– Her name? Zion. Her desire? Evangelism. WHAT!?
– Clint asked her if she would be willing to share the gospel with people if we gathered them. She says, “of course” and that she would call her other evangelist friend. We agreed on all meeting back at the park around three to start.
– Around 1:30 this random group rolls into the park carrying this beautiful white piano. Our first thought: that’s random. Second thought: Let’s help! We ran over to give them a hand moving it. Once the piano is placed we see that one of the guys has a shirt with Jesus on it. “Are you Christians??” “Yes we are!”
– What were they doing there? Setting up a piano for a woman named Pyuh Pyuh. Who just happens to be the most famous Christian singer in Myanmar! WHAT?!
– She was filming a video around 3 pm. So she began to usher the Spirit in this park and it draws a crowd.
– I HOPE YOU ALL ARE LAUGHING BY NOW! This is just crazy.
– Around 3:30 we began to gather a crowd to start our gathering.
– When we began I asked if anyone needed healing. A man raised his hand and came up to the front. He had pain in his side, we prayed and his pain went from a 10 to a 5. We prayed again and it went from a 5 to 3. He shared his testimony of the pain Jesus just relieved him of.
– From there we worshiped, danced, clapped, prayed for each other who had sick family members, and Zion and Ning shared the gospel and gave an invitation.
– A few people accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We asked who would want to come if we were to come back tomorrow and share more about Jesus? Many raised their hands. We asked who would want a Bible if we brought some back tomorrow? Many raised their hands.
– ’Okay’, we said. See everyone tomorrow at three.
– In the crowd that day was Teacher Mang who had actually discipled Zion! He was excited to come back tomorrow.
– As I mentioned earlier this was the last day we were all supposed to be in Myanmar. The squad was leaving the next day to go to India and Clint and I were suppose to head back to America.
– BUT GOD HAD JUST PLANTED A CHURCH.
– We invite the squad to pray about some staying back in Myanmar to begin to disciple the people who are learning about Jesus. The offer goes out and myself and four others decide to stay for a couple more weeks. We didn’t want to leave these people as orphans after they just heard about Jesus.
– Our prayer in staying? To start discipleship and find a Burmese person to lead these people.
– The next day there is a crowd of 25+ and it’s a mix of new faces and ones from the day before.
– They lead worship, Lacey shared her testimony, and Mang gave an invitation. Again we said, “who wants to come tomorrow and hear about Jesus?” Many raised their hands. Many also raised their hands to receive a Bible.
– Afterwards, I walk up to Mang and ask him about his church on Sunday. He says he would like us to come. ‘Where is it?’ I asked.
– IT’S IN HIS HOUSE! HE HAS STARTED PLANTING A CHURCH IN HIS HOUSE! You mean this guy is planting a church? Their first official Sunday as a church was the previous Sunday. We’ve been praying and needing a man of peace to pastor these people. Wow.
– He then told me that our group staying is crucial to this church planting. He explains how Myanmar people don’t often think outside the box and go out to the people, but our boldness is showing them new things.
So, while Logan stayed behind, the rest of the Expedition squad went on to Calcutta. The Spirit of the Lord went before them and saw they God miraculously heal 20 or so people out on the street. See the video report here.
* * * *
Yes, the world can feel out of control. The reports we get can be disturbing. But some of us need to change our news source. Good news is rolling in from around the world – we just need to tune into it.
Wherever this finds you in the world, realize that you are part of the greatest revival in the history of the church. Jesus promised that we would do “greater things than these,” and that is what we are seeing.
If you’re tuning into bad news, let me suggest that you change the channel.
The future is bright!
Seth – awesome testimonies of God’s movement in the World. Such an encouragement – thanks for sharing and expanding our view of the Body!
I definitely do hear ya regarding the fact that God is doing amazing works in this world, the majority which never get reported in the news. However, I don’t think we have to ignore bad news either, but instead, respond with the love of the Lord, just as World Racers are doing. So to me, it’s not really a “whose report are you going to believe” dichotomy. Both reports may be accurate, but the question is, what are we going to do about it? This would certainly be the case with your examples regarding Mozambique. The refugee crisis and war threats are real, and we have needed to pay attention to them, especially when advising some of our orphans who have needed to travel through the area of fighting. But what has also been real is that people are turning to God, and there is an opportunity to minister God’s love, grace and truth to those fleeing from the fighting.
That being said, as a missionary and journalist, I completely agree with you that the modern news media loves to predominantly focus on the bad, leaving many overwhelmed, paralyzed into a state of inaction and left with a depressing outlook on the world. May we tune into what God is calling us to do and be in a hurting world, and do so with Jesus-fueled love, hope, compassion and joy. That would indeed be a Good News focus.
True, Melinda – it is not a dichotomy. But one’s general level of faith is impacted by where one focuses attention.
I look at the hot spots and crisis points and say, “there’s an opportunity to bring hope.” Glad you’re doing that with your life and call.
I get beyond thrilled to hear of the exact, precise, intentional and perfect timing of God. I agree with you, Seth, that we are headed for big time revival and I think we are here for “such a time as this”. The whole thing was encouraging and uplifting. Your one sentence in particular got to me a lot. God has given me a vision for something too that hasn’t quite begun yet but has been in the works for at least 5 years now. The sentence I’m referring to was where you said your spirit was full of expectancy and your mind was full of uncertainty. Wow if that’s not me right now. I have HUGE expectations for this vision but the questions of doubt try to come and part of that is the uncertainty of me not wanting to step out before God wants me to and knowing that perfect timing. I have no doubts about the vision, but the doubts flood me about “me”, like the how, the when etc. Anyway, thanks for sharing this because it spoke to my heart to keep persevering and to not give up and that I can trust God who can make the way just like he did for the church you described! He’s faithful to the visions He gives. Awesome!
I love being around people of faith! Your faith is sure to activate God’s power, Cheryl. Keep persevering!
you right the news seems to focus on the bad while God created everthing perfect perhaps the new should point to man causesing all his promblems from the very beginning. Truth A
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