Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Oh! to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art. Come in Thy sweetness. Come in Thy fulness. Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart!"

I have had an unusual day to read and meditate on some things that the Lord has been teaching me. I have been reading "Lords Of The Earth" by Don Richardson. It is the story of some missionaries who took the gospel to the jungles of Irian Jaya. The people of these jungles had never even seen white people before, let alone heard the good news of Jesus Christ. In spite of great odds, demonic oppression, and a culture built on hatred, revenge, and slavery to Satan, by the grace of God these missionaries gave everything they had to see these needy people come to know the freedom of Christ's love and forgiveness. Their level of commitment to Christ has really challenged me to take a closer look at the state of my own heart and my level of commitment to Jesus Christ, and Him alone.

As many people of Ninia, Irian Jaya began to commit their lives to Christ they faced a great dilemma, which proved to be the climax in a true story of the mighty hand of God in the hearts of these former slaves to Satan. If they were to be completely committed to Christ, missionary Stanley Dale explained, they must completely reject their old lifestyle. "No one can wholly follow the Lord while he still has fetishes, just as he cannot really be the Lord's while he still has idols." Following the example of first century Christians, the jungle people of Ninia began to burn their fetishes and idols. This act of faith brought great persecution from their unsaved neighbors, but it also served to embolden them with the zeal of the Lord as their hearts and lives were completely surrendered to Christ.

In the process of preparing for this upcoming missions trip to Asia I have spent a lot of time reevaluating what my life is all about, and what it should be all about. I long to be so committed to Christ that, as the believers of Ninia, I would be willing to face whatever persecution the Lord allows--all for the sake of serving Him.

"For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."
Galatians 1:10

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hurray! Zach is home!!!!

Zach graduated from the International ALERT Academy's basic training program on Friday. We are all so very proud of him and thrilled to see what God has been doing in his life over the last 9 weeks. Zach will be home until the beginning of January and Lord willing he will head back to TX at that time for further training.

When we arrived in Big Sandy we were not allowed to have any contact with Zach until after his graduation late that afternoon. However, we were allowed to observe him as the young men demonstrated some of the skills that they had learned during their training. Here are a few pictures from those events. Enjoy!

Our first view of Zach (he is in the middle)

Demonstration of skills before the ceremony

The final man over the "river"

Transporting the "victim"

Demonstration of a river crossing

Construction of a lean-to and care for a hypothermia victim

Graduation from Basic Training--Advancement into ALERT

(Reciting the whole book of 1Peter)

Friday, November 2, 2007