Tuesday, August 09, 2005

So Long Farewell

Leaving Sri Lanka today! Well, as you may recall from the first email sent from this side of the world it is today BUT technically I leave on Wednesday (1:35am) I am 11 hours behind Central Standard Time. Which means at 2:35pm in the afternoon on TUESDAY stateside I will be boarding a plane (the first of four) and making my way back to the USA.

What a HARVEST! In the last ten days I have seen over 800 children and 400+ adults. Prayed with three women last Sunday to receive the precious gift of salvation, eyewitness to miracles and then some! Thank you for being a BIG part of the work here in Sri Lanka.

Oswald Chambers (who taught foreign missionaries during the first years of the 20th century) said - don't pray over the work you are doing for God - PRAYER IS THE WORK! Thanks for keeping me covered, encouraged, strong, healthy, and safe down DANGEROUS roads.

The work here in Sri Lanka is AMAZING! Pray for workers to come - and help!! So many organizations arrived for the humanitarian outreach - now the doors to allow spiritual outreach are open. This may not last long.

God is faithful and as they say in Africa "good all the time!" It is hard to look upon devastation and destruction and say those words - but we must rely on the truth of His promise to work all things together for the good. This tragedy has brought the world's attention to Sri Lanka. May the people feel His Spirit and experience His true joy.

Smiling in His service!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Words Cannot Describe

Greetings again from the other side of the world! It has been such a great encouragement to hear from many of you all across the globe. It makes me very aware of how important prayer is to the ministry and harvest fields as well as the fact truly we are ONE body in Christ.

Today, our group (the family that arrived yesterday) A, myself and A2 (the two directors at the organization) traveled to the southern part of the island. This is where much devastation occurred. Our first stop was at a village totally rebuilt by them The villagers gathered and I gave a performance. It was the FIRST TIME the Good News had been shared with these people. It was an awesome and exciting opportunity to be the first person to break ground there!

We traveled further south where the tsunami hit a train and claimed the lives of over 1500 people. You cannot believe the devastation! Nothing can describe it - so I won't try in this format.

Traveling farther south around the edge of the island to Hamanaboto, 14,000 people lost their lives here. There, we drove past an inland. Once they had removed 2000 bodies - they had to stop because of too much debris.

We are staying at one of the few undamaged hotels in the region - and it has internet! I thought I would take advantage of the access and bring you the latest news from the field. Sitting here at the computer amidst the destruction surrounding me, I feel like a foreign war correspondent sending messages back home.
It has been great to be able to stay connected!

Tomorrow - I will perform at a the local church. T(the family man) will be giving the sermon. Monday we will be hitting the long road home and stopping at a school and bringing a performance there. Since here - I have given the message to over 600 children so far! Each day has it's own joy.

Thanks for being a part of what is happening in Sri Lanka. YOU will see the rewards in the Kingdom. YOU will know the difference your prayers made in bringing down strongholds of darkness.

To Him be the Glory!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Missed Interpretation

Warriors in the Service of the Most High,

It is morning here in Sri Lanka and our program for the neighborhood children is about to begin - we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of approximately 50 (more) children. The program director was to bring another interpreter from the office in Colombo - however, he has yet to arrive. This is one of the most important aspects of the day. For if the children do not understand what is being said - it is unlikely they will remember much about what they heard. This will be the first time many of the neighborhood children have heard the good news. The family arrived last night at 2:30am. Their daughters are to help with the program in playing games with the children but everyone is still sleeping! I will close for now and try to send an update at the close of the day. It will most likely be the last email as we leave early tomorrow morning for the southern region (tsunami devastated areas)

Thank you for your partnership in the Harvest!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

When to Plow and When to Plant

Greetings from SRI LANKA!

It is Wednesday almost lunchtime! I should probably clarify something about the food. Other than it being HOT HOT with chilies - the taste is pretty passable (very similar to Indian cuisine) HOWEVER, the food issue is not the taste but the preparation and cleanliness factor. Most of the food is prepared outdoors (that's right) and the water for washing veggies, plates, etc... has MAJOR bacteria issues. I need protection against the unseen “germs”. Now, you are probably quoting the verse to yourselves (faith is the things hoped for as yet unseen) I have the faith and hope all is protected inside my body!

Monday and Tuesday I performed at three different AED schools for over 400 children and probably 200 adults total. They loved it! As it turns out an official for the city was there and approached me at the end. This man turned out to be a previously very anti-American. However, he was happy with the program and thanked me for coming. God knows when the ground needs to be plowed and when the ground needs to be planted!

Today and tomorrow (Wednesday and Thursday) we are putting together a program for the orphanage and the surrounding neighborhood children. We are finished with the morning session and it went well. There are around 50 kids and they are having some kind of FUN! Friday, A and I along with a family here from the states will visit the southern province and do several performances in that region. It is one of the hardest hit areas from the tsunami.

In a third world country, disease and bacteria are rampant. Along with a few thousand malaria carrying mosquitoes! I am doing everything I can to keep myself healthy - but I also know what works BEST! The travel here is very dangerous. It is some of the WORST traffic situations - with passing trucks on blind hills, erratic driving, etc... The director of AED even had a wreck so - it is not imagining the danger. Yesterday when we were returning - we drove through a Muslim area and there was a MURDERED body still lying in the streets!

Thanks be to the God who hears - In every language - Across every time zone!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Of Sermons and Saints

Warriors and co-laborers in the Harvest Fields of Christ!

I send you greetings from the other side of the world and from the believers in Sri Lanka. Thank you for your prayers regarding the work going on here. We had a wonderful and successful program with the children at the Buddhist school. The headmaster (who is a believer) was impressed with the presentation and it's non-threatening evangelical message. I used a "trick" bag that utilizes the Child Evangelism colors to share the Gospel. The headmaster shared afterward the children were very attentive and it was an excellent way to share with them, many who had NO prior exposure to the Gospel message!

Praise be to the Father for His equipping of the saints and using unique ways to break through cultural strongholds. The headmaster also said many Buddhist parents were listening to see "what" was being said - and their response was positive as well. Sowing, plowing, in fallow ground!

SUNDAY - we attended a village church service that was AMAZING. I shared the "Three Trees" story with the congregation that included over 50 village children, around 40 adults and one gecko! They loved it but I’m not sure about the lizard. A preached the sermon. Three women came forward and accepted Christ, and A asked me to lead them in the salvation prayer.

We knelt before the altar, I cried and prayed, they prayed and cried and the angels in heaven rejoiced at the increase in the Kingdom. After the service, A prayed for each of the children individually and many of the congregants came forward for special prayer.

Now I am as many of you know, a "died-in-the-wool" Baptist, and have never seen "healing" as described in the Bible. But brothers and sisters - I can tell you confidently yesterday I saw MIRACULOUS healing. I will explain all when I return.

Praise to the Father for His continued work in the world and especially here in Sri Lanka. Thank you for all of your responses to the prayer requests and praise report. I cannot begin to tell you the power of prayer and the encouragement it brings to a weary traveler to see co-laborers in the harvest from ALL over the globe - uniting as ONE BODY to beseech the Lord for the harvest here! It is TRULY ripe. Ask Him for MORE workers - as always!

Smiling in His service and held in the everlasting arms. Bringing down strongholds in Sri Lanka!