Feb 1-7, 2015
Central Asia Team
It has been a great past couple of weeks, we appreciate all of your prayers and support for our team. The Lord is moving mightily among us and it makes such a difference to know that friends and family are supporting us.
This last week has been full of miracles and the power of God being released into peoples lives. We spent our first week in the eastern part of the country. A cool story is one in which a group of us met with two English speakers on the street. We went to have tea with them and were able to share the Gospel very clearly with them. Before leaving we exchanged numbers and one man even mentioned that he had never heard the true story of Jesus. He knew very little and was interested to know all we had to say.
We met up with them again the day before we would go off to our next city. We were able to explain that knowing Jesus was not about about religion but actually that the men could speak with God, and God would speak back to them. This is a very foreign concept because prayer here only means reciting a formulated prayer which all people use. We asked one man if he wanted to speak with God. He said yes! We prayed and asked God to speak with him. Afterwards he said it felt like all his burdens were lifted and a peace had come over him. We told him about the presence of God and asked him if he wanted to repent of sin and follow Jesus completely, but he said “not yet.” The next day I called him and he said that his family told him that he could no longer see us, but he thanked us and said ” I now know that it is not about religion but only about Jesus.”
We proceeded to travel to our next city the day after. We are now in the very far east, right next to the border. Today we met with a man who spoke English very well. We soon find out that he is actually the owner of the hotel we are staying in.
After talking with him for a while he said he didn’t believe in God, and thought that when he died he would just go into the ground. We ended up going to his house and talking with him for a while. After we explained the Gospel, he went on to say “I believe now that Jesus is the Son of God and is God.” For someone to say that here is huge! We asked him if he wanted to talk to God, and he said yes. We explained that following Jesus is not a small thing, and it requires every part of your being and life. We asked him “Are you sure you are ready to give up everything to follow Jesus?”
He said he did so we prayed and asked Jesus to speak to him. We waited for a few minutes to give him time to hear from God. After that we asked him what God told him; and what we heard was amazing. He said God told him that “If he were to draw near to God, God would draw near to him.” Our team was given a clear word of the Lord before coming to Turkey that it would be very important for us to read through the book of James. Just today we read chapter 4, where it says ” Draw near to God, God will draw near to you.”- James 4:8a. This man ended up giving his life to Jesus!
This is huge because there are no known believers in this city. We left with him saying “I must hide this Bible from my wife because she is a devote Muslim.” He was very serious about reading the Bible.
These are just a few of the many stories that we could share. God is doing amazing things through our time here.
Explorers Team – Central Asia / Northern Africa
Hello friends and family! As promised, here are a few highlights from our time in Central Asia! Before our time there God spoke to our Redding staff about us visiting homes, a prison, and blessing the local church. They all ended up coming true! On Sunday (the 1st) we visited a local church and prayed over the leaders there. On two occasions, one of the evangelism groups was invited into our neighbor’s apartment and were able to share the Gospel with him as he offered dinner and tea. On the last day of our ministry we met a man who volunteered to use his day off to come with us to a local prison and translate for us. We were able to pass out 20 bibles and a few CDs to the guards of the prison after they offered us tea. We then passed out an additional 10 Bibles in the village where the prison was. We were able to make many personal connections, and share the Gospel with the people we met throughout our time in the city. Some of our team was also able to pray with a young man who wanted to know Jesus and said that he felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, like peace washing over him, as they prayed.
At around 1am on the 5th we arrived safely in Northern Africa! The family that we are staying with here are absolutely wonderful, and have made us feel comfortable and welcome! We started our first full day of evangelism on Friday. Our team went out to a small village and split up with a translator in each group. Alyssa P and Alyssa B stopped to talk with a young woman who knew Jesus but wanted to know Him more and hear His voice. She didn’t know much about the Holy Spirit, so we shared about Him with her and she let us pray for her to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. The next girl that we met had never heard the full Gospel, so we got to share it with her. She made the decision to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior! We also prayed for her to receive the Holy Spirit. Between our two groups we had the opportunity to preach the Gospel to over 100 people in this village alone.
The same night we made up a quick drama which we then performed at a deliverance meeting in a local church. Meghan preached and invited people forward to receive prayer. Jaiden prayed for a man who was deaf in his right ear, and his ear was miraculously opened! Meghan prayed for the daughter of a witch doctor, so that she would have freedom and deliverance from the oppression of her family. We also prayed for numerous others who received the Holy Spirit and were encouraged by the words that the Lord gave us for them.
The next day we did evangelism in the market where we met two men, Ronny and Thomas, who were both from Uganda. Ronny started out skeptical of all religion, but after Alyssa P shared with him what the Gospel was really about his whole attitude changed. We invited him to meet us at church the next day, where he informed us that he had been reading his Bible and was interested in doing a YWAM DTS in Uganda when he returns home next year!