Not in Vain

“God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us. That Thy ways may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations. ” ~ Psalm 67:1-2 ~

These holidays have been productive, but also included a couple of very sad occasions last week..

We lost two students.

1.
Khon got sick about a year ago. He went to the hospital here and they said it was tuberculosis and gave him medicine. Well the medicine didn’t work, so his Aunt (who is a house parent and teacher here ay WPY) took him to a hospital in Thailand, and they said it was a form of leukemia. They said it was quite advanved and treatment would be expensive. He comes from a poor farming family. Well he sold his share of the farmland to purchase medicine and treatment, but worsened and died the morning of Monday the 22nd August. He was 19.
We held the funeral service at his home in the village, but buried him here at WPY on Tuesday, as per his wishes. He wasn’t baptized, but in the words of his family, “He wasn’t a Buddhist.” and never attended the pagoda with them. The whole village got to hear the gospel preached to them from the 4 or so sermons over the 2 days of the funeral. We spoke about sin, death and the hope of the resurrection. We used the local custom of loudspeakers. We pray that seeds have been planted that will bear fruit and his death won’t be in vain, and are glad they allowed us to do a Christian funeral.

Khon was always a good, quiet student for me. A bit shy, but would talk when he warmed up to you. He got along with all his classmates, never rude or crude to girls, and although not the highest academically, always applied himself to his work. I remember one time being in the back of the ute going to the airport to farewell a volunteer, and the other boys were talking about how many girlfriends they have had, currently had, or wanted to have. Khon turned to me and said, “Teacher, I don’t want a girlfriend…. I want a wife!”

Khon - red shirt

Khon – red shirt

2.
David got sick about 2 months ago. He was a HIV positive orphan that has been here since he was about three years old. He had a bad reaction to a change in his medication, and lost most the skin on the upper half of his body. They took him to hospital, where he contracted a strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria which affected his intestinal tract. The poor boy suffered from chronic, explosive diarrhea, and it took a while for them to get on top of the bacteria. The first antibiotic they tried, he had a bad reaction too. He improved and came here for a week. Although we then got the diarrhoea under control, he was finding it hard to eat, due to a thrush infection from his mouth all through his intestinal tract, and lost weight. The hospital decided to admit him again when he went for a check-up, and sure enough the diarrhoea started again, as well as possible internal bleeding. He continued to lose weight. We aren’t sure if he caught another bug at the hospital.
Tuesday early morning he slipped into unconsciousness and was admitted to ICU and died early that afternoon. He was 14 years old and weighed less than 25kg. We buried him late Wednesday morning.

I once disciplined him with a cane to the hand when he was making class unbearable for Ely. But after that we got along quite well. When he came to ride the horse he looked very proud of himself. He always used to greet me when we would pass each other by the way.

David

David

Khon wasn’t expected to die just yet, the herbs he had been taking were actually making the lumps in his neck go down. David wasn’t expected until the day Khon died, and even then we were praying he would pull through. I am glad that they aren’t in any pain anymore.

I am so glad for the Bible’s teaching on death. We can know that our loved ones are sleeping in Jesus and will be awakened at His Second Coming, where there will be no more pain, suffering, tears, or death.

The following Sabbath we attended another funeral. The father of one of our students passed away. He wasn’t a Chrisitan,  but his family are and wished to do a Christian funeral. There, in that village, the Gospel was again preached to some who may not have heard of our hope before. Again we pray for a harvest from among those villagers, and for each family who suffered the loss of a loved one last week.

In other, better news, we also had three new volunteers arrive this week. Kim, she is from Germany; Conchis from Mexico, and Matthew from the USA. We are very thankful they arrived safely, and thank God for sending them.

Less than one week and then school will start again. Ely and I not only have some classes in the school, but will also commence teaching Hooftrek. Our first students will be from our Special class. These kids struggle academically, and some behaviourally, and a couple are physically disabled. We are excitred to have a chance to help the students in this way.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ue know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:58 ~

Don’t Touch The World!

Teacher Anna has been valiantly trying to teach all the high school students to value and take care of the things we place in their classroom. 20151203_080311

It appears that the message has been received (sort of) by at least one student. Sothearknine from Grade 8, procured this timeline from the Grade 10 classroom and has it proudly displayed behind his desk with the following sign..20151202_130328

I can report that both the world map and this timeline have so far not been touched!

I read these verses from Isaiah this morning.

“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence…  And give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth…. Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.” ~ Isaiah 62:6-7,10 ~

They spoke volumes to me. As a watchman I have a work given by God to do. Lately there has been some heart breaking moments here (and around the world) and I have been brought to realize once again that I don’t have time to sit on the fence. I don’t have time to be ‘of the world’. There are souls that Jesus died for perishing all around me. There are precious people being led down dark paths to ruin, pain, and eternal loss. What right do I, who have been blessed with this Light, have to play idle games, speak useless words, and waste scarce time on things that do not give glory to God.

I will not keep silence. By God’s grace and power, I will lift up a standard: I will lift up the Savior that all people might see, believe and live.

I will not leave the world untouched!

Satan Told Me Not To Read The Bible

A Testimony
~ by Andrew Michell ~
http://www.hewantsfruit.com

Motivating youth to read the Bible

Motivating youth to read the Bible

When I was in jail the first thing Satan said to me was

Do not read the Bible.

Well it was too late. I had just been arrested for kidnapping and armed robbery and was alone in a cell in solitary confinement. There was nothing to read except for the obscenities and gang symbols which former prisoners had written or scratched on the walls of my cell.

After a few days another prisoner walked by my cell and gave me a book to read. It was the Bible. I had to read the Bible. What else could I do? I was in solitary confinement with only that one book. So I read the Bible.

That’s when I heard Satan say to me

Well if you are going to read the Bible, do not believe any of it.

Fine, I will not believe it. But you should read some of fantastic stories that the Bible contains! They were so amazing I swear that I was lost in this book and no longer in solitary confinement. Daniel saved out of the lions’ den, the walls of Jericho crumbling, and Jesus resurrected from death.

Then I learned that Matthew, John, and Peter were very real historical figures who really lived and knew Jesus. They were not writing fiction but their own eyewitness testimonies of Jesus’ sufferings, death, and resurrection. They believed so much in what they saw and heard that they were willing to be tortured, imprisoned, and killed rather than be quiet. These eyewitness testimonies were so compelling I began to believe them also!

Satan said “Ok so you believe the Bible, just do not pray.

Well by now my life was a complete wreck. I was 16 years old in jail for seven kidnappings and armed robberies. This was a time of intense misery and despair as I realized my life was over and there was no hope. I was a high-school-dropout-drug-addict felon. The only future for me was prison and death.

As I read stories in the Bible of God answering prayer and changing peoples’ lives, I found hope. I knelt on the floor of that cell and prayed to God to change my life. He did. He gave me a new heart and new desires. I found peace and freedom as I prayed.

Satan would visit me often in that cell. He persisted, “You are reading the Bible and praying even though I told you not to. I do not think you should do that but I will not stop you. That is okay, just have your own experience with God and do not ever go to church.”

As I continued to read the Bible I found that I was becoming a better person. The Bible was changing me and giving me a desire to give, learn, and help others. I no longer wanted to steal, use drugs, and commit crime. This was so wonderful! I wanted to find others who were also reading the Bible and praying. I wanted to join them. I wanted to benefit from interacting with a community of Bible readers.

Satan was ready of course, “Well fine, it is okay for you to join a church. There are over 33,000 denominations for you to choose from. Choose from any that you like, just do not go to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

In summary, when I learned the truth about the Sabbath Day and the truth about what happens when people die, I decided to become a Seventh-day Adventist. Why? Here is the easiest and simplest answer: Because 10 equals 10 and the dead are dead. Everybody always says “10 commandments” but they only really mean 9. Everybody always says that Mr. SoAndSo is dead but what they actually mean is that Mr. SoAndSo is alive somewhere else. However the Bible says that the dead are dead and that the 10 commandments are 10 commandments.

You-know-who came to me again and sought to persuade me “Hey, you did not need to join a church, especially the SDA church. Anyways just enjoy your faith by yourself and do not share it with anyone.

Actually it is not that hard to be quiet about your faith. I think I could have succeeded if I only stopped reading the Bible and praying. If I stopped reading the Bible I would have lost perspective on the value of a human soul. Other people would have then become less important and I would not value them as God values them. But God does want all people in every nation to know what great love He has for them.

Listening to Satan this time was impossible. For many years now I had been consistently reading the Bible and praying every day. This interaction with God’s Word had so dramatically changed my life that people who knew me previously were asking me how my life had changed. When I shared how God had helped me so much other people wanted the same thing. How could I withhold something that been such a benefit to my life, my family and community?

Now Satan really started to plead with me, he really urged me “Ok you are sharing your faith with people at home. That’s good and you should just do only that. But do not ever, I repeat, do not ever go to an area of the world where is Christ is not known and share what you know about Jesus. Do not show any interest whatsoever in foreign missions.

In the Bible is an interesting story about the disciples of Jesus asking the question about the end of the world.  Jesus then tells them specifically in Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.” Jesus then commands his followers in Matthew 28:18-20 to go into all the world and share the good news and teach others about Jesus.

How amazing! It is God’s will that everybody has access to the gospel to learn about God’s love for all of humanity. All people everywhere should have opportunity to learn about Jesus. It is the express will of God. When I learned here that 2.9 billion people are still without access to the gospel I became motivated to be involved. This is what God wants. How could I live any other way?

Satan said “Ok Andrew you are involved with foreign missions, but don’t encourage anyone else to be involved.”

This time I thought about what Satan said. Why should I not tell anyone else about foreign missions? Because when every nation and every people group has access to the gospel then Jesus will return with power and great glory. When Jesus returns all sickness, war, rape, crime, evil, corruption, pain, and suffering will come to an end. Satan will remain in power as long as foreign missions are ignored. Suffering, war, and evil continue because missions do not.

Organized religion is the greatest blessing to humanity.
 God has organized the believers of the Bible into an organized church to take the gospel in a very organized way to unreached people groups. That is the overall plan and purpose for the church. God brought the church together to do this work well so that nobody in this generation anywhere in the world need be ignorant of Jesus.

The results of sharing? Just recently I met a man in SE Asia who said to me “Because of your example I have brought my family here to share Jesus with the unreached.”

And Satan? Well I just heard him say the other day “Ok you did not listen to me and you have motivated people at home to be involved in missions…but whatever you do, please do not publish any of this.”

 

Andrew Michell, who has worked for many years as a full-time Missionary in Thailand. A book has been written about his incredible life story and amazing transformation. It can be found at the Adventist Book Center and is titled, “Convicted!“. Andrew has visited the Jesus For Asia studio before, has been on MissionTV (Episode March 31, 2014) and has spoken at Southern Adventist University.
Sabbath Blessings to you all

Sabbath Thoughts

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” ~ Hebrews 12:1-2 ~

Am I really living as if I believe that God is real?

Am I really living as if I believe that Jesus is coming back?

If the Sunday Law was enforced tomorrow, would I change how I am living, and what I am doing each day?

Would I watch that movie? Would I read that book, listen to that song? Would I skip that Time with God? Would I say those words, go to those places, buy those things?

Would I be praying more? Would I be putting God’s Word into my heart? Would I complain as much about small sacrifices? Would I be taking more time to show Jesus to others? Would anything be more important than bringing God’s last message to a lost and dying world?

Do I live each moment of each day with eternity as my focus?

“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”  ~ 1 Peter 4:10 ~

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“And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” ~ Revelation 22:12 ~

Heart Work

Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom. ~Psalm 51:6 ~

“Truth must become truth to the receiver, to all intents and purposes. It must be stamped on the heart. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10). “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30). This is the service that God accepts. The heart is the citadel of the being, and until that is wholly on the Lord’s side the enemy will gain constant victories over us through his subtle temptations.

Full and abundant is the provision that has been made that we may have mercy, grace, and peace. Why, then, do human beings act as if they entertained the idea that the truth is a yoke of bondage? It is because the heart has never tasted and seen that the Lord is good.

The world is full of false teaching; and if we do not resolutely search the Scriptures for ourselves, we shall accept the world’s errors for truth, adopt its customs, and deceive our own hearts. Its doctrines and customs are at variance with the truth of God. .
It is a matter of the highest importance and interest to us that we understand what truth is, and our petitions should go forth with intense earnestness that we may be guided into all truth.

Truth is sacred, divine. It is stronger and more powerful than anything else in the formation of a character after the likeness of Christ. In it there is fullness of joy. When it is cherished in the heart the love of Christ is preferred to the love of any human being. This is Christianity. This is the love of God in the soul. Thus pure, unadulterated truth occupies the citadel of the being.

When the truth as it is in Jesus molds our characters it will be seen to be truth indeed. As it is contemplated by the believer it will grow brighter, shining with its original beauty. It will increase in value, quickening and vivifying the mind and subduing selfish, unChristlike coarseness of character. It will elevate our aspirations, enabling us to reach the perfect standard of holiness.”.

~ In Heavenly Places ch.134  p.140 ~

Desiring-God-cover-photo

Let God be True

Indeed; Let God be true, but every man a liar.

As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him. For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to God’s word. The entrance of God’s words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Whosoever abides in Him sins not: whosoever sins hath not seen Him, neither known Him. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

worship

 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
If ye love Me, keep my commandments.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Orion

 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. Being confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Orion-nebula

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever.

Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us; unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Indeed, let God be true

~ God’s Holy Word ~

ASAP Update

“Ask of Me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” ~ Psalms 2:8 ~

photo by Chantha

photo by Chantha

I just received an update about the Cambodian pastors who were attending seminars about Seventh Day Adventist beliefs a little while ago. Read that story here.

Cambodian Pastors

To quote from the email from ASAP:

“Thank you for praying for the meetings in Cambodia with 150 Sunday pastors, 22 of whom expressed their desire to be baptized into the SDA church! Please pray for the follow-up and discipling of these pastors and their congregations.”

Thank you to all who are praying for the precious people of Cambodia. May God and His Word be glorified in all the earth!

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~ Psalm 46:10 ~

Always Say A Prayer – Breaking News

Sharing this email that I received today. It is rather exciting. Please pray for the meetings, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit for all involved. Oh and watch Pastor Phally’s testimony! It’s very exciting.
Dear Prayer Team,
Please pray earnestly right now and throughout the weekend for over 150 Sunday church pastors and over 100 of their members in Cambodia who are meeting this weekend to learn about the Sabbath and the state of the dead, along with other unique Seventh-day Adventist beliefs.  During the first meeting, the conference hall was packed, with people standing in the back.
 
 
Pray for God to send His Holy Spirit to strongly convict each person of truth in His Word. Pray also that the Lord will anoint the lips of Pr. Sophat Sorn and Pr. Lim Pheng who are preaching. (This amazing opportunity came about from ASAP Church Planter Prek Phally sharing with his former colleagues. You can see his story at the link below)
Please also pray that God will open the windows of heaven and pour out not only spiritual blessings, but provide the $100,000 needed by December 31 so that ASAP can send the workers their stipends and provide for all the ASAP project needs. It says in Desire of Ages, pg. 668, “He is well pleased when they make the very highest demands upon Him, that they may glorify His name. They may expect large things if they have faith in His promises.” If you would like to get involved with ASAP you can find out more information at this link: http://asapministries.org/involved/

Thank you for taking the time during this busy holiday season to pray.
Gratefully,
Julia O’Carey
ASAP Director

P.S.  This urgent email was sent to the entire ASAP family, not just our email prayer team, so that the meetings in Cambodia and the needs of our workers are saturated with prayer coverage.  If you are not a member of the ASAP Prayer Team and would like to join, please visit the following link:  http://asapministries.org/united-prayer/join