Thursday, September 30, 2010

An Eternal Impact...

As Laura and I enter the end of our 7th week of deputation (sharing our ministry with friends, family, bible groups, churches, etc.) we have been humbled by the amount of love and support that we have received from so many people. Thank you!! We have also had the privilege to pray and minister to dear friends and to forge relationships that go beyond simple sound bites. Though life has been busy, Laura and I (and the girls) have sensed that life has also been a bit slower and less hectic. We our in a season of our lives where we can invest in deeper relationships with people. What an amazing time. Not being driven by the clock has taken a while to get used to, but we are getting better at it as every new day comes. Friday's are a special day of the week for us. We call it Harvest Time. It is a time that MAF wants its missionaries to relax for a few hours and not think about all the tasks that need to be completed. Laura and I have discovered that going to a local greasy food diner that is just around the corner from our home is the place to begin Harvest Time. We order breakfast for two for less than ten dollars, enjoy each others company, and relish the simplicity of a cheap breakfast followed by a one hour walk at a local park. The simple things that we often overlooked and took for granted before are now the things that we really appreciate. Thank you Lord for helping us see that. A pastor friend of mine once said, "God doesn't make life busy, we do." I can see that now. (We can see that now.)

As Laura and I have shared our ministry with Mission Aviation Fellowship - Learning Technologies, many have asked us how they will be making an impact by coming alongside us as prayer and financial partners. I want to share with you the words of those who we at MAF partner and minister to in some of the most remote and isolated places of the world, so you can see for yourselves how you are making an impact for our King, our Lord Jesus Christ.

"I am very thankful, very happy, that MAF comes into my village because without the MAF plane I would not have been able to get the medical help that I needed. To the people in America who support Mission Aviation Fellowship, I say Thank You." Village Woman, Kalimantan, Indonesia.

"MAF supports my ministry and the ministry of scores of indigenous evangelists. MAF is our lifeline. Without MAF I couldn't even be here. I've worked with 10 different tribes during the last 30 years, and have seen a vibrant church planted and coming to maturity among seven of them. I know God will complete the work He has begun. I am truly grateful." - Lois Belsey, missionary, Papua New Guinea.

Through the words of these individuals, the impact that you make in partnership with us is eternal. It is greater than ourselves and it will last long after we pass away. 2Corinthians 4:19 says, "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." This is the impact that you, our partners, are making as we co-labor together for our King and His Kingdom.

Because you prayed... Because you gave.... Because you care...

I encourage you to watch the video below.

Until Next Time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Be Strong and Courageous - Joshua Chapter 1

           These commands appear 5 times in the first chapter of the book of Joshua.   Joshua, a member of one of the largest tribes of Israel is to take over the leadership of the Children of Israel, after the death of Moses. When God is at the forefront of our challenges, we can be reminded that the words that the Lord used to encourage Joshua, are also the words that can strengthen our own walk of faith.
             In this season of life, where Tony and I find ourselves, we often look at our own walls of Jericho and wonder how the Lord will tear them down or how He will lead us to cross the Jordan River. It is, however, during these times, that we are comforted as followers of Christ to obey what the God of Israel also told Joshua in verse 8, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. THEN you will be prosperous and successful.”
               We, like Joshua, can feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of what we have to do, and wonder in the process, how we can ever do it. It is reassuring that God’s command to be “strong and very courageous,” applies to all believers no matter what situation is in their midst.  We can take refuge that the God of Moses and Joshua is also the God that we serve.

Be Strong and courageous, knowing God is with you and will not forsake you.
Be Strong and courageous, and focus on His Word, don’t be afraid.
Be Strong and Courageous and live his Word, God is with you.
Be Strong and Courageous.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35

           The majority of Christian mission work has used literate means to reach oral communicators living in remote and isolated places of the world. Since a large portion of unreached people groups are oral learners it is critical that we use oral strategies to reach as many with Biblical truths that we in the West can take for granted.
             An effective way to reach oral cultures is by telling the stories of the Bible. Oral cultures love to hear stories over and over again, memorizing them and retelling them to their friends and neighbors. Since story telling is highly relational, Bible stories such as the parting of the Red Sea and David and Goliath, can spread rapidly within a people group without the aid of visuals or written materials.
             As I think how God has prepared me into full-time ministry, I am full of joy as I realize I will be able to share the Bible with men and women who long to hear the stories that have been existed for centuries. When I recall all the stories I have learned since I was a child in Sunday school, I can’t bear to think that many have never heard of the Good Samaritan or the Lord’s Prayer. This is why I long to be able to share the one single book that has made the biggest difference in my life. While I understand the need for more followers of Jesus Christ to enter into missionary service, I have to admit that there’s no other way I’d like to live out the rest of my life but to devote it to sharing the life transforming stories that have pierced my heart.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Throw your net on the right side of the boat....

The title for this first post is from John 21. Christ spoke these exact words to His disciples from the shore after He asked them if they had yet caught any fish from the left side of their fishing boat. When they answered, "No", they listened to Christ and cast their fishing net on the right side of the boat and their net became so full; they were unable to lift it out of the water.  For Laura and I as we complete our third week as new missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship, we feel that for the past 5-6 years, the Lord had been preparing not only us, but our entire family to cast our net on the right side of the boat and what a blessing it has been. Just as the disciples had a full net, we too have a net that has, so far, yielded great results. We have been able to share the vision of God's Call on our lives and invest time with people in a way that was never possible before due to the busyness of life. Though our lives are still busy, we have had a chance to invest in the lives of friends and family through ministry. We have been able to listen to family and friends share their lives with us  and we have been able to have time to listen closely and encourage and pray with them. What a joy it has been for Laura and I. Such amazing blessings as we cast our net on the right side of the boat. People have also been a blessing to us as they have prayed over us and have caught onto the vision of our ministry with MAF. Many are encouraged and have partnered alongside us to reach the most remote and isolated people in the world with the love of Jesus Christ. We are humbled by the kind words and love family and friends have demonstrated through our first three weeks of missionary service.  We look forward to the days and weeks ahead  knowing that the Lord who is faithful will guide our path and lead us toward more and more dependence upon Him so that He and He alone gets the glory. 
In His Service,
Tony and Laura