Therefore, PRAY

Calvary School of Missions 2020 – Week 6 and What’s Next!

Calvary School of Missions 2020 gang!
(Look at our awesome shirts!!!)

It’s Rachel! This has been an incredible six weeks. The Lord has done so much in my heart and mind, and I can definitely say that I will never be the same. I am so grateful for your continued support in prayer! 

The final week of the school was spent in reflection and looking to the Lord for vision and guidance for next steps. We did a Bible study through John 13-17, and the Lord began to stir my heart towards prayer. I still have one semester left at Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murrieta, California, and the Lord has given me vision for how He wants me to leverage this semester for His glory among the nations. He gave me this passage from Matthew:

“But when [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’” 

Matthew 9:36-38

Jesus saw the people, weary and burdened by many things– the cares of this world, sickness, works-based religion– and He was moved with compassion. He knew there was potential for a great harvest of souls amidst this multitude, but did He say to His disciples, “So, go! Get out there!”? No. They weren’t ready for that. The commission doesn’t come until Matthew 28:18-19. There is a step before the “going,” and it’s prayer. 

What Jesus is saying here is huge, because He’s saying that prayer changes things. He is saying that the best thing we can do for our weary and lost world, is to lift it up in prayer. And as we pray according to the Father’s will, He stirs up His church! We can’t stir up sustainable desire, vision, or zeal for the nations in and of ourselves– it must come from the Lord. And we can pray that the Lord will give that compassion, that drive, to His sons and daughters so that they can tend to His harvest.

So, the Lord has put it on my heart to start a group on campus where we intentionally pray to the Lord of the harvest, to ask that He would send laborers into the world. Especially into the Unreached. My prayer is that the Lord would draw those whom He wills to the meeting, and that as we pray, our hearts would be conformed to that of our Father. That He would stir our hearts to pray for the nations regularly, and to get involved in sending the gospel to unreached areas. 

Settling into my dorm!

I’m so excited to be back in Murrieta for school! It’s going to be different because of social distancing and COVID preventative measures, but I know the Lord has something special for us this season. I have the pleasure of serving as a “dorm steward” (a sort of resident assistant) this semester, so I am here a little early to help with preparation for the arriving students. I’m very excited to dive into God’s Word– I am taking some awesome classes this semester! Following graduation, I am praying about participating in a missions internship to continue in my training for long-term missions! 

I cannot thank you enough for your prayers and financial giving! I look forward to connecting with you all when I am back home! This is my last newsletter from the Calvary School of Missions, but I plan to send a few updates while I am at school and as the Lord leads me in next steps! Thank you, again, and I pray that the Lord would bless you, continually remind you of His great grace, and enrich you in His Word! 

Beautiful CCBC Murrieta campus!

Praise Reports:

  • Everyone has been getting home safely from Mexico
  • I have arrived at school (I AM SO EXCITED), and I will be graduating this semester! 
  • The Lord changed me in so many great ways at the school of missions!

Prayer Requests:

  • Please pray that the Lord would bring those He has to the prayer meeting and that we would learn to pray for the nations with singleness of heart.
  • Please pray that the Lord would meet the students this semester as we study His Word. 

Thanks and blessings,
Rachel 

Family.

Marching Orders!

Calvary School of Missions: Week 5

Church Planting Conference at Calvary Chapel Rosarito (I promise, I am smiling!)

It’s Rachel again and I am eager to share the great things that the Lord has done this week in the School of Missions! I’m so thankful that you have chosen to be a part of this work as I train for long-term missions. Your thoughts and prayers are so… appreciated!

The theme the Lord has stamped upon my heart this week is discipleship. What is discipleship? I probably couldn’t have given you a clear definition before this week, but I have realized that it is the duty of the Church. Just before He ascended to the Father’s right hand, Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19). When a military officer gives a command, his inferiors must heed that command until they are given a different directive. Making disciples is the last command that we have received from our General, and we must heed His instruction. 

Praying with some ladies from Calvary Chapel New Beginnings, in Primo Tapia.

The New Testament is riddled with verses on discipleship, and it is clear that in order to make disciples of Jesus, we must first be disciples of Jesus. Jesus makes it clear that a disciple is to be identified with His teacher (Matthew 10:24-25). As we follow Jesus, we are conformed more and more to His likeness. Jesus sums up how this is done in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” To abide means to live in, to inhabit, and to dwell in. When we allow the Word to change us so that we dwell in it; we are His disciples. As a result we bear fruit: “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:8). The fruit is love (John 13:35), and the love of Christ results in making more disciples! (Acts 1:8, 2:42-43). 

To simplify all of that, discipleship is learning how to obey Jesus together. We are never going to be perfect. We will not “arrive” at a place of spiritual maturity where we are “qualified” to make disciples. We simply must take our stand daily in the grace of God alone. As we invite people into our daily walk with the Lord and invest in their spiritual development then we will learn to dwell in His Word. 

We attended a church-planting conference this weekend at Calvary Chapel Rosarito. It was awesome! We were able to hear from lots of pastors who have planted churches in Mexico and parts of the United States. It is obvious from the book of Acts that God’s designated method of world-evangelization is church-planting. I see now that the Church is the most effective vehicle for making disciples! This is why church-planting all over the world, especially in places that do not have a local church, is so crucial to fulfilling the Great Commission! Jesus commanded us to make disciples among all nations, and what better way than establishing a fellowship where people can be fed the Word of God and learn to live in His grace? We have our marching orders! Let’s heed our General’s command, and see that His name is exalted in the earth. He is worthy of disciples in every nation. Amen. 

Taking notes at the church planting conference!

Thank you so much for reading this! I am so grateful for your partnership in prayer and finances. I thank God for each of you, and for your investment in the gospel. If you would like to receive more about church-planting or discipleship, or if you have any prayer requests, please shoot me an email! I would love to hear from you. 

Prayer requests are below, as well as a link to our giving platform if you would like to partner with me financially. My heart is to make disciples of Jesus among nations where the gospel is not known, and your partnership is cherished! 

In Christ, 
Rachel

Praise Reports:

  • God is so good!
  • The Lord is moving in all our hearts and bringing clarity to vision and next-steps. 
  • Pastor Gregg and Vikki from Calvary Red Rock were able to come out for the Church-Planting Conference and it was such a blessing to catch up with them!
  • The Lord has kept us all safe and healthy!

Prayer Requests:

  • “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” Galatians 6:9. Let us not grow weary as we near the end of the school, but press in to the Lord!
  • Unreached People Group: Brahmin in Nepal
    • Please pray for the Brahmans in Nepal. They have a population of 3.2 million, and 0.0% are Christian. 
    • These people are generally well-to-do, but they are spiritually destitute without the gospel. 
    • Pray that the Lord would send laborers into this harvest (Matthew 9:38), that God would reveal Himself, and that the Brahman would have the opportunity to receive Christ.

The Greatest Injustice: The Unreached

“And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I build on another man’s foundation, but as it is written: ‘To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.’” 

Romans 15:20-21

It’s Rachel again! Thank you for being a part of the work the Lord is doing at the School of Missions through your prayers and support! This week was so incredible that I am honestly overwhelmed as I sit to write this update. The Lord met me this week in a way I’ve never experienced before! 

In the U.S., we live in a Christian-saturated culture. I am willing to bet that if you were to take a map of the 20-mile radius of your home and drop a pin on every church in the area, the map would be riddled with dots. If someone in America was curious about Christ, the odds are that he knows someone who can share the gospel with him: a family member, co-worker, or friend. This is awesome because people who are living a life in sin have access to the great message of the gospel, and have an opportunity to respond! 

On outreach: A nail-painting station is a great place to establish a relationship and share the gospel! This woman’s name is Lus, and I was able to talk to her and pray with her!

The world’s population is currently somewhere around 7.5 billion. Approximately 3.5 billion people live in a country similar to the one I illustrated above. But, what about the other 4 billion people? 

Those 4 billion people do not live in Christian-dominated cultures, and 3 billion of those people live in places with even less Christian influence. In most of these places, less than 2% of the population identifies as Christian. This means that approximately 3 billion people today have never heard a single word of the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16).  Jesus is the living water. He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father but through Him— and 3 billion people live unto death and die unto hell because they don’t get the chance to respond to the gospel. What an injustice! They don’t even hear it once

They are called the Unreached.

This is called the 10/40 window (approx. 10 degrees to 40 degrees latitude), and it is the home to the vast majority of the 3 billion Unreached people. (Photo from Advancing Native Missions)

I was struck with this reality full-force in class this week and Romans 15:21 comforted me. God knows. God sees each individual person among the Unreached. He sees the bondage of idolatry. He sees the depths of sin. Yet He is not passive. His heart is to see them brought back to Himself through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and His chosen tool is the Church (Matt. 28:18-20; John 17:18; Acts 10). 

Where do you think the gospel needs to go? Are we going to rethink our Spirit-led calling? 

This is why I am at the School of Missions, and why I am writing this to you today. I, like Paul, desire to make it my ambition to take the gospel to people who don’t have access to it. He’s worth it. His praise among the nations is worth it. 

Classes this week with Pastor Caleb Beller and Pastor Rob Douglass were amazing!

May love compel our hearts to meet the Unreached, and present this gift of grace. Freely we have received, may we also give with the same abandon. 

May the Lord build you up and encourage you in the gospel of Christ, and lead you into opportunities to share the message of salvation with others. I pray, Lord, in the years we have left, use our lives for Your glory to bring the gospel where it is needed the most. 

Serving at the Kumuyey tribe reservation; kids ministry and sharing testimonies with the adults. 

Praise reports:

  • The Lord is equipping us and setting us alight for His glory among the Unreached nations. 
  • The Lord is so, so good.
  • The Lord desires to refine us so that we can be used to bring others to Him. 

Prayer requests:

  • “The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matt. 9:37-38. 

If you are interested in partnering with me financially as I follow the Lord’s call to go to the nations, you can click the link below. Your prayers are deeply valued, and your love is cherished, all to the glory to the Lord!

In Christ,

Rachel

Dude, The Rocks Cried Out!

Calvary School of Missions 2020 — Week 3

Property at San Vicente (Saturday’s outreach).

It’s Rachel again! I have been so excited to sit down each week and communicate to you what the Lord has been doing at the School of Missions! I am so thankful for your fellowship in the gospel, praying for you and your families, and thanking God for your partnership that made coming here possible. Every day the Lord is faithful to remind me that He has me here for a specific purpose– thank you for playing a part in that!

This week we focused on the importance of culture and discipleship– and these things are more closely related than I initially expected. Discipleship is wholly based on developing relationships. When a missionary goes to a foreign nation to make disciples of Jesus, he or she must become acclimated to the culture in order to be effective. This is so that the missionary can build effective relationships with the nationals, or natives. As we read in Ministering Cross-Culturally, this is a huge exercise of humility. A missionary must enter a country and learn the language, social cues, and ways of life– everything from the beginning, like a child. 

“The keys for successful personal relationships in ministry are obedience to the commands of Scripture and accepting that others have a viewpoint that is as worthy of consideration as our own.” 

Sherwood G. Lingenfelter, Ministering Cross-Culturally 

Missions is almost never what we expect, especially in the beginning. We may go into a foreign country with all these lofty ideals of what God’s going to do, just to find out that we have to spend 1-2 years simply learning the language and culture. And a lot of this culture may be the opposite of our own culture, which can cause frustration and confusion. But, when we face these challenges, we need to look at our greatest Example. Jesus, God Almighty, left His throne to become like one of us. He was totally immersed in the Jewish culture for 30 years before He began His official ministry. We see time and time again how He leveraged the culture to make relationships with the people and reach them with the gospel. What humility! He set aside His “rights” as God, set aside His glory to become the adopted Son of a poor carpenter, all to reach humanity in a very personal way. What does this say about us when we gear up to go to another nation? It requires us to put down parts of our culture (as much of it as we can), and take up as much of the other culture that is required to forge relationships. 

This teaching was so timely for us because Saturday’s outreach in San Vicente was nothing like we expected. We were expecting for this outreach to be similar to the others, where some of us would share a few testimonies while others would work with the youth and the kids. We had a skit for the kids, crafts, and more planned… a two-hour drive later we had to throw all our plans out the window! The need in this particular church fellowship was manual labor on a property they were preparing for a women’s halfway house ministry. So we took up shovels, pickaxes, and post-hole diggers and got to work! 

Splitting rocks to fill a cement fence structure.

As we idealize missions, it is easy for us to get caught up in the outreach, and programs, and ministry tasks. But sometimes, what the community needs is for you to come alongside them and break rocks with them! What greater way to serve and create relationships than to meet the people where they are at? As we were chipping rocks away from the mountain and piling them up by the fence, it was like the Lord was using the rocks to speak to my heart… It’s not about the plans. It’s about the people. 

Nancy (far left) was the local who showed us all how splitting rocks was done. She is such a hardworking and encouraging young woman!

Is it worth it to lay down some of our cultural comforts and operations in order to be a vessel for the love of God to reach His children? Is He worth giving up our plans, and taking up the task of learning in order to reach or encourage His people? Is He worth it? I would certainly say so, and pray that He would help me to make my life look like I believe it. 

I was helping split rocks for a little while, but somewhere along the way, I made a little friend! Her name is Grace, and she is the pastor’s daughter. We were glued together for pretty much the rest of the day playing games, eating dinner, and acting goofy.

Thank you again to those who have been supporting me in your prayers and financially! It means so much that you have decided to be a part of what God is doing in Rosarito and in my life! Prayer requests are below if you would like to pray for our team, and if you would like to partner with me financially, you can click the link below. The Lord has been teaching me so much, and speaking to my heart about serving as a long-term missionary– I can’t wait to continue pressing in!

In Christ,

Rachel

Praise Reports:

  • The Lord has blessed us with amazing teachers and leaders! 
  • We are already such a tight-knit family!
  • We made it to and from San Vicente safely.
  • The Lord is keeping us safe and teaching us flexibility as plans change due to pandemic precautions and other factors. 

Prayer Requests:

  • That the Lord would strengthen us all (students and staff) as we pass the halfway mark, and that we would not grow weary.
  • That the Lord would continue binding us together in unity.
  • That the Lord would give each of us a heart and a vision for a specific people group or nation.

Power in Surrender

Calvary School of Missions 2020: Week 2

Outreach!!

First, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for partnering with me in the gospel! We’re only two weeks in, and I see the Lord answering prayers and moving in powerful ways. 

For those of you who may not know, I am in Mexico at Calvary School of Missions getting trained up to be a long-term missionary. We started with the basics of the grace of God to prepare us for the field, and in those basics, we find the heart of God, His love for the lost and forgotten, His heart to reach all nations with His gospel, and His grace that He would invite us– the Church– to be a part of the work He is doing! This week we focused on the power of surrendering to the work of the Holy Spirit who works in us as well as through us. 

Class with Pastor Mike Vincent

“The will of the creature is nothing but an empty vessel in which the power of God is to be made manifest.”

Andrew Murray, Absolute Surrender

What a glorious honor! To be filled with the Holy Spirit so that His power might be on display and souls might be turned to the Father. We gleaned a lot from Pastor Trent’s teaching on the work of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. The gospel was preached to the people in the largest cities and from there, spread to the entire country. We were blessed to have Pastor Mike Vincent visit us to teach and share on how the Lord has done a similar work through his church. He is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Rosarito, a church that has planted 25 successful church fellowships in Mexico within the last 18 years. Incredible! It’s amazing to see the Lord display His power through men and women surrendered to His purposes. I pray that the Lord would cultivate that surrendered heart in us. I know I have such a long way to go, but I trust that God guides His children. 

We accompanied a pastor from Calvary Chapel Rosarito on an outreach to bring COVID relief packages and the love of Christ to an impoverished community called Colonia San Fernando. One of the residents was so kind to open up her yard as a place to gather to share about the Lord, pray for the neighbors, and minister to the kids. I was able to share my testimony with those who attended. It was kind of spontaneous, and I had to have my friend Maribel translate, so there were a lot of things that were unfamiliar, and out of my control. The Lord taught me about surrender in that moment. I had to make myself available to what He wanted to say through me, that the people might be stirred by His power. I pray that they were.

Sharing my testimony at the outreach.

I also got to serve with the kids! We taught a lesson on the fruit of the Spirit, played water games (see the first photo), and did face painting! 

Face painting with this little niña!

As soon as we walked into this community we could sense the spiritual darkness, but the Lord showed up and there was joy, freedom, and hope. I was so encouraged to witness the impact that Jesus had on this small group of people. It reminded me of the verse, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2). This Light, of course, had nothing to do with us and everything to do with the Lord Jesus. If it were not for His Spirit guiding us, all we would have had to offer was some food for their bellies. But since the Lord was leading us, He was able to offer Himself as the Bread of Life that sustains their souls. 

I am so grateful that you’ve decided to be a part of what God is doing in my life to train me up for His global purpose. Thank you for partnering with me in prayer, encouragement, and finances; the Lord is using it! Praise reports and prayer requests are below, and also a link for financial partnership if the Lord leads you! Thank you again, and I pray the Lord would continue to make the power of His gospel real in your life! 

In Christ, 

Rachel

Praise Reports:

  • The Lord is taking us out of our comfort zones and helping us grow in boldness for sharing the gospel. 
  • God is continuing to unify us in His Spirit and forge deep friendships. 
  • The Lord has blessed us with awesome leaders to disciple us. 

Prayer Requests: 

  • That God would give the leaders an extra measure of grace to navigate the school in the midst of often-changing situations.
  • That God would give each of us students a heart and a vision for a country or people group. 
  • That we would not grow weary as we near the half-way mark of our time in Mexico.

For the Joy

“… let us run with endurance 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Hebrews 12:1b-2

Hello, family!

I made it to Mexico for the Calvary School of Missions! It’s so encouraging to see God still at work during times of such uncertainty. I’m excited to share what the Lord has been doing this week, and I hope you are encouraged as well. Thank you for your partnership in the gospel!

Pastor Trent Douglass is teaching us so much in class– we are opening the Word of God and finding the call to missions on every single page! From Genesis to Revelation, we see that the heart of God is to reach every nation, tribe, and tongue with the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Worship and Intercession for the nations

It is so clear that the very heart of God is to reach man with redemption. Just look at Jesus; He left His heavenly throne to become one of us and die to give us eternal life. Now, when I say, “I want to look more like Jesus” I am usually talking about His compassion or patience… but wasn’t His entire mission, His very sustenance (John 4:34), to reach the world with the gospel, no matter the cost? 

The Lord is nudging me to face this reality as I see the need in the areas of Mexico we are doing ministry in. This past weekend we visited a community called Home X. There is a brand new church there that is just beginning to take root and our team came alongside the pastor to put on their first gathering since the COVID-19 closures; a family picnic with worship, fellowship and fun activities for the kids.

My friend Maribel and I teaching the kids the story of Jonás (Jonah).

It took a long time to get there. Most of the route was a bumpy dirt road. Not the most comfortable of rides. It was hot. Not to mention they spoke a different language than me! These, and a billion other little things, made the outreach difficult for me, but I could hear the Lord speaking to my heart, “People remain unreached by My gospel because man finds them difficult to reach, but take courage, the harvest is ripe.” 

Many of the kids, and a few of their parents, gave their lives to the Lord that day! I praise His name for His grace that brought each and every one of those souls to that picnic to get the chance to respond to the gospel. Better yet, we were able to direct these families to the Home X church plant so they could go on to be discipled in their relationship with God, and equipped to reach their community. Precious souls were won to the kingdom of God. Suddenly the cost did not seem so great. 

Some of the kids eating lunch!

Jesus went way out of His way to bring us eternal life. His tears in Gethsemane tell me that it was noteasy. But He still came. He came because He knew of the joy that was set before Him; the joy to which the “light afflictions” He endured were not worthy to be compared. May we do the same. We know of the joy of eternal life, and we have such an opportunity to leverage our lives to make this gospel known among the people on this earth who are forgotten! Isn’t that what He did for us, after all?

I wake up every morning so grateful to be here, and I am deeply thankful and encouraged through your prayers and partnership. Thank you so much! I pray that the Lord would cause you to abound in love and grace, and allow your life to echo the mercy you’ve been shown!

Prayer Requests:

  • That the Lord will continue to give the leaders wisdom and discernment to navigate the school during these uncertain times
  • That the Lord will give each of us students vision for a specific country or calling while we seek His face and guidance. 
  • That God will unify our group by His Spirit and continue to knit us together as one body. 
In Christ,
Rachel Martinez