Since around the end of last year, the Lord had been speaking to me through His Word that He was going to mix things up in 2021; like for me to keep preparing for the work of the ministry and all that, but to also lace up my new cool Hoka running shoes so we can do some running together. Well, the race is on, has been on since January 1, 2021. Let’s take a look at the route where we have been running together since the beginning of the year. Make no doubt about it – Jesus is my pacer.
I just got back from a 16-day missions trip to Haiti on March 16. Oh, what a refreshing time I had. The first leg of the trip was spent on the northern coast of Haiti in beautiful Cap-Hatien. Promise Child, Frontline Missions and Cross to Light ministries joined hands in registering 18 orphans into the Promise Child orphan support program along with providing help, support and manje (food) for the 75 school wide eyed and smiling children at the school at Calvary Chapel Cap-Hatien. I could go on… I love kids.
The second leg of my trip was teaching five smart young adult men at the Cross to Light Bible Training Center in Port-au-Prince where I have taught many times in the past. These guys have so got it! I was privileged to teach them almost three years ago when they started their discipleship program and now just this past week when they’re approaching graduation. 4-5 hour daily classes in 2 Corinthians was such a blessing for all of us. Digging and digging into the Word of God is where it’s at. You have to take it slow because each verse and lesson is being translated to the students. Thank you my dear interpreter Pastor Watson. And mési to my students, Michelot, Franzy, Matthew, Samuel and Benjie. Sorry for my spelling. I enjoyed every minute with each of you.
Incidentally, starting Tuesday, March 30, I will be teaching the students a weekly two-hour class through the book of Romans via Skype. Man, am I looking forward to that. The cool thing is I can do it and not get bit up by their mosquitos now. Now that is refreshing!
In my time in Haiti, I got to meet up with old friends I had not seen in a couple years and made some new ones as well. At the Sunday service at Calvary Chapel Port-au-Prince this past Sunday, the Lord gave me a verse which I believe is my new life verse (I have a small handful).
“Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.” (Romans 12:16)
Our Lord Jesus speaks to me loud and clear through His Word and the beautiful eyes and smiles of His children in Haiti. My lécole
I went on a cool weekend mission’s trip in January with Frontline Missions to Tijuana and in the hills of Ensenada. The Holy Spirit so fell down on a small group of us during an evening Saturday Bible study. It was real to see so many hearts humbled by God’s Spirit through His holy and piercing Word. We spent the weekend putting up a fence for a young ladies restoration home, goofing around with a bunch of kids (guess where I was?) and serving breakfast to forty kids at an orphanage. Quick trip with tons of grace and love freely poured out by the Lord. Wow, I totally encourage any of you who have never gone on a weekend mission’s trip to do it. Get away and get blessed. It is sooooo easy. God is a simple loving God who just wants to bless others through us. Wait, maybe it’s the other way around? Whatever…
A Voice of Refugee (VOR) English class about multiplication
Ok, four or five English class students is cool. I can see their pics nice and big on my Zoom screen and we can interact pretty easily. I can scribble all I want with my cool Apple pencil while I see the reaction of the students. Fine. But now the entire state of New York is in my class – 16-17 students! 5×3! 19 a couple days ago! Ha! You know, you just have to adapt and make doggone sure you call on each student to participate in an exercise. I love it! It’s just blessings x 3. We’re nearing the end of the winter semester. I teach now Monday through Thursdays and do food deliveries on Thursdays. Dear ladies from Israel, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan join in. I love their colorful hijabs (Muslim head coverings). Food and shopping are our favorite subjects – girls are girls no matter where you are from.
Morning CCSG devos
We’re rounding the bend quite quickly doing 15-20 minutes devotions on 2 Corinthians. It makes those of us teaching so accountable to make sure we are teaching the simple Word of God, verse by verse. It’s called expository teaching, a fancy word that simply means we break down the scripture(s) into little chunks as the Lord leads. I’m learning so much more about God’s word in preparing for these usually weekly devos. Hey, it’s “live” on Calvary Chapel Saving Grace’s Facebook site so there’s no turning back. The hardest thing is pressing the “Start Live Video” button. Noooooo!!!!
In January, a handful of us youthful interns ran a CCSG School of Missions table at the Calvary Chapel Missions Conference which was held at the Costa Mesa campus this year. It was great because the Lord had each of us “bump” into other mission-minded people which led a couple of our interns to speak at a couple of churches about our School of Missions. Cool! Spread the Word. I bumped into friends I had not seen in a while. The cool deal about the Missions Conference is we are all like-minded, you know? Jesus has all of us there for one reason – to build each other up so we will get our running shoes on and go out and tell the world about Jesus and His Gospel.
I so love the Life Group that I’ve been going to on Wednesday nights. We don’t take breaks. Actually the only break we take is the breaking bread each time we meet. Sometimes our hearts get broken as well as each of us go there because we know it’s where the Holy Spirit wants to do a little bit of heart surgery. I know this sounds corny but let me tell you, it’s true. Ask anyone of us. I think Heidi needs to get more Kleenex boxes though.
I’ve been heading up the Welcome Ministry at church for a few months now. Upstairs, downstairs, we have smiles and greetings to share with everyone and even those poor souls who have not had their morning cup of coffee – God forbid! It is important for everyone going to church to be welcomed properly so when they do go into the sanctuary their attitude, their temperament, is ready to hear the mighty Word of God through Worship and the Message. Smile!
As you can see, the Lord is doing new things, leading me down new paths and trails so far this year. It’s really exciting. I’m taking more steps of faith, not as much concerned about making mistakes. I just want to grow in the Lord, get closer to Him and go out and help others to get to know him as well.
I want to thank all who have offered up prayers and provided financial support for me in my calling to serve the Lord in missions. Please continue praying for me and also partnering with financially. If you would like to support me financially either on an ongoing basis or through a one-time donation, you can do so by clicking the “Become A Financial Partner” button below, or you can mail a check written out to Saving Grace World Missions with “Jim Needham support” in the memo section and mail it to: Saving Grace World Missions, 17451 Bastanchury Rd., Suite 203, Yorba Linda, CA 92886-1873.
You know as we keep running our races, staying the course, keeping our hearts, minds and bodies focused on Jesus, we need to remember what Paul was telling the crazy mixed up Corinthian church. His goal, his mission was just to present them with the Gospel. That’s it – the simple Word of God, “in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.” That’s what I want to continue to do. Just make it simple.
Thanking the Lord for making me flexible, side stepping roadblocks and taking steps of faith.
For the lovely ladies in my VOR English classes that through the grace of God they are learning the English language and getting to know Jesus more and more.
For allowing me to go to Haiti not just to serve but to fall more in love with everyone there.
That I would do a good job in managing my time. The Lord is leading me in a lot of new things now.
That the Lord would continue to help me teach my English classes so no one is left out; that I am attentive to all the students. I had 19 yesterday.
Would you pray for our SGWM missionaries around the world? Most of them are having a very difficult time in every way. Thank you.
The Lord continue to bless each and everyone of you and your families now and as we start a new year together.