Hello to you all, family and friends!
I’m excited to be in the middle of the holidays, spending more time fellowshipping and thanking God for His grace towards us. Praise God for this country, for our provisions, and for the freedom to fellowship in His name; I pray that these opportunities always point us back to Him, and the greater purpose of love that is always behind His giving and taking away! I haven’t written a newsletter in some time, and as always, there are praises to report and prayer requests. The Lord has given me eyes to see His sovereign hand working all things for His glory, and I’m excited to share these insights with all of you.
MISSIONS TRAINING SCHOOL
MTS has kicked off, and so far it’s been exciting and fruitful. I’m grateful for the individuals that we get to hear from, men and women serving all over the world, living out the same love and passion that we have to reach the “ends of the earth”; we have true fellowship with them in the gospel. We’ve had workers in the field come in and share from South Asia, South America, and the Middle-East, most recently. In all the variety of their ministries and settings, a common theme between all of them that stood out to me was humility. They were all individuals who had their own directions and prerogatives in life, with missions not even on their radar; but God grabbed a hold of their hearts and showed them a greater purpose, the same purpose He has for every one of us; to know Him AND to make Him known.
In addition to the classes and numerous ministry service opportunities that the school is providing, I am also preparing for a vision tour that was mentioned in my previous newsletter. The vision tour will be to Bali, Indonesia, and it will provide myself and the team with a first-hand experience of what the work of missions looks like in a completely foreign culture. From weather, language, and food to social customs and expectations, I fully expect to be shocked and to learn a lot. Seeking the Lord, His will, and His heart for the people of Southeast Asia will be the central goal of the trip, and I can’t ask enough for prayer for our team, in preparation and in spiritual fortitude, as the trip is being planned for February!
SHARING THE GOSPEL, HERE AND NOW
“They will come and will declare His righteousness to a people who will be born that He has performed it.” (Psalm 22:31)
I mentioned in the previous newsletter that I have had and continue to get opportunities from the Lord to live out the gospel here and now. As much as I plan, pray, and look to the future, to the foreign lands that have NEVER even heard the name of Jesus, there is also a purpose to where I am right now, and the same is true for you! There are good works that the Lord has set aside for here and now, and these have become more evident, the more that I die to self and act off of faith and not off of feelings. I have been able to take steps like these in going to the college outreaches through the church, and on certain weekends, to beaches in Orange County. This is a process, and I’m making mistakes left and right, but there is nothing greater than walking in God’s will, with no confidence in myself to make anything miraculous happen, but full confidence in Him. He always meets us right where we step out, perhaps we feel fear or uncertainty, but we still step in faith! It is His will that we give as freely as we have received. With that in mind, I have one invaluable gift to offer to absolutely anyone that I encounter; rather, God has an invaluable gift to offer through me, and that is the good news of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross! The cross is where Jesus performed His amazing love!
The conversations that I have had the privilege of being a part of have been incredible. I’ve spoken with individuals from all kinds of backgrounds, religiously, socially, etc.; I had a 40-minute dialogue with a kind and intelligent Muslim man named Zach. He is new to his faith in Islam, and though he has basic foundational knowledge of it, he was interested in hearing what the Bible says about who Jesus really is; I had the honor of sharing just that with him, as the Spirit gave me the words to work with him through his many deep and earnest questions. I hope to meet him again soon at the next outreach to Fullerton JC! Check out Pastor Nick’s podcast and YouTube channel (Convinced Ministries; Instagram: @askingconvinced) for this interview soon to come, and a lot of other great content, all glory to God. At Laguna Beach, Carter (a brother and a partner in the gospel) and I got the opportunity to spend a couple hours talking with a homeless woman named Barbara. Though very scarred by her past and spiritual abuse, she was friendly, alert, engaging, and gentle in dialogue. Simply seeing that two young men cared for her, and enjoyed her company was a testament to how beloved she is, to Jesus and to us, and it’s our prayer that she recognizes that, and that we get to see her again.
With these as just a couple examples of some of the opportunities that the Lord has sovereignly provided, my joy and confidence is in simply casting the seed (the gospel), and seeing the Lord do exactly what He wills when He wills, then getting me out of the way so He can continue HIS work; He knows what He’s doing, with or without us! It’s His loving heart that He should desire for us to be a part of it.
Thank you to all of you who prayed after reading the last newsletter; the Lord answered, and continues to answer. Should any of you feel led to partner with me, in prayer, financially, or in serving the Kingdom, please reach out!
- MTS starting strong and already revealing God’s heart for us to be equipped for His work.
- For the Lord speaking clearly regarding what my next steps are in the near future.
- For the awesome divine appointments that have taken place while witnessing.
- For Zach to keep seeking the truth about Jesus, and for godly men and women to be available to minister to him; myself included, Lord willing!
- For Barbara to know how loved she is, and always has been; that she would let go of the lies and look to Jesus.
- For more love and boldness in seeking and taking up opportunities to share the gospel.
- For the teams going to Japan and Indonesia to seek the Lord’s will in the coming months, and to trust His sovereignty.