Thursday, February 24, 2011

Peruvian Mail

Well, the money I sent to our Peruvian partner for him to reserve our hotel never quite made it.  I have been researching the mail system in Peru and have found that about 1 out of 20 mailings actually arrive.  The mail men steal anything of value.  I have a Peruvian friend named Rolos that lives on a ranch near me.  I asked him about the mail system in Peru and why the mail men always steal everything.  He simply said that they need money and that our money is worth more than theirs.  That is a simple reason yet funny and sad.  I guess this shows their need for Jesus Christ, which is why we are moving to Peru. 

Another bizarre fact about the mail system in Peru is that there are no numbers at the post office.  When I mail something to Cusco, I just simply write the person’s name, the central post office and then Cusco, Peru.  That is it.  When our friend Walter feels like checking his mail, he walks to the post office, stands in line, and then asks if there is any mail in his name.  The post office personnel walk back to the mail, which is in alphabetical order, and they search for his name and if he has a letter then they give it to them.  I guess this is why Peruvians have 4 names, their first, middle, last, and mothers maiden name. 

Our other contact in Lima Peru, Walter Isse, is having me order him a book from Amazon and bring it to him in Lima when we meet him on March 18th.  The seller on Amazon doesn’t ship to Peru.  I guess this doesn’t surprise me since most of their packages wouldn’t make it to the buyer.  I will have to find clever ways to get books and packages from the States.  I will probably have people that are coming to visit us bring stuff in their suitcases.

It is a whole different world down there and will be one of the many different adjustments that we will have to make, but praise God, Jesus is worth it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

20% Challenge

Lima, Peru
Today, there are many Christ-exalting missionaries that will sleep in places you wouldn't let your dog sleep. 

While you eat your 5th meal of the day and complain about the country while drinking your Starbucks coffee, sold-out missionaries will not eat today.

This time of year many people get a tax return.  My challenge to everyone is to give 20% in some way to missions.  Don't give it to us.  We are not asking and have never asked for money or opportunities.  We trust that God will raise up the people that He has already ordained from the foundation of the earth to supply our needs.  My challenge is to give 20% of your tax return to a missionary.  There are many in the field that would rejoice in tears if an extra $1000 showed up in their account this month.  This would glorify God and you will be used by God to further the Kingdom of God.  There are many sold-out, Christ-exalting missionaries willing to forsake the American dream, sell everything and move to a 3rd world country to proclaim the glorious gospel of Christ to a nation that has no hope but Christ.  These missionaries are willing to go but churches won't support them.  They compete with churches having to decide if they will support missionary's that will give their life for the gospel or $30,000 for new carpet. 

John Piper says:
All the money needed to send and support an army of self-sacrificing, joy-spreading ambassadors is already in the church.  But we are not giving it.

In 1926, Protestants were giving 2.9% of their incomes to their churches.  In 1933, the depth of the Great Depression, it was 3.2%.  In 1955, just after affluence began spreading through our culture, it was still 3.2%.  By 2000, when Americans were over 450% richer, after taxes and inflation, than in the Great Depression, Protestants were giving 2.6% of their incomes to their churches. (Don't waste your life, p. 172)

What will we do when we stand before God and He asks what we did with all the gifts and opportunities that He gave us?  Will we say, "Look at my nice house God."  "Look at my new boat or all the vacations I took." 
I challenge you to be radically different than the world and give 20% to missionaries this tax season.  There are many resources and ways to do this.  Find some in your church or support some at Heart Cry Missionary Society or To Every Tribe.  These organizations support Christ centered, doctrinally sound missionaries.  Some more Christ-exalting, sold-out missionaries are:

The Killillays to Peru
Ibanez Family in Mexico
Ryan and Nicole Riche in Peru
Josef Urban in Mexico
Chris and Michele Johnson in Mexico
The Sills Family in Ecuador
T and T family in Paupa, Indonesia

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Great Missionary Quotes

I was wrong and acting unscripturally, in waiting for the appointment to missionary work from my fellow-men; but that, considering myself called by the Lord to preach the gospel, I ought to begin at once to labor among the Jews in London. George Muller

Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist. 
Oswald J. Smith

No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once. 
Oswald J. Smith

I will venture to go down, but remember that you must hold the ropes. 
William Carey

I know enough about Satan to realize that he will have all his weapons ready for determined opposition.  He would be a missionary simpleton who expected plain sailing in any work of God.
James O. Fraser, 1886-1938, Missionary to China

Instead of waiting for the removal of difficulties, we ought, in many cases to consider them as purposely laid in our way in order to try the sincerity of our religion.
Andrew Fuller (1791)

Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.
Charles Spurgeon

Unless there is the element of extreme risk in our exploits for God, there is no need for faith.
Hudson Taylor, 1832-1905, China

The highest of missionary motives is neither obedience to the Great Commission, nor love of sinners who are alienated and perishing, but rather zeal – burning and passionate zeal – for the glory of Jesus Christ.
John Stott

No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Amazing Missionary Story

Solomon Ginsbury
Missionary to Brazil

Solomon Ginsburg was born near Suwalki, Poland, on August 6, 1867.  His father was a Jewish rabbi.  After finding his fathers religious practices distasteful,  he ran away from home at 15 years old.  One afternoon he was stopped by a converted Jew who invited him to a church service where he was speaking on Isaiah 53.  Solomon remembered his father slapping him when he asked about who Isaiah 53 was speaking of so Solomon went to this service out of curiosity and his eyes were beginning to be enlightened.  Solomon got a copy of the New Testament and read it.  When he came to the picture of Calvary he realized that he was guilty of crucifying Christ and God saved him.

Solomon told his uncle about his faith in Christ and his uncle’s reaction was sadness and violent rage.  He was driven from his house with curses, broom sticks, and hot water.  On Sunday morning Solomon took several people from Bible class with him to witness to the Jews in east London.  The Jews assaulted him.  He was beaten unmercifully and kicked until he seemed to be dead.  When he regained consciousness he found himself in a garbage box, some of his bones broken, his body covered with bruises and his clothes soaked with blood.  “Oh, but those were glorious times!” says Solomon.

One day while he and another young convert were engaged in evangelistic calling, a man told them there was a group of Jews on the fifth floor of a certain factory that were interested in Christianity.  Not suspecting a trap, they went and were attacked by a large number of men armed with hammers, stones and knives.  His companion escaped but he was severely beaten and dropped head first over the banister and down a spiral staircase.

The purpose became increasingly clear to Solomon to be involved in foreign missions.  He surrendered to the evangelization of Brazil.  Hudson Taylor was one of the participating ministers at his ordination and farewell service.  Solomon went to Portugal to study Portuguese and set a goal to learn 100 words a day.  He has an eagerness to evangelize the people so he wrote a tract in Portuguese called, “Saint Peter was never Pope.”  After selling three thousand he wrote another called, “The religion of rags,” which exposed the Catholic priests for their exploitation of faked relics.  He reached Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 10th, 1890.

Eager to start evangelizing, Solomon went into the square, stood up on a chair and began to sing, “There is a fountain filled with blood…”  He then began to preach and soon had an audience of 5000 people.  Solomon would only preach on Christ and Him crucified.  Solomon supported himself by selling Bibles and other religious literature. 

It was a day of gladness when Solomon’s fiancée, Miss Bishop arrived from England to share his arduous lonely life.  But because of inadequate income, he had to take his bride into bad living conditions in the old Jesuit prison.  There she contracted yellow fever and in five months was dead.

Two years later in 1893 Solomon married Miss Emma Morton and they started their missionary work in Campos, Brazil.  Solomon wanted to build a church at Campos but had no money and the poor congregation had nothing as well.  He decided to use one of his missionary principles: ask the Lord and tell the people about the needs.  He began to tell the citizens of his desire to build a chapel but he did not ask for donations.  A few days later a Jesuit priest published an article denouncing the Protestants in bitter terms and announcing that any person who helped the Protestants build a church would be excommunicated.  That article built the church!  Every day he would receive donations with the request to publish their name because they would count it an honor to be excommunicated.

As a matter of missionary principle, he believed that a courageous, positive attack is the best approach.  Taking his wife and folding organ, he went to San Fidelis and as he played a song to a crowd of 1000, some threw stones and garbage at him and when he began to preach some shouted curses at him and others threatened him with knives and clubs.  He was thrown in a filthy jail and the police chief said he would let him go the next day if he never preached again.  He responded, “If you release me, I will certainly continue to preach.”

Because of many invitations he set out on a several thousand mile journey into the Amazon where he found a porter named Nelson who was laboring heroically in the Amazon Valley.  Nelson and his family suffered in poverty and disease for years while preaching in the jungle.  Nelson was bold in preaching which Solomon loved.  Solomon said, “The quickest way to evangelize South America is to put Brother Nelson on top of the Andes and let him preach.”  Solomon was the first person to baptize converts in the Amazon River and to organize the first evangelical church there.

Returning from the Amazon, a local priest hired a bandit to kill Solomon at his next open air meeting.  Solomon found out and went anyway.  He preached boldly for an hour, attacking the Church of Rome and exposing their immorality.  The assassin never showed his face.  Solomon found out two months later that God saved the bandit.

Later, another notorious killer, Antonio Silvino, was hired to kill Solomon.  The bandit met him one night and asked Solomon if he knew who he was.  Solomon said that he did and that he was hired to kill him.  The bandit said that was true.  The bandit couldn’t do it.  He said that the monk who hired him said Solomon was wicked and dangerous but I went to your preaching meeting to find out more about you and saw you were a good man.  They talked and prayed the rest of the night.  The bandit, who killed 66 men, was converted and transformed.  A reporter for a paper interviewed the bandit and disgustedly reported:  “All Antonio Silvino will talk about is the Bible and the Baptist.”

Solomon did so much more in Brazil.  Finally on April 1, 1927, the firebrand of Brazil burned out.  Did it really burn out?  Rather, its radiance was transferred to another sphere, where it will continue to shine with undiminished luster in the constellation of the missionary immortals.