Archive for September, 2007

Moving Heaven (www.joecarr.wordpress.com

Just in from Áudrey:

“We are ecstatic! 

We had almost despaired of Andréia being able to get into law school in Sobral. The alloted time for transfer [from the law school in Brasilia to the one in Sobral] had terminated.

Jesus pulled off a miracle.

The director said that it would only be possible for her to attend if some student already enrolled dropped out. She said that this would be highly unlikely because of the demand for the course. Today when we arrived at the school office, the director smiled and said: “Lucky girl, a student dropped out today.”

It is unbelievable! Andréia is now registered and begins her classes tomorrow [today].

We know that this happened because of your prayers that moved heaven for us. Thank you to all who have been praying for us.”

_____________________________

Thank you Jesus for being so good to Andreia, and answering our prayers.  Also, thank everyone who has prayed for them.  Please continue.

P.

K.P. Yohannan

Posted: September 27, 2007 in Christianity

Before continuing with my series exploring The Great Commission, and the role of the United States in fulfilling this command, I would like to give some background information on K.P. Yohannan.  K.P. is the author of the book, Revolution in World Missions, that will guide our “discussion”.

K.P. Yohannan was born in the village of Niranam in Kerala, South India around 1950.  By his own accounts, he was a shy and timid child who was most comfortable “on the edge of village and family life, a shadowy figure who moved in and out of the scene unnoticed.”

He “stood up” during an evangelistic meeting in his village at age 8 but kept his faith to himself.  That was until his mother began to pray “O God, let just one of my boys preach!”, and watching his mother fast every Friday for three and a half years.  He recalls her prayer was always the same. Although he saw his mother’s sincere desire to have one of her six sons go into the ministry, he states that he was terrified of speaking in public and had no leadership skills.  He remembers thinking that there was little chance of that boy being himself.

That was until his mother’s prayers were answered when he was 16 years old.  He recalls a Gospel team from Operation Mobilization coming to their village to challenge people to join them reaching the lost souls of North India.  As they told of the plight of these lost souls, God gave him a burden for this native brethren.  On that day he vowed to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those people so he joined the student group for a short summer crusade.  He announced his decision to go to his mother, and she wordlessly gave him 25 rupees for his train ticket.

He would spend the next seven years travelling all over North India, reaching lost souls for Christ until God lead him to America in the 70’s.  In America, he attended a seminary college in Dallas, Texas, and from there his passion for reaching lost souls, especially in his native country grew into the missionary organization that he founded called The Gospel for Asia. He is still the International Director for GFA.  He has written over 200 books in India, and six in the U.S. 

He still lives in Dallas with his wife, Gisela, and his two children, Sarah and Daniel are both serving the Lord.  He has allowed God to direct his path, and has shown tremendous discipline in fulfilling The Great Commission for Christ.  His insight, life experiences and wisdom gained from those experiences as a missionary in North India, and his experience founding and leading the Gospel for Asia is truly awe-inspiring.

I highly recommend his book, Revolution in World Missions. You can get a FREE copy from the Gospel for Asia site:  www.gospelforasia.com.

P.

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.””  Matthew 28: 18-20 

This is the COMMAND that Christ gave to us before his cruxifiction and resurrection. This is the foundation of The Great Commission. 

I believe that when Jesus gave us this command, it set forth the expectation that Christ has for his church.  I don’t think it was a “suggestion”.

However, since returning from our second trip to Brazil for the Gospel for Brazil, I get the impression that many churches and Christians today either:

A.  Don’t believe this truth

B.  Believe it is the responsibility of the Christian sitting beside them or the church down the street but not their responsibility

C. Have never heard of The Great Commission or haven’t read this passage of verses

D. Or just doesn’t care

After speaking with numerous individuals concerning the Gospel for Brazil and the importance of the church and Christians being mission-driven to reach lost souls, I would have to say the answers are A and D.  If you believe it, then you know you have a responsibility. 

Don’t get me wrong. There are those I’ve spoken with that are seriously praying about going with us to Brazil and also becoming involved financially.  There are others that are passionately involved already in missions around the world but they are in the minority.  The majority of people that I discuss The Great Commission with have one of three reactions: they suddenly act like a deer caught in the headlights or they smile a “isn’t that special” kind of smile while looking past you or at their watches or they immediately go on a “why I can’t go” on a mission trip to the moon (I’ve found the moon and Brazil to be one and the same place) spill. 

Spiders seem to be a major deterrent and obstacle. They can be rather frightening.  I am certain that the very large tarantula I took a photo of in Ubauna verbally threatened me and my family with a horrible death if we didn’t immediately leave the country, and take our “weak-minded, pie-in-the-sky faith” with us.  I think God should just kill them all so we can move past this excuse… sorry, I’m getting side-tracked.  I’ll jump off my soap-box and continue.

So, I want to pose two questions:

1.  Is Missions an Option?

2. And what is the role of the United States in fulfilling The Great Commission, if any?

Let’s look at the first. To answer this question, please reread Bible verses at beginning.  PAUSE TO ALLOW TIME FOR REREADING………..Okay, now we know the answer to question #1, NO!  Missions IS NOT AN OPTION! This is BIBLICALLY clear.

Moving on to question #2.

To answer this question, I would like to examine a book entitled, Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan.  This will be done in parts:

“The United States is the only nation in the world founded by believers in Christ who made a covenant with God – dedicating a new nation to God.”

I want us all to read this and reread this, pondering this statement. I believe this is the first step in being able to answer the second question. 

Over the next couple of weeks we will continue addressing our role/s, as Americans, in fulfilling The Great Commission.

Note:  I understand that reaching lost souls includes being a missionary in your own neighborhood, community, state and country.  This is also vital.  We must not overlook the lost souls here in the U.S. while reaching the lost in other countries.  However, we are a blessed country that affords it’s unbelievers numerous opportunities to hear about Christ and come to salvation that most countries will never have. 

Big News In Little Notes – Post from Joe Carr from www.gospelforbrazil.org

I received a note from Áudrey in Ubaúna yesterday:

We began the work Sunday at 7:15 p.m.

Is that cool or what?!

We had 22 people present and we hadn’t done anything to bring them in. We think the next service will have more people.

This is incredible. Without even inviting people in, without any advertising, without any effort, 22 people show up for a worship service at the “newbie” church on Sunday night. I think the expectation that there will be more present at the next is an exaggerated adumbration. Listen to this:

There were people healed. A woman suffering extreme stomach pain was healed instantly. Another who had a chronic and debilitating shoulder pain was also healed. There was a buzz!

I think Áudrey is becoming a master of understatement.

Here’s the reality:

They know nothing. We will have to teach everything. We will be scheduling discipleship classes in the near future; we’ve got a lot of work to do. With a little more time living among them, we will know better how to shepherd them [new Christians].

He ended with: if you are excited about this, give the glory to God with a big shout!

__________________________________________________

God is doing amazing work in the village of Ubauna, in the Northeast desert region of the state of Ceara.  Although we only began this mission of love in the summer of 2004, God has shown favor on Gospel for Brazil and this little town in the middle of the desert.  Please pray for our efforts there, and pray that God will continue to show favor on these lost souls. 

Audrey and Andreia are an answered prayer.  God is going to work even greater miracles through them.  It’s no coincidence that God placed a disciple with the gift of Healing in Ubauna.  Since Jesus’ time, healings have been used to reach thousands of lost souls and to show the awesome Mercy and Power of the true God, Jesus Christ. 

This is only the beginning of what God is going to do in that area, in Brazil.  Our focus at Gospel for Brazil is to reach lost souls period!  However, it is our belief that training these native Christians, such as Audrey and Andreia, and then sending them out into the lost fields as missionaries will yield tremendous results, even more than non-native or international missionaries.  It makes sense doesn’t it?  They already know the culture, the language, and the people.  They ARE Brazil.  There is significantly less travel expenses, food expenses, etc.

Gospel for Brazil still needs us to become involved by going and working with the missionaries we have in place but our role shifts to providing more administrative, financial and prayer support. This is where you can play a significant role in what God is doing in Ubauna and Brazil. 

Taking it a step further and speaking with open honesty, we need people willing to step forward and provide financial support.  A one-time contribution is very appreciated.  It will be put to good use for sure.  But we are praying for and looking for people, Christians who understand the importance of fulfilling The Great Commission that will be monthly and long-term donors. 

No one wants to ask for money and a lot of people don’t want to be asked for money but it’s just a reality of doing mission work.  How can you assist?  There are numerous ways, and our website will give you a lot more information: www.gospelforbrazil.org.  A major need right now is the support of Audrey and Andreia full-time.  We already have a donor that is taking care of the first 6 months but we need the money to continue supporting them beyond that. 

Obviously, having one person come forward with a pledge of $1,000 a month would be awesome.  But we’ll take 200 people promising $5/month. That shouldn’t be a stretch for committed Christians looking to support God’s work in Brazil.  We don’t care how many people it takes.  We’re concerned with the bottom line. 

So I want everyone reading this to pray, NOT IF you should support Gospel for Brazil, but HOW?  God will honor whatever support that you give, and I know that the lost souls of Brazil will be greatly appreciative. 

You can mail your support or go online at:

Gospel for Brazil

www.gospelforbrazil.org

803 S. College Road, Suite D

Wilmington, NC 28403

(910) 452-4060

P.

 

Message from Audrey, our Pastor in Ubauna for Gospel for Brazil, to Joe:

Aquela senhora macumbeira que entregou a vida para Cristo faleceu antes de chegarmos, nossa visita foi providencial.

That voodoo priestess who delivered her life to Christ died; our visit to her [in July] was providential.”

As I read the message that Audrey sent to Joe concerning the passing of the 80-something year old lady in Ubauna, the song, “Amazing Grace” came into my heart:

Amazing Grace,

How Sweet the Sound That Saved A Wretch Like Me,

I Once Was Lost but Now Am Found,

Was Blind but Now I See…

How Precious Did That Grace Appear,

The Hour I First Believed,

My Chains Are Gone, I’ve Been Set Free                          Artist: Chris Tomlin

This “Voodoo Priestess” was the Macumba temple “Mother Saint” for over 50 years.  She had worshipped Satan for most, if not all, of her life.  She had dedicated herself to Satan and expanding his kingdom in the same way that we are dedicated to doing for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Pure evil had lived within her, and she had given herself as a bride of Satan. 

That was until a vagabond group of Jesus Freaks had the audacity to travel Ubauna, Brazil in July, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with her, and to share with her the wonderful gift that He wanted to give to her; someone that had spent many years dancing with Jesus’ supernatural enemy. 

She accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior and in turn, Jesus accepted her.  He forgave her of her sins, and all of Heaven rejoiced.  And now, two months later, they are rejoicing again.  Heaven has welcomed home another saint that will now live for ALL ETERNITY with her savior, not Satan, but Jesus Christ Himself.

What a wonderful assurance that we have from Christ.  What a wonderful God that we have that He would show His Mercy and Grace on us, no matter what we’ve done prior to that very moment that we reached out with our hearts, our souls, and our spirits and took the Gift.

What an honor it will be to see her in Heaven when my time comes, and I stand before the Father.  What a day that will be!

All because of God’s “Amazing Grace”. 

 

 

 

 

Yes, everyone, it’s me… Christy!  I’m actually posting a blog!  I hope you haven’t forgotten the “Christy-part” of “Patrick and Christy’s Leave a Legacy” site.  

I was looking through a journal that I took on our July 07 mission trip to Brazil, and I started reading some of the journal entries that I wrote while on the trip.  Here’s part of an entry that  I wrote on July 23, 2007 on the airplane trip back home:

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the smiles, hugs and moments of intense spiritual connections I have experienced while in Ubauna would be worth a BILLION!  On both mission trips I have participated in, I have been concerned about communication and language barriers.  This trip was absolutely amazing in so many different ways and has taught me that God’s language of love is international and knows no barriers… 

As I write this, I can’t even figure out how to describe all of the things that went on during this trip.  When I think about going to Ubauna, I am focused on how I will play a role in sharing God’s love and how He will work through me.  Both times, I have been amazed at how much I have learned and have been so incredibly blessed from the experience. 

I want to try to help the people in Ubauna.  I worry about the children and the families and how much less they have than we have, materially, in the USA.  Our poorest family in the USA has opportunities for help and assistance that those in Ubauna do not have. 

 However, I wonder if they feel sorry for us…Family is what is important in Ubauna,  relationships and spending time talking outside on a warm evening.  Rushing is absolutely unheard of, and a meeting time is merely a suggestion of when to start thinking about leaving your home to walk to the agreed upon meeting place.  People just don’t worry about things and stress over the unimportant things. Life in Ubauna is basic, pure, and uncomplicated.  Americans could learn a thing or two from the people of Ubauna.  Especially me…

Hopefully I can keep those lessons in my heart back in the United States.  Once again, I went to teach and share, and I ended up being the student.  I pray that I can allow the joy that God gives us and intends for us to enjoy, to break through my day to day life, full of routines and rushing and schedules.  I will pray everyday that the love and acceptance I was given in Ubauna, from people that I didn’t even know, will shine through me into the lives of others.  I pray that God will be glorified through my every word, action, and response to whatever life and circumstances have to throw at me.”

Oh, how easy it is to get caught up in the busy-ness of this crazy world… Thank you Jesus for the peace, rest and joy that You give us in the midst of such chaos.        C.

Growing up in North Carolina, I never had any allergy or sinus issues.  However, after moving to Savannah I began having a lot of “colds”.  I would get really congested, and my sinuses would just ache with pressure.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on because I had always been extremely healthy. 

Finally, my doctor in Savannah told me that the “colds” were sinus infections.  To anyone that has allergies and gets sinus infections, they are miserable.  The congestion is thick, the headaches intense and the pressure strong.  Par of the course concerning the medical field, he prescribed me Claritin and of course, an antibotic.  He told me I was allergic to “something”, and I could get tested.  He explained the process, and also told me that I could get a series of allergy shots.  I seriously considered it but in the end the 1/3rd chance I had of them actually improving my allergies just wasn’t worth the hassle I’d go through.

So began 10 years of numerous prescriptions, infections, antibotics, doctor visits, over-the-counter allergy meds and days filled with a “mental fog” due to the allergies. 

Eventually I was diagnosed with a SEVERE allergy to dust mites.  There are actually TWO different species.  I think everyone understands that dust mites aren’t seasonal, they are EVERYWHERE.  It’s very hard to avoid them, and controlling them is a major headache, not to mention expensive. Needless to say, I just “dealt” with it.

I asked my ENT doctor how I could “cure” the allergies.  He matter-of-factly looked at me and stated, “You can’t.  It’s something you’ll ALWAYS deal with.  You can only control the allergy.”  Bummer, I thought.  That kinda sucks!

So my journey to deal with my allergies started, and I eventually found some natural ways to deal with them but I was always on the verge of another sinus infection.  I got to be so sensitive to perfumes, candles, deodorizers, smoke and many, many other things. I was getting so many infections I stopped taking antibotics because I was afraid I’d build up a resistance, and they’d never work again, not to mention the side effects.

Almost four years ago, I started praying that God would bless me with total healing of my allergies.  I knew that only He could release me from them.  Over time, I got better at dealing with the allergies and sinus issues, but there was no healing. 

That was before I went to Brazil this July.  While in July, two things happened that changed all of that. First, God sent Audrey with us to Fortaleza and Ubauna.  Audrey was “scouting” out Ubauna to see if God was leading him to be our first full-time pastor and missionary for Gospel for Brazil (He was!).  During our first worship service in Ubauna, we realized that God had anointed Audrey with the gift of Healing.  How did we find this out?  Simple…two people were healed the first night by Jesus Christ, through Audrey’s prayers. 

Once I realized this, I had a sense that one of the reasons God had allowed me to go on this trip back to Brazil was for my healing that I’d prayed for over the past four years. 

Second thing that happened?  I got a sinus infection, and started popping pills like they were Skittles. The odd thing was that I didn’t feel bad.  I actually felt good but I had the typical yellow-green congestion, sinus pressure and sore throat (very sore one day).  About three nights into our Ubauna leg, Audrey approached me in the back room of the elementary school/community building where the services were held, with Joe, and asked me if he could pray for me (Joe told me later that Audrey approached him and told him that he couldn’t take watching me “pop” so many pills and wanted to pray for me).  I told him I’d love for him to pray for me.  He then asked me if I believed I could be healed.  I told him I believed. 

Right after that, my mind took a quick “mental timeout” to analyze the situation.  It’s what I do, I analyze things to a fault sometimes.  I thought to myself, “I absolutely believe and know that God,through the Holy Spirit of Christ heals.  The Bible stated it and I had SEEN healings taking place over the previous two nights.”  That’s a good thought but then I started to think, “Who am I that Jesus Christ would heal me.  I don’t deserve this blessing.  It’s got to be for others, not me.”  Looking back, I know that satan knew Christ was getting ready to work a miracle in my life.  He doesn’t want that to happen, you know?

Coming back from my “mental timeout”, Audrey placed his hands on my nasal/sinus cavity and prayed.  At the end, he told me to “Thank Jesus”.  I did. 

IMMEDIATELY, I was able to breathe freely.  Honestly, I hadn’t breathed that well in years.  He asked me how I felt.  I told him I was completely “open” and that I hadn’t breathed that deeply in years. 

For the rest of the week, I blew my nose so much, and got so much phlegm out of my sinuses it was unbelievable.  God was cleansing my body. Physically I felt great and Christy and some others in the group couldn’t believe how good I looked.  Prior to my healing, my face always had a “swollen” look and my eyes always looked “sleepy” but after that the “swollen and sleepy” look was gone.  I’ve since had several people comment about how different my eyes look.

Since that night in Brazil, I have not touched a allergy prescription.  I was taking Singulair daily and had gotten to the point where I was taking Zyrtec-D almost daily.  I feel great, sleep better and have noticed that I’m not affected by the things that “sent me over the edge” before.

Granted, I still have a severe septum deviation, and still get some congestion but it’s NOTHING like before, and I know that God is going to heal that as well.  All in His time, all in His time.

I wish I could truly relate how it feels to be healed by the Holy Spirit of Christ.  It’s such an incredible blessing that I sometimes just can’t fathom it. But God clearly states that if you ask and you truly believe, that Christ will touch you with His healing hand.  For God, it’s nothing.  It’s easy.  It’s just Him showing us His love and His Mercy and His Grace. 

Jesus Christ is who He says He is:  The one true God, the Lord and Savior of our lives, the Redemer, the Counselor, Allah, the Forgiver….The Healer! 

Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus for my total healing from my allergies!!!

God had definitely heard my prayers, and He had every intention of healing me but in His time. His time came in July in a little village in Northeast Brazil.