En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘missions’

Book Review: Voices of the Faithful Book 2

Posted by Scott on September 26, 2009

09-08-19BG_Voices_of_the_Faithful_Book_2This is a wonderful devotional. Over 366 stories of the mission field from all over the world that will encourage your day.  The stories are inspiring as Christians who serve around the world tell their accounts of wonderful encounters with God.

This series of books were created by Beth Moore and in Book 2 were compiled by Kim Davis.  Beth Moore has a way with putting together a book and this one in up there with the rest.  If you wonder what goes on from the front lines of our faith in this spiritual battle we are in, then this devotional book will certainly meet your intrigue.

Each day is filled with danger, anticipation, heartache, triumph, and miracles.  You will witness on each page the glorious details God has provided in the lives of those in the middle of the battle.  You’ll meet children that are boisterous, parents who worry about their kids, teens, and situation, curiosity, and much more. 

At the end of each days devotional you will be encouraged by the leading prayer which will help you get into an even more intense prayer time.  Remember to pray for those in foreign countries contending for the faith on a daily basis.  Remember to pray for those being persecuted around the world for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.  God is sustaining these Believers all around the world through His Word, the suffering they experience, and His glorious timing to be their rescuer.

Get this devotional and include it in your daily devotional time…it could enhance your prayer life immensely.

Scott Bailey 2009

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Book Review: “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young

Posted by Scott on August 31, 2009

    This is a great little devotional book for every day of the year.  The devotional is written by long time missionary, Sarah Young and published by long time publishers, Thomas Nelson Publishing.   Jesus Calling is geared for both men and women with quick and short paragraphs that would be most desirable for someone on the run that needs to take five minutes to stop and reflect on God and reflect on Him speaking to them in that very moment.

Each daily devotional is done from the point of view that God is talking to them that very moment.  The fact is, He is talking to each of us Believers all the time if we would stop and listen.  This little devotional book brings that out in a unique way.  At the bottom of each page are great verses of Scripture to deepen the experience of that days devotional. 

Each days writings are from Sarah’s personal encounter with Jesus day by day as she recorded in her prayer journals.  Sarah would write down what she sensed the Lord telling her in her prayer time daily.  I believe Sarah does a fantastic job helping the reader to understand that Jesus is ever present with us and we can enjoy His peace on a daily basis.  This is not a deep book understandably at first glance, but it helps to get each of our minds and hearts turned back towards Him each day and learn to listen for His voice out of the hundreds of voices yelling around us taking us into a deeper walk with Christ.  Jesus does speak to us today through His Scripture and through daily time listening to Him.  This book is a great way to get back to or continue on in each Believer’s personal quiet time.  Our spiritual health depends on it.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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Pictures from my ministry to trip to Memphis, TN Summer 2009

Posted by Scott on August 29, 2009

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hammer_cross_modifiedtrevino1bMsHarrisme_Trevino_MsHarris016051Cross1_Tim_3_135694_1063490639832_1602965156_164209_4074091_n The wonderful crew I worked with in Memphis, TN.  The guy on the roof, Chris, was from the SOS Ministry staff.

MsHarris_group

Cross_Elvis_Wall25694_1063492599881_1602965156_164258_8122617_n The entire Stonebriar Community Church crew in front of Elvis Presley’s gate in Memphis, TN 2009

5694_1063491479853_1602965156_164230_6930547_n It was over 100 degrees on this roof everyday…we worked from 9:30 am until about 4 pm each day Mon, Tues & Thurs and half day on Wed.

Elvis_Place My daughter Morgan and me in front of Elvis Presley’s place in Memphis, TN 2009 on our half day off from working on houses.

All of these picture were taken in Memphis, TN.  The last cross pic was taken from a drawing on the wall of Elvis Presley’s home. 

I went with the Jr High students of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas.  We had a great trip and enjoyed every minute of it.  Lots of time to spend ministrying to the family, in devotion, and witnessing to a homeless gentleman from Memphis.  Great time of ministry.  We joined in with a ministry called S.O.S. Ministry in Memphis, TN. “Serice Over Self”.  A great ministry.

My daughter, Morgan, went on this trip as well.  She had a tremendous week that she will never forget, nor will I.  I cannot wait to go back next year if they will have me.

 

Scott Bailey 2009

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It Isn’t Fair!

Posted by Scott on February 28, 2009

An old missionary couple was returning to the states from the mission field in Africa. After years of service, they both contemplated their situation. With absolutely no retirement put away since they did not belong to any mission boards, no job prospects, no friends in New York, etc. they just did not know how they would make it. Also, their health was not so good either, so they were beginning to worry.

As they began to pass by the Statue of Liberty a band started to play and a crowd of well wishers begin to cheer as another passenger on this ship was President Teddy Roosevelt. The old missionary told his wife, “Here we have served the Lord faithfully for years and for what? No one even knows we are here, yet the President returns from a hunting exhibition in Africa and everyone greets his return home. It just is not fair.”

The old missionaries wife just comforted him until they arrived at the port. Once at the port the crowd grew larger and louder for the returning President. The old missionary and his wife slipped through the crowd into the city unnoticed. They rented a little flat on the east side of town and began looking for someway to make a living. One night the old missionary snapped. He jumped to his feet and said that he had had enough.

“God is not fair. We have served Him for years, risking our lives without anything to show for it.”

The old missionaries wife told her husband that he should go and tell God about it. So, that is exactly what he did. After an hour or so on his knees struggling in prayer, the old missionary returned and seemed to be different…he was changed to the notice of his wife. He was calm and collected with a smile on his face. His wife ask him if he had told God of His unfairness to them.

“The Lord settled it with me”, he said.

The old missionary said further, “Yes, I did exactly that. I unloaded my entire years of trials, service, and thanklessness to Him. I told Him that no one welcomed us home, no crowds or cheers for serving Him. Once I was finished, it was just like God placed His big hand on my shoulder and said in a soft simple voice ‘But your not home yet!”

God does reward His people, but it is not always rewarded here on this earth. We may not have a fan fare here on this earth, but angels in heaven will rejoice when we finally return home to be with the Lord someday from this earthly mission field. All of our service for Christ has not gone unnoticed to the heavenlies.

Moral of the story here is that we have no claim on God by reason of service. We are not to try and hold God hostage because of some great things we think we have done for Him. Serving Christ is our duty and we have no right to demand anything of God in our prayer time because of some service we have done. Prayer is not about listing our accomplishment before Him, but of pouring out our hearts before Him and listening to His answer, His call. Receving His promises, His comfort, and desiring to praise Him and glorify Him even more. Prayer is a time of growing closer to our God and be instructed by His smooth voice.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009
Story found written in Ray C. Stedman’s book “Talking with the Father”.

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70,000 Christians displaced in India!

Posted by Scott on December 3, 2008

India – More than 70,000 Christians displaced in Orissa

UPDATE: The Voice of the Martyrs contacts working to assist believers affected by attacks in Orissa state report that more than 70,000 Christians have been displaced and forced to live in refugee camps.

“At the Peyton Sahi relief camp which houses 35 families and 130 distraught tribals, Chabila Naik, a man who ran an orphanage for 50 children in Sarangada spent three days in the forest after their houses and churches were razed [with fire]. He has not been reunited with the children,” VOM sources said.

Stories coming from persecuted believers in Orissa are heartbreaking. Christians spent days hiding in the forest following the attacks that erupted on August 24, after the murder of a prominent Hindu leader by Maoist extremists. “One family which did not want to be named said they had to leave their elderly mother in the jungles while the others walked through rain and darkness for 60 hours to get out of Kandhmal,” VOM sources added.

“We had no choice; I could either save my wife and two kids, or stay with her and ask for death for all of us. But, I am sure God has saved her, though I have no idea where she is,” the man told VOM sources with tears in his eyes.

VOM is assisting displaced believers in Orissa and other areas in India where persecution has spread. Pray for believers who face these intense hardships and have in some cases lost contact with family members. Ask God to protect them and provide for their needs. Pray their testimonies will draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Him.

News provided by Voice of the Martyrs.

To contribute to the cause and others Living Stones Ministry is seeking to raise $1,000 in the month of December to be used for purchases of nearly 100 Action Packs that are to be filled with blankets, clothing, towels, and other new or slightly used items.  100% of the gifts that come in will go for causes in India, Packistan, China, and Indonesia.  You can send your gifts to LIVING STONES MINISTRY, C/O SCOTT & DANA BAILEY @ PO BOX 213, PROSPER, TEXAS 75078.  Upon receipt of your gifts we will send you a prayer brochure with a free book or DVD offer inside from Voice of the Martyrs.  Thanks for your consideration and gifts.  If you cannot give financially, that fine, because we need prayer warriors for these regions as well.  May the Lord bless your giving and/or prayers.

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Christian Persecution Update in India!

Posted by Scott on October 2, 2008

 

Three More Christians Killed in Orissa; Opposition Reported in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar

Thousands of Christians, like this woman, were made homeless by attacks led by Hindu extremists in Orissa, India.

Three more believers were martyred and twelve others were severely wounded in a fresh wave of violence in Orissa, India, on September 30. The latest attacks occurred in villages near Kandhamal, which has been the epicenter of violence against Christians since August 22.

The violence in Orissa came as attacks in two other Indian states targeted a Christian pastor and a Bridge of Hope center.

An estimated 30 Christians have been killed and thousands of others have lost their homes since Hindu extremists went on a rampage after their leader, Swami Laxmananda Saraswati was murdered. His followers are seeking revenge for his death, for which Christians have been blamed. However, Maoists have claimed responsibility for the murder.

A Gospel for Asia correspondent in Orissa said Tuesday’s attacks came at 4:30 a.m. when mobs of as many as 5,000 Hindu extremists attacked three separate villages. The extremists burned down about 150 homes and three churches. The Indian media reports that police opened fire in an attempt to disperse the violent forces.

The mob also reportedly attacked the local police station, demanding that two people arrested in connection with the ongoing riots be released. Media reports from within the country also indicate that the extremists have blocked all roads in and out of the area of the attack with rocks and boulders to prevent police from bringing in additional forces.

Since the violence began August 22, six people who attended GFA-related churches in Orissa have been killed by the Hindu extremists, who have personally attacked more than 2,000 believers from these churches. The extremists have also burned down 630 homes belonging to believers who attend GFA-related churches and destroyed 22 churches where GFA missionaries serve as pastors.

Many Christians are still hiding out in the dense jungles surrounding their villages. They are suffering from the effects of starvation, disease and monsoon flooding that wrecked the state in September.

With the continued violence and the roads blocked, it is impossible for GFA Compassion Services teams to get into Orissa to distribute aid.

Missionary Beaten in Uttar Pradesh

Gospel for Asia missionaries are also dealing with persecution in Uttar Pradesh, where Hindu extremists have attacked a pastor and have set their sights on a Bridge of Hope center.

On October 1, the extremists attacked a Bridge of Hope center and a church in Magapatti, Uttar Pradesh. The pastor of the church, who is a GFA missionary, was badly beaten in the attacks.

Hindu extremists continue their campaign to obliterate Christians in Orissa, India. On Tuesday, they destroyed another 150 homes like this one, along with three churches.

The extremists have been systematically threatening the parents of the children in the Bridge of Hope center for the past few weeks. The center was closed as a precaution and no children were on site when the extremists attacked the missionary.

Christian Aid Workers Forced Out of Bihar

Another gang of anti-Christian extremists forced out Christian aid workers attempting to help survivors of flooding in Bihar. The incident occurred on September 25 in the state’s Purnia district where aid workers were assessing needs and handing out cards for people to exchange for supplies. The group was planning to help at least 2,500 families.

The extremists accused the group of taking advantage of the situation to lure the people into Christianity by offering relief materials.

The aid workers, who have been in Bihar since September 1, were able to move their base to another area and continue operations.

GFA missionaries in the affected areas shared the following prayer requests:

  • Please pray for the families of those killed in Orissa, that they would be comforted by the Word of God and that they would remain strong in the midst of intense persecution.
  • Pray for those wounded in Tuesday’s attacks. Several of them have life-threatening injuries and are not expected to live. Pray for their healing and that it would be a testimony of God’s glory.
  • Pray for the people hiding in the jungles and those living in relief camps. Pray especially that God would provide a way for Compassion Services teams to reach them.
  • Pray for healing for the missionary in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Pray that the Bridge of Hope center in that community would be able to reopen and that the children could go to school without fear.
  • Pray for the many Christian organizations attempting to distribute relief supplies in Bihar.
  • Pray for the extremist and militant groups who are opposing the Gospel to come to know Jesus as their Savior.

Orissa News and Media Updates


PhotoShow: Orissa in Ruins

PhotoShow: Persecution In Pictures

Persecution Update: September 15, 2008

Video Update: August 28, 2008

Download Videos

Message from Orissa: “God is in Control”

posted: 09/05/2008

Juria Bardhan, Gospel for Asia’s Orissa State Leader

Juria Bardhan, Gospel for Asia’s state leader in Orissa, India, knows what it’s like to be hunted by anti-Christian extremists bent on killing him. During the past two weeks, he has seen dozens of churches burned to the ground. He has seen missionaries and Christians beaten and killed. But during all these horrific attacks, Juria has had one thought.

“We know the Lord is in control,” Juria said in an interview Thursday.

Juria’s comments may sound naïve to Western ears, but to Christians in volatile parts of Asia, they ring true. They expect persecution rather than peace. They know that to follow Christ means choosing to bring more trouble into their lives. They also know that Christians standing strong in the face of such trials encourages others to follow Christ.

“The encouraging thing is that the attackers themselves acknowledge that Orissa used to be only 2 percent Christian, and now it’s 28 percent Christian,” Juria said. “They don’t understand that by doing this, the church will grow by leaps and bounds, and this will cause thousands to come to Christ.”

Juria said his pastors are not complaining about the abuse heaped upon them. Instead they are glorifying God for the opportunity to share in His sufferings.

“Many of our pastors have said, ‘Even if they kill us, no problem. This will cause thousands to come to Christ,’ ” he reported.

Juria said that things are improving somewhat in the cities, but the persecution continues unabated in more remote areas. Orissan Christians are accustomed to harassment, but Juria noted that this wave of attacks, which began August 22 after the murder of a popular Hindu leader, is different.

“Last time, the persecution was restricted to only one district. During the last six months, they planned this out, and now nine districts are under attack,” he noted.

Juria reports that six people have been killed, and 27 GFA-related churches and more than 800 homes of Christians have been ransacked and destroyed since the violence began.

At least 24 Gospel for Asia missionaries have been attacked, some joining the thousands of Christians who are seeking refuge in the forests, where they remain without adequate food or shelter.

Juria said that the Hindu extremists have made a list of demands, including:

  • Stop conversions … They accuse Christian missionaries of forcing people to convert to Christianity or using false allurements, such as money or jobs, to get them to follow Christ.
  • No more slaughtering of cows … Cows are considered holy in the Hindu religion.
  • All church buildings should be verified … The extremists want to place additional restrictions on Christian churches that do no exist for Hindu temples.
  • Christian churches and related non-governmental (charitable) organizations should be banned … This would prevent any Christian work that helps the poor.
  • Anyone occupying tribal land must vacate it … Most Orissan Christians are from low castes and live on tribal land that was settled generations ago. This would essentially force all Christians to move out of the area.

The extremists are also on a campaign to “reconvert” Christians back to Hinduism. They are threatening people at knifepoint, saying they will die if they do not agree to offer pujas (prayers and ceremonial acts) to Hindu gods and goddesses.

One missionary was attacked and threatened unless he performed a puja. He refused to turn his back on Christ, so they beat him again and told him to stay away from the village where he had been working, but he would not agree to do this.

“Even if you kill me, I will not make a vow that I will never come back; that depends not on me but on the Lord. If he wants to send me here, then I will come,” he told his attackers.

He was discouraged when he saw some of the same people he had prayed for and helped in the past now ready to kill him. But his life was spared when an elderly villager, seeing his strong commitment, convinced the mob to let him go.

One Christian who attends a GFA-related church gave his life rather than turn his back on Christ. The extremists were trying to get him to participate in a Hindu ceremony that involved shaving his head, putting cow dung on it and then sacrificing a goat. When he refused, he was killed and his body hacked into pieces.

Juria reports that the extremists are now using women to lead the Hindu mobs. They believe that if a woman is in front, the government will not take action against them. Several of these mobs of women have even caused disruptions in some of the relief camps.

Juria does not expect the volatile situation in Orissa to change anytime soon. He theorizes that the extremists will continue the campaign of terror and religious emotion until the next general election. There are several powerful Hindu political parties in the country. Juria says they may be trying to exploit the fear of the people to get into power. There is also a rumor that the extremists are planning to carry the ashes of the murdered leader, along with his photo, to villages throughout the country. They hope that the emotional response will cause another round of unrest.

He asks that Christians would continue praying for Orissa. Here are some of the specific requests.

  • Pray for peace and harmony in Orissa and that families will be able to return to their villages.
  • Pray for relief work to go on unhindered.
  • Pray for the health, safety and security of the people living in the forests.
  • Ask the Lord for mercy in providing new homes for the people who have lost theirs.
  • Continue to lift up the missionaries who are obvious targets of the persecutors. The extremists are looking for what they consider to be a high-ranking Christian leader to kill in revenge for the death of their leader.
  • Pray that the Christians will remain firm in their faith and that their commitment to Jesus will remain stronger than any fear they have.

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