How He answered a prayer in the past does not mean that He will respond the same way this time. He will though glorify Himself and He always wants to bless us as we step out in Faith. I told her that actually in many ways, being a new Christian, she had the advantage. She didn’t have all the history of walking with the Lord to build assumptions upon.
Of course, the other side in knowing God for a long time, is that we know we can depend upon the Lord because of how He has been so Faithful to us in the past. The new Christian can share their childlike zeal, while the older Christian can encourage the younger with the testimony of God Faithfulness while working in their lives.
Timothy, in this passage, was placed into ministry at a very young age. He did not have the experience and depth that the Apostles had, but he was called to ministry all the same. Paul wanted to encourage him and give him the keys to credibility and effective ministry.
These keys are contained in this one verse:
- Be an example in knowing the Word and the words you speak.
- Be loving, exemplified with God’s love.
- You have the Gift of the Holy Spirit so walk in the Spirit.
- Be willing to step out in Faith – even if you might make a mistake.
- Keep yourself pure. This is the mark of sincerity.
In application, consider that age in physical years and age in terms of our walk with the Lord, are two different concepts. The Gift of Salvation and the indwelling Gift of the Holy Spirit provide the same power in every believer. Let us never think we are too young to step out in Faith, or so experienced, that we have God all figured out. Our advantage is that the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever. His ways are not our ways. He has given us the power of prayer so that we can know His will in every situation and align our will with His.
And lastly, even the older Christian steps out in Faith and makes mistakes. Be encouraged because our God is true to His Word, Faithful, loving, has given you His Holy Spirit and:
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
Yes, it’s time for another eNews. We have been very busy indeed!
It’s becoming a bit of a standard joke in staff meeting here at GCF: “Oh, this month should be a bit easier because we don’t have so much going on…” Now when someone says that there is the rolling of the eyes and a gentle sigh. With additional staff here at GCF we are able to do more ministry but the pace has increased proportionally to the available personnel.
Lot’s of Snow! - Digging out:
The snow fall this year has achieved record levels in Ome and throughout Japan. As part of the CRASH ministry effort, we traveled to Yuzawa. We joined some local ministries and community teams there to dig out homes literally buried by the frozen precipitation. John joined the team for the first day while we dug out the home of an elderly lady who’s two story dwelling had been inundated for the fourth or fifth time this year.
The rest of the week we spent assisting at GCF while much of the staff remained in Yuzawa digging snow. We assisted with the International school and John gave the message for Wednesday evening services.
Winter retreat – 2006!
God is not without a bit of a sense of humor. As if we didn’t get enough snow, the end of the week began the GCF Winter Retreat. This was a great time to get away from the norm of Ome and enjoy some respite in the country. We had about five van loads of adults and youngsters join together in an area about thirty minutes from where we were digging snow all week. Along with morning devotions and evening services, we enjoyed hanging out, building relationships and of course, LOT’s of time playing in the snow.
February is only really half over…
In about a week we will be having our second annual “Festival Latina”. As you may remember, GCF has Japanese, English and South Americans attending. With a strong Spanish and Portuguese community in Ome, the Festival Latina event is a wonderful outreach to this culture within a culture. There will be food and festivities that bring a sense community unity and the Gospel to Ome.
Teach me Japanese, I’ll teach you English…
While awaiting formal training in Japanese to begin, John has been attending three different community centers to obtain as much Japanese practice as possible. He is attending a class in Ome, Higashifussa, and in Hamura. It’s been a real education, in Japanese yes, but more so in developing relationships. Each class has it’s own unique character. The Japanese volunteers are mostly retired and are interested in learning more English.
Learn Kana! John found a cool program that will run on a PC or a MAC that will help you learn Hiragana and Katakana. If you would like to explore these phonetic alphabets, just click on this link. You can download the file itself and run it without being online using a right-click (PC) or a Ctrl-Click (MAC) and choose to save the file locally. If you have the Flash player or the Flash plug-in for your internet browser, after you download the file, either open it with Flash Player or as “File > Open File” with your browser. Check it out.
He’s doing pretty well at his own relationship building. He’s been attending a youth group on base, the HIBA fellowship in Tokyo and this month he spent a week with other home school students in the CAJ program. Although not aggressively working on Japanese, he still picking up words, phrases and some of the Kana. He continues to help out at the International School.
Ministry is all about relationships. Your relationship with the Lord, your relationships with those who God places in your life and the area God places you in ministry. It’s the simplest concept but often the most challenging aspect of ministry. It is the area that deserves so much prayer!
Belinda has been so blessed working with the women’s Bible study and in all the opportunities we have here at GCF. Services, prayer meetings and events like the retreat have provided quality times for simply setting down and sharing what God is doing in each of our lives.
This Sunday GCF had a men’s fellowship. Sherwood, one of the missionaries here, gave a Bible study on Ephesians 6, about the armor of God. John led in a few worship songs. At the end of the study, we broke up into groups; “English” and “Japanese”, but John really felt the Spirit said to stay with the Japanese men. He’s learning some Japanese, but he’s not proficient enough to carry on a real conversation yet. Staying with the Japanese men was a step of Faith.
As the group that John was with walked through the armor and prayed about each piece and for each other, the turn to pray went to a man who was new to the church. He is not yet a Christian. This man felt a little out of place because said he didn’t know how to pray. There were a couple other men in the group that have not yet given their lives to Christ as well.
John then presented the Gospel in very simple terms. It’s very interesting how God works. One of the men who isn’t saved yet did the translation! It was obvious that both men were very touched. God is working as the work of the ministry continues.