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Archive for January, 2013


Jan 31

Ambassadors for Christ (Part 3) – “Christ died to break the back of our self-absorbed idolatry.”

2013 | by Clint | Category: Local,Training

This is part 3 of 3 from Paul Tripp’s Ambassador blog posts.  See part 1 here and part 2 here.

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20).

An appeal is an argument or a plea. God is using you – the ambassador – to appeal for something in the life of another. Certainly, this has an evangelistic application, yet Paul is writing to Christians and saying, “Be reconciled to God.” Something more than evangelism is in view here.

Look back to verse 15: “And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

What is the purpose of the cross? Paul would say that it’s not just an eternity in heaven, but also the recapturing of people’s hearts to serve God alone. Our sin causes us to be incredibly self-absorbed, reducing us to idolatrous worshipers of self.

Christ died to break the back of our self-absorbed idolatry. The focus of Christ’s work is to deliver us from our bondage to ourselves! Why do believers need to be reconciled to God? Because as long as sin indwells us, we’ll tend to wander away from the worship of the Lord to serve ourselves.

God is intent on owning our hearts unchallenged. His goal is that our lives would be shaped by our worship of him and nothing else. He has sent us as his ambassadors to make his appeal for people’s hearts.

 

And don’t forget, our yearly Ambassador Training continues this winter starting this Sunday (February 3rd – see below for details):

Local Missions Pastor Tim Ragsdale writes the following:

How is it possible that more people than ever (percentage) have personal pro-life convictions and that more people than ever (percentage) are pro-abortion rights? What does this growing dissonance tell you about our culture’s post-everything (post-post-modern) way of thinking?

How do we as ambassadors for Christ faithfully and wisely articulate the Gospel to such a culture?

Start planning now to attend the Ambassador series to get equipped!  Feb 3 – Amb IV “Ambassadors Assembled” (Preview/condensed 4 weeks)

While Amb I, II, and III (Knowledge, Wisdom, and Character) focus more on the individual ambassador, Amb IV focuses on the corporate nature of our ambassadorship–our need for one another, the marks of a healthy church. This should be an excellent preparation for Clarus!

You don’t need to have taken I, II, and III, and you can help greatly in the development of IV (into a full 9 week class) by participating in this preview.  Mar 17 – Amb I — (Knowledge of an Ambassador – 10 weeks)

We start the series over with an overview of the series and then dive into what an ambassador of Christ needs to know. Repeating these classes is a great idea because you get a lot of information thrown at you.

Questions? Email local missions pastor Tim Ragsdale at: tim@objectivegospel.org

Jan 29

DSC Member Headed to Philippines – Please Pray

2013 | by Clint | Category: Global,Prayer

Please be in prayer for Erin Jensen, a DSC member and leader among young adults.  See below for the details of her two month mission adventure she’s embarking on and how you can be praying for her.

Dear DSC family,

As many of you know I am heading out to Olongapo City, Philippines this weekend (January 19-20). During my time there I will be interning with Mercy In Action (mercyinaction.com) a faith based organization that runs a free birthing center and trains international and Filipina midwives. While I’m there I hope to learn much about this career that I am so passionate about and love, and to learn from the missionaries there how they use this clinic to show God’s love and mercy to others during such a vulnerable time in the lives of the families they serve. I am so very, very excited about this opportunity.

I covet your prayers. I will be traveling internationally by myself for the first time which is a little nerve-wracking. I need prayer for strength and endurance both physically and spiritually as the days will be long and the work physically and emotionally intense at times. I take comfort (I hope rightly) in 1 Peter 4:11 which tells me that I serve as one who serves by the strength which God supplies so that God may be Glorified through Christ Jesus. I am a week and very imperfect vessel but I know that I serve in His strength, not my own. I ask that you would pray that I don’t forget that. I also ask that you would be praying that I will take every opportunity presented to share the Gospel with those we’re serving.

Thank you to all of those who have been so encouraging and excited for me in the lead up to this trip. Lord willing I will see you all at Easter!

Blessings,

Erin

Psalm 13:6

Erin on the right with her brother Josiah and mother Delores, both of DSC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 28

Barrera Bulletin – January 2013

Our dear friends and partners Rodrigo and Carol Barrera (Wycliffe Bible translators living among the Rabinal Achi of Guatemala), write the following update from the field.  Please read this prayerfully.

Our beloved Carol y Rodrigo Barrera en Antigua – 2009

This bulletin is built around five questions.

1) What specifically can you pray about at this time to further the translation of the whole Bible into Achí?   

A good portion of the Old Testament has already been drafted. But before drafting more books, the goal of the Achí translation team at this time is to revise the drafts of the books of the Pentateuch to get them  up to publication quality.  Genesis has been through several revisions already.  The team would love to see that book printed and offered for sale at the combined churches Bible Sunday that takes place every August in San Miguel.  A lot needs to happen for that goal to be achieved.  Prayers appreciated!

One important aspect of Bible translation is checking the translation with speakers for clarity, naturalness and understanding. I am working with several people on reading through Exodus, asking questions to see how they understand the text in Achí.  Eder is going over the text independently, making good comments and questions.  More people are involved in this whole process than those you see in the photo, both in San Miguel and in other towns.  All of our findings are submitted to the AECM translation team of three, who did the original drafts, and they make the final decisions.

This coming Monday a two-week AECM workshop (January 28 through February 8) starts in Guatemala City, with the teams from the different Mayan languages having their translations of the second part of Genesis and the first part of Exodus checked.  As always, we ask prayer for travel to and from the event, good health while there, and productive working relationships among the international translation consultants, the Mayan translators and the few of us in-country but non-Mayan advisors.  Rodrigo plans to drop me off at the workshop center and pick me up at the end, returning to San Miguel in the interim to continue our work here.  I expect to be participating with the Achí and K’iche’ group for those two weeks, but enjoying fellowship with all of the groups.

2) What do I  love about what we are doing here? 

I love working in conjunction with others with a heart for proclaiming God’s Word and serving people in tangible ways.  We feel sweet fellowship with people from other organizations (local, national and international), who serve in this area. The cooperation between us can take many different forms. For instance, one organization is doing house to house visitation to chat with families about God, offer to pray with them for their expressed needs, and see that they have at least one Bible in their homes.  They obtained some Spanish Bibles and two boxes of Achí New Testaments to distribute to any families that don’t have a Bible.

We love encouraging young people to prepare themselves to serve God and others, reaching out to their own people and to those beyond their borders.  We can do this by translating reports they write to others interested in furthering their training and their activates. We can provide forums for them to share their plans and report back after trips.  In January we were privileged to applaud three such efforts–five young people who spent several weeks in Panama, Eder who went with Dr. Jacobo to give Health Evangelism training to an indigenous group in Panama for a week, several young people from this area who went to another department for outreach, with their whole group (from Mexico and two other cities in Guatemala), coming back to San Miguel for a week of ministry to the town, children, churches and the elderly. Also, we are just starting to get back reports from Daniel, who just left for five months of training in Panama.  You man remember that Daniel is one of the young men who has been helping in distributing Achí materials in other towns. Daniel will be gone for a while, but Marvin has stepped up to the plate, helping to sell Achí New Testaments.

Recently we offered our patio for a vision creating and planning session of ministries seeking to ban together to meet community needs: medical, financial (micro loans for women), emotional, spiritual. We try to maintain an open door policy for people just wanting someone with a sympathetic ear to listen to their sorrows, problems, joys, and give advice if requested.  (I confess that open door is not so open later at night, since we tend to get sleepy earlier than people here.)

Rodrigo and/or I love leading small group meetings at our house on Monday evening (for pastors), Wednesday night Bible study, Saturday morning English tutoring, Saturday afternoon get together for school age children. Rodrigo is also hoping to launch a special study for young professionals.  Another way we can serve is through facilitating communication between people wanting to help with specific needs (desks for a Christian school, scholarships, transportation for a blind girl to receive classes from a blind professor in the department capital . . . .)

In all of the above, food and snacks (usually provided by Rodrigo), are part of the formula for making people feel welcome.

3) Is there anything I have NOT enjoyed doing recently? 

Yes.  We are still dealing with the aftermath of trying to process all of our belongings and furniture brought from the apartment we no longer have in the capital. That means two rooms and a storage room in our San Miguel house are now cluttered with boxes and bags.  We try to go through one more bag, one more box whenever we can find the time.  Most of the furniture has found new homes among our friends in San Miguel, but there is still a lot of stuff and papers to sort.  My mind can only take making decisions for an hour or two at a time: toss? give away? sell? keep?  If we decide to keep something, that usually requires getting rid of something we already have to make room for it.  I will be so happy when this task is done. The end isn’t quite in sight.

4) So where do we stay now when we have to go to the capital?

We have found a Christian center where we can stay for about $15 per person per night.  There is a safe place to park our car. Of course, we can no longer fill up our apartment with Achí friends who needed a place to stay for a few days in the capital.  Nevertheless, it is sometimes possible for us to get them rooms at this place if they need to go in with us over a medical emergency or to help Rodrigo for a short time. And that has already happened several times.

5) Finally–Do YOU have any questions for us or answers to OUR question as to what is going in your lives and how we can pray for you?

We feel we are all in this together with you–the Holy Spirit ultimately being the One who empowers and directs and brings unity.

Rodrigo and Carol Barrera

Address for financial support: Wycliffe Bible Translators PO Box 628200 Orlando, FL 32862-8200