Pastor Mark's Missions Trip Log - Give Us A Bible!
Give Us A Bible!
A few days ago, I wrote about the mob of youth and youth workers that wanted a copy of the Scriptures at our youth conference. I've never seen 60+ people line up and almost knock one another down to get a copy of the Word of God. Jesus told us to "hunger and thirst after righteousness" and that "man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God." I'm not sure what everyone's motive was in getting a copy of the Bible on this day, but may all of our hearts hunger for the Bread of Heaven more than anything else. May we savor and feast at His table moment by moment and rejoice that we are full in Him.
A Man Named Peter
Peter in the Bible was loud, outspoken, and a "take charge" kind of guy. The Peter I met this week was soft-spoken, humble and modeled a gracious servant. Peter is the man who runs the Encounter Zambia farm. Until this week, he had no tools and used a butter knife as a screwdriver. We painted his house, but on the inside there was nothing....."no-thing."
Have you ever tried to run a 40-acre farm that is used to feed the community as a platform to share the Gospel with no tools? Before we left Luanshya, Peter came by, and we presented him with a tool box that included a hammer, saw, screwdrivers, pliers, and more. I had brought with me a hat, a thermos, and a brand new pair of work gloves; all of which were included in the tool box. I had to show him how to open and close the water thermos because he had never seen one. His eyes filled with tears at the sight of the tools.
Not only has this man been running a farm with little to no tools, but in order to build his house two years ago, he had to move a large mound of dirt by hand. Why? He had no shovel. But the gifts and bounty of heaven were not over. Jim had been given a special gift of money before we left the states, and he chose to give that money to Encounter Zambia for the purchase of furniture for Peter's house.
Peter, his beautiful wife, and his two 3-year-old children had nothing but a mattress in their home (which was provided by Encounter U.S.A. two years ago). Before Peter left us, he prayed over us the sweetest prayer of blessing I've ever heard. "Lord, bless them in Jesus....bless them so they can continue Your work....bless them so they can do good deeds....have Your hand upon them Father...bless them...bless them....bless them...." All of this was prayed with tears. I in return say, "Lord, bless Peter. Let Your face shine upon him....may he look to You and be radiant...may You give him the strength, endurance, wisdom, and provision to run the farm so it can provide what is needed to many people for the glory of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, for the furtherance of the Gospel that changes everything. In Jesus name, amen."
A Future Pastor
Meet Matt McMillan! He is a member of the Encounter Zambia team and is 21 years old. I watched this young man all week as he sang and ministered continually in the joy of the Lord. He has a smile that can light up a room and is flat out contagious. His parents are Jehovah's Witnesses and do not approve of him being on the Encounter team learning the Word of God and the Christian life. Before we left the team in Luanshya on Saturday evening and said our very sad "good-byes," Matt shared with me that he wanted to be a pastor.
So Matt McMillan....here's my prayer for you: "Lord, bless Matt. May he walk continually in your path and not stray to the right or to the left, but fix his eyes on the Prize. I pray that his burden to be a pastor comes to fruition as he is trained by Encounter Zambia and watches godly men such as Leonard, Maybin, and Barry on a daily basis. Keep him pure, honest, full of integrity, and holy....may he continue to be filled up with the joy of the Lord so that His cup of joy continues to run over like mighty rivers. In Jesus name who keeps us from stumbling, amen.