Waypoints Defined

The meaningful points along life's way.

Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Psalm 119:35

Friday, March 25, 2016

Upriver Ride

We've been working with some wonderful pastors here on Samar Island of the Philippines. Pastor Joey has a big, adventuresome heart that reaches into remote places. 

Five years ago a man who was blind from birth experienced God's power and received his sight in a small town two hours upriver from Borongan. It was the start of God opening spiritual eyes to His love and power and his whole family received Jesus into their hearts. 

Early morning we climbed into the boat for our ride with filters and a packed lunch. The only way into this area is by boat or helicopter. Since we had no helicopter we opted for the boat ride. 

Being the dry season meant we climbed out and walked in three places. We passed quiet, peaceful spots along with other locations where people were busy working. Doing laundry or hefting heavy sacks of gravel from the river bottom or hauling timber downstream to sell. We also saw happy children swimming and playing in the river water. No crocs here. 

We reached the village and climbed the 50 feet steep embankment and were told the river rises so high in rainy season the houses are sometimes flooded even there.  

We met the barangay captain who helped us distribute filters. The biggest benefit to this distribution besides clean water was helping to strengthen relationships in the community with those who do not know Jesus yet. 

Sometimes we get to pray with people to receive Jesus, while other times we plant seeds or water ones already planted. 

The kingdom of God is like this, a man scatter seed on the ground; he sleeps and rises – night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows – he doesn't know how. The soil produces a crop by itself – first the blade, then the head, and then the ripe grain on the head. But as soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle, because the harvest has come. Mark 4:26-29

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Light always conquers darkness

Nepal was fascinating. The only disappointment was the haze blocking the majestic Himalayas, so when we climbed out of the valley one day and saw the beautiful snow covered peaks in the distance I knew God was giving me another simple heart's desire. His creation shouts His glory. 

Nepal is Buddhist and Hindu  and sharingg Jesus is tough going. It's hard to get people to say yes just to pray for them. Randeep, Pastor from India, taught us how to bind the strongman which proved effective as we practiced Mark 3:27

When the darkness is darkest, the light shines the brightest. Light ALWAYS wins. It won when the witch doctor chanted all night around our tents. It won when bad dreams  disturbed our sleep. Light conquered when fear knocked on our hearts door. 

The witch doctor gave his heart to Jesus. When the bad dreams came we worshipped and prayed realizing how much greater is The One within us, than he who is in the world. And let me tell you about one victory over fear. 

An older gentleman asked to receive Jesus into his heart when we met for church under a tarp in a field because the building was too small for us. Off to the side, his daughter sat mocking. When her baby got sick, the village said it was because the spirits were angry with her father's decision. But when Randeep came running down the path with the baby in a febrile fit, the mothers hysteria was fear. The nurses and Doctor began their care while the team worshiped and prayed realizing the battle we faced. On the way to the hospital the fever broke and the baby was admitted for observation. The next morning as we left the village we saw the mother returning with a huge smile blowing kisses to our team. Fear Conquered. Light Shining. 

Our Campsite:

Another favorite dark vs light story was around the evening campfires in the village we visited. The kids came. The young. The future. The hopeful. We told them Bible stories and prayed for them. Three older teen boys asked Jesus into their heart and as we were praying together another young man appeared at my elbow. He gave me the Christian greeting which let me know he was a believer and then I found out he was our translator, Kamala's, brother. On the spot we set up a time for them to get together and study God's Word. Light Wins. 

For you are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the darkness or the night. 
1 Thessalonians 5:5

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Good News in Nepal

A land of MOUNTAINS, terraced fields, 

switchback roads, trekkers, goats, landslides & earthquakes, poverty, rich agriculture, hospitable people, witchcraft, Buddhists and Christians. 

I welcomed a team of 19 from South Africa, Canada, Australia, and America over 3 days. Our 5 man team from India 

joined us ( Dr. Navish David and Randeep Mathews are missing from the photo) since they had established relationships in different villages as they've helped people recover and rebuild since the  earthquake last May. 

We set up camp in the  first village with our 8 tents, sleeping mats and flexible attitudes.

 Everyone shared the sense of adventure as we had driven 3 hours from Kathmandu over winding and climbing roads. Our elevation was between 7000 and 8000 feet. 

The  first medical clinic was off to a slow start in the morning but suddenly over 100 students showed up after lunch for medical attention ranging from scabies to ear infections.

 I sat at the intake table and found time to pray for three boys with poor vision who couldn't read the fine print "rescuing lives" on my name tag before prayer. After prayer they spelled it out clearly, simply and obviously quite happily. 

The next day David took a couple nurses and 2 other team members up a mountain where they needed clean water. While the men distributed water filters, the nurses saw over 40 patients. 

In the evening we invited the village to a campfire where we shared music, Gobind had a testimony and Steve a short preach. When it came time to pray for people, all five of the women I prayed for were healed of back pain, headache, burning pain in a lady's neck and shoulders, and knee pain. Happy time in Jesus! 

Afterwards we headed down the hill to the church where we were eating for dinner to find it filled with people hungry for more. More spiritual food. Joyous worship and another preach with very happy hearts. 

Sue, Impact Nations prayer coordinator, wrote this short devotional for our Nepal team that day: 

Mark 7:24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered the house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret.

"As you prepare to go out today be reminded that the presence of Jesus cannot be kept secret and that you carry His fragrance wherever you go. Allow the Holy Spirit to refresh you this morning and bring a fresh infilling of His love and divine nature."

It was a surprise to us to see the church filled but Jesus is meant to be known and to be made known. He wasn't kept a secret in Nepal today.