Sharing the Gospel in South Asia
Two short-term mission teams returned from South Asia just a few weeks ago. We are so grateful for everyone who prayed for these trips (much was needed, and much was given), for those who helped support the team members for both teams financially (again much needed and much given), and for your support of Advance that is helping the word go out in a dark area of the world.
One trip went to the Himalayas in Nepal for a pretty grueling little trek into the mountains in conjunction with East-West Ministries. This team shared the good news with over 400 people in the villages and countryside, and 144 of them came to saving faith by professing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior!
This trip was one of the most difficult treks that a team has taken. We thank God for the strength and health of the team and for the eternal hope in Christ proclaimed to souls who had no hope.
In the beauty of the mountains the team found an even greater beauty in sharing God’s word. This trip reminds me of Isaiah 52:7, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns.'"
One thing I love about these trips is the team bonding. When each person carries a 50 lb. backpack 10-11 miles a day and climb and descend several thousand feet while also sharing the good news, the team truly senses God’s leading. We praise God for the men and women on this trek and for his goodness to them.
Mercy Home (Orphanage)
The second team to South Asia went to a mercy home of 48 orphans for a four-day camp in conjunction with 25 Project. Matthew 25:35-40, the theme verses of 25 Project, described our time at the orphanage:
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
The children were out of school for a holiday, so we got to spend lots of time with them. Our team taught the kids the story of Joseph, and we talked about how God had a sovereign plan for Joseph, even through sorrow and difficulty. These children, who were orphaned or given up by their parents, really understood the story of Joseph.
We had in-depth study in the mornings, and we had time in the afternoons to play and relax with the kids. One of the fun things we did was making t-shirts for the kids. We couldn’t put a cross on the shirts, but we put the church logo on them and then explained to the children what the logo represents.
Finally, Afshin preached the first sermon at the new church in that area of South Asia and dedicated it to the Lord for his use. Our church’s Advance Initiative helped to fund the actual building, and it was a blessing to see purple walls, orange chairs, and a mighty and powerful God worshipped by all who came.
Editor's Note: This Sunday is the last day to get the early bird registration for the 2017 mission trip to the Dominican Republic! Get more info or sign up now.