From a child, I always loved the music of Dallas Holm. I remember hearing it over the stereo in my parent’s pale yellow Ford Fairmont station wagon on many a 3-hour drive to Raleigh to visit my grandparents. If it wasn’t Dallas Holm, it was a cassette of Keith Green, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Scott Wesley Brown, or the Imperials. Those were different days, back when Christian music was actually ministry and not merchandise. Of course, Rise Again, I Saw the Lord, and the narrative album His Last Days are true classics, but a lesser known ballad holds a special place in my heart. As a child, I heard it. As an adult, I have lived it . . .
The words of the late Keith Green posted above made a convicting impact on me many years ago as I wrestled with answering God’s call in my life to missions and my understanding of the Great Commission. Today, we still go into all the world, preaching the Gospel to both Jew and Gentile . . .
On his second missionary journey (Acts 15:40-18:22), the Apostle Paul purposed to go into Asia (i.e. western Turkey) after revisiting the cities and churches of Galatia. Such was a noble endeavor, but he was "forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia" (Acts 16:6). From there, his team ventured in obedience west into Europe, heeding the Macedonian Call . . .
Guru is an old Sanskrit word used in South Asian contexts for a “spiritual teacher.” It’s actually similar to the Hebrew rabbi. And sadly, as in Jewish culture, South Asian cultures are rife with so-called “spiritual teachers” who are nothing more than snake oil charlatans. But, my Guru once opened the eyes of the blind . . .
Great Commission ministry “to the Jew first” cannot and should not be about numbers, but it is about divine appointments; and for these, the preacher and the colporter must remain vigilant. At any moment and in any place, a lost sheep from the House of Israel might be found . . .
Almost 10 years ago, a guy tried to kill me on a lonely highway somewhere in the Yukon Territory as I was riding a bicycle and preaching the Gospel to the top of Alaska. I was discouraged and ready to quit, parked at a gas station in the cold rain, and then went inside to buy a coffee from a girl with blue hair . . .
Why does the Church complicate the Great Commission? Why do missions and evangelism strategies have to be so complex, so “contextual,” and so accommodating to the world?
The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthian believers: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (II Corinthians 11:3).
For many years, our labors for the Word of God & the Testimony of Jesus Christ have inevitably taken us up . . . into the mountains . . .
Our last few days in Huaraz, Peru, the family and I explored up the Quebrada Honda, a high-altitude valley with some active and lot of abandoned silver and zinc mines that the tourists can't normally access. We were stopped at a gate, and the guards forbade us entry . . .
Recently Eric and I were “Whatsapp’ing” back and forth, he up in the Himalayas and I down in the Andes. Having just arrived in Leh, a very different culture on the world’s other major Hummus Trail for Isrseli backpackers, and after a busy summer with us down here in Huaraz, he mentioned: “When we first got here, it was hard. I was depressed and overwhelmed with what we had to do here alone.” Then, he followed up with something simple but profound . . .
In the 1970’s came the drifter-tourists. Having completed very tense Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conscriptions in very tense times, these individual nonconformists began reacting to the predictable status quo of Jewish life in a land surrounded by enemies who wanted to push them into the sea. They took a break and went trekking . . .
We had just returned from a grueling 7-day, 70+ mile trekking circumnavigation of the Cordillera Huayhuash range in Central Peru, a route that involved 7 passes over 15,000 ft. in elevation, all higher than any mountain in the contiguous United States . . .
A short while back, Eric & Mindy met a young couple in a local coffee shop that had just arrived in Huaraz. The Source sandals were a clear sign that these were travelers from Israel. It wasn't much of a conversation, as these were folks of few words, but they did receive Gospel tracts and expressed gratitude for a casual dinner invitation . . .
As we travel around the globe and declare the God of Israel as the one true God and the Messiah of Israel as the only hope for salvation to Israeli backpackers, I am astounded that so few know Messiah was prophesied to also be a gift for the Gentiles.
My family and I just spent a little over 2 months in Bariloche, Argentina working with Eric & Mindy Trent to reach Israeli backpackers who typically frequent the area from January to April. Things did not go as we had anticipated, and there were some unforeseen trials. At one point, we simply couldn't wait to move north to Peru.
Thank you for your fervent prayers! The Lord graciously extended traveling mercies to me and my wife as we flew down to Lima, Peru and back to the field.
Today, Brother Bishnu, our faithful national partner from Nepal, landed in Peru as he says: "to labor with friends to reach the Israeli backpackers and to get myself better trained in Jewish Evangelism so we can reach the Israeli backpackers who transit every year through Kathmandu."
Thank you for your continued prayers for Mindy and me as we continue to labor here in South America. The past four weeks have been busy and very fruitful. Multiple Hebrew-English New Testaments have gone out to various guests, Gospel tracts have been distributed to hikers along various trekking routes around San Carlos de Bariloche, and we have had opportunity to open-air preach to the public.
We are very grateful for those who recently gave toward the purchase of blankets for the elderly and new mothers in Nepali villages. These are a real blessing for the villagers during the cold; and they are an avenue for meeting a real need in the spirit of James 2:15-16 while preaching the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah to those who have never heard.