Readings for April
*Because many of
the writers serve in secure
countries, their full names are not listed.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from
the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting
(James 1:17) NIV.
Early in 1985 a typhoon struck the lower islands of
the Philippines. My wife, our two young daughters, and I went with a
to help the injured and homeless.
We were accomplishing much in ministry areas, but I
wasn't taking much time for my family. One day while communing with the
Lord I felt impressed to take each of my daughters alone once a week
a date. The first week I had only 50 pesos (US$2.50).
I pocketed the money, and six-years-old Rita and I
walked to a cafe where I bought two ice cream cones--about 38 pesos. We
sat together, licked ice cream and talked away the afternoon. When we
got back homoe I
dropped the change back into the jar.
I planned to take four-year-old Mary to split a
candy bar the next day – that’s all the remaining 12 pesos would buy.
I reached into the jar, I again found 50 pesos. Mary and walked to the
cafe and enjoyed ice cream together. Back home, I again dropped 12
We stayed four weeks on the island helping the
typhoon victims. Each week I took my daughters out for a treat. Each
time I dropped the change into the jar, and each time, there was more
when I took it out later. God cares about things like candy bars
and ice cream cones
Thank You, Lord, that You love little girls as much as You
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland
(Isaiah 43:19 NIV).
It had been five years since God spoke the words to
her heart. "Go to Yeravan and tell them I love them." “Theresa” knew
Yeravan was in Armenia, but didn’t understand why God told her that.
didn't understand but determined to obey when God showed her the way.
Theresa was now a member of a team going to Armenia.
However, because of nationalistic demonstrations, the road to Yeravan
was closed. All along the way the team watched as tourists were turned
also refused to let the team enter. The girl remembered something she
"Please," Theresa begged, "let us go through. I saw
a documentary on television about Yeravan saying its people are
world-famous for their hospitality. Ever since then, it has been my
life's ambition to meet those people. Please let us through."
The officer relented.
In the town, the Theresa talked to an Armenian woman
on the street. She felt God wanted her to tell the woman the
circumstances of the team's visit.
Wide-eyed, the woman asked, "Are you a believer?"
"So am I." She took the entire team to visit her
small struggling fellowship of believers. They had despaired because of
the upheaval in their country, wondering if God had forgotten them.
They were emboldened after hearing of God's specific instructions to
this special group to come to them. The congregation made a banner to
carry in the nationalistic demonstration boldly proclaiming: "People of
Armenia, this is not the way. Turn back to God. He has not forgotten
us. He sent people to tell us He loves us. This is our only hope."
Thank You, God, that You know in advance the way to prepare
Your children to help our brothers and sisters.
Sandra, an American, serves with YWAM’s Slavic Ministries.
I was staying in a hotel overlooking the main square
in Merakesh, the occult center of Morocco. Merakesh means "Meeting
the Dead." Each afternoon at three o'clock the square became a lively
of activity. Street venders, monkey grinders, artists, and tarot card
vied for their own space.
I was watching these activities from the rooftop and
praying for the city. " Lord , how can they be reached with the
prayed. "They're so entrenched in Islam and the occult."
The weather had been hot and sunny. Suddenly at
about four o'clock, the still, hot air was interrupted. I watched a
twister enter the square, avoiding the people. It looked as though it
would pass on without notice by those below me.
Then, in an instant it turned around and went
straight toward those with the tarot cards. The cards were swept up
several hundred feet into the air.
I was probably the only person who saw this
phenomenon; the only one who knew the entire path of the twister. God
had answered my cry. I had beheld a demonstration of God's ability to
show Himself, His
power and wonder.
Thank you, Lord, that you know how to reach into places where
no one else can reach, the hearts of mankind.
Heather, from New Zealand.
He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are
few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into
his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves"
(Luke 10:2-3 NIV).
I remember an encounter I had with a member of a
worldwide cult. During a door-to-door witnessing outreach in Seattle my
partner and I walked up to a house and were met at the door by a
square, balding man
in his thirties. To our surprise, there was none of the usual "sales
resistance." He eagerly ushered us in, offered us a seat and settled
back to talk.
My friend opened his Bible to begin, but first the
man fired a question at us."
"What do you think about the Trinity?"
I shot a look at my partner. He gave me a little
smile, for now we knew who we were dealing with. We asked him if he was
in such-and-such a group, and he admitted proudly to being one of their
We settled back and got into serious debate. It was
a great debate, and after an hour or two, I noticed the man was
He was out-gunned. Finally, all his geniality disappeared. Angrily, he
stood and asked us to leave.
My friend and I walked down the street with our
Bible, laughing and congratulating ourselves on how we had won over the
well-honed argument skills of this cult leader.
I remember that afternoon and drop my head in shame.
I thought I had won, but I know I lost. That particular cult is known
aggressive, arguing spirit. It is controlled by the spirit of religious
Instead of meeting that spirit with the opposite one, humility, I had
into it and embraced the same spirit. We had won the argument that day
Seattle but had left behind a man who was humiliated and further
from the Gospel.
From Winning God's Way by
Loren Cunningham with Janice Rogers.
Copyright by Loren Cunningham Published by YWAM Publishing, Seattle,
Washington. Used by permission. [from pages 99-101]
How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And
how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14).
I worked with YWAM’s Mercy Ship, m/v Good Samaritan,
docked in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. One afternoon my partner
and I walked to town. We were stopped by a young shoeshine boy. I often
let him shine my shoes because it afforded me a captive audience for
While Gary and I were witnessing, we were
interrupted by Miguel, who seemed overly eager to talk to us. Pleased
with the progress of my conversation with the boy, I grew impatient
with Miguel. I tried to ignore him. "Si, si," I said to each of his
Gary stopped me. "No, Robert. This guy is trying to
sell you a woman, and you keep saying "yes" to every word.
Angrily, I turned and told him we were Christians
and as such we do not do such things. As I rebuked him the gentle voice
of the Holy Spirit stopped me. Tell him why. Tell him he is breaking
the Father's heart.
My message of condemnation quickly turned to the
message of the weeping Shepherd, heart-broken over the condition of His
sheep. To my amazement, the pimp, whom I was annoyed with and had
discounted, began crying softly. When I asked if he wanted to be
forgiven by God, he quickly said, "Yes."
Right there he prayed to receive Jesus Christ as his
O, God, never again will I doubt or limit Your ability to reach a
Robert, an American, serves on YWAM staff in Florida, USA.
See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can
shut, Revelation (3:8) NIV.
I was one of fourteen YWAMers from seven nations
traveling overland to Calcutta, India. We divided into two groups of
seven. The first groups would start the trip about a week before the
other. I was in the
Stephanie, a young woman from South Africa, was in
the first group. We had been told that she would not be allowed into
the communist countries we needed to pass through. In fact, officials
in the American
consulate told us she would never be allowed into Afghanistan.
After much prayer, and despite the warnings, we felt
God wanted Stephanie to be part of the group, and they started the
journey. We prayed each day for Stephanie, and received a phone call
from Bulgaria: Stephanie had been allowed in. We continue to pray as we
started traveling, though no further word reached us for another three
During an intercession time one Friday evening we
felt God leading us to pray for the first team’s entry into
didn’t seem to make sense, because the schedule said that the team
already be in the country by then. But we went ahead and prayed.
Two weeks later when the two teams were reunited,
they asked, "Where were you two Friday nights ago?"
"We had been delayed, so we had only gotten to
Tehran, Iran, they responded. The morning after we had prayed for them,
God impressed the team leader to take Stephanie to apply for her Afghan
visa. She asked for a ten-day transit visa. Instead, within ten
minutes, she was awarded
a one-month tourist visa.
Stephanie was given several visa extensions in
Afghanistan, doing medical relief work with the Afghan people.
Stephanie, South African, now works in
Feed my sheep (John 21:17).
Top chef, Brad Hansen, switched from preparing meals
to preparing messages when God placed missions on his heart. The
Australian turned his back on a well-paying career to join a volunteer
group of young Christians who share their faith through open air drama
For four years, Hansen had studied to be a chef.
After graduating from college, he worked at several top hotels and
restaurants, and was cited in a national magazine article as one of the
country's leading new young chefs. But in 1989, he decided to give it
all up and join YWAM.
Brad has traveled thousands of miles to three
continents. His work has taken him from a women's high security prison
in the United
States, where he prayed with an inmate who had murdered her husband, to
famous Arbat walking street where he and his colleagues were filmed for
"I realized that I could have stayed in industry and
probably made quite a lot of money, but there was something inside me
that was quite empty despite all the high living," Brad said.
Following a six-month Bible training school, Brad
moved to Holland to join the YWAM staff. Now Hansen works as a youth
the young adult children of staff members in Amsterdam, a city famous
its liberal attitudes to sex and open drug use.
Brad says, "Young people face real pressures growing
up in this kind of an environment. I want to help them realize that
stand against the trends, and make a difference in the world by serving
Today, Brad is fulfilled by feeding God's lambs the Bread of Life.
Andy, an American, from Great Britain, directs the Press &
Media Services Department of YWAM’s International Operations Office,
lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.
We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in
company (Psalm 55:16 NIV).
Floyd and I have found it helpful to have little
daily "debriefing" times. They don't need to be long, but they should
be consistent. It helps us to stay in touch with one another. He tells
me a little about his day--things he did, people he saw, points of
interest to me--and I tell him about mine. It keeps us from piling up a
big backlog of things we have not been able to tell each other. One of
the systems we have used in our
marriage is making little lists of things we want to be sure to tell
another. We usually can't talk right away, but we don't want to forget.
make a note of it and keep a running list of things to share when we do
the moments together to do that. This is a simple system that helps to
ensure we don't forget to communicate the things we should.
Timing is important in communication. Sensitive
issues should not be discussed late at night when you are both
tired--unless you are both late-night people. Plan a time earlier in
the day for sharing these things. But if you have young children who
are noisy and constantly demanding, clearly the evening is going to be
the best time for you. But don't leave it until too late! We are not
mind readers in our marriage, even though
we may know one another well. Communication gives our partners the
opportunity to see inside us. We create a "word-window" for them to see
inside us. Taking the quantity of time that is needed for this type of
communication brings that "quality" into our relationship that is so
When I bury things inside, remind me, Lord, to open myself to
the love You've placed in my life.
From Where Will Find the Time?
by Sally McClung. Copyright 1989 by
Sally McClung. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene Oregon.
Used by Permission. [from page 46]
The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did
for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me"
(Matthew 25:40 NIV).
I first noticed her when my friend and I came
bounding down the gangway of the Mercy Ship m/v Anastasis for a late
She shuffled on alone clutching a battered, old shopping bag. I noticed
the large hump on her shoulder, and, peering closer, could see the
lines the years had carved into her face.
My heart went out to her. Sorrow and loneliness
seemed etched into her creased face. Vacant eyes stared lifelessly at
the ground. My heart prodded me to offer help, yet I ignored the nudge
on our walk. Once, I looked back to see her gazing up the steep gangway
the light shining behind the closed doors.
Later, my friend and I spied the same hunched figure
shuffling toward us. My heart sank, and I began to weep. Although she
passed within a few feet of us, I still resisted the urge to reach out.
Instead, my friend and I prayed.
The next morning my friend handed me a note. She had
just read this old Quaker saying in her devotional: "What am I to do? I
expect to pass through this world but once. Any good work, therefore,
any kindness, or any service I can render to any soul, be man or
animal, let me do it
now. Let me not neglect or defer it, for I shall not pass this way
My friend continued, "As I read this last night, I
thought of the old woman trudging home in the dark. I know that I'm
my slow compassion, but still..."
I often think of this old woman, too. And I know I
Lord, help me to be more responsive to the needs of those You
place in my pathway.
Nancy, an American, works as Assistant to the Vice-President of
Operations at the Mercy Ship Office in Lindale, Texas, USA.
When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you
stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right
hand you save me (Psalm 138:3,7 NIV).
We had several times of intercession in preparation
for an outreach to the city of San Francisco. During one particularly
time of prayer my thoughts were directed to the above Bible passage.
On the second day of the outreach we split into
groups of four. Each group went to a different neighborhood to
intercede for it. My group went to the Tenderloin, known for
prostitution, gangs and drug
In Bodecker Park we thought we would simply walk
quickly through praying blessings on the people there. About halfway
park a drunk man wound up like a baseball pitcher and threw a quart
whiskey bottle at me. As I stared at the glass at my feet he cursed me.
he yelled, "I'm gonna kill ya, I'm gonna kill ya, I'm gonna kill
The hair on the back of my neck stood on end. It was
as though a blanket of fear had been spread over me. Then I remembered
the Scripture, "Though I walk in the midst of trouble...,"
As I remembered His Word, peace filled my heart.
Backing away from the man, I shared the Scripture with our group. The
Lord seemed to be saying, "Be bold."
On through the park we walked, in the direction of
the man. As we approached him his countenance changed. As we got closer
he sat down peacefully and didn’t bother us any more.
God showed me that spending time before Him is
necessary. Then I can expect Him to take care of me in every situation.
Paul, an American, is on staff at YWAM-San Francisco, USA.
While traveling down a busy highway, I wrestled with
God over what He had asked me to do. My confused thoughts manufactured
bargain for God, "Okay, Lord, if You really want me to do this, then
me a sign."
I was stunned when I noticed a billboard with a huge
picture of Jesus about 300 yards up the highway. After driving closer I
realized the billboard was actually there. My heart froze as I saw the
Jesus knocking on a slammed door.
The words of Scripture scrolled along the bottom of
the billboard cutting deep into my pious heart: "Behold, I stand at the
door and knock, if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will
in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
Then I heard the Lord whisper powerfully to my
spirit, "Son, the issue is not what I have asked you to do, but that
you've pushed me right out of your heart."
I quickly realized that this Scripture wasn't
written to unbelievers, but to one of the seven churches John had
addressed in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. They had pushed Jesus
out, and gone on
being religious. A "coup" had taken place! They were performing lip
but their heart was far from Him.
As I went on past the billboard tears flowed freely.
I repented and invited the Master to rule my life again.
God is a gentleman knocking on the door of our
hearts. He enters only at our invitation, and longs to sup with us.
Jesus to dwell in our hearts forever, and let's keep an open policy.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
By the way, I haven't asked for a sign lately.
Dave, an American, serves in leadership in YWAM-Los Angeles,
Before a time of street evangelism in San Francisco
we prayed for protection and peace. We asked God to lead us to those He
wanted us to speak with.
I noticed a girl who looked about 18-years-old
sitting on the curb in front of a liquor store. She immediately jumped
up, grabbed my arm, and said she just had to talk to me. I readily
sensed she was not only drunk, but also gay and attracted to me. My
first impulse was repulsion but our earlier prayers flashed to my mind.
Silently I prayed about the alcohol and drugs
clouding her brain, then against homosexuality. Almost immediately her
countenance changed. I was shocked at how quickly God answered my
Her name was Rocky. She shared many things with my
friend and me. From her purse she pulled Buddhist chanting beads and
mantra cards. After asking us to help her tear up the cards and break
the beads she asked us to pray with her.
After the prayer Rocky admitted her motives in the
beginning were wrong. She said she now was no longer attracted to me.
You're all powerful, Lord. Thank You for breaking the power of
darkness in the hearts of those who cry out to You.
Elizabeth, an American, serves on staff of YWAM-San Francisco,
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the
ash heep, (Psalm 113:7) NIV.
I watched as a very thin, tired-looking mother
quieted her baby while my husband preached to a small group of Mapuche
Indians in southern Chile. It was her first time at one of our
meetings. As Fernando talked about our loving God I wondered how she
She put the baby to her breast. After only a few
seconds he cried again. Her malnourished body just couldn't produce
Later she told me about her family. Her husband had
been sick and out of work for several months. Their poverty made my
loves you," seem shallow, yet she accepted my suggestion of prayer for
Later Fernando visited the man at his hut. The man's
chest heaved as his damaged lungs attempted to take in oxygen. "God can
heal you right now," Fernando explained. "But first He wants to heal
your soul." The family listened intently as he shared the Gospel.
Together they prayed to invite Christ into their hearts. Then Fernando
prayed for Juan's healing.
Our rejoicing over their salvation was dampened by
their extreme poverty. We wondered if God's love would remain real to
the midst of such misery.
The answer came quickly. The next day Fernando saw
someone walking briskly toward him carrying a bag on his back. It was
man he had prayed for the day before. Juan joyfully explained that soon
after Fernando left he suddenly felt better and was instantly healed.
is so powerful and so wonderful," he exclaimed. "Now I am walking to
to seek work to support my family. Next Sunday I will come to church to
give testimony of how God healed me."
Juan found a permanent job and kept his promise to
be in church. Little by little, with God's help, they climbed out of
the poverty that had swallowed them.
God, Your love is deeper than even the most overwhelming problems.
Carol Sue, an American married to a Chilean, works in
evangelism and church planting among the Mapuche Indians of Chile.
I was working with former bar-girls at the YWAM Base
in the Philippines. I asked Michelle, one of the girls, to fetch water
for us. She answered sharply that she wasn't feeling well. I questioned
her to be sure she really was sick. I didn't require her to help; I
just prayed for
Later I found out she and another girl went to a
friend's place and took drugs. I knew this was serious because the
girls could band together and go back to their old lifestyle. Our base
director told Michelle it was necessary for her to ask my forgiveness,
but she refused.
"Lord," I prayed silently that god would fight this
spiritual bettle for me.
The director encouraged Michelle to tell me how she
felt. We waited, and waited. When she finally spoke it was about her
offense and disobedience!
The words of Psalm 68:3 came to mind, "But may the
righteous be glad and rejoice before God, may they be happy and joyful"
heart was rejoicing for I had seen the power of God bring victory.
I told Michelle, "just as God doesn't expect us to
do something we can't do, neither will we give you anything to do you
do." We left the room arm in arm, friends again.
Pat, serves on staff in the Philippines.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me…to comfort all who
Our team was visiting Shanghai University where we
hoped to share Christ with students. Because many of the Chinese people
are eager to practice English, it was easy to engage in conversation
with them. On the
lawn we sang and did a drama for a spontaneous crown of several hundred.
My friend Nuala and I talked with a young man name
Hang. After telling us he had no religion, Hang mentioned that one of
his best friends
had recently become a Christian.
“I could see positive change in my friend,” said
Hang. “Before this, he had no religion, no beliefs. Now he has joy and
seems at peace. He’s been inviting me to visit his church.”
Hang watched our drama, but later told us that
several people close to him had died recently and that he had trouble
accepting life’s suffering.
Nuala told him about Jesus’ tears with Martha when
her brother Lazarus died, and about her own husband’s recent death.
Hang listened as she explained about the comfort God gives to His own.
Hang asked many questions of members of our team.
Before we left, he accepted a copy of the Gospel of Mark, saying,
“Maybe I will become
a Christian, too.”
Sally, an American, is involved in a worship and dance ministry
church of the Hills in Austin, Texas, USA.
Several years ago I led a young man, Randy, to the
Lord and brought him home to live in our community and be discipled.
For more than
a month we poured ourselves into him, teaching him the Bible and the
of God. It seemed he was making good progress. Then one morning we
find that Randy had left and, in the process, stolen our complete sound
I was discouraged greatly by Randy's departure.
he wasn't the first of our converts to backslide, he was the one who
surprised us. Feeling that I was somehow responsible for Randy's lapse
faith, I soon wanted to give up. It seemed that so much of my labor had
In the midst of this turmoil, as I poured my heart
out to God one day, I heard the voice of the Spirit whisper to my
heart, "Danny, do you take the credit when you are able to lead someone
"No, Lord, You get all the glory from that," I
"All right, then, don't take the blame when they
or reject the Gospel," was the Lord's reply.
After this I discovered the following parable from
Gospel and began to meditate on it.
So is the Kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring
grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of
first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But
the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle,
the harvest is come (Mark 4:26-29 KJV).
My responsibility is to plow, plant, water, and
harvest the fruit when it is ripe. It is God's responsibility to ensure
that the seed
From Bringin' 'Em Back Alive by
Danny Lehmann. Copyright 1987 by Danny
Lehmann. Published by Whitaker House, Springdale, Pennsylvania. Used by
permission. [from pages 111-112]
I being in the way, the Lord led me,” (Genesis 24:2).
Our group was to meet a church planting team in a
city in Thailand, but our train to the nearest town was 24-hours late.
No one was
there to meet us, and no one spoke English. What could we do?
We had a phone number for our contact but had no
change to make a phone call. We went downtown for change. A voice
behind us said, "What do you need?" We were shocked to hear
English spoken. There stood a Thai man, probably in his sixties,
smiling at us.
"We need change to make a telephone call."
"I'll get it for you," he said. He handed our bills
to a vendor and gave us the change. After counting it we turned to
thank him, but he was gone.
Previously we had been told to wait at the station
and a couple would come. No one came. We prayed, "Lord, will You work a
miracle for us?"
We searched for a taxi. Again we heard the same
voice. "Do you need a hotel room? I will help you." It was the Thai man
who had helped
"We need taxis to take us to a hotel in the city."
"Follow me," he said.
We followed him through several dark streets and
came to a corner where two taxis were parked. The man made arrangements
for us. When everyone was in the taxis a heart-warming cheer went
up! I said to a friend, "You know that was an angel, don't
“Yes, I know."
What excitement and expectation we felt when we met
team the next day. God had worked a miracle!
Sharon, an American, leads a worship team in Southern Thailand.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own
understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your
straight (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NIV).
An important aspect of timing and the will of God is
waiting for God's opportunity. In college I played basketball. My team
especially eager one season to play against the University of Florida
one of their players was being considered as an All-American. We
a tall and muscular player but to our surprise he wasn't. Indeed, from
appearances there seemed to be little that was remarkable about him. As
game commenced, I noticed that he wasn't even fast on his feet. But he
an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time. If a
was moving one way and the ball bouncing another, he was right there
the ball was. His hands were up to catch the ball when they should be,
if it came bouncing to the floor he was there to pick it up. It
him a great player. God wants us to be like that basketball player. He
us to have the spiritual alertness that puts us in the right place at
right time when the Spirit is wanting to do something. As we seek His
we need to distinguish between the right thing to do and the right time
do it. God may put a plan or desire in our hearts, but we should not
presume that means we do it immediately. God may be preparing our
hearts, and we are
to take plenty of time to think, discuss, and ponder what He is
Father, forgive me for being more tuned to the world than to
From Wholehearted...Letting God Shape
Your Whole Life by Floyd McClung.
Copyright 1990 by Floyd McClung. Published by InterVarsity Press,
Grove, Illinois. Used by permission. [from page 68]
Fear not: for I have...called thee by thy name; thou art
I was house sitting for friends during a severe
thunderstorm. The thunder clapped and lightening flashed through the
house. Frisky, their dog, was so scared she jumped in my lap. I held
her close and talked soothingly to her until she stopped shaking
and calmed down.
At that moment, it seemed God spoke a comforting
message to my heart: Just like you’re holding Frisky to comfort her, I
hold you close to comfort you.
This made me feel good, secure and cared for. Then I
sensed God had more to say. But, at least Frisky is afraid of a real
storm--real thunder, real lightening.
Just then, as if to emphasize the point, lightening
struck right outside the house. I felt that God was showing that I
sometimes get just as scared with imaginary storms - the 'what if's,'
and the uncertain future. God has promised to help me in real dangers –
real water, real fire, real troubles. He could comfort and protect me,
but I needed to learn to trust
Him with imaginary storms.
Although Frisky wasn't even my oun dog, I was trying
as best I could to ease her discomfort. I felt god whisper, Do you
I would do less for you? It is you whom I love and have redeemed. Rest
My arms and do not fear for I am with you now and forever.
Since that night, when I find myself beginning to
travel into "what if" territory, I ask God to help me determine whether
there is a real problem, and then how to deal with it.
Ralene, serves on staff at Twin Oaks Ranch, Lindale, Texas.
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me,
I was part of an Outreach team in the Philippines
working at Smokey Mountain, Manila's city dump. Thousands of poor
people make their living and their home there. Like the other team
members, I had children holding
my hands and my clothing, while we sang, played games and laughed
A nurse pointed out a six-year-old boy standing off
by himself holding a dirty dinner roll. "He needs a miracle," she said.
that while on a public bus his mother jumped off, leaving the boy to
for himself. Abandoned, he aimlessly walked the streets, hungry and
He became thin and ill.
A young mother living at the dump found him and
brought him back to care for him. His stomach hurt too much to eat. It
seemed he had
decided the pain of death was less than the pain of life.
The little boy didn't look up as I approached and
sat beside him. I asked his name; he gave no response. A little boy ran
up and called out, "His name is Randy." With excitement I told
him we shared the same name. Still no response. It was as though he had
not heard me.
Not knowing what else to say, I stood and reached to
pick him up. His response took me by surprise. Still holding the dirty
dinner roll, Randy quickly wrapped his feeble arms tightly around my
I cried as I held this child who was so close to
death. For the first time I felt Jesus' heart for another person. I
prayed for him, then called the rest of the team over to pray with me.
I held Randy in my arms for the remainder of our time there.
As we left the dump, I looked back. Randy was eating
the dirty dinner roll. He has continued to eat since, and to gain
Thank you, Jesus, for that day that changed my life forever.
Randy, an American, is DTS Director of King's Mansion,
You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, (Isaiah
At an arts and crafts exhibit in China, I listened
as a young man name Hu played beautiful classical piano. I asked if he
music by Tchaikovski. He played part of Swan Lake, followed by a
symphony – all from memory. Then I asked if he knew any Christian music
“about Yesu Dijo,” I said, using the Mandarin words.
“My father, who believed in Yesu Dijo, died when I
young,” he answered.
“Then Your father is in heaven with Shan Dei,” I
“Yes,” he agreed. “During the Cultural Revolution we
were not allowed any music, but before my father died, he taught me one
song.” He began to play “Silent Night,” then stopped abruptly and said
with distress, “But I can’t remember the words!”
I sang them for him in English.
Hu then pulled a yellowed songbook from the piano
bench. “My father gave me this book and I hid it so it wouldn’t be
destroyed by the
officials,” he said, turning the pages. He opened the book and began to
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”
“But I can’t read the words,” he said, pointing to
old-style Chinese characters.
I told him, “I have a book which talks about this
friend, Jesus, that is written in New Chinese.” His eyes lit up when I
handed him a Bible. He grasped it eagerly, then quickly hid it in the
piano bench. When I asked, “Hu, do you believe in Yesu Dijo?” he paused
for a long time before answering.
Then, with resolve, he replied, “Yes. Yes I do.”
More than a response to my question, it seemed like a decision.
I prayed quietly for Hu before I left. As Hu walked
to my bus, I told him, “Hu, God loves you very much.”
“Yes,” he smiled and agreed.
Dawn, an American, is the International Coordinator for YWAM’s
Leadership Training Schools.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty if fleeting; but a woman who
the Lord is to be praised, (Proverbs 31:30).
When I was 15 years old I was very embarrassed by my
grandmother's ankle-length skirts, which had long since gone out of
Her clothes were black, and she seemed unaware that her thick cotton
wrinkled around her ankles.
I was already uncomfortable about her disregard for
matters of appearance when she came to visit us in our small Western
Canadian town. But then she did something I'll never forget. Every
spring, our high school organized a track and field. Other schools from
around the countryside came to compete. The only place large enough to
serve lunch to this crowd was the
basement of our church. I was there with my school friends.
Lunch was about to begin when my grandmother stopped
got everyone’s attention, and ordered them to bow their heads for
Grandma climbed onto one of the big tables in her
long black skirt and wrinkled stockings and she held up her hands just
like I always
imagined Moses did. She prayed a long prayer, thanking God for
she could think of. I was uncomfortable before, imagine how completely
I was now. I wanted to disappear through the floor.
Now, forty-five years later, I praise God for such a
woman; for someone who thought first of pleasing God. She was willing
do what He told her to do. We need more people to stand up for what
believe, even on top of a table.
My clothes, probably seem out of style to today's
young people. My stockings are slipping around my ankles - at least
symbolically. But I want to have the courage to stand for what I
believe in ways that matter.
Lord, help me to stand firm in Your Name.
Carol, a United States citizen born in Canadia, teaches in the
of Biblical Studies in Lakeside, Montana, USA.
"But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all
to myself" (John 12:32).
As we approached the coastline of the island of
Roatan in Honduras, I called out over the rail of the ship, "Roatan,
receive your King," Our team of 54 young people aboard the mercy ship
m/v Anastasis was eager to bring them the Gospel.
As our crew unloaded the mercy goods, a local
missionary led the way down the muddy, unpaved road treading its ways
through broken down shacks of tin and cardboard. Listless eyes stared
at us. However smiles broke out when we told the people of our special
message and the goods we had for them.
The only open place for our performance was a patch
of muddy ground outside a bar with rotting garbage and broken bottles
littering the ground. The nauseating stench turned my stomach. Mangy
dogs forged for rotting tidbits as we set up our puppet theater, drama
props and portable sound system.
A curious crowd gathered when we started singing and
giving testimonies. The children loved our puppet show and drama.
showed little response. Our choreography called for us to kneel. How
we kneel in that garbage? We made a last-minute change and had
remain standing during the dance.
At first, we carefully picked our way across our
unusual stage, but soon our hearts were more set on lifting up Jesus
than watching where we stepped. Halfway through I looked out on the sea
of beautiful, black faces. Tears were streaming down many cheeks.
When the people were invited to repent of sin and
receive Christ, the derelict of the village came forward and fell to
his knees weeping. Others joined him one by one, and knelt in the
Roatan had received the King!
Fay, a New Zealander, serves on staff with YWAM in Hawaii.
Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as thine
inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as thy possession,
(Psalm 2:8 NASB).
At a School of Missions in Oregon, I was challenged
to work with preschoolers who had no opportunity for an education.
Then, for six months I worked with such children in Guatemala while
learning Spanish and getting practical training. Upon returning to
Oregon I continued to hear the still small voice of God saying, Mary,
what about the children?
"Yes, Lord, I'm willing to go, and You promised to
supply my needs, so I'm waiting." A friend told me she would pray for
my desire. Later she showed me an advertisement asking for one hundred
people to teach English as a second language and another person to set
up a preschool in Uzbekistan,
a former republic in Soviet Central Asia.
Then I broke my left foot in three places! Lord, I
know I heard you clearly, but how am I going to go without money...and
with a broken
A month later I received a fax inviting me to set up
a preschool in Uzbekistan. Joy filled my soul! The Lord blessed me with
gifts of money, but only enough to pay for my medical bills.
Some Christian friends wanted to be a part in my
ministry, so they took me shopping for new clothes and a suitcase. Then
they paid part of my airfare. I wept tears of joy. Through the mail I
received a letter from
my church promising to pay the rest of my expenses.
God was faithful to meet every need I had in order
follow His call on my life.
Thank you, Lord, for using friends to send a teacher to Your
Written by Mary.
Dr. C. Everett Koop, former surgeon general of the
United States, has distinguished himself as a godly man and a servant
of people. In three decades of service at Philadelphia's Children's
Hospital, Dr. Koop treated over 100,000 pediatric patients, many of
them small enough to hold in one hand. Koop pioneered many techniques
for saving the lives of malformed and premature babies. He treated
countless numbers of deformed infants that other physicians wouldn't
touch. One of his patients, who needed 37 facial and abdominal
surgeries to correct birth defects, is now a university graduate.
Another patient, for whom Dr. Koop fashioned a new esophagus out of a
section of colon, went on to become a pediatric surgeon.
As surgeon general, Dr. Koop became America's family
doctor. Though his career was surrounded by controversy, Dr. Koop came
be respected as a man of great integrity. "To a jaded general public
for integrity in their leaders, Koop became a genuine folk hero."
Koop was often the bearer of bad news about cancer and AIDS, the public
him because they knew he was concerned for their health.
Sacrificial service, as exemplified by Dr. Koop,
comes against the pleasure-oriented, self-indulgent spirit of the age
that permeates our society. I talk to pastors all over the nation who
cannot motivate their people to sacrificial service. Many Christians
insist, "My time, my money, and my energy are mine to use as I please.
What right does my pastor have to tell me what to do?" They are caught
up in the spirit of the age. They have adopted the attitude of the
world. Holiness in a fallen world doesn't mean that we retreat to the
desert of selfishness. It means that we go into the world to bring the
gospel of peace to those who so desperately need it.
From Holiness and the Spirit of the
Age by Floyd McClung. Copyright
1990 by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon. Used by permission.
[from page 171-172]
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect
in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my
weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me,” (2 Corinthians 12:9
It was a cold, rainy February day at the hotel [in
Greece near the mercy ship m/v Anastasis] when we were called together
for an unexpected meeting. [My husband, Captain] Ben had been busy all
morning with the port authorities. Although we hadn't had a chance to
speak, I knew something big was about to happen. Already, we had been
encouraged by the news that The Anastasis was going to be taken out of
the "graveyard." She would be moved to Salamis Island, Thirty minutes
from us by car, to a shipyard there.
One month later, on March 8th, 1982, two surveyors
of Lloyds Register of Shipping, London, came on board to determine our
ship's seaworthiness. We all held our breath but after a day of
intensive inspection, The Anastasis was certified for sailing! The ship
was ready but we had no money for fuel.
Three long months of waiting in Salamis Bay passed.
Finally one morning, Don Stephens, the ship's director, called us
together for an unexpected meeting. He explained that Ben had something
of great importance to share with us.
Ben strode to the front. Always in control of
himself, I watched as my Ben struggled to speak for a moment. His eyes
brimmed with tears as he began. "An oilman in America is giving us our
fuel for sailing."
There had been so many nearlys, almosts, and not
quites, and now we were really going to sail. When we had finally given
up, the Lord had come through. When we were at our weakest, He had
become strong on our behalf.
From Anchor in the Storm by
Helen Applegate with Renee Taft. Copyright
1988 by Helen Applegate. Published by Frontline Communications,
Seattle, Washington. Used by permission. [from pages 132-134]
is a shield for all who take refuge
in Him, (2 Samuel 22:31).
My mind was screaming, A grenade? Someone threw a grenade? No!
Surely not a grenade where Metrey lives. Scenes of destruction
flashed through my mind. I fought back tears when I learned about my
friend whose small bamboo house in Khmer had been the target of the
explosion the night before. Metrey’s small bamboo house would be
I met Metrey upon my arrival at Site II, a Khmer
refugee camp on the Thai-Cambodian border. This beautiful Christian
woman was a medic in my clinic and often helped me translate and direct
the weekly Bible study. I considered her my closest Khmer friend.
Now I cried out to God, Please, God, not
Metrey or her family. Haven't they been through so much! I fought to
listen to my director's explanantion. "The
injured were taken to Kao-Idang camp for surgery. Metrey and her
husband are fine." I was
relieved, but had to go see for myself, so hurried to her house.
When I saw my friend standing in her doorway, tears
of joy filled my eyes. She was unhurt! She took me through the
house to see the one small room which had been damaged. I saw the
blood-stained bamboo bed and the shrapnel holes in the walls. In a
household of five adults and two children only one man was hurt.
Outside, we found shrapnel in several directions,
indicating a strong blast that should have injured the entire family.
As tears formed in her eyes, Metrey said, "God put His hands over us."
Miriam, a Canadian, is a nurse on a medical team at the
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
will fear no evil, (Psalm 23:4 NIV).
It was my first trip into what seemed like hell on
earth. The foul stench of rotting garbage and human waste was
This landscape of death was home to some 10,000 men,
women and children living a squalid existence in Manila's garbage dump.
stood outside a shack where a family was grieving. They had no means to
for a burial. I wondered how our long-term team could face these
day after day.
A small naked boy stood smiling at me. He was
filthy. He thrust his filthy hand toward me in friendship. I dodged his
approaching hand and looked away in shame.
My mind searched frantically for solace from my
screaming conscience, but found none. Cold steel penetrated my heart.
What would Jesus do? I wondered. But I knew.
I forced my eyes back to the little boy and
stretched out a tentative hand. He took it as a hungry dog would snatch
a scrap of meat.
As I lay my hands on his dirty, scabbed head, I prayed a short prayer
blessing. God filled my heart with love and compassion.
Then it hit me! This little boy cared more about
love than his surroundings. As I grasped this truth I understood the
key to my co-workers' ability to cope day after day. They walked with
the Father and He provided all the grace they needed, even to smile in
the face of death.
Rick, serves with YWAM at the University of the Nations in
My friend and I were part of a group of 5,000
YWAMers walking the streets of Los Angeles during the 1984 Olympic
Games. We were excited about sharing our faith.
As we walked down the street I saw some money on the
sidewalk, and bent to pick it up. Just then, I noticed a young
was headed for it. As I unfolded the money, the three of us froze - it
a one hundred dollar bill!
The young man fumed, "I could have used that money!
I'm out of work and living in my car. I'm on my way to donate blood so
I can eat."
I glanced at my friend, and could tell he was thing the same thing I
“Can we buy you something to eat? We’d really like
help you out.”
During the meal, this young man poured his heart out
to us. It seemed he was grateful to find someone who cared enough to
"I came to L.A. to make a new start after my
marriage and my job went sour. Now I have nothing! What's there
to live for?”
We shared with him how Christ had made the
difference in our lives, tears streamed down his cheeks. He was eager
to respond, and openly prayed to make Jesus the Lord of his life.
After prayer, he asked if he could join us in our
witnessing. So the rest of the day, he shared his new faith with others
on the street. That evening, we took him shopping, using the
hundred-dollar bill to buy him
some new clothes.
The money was quickly gone, but our new friend found
a treasure that will last for eternity – friendship with God.
Thank You, Father, for divine appointments.
Ron, an American, is director of YWAM’s Revive American Project,
and lives in Washington State, USA.
He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all
ways, (Psalm 91:11 NIV).
It was a clear desert night. We gazed out the
restaurant window at the endless stream of lights. Holiday weekend
traffic thundered by on a California freeway.
"Where's Matthew?" asked my wife, Julie.
"He went to the bathroom with David," Paul said.
A few minutes later my oldest son David returned,
but the youngest, Matthew, two and one-half years old, was missing. We
searched the restaurant. We searched the parking lot. After searching a
nearby shopping center we became desperate. Our greatest fear was that
he would stumble onto the freeway or the busy streets, all unfenced, on
three sides of the restaurant.
I was searching the steep slope in the edge of the
freeway when I found him. He was sitting in the dark, just a few feet
from the speeding line of cars and trucks. "Hi, Matthew," I said,
trying not to reveal the panic
in my voice.
"Hi, Dad," he said. "The man tied my feet up so I
down." "What man?" I said.
"A nice man," said Matthew. "See, my feet are all
tied up." I could see nothing on his little feet, but he acted as
though he could not move them. And indeed he could not move them until
I reached down and caught him into my arms. `
"Thank God for His angels!" I shouted into the night.
From Taking Our Cities for God
by John Dawson. Copyright 1989 by John
Dawson. Published by Creation House. Used by permission. [from pages