Abba Ministries
Devotional Book from Abba Ministries

Abba Ministries
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Across International Ministries


Youth With A Mission


Daily Faith Builders
Around the World
Around the World cover

Devotional Readings for June

*Because many of the writers serve in secure
countries,  their full names are not listed.

June 1

Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me,” Luke 9:48.

    Like many adults, I thought that only certain people can relate to little children and others cannot. Most of us probably think we are in the second category. I did. As a child, I had the impression that children were not important until they grew up. It seemed grownups had no time for children. I considered having an adult friend was out of the question.
    Despite these misconceptions, I became an elementary school teacher. After I joined YWAM, I felt the Lord was directing me to teach the very little ones. I often struggled with the feeling that my work was unimportant. Before long, however, I was convinced that instilling godly principles, developing friendships, and serving as a roll model to children was by far more effective for young children than waiting until they are older.
    God called me to focus, not so much on the work, as on the child. One day I was praying with a co-worker. She asked the Lord to give me a friendship with a certain three-year-old child, soon to be promoted to my class. Although I had never given thought to the possibility of choosing a child for a friend, I knew my friend's prayer pleased the Father. I welcomed God's faith to bring this about.
    A warm friendship developed. As a result I realized that the enemy of our souls hates little children. Looking back, I can see the devastation he has brought to me and to countless others.
     Only now am I beginning to understand why Jesus wants us to love and be a friend to little children.
Molly, an American, teaches school on the mercy ship m/v Anastasis.

June 2

I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world, Matthew 28:20.

    Jesus has commanded us to go and disciple all nations. In the past we have gone into countries as missionaries, giving the Gospel and teaching the people how to read and write. We didn't get involved in teaching government, politics or economics. We let the Marxists do that. In country after country in the Third World, the Communists took young men educated in missionary schools and "discipled" them on how to run a government.
    But God is saying to us, "I know more about running a government than anyone. I know more about farming or fishing than you do. I know more about your business, your teaching. I know how to best communicate and use the media. I want to teach you principles, so that you can teach others to observe all I have commanded and have a great harvest of souls. I have a calling for you and I want you to succeed at it. I just need for you to obey Me."

    As we disciple the nations by giving them godly economic systems, Bible-based forms of government, education anchored in God's Word, families with Jesus at the head, entertainment that portrays God in His variety and excitement, media that is based on communicating the truth in love, and churches that serve as sending stations for missionaries into all areas of society, we will see the fulfillment of the Great Commission and multiplied millions coming into the Kingdom of God. Jesus promises that as we do this, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

From Winning God's Way by Loren Cunningham with Janice Rogers. Copyright 1988 by Loren Cunningham. Published by YWAM Publishing, Seattle, Washington. Used by permission. [from page 132]

June 3

A little child shall lead them, Isaiah 11:6.

    Our evangelism team was quite a presence as we rumbled across the wastelands of Siberia on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, . The crew and other passengers listened with interest as we worshiped Jesus and tested our limited Russian expressions.
    One phrase of Scripture had run through my mind prior to our team's outreach. I didn't know why at the time, but I had tucked it away for later use.
    A little boy on the train started counting in English. I laughed and instinctively began to sing with motions, "One, two, three, Jesus loves me...." He was thrilled to learn a whole English song and ran back to his compartment to sing it for his parents.
    Later, his mother invited me to their compartment. I grabbed my bilingual dictionary and followed her. She knew no English, so our two-hour conversation was entirely by gesture and dictionary. In the privacy of the compartment, she began to ask questions, and soon reached the inevitable question: "Are you married?"
    "Nyet," I replied.
    "How old are you?" she asked.
    "Twenty seven."
    I smiled at her worried expression. In her opinion, I had obviously "missed the boat."  I explained that I had given control of that area of my life to God. (This, through our friend, the dictionary.)
    "I love him, and He's my first priority," I explained.
    She looked puzzled, and finally responded, "How did God propose to you?"
    What an opportunity to share the message of Jesus, God's proposal to all mankind for intimacy with Him! Carefully I retrieved my Russian Bible and opened it for her to read passages for herself. She held it tenderly and read aloud page after page. Later, I bid her farewell and exchanged addresses, leaving the Bible with her.

Thank you, Lord, for using a little child to open a family's eyes to your proposal of love to them!

Barb, an American, serves on staff of the College of Early childhood Education, University of the Nations, Kailua, Kona, Hawaii, USA.

June 4

Faithful is He who calls you, and he also will bring it to pass, 1 Thessalonians 5:24 NASB.

    The sound of waves slapping the sandy shore was soothing, and the sun felt warm against my skin, yet my body protested taking another step. After ten days of flu-induced fever and chills, the thought of putting on my 80-pound backpack and going anywhere was about as appealing as trying to eat again.
    I had begun this trip with high expectations. Our School of Missions believed God had called us to minister to the Li people of Southern China. I had been confident He would show us how we could bring them the Good News of Jesus Christ. Now, ten days later, I wondered how a few days of illness and one too many bus rides shared with ducks, chicken and fish as fellow passengers could deal such a devastating blow to my confidence.
    I searched for something to eat that wouldn't cause my stomach to revolt. After a mile hike up the beach I found the large hotel did not serve Western food. Walking back was more difficult than the trudge uphill, and my stomach still rolled in that hungry sick way. Beside me, and in character, my optimistic husband was whistling a familiar tune, "He has all authority here in this place." 
    From behind us, in English, we heard, "Excuse me, but are you Christians?" We were instantly linked with the only people who could help us reach the Li people, English teachers at the minority university. They were Christians, and interested in our mission. My stomach suddenly felt better.
    In a matter of minutes, the God of the universe had jolted me back to reality. He was quite capable of carrying out everything that He had spoken to us in prayer concerning His heart for the Li people. He is faithful.

Oh Lord, only You could use a sick stomach to bring together two groups who should meet, and then bring instant healing.

Charlene, an American, works with the School of Frontier Mission in Kona, Hawaii, USA.
June 5

A man that hath friends must sh0w himself friendly, Proverbs 18:24.

    We all need friends. We need the love that comes through friendship. Love is a basic human need. We all need it--no matter how self-sufficient, "macho," wealthy or successful we may be. If we want this love and want friends, we must show ourselves friendly. Sometimes we struggle in this area of friendship. We say we're shy--we can't reach out to others. But we shouldn't use shyness as an excuse.
    People often find it hard to believe that I am basically a shy person. Floyd has always been the outgoing one in our relationship. Shyness was something I had to overcome. It was--and still is--much easier for me to sit back and listen to others. But years ago the Lord challenged me that I would never be all that he wanted me to be if I used shyness as an excuse. I chose to step out of my shyness and quietness. It was hard at first. I was scared. I was nervous. I was insecure. But the more I took those steps of reaching out to people, the easier it became.
    If we want friendship, we can't just wait for it to come to us on a plate; we must begin by reaching out to those around us. We must look to those who are lonely. We must be a friend to others. In fact, the only way to have a friend is to be one.

From Where Will I Find the Time? by Sally McClung. Copyright 1989 by Sally McClung. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene Oregon. Used by Permission. [from page [page 75]

June 6

I will give praise to thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, Psalm 139:14.

     "Now hold it right there," said I. "I don't agree with that, Lord. Fearfully and wonderfully made, eh? I don't like my temperament. How can I give You thanks for it?  I don't like this or this; You've made a mistake here, Lord."
     I couldn't read on to the next verse. Red lights!! The Lord wanted to correct a few of my misconceptions before allowing me to go further. I was reminded that in creation it took both man and woman to be a more accurate representation of God's image. Likewise, it would appear that mankind needed more than simply one temperament, motivational gift, or personality type to be a demonstration of His personality.
    I felt liberated to realize that the qualities and characteristics I despised in myself were in themselves good. They'd been hand picked by the Father Himself in His unique design of me--specially put together so I could bring glory to Him in a special and unique way. To despise myself was to call God a liar--to say in effect, "You blew this one, Lord."
     I finally realized that my problems lay in my misuse of His gifts, not the gifts themselves.

I will give you thanks, in love You have made me--fearfully and wonderfully. Help me to learn to use these gifts You've given me in the way You intended.

Paula, from Trinidad, serves aboard the mercy ship m/v Anastasis.

June 7

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long," Psalm 119:97

The small building sandwiched between two massive structures was barely visible. How glad I was a Christian from Hong Kong had written its address for us to give the taxi driver.
    I entered with my husband and son, Dave, with a sense of destiny. We sat on one of the low, straight-backed benches in this Three-Self Patriotic (state-run) Church in Canton, China.
    The melodies of the hymns that morning reminded me it was Palm Sunday.
    Sitting next to Dave was a little woman who rubbed her arthritic hands throughout the service. Something must have happened in Dave's heart toward her as he watched her suffer.
    When the sermon began Dave took a small book from his pocket. This was one of ten such books carried across the border in my purse. They contained one of the Gospels of the New Testament, with English on the left page and Cantonese facing it.
    Using the English version Dave found the page with the Palm Sunday story and held it in front of the woman. At first she pulled back slightly. When she recognized it as Scripture in her own language, she grabbed it from his hand. Eagerly she devoured the words on the page. Then slowly, reverently, she closed the book. She gave Dave a loving smile and gently placed it back into his hands. He shook his head, "no," and gently pushed it back toward her. She continued to try to return it to him. At last he pulled open her coat, just far enough to push the book inside.
    At last she understood!  Her eyes wide and unbelieving asked if he really intended it to be hers.
    "Yes," he nodded, and pointed to the book, then to her.

Father, may I gain a reverence and love for Your Word as my Chinese sister showed that day.

Beverly, an American, is a Bible teach who leads YWAM Writer's Seminars. She lives in the United States.

June 8

Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction to the children of men, Lamentations 3:32,33.

    What a comfort during a time of affliction or grief to know that it is not a light thing with God to allow any one of his children to suffer. Why suffering then? Job, famous for his suffering, found no final answer to this question. A revelation of God in his magnificence brought his suffering to comparative insignificance. Then the release God intended for Job's life was realized. Job had seen God; his understanding was enlightened; and his losses were restored to him doubled.
    God, who loves me as no other, desires my eternal good. He is willing to sacrifice temporarily my health, comfort, provisions, friendships, or fulfillment for my eternal welfare. His purpose in allowing suffering in the lives of his children is release. I cannot choose whether I will suffer, but as a Christian, I can embrace the suffering God permits to enter my life and see his purpose of release realized.
    Jesus suffered for the release of all mankind. He knew the release the Father intended. "For the joy set before him he endured the cross...."  I cannot usually see ahead the release that the Lord intends. But if, by his grace, I can endure, I am assured that release will come.

Deyon, an American, is helping prepare financially and logistically for YWAM to purchase a fourth ship. She lives in Texas, USA.

June 9

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows, for so  He gives to His beloved sleep, Psalm 127:1-2 NKJV.

    As I read this Psalm the Lord prompted me to ask, "Who is building the ministry I am involved in?"  God calls us to His service. He gives us vision and hope for the future. We have the responsibility to work with Him in the building of His Kingdom.
    The question applies to each of us: "Who is doing the building?"  Am I?  Are you?  Or is it truly God doing it through us?  I have written in the margin of my Bible, "Guard what you say about what you are doing lest it be you that is truly doing it. May God build this house, this ministry, according to His blueprint, in His way, His time, and to His standards." 
    If we allow Him to do this through us using our gifts and talents, our weaknesses and mistakes, then truly the last part of verse two will also be true. He will give to us--He will build, He will minister to us--even in our sleep.
    We are exhorted to be diligent, to rise early, to work and do what our hands find to do. However, this Psalm points out the futility of doing it apart from the Lord. If we are doing the work, if we are striving, if we have lost that sensitivity to the Holy Spirit--then truly we are laboring in vain.
    Work done through the inspiration and power of the Holy Spirit should be characterized by an ease or a grace, a lightness--even in pressured, difficult times--to do the ministry that God has called us to do. May He build His ministry.

Don, an American, is the Director of Mercy Ships.

June 10

Before they call I will answer, while they are still speaking  I will hear, Isaiah 65:24 NIV.

    While serving with the Mercy Ship, m/v Anastasis on a winter outreach, I worked as a nurse on the ward as well as in the village clinics in Jamaica. Since I had paid the outreach fees and airfare in advance, I didn't anticipate any financial needs.
    During the course of the outreach I received a phone call from home. Someone in my church had anonymously donated five hundreds dollars to my account. Even though I was pleased that someone thought that much of me and the work I was doing, I was puzzled. Why would God direct them to give to me so generously? 
    Toward the end of the outreach I learned that the airline I had reservations with had declared bankruptcy!  I prayed about what I should do. I was able to buy two one-way tickets, but there was a mix-up in reservations and I had to stay overnight in Miami at my own expense.
    That night in Miami I felt lonely and depressed. I wanted to be home. Why had things gone wrong?  Suddenly my mood turned to awe and thanksgiving as I realized God had foreseen my need and supplied it before I even knew to ask. The cost of the tickets and the room totaled was exactly five hundred dollars.

You are so kind and loving, God.

Jeanine, an American, serves as the food services manager and chief cook with YWAM Belize.

June 11

In the early morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed, Mark 1:35.

    It is so easy to center our eyes on what Jesus did rather than on why He came. The miracles He performed and the messages He gave showed His authority. They leave us no question as to where He came from; but they were not His primary purpose.
    Similarly, I find it easy to become more concerned about what I am doing for God than with the relationship I am building with Him. As the tensions and pressures of work build inside me and I feel I cannot cope, I know the time has come to withdraw, to seek a "lonely place"; to call upon the Lord and relax in His presence. Only then will I be refreshed and renewed and able to tackle the activity of the next day.
    Tension can be a spiritual thermometer for me; a measure of my relationship with God. As I walk close to Him and keep my eyes on Him, I can relax and walk calmly and peacefully in what He wants me to do. Sometimes I lose that closeness to Him, then I experience tension and turmoil. From my lonely place know I can seek healing and renew the closeness of our relationship.

Lord, thank you for those responses that show me my relationship with You is less than it should be. Help me, to recognize them and to respond to them as You want me to. Teach me more and more to seek that "lonely place of prayer" where my relationship with You is established.

Christine, an Australian, is a medical practitioner serving on the Anastasis.

June 12

    I was in Kuwait shortly after the end of Operation Desert Storm. The oil fields were still burning and the skies often blackened by dense smoke. Sometimes it settled over the city like a heavy fog.
    Windows appeared as though they had been painted black. The taste of the acrid smoke penetrated even our sleep. There was simply no escape.
    One such sleepless night I went out into the plaza from my apartment. I could see the smoke undulating as it sank lower and lower. The smoke had a reddish glow causing an ominous sensation.
    As I stood alone in the plaza the smoke seemed to represent the hatred of one nation for another.
    I asked God for words to pray, then waited. I felt impressed to call upon the Lord to cause the wind to blow. I thought of the scene in the book of Revelation where four angels were holding the four winds of the earth. I asked the Lord to allow the angels to release the winds; to blow and cleanse the air of hatred.
    The next morning I awoke to a sandstorm. The wind was blowing so strong it was difficult to see across the street. But this time the view was blowing sand. Eventually the oil fires were extinguished and the skies again became clear.
    I believe God was showing me that eventually the hatred will also be extinguished as it is smothered, overtaken by God's love.

Send the wind of Your Spirit, Father, to do what no government or army can do.

Brian, an American, serves at YWAM-Richardson Springs, California.

June 13

Go and make disciples of all nations...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you, Matthew 28:19,20 NIV.

    Jesus gave us a clear example by living out discipleship. He called the disciples so that He could invest Himself completely in their lives. They immediately left their occupation, home and possession, all their securities, and entrusted themselves to Jesus' leadership. His commitment to them became their greatest security. This is how Jesus changed the world--through only 12 men.
    Have I called others be become my disciples? Are they following me? Jesus expected greater works from His disciples than He did from His own ministry. (See John 14:12.) Because I have already counted the cost of discipleship, my disciples will also find trust in me.
    What example do I give those who follow me? Do I take time for them? Do I teach them and lead them in responsibility? Do I pray for them? Do I help, supervise, correct, encourage and exhort them? Have I remained teachable myself? Only if I can answer "yes" can I do more than pass on knowledge. Only if I am a disciple myself can I form people. This is discipleship.
    Jesus changed the world with only 12 disciples. How many should I invest my life into in order to win this world effectively for His Kingdom today?

Albrecht, a German, is a base leader, who also leads a house fellowship, and youth ministries in local churches in Germany.

June 14

It is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure, Philippians 2:13.

    When God called us to leave the pastorate for missions work it seemed impossible. For years I had stomach problems. An even greater hindrance were the needs of our 26-year-old son. Steve was born with cerebral palsy. During his infancy, doctors told us he may never walk or talk. We had seen Steve press beyond the unexpected in many ways. He learned to walk with canes. His speech is not clear, but those who want to, and have the time and patience, can understand him. Steve's kind, gentle spirit has made him many friends. Everyone who knows him seems to love him.
    Although Steve graduated from high school, I assumed he would always live with Don and me. Steve wanted to be independent, but could he really live on his own?
    I knew that if God truly was calling us to a traveling ministry, He would somehow make it possible.
    We prayed. We also worked to help Steve become independent. He soon added shopping and banking to cooking and cleaning. Last, he learned to drive a car--modified for his disabilities.
    At last Steve qualified for a supervised independent living arrangement. Each resident has a specially equipped apartment adjacent to the sponsoring church facility. Each is "adopted" by a church family that provides any necessary help.
    Steve's been on his own now for three years. He was recently married a young woman whom he led back to the Lord.
    During the months I was preparing Steve for a life on his own, God took care of the other need. I learned of a doctor whose treatment eliminated my stomach problems. I've had no recurrence in any of the many countries where we've traveled.

God, You are faithful Who calls us. I praise You for Your wondrous love.

Pattil, an American, serves with her husband,  in an international Bible teaching ministry. They live in California, USA.

June 15

Oh, that I had in the desert a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them, Jeremiah 9:2.

    I am, by nature, fairly hyperactive. I have always found it difficult to get away by myself, sit down, shut up, and listen to God. Several years ago, as I sought God about this tendency, He led me to the above prayer in Jeremiah.
    I asked the Lord to give me such a place, and in that place, and every place since then where I have prayed that prayer, without exception, God has provided friends with "lodging places" that I could get away to for times of solitary fellowship with Him. Through this, God has shown me that He will "bend over back- ward" to help me find a place of solitude, if only I have the desire to be with Him.
    Given the busyness of my schedule, I have found it helpful to schedule days of solitude into my planner, four months in advance. I look forward to these times with the Lord. I like to think of them as my "spiritual EKG"-an electrocardiogram, or heart test. Usually, I go to a friend's house in the country while he and his wife are at work. I take along my Bible, prayer diary, and journal. I resist the temptation to prepare sermon notes or write an article, and silence my heart to listen. I ask questions of myself regarding my motives for doing what I do in the ministry. I examine my victories and my defeats over the previous four months, and ask God for insight into how I can practically apply the things He is teaching me to my life and character.

Show me those places, Lord, where I can get alone with You.

From Before You Hit the Wall by Danny Lehmann. Copyright 1991. Published by YWAM Publishing, Seattle, Washington. Used by Permission. [from pages 88-89]

June 16

Oh, that I had in the desert a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them, Jeremiah 9:2.

    I am, by nature, fairly hyperactive. I have always found it difficult to get away by myself, sit down, shut up, and listen to God. Several years ago, as I sought God about this tendency, He led me to the above prayer in Jeremiah.
    I asked the Lord to give me such a place, and in that place, and every place since then where I have prayed that prayer, without exception, God has provided friends with "lodging places" that I could get away to for times of solitary fellowship with Him. Through this, God has shown me that He will "bend over back- ward" to help me find a place of solitude, if only I have the desire to be with Him.
    Given the busyness of my schedule, I have found it helpful to schedule days of solitude into my planner, four months in advance. I look forward to these times with the Lord. I like to think of them as my "spiritual EKG"-an electrocardiogram, or heart test. Usually, I go to a friend's house in the country while he and his wife are at work. I take along my Bible, prayer diary, and journal. I resist the temptation to prepare sermon notes or write an article, and silence my heart to listen. I ask questions of myself regarding my motives for doing what I do in the ministry. I examine my victories and my defeats over the previous four months, and ask God for insight into how I can practically apply the things He is teaching me to my life and character.

Show me those places, Lord, where I can get alone with You.

From Before You Hit the Wall by Danny Lehmann. Copyright 1991. Published by YWAM Publishing, Seattle, Washington. Used by Permission. [from pages 88-89]

June 17

Be strong and of good courage,fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord your God, it is he that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, Deuteronomy 31:6.

    Perhaps my dreams were born from the stark reality that even making phone calls was difficult for me. During my teen years I had visions of becoming another Joan of Arc or an Albert Sweitzer. These two vastly different individuals, who lived in different periods of history, portrayed uncommon courage. They inspired me.
    A few years ago I discovered for myself what true courage was really made of. I spent many hours in preparation before speaking at a teachers' seminar in New Zealand. I felt utterly weak and unqualified for the task. The only thing I was sure of was that God was asking me to do it and that He wanted to speak through me.
    God was true to His Word. I discovered that God wanted me simply to step out in obedience. He would use that obedience as the key to bring the release of revelation, truth and courage.
    Long before that, I had heard someone say, "Courage is acting on the knowledge that God will enable me to do what He asked me to do" no matter how big or small the task. I couldn't remember the speaker, only his words. Through that speaking assignment in New Zealand God taught me that when He asks me to do something, He will enable me to do it.

Linda, an American, is principal of the International Christian School on board the Mercy Ship, Anastasis.

June 18

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.. e faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life, Revelation 2:10 NIV.

    Ten years ago Mark felt God call him to minister in China At that time it was very difficult for a Westerner to go to China, even as a tourist, let alone as a missionary. Nevertheless, Mark trusted God and began looking for practical ways in which he could prepare himself. He went to the library, borrowed Mandarin language tapes and began learning the language. He read all the books the library had on life in China. About five or six years later, when the doors to China began to open, Mark was there, equipped and ready. He applied to the Chinese government for a job teaching English as a second language, for which he was accepted and sent to a remote province.
    Mark is still in China today. He has free access to the student dormitories where he holds evening Bible studies. As a result of his efforts he has been able to lead many of his student friends to a relationship with Jesus Christ. Had Mark been unfaithful and failed to take the initiative when God spoke to him he would not be doing what he is doing in China today. Faithfulness is like the hinge on a door. It is only a small thing yet without it even the largest of doors will not open. By being faithful in everything God has presently spoken to us, we make a hinge on which he can swing the door wide open for us in the future.

I want to be faithful to every instruction You give me, Lord. Help me to learn to recognize Your still small voice.

From Wholehearted...Letting God Shape Your Whole Life by Floyd McClung. Copyright 1990 Floyd McClung. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove Illinois. Used by permission. [from page 44]

June 19

God said, Let there be light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. Aand God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day, Genesis 1:3-5.

    When God created the heavens and the earth, He gave us a built-in time span to use as a guide. The phrase, "how time flies," means time tends to slip away from us without our realizing it. In His wisdom God made a relatively short period of time, one day. He further divided that into two parts, light and dark. Though weeks slip into months and months into years, we consistently know when we go from one day to another. We always have a darkness followed by a period of light.
    God made each day with a beginning and an end. In God's eyes we are responsible only for today. Will we be obedient to Him today? Understanding that God views time in daily segments set me free from the not-enough-time syndrome.
    Genesis 6:3 says, "his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." In Genesis 25:7,8 we read, "and these are the days of the years of Abraham." Job 42:17 reads, "Job died being old and full of days." We would say full of years. Do you see the difference? Psalm 68:19 (NAS) reads, "Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden."
    His promise is not for this week or this month, but for today. If I fail in what I do today, I can repent and be forgiven and begin tomorrow clean. If I succeed today, I can lay my head on my pillow tonight and give the praise to my Lord as an offering to Him.
May I live only for today, Lord. I can then receive from you tonight the peace of sleep that You have promised.

Jack, from Canada, serves as Chaplain at the Home Office of Mercy Ships in Lindale, Texas, USA.

June 20

    Inviting strangers to lunch while seven months pregnant, plus dealing with two toddlers is quite a feat. I admired my friend for her courage.
    We had just come from six months working in southern Mindanao, Philippines, and were returning home to the United States. During this stop-over in Manila, my friend invited us to her home for lunch.
    As we bid farewell our hearts were wrenched by the thought of a long separation this couple were facing due to a training program on another island. She needed to remain near a doctor because of past pregnancy complications.
    Two months later we learned of the birth of their new daughter. But soon new concerns emerged. These two young people had once been very close and actively served God. Now they struggled in a marriage about to fall apart. Reports of conflict filled letters to us.
    Several months later we received word this new mother had Leukemia. We rushed letters across the sea filled with scripture and words of encouragement. Soon we heard they were restored to fellowship with God and to one another.
    Six more months of chemotherapy and countless prayers followed. Then God allowed us to visit them and we saw her radiant face once again. His grace was sufficient.

We rejoice in Your faithfulness, God. You have answered prayer and affirmed the work of Your hands.

Betty, an American, serves on staff at YWAM-Kona, Hawaii.

June 21

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever, Hebrews 13:8 NIV.

    Often things seem to be falling apart. During those times it is easy to fail to look to Jesus. Consequently we become depressed and discouraged. During such a time in my life I read the above Scripture.
    When I realized Jesus has never changed, my heart was filled with encouragement. I saw the reality of Jesus' unchanging character. He is the same today and in the times of the New Testament. He will always be the same.
    When I truly saw this I thought of the words of Jesus, "I am with you alway, even unto the end . . ," (Matthew 28:20). These words bring comfort again and again to our lives. We are not alone. He is with us.

As I work, as I travel, as I play, help me to remember this promise, Lord.

John, from Kenya, is an evangelist, leader and translator for East African Relief Services.

June 22

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you, Isaiah 60:1 NIV.

    For two weeks I agonized as I realized that the Lord was really calling us to the Anastasis. Then, one morning in November, I sat at the kitchen table with my Bible before me and began to reflect back over the last few years. I realized that many times God had allowed wounding to come into my life in order to develop my character. Always, His comfort, His friendship and His unconditional love had been there for me. In the midst of my deepest sorrows, He had never allowed me to be crushed. Why then, couldn't I embrace this next step willingly?
    Opening my Bible, I turned to Isaiah 60. It was the same chapter that God had first used to speak to Ben and me concerning a Christian ship, 16 years ago. My mind began to meditate on what this verse meant. I could be part of a ship that someday would bring hope and love to a darkened world. She would be a shining light in the darkness, a vehicle to show God's love and mercy to thousands.
    I closed my Bible and brushed a tear away with my hand. I knew what God was asking of me. Quietly, I bowed my head and gave Him my answer, Yes, Lord, I'll go. For the first time in several weeks, the tension melted away and a comforting peace settled down upon me.

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 120-121]

June 23

The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him, 2 Chronicles 16:9.

    We sat by our broken down van in the sweltering heat. How we could possibly get to the plane on time to leave for Jamaica? Even before the van broke down I had felt nervous about my first time as a leader of an outreach team?
    When one of the other leaders said, "Let's pray and see what God will do," I began to relax. This seemed impossible, but we had been taught that we worship a God of the impossible. We reminded one another that this was God's work. Surely he would get us there. We glanced at our watches as the precious minutes ticked away. We saw a van coming our way.
    Would the driver help us? Our hearts were in our throats as it stopped? "I work at the airport. Jump in. I'll take you there," he offered. Our hearts leaped with joy.
    As we drove through the gates our plane was taking off. The driver jumped out, "I'll do what I can," he said, and raced to the terminal. Soon he came running back. "Just hang loose. I think you'll be fine."
    Then the incredible happened! We watched as the commercial jetliner circled around, landed, and returned to the terminal. We grabbed our luggage and ran to board. How exciting to serve such an awesome God!

Thank You for sending people to us at key moments to serve as angels of mercy.

Glen, serves with YWAM Belize, Central America.

June 24

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, John 10:27.

    When I first joined YWAM, one of the most exciting things to me was the down-to-earth reality of not only relationship with God, but of communication with him. Over the years, the still, small voice of God has become very real to me: challenging, convicting, or comforting. I grew in confidence; but confidence which is not born in humility does not long stand the temptation to pride.
    I was shattered if proved to have not heard correctly from God. I faced a dilemma: If I'm wrong now, how can I ever trust myself to hear from God again? Is this relationship real? I sought the help and counsel of loving friends. I began to look for balance in an area where pride and extremism could have broken and hurt my communion and communication with God.
   I'm learning keys to walking in the fear of God and seeking to discern and obey His voice. First, I need to remember that I'm human. I'm open to influences both from without and within. I'm prone to quickly jump to wrong conclusions when the Lord has only just begun to speak. There's the problem of interpreting "my opinion" as being from God.
    Now I'm coming to a whole new freedom. When I'm wrong, instead of seeing it as a disaster, I see it as an opportunity to learn humility and to allow those wiser and closer to the Lord to teach and guide me. It's an opportunity to allow His Spirit to show me where I went wrong.
    What about my confidence? It is not in my ability to hear from Him; it rests in His faithfulness to communicate with me.

Cheryl, from South Africa, works in administration and Discipleship Training Schools on the Mercy Ship, m/v Anastasis.

June 25

The Son of God destroy the devil's work, 1 John 3:8 NIV.

    One step took me from bright daylight into dark smelly night. I cautiously maneuvered my way through the dripping sewer filth in the alleys of the Walled City under Kowloon, Hong Kong. An evil presence permeated this place ruled by drug lords and their gangs. Thirty minutes there felt like hell itself. 
    I was assigned to work at a drug rehabilitation camp which was started by Jackie Pullinger. Though Hang Fook Camp was now outside the walled city, I wanted to see the  "home" of the drug addicts I would be working with.
    I admired Jackie Pullinger and her book Chasing the Dragon. We would follow her God-inspired ministry method of helping addicts come off drugs, withdrawal free: Stay beside them; read scripture aloud; at signs of withdrawal, pray in the Spirit.
    As an ex-drug addict, myself, I had experienced the pain of withdrawal. I was eager to see God work first hand.
    After a time of prayer with the staff I went to the assigned room to work with a heroin addict, a mere boy, fresh off the streets. I pulled up a chair beside him as he slept. I prayed for his  salvation, the healing of his emotional scars, and physical healing from the drug addiction. I read scriptures to him. 
    His sleep took on a fitful edge, and then tortuous screams began. Jackie described this behavior as a demonic attack "the dragon" of her book. I prayed fervently for the boy. As soon as I started, the screaming stopped. He settled back into a peaceful sleep!  When the screaming resumed, I prayed again, and peace returned.
  I learned that night that effective ministry can come when one is willing to be an obedient servant, even me.

David, an American, served with YWAM in Kona, Hawaii, USA.

June 26

"Moses, Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am  Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground," Exodus 3:4-5 NIV.

    I have lived in Hawaii on the campus of YWAM's University of the Nations for the last ten years and we go barefoot a lot. I love to come home and kick off my shoes at the door. It's very common here to follow the Asian custom of taking your shoes off when you enter a home.
    In Scripture, taking your shoes off had a very special meaning. When Moses had his first confrontation with God at the burning bush, God told him to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground.
    What was the significance? In the culture of that time, being unshod was the sign that you were a slave. Moses knew exactly what was meant when God told him to take off his shoes. He had grown up in Pharaoh's palace where there were lots of slaves. A slave had no rights. A slave didn't wear shoes. In the burning presence of God, Moses was asked to give up his rights, become God's servant and accept the assignment God was giving him to go and deliver His people.
    Jesus gave us the supreme example of giving up everything for a greater goal. Jesus wants us to follow his example. This is how it works. First, God gives you rights. And God looks at you and what He has given you and says, "It is good."
    Then why is He asking us to give Him back those rights? Because it is really the only way we can express our love back to Him.

From Winning God's Way by Loren Cunningham with Janice Rogers. Copyright 1988 by Loren Cunningham. Published by YWAM Publishers, Seattle, Washington. Used by permission. [from pages 17-20]

June 27

Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out so much blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it! Malachi 3:10.

    Loren Cunningham, YWAM's founder, came to Norway in 1972 and challenged young Christians to go to Munich to witness during the Olympic Games. I took the challenge and it changed my life.
    It was wonderful to see people in the streets of Munich, longing for God's love and receiving it right there and then. I experienced the Lord working through me with His love. I wanted to give my life completely to serving Him, so a few months after returning from Munich, I quit my regular job and joined YWAM in Oslo.
    I sold my flat, and had the choice to either buy a car with the money or give it to YWAM's School of Evangelism, recently founded in central Norway. I believed the Lord challenged me out of Malachi to bring the whole tithe to Him, and test His provision. So I gave the money to the center, and trusted God to provide for me.
    He was faithful! Within a few months, I received from others the entire amount! And money continued to come in. So much, that I had to give some away. My family, didn't understand what I was doing, or agree with it. They were amazed. My brother and sister came to the Lord during that time. They saw that He renewed my life, and they wanted to get to know Him, too.
    What about my need for a car? Early that autumn I was given the opportunity to borrow a car. I found it much better than owning one.

Ingjerd, a Norwegian, is married to Sigurd Omdal, a YWAM base director in Norway.

June 28

    Larry was a young man who worked with our ministry in Honolulu. Recently, he had made himself conspicuous by his absence from our prayer meetings and Bible studies. I called Larry into my office and inquired about the reason for his lack of attendance.
    "I'm going through a dry spell," Larry informed me. I spent time counseling him and trying to encourage him in his walk with the Lord. I explained to him about the need to discipline ourselves for godliness, and how imperative it is that we do so to "run a good race" and "finish the course" (Acts 20:24) of the Christian life in order to receive our prize. Larry left, promising to ponder what I had told him.
    Alas, I had to call Larry back to my office a few weeks later. This time, his spiritual pulse was even harder to find. Instead of training and disciplining himself for godliness, Larry had taken the easy road, turning to the false comforts of entertainment, food and drink. Without even realizing it, Larry had opened the door to ungodliness by allowing things other than the Comforter to be his source of comfort (John 14:26 KJV) .
    Larry is typical of so many Christians today. They are like a man crawling through a desert, dying of thirst. He knows that over the next hill is an oasis, resplendent with palm trees, cool water, and fresh fruit. But instead of gathering his remaining strength and disciplining himself to crawl up and over the hill to the oasis, he crawls in the opposite direction out across the flat desert sand. In the mirage of his mind, he finds it "easier."
    But the truth is, God's desire is to give us the energy to make it over the hill. All He wants is for us to commit to the task.

Lord, I'm determined to finish the course. Give me the strength, and the faith.

From Before You Hit the Wall by Danny Lehmann. Copyright 1991. Published by YWAM Publishing, Seattle, Washington. Used by Permission. [from pages 22-23]

June 29

Every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts, Zechariah 14:21.

    Down through the ages Martha of Bethany has become the symbol of the "unspiritual" woman, while her sister, Mary, is remembered for her "spirituality".
    I see Martha as a spiritual woman seeking to serve Jesus with her life by using the gift and ministry of hospitality. Jesus had been traveling and no doubt looked forward to rest and a nice meal. When Jesus said to Martha, "one thing is needful ...," he was not wanting her to put on a big feast for him, just a simple meal which she could have managed by herself.
    Mary had discerned another need in Jesus: quiet fellowship and someone to listen.
    Some of us in YWAM have struggled with the "secular/sacred" question. We have imagined Mary to be "nice." But if sitting at Jesus' feet was the only thing she did, Mary might have found no place to serve. I wonder too, how the meticulous, too-busy-to-stop-and-listen Martha, would fit in with some of our days in YWAM when we set aside our work and spend the whole day in prayer.
    Regardless of our ministry or temperament, God wants us to be balanced individuals. We all need to spend time waiting, praying, or sitting at his feet. We also need to clean, repair, hammer, or any other duty required of us. We should be as "spiritual" washing dishes as we are out on the street evangelizing. Even pots were called holy in Zechariah 14:20, 21.
    Martha learned her lesson that day. John 12:2, tells about a later time when Jesus and others were enjoying a dinner in Martha's home. We find there the simple words, "Martha served.” There is no mention of any fuss this time.

Give me discernment to know when it's time to sit at Your feet, and when I should get up and serve, Lord.

Fay, from New Zealand, is part of the crew of the Anastasis.

June 30

    Ordinarily when an outreach team arrives at their mission point, a local missionary is at the airport to greet them and has housing arranged for the group. When our team from Belize landed in Kingston, Jamaica, there was no one there to greet us or show us where to spend the night. We soon found out, however, that someone with a van would meet us in the morning to take us to the other side of the island. We were on a very tight budget. We wondered where would we sleep that night.
    As the team's leader I asked the airline agent if we could lay out our sleeping bags around the ticket counter. They assured us night was their slowest time so we wouldn't be disturbed
     I remember sleeping fitfully and being awakened occasionally by people walking around. Finally dawn came. As the morning sun shone in, we were struck by the words on the wall behind us. It was a catchy bit of advertising which read, "Challenge Airlines? Will You Accept The Challenge? We laughed at first, then I thought about how it could apply to the Great Commission. That slogan became God's Word to us regarding our work in Jamaica. We knew full well that He who calls us is faithful to support, guide, and care for us.

Glenn, a Canadian, serves as the director of YWAM, Belize.