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Devotional Readings for March

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

March 1

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful (Hebrews
10:23 NIV).

    It was 4:30 in the morning when I hurried out of bed, leaving my girls still sleeping, and stepped lightly out onto the lower deck [of the mercy ship m/v Anastasis]. My heart quickened as my anticipation grew with each passing minute. Our arrival in
New Zealand was expected any time now.
    As we drew closer, the scene unfolding before us was breathtaking. We could see beautiful lush, green countryside, rolling hills, and carpets of wild flowers in bloom; completely quiet except for the seagulls which glided upon the still, ocean surface.
    It was as though the King Himself was ushering us in! I felt a sense of awe and deep rejoicing in my heart. As I pondered upon the beauty and majesty of my King, I felt tremendously humbled. It seemed as if the King Himself was honoring Ben [the ship's captain] and me, instead of the other way around. It was as though He was showing us His pleasure that we had chosen to persevere all these years. The King had indeed taken us through the
Valley of Baca. He had helped us find the springs in that valley and now He was bringing us to this mountaintop. When we were weary and often discouraged, He had gently prodded us to continue on when we felt like giving up. Many times, when we wanted to sit still, overwhelmed with our grief and despair, He was there, encouraging us to keep moving. He had enabled us to hold fast to the vision and not let go; to trust Him when circumstances said that we shouldn't.

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 138-139]
March 2

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father, John 14:9.

    I can remember struggling one night several years ago with how to answer the question posed by my then five-year-old daughter, Misha.
    As she pondered Misha’s question, I realized that in her childlike simplicity she had asked a question that many people want answered. Perhaps adults state it differently, but the basic question is still the same, If there is a God, what is He like?
    The Bible says that God is not finite like you and me, but He had made Himself known to us in such a clear, understandable way that we can know what He is like, “No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son…has made him known, (John 1:10)
    I told my daughter what God looks like. I told her that He looks like Jesus. Jesus is God in human form. We find many examples of how Jesus revealed the Father to us in the Bible. One example of this is found when some Jewish mothers wanted Jesus to bless their children. His disciples thought He was too busy, too important to be bothered by these mothers, but Jesus scolded His disciples and told them to bring the children to Him. He took the children in His arms and talked to them. He had time for them; He had time to listen to their stories and hear about their games. He didn’t mind getting dirty from little kids sitting on His lap, runny noses and all. Through seeing how Jesus had time for the little children, we learn that God has time for people. He cares, even about the little things in life. He is patient. God the Father looks like His Son.

Floyd McClung, an American, directs Leadership Development Programs for YWAM. He lives in
California, USA. Taken from The Father Heart of God by Floyd McClung. Copyright 1985 Floyd McClung Jr. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon. Used by permission [from pages 18-19].
March 3

Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations, Psalm 119:899-90

    Or team was visiting school teachers in a country in the
Soviet Union. Reluctantly, we had had been given permission to give them copies of the Bible. I saw the joy on each face as they realized they had a Bible in their own language. I wondered how many of these teachers had even seen a Bible before.
    We told the teachers that since all the Bibles looked alike, they should write their names on the covers. Those in my group refused; they felt it would be defacing this precious gift. So our team leader suggested that they write their names on the inside of the front cover. “The cover is not the Bible,” he said. Reluctantly, they agreed.
    A short time later we started to teach the group a song with hand motions. When the teachers were told to put their Bibles down so their hands would be free, they looked puzzled. With no chairs, they had no place to put the precious Bibles except on the floor.
    At last one young woman came up with an idea. She placed her lesson materials on the floor, then put her Bible on top. The others smiled and did the same.
    May we treasure God’s Word and handle it with reverence as those precious Russian teachers did!

Frances, an American, is a freelance writer who lives in Austin, Texas, USA.
March 4

    Some people are mistakenly waiting to be sent to the mission field before they witness regularly and are missing out on many glorious opportunities to lead people to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
    As we continue to walk with the Lord, we grow in our ability to be sensitive to His leading in our life, both in day-to-day matters and when we are out sharing our faith with others. A good practice is to schedule a time into our weekly routine that we use specifically for sharing the good news about Jesus with the lost. We schedule and discipline every other area of our life--going to work, recreation, entertainment, Bible studies, prayer meetings, and so on. So why not schedule a weekly time to spend with non-Christians in whatever type of outreach or friendship evangelism that seems applicable?
    Don't just wait passively for it to happen, but passionately pursue "divine appointments" that the Holy Spirit arranges in the course of your day. Often we are so engrossed in our daily affairs that divine appointments just seem like another interruption. We must be alert and actively seeking them.
    On a recent plane trip, an elderly man sat next to me. I was physically tired and not really "in the mood" for witnessing, but before long I struck up a conversation with him. Soon he was pouring his heart out to me in regard to his health, having recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only three months to live. I asked him about his relationship with God, and he admitted that his recent diagnosis had awakened spiritual hunger within him. On that flight I had the privilege of leading him to Christ.

Holy Spirit, please alert me to Your divine appointments.

From Bringin' 'Em Back Alive by Danny Lehmann. Copyright 1987 by Danny Lehmann. Published by Whitaker House, Springdale, Pennsylvania. Used by permission. [from page 90]
March 5

Jesus went about...healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease (Matthew 4:23).

    Here in the Philippines it is not uncommon to experience a "pigsa", or boil, because of the humidity and high bacteria count. The first 18 months here I was boil-free. Then I developed not one, but three pigsa under my arms at one time.
    After several days of excruciating pain I went to a clinic. Afterward I prayed, "Please don't let me have to go through that again."
    One month later I left for a three month furlough. Then I returned for another two-year commitment to disciple ex-bar girls.
    One evening some of the girls were in my room. I felt a slight pain and bump under my arm. It really hurt, for the tiny thing it was. Only when one of the Filipinas examined and confirmed it, did the reality hit me--another boil!
    I cried out to the Lord. God told the Israelites that if they listened carefully to Him and did what was right in His eyes He would not inflict any of "these diseases" upon them. Those diseases were the ones inflicted on the Egyptians just a short time before. One of those was boils.
    The next morning my pain had subsided some. Each time I felt the slightest pain I remembered the promise of God. I reminded myself that had been listening for His voice and had not turned from Him. I was trying to keep His commands.
    By the next morning the pain and the bump were gone. The Word of God is true, every bit of it. I can stand on it and I can stake my life on it.
    The those young women also saw the power of God that day.

Let God be praised for His faithfulness to us and His Word for now and evermore.

Pat, an American, is on staff in the Philippines.
March 6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

    I was born into a missionary family serving God in West Africa. I grew up loving God while struggling with pride and a desire for independence--a battle between flesh and spirit for my soul.
    How my parents must have prayed for me! They certainly loved me unconditionally. I remember one particular battle with my parents. I wanted to go to a night club in the city with some friends, and I wanted to use my father's car to get there. The argument, which seemed to me an attack on my freedom, lasted a long time. I did not trust my parents' motives. They probably distrusted mine.
    Perhaps to bring the argument to an end as well as to make a point, my father reminded me that had my own set of key to his car. He told me I must decide for myself whether to go; whether to disregard my parents' concern for me. It was my decision.
    Their love won out. I would not go without their consent, without their blessing.
    A news flash later that week caught my attention. A young man my age had gone to that same night club the night I intended to go. While minding his own business, not making any trouble for anyone, he was knifed to death in the parking lot.
    That could have been me! I thought. My parents could very well have saved my life, although they did not know it.

Thank You, for the advice of others who love me. Help me to recognize Your voice in them.

Stephen, is director of YWAM in South West England.
March 7

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever," Revelation 11:15 NIV.
    God isn't interested in shortcuts. Have you ever really thought about Jesus' temptation in the wilderness? What was the devil trying to get Him to do? I believe it was to take a shortcut, to avoid all the pain and humiliation of the Cross by going after God's will the devil's way.
    The devil promised to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He would worship him. God's goal in sending Jesus to earth was to give His Son all the kingdoms of the world. One day, it is predicted in Revelation, the kingdoms of the earth will be the Kingdom of our Lord (Revelation 11:15). In a smaller way, this Kingdom is already coming through the Church of Jesus Christ. But someday it will be finally and completely fulfilled when Christ returns to earth.
    Satan was promising Jesus the instant achievement of that goal, sidestepping the pain and suffering of the Cross and the obedience of Christ's followers for many hundreds of years afterwards.
    What do we learn from this story? Jesus refused Satan and we must refuse him, too. We have to learn to discern when the devil is offering us a shortcut--when he is tempting us to do God's will the devil's way.

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 pages 95-96]
March 8

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it, Luke 9:24 NIV.

    I remember holding the foot of the baby and thinking, "She can't die, she is so young." I started to cry. I had never been so close to death before. We could hear the bullets passing over the tin roof in every direction. The four of us lay flat on the damp mud floor filling the small slum hut. We were caught in the middle of a gun battle between rival drug gangs.
    People in Borel, one of the most dangerous shantytowns in Rio de Janeiro were fighting against their rival neighbors, Casa Branco, another shantytown on the opposite side of the mountain.
    This was my new home, a far cry from London! But God had called me here to share His love, especially with the children. As the shooting continued I was gripped by fear. One of the gangsters was standing above our roof. The mother of the baby told us a bullet had come through the roof the night before. I knew that if another bullet came through, one of us would die.
    My friends and I started singing to God. Instead of crying, we began laughing. Someone read from the Bible. I felt a Presence--a warmth went right through my body. I knew God was telling us we were going to be all right.
    After thirty minutes the shooting stopped. No bullets had hit the hut.
    The next day I found myself too scared to even think about going outside. I prayed and God answered, "I want you to be prepared to die for me." It was the hardest prayer I ever prayed, but I did it. “Okay, God.” Immediately the fear lifted. It seemed that because I had released my life to God, Satan couldn't use the threat of losing it against me anymore.

Your peace is beyond understanding, Lord. Thank You that I can rest in Your love.

Sarah, from England, works with Street children in Brazil.
March 9

    As I was walking toward the classroom, I felt tired and low in spirits. My husband had left the day before for a month-long outreach to Albania. I was staying in Texas to work with a children's discipleship summer camp. We'd never been separated that long; I missed him already.
    I had worked hard all day with administrative duties. I really enjoyed what I was doing but it had been a long day. I took a message to the classroom and turned to go back to my office.
    Just as I came around the corner of the building a strong gust of wind blew over me. Although it had been stormy that morning, the sky was now clear. The tree ahead was shaken with the force of the wind. As I felt the wind on my face, it was as though God was shouting, "I love you!" I felt refreshed. Within ten minutes I was no longer sad and tired; I was joyful.
    Later I thought of the Scripture, "The joy of the Lord is your strength." I realized my strength was not in my ability to carry out my duties. Nor was it in my husband's love, which seemed so far away.
    God was teaching me that my strength was in His joy. He was pleased that I had chosen to follow His direction to work in Texas while He led my husband across the ocean. I believe He used the wind to convey His joy to me. He loved me and was pleased with me. In that truth lay the strength for the task before me.

Thank You, God, for using nature to convey to me Your love.

Sandy, an American, ministers at Christian Heritage School in Texas.
March 10

    We had been staying at YWAM's West European Coordinating Center in Austria for orientation. The van we planned to take on a six week outreach to Bulgaria, Albania and Yugoslavia had developed steering problems. Our command of the German language wasn't any better than our mechanical ability. We didn't have any idea what it would take to fix the problem.
    A neighbor, who sometimes worked on cars, told us which car part we needed, but when we found it, we were horrified to learn the price was $600! That certainly wasn't in our outreach budget! Since we were scheduled to leave early the next morning, we had no choice. We knew God is bigger than budgets, so we prayed that He would make up the difference.
    Throughout the trip we continued to pray that the funds would hold out. We did all the little things we could, like take side roads through Yugoslavia to avoid expensive toll roads.
    Equipped with a Guide to Yugoslavian campgrounds, I sought for directions to our night destination. After driving all day our team was tired and very anxious to eat.
    Instead of finding a campground at the given address, we found a hotel! Inside, we were told the campground wasn't yet completed. One day, they told us, there would be a beautiful campground with  full facilities out back. Today, however, it was only a dirt field. Today however, it was only a dirt field covered with cottonwood trees.
    The hotel managers felt so bad about turning away two vans full of hot, dusty people, they offered to let us put up our tents for free! We stayed a week, using the hotel's toilets and showers. They charged us only a nominal fee for electricity.
    By the end of the trip, we had money to cover every single expense!

God, once again you’ve proved you have your own way of making budgets work. Thank you.

Sandy, American, Slavic Ministries
March 11

    My husband Floyd and I place a high priority on spending time together. We often plan in enough time to walk together to our various meetings or appointments. We use that time to talk and share together. The exercise is great too! You might find it enjoyable to cook a meal together and talk as you work, or do the weekly shopping as a team. I read one article about a pastor's wife who described her marriage as "a marriage on wheels." Her time together with her busy husband was scarce. One day she had an idea. She suddenly realized how much time he spent behind the wheel of the car visiting members of their congregation, so she decided to be with him in the car. With no phone or doorbell to intrude, they had plenty of opportunity for peace, privacy and growth in their relationship. She took along little things to do while her husband made pastoral visits and ran errands for the church.    
    Floyd and I often can't be together because of his busy travel schedule. Something I like to do is send cards ahead to greet him at his various destinations. In this way we can together even while we are apart. I also have a special little bank where I regularly put some of my loose change to save for doing special things together when he is home. It's amazing how quickly the coins add up. We have enjoyed some very special times together thanks to that little bank.
    It is easy to become so busy with outside interests that we begin to take each other for granted. When we do this we don't take the needed time to be together that nourishes our relationship. I once had someone tell me that spending time together with our marriage partner was "an extravagant waste of time." If so it's a necessary extravagance!

Remind me, Lord, when I'm too busy for relationships that matter.

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 pages 42-43]
March 12

Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, and a nation which knows you not will run to you, because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you. Isaiah 55:5 NAS

    When I first joined the staff of YWAM in my home country of Canada I wasn't sure what God wanted of me. I wondered, What is my niche? What are my giftings? Have I missed God somewhere along the line?
    During a time of private prayer I asked God, "What country should I pray for today?" I was surprised by His answer. Into my thoughts came the name: Greenland.
    Like most Christians, never before had I prayed for Greenland. I went to the world map on the wall. There it was, that huge mass of land to the east of Canada.
    Are there any people there? I thought. There must be. God doesn't usually ask us to pray for rocks and snow. So I prayed. Greenland stuck in my mind and I became curious. Before long, the "G" encyclopedia was pulled off the shelf, and new information about this remote place was filling my mind. I made a three-week visit there and discovered the largest island in the world to be a place of rugged and treeless beauty. Its small population of 54,000 is scattered along the barren coastline. There are only 70 towns and villages.
    We moved to Greenland and began a ministry to its people.
    That first prayer was over ten years ago. Over 120 people have participated in YWAM outreaches in Greenland. God has allowed us and other ministries in Greenland to see a tenfold increase in the number of believers. There is much yet to do to bring these precious Greenlandic people to a new life in Christ. I've found my niche. More importantly, I see God's immense faithfulness and love to every people group of the earth.

Errol, a Canadian, is coordinator of YWAM-Greenland.
March 13

If from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul, Deuteronomy 4:29 NIV.

    I was doing street evangelism with a group of DTS students in the homosexual district of San Francisco. Two students and I got into a conversation with three homosexual guys hanging out on the street.
    I started to tell one guy named Phil about Jesus and His loved for us. Phil told me he was desperate for a change in his life. Everything was going bad: he had no money, no job, and was about to get kicked out of his apartment.
    He said that under normal circumstances he wouldn't have listened to a thing I had to say. But as he was walking down the street that night, he had said, "God, if you're really real, please prove it." Ten minutes later I was talking to him about Jesus.
    Right there on the corner of Castro Street, Phil accepted Jesus into his life. He repented of his sins and asked for forgiveness. After praying he said he felt like a huge weight was gone.
    Phil chose to make changes in his lifestyle, including going to church. He wanted to join a support group for people leaving the homosexual lifestyle.
    That night God showed once again how much he loves sinners.

Thank You, God, that Your timing is perfect.

Becky, an American, serves on staff of YWAM-San Francisco.
March 14

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him, Psalm 34:8.

    Our large extended family lived on city-farm and often entertained house guests, including European hitchhikers. Some of these guests stayed to become a part of our household for several months at a time. One such was Mauri, a disillusioned French girl.
    During the year she lived in our home, Mauri learned basic English and became a Christian with a call on her life to evangelize in Asia.
    "Wonderful!" I told her. But I explained that to become a missionary she must first graduate from a four-year Bible school, then apply to a mission board. "If accepted," I added, "you'll spend about two years raising financial support."
    "No," she protested. "I need to go sooner than that."
    One day while I was sewing and praying for Mauri the Holy Spirit directed me to turn on the television. Reluctantly I obeyed.
    On The 700 Club, Pat Robertson interviewed a man named Loren Cunningham. This was the first time I had heard of Youth With A Mission. After the interview I sensed God telling me that was what He had wanted me to hear.
    I didn't want to mislead this "foster daughter," so I began to inquire about YWAM. I learned that a young couple who work with YWAM would be visiting our area soon. I made arrangements to meet with them and Mauri.
    Although I anticipated language problems for Mauri, God had everything worked out. The couple spoke fluent French. In fact, they were leaders of the French speaking YWAM school in Switzerland. They answered every question Mauri and I fired at them.
    Mauri has since graduated from a Discipleship Training School in California, done evangelism in several countries, served for several years in Asia and, together with her husband, is currently a leader of YWAM in France.

Oh, Lord, Your way is perfect. Your Word is proven true and trustworthy.

Beverly and her husband, both Americans, serve as directors of YWAM in Miami, Florida, USA.
March 15

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5 NIV.
    John Wesley and his brother, Charles, and George Whitefield are credited by modern historians for preventing a bloody revolution in England's streets and alleyways. Yet clergy of his day called him a heretic, sometimes locking him out of their churches. Many times he narrowly missed being killed by mobs stirred up against him.
    Wesley accepted this as the norm, proof that he was obeying God in his ministry. One day Wesley was riding his horse along a road when it occurred to him that three whole days had passed without any persecution. Not even a brick or an egg had been thrown at him for three days! He was alarmed. He stopped his horse and fell down on his knees exclaiming, "Can it be that I have sinned, and am backslidden?"
    He prayed, asking God to show him if he had done something wrong.
    A rough fellow on the other side of the hedge, hearing the prayer, looked across and recognized Wesley. "I'll fix that Methodist preacher," he said and picked up a brick and hurled it at him. It barely missed him, but Wesley jumped up shouting, "Thank God, it's all right! I still have His presence."
    How long has it been since anyone threw a brick at you? If everyone likes you, are you sure you are following Christ?
    If you do what is right, accepting full responsibility for your actions and fully obeying the will of God, you will go through times when men do not understand and you lose your reputation. The wonderful thing about this is, your only reputation will be His reputation.

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 pages 64-66]
March 16

    It was spring 1992, and New Zealand was experiencing a major water crisis. A lengthy drought was drying up the hydro lakes. Mandatory blackouts were threatened.
    As we braced for the worst, we received a call from a local Christian businessman. God had been speaking to him about the need for New Zealand Christians to pray for water. He and others realized that God might be allowing this crisis to capture the nation's attention. God was calling New Zealand to repentance.
    Sensing a need to call Christians to prayer, our friend asked us to design a full-page ad for all major newspapers. He agreed to help provide the necessary funds for the venture.
    We accepted the job and sought God earnestly for a design. The result was simple, yet powerful. The New Zealand national anthem, a song with meaningful lyrics and recognizable by everyone, became our headline. In the background were ominous storm clouds representing God's response to our prayers.
    The ad kicked off the four-week Prayer for the Nation Campaign. A committee set up a toll free hot-line, organized regional prayer coordinators, issued press releases, and arranged radio interviews. It is estimated that over 20,000 Christians prayed and fasted each Wednesday of the month.
    God brought rain, we believe God had a higher purposes in mind. We believe that through the prayers of His people, God will begin to reign more in this nation. The obedience of our Christian friend has taught us that, even from our desk, we can make a difference for His Kingdom.

Mark, from New Zealand, serves on staff of Media Plus in Hawaii, USA.   
March 17

    The family of God is incredibly diverse, yet many sincere believers are ignorant of the importance of having many ministries. Once I was talking to a Christian leader in a youth ministry, when he said to me, "If the local church was doing its job, we wouldn't need to have special ministries like this." What an incredible pressure we put on local churches to be the whole Kingdom of God represented in one place. No wonder pastors feel such stress. They feel obligated to meet everybody's expectations. The result is disappointment and discouragement.
    There is no absolute model for what a local church should be. I once spent an afternoon with over one hundred spiritual leaders from several denominations. We tried to come up with a uNIVersal definition of a biblical local church. You may think that it was an easy task, but if you consider all the cultures and circumstances of people on the earth and you examine the diversity of models in the Bible, you will begin to understand our frustration. After many hours of discussion, we had produced many good models, but no absolute definition other than "people moving together under the lordship of Jesus."
    To build a mental model of the ideal local church and to impose it upon ourselves is to participate in cultural idolatry. We are not called to build model ministries but to build the Kingdom of God.
    The great blessing of the Kingdom is not sameness and uniformity but creativity and diversity. A local church will never do the job of Wycliffe Bible Translators, and Wycliffe will never do the job of Campus Crusade for Christ. Praise God for that!
    We don't need to compete. We must be honest about our weaknesses, contribute with our strengths and celebrate with joy the great diversity of ministries given to our generation by God.

Thank You, Father, that each of us is needed in our place in Your work.

From Taking Our Cities for God by John Dawson. Copyright 1989 by John Dawson. Published by Creation House. Used by permission. [from pages 108-109]
March 18

    In a giant rubbish dump I discovered that nothing in life is ever wasted when placed in God's hands. As a single mother from Australia I have spent the past five years working among the Filipinos at Smokey Mountain, Manila’s city dump.     My initial response when asked to lead a Bible study for women living at the dump was, "I've never held a Bible study in my life." But I felt the Lord wanted me to do it, so I trusted Him and took the step of faith.
    For our first Bible study, God impressed me to tell them about the importance of being a woman. But five minutes after I started, one of the women walked out. I told my story of a broken marriage, single motherhood and the loss of a child.
    They said, "But you're from Australia."
    I said, "The problems are no different there, except that I didn't live on a garbage dump. The change came from within, and the healing came from Christ. I had to be willing to trust God.”
    From that time, I really had their attention. They asked to hear more about marriage, children, families, and divorce. This was a challenging subject for women from a desperately poor community where alcoholism, violence and immorality are rife.
    By the end of the study, they had tears. No one had told ever them that women are important.
Lord, nothing goes to waste with You; You make everything worthwhile.

Barb, an Australian, serves in the Philippines.

March 19

Then Peter said, "See, we have left all and followed you." So He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come everlasting life (Luke 18:28-30 NKJV).

    One day the Holy Spirit illuminated the passage for me. I had been ministering in Nigeria for many years. It was a continuous struggle to feed and clothe my family and keep current with the rent.
    The situation was desperate. Our rent was 14 months overdue and the landlord's lawyer was threatening us with an eviction notice. My wife knelt with me in prayer to claim God's promise.
    My wife also confessed to the Lord that she completely released me to His care. Then she claimed one hundredfold from the Lord. I also claimed the hundredfold over our three children and my wife.
    The first answer was released the following day when I got N400 to pay the rent. A fortnight later while I was ministering away from home, my wife got N1000 to pay the balance on the rent. Since that time our bills have not been overdue. Today we are able to contribute to the support of our organization.

Thank you, God, you are more than faithful.

Ayo, a Nigerian, is serving the Lord there.
March 20

Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. Isaiah 54:2 NIV.

   Often we imagine the Lord stretching us for His purposes, but I have seen demonstrated in my life that He asks for our cooperation to be stretched. I realized this when I was praying about making a commitment to teach at the International Christian School in Kona, Hawaii.
  Everything in me cried out against this commitment. I felt ready to do anything but teach.
  Eventually, I decided to ask the Lord why this decision was such a struggle for me. He showed me clearly that inside my tent, my ability to love children had already been exhausted. I had no more room in my heart for children. I felt it cost too much to love them.
  God showed me that if I were willing to have my tent enlarged, the capacity of my heart could be increased. This increase would not come in a mystical way. He would provide the means necessary.
  I agreed to cooperate. For years after that He sent just the right people my way to accomplish His work. It was not always easy. Sometimes I fought to pull back the ropes and move the tent pegs in closer, to make my space smaller. But by His grace and persistence, my tent enlarged. The glory is all His.
  Do you feel stretched? Maybe you need to consider asking the Lord to open your heart to the things that will stretch you.
 Some of our tent-stretchings are difficult. God asks us to lengthen our cords in anticipation and to move our stakes well out.

 Corinne, from Scotland, is developing the International Christian School program, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

March 21

The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power, I Corinthians 4:20 NIV.

    Joe has a great relationship with his five-year old son, Nick. It's the sort of relationship that makes me smile when I see them together with their heads bent over an anthill they've come upon, or running and laughing while flying a homemade kite in a field.
    I once commented to Joe that I admired the way he took so much time out from his already-crowded schedule to spend time with his son. His response was interesting. He told me he wanted Nick to grow up and embrace his ideals--to love serving the Lord and care for the world around him. Joe felt that for Nick to enter into his world, he first had to enter into his son's world, and so he worked at becoming his son's best friend. Joe built bridges into Nick's life through playing games with him, talking, listening and caring.
    Joe's desire to reach out to his son is very much like God's desire to be our friend. Jesus entered our world to show us the Father. He came as a friend to those who needed Him. In John's Gospel Jesus tells us "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you" (John 20:21). Jesus wants us to reach out to others as He reaches out to us. This is one of the signs of wholehearted commitment.

Father, help me to so live that I express the love of Christ in practical ways.

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 pages 153-154]
March 22

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us, Romans 8:18 NIV.

    Ever since Kobus Fouche and his family joined the YWAM staff in Hong Kong his heart had been for the Chinese people. He longed to see the Christians he pastored in the Yuen Long church mature in their faith and see their friends and family saved.
    Kobus didn't possess extraordinary talent. He was turned down once by a missionary agency in his home country, South Africa, because he wasn't an eloquent speaker. Yet, he possessed a determined spirit. His discipline, long hours of study, and love for the Chinese, enabled him to preach and write his sermons in Cantonese. He especially enjoyed studying the ancient written characters and their relation to the Bible.
    Kobus fasted for 14 days, asking God to send revival to his church. He told Flippie, his wife, that he wanted revival at any cost, even if it meant he had to lay down his life.
    For some time Kobus had struggled with pains in his 39-year-old body. Doctors treated the symptoms, but never found the cause. Finally, in excruciating pain, he entered a government hospital.
    After ten days of testing, the worst was confirmed--terminal cancer. Even in the midst of the pain Flippie and their children felt God's strength upholding all of them. Kobus responded to the diagnosis with praise, expressing his love for God and promising never to give up his faith.
    When others asked Kobus how he dealt with the pain, he answered, "God's grace is seeing me through."
    Twelve days after his diagnosis, Kobus Fouche met Jesus face-to-face. Even in the worst of his suffering, Kobus' rock solid faith was a source of real strength to his congregation and family.


March 23

    During my School of Evangelism Outreach, I was part of a small team in Belize, Central America. One day we hiked to a remote village of Kekchi Indians. These are descendants of the Aztecs who live a simple lifestyle, seeking out their existence through farming.
    I worked with another student doing child evangelism. He entertained the children trying to demonstrate basic Bible truths through pictures and gestures. The children were captivated by the brightly colored pictures.
    While trying to teach a Bible verse, my friend began: "First John, four, eight." The children mimicked him. He continued with "God is love."
    Again the children repeated his words. He gave the children who correctly repeated the verse a colorful sticker. Each child tried hard to be heard above the others.
    I realized the children had no idea what they were saying. They were only repeating the phrase so they could get a prize. My friend had overlooked the importance of bringing true understanding to the children.
    Often, do we as Christians settle for reciting the right words in our effort to please others and get our reward.

Father, I want more than rewards. I want true understanding of Your love and Your ways. When I communicate with others, help me not to stop short of true understanding for them.

Dave, an American, serves as an administrative assistant in Texas, USA.
March 24

If the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again, Luke 10:6.

    We had been praying for guidance about where our Far East Evangelism Team (FEET) team should go. We believed God was leading us to Sikkim, a former Tibetan Buddhist kingdom. It has been a state of India for 15 years. While still in India we were discouraged from going to Sikkim because of restrictions against spreading the Gospel.
    We had no contacts there, yet several of us were impressed with Luke 10:6 which speaks of a "man of peace."
    During the five-hour bus ride through the foothills of the Himalayas we prayed silently, yet desperately, for God to provide the "man of peace." I also asked Him to break through the normal resistance of the people toward the Gospel.
    After we arrived we were taking our things from the top of the bus. A man asked, "Are you the YWAM team?"
    Uncertain of his intentions I asked, "What YWAM team?"
    "The YWAM team from Hong Kong."
    When I admitted we were, he said, "Please follow me, I have rooms ready for you."
    His name was Solomon, meaning "peace." I’m still not sure how he found out about our arrival.
    During our four days in the city of Gangkok we preached to more than 4000 people, about 14% of the population. Solomon said he found it hard to believe the openness he saw.
Thank You, Father, that You are aware of our needs and make preparations for us. You do exceedingly abundantly above what we could ask or think.
Joe, an American, is a member of a FEET team in Hong Kong.
March 25

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Psalm 107:2.

    I have found writing my own Gospel tracts to be effective. When I first got involved in literature evangelism, I often felt uncomfortable with the particular tracts that were available. I was never comfortable with the "Frankenstein' type"--the kind with a cover cartoon of a person screaming out in agony from the flames of hell. I felt I could avoid this type of excess by writing my own tracts.
    In general, I have found people more receptive if I am giving them something that I've written. There is also something more personal about handing out my own tract; it is an expression of my heart on paper.
    You may like to consider writing your own tract and having it printed. You can have a thousand copies typeset and printed for less than a hundred dollars. Keep it short and to the point. If no ideas seem particularly appropriate then write down your testimony, put your picture on the front of it, passport style (but smiling), and call it, "My Story," or something similar. Be sure to include your name and phone number on the back so people can contact you personally if they want to know more. Be creative, but remember, keep it simple.

Show me, Lord, what is the heart of my personal story that will touch the lives of others.

From Bringin' 'Em Back Alive by Danny Lehmann. Copyright 1987 by Danny Lehmann. Published by Whitaker House, Springdale, Pennsylvania. Used by permission. [from page 103]
March 26

    One of the DTS students at the YWAM base in Santiago, Chile, was responsible for burning the trash. He often used this time to pray and intercede. Sometimes he forgot the size of the fire. One time the fire burned so high that it scorched the neighbor's fig tree.
    As one of the leaders I mustered the courage to talk to the neighbor. He was furious. I promised we would compensate the man for his loss when we had money to do so. We prayed for God to provide specifically for this man's need.
    The neighbor was a keeper of bees. The next morning I woke up and discovered a large hive of bees in our fig tree. Excitedly, I ran next door to the neighbor to explain that God had answered our prayers. The neighbor came and removed the hive of bees to his property.
    The next morning, the bees were back in the YWAM fig tree. I thought they were another set of bees and excitedly tried to offer them to the neighbor. The neighbor explained that the bees we had given him the day before had simply returned to their home. He asked what good these bees were if they wouldn't stay on his property. I promised to pray for God to change the bees' minds.
    The man came again to remove the bees to his property and they've stayed there ever since.

David, an American, is a leader at YWAM Chile.
March 27

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

    We had the wrong address. We were three Westerners on our way to deliver Bibles to a pastor for his underground church in a “closed country.” Now were were lost.
    The next morning after praying, we decided to try another address. This address was given to us by a pastor who told us he goes there once a week to pick up his mail. The chance of hitting the 15-minute window of opportunity and finding him there was small. We waited for the evening twilight, then, with some trepidation, we hailed a taxi.
    We looked in vain for the address, but the street was blocked short of our number by a maze of lanes and paths. We begged the driver to wait for us and set off into the labyrinth of darkening lanes. Once off the street and amongst the lanes, we became hopelessly confused and were just about to give up when an angel appeared, or so he seemed to us.
    Riding a bicycle, he loomed out of the gathering darkness and indicated he would help us. After reading the address on a slip of paper, he motioned for us to follow him and rode off into the tangle of alleyways. We soon spotted a six-story apartment building. It was the address we were looking for.
    Upon clambering and stumbling through murky darkness to the top floor, we spotted a slit of light under a door. This was our destination. Wheeling around, we found that our angel-guide had disappeared. We were on our own. After a hesitant knock, the door swung open to reveal an elderly couple. As we asked how we could find the pastor, a figure came into view from the back room. He had arrived only five minutes before, received his mail, and was already preparing to leave as we knocked.
    God had led us unerringly to the appointment.

Peter, a Canadian, leads YWAM Associates, a ministry to former YWAMers.
March 28

    During the offering time at the Kona, Hawaii YWAM base I felt prompted to give a financial gift to the base. After much prayer the Lord instructed me to give $500. To pledge this large of an amount would require tremendous sacrifice. Recent surgery had incurred a large debt.
    I had no idea the extent of the sacrifice until the next day when I took my car to a repair shop for minor maintenance. After a thorough check-up, the mechanic discovered $500 worth of repairs. Where will I come up with this kind of money, I wondered, especially now that I've pledged the same amount to the base?
    Back in my room I knelt in prayer. Moments later I rose, convinced that the Lord's will must come first. I would obey the Lord even if it meant parking the car and walking.
    On Monday I paid the first $100 installment on my pledge. On my way home, I stopped to pick up my mail. As I tore open one of the envelopes I was amazed to see seven checks drop out. They were repayment for insurance claims I'd made a year ago. The insurance company had gone bankrupt, and I'd been negotiating with the insurance broker for over a year to receive payment on these claims. The checks came to a total of $499.72, just 28 cents short of the $500 that I'd committed to the Lord.
    God knew the checks would be coming, but wanted to see if I would give sacrificially to benefit His Kingdom. I passed the test. I waited in confidence, certain the money for car repairs would arrive from His generous hand at the proper time.

Lucy is an American.
March 29

    Before I became a Christian, I wandered around on the "hippie trail" for several months, Then I met a couple who invited me to visit The Ark, a place of ministry in Amsterdam.
    There I spoke with others about my life and their Christian commitment. Even as we discussed Christianity, I didn't feel threatened. These were people with an authentic, functional faith, and they were relaxing to be around. I found myself impressed by them. After about an hour, I followed my hosts into the dining room for dinner. As we entered, the rest of the people were sitting down at tables adorned with tablecloths, flowers, and candles. Their faces were not somber, but full of life and laughter.
    Soon a large man (6-feet, 6-inches tall) with a long ponytail and beard greeted us. His name was Floyd McClung, and he was leader of the community. Still a little uneasy, I was taken by surprise when Floyd introduced me as their dinner guest. The community responded warmly. It was a welcome contrast to the impersonal ways of the hippie trail. After prayer, designated community members served a hearty meal family-style to each table. By the time dinner was over, I knew there was something real about these people.
    After several weeks of mingling with these Christians, I made my first tentative steps toward following the Lord Jesus Christ, and soon became an active member of The Ark community.
    Looking back over my own conversion, what attracted me to the person of Jesus Christ was not words or systematized Gospel presentations. Rather, it was the practical demonstration of genuine care and concern a small group of Christians showed toward me.

Let my life be so filled with You, Lord, that others will be drawn to Your Kingdom through me.

From A Heart for Others by Andrew Jackson. Copyright 1992 by Andrew Jackson. Published by YWAM Publishing, Seattle Washington. Used by permission. [from pages 117-118]
March 30

    So this was where the men were condemned to death! I had watched a movie of the Nazi War Crimes Trials many years before. Scenes flooded my mind. Horrible scenes. What atrocities mankind had  committed upon other humans!
    We had a few days free during a teaching trip to Europe, so we decided to visit some of the places in Nurnburg made famous by Adolph Hitler. Nothing about the building distinguished it as having historical importance. Our hosts, American missionaries stationed in Germany, had learned its location.
    The man in the small office where we were directed led us down a hallway into a modest sized room. To the left of the judge's bench were the seats where jurors had listened intently. Beside him the witnesses had poured out their stories. In front was the table where the men being tried had  sat.
    As I grieved over what had happened, my sorrow gradually turned to joy. Our missionary friends told an unusual story, taken from a book, The Sword and the Swastika.
    During the trials, an American military chaplain had been assigned to work with the accused men. He spent hours...weeks...months with them. He listened to them and told them of God's love and  forgiveness.
    When the end of his tour of duty drew near, the accused men wrote to his wife, begging her to agree to an extension of his tour of duty. She and the children had longed for his return but, with agony of heart, she complied. The chaplain stayed on until the end of the trials and the execution of those condemned to die.
    Of the ten put to death, eight had prayed asking for God’s forgiveness for the terrible things they had done. Our loving Father's forgiveness has no limits.

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

March 31

    God's word to us was simply, "Go," so we left our native New Zealand and arrived in the United States with our two children. Our step of faith had not been without incident. We had faced many hindrances. But the most troubling of them was affecting our nine-year-old daughter, Michelle.
    The day before we left New Zealand Michelle developed an ear infection. Over the next month her hearing grew worse. A doctor said it would recover on its own.
    A few weeks later, Michelle awoke in intense pain. A local pediatrician referred us to an ear specialist. One of Michelle's eardrums had ruptured. Substantial hearing loss had occurred because of fluid behind the eardrums. The specialist said it would not drain naturally. There seemed no way other than surgery.
    But we were to face another hindrance. The cost of the operation was to be US$2500, a lot of money for any YWAMer. We were very anxious. We prayed for healing and for God's highest purposes in the situation.
    The next day we noticed that Michelle's hearing seemed to have been restored. Could God have really healed her? Were we experiencing God's provision just as we had heard other YWAMers had? We immediately went back to the specialist.
    Hearing tests confirmed that Michelle now had perfect hearing. The stunned, previously articulate doctor could only say, "It seems to have gone." Contrary to his previous statement, there was another way to correct the problem-nothing is impossible for God!
    Many months have passed. Michelle has experienced no more infections or deafness. But more than that, long after this young girl becomes a woman, she will remember God's faithfulness to her when there was no other way.