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 September

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

September 1

    "If you understand English, please don't hang up," I pleaded desperately into the telephone.
    I didn't know whose sleepy voice had answered the phone at 3:00 a.m. Two hours earlier three of us had arrived at the train station in Nurnberg, Germany, from Eastern Europe. My sister had expected to pick us up earlier in the day. We had been unable to reach her from our previous stop. She had no way of knowing we had arrived unless we could reach her by phone.
    For two hours we tried to use the German phone system. Unknown to us, the procedure for dialing within the area was different from calling in from outside Germany.
    Now, in desperation, I had dropped in some coins, pushed buttons at random and waited, hoping for someone with knowledge of my language to answer.
    "Please don't hang up, we're stranded at the bahnhof."
    I sensed the mental struggle of the woman as she tried to understand me and respond so I could follow her instructions.
    At last I knew I should drop the first digit. I thanked her profusely for staying on the line with me. In a few moments I was talking with my brother-in-law. Within 30 minutes a familiar car pulled up outside the station. Sleep would follow soon after.

Lord, are there any changes I need to make in my methods of trying to reach those to whom you've sent me?

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

September 2

The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, Philippians 4:7.

    Our family is sleeping peacefully to the gentle rocking of our 48-foot houseboat on the Purus River of Brazil's Amazon basin. My sleep is interrupted by the voices of men calling out from a small boat. My husband, Kent, goes to the rail to talk with them. I silently pray, asking God to meet whatever need they have. I also secretly hope their need doesn't involve my nursing skills I dread middle of the nights house calls, but willingly go when asked.
    Kent returns and I learn a woman has been in labor for five days. I dress and board the small canoe. Only after we're on our way do I survey my circumstances. There are no lights. The two men I'm with are total strangers. Once again, I focus my thoughts on my heavenly Father. "Lord, I'm doing Your work, in Your name. Protect me, tonight. Give the woman a safe delivery and let the baby be healthy."   
    Hours later I try to doze as the canoe makes its way back up river. I think of Kent and his ministry to these seven hundred tribes-people living nearby. My mind wanders to our four young children. I remember the laundry needing to be done at the river's edge after the sun rises. I whisper a prayer for strength to do the day's work with a body lacking normal sleep. I offer thanks for a healthy child born during the night. And I thank Him for protecting me during my night-time journey, and for His peace that accompanied me the whole way.

Josephine, an Australian, does church planting and health care work in Brazil.

September 3

Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of the heavenly, lights, James 1:16,17.

    I was single until I was 27-years-old, traveling from country to country as a missionary-evangelist. I longed for a wife and hated being alone. I remember standing on top of the Eiffel Tower, looking out over Paris. The view was stunning, and in my excitement I turned to remark on the beautiful panorama--but no one was there. I felt truly alone.
    While I was still in Bible school I had discovered the passage in I Corinthians 7 where Paul said it was a gift to be single. I sincerely hoped that God wasn't planning to give this gift to me! Time went by. Then I came to understand that this Scripture in 1 Corinthians was not to be skipped over and left for someone else.
    I responded by placing my right to be married on the altar. That was a phrase I learned from my parents--putting something on the "altar" was another way of saying, "I give up my right." I told God, "Okay. I'm willing to never get married, if that is Your will."
    An amazing thing happened. There was a new freedom. No longer was I preoccupied with what I jokingly referred to as The Search. I was able to concentrate on what God wanted me to do next. A few months later, as I continued pursuing God's call on my life, my path crossed with that of a vivacious blond in Redwood City, California. She had also just laid her desire to be married "on the altar." God brought us together.
    In God's right time, if He sees you can be more fulfilled and effective for Him with a life partner than without, He'll bring the very one that is right for you and for His Kingdom.

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 30-31]

September 4

The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread  alone,'" Luke 4:3,4 NIV.
    It's not surprising that Jesus was hungry after 40-days without food, and the devil was out to tempt Him on this vulnerable point. For Jesus, the temptation was to ask why He should deny  Himself.
    At first glance it is difficult to see how something as commonplace as eating could possibly be wrong. The human reaction would be to go ahead and eat. We are usually most tempted by things that seem quite ordinary. Old habits die hard.
    God has called us all to abstinence in one form or another. We have all had to say "no" to things that hinder our walk with God.   Perhaps we have stopped smoking or refrained from watching too much television to allow us more time with our family and with the Lord.
    Jesus' answer is wise. He doesn't condemn eating. He simply states God's Word that a man should make his relationship with God the most central thing in his life: ...”man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord,” Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV .

Give me a greater hunger for Your Word, Father. I want to thirst for it above all else.

Paul, from England, works in Out-Going Ministry in Spain.

September 5

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my heands, Isaiah 49: 15-16.

    We prayed that morning for God to use us specifically in someone's life who spoke English. For five days we had walked the busy streets, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the Chinese city, but without a contact.
    We were startled by man's voice, "Hello, you speak English?" We scanned the crowd for a Western-looking face but saw none. Again we heard his voice, "English!  You speak English?"
    We saw a man grinning at us. He was taller than most Chinese men, and had a distinctive look about him. He pushed through the crowds toward us and we saw excitement on his face. We, too, were thrilled with our answer to prayer. He eagerly questioned us as to where we were from, what we do, and why we were in China.
    We learned he was from a city in the far northern part of China and had come to this city to study English. He was delighted to be able to practice it on us.
    We recognized his name as being an Asian version of a Bible name. We showed the man his name in our English/Chinese Gospel. His eyes jumped across to the Chinese writing on the opposing page and he nodded in acknowledgment.
    He laughed with delight when we told him he would find his name in other places in the book also. We took his picture, exchanged addresses and gave invitations to visit in one another's homes.
    In the years since that encounter God has often brought the man's face before me. I pray that God will continue to bring Christians across his path. Perhaps, even now, he is leading others to the One who led him to us.

Beverly, an American, is a Bible teacher who leads YWAM Writer's Seminars. She lives in California, USA.

September 6
See that you do not look down on one of these little ones....Your Father in heaven is not willing that not one of these little ones should be lost, Matthew 18:10, 14.

    Skip had AIDS. When I first met him I mentioned in passing that I was a Christian missionary. Adamantly he responded, "Never, ever say anything to me about God, Jesus or the church. If you do, our relationship will be terminated at that point."
    I thought, Why bother with someone so bitter toward God? I was about to walk away from him when I sensed the Lord's love for Skip. He wanted to work in Skip's life. So began a journey of serving Skip for seven long months without talking about Jesus. it would not be what I said, but my life that would make the impact.
    One day during my quiet time I sensed God wanted me to make chicken soup for Skip. Why must I make it instead of my wife? I didn't understand, but obeyed, stumbling through the process.
    When I took it to him, I simply said that I made the soup for him. He knew I was married and my wife could have made it.
    The next time I saw Skip he asked why I brought the soup. I told him about my prayer time, the impression from God, and the result of making the soup. Only then did he tell me that before I arrived with the soup, he had a craving for homemade chicken soup. AIDS victims often lose their appetite. This opened the door for me to share more with Skip about God and his need for Jesus.
    After seven months of showing God's love to Skip, I was called to the hospice to be with him in those final hours. This would be my last opportunity to talk with him about eternity.
    In his room were his lover, the director of the hospice, the nurse and someone from New Age. I prayed silently. Within eight minutes the room was cleared. I bent close to him and spoke softly. Skip repented. The others soon returned. Thirty minutes later Skip passed into the arms of Jesus.
Lord, help me to understand the impact of simple steps of obedience.

John, an American, serves as the U.S. Southwest Director for YWAM.
September 7

O Jerusalem Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your chidlren together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing, Matthew 23:37.

    I had worked for seven months, serving Skip who was dying of AIDS. The afternoon he died I was able to lead him to Christ. I returned to my home late that afternoon having gone through one of the most emotional days I have ever had.
    I got as far as my living room wall and began to weep over the agonizing experience of those months. I heard myself saying to God that I couldn't handle all this pain. If ministry to people with AIDS was going to be like this, I wasn't sure whether I wanted it.
    In the next few moments I heard the following words that I believe every Christian longs to hear. I sensed the heart of God saying, "Now you know a little of how I feel!"
    I had prayed for years to know how God feels over those who don't know Him. God answered that prayer in a way I could never have imagined. It took serving a young man dying of AIDS to understand, in a greater way, God's unconditional love that is deeply broken over lost souls. Now I am more determined and more committed to see people dying of AIDS, and the lost at large, ushered into the kingdom of God.  

Help me never to lose sight of Your love for the lost, Lord.
John, an American, serves as U.S. Southwest Director for YWAM.

September 8

Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone, Romans 12:17,18 NIV.

    Any planning we do for spending time together working on the vital ingredients of a good marriage should include an honest discussion of our individual expectations. We often misunderstand one another because we don't know what our partner is expecting. Of course we must also be willing to make adjustments along the way. Frequently our expectations are totally unrealistic.
    When Floyd and I were newly married I had my own clear idea of what a perfect marriage should be. lt included constant harmony and no disagreeing. Unfortunately Floyd and I were too human to live up to that ideal. We had to have a very open discussion of our expectations and whether or not they were realistic. Mine weren't! I had to make some very strategic adjustments.
    I once saw an article on marriage called "Marriage License--a Learner's Permit." Just as we have to learn to drive a car, so we have to learn to guide our marriages. We may have to turn a little to the right or left to avoid some bumps, and we may need to slow down to keep us from crashing. Divorce courts are filled with couples who haven't learned to make the necessary adjustments.
    We must plan for time together to grow in our relationship and understanding of one another. Time spent together is an investment--there are rich dividends from it.
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 41-42]

September 9

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these, Matthew 19:14 NIV.

    I was alone early in the morning on my first day with the street children in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I met nine filthy, smelly kids. Most wore no shoes or shirts. I knew the love I felt was God's love for them. I thought, I'd love to take them to that park. I just want them to be children. I'd been told they weren't allowed to enter the park, but I asked God to make it possible.
    We just walked in and no-one stopped us! We sang and danced. Suddenly I remembered the mental picture of ten months earlier. What a joy! The children ran and chased the ducks.
    Suddenly five wardens arrived. The chief demanded, "Get out!" The children started crying. One little boy in particular stood there looking up at the man. I guessed he was saying in Portuguese, "Please, leave us alone. For the first time in a long time we are really happy and having a nice time." The man only barked, "Get out!" I could see hatred in his eyes and understood that the enemy was using the authorities against the children. Dejected, we started to leave.
    Then I heard in my mind, Jesus' voice say, "Sarah, they are only children." I turned around and the chief guard also stopped and was turning. When I reached him, the children in tow, I repeated the words Jesus had spoken. "They are only children." 
    Suddenly he called one of the guards and said, "Go with them as they go round the park." The totally bemused guard escorted us in the park. It was all I could do, not to burst out laughing!

Sarah, from England, works with street children in Brazil.

September 10

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want, Psalm 23:1 NIV.

    How often have we read that verse and not fully been aware of its meaning. As a child growing up, it was one of the first my parents had me memorize. I repeated it hundreds of times, yet it wasn't until I left home and became a full-time missionary that I realized what it said. Now it is no longer in my head, but it is in my heart as well.
    A shepherd knows each one of his sheep by name. When a sheep falls on its back and can't get up, the shepherd comes and sets it up right. When the sheep's wool is thick and beautiful, the shepherd shears it off. He gives the wool to those who might be cold or needy so that others can also benefit from it.
    The shepherd is always watchful and takes his sheep to the best areas for food and drink. He never lets his flock go away thirsty. Sometimes he takes his sheep where the trail is difficult and the terrain is hard. But he knows what is best and he will never lead his followers astray.
    The shepherd tries to keep his sheep together. When one wanders away, the shepherd goes off and searches for the lost sheep. When he finds him, he returns him to the fold for strength, comfort, and companionship.
    In YWAM, there are times when we aren't in the finest fields and the weather is unpleasant. Sometimes we don't get the best food or have a soft place to lay our heads. Many times we are surrounded by spiritual wolves. But in all those times, our Shepherd is right there with us and we can honestly say that we lack for nothing.

Brian, an America, directs YWAM's Language School in Helsinki, Finland.

September 11

The Lord is a times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you, Psalm 9:9-10 NIV.

    It was the middle of the night and I was over the Middle East. Most of the plane's passengers were sleeping or attempting to sleep. I was writing a letter.
    Unexpectedly, the captain told us we would soon make an unscheduled stop at Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. I had flown enough to know that something was wrong. I asked the flight steward for an explanation. He responded rather tensely, "It's all right, lady. Everything's going to be okay."
    I persisted by assuring him I had absolutely no fear, and would appreciate knowing the cause of the change of plans. His response was the same. Despite his effort, his eyes betrayed fear. Aware of recent hi-jacking incidents and bomb threats on international flights, I asked outright, "Is there a bomb scare?"  When I assured him I would not tell any of the other passengers, he nodded in affirmation. I returned to my seat.
    I knew I was in the center of God's will--the safest place at any time. A peace settled on me. I committed everyone on the plane into God's hands and trusted Him completely. I resumed writing my letter, totally relaxed.
    As we were landing we were instructed, without explanation, not to leave the plane under any circumstances. Five minutes later the order was reversed and we were told to take all our belongings and leave the plane.
    After 45-minutes at this small, remote airport we all reboarded and resumed our journey through the night--without incident.
    The crew knew of potential danger and were fearful. The passengers were ignorant and perplexed. Many were disgruntled at being prematurely disturbed. I was fascinated by the whole situation, knowing that God had given me a unique opportunity to prove the truth of His Word.

Joy, a former New Zealander but an American citizen for many years, is an International Bible Teacher.

September 12

Your Father knows what you need before you ask him, Matthew 6:8.

    Just that morning my husband and I had been looking through the classified ads for a place to live. We knew it might be difficult to find because we needed it for only a short time.
    As we walked toward the YWAM office a man pulled off the street loading discarded odd-and-ends into his camper. We were intrigued and stopped to talk with him.
    He was looking for someone to live for a short time in a house he was restoring. He expressed trust once he learned we were YWAMers.
    We only would need to pay $200 to move in and $100 per month. I couldn't believe my ears as I listened to his description of the house: a stone fireplace, newly polished wood floors, a large backyard with fruit trees.
    We prayed that night and asked God to show us His will. The very next night we received a totally unexpected check for $200. We knew in our hearts that God was leading us.
    We moved the next week and began to look for summer employment. Nothing came through until we returned from a short trip. Both of us were hired to work for the U.S. Census Bureau. Not until they asked for our home address did we learn that we would be working directly across the street from our new home.
    We often had opportunity to tell our co-workers about God's provision for us when they learned where we were living. God certainly had a plan that day when we talked to a stranger parked at the curb that day.

Sandy, an American, teaches at YWAM’s Christian Heritage School in Tyler, Texas, USA.

Septermber 13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love, I Corinthians 13:13 NIV.

    When we think about this verse, we think of love, God's love for us and His commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. Or we think of the type of faith that Abraham and Moses had or other heroes of the Bible. Too often we forget about hope.   But hope has its place among these three things that remain.
    In Romans we read: "We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us,” Romans 5:3-5 NIV.
    The hope of the world lies in things which perish--a better job, a higher income, a bigger car, a larger house. In contrast, the hope that God offers us is divine and eternal. He shows us a glimpse of heaven with us as people of His household, citizens of His Kingdom. This hope is a gift from God to His children.
    If we are not experiencing this hope in our lives, we can ask the Lord to reveal what He longs to give us so we can experience Ephesians 1:18, "The eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches  of his glorious inheritance in the saints."
    Paul admonished us to be joyful in hope. Jesus said that He came to give us peace. The two go together. Without hope, we can never fully know peace. So let us place our hope in God's promise of eternal life.

Dear Lord, teach me to hope in You.

Philippe, a Swiss, works in the video ministry, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

September 14

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11 NIV).

   Our capacity to experience true freedom is increased as we make more truth available to our hearts. Hence, we need to memorize Scripture.
  Scientists tell us that the human mind is capable of storing 100 trillion bits of information. Surely we should be making a little effort to fill up at least some of those bits with God's Word.
  I have discovered some principles and practices which have helped me greatly. The most important is this: You must love the Word. Remember English Literature in high school? The teacher could recite line after line of Shakespeare, or verse after verse of
Milton. We wondered  "How on earth do they remember all that stuff?" They remembered all those lines because they loved them. For them, nothing was of greater pleasure than to sit for hours and read Shakespeare and the poets, absorbing not only what was said, but how it was said.
The same is true for the Christian. It is highly unlikely that we will ever develop a consistent discipline of Bible memorization if we do not love God's Word. The Bible writers spoke often and passionately about their love affair with the Holy Scriptures. David set aside 176 verses of Psalm 119 to express his regard and love for the Scriptures.
  If we don't have this kind of love for the Word of God, then we need to humbly ask the Lord to give us such a love for His Word. It is a prayer God is delighted to answer. By His grace He will create in our hearts a hunger and thirst for righteousness and truth that can only be satisfied by spending time reading, studying, hearing, meditating upon, and memorizing His Word.

 Teach me to love Your Word and to make it a part of my very breath.

Danny Lehmann, an American, directs the YWAM base in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, and travels extensively in a teaching ministry.

From Before You Hit the Wall, by Danny Lehmann. Copyright 1991. Published by YWAM Publishing. Seattle, Washington. Used by Permission. [from pages 9-70-71]

September 15

You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord (II Kings 3:17,18 NIV).

  In YWAM each worker trusts the Lord for his or her support. This usually comes through individuals or congregations who believe in the worker and make a commitment to pray and financially support the worker.
  On one occasion Irma and I needed to do laundry but didn't have the 70 cents needed for the washing machine. In faith, she signed up for two time slots for the next day.
  The following morning we discovered an envelope under the door containing $11.00. I said, "There may be others who are in similar situations to ours. Why don't we keep one dollar for our immediate need and see if other students have an urgent need?"
  The Lord reminded me of a church in Argentina that not only passed the offering plate for the tithes and offerings, they instructed the members of the congregation who had specific financial needs to "take" from the offering plate an amount that would meet their needs.
  With Irma's agreement, I told the class that afternoon of the Lord's provision for us. I said that God wanted us to put $10 on the floor in the center of the circle of students. We would pray and any who had special needs could seek the Lord and take what was needed. We all prayed. While my eyes were still closed I could hear quite a bit of movement.
  Finally, a student said, "I think it's time for us to finish and I believe that Irma and Rix should have what is left." Though some had taken money, others must also have been adding more. When we counted what remained there was $70.00.

Rix, an Australian, works with Hispanics. He lives in the United States.

September 16

"Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you," Luke 6:38.

  I was about seven-years-old when YWAM first learned of the property in Kona, Hawaii that has become the main campus of the University of the Nations. Each YWAMer believed God wanted us to have the property and prayed for God to provide the funds.
  It seemed that everyone had given about all they could, yet still more money was needed for the purchase. My sister, Karen, and I had long saved for bicycles. We'd studied the Sears catalogue and carefully selected just the models we wanted. Every nickel and dime we got, after paying our tithe of course, went into those piggy banks.
  Karen and I wanted to do our part for the property, to be involved. We went into our bedroom and talked together. We decided to give all that we had--our bike money. We carefully emptied the money onto a towel. Taking hold of two corners each we carried the towel out to our parents. We knew this meant we would have no bikes. We truly gave them up in our hearts. But God had other plans.
  The very next day, family friends came to our island for a visit. They gave Karen and me each a new wallet. Tucked inside each was enough money for our bikes. We were ecstatic. Through a check from our grandfather God even took care of the amount to pay our tithe.
  I remember telling my friends on the school bus the next day, "My folks don't have ten cents, but I have money to get a bike." We went down the next day to the Sears catalogue store and ordered our bikes. Each time I jumped on for a ride I was reminded once again of God's provision for us. I saw Him as a loving Father who cared for us. I knew that even though we didn't expect to have the bike money replaced when we gave it away, God did it anyway.
  I look upon this as a foundational occurrence where I learned not to hold on to my parents' experience, but to trust the Lord's faithfulness for myself.

 David, an American, runs a film and television production company in California, USA.

September 17

There is...a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot (Ecclesiastes 3:2 NIV).

   There seems in life to be an unmistakable but timed succession of extremes. Joy replaces tears as winter replaces fall. Sometimes the sadness that comes after rejoicing causes us to question past blessings. That is because we have failed to pay attention to the lessons of the Bible.
  Perhaps we are being nourished by the Word in a Bible college situation, a sabbatical, or even a quiet time. We would do well to remember that whatever God gives us is not just for the present. It is also to prepare us for whatever lies ahead. When an hour of insufficiency strikes, how will we respond?  Will we have stored spiritual reserves or be destitute because we failed to gather in time of plenty?
  It is worth noticing that the first famines in the Bible occurred in an unexpected place, the Promised Land. Of all those mentioned, one of the best known is probably the dearth foretold by Joseph in Genesis 41. It immediately followed a period of blessing.
  Over in Egypt Joseph was prepared. He had stored up during the years of abundance against the years of famine.
  We are given both a warning and a valuable lesson here. Times of plenty seem to go by much more quickly than the same period of deprivation. Let us be careful how we live when we have much. It will determine how we survive when we have little. By storing God's provisions in times of abundance, we will not want in times of trial.

Teach me, Lord, readiness for whatever may come.

 Albert, a Swiss, carries administrative and pastoral roles, in
Lausanne, Switzerland.

September 18

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye (Psalm 32:8).

  Our time of evangelism in Ghana, West Africa was at an end. At the check-in desk of the airport we had just been told our departure would be delayed 24-hours. No explanation given.
  As we shared our disappointment we discovered that each of us had felt God lead us to give away the last of our money. We had no funds to purchase even food or drink, much less shelter for the night.
  Soon after we prayed an African man approached and said, "Go through security to the back of the luggage and ticket area."
  We walked that direction, toward an armed guard blocking our way. The African said to him, "Let them through."  The guard took no notice of us.
  Once inside we found ourselves in a restricted area. Again the African spoke to us. "Now is the right time. Tell the ticket officer you wish to see the supervisor."
  We explained our situation to the supervisor and he ordered the ticket officer to help us. However, as soon as the supervisor left, the officer refused to help.
  Again we prayed, and again the African reappeared. "Now is the right time. Ask the officer for your tickets."  Then he walked away.
  Now wait a minute! I thought. Every time I do what he says I get in trouble. But I went back to the ticket officer who for some reason did what I asked, though he didn't appear to want to.
  Several times the African came with more instructions. When he said, "Go back," we discovered we needed our passports stamped. Each instruction was exactly what was needed at the time.
  When the security officer searching our bags, he found a letter which could have been detrimental to our cause, the African appeared by his side. The officer saw nothing.
  We didn't see the African again.
  As we flew toward
England I pondered the amazing events. Who was the mysterious helpful African?

Your ways are too wonderful to comprehend, Father. Your surprises bring praise to my lips.

 Stephen, is director of YWAM in South West England.

September 19

Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercies) and the God [Who is the Source] of every consolation and comfort and encouragement (II Corinthians 1:3 AMP).

  I had been married for 13 years, had four children, and was beginning my tenth year of ministry with YWAM when suddenly, with no previous symptoms I found myself paralyzed on the left side. The diagnosis was a tumor of blood vessels in the center of my brain. Although it was benign, doctors predicted I would have about six months to live before the mass burst. Surgery could mean permanent paralysis or mental impairment.
  Christians around the world prayed. After only a few days in the hospital I felt two jolts go through my left leg. Within 15 minutes I was able to stand—though feebly. Within a short time I was walking.
  The threat of recurrence, however, shadowed this miracle. During months of uncertainty, I learned that my comfort is by God and from God. When placed anywhere else, it is unstable.
  I learned an important lesson from Joy Dawson's book, Some of the Ways of God in Healing. She wrote that the divine ability of God to cope in difficult circumstances, with praise on our lips, peace in our minds, and joy in our hearts, is God's grace. Joy says that grace is every bit as miraculous as the power of God in the most dramatic healings.
  It is this grace that I discovered in the months following my crisis. My situation has not changed. But I have gained an overwhelming peace, knowing that I am completely and safely in God's hands.

Diane, an American, is a leader of DTS in Tyler, Texas, USA

September 20

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ (Ephesians 1:9). 

  After our Discipleship Training School (DTS) on board YWAM's emegency relief ship, the m/v Anastasis, my wife and I felt a strong calling to the Mercy Ships office in Lausanne, Switzerland. However, we struggled with what we felt was God's direction.
  We wanted to work with people in developing nations to do what we had seen in
Mexico during our DTS. Why were we going to Switzerland?
  To make matters worse, we had to raise financial support by telling people we were going to be "missionaries" in
Switzerland. Needless to say, it was difficult. We found it hard to stand decisively on what we believed God had told us.
  It has been four years since that decision. We now direct the Mercy Ships Office in Luasanne. The m/v Anastasis is leaving for its third outreach to
West Africa, and has, in the past few years, served six of the poorest nations in the world.
  Through our office, the ship is supported by seven European nations. It is a fantastic thing for us to be involved in the support structure that serves the Nations of West Africa from
Europe. Only God could have foreseen this work four years ago when He placed us here. 

Robert, an American, directs the Mercy Ship Support Office in Lausanne, Switzerland.

September 21

"Jesus wept," John 11:35

  When Michael applied to attend a Discipleship Training Schoo, he voluntarily told us that he was HIV positive. After prayerful consideration and consultation with the staff and other students, we welcomed him.
  When MIchael was one of the few that didn't get ill during our outreach to the Amazon in Brazil, I sensed that God was honoring him for his commitment to use for God whatever time remained for him on this earth. After the outreach, Michael joined our staff in ministering to street kids in Hollywood.
  While I sat in a hospital waiting room during one of Michael's weekly blood tests, God called me to minister to AIDS patients--such as taking them to doctor's appointments and even cleaning toilets.
  During Michael's last year, he developed full-blown AIDS. Stomach cancer prevented intake of food by mouth. He needed nightly injections of food through a tube in his chest.  
  He had no family nearby, so my wife, our children, and I prayed together about taking Michael into our home. When I discussed this with a doctor, her eyes filled with tears. She knew better than we the risk we were taking. She knew, too, the loneliness of many AIDS parients.
  For the next few months, we worked around the clock caring for Michael. Toward the end, I had to bathe and diaper him--humiliating for both of us. Michael and I spent hours talking and praying together. On December 2, Michael went to be with Jesus while Jill and I sat at his bedside.
  Through this personal imvolvement, as painful as it was, we gained understanding and identification with those dying of  AIDS. We learned that the compassion of Jesus is more than having an attitude of "that's too bad." Jesus became involved in the needs of humanity.

John, an American, works as U.S. Southwest Director for YWAM.

September 22

The steps of a man are established by the Lord; and He delight in his way, Psalm 37:23 NASB

  Our outreach team was in southern Albania to help start a church. We had no address or telephone number for our friend who was living there. He had assured us that because he was the only foreigner living in the town anyone would be able to tell us where he lived.

  Now we were two days late and it was after midnight. The streets were deserted except for a few nervous looking policemen. We prayed for someone who spoke English to help us.

  Soon a young man walked by who understood a few words of English. He motioned for us to follow. He led us to the post office where two women were at the telephone. They were Americans, visiting with their mother who wanted them to see the home town she hadn't seen in 30 years. We didn't learn how the man knew they were there.

  One of the women wrote a note in Albanian listing our friend's name and his village. While some local men unsuccessfully tried to locate our friend, three policemen approached our van.

  We were relieved to hear they weren't going to arrest us. They were simply nervous about our safety and wanted us to move closer to the police station so they could protect us. After reading our Albanian note, the police chief and another officer, who spoke some English, drove us to find our friend.

  Awakened out of a sound sleep by two policemen, our friend listened intently to the tale of how God led us to him. Even when we had no idea where we were going, we were never out of His care.

Sandy, an American, works with Slavic Ministries

September 23

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:1-2 NIV).

   The Word of God in Ephesians 4 tells us we need to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit until someday we all attain to the unity of the faith.

  Did Jesus say, "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, because you have the same statement of doctrine"? No, He said they would know we belonged to Him because of our love for one another.

  I heard a Baptist minister on a cassette tape once, speaking about this. He told how God called him to minister among Catholics in South America. He protested, "But God, how can I work with them? I don't agree with all they do and believe!" He said that God replied to him, "I work with you and I don t agree with all you do and believe, either!"

  Dr. D. G. Barnhouse was a respected Presbyterian theologian and the editor of Revelation, the precursor to Eternity magazine. Even though he had taught that Pentecostals were in error, he accepted an invitation late in his life to spend a week ministering among Pentecostals. Later he said, "I found that 95 percent of what they believe, I believe. Two percent was totally contradictory and three percent was in a hazy area. I decided that I could set aside my differences of five percent for any brother or sister in the Lord."

  The body of Christ is a fellowship of those who have found true liberty in Jesus Christ. As we walk in that liberty, we will find that He calls us to leave behind even the good things He has given us in order to find something greater--servanthood to His Great Commission and unity with others who are different, but love Him as we do.

Loren Cunningham, an American, is founder and president of YWAM. He lieve in Hawaii, USA.

 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 60-62]

September 24

Is anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27 NIV).

   There was absolutely no way to get home! I had been teaching in Indonesia and Singapore, and had repeatedly tried to get a confirmed seat for the portion from Taiwan to Hawaii.

  Shirley, the booking agent in Singapore, told me she had been awakened early to pray for my situation. But even with all those prayers, nothing changed. I asked the Lord if I should go ahead and fly the first half of my fight, trusting Him to confirm the Taiwan/Hawaii portion while I was in the air. This was quite risky because as each passenger must have a confirmed flight to receive hotel and food accommodations in Taiwan.

  I received a Scripture clearly confirming that I was to go ahead. In Taiwan, I fully expected my name to be on the list! When I told the agent my name should be on record he graciously offered a free ride to the hotel to check on it.

  While waiting for the bus I explained my situation to a friendly Chinese man. He said his sister was meeting him at the hotel, and that he would be glad to give me his hotel and meal vouchers.

  As we arrived, his sister shared that she had just received his letter that afternoon, and would not have known of is arrival without it. He checked me in the hotel, and handed me his vouchers.

  God then led me to go directly to see the president of China Airlines. After a brief discussion, his secretary called the person in charge at the airport and gave them clear orders that I was to have "first priority" standby, and special attention.

  It's fun to walk in obedience to the Lord.

 Dave, an American, leads YWAM's Global Opportunity Network, mobilizing local churches into missions. He lives in the United States.

September 25

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

  My Grandma went to a camp retreat in the redwoods of Northern California. At the end of one of the meetings, a lady walked up, placed a piece of paper in Grandma's hand and said, "The Lord told me to give this to you."

  Grandma had never seen the woman before. She took the paper, put it in her pocket and thanked her. When she looked at it later, the paper was a check for $55. Grandma prayed about what she was to do with the money and felt she should send it to me.

  I had been in Alaska for some months and longed to spend the upcoming Christmas holidays with my family. I had made reservations arrangements to fly to California even though I didn't have enough money to buy a ticket. Then the check from Grandma came in the mail. It covered the balance of my airline ticket exactly.

  Immediately, I went to the travel agent to buy my ticket. She told me the fare had been raised $50 because the discounted price hadn't been paid by the required date.

  Later, I went to a prayer meeting and shared about Grandma's check and the increased fare. In light of all that had happened, I was looking forward to seeing how God would provide the $50. I wasn't expecting the answer I received that night.

  After the meeting, a couple asked me to visit with them. They wrote out a check for the remaining $50.00. Off I went to spend a joyous holiday with my family. I didn't know this would be my last Christmas with Grandma. She died the following year.

 Lori, an American, is secretary of the School of Worshiip and Intercession in Kailua-Kona, Hawai, USA.

September 26

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. I Peter 3:8

   Marriage must be built on friendship. We should be each other's closest and best friend. We cannot take this friendship for granted; it must be worked at and developed.

  To have any quality friendship there must be freedom to be ourselves, freedom to be open and honest, and freedom to share everything. That freedom can only exist when there is trust, security and confidence in the marriage relationship.

  Sensitivity toward one another is a very important part of friendship. I recently went through several weeks of very trying and difficult situations. I found myself crying a lot and feeling extremely vulnerable. Floyd had been away for most of this period, but when he came home he immediately sensed what I had been going through. He helped me put my coat on, led me out the door, and took me shopping for a special little love gift to encourage me. He's a very generous husband and has bought me many gifts through the years of our marriage, but this one was special. Not because of what it was, but because of the sensitivity it reflected. It didn't take a lot of time, but I still feel the "glow" of his love and care in response to my need.

  Friendship in our marriage is a wonderful gift, and we must treasure it. We must both work at the friendship to keep it growing. We must take the time necessary for that. As we do, our joys are doubled and our burdens are halved.

 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 43-44]

September 27

Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good (Genesis 50:20).

   We arrived in Singapore to serve on staff, minister in local churches and surrounding nations. Our work permits had not yet been approved, so we were given 30-day Visitor's Passes. We were unaware of that island nation's strict laws regarding the necessity of a special permit each time a visitor speaks in a public place. When we learned about it later, we were told the policy is usually overlooked for guest speakers in churches and the prison.
  At the end of 30 days we got a phone call from the Immigration Department. We were to appear for a review to extend our pass. In answer to their questions we mentioned that I'd been speaking in churches. We were reprimanded and required to sign a statement assuring them we would not engage in additional public speaking.
  We left shocked and disappointed, yet knowing the Lord was in control and would continue to direct us. We canceled all scheduled speaking engagements.
  We had planned to attend the International Staff Conference of YWAM in
Manila in a few days. After prayer we contacted missionaries and pastors in the Philippines. As a result, during an additional month of ministry following the conference, several hundred students received Christ in public schools. Others were reached in jails, churches and open-air crusades.
  Upon our return to
Singapore we learned our work permit had been approved and we could resume our public ministry.

 Thank You, Lord, that what Satan means for evil, You can turn for good to further Your work.

 Don an American, is an international Bible teacher and evangelist with YWAM.

September 28

  A YWAM team from Arkansas was on outreach in Central America. They gave out vegetable seeds to families in the run down part of Managua to help them grow food, and using the gifts as an opportunity to share their faith.

  The packets were accepted enthusiastically by one young mother in her cardboard and nylon dwelling. She responded to the gift with groans and gestures.

  "She wanted so badly to understand us and to talk to us, but she couldn't," said Lisa King, who recognized the movements as similar to the deaf sign language she's learned at home.

  Lisa was the only member of the 25-person team visiting the area able to use sign language. She used her hands to describe the Gospel to the woman. Then she and her friends performed a short, wordless drama. The team had prepared this presentation to explain the Gospel across the English-Spanish language barrier.

  They prayed with the woman and helped her plant the first seeds in her small garden. Later that day, they returned and met the woman's husband. He was delighted to meet someone who could help him better communicate with his wife.

  Lisa taught him several basic signs and made a simple set of hand-drawn deaf cards to leave further lessons behind after the group left. God had answered their earlier prayer for guidance to just the right house.

 Robert, an American, works with primary health care in El Salvador.

September 29

Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples. Matthew 14:26 NIV

    The wish of every true disciple of Jesus is clear. He wants to serve Jesus. However, he often asks himself, "Who am I that I could do something to alleviate so much suffering and need in the world? What can I do?

      Jesus simply says to us, "Give Me what you have; give me yourself."

     I must answer, "Here I am, Lord. Take me as I am."

     Jesus took what was given to Him and gave thanks. He didn't say it was too little. He didn't say it was worthless. He simply took it. Jesus takes what I give to Him. He takes my temper, my old character, my sin, my failure, my pride, and my abilities. He thankfully takes everything.

     Then He breaks it.

     He breaks the power of sin. He breaks my pride; he breaks my selfish character; He erases the stain of the past and the harmful effects of my temper.

     Jesus, then took what He had broken and gave it back to His disciples. "Use this to feed others," He said. This is how He makes me into an active co-worker with Him.

     After He has broken me, I become the answer to the needs around me. I discover I have enough to give because what I give comes from His hand. Therefore, He alone deserves the credit.

     Could lack of brokenness be the reason for so little visible impact on the world by Christianity?

 Lord, take me as I am. Break me so that many will be blessed through me. Help me to be a co-worker with You.

 Hans, a German, is a leader with YWAM-Austria.

September 30

  The view of dead grass outside reminded me of my circumstances. Our three-year-old daughter had a painful mouth infection; two other children and I had a stomach virus causing continuous, painful cramping and diarrhea. Despite this my husband and I were writing final exams for the YWAM U of N School we were attending.

  Added to this was the emotional trauma of living in a foreign country and dealing with a foreign language. The burden seemed too heavy to carry.

  "God," I cried. "I don't know how I can manage another moment. Please help!"

  Suddenly I heard someone singing, "Oh, Come, Let Us Adore Him." I thought about the character of Jesus and His loving Father.

  It struck me like a lightening bolt: Jesus was born in a barn. It was a dirty, smelly, lowly place that God chose to reveal His Son--a part of His very life.

  I realized it is in "barnyard" experiences that God chooses to reveal His life-changing truths.

 Sharon, a Canadian, serves on staff in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.