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One of our new outreach initiatives is an English book club for women. We began meeting in late August, inviting a mix of native English speakers and French and North African women who are looking for opportunities to practice their English. These get-togethers have proven to be good opportunities to invite friends and discuss “the big questions of life.”
The first book we read together was The Pearl, by John Steinbeck. We discussed the forms that good and evil take in our world and the question “What must we do to please God?” In response to that question, I was able to share my faith story and the truth that we cannot please God on our own, but only by faith in Jesus can we reach God. At our second meeting we’ll discuss The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis, another book full of biblical comparisons and fodder for discussion.
In a more recent blog entry, Kim reports:
Coffee outreaches are brewing in France. This month our whole team had the opportunity to visit some colleagues in Germany and participate in an outreach with them. These missionaries set up a table once a week and give out free coffee and tea. They have chosen times and locations that lend themselves to encountering some of the same people week after week. Whenever possible they engage people in conversations that often turn spiritual.
Our team’s goal was to observe and learn firsthand how these outreaches work so that we can implement them here. In the next few weeks we’ll scout out possible locations and do the legwork. We’re excited about how God could use this new form of outreach, and we’re praying for discernment to make the most of this opportunity.
Three weeks later, she added:
Your prayers are effective, and we’re grateful for the role you play in this Kingdom work! Our coffee outreaches are off to a great start. Our team has already spent three evenings engaging people in spiritual conversations over free coffee and tea.
On the very first evening, Hamid, a man of North African Muslim background, was very interested in explanations of the Gospel. After talking with several of our teammates for over an hour, he expressed a desire to trust Jesus for salvation. He prayed and accepted a New Testament and a Jesus video. Although he was hesitant to set up a follow-up meeting, he returned the following week to talk more.
Pray with us that this seed would take root deep in Hamid’s heart and that he will agree to meet for an ongoing discipling relationship. Pray that this and the other seeds that are being sown during these outreaches will multiply thirty- , sixty- and a hundred-fold.
Casa Viva San Jose Coordinator, Susana, thought about it. Who could she call? All of our active families already had children placed in their homes. But there is that one family. They were in the program a while ago and left. We’ve been out of touch for a while, but they would do a good job, Susana thought to herself. She made the call. The mother immediately said yes. She didn’t need to talk to her husband about it.
Why? Because at three that same morning, the couple had awakened. They sensed that God wanted them to return to ministry and serve together, but they weren’t sure where. And so, in the dark of the night, they went down on their knees and prayed, “God, show us where we should serve.”
Susana’s call arrived six hours later. “Knock, knock, is anybody home?”
“We are. We’ll open the door to this child,” this couple responded. Within hours the Casa Viva family was caring for and loving on this newborn.
The picture comes at the end of this story—after the prayer, after the crisis, after the baby has been placed in a mother’s loving embrace.
About three years ago, Petrus, a local Papuan Christian, came by the MAF office. He felt God calling him and had decided to head into the Jamur Lakes area, which was considered unreached. Starting by boat, then a broken down truck, then on foot, Petrus trekked through the mountainous jungle for about four weeks and eventually located the Weserau people. Several months later Petrus returned to “civilization” and challenged his church to take the Gospel to the people of Jamur Lakes.
Since then, Petrus’s church has worked together with us at MAF to take a national missionary family to live and work in the Weserau territory. In early September, one of our MAF pilots flew four flights into the Jamur Lakes area. When he landed the first time, only men met the plane at the shore; fear was evident. But by the fourth flight, women and children had ventured over to the shore. Most of the people wore a loincloth-like covering made of soft tree bark, with a few fashionable women wearing a kind of tube dress made of the same tree bark material.
The twelve passengers included two doctors, a pastor, several evangelists, a construction worker, and a local government and church leader who were interested in helping this tribe. Our MAF pilot also delivered a drum of gas, sheets of zinc roofing, and building supplies to help with the construction of a simple house for the evangelist and his family.
We tend to think that the world is well-connected. It is amazing that yet another very isolated group of people recently had their first major contact with the outside world.
Thanks for your support of MAF, which shares the love of Jesus through aviation and technology so that isolated people may be physically and spiritually transformed. You at Wheaton Bible Church are a vital part of this through your prayers and support. May the Lord bless you!