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October 31, 2013

An update from Esta Felder

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Esta* is a worker in the Middle East who writes and directs dramas and is training believers in theater. The plays are used by the monthly youth meetings, in regular church services, at camps, retreats, and conferences for a variety of purposes: to teach the youth, encourage and build up community, and reach out to non-believers.

Our last play depicting the parable of Lazarus and the rich man went really well. We received a lot of feedback on it and once again I was very proud of the actors. Our next play for Youth for Christ will deal with the issue of how easily people leave the church. I was asked by the leaders of Youth for Christ to write a play specifically on the topic of church. This is a shame-based culture and people are easily offended. Their response is to immediately cut themselves off instead of trying to resolve the problem. In the play we show that just as even loving marriages require work and commitment, so does being part of the Body of Christ.

There was a camp for young people (ages 16 – 30) from all over the region this last week. The turnout was encouraging: 280 young people! We performed a drama having to do with freedom of religion – or the lack of it. All in all a very exciting week! I’m so happy we were able to be a part of it.

Our next play will be based on the story of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus climbed a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus, but Jesus saw him up there. He called him by name and asked if he could come to his house – just like he invites us to be with him today!

We praise God for the work he is doing through Esta’s plays! Please continue to pray for her, that God will give her energy and creative inspiration as she writes new plays. Pray that God will continue his work in the lives of the 280 young people that attended the youth camp. Pray that the stories that Esta tells in the form of plays will help many in her country understand who Jesus really is and to come to know him in a real and lasting way.

*Names changed for security reasons.

October 29, 2013

Becoming a Man of Prayer

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Some reflections from a REACH practicum in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania

By Luke*

I’m sitting in a hammock, the breeze gently pushing me back and forth. It’s cold up here on the mountain, so I decided to bundle up with my hat and warm jacket. I close my eyes and rely on my remaining senses to paint the picture that I’m seeing before me. I open my ears and hear a chipmunk squeaking; perhaps he’s angry that I’ve invaded his territory. A cricket is singing just a few yards away and a small spring is trickling down the rocky path to the ravine. A few birds are singing their sweet song that could easily put me to sleep, but the cold has sent most of them away already. I breathe in deep, taking in the fresh air. A slight tinge of smoke from a campfire finds its way out of the woven layers of my jacket; I can almost feel its warming glow.

I simply love being in the great outdoors. The purity and simplicity of this time in the mountains sets a longing in my heart. God has placed me where I am, here and now, to enjoy his creation. It was hard to imagine what type of ministry my team and I would possibly be doing while backpacking in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. Perhaps it was for the little interaction we had with the few people that we met, there was some potential for that. However, I believe that the ministry was more internal and personal. It was a time to spend literally walking in the presence of the Lord and his creation. Taking time to enjoy the things he put time and thought into creating for our enjoyment. It also taught me about becoming a true man of prayer.

Prayer and intercession became a huge part of our daily schedule. With each passing day the requirement to spend the day in prayer became what I looked forward to most. Every time we entered into a time of prayer and intercession we faced the most difficult part of the trail for that day. I think that speaks a lot to the Christian life in general. When we choose to spend time with the Lord, it’s going to be an uphill climb the whole time, filled with many rocks and obstacles. Many times when you think you’ve reached the top, you realize that it simply levels out before an even steeper climb. Yet when that time is spent seeking the Lord and longing for his presence, time seems to pass by without notice and the next thing you know, you’re out in the open field gazing upon the mountain that you’ve just overcome. As my team and I were almost finished and heading back to the car, I turned and gazed upon the trail behind us, all the mountains and obstacles we conquered. I got this picture in my head. I could close my eyes and imagine God standing right beside me, his arm draped around me saying: “That’s pretty sweet; we just went through all of that. Are you ready for the next adventure?”

I’m ready for the next adventure!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11

Luke is on the 2013 REACH team to North Africa and is currently participating in the program’s discipleship training school. In North Africa, he will be a part of a team of four guys who will be trekking into unreached mountain villages to share Jesus. Luke’s favorite part of REACH training so far is the camaraderie and worship. He says, “I have been pushed out of my comfort zone and have been encouraged to excel in every situation. God has taught me so much and I still have seven months to go!” In his spare time, Luke likes to keep practicing and advancing his guitar playing skills. You will rarely find him sitting by himself; he will either be outside walking and talking with friends or writing. He likes to write short stories or about adventures in his own life, as well as poetry.

*Last name omitted for security reasons.

October 25, 2013

From Mustard Seed to Tree

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By Tom M, Asia regional director

During my recent visit to Thailand, one of the highlights was spending an entire day with members of the RMM team and several of the local believers studying the Bible, talking about church planting principles, and discussing life and ministry in their specific contexts. Dan Byler shared from his experiences years ago in Nicaragua, telling us how his work with some unlikely young men led to the birth of many churches in a remote area. He told of how the gospel spread from village to village and the way in which uneducated, marginalized people were instrumental to that growth. We can see the same potential now—both in the villages of a neighboring country and even in the sprawling city of Bangkok. Faith in Jesus can spread naturally along relationship lines and in ways that are often unexpected. Another highlight that day was reading together the account of Paul’s work in Ephesus and discussing the importance that he placed on leadership development. We recognized that it is crucial to make disciples who will in turn make disciples. It’s the only way that the gospel will take root and spread among their people.

The group that we met with is small, but the potential is huge. For years we were hoping and praying for this kind of opportunity—to be able to equip and encourage local leaders for ministry among their own people. As we met with these young men we could see that God is preparing them for that purpose. Lan is an active evangelist—splitting his time between several locations and constantly discipling people, both in person and over the phone. Tha, another young man who attended the seminar, is one of Lan’s disciples. He’s currently working at a gas station in Bangkok. He lives there in a community of more than 20 people form his home country. Even though the job is low paying and the hours are long he feels called to that place. He was baptized a year ago and now he is taking leadership of the small group of believers and seekers that meets at the gas station. Spending the day sharing with them and hearing them talk about their plans for leadership development and expansion was an inspiring reminder of the gospel’s power to start small but have a large impact. Jesus compared his kingdom to a pinch of yeast or a mustard seed—small things containing great power and potential. We are seeing the truth of this principle clearly in these brothers and sisters.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matthew 13: 31,32 NIV)

In the afternoon Lan showed us a map of his village that he had drawn. He had marked the two households that currently have believers and then talked about his vision for the future. He has faith that the gospel will spread, and he is thinking strategically about how to set the stage for God’s work. He’s also begun thinking about how God wants to bless the villagers in his home area materially and feels that God is giving him ideas for developing the natural resources that are there in that rural area. They have abundant land and access to water and Lan now sees that these are God-given blessings. We’re praying with him about how he can start an agricultural project—growing vegetables, sugarcane, or something else. This could provide income for his family and provide the funds that he needs for his ongoing discipling of others. He’s back at home now—to harvest his rice crop and to be the presence of Jesus there.

In the weeks since Lan returned to his village he has faced increased spiritual opposition. His family ran out of rice and several family members were seriously ill. When his uncle was close to death, the rest of the family wanted to take him to a spirit doctor. Lan resisted and told them that God had the power to heal. But in the end his uncle died. Other family members faulted Lan for this and naturally, he felt discouraged. Since then he has continued to share his faith and in the most recent update he shared that he has been able to study the Bible with his mother and he thinks that her heart is softening towards God! Please join us in praying that God’s spirit will continue to work in the hearts of Lan’s mother and others in his village and that many will become followers of Jesus!

October 20, 2013

We've Moved (our website)

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We’ve moved our old website address of www.rosedalemennonitemissions.org to our new and shorter address of www.rmmweb.org, and request that you update your bookmarks/favorites to our new address.

We have kept our old address live (it simply mirrors what’s available on our new address), but plan to discontinue that in the near future. Additionally, if you are a church or entity that has our old address linked on your website we need you to update that link as well.


October 17, 2013

Welcome New Board Member

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David Kochsmeier, appointed to a six- year term ending August 2019.

David and his wife Beverly (Bev), have been married for 25 years. They live in Bethlehem, PA. They have four sons: Aaron, 24; Philip, 22; Daniel, 18; and Joshua, 17. David has been the senior pastor of Steel City Mennonite Church in Bethlehem, PA for the past 24 years. He is a speaker and program producer for Life with God Ministries which produces a 30 minute weekly broadcast heard on six radio stations in the Mid-Atlantic region and Puerto Rico. He has served as board chair for Lehigh Valley Christian School for the past eight years. He also currently represents CMC on the planning Advisory Committee for Mennonite World Conference’s General Assembly. For relaxation, David enjoys reading, playing golf, and vacationing on a cruise ship (David says he refuses to take life seriously!). David’s interest in and support for global missions has been growing and expanding in the past several years. He is “thrilled to hear stories of what God is doing through ordinary people with an anointing to reach individuals with the gospel of Jesus.” He sees his role on the RMM board as an encourager and supporter of workers on the field.

October 16, 2013

Seeking Your Story

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Do you have a strong desire to share your faith with your friends who don’t yet believe? Have you discovered creative ways to love others and share God’s Word? How have you and your church been a light to your community?

Maybe you feel successful or unsuccessful. Maybe you’ve gotten discouraged or your passion for reaching friends for Jesus is at an all-time high. Maybe you feel alone in your mission. Whatever place you find yourself in, we at RMM want to hear your story. We believe that the more stories we hear and share, the more we can inspire each other to live a missional life. God’s Spirit is unstoppable and we want to join with him to seek the lost. Let us know what your church is trying or share a story from your own life. Respond right here or send staff writer Candice an e-mail today.

October 07, 2013

The Path Where He Has Placed Our Feet

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An Update from Art and Paula Shore*

At some point several years ago, the government of our country in the Middle East, our home for the past fourteen years, decided we were no longer welcome on their soil. This decision affected all the foreign Christian workers from our part of the country. But rather than deporting people and creating a scene, they preferred to merely not renew residence permits, while refusing to give any reason. “You’ll have to ask Angora” (the capital).

Since we left rather suddenly in April of 2012, returning for Paula’s chemotherapy and radiation treatment, we didn’t have occasion to test the government’s resolve. Art returned to the country in January of this year and Paula followed in early March, both receiving three-month tourist visas after difficult re-entries. We inquired at security headquarters in our city about renewing our residence permits but were bluntly informed that we would not again receive long-term residence permission in the country. So in March, at a retreat with our team and regional directors, we decided to return to North America for a time, before being denied entry or deported as some others have experienced. We had one month to disperse or pack our possessions and attempt to say our farewells.

After returning to North America, we discussed with the RMM executive team what we might do in the coming year. We decided to explore how we might reach out to the growing population of North American Muslims. We proposed doing that by moving into an immigrant-rich neighborhood in Toronto or Kitchener/ Waterloo and by finding employment in Teaching English as a Second Language.

In the next several months, we made numerous exploratory trips to both cities but nothing seemed to materialize. We learned how difficult it is to find teaching jobs these days; some university graduates wait for years to find employment. In light of extremely high rent prices and no job, it didn’t seem wise to move into the city. Throughout the summer, we looked for work and submitted a number of applications. We shared at a number of local churches. Art began to assist a small congregation whose lead pastor was about to begin a six-month sabbatical. We also pursued relationships with people from our country of service, wherever we could find them.

In August, our regional director suggested that we again send out prayer requests to our intercessors for a place in the city and for work. We did that on the 24th of August. On August 26th, we had a telephone conversation which seemed to be a door opening into the kind of neighborhood we were looking for. On the 28th, I had a phone call from a local community college offering me an interview regarding several openings. The power of prayer!

Since then, I have accepted a job teaching in the LINC program, a government program providing Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada at a location in Cambridge, the third of the tri-cities with Kitchener and Waterloo. Our move to Kitchener is still unfolding but it looks promising. In early November, we may move into a neighborhood mostly inhabited by immigrants, into the house of a family who has spent twelve years there, being salt and light.

This family is leaving for eight months in Africa on a job assignment from the construction company which is the husband’s employer. They had been praying for someone to fill in and are excited about us taking their place: being a presence, continuing with their house of prayer ministry, and mentoring other young workers in the city. We are excited because this brings us into a circle of people who share our vision and are already doing precisely what we hoped to do. (Another appointment arranged by God!) We hope that our involvement may be also useful in helping to mobilize local churches to reach out to the world which is coming to our doorstep.

Immigrants make up approximately 25% of the population of Waterloo Region. The population of the immigrant community is growing twice as fast as the non-immigrant community. Apparently this is due to the excellent array of services for newcomers and the warm embrace of the Christian community. Currently there seems to be an openness within these communities; this may be a strategic time for God’s people to be working in the harvest fields next door. RMM has appointed us to a one year term working with these communities.

In my English classes, there are students from China, Laos, Thailand, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Romania, Poland, Albania, Rwanda, El Salvador, Colombia, and Brazil; I may have missed several. My fellow English teachers are from Hungarian, German, French, and Canadian backgrounds.

On another important topic, Paula finished all chemotherapy and radiation treatment by November of 2012, and has steadily been regaining her strength and health. She goes for checkups every 4 months and has been encouraged by the good reports. Her next checkup is scheduled for January of 2014.

We are grateful for your faithful prayer support; we hope you are encouraged by the answers we have received. One translator has worded Psalm 85:13 this way, “Righteousness will walk before us, placing the feet of the faithful on the right road.” We are grateful for God’s faithful guidance, for the path where He has placed our feet, even through unexpected changes and times of waiting.

*Names changed for security reasons.

October 04, 2013

Farewell Party for Paul Kurtz

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Paul Kurtz is leaving Rosedale Mennonite Missions
after 20 years of dedicated service.
He is leaving to follow God’s call and his own passion
to devote more time to Hemisphere Coffee Roasters.
Please join us in expressing
our appreciation and blessings for his future.

The RMM Board of Directors invites you
for coffee (of course!) and hors d'oeuvres

Sunday, November 3
from 6:00 to 8:00pm

Rosedale International Center
2120 East Fifth Avenue
Columbus, Ohio

Presentation and Open Mic at 7pm
Respond to denise@rmmoffice.org

The Great Undoing:
"From 'fat kid' to running club"

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By Joe*
From the October 2013 Beacon

It’s 6:00 a.m. and it’s raining and dark. People are huddled under the awnings of buildings trying desperately to stay dry and warm. A few have found their way into an open shopping mall that was gracious enough to allow us to use their restrooms as we waited. My stomach is swimming. I don’t know what to expect and feel like I have no business being here. Little do I know that I’m not the only one feeling that way.

I am listening to my trainer’s last-second advice. He is drilling it all into my head. Run at a lower heart rate. Walk through every water stop. DO NOT step in puddles; they are blisters waiting to happen. He tells me, “Pride is taken off on a stretcher in a marathon. When little old ladies start to pass you at mile 20 you just say ‘good job, ’and let them pass.” He hands me a little wooden box and tells me not to open it until I am completely at wits end; when I can’t go on anymore. I slide it into my pocket. He tells me that the marathon is broken into two halves. The first half is 20 miles and the second half is 6.2. The marathon is a race of attrition; it will wear you down. Many runners hit the wall at mile twenty. Push to twenty and then push through. I tuck his advice away in my memory because this is my first marathon. I am scared to death. I suffered a foot injury during training so I couldn’t complete it. Will I make it? Can it be done? My wife and my mom and dad are here for moral support. It’s been a long road to get here. A road I thought I would never travel.

I am listening to my trainer’s last-second advice. He is drilling it all into my head. Run at a lower heart rate. Walk through every water stop. DO NOT step in puddles; they are blisters waiting to happen. He tells me, “Pride is taken off on a stretcher in a marathon. When little old ladies start to pass you at mile 20 you just say ‘good job, ’and let them pass.” He hands me a little wooden box and tells me not to open it until I am completely at wits end; when I can’t go on anymore. I slide it into my pocket. He tells me that the marathon is broken into two halves. The first half is 20 miles and the second half is 6.2. The marathon is a race of attrition; it will wear you down. Many runners hit the wall at mile twenty. Push to twenty and then push through. I tuck his advice away in my memory because this is my first marathon. I am scared to death. I suffered a foot injury during training so I couldn’t complete it. Will I make it? Can it be done? My wife and my mom and dad are here for moral support. It’s been a long road to get here. A road I thought I would never travel.

“Some people say they would love to go back and re-live their happy and carefree elementary and middle school years. It was not that way for me.”

As I scan back over all my pictures growing up, it is quite obvious that I have always been “the fat kid.” Each year I just got progressively heavier and heavier. It wasn’t an easy time in my life. Some people say they would love to go back and re-live their happy and carefree elementary and middle school years. It was not that way for me. All I remember is getting bullied for being fat just about every day. I was teased relentlessly. I would love to share an example with you but even now I would rather not talk specifics. As a thirty-eight year old man, I could still walk you to specific places in the school where some traumatic confrontations took place. Bullying isn’t something that should be dismissed. It scars the soul.

Throughout my life no one ever really called me out on my weight. No one ever said, “Hey maybe you should find a trainer or doctor.” I do know that I eat emotionally. Growing up, after every bad day at school I would come home and raid the fridge because it would make me feel better. This habit carried over into adulthood. I got married at the age of twenty-nine, and by my first anniversary I was in 4x-5x shirts busting out at around four-hundred pounds. I never noticed. Honestly. I always felt good and wasn’t experiencing any of the typical health problems that accompany obesity. I even had myself convinced that my clothes were shrinking. But I had a wake up call in the middle of the night. Lynn, my wife, was crying in bed one night and I asked her what was wrong. She confessed she was worried that I was going to die early and that my health was going to adversely affect my life. It never dawned on me that the cycle I was trapped in was not only affecting my life but my family as well. So we made a plan.

I consulted a doctor and got help from him. My mother-in-law introduced me to a trainer who saved my life. I don’t think that is an exaggeration. He truly saved my life. We got to work and eventually I got my weight down to 230 pounds which is about where I am now. That sentence breezed over a couple of years of hard work and many tears and failures and weight fluctuations but this is where I am now. In the meantime, I have found a deep love and appreciation of running. Running became not just a physical activity but a spiritual one as well. At first I enjoyed running for the health benefits. I was able to run four marathons while living in Ohio. When I moved to Bangkok as an RMM worker in 2011, I found the spiritual side of running.

People who know I used to be a pastor ask me if I pray while I am running. The answer is usually “no,” at least not in the traditional sense, but I do connect with God. He tends to be waiting for me on the path. Running is my space to connect with God, myself, my environment, and others. It is my little bit of shalom. But connecting with others didn’t happen right away. We were in Bangkok for about six months before I started running again. I was reading about the Bangkok Marathon and I stumbled across a guy who said he was starting a running club. I had never considered joining one before because what I loved about running was the solitude and the lack of pressure from others. As the “the fat kid,” I hated team sports. I was always picked last and held people up. It wasn’t fun. But I decided I would give it a chance. The worst thing that would happen is that I would show up one time and be done with it.

At that time there were about four of us that met together. I showed up at Lumpini Park, scared to death. All I could see in my head was gym class and getting picked last. But it was quite the opposite. The founder of the club made me feel right at home. We spent the morning running through the park and chatting. It was so refreshing. I felt no pressure whatsoever, so I kept coming back. Then it dawned on me, “Maybe God has a purpose for me here.” I mean why not, right?

The club began to grow rapidly and many new members jumped on board. They are from all over the world. They are Thai, European, Japanese, American, Australian, and many others. Now just after our one year anniversary, we are a club that numbers over 400 people! I have been asked to be in charge of greeting new members. That might be the best job ever. It was an honor to be asked to do it. At one point it dawned on me that the “Bangkok Runners” is much like church.

From my running journal, July 2, 2012

So I had a wonderfully bizarre experience yesterday. I joined my running group for our Sunday morning run. We ran for 17.9km (11 miles) in Lumpini Park. Some ran faster and some ran slower but we all made it.

The running club reminds me of what church should be. Not the building we file into on Sundays, but the body that church is meant to be. Church is a word that represents a people, not a building. On our run, sure we had a goal. We wanted to go seven laps around the park. We accomplished that goal, but what was amazing was how it got accomplished.

Two of us are pretty slow so we brought up the back of the pack and finished as much as 30 – 40 minutes behind everyone else. But for the first five laps, one of the fastest guys stayed back with us. He offered conversation, advice, and thoughts; we just spent time getting to know each other. We felt bad for holding him up but he actually came back for us and wanted to do it. As others lapped us, they would tell us ‘good job’ and we would mutually encourage each other. When he lapped us, a Japanese friend hung back with us and we spent time with him and listened to his story and were inspired by his passionate life. Afterwards many of us stuck around and chatted and ate together (those who could hold down food).

Man, that is what this journey of faith is for me. It gave me a picture of what church should look like. People from all different nationalities and backgrounds with a common vision and journey heading in the same direction, sharing life and encouraging others to join us no matter who they are. Instead of looking out for ourselves we encouraged each other, and some even sacrificed their ability to leave others in the dust for the sake of community. This is the new way I envision church.

This is my calling

When we came to Thailand we had a family mission. We came here to do life among Thai people and as we go we hope to make disciples. And we are seeing that start to happen! We have amazing Thai friends who have blessed our lives and also have shown great interest in Jesus. We are incredibly excited about that! We don’t want people to ever be a project or something to check off a list. We want to engage people with no agenda other than to show the love of Jesus to them. As soon as Jesus becomes a product to sell and people become the customer, we are nothing more than a “used car salesman.” We don’t offer our product and if they aren’t interested, just move on to the next customer. That isn’t how it works.

I didn’t know how my running club would fit into this mission to do life among Thai people. Here we are—a group of internationals and locals who created a third culture around running. It is neither an international community nor a Thai community. It is a running community. Finally I gave into it and decided that I would not say no to the people God wanted to bring into my life. Since I’ve embraced this idea, I see God beginning to move. It is a slow process but it is happening.

“We don’t want people to ever be a project or something to check off a list. We want to engage people with no agenda other than to show the love of Jesus to them.”

This has created a shift in my thinking. I went from someone who thought a lot about how to share Jesus with Buddhists, to someone who had to think about this new community I am a part of and how Jesus is at work in their midst. I had to think now about the Western world view and how people have been burned or hurt by the church in the past. There is no longer a clean slate when talking about Jesus. My work has now become an attempt to help others have a more accurate understanding of Jesus and what a “Christian” looks like. As my pastor David Windham said to me on the phone, there needs to be an “undoing.” Whether we like to hear this or not, Jesus’ name has been dragged through the mud over the last number of years. The impression of many people is that Christianity is “anti” just about everything. They have not seen much life coming out of the church. They see dogmatism, theocracy, arrogance and the imposing of our beliefs on others. We are working out of a negative. I feel the calling that God put on my life is to “undo” some of these perceptions of Christianity. As a matter of fact I don’t really use the word “Christian” or “Christianity” in Thailand. Sadly, these words have too much baggage attached to them. I am a Jesus follower.

In my relationships, I’ve experimented and tried to figure out effective ways to share my faith. Asking questions is a great tool. Many of my friends are used to people of faith doing much of the talking and not listening. My heart is to listen. Listen and never offer unsolicited advice. In addition, I have what I call the “no freaking out” rule. Maybe it is because I am an easy going guy but when people share what they believe with me, they are being vulnerable. I’m nervous to share and I try to remember that they are too. Whatever they share with me, I accept. Like in any friendship, as depth is built, we share more with each other.

Another tool, that took me a while to warm up to, is to tell people I am praying for them. I have no study to back this up, but I would bet nine out of ten people love the idea that you are praying for them whether they believe the same as you or not. As a matter of fact I have yet to have a friend offended, feel awkward, or turn down an offer for prayer. Prayer is good and powerful. My next goal is to pray with them right there on the spot. I’m getting there.

Now, I do have opportunities to talk about Jesus. Many conversations after a run—or even during one—circulate around deep things including Jesus. As a matter of fact, I am getting ready to start a regular coffee get-together to talk about anything but running; a place to talk about life and faith. The subject of Jesus will come up often. Most of the other runners know I used to be a pastor. I decided to not hide that, because it is a big part of who I was and still am. The big reason I get a chance to talk about Jesus is because I give them a chance to talk about their faith too. It is mutual. We as friends engage each other and we naturally talk about life and faith. It is the natural give-and-take of any friendship. There is a quote by Billy Graham that I live by: “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and it’s my job to love.” My calling in Thailand is to be part of the Great Undoing. My calling is to love people in the name of Jesus and as God and hearts move, to help bring people from a negative view of Jesus to a neutral and then positive view. People need to be reintroduced to Jesus, because the Jesus they met is wrapped in condemnation, bigotry, hatred, and politics and is, for some, just make-believe. It is an uphill mission but I am not concerned. My job is to do my best to love people in word and deed. I pray for my friends to meet Jesus. They are all in different places in their journey so I don’t know if I will get to see them come to Jesus, but at least I can be one more person that hopefully points them towards him.

It is funny how God uses “the fat kid” to be his representative in a running club. God is full of miracles and humor.

*Last name omitted for security purposes.

Joe, along with his wife Lynn and six-year-old son Brennan, have lived in Bangkok Thailand since late 2011. During their initial two-year term they have focused on language learning and on building relationships. Brennan is currently in first grade in a local Thai school and Lynn does English tutoring. Joe and Lynn are also exploring small business opportunities and are making plans for a longer-term assignment in Thailand.

October 03, 2013

New SEND Ministries Program Facilitators

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Brian and Brittany Troyer began serving as the new SEND Ministries Program Facilitators on Sept 16. Brian was on the REACH Spain team in 2009, and served as the Outreach Coordinator Staff Intern in 2011. Brittany was on the REACH Thailand team in 2007, served as Outreach Coordinator Staff Intern in 2009, and lead the REACH team to Thailand in 2010. Brian and Brittany were recently married in May of this year. They are relocating to the Rosedale International Center in Columbus from Hartville, OH. We are so thankful for God’s provision and for the gifts and leadership Brian and Brittany bring to the SEND Department. Welcome Brian and Brittany!