February 1st, 2019
Beloved Friends and Family,
You know as well as we do, how quickly God can change your plans. Whether it’s a test of faith; or God gently revealing to you, that you are no longer fulfilling His desires–but your own. There are many events that occur in our life that are allowed by God’s Divine Providence. Suffice to say, these can have a dramatic impact, depending on the road that one chooses to walk down.
From our first steps in Washington, D.C. we hit the streets sharing who Christ is and the gift of salvation through Him to any and all who would hear. From homeless men and women to tourists from far and wide to even locals living in the D.C. area. The methods we use may not be what described as your “traditional” evangelism. We did not, and still do not, use tracts. We solely rely upon prayer and the Holy Spirit. We befriend people and meet them where they’re at in life. We sometimes spend all day with one person seeing the sights with them, as Mark likes to call it “their personal tour guide for the day” and most importantly sharing the Gospel. This may seem greatly insignificant to some, but we’re not looking to dazzle you with numbers or methods, for it is God who considers just one significant. We want to please God in our lives and hear, “well done good and faithful servant!” at the end of every day. Yet at times, our love so overflowed for those whom we met, that our desire to help them went a little beyond where God was leading us.
You may remember in a previous newsletter we mentioned a desire to build on land to not only house those in need of a place to stay, but to offer work opportunities to whoever needed an income. This was never to make a profit or to make us look successful. But as previously mentioned, our hearts were overflowing with love for each individual… to meet not only a spiritual need but a physical one as well. As we began to share about our desire for this land and even finding and praying over pieces of property, God revealed to us His desire and direction. It may sound simple or old news, but we must continue to equip and edify the saints and to carry on the work of evangelism. If God wills, this land opportunity may one day be realized, but for now, our orders have been given; for there is an immediate need to fully equip the saints.
Candidly, we are in the last days. This can encourage some and discourage others. For us it is a tremendous encouragement. Not only are we witnessing God’s will from His scriptures being fulfilled (i.e. the book of Revelation), but we are given the task of persevering through various trials and tribulations all the while, encouraging others to continue on in faith until the end. There are many times, when the deck can feel stacked against us. Especially as we see aberrant theology and human wisdom/philosophy being used in the ministry. It seems that church leadership would rather focus on the things that don’t offend and make us feel good, in order to make believers “content, happy & successful”. This is to the detriment of the Body of Christ, as we then see teachings in churches that are abounding with man’s philosophies, wisdom and knowledge…all of which God, in His Word describes as the “foolishness of man.”
There are many paths that the church age has seen where man has been plotting the course or direction that the church should go. Paul clarifies in 1 Corinthians 11:3, that Jesus Christ is the head of the church, not a man or woman. Each are created for a specific purpose, both to serve and worship God, not to exalt anyone else. But I’m not done yet…Jeremiah says in Jeremiah 10:23 that man does not possess the plans for his life. No one at their best or even at their strongest point in life, can direct their own steps by themselves. With this understanding, my heart suffers to see generation after generation conducting themselves in this wicked behavior, thinking that they have all the answers but never getting to the heart of the issue (Ecclesiastes 11:4). Our heart desperately needs to be wholly and holy devoted to the Lord in reverential fear. Too many believers refuse to listen, learn and obey the Word of God. We cannot begin to understand the sorrow God has while He is watching His children living for themselves, rather than living for Him. Nevertheless, all of us are perpetrators against God, not victims. We all need His grace.
Jesus makes a profound statement in John 15:8. He says, “When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.” To be a follower or disciple of Jesus literally means to be a pupil or learner. By not remaining teachable and obeying the commands of God we become wise in our own eyes. We then begin to reject the teachings of Christ due to disobedience and never entirely become a disciple of Christ, remaining a babe in faith. There is a vast number of immature and emotional believers today (1 Corinthians 3:1-9 & Ephesians 4:14-15) and fewer upon fewer disciples are being made.
For far too long we have heard from those in the Body, far and wide, that they are refusing to obey what God has pressed upon their heart to do. Their fruit begins to diminish, and they increasingly becoming disqualified from the race of faith. Jesus stated in Luke 14:27 “Whoever does not take up his own cross and come after Me (that is cleave steadfastly to Him, conforming wholly to His example in living and, if need be, in dying also), cannot be My disciple.” Dying to self is the standard for what it means to be a Christian. Many believers are content with compromise by watching the disqualifications continue. This way of life brings no fruit to maturity and makes it impossible to be a disciple of Christ.
In unity, as the Body and fellow disciples, we are to run our race of faith with a predetermined resolution to endure in faithfulness and obedience for our heavenly reward, no matter the cost. Our lives are to be a presentation of His salvation to those whom He has called out from the world (John 17:20-23 & Colossians 1:3-12).
For our family, our focus will always be to take care of others as God has and continues to take care of us. A building or land is worthless if we are simply filling a need that will be met by another need which will in turn be another need, you get the idea. It is not our desire to make ourselves feel like we’ve done a good deed. For our aim is to respond in obedience with the mind of Christ, rather than react with human emotion, which deceives. We are not to make more “believers” who come for the free goods and services, only to abandon their faith when the goods dry up. We are to exhort others to become a pupil, to enroll as a scholar and soldier that they may follow the instructions from the Word and teach others to do the same, i.e. make disciples (2 Timothy 2:1-13). There are many believers that are forever inquiring and obtaining information about God but are never able to fully place their faith in Him, by acknowledging the Truth about Him (2 Timothy 3:1-7, John 14:23-24 & Hebrews 3:12-4:2). It is God who gives a person the desire to come to Him and God alone to grant repentance of sin. So, we leave the work of salvation in His hands and stay faithful with what He has placed in our hands. For it is required that stewards be found trustworthy and faithful (1 Corinthians 4:1-2 & 1 Peter 4:7-11).
We may never build a fancy building, nor have a set plan (Proverbs 16:9). Our speech is not eloquent. We solely rely upon the Holy Spirit rather than social media campaigns. God is the One who leads and guides and brings about growth. We must continue in obedience through faith, without worry about the judgements or persecutions from man. Here we are and will remain until the Lord directs us otherwise. We equip, we edify, and we evangelize everywhere we go, by sharing the Truth in love in the greater D.C. metro area.
Now comes your part in this ministry, prayer. We humbly ask that you be mindful of us in your prayers, as we are for you. But not only for us, but for others who are directly and indirectly affiliated. Whatever the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding you to do, faithfully engage. Through His providence, He will give you all you need. Trust in Him at all times, pour out your heart before Him, for our God is a refuge for us (Psalm 62:8). AMEN!