Summer is upon us, vacations are happening, the schedules are packed, people are traveling, the camp registrations are coming in, the gospel literature is ready, the glasses are sorted, and the teams are in training. Wow! A year ago we were transitioning opportunities and not sure exactly what was in store, but now we find ourselves in the midst of new relationships and new ministry opportunities.
One such relationship began about two months ago. We received an e-mail asking for help in Moldova off our website. A young family wanted us to come and help them do camp in their village. Serge and Valeria work with kids year round in their village and needed some additional help with teaching material and biblical resources. I referred them to our in country team leader Vlad and he texted me back-“I know them, they are a great family.” So last month over coffee I met with them and when they seen the camp lessons they were so excited. “They are real bible stories, not just some ideas, can we use them?” Yes of course, we produced them so they can be useful for people around the world to know about Jesus and we want you to use them to reach the children here in Moldova. Would you be willing to help us teach them first in a camp with us, with our team, when we come this summer? They looked at me and said “Yes” and then we talked through the rest of the details. Needless to say they are very excited as it gives them a chance to have access to new resources that will expand their ministry and also to practice their English.
But there is more to the story—I had been praying for someone to help us with the camp that really had a heart for teaching kids. I desired someone we could trust and work with for many years, someone we could bless with resources and know they would be fully utilized. As I talked with them, I understood God had answered both our prayers and I look forward to what He will do through our mentoring relationship as we make disciples.
Another strategic relationship is bearing fruit in the country of Turkey, I wish I could share pictures with you, but just imagine a room full of 23 disciples discussing how to share their faith with their friends and co-workers. It really is amazing given the fact that all are Muslim background believers. What is even more amazing is that they are asking people to read God’s story and to ask questions about it to them and to others they know in each other’s apartments and homes. This is a radical concept in this part of the world, but God is doing a great work in the hearts of these young men and women. Additionally, in one highly trafficked population area, the team we are working with is passing out New Testaments by the hundreds on the weekends. As a result the church gazebo has become a place where people come to discuss what they are reading. It was one such appointment that I watched in prayer as a man was earnestly discussing what he had read that I noticed his friend was waiting for him on another bench. I approached the friend and asked if he had similar questions. He did. I then asked a couple of probing question to “Tanner” and after an hour understood God was doing a work in his life. After showing him the Turkish bible on his phone and showing him the Jesus film on the Bible.is app, I told I had to run to the airport, but would be praying for him. Would you join me in praying for him and the 3,000 that have received scriptures so far this year? I am sure the words of Jesus they are reading will change their lives.
Finally, I know that many of you are praying for us and I want to say thanks. Without you this work would be nothing more than tasks. Instead it is about transformation of people, as they become disciples. Thank you for investing in lives around the planet. And speaking of lives, would you be willing to tell your friends about us? You can like, comment, and share on our Facebook page so we can increase our GSG family. Or if you want, let me know and I am happy to come present about a project in your church, small group, or even family event. I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our strategic partnership in the Gospel.