March was an excellent month of spiritual progress. There are so many good things to report, but first let me tell you about the children in the above photos. They all live in Kulachal, India, a village that was almost wiped off the map as a result of the December tsunami. All of them lost their parents. Our Indian contact told us their story:
These kids [there are 15 in all] are given to pastor David Arthur by the government as they could not help them. But no help is given to them by any agency and the kids have hardly one meal a day. They don’t have a mat to sleep….they all stay in the prayer hall with the pastor’s family….The pastor has a heart to look after these children and he struggles to feed them. He goes from house to house and collects money and clothes to raise these kids. The children are still in fear of the tsunami and still don’t know what actually happened. Many kids believe their parents had gone for fishing and will come back with money. Some kids cry in their sleep in fear of the sights they have seen.
We have sent $1,500 to pastor David Arthur for the immediate relief of these 15 orphans. And we’ve promised to try to find $15-per-month sponsors for each of them through Orphan’s Tear. Please prayerfully consider sponsoring one or more of them. They are smiling in their photos because the photographer prompted them to smile. Their only hope now is the care of Christians who will raise them in the Lord. They need our help.
Many March Blessings
Here’s a quick list of God’s blessings in March for which we are very thankful:
1.) We had over 88,800 hits at ShepherdServe.org from people in 75 countries, more visits than any previous month.
2.) We shipped 80 copies of The Great Gospel Deception to English-reading pastors in India.
3.) The French version of The Great Gospel Deception has gone to print in Nigeria, of which the first 300 copies will be given this month to pastors in Benin, West Africa.
4.) Our mid-month teaching e-letter has been well-received, and we’ve received requests by others for permission to send them out to their e-mail lists. Consequently, we’ve gained thousands of additional readers, including 1,000 pastors in Africa.
5.) I ministered to about 300 believers from all over the U.S. and Canada at an excellent three-day “John the Baptist” conference in Kansas City. That has resulted in more book orders than any previous month as well as opportunities to speak at other similar conferences in the future.
6.) I also ministered for three days at a house church in British Columbia as well as for two days at a church in Oregon and one day at a Russian immigrant church in Florida. At each it was a joy to share.
7.) The offerings from those times of ministry plus a few other special gifts in March provided enough funds for the first English printing of The Disciple-Making Minister, a goal of several years that has now finally been realized. Praise God!
8.) 88 orphans have now found monthly sponsors through Orphan’s Tear, and we were also blessed this past month to gain two Orphan’s Tear volunteer representatives, one in Iowa and one in Florida.
9.) Finally, I’ve made some personal spiritual progress in some specific areas of yielding to and trusting in the Lord that have been wrestling points in my heart for some time. So now I am happier than ever! (Thank you, Holy Spirit, for not giving up! And thank you, Lord, for having patience with me!)
I think I’ve received more overall encouragement in March than any time I can remember in 26 years of ministry. Praise God for every bit of progress, and thank you for being part of that progress by means of your encouragement, prayer and financial support. What a great month. Our impact is growing around the world. All glory to God and blessings to you all, my friends!
My plans for ministering in the Democratic Republic of Congo this month have been thwarted by the devil (something known to happen to decent people at times, see 1 Thes. 2:18). I do, however, believe that all things work together for good, and so I’ve decided to spend the time I would have been in Congo working to finish a book I began about five years ago. It is titled, Through the Needle’s Eye and subtitled An Impossible Journey Made Possible by God. As you might imagine, it is all about serious stewardship. Being persuaded that our greatest impact around the world will be through our books, I’m certain this will be a fruitful endeavor even if it brushes the fur of some cats the wrong way. So let the cats turn around! If they do, they’ll be much happier.
I’m Taking My Wife to Cuba!
The most difficult part of our ministry is all the time I spend away from my family. So whenever it is possible, I like to take them with me, but it is not often possible because of financial constraints. I’m heading to Cuba in early May to minister to pastors there, and I am planning to take my wife, Becky, with me. She will also serve the pastors by providing prescription and reading glasses. Your help with her trip expenses would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.
Just received in our mailbox:
I am reading your book The Great Gospel Deception, and just wanted to say “Thanks” for saying all the things that I’ve had in the back of my mind/heart for years. I thought I had been a good “giver” until I read your book and the verses you mentioned. The Holy Spirit began doing a new work in me and I have become a bigger and more impassioned giver now than ever before.
It’s just amazing to me the things the Lord is teaching and showing me already this year that are greatly revolutionizing my life! I’m seeing Jesus increasingly as my Lord and Master, though He’s sporadically been that in the past. Now He is becoming Lord 24/7! Again, thanks for helping me get headed back on that narrow path Jesus spoke about.