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August 2005

Dear Friends,

We’ve had a fabulous July. I spent the majority of my time in Colorado, Canada and California teaching and visiting ministry friends. Perhaps the greatest blessing of the month was the sponsorship of more than 150 of our orphans in Myanmar, India and Tanzania. This was mostly due to an e-mail that was sent out by our friend, New Zealander Andrew Strom, to his constituency of revival-minded folks. Our God is proving Himself to be a Father to the fatherless. We now have sponsors from New Zealand, Australia, England and Switzerland, and we thank God for all of them. We’ve also added a number of new orphans from the eastern coast of India, many of whom lost their parents in the December tsunami. And new orphanages have been contacting us that we must now investigate—a good thing because almost all of our original 350 orphans have been sponsored. This is a perfect assignment for Heaven’s Family and Orphan’s Tear! To see more orphans like those below who are waiting for sponsorship, visit Orphan’s Tear.

tsunami orphans india
All tsunami orphans in India

The Best Letter of the Month

Among the hundreds of letters and e-mails we receive each month, there are quite a few that I would love to share with you. But I chose one from July that stood out, because to me it was a lovely expression of God’s redemption in my own life. Many of you are aware of my regrets concerning my early ministry, during which I focused on and found some success in the eyes of man. How I wish now that I could have a chance to tell the truth to the people I then misled, and help them see that being a Christian is not about self-indulgence, but self-denial. In July I was blessed to receive an e-mail from someone who was a member of my very first church, excepts from which I’ve quoted below:

After reading on your website about the work you are doing I must admit that I fall into one of the unfortunate categories of Christians that you referred to—probably the uncommitted Christian. Your website and the work you are doing really challenged me to change that. I find myself like many Americans, with high credit card bills, not giving regularly, not serving the Lord because I’m too tired from my job, disillusioned with church, not happy….. Apparently God is dealing with me and I’m so thankful for that.

What I can do is start giving to the orphans you are trying to help. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do with my money. I’ll have to start small but I plan to sell some things so that I can make bigger donations. Actually, I’ve been feeling nudged to sell some things for months now. And I’ve already taken some steps away from materialism. Got rid of my SUV, downgraded to $12 a month cable, thinking of getting rid of it altogether, downgrading to dial-up instead of high-speed (that’s one more orphan I can support), planning on selling some stuff, moving to a cheaper place and simplifying my life so that I have more $$ to give. I’ve had strong feelings to change my life in that direction for the past year or so and I’m not even going to church. I’m at least encouraged that I was thinking in the right direction and the Lord is speaking to me. I just need to do it and I will (help me Lord).

I want to thank you David, for telling it like it is, being so direct and challenging me to live a true Christian life….I thank God that He is so gracious as to warn me that I am headed in the wrong direction. I’ve grown cold and full of anxiety. Please say a prayer that I can find my way out of the rut I’m in and truly serve Him!

I pray that God will give me more opportunities to undo the damage I’ve done in the past in the name of Christ. Praise God that He is in the redemption business!

More Good News

Although written for pastors in developing countries, the 500-page Disciple-Making Minister has been getting good reviews from readers in the U.S. and Canada. (You can order your own copy of The Disciple-Making Minister online.) The Vietnamese, Urdu, Mizo and Chin translations of this book have all been completed in preparation for our Fall pastors’ conferences. And a brand new language translation was begun in July—Telugu—spoken by millions of people in the state of Andrah Pradesh, India. Below is a sample of this beautiful language taken from the first chapter:

india text

And speaking of Vietnam, our Vietnamese conference organizer recently wrote of revival in his church:

The fire of the Holy Spirit visited the church three days on the beginning of March when we met together for fasting and prayer, praise and worship. The first time in the church, the believers witness by their own eyes how God healed the sicks of many kinds of diseases: chronic headache, backache, sinus, fever, cough, sore eyes, deaf, heart attack etc… especially there are two lame people who got paralytic, now can stand up walking. The whole church shouted and cried with joy and exciment. The two lame men are the former communists of the government. They are retired men. And now they dedicate their house as a cell group for Bible study on Tuesday night. And also through these three days, there are 14 people converted to the Lord. Hallelujah!

And finally, here is an excerpt from a letter from a rural pastor in the Philippines who had received a case of books from us to distribute to fellow rural pastors. His description of the hunger of pastors to be better equipped could well describe 95% of the pastors in the developing world. Our goal is fill that need with God’s help.

These books was so useful and helpful so much for the pastors and leaders from the different places and different churches. We the pastors, not only here in Davao City, but the whole Davao Province and other provinces here in Mindanao were longing and praying that the Lord will open the opportunity and blessings to have a free conferences, and free materials for the ministry. And most of these pastors and leaders are coming from the remote and rural areas. They are longing and praying that what the blessings of the pastors in the urban/city that they enjoyed, their prayers that they can avail also that blessings. The pastors in the remote and rural areas 95% of them were no Seminary Training. I believe that the Lord will use some people to share their spiritual blessings to these pastors in the remote and rural areas.

We know that it is the Lord who makes all these blessings possible, but we also know that He does it through you, our friends. Thanks so much.

Our Greatest Need

Please pray for more regular monthly supporters of Heaven’s Family so that we can afford to hire someone to take care of some of the ever-increasing administrative/secretarial responsibilities as the Lord continues to expand the ministry. Administration isn’t so exciting to write about, but without it, nothing else happens. I must confess that it is frustrating to me to have very little time to spend with my family (when I’m home) or to complete my newest book because I’m bogged down in administrative tasks from morning until night—a ministry that someone else with administrative gifts could fulfill. I just checked my “Sent” folder the other day, and I’ve personally written over 3,500 individual e-mails so far this year, and that is just a small part of the administrative load. My daughter, Charity, also works full-time for Heaven’s Family, but the administrative burden has grown too large for both of us. We simply must have a God-called person with administrative/secretarial gifts. This is truly our greatest need, and until that need is met, we are hindered in our fruitfulness. If you are not already regularly helping us to equip pastors, sustain orphans, and meet urgent needs of poor believers, will you? The ministry of Heaven’s Family is a family effort! Thanks, dear friends, so much.

From a fanatic who is getting worse,

David