Thanks so much for your July prayers while I was in Israel filming a video series teaching through the Sermon on the Mount. As you know, the recent Israel-Hezbollah war began while we were in Galilee, but God’s timing for us was perfect. A number of biblical sites were declared off-limits by the Israeli government just one day after we filmed there. And the first of three barrages of Hezbollah rockets hit Tiberias, where we stayed for a week, just three hours after we departed. Amazingly, no one in Tiberias was killed, but our hearts go out to all who have lost their lives or their loved ones in both Israel and Lebanon over the past weeks.
There has been so much happening in all three branches of Heaven’s Family, and so this Ministry Update highlights some (but not all) of the July projects of Shepherd Serve, Orphan’s Tear, and I Was Hungry. We take great joy in serving you through the opportunities God provides for all of us to show our love for Jesus by loving His family. Thanks so much.
Strengthening the Church by Serving Her Shepherds
After we left Galilee, we found another good “film set” near the Dead Sea, and I taught through the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24-25. Jesus’ words, “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars,” took on greater meaning than ever!
Altogether, we were able to film 28 half-hour teachings and numerous “side-trips” to interesting biblical sites. The video is now in the editing phase. Both series will eventually be available on DVD, and if we can find a way to stream them on our website without incurring too much expense, we’ll make them freely available there for hungry sheep and devoted shepherds around the world.
In July, thousands of copies of The Disciple-Making Minister, our 500-page book, were printed in several countries for distribution to Christian leaders. In India, 1,000 copies were printed in Telegu, the primary language spoken in the state of Adrah Pradesh. 2,000 Swahili copies were printed in Tanzania. 1,000 English copies were printed in Kenya. The Romanian, Burmese, Singhalese (Sri Lanka) and Spanish (in Cuba) versions are just about ready to go to press. Hundreds of copies of the English version were distributed to African pastors in Congo, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Malawi. Those of you who are “buying shares” in our Heaven’s Family Mutual Fund know that 22% of every investment helps us print those books for Christian leaders around the world. Thanks so much!
Showing Christ’s Love to His Little Followers
We continue to stand amazed of God’s blessing upon Orphan’s Tear. Currently, 556 orphans in six countries are being helped each month by compassionate sponsors. We are also often blessed to fund special projects because of special gifts that we receive. Last month, for example, we repaired the earthquake-damaged well at Shalom Orphanage, purchased several acres for rice paddies for Canaan Orphanage, and provided funds for a new dorm for New Eden Orphanage, all in Burma. And we significantly helped six other orphanages, where few or no children are yet sponsored, that are facing pressing needs such as lack of food. Due to government policies, the price of a sack of rice has tripled in Myanmar since May.
We are also thrilled that great progress is being made on the new dorm we are funding for the Handicapped Care Center (see photo below), an orphanage in Burma where about 30 Christian children live who have been afflicted with polio, a disease just about eradicated from the rest of the world. Perhaps you saw the heart-touching Handicapped Care Center video that we produced about those joyful children and their needs. Lord willing, we will dedicate their new building when we visit Myanmar in November.
Those of you who are “buying shares” in the Heaven’s Family Mutual Fund know that 45% of every investment is used to help children through Orphan’s Tear. Also, because of God’s provision to our general fund, we’ve been able to send not only 100% of every special gift to its designated need, but also 100% of every monthly sponsorship gift. Nothing is used for administration. Praise God! And thank you.
I Was Hungry
Loving Jesus by Providing for His Family
I Was Hungry now has its own website! That website highlights various projects that are meeting pressing needs of our family around the world, including the medical clinic we are building in Myanmar to service many orphanages that we help near Kalaymyo (see photo below).
Through I Was Hungry we also regularly assist widows in Pakistan and India, former drug addicts at a Christian Drug Rehabilitation Center in Cuba, poor Palestinian believers in Bethlehem, Israel, and North Korean Christians suffering acute food shortages. We’ve previously assisted believers who were affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami and last year’s Pakistan earthquake. All of these projects are highlighted at I Was Hungry.
Those of you who are “buying shares” in the Heaven’s Family Mutual Fund know that 33% of your every investment supports these projects. Thanks! If you are not yet laying up treasures in heaven by means of the Heaven’s Family Mutual Fund, wait no longer! The returns are out of this world!
Canadians and Cubans
I won’t be traveling overseas in August, but I will be crossing an international border, hosting our own “Drawing Closer Conference” in Abbottsford, Britsh Colombia, Canada, August 18-20. I’ll be teaching through the Sermon on the Mount verse by verse. For details, e-mail us at [email protected].
The remainder of 2006 is quite full of international ministry to pastors in Macedonia, Cuba, India and Myanmar. In preparation, thousands of copies of The Disciple-Making Minister are being printed in Bulgarian, Spanish, Mizo and Burmese. Once again, thank you for making all this ministry possible. We are laying up treasure in heaven, where our hearts are.
For God’s glory,