Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Thanksgiving is only a few days away, actually only 2 days now and I know many of us are hurry around getting the last minute things for the Thanksgiving Dinner.  Or in our case, trying to find all of the Christmas decorations because for us Thanksgiving is the day in which we decorate for the Christmas season.  So I wanted to take a few minutes this day to wish each of you a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.
Alvin Slaughter wrote an amazing song, one that we sing pretty regularly in church called, "We Give You Thanks."   Below you will find the lyrics.  I pray that you will read them and be as blessed as I am every time I sing them.  May each of you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.  And as Jeannine and I  think about this day of Thanksgiving, we will be praying for each of you because we are so THANKFUL that God has blessed us with you.

In all things
We give you thanks
We give your praise
And thanksgiving
At all times
In everything
We give you thanks
We give you thanks

In the middle of the conflict
In the valleys of our lives
We will lift up songs of worship
For your goodness cannot be denied

Chorus 2x

For we know that every problem
Is a tool in your own hands
To refine us for your glory
Make us willing and able to stand

Chorus 2x

At all times
In everything
We give you thanks
We give you thanks
We give you thanks
We give you thanks
We give you thanks

Friday, November 22, 2013

Being Thankful

The Birth of Jesus in a picture

But this is truly what it was about!
    Starting on the first of November, I have seen many people mention each day one thing that they are thankful for.  Many of said their families, people in their lives and many other things.   What people are writing is such a blessing and to hear about what they are thankful for.  I have pretty much stayed away from this practice. The reason I have stayed away from each day mentioning what I am thankful for is that I have so very much to be thankful for.
Over the last 6 months, we have seen God reach down and bless us so much.  We have been able, even though our Ministry Partnership has been decreasing; to have the Lord bless us with our very first home.  We have seen both of children develop into fantastic young adults.  We seen God open so many doors in North Africa and the Middle East.  God has led me to work with churches in Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon.  Then to make the last couple of months even better, I watched God do some very incredible things in Israel and was able to work with a FANTASTIC team.
Even with all that God has done and blessed us with, the GREATEST blessing that He has done for us is that He created a way for us to have an eternity.  It all started with the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ and was fulfilled on the cross.  With all the many things to be THANKFUL for, the one thing that I am thankful for each day is the LOVE my God has for me everyday.  An eternal love.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Israel Project: God Working Around the World

The Israel Team at Masada,
Praying for the Country, the People
and the Project about to
    On November 7th, 12 of us left from different locations around the US to begin the Call in our lives to follow to Israel and share with the Bedouin people of central Israel.  Little did we know what incredible things God would do.  Israel is one of the several countries in the region where it is illegal to tell people about Jesus Christ.  Yes, you read that statement correct.  Israel, the birthplace of Jesus Christ and Christianity; it is illegal to tell people of Jesus Christ.  Yes there are Christian churches in Israel, but they are persecuted it they are actively evangelizing, so little is done there to expand the Kingdom. 
    We had the priviledge of working with a wonderful group of people, whose love and caring for the Bedouin people was amazing.  We started our time in Israel with a trip to Masada, to walk around and pray for the people, the country and the upcoming project.  Amazing time of prayer.  Then for the next two days we worked with about 35 students on a English as a second language project for a local high school.  During this time we proposed questions to the young people and they were to answer then and write an article about the topic.  One of the questions was comparing Islam, Christianity and Judaism.  What was really fantastic about this was that since we are there to share the love of Christ, it was a great time to be able to tell them about what makes us Believers and to share with the love and truth about Jesus Christ.  Amazing being able to answer questions, pray with them and also to be able to share the whole story with them.  There was not one of them that did not hear that Jesus is the way, the truth and the only way to get to Heaven.
    One of the conversations that I thought was so interesting in another visit was a young man who said, I know that Jesus is the truth and I know that it is the right, however I must wait until I am an adult and away from my parents in order to let this be known.  The cost is so much for these young people who make decisions for Christ. 
     God allowed us to visit with numberous young people and adults and share with them the love and light of Jesus Christ.  Although we had some mid-morning starts, most our days started around 7 and went until 9 or 10 at night before we retired to our rooms.  The reports from the team have all been fantastic and they were thrilled to be able to share with the Bedouin people of Israel.  Approximately 300 people had the love and light of Jesus Christ shown to them and many of those are asking for further conversations about the way to eternity with Jesus Christ.  To God be the Glory.  In the Bedouin community of the Negav, which numbers at 250,000 and with the 60% of the population being 25 and under....imagine if only half of that became Believers of the one true and living God...wow how the country of Israel could be changed.
     The team that God called were some of the most humble and hard working people I have ever had the priviledge of being with.  They were flexible when they needed to be and humble enough to get down on the ground and love on a child or be in a home where this was required.  I truly was blessed.
     We ended our time with a trip to the Old City of Jerusalem.  The place where Jesus walked and paid the ultimate price for our sins and for us to have a way to Heaven. 
      My blog can never come close to telling you the blessings we had of being called by the Lord to do this work.  Thank you for your prayers, love and support of us.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tel Be'er Sheva

    Please forgive the lack of pictures, I have been trying to no avail.  I will keep trying but in the meantime, I pray you can just visualize what is happening here.
    Today we went to a local high school to be with them and to share our lives with them.  As we went into the classroom of 36 students, ages 16 and 17; we had no idea what to expect.  Our plans are to spend 2 days with these students developing relationships and sharing.  Little did we know that the soon after our arrival, the Headmaster of the student was going to enter into the room to see what we were doing.  This allowed me and our country leader to share with him that we were Christians and we were here to share with the students.  He was very excited and before we left he was inviting us to come back and be part of his school again and would open his whole school to us.  Next as we were totally engulfed with the students, enters the new Mayor of the city.  He was told that there were 12 Americans at the school sharing.  Within a few minutes he was not only welcoming us and thanking us to the school and his city, he was invited us to come and share in all of the schools of the city.  God is so great and we were able to share openly about God and His Son without any fears.  And now to add to our excitement we now get to go and spend the whole morning with the students and we are so expectant about what God will do and has already done.

The First Day...Amazing Day

    I thought I would share with you some of the events of the day and what the Lord did today.  It was a pretty amazing day.  The day started with orientation (which was planned).  Every time you come to the Middle East and because of the cultural differences, it takes time during orientation and then during the first couple of evening debriefings to cover the differences.  After that it is all about sharing the stories of what God did during the day.  So this morning was orientation, then a surprise trip for the team to  Masada, and then a planned trip to the Dead Sea. 

    Masada was amazing.  If you have not seen the movie (there actually is one) or have read about it basically when Jerusalem fell many, many years ago; some of the rebels or citizens left to find refuge at Masada versus becoming Roman slaves.  Rome ended up building a ramp to the gates, which took years; and the right before Romans soldiers were to enter the city; the rebels/citizens committed suicide versus being Roman Slaves. Masada is a flat rock about that is approximately a 1300 feet above the level Dead Sea.  And from every angle you can see some fasticide of the country of Israel.  And then if you look further to the East you can see the country of Jordan.  My request to the team as they walked the perimeter of the Masada was that they pray for the people of Israel,  that God would bless the people and that God would use each of us in some do something for His Kingdom and His Glory during this next week.  Little did I know that God would start working this quickly.  Then after Masada was a trip to the Dead Sea.  Everyone has to experience the Dead Sea to fully understand its beauty and magnitude of it.  Everyone had a great day with orientation and prayers.

    Then it was back to the hotel where the conversations really began.  When we arrived there was a large group of Nigerians arriving and who knew but God what was going to happen.  Myself and one of the other group were catching up on email in the lounge when 2 of these men entered, Israel and Victor Man (not making up the names); and here is when the conversations really began.  Victor Man who spoke much better English led the conversation.  We found out that they part of 5 groups of approximately 1000 Nigerians who were in Israel on a pilgrimage.  Our conversation quickly turned to Eternal.  It was an amazing conversation about the need for the world to be evangelized for the Kingdom of God.  How each of need to become personally responsible for sharing the love and truth of Jesus Christ.  How God puts people together who are believers to encourage and uplift each other, and look what God did by bringing us together.  Then to make the conversation even better, Israel said this one thing….”Imagine when we get to Heaven, there will be no color, no language barriers, just an eternity of praising our Lord together.”  How very true he is about that comment.

    What a great first day it was!!!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Arrival in Israel

    The team has arrived in Israel and ready (sort of) to get going.  All of the flights went relatively easy with the exception being the group from California.  Due to weather in Philadelphia, their (our) flight was delayed and moved around so much that we really didn't know if we would be making the connection.  But a quick run across the airport in Philly and we all arrived on the plane.  So it was a pretty fun time.
    It is amazing to enter into Israel and wonder what God has planned because we know His plans are so much GREATER than ours. 
    I am beginning to think that the enemy really does put on some extra attacks when I go on these trips, either by myself or with a team.  The last 3 teams I have led something has happened.   Oman last year, we lost my Mother in Law to cancer;  Turkey early in the summer, there was a national protests and riots;  and as I was boarding this flight I found out that a dear friend and brother in Christ, Mark Berryman went home to the Lord (Praise the Lord, he is Heaven) and then I was told that my son in law, Austin's Grandmother had a stroke.  But through it all God will win.  In the book of Revelation, we all are told how this story ends...GOD WINS!!!!! 
    I will be adding some pictures tomorrow of the team so that you can see who to pray for.  Here are some prayer for the team when you think of us:
         1.  Quick recovery of the team with jet lag and fatigue.
         2.  Open doors and receptive hearts of the people here who we are going to be in contact with.
         3.  The schools that we will be entering this week for boldness
         4.  The villages that are already expecting us to come and share.  These villages are excited!!
    Here are some prayers for us, if you would please pray for us:
         1.  The family of Mark Berryman and his recent Home going.
         2.  For Austin's Grandmother
         3.  Our financial needs.  God is good and we know He will take care of us..

Love you all, Ron

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Travel begins NOW

    My dear friends and family......
          It is time for the last blog before shutting down and heading to Israel with a team of 11 Called People.  It is amazing when God calls people.  Sometimes you never know what exactly you are going to do but that you are called to be obedient and to Follow Him in His Call.   Eleven people from California, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Texas have answered the Call and are going to Israel tomorrow. 
         For the next 10 days they will be sharing the Love of God to the people.  They will be planting seeds, they will be tilling the soil and they will sharing their faith and the Glory of our Lord.  I am so honored to be able to be the leader of this group.
        Please over the next couple of weeks pray for the following things for the team:
                       1.  The safety and health of the team.
                       2.  Opportunities to share
                       3.  Flexibility to do what the Lord wants and not what we want.

         Please pray for me the following:
                       1.  I lead the group with the Lord in mind
                       2.  That I am open to the guidance of the Lord
                       3.  Selfishly, my back which has gotten very bad over the last couple of days..

     I will be writing more over  the days and include pictures.  If you feel led to send a message to the team, here is my email:  ronw@ic-world.org and I would love to share them with the team.

May God Bless Each of You...


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Israel Project Begins in One Day

    On Thursday, another adventure begins.  This time it is in Israel.  There will be 12 of us going over there for 9 nights and 10 days.  Please join us in prayer.   I will be adding stories, pictures and updates as the time goes by.  Please pray for the following:
         1.  Safety for the team as we travel
         2.  The health of the team while we are gone
         3.  Divine appointments and openness of the people
         4.  That we put our personal expectations aside and put the plans of the Lord FIRST
         5.  God's Will to be done
    Looking forward to giving each of you updates on what God is doing while we are gone. 

In His Name and Love

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ministry Partnership-Relationships


Relationships with an Eternal Purpose

    I have been really praying about writing about what is a Faith Based Ministry and its key to success, Ministry Partnership.    When Jeannine and I returned home from the Middle East and then answered God’s  Call to go to work with International Commission, one of the hardest aspects was seeking Ministry Partnership-Relationships .  However over the last nine years, we have found Ministry Partnership-Relationships to be one of the greatest blessings.

    Faith Based Ministry is, trusting the Lord to not only provide all of your physical needs, but to provide for all of your financial needs.  It is a ministry that walks totally by faith in everything.   Throughout the Bible, there are multitudes of examples of living by faith.  The first century church in Acts lived by faith, sharing everything;   Paul constantly lived by faith throughout his ministry; then there is Romans 11 which speaks about the many whose faith was unwavering. 

    One of the major components of a Faith Based Ministry is Ministry Partnerships.   Ministry Partnership is where others join in relationship with you as Partners in what God has called us all to do and that is to “be His witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).”  It is not about being a donor, it is not about being a source, it is ALL ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP.    The relationship of caring for each other, communicating with each other, praying for each other and supporting each other. 

    International Commission has grown exponently since adopting Ministry Partnerships as the major avenue by which all of the field staff work for the organization.  How does it work is a common question asked of us.  Basically each of us from the beginning seek relationships in two ways, prayer and financial support.  Neither is more important than the other and thus we treasure them.   Prayer is needed for the reason all of us need prayers and financial support is so that we can concentrated on His Call.  An example of Ministry Partnerships in the Bible is the Apostle Paul and his relationship with Phillippians. 

    Ministry Partnership-Relationships are the backbone of continuing to work in the Ministry.  Without them, many of us struggle and eventually have to leave the ministry.  I know that is a harsh comment to make but it is the truth.  Without the prayers of our partners, we would be open to the attacks of Satan-the enemy.  Without the people who sacrifice for us financially, we would have to seek employment and jobs that would drastically reduce our time and focus on the ministry.

    How do you become involved?  First pray about being a Ministry Partner.  Let God reveal what He wants of  you, and if He leads you to partner; please don’t wait, do it today.  Second, let me know you want to be a partner, then we can start to develop the relationship to what God wants it to be.  Third, start.  If you are praying then start praying, if  you feel God wants you to become involved financially then here are the steps.

1.        You can become a monthly financial partner, an annual financial partner or you can also make special financial gifts.   Monthly financial partners commit to a specified amount each month to be given, this can be an automatic gift from the account you dictate or you can write a check, which you will receive a statement each month after the initial monthly gift is made.  Annual financial partners make one gift each time each year for an amount they feel led to give.  Special gifts are just that, they are given whenever the partner feels led to give by the Holy Spirit. 

2.       If you feel led to be either a monthly partner or annual partner,  please contact me through ronw@ic-world.org and I can assist you through the required steps needed.

3.       If you feel led to make a special gift;  you can send it to me,  directly to the office of International Commission and just put on the gift my name, or you can go on the website of International Commission and make a gift electronically.

4.       All financial gifts are tax deductible and should be made above your tithe to your church.
    Ministry Partnership-Relationships are a mutual journey we take together to further the Gospel of our Lord.   In this economically challenged world and a world where the enemy is attacking constantly,   Partnership-Relationships are more important now than ever before.  Please if you have any questions, want to become a Ministry Partner or just ask for prayer let me know. 
     Thank you again for allowing me to pour my heart and concerns to you through this blog.