MAY UPDATE 2016
Thank you so much for praying for and partnering with me and our team in Asia and in the USA. Your partnership is producing fruit of the Kingdom of God. Here are some stories of what God is doing in Asia and of which you are a significant part.
On Sunday, May 1, all three churches gathered together at a community basketball court for joint worship and baptism. It was a beautiful time of worship. People seemed unified and joyful. Then, our team of pastors gathered in the local river and baptized 40 people, including many new followers of Jesus.
John, above, is one of our youth who was baptized. He was into drugs for quite some time. Now he is professing to follow Jesus and is serving God. His countenance has really changed, and it is exciting to see what God is doing in his life. He is telling others of how much better it is to follow and serve God than doing drugs.
Vacation Bible School
During the week of May 10 – 14, two of our churches held Vacation Bible School. Many of our youth in each location served as helpers and leaders. Together, with the core leaders of the churches, they did a terrific job, reaching 90 plus kids in one church and I think 60 plus kids in the other. Children had a great time and were ministered to throughout the week about “Strengthening the Foundation,” a curriculum written by Eiya, one of our leaders, based on our theme for 2016.
The kids were served food, encouraged and provided a great experience in the presence of God. The youth groups had a great experience learning to work together as a team and serving God. When I asked Riza, one of our youth, if she was excited about helping with VBS she said happily, “I am so so excited Pastor. This is my first time getting to help with VBS.” Her enthusiasm to serve was contagious and blessed me.
On Sunday, May 8, the church at Trece Martires celebrated their completion of our discipleship experience called The Journey. It covers topics like Salvation, Baptism, Doctrine, Identity, Living as a Disciple, Reading the Bible, Prayer, Service, Community, Our Values and much more. All three churches have completed The Journey, with significant percentages of all ages in each church participating.
School of Ministry Graduation
On Sunday, May 15, the first batch of students graduated from The School of Ministry. The testimonies they shared reflected that they did not just learn about God in their minds. They experienced Him in their hearts. One of our youth pastors said that the school often gave him answers he was praying for to problems he was dealing with in his ministry. Another pastor called it an answer to prayer. We presented them with a towel, to remind them that ministry means to serve, a Study Bible to keep growing, and a multiplication table to remind them to go and disciple others with what was imparted to them. We then washed their feet and prayed over them. It was such a meaningful night for me as well, as I have grown to love these men and women a lot, and I have learned from them as well.
A Saved Life
Pastor Renee was out working one day, when he came across a man who was about to end his life. He and Pastor Dion encouraged him, and they called me to come counsel him that day. We had the privilege of seeing him just the other night, a bright countenance, full of hope and a future. God used Pastor Renee to save this person’s life. The man testified to the miracle God gave him that day. What an amazing God we serve. Please do not underestimate your prayers. They fuel miracles like this. Who knows but that your prayers were part of God’s sovereign work to lead Pastor Renee across this man’s path at just the right time.
In the background of all that God is doing, we face plenty of daily challenges. People struggling with desperate financial need, illness, confusion and failures. We all have our problems. But we ask for your continued prayers for protection, wisdom and power to pray, teach and guide people in the ways that lead to life. Thank you for your partnership in the work of the Gospel in Asia. I wish you could see up close the difference you are making here as we partner together in the story God is writing here.
Encounter Generation, Inc.
P.O. Box 523
Marion, VA 24354