FAR EAST MISSION REPORT 2008
(For security reasons, personal names and some locations have been omitted from this report.)
Just as Paul experienced open and closed doors according to Acts 16:6-10, so we also have learned to completely trust the leadership of the Holy Spirit concerning: a) who is to travel with us as co-laboring servants b) to which specific nations we are to travel c) the exact timing of each journey d) the duration of each mission and e) what the Lord would choose to minister through us while in these nations.
It is our desire to be good stewards of God’s resources that He generously provides for these missionary journeys. Thus we choose to serve in as many nations of a region as we possibly can during each journey.
In preparation for the 2008 Far East Mission, we discerned in our spirit that God was leading us to go to the Philippines, India and China. Thus we committed ourselves to the servant leaders in these nations our intention to minister as servants among them.
After our travel arrangements were finalized, we were to leave the US for the Philippine Islands on January 14, arriving in Manila on the 15th and then via a connecting a flight to arrive in the Mindanao Islands on the 16th.
With only two weeks before our departure on this mission to the Philippines, I began to feel a strong check in my spirit about traveling to the Philippines. It was so strong that I had to notify our host in the Philippines that the Lord for some reason did not want us to come at this time and I could not explain to him why.
I sent this email message at about 10:00 PM one evening and in less that five minutes, before our host could receive our message, he sent an email to me saying that the team that was to serve with us in Mindanao, whom I previously had the joy of equipping and mentoring, had also felt led not to go there but rather that they should minister in another part of the Philippine Islands.
This was a confirmation that we had correctly heard the Lord. When our host did receive our message that we were not coming to the Philippines, he was disappointed but was in agreement and concurred with our decision.
Later we received the news of a Muslim uprising in the Mindanao Islands on the very day of January 16 that we were to have arrived there. The Philippine Army was called in to quell the riot in which a priest was killed, other Christians injured and church buildings were destroyed by fire. Upon hearing this news, we then knew why the Spirit forbade us to go to the Philippines at this time.
We decided then to fly directly to India and bypass the Philippines, which we did on January 29. The Lord had sovereignly put together our team of co-laborers for this India leg of the mission. Our team was made up of a brother from Pennsylvania, another from South Carolina and one from Texas. Two of us met in Chicago and flew together to Delhi and third brother flew from Newark to Delhi and joined us there on the same day.
We ministered in Delhi with a dear friend and brother we have known for many years. We stayed at the YWCA in Delhi. Our host gathered key servant leaders from throughout Delhi and we spent three days equipping these workers for Kingdom ministry in reaching their city and nation for Christ. Our team ministered together by teaching and sharing as the Holy Spirit directed each of us. The Lord led us in the following areas of ministry: 1) “Knowing Life Experiences” 2) “Knowing Christ As Pre-eminent” 3) Knowing We Are In Christ” 4) “Knowing Who We Are In Christ” 5) “Knowing How To Walk And See In Faith” 6) “Knowing How To Hear And Obey God” 7) “Knowing Our Calling, Equipping and Fulfillment of His Ministry Through US For Kingdom Service” 8) “Knowing The Ekklesia Jesus Is Building Today And Our Function In It”.
It was a powerful demonstration of the leading of the Spirit and much fruit was and will continue to borne as a result for God’s glory.
We then flew from Delhi to Shillong on February 5 to continue ministering by the leadership of the Holy Spirit. We were hosted in Shillong by a dear friend and brother we have also known for many years. The location of our lodging and training ministry was the Pastoral Centre in Shillong where we equipped and trained twelve servant leaders from seven different nations including India, China, Switzerland, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh and the USA.
It is important that I explain how the Lord put this historical gathering of seven nations together. In the early planning stages of this mission to India, I had emailed servant leaders in six nations to intercede for us as we ministered in their neighboring country of India. Upon receiving my prayer request, each of these brothers responded by saying that the Holy Spirit had directed them to ask to be invited to this equipping and training in Shillong. I then contacted our host, in Shillong to see what his response would be to these nations participating and he immediately emailed me back that he thought this was of the Lord and to go ahead and extend an open invitation to these nations. Thus, this is how God brought together this historical gathering of servant leaders from seven nations.
Another thing the Lord did in preparation for this historical gathering of leaders occurred approximately a year earlier when the respective governments of China and India signed a government to government agreement that allowed land passage by Visa on arrival, which was the first time in history these nations had done so.
Still another prelude to our 2008 mission to India was the “revival fire” that began to sweep throughout the Shillong, India area beginning in 2006 and continuing through 2008. The Holy Spirit was moving especially among the children and young people with visions and dreams. Children in Hindu schools were seeing visions and having dreams of Jesus. From the Hindu schools the “revival fires” swept through the Presbyterian churches of the Shillong area. Believers in these churches were falling under the the power of God’s presence during their worship services. They would then extend their gatherings for hours and even days as the Holy Spirit demonstrated His power with signs and wonders!
While on our mission to Shillong, we visited many of the remaining pockets of “revival fire” in the various Presbyterian Churches of the area where the power of God was still being experienced in visions, dreams and in falling under the power of His presence! On one of the last gatherings we attended, several children fell under the power of God’s presence and began to tell us what Jesus had told them during the time they were on the floor under the power of God. They said that Jesus told them to tell those of us from the seven nations who had gathered that we were going to take the “revival fire” back to our respective nations and that it would continue to spread throughout the world!
During our mission in Shillong, I became seriously ill with an obstruction in my urinary tract due to an enlarged prostate gland. An infection accompanied with fever and chills. This happened in the middle of the night at the Pastoral Centre where we were conducting our equipping and training of the brothers from seven nations. I had my host in Shillong to rush me to the emergency room at a nearby private Christian hospital that was owned by a personal friend of my host.
They checked me into the emergency room and examined me and ran tests and x-rays, etc. Their diagnosis confirmed that I had an enlarged prostate that was causing an obstruction of my urinary tract and backing up fluids into my bladder, which could have caused even more serious problems of uremic poisoning. The doctor immediately put a catheter in me to relieve the severe pain and the pressure in my bladder and gave me antibiotics for the infection and fever. They kept me overnight for observation and dismissed me the next day to go back to the Pastoral Centre. The doctor strongly advised that I cancel my China mission and return to the USA for medical help, which I concurred wholeheartedl
I was greatly disappointed to not be able to go back to my beloved China to see our precious brothers and sisters there, but it was not meant to be on this trip for God had a different plan. I asked the two Chinese brothers who attended our seven nation training and equipping gathering in Shillong, to go ahead with the previously planned mission in China, only without me accompanying them this time. My nephew from Texas will join them on March 2 when he will fly from Houston to Beijing for this mission. I asked the other mission co-laborers to mentor my nephew as I had mentored them on my previous missions to China. They have assured me that they will pass on to my nephew what I shared with them and thus fulfill the II Timothy 2:2 mandate of multiplying servant leaders!
Another dear brother from Oregon contacted me about joining the mission team in China. I put him in touch with with our host in Beijing and he will join the team in the North East and co-labor together with them. It was miraculous how the Lord put together yet another team to minister together as servants to the beloved Chinese people.
While I remained in Shillong, India for two more weeks before returning to the USA, I spent time equipping and training the servant leaders from the seven nations who gathered at the Pastoral Centre in Shillong. At first, I tried to travel to some of the places where the “revival fires” were still burning in the Shillong area, but soon realized that my physical condition would not allow this to continue. So, I remained in the Pastoral Centre and later moved to a hotel and then to the private home of my host in Shillong.
From these locations, I taught from my bedside those who came for training and equipping. There were many different servant leaders who came for mutual fellowship and edification in addition to those of the seven nations. There were leaders from various parts of India, leaders from area Presbyterian churches, a Southern Baptist missionary and a missionary from England. It was a powerful time in the Spirit as we shared together the Life of our Lord Jesus!
Still another crisis occurred when I as in Shillong. During my illness while still teaching at the Pastoral Centre, I received an emergency message from the US that my sister had passed away. It was very sad news, but not unexpected since my sister had been ill for some time with cancer. Before I left the States, I visited with her and she insisted that I go on this mission and that she would see me when I got back at her home or at our home in heaven!
The brothers from the seven nations ministered to me in prayer and encouraged me in this special time of need. I was so grateful for their love and concern. Before I left Shillong, the young servant leaders I had trained told me that they learned many things from me in the teachings, but one of the greatest lessons they learned was from how I responded to my sudden illness and the loss of my sister. So one never knows the influence they have on others, not only in teaching but in how one responds to an illness and to the death of a loved one.
On our last two weekends in Shillong, we worshiped with the house church where my host and his family gathered. Most of the brothers from the seven nations had returned to their respective countries with only brothers from China, India and the USA remaining in Shillong. During one of the house church gatherings, the Lord led our host to have the Chinese brothers pray in their Chinese language for their Indian brothers. Then the Indian brothers prayed in their native language for their brothers from China. Finally, the Indian and Chinese brothers prayed in their own respective languages for those of us from the USA. We in turn prayed for these brothers as well. It was a awesome experience and the power of God was mightily present among us. Something very historical occurred in the Spirit that will forever change and enrich our lives!
We broke bread together around the Lord’s Supper with our brothers and sisters. As we drank from the same cup and ate from the single loaf, we all felt the unity of the Spirit in our midst. The custom of this house church gathering was for each person participating to share their bread with one another. It was so moving to see the brothers and sisters moving about the room sharing the bread and cup with one another!
Two of our co-workers flew by helicopter to Tura, India to minister to a group of servant leaders and to gather with several house churches in the mountainous jungles of the Tura area. They had a very fruitful ministry and a powerful time in the Lord on this mission. One of our co-workers then flew back to Delhi to catch his return flight back to the USA. The other team member flew back to Gahatte, India to await my arrival for our return to Delhi.
Our host, his lovely wife and precious children accompanied me to the helicopter pad where I took my flight to meet my fellow worker for our return trip to Delhi. My host and his family embraced me and he wept in gratitude for our being obedient to the Lord to come and share His life with our Indian brothers and sisters. The helicopter ride was quite a harrowing and dangerous flight over the mountainous terrain but I finally arrived safely in Gahatte.
My co-worker and I made our connecting flight to Delhi where we were met by a dear brother from the house church fellowship that had previously hosted us. He drove us to our host’s home where we were greeted by the brothers and sisters of their house church. We also enjoyed a delicious meal in their home before they took us back to the Delhi airport for our flight back to the USA. My co-worker and I flew together to Chicago where he took a connecting flight to Pennsylvania and I took my flight home to Texas.
Upon my arrival in DFW, my wife and a dear friend, who is an ER nurse, met me and accompanied me to my physician in Tyler. Before leaving India, the believers gathered around me, anointed me with oil, and prayed a prayer of faith for my healing. They asked the Lord to allow me to return home safely and when my physician in the USA examined me, he would find that my prostate gland was normal and would then remove the catheter and I would be completely healed.
Well, that is precisely what happened! My physician examined me and found my prostate normal and then proceeded to remove the catheter. He had me to remain for a couple of hours until he was sure that my urinary tract was not obstructed. Everything was working properly and he dismissed me and only wanted to see me again in four weeks as a precaution. I was healed as our brothers and sisters in India and around the word had believed in faith and prayer. We give our Lord all the glory and honor for His healing! I am now recuperating at home and regaining my strength from the weakness of my previous bladder and urinary tract infection. The doctor said that it would take about a month to fully regain my strength.
I want to hank all of you so much for your continued prayers and for your prayerful and generous support for our 2008 Far East Mission. God truly blessed through His open and closed doors to accomplish His eternal purposes through His ministry in and through us for which we give Him all the glory!