May 3, 2000
Dear family and friends,
I trust your Easter celebration was filled with joy and praise in remembering the sacrifice Christ made for us as HE died to pay for our sins. I just wanted you to know that GOD has blessed the work of our hands and about 1000 people came in to the family of GOD this week!!!!!!! PRAISE GOD! I am writing this just 1and1/2 weeks after returning from Acarigua. I wanted to be sure to let you know as quickly as possible how the LORD worked there and in the lives of my students and myself.
Just to give you an idea of our schedule we rose early for prayer at 6:30. We had large group prayer (about 100 people) and then broke into our neighborhood groups for more prayer. I know prayer is vital and works but I didn't realize how very important it was to bathe ourselves in prayer. THe spiritual warfare was rough. We had breakfast about 9 am followed by meetings until 12 or 1 pm. These meetings helped our group of 200 "short term" missionaries to catch the vision about how we might reach the world for Christ just by 'going and telling and making disciples'. The basic plan pray, make new friends or visit friends, share GOD's word, leave the gospels with them, present the Gospel, ask if they want to make a decision to follow CHRIST or if not ask if they would be interested in participating in a small group bible study(evangelistic) . Since this was like a crusade we did other stuff. But the meetings were basicly about what the church is supposed to be doing (evangelism and making disciples)and how to do it. We had lunch after these meetings and then had some free time or time to practice mimes or skits or songs or shower or plan what we were going to do in our neighborhood that night. We left for our neighborhoods (we worked in 14) about 4 pm. The first 2 hours was spent in pairs ( a 'missionary' and a local church member ) visiting 8 people on one street from the neighborhood. We got to know them and read a few verses from Matthew one day , Mark the next etc. Then on Firday we presented the Gospel and asked if they wanted to make a decision for CHRIST. During the week we also invited them to nightly events. We had puppets and drama and mime and songs and movies etc. The Gospel was clearly presented each night. Saturday night was a Harvest night bringing all the people from the neighborhoods together. There was praying for all who had come into the family of GOD. It was awesome to see all 1000 come forward. ANother 1000 was there that heard the Message,but hadn't excepted yet. We returned nightly to the school where we stayed and shared what happened in our neighborhoods until about 11pm. THe stories were awesome, glorifying GOD in every way.After that meeting we had dinner and went to bed. It was exhausting but awesome!
Some of you probably heard about the Spiritual warfare we experienced. One afternoon one of my kids From Christiansen Academy started shaking his hand and foot uncontrollaby on one side. After 2 trips to the doctor and a cat scan while we were there, there was no evidence of anything causing this trembling.The cool thing was that when we prayed to stop the trembling it stopped. Since getting back to Rubio he had more and was taken to the hospital here and many more tests done without finding a cause. I have never felt spiritual warfare so alive and well. That first day of the trembling i felt the ruler of this world attacking me and our group. another one of my kids had an allergic reaction that same day. He too was fine. Then one of my girls got her glasses broken and is blind without them. She was able to repair them the next day but that night she was really losing it. But praise be to GOD i felt peace while trusting HIM during all of it and GOd granted the students the same. HE gave me the strength.
I as well as the kids were really convicted on the issue of going and telling . I need to do it more i don't do it nearly enough. I consider my gifts to be more in the making disciples area but i know that GOD has commanded each of us to Go and tell and i need to obey.THe kids realized the same.I couldn't believe how easy it was in the format they laid out. It was amazing. God gets all the praise! I was slightly frustrated at first as well as some of my kids because we wanted the people we visited it to accept the gift, God had freely given them. So we prepared the field as it was and planted the seeds. Some saw no one they visited come to know the LORD and they learned they need to pray and trust GOD for the results . Others saw as many as 20 come to know the LORD. I was personally blest by having the words in order to share the Gospel with a girl and have her accept it and believe it and trust in GOD as her savior!
Pray for this girl specificly her name is Carmen and she is 15. Also pray for me. I have a desire to folllow this plan in my life as far as not just letting my life be the example but by telling more and asking if they want to receive the gift. I think alot of the time before i just assumed they would ask if they wanted the gift but i realize you need to ask them. I would like to build a life centered more around tthe going and telling but in order to execute this plan in my life i will need to free up some time because my schedule is heavily focused on the discipleship part of things . It won't be easy but i know i must be obedient. I have a renewed zest for evangelism and a desire to share it with some in NJ who don't know HIM as well as people here. Also pray for us as a group of 17. We had been planning an evangelism week and now it has just quadrulpled as far as the vision goes. So pray that GOD would show us how to get the rest of the students to catch the vision.
Some students are just excited about doing another AMA this summer and have been seriously impacted by GOD's work in tthem throough this trip. Others are still trying to catch the vision that went on the trip. But i know that GOd worked in the hearts of all the students and we the leaders and that is exciting.! Praise GOD. I think GOD is preparing many future full time missionaries from our group. That is awesome!
Well I have written a lot. I hope you don't just skim but read it all. It is good stuff. Have any questions or comments? Write me, I would love to hear from you.
Love, Melissa "Lisa" Maier