Monday, February 17, 2014

Life in the fast lane.

   Dallas is a busy city. I should just stop my post there, as it would convey the entire thought of what I am going to say over the course of the next couple paragraphs anyways.  If you know me on Facebook, you may know that at this point I have 2 jobs, and am a full time student. I know, I am as busy as a Jew (sorry, old nature showing).  In all that I am doing, I am trying to prepare for the path I would like to see my life take, and that is on into the missions field.
    So how does all this translate to my life on the missions field? Well, the education I am getting here prepares me to be able to present a clear case for the Gospel, no matter who I am sharing with, as this school encourages you to think, and to listen to people from different perspectives than you have, so that you are firmly established in your convictions. Also, you get assignments that can challenge you to be able to present a case for what is important to you.
    I am currently working on an opinion paper on the love of God, and why that trait of God is important to me. Sounds simple right?
Well, it has had me studying scripture so I am able to present a case for the love that God extends to us.  Yes, it's as simple John 3:16 " For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  But you can brk it down to the Greek, and see that the word love there is derived from agape, which is to value something or someone, to put a premium on. As opposed to the phileo love, which is to hold someone in affection, and intimacy. Jesus said that " the best way to show those that you hold in affection that you place value in them is to lay down your life for them" "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for His friends"
      Also, my work is preparing me for the missions field. My first job, as a valet runner has my body going past the point of exhaustion. I worked as a runner for 14 hours Saturday. Most days I am able to run from the lot to the valet sight the entire night. Well, after about 11 hours your muscles don't really want to run anymore.....So you walk a few steps and press on. My second job I start Wednesday, well I don't know what it is teaching me for the missions field yet.
     My student ministry is also an important aspect to consider. I was calculating in choosing it, and that is English tutor for the international students. I chose it because I wanted that skill to help facilitate my stays in wherever God calls me to. I have learned from it how much tenacity it takes to learn a language that is not your primary language. I have to say I am really proud of all these international students that are working towards learning English.
     Beyond the academics, the physical training, the ministry, even the spiritual side of this is one side
that must be there is love (agape), without that element all that I am doing here is for naught. I think that is the most important lesson I have realized here. All of this is good, We are told to love the lord with our heart, mind, and strength. So I will continue to press on toward the high calling I have in  Yeshua.

See, I told you that the next few paragraphs would be worth your time.
Thanks for reading,   Stephen

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Moving Foward

   Wow, today has been awesome. I am better from feeling a little green around the gills over the weekend. So, I am able to get back to what I like my days to look like, namely going to pray in the morning (going being leaving my room, so as to not disturb my room mates). But I also had a team meeting this morning, team meeting being for an outreach I will be doing for school. I am getting some hands on training in what I have come to learn  to be.
    The Trip: Brasil outreach 2014, the region of Bahia, Salvador and surrounding area.
 Bahia is a region stricken with poverty, sexual perversion and sex trafficking, drugs, witchcraft, occult activity. and has a long history of this heavy demonic influence.
 In this environment many children are abandoned, or abducted and started into drugs at an early age to get them addicted. Once addicted they are turned into sex slaves to feed the addiction, these orphans are also used as hitmen for drug rings, used as human sacrifice in demonic rituals, or simply abandoned to die on the streets.
 As mentioned before, witchcraft, voodoo, and other "black arts" are  prevalent. This comes from the cultural influences that formed this area. This area was Native south Americans, conquered and subjugated to their conquerors who came to the region to gain the gold. Also, into this area came many African slaves, that were never "re-cultured" to fit the form their masters wanted, but they brought with them their voodoo, suspicions, and the witchcraft culture. Since it was Spain who conquered them there came a heavy catholic religious influence, which compromises the values of the church anyhow to let in witchcraft and the like.  
    From this we see a culture that is bound in darkness, with a "Church" that isn't able to offer hope, for they are just as bound as the people.

    What we will be doing as a team is, we will be going out on the streets praying for the sick, and those held in bondage, And we will see them healed and set free (I guarantee it). We will be going into the school to minister to the children, to see generational chains broken, and A new generation whose reality is they have seen the LIVING GOD!  We will be on the streets ministering the same freedom to the children the state doesn't recognize. We will also be partnering with a local orphanage to love on these kiddos, and impart to them identity: They are chosen and precious in His sight.
   We will be using the arts to share the gospel in creative ways, largely based from music and drama.
If you have never had the  opportunity to see  the gospel displayed in some type of drama, you are missing out, just saying.

 I have more to say about this trip, but I am currently constrained by time
  Love , Stephen

Time frame May 2014.....most of the month.