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Indonesian Testimony – Part 3

img_1902I’ve been posting about what I saw and learned on my recent vision trip to Indonesia with a group of ministers. We went to see how Boston area churches could get involved in what God is doing there.

So far I talked about what happened in the big city of Medan on the western side of Sumatra. Halfway through the trip, we took a one-hour plane ride to the eastern side. We stayed in the town of Sibolga.

We were now in a part of Sumatra that few Westerners get to see. Let me give you an idea of what I mean. The 15 mile ride from the airport to the town took one full hour because of the conditions of the road.

Sibolga is a small town on the edge of the mountains. As a matter of fact, the first thing we did when we got there was to take the road into the mountains. There was a special site we wanted to get to.

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that the roads we took looked like something taken from National Geographic magazine. They were narrow, winding roads, barely clinging to the sides of the mountain.

Two hours later we arrived at our destination. It was the place where the first missionaries to Sumatra (who were sent from Boston) were killed by the local Batak tribe. The Batak people now look back on that event with guilt and sadness. They have erected a memorial in honor of Lyman and Munson. That’s the picture at the top of this article.

But that brings me to the part we didn’t expect on this trip. This area is saturated with Batak churches. We came with the understanding that the area surrounding Sibolga needed the Gospel. So what was the problem?

We found that most of the local churches aren’t evangelizing the lost. A disconnect has formed between the churches and the missionaries. The local churches believe that it’s the missionaries’ job to win the lost, while it’s their job to build larger churches.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
Mark 16:15

I believe that preaching the Good News of Christ to the lost is not optional for any believer. Whether it’s next door or around the world, we all have a part to play.

Upon learning about this spiritual dilemma in the work being done here, we made a decision. What we learned served to strengthen our resolve to support and encourage the new breed of church planters that God was raising up on Sumatra.

Their goal is to present the Gospel to the unreached people around them. It’s not in their agenda to fill their churches with pre-existing Christians. They passionately desire to see the Kingdom of God increase.

Along with that, I believe that God gave me a personal goal as well. I want to come back to the island with teams of 4-5 people who can help the missionaries in their evangelism projects. I can also be an encouragement to local ministers and theological students with practical training and teaching.

Pray for the church planters and missionaries who are reaching souls on Sumatra. Pray for the local churches to get God’s vision for reaching the lost around them.

Question: How have you reached out to those around you who need Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

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Posted by on February 6, 2017 in Ministry, Missions, The Church, The Gospel

 

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God Bless the USA #Prayforrevival

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATomorrow is the Fourth of July.  Today I’m thinking about cookouts, flags, and fireworks.  Is that what being American is all about?

I’m grateful for having been born in the United States.  There’s been so much going on lately in this country, much of it is negative.  However, I continue to believe that the USA is still the best nation on earth.

We were founded upon Christian principles.  The question is; are we a “Christian Nation” anymore?  Does a Christian nation tell you not to pray in public?  Does a Christian nation tell you not to display Christian symbols where everyone can see them?

While it’s true that many Christians live in this country, we have to come to grips with the obvious.   The United States, as an entity, is no longer Christian.  As believers, we need to live understanding that fact.

When David became king of Israel, it was recorded that many groups came from all over that nation to join the ranks of his army.  It describes the weapons they used and their strengths.  There’s one group in particular that stands out to me.

…men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do – 200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;
1 Chronicles 12:32

The only weaponry it tells about these men was their ability to understand the times and live their lives accordingly.  This should be a lesson to us in the United States.  The Apostle Paul echoes the same sentiment.

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:15-17

We are called to be just as Issachar was.  We need to be people of understanding.  We live in a nation where the attitudes are very quickly turning against any kind of Christian influences.

I don’t say that to scare us or sour our mood.  I’m trying to get us, as the people of God, to wake up to the fact that coasting along with the crowd is no longer an option.  We don’t live in a place where godliness is applauded and sought after.

We now live on an active mission field.  That means that our lifestyles should look more like missionaries than consumers.  God didn’t place us here at this time in history to merely bask in the pleasures of this society.  Church is not just a place where we celebrate our salvation.

We’re more than that.  The church in America should be a counterculture that is actively seeking to change people’s lives for Christ.

So, this Fourth of July, celebrate and enjoy the freedoms we have as Americans.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  But also, pray for the spiritual understanding that it takes to live for Christ in this generation.

Pray for, and actively seek, a revival in our land.

Question: How are you living counter to the culture around you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2013 in Prayer, Revival, The Church

 

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