Idolatry means turning a good thing into an ultimate thing.”
— Dr. Tim Keller
33 million gods are worshipped. Idols and temples line streets and building entryways. One might respond with judgement. Really, where we live, we don’t worship 33 million gods, right? But then we consider those good things we turn into ultimate things? Comfort, health, wealth, relationship status, family, friendships, or the lack of any of these things and the list goes on. Humbling to be reminded that the Lord is working in all of our lives, in different parts of the world, in various ways to reveal Himself in new ways. As we pray for the Lord revealing Himself in new ways in Southeast Asia we pray for Him to reveal the idols in our own lives, whatever those good things are that we are making ultimate.
Encouraging the Body: Sunday, Wally, Jr preached while Esther and Margaret led the children’s program. For a growing church on a holiday weekend, we gave the usual leaders an opportunity to simply enjoy the worship service. The church has experienced transition this past year, we are encouraged by the work God is doing in the city and pray He will continue to grow the body of Christ here.
Flower Girls: Young women wanting to escape prostitution and other life-threatening industries need education, skill-building with emotional and spiritual support. A Christian center where we were offers hope to women through 10-month skills-building program in computer, beauty, and tailoring industries. On a visit to the center, Margaret did a devotion on “remaining in Him”, John 15, while Esther followed with a flower arranging class. Each woman designed her own arrangement, the women had never held fresh flowers before. [staff shared they would never have enough resources to enjoy fresh flowers.]
We pray the Lord uses this time to encourage and provide hope as they seek to transform their lives and use their God given potentials to glorify Him and provide for themselves and their families.
All Politics is Local: Given the old adage that local politics is the fiercest, in our English conversation classes, we held a mock election, giving the students (most of whom live in the slum areas) the opportunity to create political parties, develop party platforms, and hold an election for which student from their class would serve as President. We decided hanging chads and butterfly ballots weren’t needed -- it was a clean election declared by all. The party platform issues in the 8th grade class included: “Clean water, affordable housing, free education for all”, not your typical “vending machine access for students, Starbucks in the cafeteria, donuts for all” student government platforms. It is sobering to remember the daily challenges of those living here. We pray that one day, these students will rise up to leadership roles in their country, with a strong Christian character education as a launching point for their future.
Future Christian Leaders: Our last evening, God opened a door to share at a local Bible College. Wally Sr. and Jr. shared with about 70 men training to be pastors; Margaret and Esther shared with 30 women preparing to be in ministry. In evening devotions, we encouraged them in their preparation for full-time ministry, a calling which is challenging in any part of the world, but especially in a country where evangelism and conversion are illegal. Please pray for these young Christian leaders as the Lord equips them for His specific calling on their lives.