AFM Ministry's David Shelton

David's Life applications of God, his Word and his calling

Category: missions

Difficult work of ministry

I have a new blog post up on our ministry site  at the link below..or click on the image to take you to it.

Juliana-church kids

https://afm.ngo/presidents-blog/2017/7/11/the-difficult-work-of-ministry

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PRAYING ALIGNMENT WITH GOD

https://afm.ngo/presidents-blog/2017/6/27/praying-alignment-with-god

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Our new missionary family in Kenya. 

Please read and follow our About-Face Missions Jeff and Stephanie Bys adventures of following God’s call to serve in Kenya along with 7 of their kids! Here is the link to their blog. http://wp.me/p7tKUl-ef 

Deceptively close to heaven.

Did you know a person can believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and still not be saved?

Many people have been belief and had preached into them these Biblical truths: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved” as quoted from  Acts 16:31, or from Christ’s own words in John 3:16, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life”, as well as other Scriptures that say salvation comes by “faith (belief) alone” and it’s not as a result of works as clearly explained in Ephesians 2:8-9. These statements are absolutely true! It is only by faith we are saved, and only by belief that God redeems us and adopts us into his eternal family as heirs with Christ! We cannot earn any of it.

So what am I saying? I am here to tell you that some of the most hideous heresies come from taking Bible passages out of context of the whole counsel of God as given by the Holy Spirit inspired Word. While is it true Jesus and Paul and all the new testament writers spoke much about the fact that God saves those who “believe”, we must absolutely know, teach and preach how God defines belief! Jesus and the Apostles all wrote much about what this faith is. It’s not enough to bark out one line Bible quotes like these 3 verses above if we do not very clearly define Biblical Faith as Scriptures define it.

All sorts of well meaning people have “Faith”, but are lost and still in their sins.  We love to make pretty signs and symbols that say “Believe” or “Have Faith” or talk about the 1st Corinthians 13 concluding statement of the greatest attributes to possess as Faith, Hope and Love!

But we must be very diligent and very careful to not let these words stand alone and be defined by every person’s whims! The are useless and meaningless left on their own. We cannot and MUST not assume other people know what the heck we are talking about when we say, “Just have Faith”!

There are two types of Faith according to Christ. One type that deceives and one type that saves. Jesus made it clear many times what saving faith really is, and what kind of love is good, and what type of hope is ultimately beneficial and of lasting value.

You see you can have faith in God for the wrong things. You may hope in the wrong things and you may have love for the wrong things. It’s not enough to say Faith- Hope- Love and sing Kumbaya and let’s all get along.

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Jesus came to bear a CROSS, and so too must YOU, if he is to be YOUR master.  Many people are just “fans”, but few are the “followers”. Here is the difference in people who believe and are not saved and those who beleive and are saved.
True Biblical faith is repentant faith.
True faith is humble faith.
True faith is obedient faith.
It’s not perfect faith, we all stumble, and God is gracious, but real saving faith costs us greatly.  Matter of fact, it costs you your entire life.
Jesus said, If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. (Mark 8:34)

Here again Jesus is telling us clearly that you can believe and do all sorts of great things, but be as lost as any sinner in hell! Listen closely to his words. 

“Not all those who say ‘You are our Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people who will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On the last day many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, we spoke for you, and through you we forced out demons and did many miracles’. Then I will tell them clearly, ‘Get away from me, you who do evil. I never knew you’.
“Everyone who hears my words and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock. Everyone who hears my words and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house, and it fell with a big crash.”
  -Matthew 7:21-27 NCV
Hearing is a form of belief here, but effective belief is that which compels us to obey.

“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” Jhn 14:21. (Has is the belief and keeps is the obey)

Conclusion is this: Jesus is telling us that by faith we alone are saved; yes this is true, but faith has feet; it follows and obeys him.

A quick nutshell Gospel message and way to more accurately quote John 3:16 in Biblical context is like this: add obediently for clarification.
“God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever (obediently) believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

When you first have faith, real faith, it comes by Holy Spirit new birth, then this same Spirit God leads you into dying to self and living for Jesus.  If this is not your life experience; If your love for Jesus is not a compelling drive to sacrifice your life for him and seek out ways to better serve him, you too may be an idol lover, and your love may well be in vain. Many lost Hindus love Jesus and have shrines dedicated to him in their homes and pray to him also.

Examine your hearts and your lives. Don’t be fooled by ‘out of context’ Bible passages that get you close to heaven, but never really knowing the this living God that demands you bear your cross, just as he bore his.

You don’t have to be among those who hear, “Depart from me, I never knew you!”

Repentance and obedience is in order for us today and tomorrow. Just as you received Christ Jesus as LORD, so walk in him…
Those who ‘know’ him, who received him in repentant humble obedient faith must go daily in this attitude.  Teach others likewise and preach a complete Gospel message, lest you lead others deceptively close to heaven, but never helping them enter in.

Learning to lean

Jesus said “…And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

I never worry anymore about clothing or food or basic needs for myself. I could stand here and say that is because I have fully learned to trust in God as my caretaker and provider, but that would be a lie. I don’t worry about these things for myself because I am abundantly blessed with too much in this life. Sadly I have not learned this art of trust as well as some like those who About-Face Missions is called to support. I rarely get opportunities like the people and pastors that AFM help monthly with buying food, clothing, medicine and other basic needs so that they can live productive lives for the Lord. This is part of our calling. Yes;  we also help send them funds for Bibles, evangelistic outreaches, and discipleship needs. We feel both are critical to really love like Jesus loves. But I fail at times to trust in God like some more faithful ones do. So many we have chosen to partner with live on the edge and have learned to lean on Jesus like I never have. Men like Samson Walala, Kennedy Simiyu and John Tino in Kenya,  sister Norah Nakabugo or Buyinza Daniel in Uganda, pastor Daryl or Christopher Samonte in the Philippines, faithful humble men like Manikumar Gude and Nagavath Ganesh in India, or Ram Bahadur BK in Nepal or Munir in Pakistan. These people, their wives and co-workers are those who I see as men and women in God’s hall of fame!  Men and women of faith and perseverance and trust in Christ.
Kennedy Simiyu, for instance, hopes in God much better than I.  I wished I could say I was a spiritual giant for Jesus, but sometimes I feel I am so far away. God allowed one of our larger monthly donors for AFM Mercy School to have significant business slowdown, so we lost that $500 a month support for who knows how long. My heart was aching for weeks over how we can make up for this huge loss, and what to do. Were we to lay off a couple teachers and send some kids or workers home and cut way back? That loss is about 1/3 of our monthly school budget! I was praying for God to come to the rescue and send in some extra donors and funds to help make up for this, but frankly I was worried and getting heartsick over it all. I mentioned to Kennedy that we probably would not be able to continue our medical care preventative treatments for the kids, lay off the doctor and likely some other workers, and ration food by giving the kids less to eat. I was sad having to tell him all this as we came up on the last day of the month this past weekend. After all, for the past two months every couple days Kennedy has been telling me that they desperately need funds for buying cloth so the ladies can start sewing new uniforms for the kids.  It will take about $900 to buy enough material to create uniforms for all the kids just to have one new outfit for the entire year. He asked about us raising just $300 so we can get started with the most needy ones who are without a uniform or the most tattered… But I have had to say we cannot, because we don’t have enough even for the basic food and medicine budgets.

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Photo Kennedy took of some of the AFM kids Monday Feb 1, 2016

….But Kennedy kept telling me not to worry, trust in God and he will provide!
It’s easier said than done by one as so used to being self-sufficient and spoiled as I. My energy and hope was fading and I was growing less and less willing to even tell people of the needs anymore, because of the little to no responses. My own personal debts have been rising too fast lately due to last year’s weddings and expenses and I felt too financially squeezed to give any more personally without digging myself deeper into a financial hole… I was sinking in my hope, thinking maybe God wants us to change course and abandon what we are doing in Kenya. Also on my mind was how do I pay for another trip to Kenya this April to encourage our brothers and sisters as planned to help build them up, when I am feeling so low myself and under too much worry and stress. Then on top of this,  my Ugandan adopted son Ronald Mutebi sent me a message that the group of College students he leads on Evangelism missions are heading off to western Uganda on a Church planting mission where his friend Joseph wants to pastor a mission Church to an unreached group. He said they are short about $400, but really need $250 to buy local language Bibles for this mission next week! Oh this is so much where my heart is and I wanted so badly to say yes we will send you all that money, but my heart sank knowing all the other shortages we have in personal and AFM financial means. We didn’t even make up for our overdrawn funds from last year and started in a deficit because December giving was down a bit…. **Sigh**   So I told Ronald I would pray about and and seek the Lord’s will. I lifted it to God, somewhat halfhearted not thinking He was really going to provide. See? See what little faith I have sometimes….SMH.

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Angie(my wife), Stanley, Ronald, Me(David Shelton) in Uganda, all heading to Kenya on mission to be with Kennedy and the JFM churches and Mercy school kids!

I don’t tell my wife about every need and thing that comes along in AFM business because I have to “regulate” how much time I devote to AFM so she won’t feel deprived of my love and affections for her. I do tend to get consumed in my projects and passions. But I decided to tell her last night that our finances were tight and that Ronald was really needing at least $250 for Bibles to help reach these tribal people in Western Uganda on  his Makerere University BCOM mission trip he was helping lead. I told her I wanted us to seek the Lord if there was any way we could cut back on something else and help this immediate need. I told her this while we were sitting around watching TV Sunday night. During some commercial break she disappeared upstairs and came back down and handed me 2 one hundred dollar bills with this goofy look on her face and said, “Here! I tucked this away for a rainy day when I had extra knowing that one of our kids would come asking for help with something. So our kid in Uganda needs it, send it to him!”
HA HA! Wow, I was thinking we could squeak out another $150 or so by me emptying out my change jar of coins I had saved up, but now we could more than meet Ronald’s minimum need! Hallelujah!!
Then Monday morning Kennedy sent me some photos of the teachers working and the kids at our school to encourage us (above is one of them taken this Monday), and yet I was still cautioning him that the food and medicine money would likely be very short this month… But he kept faith and said God will provide! Amen. Yes I love my brothers faith, it too encourages me when I am weak. So I had to say, “We will trust in God to provide!” What else could I do. Then today I came home from work. I opened the mailbox and found an unusually large donation from one of God’s children of guess how much! $500! The exact amount we were short from the other person who had to suspend their giving! Whoohoo! Praise God!
All I can say is THANK YOU JESUS! Our God is good!

I sit here typing with tears hearing Jesus say to me “O ye of little faith, trust in God, Don’t you know how I dress the lilies of the field, how they grow? They neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if I so clothe the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will I not much more clothe you and those you love?”

Yes Lord. I am listening. I believe. Help me with my unbelief!

AFM friends and family. We still have many needs. We don’t have all the days ahead of us all figured out. We still must trust in God daily, monthly and yearly; but there is no better place to be, than fully standing in his grace, leaning on Jesus!
God is working and will continue to work with or without us, but the cool thing is He will bless others through us, if we just hold on to faith and keep doing our parts… blessings untold will be ours! We have the privilege to enter into God’s glorious works…and rejoice full of hope and life!

God bless each one of you! Let us rejoice and press on for His glory and love!

PS… Thank you to all who have been involved in helping us love all 130 or so little ones at our AFM Mercy Foundation Schoolkids in class2016 and helping make Jesus Christ real to so many impoverished little ones and families in Western Kenya. We are saving lives both physically and eternally! If you want to help us meet our future needs through monthly or one time gifts please visit our website for ways to give.  http://www.aboutfacemissions.com/donate  to to learn more about our school ministry visit this link http://www.aboutfacemissions.com/ourministries/mercy-school    There is a lot of need in the world, endless really…but we together can make a real difference in some lives and see the smile of God in our own hearts and lives.

 

 

 

Daisy’s Story- a story of Grace

Daisy was a young 25 year old woman who loved life and was raised in a loving Christian family. She loved Jesus and being a part of the family of God. She and her family regularly attended church. She was a beautiful young woman both inside and out, with the joy of the Lord filling her life. She was devoted to family and country and lived a quiet, humble and respectful life to all people. She loved sharing the love of Christ with people through showing kindness and compassion by serving them. She loved talking about Jesus and worshiping him in spirit and in truth as God’s Son who died for us.

Like most women, she dreamed of getting married to a God-fearing man and of having children and raising a family.  She dreamed of a nice wedding, romance and happily-ever-after life like most all young girls and women desire. Her natural beauty captivated the eye and affections of a handsome young man, named Abram. He courted her and asked her parents for her hand in marriage. They loved each other and soon were married. Life seemed to be so blessed and happy even though Daisy had always lived in relative poverty by all worldly standards. But she had great wealth in a loving family with father, mother, sister and aunt and cousins. She had a good family and now a husband to begin her next chapter of her hopeful life story.

Although things seemed well and God provided all the joy she needed, Abram could not find a good job and felt unable to properly provide for his new family. His pride was hurt and he was driven, at all costs, to make something of his life and provide for his wife and make way for children in their new family. Yet his love for God was based on tradition and there was no real passion for Jesus Christ in his life. He really did not know God, nor was he truly saved. But he lived the religious Christian life as was expected since he was born and raised in a Christian home.

His inability to find good work was due to cultural discrimination held against his poor family and traditions. 95% of the people around him were Muslim. They actually held great disdain for the ways Christians lived, and the way they worshiped Jesus Christ, as though he were God!   The Muslim culture around Daisy and Abram was toxic and growing increasingly violent and uncomfortable. They had to take menial day labor jobs and live at starvation level wages, and be treated with contempt by many of the Muslim masters who they had to work under. Yet most of their family had learned to be humble and quietly live their lives among their fellow man; meeting with Christian friends and making a simple form of life of loving God in Christ as they were led.

Abrams’ lust for stuff, status and pride in life drove him to think of ways to break free from this bondage of being held back in society. One day one of his Muslim friends told him there was a way for him to become respected and popular in his community and to make good money right away. He told him that at the local Mosque, the Imam would pay him $1000 and help him find great work and status in their populous community if only he will forsake Christian teaching and follow Allah and the Prophet Mohammed. Abram’s lack of love for Christ and his greed to be something in life, convinced him that this would be the best path for both he and his wife Daisy. So he accepted the offer and converted to Islam.

He came home with his new found “wealth” and told Daisy that their family will now follow Allah and Mohammed and would forsake all the teachings of Christ; that they will both now convert and gain a great life among their neighbors! Daisy was horrified!  She loved Christ and would have nothing to do with this type of treason to our Lord and God! She tried to convince Abram to reconsider his choice and told him what a great mistake and dishonor this was before her, both their families and before God himself! But Abram would not budge!  He was insistent that his new Muslim friends and their ways were superior and ordered Daisy to submit and convert along with him!  Daisy refused and would not turn her back on her Lord.  So with the help of the Imam and Abrams new Muslim friends, they rented a new home far away in another city and forcibly took Daisy away to Abrams new home. There they chained the doors to a room in the house and imprisoned her, until she would recant Christ and turn to Islam. They assumed she would give up her foolishness and come around. After weeks and months of her being unwilling to turn from Christ, they began regular beatings of her and screaming at her and keeping her imprisoned, rarely allowing her a bath and never a change of clothes. She remained imprisoned for her faith in Christ for over a year!  She never denied Christ; she would rather die a martyr’s death than turn on her Jesus.

Daisy’s once blessed life seemed now so dark and difficult. While imprisoned her family searched for her but could not find where Abram had moved. She was losing all hope and life seemed to be total despair; during which her family had begun to assume the worst, and that she was dead. Daisy prayed daily to Jesus to help her escape and find freedom and life so she could live and serve him. Then one day her husband and friends all left the home and she managed to break out and fled!  She ran from the home with nothing but a tattered year-old dress, barefoot and dirty until she found a public road and fell down weeping. A kind and generous man found her in her distress and asked her how he could help. This “angel” lovingly drove her for several hours to her home town and deposited her at her parents’ home!  It was over!  She was free from her terrible ordeal! Or so she thought.

Her family and she all wept and hugged and welcomed her back into the home!  Yet her troubles were not over, but about to get worse. Her father told her she could not stay because her evil husband Abram would come back looking for her and force her home, as was the Muslim tradition since women are considered as property to most Muslim men. Daisy’s joy was short lived as her family arraigned for her to quickly be carried to one of her lesser known aunt’s home who Abram did not know. There they hoped for a while she could recover and find some better place to live and hide. The next day, as expected, Abram and a group of Muslim men from his mosque arrived at Daisy’s family home. They forced themselves into her parents’ home and when they did not find Daisy they roughed up Daisy’s family and interrogated them and tortured them for her whereabouts.  Her father, mother and sister were beat and tortured for information which they refused to produce until the band of thugs finally murdered them all!!  Yes this Christian family all died protecting their eldest daughter and her faith in Christ. They died for Jesus! Would you?  This terrible evil came about and was born in lack of faith, pride and greed. Be careful because sin is crouching at your door in these forms and it seeks to pounce on you and destroy you too, just like it destroyed Abram and now the bodies of his wife’s family!  Yet only Abram is really destroyed in this story, even though his body lives, his soul is standing in horrible judgment of hell fire! Daisy’s family is in paradise, they are the truly blessed ones.

Daisy’s horrors are not yet over. Her hell is now her life on this earth. Once she knew hope and happiness and peace and joy; now she lives in utter fear, panic, discouragement and disbelief of what God has allowed to happen to her and her family!  Yet she is clinging on to Jesus and praying and asking him to save! Yes, amid her darkness God’s rod and his staff are comforting her as she finds some solace in the words of the Bible and times in prayer. Her widowed aunt fears for Daisy’s life and that Abram will find her someday, so they seek advice from other Christians in their community and decide her only way to stay safe would be to leave the country and quickly. Thailand is the only country that would simply grant them an immediate VISA for a fee and that was reasonably low cost place to live, so Daisy’s aunt pulled all her life savings, purchased her a ticket and gave Daisy all the money she had. It was enough to get to Thailand and pay for rent and food for about 6 to 8 months if she could live sparse for under $200 a month. So with her one suitcase in hand  with her few belongings, Daisy made her first trip out of country to Thailand with about $1,200 to live on. She arrived tired, shocked, scared and alone, yet by the grace of God guiding her, she found a low rent furnished apartment with all bills paid including internet and PC for about $130 a month where she settled in.

Daisy ate little, due to the stress and fear and so she managed to stretch her food and supplies to last about 8 months. She rarely left her room in fear of the unknown, and after overstaying her VISA for fear of being arrested by Thailand’s military run government and police (They do random VISA checks on all foreigners). A couple months into living in her apartment, she lost contact with her aunt and does not know if she went into hiding also or was murdered like her parents and sister. She mostly read and slept and was growing more and more worried and fearful thinking that somehow God may have abandoned her. Her money is now run out. She has only a few days of rice and clean water to drink. She has been on Facebook and trying to tell people of her condition and need for help, but no one seems to care or if they say they do, they do nothing to help. In this condition she cries out daily to Jesus Christ to save her and come to her rescue. She tells him of her great love for him and how she did not turn on him and kept the faith! Now what?

“God are you just going to let me sit here and slowly starve to death? What am I to do”, she prays.

Thailand’s strict military police are cracking down on foreigners overstaying their VISA and putting them in Jail until they come up with the fines and money to buy tickets back home. So many illegals there are rotting away in the Thai jails. Christians from the western countries all seem to have good lives and they have means to help. Daisy sees the wealth of many of the Christians from her distant positon as she scours the internet looking for some form of help. People either ignore her when she mentions she is in life threatening financial distress, or they simply are not sure to believe her, and they then go about their lives not even seeking a way to help.  But she does not give up. She visits various Christian ministry websites and Facebook pages and comes upon About-Face Missions public page. She sees the stories of hope and grace in which this small group of Believers are doing to proclaim the Gospel and share the love of Jesus with others. She sees how they are helping poor pastors, their orphan children and the needy all over the world, even in her home country of Pakistan. She wonders if these people would take the time to listen to her story and pray over her need. She is desperate.  She will literally die soon if she cannot find some help from someone. Surely God has heard all her cries and will connect her with someone who likewise is seeking God and open to his voice and has means to do something! Surely God is for her and not against her she believes!  She believes and still will not give up on Christ and counts all her sufferings and losses nothing, for the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ in all his glory some day! Yet her frail humanity is taking a beating and her mind is in turmoil and her hope is fading for any rescue this side of heaven.  What about you?  How would you fare at this point? Would you still be clinging to the cross of Christ for all it’s worth? The fires of God are purging her soul. Daisy keeps praying and not giving up…but eating less and less… as she has rationed her remaining rice and clean water to make a half-serving of food a day for another five or six days.

Daisy sends a message to the About-Face Missions Facebook page and she prays God moves someone.

But God….But God!  He does something.
Psalm 118:23 “This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”
God has chosen to hear his suffering daughter’s cries for mercy and ending to her tribulation; to put her on a path to healing and restoration; to show her his plans for her; plans for welfare and not for calamity to give her a future and a hope! (Jer 29:11)  The martyrdom of the saints that has been ordained for some to walk has passed her over. God opened the heart of one of his own at AFM Ministry as he read Daisy’s story. It rang of truth and great sacrifice and suffering for Christ and that for such a time as this God has ordained for her that we be here (Esther 4:14); to be the arms, hands and feet of Christ to bring the hope of his love in provision of her needs!  God provided About-Face Missions with a close friend who happened to also be in Thailand. We enlisted her to meet with Daisy in person to help us vet out her story.  God ordained all to come to pass, and all we his servants needed, was to listen and obey the Spirit leading us. We did. So did Daisy.

You see Daisy was terrified of going out of her home with so many police patrolling; fearful of going to prison for being now illegal. She was also fearful of meeting this person who About-Face Missions wanted her to meet to see her face to face, and help verify her identity and story. She already felt so apprehensive about the many questions the AFM rep asked her as if it were a lawyer from Pakistan drilling her as if she were giving legal testimony in a trial ( it was a Pakistani Lawyer, our AFM staff member).  She was alone, hungry and frightened, but she and I chatted, and I assured her that without Faith it is impossible to please God and to see his full glory of what He wants to do in our lives. We must put to death the fears in the flesh and really trust Christ to lead us as we make wise steps toward his will. Yes Daisy was afraid in the flesh and it showed somewhat when she was met and interviewed with our woman representative in Thailand, but she allowed her faith to move her, and she went and met and told her story. You see true godly faith has feet. It moves us to take steps into the unknown fully resting in God to have our lives in his hands. Daisy demonstrated real faith. God has smiled upon her and opened up the door for us to give her some cash that day. And now for the past few months He made way to have AFM Ministry cover her monthly need for food, basic supplies and rent!  Glory to God!

Today Daisy is working for AFM as our representative for us to help us reach out and meet and vet out other people and their needs. She even gives freely of her own meager foods to help those in worse condition than she. She is not bold and fully of joy and hope and carrying the hope of Jesus Christ and his care for fellow persecuted Believers stranded there in Thailand. This is a true story of God’s grace in action today.

In part, this is how God has made way for About-Face Missions to come to see the great need of His Children stranded in Thailand who have suffered great harm at the hands of cruel men in countries like Pakistan, and now today are out of means to live and seeking asylum through the United Nations Human Rights Commission. But due to government delays, they are stuck fending for themselves for a year or more until inducted into the government refugee programs. Many arrive with little, then exhaust their resources, and have resorted to begging for their needs, praying for God to open doors to make a way to survive. For those willing to work with AFM in honestly and faith, we want to do our part by raising awareness and financial support to bless them with financial aid, for a time; until they can get moved into the government programs, plus assist in expediting that process also where able.

Do you hear the voice of the Christ whispering to you, ‘these are my people..These are my Sheep’?  “What you have done for the least of these my brethren, you have done unto me. “

Clearly for those who have heard Daisy’s story, you now know this crisis is real and brewing, and many more are in great need. AFM has taken in 5 families so far.  We have our AFM Pakistan lawyer and new staff member, they too are a refugee couple living in AFM care here in Dallas (whom Muslims have tried murdering). They are helping us in this undertaking we have begun. We have Daisy (her name was changed to protect her identity). We have a family of 5 who Daisy came to know whose daughter is her friend now, whom we have taken under care for their rent. Then we have taken in another man who ran a Christian orphanage and his wife and their newborn child who were tortured and left for dead and who escaped also to Thailand. Now most recently we have taken in another young woman and her 1 yr. old baby who had her husband and entire family brutally murdered and forcibly injected with deadly poisons until foaming at the mouth dead. This was done by a gang of Muslim thugs for her and her husband leading a young Muslim woman to faith in Christ as Lord. (The brother and family of that new Believer tortured and murdered her, and came and killed this woman’s family, but since she was away on a doctor visit for her newborn, she escaped and likewise fled to Thailand.)

These terrible crimes against God and against humanity are quietly going on time and time again, and in greater intensity all around the Muslim dominated countries like Pakistan where the radicalization of Islam is growing worse. As Islam moves back to its fundamental roots, we shall see more of this increase world-wide. While the local governments corrupted by this evil theology look the other way, we can do something. It begins with us praying and getting real by setting aside some money and effort to first help rescue these fellow Christians suffering and in crisis. Christians are the by far most persecuted faith group of people in the world today and in history. Prophecies are being fulfilled. Yet God has given us a task to do for many in need. We can do this. Together we can make a huge impact for Christ.

Come and see our Jesus. Go and be “their” Jesus.  …If Jesus lives in you.

Jesus said.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”  – Matt 25:34-40

“For such a time as this” God has raised you up and given you means to help.  Help by first committing to give to AFM Ministry to help us fund these first 5 couples monthly and for us to take this ministry beyond and to meet all who truly are persecuted for their faith and love of Jesus! We need donors to grow this to meet more of the vast and growing need. As the Lord enables, this Thailand Pakistani rescue is just the beginning. As we build this out we hope to help expedite asylum cases for those in need and to render aid to all persecuted Believers all over the world! Come join us and begin today!
Make a donation or a pledge to our AFM Persecution Aid fund.

Here is the link for ways to give or online donation. http://www.aboutfacemissions.com/donate

If you have an ability to help us on a professional level who can help us develop this work even further through partnerships, donation of labor or advice, or simply to get the word out, please contact me us email. david@aboutfacemissions.com or imran@aboutfacemissions.com. We are looking for viable strategic ministry partnerships.

*Image above is blurred for security, but it our first photo of ‘Daisy’ in our meeting with our representative along with her new found freind whose family also is awaiting asylum help from the UN for similar reasons.

Yielded to Holy Spirit

There is a real interpersonal mystery in the Holy Spirit. He relates to each of God’s elect on an intimate basis. Even so while maintaining his eternal relation to the Father and the Son in the triune mystery. As we read in 2 Corinthians 13:14, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”; herein we see there is fellowship and intimacy with God through the Spirit. (Notice also the triune persons of God represented again)

There has been much talk about the Holy Spirit and his power being revealed among us as much in the charismatic movement has been a forced exercise of trying to use God the Spirit for our own human desires or feelings.
  But God; He is not one who we can use. He uses us. Intimacy with God begins by surrendering daily to the Spirit and allowing him to lead you. We don’t conjure Him up in some emotionalized worship service like some form of pagan spiritist or medium. Worship and power of the Spirit is much more than outward manifestations seen among worshippers in a gathering of Believers, which many times emotionalism and forced jibberish is confused with the Spirit’s power and presence. But rather a life of obedience to God is evidence of the Spirit in you. Romans 8:5b says
“…those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”
The Spirit is sent in power to encourage us yes, but even more so to empower us to boldly do the works of the Gospel.

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Do you live according to the Spirit? How does this reveal itself in you?  Since the Spirit inspired all of the Bible, wouldn’t you likewise assume to see a deeper hunger for those who are true children of God for his Word, and to walk in the ways of Jesus to whom the Spirit leads us to be like? Yet the vast majority of those who call themselves Christian rarely spend time with God listening to him through reading and meditation and obedient application of their Bibles to their lives. Scripture exhorts us to be doers and not hearers only. (James 1:22)

If a regular hunger and making time with God through prayer and reading his Word and seeking his voice to lead is not part of your life, then something is seriously wrong.

Make the change you must to reorder your life. Today is the day of repentance  from known sins that hold you back, and getting your life right with God. Don’t delay, because every day missed from this glorious relationship with Christ and the Father through the Spirit is a day others cannot be made new through you.
  
God does have plans for you, to give you a future and a glorious hope. Yet you must seek him in love and listen to the Spirit and yield to him. The promise is; you will find.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord , plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.- Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV

Rain Clouds Blessing Opportunity

In our world of suffering and hate you can do something simple to show them that God indeed is love. Click this link to learn more.   http://t.co/OlDcBDAIA3

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God bless you!

New Beginning

Incomprehensible, Great and Glorious God,
I adore you and lower myself.
I approach you mindful that I am less than nothing, a creature worse than nothing.

My thoughts are not screened from your gaze.
My secret sins blaze in the light of your countenance.

Enable me to remember the blood of Christ that cleanses all sin,
    To believe in the grace that subdues all iniquities,
     To resign myself to that agency which can deliver me from the bondage of corruption
      into the glorious liberty of the sons of God!

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You O God have begun a good work in me,
    And can alone continue and complete it.
Give me an increasing conviction of my tendency to err, and of my exposure to sin.

Help me feel more of the purifying, softening influence of pure religion,
   Its compassion, love, pity, courtesy,
       And employ me as your instrument in blessing others.
This I know is my purpose here on earth.

Give me to distinguish
   Between the mere form of godliness and its power,
    Between living and the source of life in Jesus,
     Between deception and truth,
     Between hypocrisy and pure religion that pleases your eye.

If I am not right, set me right;
And may I always come into your presence in peace and the joy of knowing you,
     my Lord.

Amen.

Adapted from Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers. ‘New Beginning’

Tale of two men

Man-1 said he believed in Jesus Christ. Attended church regularly, and took his family there, gave money to offerings, raised his family teaching them the Bible is God’s Word and to be known and followed. Yet this man rarely read his Bible, nor engaged his family directly in biblical teaching nor really spent time praying  much for them or with them other than simple meal prayers. Man-1 really didn’t like other people too much, especially who would not be of some benefit to himself and only befriended those who were like him or could make his life fun.
Man-1 encountered a needy looking man at Church who seemed to like  him and want to hang around with Man-1. But Needy-man was a mess and needed lots of time consuming mentoring to get his life in some order and this was obvious to Man-1 and so Man-1 avoided Needy-man every time  he was at Church, so he didn’t have to feel obligated to help Needy-man. And whenever Needy-man found Man-1, Man-1 would politely shake his hand and give quick polite greetings and try to quickly find some reason to depart Needy-man’s company, before he asked something of Man-1. Man-1 who said he loved Jesus and followed him never made any benefit in the life of Needy-man although he had time and means to do so even seeing no one else was helping Needy-man.

Few years later Man-2 shows up.  He too claimed to believe in Jesus and follow him also. He too raises his family in the Church and does his best to lead them in Biblical truth of following God. But Man-2 is different. He doesn’t avoid convicting Bible reading at home, but does so regularly and works on making life changes to really follow what he hears God saying through scripture. He tries to encourage his family to do likewise and he can be seen reading and studying his Bible and other books challenging his spiritual walk. He even goes out of his way to meet with other men to do Bible study and application to be held more accountable. Man-2 denies himself some worldly pleasures and lusts that Man-1 took much great pleasure in secretly and he fights against temptations and surrounds himself with wise protections to help guard his heart.
Man-2 attends a new local church and meets Needy-man who moved from attending his old Church where little love was shown him. Man-2 talks with Needy-man and listens to his situation and difficulty he is having in life, including lack of transportation to make it to Church on any regular basis relying on occasional rides from inconsistent friends. Rather than walk away and saying God bless and hope all goes well, Man-2 considers deeply the cost of helping Needy-man, because he too can see he is going to be a major effort if he starts helping him out. Man-2 is truly grateful to God for all the abundant blessings He has been undeservedly given by God; knowing he too was rescued from his own mess and insufficiencies.  Man-2 realizes he has means to help to some degree Needy-man, and so offers to pick him up and take him to Church each Sunday, realizing that was going to be potentially a life long needy man project that would require many more hours of his life and resources. Needy-man gladly accepted the offer.
Starting the next week, Man-2 began driving Needy-man to Church which led to later helping in many ways, like caring for physical needs, meeting many financial needs, helping provide a car, helping job hunt, taking him into his home for many months and giving much social and spiritual guidance to Needy-man. Man-2 now has a life long friend in Needy-man, who loves him… even though, Needy-man could never begin to repay Man-2. Man-2 invested much in Needy-man over 8 years and stood by him encouraging Needy-man even though he frustrated Man-2  at times with his slowness to grow in maturity as he had hoped over the years; yet Man-2 won’t ever give up on Needy-man because he knows God won’t give up on him and he has come to treasure the deepening brotherhood in Needy-man.

Of these two men. Which one has faith?
Both said they believed in Christ?  Jesus said in Matthew 7:24 ,“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock” .  Also in Luke 6:43-44 Jesus said, “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit,  for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.” And James 2:14-16 says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

Real Godly faith is marked by actions that live it. If there is no fruit, your words; your “faith” is meaningless.  Faith has feet. May you have fearless faith also just like God supernaturally gave to Man-2 because he really trusted in his God and knew all would be well in him.

I know this story well about Man-1 and Man-2 because it is a true story.  I was Man-1, and now I am Man-2.
To God be the glory, great things he has done !

– DC Shelton